SmackDown on Fox Episode #46
SmackDown Episode # 1,095
Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center
We open the show with a video recap of everything Retribution has done on Raw and SmackDown over the past two weeks. We then go into the PC where the announcers tell us that extra security has been placed around the building to guard against more acts of anarchy from Retribution.
Big E makes his way to the ring and he gets an inset promo where he reminds us that he is a former NXT & Intercontinental Champion. John Morrison makes his way to the ring and he also gets an inset promo where he talks about New Day being injury prone and he plans on adding Big E to that injury list.
Before the match ever starts, Retribution surrounds the ring with even more members than last week and they attack both Big E and John Morrison before running off when a lone Miz runs down to the ring to make the save and to check on Morrison and this sends us to break.
We come back to Big E and Morrison nursing their injuries as they are surrounded by members of the SmackDown roster. The Miz and John Morrison blame Big E for the Retribution attack (because of a tweet he sent out after last Friday’s show) and then they walk off. King Corbin walks up and says that SmackDown is under attack and the locker room needs some direction and he is the man to give it that. Big E doesn’t care to hear what Corbin has to say and then he gives a fired-up speech about how he is not going to let the Foot Clan from TMNT take over their show and furthermore he plans on facing John Morrison later tonight because tonight is the time to fight. Sheamus walks up and mocks the speech that Big E just gave and then says that Retribution would never interfere in one of his matches and if they have any sense they would be afraid of him, Big E says that if Sheamus had any sense he would realize that he wasn’t alone and then he walks off with the other babyfaces from SmackDown following behind him.
This Retribution group sure did grow a lot in numbers over the past week and I hope all of these people don’t end up being the permanent members of the group because the stable would be terribly bloated because when it comes to factions 5 or 6 people is really the max number anything over that is too many. Sheamus was wearing the ugliest brown jacket I have ever seen. I like Big E being the locker room leader and giving the big hype up speech to the rest of the locker room and it was also nice to see him shut up King Corbin.
We cut to the ring where the Golden Role Models have graced us with their presence, they talk about how Sasha has to defend her title against Asuka at SummerSlam and then the very next week they have to defend their tag titles at Payback, but tonight it’s all about Bayley and not even a McMahon can hold them down and this leads to them dissing Stephanie for making things harder for them over the past few weeks. They then shift their focus to tonight as they let us know that before we find out who is going to face Bayley at SummerSlam they want to add another item to their long list of accomplishments and since they have been killing it on commentary they decided they want to try their hand at ring announcing, so they will be introducing the participants in the battle royal.
Sasha and Bayley mock each participant before introducing them, they are able to get through The IIconics, Tegan Nox, Shotzi Blackheart, & Lacey Evans without any incident but then they get to a name on their note card that they think is a mistake and they try to move on to the next person, but the person they skipped appears anyway and that just happens to be Sasha’s SummerSlam opponent Asuka, we get a brawl in the ring that ends up with Asuka sending the Role Models out to the floor and then the rest of the participants in the battle royal run out unceremoniously and this sends us to commercial. .
We come back from break and the match starts immediately.
Match #1: Tr-Brand Women’s Battle Royal (Winner Faces Bayley at SummerSlam)
Bayley and Sasha Banks are at ringside during the match.
The match starts out in pure chaos as all battle royals do. The IIconics try to get Ruby Riott out but she is able to hang on as her fellow Riott Squad member Liv Morgan comes to her aid, The IIconics throw Liv over the top rope but she is able to hang on as well, but then Billie Kay hits Ruby with a big kick which knocks Ruby off the apron and eliminates her. Liv tries to pull both members of the IIconics over the top rope but isn’t having much luck until Tegan Nox comes over and pushes Billie over the top to eliminate her and then Shotzi Blackheart eliminates Peyton Royce immediately after. Liv is still on the apron when The IIconics grab her and yank her down off the apron thus eliminating her, this leads to a brawl between The IIconics and the Riott Squad at ringside.
Dana throws Nikki out to the apron and then kicks her in the midsection which sends Nikki to the floor, but Nikki isn’t eliminated as she only went through the middle rope. Dana tries for a baseball slide onto Nikki but Nikki ends up catching her in the apron and beats her down with forearms to the chest, Nikki slides back in the ring while Dana slides under the ring to hide.
