Shinsuke Nakamura Interrupted WWE Champion Jinder Mahal
Nakamura is definitely getting better at cutting promos in front of live crowds, but there is plenty of room for improvement. That said, Mahal's mic work is mediocre at best, so while this wasn't the best verbal exchange between the two, it was wise to keep it short and sweet. Thankfully, the audience loved Nakamura and he showed a ton of charisma. Mahal has hardly been compelling as champion during his three month reign, so it might be time to pull the trigger with Nakamura at SummerSlam.
Natalya def. Becky Lynch
Natalya and Lynch have had countless of matches against each other in the past, and this definitely was not their greatest encounter. However, this was designed to give Natalya a decisive victory ahead of her SmackDown Women's Championship match on Sunday, so it was effective in that respect. As for Carmella, she continues to play her role well and I honestly think her cashing in her Money in the Bank briefcase and taking the title sooner rather than later would shake things up in the division.
Rusev vs. Chad Gable Ended in a Double Count-out
These two put together a really fun match the last time they squared off two weeks ago, so I was actually looking forward to this rematch before it ended abruptly with the double count-out finish. I guess it almost protected Gable in a way, who was beaten up by Rusev anyway, but fingers crossed he's much more of a focus on the blue brand coming out of SmackDown. Honestly, hitting RKOs out of nowhere on people might be all Orton is good for at this point because nothing else about his character intrigues me at the moment.
Tensions Continued to Rise Between United States Champion AJ Styles, SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens
WWE has done a great job of weaving Shane into this story and playing up his issues with both Styles and Owens. After Styles accidentally laid out Shane last week, it was Owens this week who accidentally laid out Shane, so now the commissioner has beef with each of them. All three men cut solid promos in this segment, though I'm looking forward to this rivalry wrapping up between Styles and Owens so they can move on to fresh opponents.
The Usos def. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day (Non-title)
I know The Usos will be facing two different members of New Day at SummerSlam, but it was still pretty dumb to do the match at all before their next clash at the pay-per-view in five days. What made less sense about the bout was that it was a standard tag team matchup despite the hatred they've had for each other as of late. This wasn't nearly as strong as their past encounters, but it didn't need to be as thankfully The Usos regained some of their momentum.
John Cena def. Jinder Mahal by Disqualification (Non-title)
Since we won't be getting it at SummerSlam and Cena is reportedly Raw bound soon, WWE figured they would just give it away on the go-home show instead, though I think billing it as the "biggest SmackDown Live main event ever" was a bit much. It was decent on the whole, but for the most part, it was simply a match and I'm glad we won't be getting it at SummerSlam (we'll see if Nakamura can get a more entertaining match out of The Maharaja). I was worried Mahal would be pinned for a second straight time this month, but the non-finish ensured that wouldn't be the case. Speaking of cases...
WWE Champion Jinder Mahal def. Baron Corbin When Corbin Cashed in Money in the Bank
Admittedly, I'm a fan of Corbin's and wished to see him become WWE Champion eventually by way of Money in the Bank, so I wasn't happy he fell short here in fluky fashion. Yes, it was done to add heat to his match with Cena at SummerSlam, but was it really worth it? I suppose Corbin could still capture the championship at some point down the road, but his immediate booking will be crucial to his future success.
While Monday's Raw made me more excited for SummerSlam than I was before, I can't say the same for SmackDown Live. This was a pretty poor effort from the blue brand, as virtually nothing on the show was enjoyable or sold me on SmackDown's SummerSlam matches except for maybe Styles vs. Owens. That aside, this was a weak edition of SmackDown. If nothing else, that ending will surely get people talking, because it isn't everyday a Money in the Bank winner cashes in and loses.
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