R-Truth and Carmella Hosted Truth TV with Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon, SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon and Mr. McMahon
I thought I'd be more annoyed by the return of Truth TV, but to be honest, I don't mind the Truth and Carmella pairing one bit. If anything, their alliance gives them something of note to do, and it's better than nothing. Plus, this turned into a real fun segment with the three McMahons making appearances. It wasn't as special as what we saw at Raw 25 with Stone Cold Steve Austin, but it certainly kicked off the night on a high note.
The Usos def. WWE Champion AJ Styles and DAniel Bryan
On paper, this sounded like a dream tag team match, but it was obviously designed to act as a backdrop for the Bryan and Styles feud. It was well-wrestled and had a nice pace, but it could have been way more than what it was if they were allowed to go all out. On the bright side, The Usos have been away from WWE programming for a while, so it was cool for them to not only be on SmackDown 1000 but to also pick up a victory over two top stars.
I realize Evolution was a Raw stable through and through and they had never made a single appearance on SmackDown prior to this show, but I really loved this segment. It was short, sweet and everything it needed to be. Just the visual alone of those four coming out together to the Motorhead music was awesome, along with each of them saying something to the fans. Better yet, the returning Batista got more mic time than any of other three combined and even brought up how Triple H has never beaten him before, hopefully teasing a future match between them. The crowd ate up everything he did, so fingers crossed something comes of this tease.
The Miz def. Rusev to Qualify for the WWE World Cup
I imagine this match was designed to go a few more minutes than it did, but because of the Evolution segment running long, it was cut short. I was initially disappointed it ended within a minute, but then again, I can't say I was excited to see Miz vs. Rusev in the first place, so perhaps it was for the best. If nothing else, they effectively furthered the Rusev and Aiden English feud with English costing Rusev the win and the two brawling afterward.
Edge Hosted Cutting Edge with SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch and Charlotte flair
Hosting two talk shows on a two hour wrestling show is never ideal, I don't think, but I'll make an exception this one time with it being such a special occasion. Plus, this was absolutely fantastic, and the mic work from Edge and Lynch was especially excellent. Charlotte wasn't as great on the mic as she has been in the past (poor material to work with could have been to blame for that), but on the whole, this was a strong segment. I'm much more excited for Charlotte vs. Lynch than anything else at Evolution as of now.
The Bar def. The New Day to Win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
No, The Bar did nothing to earn another shot at the straps, but it wouldn't be a big celebration show without at least one championship changing hands, so I assumed that was the case as soon as this was announced. Thankfully, these two teams work well together and thus this was another entertaining encounter from them, but the finish felt random as all hell. Big Show turning heel is comical by this point and I honestly don't know what purpose it served. A Big Show and Bar partnership? Just, why?
Rey Mysterio def. United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura to Qualify for the WWE World Cup (Non-title); The Undertaker Appeared
For a first-time-ever encounter, Mysterio and Nakamura had terrific chemistry together and produced a quality nine minute match. Despite being in the twilight of his career, Mysterio continues to deliver at a high level and he also managed to bring the best out of Nakamura, too. I'm happy Mysterio will be a part of the World Cup, but considering he was born and raised in California, that means the entire World Cup consists of American talent, which is hilarious. As for Undertaker's appearance, it was a total waste of time. The crowd booing the mention of WWE Crown Jewel didn't help matters, either.
This was easily the most memorable SmackDown anniversary show I've seen, though that isn't saying much. It wasn't on the level of Raw 1000 by any means, but it was still very entertaining overall and the cameos were appreciated. The in-ring action was above-average and there was also a decent amount of build for Evolution and Crown Jewel, so all in all, the two hours were a blast and I'm glad WWE did right by the big celebration.
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