SmackDown follows Raw in deciding their men and women for the Money in the Bank Ladder matches! Plus, what will Kofi Kingston say to Kevin Owens’ betrayal?
- Becky Lynch VS Bayley; Lynch wins.
- Kairi Sane & Asuka w/ Paige VS ???; Sane & Asuka win.
- 2v1 Handicap: The B-Team VS Roman Reigns, w/ Special Enforcer: Elias; Reigns wins.
- Mustafa Ali & Finn Balor VS Randy Orton & Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Ali & Finn win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Michael Cole introduces the NEW WWE Champion, Kofi Kingston!
SmackDown opens with pancakes and positivity as Kofi makes his way to the ring. Kofi flings the flapjacks to the fans in Ohio State University and then stands with Cole. Cole is excited to celebrate a “remarkable 11-year career.” But it wasn’t until Wrestlemania 35 that Kofi finally got his 1v1 shot at the world title. Kofi’s journey had insurmountable odds, including the Elimination Chamber match. Footage plays to remind us how Kofi fought so hard but still fell short of the title inside that sinister steel structure. Then fast-forward to the SmackDown Gauntlet where Kofi won all but one match, because of Vince McMahon continuing to stack the deck.
Did Kofi ever believe he’d get that title match? Kofi tells Michael that over these last 11 years, there were highs and there were lows, but the important thing was to fight on! Kofi is glad to keep fighting because that’s why he’s the WWE Champion. He’s proud that he got to do that alongside his brothers, Big E and Xavier Woods. Without the New Day, this would not have happened. “We are the guys that proved that the impossible IS possible!” Cole has called all 11 years of Kofi’s career, and when he looks back to calling that “magical” Wrestlemania moment. There are very few superstars who have ever had that kind of Mania Moment. That night in New York may have been the greatest moment ever, and we relive it with footage of that victorious Trouble in Paradise.
Ohio lets Kofi know, “You Deserve It!” Cole agrees, Kofi deserved to have that moment. Kofi is still feeling the high that he got to share with his friends and family. Next to his marriage and the birth of his children, Wrestlemania 35 was the best moment of his life. But Cole points out that he now has a huge target on his back. And the first person to take aim was Kevin Owens. We relive this as well, with Kofi VS Nakamura being broken up by Rusev. Kevin and Xavier looked to help Kofi, but then the first chance he had, Kevin SUPERKICKED Kofi! The Prizefighter was back to his old ways as he brutalized Kofi, and then took out Xavier Woods with an apron powerbomb!
Kofi grimaces in the present as he has to admit he should’ve seen this coming. But the New Day always believe in giving people second chances, and allowing people to change. They believed Kevin genuinely wanted to change, but Kevin is still Kevin. If Kevin wanted to challenge Kofi, all he had to do was ask. Kofi has no problem being a fighting champion. So Kevin was talking about he was coming for the WWE Championship, let him! Kofi says this happens at Money in the Bank! Kofi is not afraid of Kevin, or worried about losing his title. But speaking of Kevin, he appears! Kevin stares at Kofi from the stage as he says, “Challenge accepted.”
Kofi gave the world a Wrestlemania Moment no one will forget. He won the title on the Grandest Stage of Them All, “it doesn’t get any better than that!” But moments end. And no one may want to admit it, but Kevin will speak for the WWE Universe: no one believes Kofi is championship material. Ohio boos because they disagree. But Kevin looks into Kofi’s eyes and hears the words Kofi says, but it just shows him that Kofi doesn’t believe it either. The water keeps rising and Kofi is drowning. But Xavier appears to attack Kevin! Kevin SUPERKICKS Xavier down but runs away from Kofi! Kofi goes to Xavier’s side, but clearly the New Day is in a bad way. Will Kofi still be positive when he and Kevin finally have this out?
Kofi helps Xavier in the trainer’s room.
The plan was for Xavier not to come out, what was he thinking? Xavier just couldn’t sit around and let Kevin talk like that. Yeah but Kofi has it handled. Xavier has his own family to worry about. Kofi promises he has this covered, but will he really be alright on his own?
