WWE Champion AJ Styles Addressed Samoa Joe
I usually enjoy Paige's promos and I think she tends to do a better job than most of coming across like a good general manager, but this wasn't one of her better nights on the mic. Meanwhile, Samoa Joe obviously wasn't going to be "fired" for his actions, but I liked AJ Styles' delivery during the promo he cut from his "house." The promise of him burying Joe alive was a bit dark (and something he can't follow through on since it isn't a Buried Alive match), but I appreciate the intensity, nonetheless.
R-Truth and Carmella def. Andrade "Cien" Almas and Zelina vega
In all honesty, Truth and Carmella aren't a completely intolerable pairing. In fact, they are better off together at the moment than they are apart. That said, I have no desire to see them feuding with Almas and Vega because Almas and Vega should be involved in something way more meaningful. This was largely comedy and therefore nothing worth writing home about. As disappointed as I am that Almas and Vega lost, it actually made more sense for Truth and Carmella to win given they're in the Mixed Match Challenge.
The Bar Interrupted SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day
The New Day are definitely still over with the audience, but it's trash like this that turns me off to their act. I can't imagine many people are fans of them eating pancakes and doing stupid stuff. It was fine the first time, but we've seen so much of it over the last year that I'm sick of it by this point. The Bar were the biggest babyfaces in the building for putting an end to this nonsense, and since they've had the upper hand over New Day at every turn in recent weeks, that all but confirms New Day will be retaining their titles at WWE Super Show-Down.
Randy Orton vs. Tye Dillinger Went to a No Contest
I have no interest in seeing an Orton vs. Dillinger feud, so fingers crossed this was merely designed to serve as a placeholder for Orton before Super Show-Down (where he can kick off a new feud with either Styles or Daniel Bryan). The match never got started and instead Orton laid a brutal beating on Dillinger at ringside. It wasn't as disturbing as what Orton did to Jeff Hardy, but at least he was able to maintain momentum.
Aiden English revealed a Salacious Video of Him and Lana
Obviously, everyone already knew last week that whatever English was holding over Lana was bound to be phony, but the video footage he revealed here was weak. Only an idiot would believe that Lana said to English that she wants him and that she wasn't finished with her sentence. Consequently, Rusev looks like a fool in all of this. It's a shame because the hook they provided last week was enough to get people talking and then the payoff was disappointing, but I guess we should have expected that given WWE's track record with this type of stuff.
Shelton Benjamin def. Daniel Bryan
Has Benjamin made many appearances on WWE TV since he last faced Bryan on SmackDown Live prior to June's Money in the Bank pay-per-view? If not, that's insane and a total waste of his talent. On the bright side, this was a very well-wrestled match and an excellent use of time even if it didn't last long. Benjamin picking up the victory was certainly a surprise and I'd hope it leads to more television time for him and not just a rematch with Bryan next week that he'll lose.
Asuka def. Peyton Royce
This was the last singles match featuring The IIconics, Naomi and Asuka that we hadn't seen yet, and needless to say, it did nothing to make me any more excited for the tag team matchup at Super Show-Down than I was before (and I wasn't looking forward to begin with, either). The IIconics have been a joke on the main roster, and despite how badly booked Asuka has been since WrestleMania, Royce still stood no threat to her and this was over within a matter of minutes.
Charlotte Flair Attacked SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch
Charlotte and Lynch continue to be miscast as characters based off the reactions they received here (it doesn't help that Lynch doesn't do a ton to attempt to elicit heat from fans), but to complain about that would be pointless because it isn't going to change. That aside, this was a strong segment with above-average mic work from Lynch and an aggressive attack from Charlotte. It was cool to see them showcased in the final segment on the show and they continue to find ways to keep their feud compelling.
As a go-home show for Super Show-Down on Saturday, this edition of SmackDown was a total failure. The blue brand has more matches I'm invested in on the card than Raw does, but am I anxiously anticipating the event thanks to the hype done for it on this episode? The answer is no. The final segment was well done and a few other feuds were effectively furthered, but I felt the two hours weren't as entertaining or engaging as they normally are.
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