Hello everybody! It’s @TheMagnumDA with another installment of the Smackdown Live TV report. We’re only 5 days away from Backlash, the first dual brand PPV of the modern era, LIVE on the WWE Network. Be sure to come back to Wrestling-Online on Sunday to see the W-O Pick’em Crew’s predictions for this event.
MizTV with Randy Orton & Jeff Hardy: Miz brings out Orton and Hardy, who insist that there’s no hard feelings between the two of them. However, come Sunday, it’s going to be all about the United States Championship. This brings out Shelton Benjamin, who is PISSED. Benjamin wants to be in the title picture because of his win against Orton last week. This led to a schmoz, and after the commercial break, our first match!
1. US Champion Jeff Hardy & Randy Orton defeated The Miz & Shelton Benjamin after Hardy hit the Swanton Bomb on Benjamin (**1/2)
From here, it’s Promo City:
We get the IIconics introducing Carmella to talk trash about Charlotte and tonight’s main event.
From there, we recap Daniel Bryan’s record-setting performance in the Greatest Royal Rumble. Bryan is not medically cleared to wrestle this evening. Apparently, his chest had so many welts that doctors feared that he could develop an infection if he participated in any in-ring competition.
After that, we get a Bar/New Day promo, where Sheamus challenges Xavier Woods to a one-on-one match. Xavier channels his inner Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat, vowing to Sheamus, “Your soul…is mine.”
We see a Rusev promo where Lana tells him that “something” is holding him back (referring to Aiden English).
We get a solid heel promo from Big Cass. He brags about eliminating Daniel Bryan from the Greatest Royal Rumble, and then challenges him to a fight RIGHT NOW. In a scene very similar to Bret Hart/DX from November 1997, Cass has “Daniel Bryan” (a little man standing about three-feet tall dressed in Daniel Bryan’s outfit) come out to accept the challenge. Cass then introduces the little man as an actor, receiving a nice ovation from the Montreal crowd. Then, in a disgusting moment, Cass hits the running boot on the actor portraying Bryan.
FINALLY, we get an interview with Renee Young and AJ Styles that is interrupted by Samoa Joe. Joe tells AJ that he wants the winner of Sunday’s title match between Styles and Nakamura. This brings out Nakamura, who came in from the crowd to hit AJ with, you guessed it, another low-blow! Afterwards, Shinsuke hits the Kinshasa on Styles and leaves him in a heap.
2. Xavier Woods (w/Big E & Kofi Kingston) defeated Sheamus (w/Cesaro) with a roll-up cradle (*3/4)
3. 6-Woman Tag Match: Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch & Asuka defeated Women’s Champion Carmella & The IIconics (**3/4)
Miz & Benjamin’s Chemistry: I don’t believe Miz and Shelton Benjamin have teamed in the past, but as a team…they looked damn good tonight. They were playing off of each other extremely well, especially when they had Hardy compromised as the hero-in-peril. If Miz is looking for a new entourage on Smackdown, he can start the recruiting by picking up the “Gold Standard”. They could be a force together.
The Crowd: This Montreal crowd was only treated to 3 matches during the Smackdown broadcast, but they were loud and spirited throughout the entire show. I really think that WWE should visit this city more often, as they are some of the best fans I’ve seen in North America. I’m from outside of Chicago, and I’ve been to many shows at the Allstate Arena. For these fans to stay lively throughout *this* broadcast…that is pretty special. Kudos to our Canadian fans!
Small Talk: As demeaning as it was, the segment with Big Cass and “Daniel Bryan” was very effective. Cass came off like an insecure, sarcastic bully with cowardly tendencies. Colin has really stepped his game up since his return, and this segment was proof-positive of that.
Three Matches: Now, I get it…this roster has been traveling all over the world last week. Everyone is tired and worn out. That said, you’ve gotta have a five-match minimum on a two-hour show. End of story. Three matches in two hours is just not enough to keep viewers interested. I felt like I was watching early 1999 WCW during tonight’s hour-long run of promos and interviews.
Nothing too awful!
That’s going to do it for tonight’s Smackdown Live TV report! Join us next Sunday for the Backlash Pick’em! Until then, @TheMagnumDA signing off.