Featuring a Monstrous Confrontation, and a Triple Brand Battle Royal, this August 14th edition of SmackDown takes us one step closer to SummerSlam.
We start off the show with a recap of the destruction caused last week by RETRIBUTION, or as some guy on Reddit called them, Aces and Five Foot Eights. WWE has stationed extra security guards at every entrance to protect against another attack.
Big E VS John Morrison
Before their match can get underway, RETRIBUTION invades the ring and beats both men down. They book it out of the ring area as The Miz comes down to check on his partner, and I wonder if those security guards are being paid too much.
Backstage, the SmackDown roster is trying to deal with the RETRIBUTION situation. King Corbin says they should just leave, but Big E disagrees. He wants to fight against “the Foot Clan from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Sheamus takes the side of Corbin, and the roster seems to be split in two.
Speaking of splitting, the Women’s Tag Champs seem to be becoming increasingly frustrated with each other (specifically, Sasha Banks is mad about having to face Asuka at SummerSlam because Bayley lost to her on Raw), but they quickly come together to insult everyone in the Triple Brand Battle Royal. It turns out not to be a good tactic, as Asuka comes out as a surprise contestant and kicks the Golden Role Models.
Triple Brand Battle Royal to determine SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley’s opponent at SummerSlam
The match starts out in pure chaos, with every contestant attacking each other viciously. Ruby Riott saves Liv Morgan from being eliminated, and then Liv takes out both Iiconics with the help of Tegan Nox, only to be eliminated by herself.
Nikki Cross is sent through the second rope by Dana Brooke, and she counters Brooke’s dropkick attempt by catching her in the apron and delivering some heavy forearms. Bianca Belair nearly escapes an elimination. Nikki Cross bravely takes on Tamina, but Tamina overpowers and eliminates her. Belair and Tamina square off in the ring (that would be a great match) and Belair spears Tamina and dumps her out of the ring.
Naomi is eliminated by her rival Lacey Evans, but Evans is eliminated by Shotzi Blackheart. Shayna Baszler puts Blackheart over the top rope and on to the apron, and Lacey grabs her feet and eliminates her from the outside. Belair is eliminated by Nox, and Nox goes crazy on two of the last three contestants, Baszler and Asuka.
Baszler puts Nox out on the apron, and Nox is pulled off and eliminated by Dana Brooke, who was lying in wait since she was trapped in the apron by Cross. She runs into the ring, but is caught in the Kirifuta Clutch by Baszler. Asuka and Baszler work together to take out Brooke, leaving only the two of them left in the match.
Bayzler gets Asuka on the apron, and Sasha Banks and Bayley try to eliminate her themselves. Asuka takes out both women, but Baszler kicks Asuka out. Luckily, she lands feet first on Bayley, keeping her in the match.
She climbs back on to the apron, but Baszler locks in the Kirifuta Clutch on her. Asuka cleverly pulls Baszler out to the apron and dumps her to the floor, winning the match. So I guess she’ll be challenging both Women’s champs at SummerSlam?
Match Rating: 4/5
Backstage, Bayley says that she’ll be fine at SummerSlam. She says it won’t be like her match with Asuka this Monday on Raw, since she’ll actually have something important to fight for at SummerSlam. We see that that comment hurt Sasha’s feelings badly before Asuka comes backstage and takes them both out.
Backstage, Mandy Rose cuts a passionate promo about how hard she works to be in the WWE, and how she’s more than a pretty face. She challenges Sonya Deville to a Hair VS Hair Match at SummerSlam. It seems like a silly stipulation, but I’m willing to trust in Rose’s seriousness in this promo and look forward to the match.
Backstage, Nikki Cross finds Alexa Bliss and apologies to her for pushing her a couple weeks ago. She says that Bliss needs to get somewhere safe and away from The Fiend, but Bliss says she is going to stay to get some answers from Braun Strowman.
Shorty G VS Sheamus
Sheamus seems confident that RETRIBUTION won’t interfere with this match, telling the security guards nearby to clock out early. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have the authority to do that. Shorty G comes strong right out of the gate, but Sheamus quickly takes control with some brutal elbows.
The Celtic Warrior beats Shorty down with the 10 Beats of the Bodrahn. He throws Shorty to the ropes, but Sheamus gets hit with a basement dropkick. Shorty focuses on the legs, but Sheamus doesn’t seem to care as he crushes him with an axe handle.
Sheamus delivers an Irish Curse backbreaker and some knee drops, but Shorty fights back with some echoing chops, a rolling kick and a missile dropkick. He goes for a pin, but only gets a 2 count. Shorty locks in an ankle lock on Sheamus, but it gets reversed. Shorty turns the reversal into a pinning attempt for 2, and then gets caught with White Noise. Sheamus waits politely and patiently for Shorty to get back up and then runs him over with a Brogue Kick for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: 3.5/5
AJ Styles brings out a very unhappy looking businessman (Who the astute fan would recognize as Christopher Joseph Parks, or Abyss) to debut his Phenomenal Intercontinental Statistic System, or P.I.S.S (wow, very funny, real knee slapper there Allen) a way to determine worthy contenders for his title. This for sure is ripping all the way off of how AEW has been picking challengers, and it’s really annoying me.
He plugs his Twitch stream, twitch.tv/stylesclash, saying he was inspired by people in his chat to use stats to pick opponents good enough for him. On the top of the stat board is obviously himself, but when he revels who is good enough to face him, there’s nobody else on the board.
