All three brands converge on SmackDown!
Bayley’s actions are coming back to haunt her, as now superstars from Raw, NXT AND SmackDown have a chance to become #1 contender to her title!
- Big E VS John Morrison; No Contest, rescheduled to later tonight.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship Contender’s Triple Brand Battle Royal: Asuka wins and will challenge Bayley for the title at SummerSlam
- Sheamus VS Chad Gable; Sheamus wins.
- Gran Metalik w/ Lince Dorado VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Cesaro; Metalik wins.
- Big E VS John Morrison; Big E wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Retribution has come for WWE!
Technical difficulties and strange happenings were just the beginning. Raw and SmackDown have both been overrun by a handful of anarchists who shout, “This is our house now!” They’ve done damage and security is on the look out, but is this just the tip of the iceberg?
Big E VS John Morrison!
Awwww~ people at home! Big E may be on his own but he is not new to this singles game! He is a former NXT Champion! A former Intercontinental Champion! Y’all must of forgotten, but he’ll remind us all! Will Big E get another big win as he takes on the Guru of Greatness?
The bell rings but the lights flicker. A member of the Retribution is on the apron and now in the ring! And then the rest appear! And even more! This is more than just the handful from before, but Big E and Morrison go right at them! This is a 6v2 assault, though, with more causing a ruckus on the outside! The crowd boos as Big E takes a SPEAR and Morrison is mugged! The Retribution leaves, having ruined the show opener. Miz arrives, conspicuous by his absence from earlier, and he checks on Morrison. How will SmackDown handle this after the break?
SmackDown returns to see superstars talking backstage.
Big E clutches his knee while Lucha House Party, Drew Gulak, Chad Gable, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro join him, The Miz and John Morrison in trying to figure out what was going on. Miz says he was on the phone with Maryse about something, and apologizes for not being out there to help. Morrison gets it. But Miz says Big E is the one who riled Retribution up with a tweet. Baron Corbin comes by and says SmackDown is under attack! SmackDown needs direction and leadership, and the Wolf King is the man for the job. He can lead them to safety, since some of them aren’t built for this. Big E tells Corbin to shut his mouth. This is their house, and the Foot Clan from TMNT ain’t gonna run up and put their feet on SmackDown’s couch!
Big E may be beaten and bruised, disrespected, but he is not defeated! Big E swears to continue the match with Morrison and win! Now is not the time to hide but to stand and fight! The others rally behind him but Sheamus walks in mocking Big E. Sheamus has goosebumps~! But he’s never heard such an inspirational cry for help. No Kofi, no Woods, no trombones or pancakes. Just Big E all alone and vulnerable. That’s why Retribution attacked in the first place! They can smell fear. Sheamus has been knocking lumps out of Gable, so Retribution wouldn’t dare show themselves during his match. Sheamus isn’t afraid of them, but if they have any sense, they’d be afraid of him. If Sheamus had any sense, he’d see he’s not alone. Big E leaves, and LHP, Gulak and even Gable go with him. Who will be the one Retribution fears by the end of the night?
The Golden Role Models are in the ring!
Bayley and Sasha Banks have all their belts and say, “Ding dong, is this thing on?” That group that calls themselves Retribution apparently want to hear what these two have to say, so the crowd should follow suit! The show is getting going with the Triple Brand Battle Royal! Everyone knows better than to interrupt these two. Sasha Banks will have to face Asuka at SummerSlam, and now we know they’ll have to defend the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships at Payback! It’s fine, but that’s then. Tonight isn’t about those matches, but about Bayley! Stephanie McMahon tried raining on their parade, which is getting gold. But not even the McMahons can hold these two down!
So when it comes to the “lucky idiot” that will face Bayley at SummerSlam, Bayley is very excited. But after taking every job in the WWE and done it better than the others, especially commentary a la Corey Graves and Michael Cole! Now they add one more to the list: RING ANNOUNCING~! Get out, Greg Hamilton! Out! Move! Bye! Bayley starts by saying the following contest is a Triple Brand Battle Royal, where the only way to eliminate an opponent is to throw them over the top rope and both feet hit the floor! Both! Uno, dos! The winner goes on to SummerSlam to compete for the SmackDown Women’s Championship against yours truly, BAYLEY! First from Raw, the IIconics! A cute duo of best friends that are still second to Bayley and Sasha.
