By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Chris Jericho Attacked Dean Ambrose
I appreciated how the follow-up to what we saw at the end of Raw from Ambrose and Jericho kicked off SmackDown. As I've always said, Ambrose is always better when in serious mode and that was the case here. Jericho was able to get his heat back with the ambush and him strapping the straight-jacket on Ambrose was a very nice touch. I especially loved how Jericho called out Ambrose on being crazy yet he showed insane tendencies himself with the attack. These two continue to find ways to keep their feud engaging, though I'm surprised their Extreme Rules rematch has yet to be made official.
Rusev def. Sin Cara
I understand that this match was designed to get Rusev's momentum back on track after losing to Sin Cara on Raw, but this 50/50 booking is what is killing the current roster. I'm not suggesting Sin Cara should have won again here, but why have him beat Rusev to begin with? This should have been more of a one-sided squash than it was, but Rusev looked dominant toward the end in decimating both members of The Lucha Dragons.
Dana Brooke def. Becky Lynch
Brooke was never the greatest wrestler in NXT, but the beauty of her partnership with Emma is that she can do most of the in-ring work for her. Lynch carried her to a competent contest here, and while I would like to see Lynch win more consistently, it would have been asinine to have Brooke lose in her debut match. Also, it established Lynch can't overcome the odds alone and she will have to enlist some help. Hey, isn't Sasha Banks available?
Aiden English def. WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston
The pre-match promo wasn't anything special, but the two teams aren't being given plenty to work with, so it's hard to blame them. On the other hand, the match was well-wrestled and I was glad English was made to look like an equal to Kingston. Him cheating to score the victory was a smart way to protect Kingston and giving The Vaudevillians more heat in the process. I'm glad they're actually riding a wave of momentum going into the WWE Tag Team Championship match at Extreme Rules, giving fans an incentive to buy into the possibility of them winning the belts.
The Usos def. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson by Disqualification
These two tandems always work well together and this was another enjoyable encounter from them. I didn't mind the disqualification finish too much, but I fear that Gallows and Anderson are being booked to look weak the more they lose. They came in to WWE with a ton of buzz, so it would be a massive wasted opportunity if they're relegated to being just another team.
Gorgeous Truth def. Goldango
The match was total throwaway as you would expect, and I can't believe it took them several months to get to this point. Fandango and Tyler Breeze turned on their respective partners, and truth be told, I'm more excited to see them team up than R-Truth and Goldust. People have been pitching for a Breeze/Fandango alliance for years, and while it has come a few years too late, it at least gives Breeze something to do. Then again, I doubt it will matter if they end up losing to Truth and Goldust.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Kevin Owens def. Cesaro and Sami Zayn
Every combination of these four men over the past few weeks has been a blast and this was no exception. The in-ring action was entertaining and they kept the pace consistent throughout. I also liked how they were given the main event slot of the show when they could have easily ended with Usos vs. Gallows and Anderson. Miz standing tall to close out the evening was a wise move because it showed he isn't being overlooked in all of the chaos surrounding his title.
There wasn't anything about this episode I would describe as being "must-see," but the two hours seemed to fly by and a handful of feuds I expect to culminate at Extreme Rules were well-furthered. Even the match I was least looking forward to (Goldango vs. Gorgeous Truth) had a decent twist at the end. It wasn't the most memorable edition of SmackDown in recent memory, but it was certainly a solid show on the whole.
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