Bray Wyatt Taunted Universal Champion Braun Strowman on moment of Bliss
As intrigued as I am by this Strowman vs. Wyatt rivalry heading into Money in the Bank, I think it would have been better saved for SummerSlam. With Wyatt being advertised to face Strowman at the event and not The Fiend, it's virtually guaranteed that Strowman isn't losing the title just yet. As for this segment, I thought it was lame on the whole. Strowman not assuming the "gift" was from Wyatt and then Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross backing away scared was silly to me. That said, I'm looking forward to seeing their history revisited on next week's show.
Tamina def. Sasha Banks
There is zero reason for Tamina to be in the title picture right now and this match proved that. Not even the uber talented Sasha Banks could get a passable match out of her. This lasted way longer than it should have and was a complete dud. By virtue of her victory, Tamina will now face Bayley for the SmackDown Women's Championship at Money in the Bank. They're clearly killing time before Bayley vs. Banks (probably at SummerSlam), but Tamina is the wrong person for this filler spot.
Sheamus def. Denzel Dejournette
Dejournette recently appeared on Raw, where he was swiftly squashed by Seth Rollins. He didn't get in much offense here either, but it's nice to see him on WWE TV, nonetheless. He has a lot of potential if they eventually decide to focus on him in NXT. Sheamus continues to dominate, and for the second straight week, Michael Cole mentioned the returning Jeff Hardy around him on commentary. They're obviously being groomed for a feud with each other. It's fresh, but both guys need wins right now, so I don't know how that's going to work. By the way, the video package spotlighting Hardy's "fall" was very well done, even though it mostly consisted of clips from his awesome 2018 "WWE 24: Woken" documentary.
Dana Brooke def. Naomi in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
To her credit, Brooke has improved over the years and I thought she had a solid showing here. Of course, having a quality opponent in Naomi was a huge help. However, putting Brooke in the Money in the Bank Ladder match over Naomi is an odd move, especially since Brooke already has a WWE Women's Tag Team Championship opportunity coming up next week with Carmella. Naomi had plenty of momentum when she returned at the Royal Rumble following a long layoff, but a lot of that has withered away because of how WWE has booked her in recent months.
Otis Saved Mandy Rose From Sonya Deville and Dolph Ziggler
This storyline has been the best thing about SmackDown for many months and I'm glad they're able to keep it going even after the big blow-off at WrestleMania 36 with Otis getting the girl. Deville hasn't had many chances to talk up to this point, but I thought she crushed it here and, honestly, made a lot of valid points about Rose (the blur thing during their old entrance especially). Rose also played her role well, but Deville really shined. Otis and Ziggler getting physical with each other at the end should pave the way for these four to meet in a mixed tag team match, hopefully at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
Daniel Bryan def. Cesaro in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Leave it to these two to absolutely kill it in an empty arena, much like they did last month on SmackDown. This was a super fun match and I'm happy they got as much time as they did. Granted, the outcome was never in doubt, but that didn't hinder my enjoyment of this whatsoever. My only nitpick was that Shinsuke Nakamura attempting to interfere at the end, which would have cost Cesaro the win anyway. I have no clue what the point of that was. Regardless, we'll see if Drew Gulak will be able to join Bryan in the bout when he faces King Corbin in a qualifier next Friday night.
Big E def. The Miz and Jey Uso in a Triple Threat Match to Win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Unless WWE doesn't want six Superstars in the same place at the same time (to adhere by the "social distancing" rules), I'm not sure why they wouldn't have done a Triple Threat tag team match for the titles. Sure, they could be saving it for Money in the Bank, but a standard Triple Threat doesn't make much sense. It was understandable at WrestleMania given the circumstances, but not here. It was good, but I wouldn't have given the belts back to The New Day so soon after they lost them. Ideally, I would've had Miz and John Morrison hold onto them for a little longer, but if there was going to be a title change, The Usos would have been a better option in my opinion because of how they haven't held them in over a year. Maybe Big E won because he was paying tribute to the late, great Howard Finkel and so they could do Finkel's patented "AND NEWWWW" announcement?
It was announced during the broadcast that this year's Money in the Bank matches would be contested at WWE's headquarters in Stamford, CT. Corey Graves specified that the competitors would start out on the bottom floor and have to work their way up to the roof, I believe. Sure, it sounds like something WCW would've done back in the day, but I think it's a cool concept and at least they're trying new things, which is rare for this company. At any rate, this was a decent edition of SmackDown that featured a whole bunch of questionable booking decisions. The in-ring action was average on the whole and there were some things I liked, but SmackDown's creative direction continues to be largely abysmal. And no, it's not because it's being held at the Performance Center. Raw is in the same situation and is much better, so there's no excuse.
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