Hello everyone! It’s Tuesday, so it is time for another SmackDown. But not just any SmackDown. Nope, tonight is the go-home edition as the blue brand rumbles toward Pittsburgh and Extreme Rules on Sunday. We already know we have another match between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura to look forward to, but what else can we expect? How about the lumberjack match between James Elsworth and Asuka? And we know there will be more hype for matches like Team Hell No versus the Bludgeon Brothers. Let’s see what the next two hours shall bring us, as WWE aims to get us fired up for Extreme Rules. Sit back, relax and let’s crack open this Nutshell!
Best Match of the night:
I honestly could not choose, so I present to you options 1A and 1B, in no particular order.
The first would be Styles and Nakamura, which thanks to Rusev’s interference, morphed into a tag match, Rusev and Nakamura versus Styles and Hardy. Both portions of this worked well.
The second would be the ten man tag main event. It was entertaining, chaotic and just the right mix of train wreck. Won’t likely garner any match of the year consideration, but it was good enough for what it was meant to do.
Worst match of the night:
This has to be given to Asuka and Ellsworth. In the end, it would appear that this match was mostly just a means to move the program forward and get more attention (and heat) on Carmella. In that sense, yes this worked. But the match was largely forgettable.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Star of the Night
Would have to give this to Daniel Bryan, and by extension Team Hell No. They have momentum heading into Pittsburgh, as Daniel Bryan pinned Eric Young to win the main event.
Spot of the Night:
No one like, signature spot…but I can take a moment to acknowledge the over the top rope leaps. We had a couple good ones tonight, with one from Asuka and another from Kofi. Beyond those, while we had good action, I don’t think of any other particular spot that wowed me.
Jobber of the Night:
I suppose the only option here is Sin Cara, who got jobbed out to Andrade “Cien” Almas.
Upset of the Night:
Nothing to see here
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
The Sanity attack from behind on Daniel Bryan and Kane was good.
The Jeff Hardy save of AJ Styles was pretty good too.
Botch of the night:
Nothing major, and not even a truly obvious botch…but when Daniel Bryan was tagged in, he appeared to be gunning for a running knee onto an opponent in the corner, only there was no one there. I am guessing either it was planned, or Daniel improvised quite well on the fly.
Commentary of the night:
Really nothing to take note of.
LOL Moment of the night:
I would not blame you one bit if you laughed at the Asuka/Ellsworth “match”.
My personal favorite though? After reuniting, we’ve seen Kane lead the crowd in the Yes chants…but I can’t recall ever seeing Daniel Bryan try to set off Kane’s signature pyro. He did try tonight. And try again, all with Kane yelling at him “that’s my thing”. After a couple failed attempts, Bryan was able to do it.
WWE accomplished a lot with that opening segment. For one thing, it did the obvious in setting up the show’s ten man tag match main event. Beyond that? Oh, it stoked the fires of a Miz/Daniel Bryan program down the road, for one. For another, it did cover more of Bryan and Kane’s past, which is nice to see not being ignored. And of course, it also gave us more action between New Day and Sanity, providing more build up toward their pre-show clash on Sunday.
Paige announced that Ellsworth was going to be in a shark cage above the ring on Sunday. Not like we’ve ever seen that happen…
For me, the intergender lumberjack match was the low point of the evening. Honestly, unless they really go somewhere bigger with the Ellsworth/intergender thing (and they might, given his history and his tweets), the match tonight could have been really and exceptionally pointless.
The work done by the two major title holders of SmackDown (AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy) was really good, and it was matched by their challengers (Nakamura and Rusev). The ten man tag was also really strong, as far as ten man tags go.
After the final bell:
All in all, another solid go home show, on the heels of a strong effort from the red brand on Monday night. I’d say, based on what we’ve seen, that perhaps Extreme Rules might end up being sneaky good.