Baron Corbin is a dork.
No one who takes themselves seriously enters an interview saying “The king has arrived!” No one at any chance they get, says that someone will bow down to them. I hate this character. He is a dork and nothing he says or does is threatening or intimidating. He has the provocation of a fourth grade schoolyard bully. Trash fire.
So I was pleasantly surprised to see WWE included Otis in this match instead of everyone’s guess, Elias. And it was done organically too! Dork Corbin mentioned him in that interview I just mentioned, and talked about him being fat and he’d never make it off the ground floor of WWE Headquarters. Fat jokes don’t get over with me. We could have just had Corbin saying “And Otis will be a loser, just like his girl Mandy.” That’s it. All we needed!
But as we saw later, that line just had to be included for comedy.
There was a great assist by Nakamura to Cesaro when he tossed Gulak into Cesaro’s elbow without the ref seeing it. Then Gulak with a sick scoop slam to Cesaro. Y’all, Cesaro and Gulak can fight forever. Hands down the best part of this match. This was a spotlight match for Gulak. The ONLY good thing about Corbin was a surprise Deep Six win, instead of End of Days.
After, Nakamura, Cesaro, Bryan, and Gulak fought to backstage somewhere, and Corbin was alone so he decided to grab a ladder and climb up to the men’s Money in the Bank briefcase. Bryan attacked him and Corbin put him down. As he climbed up again, Otis attacked him and get the better of him. Because Corbin seems to speak everything into existence (see Gable, Shorty in the dictionary) Otis started to climb the ladder and the first two steps broke. Of course. Because he’s fat! HAHAHAHA. Corbin got him out of the ring and climbed up, successfully grabbed the briefcase and posed with it.
What a ridiculous closing segment. Complete waste of time just to end with the dork. If the dork wins, you better catch the Money in the Bank recap because I will go off. I am excited for the unpredictability and cinematic style of this match, but for Corbin to win it, sheesh. What a let down that would be.
Come home, Braun
Braun started by saying yes, he debuted in the Wyatt family, but Bray is by no means responsible for his success. Bray entered to his lovely Firefly Fun House theme and said that only ever wanted Braun to apologize. He said that a good creator knows his own creations and Braun needs to come home. He can show Braun how to be special. He just needs to get the Universal title first.
Braun said Bray doesn’t know him and it will be over at Money in the Bank. Bray wants to show Braun what’s to come and tries to hand him the black sheep mask so he can come home. Abby, Mercy, Ramblin’ Rabbit, and Huskus tried to beckon Braun to come home, but Braun said that he is home, and Bray can go back to playing with his puppets.
“Bye! See you Sunday!”
This segment was a mixed bag. To get to the negatives first, Braun Strowman does not need to talk. I detest his delivery. It’s his worst quality. And it’s all he’s done for this feud. To contrast, Bray has been, as he usually is, wonderful. Then there was the continuous usage of the black sheep mask. We got it, guys! Braun was in the Wyatt family. He said so to start the segment!
However, Braun doing ‘Bye! See you later!,” to start and end up to the pay-per-view, was great. Sadly that’s the only positive I have of him for four weeks. Now Bray, he sold the feud. And tonight, he put a cherry on top as Braun walked out of the ring and up the ramp. The sinister way he said he was sorry and that he tried, looking at Braun with disappointment and then seething anger, *chef’s kiss*. It’s too bad this won’t get the cinematic treatment, but understandably we have to keep those to special feuds.
To tangent for a moment, I just had a thought. There’s a ready made story in the unused Bo Dallas trying to be “brought home” by Bray in the exact way that was done tonight. For some reason, WWE has refused to have Bray and Bo, real life brothers, in any of their WWE iterations together. For BOTH men’s entire WWE careers. Even when their father, Irwin R. Schyster, was a producer for years. Well, Curtis Axel is gone now. Let’s do it once we finish up with Braun!
Sonya Deville def. Mandy Rose - When a match with bitter ex-friends starts the way this started, I am immediately invested. “I feel bad at this point. This is embarrassing” said Sonya to Mandy. Legit cackled. Sonya tore off Mandy’s fake eyelashes! Mandy was the most angry I’ve ever seen her and it wasn’t enough! Sonya won with a schoolboy and Mandy (and everyone else) were shocked.
