By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Join me for live coverage of WWE Money in the Bank on Sunday beginning with the one-hour Kickoff Show at 5CT/6ET. Dot Net Members will enjoy ad-free access and hear an audio review hosted by Jake Barnett and I after the show. Join us via PWMembership.net.
WWE Smackdown Hits
Daniel Bryan, Drew Gulak, and Otis vs. King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro: WWE continues to ruin the mystery partner gimmick by making the “surprise” wrestler a regular who appears on the show every week rather than saving it for when they actually have something special. Putting that aside, it was a well worked six-man tag match with nonstop action. King Corbin winning and pulling down the briefcase afterward for no good reason was their way of trolling fans into thinking he might win the Money in the Bank ladder match again. Is that really a smart way to sell a pay-per-view? Along those same lines, I can’t say that this show made me look forward to watching MITB any more than I was coming into the show, which is a problem on go-home week. If nothing else, Corbin pulling down the briefcase means we can probably cross him off the list of potential winners.
Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville: The show opening with brief clips of both women preparing for and talking about their match before heading to the ring was a nice touch. I’d like to see more of that from WWE, as it gives viewers a quick reminder of the issues between the wresters before they head to the ring. The match was entertaining and Deville going over was the right move to keep the feud going while giving babyface Rose a mountain to climb.
Jeff Hardy and Sheamus: I enjoy realism in pro wrestling and Sheamus’s promo played on Hardy’s well documented issues. It gave the feud some intensity by having Sheamus question what’s different this time around. WWE has been telling the story of Hardy’s latest redemption quest, so this was all fair game and well delivered by Sheamus. Hardy getting the last laugh of the segment by hitting his Swanton gave it the feel good ending that his comeback moment needed.
Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt: Wyatt telling Strowman that their journey was just beginning was likely a tell when it comes to their match at Money in the Bank merely being the first of a multi pay-per-view series of matches. I’m surprised they didn’t do more with the idea of Wyatt attempting to lure Strowman back into the fold. It seemed like something that could have made for solid television for a few weeks. Even so, the segment was decent with Wyatt delivering a good performance.
Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Tamina and Lacey Evans: The Bayley vs. Tamina match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship doesn’t do much for me on paper, but this tag match achieved its goal of making the challenger look strong by pinning the champion heading into the match.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Big E, Kofi Kingston, Lince Dorado, and Gran Metalik vs. The Miz, John Morrison, Wesley Blake, and Steve Cutler: A soft Miss. With a pair of commercial breaks, I felt like I saw more commercials than match (not quite, but it did hurt the momentum). The in-ring work was good. The problem is that I don’t know if it’s tougher to take Lucha House Party seriously after seeing them booked poorly on the main roster for years or to take the Forgotten Sons seriously after their years of mediocrity in NXT. Both teams are plenty talented so hopefully they can win people over.
WWE’s Hacker video: I’m interested in the mystery hacker, but I struggled to make out most of what he said. The closed captioning only caught the same words that I was able to make out, so I assume it’s not just me and my old man/too many concerts hearing loss.