Smackdown was live from London and man did it have promos galore. Crowd is nowhere near as active as last nights, but it had moments. There were only 4 matches, but all of them were pretty good and had purpose. But the show was mostly a filler to build to Money in the Bank. Other than a few feuds, most of this show will not matter after the PPV.
David squashes Goliath
The show opens with Daniel Bryan, and this is as loud as the crowd gets until the main event. Renee Young is in the ring to interview Bryan. He gives a pretty basic promo, telling us all that he hates losing and he will be going for the championship. The segment was honestly saved by a Cass interruption.
Cass goes on about how he won’t let Daniel Bryan achieve his dreams again. He talks all the way down the ramp. His promo skills could use some polish but it’s not Sid Vicious levels of bad. Cass gets in the ring to taunt Bryan, but Bryan rushes him. Bryan pins him in the corner, attacking the surgically repaired knee. Refs have to come out to pull them apart as Bryan locks on a heel hook. Cass limps off to the back as Bryan leads the crowd in YES! chants.
Overall it wasn’t the best promo, but the storytelling was there from both men. Bryan looked like a man possessed while attack the knee. Hopefully we get one good match outta this feud. Fingers Crossed.
It’s A New Day
Big E and Xavier Woods are up for the New Day as they face off against The Bar. The winner gets to choose one of their members to send into the Money in the Bank match. The Miz is on commentary, who absolutely kills it.
Woods starts off on fire, knocking both members of The Bar down and taking it to Cesaro. Once The Bar got Woods slowed down, it was a very methodical match. The Bar utilized teamwork really well through most the match, keeping Woods in the ring and separated from Big E. Woods eventually gets a comeback and get a hot tag to Big E. Big E delivers multiple belly to belly suplex’s to both members of The Bar. Xavier is chased by Sheamus outside, while Cesaro takes control inside and slaps on a sharpshooter. Woods dodges Sheamus and throws him into the ring post.
Xavier breaks up the submission attempt, then makes a quick tag to Big E. He hits a slingshot DDT on Cesaro as Big E spears Sheamus on the outside. Woods goes to the top and executes a beautiful elbow. 1,2,3 and your winners The New Day. They will have the chance to name who they send to Money in the Bank.
The match was pretty good, would have been better if 70% of the match wasn’t watched on the split screen. But the person who looked the best was Xavier Woods. He has becoming more and more consistent in his work and it might be time to see what he can do alone more. On a side note, the Miz absolutely killed it on commentary, when he retires WWE better find him a spot in the booth.
Andrade “Cien” Almas debuts.
“Cien” has an impressive debut against a local talent, Jake Constantino. It’s an old school squash match. Cien takes control early and never lets it go. He hits the running double knee, and finishes Jake off with the Hammerlock DDT. 1,2,3 and your winner Andrade “Cien” Almas.
Vega cuts a promo after the match about the lousy level of competition and that they will be taking over.
Honestly, it was nice to see and old school squash match. It’s a great way to make “Cien” look good for those who haven’t seen him yet. I truly believe he could be a top heel if they book him correctly, and the rosters definitely need more “true” heels.
This Smackdown had a bunch of promos. I am just going to combine them all into one area.
The Bludgeon Brothers put the entire division on notice. AJ has a more comedic promo in where he list terrible gimmick match idea if he wins. (Wonder if he is just saying things TNA wanted to do) Shinsuke cuts a pretty good promo. Felt like he was back in Japan the way he was talking about breaking AJ’s face.
Rusev, English and Lana cut a promo setting up a MitB qualifying match between Lana and Billie Kay. Samoa Joe cuts a promo setting up next weeks qualifier against Big Cass. He had an ECW Taz feel during this promo. Then we downgrade with what I guess was an attempt at comedy from IICONICS. I highly suggest you just skip that one.
