COMMENTATORS: Michael Cole & Corey Graves
This week on SmackDown we’ve Intercontinental Title action as Shinsuke Nakamura defends against Roman Reigns…but that isn’t the last we saw of them. Also on the show Hot Topic Bayley explains her actions on Miz TV, Drew Gulak brings back his PowerPoint presentations, and much more!
- WWE CHAMPION: Brock Lesnar
- WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: Shinsuke Nakamura
- SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPION: Bayley
- SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
- Shinsuke Nakamura [c] vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (***)
- Shorty Gable vs. Curtis Axel (NR)
- The New Day & Heavy Machinery vs. The Revival, Dolph Ziggler, & Robert Roode (**)
- SIX PACK CHALLENGE: Nikki Cross vs. Dana Brooke vs. Carmella vs. Lacey Evans vs. Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose (*3/4)
- Braun Strowman vs. Drew Gulak (NR)
- Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & King Corbin (**1/4)
Shinsuke Nakamura [c] [w/ Sami Zayn] vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
WWE isn’t wasting this week, hot damn. This should be a good one too, I’m not sure they’ve ever met before. Sami Zayn rocking out during Nak’s theme is ALL OF US.
Zayn is on commentary for this one. Nakamura buries some lethal knees to the side of Reigns’ head followed by a kneedrop across the back of the neck. Reigns catches a charging Nakamura with a kick, counters an Irish whip, and belts the champ with a back elbow. Nakamura counters a backdrop with a kick, Reigns responds with a right hand and Samoan Drop for the first two-count of the contest. Zayn leaves the commentary table to check on his friend, pulling Nakamura out of the way of a Drive By. Nakamura follows up with a kick as we go to commercial.
Nakamura has Reigns in a sleeper as we return from the break. Zayn is now back on commentary, calling himself a “liberator” not a business partner. Cool. I bet he had a Fight Club poster in his dorm room. Reigns gets to his feet and connects with a string of elbows, Nakamura flies right into an uppercut. Nakamura reverses an Irish whip, Reigns drops him with a leaping clothesline. Nakamura counters a Superman Punch with a cross armbreaker, transitioning into a triangle choke. Reigns muscles him up and escapes with a sit-out power bomb for the 1…2…Nakamura barely kicks out and Zayn damn near has a heart attack. Zayn leaves commentary again to distract Reigns from the apron. Nakamura takes advantage with a kick to the back of the neck followed by a sliding snap German. NOICE. Nakamura signals for the Kinshasa, Reigns belts him with a Superman Punch for the 1…2…Nakamura JUST gets his shoulder up. Reigns sets up for the spear but out comes King Corbin to hit him from behind with his scepter! Booo.
Roman Reigns defeated Shinsuke Nakamura [c] via DQ; Shinsuke Nakamura retains the WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (8:21 shown)
- I was really liking this one until the finish, but hey at least Nakamura gets to hang onto the Intercontinental Championship a little longer. Unfortunately this also seems to set up a Reigns/Corbin match which I very much do not give a damn about. (***)
Corbin continues the attack, drilling Reigns with a Deep Six. Daniel Bryan shows up to even the odds, sending Corbin to the floor and flooring Nakamura with a missile dropkick. Bryan wants to do a tope suicida, Zayn grabs the leg. He hangs on long enough for Nakamura to knock him out with a running knee. Corbin, Zayn, and Nakamura leave with their heads held high.
–The New Day are in the locker room singing. They are interrupted by Tucker of Heavy Machinery, complete with a…table? Tucker wants to create some team comraderie ahead of Crown Jewel. Otis has pancake mix, Tucker throws a whole lot of protein powder in it. The New Day don’t want none so Otis drinks it up and gets it all up in his beard.
- SOMEONE GIVE BIG E A SINGLES TITLE ALREADY.
–Kayla Braxton stops King Corbin backstage for some post-attack comments. Corbin puts his crown on and walks off. I guess not.
-VIDEO: Chad Gable is now SHORTY GABLE. He’s OWNING the mocking so it’s FINE. I hate all of this so so much.
