SmackDown puts gold on the line!
In a unique rematch from WrestleMania, the SmackDown Tag Team Championships are defended in a SINGLES Triple Threat match! Does The Miz retain just like John Morrison?
- Tamina VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley; Tamina wins and will challenge Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
- Sheamus VS Denzel Dejournette; Sheamus wins.
- Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Naomi VS Dana Brooke; Dana wins and advances to the Women’s MITB Ladder Match.
- Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Daniel Bryan VS Cesaro; Bryan wins and advances to the Men’s MITB Ladder Match.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Miz VS Big E VS Jey Uso; Big E wins and The New Day become new SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
PLAY BY PLAY
The WWE mourns the loss of Howard Finkel.
The first full-time WWF/WWE employee and legendary ring announcer will be missed by family, friends and fans.
SmackDown presents A Moment of Bliss!
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions head to the ring to host their talk show tonight. Alexa and Nikki take their seats and have their coffee mugs as they welcome us to the show. They also congratulate themselves as the WWE’s first ever two-time Women’s Tag Team Champions. But to business, they have a big guest tonight. It’s the Monster Among Men, BRAUN!! The WWE Universal Champion feels good as he heads to the ring, even with a match for the title set for Money in the Bank. He sits with Alexa and Nikki and they congratulate him on defeating Goldberg at WrestleMania. What a match! Spear after spear and slam after slam! Braun thanks them and congratulates them back. He can’t think of any team more deserving. Cheers to the champs!
But while the coffee is strong, it’ll be sweet when Nikki and Alexa retain their titles against Carmella and Dana Brooke next week. And speaking of title defenses, Braun’s MITB match will be against Bray Wyatt. Alexa knows Braun knows Bray, and Bray has a multiple personalities. Instead of seeking help, Bray wallows in it. But even so, he’s cunning, brutal and psychotic. Bray had some things to say, and Alexa cues up the footage. Bray vowed to teach Braun how to share, in that he’d give the title over to Bray. “As one circle closes, another begins again.” Bray brought Strowman into the world, and vows to take him out.
Back in the present, Alexa asks Braun’s response to that. Braun admits, he was part of the Wyatt Family. That is a part of the past he wants to forget. Bray didn’t create Bruan, and Bruan doesn’t owe Bray anything, let alone an apology. The past is the past, Braun made himself who he is. Braun knows Bray is a manipulator, who plays on people’s doubts. But Braun isn’t playing along. If Bray wants the title, fine. But let it be known that if Bray comes for Braun and not the title, all he’ll get are these hands. Alexa is sure he will. But wait, Braun spots something. Is that for him? Wait, where did that present box come from? They didn’t get it for him… Braun knows Team Little Big is still in effect. He opens the box, and it’s… A SHEEP MASK!!
The black sheep mask that Braun used to wear has returned from the void! And Bray’s laughter echoes in the night. And then the images of that forgotten past play on the titantron! Braun may not want to play, but he has no choice. Is he going to win or lose the mind games Bray has put in motion?
Tamina VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley!
The Daughter of Superfly was the biggest threat in WrestleMania’s SmackDown Women’s Championship Fatal 5, that’s why she was taken out first. But she has a shot at a second chance if she can beat The Boss. Will Tamina be more than legit on the road to Money in the Bank?
Bayley joins commentary to support her best friend, even though she put her in this situation in the first place. The Role Model has confidence in Sasha, and does not see how she threw her friend under the buss. The bell rings and Sasha wants Tamina to cool off. Sasha got Tamina a Legit Boss shirt for old time’s sake. “This is a small. I wear an extra large!” Oh, true. Sasha looks to Bayley for what to do and Tamina throws her down! Tamina throws the shirt at Bayley then drags Sasha up. Tamina whips, Sasha sunset flips but Tamina stays up. Sasha apologizes but Tamina lifts her up. Sasha victory rolls, TWO! Tamina kicks low then headbutts Sasha down! Sasha scrambles to a corner but Bayley has confidence.
