Welcome to the Smackdown Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Tampa. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We kick off the show from not Tampa Bay, FL with Promo Time with Sasha Banks. Banks laughed at how easy it was to fool Bianca Belair into not thinking she was going to turn heel on her so soon. Smackdown Women’s Champ Bianca Belair came out ready to fight Banks, since she (Banks) was begging Belair to pick her to main event WrestleMania. Great line by Pat McAfee to Banks about how nice it was up on the announce table as he helped her up on it. McAfee had to sit in the corner so he wasn’t all up in Banks. Zelina Vega then stormed out demanding credibility. Belair said she’ll see Banks at SummerSlam and Vega tonight. They had the Belair/Vega Women’s Title graphic all ready like they knew how the show was booked or something.
Our opening match was Dominik Mysterio taking on Jey Uso in one on one action. This feud is perfect for the Smackdown opener, as you know they will not disappoint. We get another good match from them and you can see how well Dominik is picking things up from wrestling the Usos. The 50/50 Booking Monster rears his head and gives the Usos the win this week. It was a predictable outcome, given Rey’s pre-match pep talk, but it does not hurt this feud. I’ll expect an entertaining tag team title rematch at SummerSlam.
Rick Boogs is up next to play King Nakamura to the ring for his Champions Contenders Match against Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews. The match barely got into gear when Commander Azeez didn’t understand the rules of these matches and caused a quick DQ. I’m guessing that means Nakamura earned his title match for SummerSlam then?
Paul Heyman was backstage complaining to Kayla Braxton about how John Cena got his title match when Mr. Money in the Bank and Tampa’s favorite son, Big E, popped in to remind Heyman that he’s lurking in the background. I would love to see Big E cash in and become champion, but I think that he is going to cash in on Lashley instead of Reigns. It’s just a feeling I’ve got for now.
Tegan Nox got her first name back before facing Tamina next. With the Women’s Tag Titles in a holding pattern due to Natalya’s injury, Nox picks up the win in another super short match after Shotzi (still not Blackheart) fired the tank missile into the ring because why not? She was there with the tank anyway. Natalya needs to heal up so Shotzi and Tegan can win the tag titles before the Jello gives out in Tegan’s knees again. I really love Tegan and wish her all the success in the world, but she’s gotta be on injury watch.
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville informed Zelina Vega that Vince McMahon just changed his mind and she won’t be getting a title match tonight. I do expect her to get a title match at some point because who else is there heel-wise? Carmella again?
Promo Time with Edge is up next. Edge said that Seth Rollins was not here tonight so he appeared “via satellite” in a terrible butterfly suit. Edge said that Rollins thinks he might be Jesus, he’s no Chinstrap Jesus. Since Rollins couldn’t finish what he started in 2014, Edge is going to finish off Edge Lite at SummerSlam. This was a great promo to make the SummerSlam challenge for our first time ever match. It’s going to be a fantastic match and I don’t know who to pick yet.
Tag team action is up next with the Street Profits taking on Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. This should have been a great match, but they were given a Three Minute Raw Special instead. How exactly does Montez Ford get so freaking high with that frog splash? Anyway, the Street Profits pulled out the win to line themselves up next for the Usos after SummerSlam.
Zelina Vega’s match with Bianca Belair is up next and Belair did her best to make Vega look good. The end result or the Sasha Banks appearance was never in doubt here. Vega needs to be booked in some matches that result in victories, however, the only face right now in the singles on Smackdown is Liv Morgan, who also needs wins. As much as I hate to suggest it, perhaps they need a 50/50 feud. Anyway, Belair picked up the victory while being, surprisingly, booked as a strong champion. That’s a rarity nowadays.
Baron Corbin gets to main event Smackdown against Finn Balor. Unlike SummerSlam 2018, Balor came out as himself and not The Demon. This match went a little longer but the outcome was still the same. After disposing of Corbin quickly, Balor hung out in the ring to see if Roman would come out.
The “Head of the Table” Roman Reigns graces us with his presence for Promo Time. Reigns said he was done talking about last week and was going to move on. Balor knocked Reigns out of the ring so the Usos could beat him up. Balor rallied back, disposing of the Usos and challenged Reigns again. The quick scuffle was broken up by the Usos again and the 3 on 1 is on. Jey hit a really awesome twisting Uso Splash on Balor before Reigns put Balor down with the Guillotine Choke to close out the show leaving us with more questions than answers. Why did we have to see the same old tired 3 on 1 beat down? Where were the Mysterios? John Cena? How about Big E?
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
Great promo from Edge and Rollins to set up their SummerSlam match. I wonder if the 2014 angle was intentionally left open for a future feud between these two? If so, great planning. If not, we still have material to draw from. I’m really looking forward to this match.
I get why they did it, but did we really need the 3 on 1 beatdown to close the show? It just felt so repetitive in a Roman Reigns feud so far this year. Why not have the Mysterios take out the Usos and have Big E wander out with the Money in the Bank briefcase and a ref? We all know that Roman/Cena is the SummerSlam main event, but it could have added to the story that Reigns overlooked the briefcase as a threat. Big E didn’t need to do anything but tease Reigns with a cash in. I think that would have been a better way to close the show out than the same old tired beatdown.
I would like to take a moment and say that I am excited about what’s to come here at TJRWrestling. I am so thankful to all of the readers here and to John for this opportunity.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.