This was the first episode of Smackdown Live since Eric Bischoff was announced as the Executive Director of the blue brand.
The show started off with an episode of the Kevin Owen Show with host Kevin Owens. Owens teased that he would bring out Roman Reigns and instead brought out Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre. After a video package, McMahon said he isn’t afraid of The Undertaker and then announces their match is a No Holds Bar match.
Kevin Owens refuses to read the cards Shane McMahon provided for him bring McIntyre and Owens face-to-face. Dolph Ziggler walks out, and before he says a word, Kevin Owens loses his cool at Ziggler.
Owens tells Ziggler we know it should have been you, “GET OVER IT.” Ziggler replies that Owens looks like a guy who should be in a hot dog eating competition, which Owens responds, “at least I’d win it which is more than you can say about wrestling matches.” A good line from KO, who acted like a babyface in this segment.
Both men demand a shot at Kingston and even say they’ll fight each other for it. Instead, McMahon books the two a tag-team title opportunity against Heavy Machinery. The winning team gets inserted into the Smackdown Tag Team Title match at Extreme Rules, making it a triple-threat match.
This was an exciting start to Smackdown, we will see if the two men get along during the match. Where does that and everything else that happened rank? Below is what happened on the show, starting with my favorite segment.
Bryan Picks Up The Win:
Before the match, Big E and Xavier Woods cut a promo, mainly clowning around but saying they will win the titles regardless of it being a triple-threat match. Then we got to see Big E do his “AHHHH SAN ANTONIO DON’T YOU DARE….” which was pretty cool.
Meanwhile, in the ring, Big E and Daniel Bryan are putting on a rather fun match. There were some excellent counters and near falls. Daniel Bryan picked up the win thanks to interference from Rowan.
This was a good match. It kept the champions strong and kept the New Day chasing the champions. Side note: I could watch these two in a singles match for a title down the line. I think it could be fantastic.
Moment of Bliss Guest Host, Nikki Cross:
Of course, Nikki Cross-starts off as the loyal friend, doing what Alexa would want. Bayley turns the tables and asks Cross why she’s facing Bliss at Extreme Rules when Cross beat her and Carmella. Cross-says she doesn’t know but why isn’t Bayley facing her in the ring right now? An awkward faceoff follows, and we have a match.
Champ Holds Serve:
In a fun match, Bayley managed to pick up the win this week and head into the go-home show with some momentum. This was another excellent showing from Nikki Cross, who was all over the place. Cross hit Bayley with a cool Cross-Body, but it wasn’t enough.
I would’ve liked to have seen Cross win, but good old 50-50 booking strikes again.
One Finger Instead of Five:
After being introduced, Samoa Joe tells Kayla Braxton to leave the ring because it’s going to be nasty and she does. Joe accuses Kofi Kingston of using his New Day friends. Kofi responds, telling Joe he has won and defended the title by himself.
Joe continues, but Kingston doesn’t bat an eye and even starts a “Jealous Joe” chant.
Joe extends his hand for a handshake, promising the safety for Kingston and his family until next Sunday, but Kingston gives Joe the finger. I guess it may be a new era after all.
Kingston then hits Joe with the Trouble In Paradise to stand tall.
This was a terrific segment. I enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see how Joe responds next week.
The “X” Factor:
Apollo Crews looked really athletic, strong and tough, but in the end, Zelina Vega’s interference took out Apollo. Andrade hit Apollo with the DDT for the win. It was really nice to see Andrade wrestle on TV again; I hope he gets a push soon.
Last week, Mandy Rose cost Ember Moon her match against Sonya Deville. This week, she got her revenge. Very interesting that Sonya didn’t interfere at all tonight.
I’m glad they got some TV time, and as always, Corey Graves was fantastic. Graves ended the segment saying this may be Ember Moon’s biggest win, sadly he could be right. She’s been that underutilized.
Heavy Machinery Gets A Title Opportunity:
Both the New Day and Daniel Bryan and Rowan joined the guys on commentary, making for seven guys on commentary. It went about as well as expected. Rowan put Woods through the table.
The match was restarted because of the chaos. Heavy Machinery got the upper hand early, but Ziggler and Owens managed to turn the tables on Heavy Machinery. Otis landed the Caterpillar elbow. Ziggler missed the superkick and instead hit Owens, allowing Heavy Machinery to hit the compactor and earn the title opportunity.
Owens hit Ziggler with the stunner to close the show.
This was a good episode that featured some excellent wrestling. It wasn’t too heavy on Shane McMahon, which is always good. Nikki Cross was fantastic, Joe and Kingston should be fantastic next week, and the main event was exciting. Overall I liked this week’s Smackdown Live. Not sure it was as good as RAW, but it was good.
I give this week’s show a very solid four out of five.