Cheerio! It’s @TheMagnumDA with this week’s Smackdown Live TV report, once again LIVE (but taped) at the O2 Arena in London, England. Tonight, for the first time ever on Smackdown Live, the WWE Champion AJ Styles will face Shinsuke Nakamura one-on-one, with the winner picking the stipulation for their title match at “Money in the Bank.” We also have some MITB qualifying matches scheduled for tonight’s broadcast.
Let’s not waste another second…ON WITH THE SHOW!
Opening Promo: Daniel Bryan talks with Renee Young. He talks about his setback last week, losing to Rusev in a MITB qualifier. This brings out Big Cass, who brags about eliminating Bryan from the Greatest Royal Rumble. He also says that it was “smart” to tap out at Backlash so quickly, because it allowed him a chance to destroy Bryan after the match. Just when I thought Cass wouldn’t shut up, Bryan completely annihilates him, attacking his previously injured leg in the process. The officials actually have to pull Bryan off of Cass. How humiliating that must have been for Mr. Cassidy. Serves him right for taking liberties.
1. The New Day defeated Cesaro & Sheamus in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. (**) This means one member of The New Day enters the Men’s MITB match.
Promo City: We get a Bludgeon Brothers video, followed by a Paige/Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville confrontation that leads to Becky Lynch vs. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville in a MITB qualifying match. Another Triple Threat. Great. After this, AJ Styles had one of his lamest promos as WWE Champion, talking about all the different matches that could take place when he defeats Shinsuke later tonight. “A Pole on a Pole” match? No buys, Allen.
2. In his Smackdown Live debut, Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega) defeated Jake Constantino. (*)
Carmella’s Royal ‘Mellabration: Carmella comes out to declare herself better than Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, and Ronda Rousey. Oh, and she’s better than Trish Stratus and Lita COMBINED. That got a big laugh outta me. Paige comes out to announce Carmella’s next challenger…ironically, this is someone Carmella did NOT mention by name. It’s ASUKA! I guess they found something for her!
3. Becky Lynch defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in a triple threat match to qualify for the Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. (*1/2)
4. Non-title match: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated WWE Champion AJ Styles. (***)
How Bryan Got His Heat Back: Last week, Bryan garnered a lot of sympathy for going down in defeat to Rusev. This week, he was reinvigorated and ready to get back on track. After Big Cass opened his big mouth, Bryan shut it for him in spectacular fashion. Cass was destroyed and embarrassed by Daniel Bryan. This probably wasn’t what they originally had in mind for Cass, but you know what? Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
The Build For Next Week: They spent quite a bit of time promoting next week’s show, which is always a good thing. Samoa Joe will face Big Cass in a MITB qualifier. The announcers reminded the fans that Cass might have an injured leg thanks to Bryan’s attack earlier in the night. Lana vs. Billie Kay in a qualifier was confirmed as well.
Continuity Problems: Well, I guess plans from last week changed, PAL. Last week, we were told that the winners of New Day vs. The Bar would be in the MITB ladder match. As in…the entire team. I guess that’s not the case this week. Also, Asuka was cutting a MITB selfie promo last week. Now she’s in a title match this week? Little things like that bother me. Stick with the gameplan.
Underwhelming Debut for Almas: I think the idea of having a big, powerhouse guy debut vs. a jobber is fine. Kinda like what Ryback used to do. With Almas, however, he needs to have a great match in his debut – not some one minute squash. Put him in there for 15 minutes with someone like Chad Gable. They would tear it up together, and the fans would have something to remember him by. By contrast, nobody’s going to remember Jake freakin’ Constantino.
No Stipulation Announced: So Nakamura wins the main event on Smackdown, pinning the WWE Champion. From there, we go to credits. Nakamura doesn’t even announce *what* stipulation he wants for Money in the Bank. Wanna know why? Because Vince hasn’t made up his mind yet, PAL. This week-to-week booking is driving me nuts.
There was more bad than good, but nothing too ugly! Well, unless you want to talk about Billie Kay’s selfie promo. The less said about that…the better.
Alright, that’s going to do it for the Smackdown Live TV report! We’ll see you next week for the Raw/Smackdown TV reports, as we continue to build towards Money in the Bank! @TheMagnumDA signing off.