Firstly, I was shocked that this opened the show. Secondly, it was too short. Thirdly, I was very surprised to see that when the match was over, the whole angle was over for the whole show, except for a few moments Drew Gulak and Daniel Bryan approached Otis backstage. This feud has been consistently good, with everyone doing wonderfully last week. Why was this so quick this week? This could have been saved for the pay-per-view. As we saw later, they gave time to complete nonsense.
Time to put out Jeff Hardy’s flame - Jeff Hardy returned and said that he’s Swanton bombed off of the tall mountains in WWE and he’s a survivor. He misses the fans and can hear them chanting his name. The whole time Sheamus was backstage mocking Jeff’s words and walked out to the ring. The saddest thing he’s seen in WWE is an adrenaline junkie crawling back to beg for one more sip. The fans he’s been pandering to are tired of him, his suspensions, releases, and wasted second chances. Everybody knows that Jeff’s next failure is around the corner.
“Since I’ve come back I’ve been sniffing out SmackDown’s weakest flames. And yours, has been barely burning, for far too long. It’s time for me to put it out.”
Holy shit, Sheamus. It’s been a long time since you captivated me like this. What a promo. What then followed was a total ass whooping by Jeff, and deservedly so. I would’ve preferred that not to happen though, at least until whenever they fight in a match. He deserved it, but he didn’t need it yet.
Miz and Morrison and Forgotten Sons def. New Day and Lucia House Party - Before this match started, Graves asked Cole what did LHP do to deserve to be in the match on Sunday, to which Cole said “beat Miz and Morrison.” What I was hoping would happen next was Cole asking Graves “Corey, what did Miz and Morrison do to deserve to be in the match?” They lost to LHP two weeks ago. They did nothing last week. So… ?
The match itself was your pretty standard multi man match. Babyfaces took control and when we came back from break, babyfaces lost control. Kofi tried for a leg drop at one point but basically did a body drop onto Blake’s ribs. Blake did a suicide dive that nearly took his head off. Lance, Metalik, and Morrison were the most fun part of this match! Ok, so clearly because I asked what did Miz and Morrison do to deserve being in the match on Sunday, they had Miz be the one to win for the heels.
Tamina and Lacey Evans def. Bayley and Sasha Banks - I was hoping we would see Sasha/Bayley dissension tonight going into Money in the Bank, but alas, they seem to have dropped doing anything that teases a break up for the past two weeks. If you’re a faithful WWE viewer, you knew what was happening here. Challenger pins champion, announcer x states “If challenger does that this Sunday, then they’ll be the new champion!” Rinse, repeat.
Like my predecessor Alex Briggs, who called for Tamina to get an upset win at WrestleMania for shock value and difference, I too hope for that on Sunday. Do it. Let it be because of miscommunication between Sasha and Bayley and let that finally take off. They don’t need a title to feud.
Payback is coming soon - Finally the hacker returned! This time, he only showed us Bayley and Sasha, New Day, and Carmella and Dana Brooke. It’s clear that we’re supposed to be thinking it’s Sasha and Bayley. Could it be a swerve and it ends up being New Day? Perhaps. But most likely not. We already know Carmella and Dana Brooke are going to have a falling out, since that just started and they’re in Money in the Bank together. Let’s see where this goes.
Gonna be honest here, folks. SmackDown was mostly a LetDown for me. There were some good moments, like Sheamus’ promo, the short time Sonya and Mandy got, and brief spots between Gulak and Cesaro and LHP and Morrison, but other than that, I wasn’t feeling it.
This show was mostly your typical people fighting against each other at the upcoming pay-per-view in multi person matches trope. I am not a fan, and that was what every match was after Sonya and Mandy, who should have had that match at Money in the Bank. If you couldn’t tell, Baron Corbin is an instant mood killer for yours truly. Get him away from me. It’s a shame too, because I am hyped to see the ladder matches at the same time and how that was filmed. This show didn’t really excite me for the rest of the card on SmackDown’s side though.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?