Asuka’s gonna kill you
But there was no bigger promo than the knockoff of the Royal Wedding, a ‘Mellabration. Even given all the cool things it tried to do (town crier, saying god ignore the queen) it was still like pulling teeth once Carmella started talking. Cutting a basic, “this town sucks and I’m the best” promo. She lists off all the women she is better than, but left out one. But that’s why Paige interrupts her. She is here to tell Carmella that her opponent at Money in the Bank will be Asuka. Carmella is infuriated. She stomps off down the ring, talking as Asuka smiles at her from the ring.
I mean, it could have been worse right? At least we should get an Asuka title reign soon.
Give me that Becky
It’s a triple threat Money in the Bank qualifier between Becky Lynch, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. Sonya Deville’s entrance can probably be thanked for giving someone a seizure, but other than that I thought this was a damn good match. Definitely a step above the Bliss, Mickey, Bayley from the night ago.
Most of the match was very similar though. Deville and Rose team up on Becky throughout most the match. Rose is the first to attempt a pinfall on Deville, but that doesn’t stop them from teaming up on Lynch. After hitting a double suplex, they kick Lynch around the ringside area. They roll her in and Rose tries to steal the pinfall, but Deville pulls her off. They begin to argue, which lets Lynch try to get the jump on them, but is caught by a double elbow. Finally, Deville kicks Rose.
It’s back and forth between Deville and Lynch, until Lynch is put on the top turnbuckle. Deville lines up for a superplex, but Rose interrupts and has her in an electric chair drop position. Lynch comes off the top and knocks both women down. It’s back to Lynch vs. Deville inside until Mandy comes running in and hits Deville with a flying knee. She is shocked that she hit her. Lynch tries to roll her up, but Rose counters into her own pinfall. Lynch kicks out and rolls into the Dis-Arm-Her, forcing Rose to tap. Your winner and going to Money in the Bank, Becky Lynch.
I really enjoyed this match. I thought it was going to go along the same line as last night’s match, but it had enough twists and Mandy and Sonya being in a faction together and are still allies helped the finish. This is much better than last night’s women’s qualifier in my opinion.
So far it’s Ember Moon, Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss and now Becky Lynch.
Phantom Low Blow
Our main event of the evening. AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a winner picks stipulation for Money in the Bank. Shinsuke is all over AJ from the beginning. Kicking and kneeing him all around the ring, until AJ kocks Shinsuke to the outside, where he follows up with an incredible Phenomenal Forearm.
The crowd is into this one as Shinsuke regains control with a flying side kick to AJ’s head. Nakamura locks on a Dragon Sleeper and holds onto it, planning the next couple of moves. It’s a fast paced affair from here on out. Both athletes countering each other’s best moves. A great spot in the corner where AJ is set up for a running knee lift. He counters, and tries the forearm again but it caught mid-air and lands back in the same spot so Nakamura can land the knee lift.
The match keeps going faster and faster until Shinsuke hits the Kinasha. He covers Styles, but Styles kicks out. Nakamura goes for a second one, but is caught by a wheel kick. AJ tries another forearm, but the ref is held in the way. AJ stops himself and misses the ref, but just enough of a bump to knock him down. Shinsuke fakes a low blow as the ref turns around. AJ argues he didn’t do it as Nakamura catches him from behind. Hits another Kinasha and it’s 1,2,3. Your winner and allowed to choose the match stipulation for Money in the Bank, Shinsuke Nakamura.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about these two. They are both at the top of their respective games, and could probably go out with anyone and have a good match. I’m glad the low blows aren’t happening at the rate they were the last month, but I still feel like we could still have heat on Nakamura without that. Overall, a great match for a Smackdown. Good storytelling and great spots. These two are the best in the business and this match only shows a small portion of why that is.
New Day (Big E/Xavier Woods) def. The Bar to send a member to MitB
Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Selina Vega def. Jake Constantino
Becky Lynch def. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville to Qualify for MitB
Shinsuke Nakamura def. AJ Styles to select the match stipulation at MitB