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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (5/15/18)

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Two of SmackDown's best are not done with each other yet!

SmackDown comes to London with a #Mellabration! The Princess of Staten Island vows to outdo the Royal Wedding with a party in her own honor. Will anyone crash the party? Plus, the Phenomenal One and the King of Strong Style will determine their stipulation for their Money in the Bank WWE Championship rematch!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Tag Match: The New Day VS The Bar; The New Day wins and chooses ??? to join the Men’s MITB Ladder Match.
  • Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Jake Constantino; Almas wins.
  • Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Triple Threat: Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose VS Sonya Deville; Becky wins and joins the Women’s MITB Ladder Match.
  • AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Nakamura wins and will choose the stipulation for their WWE Championship match at MITB next week.

PLAY BY PLAY

Renee Young introduces Daniel Bryan!

The Goat has the O2 giving a standing ovation of “YES! YES!” as he heads to the ring. Bryan won at Wrestlemania, was impressive in the Greatest Royal Rumble match, and won at Backlash. However, Big Cass would beat him up and Rusev would shut him out of the Money in the Bank match. Fans have not stopped chanting, by the way. Bryan wants those at home to “Feel that! Fell ALL of that!” Was Bryan disappointed? Sure. Does he like losing? Does anyone like losing? “NO! NO!” When Bryan made his return, he was just happy to be back doing what he loves. “But now, it’s not enough to be back.” Bryan wants to do more than just be back, he wants to be on top! Bryan will fight and climb and scratch and claw for it all. And before it’s all over, Bryan will be WWE Champion!

But Big Cass says to “Hold on.” The Human Skyscraper, who was a “Cass-Hole” of a sore loser at Backlash, says that he was just listening to Bryan run his mouth, “and I am sick of it.” Bryan may have fooled the fans into drinking the Kool-Aid, but not Cass. Bryan feeds the fans “heart-warming” crap! Cass knows the truth about Bryan. Renee brought up Rusev’s win Bryan’s “first major setback”, but Cass disagrees. Cass was his setback, was the reason Bryan lost and will be why Bryan keeps losing. Cass will make sure Bryan never achieves his dreams again. He admits he loss, but he only tapped out to then beat “the holy hell” out of Bryan. And he did! Cass beat Bryan down, and will continue to beat him down, and his 7 foot shadow will follow Bryan all over the WWE.

Sure, Bryan lasted 75 minutes in the GRR, wow~! But what happened when Cass showed up? Cass booted Bryan, eliminated him, and proved to us all that “Daniel Bryan is a loser.” Bryan should’ve let that little guy from Montreal take his place, because he at least took that beating with dignity? Cass asks if Bryan is a loser. Fans say “No! No!” but Cass says “YES!” Should Bryan have stayed retired? “YES!” Should Bryan let Brie “wear the pants” in the family? “YES!” Cass drops then mic then heads to the ring. He stands across from Bryan, but Bryan doesn’t back down. The fans support Bryan while Cass climbs inside. Cass mocks “YES!” but Bryan fires off!

Bryan goes at the legs, then throws more right hands and kicks! Fans are fired up as Bryan pulls on the leg with the ropes. Bryan doesn’t let up, even as he has Cass on the mat! Referees appear to stop Bryan from beating Cass down. Cass stands up and hobbles, but Bryan comes around from the outside! Bryan slings Cass’ leg into the post! And then again! Bryan backs off again, but then gives Cass a chop block! He grabs that leg, for a heel hook! Cass shouts in pain and even taps out, but it doesn’t do a thing with this being a fight and not a match! The referees order Bryan to let go, but Bryan doesn’t let go until he’s satisfied. Fans cheer while Cass retreats to the back. Cass has incurred the wrath of The Goat, will he regret ever trying to bully Bryan?

 

The Miz is in London!

The Most Must-See Superstar is already one of SmackDown’s Money in the Bank entrants, and is himself a past winner of the contract. He joins commentary to have a front row look at who will join him and The Bulgarian Lion in that match.

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Tag Match: The New Day VS The Bar!

Awwwwwww, London~! While this may be a tag team match, it will help at least one man get into the Men’s MITB Ladder Match. Xavier Woods managed to beat the Celtic Warrior with the help of Big E & Kofi Kingston, but that same help backfired against the Swiss Cyborg. Will “ya boys” The New Day or The Bar break the tie in their favor?