Next, a good but embarrassing one. The Role Models went back to NXT and shamed these girls. It’s Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart! Green is definitely not Shotzi’s color. But the Role Models’ cover is GOLD! And now from SmackDown, Lacey Evans, another woman Bayley beat. How’s little Summer? From Raw… No, no, this has to be wrong. ASUKA?! She’s already going to face Sasha, and now she brawls with both Role Models! Sasha and Bayley bail out, and here comes Naomi, Nikki Cross, Bianca Belair, Tamina, Dana Brooke, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Shayna Baszler! Will the Empress of Tomorrow get a double header for SummerSlam? Or will someone else step up to challenge Bayley?
SmackDown Women’s Championship Contender’s Triple Brand Battle Royal!
SmackDown returns and this match begins! Lacey goes after Naomi, the IIconics are after Ruby, Shotzi brawls with Tamina. Liv saves Ruby from the IIconics while Asuka stomps Dana. Dana turns things around while the Riott Squad both end up on the apron. Peyton rocks Liv but Ruby saves LIv from Billie’s BOOT! Billie ELIMINATES Ruby! The Role Models mock the first woman gone while Liv drags both IIconics up! Tegan helps to ELIMINATE Billie! And Shotzi ELIMINATES Peyton! But the IIconics trip up and ELIMINATE Liv! The Role Models are shocked as the Squad and IIconics brawl!
Back in the ring, Bianca scoops Shotzi while Dana throws Nikki out. Nikki went through the second rope and Dana boots her down so Nikki is still in this. Nikki catches Dana’s baseball slide into the apron skirt! Nikki fires off on Dana over and over, then shouts at the Role Models. Nikki gets back in but Asuka kicks her first. Tegan and Shotzi try to eliminate Bianca but she holds on for dear life. Naomi and Lacey still fight while Tamina brawls with Shayna. Bianca fights Shotzi and Tegan off while Naomi pulls Lacey’s hair as payback for the last few weeks. Nikki fires up and goes after Tamina but Tamina stays up. Nikki fires off forearms but Tamina shoves her away.
Nikki throat chops, runs and crossbodies, but Tamina catches her! Tamina puts Nikki on the apron but Nikki fights Tamina back. Nikki gets in but the SUPERKICK ELIMINATES Nikki! Tamina then runs over Tegan and Shotzi! But now Bianca steps up to Tamina and the crowd fires up! Bianca and Tamina start pushing, and Bianca fires off forearms! Tamina body shots back then fireman’s carries, but Bianca slips out to SPEAR! Bianca brings Tamina up for the chicken wing throw! Bianca ELIMINATES Tamina!! The Role Models are in shock! Naomi dodges Lacey to back elbow her! Jawbreaker! Naomi whips but Lacey reverses, but Naomi gets up only to be sent out. Naomi shoulders back in, ROUNDHOUSES Shayna away, but the WOMAN’S RIGHT ELIMINATES Naomi!
Lacey talks trash to Naomi and throws her a handkerchief, but Shotzi dumps Lacey to the apron and shoulders her down! Shotzi ELIMINATES Lacey! But Shayna grabs Shotzi in a Kirafuda Klutch! Shayna drags Shotzi up, has her fade out, but Lacey trips and ELIMINATES Shotzi! Bianca rams into Tegan over and over, then scoops, only for Tegan to slip out. Tegan body shots but Bianca blocks the whip. Bianca whips and catches the uppercut for the chicken wings. Tegan victory rolls free and sends Bianca into ropes! Tegan baits Bianca in and dumps her out, Tegan ELIMINATES Bianca! We already have our final three, in Tegan, Shayna and Asuka!
Tegan rallies on the two former NXT Women’s Champions, uppercut for Asuka in the corner! Uppercut for Shayna! CANNONBALL into Asuka! CANNONBALL into Shayna! Tegan has Asuka up for a GOURD BUSTER! Tegan and Shayna lock up, Shayna gut wrenches Tegan to the ropes! Tegan wobbles, Dana Brooke trips and ELIMINATES Tegan?! Wait a minute, Dana wasn’t eliminated at all! She is now part of the REAL final three! Dana says she was playing smart and says she can win. Dana gets in, dodges Shayna to dropkick her down! Dana handspring back elbows into the KIRAFUDA! Shayna throws Dana up and over, but Dana hotshots her! Asuka hip attacks and ELIMINATES Dana!