We get a very close elimination when Tegan and Shotzi are close to eliminating Bianca but she is able to hang on and work her way back into the ring. Naomi and Lacey pair off in the corner to continue their rivalry and this time Naomi tries to tie Lacey’s hair in the ropes. Nikki Cross tries to take Tamina down but that is not an easy task as Tamina barely budges and eventually, she catches Nikki off a running crossbody attempt and dumps her out to the apron and although she tries to fight back Nikki is eventually eliminated courtesy of a superkick from Tamina and this makes the Golden Role Models very happy at ringside.
Tamina takes down Tegan and Shotzi with a clothesline and then we get a face-off between Tamina and Bianca Belair which leads to them brawling for a minute and then Tamina looks to hit the Samoan Drop but Bianca slides out the back and hits Tamina with a spear and then she easily lifts Tamina up in a double underhook and drops her across the top rope which Tamina bounces off of and falls to the floor.
Naomi slides under a clothesline attempt from Lacey and then hits her with a sit-out jawbreaker, Lacey reverses a whip attempt from Naomi and looks to send her into the corner but Naomi catches Lacey with her legs only for Lacey to throw her out to the apron and hit her with a Woman’s Right to eliminate her.
Lacey bends over the top rope to get a better look at Naomi on the floor and Shotzi takes that as an opportunity to throw Lacey over the top but Lacey lands on the apron so Shotz hits her with a kick to knock her off the apron and eliminate her. Shotzi walks backward into a Kirifuda Clutch from Shayna Baszler and Shayna uses that to throw Shotzi over the top rope and then Lacey pulls Shotzi off the apron to eliminate her.
Bianca drives her shoulder into Tegan in the corner and then tries to lift Tegan over her shoulder but Tegan slides out the back and delivers a gut punch to Bianca, Tegan tries to whip Bianca into the ropes but Bianca blocks it and then sends Tegan into the ropes where she catches her in the double underhook but Tegan is able to roll through and send Bianca throat first into the middle rope. Bianca recovers and charges at Tegan but that ends up being a mistake as Tegan pulls down the top rope and sends Bianca flying to the outside to be eliminated.
We are down to the final four which are Tegan Nox, Asuka, Shayna Baszler, & Dana Brooke (who is hiding under the ring). Tegan is taking it to both Asuka and Shayna as she hits them both with the inverted cannonball and then she plants Asuka on the mat with a gourdbuster. Tegan goes for a chokeslam on Shayna which was a dumb mistake from the start as Shayna breaks her grip and gut wrenches her up and looks to dump her out of the ring but she loses her footing and almost drops Tegan on her head, but thankfully she is able to recover and places Tegan on the apron where Dana Brook reemerges and pulls her off the apron to eliminate her and then Dana mocks Tegan and talks trash to Bayley and Sasha.
Dana hits Shayna with a dropkick and then tries to hit her with the handspring back elbow but Shayna catches her in the Kirifuda Clutch and tosses her out to the apron, but Dana is able to hang Shayna throat first across the top rope but moments later she is eliminated courtesy of an Asuka running hip attack.
The final two circle the ring and lockup, Shayna hits Asuka with a knee and then sends her into the corner but Asuka climbs up to the middle rope but isn’t able to capitalize in time as Shayna catches her with a kick that almost takes Asuka out but she is able to hang on and land on the apron where she hits Shayna with a spinning back fist. Bayley tries to grab Asuka’s foot in order to eliminate her but Asuka hangs onto the rope and then kicks Bayley away. Asuka takes the Golden Role Models out with a sliding knee and then Shayna knocks her off the apron with a knee strike and it appears as if Asuka has been eliminated, but the camera lowers to show that she is standing on the prone bodies of Sasha and Bayley. Asuka gets back on the apron and has a strike exchange with Shayna which Shayna gets the better of and allows her to lock Asuka in the Kirifuda Clutch but Asuka uses this to grab Shayna and pull her over the top rope and Shayna falls to the floor to be eliminated.
