By: Frank Hyden
GOOD- Retribution interrupts Big E vs. John Morrison
This match barely got underway before Retribution came out and attacked both of them. I think they also called in their big brothers as well, because there was probably 3 times as many people in masks this time. There was also a backstage segment after a commercial break with several members of the locker uniting together to try to guard against anymore attacks.
GOOD- Asuka wins the Triple Brand Battle Royal to get a Smackdown Title Match
Bayley and Sasha Banks came out to do ring announcing and introduced the Iconics, Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart, Lacey Evans, and Asuka before Asuka attacked them. The rest of the wrestlers competing then ran out (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan, Shayna Bazler, Naomi, Bianca Belair, Tamina, Dana Brooke, and I believe that’s all) and the match started. This was a TV battle Royal so the eliminations were fast and furious. And they mostly followed the storylines, like The Iconics eliminated Riott and Morgan, Lacey eliminated Naomi, etc. It came down to Asuka and Shayna. There was a crazy spot where Asuka had laid out Bayley and Sasha on the outside before she almost got eliminated by Shayna. However, as she got knocked off the apron, Asuka landed on Bayley and Sasha. I personally popped pretty big for that one because Asuka was literally one foot on Sasha’s back and the other foot was on the back of Bayley’s head and neck. Ouch. Asuka eliminated Shayna and will now also face Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Title at SummerSlam. So she’ll be going for both titles at SummerSlam. So Asuka will be working twice that night unless WWE decides to make it a triple threat match or something like that.
GOOD- Mandy Rose challenges Sonya Deville to a hair vs. hair match at SummerSlam
This was a fairly good promo by Mandy. At times she showed good intensity. It wasn’t nearly as good as the promos Sonya has cut but that’s because those have been excellent. Later in the night, Sonya accepted and it looks like one of them is getting shaved bald. I’m assuming Sonya but I guess you never know for sure. I was already liking this feud but this ratchets that up even further.
GOOD/BAD- Sheamus beats Shorty G
I don’t want to be too negative because this wasn’t a bad match, it was just kind of okay. It was solid. It was one-sided and didn’t last long but it was fine. They really need to change that Shorty G name, though. It’s too much like a mascot type of name, it’s hard to take someone named that seriously, and Chad Gable is a way better wrestler than that name would make it appear.
GOOD- AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy promos
AJ hired some “nerd” (actually Chris Park, the former Abyss) to be a stats guy for him and come up with rankings for his Intercontinental Title to determine who should get a shot at it. It was blank, of course, but then Jeff Hardy came out and talked about how he’d like a shot. Then they brawled and Jeff signed the white board, setting up a match between the two for next week. The segment was eh, it was fine, but I like both of these guys and getting a match between them both next week elevates it for me.
GOOD- Gran Metalik beats Shinsuke Nakamura
Another short match but it was good while it lasted. The end came when Kalisto made his return and in the commotion Metalik rolled up Nakamura for the win.
GOOD- Big E beats John Morrison
This match was given more time but also relegated to the backburner in ways, because the lights flickered at one point so the wrestlers came out to surround the ring, which allowed Retribution to attack some refs and workers backstage. I’m not a huge fan of this angle because we need to actually hear from these guys because these attacks have become cut and paste. Back to the match, Morrison had some incredible moves in this match, some parkour stuff as well as some of the bumps he took. It was extremely unique and I would encourage you to watch it if you haven’t already. I was hoping Morrison would win but they continued the Big E singles push.
GOOD/BAD- Alexa Bliss promo and Braun Strowman/Fiend stuff
Bliss actually had an interview before the last match where she talked about how her and Braun were friends and The Fiend was scary but compelling. After the last match Braun came out with a shaved head and yelled more about how evil he is and how he’ll eat the entrails of The Fiend at SummerSlam. Alexa came out and slapped Braun so Braun pressed her above his head and kept her there for quite a long time as The Fiend’s entrance slowly happened, with the lights going out and all that. Braun threw Alexa up into the air as the lights went out and when they came back up, The Fiend was standing in the ring as Alexa lay on the mat selling. Then Braun appeared on the Tron doing that forced movie villain laugh and The Fiend joined in, it was like one of those parodies where the characters laugh before stopping and looking at you straight-faced. Anyway, this is like they’re trying to do a double turn or something but I don’t know. I’m not a fan of this whole angle. I give them credit for trying and all, but it’s just not landing for me. I see a fair amount of people on social media liking it, though, so hey it’s working for some people.