Becky Lynch VS Bayley!
The Man and the Huggable One have been friends a long time, all the way back to NXT. But this is the first time on the main roster they will ever face off in the ring! Will Bayley make a big impact this close to the Champ-Champ’s MITB double header?
SmackDown returns and Bayley is fired up as the first SmackDown superstar to enter the Women’s MITB Ladder match. But now #BeckyTwoBelts makes her entrance with a bigger introduction, and doesn’t seem worse for wear after her brawl with the Sassy Southern Belle last night. Becky joins Bayley in the ring and puts her belts aside to start this match.
The two circle and tie up and Becky throws Bayley down. But Bayley gets right up and gets in Becky’s face. Bayley and Becky circle again and tie up. Becky headlocks but Bayley powers out, only for Becky to run her over. Becky runs but Bayley gets under, only for Becky to throw her back. Bayley hops back up on the apron and hotshots Becky down! Bayley runs but Becky forearms her down! Both women sit up and stare down while we go picture in picture.
Bayley and Becky circle again as Ohio cheers. The two tie up and Becky waistlocks. Bayley works to a hammerlock but Becky reverses to one of her own. Bayley drops to a knee as Becky leans on her. Becky flips Bayley for a cover, ONE! Bayley gets to ropes but comes back to tie circle. Becky sweeps her legs and covers, ONE, and Bayley sweeps to cover. Becky slips out to Oklahoma roll, TWO! Bayley rolls Becky, TWO! Becky gets Bayley for an Okana Roll, TWO! Bayley knees Becky low then whips Becky. Becky reverses but Bayley holds ropes. Becky seems to hyper-extend herself with that kick and has to back off. Bayley goes right after that leg but Becky backslides her! TWO and Becky blocks a boot. Bayley stops the Becksploder, but runs into a waistlock takedown.
Becky has Bayley but Bayley fights out and throws a BIG right! Becky gives one back! And a calf kick! Bayley bails out while Becky fires up. Becky goes to the ropes but Bayley trips her. Becky kicks Bayley away then kicks her down. The Man hobbles back and eggs Bayley on. Bayley gets in but Becky body checks her to a corner! Becky brings Bayley around and goes after the arm. Bayley endures and works her way back up, but Becky arm-drags her down. Becky is right on Bayley with a snap suplex! Becky drops a leg, then an elbow, but misses the second leg drop! We return to single picture as Bayley and Becky are both stinging. But Becky goes after the arm again! Bayley slips out and flapjacks Becky on buckles! Then clobbers Becky from behind! Cover, TWO!
Bayley keeps her cool as she drags Becky up. She whips Becky to a corner but misses, to still block the jump kick to clobber Becky again! And throws in a running knee! Cover, TWO! Bayley keeps her focus while she brings Becky up again. Fans duel as Bayley puts Becky on an apron. Bayely puts Becky through the ropes to fire off forearms! She stops at the ref’s count but runs side-to-side, only to miss the knee! Becky kicks Bayley down and hurries up top. Becky leaps at Bayley, missile dropkick hits! Cover, TWO! Becky keeps her cool while Bayley sits up. Becky goes after Bayley with forearms and European Uppercuts, then EuroUppers to Bayley’s back. The Champ-Champ clubs Bayley but Bayley eggs her own, and now it’s a brawl!
Becky hits, Bayley hits, but Becky throws Bayley with the Becksploder! Becky runs in for a Straight Firearm! She whips Bayley to ropes but Bayley dodges and double clotheslines take them both out! Both women are down and a standing count begins. Fans rally and duel as the count climbs past 5. Becky crawls to Bayley and they stand at 7. Bayley cradles outta nowhere, TWO! Becky wants the legs but Bayley pushes her away. Bayley saido suplexes Becky down, then climbs up! Fans fire up as Bayley leaps! Macho Elbow meets knees! Becky has the Disarm-Her! Bayley taps, Becky wins!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission
But now Charlotte Flair attacks! The Queen boots The Man right down, then throws Bayley into a post! Fans boo as Charlotte dusts her hands off. Charlotte sent her message to both the champion and a possible Ms. MITB, but will she regret the response?
