By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown Hits
The Rock, Becky Lynch, and Baron Corbin: The Rock stole the show with a terrific performance. It was good to see Lynch get the rub, and Corbin was a good foil for their insults. Say what you will about Corbin, but whereas most men would overcompensate in his position, Corbin had the courage to tell the world that his testicles are merely adequate. Anyway, The Rock was on fire and this was a real reminder of just how good he is. I also assume a hat tip is in order for former WWE creative team member Brian Gewirtz, who has written many of Rock’s best promos over the years and presumably penned this gem.
Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez: A good angle with Lesnar being confronted and roughed up by the man who defeated him for the UFC Heavyweight Championship in 2010. I’m not sure how big this felt in the moment to fans who didn’t keep close tabs on Lesnar’s UFC run, but WWE should be able to chronicle their history well since they seem to have a good relationship with UFC and thus should be able to show the fight footage to bring everyone up to speed.
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon in a loser leaves WWE ladder match: A spirited stunt match with both men working hard and performing some crazy spots. Many people wondered if Owens would lose and then move to NXT. Here’s hoping that Shane makes the jump so that he can spend some time honing his craft at the WWE Performance Center. Yes, I’m joking about that, but I’m not kidding when I say that I fear that Vince McMahon’s character will simply rehire Shane sooner rather than later.
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley: A minor Hit. This would have felt bigger if WWE had saved this match for the Smackdown on Fox launch rather than featuring the same match on a recent episode of Raw. It was still solid and delivered a final push for Lynch vs. Banks at Hell in a Cell, and the finish set up the Flair for a title shot against Bayley at the same show.
Firefly Funhouse: The usual Bray Wyatt fun. With the show on broadcast television, I couldn’t help but wonder what someone who was viewing the product for the first time (or even the first time in a while) must have been thinking.
Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury: Meh. Asinine judging caused me to move on from pro boxing years ago, so I can’t say that I’m familiar with Fury. He looks the part and even has a name that sounds like it was created at the WWE Performance Center. The mere visual of the giant heavyweight boxer being restrained from going after the giant Braun Strowman was a fun scene and it will be interesting to see where this goes.
WWE Friday Night Smackdown Misses
Kofi Kingston vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship: Kingston looked ridiculous by showing so much confidence going into the match and then losing in a matter of seconds. Here’s hoping there’s a plan in place for Kingston to redeem himself, perhaps in a competitive match with Lesnar at Hell in a Cell.
WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins vs. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura: I’m not sure what I disliked more – Nakamura being on the verge of losing to Rollins in short order or the match ending without an actual finish. Both are examples of bad WWE booking. Why make the Intercontinental Champion look weak when someone lower on the food chain could have been on the verge of losing before The Fiend lighting scared Rollins to the point that he apparently ran to the stage?