Tonight for the first time since their time in NXT Bayley will go one on one with The Man Becky Lynch. Also, after being betrayed by Kevin Owens last week, what will the WWE Champion Kofi Kingston have to say about the situation? Plus, last night we found out the Raw participants for the Money In The Bank Match but who will be the participants from SmackDown? The Hardy Boyz have circulated a lot of rumors lately regarding the status of Jeff Hardy but tonight they will finally address them. Finally, Roman Reigns is now set to face Elias at Money In The Bank but how will he get through the next few weeks dealing with not only Elias but the McMahon’s?
SmackDown Live comes to us from the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio.
SmackDown Live kicks off with us being welcomed by Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves.
In Ring Segment: Michael Cole w/ Kofi Kingston Cole talks about Kofi’s journey to the WWE Championship and then shows the Elimination Chamber Match from February and then him losing to Daniel Bryan on SmackDown. Cole then asks Kofi if he ever believed if he would get his title shot. Kofi says you have highs and lows but you have to keep pushing and fight through. He says he is glad he fought through because he is standing here as WWE Champion. He says he is glad he got to do with Xavier and Big E because without them none of this would happen. Cole tells how Kofi’s moment was magical and how only a few SuperStars have had this moment. He says it could’ve been the greatest WrestleMania moment ever and then shows the video of his win. Cole then tells Kofi he deserves it. Kofi says the emotions are still there and he can’t believe he got to share that moment with his family. He says besides the birth of kids and marrying his wife that is the greatest moment of his life. Cole then brings up how Kofi now has a target on his back and how Kevin Owens was the first to take aim. Cole then asks for Kofi’s reaction after showing the video from last week. Kofi says the ones who said he should’ve seen this coming might be right. He says they in The New Day give people a chance to change and they thought Owens wanted to change but Kevin Owens is gonna be Kevin Owens. Kofi tells that Owens just need to ask if he wanted an opportunity. Kofi says let him come and then lays down the challenge for Owens to face him at MITB for the WWE Championship. He says he is not afraid and isn’t worried about losing his championship title. Out comes Kevin Owens. Owens says challenge accepted. He tells Kofi he did give a WrestleMania moment and he gave the fans the greatest moment. Owens tells him that moments end and he tells Kofi that none of the fans believe he is championship material. He says he can tell Kofi doesn’t believe he is championship material either. He tells Kofi he is drowning. From behind Woods attacks Owens. Owens hits him with a kick and retreats as Kofi chases up the ramp. My Opinion: I’ve always been a big fan of Owens and I really like the rivalry with these two. Kofi is green as the WWE champion but getting his feet wet with this rivalry will be a good thing. Owens is a great heel and he can really help build up Kofi even more. I think these two can create a great match and it’s gonna be a good one at MITB. Owens is gonna bring a big fight but we’ll see how much magic Kofi has in him.
Backstage Segment: Kofi asks Woods what he is thinking. Woods says he can’t let him talk about him like that. Kofi says he needs to think about his family and himself, he’s got this.