Tamina whips, Sasha goes up but Tamina catches her! The ref calls for the break but Tamina puts Sasha on the apron to elbow her down! Tamina roars while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Tamina RAMS into Sasha at the corner. The ref counts and Tamina backs off at 4. Tamina runs in but Sasha moves and KNEES Tamina back! Sasha hurries in with the METEORA! Cover, TWO! Bayley is so proud and confident right now as Sasha rains down rights on Tamina. Sasha kicks Tamina while she’s down then runs to dropkick. Cover, ONE! Sasha pulls Tamina against ropes with her hair! The ref backs Sasha off but Sasha boots Tamina back down! “This is what you wanted, huh?!” Sasha clubs Tamina and puts on a sleeper. Sasha then knocks Tamina down and sits deep on the hold. Tamina powers up but Sasha thrashes her about. Sasha grinds Tamina down as Bayley brags for them both. Tamina fights her way up and has Sasha as a backpack, to ram into buckles!
Tamina gets free and breathes again. She runs in, but Sasha dodges again. Sasha runs back in but is put on the apron. Sasha knees back then steps in, but into a LARIAT! Tamina catches her breath while Sasha rolls out. Tamina pursues but Bayley distracts her. The ref reprimands Bayley, but Sasha RAMS Tamina into the post! Sasha tiger feints on the apron and kicks Tamina, then RAMS her into steel steps! Bayley “checks” on Tamina, and she takes a shoe off! But here comes Lacey Evans! The Sassy Southern Belle runs and LEAPS to body check Bayley! Sasha is in shock, but she goes after Tamina. Tamina SUPERKICKS Sasha down! Tamina hurries to get Sasha up and in, Sasha staggers into ANOTHER SUPERKICK! Cover, Tamina wins!!
Winner: Tamina, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship)
The Model Soldier helped keep things even, and now Tamina is poised for a title match. Will the Samoan Steamroller smash the longest reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion?
Jey Uso speaks.
Representing the Usos live! Kofi and Morrison put on a great match alongside brother Jimmy, but now their better halves are runnin’ up to get done up! Jey tells Miz and Big E, that they face the Uce with da Juice! Seven-time Champions are comin’! Is SmackDown going back on lockdown in the Uso Penitentiary?
Backstage interview with Lacey Evans.
We all know Sasha has been a thorn in her side, but as Lacey’s daddy used to say, Sasha got a taste of her own medicine. Wherever Sasha goes, Lacey goes. Lacey is not only a US Marine, but she’s going to lace up and throw hands until the mission is complete. Her hand reads “NO Sasha” with the slashed-circle. Will Lacey succeed in that mission?
Sheamus VS Denzel Dejournette!
The Celtic Warrior is still on a roll in his own mission to toughen up SmackDown the hard way. Will the hard way work on Dejournette?
The bell rings and Sheamus circles with Dejournette. Sheamus whips but Dejournette rolls him, TWO! Sheamus rushes Dejournette but Dejournette waistlocks. But Sheamus just elbows away over and over and over until he has Dejournette down! He keeps going until Dejournette almost goes limp! He knees away on Dejournette for his brief trash talk. The ref backs Sheamus off, but Sheamus fires up and BROGUES! Cover, Sheamus wins!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall
The Fella doesn’t work by the hour, and he makes quick work of the young prospect. Will Sheamus continue to purge the roster?
Sheamus also takes offense to Michael Cole plugging Jeff Hardy’s vignette during his exit. He complains about how we’d rather talk about “Bleeding Jeff Hardy” while Sheamus is still around. Sheamus intimidates Cole, and warns him not to be disrespectful. Will Sheamus get the respect he feels he deserves?
SmackDown presents part two of the Jeff Hardy story.
Jeff simply wants to be remembered. And he has done things no one will ever forget. But it all takes its toll. This is Chapter Two: The Fall.
