Hello everybody! It’s @TheMagnumDA with another edition of the Smackdown Live TV report. As you’ll see below, this program had a few good moments…but overall, there was a lot of stuff I didn’t like. Feel free to jump to the “Good, Bad, Ugly” section to get my thoughts! Trust me…there’s a lot of not-so-good stuff happening (to the discerning eye).
Carmella Promo: Carmella comes out and demands respect from the WWE Universe. She shows a video package of Asuka’s recent losses, including Asuka’s Smackdown Live debut, and of course the streak-ending match at WrestleMania. Asuka makes her entrance, but she’s interrupted by Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. They demand a match with Asuka RIGHT NOW, and Carmella challenges Asuka to face them both in a 2-on-1 handicap match. Asuka accepts, and we have our opening match!
1. Asuka defeated Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville (*3/4) Wasn’t bad at all, but most of the match was predictable stuff. Asuka gets the advantage on Mandy, and Sonya breaks up the pinfall. Asuka gets the advantage on Sonya, and Mandy breaks up the pin. Eventually, Sonya tapped out to the Asuka Lock.
2. Karl Anderson (w/Luke Gallows) defeated Harper (w/ Rowan) (No Stars) I hate these kinds of matches. Why? I’ll explain in the “Good, Bad, Ugly” section.
AJ Styles/Shinsuke Nakamura Money in the Bank Contract Signing – Paige explains the stipulations of the title match during this live segment. Keep that in mind. In a super awkward moment, the producer missed the shot of AJ Styles slapping Nakamura after signing the contract. Even more embarrassing, AJ pretty much whiffed on the slap too! AJ cries out as he’s pulled away by Dean Malenko, “You wanna play games?! I can play games too!” Shinsuke stands from his seated position and holds his hand over his face. He quietly says, “Last…Man…Standing” as we fade to black. What the hell was that?
3. Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte Flair (***1/4) A really good women’s match with a clean finish! Surprisingly, Charlotte tapped out to the Disarmer.
Big Cass Interview w/Renee Young: Renee interviews Cass from the staging area near the entrance. This is old school…the way Gene Okerlund used to interview people back in the 1980s and 1990s WWF heyday. Cass tells a story about following Daniel Bryan out the building on the night of Wrestlemania XXX. Cass couldn’t help but think to himself, “This pathetic little man is the WWE Champion.” Cass calls Bryan’s title win a fluke, just like his victory at Backlash was a fluke. Cass vows to get revenge at Money in the Bank.
4. The New Day defeated Rusev, The Miz & Samoa Joe (**3/4) This match ends when Rusev and Joe walk out on Miz, leaving Big E to finish Miz with the Big Ending. This was billed as “6-Man MITB Qualifiers Tag Match”, although we don’t know which members of New Day will be participating in the ladder match.
Becky vs. Charlotte: I really enjoyed the Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte match. It’s cool that Charlotte put Becky over with the tapout, but I don’t think that we’d see this kind of a finish in a title match. One thing I couldn’t help but notice…did they REALLY have to add that “tea time” junk in the middle of the match?
50/50 Booking – Consolation Night for the PPV Losers: This was the number one beef for me tonight. As this night unfolded, I started thinking about the entire Smackdown Live roster that’s on the MITB card. There wasn’t one person showcased that’s going to win at Money in the Bank, save for Asuka – frankly, even that’s in doubt! Look at the rest of the night, though…specifically Cass, the Good Brothers, and the New Day.
Big Cass is not going over Daniel Bryan, yet they continue to push him by giving him an interview segment. Karl Anderson gets the fluke pin on Luke Harper after getting ZERO offense. It’s no secret that the Good Brothers are heavy underdogs in this match – so why are they getting fluke pins against a team that’s undefeated? If anything, the Good Brothers should have dismantled The Bar to establish themselves as the #1 Contenders. Instead, they look like geeks who can barely hang with the champs.
As for the New Day…it seems pretty predictable that they’re not going to win MITB, so why are they beating all of the top heels on Smackdown Live? I mean, the ending of the match explained the heels’ lack of continuity, but why aren’t the guys in MITB getting some showcase wins before the PPV? Why does everyone have to take turns winning and losing on a weekly basis? Can’t some of these top guys go on a roll and win consecutive matches leading up to MITB? Also, if two New Day members end up *not* in the match, why are they getting wins over Miz, Joe, and Rusev?
One might assume that tonight’s win is inconsequential, but I argue this: How can you put the WWE Title on a guy with a mediocre win-loss record?
I stand corrected.
Kevin Dunn & AJ Styles: First, the producer nearly missed the shot of AJ’s slap during the contract signing. Then AJ almost missed the slap itself! My question is this – why wasn’t this pre-taped? Why did they HAVE to do this live? The whole thing came off as amateur and unprofessional. Not good. Brutal segment. The ironic thing is…they’re going to have their best match at MITB, but they’ll have killed off any interest in this feud by that point.
Alright, this has been @TheMagnumDA with your Smackdown Live TV report! See you next week for Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas vs. Sin Cara, plus THE WOMEN’S SUMMIT before they clash at MITB. Um…can’t wait. See you next week!