The crowd is thunderous as Asuka and Shayna go 1v1! They circle, evade the sliding lunges, and tie up. Shayna throws knees, whips Asuka to a corner, but Asuka goes up only to get an enziguri! Asuka tumbles but stays on the apron! Asuka BACK HANDS Shayna, but Bayley tries to trip Bayley! Asuka kicks her away, Sasha come sin, but Asuka SLIDING KICKS both Role Models! Shayna KNEES Asuka off the apron, but Asuka lands on the Role Models!! Asuka’s feet aren’t touching the floor, she’s still in this! Asuka gets back on the apron Shayna fires forearms but Asuka gives them back! Shayna has Asuka in the Kirafuda, but Asuka drags her up and over!! Shayna hits the floor, Asuka wins!!
Winner: Asuka (NEW #1 Contender to the SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Incredible! The Empress is going to challenge each champion in turn! Will neither Bayley or Sasha be ready for #DoubleChampionAsuka?
SmackDown returns to the Golden Role Models backstage.
This is an outrage! This is not fair! They didn’t know Asuka was going to be on the final list! Well, Asuka won against Bayley on Raw but they can beat her at SummerSlam. Yeah, the title wasn’t on the line, so Bayley didn’t have something important to fight for. Wait, what? Before Bayley can explain, Asuka attacks!! Asuka kicks away on both of them! Security hurries to break this up but Asuka makes it clear that she’s coming for both singles belts! Is either best friend going to survive SummerSlam?
Mandy Rose speaks.
“You know what, Sonya?” Part of what you said was true. But does Sonya think she’s the only person to say Mandy’s just a pretty face/ She’s heard it her whole life! She’s a Barbie, she’s so fake, just a model with everything handed to her. That hurts hearing all that. What Sonya said about her being a bikini world champion, that’s true. But does having three jobs to put herself through college while winning that title sound like everything was handed to her? And what about getting to the WWE? Sonya of all people saw how hard Mandy worked to get here.
But turns out, Mandy should thank Sonya for reminding her she’s more than a pretty face. Sonya thought trying to make her look ugly would destroy Mandy? How about this? SummerSlam, Hair VS Hair! If Sonya wants to sit on her high horse about not caring about her looks, then time to put your money where your mouth is. Because one way or another, Mandy promises Sonya it will get ugly.
Sheamus heads to gorilla.
The Celtic Warrior assures security backstage that they’re not needed. The Retribution is too afraid of him to interfere. But will the anarchists prove him wrong?
Nikki Cross finds Alexa Bliss backstage.
She gives her bestie a big hug, and apologizes for pushing her down and leaving her to The Fiend. It’s fine, really. But with what happened- It’s okay, really. Alexa, c’mon. The Fiend and Braun are here, something could happen. No, Alexa needs to be here to get answers for herself. Will the Monster no longer among men be willing to talk to someone he says he no longer cares about?
Sheamus VS Chad Gable!
The Fella and Shorty G have revived their rivalry over issues regarding Matt Riddle and Baron Corbin. Sheamus gave Gable Brogue after Brogue, will he just top it off with more of the same? Or does Gable’s new aggression mean things will be different this time?
The bell rings and Gable fires off on Sheamus with forearms! Gable gets a waistlock but Sheamus elbows him hard in the corner. The ref counts, Sheamus lets up at 4 but he stomps Gable and throws him out. Gable stays on the apron so Sheamus drags him up for the Bodhrain! Sheamus gives Gable all 10 beats before the ref counts 4, and then Gable flops to the floor. Sheamus goes out, drags Gable back up and in, then brings Gable up for European Uppercuts! Sheamus whips, Gable ducks and dodges to dropkick the legs out! Gable has the leg for a snap toehold! And another! Gable body scissors into a rear mount and clubbing crossface forearms! Gable looms over Sheamus now then runs, into a double ax handle!
