By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Smackdown Hits
Miz TV with Shane McMahon: Miz did a good job of showing and verbalizing his disgust for Shane throughout the segment. And while Shane is getting more television time than he needs lately, he is the most protected heel in the company right now and therefore gets solid heat.
The Miz vs. Elias: Quick and painless with Miz winning the first of the two matches he had to win in order to get Shane back in the ring. That said, it is baffling that Elias’s act is as over as it is and yet the company hasn’t made a real attempt to establish him as an in-ring threat.
The Miz vs. Drew McIntyre: They made the right call in not sacrificing McIntyre to get to Miz vs. Shane. In fact, this match set up Shane taking advantage of the situation nicely.
Heavy Machinery vs. The YOLO County Tag Team Champions: The quick promo and even quicker squash match served as a solid showcase for the lighthearted Heavy Machinery act. I like that they haven’t rushed into Heavy Machinery getting a title match. The last couple of segments involving Otis and Tucker with Daniel Bryan and Rowan have done a nice job of building interest in a match between the two teams.
Bayley vs. Nikki Cross in a non-title match: A solid match, plus I’m enjoying the story being told with Cross and Alexa Bliss. Cross seems to be buying everything that Bliss tells her, but I assume this is all leading to Bliss turning on Cross or Nikki eventually seeing through Alexa’s manipulations. Hopefully the creative team will take their time getting to the split because it will mean more if they continue to establish this oddball relationship.
Sonya Deville vs. Carmella: A soft Hit. Given the match and the earlier segment with Mandy Rose and Deville harassing Ember Moon backstage, I assume this is leading to Carmella and Moon joining forces to face Rose and Deville. In fact, it seemed odd that Moon didn’t get involved in this match given how upset she was with Rose and Deville.
WWE Smackdown Misses
New Day promo: The Charlotte Flair “booking joke” was fun and it was nice to see Big E’s return (again). The issue was the trio reminding viewers that Kofi Kingston has recent wins over all three of their main event opponents. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Dolph Ziggler are talented wrestlers, but Owens and Zayn have lost so many matches lately, and Ziggler’s time away wasn’t enough to make anyone forget his many losses. Sadly, none of these heels feel like real threats to take Kingston’s championship. Speaking of which…
New Day vs. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Dolph Ziggler: This seemed like a perfect opportunity to give Ziggler a win over Kingston to build up his credibility heading into Stomping Grounds. Instead, Zayn took yet another pinfall loss. It was a crowd pleasing finish that did nothing to make me care about the WWE Championship match at the pay-per-view.
The Miz vs. Shane McMahon: We saw Miz beat up all three Sanity members a while back. And as odd as that seemed at the time, it was even odder to watch him tap out to Shane’s silly triangle. They could have simply had Miz act knocked out after taking McIntyre’s finisher and spared him from tapping to Shane.
R-Truth locked in a crate: The zany comedy of the WWE 24/7 division continues. And apparently now they want us to believe that they aired footage of Truth being locked in a crate bound for Los Angeles, yet no one from the company cares enough to set him free. The comedy works for some viewers, but I prefer logic across the board in my pro wrestling storytelling.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Glenn “Disco Inferno” Gilbertti, who discusses how being a good heel doesn’t stop outside the ring, a trait that big name wrestlers have in common, his male chauvinist persona, why he didn’t work for WWE after the WCW sale, and more.