SmackDown was live from the PC, still with no crowd. Money In The Bank PPV is 2 weeks to come, 4 men and 4 women will represent the Blue brand in the ladder matches. The qualifying matches continue this week, with King Corbin vs Drew Gulak and Lacey Evans vs Sasha Banks. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross are putting the Tag Team titles on the line against Carmella and Dana Brooke. We will also celebrate the 25th wrestling anniversary of The Game, Triple H. Let’s get into it…
During the episode, we had multiple video packages on the different stages of Triple H’s career.
- The new SmackDown Tag Team Champions Kofi and Big E were in the ring to celebrate. Kofi took the mic and talked about last week’s big win. Kofi praised Big E for bringing home the gold for them. Kofi asked everyone to put their hands together for Big E but Big E reminded Kofi that no one is here tonight. Kofi and Big E went on about the number of title reigns they’ve had, being on #8 now. He said they now have more title reigns than Legends and WWE Hall of Famers like Hart Foundation, The British Bulldogs, The New Age Outlaws, Demolition, Edge & Christian. Kofi added he doesn’t say that to brag but because they’re proud to have their names next to greats in the industry.
Out came Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado of Lucha House Party. They congratulated Kofi and Big E, but they were also tired of not getting opportunities. They wanted to be the first challengers to The New Day. The former champions, The Miz and John Morrison stormed right past Lucha House Party, leaving them on the ramp. The Miz ranted about the matches that led to Big E winning last week. Morrison said Kofi and Big E have never defeated them in a traditional tag team match, and their win was cheap. Miz added they have someone pulling strings for them, and they don’t deserve the win. Miz said they want the titles back. Metalik shout in Spanish. Out came The Forgotten Sons, Steve Cutler, Wesley Blake and Jaxson Ryker.
Miz asked The Forgotten Sons if they can help them, and wondered who the hell they are. Cutler told Miz to laugh it up. He introduced all three. Cutler said they actually served their country but ever since they came home, they’ve been treated like trash and tossed aside. The others may not know who they are, but they will soon. They will be forgotten no more and will soon reign over the tag team division. Miz ranted about respect and his time in the company. Ryker said Miz played a Marine in the movies but a real Marine is standing in front of him. Blake talked about how they are cut from a different cloth, mentally and figuratively, and some might call them savages. Blake said they strike anywhere, any time, and you won’t see it coming. The Forgotten Sons suddenly attacked everyone. The Forgotten Sons stood tall while Lince and Metalik recovered on the outside, Big E and Kofi were lying in the ring, and Miz and Morrison watched from the stage.
- The Miz and John Morrison were backstage, upset at what happened earlier. They accused Lucha House Party of instigating everything. Miz said they are going to get a match set up for tonight, to make everything right.
- King Baron Corbin defeated Drew Gulak in a Money In the Bank Qualifying Match. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura interfered and celebrated with Corbin.
- Sheamus destroyed Daniel Vidot. He nearly attacked Michael Cole after the match, when Cole was talking about Jeff Hardy after “Chapter Three: The Redemption,” the in-depth look at Jeff Hardy, was aired. “Chapter Four: The Comeback” will air next week and that will be the final part of the series.
- Lucha House Party defeated The Miz & John Morrison’s abs.
- Lacey Evans defeated Sasha Banks w/ Bayley in a Money In The Bank Qualifying Match. After the match, Tamina appeared on the ramp and superkicked Bayley in front of a motionless Sasha Banks.
- Video package on the lengthy and mind-gaming history between Bray Wyatt and Universal Champion Braun Strowman, from the Black Sheep of the Wyatt Family till now.
- Two MITB qualifiers announced for next week, Otis vs Dolph Ziggler and Mandy Rose vs Carmella. Also, Daniel Bryan will face King Corbin.
- Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross quickly defeated Carmella & Dana Brooke to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
- Triple H made his way to the ring. Someone took his bottle of water to prevent him from spraying it. He said it’s hard for him to even believe that it’s been 25 years when Shawn Michaels’ music interrupted him. He talked Triple H up as one of the greatest WWE performers of all-time and if you’re not down with the 25th anniversary… social distancing. Michaels didn’t hug him, “I love you but don’t touch me!” Michaels says he sent out hundreds of invitations to Triple H’s friends and loved ones around the world, and we’re all here. The camera showed the empty Performance Center. Shawn joked about Triple H still being a draw and packing the fans in.
