Trish Stratus Confronted Charlotte Flair
I wasn't a huge fan of the mic work from Flair and Stratus last week on SmackDown Live, but I still liked the segment on the whole. I thought this was an improvement with both women delivering solid promos and building excitement for their encounter at SummerSlam. For a match that wasn't officially added to the card until just last week, I'm really looking forward to them facing off.
Dolph Ziggler def. Ali
Ziggler was originally supposed to go one-on-one with Rey Mysterio, but Ziggler attacked Mysterio before the bout could come to fruition. Ziggler instead took on Ali in a well-wrestled albeit forgettable match. This could have been great with more time, but Ali felt like the fall guy for Ziggler here. They were in a tough spot because Ziggler needed a win before he faces Goldberg at SummerSlam, yet Ali is fresh off beating Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura last week on the show.
Kayla Braxton Interviewed Roman Reigns
Man, this entire storyline with Reigns has been one giant mess. Admittedly, I'm slightly intrigued to find out who will ultimately be behind these attacks, but Reigns hasn't been playing his role well at all. His acting in last week's angle was atrocious and he was way more subdued in this interview than you'd expect considering he was almost run over on Raw. I assume they'll save the big reveal for SummerSlam, which is a relief because I'm ready to get past this nonsense.
Natalya vs. Ember Moon Ended in a Double Count-Out
I wasn't a fan of what they did with the women on Raw and having Moon and Natalya square off here was an even worse decision. Who really benefits in a match pitting number one contenders against each other? Both of them need momentum ahead of their title opportunities SummerSlam. I realize it ended with a non-finish, but it was stupid for this to happen in the first place. Bayley saved Moon from Natalya afterward and they once again teased tension, but I feel the build to their bout has left a lot to be desired.
Shane McMahon Attacked Kevin Owens on The Kevin Owens Show
Owens has gotten the upper hand over Shane every week since their feud started one month ago, so it was only logical for Shane to lay out Owens here (with the help of Elias, of course). Their verbal exchange was really good and I desperately hope Owens will be the one to put an end to Shane's recent reign of terror on WWE TV. Obviously, that remains to be seen, but I'm trying to be optimistic. I'm also interested to see how their match will be handled since Owens should not be taking too much offense from Shane.
Aleister Black def. Sami Zayn
Zayn challenged Black to a match at SummerSlam last week, but Black insisted on the matchup happening on this show instead. It's a shame they won't be in action at the event, but then again, part of me is happy that the SummerSlam card won't have as many matches as it has the last few years. They weren't given a ton of time, but this was fun while it lasted with Zayn predictably eating the defeat (as he should have). I think it's time Black gets placed in a real program with someone or enter the Intercontinental Championship picture.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day def. Daniel Bryan and Rowan by Disqualification (Non-Title)
Say what you will about Bryan being "wasted" in the tag team division, but the guy never ceases to deliver in high-profile tag team matches such as this one. This was excellent stuff and the crowd was with them every step of the way. The disqualification finish leaves the door open for a potential rematch for the titles at SummerSlam, though it looks like Bryan will be transitioning into a feud with Reigns as expected if the ending to this episode was any indication. Bryan appeared to be taken off guard when he heard he was accused of ambushing Reigns, but I have no doubt he was simply pretending to be shocked.
It was heavily reported that this show, like the last few weeks, was completely rewritten right beforehand. As I've said before, I couldn't care less about the process as long as the episode itself is entertaining. This was a step down from recent installments and didn't do the best job of selling me on SummerSlam, but that Kofi Kingston video package was fantastic, the opening segment with Flair and Stratus succeeded in what it set out to do, Black and Zayn had an enjoyable affair, and the Reigns drama continued. All in all, it was a decent show.
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