1. Ruby Riott by Billie Kay
2. Billie Kay by Tegan Nox
3. Peyton Royce by Shotzi Blackheart
4. Liv Morgan by The IIconics (IIconics had already been eliminated)
5. Nikki Cross by Tamina Snuka
6. Tamina by Bianca Belair
7. Naomi by Lacey Evans
8. Lacey Evans by Shotzi Blackheart
9. Shotzi Blackheart by Lacey Evans (Lacey had already been eliminated)
10. Bianca Belair by Tegan Nox
11. Tegan Nox by Dana Brooke
12. Dana Brooke by Asuka
13. Shayna Baszler by Asuka
Winner: Asuka via throwing Shayna Baszler over top rope Match Rating: *¾
I liked the idea of having Sasha and Bayley doing the ring announcing for the battle royal as it brought back memories of Chris Jericho at WCW Slamboree 1998 and of course they were as great at that job as they are at everything else. Outside of a few spots involving Bianca Belair (most notably the spot where she eliminated Tamina), this was not a good battle royal at all as it felt very rushed and because of that a lot of the spots were very sloppy. I get the story of wanting Asuka to do double duty against both champions at SummerSlam but if WWE really wants to make new stars it would’ve been cool if they had given us a surprise win by a Tegan Nox or a Shotzi Blackheart or perhaps even just give it to Shayna because the story of the Golden Role Models having to face the two most badass women in WWE in one night could’ve been a fun story to tell.
It wouldn’t be a WWE battle royal or Royal Rumble without a couple of tropes as we first got the trope where someone is eliminated by someone who has already been eliminated before them and then we got the second trope where someone stays outside the ring for the majority of the match and then comes in at the end and either wins the match or comes very close to it, there are a lot of things you can say about WWE but when it comes to these two tropes at least they are consistent but unfortunately, those are two things I wish they weren’t consistent with as it becomes way too predictable.
We then cut to a video recap of Sonya Deville’s attack on Mandy Rose two weeks ago and after that ends we go to commercial.
We come back to Sasha and Bayley in the back pissed off about how both of them have to face Asuka at SummerSlam to the point where they start sniping at each other a bit, but Sasha gets them back on the same page and tries to calm Bayley down when out of nowhere Asuka attacks both women until she pulled off of them by Pat Buck and some referees.
We then go to a backstage promo from Mandy Rose where she says that everything Sonya has been saying about her over the past few weeks she has heard her entire life (in terms of just being a pretty face and using her looks alone to get where she is at) but then Mandy runs down all the hard work she has put in to earn all the accolades she has received in her life. She says that it especially hurts for Sonya to say those things as she knows better than most how hard she works but she then thanks Sonya for reminding her that she is more than just a pretty face. Mandy then challenges Sonya to a Hair vs Hair match at SummerSlam and then tells Sonya to go ahead and set on her high horse and act like she doesn’t care about selfies or the way she looks because at SummerSlam she will have to put her money where her mouth is and Mandy promises at SummerSlam it will get ugly.
Holy guacamole where has this Mandy Rose been for the past few years? This was a fantastic promo, I especially liked the delivery and content of the closing line about Sonya being on her high horse and acting like she doesn’t love taking selfies or showing off her body just as much as Mandy does. I hope this fired up Mandy stays around long after this Sonya Deville feud comes to an end. I am looking forward to this Hair vs Hair match as it will be the perfect way to blow off this dark horse contender for feud of the year, that is unless they want to continue the feud and end it inside Hell in a Cell.
We then cut to Sheamus who tells a couple of security guards to take a break because there is no way Retribution is going to show up while he is out in the ring.
We then go to a commercial.
We come back to Nikki Cross who is recovering from her match earlier when she sees Alexa Bliss and she decides to run over and hug her and then apologizes for shoving her a couple of weeks ago, but Alexa tells her she is fine (although it’s clear she is not) and then Nikki tries to get Alexa to come with her so she can be somewhere safe where The Fiend won’t find her but Alexa refuses and says she needs to get some answers from Braun Strowman.
Match #2: Sheamus vs Shorty G
Shorty goes right at Sheamus with forearms and chops and then goes behind but Sheamus backs him up into the corner and clobbers him with a series of back elbows and then throws him out to the apron where he hits him with the Ten Beats of the Bodhran. Sheamus hits Shorty with a couple of uppercuts and then sends him into the ropes where Shorty comes back with a dropkick to the knee and then follows up with some knee drops onto the leg. Shorty mounts the back of Sheamus and starts firing away with crossface punches. Shorty runs off the ropes and runs right into a clothesline from Sheamus.
Sheamus hits Shorty with an Irish Curse and then follows up with a big knee drop and then another knee drop to the back of Shorty’s head. Shorty tries to make a comeback with a few chops but Sheamus lifts him up only for Shorty to slide out the back and then catches Sheamus with a Coppo kick. Shorty goes up top and connects with a missile dropkick for a 2 count. Sheamus tries to hit White Noise but Shorty slides out and locks in an ankle lock only for Sheamus to kick him off into the ropes and when Shorty bounces back he catches Sheamus in a jackknife pin for another 2 count. Shorty runs right at Sheamus and gets caught with a White Noise and then Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick to end the match.
Winner: Sheamus via Pinfall Match Rating: **¼
This was a fine little match that was short and sweet, nothing much else to say about this match.
After the match we cut to the back and AJ Styles is talking to TNA Hall of Famer Joseph “Abyss” Park and this sends us to break.
AJ Styles comes to the ring with Joseph Park in tow and as they enter the ring we see some kind of board set up in the ring.
Styles talks about how everyone is worried about Retribution but there are more important matters at hand like who will be the next challenger for his Intercontinental Championship and although he would much rather just hang out and enjoy his title reign but because Daniel Bryan wouldn’t shut up he now has to be a fighting champion that defends his title all the time. Styles says that everyone is always throwing out names as to who should be his next challenger based on statistics and at first he paid them no attention and considered them all to just be nerds, but then he got to thinking that when he watches sports he cares about statistics too so that must make him the most handsome nerd. He then says he has created a system to determine his next challenger called the Phenomenal Intercontinental Statistic System (haha that spells out PISS get it, that’s some good ol’ classic bathroom humor) Styles realizes what it spells out and says the name needs some work. Styles reveals he top name on the board is his own and then with the assistance of Mr. Park he reveals the rest of the board which turns out to be blank because nobody has earned the right to face him, but if someone works really really really hard they might be able to make it on the board and earn a title shot against him.
Jeff Hardy makes his way to the ring and says he respects Styles but he never got a fair shot during the Intercontinental Championship tournament due to what Sheamus did to him and it could’ve been him facing Styles in the finals of that tournament, but he says that is in the past and he is moved past that. Hardy then talks about how special the Intercontinental Championship is to him as it was the first championship he won without his brother and it proved he could stand on his own two feet just as he is doing today after defeating his demons, Hardy then says a match between himself and Styles would be “mega-cool”. Styles says he respects Hardy and everything he has done in the business and if he is asking for a title match the answer is Hell No as Hardy hasn’t earned the right to face him. Styles says he understands what Hardy has been through but this isn’t a pity party and this is enough for Hardy as he attacks Styles and hits him with a Twist of Fate. Hardy signs his name on the whiteboard as the segment comes to an end.
I never expected to see Joseph Park on my TV during this episode of SmackDown but it was definitely a welcome surprise and hopefully, he sticks around as an on-screen character for a while and perhaps we eventually get to see him turn into Abyss down the road, although Park’s facial expressions are great. I don’t know why we still have to hear about Hardy bringing up how he beat his demons now that the feud with Sheamus is over. Jeff Hardy is officially showing his age as he is using words like mega cool which is something only a middle-aged dad would say, it also shows why Hardy’s time on the mic should be very very limited. I guess Styles defending the title against Hardy could be a good match but Hardy wouldn’t be my first choice of who I would like to see Styles face at SummerSlam.
We cut to the back where Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura are hanging out and talking themselves up and while they are doing this the Lucha House Party sneaks up from behind and steals the SmackDown Tag Team Championships and the heels chase after them as we go to break.
We come back to AJ Styles and Joseph Park walking backstage with the whiteboard and Styles is pissed at what just happened. Kayla Braxton walks up and asks Styles if he is going to give Hardy a shot at the title and Styles says yes he is because he is going to show Hardy what happens when you mess with AJ Styles. Styles tries to erase Hardy’s signature off of the whiteboard but it turns out that Joseph Park had brought out a permanent marker instead of a dry erase and this just adds to Styles’s frustration.
