Kevin Owens def. Drew McIntyre
It was announced at the start of the show that Shane McMahon would not be appearing, which caused Owens to celebrate before being interrupted by McIntyre. Owens defeated Elias at Smackville on Saturday, so I suppose it was only logical for him to take out another one of Shane's lackeys in McIntyre ahead of SummerSlam. If you're wondering what happened to the advertised match of The New Day vs. McIntyre and Elias, I have no clue, it was apparently changed early Tuesday. Nevertheless, this was damn good. Beating McIntyre doesn't mean as much as it used to, but it's cool to see Owens so over as a face right now and it was imperative that he continued building momentum by winning here.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross def. SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley and Ember Moon
Damn, I really thought we had seen the last of Bayley taking on Bliss and Cross, but apparently not. On the bright side, this was more about whether Bayley and Moon could coexist before they clash for the SmackDown Women's Championship than it was the actual match. Well, they couldn't, and it ultimately cost them the victory. It wasn't like Bayley turned on Moon, though; they just lost straight up. I have no desire to see Bayley vs. Moon at SummerSlam turned into a Triple Threat with Bliss involved, so here's hoping that isn't where this is headed.
Charlotte Flair Crashed King's Court with Jerry Lawler and Trish Stratus
It was reported soon after Flair teased having a match at SummerSlam last week on SmackDown Live that Stratus was in talks to compete at the event. Thus, you knew exactly where this segment was headed as soon as it started. That said, everybody played their roles well and the crowd reacted perfectly. Even with their brief verbal exchange, Flair and Stratus were able to make their matchup feel like a big deal and they left me looking forward to. Stratus' last few matches haven't been anything amazing, but this could be something special, especially since it'll be in Stratus' home country of Canada.
Dolph Ziggler def. Finn Balor
Although WWE officially added Ziggler vs. The Miz to the SummerSlam card earlier today, there was no mention of the match on this show and Miz was nowhere to be seen, either. That was weird. I thought the match could have been a barn burner with more time, but it was decent while it lasted. Bray Wyatt interfering as The Fiend was the best thing to come out of it and I was genuinely surprised Ziggler won. Balor really is putting over everyone before his rumored hiatus post-SummerSlam.
Ali def. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura (Non-Title)
Man, and I thought their match at Smackville was short. To their credit, they made the most of the time they had and produced a fun little match, but it was obvious that they were holding back their best because they'll be facing off again at SummerSlam. I'm all for their feud continuing, but Ali winning a number one contender's matchup to earn another title shot (similar to Ricochet on Raw this week) would have smarter simply to prevent Nakamura from taking an unnecessary loss so early into his championship reign.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston def. United States Champion AJ Styles (Non-Title)
I'm happy WWE went with this match instead of The O.C. vs. New Day, as that should be saved for later down the line when it means more. This was an awesome, all-action main event with an exciting pace and both guys putting forth an outstanding effort. It would have been very easy for this to end in a non-finish with The O.C. and New Day being at ringside, but thankfully, Kingston went over in clean fashion. On a somewhat related note, the Randy Orton video package from earlier in the evening focusing on his history with Kingston was very well done.
WWE advertised two things that they didn't deliver on: Daniel Bryan's "career-altering" announcement (he stayed silent again instead) and Roman Reigns' SummerSlam challenge (he was nearly ambushed backstage before he could declare who he wants to face). Despite that, this was a strong show I thought. The main event was excellent, Owens vs. McIntyre was terrific, and everything in the middle successfully set up stuff for SummerSlam. At this point, I honestly couldn't care less who's writing these shows. As long as it's quality TV and a majority of the episode is enjoyable, I'm content.
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