MITB QUALIFIER: JEFF HARDY VS. THE MIZ
Jeff has basically been having the same match for 20 years, and it is still awesome. There are way too many people in the crowd cheering for Miz. That’s been a trend lately. I think he needs to do more to be hated. Lose the catch phrases, it makes the crowd chant along with him. Sometimes it’s inevitable and smarks are gonna cheer for heels regardless, but Miz is becoming too well-liked for a heel. And now that he’s by himself without the Miztourage, he needs to work extra hard at it because they were there not only to bring continuous heat on him, but also to help him cheat to win matches. I think it would benefit everyone if he did more cheating, or bending the rules as far as they will go, and less rest holds. He did it once tonight but needs to do it more. A frantic finish to this one starting with the sunset flip spot lifted up an otherwise average match, and just when it seems like we will get the treat of seeing Jeff Hardy in a ladder match, Miz reverses the pin to shock us all. I really hope Hardy finds a way into the match.
Rating: Six Gold Medals
MITB QUALIFIER: CHARLOTTE FLAIR VS. PEYTON ROYCE
Excellent heel promo from the Billie Kaye. I feel like I’m having a Foo Fighters moment with them: when “Big Me” came out, I hated it and decided the Foo Fighters were trash. Then every now and then they’d come out with a new song and I’d have to say I still hate them but that one’s good. After many “well that song is good” moments, I realized they were a good band with one song that I hated. So maybe… MAYBE I was wrong about the Iconics, because since they moved up to Smackdown they’ve been great. It could be they work better as heels on the main roster than they did in NXT because there’s less hardcore IWC fans cheering them. The alliance with Carmella and feud with Charlotte helps them tremendously because Carmella is a heat magnet and the crowd loves Charlotte. Peyton can hang with Charlotte in the ring very well. Billie does her job on the outside in aiding Peyton and distracting Charlotte. Perfect heel work with Peyton distracting the ref and Billie hitting the neckbreaker. Both of these women can KICK. Long legs means big, awesome kicks. Too bad Charlotte missed that moonsault by a few feet. It looked better on the replay from a different angle, but from the first angle it was obvious she leaned into Peyton’s knees after she had already landed on her feet. Big win for Charlotte to get into the MITB match and get back on track. Another clean loss her would have had a ripple effect on Asuka. I’ll get into that another time on how badly Carmella’s victory over Charlotte at Backlash terribly affects Asuka. Excellent match from these two ladies.
Rating: Eight Gold Medals
XAVIER WOODS VS. CESARO
Woods is an awesome wrestler and can be entertaining, I’m just sick of the New Day and their shtick. Cesaro’s uppercut is badass. That face slam Xavier did was pretty good, but that wasn’t a very entertaining match.
Rating: Three Gold Medals
What a creepy promo by the Bludgeon Brothers. I love it.
BECKY LYNCH VS. MANDY ROSE
Fitting new entrance music for Mandy Rose. The camera filter is apropos as well, blurring out every one but her, which fits her personality. We’ll get to see how Mandy does by herself with Sonya Deville getting barred from ringside by Paige. A quick and active match ends with an upset by Mandy Rose. They got a lot of work in in a short time, and it was a pretty good match.
Rating: Five Gold Medals
MITB QUALIFIER: DANIEL BRYAN VS. RUSEV
Rusev needs to turn face NOW. He’s getting a split crowd during a match with DANIEL BRYAN. It’s going to happen, Lana planted the seeds last week when she suggested he dump Aiden, but they need to pull the trigger ASAP and capitalize on his popularity. Bryan certainly does not wrestle like he was out of the ring for two years, he hasn’t missed a step. Rusev scores the win with the Machka Kick, another upset in a night full of them. I’m hoping this is setting up a multi-man match for the last spot that will include the losers of these qualifiers, because so far on SmackDown we have Daniel Bryan and Jeff Hardy, and they are both awesome in 3, 4, 5, 6-man matches.
Rating: Six Gold Medals
Overall Smackdown Rating: Six Gold Medals