Jeff’s body was almost always hurting. Big Show remembers seeing the pain in Jeff’s eyes. Jeff admits he was losing himself. It was September of 2009 that he had to say not goodbye forever, just for now. But he was abusing his pain medications, and a drinking problem on top of it. He was drunk on film a few times, and his friends knew he was lying about things. Jeff had to get pills illegally because that’s how deep he was, and he got busted. The news was everywhere. He’s had problems all the way up to 2018. It was hard not to hear the news. His friends couldn’t help him, but it was on him to clean up his act.
Jeff went to prison, and it scared him. Jeff knew he hit rock bottom, and that he had a lot of making up to do. Be sure to see next week, Chapter Three: The Redemption!
Carmella finds Dana Brooke backstage.
Is Dana really facing Naomi tonight in the MITB qualifier? What about their tag title match? And give up her chance at the title contract? No way! Dana can do both! She can beat Naomi tonight to be in MITB, then beat Bliss-Cross alongside Mella to become tag team champions. Just trust her! Well, alright. And good luck.
SmackDown has huge news on how MITB works this year!
This year, the competitors of both the Men’s and Women’s MITB Ladder matches will be climbing the corporate ladder, so to speak. The matches will take place inside WWE’s corporate headquarters, Titan Towers! They start on the ground floor and head up to the roof! Just how will this incredibly unique take on this golden opportunity play out?
Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Naomi VS Dana Brooke!
The Glow once shined as SmackDown Women’s Champion, but she wants another round. Meanwhile, The Flex Appeal hasn’t even touched gold, and this could be her chance. Who checks off the first SmackDown spot in the Women’s MITB Ladder match?
SmackDown returns and Dana makes her entrance. The bell rings and Naomi circles with Dana. They tie up, Naomi rolls Dana, TWO! Dana swings into a crucifix from Naomi, ONE! Naomi kicks Dana’s arms away but Dana comes back to O’Conner roll! ONE as Naomi rolls Dana back to her own cover, ONE! Dana gets up but Naomi dropkicks her down! Cover, ONE, but Naomi keeps her cool. Naomi brings Dana up to whip Dana to the corner. Dana reverses but Naomi goes up, only for Dana to toss her out hard! Naomi hits the floor and Dana points to the briefcase hanging overhead. Dana wants the ring count and the ref begins. Dana is very confident this is her spot, and then she baseball slides Naomi down! “That’s all you got?” She puts Naomi in and covers, TWO!
Dana body scissors Naomi and squeezes tight. Naomi endures as Dana says this is about fighting, not dancing. Dana pulls on Naomi’s hair but Naomi elbows and bridges back to cover. TWO and Naomi is free, to body scissor clutch Dana. TWO, and Naomi throws forearms on Dana! Naomi whips but Dana reverses, only to get a ROUNDHOUSE and SCORPION KICK! Naomi springboards to enziguri! Cover, TWO! Dana survives the flurry but Naomi keeps kicking. Naomi lights Dana up with those kicks then runs, into a pop-up BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Naomi survives and Dana can’t believe it! Naomi crawls to a corner but Dana runs and handsprings in. Dana hits a back elbow then rolls Naomi out, for the handspring splash, onto knees! REAR VIEW but Dana rolls Naomi! TWO, and Naomi dodges to REAR VIEW again! Cover, TWO!!
Naomi is shocked that Dana survives, but this is how badly Dana wants it. Naomi kicks Dana to a corner, then split legs for the GLOWSAULT, but it FLOPS!! Dana sunset flips to a cover, and wins!!
Winner: Dana Brooke, by pinfall (advances to the Women’s MITB Ladder Match)
The biggest win in Dana’s career, and she’s pumped! Will Dana keep this momentum going into the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match?
SmackDown returns to Sonya Deville heading to the ring.
Fire & Desire has broken up as Mandy Rose is now with Otis Dozovic! Sonya gets herself a mic to talk to Mandy before she comes out. Mandy has shut Sonya out, so what else is she to do? Sonya is willing to make things right, if Mandy will still be in the same ring as her. When Mandy doesn’t enter right away, Sonya starts to beg. Sonya’s never had someone like Mandy in her life before. Tough Enough, Absolution, Fire & Desire, it’s always been the two of them! Mandy was at Sonya’s sister’s wedding! Just come out so they can talk! Mandy does appear, and she does go to the ring. Sonya wipes a tear from her eye as Mandy gets herself a mic.
