SmackDown was live from the PC, still with no crowd but live again. Money In The Bank PPV is 3 weeks to come, 4 men and 4 women will represent the Blue brand in the ladder matches. The first qualifying matches are happening this week, with Daniel Bryan vs Cesaro and Dana Brooke vs Naomi. Sasha Banks will try not to make Tamina Snuka the new #1 contender for her best friend’s title in defeating her. And the SmackDown Tag Team Championships are on the line again, no ladders, but Big E and Jey Uso trying to grab the belts out of The Miz’s shoulders. Let’s get into it…
- “A Moment of Bliss” with Universal Champion Braun Strowman. Michael Cole confirmed Bray Wyatt vs. Strowman for the title at Money In the Bank. After they congratulated each other for their respective title wins, and Nikki mentioning they will defend their title next week against Carmella and Dana Brooke, Bliss brought up Wyatt and showed the warning to Strowman from last week. Strowman said he was used to be a part of that family but he’s trying to forget that part of his life. He owed Wyatt nothing because he earned everything he has. He said Wyatt he’s a manipulator and Strowman isn’t playing those games. Strowman warned that if Wyatt comes for him and not the title, all he’s getting is these hands. Strowman saw a wrapped gift under the turnbuckles. His old black sheep mask from The Wyatt Family was in there. Braun pulled it out, nervously shaking his head. Bliss and Cross backed off. We heard Wyatt’s laughs echo around the WWE Performance Center. Strowman stood up ready to fight but Wyatt was nowhere to be seen. The screen flashed and stopped on an image of Strowman wearing the mask back when he was in The Wyatt Family.
- Tamina Snuka defeated Sasha Banks. Bayley tried to interfere but Lacey Evans prevented her from doing that. After the match, Tamina stood tall, Evans joined Tamina in the ring and they stood tall together as Banks looked on from the floor. Bayley checked on her.
- Charly Caruso asked Lacey Evans about Sasha Banks being a thorn in her side. Evans said Banks got a little taste of her own medicine tonight. After what Banks did to her and her family and then at WrestleMania, Evans went where Banks goes and like in the Marines, she’s not going to stop until the mission is complete. Evans showed her anti-Sasha “tattoo” on her hand” and walked off.
- Sheamus destroyed Denzel Dejournette. After the match, Sheamus posed in the corner and yelled out as his music hit. Sheamus interrupted Cole as he was talking about Jeff Hardy. Sheamus pointed to how Cole talked about Hardy when he was out here last week, and he wasn’t happy with Cole doing the same show of disrespect for the second straight week. Sheamus asked what about The Celtic Warrior, then got in Cole’s face and said he will not be disrespected, fella.
- We went to part two of the in-depth look at Jeff Hardy, which began airing last week (these videos are some extracts of WWE 24 documentary on the Hardy Brothers, available on WWE Network). “Chapter Two: The Fall” is the name of this part. This video showed Hardy talking about his addictions and spending time in jail. “Chapter Three: The Redemption” will air next week.
- Dana Brooke was backstage warming up. Carmella appeared and wasn’t happy about Dana training for tonight’s MITB qualifier when she should be training for next week’s title shot against WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. Dana said she can do both, she’s got this. Carmella said whatever and wasn’t so sure of Dana’s abilities as Dana walked off.
- Dana Brooke defeated Naomi to qualify for the female Money In The Banks match. Her joy to win was really contagious to see.
- After a video package on what’s happened between Otis, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville and Dolph Ziggler as of late, Sonya Deville came to the ring to “clear the air” on this situation. She begged Mandy to come, saying she’s never had someone like Rose in her life, from day 1, Tough Enough, and everything else, she’s always been there with her, together as Fire & Desire. She even went to the wedding of Deville’s sister. Deville asked Rose to come out so she could tell her what she’s always wanted to.
