Charlotte Flair returns to aid Becky Lynch
What Happened: After defeating Carmella last week to finally earn the title shot she has been yearning for, Becky Lynch kicked off Smackdown Live with Renee Young. Lynch was just talking about the possibility of winning the Smackdown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam and then defending it at Evolution when the champion herself appeared. To everyone’s surprise, Carmella actually showed a bit of humility, speaking of her efforts to finally surpassed the Irish Lass Kicker ever since their days in NXT. But just as the Princess of Staten Island extended her hand in a show of sportsmanship, James Ellsworth’s music hit. Knowing full well that Ellsworth was fired by General Manager Paige last week, Lynch was caught off-guard, giving the conniving champion the opening she needed to drop her SummerSlam opponent with a superkick. It looked like Becky was in further danger in the way of a steel chair, when Charlotte Flair burst on the scene and sent Princess Mella scurrying. Having her plans to weaken Becky Lynch ruined, Carmella was already in a foul mood, but that mood got even worse when Paige sanctioned a match between the Princess and the Queen, where Charlotte’s victory would turn the Smackdown Women’s Championship match at SummerSlam into a Triple Threat.
My Opinion: I am rather fond of Charlotte Flair and am glad to see that she has fully recovered from both of her breast implants rupturing. That said, I would hate to see Becky lose the one-on-one opportunity that she has deserved for so long.
The Bar def. The Usos (Smackdown Tag Team Championship Tournament)
What Happened: With the New Day having already advanced in the Tag Team Championship Tournament, two of the blue brands most experienced tag teams went to battle for the right to face the pancake lovers in the finals. For the Bar, it was their first match since failing to win the RAW Tag Team Championships at the Greatest Royal Rumble at the tail end of the Superstar Shakeup, and as such found themselves in a bit of trouble at the start of the match. The Usos, for their part, however, found out what every tag team on RAW found out: they don’t just set the bar, they are The Bar. With Sheamus and Cesaro nailing their opponents with knees to the gut and an Uppercut respectively, they not only won their first match on the blue brand, they advanced in the tournament and will face a familiar foe in the New Day next week.
My Opinion: Despite being inactive all summer due to a Sheamus injury, the Bar once again finds themselves near the top of the tag team food chain. Be it the New Day or the Bar, I don’t care who goes to SummerSlam as long as they beat the Bludgeon Brothers and send them packing.
Samoa Joe sends a personal message to WWE Champion AJ Styles
What Happened: Last week, Samoa Joe let his actions do the talking, putting AJ Styles to sleep and signing his name on the WWE Championship SummerSlam contract. Tonight, his message was more on the verbal side, but no less menacing. The Samoan Submission Machine accused the champion of being so focused on maintain his reputation in WWE that he has neglected to pay his family proper attention. But he perhaps made as bold a statement as one can make about a WWE Superstar with a family, contending the Styles’s family would be hoping for the Phenomenal One to lose at SummerSlam so he would spend more time at home.
My Opinion: There is something special about a Samoa Joe promo. He speaks his words so directly that you are almost compelled to take them as reality rather than storyline.
Jeff Hardy suffers a double attack in an attempt to call out Orton
What Happened: The month of July was not very kind to Jeff Hardy at all, and it ended in even worse fashion. After suffering another attack from Randy Orton two weeks ago that also cost him the United States Championship, the Charismatic Enigma called out the Viper and demanded retribution. Never having back down from a challenge before, Orton slowly made his way to ring, where Hardy was raring for a fight. That is until he was blindsided by Shinsuke Nakamura. Caught off-guard and essentially cornered, Hardy feel victim to a Kinshasa. But that was just the beginning of the assault; as Nakamura made his exit, Orton entered the ring, literally stomping Hardy into oblivion and dropping him with two DDTs. With the alleged source of frustration completely defensely, the sinister Apex Predator proceeded to strip away everything the fans use to connect with the former United States Champion, including his face paint and Hardy Boyz emblem.
My Opinion: Believe or not, I still cannot be convinced that Randy Orton has turned heel. A true heel Orton would have taken out Nakamura as well as Hardy. Whether Jeff Hardy will be out for an extended period, we will have to see.
