After the Anarchy in the PC last week, tonight’s SmackDown continued to be filled with chaos at the hands of Retribution. Alexa Bliss was interviewed about how she was feeling regarding her recent interactions with The Fiend, there was a triple brand battle royal to see who would face Bayley at SummerSlam, AJ Styles tried to work out who his next opponent would be, and so much more. First off, Big E faced John Morrison, but it didn’t exactly go to plan.

Quick Results

Asuka won the Triple Brand Battle Royal

Sheamus def. Shorty G via pinfall

Gran Metalik def. Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall

Big E def. John Morrison via submission

Retribution Return

Big E vs John Morrison

Before the match even began, Retribution turned up and attacked Big E and John Morrison, despite Michael Cole and Corey Graves saying extra security had been hired. The anarchic faction turned up with more numbers than before, jumping on the ring apron and the announcer table, brandishing weapons and forcing the match to end. The Miz ran down and checked on Morrison, who was at ringside.

Backstage, various WWE Superstars were talking about what just happened, including The Miz, Drew Gulak, Lucha House Party, Big E, and John Morrison. Morrison said this would never have happened if Big E hadn’t sent out that tweet. King Corbin walked out and said they needed leadership to deal with what was going on. Big E told Corbin to shut his mouth, and he wouldn’t let the foot clan from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ruin his house. He then said he would head back out and face Morrison later on.

Sheamus appeared and claimed they attacked Big E because they could smell his fear, and they would never attack him in his match. Big E replied and said, “in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not alone.” Big E walked off, and SmackDown tried to return to normality. Big E wanted to face Morrison again later on, and the match was made.

Big E vs John Morrison (again)

The match got underway, with Big E wearing a bandage on his left knee following the attack by Retribution at the start of the show. Big E pushed Morrison off the ropes and it could have been nasty, but being the pro he is, Morrison landed on his feet. Big E landed a big splash on the apron, then went after him outside. The Miz distracted him which allowed Morrison to attack Big E’s injured knee. Back in the ring, Morrison went after his left knee. Otis came out and focused on The Miz, who had been making negative comments about Mandy Rose as he sat on commentary. Suddenly, the lights started flickering, and everyone looked worried about the possible appearance of Retribution.

After the break, the entire SmackDown locker room surrounded the ring to make sure Retribution didn’t attack again. Backstage, Retribution attacked referees, PC recruits, and destroyed everything in their path. Back in the ring, the match continued, but the Superstars at ringside headed to the back to track them down. The superstars were shown backstage, but Retribution had disappeared. Big E hit the uranage but only managed a two-count. Morrison attacked Big E’s knee, but he recovered and locked in the Stretch Muffler submission to make Morrison tap out. After the match, Sheamus came out and delivered a Brogue Kick to Big E. Braun Strowman’s music hit, and it was time for his confrontation with The Fiend.

Asuka Dos Opportunities

Triple Brand Battle Royal: Billie Kay vs Peyton Royce vs Tegan Nox vs Shotzi Blackheart vs Lacey Evans vs Asuka vs Naomi vs Liv Morgan vs Shayna Baszler vs Ruby Riot vs Tamina vs Bianca Belair vs Nikki Cross vs Dana Brooke

Bayley and Sasha Banks were in the ring introducing the triple brand battle royal, mocking every single competitor as they were introduced. They were having a great time until they thought someone had made a mistake on the cards they were reading from. Asuka’s music hit and she ran down and took out both Banks and Bayley. The rest of the competitors ran down and the battle royal got underway.

Ruby Riot, The Iiconics, and Liv Morgan were all eliminated right away, and then continued to brawl outside the ring. Bianca Belair almost got eliminated by Nox and Blackheart but managed to recover. Tamina eliminated Nikki Cross and then turned her attention to Belair, and they started to brawl in the middle of the ring. Belair then dispatched of Tamina in spectacular fashion. Naomi was knocked off the apron after going over the top rope, courtesy of the Woman’s Right from Evans, but Blackheart knocked Evans out of the ring. Baszler then took out Blackheart and eliminated her. Belair went after Nox, but she ducked and sent Belair over the top rope.

Nox went on a rampage against Asuka and Baszler, but out of nowhere, Brooke pulled Nox’s legs off the apron and got her eliminated. In the ring, Asuka took out Brooke, leaving Asuka and Baszler as the final two women. Bayley tried to grab Asuka, but she got out of it. She was almost eliminated but used the bodies of Banks and Bayley to stay in the match by standing on them outside. She jumped back in, and as Baszler locked in the Kirifuda Clutch, Asuka reversed it to send Baszler to the outside, meaning Asuka won the battle royal. Asuka will be facing both Sasha Banks and Bayley in separate matches for both women’s championships. Backstage, Banks and Bayley were annoyed about what had transpired. Out of nowhere, Asuka attacked both of them. SummerSlam could be one hell of a night for Asuka.

The Phenomenal Intercontinental Statistics System

AJ Styles came to the ring with Chris Park, fka Abyss on TNA/Impact Wrestling (now a WWE producer), and said there were more important things than Retribution right now, such as who would be facing him for the Intercontinental Championship. He talked about how he’s beaten Drew Gulak, Matt Riddle, and Gran Metalik, and that he’d rather be on his Twitch stream. Styles then talked about statistics, and how he was a “stud of a nerd” because he cares about statistics. He said he had found the Phenomenal Intercontinental Statistic System, “P.I.S.S.,” calling it a work in progress.

