Tri-Branded Battle Royal
The stakes are very high for this match. The winner will determine who is Bayley’s SummerSlam Opponent. Sasha Banks and Bayley served as special guest ring announcers for this match. Contestants included The IIconics’ Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, NXT’s Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox, Lacey Evans, Naomi, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Shayna Baszler, Bianca Belair, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke and Tamina Snuka.The eliminations came fast and furious early, leading to a ringside brawl between Riott, Morgan and The IIconics. Moments later, Tamina eliminated Cross. Snuka came face-to-face with Belair in a showdown of powerhouses. The EST got the best of that exchange, delivering a spear and eliminating her. Naomi and Evans resumed their rivalry, with the latter getting the best of her foe with the Woman’s Right. Blackheart dumped her. Baszler applied the Karifuji Clutch to Shotzi, and Evans pulled her to the floor. Belair’s own momentum cost her, as Nox sent her to the floor. The NXT star fired off on both Asuka and Baszler, looking for the improbable win. Brooke, never eliminated earlier in the match, dragged Nox over the top and to the floor before joining Baszler and Asuka. Her run was short-lived, as The Empress of Tomorrow sent her packing. The Queen of Spades teed off on Asuka with a nasty kick, but the former Raw champ fended off elimination by standing on the fallen bodies of Bayley and Banks. Asuka eventually eliminated Baszler to win the match and title shot.
Results: Asuka eliminated Shayna Baszler to win the Battle Royal and earn the right to face Bayley at SummerSlam.
Shorty G vs. Sheamus
A week after costing Sheamus a victory over Matt Riddle and paying dearly for it, Shorty G battled The Celtic Warrior in singles competition. The former Olympian frustrated his opponent early, attempting to ground him. A big ax handle to the face slowed his momentum, and the Irish Curse downed the artist formerly known as Chad Gable. Shorty G recovered and applied an ankle lock and then nearly scored the pinfall off a rollup. Sheamus delivered White Noise to stop his opponent’s roll and put him away with the Brogue Kick for the win.
Results: Sheamus defeats Shorty G via pinfall
Gran Metalik vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
As Lucha House Party eyes the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, Gran Metalik battled Shinsuke Nakamura while Lince Dorado and Cesaro watched from ringside. Metalik used his high-flying offense to end Nakamura’s early success, keeping The Artist guessing as to where he might soar in from next. A momentary distraction by Cesaro allowed Nakamura to catch his opponent with a kick to the chest for a two-count. Midway through the bout, Kalisto made his return, dropping Cesaro with a tornado DDT on the ramp. Back inside, Metalik scored a top-rope elbow for the upset win.
Results: Gran Metalik defeats Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall
Big E vs. John Morrison
This match was supposed to begin the evening until we saw another attack from Retribution. They stormed to the ring and attacked E and Morrison leaving the Smackdown roster in disarray. Morrison targeted his opponent’s knee, capitalizing on a distraction by The Miz. The lights flickered heading into the break, and when they returned, the roster had surrounded the ring. With the wrestlers in the arena, Retribution attacked referees and crew members backstage, assaulting and humiliating them. Retribution again interferes in this match and on Smackdown. Referee Jessika Carr alerted the Superstars while Morrison and Big E continued their match. Big E finally fought his way back into the match and applied the Stretch Muffler to force a submission. Sheamus then hit Big E with a brogue kick.
Results: Big E defeats John Morrison via submission
Analysis: This weeks episode of Smackdown was average. The promos were very good however, I felt like the matches could have used better booking and had more action. I would give this weeks episode of Smackdown a C+.