With the screams of “I KNEW IT” from Marina Shafir in the background, the champ goes on about how nobody has earned the right to face him. Jeff Hardy thankfully comes out and interrupts this segment. He says the Intercontinental Title is special to him, and asks him for a chance at the title. AJ says that Hardy hasn’t earned the title shot, and Hardy snaps, kicking AJ out of the ring and drawing a big “Jeff Hardy” on the statistics board.
Backstage, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura trash talk Lucha House Party, while behind their backs, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado steal the SmackDown Tag Team Titles from the table the champs had left them on.. They bring out the titles to Gran Metalik’s match against Shinsuke Nakamura.
Gran Metalik (w/ Lince Dorado) VS Shinsuke Nakamura (w/ Cesaro)
Nakamura takes Metalik out easily, beating him down and delivering Good Vibrations. He drops the knee on the luchador, and gets a 2 count from it. Metalik fights back with some crazy speed, throwing the tag champ out of the ring with a headscissors. He tries for a suicide dive, but is met with a hard knee by Nakamura, which gets him a 2 count.
Metalik hits Nakamura with a flying crossbody and a bulldog, and jumps off the ropes for a flying elbow for a 2 count. Metalik reverses a reverse exploder, but when he goes up the ropes, he is distracted by Cesaro, allowing Nakamura to capitalize with a kick for 2.
Nakamura hits his reverse exploder, and he looks to deliver the Kinshasa, but before he can, the Lucha House Party music plays. Kalisto has returned! He and Lince Dorado hit a double team DDT maneuver on Cesaro on the outside, and Metalik hits a distracted Nakamura with his top-rope elbow for the win!
Winner via pinfall: Gran Metalik
Match Rating: 3.5/5
Backstage, Matt Riddle gets interviewed as to how he stays in a positive mood while being attacked all the time. The King of the Bros says it’s difficult, but he’s a pretty laid back guy regardless. Shorty G comes out to apologize for trying to take him out, but King Corbin attacks Riddle from behind. He thanks Shorty for the help, but Shorty doesn’t seem like he wanted to help that way.
Alexa Bliss gets interviewed about her relationship with Braun Strowman. We get some nice clips of their friendship. She is asked if The Fiend targeted her because of her friendship with Braun, and she doesn’t quite know. She’s very hurt from when Braun said he doesn’t care about her, so hurt she can’t even put it into words. That, or they ran out of time before commercial.
Backstage, Sonya Deville accepts the challenge of Mandy Rose, saying that Rose will look great bald, and that she’s going to destroy her at SummerSlam.
Big E VS John Morrison
With The Miz on commentary, John Morrison is smartly focusing on the leg of Big E that was injured by RETRIBUTION, and Big E is smartly using his power advantage to push around Morrison. Morrison gets a 2 count from a quick combo of strikes. Big E fights back with a solid elbow. Morrison flips around Big E but gets slammed nonetheless.
Morrison hits an enziguri and tries to go for something more, but Big E throws him to the floor, and Morrison lands pretty hard. Big E drops Morrison with a clothesline, and drops his big splash on Morrison on the apron.
The Miz uses his microphone headset cord to trip up Big E on the outside, and Morrison lands a brutal chop block to the injured leg. From then on Morrison targets the leg by tying his leg up in the rope and dropping his knee on it, which gets him a 2 count.
Otis comes out to confront The Miz, but as he does, the lights flicker, and we go to commercial. Poor Big E and Morrison can’t get through a match, can they? When we come back, the SmackDown roster is at ringside to defend against any RETRIBUTION attacks. Unfortunately, this leaves the backstage area unprotected, as RETRIBUTION goes back and beats up referees, breaks tables, and locks some poor guy in the bathroom. They go about their usual vandalism, and none of the talent at ringside even knows this is happening.
The match is still going on, as Morrison takes down Big E with some kicks. The SmackDown roster leaves to go take care of RETRIBUTION, but when they get there, the attackers are completely gone.
Back in the ring, Big E drops Morrison with a uranage. Big E goes for the Big Ending, but Morrison reverses it. He goes for a shining wizard, but Big E reverses it into the Stretch Muffler submission hold, and Morrison taps out. After the match, Sheamus comes out and takes out Big E. And then Braun Strowman comes out (having shaved all the hair on his head except his beard) which causes Sheamus to leave Big E alone?
There was too much crammed into this match: A RETRIBUTION attack, the start of a Sheamus-Big E rivalry, and the return of Braun Strowman, whose head is brighter than my future. It all ended up being rather annoying to watch. I’d like to watch a Big E-Morrison rematch, without all the everything happening. They deserve that much.
Winner via pinfall: Big E
Match Rating: 2/5
Stromwan is still using the Strowman Express Titantron graphic, which is not helping his new “evil” look. He looks more like a big baby than ever.
He calls out The Fiend, but gets Alexa Bliss instead. He refuses to look at her as they have a conversation about their friendship, instead choosing a very specific part of the floor to yell at. He tells her to get out of his ring, and that he wants The Fiend. Bliss tells him to be careful what he wishes for, and that she’ll have to slap some sense into him.
She does just that, and Braun picks her up to slam her. He tosses her into the air, the lights drop and we hear her fall. When the lights come back on, Braun is gone, the Fiend is there, and Bliss is hurt.
Braun appears on the Titantron laughing, and The Fiend laughs with him. Braun ends the show with a mighty roar to The Fiend.
SmackDown August 14
Not a bad episode, but not as good as the past two. I understand that there are storylines that need to be furthered, but it’s getting a little crowded on Friday nights. Still, it’s doing a good job of getting me excited for SummerSlam.