SmackDown on Fox Episode #36
SmackDown Episode # 1,085
Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center
The show starts with the announcers hyping up everything coming up on tonight’s show and then we go to the back where Jeff Hardy is chatting with some folks and this takes us to a recap of everything involving Hardy last week.
Jeff Hardy makes his way to the ring and as he does we get a medical update on Elias as we are told he has a torn pec and some broken ribs and will be out for the next few months.
Hardy thanks WWE and Fox for letting him have time to clear the air about what happened last week. Hardy says that from his point of view last week, he says that he pulled up to the PC and was ready for the show but out of nowhere he felt like someone hit him with an anvil and this caused him to blackout. Hardy said that once he woke up he smelled of booze and was very confused and while he was in this state he started thinking back to the dark times in his past and started questioning everything that he worked for in the past eight months and wondered how many more times he could beg for forgiveness from his wife and kids. Hardy says that although he was questioning himself when he looked down deep in his heart he knew that he didn’t fall off the wagon and that feeling would prove to be true when he passed every sobriety test he was given. Hardy said that the eyewitnesses that were at the police stations said that the suspect they saw fleeing from the scene had red hair and a red beard. Hardy said that once he was let go he couldn’t get back to the PC fast enough because he knew the man who fit the description and once he got to the PC he had to express his rage and anger so he had to go after Sheamus. He vows to not let Sheamus get away with what he did last week.
Sheamus comes out and tells Hardy not to accuse him of anything and Hardy is just doing what he has always done which is to blame others for his downfalls. Sheamus says that Hardy is always making excuses and the eyewitnesses lied on Hardy’s behalf and they are worse than Hardy because they are in denial and are enabling Hardy. Sheamus wants Hardy to admit what he did but he knows he won’t because Hardy isn’t a real man, he is just a junkie. Sheamus tells Hardy not to worry about embarrassing his wife and kids because they are used to it.
Hardy leaves the ring and rushes up the ramp toward Sheamus and is able to avoid dodge a Brogue Kick attempt and then he takes Sheamus down and starts pummeling him with punches, but eventually Sheamus gets to his feet and hits the Brogue Kick on Hardy leaving him laying.
Not really sure what to say about this segment as it was fine for what it was but I’m not really feeling the whole Hardy substance abuse history storyline that these two are involved in, but with that said I do look forward to the match these two will have as it has the chance to be pretty good. My highlight for this segment was when they showed two of my favorite ladies from the PC none other than Team Ninja which consists of Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter.
We go to the back where Mandy and Otis are walking toward the ring when they run into a chair which holds King Corbin’s crown and cape, Otis puts on the crown and Mandy likes how it looks on him. A minute later Corbin walks up and notices his crown is missing and freaks out as he heads out to the ring for the first match which will be after the break.
Match #1: Otis w/ Mandy Rose vs King Corbin
Corbin goes right at Otis as soon as the bell rings but Otis keeps blocking his punches and delivering some of his own, this continues until Corbin cuts him off with a knee to the gut and then sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Otis sidesteps a charging Corbin which sends Corbin into the corner and then Otis clotheslines him over the top and to the floor. Corbin runs back into the ring where he is clotheslined back out once again. Otis follows Corbin to the outside but this would end up being a bad decision as Corbin drives him back first into the ring apron and then sends him into the ring post. Corbin throws Otis back in the ring and then we get the slide-out and right back in spot which leads to Corbin hitting Otis with a big spinebuster (that would make Arn Anderson proud) for a 2 count.
Corbin tries to ground Otis with a rest hold but that doesn’t last long as Otis gets back to his feet and when he does Corbin puts him in the corner and starts working him over with punches to the body and then a big right hand that drops Otis to the mat. Corbin lands a few more blows to the gut of Otis and then he jumps on his back while applying a chin lock as he tries to drain all the energy out of Otis, but Otis backs him into the corner in order to break the hold. Corbin starts to kick Otis in the midsection but it doesn’t have any effect on Otis, in fact, he starts to make a comeback as he hits Corbin with a couple of back elbows and a couple of fallaway slams that send Corbin across the ring. Otis hits Corbin with the avalanche and then signals for the caterpillar but before he has a chance to hit it Corbin rolls out of the ring. Corbin demands his crown and someone hands it to him. Otis leaves the ring to come after Corbin but Corbin grabs a chair and jabs Otis in the gut with it.
Winner: Otis via DQ Match Rating: *¾
After the match, Corbin destroys Otis with a chair until Otis makes a comeback and hits a caterpillar on Corbin.
This match felt like it never got out of first gear and right when it seemed like the match was fixing to kick into that next gear it was over. I expect this to be the first of many matches we are going to get between these two so I guess it made sense to have a DQ finish so they would have a reason to continue the feud, but the cheap DQ ending on top of the lackluster action during the match makes it to where I can’t even give this match two stars.
We go outside to a white van and inside the van is The Miz and John Morrison who are doing surveillance on Braun Strowman and they talk about how they are going to make his life a living hell. Strowman arrives and walks into the building as we go to break.
We come back and go back to Miz and Morrison in the van. Miz talks about how everyone is questioning them as to why they challenged Braun Strowman to a match at Backlash and they say they have been underestimated their entire career and they are fixing to make Braun Strowman have a bad day because an angry monster is a careless monster. We then see Strowman on security camera footage and he is filling up a thermos and this eventually leads to his thermos spewing all over him and this has Miz and Morrison laughing their ass off in the van.
We go to an interview with Shorty G but before he can answer the first question he is interrupted by Mojo Rawley. Rawley talks about Rob Gronkowski losing the 24/7 title and then he mocks the height of Shorty G. Shorty turns around to see that Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura are behind him and then Cesaro decks him with a right hand and this leads to a three on one beatdown until New Day runs over to make the save.
Lacey Evans makes her way to the ring but is ambushed by Sonya Deville who sends her into the steps, these two will have a rematch after the break.
Match #2: Lacey Evans vs Sonya Deville
We get a lockup as both women jockey for position into the ropes, Lacey finally gets the better of Sonya as she takes her down with an arm drag and this leads to a staredown while we see a replay of what happened during Lacey’s entrance. Sonya goes behind with a waist lock but Lacey reverses into one of her own, Sonya breaks the hold with a back elbow and then takes Lacey down to the mat with a waist lock takedown. Lacey attempts to roll out of the move but Sonya releases the hold and backs away when she realizes what Lacey is trying to do. Sonya lands a kick on Lacey and then sends her into the corner but Lacey is able to duck out to the apron when Sonya runs toward her, Lacey sweeps Sonya’s leg and hits her with the slingshot elbow drop but this only gets her a 1 count.
Lacey sends Sonya face-first into the turnbuckle and then works over the arm as she wraps it up in the top rope. Lacey power walks back over to Sonya but is hit with a punch to the gut, Sonya talks some trash to Lacey and then attempts to whip her into the corner but Lacey reverses it only to be taken down with a boot when she charges toward Sonya. Sonya chokes Lacey across the middle rope and then dishes out some leg kicks before slamming Lacey to the mat by her hair and then Sonya stands on Lacey’s hair. Sonya lands a big kick to the chest of Lacey and then rubs her wrist bone across the face of Lacey. Sonya goes to send Lacey head-first into the turnbuckle but Lacey reverses and sends Sonya into it instead and then she catches a kick from Sonya and uses it to take Sonya down. Lacey pulls Sonya halfway out of the ring so she can deliver several knee strikes to her chest, Lacey slingshots over Sonya and goes for a schoolgirl but as Sonya goes down her legs connect with the referee causing him to fall and twist his knee, this leads to a couple of minutes of the referee calling for help as he can no longer continue in the match and this sends us to break.