***Bayley will be in MITB
Match 1: Bayley vs Becky Lynch Lynch is able to land a big takedown on Bayley. Bayley and Lynch lock up and Lynch works a side headlock before knocking Bayley to the mat. Lynch lifts Bayley and throws her to the outside. Bayley gets on the apron and is able to lad a shot of her own on Lynch. Bayley and Lynch are at a standstill as SmackDown goes to break. During the commercial, Bayley and Lynch went back and forth trading holds. Lynch got some advantage sending Bayley to the outside to buy time. As SmackDown returns, both women are down on the mat. Bayley gets to her feet but Lynch works her arm. Bayley is able to bounce her off the turnbuckle. Bayley tries a cover but Lynch kicks out. Lynch tries t fight off Bakey in the corner but Bayley comes out with a big clothesline. Bayley hits a knee and goes for the cover but Lynch kicks out. Bayley puts Lynch on the apron using the ropes to land big strikes. Lynch is able to knock her down and goes up top to hit a dropkick. Lynch goes for the cover but Bayley kicks out. Lynch hits her with a series of big uppercuts. Bayley comes back with forearms and the two trade strikes. Lynch is able to toss Bayley and then land a forearm in the corner. Bayley and Lynch have the same idea and take each other down with clotheslines. Bayley tries to steal one with a roll-up but Lynch kicks out. Bayley plants Lynch with a suplex and goes up top. Bayley flies but Lynch gets her knees up. Lynch locks in the dis-arm-her and Bayley taps. *** After the match Charlotte comes out and attacks Lynch Winner: Becky Lynch My Opinion: Bayley put up a good fight tonight but one mistake cost her. Lynch looked good but definitely looked a little slow after hurting her knee. Lynch seems like she will be fine but with two titles she has an enormous target on her back. Lynch better be ready to fight her heart out if she is gonna keep both titles. As for tonight she picks up the win and keeps strong heading into MITB in less than three weeks.
Backstage Segment: Black says fear is a paralyzing tool and it is in man’s nature to fear what we don’t understand. He says his opponents to try to figure him out but by the time they think they do the ref has already counted 1 2 3 in his favor. He says anyone hope of conquering that fear has left this earth. He says they take one look into his eyes and they don’t like the abyss that stares back at them because it unveils a truth that allows them to Fade to Black.
In Ring Segment: The Hardy Boyz Kayla asks Jeff to set the record straight on what happened. He says it’s probably easier to just show you and shows the clip of the attack that Lars Sullivan gave to them. Jeff says he is unable to walk on his own because of Sullivan and now he needs surgery and he is gonna be out for a long time. Matt says, therefore, it breaks his heart to have to say this but as of right now the Hardy Boyz must give up the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Jeff says this isn’t the end of their journey and when he comes back better than ever they will remain supreme and do anything they have to. Out comes Lars Sullivan. Sullivan grabs Matt and knocks him out of the ring. Sullivan walks towards Jeff but Matt comes from behind. Sulivan crushes him in the corner and then plants him on the mat. R Truth comes from behind and hits him with a chair but Sullivan isn’t fazed. Sullivan knocks the char out of his hands and then slams Truth. He then hits a sit down powerbomb on him. My Opinion: This is sad news about the Hardy Boyz giving up the titles but I hope Jeff will come back and they will get one last ride as they deserve. Sullivan is truly a freak right now and I can’t wait to see him in action. These short attacks are great but I wanna see what he does in the ring now that he is on SmackDown. There is a lot of ways they can go with Sullivan but we will see if he will remain a monster or normalize like many before him.
***SmackDown Live SuperStars in MITB: Ali, Finn Balor, Andrade, Randy Orton
Match 2: Kairi Sane & Asuka w/ Paige vs Jobbers Sane starts the match and after a taunt, she lands a chop and takes her opponent down quickly. Asuka comes in and she and Sane work a great double team. Asuka lands a big kick and follows with another after a counter. Asuka gets slapped but she comes back with body strikes. Asuka backs her on the ropes and then slams her. Asuka goes for the cover but it is broken up. Sane comes in to help Asuka. Sane gets the tag and hits the Insane Elbow. Sane gets the 1 2 3. Winner: Kairi Sane & Asuka My Opinion: This was a solid victory for Sane and Asuka. They are a great team together and I think given the chance they can make a good run at the titles. They have what it takes in the ring and I think with Paige as their mouthpiece they can take over the Women’s Tag Team Division.
Backstage Segment: Mandy tells Sonya that one of them is getting the opportunity to be in MITB. Mandy tells Sonya she thinks it should be her. Sonya says she sees what she is doing and says she thinks she should be in the ladder match. She tells her she came so close to winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship and she needs to finish the job.