Mandy says she has nothing to say to Sonya after what she and Dolph Ziggler did. But Sonya just wants her to listen. For the last five years in her life, Sonya has spent more time with Mandy than her own family. Mandy shutting her out made it feel like Sonya was nothing to her. Sonya just wants to tell Mandy the truth. Mandy is the most… selfish human she’s ever met! Whoa, what is that about? What does this have to do with Sonya’s sabotage of her and Otis? Otis?! This has NOTHING to do with Otis! It is about how, from the second Mandy even started being interested in “someone like him,” Sonya realized she was going to be kicked to the curb! What is Sonya talking about?!
But that’s just it! Mandy doesn’t understand! She never gets it! Fire & Desire wasn’t about them! Sonya came out to Mandy’s stupid music! Sonya handed out Mandy’s stupid magazine! Her face was blurred out next to Mandy’s! Trying to share camera time with the “Golden Goddess,” which that name makes Sonya gag by the way. Though Mandy’s probably been gagging being around someone as gross as Otis. But again, that’s not hte point. If Mandy had just played along, we wouldn’t be here. Mandy should’ve just focused on Fire & Desire! Plot twist: Ziggler actually does care about Mandy. And look at him compared to Otis. So yeah, Sonya helped Ziggler, but oh well. It was in exchange for Ziggler helping the team! Fire & Desire could’ve become Women’s Tag Team Champions but NO~! Mandy ruined it.
How did Mandy ruin anything?! Sonya says it’s glad to have the cards on the table. Because now all she wants to do is to see Mandy hurt. Mandy may be pretty, but she’s nothing but another “dime a dozen bottle blonde who looks like she was created in some sort of lab.” Does Mandy know what it feels like to work and work for five LONG years, and have it WASTED just being second to some eye candy with no talent?! So Sonya wants “Barbie” To listen up: Sonya knows Mandy better than anyone. A sister, a roommate, teammate and partner! And she will use that all to ruin Mandy’s life! And then everyone will see who the TRUE champion in Fire & Desire was! The REAL FIGHTER, “not some centerfold b*tch.” Mandy says she no longer regrets that slap at WrestleMania.
But before Mandy and Sonya can throw down, Ziggler appears! He wants everyone to just calm down. Ziggler gets in the ring and wants Mandy to hear him out. He admits they went about this the wrong way. But Valentine’s Day night, she can’t deny what they had. Ziggler will spend however long it takes to make it all up to her. Just look him in the eye and tell him she doesn’t feel anything for him. He brushes her hair aside, moves in for a kiss, but she pushes him away. And Sonya DECKS her! Ziggler can’t believe Sonya did that, but here comes OTIS!! Otis throws hands on Ziggler! Ziggler bails out but Sonya jumps on! Sonya claws at Otis but Mandy throws Sonya down!
Sonya scrambles away and regroups with Ziggler. Ziggler waits until Otis and Mandy are having a moment to attack! But Otis knocks him down, to BOOM SHAKA LOO, CATERPILLAR! This love story turned betrayal thriller just upped the intensity! Will this get even more heated as Fire and Desire have their falling out?
SmackDown pays tribute to Howard Finkel.
A career spanning five decades, #TheFink is arguably the best ring announcer in WWE history. He basically invented the way to say “AND NEW…!” in pro-wrestling. He called classic moments like Shawn Michaels surviving elimination in the Royal Rumble, and would even join in the fun with some future legends. Finkel will always be remembered as a friend to all in the WWE Universe.
The Miz speaks.
“This has to be the greatest injustice in WWE history.” John MOrrison defended the titles at WrestleMania! Management will never hear the end of this! Because now Miz must prove why he, MC M I Z and #JohnnyDripDrip, aren’t just the greatest rap duo, aren’t just the greatest acting duo, but that they ARE the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century! That’s because he’s The Miz, and he’s AWWWESOOOME!
