Oli Davis rounds up the biggest professional wrestling news in his daily WrestleTalk column…
Be Fair To Carmella
Daniel Bryan opened this week’s Smackdown to a hot San Diego crowd, hyping the admirably pre-announced card – Lana challenging Naomi, the Hype Bros vs The Usos and, of course, the Women’s Money in the Bank rematch.
This brought out Carmella and James Ellsworth for another terrific promo, and Bryan was the perfect babyface foil, making the crowd chant against them and eventually banning Ellsworth not just from ringside, but from the entire arena.
Congratulations WWE. You’ve somehow made me want a Bryan vs Ellsworth match.
The Usos beat The Hype Bros
In an attempt to get their tag team title shot back, Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder were defeated in just under three minutes of TV action, in a contest more commercial break than wrestling match.
This was more to set up The New Day’s rap battle challenge to the Usos for next week, fitting for the night of John Cena’s return.
Usually, I’d be dreading a WWE ‘rap battle’ segment. But if the New Day and Usos are given free reign – which they usually are for their promos – this could end up being very entertaining.
Fashion Vice: The Interrogation
Speaking of entertaining wrestlers being given creative freedom, Tyler Breeze and Fandango were back with another brilliant Fashion Files skit. The central gag was both men accidentally playing good cop, good cop – an inversion of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s bad cop, bad cop gag in The Other Guys.
But while Breezeango were interrogating The Ascension, their office was trashed once again! The real perps are still out there – son of a bitch… – which is very welcome, because sticking with The Ascension reveal would’ve been pretty rubbish.
Come on, American Alpha!
Independence Day Battle Royal
Continuing WWE’s very welcome trend of announcing matches in advance, Bryan made an Independence Day Battle Royal for next week’s 4th July show, with the winner facing Kevin Owens for the United States Championship at Battleground.
Naomi beat Lana
So it turns out Lana’s gimmick is actually a very attractive person who can’t wrestle. Despite attacking Naomi before the bell rang, the champion retained in two minutes.
Randy Orton interrupted Aiden English’s singing performance to demand a rematch against Jinder Mahal. Shane McMahon agreed, but only if Jinder gets to pick the stipulation. Rather than go for a match where his Singh Brother goons can freely interfere, he sacrificed his main advantage by choosing a Punjabi Prison match. Because why go for wrestling smarts, when you’ve got a stipulation right there that ties into your ethnicity.
Baron Corbin beat Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn brilliantly interrupted a promo from Maria Kanellis and Mike…Kanellis ahead of his match against Baron Corbin. The Lone Wolf beat Sami in a decent TV match, which Shinsuke Nakamura watched backstage at a less ridiculous angle than usual.
I thought Mike and Maria would cost Sami the match – as a feud appears teased between them – but WWE evidently want to build up Corbin with clean victories. Especially as he seems to be heading in Nakamura’s direction.
Women’s Money In The Bank Rematch
The main event wasn’t just the second ever Women’s Money in the Bank in history. It was also the second in 9 days.
In your face, history.
The match played smartly on the finish of the first, based around Carmella’s various attempts at climbing the ladder. Unfortunately…that’s pretty much all this match was. People finding various ways to climb a ladder. There were few high spots or hardcore moments. All I’m asking for is a triple moonsault corkscrew off a 20 foot ladder from Charlotte. I’m easy to please.
Reminding us how awful WWE security are, James Ellsworth managed to break back into the arena for the finish. Becky Lynch pushed him off a ladder penis-first onto the top rope, but Carmella took out Lynch with a steel chair and unhooked the briefcase yet again. Rather negating the whole do-over nonsense.
So that was this week’s Smackdown Live in about 4 minutes, here’s the usual ratings recap from top to bottom: SmackDamn, Smacktastic, Smack Bang In The Middle, Ellsworthy and Raw.
Although I found the second Women’s Money in the Bank match a bit limp, and there was very little wrestling on the rest of the show, this was a relatively enjoyable episode. An always entertaining Fashion Files skit, a nice build of Sami Zayn vs Mike Kanellis and Carmella as the right winner at the end of the night.
This week’s Smackdown is Smack Bang in the Middle.
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