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WWE SmackDown Recap & Reaction (6/6)

WWE SmackDown Live

SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon kicked off this week’s episode of SmackDown. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Tamina, Natalya and Carmella were all in the ring. James Ellsworth was also there looking completely ridiculous. Shane joined them in the ring and grabbed a microphone. Shane welcomed the crowd to SmackDown Live and the crowd cheered. Shane introduced the audience to the participants in the first ever women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match.

The crowd booed as Carmella, Natalya and Tamina were introduced. The audience then applauded as Shane announced Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch. Shane asked for a drumroll and revealed a white briefcase that said “Money in the Bank” on it. Shane discussed the history of the Money in the Bank ladder match and was interrupted by Ellsworth. Ellsworth told Shane McMahon that there was no need to mansplain the match. Carmella then grabbed the microphone and said she was going to win the match.

Charlotte interrupted and bragged about being genetically superior and stated that she was going to win the MITB contract and add to her legacy. Natalya accused Charlotte of ripping off her father. Becky then accused Natalya of ripping off her uncle Bret Hart. Becky guaranteed that she would win and Tamina interrupted and said that she was going to win the match and shut everyone up.

Naomi’s music hit and she danced down to the ring. Naomi grabbed a microphone and stated that she wished that she could be in the MITB ladder match because she knows it is going to be “lit” as the kids say. Lana’s music hit and she made her way to the ring. Shane said it wasn’t the correct time for Lana to be in the ring. Lana said she wanted to be in the match and the other Superstars chuckled.

Naomi cackled into the microphone and Lana asked her what was so funny. Naomi said “Bugs Bunny and you”. Naomi then asked Lana who has she ever beaten and then hummed the jeopardy theme. Lana stated that she could defeat Naomi and got right in her face. Shane then said that Lana needed to earn a SmackDown Women’s Championship match is something she needed to earn. Lana then threw a tantrum and exited the ring as the crowd chanted “let’s go Lana”.

Reaction: Wouldn’t it have made sense here for Shane to announce a non-title match between Lana and Naomi? If Lana won the match, she would have been added to the MITB ladder match. I thought that was going to happen the entire time during this promo. It wound up not happening and this entire promo felt awkward. For some reason, they had this big reveal of a white briefcase and the crowd didn’t really react to it at all.

Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch & Naomi vs Natalya, Tamina & Carmella

Natalya and Charlotte started off the match. Natalya controlled the match early but Charlotte fought back with a couple of chops. Carmella barked at Charlotte from the ring apron and Becky Lynch tagged herself into the match. Carmella was tagged in and she knocked Becky to the mat. Becky went for a roll-up and Carmella kicked out. Becky then locked Carmella with her legs and rolled around the ring several times as Carmella screamed for help.

Carmella knocked Becky out of the ring and Natalya laid her out with a Clothesline as SmackDown went to a commercial break. When SmackDown returned, Tamina and Becky Lynch were in the ring. Tamina knocked Becky to the mat for a two count. Natalya was then tagged in and continued the beatdown on Lynch. The crowd chanted “let’s go Becky” as Natalya locked in a Chin Lock. Becky fought out of the hold and connected with a kick to Natalya’s head.

Naomi and Carmella then entered the match and Naomi connected with a series of kicks. Naomi hit a Jawbreaker on Carmella. Tamina was then tagged in and she was greeted with a kick to the face by Naomi. Naomi hit a springboard Crossbody and went for a pinfall but Carmella broke it up. Charlotte hit Carmella with a big boot. Tamina and Natalya then teamed up on Charlotte. Lana came down to the ring and tripped up Naomi on the ring apron. Tamina then connected with a Superkick on Naomi for the victory.

Winners: Natalya, Tamina & Carmella

Reaction: I thought this match was decent. Lana interfered and attacked Naomi so I guess a feud is starting up between them. Naomi is not involved in the MITB ladder match, so I’m guessing Lana will have a match with her at the PPV.

Shane McMahon was shown backstage by the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy. Mojo Rawley said he has been a ghost on SmackDown since winning the battle royal. Mojo said that he is motivated that Shane McMahon didn’t include him in the MITB ladder match. Rawley said that he is the only Superstar that has defeated Jinder Mahal since coming to SmackDown. Shane said that if Mojo can defeat Mahal tonight, he will be added to the MITB ladder match.


AJ Styles vs Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler connected with a Dropkick early for a two count as SmackDown went to a commercial break. When SmackDown returned, Styles connected with a Clothesline and knocked Ziggler to the mat. Ziggler went for a pinfall with his feet on the ropes and the referee caught it. Ziggler then hit a Fameasser for a two count. Styles connected with a forearm and followed it up with a Styles Clash for the victory.

Winner: AJ Styles

Reaction: Styles lost to Ziggler last week on SmackDown but put him away quickly tonight. These matches have felt pretty meaningless and seems like WWE is just trying to kill time before MITB.

Another episode of Fashion Files with Breezango was shown. This episode was in black and white. Fandango was wearing a tie with no shirt and a cowboy hat. The New Day interrupted and asked Breezango if they could help them out with a case. New Day handed Breezango a couple of rompers. New Day asked for some intel about The Usos and Breezango handed them a few boxes.

Reaction: This was painfully unfunny. I’m all for funny characters and skits. There is one major requirement though, they actually have to be funny.