We come back from commercial and referee Jessika Carr has replaced referee Anfibio and the match continues on. Sonya is firing away with knees to Lacey’s midsection and then she takes her down with a big kick which gets a 2 count. Sonya applies a chin lock and has it locked in tight, Lacey gets to her feet and drives Sonya into the corner where she hits her with a back elbow to the midsection and then Sonya slams Lacey to the mat by her hair. Sonya goes outside and drags Lacey over to where her upper body is hanging off the apron and then she drops Lacey’s neck off the apron onto her own knee which gets a big reaction out of the announcers. Sonya puts Lacey’s head onto the steel steps and then proceeds to step on it and even puts all of her weight on it when she goes to step back into the ring. Sonya rolls Lacey back in the ring and goes for a cover but Lacey is able to kick out at 2. Sonya picks up Lacey in a fireman’s carry but Lacey slips out and hits Sonya with a clothesline and now both women are down.
Both women get to their feet and Lacey takes Sonya down with a couple more clotheslines and then she delivers a series of knees to Sonya’s midsection Lacey hits Sonya with a running kick that sends Sonya back into the corner and this allows Lacey to hit the rope-assisted elevated bronco buster and then Lacey goes up to the middle rope and hits a perfect double jump moonsault but Sonya is still able to kick out. Lacey looks to hit a swinging neckbreaker but Sonya counters and hits Lacey with a knee to the face and then a big right hand that has Lacey stunned, moments later Sonya hits Lacey with a sliding knee which gets her another 2 count. Sonya is frustrated that she can’t put Lacey away and her frustrations are fixing to grow as Mandy Rose pops up on the screen to taunt Sonya as she says that Sonya isn’t a fighter but she is a failure and this distracts Sonya long enough for Lacey to get to her feet and then Lacey hits Sonya with the Woman’s Right to pick up the win.
Winner: Lacey Evans via Pinfall Match Rating: **¼
This was a good match but the whole spot with the referee going down made no sense and didn’t play into the rest of the match at all which kinda makes me wonder if he legit got injured as it was completely out of place and was very awkward. I thought the Mandy vs Sonya feud was over and Sonya had moved on to feuding with Lacey but I guess not given what happened at the end of the match. The double jump moonsault that Lacey hit in this match may be the best one she has ever hit as she landed it perfectly.
The announcers hype up the face to face between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles which will be coming up next after the break.
When we come back we get a hype video for Matt Riddle.
We then go to the back where Kayla Braxton interviews Strowman about his match at Backlash. Strowman compares Miz and Morrison to two little flies buzzing around your neck. We go back to the van where Miz and Morrison are snickering and they have a remote and when they press a button we see green slime fall right on top of Kayla Braxton, Strowman apologizes as he knows that the slime was meant for him and back in the van Miz and Morrison are blaming each other for the mistake. The interview ends with Kayla calling Miz and Morrison bastards as she storms off.
We go to the ring to Renee Young who introduces the participants for next week’s big Intercontinental Championship match AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan.
Styles says that he knows Bryan is going to call him a coward for taking the bye to get to the finals but Bryan says that while Styles does show traits of being a coward it all boils down to them just having two different ways of thinking and that is completely fine. Styles says when he looks in the mirror he sees the greatest champion in WWE history and when he looks at Bryan he only sees heart and being all heart is stupid. Bryan realizes that Styles is trying to pick a nerve but he isn’t falling for it because he has known Styles long enough to realize that they have two different views of the world and two different views of what it means to be Intercontinental Champion.
Bryan says that Styles is the kind of champion who picks and chooses his challengers because he deems that some people aren’t good enough to face the greatest of all time and he couldn’t live with himself if someone came along and shattered that image and that’s why he is a coward. Bryan says that he plans on defending the title every week against anybody and everybody from veterans to up and comers because he always wants to learn and grow and push himself with every match he is in. Bryan says that when he thinks of being the best it’s not who he is but who he can be and he wants the viewers to tune into SmackDown every week and be excited because they know they will get to see an Intercontinental Championship match and maybe someone they are a fan of can beat him and break through to become a big star. Styles says that it sounds like Bryan just wants him to give a handout but he doesn’t believe in handouts because he believes in earning opportunities. Styles then brings up Gulak and asks how he earned the opportunity to be Bryan’s coach. He wants to give Gulak an opportunity tonight, Styles calls out Gulak because he wants him to come out and get his ass whooped.
