From start to finish, this episode of Smackdown Live didn’t slow down. There was absolutely no filler, as every promo and match had some sort meaning
Damn, the opening video package was amazing. It did a great job at highlighting every feud, and how they’d be represented on the show.
Sometimes the WWE can really make their characters look dumb, but that can’t be said about Carmella, at least not for the past two weeks. The points she made were legitimate, and they showcased how unjustly Bryan’s decision was. I didn’t see this as a flaw in the booking, but instead I saw it as a great opportunity to build Carmella’s character.
I find it incredible how Ellsworth has managed to remain on Smackdown as an entertaining character. The drama between him and Bryan was hilarious, and it was a great way to top off this opening segment.
The Usos vs Hype Bros
This match was strange. The in ring component was completely normal, but the commercial break was placed in a awkward spot. While they did keep the match going on in the corner of the screen, it felt weird that it ended when the commercial break stopped.
Despite the odd set up , the post match promo was certainly the highlight. It doesn’t appear that the promos between the Usos and New Day are getting old. I firmly believe this can go until Summerslam.
These can’t stop. They’re too funny, and the material is fresh every single week. If this were anybody else, the gimmick would’ve gotten played out by now. That also says a lot about Breezango.
Lana vs Naomi
I was highly critical when this was initially announced. It didn’t make sense, because Lana’s character didn’t do anything to deserve a rematch. With that being said, I’m glad it ended with Naomi winning quickly and decisively. That only made the champ look more credible than she already was.
Randy Orton Promo
There wasn’t anything special about this promo. I believe the Orton-Mahal feud has ran its feud. Even though the Singh brothers attacked Orton’s father, this program has lost its fire.
While I’m not excited to see this program move further, I am excited to see the return of the Punjabi Prison. Jinder actually feels more worthy of representing this stipulation than Great Khali, simply based on wrestling skill and overall character progression.
Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin
Since Corbin’s attention has been directed towards Nakamura in the past few weeks, this match didn’t feel so stale. The announcers mentioned their feud, but not as a their primary ones. Also, it was great to see Zayn interuppt Mike and Maria Kanellis, as this could be the next program for both parties.
Even though there wasn’t anything to gain from this, these two put on one hell of a match. They proved that they can still work well by bringing forth a ton of intensity. At no point did the pace slow down, and that made it hard to look away.
My only gripe with this contest was the finish. The announcers continuously pushed how Baron had never defeated Sami, so why give that away for nothing? It’s not that big of deal, but that could’ve been saved for a more meaningful moment.
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Unlike the previous match, this one had a lot more context heading into it. That’s not a knock on the first one, but it’s just an observation as to how the first one gave this one a story. This also allowed for Carmella to feel like the focal point, which was neat if you ask me.
For some unknown reason, parts of this match felt more sluggish than the last. There weren’t any major botches, but the women just came across as sloppy. One spot that really stuck out was the exchange between Charlotte and Tamina, right before Becky ran up the ladder.
Aside from my smarky criticism, this was still entertaining . Each competitor received a chance to shine, and that made the outcome slightly more unpredictable. Becky received the most babyface attention, which only made the most sense. That was a direct extension of the last ladder match.
Towards the end, I was convinced Becky would capture the briefcase. The overall build up in the match pointed to her winning. With Lynch taking out Ellsworth, it felt like her big moment was close. Instead, they stuck with Carmella, which was a good choice. While I loved the finish to the first ladder match, I’m glad she was given a moment where she essentially won on her own.
Was there single moment on this show that was out of context? To me, everything flowed with the overall narrative, and nothing was there just for the sake of being there. This was truly a well balanced show.
The only thing lacking from this edition of Smackdown was AJ and KO, but at least they were given some build up for next week.
The low point of the episode was the finish to Corbin vs Zayn, while the high points consisted of the opening segment, New Day/Usos promo, and the main event. Overall, this show deserves an 8.5/10.