Zelina Vega def. Lana
What Happened: Following two separate confrontations last week and a heated Twitter battle over the weekend, Lana and Zelina Vega looked to settle everything in the ring. The match started with a bit of showmansship, with Vega striking her signature Tranquilo pose and Lana responding with a handstanding split. But after that point, it was all business. But with Rusev remaining backstage at his wife’s request, the Ravishing Russian was forced to keep an eye on Andrade “Cien” Almas. But with Vega in control much of the match, El Idolo had nothing to worry about until Lana got so fired up she treated the crowd to a Spinaroonie. Sensing danger, Almas tried to interfere, only to be neutralized by Aiden English. But English’s appearance shocked Lana as much as anyone else, and Zelina was quickest to recover, rolling up Lana to win her Smackdown in-ring debut.
My Opinion: After the match, Lana admitted that she needed Rusev by her side, so perhaps Rusev and Lana are staying together. Which means that Aiden English will soon no longer be a representative of Rusev Day.
Daniel Bryan challenges the Miz to a SummerSlam throwdown
What Happened: After his attempt to crash the Miz & Mrs. premiere party last week was thwarted, Daniel Bryan was out for revenge. He called out the Miz, which prompted the A-Lister to make an appearance… kind of. The Miz was on set of his new reality show and therefore showed up via satellite on the TitanTron to address his adversary. After once again listening to Miz degrade his career and comeback, the Beard got fed up and questioned the Miz’s compentencies both inside and outside the ring before daring to him to prove him wrong at SummerSlam. The A-Lister simply laughed off Bryan’s challenge, calling it another attempt to steal the spotlight, something the Miz claimed Daniel Bryan has been trying to do ever since the mentor-rookie partnership on NXT. He concluded his dismissal by calling his foe a whiner, driving his point home with pictures and audio clips of crying babies.
My Opinion: I’m not sure if the beef between the Miz and Daniel Bryan is legitimate or not, but they sure know how to make it seem that way. Miz actually tried to urge Bryan to let his contract expire (the deal that Bryan signed before Extreme Rules was reportedly only short-term), a statement that would be enough to infruiate anyone who has had to deal with what Bryan had to deal with. Regardless, this feud is reestablishing Miz and Bryan in their respective heel and face roles and I can’t wait to see what sort of stipulation will be in play at SummerSlam, as I have no doubt that there will be one.
Charlotter Flair def. Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella to be added to SummerSlam Title Match
What Happened: After teturning and saving her best friend Becky Lynch from an attack from Carmella, Charlotte Flair was granted an opportunity by General Manager Paige to be added to the Smackdown Women’s Championship Match at SummerSlam, but only if she could beat Carmella in non-title action. The declaration left the aforementioned Lynch with mixed feelings, not wanting to root against her best friend, but also not wanting to lose the one-on-one opportunity she worked so hard to get. She watched anxiously backstage as Charlotte and Carmella battled it out. For the champion’s part, she was in no way interested in a Triple Threat title defense, and tried to pick up the win by any means necessary, at one point making it abundantly clear that she was more than content with a countout win if it meant sparing herself an extra challenger. Even when that strategy faltered, the Princess of Staten Island stayed one step ahead, until she went one step too far, looking to humiliate Charlotte with her father’s own Figure Four, only to get caught in the Figure Eight, to which Mella quickly submitted, advancing Charlotte to SummerSlam.
My Opinion: If you watch Chris Peepz’s Smackdown review for this week on YouTube, you will here one of the callers say that Charlotte Flair is becoming the female version of Roman Reigns, and I agree. Every time Flair is on WWE TV, she right at the top of the title picture. I am highly disappointed that Becky Lynch will no longer get her one-on-one opportunity as she legitimately deserves. But, giving credit where credit is due, the writers did a great job on playing on the fact that Lynch is a huge fan favorite.
Smackdown did a great job with advancing their storylines tonight rather than keeping them stagnant. I am, however, a bit disappointed that there were only three matches tonight, but all of the promos really delivered.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Segment of the Night: It was a close one between Samoa Joe’s promo and Miz & Bryan, but I’m going to give it to the latter, simply because of the dynamic between the two.