The go-home show for Extreme Rules began hot with Shane McMahon explaining why he canceled the scheduled main event between Kevin Owens. A video aired of Owens interrupting a Dolph Ziggler interview. A brawl then ensued. McMahon sent Owens home for the evening.
But before Tom Phillips could even finish introducing the show we heard the voice of Kevin Owens, saying, “HEY CUT THAT INTRO RIGHT NOW. I’VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY!!” Owens is screaming saying he remembers when the McMahon family stood in the ring and said they’d listen to the fans (me too, Kevin) but the only thing that has happened since then has been Shane McMahon getting more TV time than anyone else and nobody wants to see that (once again, me too Kevin).
Shane walks out and demands Owen’s microphone be cut off. Owens gets a new mic and keeps talking, only to have that mic be cut off too. Owens then rips the headset off of Byron Saxton and starts naming names of wrestlers that bust their ass week in and week out, but get no TV time. Shane then calls security and Owens runs out through the crowd.
WHAT A START TO SMACKDOWN LIVE!!!! Kevin Owens was in peek babyface mode and was fantastic. I can’t wait to see what happens in the rest of the show.
Coming up next is Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke. See where that and everything else ranks in order of my favorite to least favorite. (SPOILER ALERT: Nothing beat the start of the show)
Tag Team Title Summit:
Daniel Bryan and Rowan, The New Day and Heavy Machinery all come down to the ring. The New Day jokes about three-ways, while the other cut generic promos. Bryan said the other teams aren’t taking this match seriously. Otis stole the New Day’s “your WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions” thing, although funny, I could go without seeing that again.
Shinsuke (Finally) Wins For the First Time Since April:
Hard to believe this is Finn’s first TV match since May 14. I think I speak for the WWE universe, we missed you, Finn. This was a good match with several excellent spots. Finn countered a Kinshasa with a Sling Blade. Shinsuke hit Finn with a Kinshasa, nearly counting out Finn. Balor beat the count of 10 twice, but Shinsuke nailed another Kinshasa to pick up the win.
This was an excellent match. I hope they fight again for the title when they can go all out. Also, I hope Shinsuke wins the IC Title in this feud. He needs it.
Cesaro is Knocking:
After weeks of teasing it and wondering whom Aleister Black will face at Extreme Rules, we find out that will be Cesaro. Cesaro said I have been knocking because I am looking to fight you.
While the segment wasn’t much, I can’t wait to watch this match. It should be absolutely fantastic. That explains why this is so high.
Shane Stunned, Roman Wins:
Shane McMahon was on commentary for the event, and Drew McIntyre and Elias were ringside.
Drew and Elias tried to interfere and distract at all times, and it almost worked, giving Ziggler the win. (Guess we aren’t going to mention Ziggler and McIntyre’s big feud before he left).
Roman kicked out of a Zigzag at two. Ziggler tries to respond with a Superkick but runs into a Superman punch.
Shane gets into the ring, but Kevin Owens comes up from out of nowhere to hit Shane McMahon with the Stunner and the runs through the crowd. Meanwhile Roman hits Dolph with a big-time Spear to pick up the win.
As usual, Roman looked strong and performed well. Owens, at the end, was fantastic.
Cross-beats Carmella, Kabuki Warriors, and IIconics show up!
In a close competitive match, Nikki Cross lands a spinning neck-breaker to pick up the win and stand tall. Not that there was any doubt, but this all but guarantees Bayley will win on Sunday.
Before heading to break, Paige says the Kabuki Warriors will be facing the IIconics for the Women’s Tag Team Championship. The IIconics say they can’t because Billie Kay has Mad Cow Bird Flu Disease. Paige then slaps Billie Kay.
That wasn’t great, but at least the WWE knows those two are alive. Hope they wrestle soon.
A triple-threat match between Otis, Xavier Woods and Daniel Bryan ensues after the promos. The match had to be restarted after Big E, Rowan and Tucker were brawling outside the ring. All three were thrown out as well.
Otis hits Woods with the Worlds Strongest Slam to pick up the win. I really thought Heavy Machinery was going to win on Sunday, but it doesn’t seem like that now that they won on the go-home show.
This was an excellent episode of Smackdown Live. The beginning of the show was absolutely fantastic, Cesaro vs. Black will be worth the price of admission alone, and the Tag Team Title Summit was funny. The goal of this show was to sell Sunday, and it more than accomplished that.
I give this show a 4.25 out of five. Well done WWE.