Finally, The SmackDown Review has come back…Home.
The last couple of weeks were rough all over the world so no need to recap that. WWE seems to be more eventful than ever during these hard times, with cinematic matches, releases, new champions and all sorts of trouble coming their way which didn’t stop them putting their shows live nonetheless, with this week’s SmackDown celebrating HHH’s 25 years on WWE. With that said let’s get straight to business…
Tag team Summit
The show opens with former tag team champions Miz and Morrison ranting about their loss to the New Day, which brought the New Day then the Lucha House Party, and surprisingly Forgotten Sons. The latter cut promos on the wrestlers in the ring then beat up the New Day. The segment was basic and formulaic, yet it is nice that the Forgotten sons who were a “Forgotten” act on NXT (no pun intended) are treated well on SmackDown and pushed into the title picture.
- Miz and Morrison are interviewed backstage.
Drew Gulak vs Baron Corbin: Money in the Bank Qualifier
A recap of the Corbin attack on Elias from last week was shown before the match. Corbin heels it up on Drew Gulak from the off, but Gulak outdoes him which infuriate the King as Daniel Bryan from the outside shouts instructions that helped Drew take the advantage in the match before going for a commercial. Back from the commercial, as Corbin starts to turn things around earning a near fall all the while Daniel Bryan is shouting instructions. The commentary despite being obnoxious, got across the needed information about Corbin’s previous failures and how they instigate him opposed to Bryan’s past success with it which fuels his partner/teacher/protege(?). Gulak makes a comeback by hurling the king into the stairs then earning a near fall afterwards. Meanwhile, Bryan is attacked by Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura allowing Corbin to strike and win to earn his spot. Well, I had this fear that Corbin will win and he did. Also, the three heels beat Gulak up afterwards which looks like setting a new midcard vortex on SmackDown which is just … Horrible.
Afterwards, the commentary talked about Gronkowski returning to Football (R.I.P XFL again) as he is (still) the 24/7 champion. Somehow, this is more horrible than the seemingly new alliance for Corbin on SmackDown.
- Jeff Hardy’s Redemption video package is still to come
- Cross/Bliss defend their women’s tag team titles against Dana Brooke/Carmella later on the night
- A highlight from Money In the Bank 2014 where Seth Rollins won but not before taking one heck of a horrendous bump.
Sheamus squash time/Hardy’s story
The jobber (Daniel Vidot if you are interested) starts off the bat with offence, but Sheamus eventually brogue kicks him into abyss (not the producer of course). It looks like a feud with Jeff Hardy is coming for him in the future. Speaking of, his redemption video package was next. It was just a chunk of his WWE:24 special. That is not to say that it was not great because it was. However, it looks like they were trying to hide Matt’s face from the video. Next week, the final chapter will be his comeback.
The Miz & Morrison vs Lucha House Party
Before the match, Sheamus stairs a hole into Michael Cole and almost beats him up. Maybe the feud is with Cole after all. As for the match, it starts fast then Miz grounds things to a halt and double teams Lince Dorado with his partner Morrison who just dominates the Luchador. John Morrison shows his athleticism while Dorado makes the tag finally to Metalik who goes full house on fire. The finish comes out of nowhere when Metallik rolled-up Miz for the shock win. Do they earn a title shot?, Maybe, because they need to push new teams since they released a lot of wrestlers. The match was fine though not long enough, but hopefully we see more Lucha House Party.
- Lacey Evans vs Sasha Banks is still to come.
Sasha Banks vs Lacey Evans: Money In The Bank Qualifier
This match is another chapter in the on/off feud between the two as well as the SmackDown women’s champion Bayley which has her tensions with “The Boss”. Lacey Evans starts strong by attacking Bayley then Banks on the outside before getting overpowered by “The Boss”. Lacey is bleeding somehow, as well as having her arm targeted by her opponent. Bayley on the outside as usual screaming instructions. Evans makes a comeback and starts dominating Banks, who takes advantage of the “injured” arm and tries to submit Lacey who almost wins via a roll-up. Bayley saves her partner from a pinfall, yet costs her the match by distracting the referee as Banks turns straight into a Woman’s right to lose a spot at the Money In The Bank. The tease of dissention continues as Tamina attacks her opponent at the PPV with Banks not showing any compassion. The Banks/Bayley storyline looks really interesting as the big question is who is turning on who first??. Well, clearly Banks but who knows.
- A video recap of the relation between Bray Wyatt and the Universal Champion Braun Strowman. This video makes the storyline looks more like long-term planning than it actually is.
- A video recap of Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville/Otis/Dolph Ziggler which makes it look more epic than it is. Although it has been probably WWE’s most coherent story this year. Also, Otis is facing Ziggler as well as Mandy Rose facing Carmella in qualifying matches next week.
- Carmella and Dana Brooke chatting and getting ready for their tag title match later on.
- A clip highlighting HHH’s 2002 triumphant return after a quadriceps injury.
Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross vs Dana Brooke/Carmella: WWE women’s tag team titles match.
Dana Brooke and Carmella start hot with dives from the top, and we go to commercials (ugh!!). Back from commercial and Carmella is moonwalking her way in the match and almost earning a win, as almost did Carmella in the ring. Nikki Cross rolls Carmella for a 2, then hits a 3D drop for the win to retain their titles. Well, this match was short obviously to leave more time for HHH’s XXV celebration. These titles are just not important in WWE’s management eyes any longer. I’m afraid that WWE may ditch them one day.
HHH’s XXV years celebration
Well, HHH sure knows how to (not) make an entrance with a nice botch on his water bottle thing. Shawn Michaels comes out, because of course he will do that. He is the head of NXT along of HHH so there’s that. It is a good bit of banter between two friends. However, somehow it looks like a feud is brewing between the two (really?? now??). Michaels mentioned that he didn’t have a XXV anniversary on SmackDown, accompanied with a hilarious video showing some “not so” great moments for both of them. After that, another video was shown for HHH’s Mania losses which just confirms that Michaels is setting up a feud with HHH. It certainly turned into something not like a celebration. In the midst of that, Stephanie calls HHH and starts running down HBK. Then, Flair calls and has some emotional words for him and HHH, and then a commercial (what??). From that, it got weirder with Vince McMahon himself appearing and congratulating HHH then dissing him practically. For some reasons, the “Katie Vick” segment was mentioned a lot. In the end, it finished with crickets sound and a good piece of banter and That was SmackDown. I don’t know how to judge this segment unless we see if it pays off in some form.
Overall, it was a decent episode of SmackDown that continues steadily to build towards MITB and had a good banter-filled main-event segment. However, I can’t stop thinking that something is off aside from the normal missing things like the crowd.
Final rating: 7/10
This was one man’s opinion after all, tell me yours below or reach out on twitter @austin316tn. Till Next Week!