Universal Champion Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns by Disqualification to Earn the First Pick of the WWE Draft for Raw (Non-Title)
It's been over two years since these two last went one-on-one, yet it felt like every match they've ever had together. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but they executed the same spots they always do, so it felt more like a rerun than a truly fresh matchup. It was going well until the insanely stupid ending that saw The Fiend come up through the ring and drag Rollins down with him before Rollins escaped (similar to what Kane used to do years ago). I'm actually sad the feud seems to be continuing because their bout at Hell in a Cell was so horrendously bad. It doesn't make much sense since Wyatt is now on SmackDown thanks to the WWE Draft and Rollins will likely remain on Raw, unless Wyatt is traded back to Raw somehow. If Wyatt isn't going to win the Universal Championship, then this feud is better off dead and buried. The disqualification finish hurt the stipulation and confused fans as to which brand won heading into the commercial break.
King Corbin def. Shorty Gable
Yes, Shorty Gable is the name Chad is officially going by now. Ugh. I enjoy the chemistry these two have, but this was the fourth match they've had in the last month, so I'm ready to move on from the feud. Thankfully, I assume it was designed to be the blow-off with this being the Draft and all, which would explain why Corbin won decisively to make up for the loss he suffered at the hands of Gable at Hell in a Cell. This was another quality contest from them but nowhere near as exciting as their other encounters.
Cain Velasquez and Rey Mysterio Interrupted WWE champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman
In case you missed it, Lesnar vs. Velasquez has been made official for Crown Jewel later this month. I don't believe it will be contested for the WWE Championship. I might be in the minority that is looking forward to that match, but I don't agree with giving it away so soon. Velasquez just debuted. I'd hold off on it after building it up for a few more months, but whatever, WWE wants to make as much money as possible for their latest super-show in Saudi Arabia. This was a solid verbal exchange where Heyman and Mysterio did most of the talking for Lesnar and Velasquez, respectively. I liked that they showed the photos of their previous fight from nine years ago. It was a terrific touch.
The New Day def. The O.C.
I realize Kofi Kingston was all smiles because New Day did promotion for the Susan G. Komen fund right before this bout, but if you were watching SmackDown for the first time, you would have never known he was WWE Champion for six months. He proceeded to throw pancakes out to the crowd like he always does and completely ignored how he lost the title to Lesnar in under 10 seconds one week ago. If that isn't a sign that he is definitely done in the main event scene, I don't know what it is. The six-man tag was well wrestled while it lasted, but it didn't mean as much as it should have, nor will Kingston pinning Styles ultimately lead to anything since I figure they'll end up on opposite brands.
Bayley def. Charlotte Flair to Win the SmackDown Women's Championship
I guess losing the SmackDown Women's Championship was what made Bayley snap. She finally went full-fledged heel before the bout by debuting a new look (short hair and all) and ripping up the inflatable tube men. The character change was long overdue, but I'm happy it finally happened. The matches Bayley and Flair had against each other at Clash of Champions and Hell in a Cell were incredibly underwhelming, so it's safe to say this was the best of the bunch. Bayley hit everything in her arsenal that I assumed Bayley would cheat to win like a heel, but instead she just won on a basic cradle. Bayley could have underwent this makeover while still champion as opposed to losing the belt and then regaining it days later. It feels like another waste of a title reign for Flair, who is quickly catching up to her father. I thought Bayley swapping shows with Banks was a lock, but apparently not. Bayley cementing her heel turn was wonderful, but it doesn't do the title itself any favors.
This edition of SmackDown was all about the Draft, the results of which I'll discuss in a separate post. I thought its execution was very well done on the whole and I appreciated how they started from scratch. It felt more like an actual Draft than any "Superstar Shake-Up" the company has ever done. I just wish more picks were made, especially since Corbin vs. Gable wasn't anything overly special and New Day vs. The O.C. was largely pointless. There was also solid hype for Tyson Fury vs. Braun Strowman as well as Lesnar vs. Velasquez at Crown Jewel, and for some reason, the Wyatt vs. Rollins rivalry isn't over. I'm looking forward to finding out where everyone else will wind up in the second half of the Draft on Monday's Raw.
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