By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Smackdown Hits
Roman Reigns vs. Buddy Murphy: I rolled my eyes at the idea of WWE making this the only match they advertised on Raw. And it’s not that I expected it to be a bad match, rather it was that casual viewers either didn’t know who Murphy was or assumed he’d be booked to be a pushover for Reigns, so it wasn’t much of a hook. And while I still feel it was an odd call, it won’t be an issue going forward. Reigns won the match, but Murphy had a star making performance. Now the company has to follow up strong. Given the way Daniel Bryan and Rowan strong-armed Murphy, I wonder if the plan is for him to be featured as a babyface.
New Day vs. Randy Orton and The Revival: A nice television main event that served multiple purposes in that it spotlighted the Kofi Kingston vs. Orton feud while also giving The Revival a win over one of the tag team champions.
Kevin Owens: The show opening promo showed how good Owens can be as a man of the people babyface. Notice I did not include Shane McMahon in this Hit. It’s not that Shane needs to go away forever, but he does need to go away. And every company needs to realize that monetary fines and prizes in pro wrestling storylines do not register with fans because it doesn’t affect them in any way.
Charlotte Flair vs. Ember Moon: A pay-per-view quality match. Moon continues to impress, yet her character keeps losing. She has a great look and the character possibilities seem endless, yet all viewers have learned about her is that she likes to play video games. I assume this win puts Charlotte right back in the Smackdown Women’s Championship race.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Kevin Owens vs. Samoa Joe: The ring work was Hit worthy, but all of the Shane McMahon related heel authority figure bits have completely run their course.
Bray Wyatt: The Fiend’s debut at SummerSlam was fantastic. WWE followed up with some still shots on Monday and then nothing on Tuesday. I’m all for the character being more of a special attraction and not appearing every week, but it felt like they should have spotlighted The Fiend’s debut and framed it as something special to keep people buzzing and make those who didn’t watch SummerSlam feel like they missed something.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...