SmackDown profiles The Forgotten Sons.
Steve Cutler, Wesley Blake, Jaxson Ryker. If you don’t give them the opportunity, they will take it. Passed up, left out, thrown aside. The savages will make sure you never forget them.
Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Daniel Bryan w/ Drew Gulak VS Cesaro w/ Shinsuke Nakamura!
While “The Great Liberator” keeps the WWE Intercontinental Championship safe, the Swiss Cyborg looks to represent The Artist Collective in this golden opportunity. Meanwhile, The Goat has already been Mr. MITB and wants to do it again! Who wins to take on the most unique and challenging form of the Money in the Bank Ladder match ever?
The bell rings and the two tie up. Cesaro headlocks, Bryan powers out but Cesaro runs him over. Bryan is right up to get a leg takedown but Cesaro pushes him away. Cesaro rushes Bryan but Bryan monkey flips him out of the ring! Bryan builds speed and DIVES! He hits Cesaro over the announce desk! But wait, the mysterious SmackDown hacker returns?! They have a new message! “We have heard all the lies. But when will we hear the truth?” Footage from random segments plays, all of tag teams. The Usos, Bliss-Cross, Miz & Morrison, and The New Day? The hacker sends SmackDown to break!
HackDown- er uh, SmackDown returns, and Bryan brawls with Cesaro. Bryan kicks while Cesaro European Uppercuts, and repeat. They also have a knuckle lock keeping them tied up, and Cesaro throws more EuroUppers. Cesaro snapmares but Bryan uses the knuckle lock to bring Cesaro down. Bryan keylocks the arm to stomp it! Bryan wrenches and uses shoulder breakers to bring Cesaro back down. He traps the bad arm and pulls on it! Cesaro endures but Bryan cranks hard! Cesaro powers up, rolls, and elbows free! He headlocks but Bryan powers out. Things speed up and Bryan hip tosses to an ARMBAR! Cesaro blocks with a grip and rolls, but Bryan keeps his shoulders up. Cesaro dead lifts and BOMBS Bryan down! Bryan writhes but Cesaro backs off to catch his breath and shake out the bad arm.
Cesaro drags Bryan up to scoop slam hard! Gulak coaches Bryan but Cesaro KICKS Bryan in the back! Cesaro taunts Bryan and drags him up for another scoop slam! Cover, TWO! Bryan rolls to ropes but Cesaro keeps his focus. Cesaro drags Bryan up but Bryan hits a shoulder breaker through the ropes! And again, and again! Bryan goes to a corner and climbs up. He leaps, but Cesaro still catches him Cesaro powers up with one good arm for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Cesaro has the legs, and gets the SHARPSHOOTER! Bryan endures and crawls, and gets the ropebreak! The ref has Cesaro let off and Bryan bails out. Gulak coaches Bryan up, but Cesaro slips out the side. Cesaro comes around the way, to EUROUPPER Bryan into barriers! Bryan is down as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Cesaro gives Bryan more EuroUppers. But Bryan underhooks for a backslide! Cesaro resists and flips Bryan over. Bryan stays on his feet to get an armbar takedown! Cesaro flails and grips, rolls and lifts, but Bryan hooks a leg! Bryan brings Cesaro down then Penalty Kicks the arm! Cesaro clutches the elbow but Bryan gives him Yes Kicks from all sides! Bryan kicks and kicks and kicks, but Cesaro blocks the buzzsaw! But it was with the bad arm! Bryan comes back and BUZZSAWS! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro survives but Bryan won’t let up. Bryan drags Cesaro around to drag into a seated cobra stretch. He rains elbows down on Cesaro’s shoulder and chest! But Cesaro powers up to fireman’s carry, and RAM Bryan into buckles! Then Cesaro military presses to a GO TO SLEEP! Cover, TWO!!
