Last night’s SmackDown was actually pretty fun to watch, and after two weeks of horrible segments, a fairly straight forward episode was a welcome improvement. Of course this wasn’t just a normal episode of SmackDown it is the go home show before this weekend’s Extreme Rules pay per view and with that came all the hype and clarification that one would expect from the go home show. Cesaro and Nakamura will take on The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship in a tables match, Braun is back to being a monster and is ready to tear Bray Wyatt limb from limb, and Jeff Hardy and Sheamus’ bar fight will actually take place at next week’s SmackDown.
Other than that we had Asuka making a rare SmackDown appearance as the mystery guest on “A Moment of Bliss” which resulted in a tag match between Asuka and Nikki Cross against Bayley and Sasha in which the golden role models came out on top. We also got Bayley being attacked backstage by Nikki so that the traditional booking math works out for a Bayley win and a Sasha loss on Sunday night.
All of that being said it was a good episode of SmackDown, so let’s break down the good, the bad and the ugly of WWE SmackDown 7/17/20.
- The preview with everyone’s individual vignettes leading up to SmackDown. It was a fun little experiment with how to open a show, also it lead directly into Big E’s intro for his match which is always fun to watch.
- Tables match set for Extreme Rules. These guys should put on a fun tables match.
- Alexa’s list of predictions were pretty fun to watch.
- Whoever screamed “are you nuts?” when Alexa said that her mystery guest wasn’t Nikki Cross deserves a title shot at SummerSlam. It actually made me laugh out loud.
- Even though it was predictable, I’m glad the guest was Asuka.
- Swamp Bray’s promo actually got me hyped for this match.
- Braun’s promo was also very fun.
- Lacey Evans and Naomi was a good match that could’ve happened last week without karaoke.
- Sheamus is back from quarantine or whatever was keeping him in his home bar.
- AJ and Matt Riddle put on a really fun match with some really good story telling.
- Honestly, it’s a good thing that Matt Riddle’s first major feud will be King Corbin. It gives both of them something good to do and will result in some solid matches.
- Come on, let The New Day put Shinsuke and Cesaro through a table! They can stand to lose the tag titles to these guys. Let’s see Cesaro and Shinsuke with a title run.
- Lot’s of weird pronunciation mistakes in this episode. Not the worst thing in the world, but it is just funny for both Bayley and Daniel Bryan to make weird mistakes within the first hour of the show. Bayley pronounced “Blisstradomus” as “Bliss-tra-damus” and Bryan said AJ “veaheamently” instead of vehemently.
- John Morrison being scared of Braun. I get that it is supposed to sell his transformation back into the monster, but like Morrison was clowning on Braun about a month ago in the lead up to Backlash.
- The worked neck injury. Not as a story point but just in like execution, the timing was awkward and everyone knows that the show is taped right now seems weird to kayfabe a time constraint where Lacey Evans had to come out while they were walking Morrison to backstage.
- Stop acting like karaoke showdown worked! We don’t need a match flow recap to show us that segment again. I hate it.