Welcome to the Smackdown Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Knoxville, TN. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth review here.
A quick recap of what happened in Edge/Rollins II kicked us off before Promo Time with The Bloodline, which gave us a recap of the return of The Demon last as well.
Roman gave the same acknowledge me promo as he always does before the new WWE Champion Big E bursts onto the scene. Finn Balor is out shortly there after in his ring gear to join the face off in the ring before awkwardly cutting away to commercial break. Somebody call Teddy Long, we need a tag team match booked, playas!
Hey look, there’s our tag match, Big E and Balor taking on the Usos. We get a really good opener from the two teams. I really think the Usos can work with just about anybody and make them look good. The match was a tad on the short side, given how much time was wasted during the opening promo that didn’t really accomplish much. Balor wiped out Jey to set up Jimmy taking the Big Ending from Big E to take the pinfall loss. Promo Time was more of a time-waster this week and the tag match was great with Balor getting his revenge on the Usos for the attack before the Universal Title match.
After the match, Roman looked displeased and asked Paul Heyman about Brock Lesnar’s status for Extreme Rules, to which Heyman replied he didn’t really know. The allegiance angle continues.
Rick Boogs is up next after the break to take on Robert Roode. Roode did his job in this quick match and put Boogs over after taking the Boogs Cruise. I’m thinking these quickies should be called the Two Minute Smack Down? After the match, Commander Azeez and Apollo Crews appear out of nowhere to attack King Nakamura and Boogs leading to Crews issuing a challenge for the Intercontinental Championship, which we found out later will take place next week.
Kevin Owens cuts a promo backstage on his opponent tonight, Happy Corbin, before heading to the ring to get jumped by Corbin and beat up. Poor KO. I’m not looking forward to the eventual match between these two.
Kayla Braxton popped up to question Heyman about the rumor of Lesnar going to Raw. Heyman said he knew nothing about it and Kayla needed to stop flirting with him. Big E popped up and Heyman congratulated him for cashing in on Bobby Lashley instead of Roman Reigns. Big E said he’ll see how Roman stacks up if he can make it to Survivor Series. The Usos attacked Big E and laid him out. I love the Heyman/Kayla interactions every week. I follow her on Twitter and know she loves it when she can participate in an angle, so I’m sure she’s just loving this. The Usos attack did set up a six man tag for Raw between The New Day and The Bloodline. That should be a fantastic match.
Promo Time with Seth Rollins is up next. Rollins works the crowd to sell the injury angle Edge did last week. He really started to get long-winded and rambling with it before finally getting to the point he was trying to make. Rollins wants a rubber match with Edge so he can finally finish him off, one way or another. The rubber match was expected, I only wonder what the stipulation will be?
Zelina Vega and Carmella make their way out to the ring for tag team action against Toni Storm and Liv Morgan, who don’t get TV entrances. This was likely going to be the Vega match that got cut last week at MSG. If this was the originally booked ending, I can see why it got cut. The Two Minute Smack Down ended in embarrassing fashion which the MSG crowd would have destroyed all four of the ladies for. Morgan kicked Carmella into the turnbuckle and Carmella screamed about her nose and got counted out. After the match, Morgan challenged Carmella to a match at Extreme Rules. I’m surprised Morgan didn’t call Carmella soft in the promo. Carmella would accept the challenge later as long as Vega loses to Morgan next week. (Spoiler, Vega will lose)
The Street Profits hype the Bianca Belair Homecoming segment and their Extreme Rules match with the Usos.
Finn Balor tells us the story of The Demon before CGI transforms him into The Demon. That was pretty cool.
Dominik Mysterio gets another rematch against Sami Zayn. Another poorly timed commercial break cuts about half of the match. Zayn won again as they are slowly building to the Dominik Mysterio heel turn we really don’t need to see. I’d rather see this a redemption angle where he finally beats Zayn in convincing fashion.
The Bianca Belair Homecoming Celebration is our main event and is hosted by The Big Red Mayor, Kane! There had been a couple of video packages during the show earlier talking about her beginnings to lead us up to this. Belair gave another one of her inspirational speeches that’s she’s gotten really good at before Kane gave her a key to the county. Belair wanted to lead sing-along to their song and here comes Becky Lynch. Lynch tries to get her heel act over and knocks Belair down with the Manhandle Slam for the flat ending to the show.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The opening tag match with the Usos and Balor/Big E was the highlight of the show. It was the longest match and very action-packed. If you didn’t see the match, definitely check it out.
Whoever came up with the finish to the women’s tag match needs to be grateful that they were in Knoxville and not MSG. The MSG crowd would have absolutely destroyed them.
The Becky Lynch attack on the hometown hero just didn’t click with me. I think the spot would have accomplished more without Lynch showing up. It was just a flat ending to the show.
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That’s all I’ve got, until next time