The road to SummerSlam is well underway. Smackdown Live kicked off with Shane McMahon saying he won’t be on the show tonight (YAY!).

Owens came down to the ring to mock Shane. Owens says Smackdown Live will get through it and maybe others will get a chance tonight. Owens then goes on to promote their match. As he is leaving the ring, Drew McIntyre walks down to the ring.

McIntyre says Owens talks too much and has a match against him tonight. After a brief beatdown, McIntyre says that match starts NOW!

See where that match ranks below as I list the segments, starting with my favorite.

Roman Nearly Gets Killed:

I don’t quite know how to describe what happened here other than it was fantastic television and only the video will do it justice. Roman nearly had backstage equipment fall on him thanks to the help of a mystery person.

It was not revealed who attacked Reigns, but my guess is it was Samoa Joe who tried to take out the Big Dog.

Side note: Kayla Braxton was absolutely fantastic in this segment. She did a great job selling this, and the quick camera angles made it feel frantic. Well done.

This is my number one segment, not only because it was good, but also the suspense of who did it for a week was an excellent move to get viewers to tune in next week.

“The Fiend” Shows Up!

Dolph Ziggler and Finn Balor begin their match when all of a sudden the lights go out and “The Fiend” shows up on stage. Balor looks like he saw a ghost. Ziggler takes advantage and wins, hitting Balor with the Sweet Chin Music, further insulting Shawn Michaels.

This was just fantastic. The timing could not have been better. Finn was building momentum, about to fly, and here comes “The Fiend.” Finn sold this very well. This angle here really did an excellent job, building toward the match at SummerSlam.

Also: earlier in the show, Zigger announced he would be facing The Miz at SummerSlam, they have had some great matches in the past, so why not go to this well one more time.

Ali Defeats a Champion:

In a very short but fun match, Ali defeats the IC Champion via a rollup. Ali countered three-straight Kinshasa’s.

This sets up these two to fight for the IC Belt at SummerSlam. That will be a very good, fun match.

This segment is this high solely because of potential. I think they will have a match at SummerSlam and it should be fantastic if they are given time.

“This is awesome.”

It took a while to get going, but once it did, this was a fantastic match. Kevin Owens and Drew McIntyre put on a show. This match had several near-falls, Owens kicking out of a White Noise from the top rope, producing “This is awesome chants.” McIntyre cleared the announcer’s table, but Owens hit McIntyre with the stunner. Back in the ring, Owens nailed a kick and another stunner to pick up the win.

This was a fantastic match. A great way to kick off the show. Owens picks up the win and the momentum, while McIntyre once again looks good in defeat. Hopefully, McIntyre can go fight for the WWE or Universal championship very soon.

Kings Court!

“The King” Jerry Lawler welcomed Hall of Famer Trish Stratus to the ring. The two talk about the Raw reunion, despite Trish not being there for “vacation.” Lawler then asks Trish if she wants “one more match?” to which Trish says she’s a mom now and has other responsibilities.

Right on queue, the Queen’s music hit.

Charlotte Flair complains about not having a match at SummerSlam (how funny is that). Flair says Trish is using her being a mom as an excuse. Flair challenges Stratus to a match at SummerSlam. Trish doesn’t say anything. Charlotte goes on to say now that today’s women aren’t “models shaking their assets,” and doesn’t think Trish can hang with her and then orders her out of the ring.

Trish doesn’t like what Charlotte had to say and accepts Charlotte’s challenge.

This was an outstanding segment. Flair was absolutely fantastic on the mic, delivering several good lines at Stratus. Trish was solid as well. These two should put on a very good match.

Sami Zayn!

Zayn calls out Aleister Black for “hiding in his dark room.” Zayn goes on to say, Black needs to be beaten and exposed and he will do that at Summer Slam!

Another good move by the WWE. Black vs. Zayn should be excellent!

Kofi Stays Hot:

Sadly these two did not get much time, and there was an ad-break during the match. Both guys got in some offense, with Kingston getting most of it. AJ Styles had some good kick-outs.

Styles set up the Phenomenal Forearm but mid-flight, Kingston countered with the Trouble in Paradise for the win. Outside the ring, the two tag teams got into a brawl.

This was solid, but I wish they got more time. With any luck, in the future Styles vs. Kingston will get more time to shine because it would be a very good match. The only thing I did not like was the New Day celebration was cut short because Roman’s announcement still needed to happen.

Bliss and Cross Beat Bayley and Moon:

The match itself was a fine match; it was the finish that was questionable. Ember Moon, despite looking good, took the pin. Alexia Bliss nailed Bayley with a right hand and then hit Moon with the Twisted Bliss. Makes you wonder if Bliss gets inserted into the match? I hope not. I like Bliss but give Ember the chance to shine one-on-one at the second biggest PPV.

Just after the match, Bayley hit Moon with a Bayley-to-Belly as payback for last week. This was a good match, but it made the challenger looks very weak. Very odd move. That decision is why this segment is last.

This was an excellent episode to Smackdown Live. It really did a lot of building towards SummerSlam. “The Fiend” showed up Owens vs. McIntyre was a fun television match. Also, we got some new matches on the SummerSlam card. Zayn vs. Black should be fantastic, Flair vs. Trish and Ali vs. Shinsuke. All three should be very good.

Only negatives, no IIconics like we were promised, the ending felt a little rushed and Ember Moon losing weren’t a great decision. Other than that, a terrific show.

I give this show a 4.25 out of 5. Not quite as good as last week, but well above average.

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