But into a Crossface! Cesaro and Bryan struggle but the hold locks on! Bryan is stuck, but he rolls and rolls, and pops out to his YES LOCK!! Cesaro is the one caught now, but he pries the fingers apart. They fight for a cover, ONE, then another, TWO! Cesaro LARIATS Bryan down! Cesaro looms over Bryan and brings him up. He gives more EuroUppers in the corner, until the ref counts at him. Cesaro brings Bryan up to whip corner to corner. Bryan goes up and over, but Cesaro catches him! But Bryan spins through to a takedown, and the YES LOCK!! Cesaro endures, Nakamura gets in, but Gulak stops him! Nakamura kicks at Gulak but Gulak won’t let go! Gulak throws Nakamura into barriers, and Cesaro taps! Bryan wins!!
Winner: Daniel Bryan, by submission (advances to the Men’s MITB Ladder Match)
Coach Gulak helps out Bryan, and now Bryan joins the corporate climb! Will Bryan become a two-time Mr. Money in the Bank?
Elias heads out of his dressing room.
The Drifter is set to give SmackDown a special performance, but Baron Corbin BLASTS him over catering!! The Wolf King wants revenge for WrestleMania, and he throws Elias into road cases and the production truck as part of it! Corbin says Elias is a nobody and he DECKS him with a right hand! Then stomps him down! Corbin dares to see what kind of fight Elias has in him, but he kidney punches him! “I don’t hear you now!” Corbin SMASHES Elias’ arm between trunks!! “Why don’t you play me a song now!?” Corbin grabs Elias’ other arm, and the guitar, and drags him towards gorilla for “some fun!” What kind of performance does Corbin have planned for the battling bard?
SmackDown returns and Corbin keeps on Elias with haymakers. Corbin dares Elias to write songs about him now! Then he rams him into more road cases. Corbin says this isn’t going to be fun for Elias, because he’s making an example of him. He stands on the broken hand! He dares Elias to sing for him now! And then BASHES him in the THROAT with the scepter! Corbin makes Elias look at him as he says he is the KING! Corbin vows to make examples out of those who make jokes about him, and make them all bow down! Then he BASHES Elias again! Corbin walks away, but says Elias might need his guitar. And he SMASHES the guitar on Elias’s back! Corbin leaves Elias sputtering for air, but has he completely silenced The Drifter?
SmackDown announces the next round of MITB qualifiers!
For the men, it will be the tyrannical King Corbin going up against Drew Gulak! Then for the women, Lacey Evans and Sasha Banks will finally have it out 1v1!
SmackDown Tag Team Championships Triple Threat: The Miz VS Big E VS Jey Uso!
AWWWWW~ people at hoooome~! Don’t you dare be sour! Watch as we get the other halves of WrestleMania’s unique Triple Threat, and FEEL~ the POWER~! Will Big E bring The New Day their eighth? Will Jey bring him and his brother lucky number seven? Or will the Hollywood A-Lister hold up his end to keep his and Morrison’s second?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the sequel begins!
Miz rushes Big E but is sent into a corner. Big E runs Jey over then catches Miz for an OVERHEAD suplex! Miz bails out but Big E follows, to throw him into barriers! Big E goes to Jey and commentary. He clears off the announce desk and says he has a plan. But he turns around into a SUPERKICK! Miz BOOTS Big E and now he and Jey bring Big E around. Double Suplex THROUGH THE TABLE!! Big E is WRECKED along with the desk as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns as Jey gives Miz a Samoan Drop! Miz is up and Jey clotheslines him out! Jey DIVES onto Big E! They crash into the desk wreckage, but Jey keeps moving! Jey DIVES onto Miz! Jey puts Miz in quick and goes up top. Miz is up so Jey settles for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Jey sees Big E coming and kicks. Big E blocks and spins Jey, but gets the dragon whip enziguri! Jey has a target in each corner, and gives Big E a hip attack! Then Miz! Then back to Big E, only to get an Urenag-E! But Miz hits his A-List Lariat in E! Miz springboards and ax handles Big E down! Miz starts up the “Hey hey! Ho ho!” as Big E stands. Full nelson denied and Jey SUPERKICKS Miz! Jey SUPERKICKS Big E! Cover, TWO!!
