SmackDown was taped from the Performance Center, still with no crowd. Money In The Bank PPV is 8 days away, 3 men and 3 women will represent the Blue brand in the Ladder matches (sorry, was not 4). The qualifying matches continue this week, with Otis vs Dolph Ziggler and Carmella vs Mandy Rose. Daniel Bryan will face off King Corbin. And The New Day welcome The Forgotten Sons to the ring for a non-title clash. Let’s get into it…
- Daniel Bryan made his way to the ring. He talked about overcoming new challenges and trying new things at this point in his career. He said he’s excited for the most unique Money In the Bank Ladder Match ever, from the WWE HQ. Bryan went on hyping up the MITB matches and said they will risk it all. Bryan went on about the match and wondered if he can just take the elevator to the roof. Bryan didn’t know a lot about the match but he was excited about the opportunity. Bryan recalled how he cashed in years ago to win the WWE Title from Big Show. Bryan added winning MITB was the pivotal moment in his career. That’s what spawned The Yes Movement, him headlining WrestleMania and more, to prove he belonged in WWE with the very best. Bryan was also kind of sad as Drew Gulak won’t be in the match with him. Bryan said King Baron Corbin ruined that opportunity, along with his friends. Bryan called Corbin to the ring. Corbin threatened Bryan and showed how Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura helped him defeat Gulak in a MITB qualifying match last week, and the post-match attack. Corbin said that felt good. He wanted to save Bryan some time because Bryan will not be winning Money In the Bank. Corbin said he will stand on the roof of WWE HQ and looked down at his subjects as King Money In the Bank. Bryan taunted Corbin for previously failing to cash in and said that makes him a loser. Corbin threatened him again, saying he will end up like Elias. Corbin threatened to come to the ring and shut Bryan up.
- Daniel Bryan defeated King Corbin via DQ when Corbin used a ladder next to the ramp to hit Bryan with. After the bell, Corbin enraged and yelled at the referee. Corbin brought a ladder into the ring and then brought Bryan in. Corbin pointed at the referee and said what’s about to happen was on him. Corbin went for The End of Days on the ladder but Bryan countered. Bryan took Corbin down on top of the ladder and applied the Yes Lock on top of the steel. Corbin yelled out until Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura made the save with a Kinshasa to the head. Bryan got double-teamed. Cesaro sent Bryan out of the ring with a ladder. Corbin took Bryan to the stage and threw him off, into the group of standing ladders next to the stage. Bryan knocked over the ladders and landed on them. Corbin, Cesaro and Nakamura looked down at Bryan laid out on the ladders.
- Universal Champion Braun Strowman was talking about last week’s look at his history with The Wyatt Family when Wyatt interrupted him for a new episode of The Firefly Fun House. Wyatt said he has something special for all of tonight. Tonight is storytime and he’s telling The Story of The Black Sheep. Wyatt was reading from a book with that title, showing a cartoon version of Strowman’s old sheep mask on the front. Strowman was the black sheep and Wyatt was the shepherd. The black sheep was selfish and one day left the shepherd, making him sad. Then all of his sheep left one day, making it worse. Wyatt told a wacky ending to the story, The End. Wyatt said that’s a sad ending so let’s come up with a happy ending, one where the shepherd finding the black sheep, reminding him of his mistakes and taking away what makes him happy. Strowman touched the title. Wyatt went on with a threat but Strowman interrupted. Strowman said he’s done with this puppet and Fun House stuff. If Wyatt had something to say, he could come to the ring and say it in his face. Wyatt just looked at Strowman, started smiling and then waved goodbye. Wyatt will see Strowman soon. Strowman looked back down at his title, touching it again.
- Sheamus killed Leon Ruff. After the match, Sheamus went to the announce table and asked Cole if he’s going to talk about his best mate now, Jeff Hardy. Cole said, as a matter of fact, it’s time for the final part of the recent series on Jeff. Sheamus said let’s see it. “Chapter Four: The Comeback” video on Jeff Hardy was aired. Cole announced that Jeff will be back on next week’s SmackDown. We saw Sheamus standing there with his arms crossed, looking at Cole. Sheamus told Cole that Hardy will be here next week, but so will he.
- Mandy and Otis hyped their MITB qualifying matches, as Otis said he will win MITB not only for him but his peach as well. Mandy was focused on Carmella tonight, and just like Otis, she will climb the ladder and win.
- Carmella defeated Mandy Rose in a Money In the Bank Qualifying Match. Sonya Deville interfered in the match and talked from the ramp to Mandy who continued the fight. After the match, Sonya attacked Mandy, throwing her in the stairs and the post. Deville yelled she will ruin Mandy’s life.
