By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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WWE Smackdown Hits
Daniel Bryan promo: Remember when one of the knocks against Bryan Danielson was that he wasn’t a strong promo? That’s clearly not an issue now and was probably even overstated when it was a criticism. Bryan did a really nice job of selling the unique qualities of this year’s Money in the Bank ladder match. And it means a lot coming from Bryan due to his connection with the audience. The broadcast team and even some of the other top wrestlers could have described the match using the same words that Bryan did, but it would not have been nearly as effective coming from those who are asked to overhype everything.
Daniel Bryan vs. King Corbin: Long matches are typically not a good idea in the empty arena venue, but this was well done. Bryan and Corbin worked a good physical style and this was an enjoyable match. The DQ finish was underwhelming and yet it made sense given that both men are in the Money in the Bank match. On a side note, I’m begging WWE to pull the plug on the awful King Corbin gimmick. It’s tired and his awful royalty cliche lines are channel changing triggers, and Corbin doesn’t need this tired gimmick to maintain his heat.
Sonya Deville: Another good performance from Deville as she continues to torment her former tag team partner Mandy Rose. As much as the focus has been on Rose and Otis, Deville is really making the most of her mic time. She is also good in the ring and could be a breakout star if she continues to make the most of her minutes and the creative forces take notice. In a related note, it was impossible to buy into Dolph Ziggler’s talk of winning Money in the Bank and becoming a world champion again, but I did like his delivery while he was talking backstage with Deville a lot more than his typical yelling promos.
Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Money in the Bank qualifier: Congratulations to Otis on becoming the leading candidate for a Vince McMahon bathroom humor moment during the Climb The Corporate Ladder match at WWE Headquarters. As much as I wish that each and every copy of Dolph Ziggler’s entrance theme would be shot directly into the sun, Ziggler continues to do a nice job of carrying his matches with Otis.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Kofi Kingston and Big E vs. Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake in a non-title match: A Hit in terms of match quality. But match quality isn’t really the issue with Cutler and Blake. The win gives the Forgotten Sons a boost, but I remain skeptical about the act in general. I still don’t feel like I know much about their characters even going back to their run in NXT. Their complaints last week about being disrespected when they returned home from serving their country felt like something out of the Vietnam era and just didn’t ring true.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features referee Rob Page discussing the difficulty of reffing tag matches in the modern era, making three counts if a wrestler's shoulders are down even if it wasn't the planned finish, the growth of F1rst Wrestling, and more...