Kevin Owens Interrupted WWE champion Kofi Kingston
Was it really necessary to replay Kingston's entire road to winning the WWE Championship? I felt like something we would see two nights after WrestleMania 35, not almost a month into his title reign. I also wasn't thrilled with how he came out smiling and throwing pancakes one week removed from being betrayed by Owens and witnessing his New Day partner Xavier Woods get brutally assaulted. His promo was decent and at least his title defense against Owens is finally official for Money in the Bank. Owens also played his role well here and once again laid out Woods before escaping to the back.
Raw and SmackDown Women's Champion Becky LYnch def. Bayley (Non-title)
Lynch being announced as the woman who made history in the main event of WrestleMania and the first-ever holder of the Raw and SmackDown Women's Championships felt forced to me. You know fans would be up in arms if that happened with someone such as Charlotte Flair, so I fear what might happen if WWE continues to shove Lynch down the throats of fans. Meanwhile, I really wish they would have saved this first-time-ever encounter for a later date when it actually meant something, but this was an entertaining outing for what it was. Furthermore, Flair's post-match attack on Lynch and Bayley was expected but effective.
The Hardy Boyz Relinquished the SmackDown Tag Team Championship; Lars Sullivan Attacked R-Truth
It was reported recently that Jeff Hardy suffered an injury and was set to undergo surgery soon, and unfortunately, The Hardy Boyz confirmed those reports to be true in this segment. After only one month, their reign as SmackDown Tag Team Champions is already over. Hopefully they're given a real run with the straps when Jeff is cleared to compete. Jeff blamed Sullivan for the injury in storyline, leading to Sullivan coming out and attacking Matt Hardy and Truth (who attempted to come to the Hardys' aid but to no avail). Sullivan is off to a strong start so far on SmackDown Live. By the way, there was no word on what will happen to the tag titles.
Kairi Sane and Asuka def. Local Athletes
I was looking forward to the new team of Asuka and Sane being showcased, but I ended up being heavily distracted by The IIconics on commentary. Good lord, they are beyond obnoxious, and not in a good way. On the bright side, this was kept short and sweet with Sane and Asuka going over in decisive fashion. It looked like they were setting up Sane and Asuka vs. The IIconics vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship at Money in the Bank, but Rose has since been added to the women's Money in the Bank Ladder match field, so a standard two-and-two tag title bout is more likely.
Roman Reigns def. The B-Team in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match (Elias Served as Ringside Enforcer)
It's unbelievable to me that Shane is on WWE TV as much as he is in 2019. I've been digging his feud with The Miz this year, but he was just on Raw brawling with Miz. I had no desire to see him and Reigns go back and forth on the mic for as long as they did. And yes, for those who care (which I can't imagine is many of you), The B-Team are now members of the SmackDown roster as of last week thanks to the Superstar Shake-up and it appears they're heels again. I thought we were done with the Handicap matches when Baron Corbin was booted from power back in December. How silly of me to assume that. Even with the odds "stacked" against Reigns, the outcome of this was never in doubt and was more or less a waste of time.
Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor and Ali def. Andrade and Randy Orton
I was looking forward to this based off the amount of talent involved, but the commercial break ate up most of its television time and then it was over soon after they came back from commercial. What we did see was fun, though. Ali picking up the victory for his team was cool and even cooler was that he was able to dodge Orton afterward. He might get a bit of a boost going into the pay-per-view, but don't be fooled, Drew McIntyre is winning the whole thing. On a side note, Andrade really should leave the talking to Vega. His material is weak and it's difficult to understand him most of the time.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston Crashed The Kevin Owens Show
It was obvious that this was going to be rushed considering how close it started to the top of the hour, but Owens and Kingston made the most of the time they had. Owens' mic work was solid and I was glad Kingston brought the intensity when they brawled around ringside. I'm not sure why it needed to be in the main event segment and couldn't have just been saved for next week, but it was a fine way for them to further their feud.
Although this edition of SmackDown was significantly more tolerable than Monday's Raw, I still felt like it didn't feature too much of substance. The stuff with Kingston and Owens and the angle with The Hardy Boyz were well done, but Lynch vs. Bayley was the only above-average thing on the entire episode. The tag team match could have been more had it not been cut for time and Reigns' rivalry with Shane and Elias does nothing for me. Needless to say, one quality matchup does not make for a thumbs-up show.
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