It’s quite obvious that since WrestleMania SmackDown has become the B show of WWE programming. Once held as the number one product after the brand split sometime last year we now find ourselves staring down the barrel of a loaded gun where big Vinnie Mac is laughing at us at the other end. Maybe I’m being overdramatic but when you put so much time in to watching their product you’d expect both Raw and SmackDown to be hot sh*t and not just one steaming pile of sh*t next to a recently polished turd.
Speaking of fecal matter, SummerSlam is in Brooklyn this Sunday and SmackDown don’t really seem to care all too much about hyping up their matches ahead of the biggest party of the summer. It’s almost as if the WWE want you to know that Raw is where you can find all the action these days. Look at me, I haven’t even got to the show opening yet and I’ve already mentioned poo more times a sewer inspector with tourettes. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.

As we have seen before on SmackDown, Jinder Mahal can put on quite the Punjabi spectacle. Last night was no exception as the show opened with a special Indian celebration to commemorate Canadian Indian Independence Day. There was singing, dancing and, of course, the obligatory disrespect from the crowd for anything other than their tradition of beef jerky and monster trucks. That’s what Americans like, right?.
The evil foreigner was there to celebrate his heritage, something that is always portrayed negatively in the WWE for some reason, but he was also their to promote his main event match with John Cena that night. In doing so he was interrupted by Shinsuke Nakamura, a good foreigner, who promised to defeat Jinder at SummerSlam for the WWE Championship. That was pretty much it until the main event.

Let’s Cut The Cheese:

– Natalya defeated Becky Lynch whilst Naomi was on commentary. Natalya won with the Hart trademark Sharpshooter.

– Rusev faced Chad Gable again. This time it ended in a double count-out as Rusev continued to beat down Gable outside the ring. Randy Orton predictably popped up outta nowhere to RKO Rusev.

– AJ Styles attempted to apologise to Shane McMahon for Pele kicking him last week only to be interrupted by Kevin Owens who tried to superkick Styles but instead hit Shane. Swings and roundabouts I guess. Shane will probably turn heel on Sunday by screwing over AJ for the US Championship.

– Daniel Bryan went all Dad-mode (he thought he was down with the kids) on the Usos as he granted them a match with The New Day after they were jumped last week. The Usos won rather convincingly in the non-title match with a double superkick.

– Breezango returned to Fashion Peaks for one last investigation where Fandango, with his new psychic ability, fears that the entire tag-team division is in danger. The story is “two b” continued in 25 years two weeks.

The aforementioned main event witnessed John Cena crush Jinder Mahal but not quite in the way I was expecting. Mahal first kicked out of an AA where it looked like he was dead and buried but was then hit by a second “super” AA from the top rope. This time it was all but over, then Baron Corbin attacked Cena and caused the disqualification. With Mahal out for the count, Corbin cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase in a moment that surely took us all by surprise. As the Lone Wolf went for the pin, Big John returned to bury yet another would-be WWE Champion on their MITB cash-in. A now distracted Corbin was rolled up by Mahal who retained his WWE Championship.

I am really hoping WWE have something up their sleeve with this feud between Cena and Corbin but we know them all too well. My natural pessimism is telling me they have nothing but disappointment. This isn’t the first time John Cena has foiled someone’s cash-in either. Remember Damien Sandow’s failed cash-in attempt? Of course you don’t. He’s not even a wrestler any more.
The idea here is that the heel is so blinded by their own arrogance they’re unaware of any flaws in their plan. In a sense they’re already treading on old ground having now done this with Corbin. Of course Corbin is a heel and we’re not supposed to like him but if you do (and a fair amount of us do) this is certainly a kick in the teeth if you were hoping to see him: A) Cash-in at SummerSlam (or any other PPV). Or B) Become WWE Champion any time soon.
It’s understandable that not every person who is Mr (or Ms) Money in the Bank will become a World Champion. After all, it’s not a guarantee that you will beat the person you are cashing in on. Yet, if you are the holder of the briefcase it’s implied that the WWE are giving you a push in your career. So if you couple this with the fact John Cena is the man to cost someone the briefcase (again) then you have to understand why there is now reasonable doubt Corbin could slip down the SmackDown pecking order quicker than you can say “I am the first ever Impact Grand Champion”.

By Bradley Tiernan

"Wrestling is better than the things you like" - John Oliver