Aleister Black speaks.
“Fear is a powerful and paralyzing tool. And it is in man’s nature to fear what we don’t understand.” His opponents try to figure him out, and by the time they think they have, the referee has counted 1-2-3, in Aleister’s favor. And any hope of conquering their fear has simply left them. What happens is that they take one look into Aleister’s eyes and they don’t like the abyss that stares back. The abyss unveils a truth about them that allows them to #FadetoBlack. The Embodiment of the End is coming, when will he strike?
The Hardy Boys are here!
Jeff & Matt Hardy are the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, but given the injury to Jeff’s leg, will they much longer? Kayla Braxton asks the Hardy Boys as to what happened to his leg. It’s probably easier to show. And we are shown a highlight reel of the destruction Lars Sullivan has unleashed since finally appearing on the main roster. The Leviathan has wrecked living legend after legend, and it seems the Hardy Boys sustained the worst of it. Jeff is unable to walk on his own because of Lars, and needs surgery. Jeff is going to be out a long time, so therefore, as heartbreaking as it is, and as much as fans don’t want it, the Hardy Boys must relinquish the tag titles.
This is not the end of their journey. Jeff regrets not even getting to defend those titles. But he vows that their return will be extreme and- Oh no. Not Lars again! The Mile High Monster makes his way down the ramp, eyes locked on the wounded Jeff. Matt stands in front of his brother, but he doesn’t last long! Lars knees Matt low then throws him out! Jeff is still stuck between the ropes as Lars looms closer! But Matt returns to save Jeff! Lars powers Matt to the other corner! And then gives him a FREAK ACCIDENT! Jeff hobbles and looks to use the crutch as a weapon! But here comes Truth with a CHAIR SHOT! Lars didn’t flinch! Lars glares and roars, and then punches the chair away! He pops Truth up for a FREAK ACCIDENT!
The Hardy Boys get away with their lives, but Lars wants to make Truth suffer! Lars gives Truth a running powerbomb! “Stay down!” Truth doesn’t move, so Lars leaves him be. Is there any man, or team of men, that can stand before The Leviathan?
SmackDown reveals the superstars for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match!
It’ll be… The Beacon of Light, Mustafa Ali! the Intercontinental Champion, Finn Balor! El Idolo, Andrade Almas! And the Viper, Randy Orton! And much like on Raw, these four men will divide into teams to get a leg up towards that very ladder match! Will Ali and Finn or Almas and Orton be the ones keeping pace with Braun Strowman and Ricochet from Raw?
Kairi Sane & Asuka w/ Paige VS ???
The IIconics are on commentary to watch this Women’s Tag Match as #JoshiRoyalty sets sail together again against Ohio’s finest. Will Peyton & Billie be impressed or intimidated after seeing the Princess and Empress in action again?
Kairi starts against the tigress but the taller wrestler taunts Kairi’s height with her out-of-reach test of strength. So Kairi CHOPS her in the chest! Kairi blocks a kick to dragon screw, then drags her over to Asuka. They double whip and then fire off kicks and bulldogs to a dropkick! Asuka toys with her target but her buzzsaw is kicked. Asuka still ducks the tigress’ roundhouse to give a roundhouse! But the tigress tags out her partner. The bright red haired partner runs in and SLAPS Asuka! The IIconics laugh, but so does Asuka? Asuka fires off fire hands! She kicks low then hip attacks her into a German Suplex! Asuka fires off kicks and buzzsaws her down! Cover, but the tigress breaks it up. Kairi runs in, waistlocks and feeds her to Asuka’s code breaker! Then adds a blockbuster to it!
Joshi Royalty targets red for an inverted DDT. Tag to Kairi and it’s time to weigh anchor! The InSANE Elbow hits! Cover, Kairi and Asuka win!