Gulak storms down to the ring and takes him down and this sends us to commercial.
Match #3: AJ Styles vs Drew Gulak w/ Daniel Bryan
Styles goes right at Gulak as soon as the bell rings with forearms and chops and then he takes him down with a back elbow. Styles gets Gulak in the corner and drives his shoulder into his midsection. Gulak tries to make a comeback with a chin breaker and then we get a leapfrog and drop-down spot but Styles comes up short when he goes for the dropkick as Gulak hangs onto the ropes which leaves an opening for Gulak to lock in an armbar but Styles is able to easily get to the ropes. Gulak then tries to lock in a crossface but Styles is too close to the ropes and as Styles gets to his feet he backs Gulak into the corner and doesn’t break cleanly as he nails Gulak with a back elbow. Styles works Gulak over in the corner with chops and forearms and then snapmares him into the middle of the ring so that he can deliver a soccer ball kick straight to the spine of Gulak. Gulak tries to make a comeback by swinging wildly but Styles ducks and then hits Gulak with an STO style backbreaker for a 1 count.
Styles lifts Gulak up for an attempted Ushigorushi but Gulak slides out the back and delivers a headbutt to Styles. Styles reverses a whip into the corner but then runs right into the boot of Gulak, Gulak runs at Styles but gets his head taken off with a discus clothesline. Styles locks in a reverse chin lock until Gulak gets to his feet and fights out of it and then works over Styles in the corner with punches and takes full advantage of the referee’s five count. Gulak goes for one last blow but Styles ducks it and now he has Gulak in the corner where he delivers a chop, Styles whips Gulak into the corner but when he attempts a running forearm in the corner Gulak moves which sends Styles face-first into the top turnbuckle and then Gulak takes Styles down with a clothesline, back elbow, and a dropkick which sends Styles back into the corner. Gulak hits Styles with a running clothesline in the corner and then follows up with a release fisherman suplex. Gulak hits Styles with a Michinoku driver which gets a very close 2 count. Gulak lifts Styles onto his shoulders in the electric chair position but Styles rakes his eyes and is able to escape, Styles hits an enziguri and then takes Gulak down with a scoop slam that he turns into an inverted DDT. Styles sets Gulak up for the Styles Clash but he takes too much time taunting Daniel Bryan and this leads to Gulak taking him down with a double leg and then pinning him with a bridging jackknife pin and that is enough to pick up the upset win.
Winner: Drew Gulak via Pinfall Match Rating: **½
I loved the promo by Bryan about what kind of champion he wants to be, especially the part where he talks about how he would hope that someone could break through to the next level by facing him and potentially taking the title from him. It would’ve been nice if this match was given more time as these two could tear the house down, but unfortunately, that time had to be devoted to Miz and Morrison pulling practical jokes on Braun Strowman. I am looking forward to the big title match next week between Styles and Bryan as these two always steal the show any time they are in the ring against each other. It’s nice to see Gulak back in a WWE ring as it was a major bummer when it looked like he was released but thankfully he and WWE worked things out and he can continue coaching Daniel Bryan and putting on great matches on a weekly basis.
We go back to Miz and Morrison who has now gotten out of the van and are standing by Strowman’s car and this leads to them smashing out the windshield of the car with a golf club and a baseball bat. The hug after smashing the windshield and then return to the van as we go to break.
Match #4: Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, & Mojo Rawley vs New Day & Shorty G
Shorty tries to hit Cesaro with the kappo kick right off the bat but Cesaro catches him and attempts to lift him up for a powerbomb, but Shorty rolls through into a sunset flip and then he takes him down with a headscissors. Shorty is on a roll until Cesaro cuts him off with a knee to the midsection and then he attempts to hit a gutwrench suplex but Shorty blocks it and then takes Cesaro down with a dragon screw. Shorty tags in Big E who sends Cesaro into the ropes, but he ducks his head too early which costs him as Cesaro delivers an uppercut that dazes Big E long enough so that Cesaro can tag in Mojo Rawley.
