Gran Metalik vs. AJ Styles for the Intercontinental Championship
Styles went right after the challenger with vicious strikes and cheap shots. Metalik was able to take advantage of the match shortly before the commercial break. Smartly, the champ went after Metalik’s legs so Metalik could remain grounded while also setting up for the calf crusher. Metalik was able to get a few moves in until his legs gave out. Styles locked in the Calf Crusher for the submission victory. After the match, Styles blindsided Lince Dorado and hit a Styles Clash.
Results: AJ Styles defeats Gran Metalik via submission to retain the Intercontinental Championship
King Corbin vs. Drew Gulak
The match started after Gulak attacked Corbin from behind after Corbin interrupted a promo being cut by Jeff Hardy. Corbin went hard at Gulak as the match started following a post-brawl commercial break. Gulak used a cat and mouse tactic to try and reel Corbin in and capitalize on his mistakes. This strategy worked as he was able to land some strikes. A flying clothesline from the top rope scored a two count for Gulak, but he ran into a Deep Six. Before Corbin could capitalize, Matt Riddle’s music hit and Gulak almost managed to use the distraction for a sneak pin, but Corbin kicked out and hit End of Days for the victory. Riddle immediately hit the ring and attacked Corbin, who had told Shorty G he put a “King’s Ransom” bounty on Riddle’s head earlier in the night. Shorty G then ran out and took out Riddle, walking off with Corbin after laying out The Original Bro.
Results: King Corbin defeats Drew Gulak via pinfall
Big E vs. The Miz
Big E started strong until a disrespectful shot from Miz brought out the more violent side of the big man, who tossed Miz into the ringside barricade multiple times. John Morrison inserted himself and laid out Big E on the outside while the ref was distracted, allowing Miz to take over. Big E also had a brief comeback end when he missed a splash on the ring apron heading into a commercial break. Big E exploded back with a series of three German suplexes and a big splash. Miz countered a Big Ending into an attempt at the Skull-Crushing Finale, which was then countered back into a Big Ending attempt before Miz raked the eyes to escape. Later, Morrison again took advantage of a distracted referee to kick Big E in the head, allowing Miz to hit a Skull-Crushing Finale, but Big E kicked out at two and managed to use the ropes to escape from a follow-up figure-four attempt.
A third attempt by Morrison to interfere was caught by the referee and he was ejected from ringside, leading to Big E locking Miz in the Stretch Muffler for the submission. This was a great intro to Big E’s singles run as he not only had to get it done by himself, but get it done while on the bad side of the numbers game.
Results: Big E defeats The Miz via pinfall
Naomi vs. Lacey Evans
Evans made fun of the #NaomiDeservesBetter hashtag before the match. An aggressive Evans took the fight to Naomi from the jump, eventually taking her outside and slamming her into the ring post before trapping Naomi’s hair in the ring steps in an effort to score a count out victory. Naomi eventually came back with an awkward-looking sliding destroyer on the outside, but again had things reversed before Evans tried to tie her hair to the top rope. Naomi escaped, ducked a Woman’s Right and scored a roll-up for the win.
Results: Naomi defeats Lacey Evans via pinfall
Nikki Cross vs. Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Championship
Cross was fired up from the jump, attacking Bayley in the corners before hitting a Thesz press to deliver a bit more punishment to the champion. Cross also scored with a big crossbody from the ring apron to the floor, keeping Bayley almost completely on the defensive. Bayley finally took things over by attacking the “cracked rib” of Cross, the injury suffered at Extreme Rules. In return, Cross began attacking the ribs of Bayley before hitting a tornado DDT. Banks again tried to hand off the Boss ring to Bayley for the cheap win, a callback to Extreme Rules as well. Cross hit another crossbody, setting up a series of pin reversals before Bayley managed to slam Cross down face-first to score the pin and retain her championship.
Results: Bayley defeats Nikki Cross via pinfall to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship
Analysis: This weeks episode of Smackdown was average in my opinion. I felt like creative had more to work with and they could have booked these matches better. I would give this weeks episode of Smackdown a B.