Sheamus seethes while the crowd rallies up. Sheamus drags Gable up for the IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! And then a knee drop! And another! Sheamus gives those crossface forearms back, but Gable CHOPS and CHOPS! Sheamus knees low, scoops but Gable fights free to rolling kick! Gable goes out, climbs up, and leaps to missile dropkick Sheamus down! Cover, TWO! Gable grows frustrated and Sheamus fireman’s carries. Gable sunset flips, has the leg for the ANKLE LOCK! Sheamus reaches, rolls and pushes free, but Gable jackknife covers! TWO, and Sheamus fireman’s carry to WHITE NOISE! The Air Raid drives Gable down but Sheamus wants him to get back up. Gable stands, for the BROGUE!! Cover, Sheamus wins!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall
The Celtic Warrior conquers Shorty G! And he was right, Retribution didn’t interfere. Is that from fear? Or is something else going on here?
AJ Styles talks with a member of staff backstage.
The Phenomenal One seems very adamant about something and the very nervous tech is showing him the work. Apparently the “Phenomenal Intercontinental Statistics System” is debuting tonight! Will Styles be happy with his PISS?
AJ Styles heads to the ring!
He and the technical advisor from just before are here and Styles gets a mic for this presentation. There is a lot going on in the WWE but who really cares about those hooligans? There are more pressing matters! Like who will face the Phenomenal AJ Styles for the Intercontinental Championship! Not that it really matters. But it still does because Daniel Bryan insists the Intercontinental Champion should be a fighting champion. Has Styles not been that? Coach Gulak lost to Styles. Matt Riddle lost to Styles. Gran Metalik lost to Styles! Styles just wants to enjoy being a champion, sitting at home while gaming on his Twitch channel, and enjoy all this.
But so many people, just like his followers, are a bunch of nerds throwing out stats! Like Styles needs to hear all that! Statistically, Styles should face this guy who hasn’t won a lot but beat tough opponents! But then it dawned on Styles. When Styles watches baseball, there’s batting averages. Football, it’s 40 yard times. Stats. So then Styles realized, as a handsome stud of a nerd himself, cares about stats. The crowd latches on by chanting, “Nerd! Nerd!” Styles tells them to shut up. But his point is, if we’re going by stats, Styles will have a team. The Phenomenal Intercontinental Statistics System! The PISS! Well, okay, the name is a work in progress. Now the crowd chants, “Piss! Piss!”
Styles says the point is, we’re not handing out title matches. Everyone will earn matches on merit and merit alone. So let’s see who is the top superstar according to PISS. It is… AJ Styles! Of course! He is the champion! But number two as according to PISS, as well as three, four and five. It’s… NOBODY! Joseph Park’s numbers have calculated that no one has the right to challenge Styles! No one!! “But here’s the truth: If you work hard, real hard, really really really hard, then one day you can make it on this board” and challenge- Here comes Jeff Hardy! The Charismatic Enigma heads to the ring and the crowd cheers.
Hardy tells Styles that while he has a ton of respect for what Styles has done, which is all truly phenomenal, that tournament he won was tainted. Sheamus set Hardy up and robbed Hardy of his opportunity. Hardy doesn’t dwell on the past, but it could’ve been these two in the finals. But it wasn’t, we move on. The Intercontinental Championship is the first title Hardy won on his own. Hardy stood on his own two feet then, as he does now after conquering his demons. So Hardy knows his self worth and accomplishments. And as a member of the WWE Universe, Styles VS Hardy just sounds “mega cool!” The crowd chants, “mega cool!” So man to man, Hardy challenges Styles to give him a match for that newly designed title.
Styles says that stats aside, they’ve known each other a long time, Hardy has always been good to Styles and Styles admires what Hardy has done. Styles gets it. There are a lot of people who want to see this. Hardy was part of “the best tag team in WWE history, there’s no doubt about that.” Hardy does deserve to be on the board. So if Hardy is asking if Styles wants to face Hardy in this ring for the Intercontinental Championship, Styles says HELL NO! What does Hardy think this is? He hasn’t earned his spot on the board! And yes, Styles knows what Hardy’s been through. “But this ain’t no pity party.” Hardy fires off on Styles! And Park! Styles staggers into a TWIST OF FATE! Hardy takes the pen and writes his name in BIG letters on the board! Will Hardy whoop the PISS out of Styles to prove he’s a worthy contender?
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura talk backstage.
