AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura at Backlash is now a No Disqualification Match – Paige informed us – as SmackDown Live got under way in front of another furnace-hot Montreal crowd.
In other notable happenings…
Styles cut a rambling promo during an in-ring interview with Renee Young which was interrupted by Samoa Joe. Memories of their TNA feud had the Montreal fans in raptures for a possible Joe-Styles match as The Samoan Submission Machine warned AJ from the rampway that he was coming for the winner of his Backlash bout with Nakamura. The segment ended when Nakamura’s music hit, Joe got ready for a fight, but The Cheap-Shot Artist instead came through the crowd and nut-shotted Styles yet again, before laying him out with the Kinshasa.
Asuka’s losing streak ended at two as she, Charlotte and Becky Lynch beat Carmella and The Iiconics, when Askuka made Peyton Royce tap to the Asuka Lock. Good match, the crowd loved it.
Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton were guests on Miz TV. Miz tried to sow seeds of dissension between Hardy and Orton. It failed. Shelton Benjamin then turned up, Orton booted him, Hardy laid out Miz with the Whisper in the Wind, and we had ourselves a tag team match, playa. Hardy pinned Benjamin with the Swanton. Orton then laid out Jeff with an RKO. Crowd was really into the closing stages.
Lana, in a fetching cut-off Rusev Day shirt, warned Rusev backstage that something was holding him back. She clearly meant Aiden English.
Paige is the GM now, so no favouritism for her former Absolution buddies. In a backstage segment she told Mandy Rose she’s facing Becky Lynch next week.
Big Cass cut an in-ring promo about how big he is, and how small Daniel Bryan is. How size-ist of him. He was super annoying, which means he did a good job. The crowd hated him. Cass then introduced ‘Daniel Bryan’ but instead it was a local dwarf wrestler dressed like Bryan. The segment predictably ended with Cass big booting the little fella. Bryan, we were told, was not there as he wasn’t cleared to compete in case his ‘hamburger’ chest got infected after his record-breaking Greatest Royal Rumble outing.
Xavier Woods beat Sheamus.
Zelina Vega was on a beach with Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. She said Almas will debut on SmackDown Live when they are good and ready.
And that’s about it! Look out for our full review later today.
- Shelton Benjamin
- billie kay
- Jeff Hardy
- aiden english
- AJ Styles
- The Miz
- Xavier Woods
- Samoa Joe
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Becky Lynch
- Randy Orton
- peyton royce
- Big Cass
- Daniel Bryan
- mandy rose
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