Smackdown Live at the Performance Centre where Retribution ran ruckshaw a week before opens with the ring perfectly in tact and recapping the attack. Michael Cole states that they have extra security around the Performance Centre to prevent another attack. Well he spoke too soon, the first match of the night was slated to be Big E versus John Morrison but the lights flicker and then Retribution shows up. Cole and Corey Graves high tail it out of dodge again! A woman enters the ring first followed by over a dozen other people and attack Big E and Morrison. Not one person comes out from the back to help, some rogue group is attacking your co-workers/friends and ruining your show but hey I guess we don’t care. That extra security sure earned their pay cheques goodness, they just waltzed in with no interference. Backstage there is discourse between the locker room and about 10 superstars who are upset about the attack. Um, if you were that upset why didn’t you do something about it? Baron Corbin shows up to declare himself the leader of the locker room that goes over like a wet blanket. Big E quickly cuts off Corbin and says that he is not afraid of the ‘foot clan’ from Ninja Turtles (totally popped for this reference), he may be a little banged up and bruised but he going to go back out and wrestle later in the night. Sheamus mocks Big E and says that Retribution is scared of him and wouldn’t dare show up during his match. Big E also dropped an Easter egg that he is not alone. Now, I’m hooked is Xavier Woods coming back, is he speaking metaphorically, is somebody returning so many possibilities! Later on in the show, Big E and Morrison get a restart to their match. The Miz is ringside at commentary and Big E has his knee wrapped from the attack earlier. Miz runs his mouth enough that Otis with the briefcase shows up to confront him. The match is done very well then the lights start to flicker. Cole yells for security. Now, we see extra security around the ring and the superstars are out around the ring this time to help. We jump to backstage where Retribution is wrecking havoc. They are attacking the backstage referees, destroying catering and pulling out spray paint again. Cole and Graves do very well commentary stating that the superstars and security at ringside have no idea this event is going on. The match is still ongoing until Jessika Carr comes in from the timekeepers area to let everyone what is going on in the back. All the superstars and security take off for the back except for Miz, Morrison and Big E. When the superstars get to the back, Retribution is gone but destruction is everywhere. Back in the ring, Big E taps out Morrison for the win. As Big E is leaving to celebrate his victory, Sheamus Brogue Kicks him. I don’t know about Big E feuding with Sheamus but Sheamus is a top heel so makes logical sense.
Match everyone has been talking about was the Women’s Battle Royale to determine who would face Bayley at Summerslam for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Bayley and Sasha Banks start out annoying as ever in the ring saying that they are the best at everything they do in WWE including commentary and referring so now they are going to try ring announcing. Hilariously, Bayley is sporting a Dana Brooke t-shirt that made me laugh. The ladies also through a lot of shade at Stephanie McMahon, I don’t know I wouldn’t cross the boss (not referring to Banks) it never ends well. Banks and Bayley start introducing the competitors for the match but they double back when the next name is Asuka. Bayley is scared and rightfully so since Asuka just beat Bayley on Monday Night Raw. There were about 20 ladies in the ring, Ruby Riott was the first woman eliminated. The IIconics are next to be eliminated along with Liv Morgan who beat each other down all the way to the locker room. With some eliminations you can now see individuals and feuds shine; starts with Naomi tying up Lacey Evans hair,and Tamina faces off against Bianca Belair. The final 4 of the battle royale was Belair, Tegan Nox, Asuka and Shayna Baszler. Dana Brooke eliminates Nox. Wait a minute, Brooke rolled out of the ring at the beginning and jumped in now so we have a new final 4 of Brooke, Belair, Asuka and Baszler. Brooke’s return was short lived though as she was eliminated right away. Final 2 is Baszler facing off against Asuka! These 2 ladies are phenomenal and I could watch them face off every week without getting annoyed or saying its repetitive. Bayley is ringside and starting to worry because she doesn’t want to face Asuka. Banks and Bayley decide to take matters into their own hands and try to eliminate Asuka but it doesn’t work. Asuka retaliates and kicks both of them to the ground where they are left laying. Baszler tries to take advantage of the distraction and knocks Asuka off the apron but she lands on top of Bayley and Banks so her feet never touched the floor. How brilliant! Asuka ends up pulling out the win and will face Bayley at Summerslam but she also has a match against Banks. Will Asuka end up with 2 belts? Will it be a triple threat winner takes all? Will it be two separate matches? I am so intrigued by how this plays out. Backstage, Bayley is second-guessing herself but says that with her title on the line she will actually have something to fight for. This stops Banks in her tracks because Bayley lost to Asuka on Monday to give Asuka the chance to face Banks at Summerslam. Asuka attacks Bayley from behind and leaves her lying, Banks does not help.