The bell rings and Woods starts against Cesaro. Cesaro lunges but Woods ducks under to SUPERKICK Sheamus off the apron! Then he counters Cesaro to throw chops and haymakers. Cesaro reverses the whip but Woods ducks under again to rock him with a roaring elbow. Woods takes aim at Sheamus, then builds speed to FLY! Woods takes out Sheamus, then gives shade to Miz before hitting Cesaro with a slingshot jump kick! Cover, TWO, but Woods keeps on Cesaro. Cesaro suplexes but Woods slips out, then Woods ducks and runs for a wheelbarrow. Cesaro blocks it with strength, then brings Woods up and over. Sheamus tags in, Cesaro adjusts, and Sheamus adds a double ax handle to the back suplex. Cover, TWO, but The Bar is in control. Sheamus rocks Woods then tags in Cesaro, and The Bar double whip for the Bar Lariat.

Woods rolls away while The Bar brags and we go picture in picture. Cesaro pushes Woods off the apron, then distracts the ref so Sheamus can get a cheap shot. Big E protests but the referee keeps him back. Cesaro tags Sheamus, and Sheamus fetches Woods to rock him with a European Uppercut. Sheamus puts Woods in the ring, then drives a knee in for the keylock. He keeps Woods on the mat, but Woods feeds off the energy from the fans. Woods stands up, and fights back, but Sheamus shoves and catches him into the Irish Curse backbreaker! Cover, TWO, but Sheamus drags Woods back over. Cessaro tags in, and taunts the New Day as he brings Woods up. Woods fights back, but Cesaro whips him away to knock him down with a back elbow. Cover, TWO, so it’s back to the chinlock.

Woods endures while The New Day and fans rally. Woods stands up but Cesaro tags in Sheamus. Sheamus kicks Woods and The Bar whip Woods for Super Saiyan Kicks! The Bar embraces the heat while stomping Woods. Sheamus tags Cesaro, and Cesaro swaggers about. Woods rolls him up, TWO, and Cesaro puts the chinlock back on. He brings Woods back to the mat, but Woods feeds off a new rally. Woods stands up, hits a jawbreaker, but Sheamus tags in to knock Big E down. Woods ducks Sheamus, but there’s no one to tag. Sheamus rocks him with a bicycle knee, then brings him back over to tag in Cesaro. Cesaro climbs up while we go single picture, and drops the elbow into the backbreaker. Cover, TWO, so Cesaro chokes Woods against the ropes. Sheamus gets another cheap shot, Cesaro covers, TWO.

Fans rally for the New Day again, and Woods fights back. Woods backs Cesaro down, but Cesaro whips him to ropes. Woods throws Cesaro out of the ring! Big E returns, and Woods crawls over for the hot tag! Sheamus tags in, but Big E is upon him with belly2belly suplexes! Big E slams Sheamus down, then swivels the hips. He runs for the Big Splash, but into knees! Sheamus runs in but Big E throws him down, covers, TWO. Big E and the fans rally with New Day claps, but Cesaro dsitracts and Sheamus rolls up. TWO, Cesaro tags in. Big E scoops Sheamus but Cesaro saves him. The Bar double mule kick and double DDT! Cover, TWO! Cesaro puts on the Sharpshooter!

Fans rally, and Woods returns, but Sheamus drags Woods out. Woods puts SHeamus into a post, then saves Big E. Both Big E and Cesaro head for corners, Cesaro runs into an elbow. Woods tags in, Tornado DDT! Cover, TWO!! Woods stands up and brings Cesaro up, but Cesaro throat chops. Cesaro runs but into the post, Woods hits the wheelbarrow facebuster. Sheamus breaks the pin, then brawls with Big E! Sheamus kicks and kicks, but Big E throws him out to then DIVE THROUGH HIM! They both go to the floor, and fans fire up as Woods climbs up. Woods hits the Springboard Elbow! New Day wins!

Winners: The New Day (Big E & Woods), Woods pinning; one member qualifies for the Men’s MITB match.

With one out of three going into this major ladder match, who will The New Day choose? Plus, with only one spot left in the match, who will be the final entrant from SmackDown?

 

The Bludgeon Brothers speak.

Harper & Rowan say that “Family is for the weak”, Usos. “Friendship is an abscess waiting to be pierced,” The Club and The Bar. “Joy is a disease,” New Day. “The Cure is to Bludgeon.” Time’s up for the SmackDown Tag Team Division, who will be purged first?

 

SmackDown GM Paige is in her office.

Yes, she would’ve loved to go to the Royal Wedding, but she didn’t get an invite. Carmella, no, no horse-drawn carriages. Just stop. But she’ll call Carmella back. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville are here, the “power trip” didn’t work. Mandy still won, and now she’s in the Women’s MITB– No, that wasn’t a qualifying match. It should’ve been. Relax, or you won’t get one at all. So then Mandy is getting one? But not Sonya? No they’re both getting one tonight. Against who? Becky Lynch. As a handicap match? They’re winning, obviously, right? No, it’s not a handicap match, it’s a triple threat. Only ONE woman qualifies, so good luck out there.

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

The Phenomenal One has a non-title rematch with Shinsuke Nakamura, winner chooses how their MITB match goes down. What will Styles choose if he wins? Styles doesn’t think it’ll be “if”, but “when” he wins. And it could be a scaffolding match, or a pole on a pole match. No wait, Bull Rope Hell in a Cell Inferno Match! Where the referee is Elvis, right? No, Renee, that’s silly. But it doesn’t matter what Styles chooses, it’ll be entertaining for everyone except the “Con Artist”. Nakamura can pretend not to know English, but Styles knows the international language of forearms to faces. It doesn’t matter where or when, Nakamura can’t win in the House that AJ Styles Built!

 

Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Jake Constantino!

El Idolo is FINALLY on SmackDown! The former NXT Champion has Lamaneca by his side even on the main roster as he goes against local boy, Jake Constantino. Will Almas’ Tranquilo style translate to the Blue Brand as successfully as it did to NXT?

The bell rings, and he ties up with Jake. Almas gest the waistlock but Jake the standing switch, but Almas elbows his way out. Vega likes what she sees, but then Jake dropkicks Almas down. Almas gets up and CHOPS Jake down. Almas puts Jak ein a corner and stomps a mudhole into him, with both feet. El Idolo grins, then pumps himself up. He runs corner to corner, for CIEN KNEES! But that’s not all, he brings Jake up for the Hammerlock DDT!

Cover, Almas wins!

Winner: Almas, by pinfall

An impressive victory in his debut, and he barely broke a sweat, too.

Zelina Vega speaks.

“This is SmackDown Live, huh?” She was expecting more. After all the anticipation, Almas finally arrives and they get some scrub? “Pathetic!” Just as pathetic as every superstar that thinks they can do what Almas can. “Our message is clear: We didn’t come to SmackDown Live to place nice. We came to TAKE OVER!” Will El Idolo take over SmackDown like he did NXT?

 

Rusev has his own room, thanks to Aiden English.

The Drama King tried to get a better room, but it’s London, “Home of the Pedestrian.” The food, the Rolling Stones, they’re overrated. Rusev will get satisfaction when he wins MITB. And English has a new song just for the occasion. But as he’s tuning up, Lana enters. Lana wishes English to save his voice, for a “Ravishing” new song. Lana vows to also win the Women’s MITB, because she’s going up against Billie Kay next week. She will CRUSH Billie, and together, they will be the first ever Mrs. & Mrs. MITB! Machka in the Bank will RULE SmackDown! On what day? On… RUSEV DAAAAAAY~!

 

Here ye, Here ye!

It’s time for the Royal Mellabration! The fair princess of Staten Island arrives. The very same princess who defeated Charlotte Flair twice to become the SmackDown Women’s Champion. “May God ignore the Queen, and God Save Carmella!” With pomp and circumstance, Carmella makes her entrance and heads to the ring.

She carefully positions her championship on the leopard print pillow before speaking. “Before I begin, I just wanted to give you all a little thrill.” She’ll give everyone the chance to show their love for her. She’s so nice, right? For the next 10 seconds or so, shower her with the praise as she deserves as the first Ms. MITB and now Women’s Champion. Ready, cheer! Nope, they boo and jeer. That doesn’t sit well with Carmella.

“You people will line up outside of a hospital” just to see a baby, but they won’t respect Carmella? No, they won’t. She is the Princess of Staten Island, and she commands them to bow down! Bow. Down!! These fans remind her of all the other women on SmackDown. None of them think she’s good enough or deserving of the title. But guess what, Not-So-Great Britain? #MellaIsMoney and #MellaIsChampion. That makes her better than them. Better than you, you, and definitely “be’er than you!” She’s better than Charlotte, than Becky Lynch, than Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey! She’s better than Trish Stratus AND Lita put together! Paige interrupts the party, and the fans love it!

