The show opens with them telling me we’re getting Daniel Bryan vs. Shelton Benjamin, Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, and Samoe Joe vs. Rusev. This show looks kind of awesome.
WOMEN’S LADDER MATCH “SUMMIT”- terrible
Lana is wearing a “Happy Lana Day” shirt, which is weird because her catch phrase is “Lana is the best! Lana #1!” Speaking of which, as long as we’re using that silly catchphrase, I demand a Lana vs. Billie Kay match just so we can get a promo where Rusev says “Lana #1! Billie Kay hock-ptooey!”
Paige says she wants one of her women to win. Lana told her “don’t worry. I’ll bring it home.” If I were Paige would not trust this Lana. She’s clearly an imposter sent by Raw. You can tell because she doesn’t have her accent.
Bickering commenced. Lana’s accent’s disappearance is really bothering me. Charlotte insisted that her having won the women’s and/or divas’ titles on NXT, Raw, and SD, meant that “the only thing I haven’t done is win that contract.” So I guess Charlotte has no interest in winning the Women’s Royal Rumble or main eventing WrestleMania or anything like that? Hell, she said this one sentence after conceding to Naomi that Naomi was the only winner of the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royale. Becky was actually pretty good here, but the real woman who impressed me was Paige, who somehow managed to actually seem interested in everything these women were saying as if she hadn’t heard it all a million times over the past few weeks.
Billie Kay & Peyton Royce then came out and buried the four women in the MITB match and insulted the crowd. Peyton then did a rather racist impression of an Irish person (a good hint that this was racist was the fact that she ended it by explaining to us that she was being “an Irish”). They then did equally stupid but thankfully at least non-racist impressions of the other three. What did they do that so badly pissed someone in power off that they’re getting punished like this?
Then Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville came out and Sonya laughably declared that the four women who won qualifiers were less talented than herself, Mandy, Billie, & Peyton. Lana, Becky, Charlotte, and Naomi charged at the other four and we had a short brawl that they quickly cut away from so that the announcers could jovially dismiss this fight going on in front of them and instead pitch us to a video package about the Occupy Raw segment that happened in this building FOUR YEARS AGO. Then they randomly cut to the finish of a Shelton Benjamin vs. Randy Orton match from two months ago when Sunil Singh distracted Randy Orton to allow Shelton to pin Randy. This second part- a match where Shelton was about to lose until someone distracted his opponent- was the best evidence they had for us that Shelton Benjamin has been “making a big statement since his return to Smackdown Live.”
DANIEL BRYAN TWITTER PROMO ON BIG CASS- great!
SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. DANIEL BRYAN- 7.5/10
Bryan is really freakin’ great. Shelton worked over Bryan’s knee a lot and Bryan sold it wonderfully. Bryan didn’t get much offense, but that just helps to get the heel hook over as an insti-tap move (which it is in real life).
PAIGE & ASUKA BACKSTAGE- fine
Asuka wants a match against Carmella tonight, but Paige says she can’t give them a singles match, but she can modify the eight-woman tag they announced after that terrible opening segment and turn it into a ten-woman tag. Asuka left and Paige continued along on her way until she stumbled into a new segment. This time it was…
PAIGE & MIZ BACKSTAGE- stupid
Miz has a referee’s shirt on and his doing warmups. Paige asks him what he is doing, so he tells her he is preparing for a role in a clearly made-up movie in which he plays a referee. He asks her to make to him the referee for tonight’s Joe vs. Rusev match so he can do some method acting. She tells him that she won’t fall for that… and then she immediately falls for it.
JERRY LAWLER INTERVIEWS AJ STYLES- AJ cut a good promo to hype up his title defense against Shinsuke Nakamura on Sunday.
SINGLES MATCH WITH SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE THE MIZ: Samoa Joe vs. Rusev (w/Aiden English)- 5.25/10
Hey, look! It’s an obnoxiously predictable f*ck finish. Stuff happened after the match. Rusev set up a ladder and tried to grab the briefcase for no real reason so Miz hit him with the Skull-Crushing Finale and pulled the briefcase down himself. Miz celebrated with the briefcase and began yelling at the announcers. Byron opened up the briefcase… and there were pancakes in it. How much money a week to do you think WWE wastes on pancakes?
We then cut backstage to New Day, who are celebrating that their stupid prank worked. How dumb would they have felt if no one decided to waste the energy to pull the briefcase down for symbolism? Also, why are Kofi and Xavier wearing the same shirt gigantic, oversized shirt as if they were conjoined twins?
JEFF HARDY vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA- 6/10
Was going perfectly well until the f*ck finish. Just when I was counting on WWE’s disregard for their secondary titles to prevent such a thing, they suddenly decide that the US Champion shouldn’t do a job. Nakamura hit Jeff in the nuts right in front of the referee, then counted his own ten count to build up to the Last Man Standing Match.
RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS CARMELLA- good promo by Carmella
RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS BIG CASS- not so good
Cass dismisses her- and her microphone- and just cuts the promo to the camera himself. Makes you wonder why they need the microphones.
Cass then went on to cut a goofy promo about going to Memphis County Fair. He claimed that Bryan was the only person who wouldn’t meet the height requirements… and had a goofy-ass sign that he apparently stole from the fair to show us this.
MANDY ROSE, SONYA DEVILLE, BILLIE KAY, PEYTON ROYCE, & CARMELLA vs. BECKY LYNCH, CHARLOTTE FLAIR. ASUKA, NAOMI, & LANA- 5.75/10
Not much to say here other than that Asuka made Carmella tap, which was probably the only effective piece of PPV build on this entire go-home show. The show ended with a terribly forced visual of the four women in the MITB match all surrounding Asuka as Asuka stood underneath the briefcase.
A frustrating episode of Smackdown that promised exciting matches and then f*cked you out of them, while also totally failing in its role as a go-home show for the PPV.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Byron Saxton referred to Paige adding Carmella and Lana to the big tag match as “upping the ante.”
No. She has just expanded the playing field. There was nothing on the line before, and is still nothing on the line now.
(This is the sort of line that might not bother me if I hadn’t spent the past few weeks watching match after match after match with nothing on the line but this bullsh*t concept of “momentum.” Momentum is the sort of thing that could work if you actually made it a real part of the story, but WWE doesn’t even have a story other than “there will be a match at the PPV involving these wrestlers and some others.”
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