HUGE WWE STAR RETURNS!
A huge WWE star returns! And they reform a tag team! And the streak of pointless NXT call ups continues on the blue brand.
The Miz opened Smackdown Live with an edition of MizTV featuring the Bludgeon Brothers, where he recapped what happened last week and then offered Harper and Rowan a spot in the new Miztorage or roles in Ruff Ruff Ref. I’d take the film, lads. The Brothers start to move on Miz, when Daniel Bryan interrupted and challenged either man to a match, which Harper accepted. This was a good opener to the show, keeping the plate of Miz vs. Daniel Bryan spinning, while continuing the feud between Bludgeon Brothers and Bryan, and setting up that Harper and Rowan are not affiliated with The Miz.
Rusev def. Xavier Woods
After blitzing pancakes into a smoothie backstage, Xavier Woods took on Rusev in an excellent showcase match for the new number one contender to AJ Styles. There was a cute moment where Big E held up a speech bubble to Rusev that said “ouch” but Rusev dominated in the end and locked in the Accolade for the win. This was all good stuff. It showed that while Rusev Day can be a comedy act – and are still definitely heels – Rusev has a lot of intensity to make him a credible challenger for the WWE Championship.
Glow Meets Glow
Backstage Lana and Naomi were arguing about dancing when the cast of Netflix’s Glow showed up. And, wait a second Johnny, I think they’re going to attempt some sort of world record. Can they do it? They’ve been training really hard for this moment. Can they… can they! Yes! NINE SMACKDOWN WOMEN STANDING IN A ROW. Hot damn! NINE!! The camera can barely keep them all in shot there’s so many! Congratulations! This was a fine little segment that teased a team-up of Lana and Naomi because… sure why not… and ended with the tremendously talented Alison Brie doing a Police Squad-esque freeze frame joke. Interesting that Kia Stevens – who stars in Glow and was a former wrestler , even entering the Royal Rumble – was not in this segment. Seems like it would have been a good chance for a comedy match to promote the show.
Eric Young def. Jeff Hardy (via DQ)
It was announced that Shinsuke Nakamura was injured and wouldn’t be in the United States Championship match against Jeff Hardy – who instead issued an open challenge that was answered by Eric Young of Sanity. Now this is a better way to debut this act – sticking them in a big time match and cementing them as possible title contenders. Problem was the match was incredibly boring and featured a horrendous Twist of Fate botch. And then The Usos ran in from the crowd and caused the DQ. Well that sucked. But you know, I suppose it could have been worse. They could have lost their first match on the main roster
Jeff Hardy & The Usos def. Sanity
Oh would you look at that, they did lose their first match on the main roster. What is the point of calling up acts from NXT if you’re going to keep them off TV for months and then bring them in to lose and just end up being another act on the roster? I’m not saying that they should have won all the belts and beaten up all the main eventers, but is Jeff Hardy really doing anything with the US title? And did The Usos really need to beat Sanity on their first try? Why take an act like Sanity and sanitise them?
Andrade “Cien” Almas Is Still Here Guys
And speaking of pointless NXT call-ups, call of the search guys we’ve found Andrade “Cien” Almas. He’s doing pre-taped promos about nothing. Fun fact: In the eleven weeks since Almas’ main roster call-up, he’s had two matches against local competitors and done nothing else. Good job, guys. I mean it’s not like in January he was NXT Champion having one of the best matches WWE will have all year. You know it really says a lot about the Smackdown NXT call-ups when Raw have done more with No Way Jose.
Becky Lynch def. Sonya Deville
Becky Lynch continued her winning ways by tapping out Sonya Deville in a simple match.
James Ellsworth vs. Asuka Announced!
And backstage James Ellsworth ran into Tye Dillinger who somehow has a worse haircut than me. It’s okay everyone call off the search we’ve also found Tye Dillinger. Ellsworth and his genuine heel heat than came out to cut a promo on Asuka, where he revealed his new gimmick: A typical misogynist troll from Twitter. This could have legs as they’re very easy to make fun of. He challenged Asuka to a match, but Paige answered instead. She revealed that Asuka wasn’t here tonight and Ellsworth knew that – hence why he laid down the challenge. She then announced that Ellsworth would face Asuka next week – which sounds like a lot of fun.
Daniel Bryan def. Harper (via DQ)
And in the main event Daniel Bryan took on Harper in an excellent match. Whereas every other match on the show was rest hold central, Harper and Bryan worked an excellently told strength vs. speed story – apart from the one rest hold spot. But as Bryan fired back and got the Yes Lock, Rowan jumped in for the DQ finish. It seemed like there was no hope for Bryan as he was beaten down by the Bludgeon Brothers, until the Major Elect of Knox County Kane made his WWE return! He and Bryan cleaned house and after some brilliant teasing hugged it out to reunite Team Hell No. This was essentially WWE’s version of the Golden Lovers reunion. Paige closed the show by announcing they will take on the Bludgeon Brothers at Extreme Rules for the tag titles. This was an excellent end to the show and the crowd popped huge for Kane and Bryan hugging.
There were some real down points to this episode – pointless NXT call-ups mostly – but the opening and main event matches were both really good. They continued to build towards Extreme Rules, and the closing moments of Team Hell No reuniting were excellent. This week’s Smackdown Live is SmackTastic.