We then go to the ring for our next match
Match #3: Gran Metalik w/ Lince Dorado vs Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Cesaro
Nakamura motions as if he wants to lockup but he kicks Metalik in the gut and then pushes him into the corner where he hammers him down with repeated forearm shots and then he gives Metalik some good vibrations before mocking Dorado who is at ringside. Nakamura grabs Metalik and snapmares him into the middle of the ring so he can land a knee drop which gets a 1 count. Nakamura sends Metalik into the ropes and goes for a clothesline, but Metalik ducks and lands a kick to Nakamura’s midsection and then applies a chin lock, Nakamura quickly gets back to his feet and escapes the hold and then sends Metalik into the ropes once more but Metalik handsprings and backflips away from Nakamura and then takes him down with a hurricanrana which sends Nakamura to the outside. Metalik looks to hit Nakamura with a tope suicida but Nakamura catches him with a kick that stops Metalik in his tracks.
Nakamura lightly kicks Metalik and then sends him into the corner but Metalik gets his feet up and then gets out on the apron so he can take Nakamura down with a springboard crossbody and then moments later he hits Nakamura with a sling blade bulldog. Nakamura reverses a whip into the ropes, but Metalik bounces back with a springboard back elbow for another 2 count. Metalik sets up for the Metalik Driver, but Nakamura slides out the back and attempts to hit the inverted exploder but Metalik lands on his feet and delivers another kick to the gut before walking the ropes and as he does this Cesaro hops up on the apron which stops Metalik in his tracks and allows Nakamura enough time to recover so that when Metalik does jump off he is ready for him as he connects with a big kick to the chest for a 2 count.
Nakamura hits Metalik with the inverted exploder and then sets up for the Kinshasa, but we hear the music of the Lucha House Party and out walks the returning Kalisto. Cesaro goes to attack Kalisto on the ramp as he attempts a clothesline but Kalisto ducks which allows Dorado to kick Cesaro in the gut and then the two of them hit Cesaro with a really cool looking double team tornado DDT on the ramp. Back in the ring, Metalik catches Nakamura with an overhead kick and then goes up top where he leaps off the ropes with a diving elbow onto a standing Nakamura and that is enough to pick up the win.
Winner: Gran Metalik via PInfall Match Rating: **½
This was another fun match just like all matches involving Metalik tend to be. Glad to see that Kalisto is back and that tornado DDT that he and Dorado hit on Cesaro was really nice.
We see Alexa Bliss getting mic’d up for her sit down interview which is coming up next.
We come back to an interview with Matt Riddle where he talks about how frustrating it is to have to keep his head on a swivel due to Corbin’s bounty on him but it’s all good because he came to SmackDown to compete. Shorty G walks up and explains that he got caught up in all the King’s Ransom nonsense because he saw it as an opportunity to earn some extra money so he can take care of his family, but that reason doesn’t justify what he did and he just wants to apologize to Riddle face-to-face. Riddle being the cool bro that he is says that everything is cool with him but if Shorty ever wants to throw down all he has to do is let him know because he’s always down for a fight. Corbin runs up and attacks Riddle from behind and tells Riddle this is his kingdom and then he thanks Shorty for his help.
I like how Riddle was understanding as to why Shorty attacked him as he gets doing what you have to in order to make money for your family. I like how at the end of the segment they left a bit of a question mark as to whether Shorty’s apology was legit or was he just doing it in order to distract Riddle so that Corbin could attack him from behind.
We then go to our sit down interview with Alexa Bliss.
The interviewer asks Alexa how she is and she says that she has been better and then she talks about all of the history she has had with Strowman and as she is talking about this we get clips of the two of them together from Mixed Match Challenge, Ride Along, etc. Alexa says at first she was intimidated by Strowman because of his size but once she was around him more and got to know him she saw that he was just a teddy bear who possessed a lot of great qualities which she looks for in a person and that is why they eventually became best friends. After being asked directly if she ever considered Strowman as more than just a friend she said maybe because Strowman did care so much about her.
Alexa is asked if she thinks that is why The Fiend targeted her but Alexa isn’t sure why he targeted her and doesn’t really want to speculate about it. Alexa is then asked about what it felt like to survive an attack from The Fiend, and she says it’s scary and terrifying but at the same time it’s compelling and once you interact with him you can just feel his presence and for the first time she was able to understand what it means when people say like a moth to a flame. Alexa is asked what her feelings are after hearing what Strowman said last week where he stated he didn’t give a damn about her, Alexa doesn’t want to talk about it and that is when the interview comes to a close and we go to a commercial break.