Winners: Kairi Sane & Asuka, Sane pinning
The Glampire celebrates with her new team, but the IIconics are irate! Peyton and Billie are still the champs, but will they be for much longer when going against the Princess & Empress?
Fire & Desire are not impressed.
But Mandy Rose is oddly excited. Because she was told by Shane that they’ll get a part in this year’s Women’s MITB match! Seriously!? Well, only one of them. Which is crazy, because how are they supposed to decide? This is like Beyonce or J Lo! Mandy wants to give the spot to Sonya, but Sonya sees Mandy is trying to butter her up to give the spot back. Mandy almost won the title anyway,and now she can finish the job. Go for it, Queen Bee. Mandy is touched, and they hug it out. Will Mandy truly be golden after winning the MITB contract and aiming for the top?
Roman Reigns is here!
The Big Dog wants to make SmackDown his Yard, but he may have stepped in it the very night he debuted. He took offense to Elias and to Vince so he gave them both Superman Punches, and then he got into a fight with Shane the very next week. Elias called Roman out for MITB PPV and Roman accepted the challenge. But for tonight, Roman stands before Ohio State University to say, “You only get one shot at making a first impression. So I figured on my first night on SmackDown,” he’d knock out Mr. McMahon. Fans do like that, but Roman admits that wasn’t the plan. He just wanted to get the point across that he is still the Big Dog, and that SmackDown IS his Yard. But here comes the money~! Yes, Shane O’Mac returns!
Shane addresses Roman from the stage, but he also wants Greg Hamilton to give him a subtle introduction. “The Best in the World, Shane McMahon!” Fans boo but Shane enjoys that very much. And to Roman, everyone knows Shane is the BITW, but Roman is the Big Dog in the Yard? Shane reminds Roman that the McMahons owns the land. Is that so? No, Daddy owns the land. And when Vince was in here, Roman was on his feet while Vince was on his back. Yes, we all saw Roman hit a National Treasure. But to refresh Roman’s memory, Roman was the one down on the mat last week. Because Elias helped Shane. But Roman wants to know, can Shane do it on his own?
Shane would love nothing more than to slap him around, but he doesn’t have the time. Shane has to go see Coach Harbough in Michigan to work with a true championship organization to get ready for his match with The Miz. But if Roman wants a fight, there are plenty of guys lining up to “welcome” Roman to SmackDown. In fact, here are two. It’s the B-Team! Curt Axel and Bo Dallas are ready, and to get to business, this is their opportunity for a great first impression. Roman will be taking on… BOTH of them! Of course. What’s next? Blindfold him? Tie a hand behind his back? Don’t be silly, Roman. But that’s rather intuitive. A match of this caliber does need something more. And that is a special guest referee/enforcer. It’ll be… ELIAS!
The Drifter is already dressed in his stripes as he introduces himself. The stack is decked, and the match is next, after the break!
2v1 Handicap: The B-Team VS Roman Reigns, w/ Special Enforcer: Elias!
SmackDown returns and Roman has Axel to start with. Elias watches closely as Axel gets the arm and wrenches. Axel brings Roman over but Roman breaks free before Bo tags in. Bo still tags in and circles with Roman. Axel distracts and Bo headlocks Roman. Bo throws Roman down with a takeover but Roman keeps his shoulders up. Roman powers his way up and out, then things speed up. Bo has a stumble and then gets an elbow from Roman! Roman scoops but Axel distracts. Bo escapes to then clobber Roman from behind! Bo fires off and tags in Axel. The B-Team work together, and Bo feeds Roman to Axel’s DDT! Cover, TWO!
Axel keeps on Roman with a grinding forearm in his face. The main referee disapproves but Elias doesn’t really mind. Axel puts Roman in the corner and fires off body shots. Bo tags in and keeps on Roman. Tag to Axel and he stomps and punches away. Fans boo but Elias approves. Axel grinds Roman but the main ref counts. Axel backs off to tag Bo and they rally on Roman again. But this time Roman BOOTS Axel and Samoan Drops Bo! Cover, TWO! Bo crawls away but Roman pursues. Elias “consults” with the main ref and Bo pulls Roman’s hair! Roman uppercuts Bo down but Axel clotheslines Roman! Elias stops now that the B-Team has gotten away with it. The B-Team stomp Roman but the main ref reprimands them. Elias CLOBBERS Roman behind the ref’s back! Roman is in trouble as we go picture in picture.