London’s own Glampire walks to the ring, and Carmella assumes she’s here to teach the fans respect. No, but she is here to say it’s great to be home. Paige hears out the fans chant “This is Your House!” then gets to business. She knows Carmella thinks she’s better than everyone. That’s quite the proclamation. But Paige has a proclamatino of her own: Carmella’s opponent for Money in the Bank. Carmella insists she’s not defending at MITB, but Paige insists she is. Against… ASUKA!! The Empress of Tomorrow is in London, too! Carmella protests right in Paige’s ear, but it doesn’t change Paige’s mind. Asuka heads to the ring and stares Carmella down with that sinister grin.

Fans know “Asuka’s gonna kill~ you~”, so Carmella snags her belt and retreats. No words necessary for this, Carmella is fearful for her reign. Will the Empress dethrone the Princess to rebuild her empire?

 

Backstage interview with Shinsuke Nakamura.

The Rockstar hasn’t defeated AJ Styles yet, but tonight might change that. How does he feel about hsi chances? “What does ‘chance’ mean?” Nakamura clearly continues his “No Speak English” act, and then says that “chance” is the wrong word. It is a certainty that Nakamura will win. Styles will lose, and get a #Knee2Face, and then another and another and another, and so on and so forth. When Nakamura is done, Styles’ nose smashed, cheeks broken and face utterly gone, Nakamura will dishonor Styles, and take that title for his own.

 

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Triple Threat: Becky Lynch VS Mandy Rose VS Sonya Deville!

With Absolution broken up and the best friends set up against each other, will God’s Greatest Creation or the Gladiator Gal go on to join Charlotte, Ember Moon and Alexa Bliss in the ladder match? Or will the Lass Kicker beat two for the price of won and bring her #StraightFire to the match instead?

The bell rings, and clearly Becky is alone against Mandy & Sonya. She manages to fight them both off, then throw Mandy out. Becky puts Sonya in a corner with buckle bumps, then to another corner. Sonya reverses and toys with Becky before giving body shots. Becky dodges to jump kick Sonya back, but Mandy returns. The duo formerly known as Absolution beat Becky down, but fans are on Becky’s side. Mandy scoops and slams Becky, then Sonya rams in a knee to the ribs. Mandy turns on Sonya with a roll up, ONE! The friends aren’t so friendly while we go picture in picture. Becky rolls Sonya but Many breaks the cover. Mandy goes after Becky at the ropes, choking the former women’s champion with Sonya’s help.

Mandy & Sonya corner Becky and fire off with kicks. They mug Becky together, then double suplex. Becky rolls out, and Sonya goes out to fetch her while Mandy poses. Mandy follows, and the two throw Becky into the apron. They throw her into barriers, too, then toy with Becky as she writhes on the ground. They kick her around before putting her back in. Mandy covers, but Sonya yanks her off. Sonya shoves Mandy, Mandy shoves back, but the two realize to keep their cools. Mandy goes after Becky, but Becky boots her back. Becky boots Sonya, then jumps, but they both duck under to double shoulder tackle Becky down. Then Sonya sucker punches Mandy! We return to single picture as the Jersey Deville stands tall.

Fans rally for Becky, but Sonya is on her with body shots and kicks. Sonya backs off to then return with forearms. Sonya whips Becky but Becky kicks her back. Becky runs and rallies with lariats and a calf kick. Becky has the fans fired up as she throws Sonya with a Becksploder! Sonya gets to a corner, but Becky runs in. Sonya kicks ehr away, then drives her down with a knee, but Mandy returns to toss Sonya out. Mandy covers, TWO! Mandy keeps on Becky but Becky small packages, TWO. Becky dodges the knee and brings Mandy around, but Mandy throws her into buckles. Mandy gives Becky a butterfly facebuster! Cover, but Sonya returns to toss Mandy! Sonya covers, TWO!

Sonya scrapes Mandy out before going back to Becky for body shots. Becky hits back and these two slug it out. Sonya puts Becky in a corner, and gives more body shots. Sonya hoists Becky up to the top, then climbs up to join her. Mandy returns and joins in to electric chair Sonya. Becky adjusts, and it’s a missile dropkick doomsday!

All three women are down, but fans rally up. Becky stirs first, and crawls to a cover on Mandy. TWO, and Becky brings Mandy up while Sonya slip sout of the ring. Mandy and Becky brawl, but Mandy kicks low to try another facebuster. Becky slips out and brings Mandy down again, but Sonya kicks Becky and Mandy! Sonya hits the slinding knee, covers, TWO! Sonya can’t believe that Becky still lives. Becky drags herself up, but Sonya has her in a suplex. Becky blocks, and scoops but Sonya slips out. Mady flies in but the knee goes into Sonya! Becky grabs Mandy but Mandy reverses to roll up, TWO into the Disarm-her! Mandy reaches, but can’t, she taps! Becky wins!