Rawley takes Big E down with a running crossbody and then Big E rolls over to the heel corner which allows Rawley to tag in Nakamura. Nakamura does a hip swivel of his own and then delivers a big forearm to Big E and then goes for a big kick but Big E catches the leg and moments later he hits him with a belly to belly suplex. The babyfaces work over Nakamura with double team moves as they make quick tags in and out, the sequence ends with Big E hitting a big splash and then Kingston comes off the middle rope with a splash of his own that gets a 2 count. Kingston sets up to hit Trouble in Paradise but before he can do anything Nakamura is pulled out of the ring by Cesaro. Kingston hits a big tope con hilo to the outside onto Cesaro and it looks like Kingston may have tweaked his knee on the landing. Kingston gets to his feet but as he stares down Nakamura in the ring he is flattened by a big pounce from Rawley and this sends us to the next commercial break.
We come back from commercial to Kingston getting back to his feet after being put in a chin lock, Kingston tries to leap across the ring and make a tag but Cesaro catches him and hits him with a one-armed backbreaker for a 2 count. Cesaro tags in Rawley who hits Kingston with a headbutt and then he taunts the babyfaces before charging toward Kingston but Kingston sidesteps which sends Rawley flying to the outside. Rawley jumps back in the ring and takes Big E off the apron but when he turns around Kingston hits him with the mushroom stomp and that allows Kingston enough time to make the tag to Shorty G. Shorty takes Rawley down with a diving crossbody and then knocks Nakamura off the apron. Shorty hits Rawley with some uppercuts and a back kick and then he catches an incoming Cesaro with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Shorty hits Rawley with a koppo kick in the corner and follows that up with a running neckbreaker, Shorty goes up top and hits Rawley with a moonsault for a very close 2 count.
Shorty attempts to hit the Chaos Theory but Rawley hooks the top rope to prevent it and then he picks Shorty up in a fireman’s carry only for Shorty to slip out the back and pick the leg of Rawley so he can lock in the ankle lock. Shorty falls back and grapevines the leg of Rawley to increase the pain but just as he does this Nakamura breaks up the hold with a sliding knee. Big E comes in and gets Nakamura up for the Big Ending but he is too close to the ropes which allows Nakamura to slide out the back and land on the apron and then Nakamura applies a choke to Big E in the ropes and this gets the attention of the referee long enough for Cesaro to hit a running European uppercut on Shorty from the floor. Nakamura has broken his choke and is on the floor so Kingston dives off the steps and takes Nakamura down. Rawley hits the Hyper Drive on Shorty but he is able to kick out at 2. Rawley goes to pick Shorty up so he can bring him into the heel corner where Cesaro is waiting for a tag, but Shorty uses his speed to escape Rawley’s grasp so he can knock Cesaro off the apron. Rawley throws Shorty into the corner and goes for the running forearm in the corner, but Shorty ducks and then shoves him toward Big E so that New Day can hit the Midnight Hour which is enough to finish off Rawley.
Winner: New Day & Shorty G via Pinfall Match Rating: **¾
This was a really fun match and Shorty fit right in as New Day’s third man as he gelled with Big E and Kingston just as good as Xavier would if he was there. I’m guessing they put New Day’s feud with The Forgotten Sons on hold while they figure out what to do with Jaxson Ryker after the comments he made earlier this week concerning the whole Black Lives Matter movement, the move that would make the most sense would be to fire his ass and let the feud continue with just Cutler & Blake and perhaps find them a new third man, but I feel this is going to be one of those cases where WWE keep them off TV until they feel like the heat on him has died down and then they will bring them back in a few months as if nothing happened just like they did with Hogan. It looks like Mojo is back to being a heel now that Gronk has been released, but given his track record, we probably won’t see him on TV again for another 6 months so it doesn’t really matter if he is heel or babyface.
We go back outside where Strowman is shown leaving the PC and when he sees the damage done to his car he loses his mind and asks where Miz and Morrison are and some stooge tells him they are in the white van. Strowman goes to open the door but it’s locked and because of this Miz and Morrison feel very safe but then Strowman sees the camera and stares in it for an awkwardly long amount of time until he tells them they are dead. Strowman lifts the van over on its side and then walks off as we go to break.