Bo drags Roman up and into the ring. He covers, TWO!! Roman survives but Bo drops knees. Bo grinds his knee into Roman’s face but lets up at the ref’s count. Bo drags Roman up for more body shots then tags in Axel. The B-Team snapmare and neck snap Roman, then Axel covers. TWO, but Axel keeps Roman down with an armlock and chinbar. Roman endures and fights his way up. Axel throws Roman down by his hair then tags in Bo. Axel drops an ax handle and Bo drops another knee. Bo covers, TWO! Bo keeps on Roman with a chinlock and leans on him. Elias cheers Bo on as Roman gasps for air. We return to single picture as fans rally up.
Roman endures but starts to fade as Elias makes sure the timekeeper pays attention. Bo leans harder on Roman but Roman gets a second wind! Roman stands but Bo knees low. Bo whips but Roman clotheslines back! Both men are down but Roman can only crawl to the opposite corner as Bo tags in. Elias talks trash but Roman sends Axel into the post! Roman rallies on Bo then on Axel. Axel reverses the whip but gets the leaping lariat! Roman gives Axel point-blank lariats in the corner. Bo stops Roman at 4 but gets an uppercut for it! Axel runs in and Roman fireman’s carries him. Bo staggers over, Samoan Drop and DDT combo! Cover on Axel, TWO! Roman keeps his cool while he stares down Elias. Roman makes sure Elias sees him lock ‘n’ load! Bo returns, he gets the SUPERMAN PUNCH! Axel rolls Roman, TWO!!
SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, but Elias pulls out the main referee! Elias keeps Roman from winning, but Roman goes after him! Elias gets out of the way, Roman gives Bo the Drive-By Dropkick! And Elias comes back to clobber Roman! And throw him around ringside! Elias feeds Roman to Axel’s Perfect Plex! Elias counts it, TWO!? He even did a fast count! Ohio State cheers Roman as Axel drags Roman up for Elias. Elias runs out to fetch his guitar! He brings it back to the ring, but Roman revives to fight free! and SUPERMAN PUNCH Elias! But Axel still rolls Roman, but Roman gets out to SPEAR! The main ref returns, counts, and Roman wins!
Winner: Roman Reign, by pinfall
The Big Dog defies the stacked deck! Elias isn’t happy and surely Shane O’Mac isn’t, either. What will it take for Elias to make Roman #DriftAway at MITB? Or will he simply end up buried in Roman’s Yard?
Firefly Fun House returns~!
Bray Wyatt is back and now he’s painting! “Bonjour!” He loves to paint, because painting is a way to express any suppressed feelings. “When you’re expressing yourself, no one can ever truly hurt you.” But wait, who is this little bunny friend? It’s Ramblin’ Rabbit! And would he like to see the painting? Yes! Bray shows us all his painting of… a burning shed! With Abby inside… (the one Orton burned) Speaking of Abby, she says this is NO time for games! She woke up in a bad mood~! Ramblin’ Rabbit leaves while Abby scolds Bray. He hasn’t learned his lesson, did he? Take it easy, Abby, that’s the past. And he is sorry for what he did. The kids forgive him, right? Yeah~!
Fine. Just keep it down while Abby is resting. Yes, yes, shh. Abby the Witch is a… “sociopath”. Ramblin’ Rabbit returns. That’s the word of the day, right? Yes, that’s right! Sociopath is the word of the day! Well that’s all the time we have for today. Aww… But remember, little fireflies. He’ll light the way, and you just have to let him in. See you next time~! Bye~! Yay~!
Mustafa Ali & Finn Balor VS Randy Orton & Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
SmackDown’s four MITB Ladder Match entrants do battle in a tag team match! Which team will work best together for the common goal of momentum?
