By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Smackdown Hits
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AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura contract signing: Who would have guessed that a brief contract signing segment could be so entertaining? Nakamura got under the skin of Styles without doing anything comedic enough to get laughs from the live crowd. Paige saying there would be a winner is encouraging, but I sure hope they’re not going to mess with the fans again by having both men fail to answer the ten count… unless that scenario leads to Samoa Joe cashing in the Money in the Bank contract successfully.
New Day vs. Samoa Joe, The Miz, and Rusev: Another one of those Money in the Bank momentum matches, but it turned out to be a good one. The pancake finish was silly, but they at least set it up earlier in the night.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair: Lynch is one of the most underutilized wrestlers in the company so it was nice to see her get a rare meaningful win. One can only hope that they follow up on this by having Lynch build more momentum rather than placing the emphasis on the Charlotte character losing her mojo.
Asuka vs. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose: A needed showcase win for Asuka. Asuka lost her winning streak at WrestleMania and hasn’t been spotlighted well since then. The company seems very excited about Rose based on her looks, but hopefully they recognize that Deville is progressing nicely and has real upside. The post match belt shot to the back by Carmella looked a little weak and while she’s a good talker, the jury is still out as to whether she can deliver consistently in the ring.
Naomi and Jimmy Uso vs. Aiden English and Lana: A minor Hit for a crowd pleasing mixed tag despite some awkward moments. The highlight for all the wrong reasons was seeing Naomi dive over the top and be caught by English, only to have Lana take a bump along with English even though she wasn’t actually touched.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Big Cass promo: He did the same schtick he did prior to his first match with Daniel Bryan by telling everyone that a good big man will always beat a good little man. The little man already beat the big man via submission at WWE Backlash, so the entire promo felt empty. Cass delivers his lines like he’s talking to a room full of third graders at a Be A Star rally. I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing yet since he comes off like a heel talking down to the audience.
Karl Anderson vs. Luke Harper: A minor miss. WWE loves filling time with matches involving one half of the tag team champions facing one half of the team that will challenge them for the titles on pay-per-view. We’ve been there and done this before during the Bludgeon Brothers feud with the Usos. Anderson and Gallows need wins and so while the formula is tired, I couldn’t blame them if they double down next week by having Luke Gallows beat Erick Rowan.