Styles said they should look at who was good enough to face him based on statistics. Surprise, surprise, nobody was good enough. Jeff Hardy then came to the ring, saying he has a ton of respect for AJ Styles. Hardy said he was robbed of his opportunity to become the Intercontinental Champion, and it was the first title he won on his own. He said AJ Styles vs Jeff Hardy sounded “mega cool.” Styles replied by saying he respected Hardy and admired everything he went through. Styles then said “hell no” to the match, and said this isn’t a pity party, so Hardy attacked Styles, then put his name on the board.

Backstage, AJ Styles was interviewed and said he would show everyone what happens when you mess with him, “you get erased.” He then tried to wipe Hardy’s name off the board (being held by Park), but couldn’t. It was some great comedy by Styles, who is often underrated when it comes to his humour. I’m happy that Jeff Hardy is getting away from his last storyline, even if his “demons” were mentioned yet again tonight.

A Woman Scorned

Nikki Cross saw Alexa Bliss backstage and apologised for pushing her down. Cross asked if she was OK after being pushed over by The Fiend, and that she should be somewhere safe. Bliss said she was going to stay around, as she needed some answers from Braun. Later on, in the show, Bliss sat down to share what was on her mind. As footage aired of her friendship with Strowman over the years, Bliss was saying how they became best friends. She was asked if they could ever become more than friends, and Bliss said maybe, then was asked if she thinks that was why The Fiend attacked her. Bliss seemed to be enamoured by The Fiend, saying it was like “a moth to a flame.” Bliss got upset when asked how it made her feel when Strowman said he didn’t care about her. She didn’t answer, instead getting really upset.

In the final segment of the show, Braun Strowman came to the ring and said he knew he would become “the most evil son of a b**tch” once he emerged from the swamp. He called out The Fiend, but instead, Alexa Bliss came out. She said this wasn’t the Braun she knows, but Braun said she had been using him as a pawn. Strowman told Bliss to get out of the ring. Bliss then slapped Strowman multiple times across the face. He picked her up into a gorilla press and the lights went out just as Strowman threw her in the air. The Fiend appeared in the ring as Alexa Bliss sat on the mat. Strowman then came on the big screen, laughing maniacally. The Fiend laughed as well, and as the show ended, Strowman let out a huge roar.

The Highs & Lows From The Rest Of The Show

Highs

Mandy Rose talked about how people have always perceived her as a “Barbie doll.” She said she has worked more than people realise, working three jobs to get where she is. She challenged Sonya Deville to a hair vs hair match at SummerSlam, asking Deville to put her money where her mouth is. It was a pretty decent promo from Rose, and this feud was heightened after Deville’s vicious attack from last week. I’m not sure about the stipulation, but both women could still give us a good match. Deville responded later in the show and said Rose was going to look “great bald,” and that she accepted the match at SummerSlam.

As Sheamus approached the ring for his match, he told the security team to go for a pint, and that Retribution weren’t turning up on his watch. Sheamus beat the hell out of Shorty G, using big forearms to strike his chest as he stood on the apron. Shorty G managed to take Sheamus to the ground and lock in the body scissors, but Sheamus got out and levelled him with a clothesline. Shorty G managed to get back into it with a missile dropkick. He tried an ankle lock then a jackknife pin, but Sheamus landed White Noise, then the Brogue Kick for the victory.

Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura were talking backstage, and behind them, Lucha House Party tried to steal their titles. The current champs noticed, then chased them to get their titles back. Dorado and Metalik came to the ring wearing their titles. Metalik managed to take down Nakamura a few times with a flying crossbody and a flying elbow. Cesaro distracted Metalik which allowed Nakamura to hit a superkick. Nakamura was ready to finish off Metalik until Calisto came to the ring after being out with a separated shoulder. Dorado and Calisto laid waste to Cesaro, and in the ring, Metalik managed to land a flying elbow, followed by a pin to secure the victory.

Lows

Matt Riddle was being spoken to backstage about his issues with King Corbin. He said he was annoyed about having to watch his back, calling Corbin a “royal pain.” Shorty G interrupted and said he was embarrassed about trying to injure Riddle. He apologised, and Riddle accepted it. Corbin then attacked Riddle from behind and thanked Shorty G for helping him. Riddle deserves better than this, and Corbin continues to be boring regardless of his opponent. I really don’t understand why he is given so much attention by Vince McMahon.

Final Thoughts

This week’s SmackDown was OK. The matches weren’t anything special, but the segments with Alexa Bliss were fantastic. Strowman has really come into his own this year, and his rivalry with Bray Wyatt/The Fiend has been fun to watch. Bliss’ slaps to Strowman were really hard, and it made their angle feel real. Strowman is turning into a Monster, and The Fiend seems to be loving it. This was his plan after all.

Retribution continue to wreak havoc in WWE, but I want to know more about who they are, and which Superstars are behind it. None of them looks like anyone I know, and the rumours about Ciampa and Dijakovic seem unlikely, given the fact that they all look like teenagers. We need something soon because they’re losing their impact with every week that passes by.

Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville cut a couple of great promos, AJ Styles was on fine form once again, and it was cool to see Abyss, the former TNA star and Hall of Famer on TV since joining WWE backstage. It was nice seeing Otis, and I’d happily see him go against The Miz, although it will probably be a part of the SummerSlam pre-show. Riddle vs Corbin is going to happen, and I’d rather it takes place soon so Riddle can face someone better than the king.

Finally, it was great to see Asuka win the triple brand battle royal. I’d love her to win both belts from Sasha Banks and Bayley, and it could be the perfect way to split them up. Either way, these three women are fantastic in a WWE ring, so we’re in for a real treat heading into SummerSlam.

All images and videos courtesy of WWE