Zelina Vega says this is the best part of the night. The ring is going to be graced with the presence of Andrade. Andrade himself says that he does not respect Finn Balor. He says that he has no respect for Mustafa Ali. But the 12-time world champion, Randy Orton, “any time you want a little something, tag me in. And I will teach you to respect Andrade!” El Idolo has no friends but will he regret telling his tag partner he has something to learn?
The teams sort out, and we start with Orton and Ali! They tie up and Orton powers Ali to the corner fast. Orton backs off but Ali hits back! Ali fights off Almas and kicks Orton. He mule kicks Almas then slingshots, but Orton shoves him down! Ali hits the apron hard and is down but we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Ali fights against Orton. Orton reels Ali in for a powerslam! Cover, TWO! Orton keeps his cool as he drags Ali up by his hair. The ref reprimands Orton but Orton kicks Ali low to whip. Ali hits a flapjack dropkick! Both men are down and crawling for their corners. Hot tags to Almas and Finn! Finn rallies on Almas then hits Orton for good measure. Finn whips but Almas sunset flips, only for Finn to roll through and dropkick! Another kick for Orton, then double stomps for Almas! Finn runs in to CHOP Almas, then whips corner to corner. Almas reverses and redirects Finn, but Finn goes up and over. Finn runs into a boot, but he kicks Almas off the top! Amlas hits the floor and Finn builds speed, and Ali does, too! Double DIVES onto Orton and Almas!
Vega panics as Finn puts Almas back in. Finn climbs but Vega anchors his feet! He shakes her off but Almas throws Finn down! Almas runs corner to corner, CIEN KNEES! Cover, TWO!! Finn lives and both Almas and Vega are furious. Almas drags Finn up and hammerlocks, but Finn slips out. Almas reverses back but Finn escapes. Ali tags in and Finn hits Slingblade! Ali hits the 450! Cover, Ali & Finn win!
Winners: Mustafa Ali & Finn Balor, Ali pinning
But Orton RKO’s Finn! Ali SUPERKICKS and SUPERKICKS Orton out! The Viper may have ruined the celebration but the Beacon is still shining! Will Ali be the one to ascend and take that MITB contract in his first try?
Backstage interview with the final Women’s MITB entrants!
It is the #Shenom, Ember Moon! She is beyond excited for this moment. She has many names yet hasn’t made a name for herself. The MITB match changes careers, and Ember vows to climb up and become Ms. MITB. But the other final entrant is the original Ms. MITB, Carmella! The Fabulous Princess won the first two MITB ladder matches. But didn’t she use- It doesn’t matter, a win is a win. This match does change careers, and Carmella made her first cash-in count to become SmackDown Women’s Champion. So she vows to remind everyone why #MellaIsMoney. Maybe, but will Carmella and the field all be Eclipsed by the War Goddess?
The KO Show returns!
Kevin Owens already made an impression earlier tonight, but now he invites Xavier Woods onto his talk show? Is this just a trap to get back at Xavier for his ambush? Find out, after this last break.
SmackDown returns once again, and Kevin is in a bad mood as he sits in a chair. Fans boo as Kevin welcomes them to his show. The signs are gone, the graphics are gone, the desk is gone, because “the pageantry, all this crap” is something The New Day would do. The New Day would have banners and pancakes and “stupid crap”, but Kevin doesn’t need all that. He just needs himself, because he IS the show. And before he was rudely interrupted by Xavier Woods, Kevin was trying to make a point. The point is that Kofi is in way over his head as champion. But help is on the way, because Kevin is that help. At MITB, Kevin will relieve Kofi of that “burden”, because Kevin truly believes- No, wait, he’s positive he will take that title from Kofi.
