The draft is over, now it’s time for SmackDown to truly begin the FOX Era.
Right off the bat we have a championship match!
Match #1: Intercontinental Championship Match
Roman Reigns v Shinsuke Nakamura(c) w/Sami Zayn
Get ready to see a lot more of Roman Reigns on SmackDown. Cole and Graves spend his entire entrance hyping him as the number 1 pick for SmackDown. I think they said “#1 pick” at least 10 times as he walked down the ramp.
The new SmackDown set was made for Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance. Spectacular!
Sami Zayn pulls double duty at ringside being the manager and guest commentator. I really like this role for Sami…for now.
Again the crowd makes this match have a big match feel. The Reigns and Nakamura working it like the main event as they should.
Match End: Just as Roman looks to be putting Nakamura away he’s attacked from behind by Baron Corbin.
Corbin continues to attack Reigns and that brings out Daniel Bryan to help Roman. Sami Zayn holds the foot of Bryan which allows Nakamura to hit him with a running knee strike.
After a quick graphic about the draft picks SmackDown made we see The New Day backstage joined by Heavy Machinery. Otis mixes some pancake batter with a heavy amount of protein powder…which he dumps all over his face. Alrighty.
King Corbin is asked something backstage and all he does is put on his crown and walks away.
Match #2: Singles Match
Chad Gable v Curtis Axel w/Bo Dallas
If this “Shorty” thing is what gets Chad Gable over I guess it’s worth it…it’s so bad though. Whenever Michael Cole refers to Chad as Shorty it sounds so forced.
Curtis Axel is such a good enhancement talent.
Match End: Chad Gable wins via pinfall. The commentary team acts shocked that he keeps winning despite hyping him all match.
Chad is interviewed in the ring after the match. He’s not even breathing heavy. Gable is turning into the feel good babyface. He changes his name again. This time to…ugh…Shorty G…yup…
I’m always so disconnected from WWE during their hype for Crown Jewel PPVs. It’s always so artificial…and that’s saying something in wrestling.
Match #3: 8-man Tag Team Match
Heavy Machinery & The New Day v SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Revival and Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler
Multi man tags are always chaotic and have amazing moments. This one is no different.
Match End: The New Day and Heavy Machinery win after everyone gets their moves in. Great chemistry between these two teams.
Miz TV with special guest SmackDown Woman’s Champion Bayley w/Sasha Banks
Bayley has new music and a new attitude and I’m really digging it. I wish the crowd would boo her more. Bayley is sporting some Sheri Martel like eye makeup tonight. Nice.
Miz shows an very impactful video package of the Bayley transformation last week including her telling everyone “screw you”.
After some tough prodding by The Miz Bayley cuts a great promo about how sick she was of her old persona. Calls herself a role model for overcoming adversity. Calls the woman’s division lazy.
Keeps on saying “they” referencing creative(?).
Nikki Cross interrupts the nihilism and says Bayley is wrong about the division, then Dana Brooke comes out and tells us why she’s good, then Lacey Evans walks out without saying anything (doesn’t have to). They cut to commercial before this match begins.
Match #4: Woman’s Six Pack Challenge
Nikki Cross v Dana Brooke v Lacey Evans v Mandy Rose v Sonya Deville v Carmella
This has to become the showcase of the SmackDown Womans Division now that the draft is over. Do any of these women measure up to Sasha Banks or Bayley? Sure, but they’re going to need that opportunity to show the world.
Match End: Nikki Cross waits out the finish parade and pins Mandy Rose to win a title shot!
A video package recapping the Seth Rollins v Bray Wyatt rivalry is shown. Also known as the only match I’d want to watch at Crown Jewel.
Match #5: Singles Match
Braun Strowman v Drew Gulak
Poor Drew gets fed to Braun during his debut. Drew grabs a microphone and calls SmackDown by its old name SmackDown Live, then kind of mocks Braun a little while hyping Tyson Fury…poor Drew…he has a slideshow to help Braun.
Strowman doesn’t want slides, he beats the heck out of Gulak instead. Poor Drew…
Match End: Braun smash Gulak
Main Event: Tag Team Match
Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns v King Corbin & Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura w/Sami Zayn
Now that a lot of old storylines have ended there are a few “maybe we’ll just put these two together and see what happens” teams. Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns are that. So much potential in the “attempted murder” angle wasted on trying to make Rowan more legit…
Anyway, this tag match was basically filler for Cole and Graves to hype Team Hogan v Team Flair 2 (the impact version counts as 1). Which is too bad since Daniel Bryan and Shinsuke Nakamura should be headlining PPVs against each other.
Match End: Daniel Bryan pins Shinsuke Nakamura to win.
That should start a Bryan v Nakamura program hopefully.
SmackDown ends with Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns egging on the crowd to cheer like the great faces they are.
There was a lot going on that needed to get started this week, so it wasn’t a lights out night on SmackDown but it was alright.