A week removed from last week’s fantastic show, can Smackdown hold up? With two more matches in the Intercontinental Championship tournament and the mixed tag match we’ve all been waiting for, let’s have a look at how it all played out.
WWE always have a great video package when it comes to VE and Memorial Day and this was no different, a beautiful tribute. Sadly, I can’t say the same for Shad Gaspard. We all know the tragic story of how he sacrificed his life for his son, yet we don’t get a single mention in the opening of the show. All we get is a graphic somewhere in the middle of the show. I’m sorry but that is just so disrespectful in my eyes, and I really hope they turn around and make a video package or do SOMETHING on Raw for him.
I usually enjoy a good dirt sheet, but for some reason this one just didn’t feel right, I pretty much zoned out for most of it until Mandyquin Rose popped up on the screen, which I did find amusing. Thankfully, Braun Strowman came out and thanks them for being invited onto their show (he wasn’t) and tells them to ask him a question about Bray’s puppets. Miz gets real with him about how Bray caused him to spiral, which causes John Morrison to step in and challenge Braun to a match…on Miz’s behalf. Of course Braun accepts, leaving a very unhappy Miz to deal with Morrison’s mess. Given how bad Braun’s promos have been before Money in the Bank, it’s weird to say he actually made this segment better.
BRAUN STROWMAN vs THE MIZ/w John Morrison
I’ll admit I was surprised by just how much offense Miz actually got in, but this was essentially a job to Braun. I was hoping Bray or his puppets would make an appearance, but I guess they’re saving the Fiend vs Braun for SummerSlam. As Braun leaves, Morrison challenges him to a 2v1 match for the title at Backlash to which he accepts. I’m sorry but why? What have they done to earn this match and why would Braun accept? It’s illogical and worst of all, not so long ago when Braun lost his IC title to the Artist Collective. It’s just bad booking if you ask me.
AJ STYLES vs SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
AJ Styles is back on Smackdown and now it’s apparently permanent! What an acquisition for Smackdown and what a match to return to, these guys can tear the house down. The only problem is announcing this means there was only ever one outcome, but the journey was still one hell of a ride! We got plenty of time for this match and these two tore the house down, we got everything from Naka’s stiff shots to some high flying moves. I’m baffled by why this wasn’t the main event! AJ finishes Nakamura with the phenomenal forearm for the three and moves into the semi-finals to face Elias, AJ Styles vs Daniel Bryan in the final, anyone?
BAYLEY WANTS TO GO ALONE
Bayley and Sasha Banks’ glacial split continues when Bayley wants to go it alone against Charlotte. People think she can’t win alone, so she wants to prove everyone wrong and Sasha obliges.
CHARLOTTE FLAIR vs BAYLEY
Finally a match we’ve never seen before – champion vs champion, heel vs heel. Are we in for a clinic? I guess, but do we really care? Well not me, they’ve got great chemistry in the ring, but I’ve seen this match more than I care to want to. The match was solid and any wrestling fan won’t want to miss it. If you are sick of these two, then I don’t blame you for skipping. Let’s be honest, it’s a match we’ve pretty much seen before when they were fighting for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Sasha keeps to her promise and stays in the back, even when Charlotte tried to entice her out and Bayley picks up the victory with a roll up with a firm hand on the ropes.
OTIS & MANDY ROSE vs DOLPH ZIGGLER & SONYA DEVILLE
Mandy has fully embraced the blue collar lifestyle, with an all jeans attire, which I didn’t fully hate. Let’s be honest, though. You can dress her up however you like; her ring work still needs to improve. Sonya had to carry her through most of the match, and while there were some fun moments, this match just didn’t live up to the hype build from this feud. Sonya picks up the win for the team with a running knee to the back of Mandy’s head, shortly followed by a cheap shot from Dolph on Otis after the match when he goes to check on Mandy. The one thing I will say that they seemed to have dropped is Dolph’s affection for Mandy, I had wondered where he loyalties were when he was trying to check up on her when Sonya laid her out a few weeks ago, but it seems all but forgotten tonight.
JEFF HARDY CAN’T TALK
Sorry but if I ever can’t sleep I’m replaying this promo. There’s no emotion, no passion – it’s just plain boring. Jeff talks about how his path to glory will head through Sheamus, but I was not sold. Jeff’s never been strong at promos, but he can do so much better than this.
THE FORGOTTEN SNORES
The Forgotten Sons talk more babble, I mean it’s Memorial Day and they all served for their country. Where’s anything about that? They say nothing worth noting and it can and should be skipped.
HEY HEY HO HO MIZ AND MORRISON
Renee Young interviews the duo about their Backlash match with Braun, they remind us that Braun’s record in handicap matches stinks. They feel confident, and why shouldn’t they? I mean they won’t win but they have the advantage of the extra man.
JEFF HARDY vs SHEAMUS
The match everyone was excited for, right? RIGHT? RIGHT? How is this the main event? It’s average at best and they finish it with a roll up. A ROLL UP! I’m sick of seeing matches end like that, which seems to be quite often in WWE lately.
AFTER THE BELL
Well what can I say, tonight was a disaster, there’s only one match worth watching in my opinion and on top of all of it, the lack of respect shown to Shad is deplorable. This man died a hero saving his son and he gets spliced into the middle of the show with a short graphic. I’m so disappointed in tonight’s show for oh so many reasons, and you’d not only be forgiven but encouraged to miss this episode of Smackdown. This has to be by far the worst since the pandemic started and that’s including the shows they aired replays from past PPV’s.