They’re the greatest SmackDown Tag Team Champions yet, and Lucha House Party can’t do a thing about it. Nakamura is going to turn Gran Metalik into… How do you say “little” in Japanese? Chibi. Yes, he’ll be Chibi Metalik after this. But wait! LHP is stealing the belts! Nakamura and Cesaro give chase, will they make Lince Dorado and GRAN Metalik pay for this prank?
Styles vents backstage.
“Jeff Hardy punched me in the face!” Kayla Braxton comes by to ask if Styles is reconsidering the challenge. Hardy assaulted Styles! Hardy doesn’t respect Styles, the Intercontinental Championship or analytics! Hardy wants Styles, he’ll get Styles. And Styles will show Hardy what happens when you mess with him. “You get erased!” Styles tries to rub the ink off the board, but it isn’t coming off. This is permanent marker?! Styles leads Park and the PISS board away in a huff. Will Styles have no choice but to acknowledge Hardy’s challenge?
Gran Metalik w/ Lince Dorado VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Cesaro!
Lucha House Party just wanted to have fun but the King of Strong Style and Swiss Cyborg had to be bullies about the party. Now LHP is getting back at them by taking those titles literally. Will Nakamura get even with them in the ring?
The bell rings and Nakamura calls for a test of strength, only to kick Metalik in the leg! Nakamura fires off forearms and then puts Metalik in the corner for more. The ref counts but Nakamura backs off, to give Metalik Bad Vibrations! Nakamura taunts Lince before he snampares Metalik and drops a knee! Cover, TWO! Nakamura looms over Metalik, drags him up by the mask, and then whips him to ropes. Metalik ducks and mule kicks back to snapmare and chinlock in return. Nakamura fights up, fights back and whips Metalik away. Metalik handsprings, Nakamura dodges but Metalik ducks to huricanrana!
Nakamura bails out and Metalik builds speed but he dives into a kick! Nakamura covers, TWO! Nakamura kicks Metalik while he’s down then drags him back up. Nakamura whips Metalik corner to corner, Metalik boots but is blocked. Nakamura puts Metalik on the apron, Metalik shoulders back then springboards in! Crossbody and cover, TWO! Metalik boots Nakamura away then SLING DOGS! The crowd fires up as Metalik brings Nakamura up and whips. Nakamura reverses, Metalik springboards for the back elbow! Cover, TWO! Metalik keeps on Nakamura with a fireman’s carry, but Nakamura slips out to sleeper hold! Then INVERTED EXPLODER, but Metalik lands o his feet!
Metalik mule kicks, goes to ropes, but Cesaro distracts on the apron! Metalik springboards into the DYNAMIC DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura drags Metalik back up, gives him another INVERTED EXPLODER! Shinsuke aims, Metalik rises, “YAO~!” But wait, is that KALISTO!? The Lucha Dragon returns to join his amigos! Cesaro rushes him but Kalisto dodges and Lince SUPERKICKS Cesaro first! Lince gives Kalisto the alley-oop, Cesaro catches him, but Lince spins Kalisto through to tornado DDT Cesaro on the ramp! Nakamura is distracted by this, Metalik enziguris! Metlaik walks the ropes, SPRINGBOARD ELBOW DROP! Cover, Metalik wins!
Winner: Gran Metalik, by pinfall
The Lucha House Party is at 100% power! Will they be stronger than ever and finally have tag gold?
Backstage interview with Matt Riddle.
The Bro has been the target of Baron Corbin just for being the new guy, yet he still has a positive mood. How is he so positive with this “King’s Ransom” on his head? Well, bro, no one likes a bounty on their head. It’s pretty hard. Riddle is laid back so he doesn’t like having his head on a swivel. But it’s also cool, because he’s here to bro down and throw down. Riddle wants to compete. Corbin acts like a king, but he’s more like a royal pain. Riddle has called Corbin out, dared him to have a match, and even got involved in Corbin’s match with Sheamus last week. Honestly, what is Riddle supposed to do to get that match?
