The Bludgeon Brothers just stood there in the ring with their hammers while Miz kept his distance from then, only inching closer when he tried to get an answer out of them, which they never gave, just standing there stoically.
Miz is under the impression that Bryan’s claim that he was ready to beat “the biggest and the baddest Superstars in the WWE” last week and then supposedly “disrespecting” them by coming out to the ring while they were still walking out the ramp is the reason that the Bludgeon Brothers attacked him. Miz was excellent here, accidentally insulting the Bludgeon Brothers throughout while putting both them and himself over and burying Bryan. I think my favorite part was when Miz claimed that after the Bludgeon Brothers’ assault, Bryan “miraculously recovered” before Miz hit the ring and thus Miz defeated a 100% Daniel Bryan completely cleanly and in mere seconds.
Miz’s mouth predictably got him into trouble. Harper slapped the microphone out of his hand the Bludgeon Brothers started to bear down on him… and then Daniel Bryan came out... so Miz picked his mic up and tried to convince them to attack Bryan. Bryan told Miz to shut up, then told the Bludgeon Brothers that he wasn’t afraid of them. Bryan told them “I’m not out here to ask if you’ll fight me. I’m out here to find out which one of you is going to fight me first.”
Rowan wanted to go fight but Harper stopped him with a hand on his chest. He then reached behind him and grabbed Miz’s arm which was holding the microphone and held it (including Miz’s arm) up to his mouth and said “You just never learn, do you Daniel? Well you’re gonna tonight.” This was an absolutely wonderful segment, and I am completely baffled that the same company that produced this segment could have produced last night’s Raw.
NEW DAY ARE DRINKING LIQUIFIED PANCAKES BACKSTAGE- and I don’t mean they’re drinking pancake batter. I mean they had Mr. Bootyworth put pancakes in a blender and then drank the result. This was incredibly stupid, but it did give me an idea on how they can end this pancake thing. First you have Woods start to act erratically and lose matches for a few weeks. Then you have Big E. and Kofi walk in on Woods shooting up liquefied pancakes and they decide that enough is enough and hold an intervention for him and all decide together that they must beat their addiction.
XAVIER WOODS (w/The New Day) vs. RUSEV (w/Aiden English)- 5.75/10
Rusev wins clean. He cut a great promo on AJ Styles after the match as well.
JEFF HARDY PROMO- these screen effects are freaking me out. Jeff cut another weird Jeff Hardy promo. I found it much easier to understand what he said here than anything Matt Hardy or Bray Wyatt usually say.
Apparently Nakamura got injure last night, but to ensure that the fans get the US Title match they paid for, Jeff is having an open challenge tonight instead.
LANA & NAOMI BACKSTAGE- they argue in a friendly manner about who won their dance-off from a few weeks ago. You remember the one, right? The one that ended when LANA ATTACKED NAOMI FROM BEHIND? Naomi apparently forgives these things very easily. They then got all excited because a random group of oddly dressed women showed up. Once Naomi excitedly exclaimed that this was “THE CAST OF GLOW!” did I barely recognize Alison Brie in the front. I then decided to skip this entire segment because you can’t go on your kayfabe wrestling show and promote a product whose entire existence breaks kayfabe! Also, I was afraid of how many f*cking times Naomi would say the already-annoying (out of her mouth, anyway) word “glow.” But at least this did serve as a reminder to me that season two of GLOW will be out on Netflix this week!
Jeff Hardy, who came out to the ring before the last commercial break, has apparently been in the ring doing nothing this whole time.
WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH: Jeff Hardy(c) vs. Eric Young (w/SAnitY)- 5/10
I think it’s pretty safe to say that these guys were holding back, knowing what the finish would be. Said finish saw The Usos show up (out of the crowd for some reason) to challenge SAnitY. When Wolfe & Dain spotted them they excitedly ran over to them, just as eager to start a fight as The Usos. Wolfe was even clapping in excitement. I thought that was a great touch. They started brawling, and EY abandoned his match with Jeff to join in. That brawling spilled into the ring, where an Uso double-legged EY right in front of the referee to cause a DQ. Jeff Hardy then joined in the brawl on The Usos’ side.
Despite the fact that this was the third big match that I’d seen end in a DQ in less than eighteen hours (the main event of Raw and the main event of Evolve 104) and the second title match to do so just in WWE alone, I was strangely okay with this. EY “abandoning the match” (as Tom Phillips put it) to go join the fight on the outside felt like an unusual dynamic to me for some reason, even though it is completely logical and fairly common. SAnitY just kind of does that to me sometimes, I guess. Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that EY was happily sacrificing a title match to go join a fight that really isn’t anything of a blood feud to SAnitY. I think, between this and Wolfe’s excited clapping before, this crazed love of brawling that SAnitY has feels very interesting to me, despite somehow feeling very common as well. I really don’t understand it. But the main gist of it is that this DQ didn’t bother me anywhere near as much as I would have thought it would have.
SAnitY vs. JEFF HARDY & THE USOS- 6.5/10
A good six-man tag, but SAnitY losing is a bafflingly stupid booking decision.