I will speak more about this segment when I talk about the show ending segment as I want to put all the Alexa Bliss thoughts in one place.
We come back to a promo from Sonya Deville who is surprised by both Mandy’s challenge and the fact that it just took a haircut to bring out so much aggression and after thinking about it she thinks Mandy is going to look great bald. Sonya says that Mandy may have gotten over her insecurities and she may be sick of people saying the same thing about her over and over, but did it ever occur to Mandy that they say all of that because it’s true. Sonya said she is going to destroy Mandy once and for all and she is accepting Mandy’s challenge.
This was a good promo but compared to Mandy’s earlier it was a bit lacking but that could be by design as they wanted this show to be all about Mandy getting over with a fantastic promo and in order to do that Sonya had to tone hers down just a tad because when Sonya is at her best there are few that can top her when it comes to promos.
Match #4: John Morrison w/ The Miz vs Big E
The Miz is on commentary during the match.
We get a lockup and Morrison backs Big E into the corner and kicks his knee which was injured earlier in the night during the Retribution attack. We get another lockup and Big E grabs a side headlock and cranks away on it until Morrison shoots him off into the ropes but Big E takes him down with a shoulder block. It looks like we are going to get a test of strength but Morrison kicks the leg which takes Big E down to one knee and then Morrison hits him with a knee to the head for a 2 count. We get a drop-down and leapfrog spot that ends with Big E rocking Morrison with a back elbow. Morrison goes behind with a waist lock but Big E breaks his grip and throws Morrison over his back. Big E charges at Morrison in the corner but Morrison ducks out to the apron and lands a kick to the head of Big E and then tries to springboard into the ring but Big E pushes him and Morrison takes an incredible bump where he bounces off the top rope and falls to the floor.
Morrison gets back to his feet and jumps back up to the apron where he nails Big E with a forearm and then tries for a clothesline once he gets back into the ring but Big E ducks and takes Morrison down with a clothesline of his own. Big E drags Morrison out to the apron where he hits him with clubbing blows and then hits him with the big splash on the apron. Morrison crawls over to the announce table and Big E is following him, Miz gets up to hype up Morrison but Big E pushes him out of the way so Miz tries to trip Big E with the wire that is attached to his headset but it doesn’t work, Big E focuses his attention to Miz and this allows Morrison to take Big E down with a chop block on the previously injured knee. Morrison rolls Big E into the ring and puts him in the corner where he hits Big E with a knee drop on the injured knee while it is hung up in the ropes. Morrison applies a chin lock as Otis comes down to ringside and starts having words with The Miz. The lights then start to flicker as we go to commercial.
We come back and the SmackDown roster has surrounded the ring in order to prevent any kind of attack from Retribution. In the ring, Morrison is working over the leg of Big E and then he locks him in a front face lock when the lights start to flicker once again, we cut to the back where Retribution is causing chaos as they throw referee Drake Wuertz onto a table and then throw referee Dan Engler onto one as well. One of the Retribution guys locks a poor guy in the bathroom while he is taking a shit and then they start throwing chairs around the room while one person spray paints the No WWE symbol on a brick wall. We cut back to the ring where Big E is waiting for Morrison to get back to his feet but when he does he catches Big E with a Pele kick and then follows up with a chuck kick for a 2 count.
While the action is happening in the ring the announcers are screaming at all of the superstars surrounding the ring that Retribution but their words are falling on deaf ears, eventually referee Jessika Carr comes out and informs them and everyone starts running to the back and we are back to just Big E and Morrison without all the distractions around the ring. Morrison runs at Big E who tries to lift him up for the Big Ending but Morrison slides out the back and pushes Big E into the corner, Morrison charges in and Big E tries to catch him with the uranage but Morrison flips out of it and hits Big E with a dropkick to the knee. We cut to the back where the superstars have finally arrived on the scene to where Retribution wreaked havoc but Retribution is long gone as their bodies laid out everywhere.
