Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review, brought to you this week by your Doctor Frenchie, Steph (for the fans of the Elliot vs. Bradley weekly exchange of views, sorry this week it’s Steph vs. Steph…)
Backlash is done now (you can read our review here), let’s go for Money in the Bank (on June 18 from Saint Louis, Missouri). But before taking care of the briefcase, this SmackDown was about settling down Backlash accounts to better start (or restart) new ones.
The show starts with police sirens coming from the outside, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal is arriving escorted by the police. A carpet is set down as The Maharaja and the Singh Brothers get out of a massive car, ready to celebrate Mahal’s victory.
SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon comes to the ring, to a thunderous pop from the crowd. History was made at Backlash and a new champion was crowned. He announces Randy Orton instituted his rematch clause and will face Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship at Money in The Bank PPV in his hometown. He also announces the Money in The Bank match whose winner will have a guaranteed contract for the WWE title whenever and wherever he wants. He introduces the 5 participants for the match, AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens. Shane stops Owens as he’s not one of the participants. The final participant is, in fact, Shinsuke Nakamura. An angry United States Champion can’t believe these 5 guys are in the match and not him. Zayn and Nakamura won their matches in Backlash and are in the Money in The Bank match, Owens too, so he must be in the Money in The Bank match too. He claims Shane is dictating the opportunities in the Blue land and is upset Owens did what he couldn’t do at Wrestlemania 33, defeat AJ Styles. Shane agrees and introduces Kevin Owens as the 6th participant of the match.
Here comes a beautiful “shut up and let me talk” moment between the six. Corbin shuts up Owens to tell Shane he just has to lower the briefcase and give it to him. AJ then shuts up Corbin to remind him this is the house he built, tell Owens he’s WWE’s version of Eric Cartman and says he will get the briefcase and win his title back. Zayn tries to talk but he’s quickly shut up by Corbin. Who’s shut up by Owens, who’s shut up by Ziggler, who’s shut up by Nakamura (girls, we’re officially beaten at this game…). Shane shuts them all up and announces Corbin vs. Zayn in a Backlash rematch and Ziggler and Owens vs. Styles and Nakamura as the main event for tonight.
HERE IS SOME OTHER SHIT THAT HAPPENED:
– Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch defeated Carmella and Natalya. SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi, James Ellsworth and Tamina Snuka were at ringside. Becky had control of most of the match. Tamina and Ellsworth got involved in the match, but Becky locked Carmella in the Disarm Her for the win. The score is now: Good girls 1 – 1 Bad Girls
– Sami Zayn quickly defeated Baron Corbin in a 20-second match (I checked…). This second loss in a row was enough to drive Corbin crazy. He sent Zayn into the timekeeper’s area and attacked him with a steel chair in the middle of the crowd. The brawl continued in the crowd area as a delighted Corbin sent Zayn neck first in the railing, then threw him face-first into a ringside barrier. The massacre ended with a load of punches in Zayn’s face. Referees finally stopped Corbin who walked backstage under the crowd’s boos. Officials arrived to take care of Sami Zayn who was brought out on a stretcher.
– Backstage Styles and Nakamura hyped their first time teaming tonight. If AJ admits he learned a few things from Nakamura in Japan, tonight Nakamura had to follow his lead because this is the house AJ Styles built. Nakamura said if tonight they are a team, at Money In the Bank he’s going to grab the briefcase and turn AJ’s house into his playground.
– In the latest edition of The Fashion Files with Breezango, they asked Shane for a rematch, he gave them singles matches against The Usos.
– The Punjabi Celebration was full of colours, dancers, Mahals’s words, and crowd’s boos. Jinder said it wasn’t about the fans here, but his people of Punjab and India. He talked to them in Punjab before posing with the title as the pyro went off.
– Tyler Breeze beat Jey Uso thanks to a water gun shot by Fandango in Uso’s head. Fandango beat Jimmy Uso thanks to a “Granny” Breeze’s distraction. Breezango then asked for a rematch for the titles. This time, The Usos prevailed over Breeze and Fandango in a more “normal” match.
– Backstage, Natalya was asking Shane for a shot at the title. But Carmella too, Becky Lynch too, Tamina too, and Charlotte Flair too. Shane shut off the catfight and made a Fatal 5 Way Elimination Match for next week. The winner would face Naomi at Money In the Bank.
Time for the main event with Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles. AJ starts off with Ziggler but both quickly tag Owens and Nakamura. He quickly tries to go for a Kinshasa but Owens rolls on the floor. Owens then Ziggler keep Nakamura on their corner and kick him again and again. The Artist tries to come back in the match many times to make the tag, unsuccessfully. When AJ Styles is finally about to get the tag, he unloads Ziggler with clotheslines and strikes. Styles then takes care of Owens and Ziggler again, very impressive as a team. Styles spends a bad time until Nakamura is finally able to make the tag.
The end of the match is a mess of blows from every opponent. Zig Zag from Ziggler, countered by an Exploder from Nakamura. Kinshasa stopped by Owens. Pele Kick of Styles on Owens. Styles Clash on Owens superkicked by Ziggler. Nakamura is finally able to hit the Kinshasa on Owens and get the win for his team.
Nakamura and Styles are celebrating their win in the middle of the ring, right under the coveted briefcase.
TO SUM UP:
Obviously, it was a transitional episode, with good and bad points. With a market of 1.3 billion possible viewers for WWE, a little celebration and a few words in Punjab were a minimum to show respect to India. The announced participants in The Money in The Bank match were easily predictable, but a little bird is telling me the participants, and their number, are surely going to change until PPV day… Corbin is out of control, the girls are not wanting to make us have fun. But Sami Zayn is on the winning curve and the Tag Team sky is about to be less cloudy with Breezango finally out of the title line. Good point, it seems like Nakamura is finally unleashed. If many are expecting he and Styles to square off very soon, seeing them as a team was a real pleasure, even if Ziggler and Owens did a hell of a job. Let’s wait for what next week is going to bring us…
All pictures courtesy of WWE.com