SmackDown Live Commissioner Revealed the Women's Money in the Bank Briefcase; Lana Debuted
I was so relieved when I saw that the briefcase for the women wasn't pink and rather was white. Each of the combatants cut good promos that were thankfully kept short-and-sweet, but Lana's re-debut in this segment was hard to watch. Her acting was atrocious, and although the crowd was responsive toward her, there isn't anything compelling about her character at the moment. It is interesting to note that she didn't dance on her way to the ring, despite the dancing she did in her vignettes. It just looks like the Emmalina gimmick has been recycled for Lana.
Tamina, Natalya and Carmella def. SmackDown Women's Champion Naomi, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch
For whatever reason, I enjoyed this slightly more than the original match at Backlash last month, even though it was equally well-wrestled. Perhaps it was because of the livelier crowd, or because this bout belonged on SmackDown Live in the first place. I assumed Lana would come back out after awkwardly leaving in the opening segment as a way to set up her vs. Naomi for the title at Money in the Bank. No, she has done nothing to deserve a shot at the strap, but it keeps her out of the Ladder match and that's all that matters.
AJ Styles def. Dolph Ziggler
As soon as Ziggler scored that clean victory over Styles in last week's main event, you had to know it was only inevitable before Styles avenged the loss. It's well-documented I'm not a fan of 50/50 booking, but it was imperative Styles got his win back considering his status as a top star on SmackDown. This was another entertaining encounter from them with a cool finish despite a few sloppy spots and I'd actually be open to them feuding down the road now that they're one win apiece.
WWE Champion Jinder Mahal def. Mojo Rawley (Non-title)
I appreciated Rawley bringing up backstage earlier in the evening how no one else but him has beaten Mahal on SmackDown since he arrived on the blue brand. That was a nice touch. Unfortunately, Rawley has been virtually nonexistent on the show for two months and thus it was no surprise the crowd didn't rally behind him too much during this match. It was nothing special, nor was his post-match promo talking about Randy Orton and their upcoming rematch at Money in the Bank.
The New Day def. The Colons
The Colons are barely a step above where they were on Raw in terms of being a jobber tandem, so this was destined to be a squash match from the start, but it was exactly what New Day needed for their in-ring debut on SmackDown. The verbal exchange between New Day and The Usos afterward was well done and already the program has shown promise in being a blast to watch. On a side note, I got a kick of New Day's backstage encounter with Breezango, who have really been benefiting from these Fashion Files segments.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. United States Champion Kevin Owens (Non-title)
While this wasn't the same blow-away bout I was hoping from these two (and that I know they're capable of having based off their Global Wars 2014 match), it was still a very good main event. Nakamura gets away with his limited offense more often than not because he's so damn charismatic, but I'd love to see more of the Nakamura that held nothing back like in his NXT TakeOver: Dallas match with Sami Zayn last year. Baron Corbin proceeding to lay out Nakamura was likely designed to build to a bout between them for next week.
Currently, I'm more excited for Money in the Bank than I ever was for Raw's Extreme Rules pay-per-view. Okay, so Naomi vs. Lana could go either way, but the rest of the card has potential. Anyway, this edition of SmackDown Live was quite solid on the whole with some quality wrestling and progression of storylines. Mahal vs. Rawley was the sole match that didn't do much for me, but the two hours flew by otherwise.
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