Shorty Gable vs. Curtis Axel [w/ Bo Dallas]
I feel like I haven’t seen Curtis Axel wrestle in a goddamn decade. Gable in control early, Dallas gets involved to give his B-Team partner the edge including a PERFECT neck snap for a two-count. Gable drops Dallas with a kick and takes Axel to the mat with a drop toehold into the Ankle Lock for the tap.
Shorty Gable defeated Curtis Axel via submission (1:56)
- I HATE IT. (NR)
Interviewer gets some comments from Shorty Gable. Gable says his height makes him who he is, and in life it’s okay to be exactly who you are. He’s embracing who he is and not letting the bullying get to him…outside of changing his name and forcing himself to say he’s cool with it. He’s SHORTY GABLE…actually now he’s SHORTY G. Ughhhhhh.
- Gable’s promo was really good and he did a good job explaining the name change. I understand the message WWE is trying to send with this and I appreciate the positivity. BUT I STILL HATE IT.
-CROWN JEWEL NEWS: Seth Rollins is no longer on Team Hogan as he’s now defending the Universal Title against The Fiend. Hogan and Flair are jaw jacking on Twitter and working themselves into a shoot.
–Hulk Hogan joins in via Skype for an interview with Cole and Graves. Hogan tells them not to even worry about who he has on Team Hogan. Cole asks who is going to join Rusev and Ricochet, Hogan says he will announce who his new team captain will be by the end of the night. NO THANKS.
The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) & Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker) [w/ Kofi Kingston] vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder), Dolph Ziggler, & Robert Roode
All of these teams are competing in the LARGEST TAG TEAM TURMOIL MATCH IN HISTORY at Crown Jewel in two weeks. Gross.
Ziggler connects with a dropkick on Tucker, Tucker dropkicks back, and Heavy Machinery hit stereo suplexes on Ziggler & Roode. Big E & Tucker wish bone Ziggler, then hit belly-to-belly suplexes on The Revival. Woods tags in and connects with a tope con hilo. Woods charges at Roode, Roode drills him on the floor as we go to commercial. SmackDown will be on FS1 next Friday night, apparently, for baseball reasons.
Back live as Woods tries to fight out of a chinlock from Wilder, successfully creating separation with a belly-to-back suplex. Dawson tags in and intercepts Woods into the heel corner. Woods fights out and drops Dawson with a step-up enzuigiri. Woods tries to make the tag, Ziggler and Roode pull Otis and Big E off the apron. Plan doesn’t work though as Woods still kicks out of a pinfall attempt after some teamwork from The Revival. Ziggler tags in, Woods blocks a Superplex and headbutts him to the canvas. Woods follows up with a missile dropkick and both men are dazed. Otis gets the (legit) hot tag and wrecks all sorts of heels. Otis no-sells Roode’s strikes with some gyrating and connects with a headbutt. Otis throw Roode and Ziggler around, Dawson gets the blind tag but eats a clothesline. Otis splashes Roode in the corner and connects with the Catapiller elbow. Dawson flies, Otis catches him. Ziggler pulls Tucker out and Wilder helps Dawson drop the big man for the 1…2…no! Tucker drops Wilder and Ziggler on the floor, Otis easily blocks a suplex attempt. Big E tags in and grabs Dawson from Otis’ arms, Woods tags in and they hit a Big Ending/DDT combo for the win.
The New Day & Heavy Machinery defeated The Revival, Dolph Ziggler, & Robert Roode (7:24 shown)
- They had a whole ass other team to take the pin but nah The Revival are the ones who lose the match. Right on. They’re only the champions, no need for them to ever prove they deserve it or anything. Gripe aside this was entertaining for what it was, Heavy Machinery is winning me over, likely due to that New Day shine. I automatically like anyone associated with them at least a little. (**1/2)
-BREAKING NEWS: Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan take on Shinsuke Nakamura & King Corbin tonight!
-Kayla Braxton introduces her guest: Daniel Bryan. Bryan doesn’t care about being beaten up, Twitter beefs, and Draft whining. What he IS excited about is making is Fox debut tonight. YEAH BOY.
