SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day, The Miz & John Morrison, The Forgotten Sons, and The Lucha House Party Brawled
SmackDown's tag team division has some strong players, but the issue is that we've already seen almost every combination of the top teams against each other. Yes, Forgotten Sons debuted two weeks ago, but that isn't enough to shake things up. Lucha House Party have never been relevant on the main roster, so it was strange that they emerged here and not The Usos or Heavy Machinery. This was a decent segment that played out in predictable fashion. It also served to set up Miz and Morrison vs. Lucha House Party for later in the show.
King Corbin def. Drew Gulak to Qualify for the Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Gulak has been pretty prominently featured on SmackDown alongside Daniel Bryan in recent months, so there was a bit of doubt surrounding the outcome to this contest. They had a solid match, but as talented of a performer as Corbin is, he really needs to ditch the "king" gimmick. I have no issue with him in the Money in the Bank Ladder matchup as long as he doesn't win (again). Also, seeing Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro attack Bryan and Gulak made me wonder where Sami Zayn has been since WrestleMania 36.
Sheamus def. Daniel Vidot
Sheamus has been squashing Performance Center recruits for weeks and this was no different. It's smart for these matches to be kept short and sweet to reestablish Sheamus as a dominant force. The Jeff Hardy video package running after Sheamus' match two weeks ago made sense, it was quite the coincidence last week, but it was obviously intentional this week. Michael Cole deserved to be bullied! In all seriousness, I've been digging the hype for Hardy's return and if this is building to Hardy vs. Sheamus at Money in the Bank, then I'm all for it.
The Lucha House Party def. The Miz & John Morrison
You had to know Lucha House Party were winning when the commentators spent a majority of the match talking about how Miz and Morrison are the standard bearers of SmackDown's tag team division. It was a fun little match, but it's incredibly difficult to care about anything involving Lucha House Party these days because of how they've been booked over the last year and a half. I don't think that's going to change because of one victory. If anything, I'd argue this hurts Miz and Morrison more than it helps Lucha House Party.
Lacey Evans def. Sasha Banks to Qualify for the Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Evans and Banks have been feuding on and off for months, so I appreciated that their checkered past was acknowledged here as it made their match more meaningful in addition to what was already at stake. They worked with intensity and it was an entertaining affair as a result. Expect Bayley's inadvertent interference costing Banks the victory to factor into their eventual demise. Banks was my pick to become Ms. Money in the Bank this year, but since she failed to quality, my money (no pun intended) is now on Shayna Baszler.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross def. Carmella & Dana Brooke
The underlying tension between Brooke and Carmella was the bigger story here than the match itself. The championship hasn't meant anything in a long time, so I can't say that them being defended was a major deal by any means. The commercial break ate up a majority of the time they had and what we got from them wasn't anything special. It's possible Carmella losing to Mandy Rose in next week's Money in the Bank qualifier will lead to her turning on Brooke before long.
Triple H and Shawn Michaels Celebrated 25 Years of Triple H in WWE
Everyone will have their own opinion of this segment, but personally, I enjoyed it. I will say that there was no reason for this to last as long as it did as it definitely dragged toward the end, but I give them props for trying to make the most of it by having Stephanie McMahon and Ric Flair FaceTime in and Mr. McMahon make a cameo. There were a handful of references most casual viewers wouldn't understand, but longtime viewers likely got a kick out of them. I can understand why some fans would see it as being a waste of time, but they tried and I don't know how they would have filled that segment otherwise.
The video package detailing on the history between Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt was well done. The rest of the episode was fine yet uneventful. The entire evening was dedicated to honoring the career of Triple H, but the final segment wasn't worth the weeks of hype in my opinion. Meanwhile, two more Superstars qualified for Money in the Bank and there were some developments in the tag team ranks, but SmackDown remains an abysmal and at times intolerable show to sit through most weeks.
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