Shane McMahon Agreed to Face Kevin Owens at SummerSlam
As I've said several times before, I don't have much interest in seeing Shane vs. Owens at SummerSlam, but the build might be fun if done right. They did an effective job of setting it up in this segment and I enjoyed their exchange. I also liked how Shane brought up how Owens "quit" WWE last year only to return one week later, so it's nice to know that Owens would actually be gone this time if he loses to Shane at SummerSlam. Of course, there's only one acceptable outcome and that's Owens beating Shane.
Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura def. Apollo Crews (Non-Title)
Nakamura just won the title a little over one week ago and therefore had no business losing this non-title match, so I fully expected this to be a glorified squash match. Thankfully, Crews followed up on his win over Andrade last week in a big way by taking Nakamura to the limit and having a strong showing in defeat. I'd definitely be up for more matches between these two in the future, but for now, it looks like Ali will be next in line to challenge for the Intercontinental Championship.
Dolph Ziggler Attacked Shawn Michaels on Miz TV
I wasn't and still am not excited for Miz and Ziggler likely rekindling their rivalry yet again, but I can't help but admit that this was a strong segment. All three men played their roles perfectly and a lot of Michaels' words toward Ziggler hit hard because they rang true. It was refreshing to see Ziggler lay out The Heartbreak Kid with a superkick (which was a great touch), but I really wish this angle was used for someone who could have actually benefited from it. Plus, it got fans pumped for a Ziggler vs. Michaels match that is never going to happen.
Ember Moon def. Charlotte Flair
This was a first-time-ever encounter between Moon and Flair and I was looking forward to it. These two could really rip it up against each other if given the time, but unfortunately, they weren't here. In fact, this didn't last more than a minute. Moon won following a distraction from Bayley at ringside, so basically, Moon gained nothing from this win. I'll be supremely disappointed if Flair ultimately gets added like she did last year. Moon vs. Bayley is fine as a straight-up matchup without her involved.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston def. Samoa Joe by Disqualification (Non-Title)
Before the bout, Kingston called out Randy Orton and officially challenged him to a match at SummerSlam for the WWE Championship. They then went back and forth about their history from 2009 with Kingston blaming Orton for holding him down all those years ago. Orton admitted to using his influence to his advantage to keep Kingston down and took credit for Kingston being WWE Champion because of how he injured Ali before Elimination Chamber in February. It was a hell of a segment that sold me on them facing off (even though I have no desire to see Orton win the title). The matchup that followed between Kingston and Joe was decent but never reached that next gear ahead of Orton's interference.
Bray Wyatt Accepted Finn Balor's SummerSlam Challenge
I realize it's only been eight days, but I've been digging the return of Wyatt so far. His attacks on Balor and Mick Foley were well done and now we have Wyatt vs. Balor official for SummerSlam. Wyatt accepted the challenge as his Firefly Fun House persona on the Titantron, so it appears he may be doing a split personality gimmick going forward. They didn't have the most amazing chemistry when they last feuded two years ago, but this upcoming encounter will obviously be different with Wyatt presumably wrestling as "The Fiend."
roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens Ended in a No Contest (Drew MCIntyre Served as Special Guest Referee)
Reigns and Owens are the two biggest babyfaces on the blue brand at the moment, so it wouldn't have made much sense for them to go through with this match. It ended up being an angle instead with Reigns and Owens joining forces to take out Shane, McIntyre and Elias. You can expect that to lead to a tag team matchup next week. The crowd ate up Reigns and Owens laying a beating on Shane, but fingers crossed Owens getting this much over Shane before SummerSlam doesn't mean he's losing at the pay-per-view.
With Monday's Raw Reunion all about the legends, SmackDown Live was more focused on the storylines heading into SummerSlam. Okay, so Shawn Michaels made an appearance, but I felt even his involvement on this episode was executed perfectly. It was an entertaining two hours where everything served a purpose and held my interest. With more shows like this, WWE will be in a solid shape come SummerSlam.
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