SmackDown Live returns tonight (July 30) from the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. We’re less than two weeks out from the SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
We are only 12 days away from SummerSlam. There are two SmackDowns and only one Raw prior to this Big Four PPV. But it sure doesn’t feel like it, does it?
One could argue that SummerSlam is the second biggest show of the year. You could say it’s #3 behind the Royal Rumble, but no less important than third. So this close to SummerSlam, the PPV should feel way bigger than it does.
There are some good matches. The Randy Orton/Kofi Kingston WWE championship match should be quite enjoyable with the story they’re telling. But that’s a match that could also main event a B PPV and not feel like a waste. The Universal title picture on the Raw side is a repeat of the somewhat underwhelming Brock Lesnar/Seth Rollins angle (though the beatdown angle last night helped spark it a bit).
That’s why tonight’s King’s Court involving Trish Stratus is so important. Rumors have this leading to the Hall of Famer facing Charlotte Flair in Toronto. That’d actually be a match worthy of a Big Four show.
Trish is a legend who fans still love and can still wrestle. Pairing one of WWE’s best women’s wrestlers in a singles match against one of their top women today feels like a big frickin’ deal. You could argue it should be Sasha or Becky or what have you, but Charlotte vs. Stratus is a dream match. And it’s not a match we’d expect to see on any B PPV.
It won’t be hindered by the lack of time to build it because just a graphic of the Queen and the Hall of Famer is enough to sell it. This would be Trish’s first singles match since 2011 and that alone is something to get fans excited.
It’s a shame that WWE hasn’t built any SummerSlam worthy big matches with their current roster yet, but enlisting a respected legend to go against one of their best women is at least one match to make this feel special.
The Title Scene
Kofi Kingston defended his WWE championship against Samoa Joe and Dolph Ziggler at Smackville on Saturday. Now he can completely focus on Randy Orton and try to right the wrongs of 2009. Randy is looking to repeat history by pushing Kofi back down the card, at least when he’s back from having the sex with his wife. He’ll address his opponent tonight.
Bayley is set to defend her SmackDown Women’s title against Ember Moon at SummerSlam, but she also wants to fight Trish Stratus. That probably won’t happen just yet.
If Shinsuke Nakamura is defending his Intercontinental championship against anyone at SummerSlam, it’s Ali. However, Finn Bálor still deserves a rematch since he was too sick to make Smackville the other night. That won’t happen tonight; however, as Finn already has a match tonight against Dolph Ziggler.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day are still looking for opponents at SummerSlam as well. We really don’t have a hint of who that’ll be. Perhaps a returning AOP? Heavy Machinery? Tonight, they face Drew McIntyre and Elias, but I can’t imagine that’s the SummerSlam match. But maybe.
The IIconics are still your Women’s tag team champions and will eventually have to defend against the Kabuki Warriors again. I feel I write this every week. They’ll have to face Fire and Desire tonight so that’s something different!
Other things to keep an eye on:
- Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon have a match in Toronto where KO can make sure Shane is no longer on our TVs. They may continue to hype that up with a couple more Stunners, but this is one of the few matches on the card that feels ready to go.
- We’ve been waiting for an announcement from Daniel Bryan, but for two weeks straight, we got nothing. As of writing this, they haven’t even bothered to advertise it again.
- What’s going on with Dolph Ziggler? He’s superkicking Shawn Michaels. He’s been verbally running down Goldberg. But tonight has a match with Finn Bálor. And if Finn is there, will the Fiend be stalking him?
Will WWE deliver us an entertaining two hours when they roll into Memphis tonight? We’ll see tonight at 8 PM ET.