Jey keeps his cool as he looks around. He calls the ref over as he heads for Miz, but Miz cradle counters! TWO!! Miz walks into a sunset flip but rolls through. Jey denies Miz the figure four and kicks him into Big E! Miz sends Big E back down and out! Jey rolls Miz up, TWO! Miz catches Jey into the FINALE!! Cover, TWO!?! Jey survives, but Miz has the Figure Four! Jey endures, flails, shouts, but he isn’t giving up! Miz cranks back as hard as he can but Jey hammers the knees. Miz hits back and cranks harder! Jey moves around but BIg E drags Miz up off the hold, for the BIG ENDING! Cover, Big E wins!!
Winner: Big E, by pinfall (NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions)
The muscle of the team wins and Kofi Kingston is fired up on video chat! Kofi gives a shout out to the late, great Finkel with, “and NEWWW…! WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions, it’s ya bois, the NEW~ DAY~!” Xavier joins in and plugs everyone’s social media for their celebrations that are coming! Eight is great for Big E and his brothers! Will the good times never end for these three best friends?
A really good episode for SmackDown, even after all the madness going on in the WWE. The Moment of Bliss was a great opening segment. While WWE Backstage made me realize Strowman VS Wyatt is a little too soon, I’m glad this segment hit a mark I was hoping they’d hit. Bray bringing the black sheep mask back was a brilliant move and I hope we get some more of that. Sadly, WWE cut Erick Rowan so we can’t have him speak to the history of the Wyatt Family. I wonder if they’d dare bring Nicholas up, maybe give the kid a video recorded promo from home.
There was good interweaving in the Women’s Division tonight. Tamina VS Sasha was good stuff, and that gag with the shirt was funny. Lacey joining in was good continuity, and now we’ll be getting her and Sasha settling things with MITB on the line. Tamina VS Bayley for MITB will be good, too, but I feel like it’s totally setting up for a same night cash-in. Mella was right to be a bit worried Dana’s focus is split with their tag title match coming. But what a great surprise for Dana to win her qualifier! That’s big for her, and what a match to be a part of this year! A match that will span the entire Titan Towers office building! Making both MITB matches into cinematic matches like The Boneyard Match and #OneLastBeat is going to be amazing!
Bryan VS Cesaro was a great qualifying match, too, but I’m most intrigued by the timing of the SmackDown hacker’s newest appearance. Is the hacker implying a known tag team is going to be splitting up because of a turn? Or is it all red herrings for Gulak turning on Bryan? Gulak VS Corbin next week will be great, but after Corbin’s newest attempt to murder Elias, Elias definitely costs Corbin. Gulak also entering MITB, that could be the set-up for the hacker’s message of keeping friends close and enemies closer. Also, I’m curious when and how we’ll learn this hacker’s identity and how that turns into a feud. Meanwhile, Sheamus reacts to the Jeff Hardy plugs earlier than I expected, but with the third and final part of the vignettes next week, I’m pretty sure Sheamus goes after Jeff the moment Jeff’s on TV again.
The Sonya Mandy confrontation went mostly as I expected. But Sonya came outta nowhere with that passion, and all her points were valid. I totally remember the moment she pointed out being blurred during an entrance once. Also there was something rather DIY “My moment!” to it with Sonya worried she’d be replaced. It feels like this story with Sonya, Mandy, Otis and Ziggler was really thought out and took advantage of every little detail over the past few months. It’s probably SmackDown’s best story overall. And lastly, I liked the SmackDown Tag Title Triple Threat we got, but this sequel couldn’t outdo the original. Mostly because the original had ladders.
And while I’m excited to see The New Day excited, I actually feel the Usos getting number seven or Miz retaining would’ve been better outcomes. I know the New Day are still hot commodities, but I feel like there was still more to be done with the others. The Usos and Miz-Morrison could’ve had their own feud where there would undoubtedly be a rap battle thrown in so that the Usos could school MC M I Z and Johnny Drip Drip. Maybe that still happens to name #1 contenders.
My Score: 8.4/10