Gable comes by and explains himself. He got too caught up in that King’s Ransom stuff. But Gable does have a family, and money like that goes a long way. Riddle understands that, too, right? But that doesn’t justify Gable trying to injure someone else. It’s not him. It’s sickening and embarrassing. Gable is here, man to man and face to face, to apologize. Gable offers a bro fist bump, and Riddle takes it. It’s all good, bro. But hey, if Gable ever wants to go against the Bro, Riddle is always down. Riddle does have a question, though. But Corbin attacks before he can ask! “So much for keeping your head on a swivel, huh?” This is Corbin’s kingdom. And thanks Gable. Corbin always knew he’d amount to something.
Gable apologized and got taken advantage, while Corbin won’t apologize for anything. Will Riddle make Corbin sorry he ever started this?
Alexa Bliss sits down for a special interview.
How does she feel after everything the last few weeks? She’s been better, that’s for sure. Can she tell us about her history with Braun Strowman? When you first meet Braun, he can be intimidating. But she got to know the man behind the monster. Team Little Big were a hit during the original Mixed Match Challenge, getting along both professionally and personally. Braun is a good man, very funny and witty, and even protective, compassionate and honest. They can have fun with each other, and that’s how they became best friends.
Then was there a point where she thought it could be more than a friendship? As in, romantically? Well… Maybe? Braun cared about her, she cared about him. Is that why The Fiend targeted her? Because of those feelings? That is something Alexa doesn’t know. You’d have to ask The Fiend. Being that close to The Fiend, what was it like? “It’s scary. Terrifying.” And yet, compelling. Once you’ve interacted with The Fiend, you can almost feel him. She can say for the first time in her life, she understands what they mean by “Moths to a flame.”
Braun made some very strong comments about her. He told The Fiend that playing on emotions won’t work, and that Alexa doesn’t matter to him anymore. Braun only cares about destroying The Fiend, because now he is solely The Monster. How does she feel hearing that? Alexa can’t bring herself to say, so SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown makes it official!
After Hardy confronted AJ Styles and things turned into a fight, the Charismatic Enigma WILL challenge the Phenomenal One for the Intercontinental Championship! Will Styles have to ditch PISS when he loses the title?
Sonya Deville responds.
“I gotta say, Mandy. I’m a little surprised by your challenge.” Who knew all it would take was a haircut to get some aggression out of her? And Sonya thought about it. Sonya thinks Mandy will look great bald. Sorry, no jokes, she’ll be serious. Sonya wants to remind Mandy of something else. Mandy may think she got over her insecurities, and she may be so sick about hearing the same things over and over, but did she ever think that those people said all that because it’s true? Sonya will make sure Mandy realizes that as she destroyed Mandy once and for all. Challenge accepted! “See you soon, Baldy.” SummerSlam will see one woman win, and the other be cut up and humiliated!
Big E VS John Morrison!
The Miz is on commentary this time as we try this again. We skip the entrances and the good vibes as Big E and Morrison look to have it out. Will Retribution reappear to ruin this match again?
The bell rings, the two circle and tie up. Big E pushes Morrison to a corner but Morrison turns it around. Morrison kicks at Big E’s bad leg but Big E stays up. They tie up again, Big E headlocks and grinds Morrison to the rhythm of “New! Day Rocks!” Morrison powers out, Big E runs him over, and Big E smiles as Morrison gets to a corner. Morrison keeps his cool as he approaches Big E. Big E avoids one low kick but not the tricky second one, or the hard third kick! Morrison rolls Big E to a cover, TWO! Big E sits up, holding the bad knee again. Morrison starts up, “Hey! Hey hey! Ho ho~!” Things speed up now as Big E manages to hurdle Morrison then back elbow him away!
Morrison shows off his parkour meets capoeria style and it takes Big E off balance. Morrison waistlocks, but Big E powers him off! Big E runs into the corner but Morrison slips out and roundhouses back! Morrison springboards but Big E pushes him over! Morrison tumbles down but gets back up, and Miz is relieved. Morrison forearms back, things speed up again and Big E lariats Morrison down! Big E drags Morrison out to the apron, clubs him in the chest, then climbs up for the SPLASH! Morrison might as well be a pancake and Miz is worried. Big E refreshes the count, stalks Morrison around the way, but Morrison hurries away.