But enough about Kofi, that’s all anyone’s said for a month! Kevin wants to talk with Xavier! Because we all know about Kofi, but Kevin wants to know all about Xavier. If Xavier is willing, or even able, just humor him and trust that Kevin just wants to have a chat. When Xavier doesn’t appear, Kevin insists. He wants to give Xavier the spotlight and gives another introduction. But Xavier still doesn’t appear. Kevin knew this would happen, so he has a Plan B. It’s an Xavier Woods action figure! One of the many “piece of crap” the New Day has been schilling for years. Kevin puts “Lil’ Woodsy” on the chair. Is he upset? Is it because he’s lonely? Well that’s okay, Kevin has a Big E action figure! With a bandaged leg, of course. What a great reunion.
Kevin knows the real Xavier and Big E aren’t here to tell Kevin how they feel. And these pieces of trash aren’t needed, so Kevin kicks them out. But Kevin feels he knows exactly what is on the minds of Xavier and Big E. But before Kevin can reveal what he thinks they think, Kofi appears on stage! And rushes the ring! Kevin and Kofi brawl! Kofi gets Kevin down as he rains down rights but Kevin bails out. Kofi pursues and leaps for a BIG ax handle! And he won’t let up on Kevin, either! Kofi punches and knees Kevin into the apron but Kevin punches him away. Kevin runs in but is sent over the announce desk! Ohio fires up as Kofi slams an arm chair on Kevin! Kofi stomps away but Kevin rakes his eyes!
Kevin runs away through the WWE Universe but Kofi is still furious. Kofi climbs up to look at Kevin. Kofi says if this is the fight he wanted, then he’ll give him that fight! Will Kevin regret lighting a new fire inside of Kofi Kingston?
It seems like WWE may have not prepared for moving MITB up. I get that announcing the entrants streamlines the process and now we have a couple weeks of development for that, but it would’ve been a little bit more fun if we got matches to determine things. Though, I suppose there aren’t that many superstars quite worthy of this, either. The tag team match as the main event match was good, even though it was just copy-paste from Raw. Faces win here like they did on Raw, but it was a good twist for Orton to strike and Ali to stand tall. There were leaked images suggesting other superstars would be in this match, but now that Ali and Finn are in it instead, things could change.
But I feel that with just choosing superstars, this allowed Vince to screw up things that were being set up just last week. It was great to see Kairi & Asuka squash Poison Ivy and Cheetah from DC Comics (why did we not get their real names?) but why move Sonya & Mandy out of the way? They were meant to challenge Paige’s new team in an attempt to prove she chose wrong. Naturally they’d fail, but now we won’t see that. Mandy joins Bayley in MITB by being the modest friend, as do Carmella and Ember. I can’t be sure who wins but I stand by my prediction of a SmackDown Ms. MITB to set up for a possible cash-in on Becky or Charlotte. Becky VS Bayley was a great match, and Becky wins to stay strong, but Charlotte did good in attacking to remind everyone of her part in this.
Aleister Black’s promos are still properly cryptic, but with him not being named for MITB, it sounds like his story on SmackDown won’t really start until after. Bray Wyatt and Firefly Fun House seem to be on both shows still, will they end up on one show after MITB? Maybe Bray will have guests soon. He might even have a match with Aleister. Hopefully Lars and Truth have a match soon. There’s only so much brutalizing outside of a match you can do, and we’ve hit it. The Hardys give up the belts while Jeff is out, and Lars adds insult to injury, as it were. There aren’t as many big names in SmackDown’s tag division so who knows who takes those up. Maybe that match will be at MITB.
Reigns’ segment was okay. He did fine, Shane did fine, but how is beating The B-Team “overcoming odds”? Again, only so many tag teams on SmackDown now, so I guess Shane had to bring someone on board. The Authors of Pain are hurt, SAnitY fell apart in the Shake-Up, and Heavy Machinery are too fun as Faces, but at least Shane made sure to add on with Elias as a bonus ref. Obviously Roman was going to win, and obviously he’ll win against Elias unless Shane screws him over. But at least fans won’t have to fear Roman getting the MITB contract or the title so soon. And speaking of, the New Day segments were good tonight, but in the end, I still feel Kofi finds a way to win, and then has to worry about Mr. MITB.
My Score: 8/10