WWE SmackDown Live waltzed back into our lives last night (June 5) from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. You can find all the results the live blog that grossed $2 billion at the box office right here.
Carmella is super obnoxious.
That’s not a bad thing. I’m saying that as a compliment. She’s uber annoying any time she opens her mouth. This week, she antagonized her Money in the Bank opponent Asuka. She played a couple videos first, one to show who Asuka once was then a second to highlight her losing. (My favorite part about the second video is it was edited to make it look like Asuka lost to Mandy Rose last week even though she picked up the victory. That type of misinformation is a subtle heel tactic I appreciate.)
Asuka’s losses have become a point of note. And that’s absolutely the way it should be. Asuka had a huge winning streak before she lost to Charlotte at WrestleMania. Her loss was a big deal, and it should be a focus. Carmella may be obnoxious when questioning if Asuka is the same since the loss. But it’s the right question to ask.
The former members of Absolution inserted themselves into this, antagonizing the Empress further. When General Manager Paige asked whether Asuka would prefer to fight Mandy Rose or Sonya Deville, Asuka chose both. This was an idea that Carmella put in her head earlier, saying the “undefeated Asuka” would fight both. Is the champ renting some space in Asuka’s head or is Asuka just that confident?
Whatever the reason, Asuka proved she still has it when she defeated both Mandy and Sonya. It wasn’t easy. Fighting two people never is. But in the end, she submitted Sonya Deville, who she matched up very well with. (I’m a big fan of Deville and think she has a very high ceiling.)
Post match, Carmella got into the ring and postured. When Mandy Rose caught the attention of Asuka, Mella attacked her challenger from behind with the title and then moonwalked over her.
She’s the worst.
This week’s contract signing for the WWE title Last Man Standing match was actually done backstage and not the ring.
At first that took me aback. They’re always in the ring. But they’re also often carbon copies of each other so I’m glad they changed things up. Without the crowd, they were able to maximize awkward silences and the tension between the two men.
AJ signed first, saying briefly that Shinsuke is using all his dirty tactics because he knows that he can’t be AJ fairly.
Nakamura continued his obnoxious mind games. He said his pen didn’t work and tossed it behind him. Then he asked to use Styles’ pen. Nak stared at it and claimed that one didn’t work and threw that one as well. This was enough to push the champ’s buttons. AJ stood up and yelled at Shinsuke about his dumb mind games. In fact, he had to be restrained by Dean Malenko and Adam Pearce. AJ still got a slap on Nakamura, who’s renting beach front property in his skull.
After AJ was removed, Shinsuke removed a pen from his coat pocket and signed the contract, acting almost as a punchline to a good segment.
It wasn’t as long as in-ring contract signings, but it didn’t need to be. The backstage format gave it a different feel, supplying an environment that created tension instead of working to pop the crowd. (Not that the latter is a bad format, but why not change it up?) AJ has had enough of Nakamura while Shinsuke continues to be an insufferable ass.
In the main event, the New Day defeated the team of Samoa Joe, Miz, and Rusev. It was entertaining enough. Fun action until Miz accidentally tossed pancakes at his partners (aiming for Big E), and they both turned on him.
But at the same time, this was a pretty meaningless 6-man with no real plot advancement slotted in the main event. It illustrates while there was fun stuff on this show, there was nothing really that important on this show.
Hey, Becky won y’all!
She tapped Charlotte with the Disarmer. This match always felt like an exhibition between two friends. It never had that moment where someone gets pissed the other hit them too hard and it gets real. That fits where this match was and where these women are with each other. Sure it didn’t have the heat of a match when someone is fighting angry, but there’s no reason for that here.
Post match, Becky tried to pick Charlotte up by her left arm, which was the limb locked in the Disarmer, and Charlotte got a little pissed. But she was fine when Becky picked her up by the good arm, and the two shared a hug. I mention this because I appreciate the small detail of Charlotte not wanting to be picked up by an arm that was just in a match ending submission.
Jimmy Uso and Naomi defeated Lana and Aiden English. The match itself was mainly Lana and Naomi and it dragged a bit at times. But the ending was really fun. English was mocking the Uso chant before going for a corner hip check. However as he was running to deliver the move on Jimmy, Naomi delivered a top rope crossbody out of nowhere. Jimmy then hit a superkick and picked up the pin.
It was kind of odd to see Lana and Aiden team up. Weeks back, they had that backstage segment with Rusev and Lana where the Ravishing One put the idea in her hubby’s head that Aiden was holding him back. They haven’t really come back around to that. I wonder if that’ll be a post-Money in the Bank thing they pick back up or if the Rusev Day merch sales are still too good.
Dis-Arm-Him: Big Cass cut a promo about how he’s going to rip Daniel Bryan’s arms off and beat him with them. Would that be a DQ? If he removed Daniel’s arms and used them as a weapon? It’s not a DQ if he made Bryan hit himself with his own hands if his arms were attached so I’m going to go with no.
Tag Stuff: Karl Anderson sneaked out a victory over Luke Harper, who happens to be one half of the tag team champions. Did you know that Harper was a tag champ? It’s true. I won’t blame you if you forgot.
There was nothing on this show that was bad. But at the same time, there was nothing that advanced any major plots forward. The Women’s title feud has been good and the contract signing was entertaining (though rather short). If you caught this show, you probably enjoyed it. But if you missed it, you didn’t miss anything big.
Sound off below.