Mandy Rose has been on fire lately and she’s also sporting a new hair do. She delivers a killer promo saying that she heard she is pretty her whole life and that people don’t realize how hard she has had to work to get where she is. She throws out the challenge to Sonya Deville of hair versus hair at Summerslam. Not to be outdone Deville delivers a great counter promo stating that she will be more than happy to remove all of Rose’s hair for her to accept the challenge. I am all in on this feud but I’m not too sure on this stipulation. I don’t see any of these ladies losing their hair fully; I’m picturing a pixie haircut that makes me less invested. I hope I am wrong and I will just have to wait and see.
Sheamus has made interesting comments about Retribution tonight and tells security to go out for a pint because they will not attack or do anything during his match. Is he hinting that he has something to do with Retribution? His match is against Shorty G for the interference last week. This was a great match that ended with Sheamus getting the win from a Brogue Kick.
Matt Riddle isn’t in action tonight but he has a backstage interview with Kayla Braxton. He doesn’t love that he has to look over his shoulder all the time due to the King’s Ransom because it doesn’t jive too well with his chill vibe. Shorty G shows up to explain his actions for why he has been attacking Riddle. He has a family and during these times (I’m assuming he’s referring to Covid) it is difficult and any extra money helps. Wow, what a way to tie in what is going on around the world with wrestling. I felt bad for Shorty G and that little tidbit emotional invested me into him. Out of nowhere Corbin hits Riddle from behind with his scepter. Riddle is laid out and Corbin thanks Chad for the distraction. Shorty G looks confused like he had nothing to do with it. Very intrigued and can’t wait for Corbin and Riddle to come to blows!
There were 2 highlights of the night for me! The first was AJ styles coming out with an official discussing statics about who should face him for the Intercontinental Championship. All his data determined that he is the only worthy one on a giant white board. Jeff Hardy comes out to plead his case saying that Sheamus ruined his possibility during the tournament. Styles starts talking up how great the match would be, how much he respects Hardy but drops the ball and says that he is not worthy. Hardy is done being nice and knocks out Styles and places his name on the white board as the person who should face Styles. Backstage Styles tries to remove Hardy’s name from the white board but it was signed in permanent marker. Too funny! Just little subtle humour like that helps to break the show up. Next week we are going to see Styles face off against Hardy for the Intercontinental Championship, I am excited for this match since it is a dream match that will steal the show but it definitely deserves the spotlight of a PPV.
The holy cow moment of the night goes to Alexa Bliss, Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt/The Fiend. It starts with Nikki Cross finding Bliss in the back and giving her a hug to apologize for knocking her over. Bliss appears very cold and indifferent to Cross. Cross wants to hide her away from The Fiend but Bliss wants answers from Strowman and has no intention of hiding. Bliss participates in a very cryptic interview with a producer backstage explaining The Fiend is the only one who knows why she was pulled into this, that she was terrified of The Fiend but compelled by him at the same time and wouldn’t answer the question about Strownman saying she didn’t matter to him. The main event is Strowman storming to the ring to call out The Fiend. He doesn’t get The Fiend but does get a very irate Bliss. She demands to know why he said that she didn’t matter since they have been friends for years, had great chemistry during the Mix Match Challenge and hang out all the time. Strowman responds with that wasn’t him at all and was upset that Bliss turned him into that. He also dropped the bomb that The Fiend changes everyone that he faces against including Bliss and that she should quit denying it. Can I also add that Strowman this whole time is looking away from Bliss, he won’t make eye contact with her. Bliss is all sorts of scorned and my goodness; hell hath no fury like a women scorned so Strowman maybe asking for more than he can handle. Bliss snaps and demands he look at her, she is going to slap some sense into him. The slaps that Bliss were throwing were hard hitting and straight on the money, guess what, Strowman was not phased one bit. The monster is unleashed and feels no pain. All Bliss did was anger the monster and he’s going to take it out on her. He picks her up over his head and threatens to throw her to the floor. Cole is losing his mind on commentary asking Strowman for some mercy. What perfect bait for The Fiend to come out. The lights start going down and Strowman gets closer and closer to throwing her. Boom! Lights go out and Bliss gets dropped. I can not believe that Strowman dropped Bliss, I was in disbelief and stunned. Lights come back on and Bliss is writhing in pain with The Fiend in the ring but Strowman is nowhere to be found. The monster appears on the screen and they both start laughing ominously to close out the show. Does The Fiend now have a connection to Bliss? What is going to happen during this match? Will Bliss assist The Fiend? Will Bliss being scorned cost Strowman the match? There are so many layers unfolding and wrapping up in this feud that I don’t really want it to end. Summerslam is going to be amazing. To get more takes on wrestling please follow @ms_wiper or listen to me on @puttinguover for great interviews and wrestling break downs.