Before their tag title match, Sasha and Bayley were interviewed.
Bayley said both she and Sasha were prepared and were going to win the titles back. Sasha said that they’re best friends and nothing can stop them.
Shayna and Nia gelled better in this title defense.
Both women worked over Sasha’s injured knee and there was a great spot where Shayna had the wherewithal to move so that Sasha’s knee could connect with the turnbuckle and do more damage. Bayley came in to save Sasha from the Kirifuda Clutch and hit Shayna with a Bayley to belly.
Bayley powerbombed Nia onto the floor and Nia came in and prevented Sasha from winning with the Bank Statement. Bayley saved Sasha from Nia’s shoulders on the top rope, but Nia hit the crossbody on both women and won the match.
And then, it happened.
Bayley helped Sasha out of the ring, yelling at the officials to be careful and waved them off, and ATTACKED HER! So many kicks and throwing Sasha into stuff to injure her more. She put Sasha’s head in a steel chair and stomped on it from the ropes! She said Sasha deserved this.
We knew that this was going to happen at some point, but I have to be honest, that was a total surprise to me! Bayley unleashed her inner devil and destroyed Sasha. And it made all the sense in the world.
Bayley knows that Sasha will be her biggest foe when it comes to her championship, and now that their tag title run and chase is over, it would have only been a matter of time before Sasha wanted an opportunity at it.
And Bayley knows she would have lost. So it was time to do the deed. I love this and everything these two women have done since WrestleMania. The only thing that was desperately needed and what these women deserved, was a live crowd reaction. It would have been epic.
Dr. Jekyll has finally taken her full evil form.
The tribal chief
Y’all. My god.
Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman started this show, and Heyman told us that Roman brought him back to relevance. Don’t point the finger at him corrupting Reigns, because it’s actually the other way around. Neither he nor Reigns were thanked for their efforts, specifically Reigns after returning from Leukemia, and when he needed time off, a Fiend and a monster tried to take his place.
After telling Michael “Anderson Cooper” Cole and Corey “ Carmella’s latest boyfriend” Graves to hype their resumes on commentary, he announces that he is the special counsel for the tribal chief, our Universal Heavyweight champion, Roman Reigns.
Reigns grabbed the mic and calmly stated that he did what he said he’d do at Payback, and when this is your island, all you have to do is show up and win.
It has been a long time since I have been captivated by Paul Heyman speaking. Not because he isn’t great, but because the Lesnar/Heyman special has been a tired trope for the past few years. Now, it was so refreshing to see this duo. They did everything in their power to make this a total opposite of Heyman talking for his client. Painting this as Roman pulling the strings, getting Paul, dictating his own terms and talking for himself was the best case scenario. Paul plays second fiddle.
This was masterful, and one of the best promos of this year. Roman’s reign should be a wild ride.
Cousin vs. cousin
Jey Uso approached Reigns backstage and said he’d been trying to reach him since Payback but didn’t get an answer. He wanted to celebrate Roman’s win, but Roman said he’s busy but they’ll catch up another time. Adam Pearce was approached by Kayla Braxton and she was asked who would replace Big E in the fatal fourway match (we’ll talk about how this happened soon) and Heyman came up to ask him something.
Turns out, he got Jey Uso in the fatal fourway! Jey came to thank him, but Roman said it was Paul who pulled the strings for him, and also said that it’s about time someone showed Jey respect. Jimmy does a lot of winning and he wants to see Jey get what he deserves.
There was a lot going on in this match. Sheamus hit Riddle with the Irish Curse backbreaker, which makes me wince every time. Sheamus and Corbin both went for pins at the same time. Riddle went for a triangle choke on Sheamus but he countered with a powerbomb.
Then the really cool finish. Corbin threw Jey into the ThunderDome LED boards! He then hit End of Days on Riddle, but Riddle countered and Sheamus Brogue Kicked him! Riddle did the Bro 2 Sleep on Sheamus and a badly missed corkscrew senton to Corbin, and Jey out of nowhere with the diving splash for the win.
This was the right move.
I have longed for WWE to make sense with how they book friendships and families on television. If Jey never approached Roman about Payback, it would have looked so bad. How does Jey not approach his cousin, who he’s been in matches with and fought for, after this shocking pair up with Heyman? This is the type of continuity booking WWE needs to do more of.
Jey Uso is not going to win, but I’m really intrigued about what happens in that match. Jimmy may still be out for a while, so could we see Jey turn heel and join forces with the tribal chief and Heyman? Or, do we see a really cool singles babyface run out of Jey as Roman cements his heel turn and turns on his bloodline?
A new friend in the Funhouse - Bray Wyatt came onto our television and told us that next week, there will be a new addition to the Firefly Funhouse. Nikki Cross was shown watching the monitor backstage, and Alexa Bliss showed up to apologize for last week. Ramblin’ Rabbit appeared between them in the background as they talked!
Nikki was just saying that everything was okay between them and Alexa gave her a big hug. When talking about last week, she kind of zoned out and then snapped back to reality. I absolutely love this little arc. I also love that there’s continuity (excluding Bill Goldberg of course) with the Fiend changing everyone he comes in contact with. Will Alexa be the new addition to the Funhouse?
I am the IC champion! No, I am the IC champion! - I have missed Sami Zayn so incredibly much. Sami came out and was annoyed that Greg Hamilton and Marty, dude in the production truck, didn’t have in their notes that Sami was the real IC champion. Jeff interrupted him and said that he would have given Sami a match if he wanted. Then AJ walked out and claimed he was the uncrowned champion. Jeff then said AJ could have a rematch, and Sami took offense. Jeff turned around and AJ attacked him and Sami Helluva kicked him and ran off.
This will definitely be a fun triple threat at the next pay-per-view. Clearly the only real champion is Jeff Hardy, but Sami clinging to his WWE Replica title is so much fun. I love Sami. Have I mentioned I love Sami?
Big E gets attacked - Big E was backstage and was told that Xavier Woods would be there, so he got a cake, and when an official told him Xavier was there, he went through a door with the cake, and Sheamus attacked. He smashed his face on the hood of a car, and the Sheamus gave E the White Noise through the windshield!
All of that was really great, and then we saw the officials tending to E on the car, and Kayla Braxton was talking about what had just happened, and all of sudden Sheamus rolled up again. Half of the time Sheamus was talking, I kept telling my television, “GET BIG E TO THE MEDICAL FACILITY ALREADY!” My feelings are that this will be what sets Big E off, and I always love a no nonsense E on a mad tear.
Heavy Machinery def. Miz and Morrison - Have I also mentioned how much I am annoyed by Miz and Morrison? I don’t want to see them together anymore. Also, how obvious is it that WWE has no real direction for the Money in the Bank winner? If Braun was still champion, I would believe him cashing in and potentially winning. Now? With Roman as the champion? Yikes. Miz should have just let Morrison eat the sandwich.
Who’s this? - We had a short vignette of a woman, only shot from her about her knees down, in high heels walking wearing a fur coat in a smoky room. Alrighty then.
The only thing I disliked about this show was Heavy Machinery and Miz and Morrison. I could nitpick here and there, but y’all, so many great things were done on this show. I had a smile on my face for a bulk of it. So I can tell you that for the first time in my recapping history, I am putting the negativity aside and SmackDown has once again asserted itself as the top brand of WWE. We just needed a Roman heel turn and Bayley snapping to solidify it. And because of that…
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?