Ric Flair started off the night to announce Drew McIntyre as the final member of his team for the Team Flair vs. Team Hogan match at Crown Jewel; to emphasise why he was such a good final pick, McIntyre then took on and defeated Ricochet, who is part of Team Hogan. I’m glad that the WWE is again shining some of the spotlight on to McIntyre but it always feels as though he’s another heavy rather than a major player; he’s been massively screwed over in the last year or so and I really hope this is a way to get him back on track.
Aleister Black was still raging about wanting “competition”, with his frustration growing so much that he had to destroy a couple of jobbers. You know, if he actually was a bit pro-active about this it might actually mean something; like why not attack AJ Styles and make a play for the United States Championship?
The messed up “drama” between Bobby Lashley, Lana, and Rusev continued as Lashley and Lana once again taunted Rusev from the TitanTron while he stood around like a chump in the ring. Classic stuff. Andrade then tried to make everyone forget about that by getting a win over Sin Cara; I find it a bit disconcerting that Zelina Vega had to get involved in this match. Like, is Sin Cara really that much of a threat that Andrade needs her help? I guess he’s being pigeon-holed into that stereotypical chicken-shit-heel role though so it kind of fits, even if it is a waste.
After Sunil Singh randomly pinned R-Truth the win the 24/7 Championship, the Viking Raiders destroyed Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. I bet Hawkins is really glad that he revived his team with Ryder; I honestly think he’s been on television less since he had that daft losing-streak gimmick.
After Rusev gatecrashed Lashley and Lana’s party, Rey Mysterio and Paul Heyman got into a war of the words to build some hype around Brock Lesnar’s match at Crown Jewel; Shelton Benjamin randomly interrupted, stated that he was Lesnar’s friend (so…I guess he’s a heel now?) and attacked Rey until Cain Velasquez made the save and mutilated Shelton.
Humberto Carrillo randomly faced off with Seth Rollins but didn’t quite pull out enough to get the win, as Seth countered the Aztec Press into a Superkick and the Stomp to get the win. They shook hands afterwards but, nevertheless, Rollins seemed to be leaning more towards the heel side of things, potentially setting up a double turn at Crown Jewel (though, honestly, I feel like the Fiend, Bray Wyatt, should be a perpetual tweener who edges a little closer to face (or heel) by default depending on who he’s facing).
Strangely enough, Raw ended with the O.C. taking on the Street Profits in their main roster debut; I guess they must be pretty hot shit to get top billing over the Universal Champion. As if to emphasise that, Kevin Owens randomly came out to hit AJ Styles with a Stunner, which was enough of a game-changer to allow Montez Ford to hit the Frog Splash and get the win. I’d love to say it was a big win that meant something but it really isn’t as the O.C. lose all the damn time!
Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and all those guys that are bathed in their shadows as part of their “Teams” were the guests on Miz TV this week. They all traded barbs and insults and tried to say why they were the best and yadda-yadda-yadda but, in the end, it degenerated into a brawl to setup a tag team match in the main event of the night. On the plus side, it is refreshing to see big names and legends show up on Smack Down for a change.
The New Day, who are getting a shot at the Smack Down Tag Team Championships next week, took on Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode and…lost? Yeah, Ziggler managed to roll up Kofi Kingston to get the win, kind of putting a question mark over that title shot and, again, really shoving Kofi down the pecking order when, after months of a strong WWE Championship reign, he’s now losing to Dolph Ziggler.
Lacey Evans destroyed some jobber in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. Afterwards, Braun Strowman interrupted Drew Gulak’s match with Kalisto to help Kalisto get a shocking win over Gulak in less than two minutes; After the match, Strowman destroyed Gulak and vowed to do the same to Tyson Fry but…surely it makes more sense for Strowman to destroy or target a guy with the same or similar build and stature as Fury? Like (much as I hate to say it) Cesaro? Destroying a cruiserweight doesn’t exactly look that impressive when you’re built like a brick shit-house like Braun Strowman and you’re about to take on a massive boxer but, sure, bury those cruiserweights.
After Daniel Bryan pointedly refuses to join forces on the dark side with Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura, Nikki Cross got a decent win over Mandy Rose to help give her a bit more momentum heading into her title shot, and then Brock Lesnar showed up again on Smack Down to go face-to-face with Cain Velasquez. I am legitimately shocked at how often FOX has managed to get Lesnar on the show; I am pretty sure he’s been on television more since the FOX deal than he has been in the last three years! Anyway, Lesnar laid out Dominic Mysterio backstage and lured Cain and Rey Mysterio (yeah, Rey was there again as well…) to the back so he could hit Cain with an F5 onto Dominic.
Following on from the opening angle, Roman Reigns, Ali, and Chad Gable Shorty G teamed up to take on King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, and (subbing in for the injured Sami Zayn) Cesaro with Ric Flair, Zayn, Hulk Hogan, and Jimmy Hart all at ringside. After being the face-in-peril for a bit, things really ramped up once Shorty G made the hot tag to Reigns; Ali saved Reigns from a Cesaro Sharpshooter and ate a Deep Six but, once Shorty attacked Corbin, everyone got in on the action. Reigns kicked out of a Pop-Up Uppercut, hit the Superman Punch and the Spear, and tagged in ALI to finish Cesaro off with the 450 Splash. Honestly, it’s too bad that Cesaro only got into this match to eat the pin, given that he’s the only man not doing anything currently, let alone at Crown Jewel.