–Bayley is skulking around backstage and has ALL OF THE MAKEUP on. Miz TV next!
-VIGNETTE: Ali has an insane desire to shred labels and break down barriers. He has a light up glove and a cool light-up Sub Zero mask. He also has a heart apparently. Cool cool. That wasn’t bad.
IN-RING SEGMENT: MIZ TV
The Miz welcomes his guest, the SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley…joined by her best friend Sasha Banks. Bayley’s new theme slaps. I dig it a lot. Also does The Miz just not want to do anything meaningful in WWE anymore now that he has a hit reality show and kids? He just seems so…unnecessary to things now and that sucks. Bayley has caked on the makeup and is wearing RIPPED JEANS because she is TOUGH and MEAN now. That’s great. Miz is surprised to see Banks here, despite there being a seat ready for her. Banks hypes Bayley as the first-ever Grand Slam (women’s) champion. Cut to a video highlighting Bayley’s transformation and title win last week. Back live Miz asks her why she did this, Bayley says she doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. Miz goes “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS” and Bayley just shrugs. Banks makes fun of Miz being drafted low (WHO CARES), Miz shrugs it off because it’s a stupid insult.
Bayley says she slashed the Bayley Buddies because that’s how people saw her, a bubbly person there to make them happy. No one saw what she really wanted to be: a ROLE MODEL, and “THESE PEOPLE” weren’t there for her like she has been for them. I’m pretty sure you would’ve called the cops if they were, Bayley. Bayley says the Women’s division lacks desire and passion, and has some inspirational words: life sucks and then you die. SHE’S SERIOUSLY SUPPOSED TO BE A REBELLIOUS TEEN RIGHT, NOT LIKE A LEGITIMATELY EVIL HEEL?
Nikki Cross interrupts Bayley’s edgelord bullsh*t and says the time is talking is done and the time for action is NOW. Cross tells Bayley to make herself comfortable and when she wins she will give Bayley a big hug. Dana Brooke is out next to plead her case. Her passion and desire is fueled by being underutilized and overlooked, but tonight marks a new beginning. The Flex Appeal is here. Lacey Evans interrupts THAT but it’s just an entrance. I guess everyone doesn’t wanna talk. I’m okay with this.
- Bayley’s heel turn is going to be the funniest sh*t on this show for awhile. I hope they shoot vignettes of her and Banks going to Hot Topic to pick out Invader Zim hoodies or whatever. I don’t know what kids are into these days. Pez dispensers?
#1 CONTENDER’S MATCH
SIX PACK CHALLENGE
Nikki Cross vs. Dana Brooke vs. Lacey Evans vs. Carmella vs. Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose
Rose and Deville control the ring, Rose with a delayed vertical suplex on Carmella. Deville follows with a sliding knee and tries to cover but Carmella rolls to the floor to avoid it. Cross runs in and gets worked over by Fire & Desire. Cross fights back as best she can but the damned numbers game and all that. Cross rolls out, Fire & Desire leave the ring to beat up Carmella, throwing her into the timekeeper’s area. Brooke lays them out, Evans then drops Brooke. Carmella splashes Evans, Deville, and Rose from the barricade as we go to commercial.
Back live with Fire & Desire still beating up Carmella, this time in the ring. Apparently there was a triple suplex during the break. Coolest move of the match and we didn’t even get to see in real-time. Carmella fights back and the duo bail to the floor. Cross runs in and whips Carmella, who turns it into a tope suicida on the heels. Brooke beats on some folk, Cross with a flying crossbody on Brooke, Deville, & Rose. Evans sends Cross into the ring steps and rolls Brooke in for a two-count. Brooke connects with a sit-out power bomb and follows up with a Swanton for the 1…2…Carmella and Rose break the count. Rose slaps Carmella, Carmella slaps back, and a good ol’ brawl breaks out. Rose with a jackknife cover, Carmella counters with the Cone of Silence until it’s broken up. People run in and get kicked/kneed, Cross hits a spinning neckbreaker on Rose for the 1…2…3.