Mojo Rawley vs Jinder Mahal

Mojo started out the match in control and slammed Mahal to the mat. Jinder quickly rolled to the ring apron and the Singh Brothers gave him a pep-talk. Mojo leveled Mahal with a shoulder tackle and knocked him out of the ring. Jinder got back to the ring and was knocked back to the mat again. One of the Singh Brothers jumped up on the ring apron and distracted Mojo.

Jinder took advantage and booted Mojo in the face. Mahal then leveled Rawley with a Clothesline and applied a Chin Lock. Rawley powered out of the hold but Mahal raked Mojo in across the eyes. Mahal then hit the Khallas for the victory.

Winner: Jinder Mahal

After the match, Jinder Mahal grabbed the microphone and told the audience to be quiet. Mahal bragged about being WWE Champion and the crowd started chanting “USA!”. Mahal said that he dismantled Mojo’s dreams and he was going to dismantle Orton’s dream of becoming WWE Champion in his hometown of St.Louis. Mahal said that Randy Orton and his fans are sick and he is the antidote. Mahal then spoke in Punjabi and raised the title. Mahal then went to the turnbuckle to raise the WWE Championship and almost tripped over the bottom rope.

Reaction: I have no idea what is going on with Mahal’s voice, but his promos have been very soft-spoken for the past couple of weeks. It really is bizarre because I’ve had to turn up the volume on my television to hear his promos. I feel like he should be shouting and insulting the audience. Instead, his promos are almost cordial as he insults the crowd. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m bored with the Orton and Mahal feud and want it to be over. I don’t think the SmackDown product would be any better if Orton was WWE Champion. I’m fine with Mahal as the champ for now, I just want him to face someone else. This feud sucks and has no emotion behind it.

Randy Orton was interviewed backstage by Renee Young. Orton said that he received calls from WWE legends after SmackDown last week and they told him that actions speak louder than words. Orton said that he doesn’t need to say anything and will let his actions do the talking in two weeks at Money in the Bank.

Reaction: I would have loved to see Mahal attack Orton during this backstage interview. Hell, I would have taken Mahal walking by him and giving him a dirty look. Can we get a storyline in a WWE Championship feud? Is that too much to ask? At this rate, throw the WWE Championship match on the MITB Kickoff Show because nobody gives a damn about it. This feud has been so phoned-in that it is becoming ridiculous.

New Day vs The Colons

New Day controlled this entire match. Woods and Big E hit the Midnight Hour for the victory. After the match, The Usos came down to the entrance ramp and cut a promo on the New Day. The Usos welcomed New Day to the Uso penitentiary and made a few jokes. They called Kofi a ballerina, and said that the “E” in Big E was his bra size. They also poked fun at Xavier Woods’ ridiculous shoes.

Winners: New Day

Reaction: The Usos have been one of the better parts of SmackDown recently. I have really enjoyed their work as heels. I’m also looking forward to seeing them wrestle against a team that doesn’t dress up as old ladies and bring squirt guns to the ring.

Sami Zayn was interviewed backstage. Zayn stated that he has been studying up on his opponents in the MITB ladder match. Zayn claimed that he cannot figure out Shinsuke Nakamura and will join commentary for his match tonight against Kevin Owens. Baron Corbin then showed up and attacked Zayn. Corbin then launched Zayn into a stack of ladders that just happened to be there. Corbin then stated that he will be joining commentary instead.

Naomi asked Shane McMahon for a match against Lana at Money in the Bank. Naomi said that she would even put her title on the line. Shane McMahon then made the match official. Naomi will defend the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Lana at Money in the Bank.

Kevin Owens vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Baron Corbin joined commentary for this match. Nakamura connected with a kick that knocked Owens and SmackDown went to a commercial break. When SmackDown returned, Owens was in control of the match. Owens applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring. Nakamura battled out of the hold but Owens planted him a DDT for a two count.

Nakamura connected with a kick that knocked Owens to the mat. Nakamura perched Owens up on the top rope and kicked him in the midsection for a two count. Owens connected with a headbutt and followed it up with a Clothesline in the corner. Owens then perched Nakamura up on the top turnbuckle and joined him there. Owens went for a Superplex but Nakamura blocked it.

Shinsuke connected with a couple of punches and knocked Owens off the turnbuckle. Owens then dragged him down to the mat and connected with a Cannonball. Nakamura hit Owens with a kick and a reverse Exploder Suplex. Nakamura then hit the Kinshasa for the victory.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

After the match, Corbin attacked Nakamura and planted him with the End of Days.

Reaction: The match between Nakamura and Owens was essentially five minutes. There was a commercial break right when it started and it ended with a few minutes left in the show. Corbin would make the most sense to me as the Superstar that wins the briefcase at Money in the Bank.

Overall, I thought this week’s episode of SmackDown was terrible. Almost everything felt half-assed on this show. I’m not really invested in any storyline on SmackDown right now. SmackDown has one more show until Money in the Bank and it would take a miracle for any of these storylines to become interesting next week. I’m looking forward to the ladder matches and that is about it. I honestly could care less about anything else scheduled for the PPV.

The PPV will probably turn out to be entertaining, but WWE is having a hell of a time creating interesting television on RAW and SmackDown right now. The declining ratings certainly reflect that and I don’t this episode of SmackDown will create any buzz to attract new viewers. There really wasn’t anything interesting that happened tonight. I guess Lana making her debut was the highlight of the show.

What did you think of this week’s episode of SmackDown? Share your thoughts below.

Follow Robert Lentini: @MankyMedia