Welcome to the WWE Smackdown Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show from Madison Square Garden.
As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
The show opens with a video package from Money in the Bank, which saw Roman Reigns get pinned for the first time in three and a half years. As I pointed out in my MITB Reaction, the match was slow to get going but eventually closed out strong. Reigns taking the pin was the right call.
We go live into the arena to the sold out crowd going crazy. Tribal Court kicks us off. The Usos come out first to talk to the crowd before Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa comes out for the interruption. Heyman wouldn’t shut up, so Sikoa took his microphone away and threw it out of the ring. That was a nice touch there and something we can explore down the road. Roman Reigns comes out to toss us to commercial break. Like most, I figured this would close out the show.
Back from break Reigns is questioning the legitimacy of this tribal court. The Usos presented their evidence in the form of a video package of Reigns yelling at everyone and bossing them around. This was done in the same vein of the Sami Zayn trial. After the video played, Reigns said that he just wasn’t at his best and didn’t need this. He bowed before Jey before low blowing him.
Reigns and Sikoa then beat down The Usos. Reigns hits Jimmy multiple times with the Undisputed title and steel steps. PG gets in the way and we don’t get any blood. Unlike at Money in the Bank, Sikoa successfully splashes Jimmy through the announce table. They lay waste to The Usos before leaving them laying. Jimmy does the stretcher job and Jey rides with him in the ambulance. That was quite the entertaining opening segment. It took up a good 40 minutes of the show and that’s likely why it went on first. I’m sure it ran long and things are going to have time cut.
Our opening contest has the United States Champion Austin Theory defending his title against Sheamus. The match was okay. It felt weird having this come right after the Tribal Court segment. I would have figured this would have been in the main event slot. Anyway, you just know that there will not be a title change here. Pretty Deadly would get involved to bring out the Brawling Brutes. Theory retains his title after the dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Sheamus while Pretty Deadly and Brawling Brutes were fighting on the outside. I’m kinda over Austin Theory and I think WWE might be as well. Let’s hope LA Knight gets a shot at the title at SummerSlam and Knight wins the title.
The Grayson Waller Effect talk show is next with Edge as the guest. Edge dismisses Waller almost immediately and directly addresses the crowd. His first PLE match was at SummerSlam 1998 in MSG as Sable’s mystery partner. He pointed out where he came out of the crowd and the old aisle configuration. Waller eventually interrupts and says Edge is here to announce his retirement. Edge said not really, but he had a match tonight against Waller. Edge told Waller it was time to sink or swim. This will be our main event, something a little more special for MSG.
Our next contest has AJ Styles taking on Karrion Kross. Kross had his leg taped up and Cole alluded to a possible injury. Kross tosses Styles around a little before Mia Yim takes out Scarlett for trying to interfere. This allows Styles to wipe out Kross like he was enhancement talent in a really short match. The Bloodline overrun likely cut a lot of time from this match and it really hurt.
Promo Time with Asuka is up next but Bianca Belair is out to fight right away. Charlotte Flair, in a non-PG see though outfit, runs out next to fight. IYO SKY appears out of nowhere with her Money in the Bank briefcase and Bayley. Only thing missing now is Joey Styles on commentary. SKY teases cash in but Flair wiped her out and Asuka escaped. It was a totally rushed mess. It would have been better to just have bumped it to next week. Oh, Belair gets her title rematch next week so this was supposed to set it up. Next week’s match will probably be a mess like this was.
Edge takes on Grayson Waller in our main event match. The match was really good and was given sufficient time. Waller looked like he could hang with Edge, who made him look good. Waller had a few spots where it looked like he was going to win the match but Edge came back and speared Waller as he was attempting his Summerside Stunner. After the match, Edge told Waller that he swam. That was a nice little rub there from Edge to Waller. Waller is impressive in the ring so he should have a bright future on the main roster.
Promo Time with Roman Reigns closes out the show. Jey Uso comes through the crowd almost immediately looking for a fight. Uso got Reigns with a few chair shots before Sikoa intervened. Reigns escapes as Uso totally demolishes Sikoa with the chair. Uso grabbed the Undisputed Title and challenged Reigns to a one on one match to close the show. That match will likely happen at SummerSlam.
John rated Smackdown at a 7.75 this week. That is a very fair rating. The Bloodline stuff was excellent and the next natural step in the story. They ran a little long and cut into the rest of the show a bit though, so I’m going to go with a 7.5 for this week.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The Tribal Court was terrific. It was the next logical step in the story. I had thought that perhaps Rikishi and/or the elders would make an appearance to voice their disapproval with Reigns. Perhaps that is coming down the road. If you missed this, go seek it out. It was that good.
Edge gave Grayson Waller a really nice rub in their match. It was no surprise that Edge won, but he made it look like Waller had a chance a couple of times. It was a good example of how to make your opponent look good in defeat. Perhaps there will be a rematch down the road for Waller to get his win back.
With the Tribal Court segment running over, multiple things had to have time cut from them and that hurt their quality. I wonder if anyone would have complained if the Styles/Kross match or the women fighting got bumped to next week?
You can catch me on Facebook or Twitter (@ciscowebwiz76) with any feedback or discussion. That’s all I’ve got, until next time.