Miz gets out of his seat to coach Morrison but Big E pushes him aside. Miz tugs on the headset and the cable tangles on Big E’s leg. Big E glares at Miz but Morrison chop blocks the bad leg! Miz plays innocent while the crowd boos. Morrison drags Big E up and into the ring and kicks away in the corner. Morrison throws haymakers, wraps the bad leg around the ropes then drops a knee on the knee! Big E writhes and the ref reprimands but Morrison covers, TWO! Morrison keeps on Big E with a chinlock, but wait is that Otis? Otis confronts Miz on behalf of Big E but Miz has to say back that Otis doesn’t deserve to be Mr. Money in the Bank! The briefcase literally fell into Otis’ hands!
Big E fights up out of the chinlock and throws body shots on Morrison. The lights start to flicker!! Is this Retribution!? Everyone is on guard and looking around as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and the SmackDown locker room has hurried to ringside to be even more security. Morrison has Big E’s bad leg in a toehold and he cranks as hard as he can on it. Big E endures and fights back as the crowd rallies, but Morrison shifts to facelock. The lights flicker again but still no Retribution. Big E powers up and out of the hold, but Retribution suddenly pours out from backstage! They’re chasing Kayla! And wrecking interview sets! And throwing referees around! And beating up Performance Center trainees! And even locking someone in the bathroom!? Retribution throws chairs around, hits things with crowbars and bats, and spray the WWE logo with a slash through it like before! But no one at ringside realizes this!
Big E has Morrison but Morrison PELES back! Big E wobbles, Morrison springboards to FLYING CHUCK! Cover, TWO! A referee manages to get word about Retribution to the others! They hurry backstage to intervene! Big E and Morrison are alone and Big E kicks Morrison away. Morrison runs at Big E, Big E scoops but Morrison slips out to push Big E into buckles. Morrison runs in, Big E scoops him for the Urenag-E, but Morrison uses his feet to kick the ropes and get free! Morrison dropkicks the legs out! Meanwhile, the SmackDown superstars are moments too late to stop Retribution as they’ve already fled the backstage area! Where did they go now? They free the guy in the bathroom, at least.
Back in the ring, Morrison ROCKS Big E up top. Morrison climbs, Big E resists and throws body shots. Big E shoves Morrison down hard, hops down and gives Morrison that Urenage-E! Cover, TWO!! Michael Cole asks what Miz is going to do about Retribution, but he counters with, “What was I supposed to do?” Big E scoops, Morrison slips out again and kicks away on the bad leg! Morrison sweeps the legs then runs, but Big E ducks the Shining Wizard! Big E rolls Morrison up, TWO, to the STRETCH MUFFLER! Morrison taps, Big E wins!!
Winner: Big E, by submission
Big E looks unstoppable and Miz is upset. But then SHEAMUS attacks Big E! The BROGUE takes him out, but wait. BRAUN is here!! Braun has shaved his head but still has his beard as he roars and storms out to the ring. Will Big E even realize who hit him? Will The Fiend show himself to The Monster?
SmackDown returns to Braun in the ring.
He stares right into the camera as he has a mic. “They say ‘You’ll never see it coming’ at SummerSlam. Well, Fiend, you know exactly what you’re gonna get when it comes to me! I told you that when I came outta that swamp, that I was gonna be the most evil son of a bi*ch that you or anyone on this earth had ever laid eyes on!” He tells The Fiend to face his fears so that Braun can rip him limb from limb, EVISCERATE him, and then as The Fiend is about to take his last breath, he will look up at Braun as he consumes his entrails!! But it isn’t The Fiend that appears, but Alexa! Alexa goes right to the ring and has a mic of her own as she looks at Braun.
“Braun. At the risk of making you angrier, I think I owe it to us and our friendship to have a conversation.” A conversation about what? About him! This is not the Braun she knows! Especially after how he said he doesn’t “give a damn” about her! She 100% does NOT believe that! They’ve been friends for years! Like hell they were! She used him as a pawn! She wanted to make him something he’s not! But he told the truth when he said he doesn’t care about her! She thought of him as some kind of clown she could lead around by his beard and make him sing songs in the car! Alexa doesn’t understand this. What is going on here? Braun will spell it out for her. “Everyone that comes in contact with The Fiend changes, INCLUDING YOU!” Now get out of the ring, because he wants The Fiend!