In Ring Segment: Roman Reigns Reigns says you only get one shot at a first impression so his first night on SmackDown Live he did just that. He says it could’ve been anyone but he wnated to get the point across that he is still the Big Dog. He says SmackDown Live is his yard now. Out comes Shane McMahon. McMahon tells Reigns he may be the Big Dog in the yard but he is here to remind that the McMahon owns all the land. Reigns tells Shane that his daddy owns the land. He says when he was in this ring with him he was one his two feet and he was on his back. McMahon then reminds Reigns how he was laying face down last week. Reigns tells him he did it with the help of Elias and then asks Sahen if he can come down and do it on his own. McMahon says he doesn’t have that time. He tells Reigns if he is looking for a fight there are tons of guys looking to introduce him to SmackDown Live. He then introduces The B Team. McMahon says The B Team wants to make a great impression so Reigns will take on both members in a handicap match. Reigns says how original and asks if he is gonna blindfold him or have his hand tied behind his back next. McMahon says this match needs a special guest enforcer. Out comes Elias. My Opinion: I like what they are doing with Reigns right now, he’s just fighting uphill battles which is what he is really good at. I think it would’ve done a lot of bad if he came and went for the WWE title right away. Now Reigns can just be himself and prove what he can do in the ring. I think for Elias to this is huge. He gets to be with the McMahon’s and the rivalry with Reigns is arguably the biggest one he has ever had so if it goes well this could launch his career.
Match 3: Roman Reigns vs The B Team: Elias Special Guest Enforcer Axel tries to pull Reigns but can’t. Dallas tags in and gets around on Reigns locking in a side headlock. Dallas works him to the ground and keeps the headlock. Reigns works to a verticle base and pushes off Dallas. He then takes him down with a shoulder tackle. Dallas is able to attack him from behind after a distraction. Axel is able to land a DDT after he tags in. Axel goes for the cover but Reigns kicks out. Axel and Dallas then trade tags attacking Reigns in the corner. Reigns is able to fight out of the corner and hit Axel with a boot. He then hits a Samoan drop on Dallas. He tries a cover but can’t get the three. Reigns is sent to the outside and The B Team hammer on him. Elias then attacks him from behind as SmackDown goes to break. As SmackDown returns, Dallas has Reigns in a chin lock. Reigns is able to get to his feet but is thrown into the corner. Reigns comes out of it hot and knocks Dallas down to the mat. Axel tags in but Reigns is able to avoid him and send him into the corner. Reigns takes care of Dallas and goes to work on Axel. Reigns takes down Axel and tries a cover but Axel kicks out. Reigns hits Dallas with a Superman Punch. Axel tries to steal one but Reigns kicks out and then hits him with a Superman Punch. Reigns goes for the cover and Elias pulls the official out of the ring. Reigns tries to go after Elias but Elias takes it to him and bounces him off the turnbuckle. Elias sends him in the ring and Axel hits a perfect plex. He goes for the cover but Reigns kicks out. Elias then goes to grab his guitar. Reigns fights off Axel and hits Elias with a Superman Punch. He then hits Axel with a spear and gets the 1 2 3. Winner: Roman Reigns My Opinion: Reigns overcomes the odds again tonight and that is why he is the Big Dog. No matter what they throw at Reigns he is always up for the challenge. I think this rivalry will make Reigns look great and give him exactly what he needs to still be the top guy. Right now Reigns just has to go out there and dominate as he does. It’s not always gonna be easy but Reigns has shown whatever is thrown at him he will take on the challenge.
