Miz TV with The Miz and Team Hell No Descended Into Chaos
It's been a while since we've seen any real interaction between Bryan and Miz (aside from their "match" as part of the Gauntlet a few weeks ago), so it was great to see them go back and forth on the mic even if it was brief. That gave me faith WWE realizes that's a money feud eventually and will hold off on telling that story until the time is right. Kane also played his role very well in this segment and the brawl involving all the tag teams was well done.
WWE Champion AJ Styles def. Shinsuke Nakamura by Disqualification (Non-title)
The long-running rivalry between Styles and Nakamura just ended less than a month ago, so I don't think it was the greatest timing for them to clash so soon after Money in the Bank. Despite that, this was a quality contest while it lasted. Obviously, we've seen better from them in the past, but the sole reason this match existed was to set up the subsequent tag team affair with them, Rusev and Jeff Hardy.
Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura def. WWE Champion AJ Styles and United States Champion Jeff Hardy
While there wasn't anything overly exciting about this bout, all four Superstars worked well together and it ate up a decent chunk of television time. Styles and Hardy were a fun tandem that I'd definitely be open to seeing more of in the future. More importantly, this effectively hyped two matches for Extreme Rules and Rusev was allowed to maintain momentum by pinning Hardy for the win.
Asuka def. James Ellsworth in a Lumberjack Match
Everything about this Asuka vs. Carmella feud has done nothing for me, including this "Battle of the Sexes" nonsense between Asuka and James Ellsworth. This was what I was hoping for from their match last week, but it was still a waste of time in my eyes. The Ellsworth act has already worn thin on me and I can't say I'm looking forward to the Asuka vs. Carmella rematch on Sunday coming out of this.
Andrade "Cien" Almas def. Sin Cara
If you're wondering why this match wasn't held sooner than it was (it was originally advertised to take place before Money in the Bank), my guess is that Cara wasn't cleared to compete until recently and WWE kept Almas in limbo until they could properly blow off the feud. It was a nice little match for the time they were allotted and Almas once again came across like a star. Now that he has decisively defeated Cara, here's hoping he can move on to bigger and better things.
Team Hell No and The New Day def. SmackDown tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers and SAnitY
It was announced earlier in the evening that The New Day and SAnitY will face off in a Tables match on the Extreme Rules Kickoff show. How much sense does it makes that their feud just started and they're having a gimmick matchup whereas other matches on the card (with feuds that have lasted much longer) don't? At any rate, this was an entertaining main event where the crowd was invested in the action and sent home happy with the babyfaces reigning supreme. SAnitY's booking on the main roster has been questionable so far (Eric Young ate defeat here for his team), so fingers crossed SAnitY goes over New Day at the event.
I thought SmackDown Live did a much better job of building to Extreme Rules than Raw did on Monday night. That said, I still don't find myself highly anticipating the event because the build on the whole has been lackluster, but like Money in the Bank, there's a chance it could exceed expectations. This episode didn't feature too much of note, but nothing was pointless and it worked just fine as a go-home show.
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