By Jason Powell
WWE Smackdown Live Hits
Charlotte vs. Carmella vs. Tamina vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya in a Money in the Bank ladder match: A suspenseful ladder match in terms of which wrestler would win. I suspected they would go with a babyface win to put a happy face on the controversy created by the first match finish, but it was cool to see them double down on Carmella by having her win the match on her own.
Daniel Bryan, Carmella, and James Ellsworth: Bryan did a good job of firing up the crowd for the big women’s matches. Carmella followed it up with a blistering promo on Bryan in which she stated her character’s strong argument for being cheated out of the Money in the Bank briefcase. Regardless of how you feel about the first women’s MITB match finish, the situation created a platform for Carmella and she has made the most of it. Ellsworth got some great heat before he even said a word and security escorting him from the building was a comical and crowd pleasing moment. A very good start to the show.
The Usos vs. Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley: A clean and decisive win by the tag champs over a team that seems likely to split soon. The post match angle with New Day was flat. Kofi Kingston’s rap is something the heels easily could have rolled their eyes at and walked away. New Day seemed to be the only people laughing at the lines and against all odds Byron Saxton found a way to make it seem even less cool by saying the Usos just got served.
The Fashion Files: I submit. A Hit for the Eddie Money ticket gag (even if Fandango should pay royalties to Will Ferrell for his ongoing Chazz Michael Michaels impersonation).
Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn: A good match while it lasted and a nice win for the Money in the Bank contract holder, as the story was that Zayn had his number with pre-MITB wins. The pre-match angle with Zayn interrupting Mike and Maria Kanellis obviously sets the stage for the next program, which should be fun. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see where Corbin goes from here.
Battle Royal announcement: A nice hook for the July 4 show that will also feature the return of John Cena. Will Cena enter the match? Will we get another sampling of Shinsuke Nakamura vs. A.J. Styles within the battle royal?
WWE Smackdown Live Misses
Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton: I don’t care what distorted childhood memories anyone may have, Punjabi Prison matches are terrible. And it’s not just a Great Khali thing, as even Undertaker and Big Show failed to produce a good match inside the bamboo monstrosity. By the way, doesn’t anyone else on the Smackdown brand want a WWE Championship match?
New Day and The Usos segment: The preceding match between the Usos and the Hype Bros was fine in that it was a clean and decisive win by the tag champs over a team that seems likely to split soon. The post match angle with New Day was flat. Kofi Kingston’s rap was corny and the only people laughing seemed to be New Day. Against all odds, Byron Saxton somehow found a way to make it even less cool by saying the Usos just got served.
Naomi vs. Lana for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: If you blink you may have missed it. I was actually looking forward to seeing if they could improve upon their MITB match, but this was a one minute throwaway match.