I know that the outcome of the Universal Championship match at Backlash is a foregone conclusion so the match doesn’t have that much importance but even with that being a fact there still had to be a better way to build to the match than what we got on this show because this was just a whole bunch of WrestleCrap, which is saying something because usually Miz and Morrison are good enough to where they make the stupid stuff they have to do look good and it comes off as fun, but for this entire night I found them to be completely obnoxious. It was pretty obvious what was going to happen by the end of the night once they showed that Miz and Morrison were in a van because we know Strowman loves to flip over vehicles. The funniest part of the entire night was Kayla Braxton getting pissed and calling Miz and Morrison bastards after the Nickelodeon slime fell on her. I hope The Fiend shows up at Backlash so that Strowman can go back to being in a feud that matters because this feud isn’t doing anything positive for Strowman’s reign as champion especially when you compare it to the great job that McIntyre is doing over on Raw.
We come back to the announcers hyping the Backlash card and then we go to our main event of the night.
Match #5: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross © vs Bayley & Sasha Banks (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)
Nikki takes Bayley down immediately with a running crossbody and starts firing away with punches and then she jumps on Bayley’s back which leads to Bayley backing up into the babyface corner and Alexa tags herself in. Alexa then takes Bayley out of the corner with a rolling snapmare and then slams her down with an STO. Alexa hits a double knee drop and rolls right into a tag to Nikki who hits Bayley with a dropkick for a 1 count. Nikki whips Bayley into the babyface corner and hits her with an avalanche before tagging Alexa back in. Alexa does her sweet little innocent angel pose at Sasha and then runs toward Bayley in the corner but she stops on a dime and slaps Bayley in the face. Alexa sets up to hit a suplex, but Bayley prevents that from happening with a knee to the midsection followed by some clubbing blows to the back. Bayley picks Alexa up and brings her into the heel corner where Sasha is tagged in.
Sasha kicks away at Alexa in the corner and then taunts Nikki. Sasha sends Alexa head-first into the turnbuckle and makes a tag to Bayley. Sasha chokes Alexa with her boot and then holds Alexa so that Bayley can slap her and then she chokes Alexa across the middle rope. Bayley turns her attention away from Alexa for a moment to taunt Nikki but when she does Alexa tries to get a surprise win with a schoolgirl rollup but Bayley kicks out. Alexa drives Bayley into the babyface corner and then makes a tag to Nikki who hits Bayley with a running bulldog for a 2 count. Bayley rolls out of the ring to try and catch a breather but Nikki hits her with a dropkick through the ropes and then she drives Sasha back-first into the ring post and then she takes Bayley down with a diving crossbody off the apron. Nikki rolls Bayley back into the ring but before she can go after her she is grabbed by Sasha which is enough of a distraction for Bayley to hit a running knee to the back of Nikki sending her out to the floor. Bayley tags in Sasha and then Sasha dives off the apron with a Meteora onto Nikki and this sends us to the final commercial break of the night.
We come back to Sasha stomping a mudhole in Nikki and then she tags in Bayley and they hit an H-Bomb which gets a 2 count. Bayley cuts off the ring as she steps in between Nikki and Alexa and then she throws Nikki back toward the heel corner by her hair. Sasha tags back in and she hits Nikki with the double knee attack in the corner only for Nikki to kick out once again and then Sasha locks in a chin lock. Nikki gets back to her feet but before she has a chance to fight back Sasha tries for another pin attempt as this time she tries a backslide but yet again Nikki kicks out. Nikki is desperate to make a tag but Sasha drags her back into the heel corner and tags in Bayley. Bayley grounds Nikki with a reverse chin lock but once Nikki gets to her feet and starts to fight back she is driven into a neutral corner where Bayley drives her shoulder into the midsection of Nikki. Nikki is able to avoid being hit with the running back elbow and this leaves an opening for her but she is unable to make the tag as Bayley cuts her off and then throws her out to the apron where she attempts to hit the draping twist of fate but Nikki shoves her away and is finally able to make the hot tag.