Fine. Alexa will go, but says he needs to be careful what he wishes for. If she can’t talk sense into Braun, she’ll slap some sense into him! And damn it, LOOK AT HER when she talks to you! Braun turns very slowly to look down at her. And she SLAPS him! He smiles as she keeps slapping him. Alexa shouts at him, “This isn’t you! Wake up!” But then Braun scoops and lifts Alexa way overhead! But the lights start turning off, and not because of Retribution. Braun shouts, “Where are you, Fiend?!” He keeps Alexa up, but then TOSSES her as the lights go out!! The lights come back on, and they’re red as The Fiend stands in the ring.
Alexa hit the mat and she sits up from the pain, but where is Braun? Braun laughs as he used The Fiend’s trick against him. Braun is now the one laughing into the night. Fiend laughs back. Has SmackDown gone completely mad?
This was a WILD episode of SmackDown, though I’m not sure if it was all good. When it comes to the obvious thread of the night with The Retribution showing up, they seem a lot bolder on SmackDown than on Raw. And there were way more this week than before, so I can’t be sure if it’s still just a faction or some kind of invasion. The only show Retribution hasn’t hit is NXT, so maybe this is some weird way of NXT invading without taking the blame for it. Another theory is how they only did things during Big E’s matches against Morrison. They ruined the first and hurt Big E’s knee, then ran roughshod backstage during the second. Is there a mastermind behind Retribution that has a thing against Big E? Against Miz and Morrison? Is WWE smart enough to bring the SmackDown Hacker back into things? Yeah, probably not at all. But having a mastermind should be the big twist to this.
I will say that Retribution has spurred on great developments in the SmackDown midcard. Corbin trying to become the leader while Big E stands up to him is great. Sheamus beating Gable but then going after Big E anyway is great. Corbin using Gable to get after Riddle is great. All of these guys can compete in whatever match or series of matches WWE wants for them and I would love to see it. Maybe make it a huge contender’s match to the Intercontinental Championship since Styles is about everyone earning things. I definitely laughed more than I should have at Styles creating “PISS,” but I properly marked out for seeing Joseph “Abyss” Park make an on-air debut for SmackDown. I hope something develops there on the side. Styles VS Hardy next week will be amazing, and that means SummerSlam is open for an even greater match.
Mandy and Sonya may not have had the Extreme Rules PPV match I had hoped for but their promos tonight and the set-up of a HAIR VS HAIR match at SummerSlam, this is going to get really good. Mandy already had her hair cut during the attack segment a couple weeks ago, maybe Mandy wins and “ruins” Sonya’s hair. I liked a lot of what happened with the SmackDown Tag Team Championship story. LHP gets the win thanks to a great surprise return from Kalisto. Kalisto looks JACKED, and I hope he gets some kind of singles title attempt while Lince and Metalik get the tag title shot. Of course, I don’t see Cesaro and Nakamura losing so soon. Those guys definitely deserve a lengthy reign given the great work they’ve done in and out of the ring.
The Women’s Battle Royal was a lot of fun, but what a twist with Asuka getting in on it. Now, this kinda fits under something I was feeling. If Kairi Sane wasn’t leaving WWE, she could’ve easily been in this Triple Brand Battle Royal, won it the same way Asuka won it, and then the Kabuki Warriors could be taking the belts from the Golden Role Models at SummerSlam. Heck, the fact we just learned that Payback will have the Women’s Tag Team titles on the line, Kabuki Warriors could’ve challenged for those, too. But now Asuka could end up a double champion in one night, and that’d be awesome. Everyone loves double champions, everyone loves Asuka, everyone will love Double Champion Asuka.
The story of Braun, Bray and Bliss has taken some interesting twists of its own. Alexa played her part great tonight, from being aloof from Nikki to not knowing how to handle the questions in that interview. Then her confronting Braun was strong stuff, too. I’m pretty sure they upped the audio on that first slap but still. And I do like that they used the lights to censor Alexa being tossed, much as what happened on Raw with Randy Orton punting Ric Flair, but a part of me was hoping The Fiend would “catch” her. I suppose The Fiend can’t start caring for someone, he needs to be the soulless part of Bray. In which case, I have to applaud WWE for giving us a Heel VS Heel title match at SummerSlam. Are we going to get Otis cashing in that MITB contract as the one Face in the mix? Is that another reason for Payback the week after? So many questions!
My Score: 8.5/10