By: Keila Cash
Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The SmackDown Files. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live emanated from Wright State University Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio. After the first-ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match ended with James Ellsworth grabbing the briefcase and handing it to Carmella in one of the worst finishes in WWE history, Daniel Bryan had a huge decision to make. Would Carmella’s win stand or did the SD Live General Manager right the wrong committed by the Chinless Penis? The answer to that question can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s show in no particular order.
· SD Live kicked off with Carmella explaining why she should remain Ms. Money in the Bank. She didn’t care about making history. She used her street smarts in order to gain the upper hand. Ms. MITB offered examples of how Kane and Bray Wyatt interfered in previous MITB Ladder matches in order to tilt the outcome in their favor. Carmella called out the internet trolls for blowing up her mentions on Twitter because she used the no disqualification rule to her advantage. She didn’t give a damn what anybody had to say and Daniel Bryan would back her up later tonight as the opening segment came to end.
· This was a good way to start the show. Carmella is finally getting heat for all the right reasons. Despite James Ellsworth sullying the integrity of the first-ever Women’s MITB Ladder Match, the Princess of Staten Island is the second most-hated woman in WWE behind Stephanie McMahon. If her in-ring work catches up to her solid promo skills, this might kerfuffle might be a blessing in disguise.
· Big E defeated Jimmy Uso with the Big Ending in a solid match. Most of the action took place during the commercial break, but it was good while it lasted. Jimmy delivered a cheap shot to Kofi Kingston while he was cheering Big E at ringside which played into the finish.
· The Usos started to head up the ramp when Kingston laid out Jey Uso with a dive. Xavier Woods forced Jimmy to get back in the ring. Big E grabbed Jimmy by the hair, but he got sucker punched for his efforts. Jimmy tried to nail Big E with a Superkick, but E blocked it and hit his finisher for the win. This was a nice way to forward The New Day-Usos feud which will presumably continue at the Battleground PPV next month.
· Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Dolph Ziggler with the Kinshasa in a long, but good match. This was very similar to their bout at Backlash a few weeks ago. Nakamura sold a lot which killed the heat in spots, but his comeback popped the crowd towards the end of the match. Plus, no pyro was set off during Nakamura’s entrance. Perhaps WWE got the hint that the extra accouterments weren’t needed in order to make him look like a bigger star than he already is.
· American Alpha Sighting!
· Kevin Owens retained the United States Championship when he pinned Chad Gable with a Popup Powerbomb. The match was short, but it was solid while it lasted. Gable deadlifting Owens for a delayed German Suplex was a thing of beauty. Here’s hoping American Alpha get more airtime because they are too talented to be sitting backstage with nothing to do.
· It appears that WWE is revisiting the Kevin Owens-AJ Styles feud as Styles interrupted Owens’ United States Open Invitational before Gable came out and threw his name in the hat. Both men had a very good match at Backlash and I expect similar results when they have their US Title rematch at Battleground next month.
· Daniel Bryan announced that Carmella would be stripped of the Money in the Bank Briefcase after James Ellsworth insulted Bryan’s newborn daughter. Bryan told The Chinless One to shut up or he would punch him in the face before firing him on the spot.
· The second-ever Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match featuring Charlotte, Natalya, Becky Lynch, Tamina, and Carmella will take place next week. Bryan snatched the briefcase out of Ellsworth’s hands before heading backstage.
· A brawl broke out between the ladies which saw Charlotte and Becky corner Carmella in the middle of the ring. Charlotte nailed the woman formerly known as Ms. MITB with Natural Selection before Becky made her tap out to the Dis-Arm-Her for good measure as the segment came to an end.
· Bryan made the right decision and the ladies will get another chance to have the match they should’ve had this past Sunday. James Ellsworth being banned from ringside would be an added bonus in order to keep things fire and square.
· Jinder Mahal defeated Luke Harper with the Cobra Clutch Slam thanks to an assist from the Singh Brothers. The match was fine, but it was nothing to write home about.
· Baron Corbin came out and teased MITB cash-in, but he was only playing mind games with Mahal. The distraction allowed Harper to get a near fall on the champ, but it wasn’t enough to get the win as Singh Brother A climbed on the ring apron to distract Harper. Harper tried to nail him with a Clothesline, but he ducked out of the way which led to the finish.
· After the match was over, Randy Orton made his way to the ring and made a beeline for the Singh Brothers before attacking Mahal in the ring.
· The action spilled to the outside as Orton nailed Mahal with a wicked clothesline before kicking his ass from pillar to post. Mahal escaped certain doom when The Singh Brothers attacked Orton. However, the reprieve was short-lived because Orton nailed Singh One and Singh Two with a pair of RKOs moments later. SD Live went off the air with Orton and Mahal having a stare down building up to their third WWE Championship match at Battleground next month.
· This was a fine way to end the show. Orton showed great fire during his attack on Mahal and The Singh Brothers. Harper had a nice showing in the ring while Mahal got his first taste of being in the main event scene since winning the WWE Title at Backlash last month. If WWE is betting the house on the India market, they have to push the modern-day Maharaja to the hilt. This was a step in the right direction which should bode well for Mahal’s future until a certain free agent makes his return on July 4th.
· Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live was middling at best. This was not a hot show after such a controversial Money in the Bank PPV. The women were spotlighted in a positive way, but the rest of the broadcast didn’t pop off the screen from an excitement standpoint.
· WWE offering a mea culpa to fans by re-doing the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match on free television is the smart thing to do. Hopefully, the redux will produce better results instead of another controversial finish for the sake of drumming up buzz on social media.
· Also, The Hype Bros will face The Usos next week for the right to earn a shot at the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley reminded Daniel Bryan that they won the Tag Team Battle Royal to become the number one contenders for the Tag Titles last December, but Ryder’s knee injury prevented them from going after the
gold silver. Despite the team reuniting, something tells me that a Ryder heel turn is afoot. Rawley has achieved a lot of success while he was rehabbing his injury. Will a case of sour grapes ruin their partnership? Based on recent WWE history, the answer is yes. Please see the disintegration of Jeri-KO, The Golden Truth, DIY, and Enzo Amore and Big Cass as examples.
· Plus, Naomi will face Lana for the SmackDown Women’s Championship next Tuesday. Their first outing was so-so, but we shall see if they can work out the kinks this time around. Fingers crossed!
· Despite tonight’s so-so show, next week’s episode of SD Live looks stacked with the Women’s MITB Ladder Match being the main selling point. Let’s hope the blue brand delivers the goods as the return of John Cena looms on the horizon. Fingers crossed!
On that note, this wraps up another edition of The SmackDown Files. I hope you enjoyed it and I will back next week with a brand new installment of The Raw Exposé. See you later, boys and girls!