By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Smackdown Hits
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman: Nothing about Lesnar and the WWE Universal Championship felt fresh. Lesnar desperately needed a change of scenery and new dance partners. And he now has a big one in Kofi Kingston, whom he’ll challenge for the WWE Championship on the October 4 premiere of Smackdown on Fox. It’s nice to see a rare surprise on Smackdown. Surprises are typically saved for Raw, though I guess that changes starting now.
Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, Erick Rowan, and Luke Harper: It would have been silly enough if Bryan took one beating from Rowan and then revealed it was a ruse, but after taking another beating from Rowan and now Harper it would now be downright absurd. In other words, I hope this is a Bryan babyface turn. Meanwhile, the reunited Bludgeon Brothers are off to a strong start, presumably minus that name and with a new and improved look.
New Day vs. Randy Orton and The Revival: A good, long match top open the show. I thought the match might result in Orton beating Kingston to set up another match between the two. Instead, they went with the big post match surprise of bearded Brock Lesnar. We know Kingston and Lesnar will meet on October 4, but what will the title match be for the Hell in a Cell event just two nights later?
King Corbin coronation: Chad Gable finally did something other than make a sad face in response to the silly height jokes. Here’s hoping this is the end of the tired jokes that even Jerry Lawler would deem too corny before crossing them out of his joke books.
Heavy Machinery vs. B-Team: A minor Hit for a quick dose of Otis fun on a night filled with meaningful content.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens: Owens’ claim of a $25 million lawsuit was silly, and his claim that he would be able to fire Shane if he won the lawsuit was downright ludicrous. Here’s hoping that creative will never waste the time of viewers with any future storylines that involve Owens being fired or quitting. This particular storyline went off the rails weeks ago and needs to be put out of its misery.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair: WWE should be trying to sell Banks as a threat to beat Becky Lynch in the Hell in a Cell match. Instead, two nights after Lynch kicked Sasha’s ass, Banks was booked to be on the verge of tapping out to Flair and had to be saved by Bayley. Meanwhile, Carmella, who spends most of her time clowning around with R-Truth, roughed up Banks and Bayley with ease after the match. My guess is that Banks will be winning the Raw Women’s Championship to free up Lynch for a move to Smackdown in the draft. If so, the creative forces may feel like Banks can take her lumps now, but Sasha looking so weak is lessening my interest in her HIAC match with Lynch.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...