OPENING SEGMENT: MIZTV
I’m sick of Miz. He’s obnoxious and I can’t stand the promotion for his sure-to-be-awful tv show. So he’s a heel, which means the point is to get booed, yet he’s also trying to get people to watch and like his new TV show? Miz sucks and whoever decided to give him a show is fucking stupid.
Miz does his agitator thing with Team Hell No. I feel like we’re being set up for a Kane heel turn and a feud with Daniel Bryan. Then again, they may be too obviously planting the seeds for it. Reverse psychology. Or is that what they want me to think? OR… did they figure I’d think that, and are trying to swerve that thought? Or are they swerving that swerve…. I forgot who I’m talking about. Anyway, it’s very intriguing and they’re booking it well, making it so that we really have no idea if Kane will turn on Daniel Bryan or not.
We get the Bludgeons, SAnitY, and New Day in a brawl that will likely turn into a 10-man tag match tonight. The heels demolish the faces. That was a damn impressive opening.
Segment Rating: Eight This Is Your Lifes
Well what do you know? Back from break they announce a 10-man tag match, playa.
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA VS. AJ STYLES
Is Shinsuke gonna be out of the WWE title picture for the foreseeable future? I could see him as US Champion, I don’t think that would be a bad idea. They don’t want to overdo Shinsuke vs. AJ because then it won’t feel special. Hopefully after this match they take a break from each other for a while. It really doesn’t make sense to position Rusev as a heel and still have him and Aiden egg on the crowd to chant Rusev Day. If they keep it up he’ll be another Miz. That’s not the type of heel we need, especially in the main event against AJ Styles.
Lots of kicks in the ring. Love it. Shinsuke is so deliberate with his moves now, and it really fits his character. Every move he does is like a taunt to the crowd. However, the crowd is still split with their chants. I’m not sure what else Nakamura has to do to get booed. Unfortunately you have a large portion of the fan base that just want to go against the grain.
Rusev is just ok on commentary. He came off really corny for most of it but later in the match he got better. Aiden gets himself punched in the face by AJ, then eats a Kinshasa when AJ ducks. Rusev makes sure we don’t get a clean finish, which is probably the smart way to end the match, as neither AJ nor Nakamura should lose clean going into Sunday. Jeff Hardy comes out to a huge crowd reaction and it looks like we may get another tag match. Right on cue Paige comes out to make the announcement. SmackDown Live is once again becoming the land of the tag team matches.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA & RUSEV VS. JEFF HARDY & AJ SYTLES
Back from break Rusev is beating up on Styles. He’s supremely confident heading into Extreme Rules, and it has to put some doubt in AJ’s mind since Rusev has gotten the best of him recently. Rusev’s physical domination so far in this match certainly can’t help AJ’s mindset. Rusev is certainly a viable contender but I don’t see him being the one to dethrone AJ. Styles is the flag bearer of SD Live and should have a huge title match at SummerSlam. I don’t see AJ vs. a champion Rusev as a SummerSlam match.
Some chaotic action in the ring ends with Rusev hitting a Machka Kick on Jeff Hardy to give the heels the win. Jeff was the smart choice to take the pin in this match and it was better to give Rusev, the #1 contender for the top title, the win over the “lesser” champion. Jeff didn’t do much but I’ve heard he’s been wrestling injured. That’s another reason I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shinsuke take the title and give Jeff some time off to heal. Pretty good match tonight and well-booked.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
LUMBERJACK MATCH: JAMES ELLSWORTH VS. ASUKA
I’m very interested to see if the heel women team up against Asuka in this match or if they all beat on Ellsworth. Carmella is the best heel on SmackDown, man or woman. It’s so easy to hate her and want to see her get her face punched repeatedly. Ellsworth is the same way, especially with his dichotomy of his misogynistic remarks and his submission to Carmella. Is Phillips going to make a Major League II reference every week? If he is, I’m totally ok with that.
They drag out the start of the match before Asuka finally gets her hands, or feet and ass, on Ellsworth. The heels turn on Ellsworth as well and I love it. The lumberjacks start fighting each other as Ellsworth tries to escape, but Becky Lynch and Naomi make sure he doesn’t get away. He tries to spray her in the face with something Carmella hands him, but Asuka fucks him up and makes him tap.
After the match he sprays Asuka in the eyes and Carmella kicks her right in the face. Carmella stands tall. Again.
I won’t rank the match because it really sucked. The moves were sloppy as hell. I’ll rank the booking of Asuka, Carmella, and Ellsworth, which I say was really good through gritted teeth because I REALLY REALLY REALLY want Asuka to snap Carmella in half. That means they’ve done a really good job of building the anticipation for Sunday when Asuka finally gets Carmella one-on-one again.
Booking Rating: Seven Dustys
Kane quoted *NSYNC, and I’m embarrassed that I recognized it before they acknowledged it.
Ellsworth is going to be suspended in a shark cage. That is awesome.
SIN CARA VS. ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS W/ZELINA VEGA
Almas is finally wrestling someone actually on the roster and should get a quality win here. Sin Cara gets in some offense impressive offense but it only seems to frustrate Almas, who definitely has the more powerful and effective attack. Sin Cara hit an awesome reverse hurricanrana faceplant move. I thought there might be an upset when Sin Cara reversed Cien’s hammerlock DDT into a small package. It wouldn’t be an awful idea to have Sin Cara beat an overconfident Almas and then have one or two rematches. But that’s not the case here as Almas pulls himself together and hits some nice corner moves for the win. Hopefully it’s not a month before his next match.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
SAnitY and the Bludgeon Brothers together is damn scary.
NEW DAY & TEAM HELL NO VS. SAnitY & THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS
Lots of power moves and rest holds from the Bludgeon Brothers as they decimate Xavier Woods. Daniel Bryan gets tagged in and knocks around Eric Young, as everybody else but Kane seems to have disappeared to the outside somewhere. We get every wrestler coming into the ring to hit their finishers, then Killian Dain murders Kofi Kingston on the outside with a cross body. Big E takes out Dain with a massive collision, leaving DB to hit Eric Young with the Knee Plus to give the faces the win.
There wasn’t as much action as I was hoping for in this match but we did get some moments of calamity and chaos that made it somewhat entertaining. Overall nothing special, and certainly not great for a main event.
Match Rating: Four Gold Medals
Though the main event was the weakest part of the show, the show was still very good overall.
Overall Show Rating: Seven Gold Medals