This episode of WWE Smackdown Live comes from the Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California.
The show kicks off with Miz TV who brings out his guests, The Bludgeon Brothers. He says last week on Smackdown, they each proved how easy it is to dismantle Daniel Bryan. BOOS! Miz says not only himself, but the WWE Universe have been speculating about why The Bludgeon Brothers chose to destroy Daniel Bryan. Harper and Rowan both stand there, silent and intimidating. Miz says that he gets it, they are the silent type, but he thinks he knows why they did it. He says just to clarify with the fans, the reason that they beat up Daniel Bryan was because he interrupted an important and special moment for them last week. Miz says that Bryan is disrespectful and a glory hound. He can't stand it when someone has more attention than him, so what does he do? He tries to steal their thunder by doing his overused YES! chant to the audience. Miz then mocks Bryan by doing his own YES! chant while the crowd boos. Miz says he then stole the spotlight from Bryan last week by defeating him in the gauntlet match. Miz also points out that it felt like The Bludgeon Brothers were auditioning to be the newest members of the Miztourage. They do not look impressed. Harper slaps the microphone out of the Miz's hand. Then Daniel Bryan's music hits, and out comes Bryan with the mic. He tells Miz to shut up, to which the crowd cheer. Bryan wants to know which one will fight him first. Harper accepts the challenge. This was a solid opening segment, playing off of last week’s angle and a fairly got crowd. Miz was great as always.
Rusev versus Xavier Woods.
The remaining members of The New Day are at ringside along with Aiden English. Rusev starts off strong, but it's not long before Woods picks up the pace and gains momentum with a head scissors and a well executed dropkick. Rusev stops Woods in his tracks and hits a mean looking spinebuster for a near fall. The match was mostly Woods trying to get the upper hand and fighting to get back on top but Rusev cutting him off with bear hugs and other offence. The end sees Rusev take Woods up to the top rope as they battle for position with both men going back to the mat as Woods posts Rusev. Woods heads back up top and the ropewalk elbow drop misses, then Rusev hits the Machka Kick and the Accolade follows. Woods has no choice but to tap. Not a bad match, with Rusev looking strong in preparation for this WWE Championship match against AJ Styles.
After the match, Rusev gets on the mic and says he knows AJ is watching and he knows he is scared, and he proved that last week when he punched English in the face. Duelling "AJ STYLES" and "RUSEV DAY" chants, about 50/50. Rusev says coming for AJ Styles and taking the title, then it's going to be a great Rusev Day.
Lana and Naomi are shown backstage arguing and the cast of GLOW arrives. Lana does not seem impressed, as Allison Brie plays up her Russian character from the show. The GLOW girls then ask why Lana and Naomi are beefing with each other? They should work together. Lana and Naomi then tease working together as they all cheer and shout yeah, this was forgetful.
Jeff Hardy is here. He issues his open challenge for the United States Title, and Sanity's music hits. Looks like Eric Young has accepted. This match was originally meant to be Hardy against Nakamura but according to sources, Shinsuke suffered an injury caused by a dog bite, and no I did not make that up.
Jeff Hardy versus Eric Young for the United States Championship.
This match feels like something you'd get from TNA about 5 or 6 years ago. Young tries to keep things to the ground for the most part, working Jeff down with a sleeper hold and some neck cranking. Hardy fights out Jeff fights out and hits a jawbreaker, then follow it up with rights and then an atomic drop, leg drop to the groin and a dropkick gets 2 count. Young counters the Twist of Fate and they take each other down. The Usos then arrive and brawl with the other members of Sanity outside the ring. Young joins in and the match ends in a DQ. Expected more from these two as we all know that both of these men have had good matches in the past. It seems like Sanity won't be a serious threat to the Smackdown Live roster which is a shame. The Usos and Sanity should deliver some pretty decent matches however.
Wait, apparently Paige has now made this a Six-Man Tag Team match.
Sanity vs. Jeff Hardy and The Usos
Lots of back and forth. We get a superkick party that finally take Killian Dain out to the floor. One of The Usos takes out Dain and Young by diving over the top rope, he then hops up and back in the ring but Wolfe hits a German suplex, then Jeff tags in and the hits a Swanton Bomb which finishes it. This was a solid and enjoyable tag match, but after coming in and looking like bad asses last week, Sanity losing in a trios match just felt like the wrong call at this stage.
Becky Lynch versus Sonya Deville.
This was a good back and forth match between the two. Near the end Lynch gets distracted by Rose and Deville slams her off the ropes which leads to a cover and a 2 count. Lynch then slams Deville into Mandy Rose and then locks on Disarmher for the win. Becky overcoming the odds and getting victory after victory is definitely a good thing, but hopefully it leads to some sort of push for her. It would be a shame if this didn't lead to a Women's Championship match.
We get a promo from Almas and Vega. They want competition but warn others to stay out of their way unless they want to get hurt. Less talking more action I say. He got drafted to Smackdown Live back in April and has had like 2 matches against local jobbers. Ugh.
James Ellsworth is out next. Ellsworth talks about being a real man and says Asuka ruined Carmella’s celebration. He calls her out saying it’s a man’s world, and says he loves and respects women, and claims his love life is hot. But there is no love between he and Asuka or respect. He wasn’t ready for her last week and dares her to come and kick him again. Paige comes out and asks what Ellsworth is doing, and says Asuka isn’t here, and Ellsworth knew it and that’s why he came out here. Paige says that Carmella will defend her Women's Championship against Asuka at Extreme Rules. Ellsworth says Asuka doesn’t deserve it and then says that Paige is out here to ask him on a date. Paige says agrees, and asks how does next Tuesday sound. Ellsworth accepts. Paige then says it’s not a date with her, it’s a match, one on one with Asuka. Why did this happen?
Harper is shown backstage, staring at nothing and then Bryan is shown warming up for his match with the Gallows and Anderson. I wonder if AJ is jealous?
Daniel Bryan versus Harper.
This turned out to be a good and simple main event, doing the whole big man against the little man formula. It was refreshing to see Harper in singles action and getting to do more than his new basic bludgeoning offense. While it fits the team, it really limits a talented performer and I've always thought Harper was a diamond in the rough and could have had a successful singles run. Harper got to take most of the match, looked dominant, while Bryan got to make the resilient babyface comeback and almost won until Rowan ruined Bryan’s night for the DQ.
The Bludgeon Brothers start beating down Bryan, but wait, Kane is here to make the save! Kane gets in the ring and attacks the Tag Team Champions, until Bryan joins in to make things even. Kane hits a chokeslam and both men clear the ring. Daniel Bryan looks on and acts a bit hesitant about what just happened. Kane puts his arms out and offers a hug, Bryan refuses, but
The Bludgeons beat down Bryan post match until… KANE arrives to make the save. Kane attacks the champions and Bryan joins in and hits the Busaiku knee and Kane follows with a chokeslam. Bryan seems hesitant after they clear the ring, and Kane offers a hug and the crowd goes wild. Bryan refuses at first but then runs into Kane's arms for a big hug and a Team Hell No reunion. Ah, that was nice.
End of show.