I actually paid attention to the Miz & Mrs. commercial for the first time, and I have to say that this thing seems a million times more entertaining than Total Divas. Then again USA Network>E! really shouldn’t come as a surprise.
BECKY LYNCH vs. SONYA DEVILLE (w/Mandy Rose)- 4.5/10
They showed us clips of a segment from earlier today where Mandy & Sonya crashed a Becky Lynch interview and Sonya mocked Becky so Becky threatened to break some arms. It was good. Even Sonya’s acting. The match itself was okay. Hopefully this means this feud is now over (Becky won clean).
JAMES ELLSWORTH DRESSED ASUKA MEETS WITH TYE DILLINGER BACKSTAGE- short and stupid, with two dorks I have no interest in seeing
ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS & ZELINA VEGA PROMO- oh yeah. I forgot that they were on this show, Vega cut a great promo alleging that the reason that Almas hasn’t been booked is because everyone in the locker room is afraid of him after what he did Sin Cara (put him out of action, apparently).
JAMES ELLSWORTH PROMO- obnoxious, and not in the good heel way. It’s just cheap, crappy heat.
He calls Asuka out. Instead he gets Paige who reveals to everyone that the only reason he is out here grandstanding is because he just went around asking everyone backstage if Asuka was here tonight and found out that she is in Japan visiting her family.
Paige announced that Asuka is getting a title shot at Extreme Rules. Ellsworth claimed that Paige came out here to ask him on a date. She made him think they were going on a date and because he’s an idiot, he believed her. Paige then instead said it’s not a date with her, or even a date at all. He now has a match against Asuka next week.
First of all, you can copy and paste my rant from the week of Ellsworth’s previous match in WWE about the idiotic kayfabe position the Smackdown authority figure is now putting WWE in because of the optics of man-on-woman violence. Second of all… Ellsworth is back on the roster now? WHY? Why would Paige rehire him at all, never mind after he showed up and ruined a title match? If he were just back as a guest of Carmella’s that would make some sense, but the hell would Smackdown (or Raw, or 205 Live, or even NXT) offer him a contract?
We got brief shots of Harper staring into the camera, and then of Bryan training with Gallows & Anderson backstage.
DANIEL BRYAN vs. LUKE HARER (w/Erick Rowan)- 6.75/10
Harper didn’t even get his entrance shown. That was surprising.
They were having a good match until Bryan got Harper in the Yes Lock so Rowan ran in for ANOTHER f*cking DQ.
Bryan was weary of Kane, seeing as how the last time they were in the same place, Kane assaulted him. Kane offered Bryan a hug, and Bryan eventually accepted. Then Paige came out and asked Kane, a Raw Superstar, what the hell he was doing on her show. Nah. I’m just kidding. Not one person brought up the fact that the last time we saw Kane he was a member of the Raw roster (the aforementioned assault of Bryan even happened as part of the Raw vs. SD feud!). Instead Paige came out to give them a tag team title shot on PPV, even though they really haven’t done anything to earn it.
This started out a promising episode of Smackdown that completely fell off a cliff. In the interests of full disclosure I went to sleep for the night after the Jeff Hardy vs. EY match, so this is yet another instance of “BRM goes to sleep and a show that was good up until that point magically turns to sh*t overnight.” The “same stuff they did on Raw” booking of the main event was doubly frustrating due to the DQs, and SAnitY getting pinned cleanly right away was just stupid. Furthermore, it felt like they were running a skeleton crew tonight, as WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Charlotte Flair, Asuka, and WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella all did not appear on the show, and for only two of those (Asuka and Nakamura) was there a reason given- or was the absence even acknowledged at all.
The booking of the Bryan vs. Bludgeon Brothers stuff really irked me, and not just because of the Raw thing. As good as the MizTV segment was, I thought it would have been better to also find some way for Harper & Rowan to attack The Miz, leading to Miz and Bryan having to team up against them for the titles at the PPV (maybe you have Bryan get a roll-up win on one of them but get assaulted after the match, then have Miz face one of them and win by DQ because the other guy attacks him, with Bryan making the save at the end to set up the title shot). This way you buy yourself a month to actually build up some new contenders in the division (speaking of guys who weren’t on the show, where the hell have Sheamus & Cesaro been?) while Miz & Bryan’s inevitable failure to win the tag titles results in Miz blaming Bryan for the loss and their feud reigniting for SummerSlam (or, if you really want to, you could probably keep it going for a bit to build to Miz and Bryan actually winning the titles at SummerSlam then losing them a few weeks later with Miz blaming Bryan for that loss [and a subsequent failure to recapture them at the September PPV] leading to their split and their feud starting up again, ready to blow off in time for Bryan winning the Rumble). That’s a lot more interesting to me than a random Team Hell No reunion with Kane just able to magically switch brands without anyone noticing. (Actually, now that I think about it, Taker seems to be able to do that as well. Maybe it’s one of their familial superpowers, like shooting lightning and teleportation and causing temporary blackouts?)