- Back from the break, Otis was with Mandy Rose and a trainer. The medic checked Rose out and she said she will be alright. The trainer needed a few more minutes with Rose and Otis headed off. Dolph Ziggler approached him and asked how Mandy was doing. Otis just stared at Ziggler, breathing heavy.
- The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler w/Jaxson Ryker) defeated SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E & Kofi). Miz and Morrison’s abs were at the announce table.
- Video package on the Bayley/Sasha/Tamina/Lacey feud. Kayla Braxton asked Tamina Snuka if there’s anything, including Bayley’s best friend Sasha Banks, that can stop her. Snuka talked about how it took multiple women to stop her at WrestleMania and went on ranting about how tough she is. She said she won’t be intimidated by a bunch of bratty mean girls who are masquerading. Sasha Banks appeared, asking if it’s really going to be this way after all they’ve been through together over the years. Banks said Tamina knows how much she loves Bayley, but she also knows they can carry themselves like women who don’t have to do cheap shots. Banks kept speaking but it was all to distract Tamina. Tamina turned right when Bayley was trying to do a sneak attack. She fought but they beat her down and laughed after sending her into a production case. Lacey Evans finally ran up and made the save for Tamina. All four Superstars brawled now as officials tried to separate them.
- Sonya Deville was backstage with Dolph Ziggler. She wished she would’ve seen the look on Otis’ face when Ziggler asked him how Mandy Rose was doing earlier. Deville went on about how she hurt Rose and will continue to do the same. Ziggler looked like he might be annoyed. Deville said Otis will be hurt by Ziggler tonight. Ziggler agreed. Ziggler said fans cheer Otis because they can see themselves in him, or sitting next to him on the couch drinking beers. They think they’re witnessing greatness but Ziggler and Deville both know guys like Otis never really win. Ziggler said he’s a real winner and will do what he does best in the ring tonight. He was going to win tonight then go on to Money In the Bank to win again, then he will cash in the contract again, and become Champion again. Ziggler said after Deville is done hurting Rose, he’s going to slide next to her as the new champ and make her feel better. They both smirked. Deville said that sounds like a plan to her.
- Michael Cole announced for next Friday, Tamina and Evans vs. Bayley and Banks, Bryan and Gulak and a partner vs. Cesaro, Nakamura and Corbin, plus a face-off between Wyatt and Strowman. It was also said the men’s and women’s MITB matches will take place simultaneously.
- Otis defeated Dolph Ziggler in a Money In the Bank Qualifying Match.
Overall, that was not the greatest episode of SmackDown, with way too long promos. Until Money In The Bank is over, we will have to deal with what we currently have. Corbin and Bryan. Mandy, Sonya, Otis and Dolph. Sasha, Bayley, Tamina and Lacey. Then, The Firefly Fun House is something I could never get rid of. Probably the best thing that has happened the last few weeks is The Forgotten Sons. Out of the “classic” Usos, Miz/Morrison, New Day feud, they have brought a breath of fresh violence in the Tag Team division.
Sheamus and Hardy is also something I really want to see. Of course, they wrestled in the past, and on multiple occasions, but the situation is different for both of them. They are both back from injury, they don’t have the same attitude. Also, where will Cesaro and Nakamura’s trust lie when Zayn will be back? That’s another question that could lead to a pretty interesting feud between Corbin and the Intercontinental Champion in the near future.
That happened after SmackDown
The WWE SmackDown mystery hacker took to Twitter after this week’s SmackDown on FOX episode and apparently trolled the WWE Universe. The mystery hooded figure did not appear on SmackDown for the second week in a row, after previously issuing a warning to the blue brand tag team division. However, he had posted two cryptic videos on his Twitter account, @TheMessageWWE, and now he’s posted a third in GIF form. The post, which was re-tweeted by WWE, includes a GIF that says “Loading…” while a loading bar fills up. The GIF then quickly flashes a line that is hard to catch, but it says: “You have successfuly wasted 10 seconds of your life!” The second “L” is missing from successfully.
Money In The Bank Card (as of today):
- Money in the Bank Ladder match for a Women’s Championship match contract: Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax vs. Dana Brooke vs. Lacey Evans vs. Carmella
- Money in the Bank Ladder match for a World Championship match contract: Daniel Bryan vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Aleister Black vs. Baron Corbin vs. Otis vs. TBD
- Universal Championship match: Braun Strowman (c) vs. Bray Wyatt
- SmackDown Women’s Championship match: Bayley (c) vs. Tamina
- WWE Championship match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Seth Rollins
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE