Following a game-changing edition of Monday Night Raw, SmackDown had a lot to follow. The newly acclaimed Tuesday night live showing of professional wrestling would try to gel and shake things up a bit. The first episode of SmackDown Live post draft was enjoyable but at times lackluster, it seems as if the “new” era, is becoming pretty old.
Opening Segment: Things started up with a hopeful segment regarding the main event match, as we witnessed Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon select 6 superstars, the winner of a six pack challenge match would face the WWE Champion Dean Ambrose at Summerslam. Five Men being John Cena, Bray Wyatt, A.J Styles, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler, the sixth man’s entry into the main event would be decided in a battle royal.
Battle Royal for Entry into Six Pack Challenge Main Event: The cliché and redundant battle royal, lots of risks and high flying action. Very noteworthy moment of cringe regarding an absolute heinous botch by Zack Ryder. Ryder was attempting an elbow drop, lost balance mid-air and landed on his feet. Can you say Botchamania? The final two were Apollo Crews and the Demon Kane. A nice showing by Crews as he received the upset victory over the big red machine.
Shelton Benjamin Return Video Package: A truly awesome moment with a lot of potential. Shelton Benjamin is a special breed of sport and pure collegiate talent.
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya: A nice match between the two, after Natalya’s victory at Battleground Lynch, got her payback with a well-earned submission win. After the match, we watched as Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Carmella, and Eva Marie introduced and reintroduced themselves to the WWE universe.
Miz TV: The description for Smackdown heavily hyped the return of a “former world champion”. It was a huge letdown to see that former world champion as Randy Orton. Not because it’s Randy Orton, because the return of the viper was already witnessed at Sunday’s Battleground event. Many minds of the IWC speculated and hoped for a more shocking superstar’s appearance. Superstars like Kurt Angle, Goldberg, etc. In the segment, a match was put in the works, and the Viper vs The Miz was to be seen after the commercial break.
Randy Orton vs. The Miz: After what was a strong showing, a quick one at that by the Miz. Orton went straight for the RKO and performed it twice. The lines between kayfabe and reality are blurred as Orton seemed to be nursing a real-life shoulder injury that could put his match with Lesnar into question.
Rhyno Returns to the Blue Brand: A disgruntled and undrafted Heath Slater begged and pleaded for a spot on Smackdown. The crowd was behind him, as he and Shane McMahon negotiated Rhyno returned and delivered a gore to the one man band.
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Bray Wyatt vs. A.J Styles vs. Apollo Crews vs. Baron Corbin: An entertaining match with an amazing finish as the Super Kick finally is the finish for a match. Dolph Ziggler will face Dean Ambrose for the WWE title at Summerslam. The match was in its entirety cliche, false finishes galore, but in the end the right contender was victorious.