Winner: Becky, by submission; qualifies for the Women’s MITB match

The Lass Kicker has turned her losing streak around with a big win tonight! She enters the second-ever Women’s MITB, can she be the second-ever Ms. MITB?

 

Superstars speak on MITB.

“They say that ambition makes for strange victims.” And Big Cass is one of them. The only thing big about Cass is his mouth. Samoa Joe has known and dealt with “fake tough guys” like Cass his entire life. When it comes time to take their convictions and walk them through the fire, even big men end up short. Cass has made a habit of targeting those smaller than him. But ambition has made Cass Joe’s new target. Joe wants that title opportunity, and next week, he promises to prove how small Big Cass really is. Cass is an obstacle that Joe will put to sleep.

The IIconics take a moment to adjust the camera. Word Association game. London = Loud. Lana = Loser. And Billie = Beautiful. Oh, and winner! Briefcase = Perfect Accessory. Contract = Championship. Future = IIconic.

 

AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

From Wrestlemania to Backlash, the Phenomenal One and King of Strong Style have fought with everything they have, yet there has not been a truly satisfactory ending to this Dream Rivalry. With one more championship match coming at Money in the Bank, this non-title rematch will have major implications. Who will win here tonight in London? And what will they choose to be the stipulation that ends this rivalry once and for all?

SmackDown returns and this match happens for the first time on television. Styles and Nakamura tie up, Styles gets the standing switch but Nakamura the standing switch. Styles snapmares but Nakamura reverses to an arm wrench. Nakamura goes after the wrist but Styles rolls through to reverse it onto Nakamura. Fans duel while Nakamura rolls and kips up to cartwheel. Nakamura puts on the arm wrench but Styles goes to back suplex. Nakamura rolls Styles, TWO, and now Styles rolls Nakamura. TWO, and the two have a stand-off. Styles and Nakamura approach each other, but Nakamura hits low. Nakamura toys with Styles, then gives him a knee. Nakamura runs, but into Styles’ dropkick!

Styles brings Nakamura back up, and over to a corner for a buckle bump. Styles chops Nakanura, then rocks him with a right. He tries to suplex but Nakamura blocks and counters with knees. Nakamura runs but into a backbreaker! Styles goes after Nakamura but Nakamura slips out of the ring. Fans duel while Styles slingshots for a forearm!

They both go down, but Styles gets up first. Styles brings Nakamura up and into the ring, but Nakamura slips back out the other side. Styles targets him from the apron, but Nakamura intercepts the knee with a kick! Nakamura then positions Styles, for the running knee lift! Fans keep dueling while Nakamura puts Styles in the ring for a cover. TWO, but Nakamura keeps his focus while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Nakamura tees off on Styles at the ropes. The referee backs him off, but Nakamura goes back for more. Fans continue to duel while Nakamura throws hands on Styles. Styles goes to a corner, but Nakamura rams knees into him anyway. Nakamura brings Styles up for BAD Vibrations, then sits him down for Good Vibrations. Nakamura drags Styles up but Styles hits back, only to get knees. Styles resists the Inverted Exploder and elbows his way out, but misses the clothesline while Nakamura hits the Dynamic Dropkick! Cover, TWO, and Nakamura grows frustrated. He brings Styles up and around for a chinlock while fans rally again. Nakamura shifts it to a dragon sleeper, trapping one arm. Styles endures, and tries to stand up, but Nakamura keeps him down.

Nakamura wrenches back more, but Styles fights out with knees to Nakamura’s face. Styles goes after Nakamura, but Nakamura fires off his strike fest. Nakamura puts Styles up on the top rope, then climbs up, but Styles slips down and out. Nakamura shoves him away, but Styles comes back, only to run into a boot, and yet give a PELE! Both men fall to the mat, and a ten count begins. The count reaches 4 before Styles stands. Nakamura stands, and they beat the count at 7. Styles gets the Phenomenal Blitz! Then the sliding forearm! Styles fires up while Nakamura gets to a corner, and Styles hits a corner clothesline. Nakamura fights against the fireman’s carry, so Styles hits the wheelbarrow facebuster. Cover, TWO!