Match 4: Ali & Finn Balor vs Andrade & Randy Orton Ali and Orton start the natch and Ali is backed into the corner. Ali fights out and lands a kick on Orton and Andrade. Orton is able to drop Ali on the apron and send him crashing to the floor as SmackDown goes to break. As SmackDown returns, Orton lands a big power slam. Orton goes for the cover but Ali kicks out. Ali fights back with a dropkick and looks for a tag. Andrade gets the tag but so does Balor. Balor knocks Orton off the apron and then goes after Andrade. Balor lands a basement dropkick and follows with a stomp. Andrade is sent to the outside and Balor takes him out while Ali takes out Orton. Balor tries to go to the top but Zelina interferes. Andrade hits him with a knee and goes for the cover but Balor kicks out. Balor lands a sling blade and then Ali goes up top. Ali lands the 450 and gets the 1 2 3 on the cover. *** After the match Orton comes out of nowhere and hits Balor with an RKO. Ali then shoves Orton to the outside. My Opinion: This was a pretty good tag match and I think it would’ve been even better if they had more time on this. These four are true competitors and each brings their own flair to the ring. SmackDown definitely has worthy competitors in the MITB match and it looks like it’s gonna be a good one. I’m interested to see what the newer guys like Ali and Andrade will do with this opportunity.
Backstage Segment: Ember Moon tells she is beyond excited to compete in the MITB match. She says this match changes careers and changes lives and she intends to seize that moment. She says she is gonna grab the contract and be known as Ms. Money In The Bank. Carmella comes in and says the contract is hers. She tells how she won the first match and technically the second. She says she isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to win. Carmella declares she is gonna remind everyone why Mella is money.
In Ring Segment: Kevin Owens Show w/ Xavier Woods Owens welcomes everyone to The Kevin Owens Show. He then makes fun of the New Day and says pageantry is for them but he doesn’t need all of that. He tells that he is the show. He tells that before he was interrupted by Xavier Woods he was trying to make a point that Kofi Kingston is in way over his head and is drowning. He says help is on the way and he is the help. He tells Kofi he will relieve him of the burden he has been carrying since Mania. He says he is positive that at MITB he will take the title. He says enough about Kingston. He says he wants to hear about Woods and asks Woods if he is able to come out and talk to him. Owens introduces him and he doesn’t come out. He says he came here with a plan b and pulls out a Xavier Woods action figure. He sits him on the chair and asks the figure what’s wrong. He then pulls out a Big E figure and says he is back. He says the real Woods and the real Big E aren’t here to tell him what’s on their minds. He says it’s okay because he thinks he knows what they think. Out comes Kofi Kingston. Kingston charges at Owens and lands a big takedown. Kofi lands a big strikes and Owens goes to the outside. Kofi lays him out on the outside and hammers on him. Kofi then sends him over the announce table and continues the assault. Owens comes back with a rack to the eyes. Owens retreats through the crowd. My Opinion: This segment to me helped Kofi out so much. This truly showed the fight and the fire inside of him and it was awesome. I think if Kofi keeps that up he will be the champion everyone wants him to be. Owens is awesome at antagonizing and it gives the perfect opportunity for Kingston to be that hero and defend his friends. I feel like this rivalry is going exactly in the direction that it needs to. I love it!
Final Thoughts: First, I’m so excited for Owens vs Kingston at MITB. Owens is a great heel and he will only make Kofi that much more over with the fans if that’s possible. These two need to go make magic and for Kingston, I think he needs this to go well to really solidify himself as the champion. The ending of SmackDown helped Kofi a lot and showed the fight inside of him. Lynch looked good tonight against Bayley, Bayley made one mistake but that’s all it takes in wrestling to lose. Lynch has a big target so she really needs to pace herself with two title matches coming up. Also, I really liked Aleister Black’s promo tonight. I think there is so much they can do with him and he has so much potential with his speaking and athletic skills. Another note form tonight I really like the participants from SmackDown for the MITB, they definitely bring some interesting dynamics to the field. For the men guys like Ali and Andrade seem like they’re gonna come out hot so it’s gonna be good. The showed tonight in that tag match they are all ready to make their mark, especially Ali who really shined tonight. For the women I really am looking at Bayley to do something, right now she is on her own and there is no doubt she is gonna fight hard to get a shot at the title. Overall Rating: 6.4/10