Rose said she has nothing to say to Deville after what she did to her and Otis. Deville said she’s spent more time with Rose than she has her own family for the past 5 years. Deville says Rose not giving her a chance to explain made her feel less than nothing to Rose. Deville struggled to get it out but finally says Rose is the most selfish human being she’s ever known. Fire & Desire was all about Rose. Deville said she’s about to gag, something Rose has probably done a lot since she’s been with Otis.
Deville added Ziggler in the equation, saying she helped Ziggler with the relationship, but that was in exchange for Ziggler helping them and she had their eyes on winning the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania but it never happened. Deville said Rose ruined it. She called Rose a bottom of the barrel bottled blonde who looks like she was created in a lab. Deville hated that she wasted years being second best to eye candy with no talent. Deville then told Barbie to listen carefully. She knew Rose better than anyone else in the world and she will use every ounce of her being to ruin Mandy’s life and then everyone will realize the true champ and fighter of Fire & Desire, not some centrefold b**h.
Ziggler came and told them to calm down. Ziggler said they went about this the wrong way and did the wrong thing but Mandy can’t fake what happened between him and her. He will do whatever it takes to make it up. Ziggler told Rose to look him in the eye and say she doesn’t feel anything for him. They stared at each other. Deville attacked Mandy, Otis rushed and attacked Ziggler who ate a Caterpillar.
- Daniel Bryan w/ Drew Gulak defeated Cesaro w/ Shinsuke Nakamura in a Money In the Bank Qualifying Match. In the middle of the match, the screen started flashing as we saw the mysterious hooded man in the control room setting once again. He said we have heard all the lies, but when will we hear the truth? We saw “THE TRUTH” flash over the screen. We then saw flashes of several tag teams – The Usos, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, John Morrison and The Miz, Bayley and Sasha Banks, The New Day. “THE TRUTH” flashed again. The man said to keep your friends close, but others closer. He presses the button and “THE TRUTH WILL BE HEARD” flashed on the screen again.
- Elias was seen walking backstage with his guitar. Michale Cole said he has a special musical performance coming up. King Baron Corbin suddenly attacked him out of nowhere, beating Elias around the backstage area with a table, a ladder, Corbin’s sceptre and Elias’ guitar.
- Michael Cole announced two MITB qualifiers for next week – Drew Gulak vs. King Corbin and Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans. Graves announced Carmella and Dana Brooke vs. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross for next week, with the titles on the line. We will also take a look at the history between Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman next week and celebrate Triple H’s 25th wrestling anniversary.
- Big E defeated Jey Uso and The Miz to make The New Day become the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions. The Miz was keeping Jey Uso in the figure-four but Big E broke the hold, dropping Miz with a Big Ending for the pin to win the titles for him and Kofi Kingston. After the match, as Big E celebrated, we saw a video from Kofi Kingston, who was at home celebrating and going wild while Xavier Woods was celebrating at home too. Big E rolled around on the ground with the titles.
Overall, the show was good despite the Otis/Ziggler/Mandy/Sonya segment that was worst than a soap opera episode. We can ask ourselves why WWE gave the belts back to The New Day, who are 6-time SD Tag Team Champions and 8-time World Tag Team Champions, whatever the brand. Bray Wyatt started to play mind games with Braun Strowman and we couldn’t expect more from him. Then, Wyatt, and not The Fiend, is announced as the challenger at MITB. Who is this mysterious “Mr Truth” man? Some say Ali and I say maybe.
In fact, the whole episode is clearly defining the road to Money In The Bank. I don’t see any other match than a Falls Count Anywhere or any kind of hardcore match to close the Elias/Corbin chapter. Bayley & Sasha vs Tamina & Lacey is a match that we will see. Sheamus clearly wants to square off with Jeff Hardy. Deville & Ziggler vs Rose & Otis is clearly the only logical ending to this storyline. Because the match never happened at Mania, Miz and Morrison vs The New Day vs The Usos in a ladder match is meant to happen at Money In The Bank. Despite this strange “Climb The Corporate” stipulation for the two Money In The Bank Ladder matches, the PPV itself has everything to be a good one, at least on the blue side of it.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE