- Taped from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. I still don’t get listing the broadcast date as Tuesday when it is no longer featured on Network Television and isn’t uploaded to Hulu until Wednesday night. Tom Phillips and David "I Have No Personality" Otunga are at ringside to call the action, unless otherwise noted, but...
- Before we get to the handful of undercard matches taped before Smackdown Live went to air, lets touch up on something that had the wrestling world buzzing with interest: Talking Smack. The show started off as your typical filler nonsense, but then they kind of teased a heel turn from the Usos and they did a pull-apart brawl with Nikki Bella and Carmella, which later featured a twitter tease from Brie Bella coming out of retirement, but the big news was obviously the heated (and scripted) exchange between the Miz and Daniel Bryan. Bryan called out Miz for being a boring wrestler who was afraid to take risks, setting Miz off for the best promo he ever cut about how his style has kept him injury free for 10+ years, while Bryan was hurt and lied to the fans about coming back to reclaim his title. Bryan responded he would wrestle if WWE would allow him, so Miz suggested he quit and go back to wrestling in bingo halls, prompting Bryan to walk off the set while Miz continued to rant about the disrespect he’s feeling. It’s way better a segment than my synopsis, trust me. I wonder where this leads... you don’t think they’d really let Daniel Bryan work another match, do you?
- Flashback to Monday Night Raw, Part I... Finn Balor was crowned the inaugural WWE Universal Champion at SummerSlam with a victory over Seth Rollins, but a botched Buckle Bomb into the barricade lead to a separated shoulder and torn labrum, so Balor is out for a minimum 4-6 months, and had to relinquish the Championship less than 24 hours after winning it. To set the table for the rest of the night, Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon were swarmed by Raw Superstars, including Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Enzo and Big Cass, and Foley said all of them deserved title shots. Really? EVEN ENZO? Jericho and Owens protesting that one is pretty funny. Throughout the night, a series of matches will determine the competitors for the match to decide the next Champion.
- Flashback to Monday Night Raw, Part II... It’s Bayley. Yes, everyone’s favorite underdog hug enthusiast finally made her official committed debut on Monday Night Raw, being introduced as Mick Foley’s latest, greatest, "Free Agent" signing to go up against Charlotte for the Women’s Champion. In other injury news, Sasha Banks is looking at 1-2 months off, which is a nice surprise considering they feared a minimum 6-months for back surgery. Charlotte brushed off Bayley’s challenge and put her in a match with the human punching bag, Dana Brooke, a match that Bayley won with ease. Hopefully they don’t just give her the title immediately. Kills the entire purpose of the character.
- Flashback to Monday Night Raw, Part III... The results of the four matches to determine the top contenders for the Vacant Universal Championship: Seth Rollins pinned Sami Zayn with the Pedigree in a match where Zayn sold a leg injury but wouldn’t quit. Kevin Owens pinned Neville with a helpful distraction from bromance partner, Chris Jericho. Big Cass scored a fluke count-out victory over Rusev, who sold the ribs and walked out in the middle of the match. Roman Reigns pinned Chris Jericho despite the best efforts of Kevin Owens to interfere. So next week, it’s a Fatal Four-Way between Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and BIG CASS to determine the next Champion. My money is on Seth Rollins.
Final Thoughts: Most of the show was a recap of Monday Night Raw and the drama surrounding the Universal Championship. I really do wish they’d actually recap the Smackdown storylines on this show, but I guess I’ll just keep complaining about it like it matters. The fresh content featured was under-whelming matches between Rhyno and Erick Rowan, and the Hype Bros and Vaudevillains. The latter should’ve been a better match, but they were really making an effort to not go all out this week.