Welcome to the Smackdown Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We open up with a recap from last week’s big Jeff Hardy angle. Back live, out comes Jeff Hardy to explain himself. Jeff gave a well enough explanation as to how he got released from police custody after passing all the sobriety tests and an eyewitness showing up saying the guy to ran away from the car had red hair and red bread. Out comes Suspect Numero Uno, Sheamus, to call Jeff Hardy a junkie. Hardy charges up the ramp and the fight is on. Brogue Kick to Hardy and Sheamus throws Hardy into and through the plexiglass barriers along the ramp. Sheamus poses to end the segment. I will give them some credit for tying to come up with some sort of explanation on how Hardy got out of police custody so quickly. It’s something rather than the usual Creative forgot about it. Let’s see where this goes.
Our first match of the night has Mr. Money in the Bank Otis taking on King Corbin. Prematch hijinks has Mandy encourage Otis to take Corbin’s crown and wear it out to the ring. We get a typical Corbin match, start off with power moves, transition to rest holds, then get DQed because we must protect Corbin from taking a pin. The match was okay and I wonder what happened to Tucker? The tag title scene needs help badly.
It has suddenly gotten very dark at the Performance Center as Miz and Morrison get set up in their panel van for who knows what. I know we are taping the shows in advance but can we at least try to get the “live” outdoor segments to match what the time should realistically be. Miz and Morrison admit to us that this is going to be lame and it was. Strowman’s drink goes all fizzy and all over the place Jackass style. Johnny Knoxville must have written the segment. I fear this may be a long night.
Shorty G was going to be interviewed by the lovely Kayla Braxton when Mojo Rawley was lost and interrupted. Mojo made a short joke and Kayla backed away as Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura showed up to attack Shorty G. New Day evens up the odds and Teddy Long booked the six-man tag for later. Holla Holla
Our next match is the rematch from last week between Sonya Deville and Lacey Evans. The match started off hard hitting and we get a mid-match ref bump to switch out refs. That’s different. The match continues with a new ref and they picked up right where they left off. Sonya Deville is doing some of her best work right now and I never would have guessed she would be the better star of the Fire and Desire break up. Mandy will likely do better in the long run, but Sonya is really on fire right now. Sonya just needs a better gimmick than “I hate blondes” and she can really go far. The finish comes with Mandy popping up on the video wall to distract Sonya to eat a Woman’s Right for a Lacey win. This was a really good match with a flat ending. I expect another rematch and Sonya getting her win back.
Braun Strowman was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton and Miz was shown holding a controller. He pushed the button and Kayla got slimed Nickelodeon style. Poor Kayla. Miz and Morrison argued over the placement of the slime, as it was intended for Braun instead. Kayla stormed off pissed and Braun was super angry about it.
Renee Young was in the ring to host a face to face between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles ahead of their Intercontinental Title match next week. We get great dueling promos from each on their vision as Intercontinental Champion. Bryan would be a fighting champion while AJ would not be giving handouts. The focus then turns to Drew Gulak and AJ in a roundabout way challenged Gulak to a match after the break. Gulak comes out and clocks AJ to throw us to break.
Back from break, the match starts and AJ plays the overconfident heel role. The match was entertaining but short. Gulak caught AJ in a bridging pin for the victory. That was very surprising. They had a really good match and I expect a rematch at some point. Hopefully, they will be given more time next time.
Miz and Morrison were shown in the parking lot not leaving well enough alone and smashing the windshield on Strowman’s car. Maybe they will be smart and leave now before Strowman comes outside?
Six man tag action is next and I was worried that they were going to put Mojo in the main event. We get a really good tag match and I don’t know why Cesaro and Nakamura aren’t used as a serious tag team. The division could really use the boost and Sami Zayn isn’t going to be around for awhile so it’ll give them something meaningful to do. Mojo got tagged in and I was afraid he was going over after the Hyper Drive slam on Shorty G but, alas, he was just there to eat the pin from New Day. At least give Shorty G the pin, he could have used it more than New Day, but it was on Mojo, so it’s not like it was a meaningful win or anything. At least Cesaro and Nakamura didn’t take the fall. They’ve lost enough as it is.
Strowman comes outside and sees that his windshield is smashed. He asked security where they were and he pointed out the van. Miz and Morrison lock themselves in it, forgetting that the van is lighter than an ambulance. Strowman defends Kayla’s honor and flips the van over with Miz and Morrison “inside”. Let’s hope they got the accident coverage on the rental.
Main event time as Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defend the Women’s Tag Team titles against Sasha Banks and Bayley. The match was really good as both teams meshed well. We planted the seeds of dissension as Bayley broke up the Bank Statement to put Nikki in a submission that was countered into a near fall. Sasha then tags back in and rolled up Nikki for the three count to capture the tag titles again. I was surprised that we had a title change as Alexa and Nikki were feuding with the Iiconics over the titles, which makes me wonder why the Iiconics were brought back in the first place. Anyway, it looks like we are going to do the Sasha/Bayley split story they wanted to do three years ago.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows:
Sonya Deville continues to impress me. I would have figured she was going to be the Jannetty of the Fire and Desire break up but she’s really showing that she is really good in the ring and on the mic. I’m really happy for her and let’s hope she can keep the momentum up.
I can’t wait to see the Bryan/Styles IC title match next week. I’m not sure who I am going to go with yet, but it is going to be an outstanding match.
The Miz and Morrison Jackass style spots were not really that entertaining. Poor Kayla Braxton ended up getting slimed and swearing, but she took it like a real trooper though. Miz and Morrison must have missed the Raw episode where Strowman flipped the ambulance over and their van would be no match.
Why was Mojo Rawley in a meaningful TV match?
Stay safe my friends.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.