Y’all…. that was a great ending.
Earlier in the show, Bray appeared and said that he was out searching for Braun Strowman in the swamp, but he couldn’t find him. Regardless of whether he shows back up or not, part of his soul will always be trapped there. But now, He is waiting, and He wants something that Strowman has. Until He gets it, no one is safe. He being the Fiend, clearly
So Bayley and Nikki Cross had themselves a SmackDown women’s championship match. To be honest, it was pretty lackluster. Nothing stuck out, nothing really changed from their last bout, only that instead of the Boss ring connecting and Cross eating a loss, she took it out of Bayley’s hand and threw it back at Sasha. Alexa tried encouraging her throughout, but Bayley won it with a headlock and then slamming Cross’s face to the mat. It felt a bit flat.
After thye role models hit the bricks, Alexa got in the ring and tried to help Nikki up, but Nikki shoved her down and walked away.
Then, He appeared.
He slowly walked around Alexa and Alexa froze in fear. He knelt down, raised his hand (with the hurt glove) and shoved the Mandible Claw in her mouth and the lights went out to end the show.
Talk about a swerve. Everyone had Nikki Cross turning on Alexa tonight, and they didn’t do it. Will it happen later on, I don’t know and frankly I don’t care because Alexa being used to draw out Braun from wherever he’s hiding was a perfect way to continue this feud. To be honest I’m not really excited to see it continue, but what else can WWE do right now? The Fiend vs. Braun Strowman at SummerSlam is the right way to go based off of the story’s natural progression.
Let’s just make sure Goldberg isn’t around anymore, yeah?
Jeff Hardy is moving on
He gets on the mic and says he hasn’t felt this good in a long time. The last few months have been tough, with Sheamus a constant reminder of just how dangerous his demons are. He just has to remind himself how bad it can be, because sobriety is a never-ending challenge, and beating Sheamus was a reminder that he’s on the right path.
Enter King Corbin, who got tired of Hardy’s speech and said he should shut up. Corbin said he feels like he’s losing his mind and his kingdom is turning into an insane asylum. Hardy said that if Corbin thinks everyone around him is a problem, it usually means you need to look in the mirror. As Corbin went down to confront him, Gulak attacked, which let to their match which we will be addressing below.
Somehow, and I can’t believe I am about to say this, they’ve managed to make King Corbin… better. Yeah I know! I didn’t think I would say that ever, especially with this King gimmick. As for Jeff Hardy, there really wasn’t anything different coming out of him so I was kind of bored. If the Sheamus feud is indeed over, why can’t we move on from the Jeff Hardy is an alcoholic stuff? Let’s get him in a program with someone. I’ll take Corbin after this little exchange between them.
Despicable Sonya Deville
Otis and Mandy were walking backstage, and Mandy was letting Otis, and us, know of her surprise plans for Otis this evening. It included a BBQ place with ribs and steak, and a peachy desert with a cherry on top.
TMI, guys. TMI.
Mandy was in the back getting ready, and surprise Sonya Deville behind her! They brawled and Sonya smeared lipstick all over Mandy’s face. Then she cut her hair! She was about to buzz it off but the refs and returning Adam Pearce got to Sonya before she could do any more damage.
I was missing this feud sooooo much, y’all. Immediately they brought it right back with this vicious and despicable Sonya.
AJ Styles def. Gran Metalik - Metalik put up a really good fight. A decent effort one would even say. Styles has this really great quality about him where he cannot really have a bad match. (One or two Kevin Owens matches a few years back may have been his only real lackluster ones.) I liked the story with this one after rethinking it. I wanted Gable, but telling a nice underdog story with Metalik worked, as he performed well in the match. Now, will this go anywhere? That remains to be seen.
After the match, Styles attacked poor Lince Dorado as he tended to his LuchaLit brother. He had a really interesting sell of it, too. Hey, let’s get Dorado vs. Styles next week! I’m down!
Big E def. Miz - The slap heard ‘round the world that got Big E snapped into seriousness was a nice touch. E brought the hurt, until Morrison took advantage of the ref’s back being turned. The big story here that commentary was attempting to tell, while definitely untrue, was that Big E was a weak link in New Day. Nah, Corey. Nice try though. Morrison tried to take advantage again, but the ref caught him and ejected him. Big E ended up winning with a wicked Stretch Muffler submission.
The win and the way E won was important here. The Big Ending is the New Day Big E finisher, or at least that’s what WWE wants us to think. He was really doing it before New Day, but alright I can let this slide. That Stretch Muffler looked real good, though. I am onboard with that being his new finisher. Build him up, WWE. Let’s get that Intercontinental feud going next week!
King Corbin def. Drew Gulak - Gulak took Corbin to wrestling school throughout this bout. Corbin did his usual chinlocks but Gulak countered it into a LeBell lock. He went for a diving lariat but Corbin’s really great deep six connected. Riddle came out but Gulak couldn’t capitalize off of the distraction. Riddle started beating up Corbin and out of nowhere, out came Gable and he hit the suplex on Riddle!
So before this all happened, earlier in the show, Gable was backstage watching Styles/Metalik and Corbin approached him. He said that they were always friends and he was always trying to encourage him. Corbin offered up the King’s Ransom and told him to think about it. It was actually a pretty great interaction as Gable wasn’t having any of it since Corbin was doing the “short” stuff. It wasn’t until the Ransom was mentioned that he started thinking about it.
You know what? Sure. I’m not against this at all. If you think about it logistically, Corbin is offering up money to dudes to take another dude out. And who is he trying to encourage? Guys who aren’t on TV much, so that they have incentive to help him. I like it. It’s also something different for Gable.
Naomi def. Lacey Evans - They brought a bit more ferocity to this one, but Naomi finally picked up a win. It’s definitely not over, though, and that just makes me shake my head.
SmackDown surely ended with a really great moment. I’m immediately intrigued to see what happened with Alexa after being choked by the Fiend. As for Bayley, I couldn’t tell you who her SummerSlam opponent will be. If we had more time, maybe Naomi? Depending on what they do with Alexa, it could be her but I don’t know how you transition into a title match so quickly after this segment.
I am… intrigued to see where we go with Corbin and Gable. Yeah, I’m still in shock. Naomi and Evans will continue and I’m not happy, it looked like Cesaro and Nakamura might be seeing more of Lucha House Party, and Big E needs to be hot-shotted into an IC title program pretty please!
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?