On the eve of July 4, Smackdown from the Performance Centre opens up with Michael Cole in the ring to interview Matt Riddle. Riddle gets a massive push getting the first 30 minutes of Smackdown through the video package and a couple stories about getting to Smackdown. This is awesome for Riddle because he is a main card wrestler, great on the microphone, always performs well in the ring and it just seems that anything they throw at him he hits it out of the park. This interview is interrupted by the King who is honestly the best heel going in WWE. They exchange words back and forth, which lead to Riddle stating that he wanted a match with Corbin. Yes please, lets book this match right away! A golden glove champion versus a MMA wrestler, that match screams money but as the bad guy of the story, Corbin has a back up plan and doesn’t grant the match. Corbin throws John Morrison at Riddle instead. This right here is honestly a main event match in any promotion. This match was hard hitting and back and forth with The Miz ringside and Corbin on commentary. During the match, Riddle rolls out of the ring and uses his flip-flop to slap Corbin in the face. Shots fired! This enrages Corbin to the point that he and The Miz try to distract Riddle. This backfires hard and Riddle gets the win with an inside cradle. In Riddles short debut to Smackdown he seems to have made a couple enemies because as he was leaving the ring AJ Styles attacks him from behind. Drew Gulak quickly breaks this up. Backstage Miz, Morrison and Corbin are infuriated and are going to figure out a way to take him out.
Drew Gulak taking Aj Styles off Riddle sets up the next match of the night for Intercontinental Championship. This match was phenomenal! Theses two could meet every week and I would not complain. The only downfall to this match was that they had Daniel Bryan on a Zoom call during the match. Corey Graves and Michael Cole went to him a couple times for insight on Gulak but this was so distracting and took away from the match. After a couple false finishes, Aj Styles hits the Styles Clash but instead of going for the pin right away, he goes for the exclamation point on the match and hangs Gulak up on the ropes to give him the Phenomenal Elbow to get the win.
Here we go again with The Blue Print and The Role Model, Sasha Banks and Bayley. This is the third time this week we are seeing Sasha and Bayley on our television. Bayley states that they need to be appreciated by the people because even The Undertaker agrees that they are the best and the people should show them respect. Can I just say that Bayley is really growing into her heel character, her snarky attitude and entitled attitude are on point to top heel characteristics. The fact that she was talking as The Undertaker and stating that the tribute should have been for them last week instead. Oh wait, queue the Bayley and Sasha tribute now. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross who show up with lists of their own accomplishments interrupt this Bayley and Sasha party. The ladies get into a back and forth roe of words, which escalates with Bliss slapping Bayley across the face. Banks gets defensive and states that Bayley will take on Bliss. The tables have turned now with Banks putting Bayley into a match, is this still planting the seed for a possible break up of these gals. I hope that this is still a slow burn because these ladies together are fire. Skip into the match between Bayley and Bliss, Bayley pokes fun at Cross. Cross get infuriated by this that distracts the referee enough that Bayley and Sasha use shenanigans to try to get the win. Cross then attacks Banks and then Bayley. This leads to a disqualification. Cross is all fired up and I can’t wait for her and Bayley to meet at Extreme Rules.
The last match of the night is Kofi Kingston versus Nakamura. Might I add The New Days entrance is always the best, Big E log rolling down the stage, Big E throwing his cloak at Graves and taunting Graves. Cesaro and Big E end up getting kicked out during this match, this distraction from the referee has Shinsuke doing a questionable move to Kingston. I feel that with the current climate that the move was in poor taste. I understand that it was a normal wrestling move but come on WWE be a little better please. This match ends with Shinsuke hitting Kingston with a Kinshasa. During the celebration, Cesaro comes out to grab a table from under the ring. Here comes Big E for the save. This match is great set up for Extreme Rules and these two teams have the potential to steal the show.
The show also featured an amazing vignette for the swamp match between Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman and Sheamus’ toast to Jeff Hardy. The swamp match is going to be amazing and this feud is adding to Strowmans character. The latter segment is again Shaemus trying to get Hardy to relapse on alcohol. I know that a lot of people are not cool with how this feud is playing out. At first, I didn’t have a problem with these segments but this has been one too many times. The bartender waves a drink under Hardy’s nose and then Hardy takes the glass to take a sip. Good thing this segment turned quickly to Hardy getting the upper hand by dumping the drink on the bartender, smashing a bottle over his head and ending with the Swanton Bomb. Please end this feud soon because this is turning tasteless. If you are interested in more wrestling insight please follow me on twitter at ms_wiper.