In a little bit of a surprise, the last time fans will see the WWE before the “biggest party of the summer,” SummerSlam, kicked off with the Queen in the ring. Charlotte Flair began by saying every time she is in the ring, we are witnessing greatness.

Flair goes on to say once the women’s evolution began Trish Stratus went a different direction, a family and a mini-van. Flair says she is going to shatter Trish’s dreams and then plays a video of herself.

But instead, a video plays of Trish and all of her significant accomplishments and career highlights. Trish walks out and says Flair is right, she does want one more match and “[Flair] is not me.” Flair Wooooooo’s in Trish’s face, so Trish slaps her. Flair walks away smiling and laughing, which is a little odd.

Can Smackdown Live top an excellent episode from RAW last night? Find out as I rank the show below and then give the show a grade.

Oh Sami, “this match happens NOW.”

Sami Zayn starts ripping Aleister Black for hiding in his room, when all of a sudden, Black’s music hits. Black says, “Oh Sami, this match is not happening at SummerSlam, this match is happening NOW!”

This was fun and exciting!

Like most of you, I expected to see a Black Mass about ten seconds after the bell, but that was not the case. This was a decent match. Zayn got in some good offense. However, Black hit a Black Mass and won without much doubt.

Once again, like most of you, I would have liked to have seen this match on the SummerSlam card, but I don’t hate this decision. I compare this to the women’s tag team title match on RAW last night. Instead of burying it on a lengthy card, give them some time to showcase themselves on TV as a standalone match.

Plus, by putting this match on TV and not the card on Sunday, we all will get to go to bed earlier, so we all win in that regard!

While this was not the most exciting part of the show, it was the most surprising and the most newsworthy. That is why this is number one.

Roman Looks to Get Some Answers:

A pre-recorded interview of Roman Reigns plays. Reigns has now nearly been murdered twice in the last week.

Kayla Braxton asks Reigns who he thinks did it. Reigns says he knows Samoa Joe did NOT do it and apologizes that his name is being brought up. Reigns promises to “get some answers tonight.”

This segment did an excellent job of building suspense for the rest of the show.

New Day vs. Bryan and Rowan and Who Did it?!?!?

Xavier Woods took much of the beating for a while in this match. Bryan and Rowan worked over Woods for several minutes. Finally, Big E got the “hot tag” and launched Bryan with three belly-to-bellies.

As The New Day was building their momentum, Big E speared Daniel Bryan through the ropes. But Rowan grabbed the steps, forcing the DQ finish. Bryan and Rowan were not finished, “dispatching” Big E and Xavier Woods.

As soon as they were done, Reigns appeared on the jumbotron and forced everyone out of the locker room. Reigns asked Buddy Murphy if it was him and “who did it?” After playing dumb for a minute, Murphy denies it was him and says he doesn’t know who did it.

Murphy then said, “even if I did know, I wouldn’t tell you.” Reigns snapped and threw Murphy around the locker room. Reigns pinned Murphy against the wall and Murphy confesses it was Rowan, not Daniel Bryan!

The show ends with Bryan and Rowan watching the video.

Fired Up Ziggler!

Before his match against Ray Mysterio, Dolph Zigger gets everyone’s hopes up by playing Goldberg’s music. Ziggler then imamates Goldberg’s entrance, which was a great heel tactic.

Mysterio could not get into the ring before Zigger attacked. Rey needs help in leaving the arena and could not compete. Ziggler says a few things and then ends with “Goldberg, this match at SummerSlam is your last.”

Ali then comes running out and gets in a few moves before some commercials. Ali looks good, but Zigger wins with a Superkick in a few minutes.

This was a fine segment. The entrance imitation was funny, and Zigger got to build some needed momentum and credibility before this match, but it still will not go his way.

The KO Show Ends Badly:

Kevin Owens immediately starts by cutting off Greg Hamilton’s “Best in the world” thing. Great move.

Owens then says since the McMahon family is always saying they do what is “Best for business” and doing “what the fans want,” Shane McMahon should give up his career too. McMahon gives an emphatic “no.” Shane also says it is “no shame in losing to the best in the world.”

Shane starts a brawl. Elias shows up but is thrown out quickly. Owens then hits him with the Stunner on the announcer’s table. Shane flips the announcer’s table onto Owens and then dropkicks a chair onto Owens’ head.

This started off very well and then escalated quickly. If you’ve watched the WWE for any length of time, you would have expected this segment to turn into a brawl. This made Shane looks like a total lunatic and gives him some more heel heat, so mission accomplished.

Challengers Match:

I was intrigued to see how this segment was going to be booked considering this match was between both women’s title challengers, Natalya, and Ember Moon, and neither should lose on the go-home show.

So the WWE went with the route of a DQ, as Natalya locked in the Sharpshooter and did not let go, forcing the referee to disqualify her.

Bayley ran out to pry Natalya off and make sure Moon was okay.

This was way too fast! I would have much rather gone with both challengers fight a lower card superstar on their show than this to get a win before SummerSlam. This did absolutely nothing to build the credibility of either challenger, and it was under 90 seconds. Way to fast for the title belt challengers on the second biggest show of the year.

Also, this all but guarantees Becky and Bayley win their matches in my eyes.

While this was not my favorite episode of Smackdown Live, I still thought it was decent. It did not increase my excitement for SummerSlam like RAW did, but it did not kill it either.

If I am comparing it to RAW, then this show would be a 1.5 or a 2. However, that is not how I grade. So on its own, I give this episode of Smackdown Live, a 3 out of 5.


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