Both men stand again, and Nakamura powers Styles to a corner. Styles catches Nakamura into the Calf Crusher, but Nakamura. Nakamura thrusts the knee but Styles evades. Styles slips out of the fireman’s carry but Nakamura gets him with the heel kick, into the Landslide driver! Cover, TWO! Nakamura grows frustrated, but fans know “This is Awesome!” Nakamura drags Styles up and puts him back in a corner. He hoists Styles onto the top rope, then backs up, but Styles avoids the Top Shelf Knee. Styles springboards but Nakamura sweeps the legs to hit that knee! Styles tumbles down to the apron while Nakamura catches his breath. Nakamura joins Styles, and fans rally while they stand up. Nakamura has evil intentions but Styles resists.

Styles holds on for dear life, then suplexes, but Nakamura lands on his feet. They brawl on the apron, then Nakamura climbs up for a FLYING KNEE! Nakamura brings Styles in for a cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Nakamura takes aim from a corner. He waits for Styles to stand, but Styles catches him into the Clash position! Nakamura kicks him away, but he ends up in Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! Styles stands up while fans again chant “This is Awesome!” Styles runs, but into a boot! Nakamura stands up now, and hits a sliding KINSHASA! Cover, TWO!?

Nakamura is furious, but he goes right back to a corner. He fires up again, as promised, but runs into a windmill heel kick! Styles drags Nakamura up and around, but Nakamura shovels him up and onto the apron. He knocks Nakamura, springboards, but Nakamura evades! Styles keeps himself from hitting the ref, but he sees Nakamura coming this time. Nakamura fakes a low blow?! Styles defends that it’s a fake, but Nakamura pounces! Inverted Exploder! Then, KINSHASA!! Cover, Nakamura WINS!

Winner: Nakamura, by pinfall; may choose the stipulation for the MITB WWE Championship match

It doesn’t matter how he did it, Nakamura defeats Styles! The Con Artist gets away with another masterpiece of a crime, and he rubs it in Styles’ face. What stipulation will he choose for their fourth Dream (Re)Match? Will Styles be able to survive the schemes of the King of Strong Style?

 


 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown did much better tonight, and a touch better than Raw, even though there was some confusion as to why with a few things. Bryan being confronted by Cass, and snapping on Cass, works much better here than Vince trying to have the same with Roman and Mahal. For starters, all fans love Bryan. Second, Bryan makes a much more believable underdog meets victim (for lack of a better word). His fight with Cass will get much more momentum for him than Roman going up against Mahal and supposedly up against the administration. I like the meta behind Vega’s promo after Almas’ squash match victory. Almas as a former NXT Champion deserves a bit more than a jobber his first time out, so hopefully this leads to a string of matches with established stars to give them TV time, too.

SmackDown’s approach to the MITB qualifiers is also more unique. Tag teams compete for a singles opportunity, but perhaps this can still help towards the rumored Tag Team MITB match. New Day wins, meaning they put one man in the Men’s MITB, but the other two can still be in the Team MITB. Same goes for The Bar, since they lost. The Bludgeon Brothers call out all the other teams in their promo, and tag teams have given good MITB promos, so perhaps this is all foreshadowing that Team MITB. There are weeks left before the PPV, so perhaps Raw and SmackDown will use them to give us this match.

Thankfully the #Mellabration didn’t go on too long before someone showed up to do something. Paige gets her hometown hero moment while also giving Carmella some comeuppance. Just like Nia having to take a match, so does Carmella, and Carmella does well being a Heel champion with not wanting any part of any contender. Asuka being the challenger, she better win to finally make Carmella eat her words. Tonight’s Women’s Triple Threat was great, it had all kinds of story between Mandy and Sonya, and unlike Bayley on Raw, Becky used it to her advantage and came out the winner. If Asuka better beat Carmella, Becky BETTER win the MITB, because she really needs it to help her get back in the spotlight.

The only confusion was Nakamura VS Styles. It wasn’t for a title, yet it somehow felt better than the Backlash title match. That might be more a comment on Backlash than the story as a whole, but making this match here tonight is both good and bad. It’s good because it gets people in seats and watching at home, and the match itself was genuinely good. It’s bad because it makes little sense in story. Why not just let Paige or Shane choose a stipulation for them? Or is it simply because WWE has nothing else to fill out the weeks leading to MITB? I won’t let the confusion count against the action, but it continues to make WWE’s writers and booking look content to just coast compared to all other promotions.

My Score: 8.3/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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