- They remembered the good old times, they bickered about Triple H’s favourite moment of his career. Michaels complained about never having a 25th Anniversary Celebration. Shawn wanted to take this time about the man he’s known for 25 years and said they’ve been friends every second during that time. They talked about having good times as DX and being money. Shawn says it all worked, flawless executions and everything they touched turned to gold. Shawn sends us to a video of DX’s “Not So” greatest moments. Michaels reminded him of his career and accomplishments, 14 World Championships, numerous WrestleMania wins and countless WrestleMania moments. Shawn liked to think of himself as Mr. WrestleMania, but what he did on The Grandest Stage of Them All pales in comparison. Shawn sent us to a somewhat comedic video package of Triple H’s WrestleMania moments, which includes more than a dozen losses and a bunch of punches in a corner from Ronda Rousey. Shawn said that makes Triple H look not that good. Triple H asked Shawn how many WrestleMania losses he had and Shawn said this isn’t about him. Triple H said he had to wrestle some great talents in the ring night after night. And it was incredible. Without those people to be in the ring with, his career would be nothing. Shawn brought up Triple H meeting Stephanie McMahon now, or as he called her Stephanie No One. Stephanie McMahon on the phone, she was seeing Michaels mocking her. Michaels talked about Evolution and Ric Flair, he appeared on Triple H’s phone. Flair joked that Triple H better not let Shawn superkick him at the end of the segment. His phone rang again, commercial break, and Road Dogg on screen. Vince McMahon arrived.
- Vince said they didn’t think he was going to miss out on making remarks, did they? Vince says Triple H’s 25 years is really extraordinary. Under normal circumstances, Vince would come down to the ring from the stage and join them. Vince is apparently practising social distancing. Vince talked about some of the hits and misses from Triple H’s career, mostly misses and jokes around some more. He apparently indicated that Triple H was behind the infamous “This Is Your Life” segment from 2017. Vince said that segment brought the crickets out but it wasn’t Bayley’s fault. Vince said seriously, I love you. Triple H said he loves Vince back. Shawn interrupted and says he loves them both. Vince laughed and says tonight he just wants to say that Triple H’s performance tonight, and just him overall, is just God awful. Vince said he was ashamed of them tonight and if they haven’t put everyone to sleep by now, he will say goodnight. Vince told Triple H to wrap it up, padre. Triple H asked if Vince is throwing them out as Vince exited back. The lights started going down in the WWE Performance Center while Triple H and Shawn were still in the ring. We heard the sound of crickets echoing out over the arena. Triple H joked that Vince really is throwing them out. Triple H asked Shawn if he hears the crickets too. “The story of your career, pal. The story of your career,” Shawn said.
Overall, SmackDown is currently like a hamster in his wheel, they roll with the same guys and the story seems never to end. I’m sure our RAW reviewer, Amanda, could say the same of the Red brand. Triple H’s celebration was good end-of-episode entertainment but that was just the end of the show. And absolutely not enough when you think about what Triple H has done. It was fun and well-made but The Game would have earned something huge in front of a roaring crowd.
The Road to Money In The Bank continues with Lacey Evans and King Corbin now officially entering the two Ladder matches. Corbin joins Aleister Black, Apollo Crews, Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan in the Men’s MITB Match while Lacey Evans joins Nia Jax, Asuka, Shayna Baszler and Dana Brooke in the Women’s match. The card of these two matches are very interesting and should some great action on the stairs and the rooftop of WWE’s Headquarters.
Tamina made a strong example while attacking Bayley outta nowhere. The attitude of Sasha Banks is saying a lot about her thoughts on her friendship with the SmackDown Women’s Champion. I don’t necessarily understand the alliance between Cesaro, Nakamura and King Corbin. We can imagine all of them have the same goal that is destroying Bryan and Gulak, but what about Sami Zayn? Will the Intercontinental Champion follow that trend?
The Tag Team landscape has suddenly become extremely crowded. After the recent releases, when I reviewed the current SmackDown roster, the number of teams was something that struck me. The New Day, The Usos, Miz & Morrison, The Forgotten Sons, Lucha House Party, Heavy Machinery, a lot of contenders and possible champions who mean a lot of possible surprising matches.
All things set apart, despite the lack of crowd, despite the fact we more or less see the same people every week, the Blue brand continues to provide a great show week after week, the build-up to Money In The Bank is doing good. Both RAW and SmackDown viewership figures are decreasing week after week, but SmackDown remains the strongest of the two shows. Is it a matter of a day, show’s length, wrestlers? I don’t have an answer but all I can tell you is to take care, stay home, and watch wrestling.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE