After a wait of almost two months, SmackDown Live came up with its first pay per view post the draft. While the outcome of the matches seemed to be predictable, the way the matches turned out was nothing short of impressive. Ever since the first draft, SmackDown has always been treated as the B brand, but has never disappointed in terms of match quality and unpredictability. This pay per view only cemented that notion. Moving forward, RAW has definitely some big boots to fill. Although they have much more depth in their roster, apart from a couple of feuds, most of them do not make sense.
To start things off, we had the Divas match. Although it was expected that Becky Lynch would come out on top, the athleticism shown by all the divas, especially, Becky, Naomi and Brie were unparalleled. Brie has definitely honed her skills. She was complimented well by Natalya. Carmella and Alexa still need to hone their skills, but they put on a pretty decent faring.
The Usos vs the Hype Bros was as expected, with the Usos exhibiting exceptional heel work and making less work of the Hype Bros. There were some great moves in this match and also the finals of the tag team titles match, against Slater and Rhyno. The way WWE has handled Slater’s situation is truly commendable. He is complimented very well by Rhyno.
The Miz vs. Ziggler was the only mediocre match of the night, according to me. The subtle jab at Punk during the start of the match did not go unnoticed and has the whole pro wrestling community buzzing. Miz pulled off great heel work as usual and lived up to the title of a ‘safe worker’
The most unexpected match of the night was Bray Wyatt’s. Scheduled to take on Orton initially, it was reported that Orton would not be competing. He was replaced by Kane. Just when everyone expected it to be a filler spot for the card, Kane and Wyatt pulled out a great match. Kane showed that he is still the devil’s favorite child and silenced all the critics calling for his retirement with the athleticism.
The way the WWE handled Orton’s injury is commendable. It goes to show that they are still having him recuperate hopefully in time for his much publicized re-match against the beast incarnate at the live event from Chicago on the 24th of this month. Having him come out and RKO Bray Wyatt out of the match is a way to show that their feud is far from over and that once Orton is back to health, he will be feuding with Wyatt.
Finally, the main event of the night. As expected, it was one of the best matches produced in the recent times. With this win, AJ styles becomes the only superstar to hold all the world championships across different promotions. The match between him and Dean Ambrose was phenomenal. It had everything that you asked for. Although the promos between the two were a letdown heading into the match, they covered it up by producing some great moves and counters.
As of the feuds, expect the Miz to continue his program with Ziggler. Also, it would be interesting to see the direction of the tag titles, with the only options being the American Alpha, the Usos, the Hype Bros and the other minor tag teams. Expect Curt Hawkins to make his return, and he may be inserted into the tag team titles picture, or feud for the I.C. title. Becky may go into a program with a heel, Natalya or Alexa Bliss or Carmella. It would make sense for her to go into a program with a seasoned pro like Natalya, as she would hone her skills and Natalya being the great in ring worker she is, would help carry Becky like nobody can. It would have been interesting to have Brie go up against Becky, but given she is a face now, that seems impossible at the moment.
Cena is expected to make a return sometime soon and is expected to take time off again in October. Having him in a program along with Dean Ambrose against A.J. Styles would help prepare him to get heel heat like Seth Rollins’ reign initially. He had Triple H by him and was fed to almost all the veterans on RAW before moving on to the younger talent.
On the whole, our rating for the event is a 4/5.