By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Smackdown Hits
Miz TV with Daniel Bryan and The Fiend: The show closing segment continued the late push to set up “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan for the Universal Championship for Survivor Series. As rushed as the build feels, this was still the most compelling part of Smackdown. Granted, that’s not saying much and it’s hard not to dread The Fiend no-selling Bryan’s offense, but the dynamic between the two characters is interesting.
Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. The Revival for the Smackdown Tag Titles: A good tag match with a perfectly logical interference finish. The Undisputed Era causing the no-contest sets up the need for a rematch while also building up the Survivor Series, and I’m all for another match between New Day vs. The Revival at some point.
Sasha Banks, Nikki Cross, Carmella, and Dana Brooke vs. Rhea Ripley, Mia Yim, Tegan Nox, and Dakota Kai: Some fans would label this a Miss simply because the Team NXT lost. The key is how they lost. This wasn’t just a simple Team Smackdown goes over with no regard for the NXT crew. Dakota Kai has been down on her luck in NXT and was passed over by Ripley or her WarGames team. So if someone had to lose the match for Team NXT, she was the right pick despite showing more fire on Wednesday’s NXT television show.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Mustafa Ali and Shorty G vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler for spots on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series: Congrats again to Ali for getting his first name back. The opening segments for Smackdown featured a wrestler playing a fake king, a wrestler named Shorty G, and someone dressed in a dog mascot outfit. My hope was that Fox executives would push for a more realistic, sports-like product and WWE would finally make some real changes. Sadly, Fox seems to be content with Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment silliness that continues to lose viewers.
Drew Gulak: It was fun to see Gulak reinvent himself and find success as a serious wrestler in the cruiserweight division. He was rewarded for said success by being called up to the main roster where they had him revert to the silly undercard heel schtick.
Heavy Machinery vs. Kevin Tibbs and Kip Stevens: When there’s so much corniness elsewhere on the show, the act that’s actually meant to serve as comedy relief becomes ineffective due to overkill.