We go back to the ring and Morrison has Big E set up on the top rope, Morrison climbs up to meet him but Big E pushes him off and this time when Morrison charges in Big E is able to hit the uranage but it only gets a 2 count. Big E sets Morrison up once again for the Big Ending but once again Morrison escapes and he kicks Big E in the knee once again. Morrison goes for the running knee strike but Big E ducks and roll Morrison up with a schoolboy and as soon as he felt that Morrison was fixing to kick out he transitioned into the stretch muffler and that is enough to make Morrison tap out.
Winner: Big E via Submission Match Rating: **¼
After the match, Sheamus hits Big E with a Brogue Kick and after he does this Braun Strowman (who is now bald) makes his way to the ring as we go to our final commercial break.
There was a lot to unload in this match as we had what was happening in the ring and then what was happening backstage with Retribution. I thought that what we saw of the match was really good and I kind of wish they had saved the backstage stuff for after the match as Big E and Morrison were putting on a show. Given what happened after the match I’m guessing we are getting a feud between Sheamus and Big E and I am all here for that battle of the hosses.
I thought the Retribution stuff that happened backstage was better than what we saw them do last week although not sure why one of them decided that locking someone in a bathroom is really that chaotic, the part where they threw the two referees on the table was pretty brutal considering that neither table broke. I swear I heard Corey say something on commentary about how he doesn’t even know what room the attack is taking place in which I found to be pretty funny considering the PC has been around for 7 years and that didn’t seem like some secret area that nobody would know about and also all the wrestlers knew where the room was minutes later when they all ran back there to find the broken bodies laying on the ground.
We come back to Strowman in the ring and he calls The Fiend out and once again he tells us that he is the evilest son of a bitch on earth and then says he is going to eat The Fiend’s entrails.
Alexa Bliss then makes her way to the ring and she wants to have a talk with Strowman, but he won’t turn toward her and talk to her face to face. Alexa says Strowman has changed because what he said last week wasn’t the Braun Strowman she knows and she doesn’t believe what he said last week about not giving a damn about her, this fires Strowman up as he says that he is not some pawn that she can change into something he is not and he is not a clown that she can make sing songs inside her stupid car. Alexa is confused AF about why Strowman is acting like he is and this leads to saying that everyone changes after interacting with The Fiend including her and then he tells her to get out of the ring so that he can have The Fiend.
Alexa tells Strowman to be careful about what he wishes for and if she can’t talk some sense into him she will slap it into him and then she demands that Strowman look at her when she is talking to him. Strowman turns around and then Alexa repeatedly slaps him in the face and tells him to wake up because this isn’t the real Strowman. Strowman grabs Alexa and lifts her up in a military press and holds her there while the lights slowly go down bit by bit and right before everything goes completely dark Strowman throws her up into the air and when the lights come back on The Fiend is in the ring standing over Alexa who is holding her midsection and is writhing around in pain, Strowman shows up on the tron and starts laughing maniacally and then The Fiend starts laughing and that’s how SmackDown goes off the air.
Thank God for Alexa and Bray because if Strowman was doing this feud with anyone else it would not be anywhere as good because his acting compared to the other two is pretty bad. I loved everything that Alexa did on this episode (I know that’s not a big shock coming from me) from the interaction with Nikki to the sit-down interview and then the big main event segment. I honestly much prefer and enjoy seeing Alexa do stuff like this where she is able to excel rather than being in matches where she is lacking.
I thought that Strowman came off looking more like a pouting toddler during this segment rather than any kind of monster. I am so tired of hearing Strowman tell us that he is the evilest son of a bitch we’ve ever seen and even more tired of him talking in the corny “scary” deep voice. I think they are doing a double turn with Strowman and The Fiend which I wouldn’t be mad at but regardless of what happens I hope Wyatt takes the title of Strowman at SummerSlam because as much as I wanted to see him as a champion it just isn’t working out.
This was another jam-packed show that featured little focus on in-ring and a lot on storytelling, but I still thought it was a pretty good show and I am curious to see exactly what happens next in the triangle between Alexa, Strowman, & Wyatt. I also look forward to seeing what happens next between Mandy and Sonya just two days before their hair vs hair match.
That’s it for me this week, but I’ll be back next week where for the first time in five months I will be able to put a new location for the site of SmackDown as we are moving out of the PC and into the Amway Center where we will have virtual fans in attendance, hopefully the bigger arena and having legit fans (and not people from the PC) in some fashion will make next week’s SummerSlam go-home show feel like a big deal, but until then Bye Bye.