Hey everybody! It’s @TheMagnumDA with your weekly Smackdown Live TV report. Last night’s Raw was a damn good show, so let’s see how Smackdown will respond. This is their go-home episode before Sunday’s Money in the Bank PPV. Readers, don’t forget! This Sunday, come back to Wrestling Online and check out the W-O Pick ‘em Crew’s predictions for the Money in the Bank PPV, LIVE from Chicago, Illinois on the WWE Network. We know what happened the last time MITB was in Chicago, right?
As my boy Booker T. says, it’s gonna be…GOOD! 😀
Opening Promo: WOMEN’S SUMMIT for Money in the Bank. Paige introduces each of the Smackdown participants in the Women’s MITB Ladder Match (Naomi, Charlotte, Becky, and Lana). Like the previous evening, the participants basically squabble at each other until they’re interrupted by The IIconics and the former members of Absolution. The MITB participants decide to run outside and take them on in a 4-on-4 fight! Paige later announces an 8-Woman Tag Team Main Event, with the MITB participants facing The IIconics, Amber Rose, and Sonya Deville.
Match #1: Daniel Bryan defeated Shelton Benjamin (**3/4)
I really liked what they were putting together, but this was too damn short. If these guys get 20 minutes, they could have an incredible bout. An awesome finish, as Bryan locked in the Yes! Lock, only to see Shelton reverse the move into a Half Boston Crab (a move he was using throughout the match to injure Bryan’s knee). Bryan then reversed the Half Crab into the Heel Hook, which prompted the quick tap out by Benjamin.
Backstage, Asuka tells Paige that she wants Carmella tonight. Paige makes a deal with Asuka: join the MITB participants, and Carmella will be added to the IIconics/Rose/Deville team. We got a 10-Woman Tag Team Main Event! After the break, Miz wants to be the ref for Samoa Joe vs. Rusev. Paige gives him the opportunity. Miz is acting like a total dork here with that ninja headband. Karate Kid, he is not.
Match #2: Rusev (w/ Aiden English) defeated Samoa Joe – Special Guest Referee is The Miz (*3/4)
The story of the match was that Samoa Joe and Miz collided while Aiden English interfered from ringside. As Joe locked in the Coquina Clutch, Miz refused to count. This led to a Machka Kick from Rusev, which got the 1-2-3. After the match, Miz smashed Rusev’s head into the canvas with the Skull-Crushing Finale. He then climbed the ladder and took one of the MITB briefcases from the display above the ring. Inside the briefcase? You guessed it, PANCAKES. Miz continues the goofy streak, as he starts flinging around pancakes in disgust. Is he auditioning for a comedy movie or something? Also, “Ruff Ruff Ref”, Miz? Really? Really.
Match #3: United States Champion Jeff Hardy defeated Shinsuke Nakamura by DQ in a non-title match (*3/4)
Surprisingly, this match was poorly executed. These guys were whiffing quite a few of their moves, so it was anything from a technical masterpiece. Hardy also looks like he’s favoring his knee. The match ended when Hardy attempted a second Twist of Fate, but it was countered by Nakamura’s low blow. Yes, for the 5,432nd time, it’s another nutshot.
Interviews with Carmella and Big Cass: Carmella warns Asuka that *she* is not ready for Carmella. Elsewhere, Big Cass uses a “Height Requirements” sign from an amusement park to insult Daniel Bryan’s height once more. I laughed my ass off when Cass said he was paid $25,000 for an appearance at said amusement park. That’s a good one, Colin.
10-Woman Main Event Tag Team Match: Asuka, Becky Lynch, Naomi, Lana & Charlotte Flair defeated SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Billie Kay & Peyton Royce (**1/2)
Pretty good match when the veterans entered the ring. The rookies are still green, though…and it shows. The finish came when Asuka made Carmella tap with the Asuka Lock in the center of the ring.
Uh oh. Methinks…Carmella is going to be looking for back-up this Sunday.
Fresh, Fresh, Fresh: I love the fresh match-ups on Smackdown Live. On three occasions tonight, we got to see first-time-ever matches. On Cable TV, no less! The matches weren’t five stars, but who cares? I’ve been hankering to see Bryan vs. Benjamin, and tonight I got the chance! I’m sure fans of Hardy, Nakamura, Joe, and Rusev feel the same way.
Paige as GM: I think this is a really good role for her. I feel bad that she retired so early in her career, but she could have a long tenure (ala Teddy Long) in this role. Good on Paige!
Interesting Booking Choice for Nakamura: I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the challenger for the WWE Championship lose in his last televised match before a major PPV. While I thought the match and the finish were a mess, I can appreciate that they avoided the obvious result (Nakamura winning in dominant fashion). Besides, in the end, Shinsuke destroyed Jeff with the Kinsasha. He looked strong going into the PPV, no doubt. Much stronger than AJ did tonight.
The King and The Phenomenal One: I like the idea of using Jerry Lawler in his hometown of Memphis. As I mentioned before, I really like the old school feel of the stage surrounded by the fans. For some reason, even though they had a lot of elements that I like…this interview was pretty flat and lifeless. I also thought it was really short! Probably just an off-night for the two.
Acting a Fool – Starring The Miz: Miz was acting extremely silly thoughout the episode tonight. From his karate headband, to his briefcase reaction with the pancakes, and everything in-between. I just kept thinking to myself, “This guy is coming off completely phony right now.” If Miz is really winning Sunday (and betting odds say that he will), he should not be acting like this. He can’t be taken seriously when he treats the show like an audition for “Ruff Ruff Ref”. Speaking of which…
Ruff Ruff Ref – Really? There’s going to be a movie about a referee dog? Of course Miz would star in this.
That’s going to do it for me! We’ll see you next Sunday for the Money in the Bank Pick’em Contest RIGHT HERE on Wrestling Online! @TheMagnumDA signing off.