Big E vs. Cesaro
In the first match of the evening we saw Big E take on Cesaro. The New Day and Cesaro and Nakamura’s feud continues to escalate as we get closer to Extreme Rules. It was announced, that the winner of this match would get to pick the stipulation for the Tag Team Championship match at Extreme Rules. The two behemoths took the match out of the ring. Big E crushed Cesaro against the steel steps with a running shoulder. He then tried to replicate it in the ring but the Swiss Superman sidestepped him and threw E into the ring post. Both werestlers used their signature maneuver. After the commercial break, Cesaro took advantage. Nakamura helped Cesaro take advantage of the match where he hit E with a Neutralizer for the win. The team then got the tables and put E through one. Fans can expect we will see a tables match on Sunday.
Result: Cesaro defeats Big E via pinfall
Asuka and Nikki Cross vs. Bayley and Sasha Banks
After a segment of “A Moment with Bliss” got out of hand, we saw this tag team match take place. Cross took control of the match with numerous kicks to Bayley. Bayley used some dirty tactics to regain control of the match. Cross was then double-teamed by Banks and Bayley for a few minutes. Bayley used a leverage pin on Cross by using the ropes for the win.
Result: Sasha Banks and Bayley defeat Asuka and Nikki Cross via pinfall
John Morrison vs. Braun Strowman
Wyatt gave the WWE Universe a quick trailer of the swamp match for Sunday before Strowman came to the ring for his match. He then delivered a quick promo about how he is going to face his fears and defeat Wyatt. As soon as the match started, he went right after Morrison and threw him like a rag doll. In less than three minutes he defeated Morrison with a running powerslam. Even though both wrestlers are very talented, they should not be competing for three minutes especially days before a championship match.
Result: Braun Strowman defeats John Morrison via pinfall
Lacey Evans vs. Naomi
Lacey Evans tried to take down Naomi with a drop toe hold, but Naomi sent Evans into the corner. The Sassy Southern Belle regained control by hitting The Queen of Glow with an elbow. Evans beat Naomi with the Women’s Right. This match was also very short with not much action to it. These wrestlers usually have better matches and I was disappointed.
Results: Lacey Evans defeats Naomi via pinfall
AJ Styles vs. Matt Riddle for the Intercontinental Title
This match started off with back-and-forth action of basic lockups and frequent reversals. Styles then used a few quick strikes to take advantage. Riddle showed off his strength from his MMA background and hit Styles with two gutwrench suplexes in a row. The Phenomenal One went after Riddle’s legs to set up the Calf Crusher. Styles had control for most of the match including two commercial breaks until Riddle hit a German Suplex out of nowhere. Riddle countered a Phenomenal Forearm, but could not hit a finisher of his own. Styles used his veteran experience and went back to the Calf Crusher. Riddle reversed it into a submission of his own. AJ was then able to pick up the win. In what we thought was a sign of respect and sportsmanship from Styles by offering a handshake to Riddle was really a elaborate setup as Corbin attacked Riddle from behind.
Result: AJ Styles defeats Matt Riddle to retain his Intercontinental Championship
Analysis: I was not impressed with this weeks episode of Smackdown. The goal of the last show before a Pay-Per-View is to get the crowd/viewers hyped. I was not hyped after watching this show. I only enjoyed the first and last match. That is not proper booking. A solid show is booked well throughout all cards. I would give this show a C.