State Farm Arena
The show starts with The New Day vs. The Revival and Randy Orton in a 6-man tag team match! I am so used to a promo opening all WWE shows that this will be refreshing to see.
The New Day vs. The Revival and Randy Orton in a 6-Man Tag Team Match
Woods and Big E are fighting angry thanks to what happened to them at the PPV. New Day put together an impressive series of tags and moves on Randy Orton but before Kofi can hit Trouble in Paradise, Dash and Dawson pull Orton out of the ring as we go to commercial. This match has been all New Day so far and they clearly are showing more chemistry than The Revival and Orton.
Back live and the heels got control during the break. Woods is relegated to the role of the one being beat down for New Day, like usual. Woods’ injured knee is like a giant target for the heels. Woods battles back briefly but Orton thumbs him in the eyes before returning to stomping and wrenching the injured knee. Every time Woods gets some offense in, the heels adjust and work the injured knee. We get a picture-in-picture commercial break that shows Woods being slammed into the announce table multiple times.
Back to full-screen and Woods has finally created separation for himself as he makes the hot tag to Kofi. Kofi hits an SOS but the pinfall is broken up by Dawson. Just as New Day was gathering momentum, Orton halts it with a vicious DDT. After the heels get greedy and go for a Shatter Machine into an RKO, New Day reverses it and Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise for the pinfall on Dawson.
Result: New Day wins via pinfall
Brock Lesnar is here! The Beast has returned and has his eyes set on Kofi and the WWE Championship! Paul Hayman sets up a WWE Championship match for the Smackdown Fox premiere next month. Lesnar hits Kofi with an F5 and struts out of the building.
Grade: C, huge news for Fox and the Smackdown debut but bad for WWE fans as Lesnar will probably be an absentee champion once again
Erik Rowan Interview
Holy hell Michael Cole is a horrendous actor. Rowan talks about how he is more than a puppet and is actually a leader. Rowan is talking so aggressively and attempting to be scary but Cole sitting there with a straight face as a near 7’0 tall man yells at him kills this segment.
Grade: F, we didn’t learn anything new about Rowan and the acting was just bad here
Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn vs. Mustafa Ali
Sami says that Ali got lucky weeks ago when he beat Nakamura but that he respects him. Sami distracts Ali before the match and Nakamura hits a Kinshasa on Ali so that the match gets thrown out.
Grade: D+, who did this help?
Owens and McMahon Segment
Kevin Owens has arrived and is sitting in the audience because he was “fired” last week. Shane McMahon spots this and goes to handle it but when he leaves his office, he gets served papers (presumably wrongful termination papers). Commercial break.
McMahon has entered the ring with a bunch of security officers. McMahon invites Owens into the ring but security forms a wall between the two. Security steps aside and McMahon states that the wrongful termination papers are for $25 million dollars. Owens interrupts Shane and calls him a dumbass to a huge pop from the crowd. Owens logically explains that he was fined for hitting an official but when Shane did it to him, nothing happened except Owens got fired. Owens says the best way for him to hurt Shane is to hit him in the wallet and he gets to fire Shane if he wins the lawsuit! Sure, that’s not how lawsuits work but this is wrestling.
Grade: B+, Owens returning so soon is bleh but this is an interesting twist on an angle that gets done so often
AOP Video Package
Same exact video from Raw last night…
Grade: C, nothing new for us WWE?
Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks w/ Bayley
So, uh, the rapper Offset is here and is introducing Charlotte because we’re in Atlanta. Offset leaves… alrighty then.
Charlotte is dominating early on and even catches Bayley trying to remove the turnbuckle before we go to a picture-in-picture commercial break. During this break, Sasha has gotten the upper hand by slamming Charlotte into the ring post. The two exchange some rest holds before we return to full-screen.
Charlotte hits some WOO chops and a fallaway slam to regain control. Sasha tries to hit a hurricanrana but Charlotte gets her into a submission momentarily. Charlotte big boots Sasha to the outside which allows her to hit a moonsault into both Sasha and Bayley. Back in the ring, Charlotte locks Sasha into the figure-four but Bayley causes the DQ.
Poat Match: Carmella comes to the rescue of Charlotte and dishes out some Superkicks to both Sasha and a shocked Bayley. I love that Bayley still thinks that she is in the right and definitely not a heel despite her clearly being one.
Result: Charlotte wins via DQ
Grade: B, nice to see Carmella doing something other than being Truths’ sidekick
Coronation of King Corbin
Corbin cuts a promo on the crowd about how he is just what the WWE needs as a king. Corbin calls out Chad Gable and makes a ton of short jokes. Gable has had enough as he slams Corbin through the throne, rips the robe, hits Corbin with the scepter and stomps on the crown. Gable gets a huge pop from the crowd as Corbin is left crying while looking at his broken crown.
Grade: A, both men are perfect for their roles here and I can’t wait for Gable to get his win back over Corbin
Heavy Machinery vs. The B-Team
The B-Team dominate Tucker early but he gets the hot tag to Otis who cleans house rather easily. The crowd absolutely loves Otis when he hulks up and The Caterpillar gets the ground on their feet. Heavy Machinery hits The Compactor for the pinfall victory.
Result: Heavy Machinery wins via pinfall
Grade: B-, WWE needs to build up tag teams and I guess having Heavy Machinery win a squash match helps
Main Event: Daniel Bryan Promo
Bryan cuts a promo on the crowd about how he has never lied to them, for better or worse. He then goes on to cut a promo on Erik Rowan about how Rowan is still a friend to him even after the betrayal.
Rowan comes out and cuts a promo on Bryan about how Rowan was forced to stand on the sidelines while Bryan got all the glory. Bryan tells Rowan that if he feels disrespected, then he should fight him. Luke Harper blindsides Bryan which means Roman Reigns has to come to the rescue. Reigns gets the initial upper hand but Rowan and Harper slam him into the steel steps and ring post. Security comes to break things up but Rowan and Harper decimate them too. Rowan breaks the barricade by kicking it before using it to hit Reigns. The show ends when Harper and Rowan send Bryan through the announce table.
Grade: B+, this keeps Rowan strong and probably sets up a tag match
This was a rather weak episode of Smackdown that didn’t accomplish much. The Lesnar return was huge but as WWE fans, we should be worried that he will defeat Kofi and run away with the Championship. Other than that, Gable looked great, Owens/McMahon story got a twist, and everything else was pretty bleh.
Overall Grade: C-