Welcome to the Thunderdome at the Amway Centre in Orlando for Smackdown Live. The show opens with a literal bang, great music and more pyro than a Kiss concert. Remember when pyro costs too much money and WWE cancelled it? Glad they changed their mind because pyro brings so much entertainment to the show.
The show opens with Mr. Vince McMahon standing in the ring promoting Summerslam on Sunday saying you will not see it coming. All of a sudden the lights start going out and The Fiend’s entrance music hits. Holy crow! The Fiend’s entrance was absolutely phenomenal. I was absolutely petrified what was going to happen in the ring when The Fiend and Mr. McMahon went face to face. They face off in the ring and play a little cat and mouse because every step that Mr. McMahon takes The Fiend takes the same. Mr. McMahon was saved when Braun Strowman interrupted. Thank goodness because I don’t think my eyes and heart could handle Mr. McMahon taking a mandible claw. Here comes the faceoff between The Fiend and Strowman. All of a sudden Retribution shows up in droves to surround the ring. The Fiend says later, drops the lights to leave Strowman in the ring to face Retribution by himself. Retribution attacks Strowman and after a couple seconds the locker room finally starts coming out to help even the odds. Pretty much anarchy ensues. The Miz shows up last to the dance and doesn’t touch a single member of Retribution. For whatever reason, Strowman decides to attack the people that came out to help him. Retribution needs to start doing something substantial here soon or I’m checking out on them.
First match of the night is Big E against Sheamus with the locker room surrounding the ring in case of another attack. The lights were flickering during the match but that was the end of Retribution for the night. The match was great with lots of hard hitting by both men. Around the ring, Baron Corbin is trying to rally the troops and tell them what to do. Corbin decides to capitalize on an opportunity and attacks Matt Riddle from behind. Riddle retaliates and this causes distraction in the ring. Big E takes advantage of the distraction to get the win.
First title defense of the night is the Tag Team Championship between the champions Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro and Lucha House Party. Before the match, there was a random attack on Lucha House Party. Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado are the contestants in the ring for Lucha House Party. The match was great high flying and fast paced. Cesaro gets the win to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championship. Calisto at ringside gets upsets and jumps in the ring to get into Dorado’s face. Discourse breaks out between Dorado and Calisto, Gran Metalik tried to break it up. Then the officials come in to help break it up as well. There were a lot of people in the ring to break up a small dispute amongst a tag team.
Sasha Banks and Bayley enter the ring with a very confident swagger. Corey Graves is in the ring to poke the bear about whether Banks and Bayley are going to break up. They reassured that they will not be breaking up any time soon. Naomi breaks up the party. Graves through out a Beat the Clock challenge to determine who will face Asuka first at Summerslam. Banks beats Naomi in 3 minutes and 39 seconds, Bayley now has that amount to beat Naomi or she is facing Asuka first. Out of nowhere, Naomi pins Bayley to win! Camera pans to Banks and she is smiling for ear to ear! Someone looks excited to be facing Asuka second. In the ring though there is a different story on Banks’ face, she looks pissed off and saddened that Bayley lost. Asuka shows up to take both ladies out! There’s the final statement before Summerslam. The little acting nuances between Banks and Bayley lately have been phenomenal and telling a great story for later on!
During the Retribution melee at the beginning of the show, Jeff Hardy gets injured and is in the training room getting looked at. It is his knee and he is just demanding a knee brace so that he can compete later in the night for the Intercontinental Championship. Later in the night we learn that AJ Styles is the one that hit Hardy from behind to cause him to have this knee injury hoping the match would cancel. Hardy is wearing the knee brace and is going to compete tonight. Before the match starts they show Daniel Bryan in a small video screen to keep him relevant. He predicts that Hardy will win the match since Styles is coward. The knee injury is a huge factor during the match, Styles strategically targets it so that Hardy stays grounded. The knee brace on Hardy turns into an equalizer for him, he uses it to hit Styles in the head. Styles laid out on the mat gives Hardy time to climb to the top rope, and hit the Swanton Bomb. Boom! Hardy is the new Intercontinental Champion and its about damn time. Backstage, Styles is arguing with Joseph Park, his statistician, the stats said that he should have won the match and they can’t figure out why it ended up differently.
Although, it doesn’t surprise me that WWE would use real life to create a story, I was not cool with them using Sonya Deville’s real situation. Mandy Rose brings it up and says that everything they have been through over the last 5 years should equal a cancellation of the Hair versus Hair Match at Summerslam. Rose wants to reconcile and get back together as friends instead of enemies. Deville has a different idea. She won’t talk to Charly Caruso backstage and she is so fired up that she slaps Dana Brooke in the face for good measures. At the top of the ramp, Deville addresses everyone and raises the stakes to their match at Summerslam. Instead of Hair versus Hair, she wants the match to be a No Disqualification match so that she can ugly up Rose some more and the loser has to leave WWE. Holy crow! I don’t want to see either of these ladies leave WWE so this match is going to get interesting. I knew hair versus hair wouldn’t go through and I wasn’t too crazy about that stipulation but this now has me all sorts of invested.
The main event of Smackdown was absolutely amazing! Leading up we have Nikki Cross talking about how different Alexa Bliss is acting lately since encountering The Fiend. Cross predicts something terrible is going to happen. She is not wrong there. The Firefly Funhouse is on tonight and it features the puppet theatre of Huskus (being Strowman) and Ramblin Rabbit (being Bliss). Before the production happens, Wyatt takes a phone call from the Hurt glove! The puppets tell the story and get it wrong to the point that Wyatt stops the production and begins to scold them. Wyatt starts sniffing the air and states ‘Finally, I knew you were coming!’ Strowman attacks Wyatt in the Funhouse! How does he do that? The only other person to do that was Seth Rollins when he burned it down. The Funhouse is thought to be places in Wyatt’s mind so are all these people in there as well? The show goes to commercial and comes back showing Strowman and Wyatt still beating each other up backstage. Now they are in reality? Strowman is a mad men and is holding Wyatt over a loading dock bay threathening to toss him, officials are trying to stop him but its too late, Wyatt is thrown. Officials start screaming for help and an ambulance right away. Good thing there was one already in the bay so it just had to back up a couple feet to be there. I’m not going to get into the terrible medical practice that the officials and ambulance attendants completed on Wyatt. They load Wyatt up into the ambulance and scream for them to hurry to get out. The ambulance starts backing up, youre going the wrong way! Then the lights in the ambulance turn red! Oh shoot what is going on in there. The camera shows the officals and they are terrified, camera pans to the ambulance and The Fiend is standing in the back laughing! My goodness I am so intrigued by what is going to happen during this match at Summerslam. For more wrestling takes follow me @ms_wiper.