Welcome to another rendition of Lord Lewis’ review of Smackdown, and we’re in for a real treat tonight. Naomi will go one on one with Lacey Evans, while Big E restarts his singles career with a match against The Miz (with John Morrison by his side of course). AJ Styles will defend his Intercontinental title against Gran Metalik, and most importantly, the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship is on the line as Bayley defends her title against Nikki Cross. Will tonight live up to expectations? Let’s dive in and find out!
FIREFLY FUN HOUSE
We open the show with Bray Wyatt and his shtick about Braun Strowman.. He declares the Fiend wants a shot at the Universal Championship and by golly I would be shocked if that won’t happen at SummerSlam. There’s not a lot to really talk about, as it was short and sweet, but a fun way to start the show nonetheless. I look forward to when Strowman actually returns and we can really get going on this trilogy.
AJ STYLES vs GRAN METALIK /w Lince Dorado
These two got a great amount of time to really tell a story, not only did we get the expected high-flying, face-paced match, but so much more. Even though it was closer than anyone may have expected, ultimately AJ Styles retained after locking in the calf crusher. Okay look, we all knew Gran Metalik was never winning this match, but this was his time to really shine and show what he can do. With Rey on the way out (sooner or later), WWE really needs a lucha to bring in those fans, and the Lucha House Party, if given the opportunity like tonight, could really show their worth to the company. So did Gran Metalik do that tonight? Hell yeah he did. Metalik showed us that he has a bright future IF WWE allows him to grow and adapted with them. Great match to open the night and I hope to see Styles face Dorado after his cheap shot on him after the match.
HURTS, DON’T IT?
Shorty G watches the match on a screen backstage as King Corbin comes over to stir the pot, but what he really wants it someone to cash in on the ‘King’s ransom’ on Matt Riddle. There’s nothing I don’t like about Corbin, he plays the weasel so well and is by far the best heel in WWE today (barring Bray Wyatt). Shorty G didn’t really do much, but it’s enough to convince me that maybe we will see something different from this stale gimmick he’s been using for far too long.
I AM ON THE RIGHT PATH
Here’s a comparison from the past, Jeff Hardy reminds me of Fun Bobby from Friends (remember that?) since he’s gone sober all his excitement and energy went with it, and hey that’s not me saying “go on drugs, you’re more entertaining”, because I know what addiction can do and I’m so happy for Jeff that he’s sober. What I am saying is now Jeff is sober, he needs to reconnect with his more charismatic side from the past, and soon as he’s boring me to tears. Luckily it wasn’t long before King Corbin, soon followed by Drew Gulak attacking Corbin from behind. I personally didn’t get the point in this whole segment; we learnt nothing new and it just fell flat. It was just filler for filler’s sake.
DREW GULAK vs KING CORBIN
These two got a decent amount of time, but it wasn’t until Matt Riddle made his way out, that things really spiced up. With Corbin distracted, Gulak goes for a roll up and fails and falls to the End of Days for the three count, Riddle then attacks Corbin only to be stopped by Shorty G. I’m really liking this story between Corbin and Riddle, and now with the introduction of a heel turn to Shorty G, this has gained some new levels to it. Whether this is a onetime deal for Chad Gable (I really prefer to call him that) or he’s now aligned for Corbin, I’m just happy he’s being used finally as he has so much potential, just not as Short G. As for Drew Gulak, I’m happy he signed a new contract and is on TV more, but it’s time we really get a story or feud for him, as he’s becoming the Kevin Owens of Smackdown and is just flavour for other storylines.
BIG E vs THE MIZ /w John Morrison
It’s crazy to think Big E has never really had a singles run on the main roster; he pretty much went from being Dolph Ziggler’s henchman to being a part of The New Day. Now however, Big E is getting this singles push he deserves and it’s great to see he’s not getting the monster push and having 1 minute matches with jobbers. Instead he’s made to look like a real star along with the Miz in a real back and forth match. Not only did it look like Big E could really lose with match (especially with Morrison helping), but this match felt like it should be a title match. Big E got the win with a beautiful submission and started his singles run on a bright note. Big E vs AJ Styles at SummerSlam perhaps?
THIS IS A CHAMPION’S ONLY PARTY
The Lucha House Party crash Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura’s party, and that’s really it. It was quick and pointless in my view, other than [I assume] to set up a future feud for the titles, as there’s really no other tag teams out there to challenge them for the tag team titles and WWE really need to sort that situation out sooner rather than later.
JEFF HARDY IS NOT MY PROBLEM ANYMORE
“I’m not here to make excuses and complain”, funny that, seeing as that’s exactly what Sheamus was doing, but it seems Sheamus is finally done with Jeff, and I for one am delighted. Sheamus has really come out strong during this feud with Jeff Hardy and I’d love to see him in a feud leading to a title match. Here’s an idea, Big E beats AT Styles for the IC title at SummerSlam, then Sheamus and Big E start a feud, I mean how great would that be?!
NAOMI vs LACEY EVANS
Hey look, I get why they turned Lacey heel, but I really enjoyed her face side and was looking forward to a proper feud with Sonya Deville, but it wasn’t to be. Would this match be happening if #NaomiDeservesBetter wasn’t trending? Probably not, but Naomi does deserve better, but not only that, she deserves better than this feud too. I would love to see Naomi take the title from Bayley to set off the Bayley/Sasha feud and really lead the Smackdown division, but I really don’t see that happening. While Naomi picked up the victory, it wasn’t exactly impressive, Lacey was on the offensive most of the match and when Naomi did get momentum, she had a mare with a Powerbomb to the outside and won with a roll up.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO MANDY ROSE?
Before the break Mandy gets Otis all excited for a buffet, including a peach sundae, but after the break, things take a turn for the worse for Mandy Rose, as Sonya Deville attacks Mandy and cuts her hair. I for one am glad this feud isn’t over yet, they have been the best thing on Smackdown for a long while and they have found ways to keep it fresh and interesting. I never thought I’d want to see more of Mandy Rose, but while Sonya has been the star of this feud, Mandy has really held her own (just not so much in the ring). Then of course we get the corny puns from Miz and Morrison, who are in high spirits considering they’ve taken yet another loss (when was their last victory again?).
NIKKI CROSS /w Alexa Bliss vs BAYLEY (c) /w Sasha Banks
Not only did this match not live up to their match at Extreme Rules, it was also far too anti-climatic for my liking. We of course got a repeat of Sasha handing Bayley the ring, with Nikki catching them this time round, but other than that there was no real screwy moments. That however, is not why I was disappointed with the match and if anything is good to see a clean win for once! My main issue was it never really felt like a main event, they never upper their tempo and the finish really just came out of nowhere.
I feel it was lacklustre due to happened after the bell. Alexa Bliss tried to console Nikki who pushes her to the ground and left. As Bliss laid there disheartened, The Fiend would show up and well… You can see what happened from the gif. This has to be the best ending to a show this year. It was unexpected but made so much sense. Since the Swamp Fight we knew how Braun felt about Bliss and clearly The Fiend is trying to mess with Strowman. I am so ready for next week’s show and I really hope it’ll be the return of Strowman to step things up a gear.
AFTER THE BELL
While the start to the show and the ending really made the show worth it, the women’s matches really let me down and the promo from Jeff Hardy made me want to switch off. I can see they’ve really started to set up the storylines for SummerSlam and will only go strength to strength as the weeks go on, but tonight didn’t live up to my expectations if I’m honest. The best part of the night HAS to be The Fiend attacking Bliss, while the worst moment by a country mile was Jeff’s segment.