An episode of Smackdown Live with an historic announcement set for the Money in the Bank PPV and the return of one of the WWE’s most popular Tag Teams.
The show began in the same way so many others have, a promo or talk show segment breaking down and turning into a tag team match. Kevin Owens opened with the Highlight Reel, reminding us that he is the reason Chris Jericho is no longer around. Shinsuke Nakamura was his guest tonight, but it was not long until Baron Corbin interrupted and proceeded to make fun of both men; calling Owens “Cartman” from South Park in the process. Eventually both heels attacked Nakamura until Sami Zayn made the save and as usual a tag team match was born. The four men had a solid match won by Nakamura and Zayn after the team of Owens and Corbin fell apart. The segment displayed all four men in good light ahead of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
The Uso’s met their next challengers for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships in the form of the returning New Day. The Uso’s are thriving as heels right now and their promo work seems to improve each week. The New Day coming right into the title scene after their brief absence can only be a positive no matter the outcome given their recent championship success on Raw.
Breezango continued their Fashion Files this week and whilst not nearly as funny as their previous instalments, still served a fun part of the show. It seems Breezango will be feuding with the Colons now after finding a bottle of ‘Cologne’ at their crime scene. These two teams had a match later in the show that allowed Breezango to continue their antics. The tag division on Smackdown Live certainly seems to be picking up, the heel Uso’s, the returning New Day, Breezango both doing arguably career best work, even the Colon’s can produce very good matches at their best and we still have American Alpha sitting on the sidelines.
The schedules women’s 5-way match to determine the number one contender never began as all 5 women brawled, which included some brutal looking spots including Charlotte Flair Power-Bombing Natalya through the Announce Table. Shane McMahon then came to the ring and announced that all five women will compete in the first ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. On the one hand the intensity of the brawl beforehand further established the passion of the rivalry justifying the need to settle things in such a dangerous environment being a ladder match. However it did seem a little funny how Shane McMahon casually stood in the ring announcing this match while all five of his competitors were laid out barely able to move on the outside.
One thing that is concerning is these women’s performance on Talking Smack. After all the fantastic work these ladies did with their ferocious brawl to establish them as serious threats worthy of being apart of such a historic match, their segment on Talking Smack consisted of nothing but bickering of which you could equate to ‘High School Drama’. These women should have continued their seriousness over to this segment as opposed to arguably diminishing all of the magnificent work they had done merely an hour ago.
Randy Orton came to the ring and spoke about how he would take back his title at Money in the Bank, before Jinder Mahal interrupted on the big screen cutting his standard anti-America promo. He spoke about his family lineage, which I believe is something they don’t really play up to as much as they could, however one could argue that he hardly needs that now. This was short and sharp, Orton looked focused and ready for his rematch. It is questionable whether Randy needs to be playing up the whole ‘Do it for America’ idea however, this is something that is so overused in WWE and isn’t needed in this rivalry. Jinder being angry at being overlooked and Randy simply desperate for his title back is far more compelling than the standard American Hero vs Foreign Villain.
In the Main Event Dolph Ziggler scored a shocking upset win over AJ Styles in what was certainly a match worthy of its spot in the main event. Dolph Ziggler put in one of his best performances in months and AJ Styles was as “Phenomenal” as you’d come to expect from the best in the world today. The victory helps secure Ziggler as a threat at Money in the Bank, whilst one could argue Styles simply ‘got caught’. This match seemed only one gear away from being something really special.
On Talking Smack Shane McMahon seemed to challenge Dolph Ziggler to continue to bring his best as he did tonight, Ziggler spoke about how when he sets his mind on it; he is the very best in the world.