Nikki Cross defeated Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Carmella, Lacey Evans, & Dana Brooke (6:00 shown)
- A big ol’ mess of a match that had a couple of cool spots but didn’t really ever achieve any coherency. I did like seeing non-Four Horsewomen competing for a shot at the championship though. No shade at the big four, but the women’s division DESPERATELY needs some new blood in there. (*3/4)
-MATCH FLO: Braun Strowman beats people up and breaks stuff.
-FEUD RECAP: Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend. Rollins is on RAW, Fiend is on SmackDown, but this feud is still going. Brand split my BUNS. Hopefully this gets dropped after the Saudi blood show. I wonder what The Fiend is going to be doing on SmackDown, to be honest. Who can he feud with? Shorty G?
-BRAAAAAAAAUN makes his way out to the ring. Clip of the contract signing between BRAAAAAAUN and Tyson Fury. Braun broke a table, Fury sort-of broke a pen.
Braun Strowman vs. Drew Gulak
Strowman charges, Gulak hides in the ropes and grabs a mic. Gulak says this is his debut on SmackDown and wants to properly introduce himself. Gulak calls himself a combat sports historian and says if Braun does his usual shtick then Tyson Fury is going to knock him out cold on Crown Jewel. Gulak has gone to the trouble of creating 345 slides in his POWERPOINT PRESENTATION to show him how he can win. Braun attacks Gulak instead, throwing him around the ring. Gulak punches Braun, Braun headbutts him out of the ring and bowls him over, landing RIGHT ON THE POOR GUY. Running Powerslam wins it.
Braun Strowman defeated Drew Gulak via pinfall (3:08)
- Gulak’s Powerpoints have returned! That was pretty funny. I’m glad he’s on one of the “main” shows now. This was whatever though, hyping a match I’m not going to see on a show I don’t care is happening. I will take Braun’s side in this match though, ain’t nobody wanna sit through a Powerpoint presentation. (NR)
Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & King Corbin [w/ Sami Zayn]
Reigns is announced as the new captain of Team Hogan at Crown Jewel during his entrance. Guys people are cheering him, why are you trying to get this dude booed again?
Reigns beats on Corbin at the start, Bryan tags in and connects with a trio of corner dropkicks followed by a bulldog. YES Kicks, Corbin ducks the head kick and Nakamura tags in. YESSSS GIMME ALL OF THIS RIGHT NOW. Bryan and Nakamura trade strikes, the former buries a knee to the latter’s midsection. Bryan to the middle buckle, Zayn distracts him, and Nakamura sends him to the floor with a kick. Heels in control as we go to commercial.
Back live Corbin connects with Deep Six on Bryan for the 1…2…kickout. Nakamura tags in, Bryan flips out of a double suplex attempt and sends Corbin shoulder-first into the LED post. Bryan does his backflip/running clothesline thing, Corbin pulls Reigns off the apron and into the steps to prevent the tag. Nakamura with a heel kick followed by a sliding knee for the 1…2…Bryan kicks out. Bryan ducks a clothesline and hits a baseball kick to Corbin followed by the LeBell Lock on Nakamura. Corbin breaks it up and goes a stompin’. Corbin slides out of the ring, Reigns drops him with a Superman Punch from the steps followed by a spear through the barricade in the timekeeper’s area. Bryan goes for the Busaiku Knee, Nakamura hits a knee. Bryan dodges the Kinshasa and hits the Busaiku Knee for the 1…2…3!
Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan defeated Shinsuke Nakamura & King Corbin via pinfall (6:11 shown)
- Daniel Bryan is fun to watch 24/7 so this ruled on that alone, plus seeing him duke it out with Nakamura was great. I could take or leave Reigns and Corbin. I really like Daniel Bryan turning face and still leaving the YES stuff behind; instead he modified his “New” persona to make it more fan-friendly and I appreciate that. The crowd being confused on if they can still chant “YES!” is pretty funny too. (**1/4)
Reigns and Bryan shake hands as the show ends.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Nothing on tonight’s SmackDown was overtly bad but it all just felt…unnecessary. The Draft is over, this holding pattern stuff should be over with but I guess we’ll have to wait until Crown Jewel. At least Daniel Bryan and The New Day are still around to do entertaining stuff.