Alexa hits a couple of clotheslines and then hits her slap and punch combo on both Bayley and Sasha and then she takes Bayley down with a dropkick as Alexa is fired up. Alexa hits Bayley with the Insult to Injury and then goes up top where she is looking for Twisted Bliss but Sasha grabs her ankle so Alexa has to kick her away and this gives Bayley time to get back to her feet and she hits Alexa with the Bayley to Belly off the top and then she tags in Sasha who hits Alexa with a running knee that is only good enough for a 2 count. Sasha waits for Alexa to get to her feet and then goes to whip her into the corner but Alexa reverses which leads to Sasha going up and over Alexa but Alexa rolls back and catches Sasha with a headscissors that she uses to send Sasha head-first into the middle turnbuckle. Bayley tries to come in to help her partner but Nikki pulls her out of the ring and then she hits Sasha with a tornado DDT on the floor as she uses the apron to kick off of in order to hit the move, meanwhile, back in the ring Alexa hits Sasha with a code red but Sasha kicks out at 2.
Alexa and Sasha are both down until Alexa is able to crawl over and make a tag to Nikki. Nikki comes off the top with a diving crossbody for a 2 count, Sasha tries to reach out for a tag but Bayley is still laid out after that tornado DDT. Nikki goes for the rope-assisted Purge but Sasha is able to counter it and just as she is fixing to go into the Bank Statement Bayley tags herself in and then when Sasha locks in the crossface part of the Bank Statement Bayley shoves her off Nikki so that she can lock in her own crossface and as Sasha looks shocked at what happened Bayley kicks her away. Nikki escapes the crossface and hits an arm trapped neckbreaker on Bayley. Sasha breaks up a pinfall attempt and then drags Bayley into the heel corner so she can tag herself in, Sasha pushes Nikki toward the ropes but Nikki turns it around and sends Sasha out to the apron where Sasha hits Nikki with a knee strike. Sasha slingshots back into the ring and locks in the crossface and while this is happening Bayley pulls Alexa out of the ring when she tries to make the save. Nikki rolls back to try and get a pinfall but Sasha transitions that into a crucifix pin and that is enough to keep Nikki’s shoulders to the mat for the 3 count and just like that we have new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Winners: Bayley & Sasha Banks via Pinfall Match Rating: ***1/4
Bayley and Sasha celebrate their win as this episode of SmackDown comes to a close.
I enjoyed this match a lot more the second time I watched it, all four women put on a great match to the point where this may be one of the best women’s tag title matches we have seen yet, I know for sure it was the best Alexa Bliss match we have seen in quite a while and she even busted out that rolling snapmare which is something I don’t remember her doing before. If they are going to drag out this Sasha vs Bayley feud yet again they have to keep it interesting so the fans are still interested in the feud by the time they are ready to put on the match and I think so far they have done that as I have liked the tension between Sasha and Bayley including what happened during this match, I hope that despite them being champions that don’t always get along they are able to have a lengthy title reign to make up for that first reign, plus it’s not like they have that many teams to lose it to anyway unless they start feuding with a team in NXT which is what we were promised when the titles were created but it has yet to happen. I would be down for Sasha and Bayley feuding with the ultimate underdog team in NXT that is Team Ninja. I’m guessing we get a triple threat match for the titles at Backlash with Sasha and Bayley defending against Alexa & Nikki and the IIconics.
This episode of SmackDown was pretty lackluster as the only real highlight was the women’s tag title match. I didn’t care for the build for the Universal title match at Backlash nor do I have any interest in the Jeff Hardy vs Sheamus feud outside of the match itself. A match that should’ve stolen the show in Styles vs Gulak wasn’t given anywhere near enough time for them to put on a wrestling clinic which is a shame as that could’ve spiced this show up a lot. I look forward to the big Intercontinental Championship match next week as that has the chance to be a MOTY contender.
That’s it for me this week but I’ll be back next week for the Backlash go-home episode of SmackDown.
SmackDown on Fox Episode #36