San Francisco, CA
After a recap video highlighting last week’s main event, Rowan makes his way to ring for a promo. Rowan details how people like the fans think he is less than human and that is why he does what he does. Daniel Bryan interrupts Rowan and dares him to a fight.
Rowan vs. Daniel Bryan
Rowan is absolutely dominating Bryan to begin this impromptu match. Bryan finally starts making a comeback with some kicks but when he tries running off of the ropes, Rowan drops him with a big spin kick. Commercial break.
Back live and Rowan is continuing his domination as he slams Bryan into the ring post. Bryan is being a resilient babyface as he continues to get back up after big moves by Rowan. Bryan finally gets rowan to the ground after working at the left knee of Rowan. Bryan is in control as he repeatedly slams the left knee of Rowan into the ring post. Bryan begins his running corner kicks but Rowan catches Bryan and slams him for a 2-count. Bryan fights out of a bear hug but Rowan drops him with a powerbomb. We get a picture-in-picture commercial break as Rowan drags Bryan outside the ring.
Back fullscreen now as Rowan continues to be in complete control. Bryan reverses a powerbomb and tries to hit a dive to the outside but Rowan catches him. Bryan gets away once again and drives Rowan into the ring post. Bryan gets fired up as the crowd begins the “yes” chants for a missile dropkick and the Yes Kicks. Rowan kicks out but Bryan locks in the Lebell Lock. Harper appears at ringside and causes a distraction on Bryan. Rowan hits the Iron Claw on Bryan but his foot gets caught in the ropes in a nasty looking botch. Rowan hits another Iron Claw after they free Bryan from the ropes. 1-2-3, Rowan wins.
Post Match: Harper and Rowan begin to attack Bryan but Roman Reigns comes to make the save. The heels get the advantage early but ultimately Reigns and Bryan send them back up the ramp. Bryan grabs a microphone and sets up a future grudge match between the 2 heels and the 2 faces.
Result: Rowan wins via pinfall after the Iron Claw
Grade: B+, a 30 min match to set up a future match that we knew was going to happen
Kofi Kingston Backstage Interview w/ Michael Cole
Why are we doing interviews like this still? Cole is a horrible actor, still. Kofi does his best to explain that he is confident that he can defeat Brock Lesnar next week on the Fox debut.
Grade: C-, this was just a plug for Fox
Gable starts with a promo on how he had Corbin beat yesterday but gets interrupted by his opponent, Mike Kanellis. Kanellis states that he is here to prove to his wife that size does matter (another short joke at Gable’s expense).
Gable suplexes Kanellis and locks in the Ankle Lock for the submission victory.
Post Match: Elias appears on the screen and he sings a song about Gable being short.
Result: Gable wins via submission with the Ankle Lock
Grade: D, glad Gable is on TV now, but this whole thing about people just calling him short has gotten old very quick
24/7 Championship Shenanagins
Grade: B, quick and to the point, but it also shows that Truth is protective of Carmella remaining the 24/7 Champion
Charlotte and Carmella w/ R-Truth vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley
Carmella and Sasha start the match and after some back and forth, Carmella gets dumped to the outside. Bayley attacks Carmella and drives home the point that they are no longer friends after last week. Sasha is in control of Carmella as she and Bayley perform some solid teamwork. Charlotte gets the hot tag after Carmella breaks free and she goes to work with some chops and suplexes. Charlotte hits a big boot and locks in the figure-four but Sasha breaks it up with a Meteora. Carmella gets the sneaky tag in and hits a Super Kick on Sasha but Bayley breaks it up. Sasha is able to lock in the Bank Statement causing Carmella to tap.
Post Match: Truth carries Carmella away as the women’s division comes for the 24/7 Champion. Charlotte is left alone to be attacked by Bayley and Sasha but Becky Lynch makes the save!
Result: Sasha and Bayley win via submission as Sasha gets Carmella to tap to the Bank Statement
Grade: C, Carmella tapping so quickly was odd considering she is a Champion in her own right
Ali vs. Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn in a Non-Title Match
Ali hits a dangerous looking dive to Nakamura on the outside. Nakamura failed to stop the dive and Ali landed on his neck next to the announce table. Ali rolls Nakamura back into the ring but Zayn causes a distraction allowing Nakamura to throw Ali into the ring post. We get a picture-in-picture commercial break as Nakamura gains control.
Back fullscreen and Ali is creating separation for himself with some kicks. Ali hits a rolling facebuster and then a mid-air dropkick to Nakamura when he attempts a dropkick of his own. 2-count by Ali and Nakamura goes on to hit an impressive sliding German suplex. Nakamura sets up for the Kinshasa but Ali counters with a superkick for a 2-count. Ali hits a middle-rope DDT but Zayn pulls Nakamura out of harm’s way when Ali goes to the top rope. Ali chases Zayn around ringside but Nakamura stops him in his path when they enter the ring with a Kinshasa. Nakamura gets the pinfall victory.
Result: Nakamura wins via pinfall after a Kinshasa and Zayn assistance
Grade: B-, Ali looked like a dummy here but at least there’s a story developing
The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) vs. The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel)
Let’s see how this goes…
A Bo Dallas distraction allows Axel to get the upper hand on Woods early. Dallas tags in and sends Woods to the outside of the ring. Dallas and Axel start celebrating but Big E joins them to their surprise. New Day hit the Midnight Hour for the victory.
Result: New Day win via pinfall after the Midnight Hour
Grade: C, why do the New Day need this squash win
Fire and Desire / Heavy Machinery Backstage segment
Mandy is handing out the magazine that she is on the cover of as Sonya tries to get her to focus on their upcoming match. Otis shows up and asks for a selfie with Mandy before taking a magazine and making some… interesting noises to the magazine pictures while Tucker congratulates him.
Grade: C, I don’t know what to say
Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) vs. Fire and Desire (Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose)
Hey, the Kabuki Warriors are alive! They’re finally back on TV!
Asuka and Sonya exchange kicks early on in the match. Kairi tags in but Sonya throws her to the outside. Mandy taunts Kairi with her magazine cover but Kairi kicks it away… after she misses the kick initially. Back into the ring, Kairi fights out of the hands of Mandy to make the hot tag to Asuka. Mandy fights back but the Kabuki Warriors pick up the victory after Kairi hits the InSane Elbow for the pinfall victory.
Result: Kabuki Warriors win via pinfall after Kairi hits the InSane Elbow on Mandy
Grade: C+, glad Kabuki Warriors are back but I feel this match was just to draw attention to Mandy being on the cover of Maxim Australia
Main Event: Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens Legal Hearing
McMahon tells KO he has 2 options: McMahon takes him to court that will last for years OR Owens drops the lawsuit and they pretend the whole thing never happened. Owens calls McMahon an idiot because he doesn’t get what the lawsuit is about. The lawsuit is about getting McMahon out of the WWE. Owens says they should handle this in a ladder match. Winner of the ladder match, whoever grabs the contract hanging above the ring, stays in WWE. The loser gets fired and must leave WWE.
Grade: A, that’s a twist
Becky Lynch Backstage Interview
Right before the show goes off the air, Becky is being interviewed about her upcoming match with Sasha Banks at Hell in a Cell. Sasha appears from around the corner and attacks Becky, injuring her ribs in the process.
Grade: B+, this makes Sasha look like a dastardly heel that can only win by cheating which is good
Overall, tonight’s episode of Smackdown was pretty lackluster. Not a lot really happened apart from the Main Event and there were some notable botches.
Overall Grade: C+