Date: May 8, 2018
Location: Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
It’s Money in the Bank season and qualifying matches are in the air. Last night’s Monday Night Raw saw three qualifying matches and tonight Smackdown will equal that amount with three matches already announced. Unfortunately they’re not the most intriguing matches but at least they’re getting them out of the way early. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Paige to open things up. After recapping Backlash (erg, enough), it’s time to talk about Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles. The match was on its way towards being a classic (not exactly) when the double low blow stopped things. We’ll be back to that later but for now it’s time to talk about Money in the Bank. She needs the best in the match so we’ll start….now.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz
Non-title. Miz cranks on the arm to start as the announcers talk about Miz’s history in the Money in the Bank match. Jeff sends him outside and hits Poetry in Motion against the barricade but it’s way too early for the Swanton. We take a break and come back with Jeff holding an armbar as the pace stays slow. The Reality Check gets two on Jeff but he elbows out of a Skull Crushing Finale attempt.
They head outside with Jeff getting the better of a slugout as the sleeves of Jeff’s shirt make me want a rainbow pop. The legdrop between the legs and the Twisting Stunner rock Miz but again he gets out of the way before the Swanton. Miz slams him neck first onto the apron and we take another break.
Back again with Jeff jawbreaking his way out of a chinlock and getting two off the Whisper in the Wind. A baseball slide knocks Miz to the floor but again he avoids the Swanton, this time with a good crotching. Instead it’s a sunset bomb for two as the back and forth continues. The Twist of Fate gets two and a corner dropkick sets up Hardiac Arrest (the other corner dropkick). Another Twist of Fate sets up the Swanton for real this time, but Miz rolls him up for the pin at 20:16.
Rating: B. First of all, good back and forth match. Now for the problem (and I’d bet on this being right): this isn’t going to mean a thing as far as the US Title is confirmed. The champion just got pinned clean and I have a feeling we’re not going to hear a word about Miz wanting to be champion. Money in the Bank has done this before and it makes things all the dumber. Miz just pinned the US Champion clean and I’d be actually surprised if anything happens to the title as a result. I really hope I’m wrong, but odds are that’s where this is going.
Sheamus is eating Lucky Charms because it’s all that makes him feel better after losing to Xavier Woods last week. Cesaro compares it to a hawk losing a mouse between its claws. Sheamus: “I know! I was in the match!” Cesaro says he could have won so he agrees to face Woods tonight as well. He opens his bag and finds….pancakes. Sheamus finds the same thing and panic ensues. I like New Day a lot but WHY ARE PANCAKES FUNNY???
Sanity is coming.
We look at stills of Nakamura vs. Styles.
Renee Young talks to Nakamura, who isn’t cleared for competition tonight. In regards to the issues being over, no speak English. I mean, he knew it before but he’s forgotten it. As for AJ, they’re both nuts (laugh from the crowd) and they’re not finished.
Carmella screeches about beating Charlotte and it’s time to party. She’ll be celebrating next week in London. The Royal Family isn’t invited, just like Ric Flair isn’t invited. Speaking of Flair, did you know he has a daughter? Carmella beat her on Sunday.
Tye Dillinger says seven competitors down on the mat plus one contract plus one ladder plus one person left equals a perfect ten.
Naomi is going to make whomever is champion feel the Glow.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Charlotte vs. Peyton Royce
Before the match, Billie says Charlotte’s loss made her uncle overcome his stutter because he was laughing so hard. Peyton tries to imitate the look but it’s only funny when Charlotte does it. They lock up to start with Charlotte shoving her around. A toss to the floor takes us to an early break. Back with Peyton grabbing a chinlock before choking in the corner. A half nelson over the ropes with her legs has Charlotte in even more trouble and we hit another chinlock. Charlotte fights up with a neckbreaker by the hair but misses a big boot (but Peyton doesn’t sell it like Carmella did on Sunday).
A rollup gets two on Peyton and Charlotte dives onto Billie, leaving Peyton to grab a swinging neckbreaker on the floor. The referee gets distracted by Peyton so Billie can snap Charlotte’s neck across the top, setting up a spinning kick to the face for two. Charlotte is right back with the big boot, only to have the moonsault hit knees. Royce kicks the knee out for two but gets speared down. The Figure Eight makes Peyton tap at 12:56.
Rating: B-. This was a nice surprise, if nothing else as I was getting worried that Charlotte would lose back to back matches. They went with the right call here though as Charlotte is more interesting and you can put Billie in the match later. Just having one of them in there basically means they’re both in there and that’s all you need.
Daniel Bryan is ready to go win the Money in the Bank briefcase again because he cashed in the briefcase right here in Baltimore.
Shelton says he’ll win the briefcase.
Asuka says she’ll win the briefcase.
Xavier Woods vs. Cesaro
Hang on though as Big E. and Kofi have to throw out pancakes. Woods hits and moves but stops himself from running into the referee, allowing Cesaro to run him over. There’s a gutwrench suplex and we take a break. Back with Woods kicking him down and a wheelbarrow faceplant getting two. Sheamus gets on the apron but Big E. throws pancakes at him, allowing Kofi to hit a dive from the apron. The distraction lets Cesaro uppercut Woods out of the air for the pin at 7:07.
Rating: D+. Ok, enough with the pancakes. I don’t know if I’m just not getting the joke but it seems to be just more and more pancakes no matter what the situation is. That was funny for a little while but now it’s just an object that’s the joke instead of whatever was behind the object. Either come up with a reason they’re funny or come up with something that is funny, because this is annoying.
AJ Styles is still coming for Nakamura because it’s still about the title.
We see a bunch of destroyed action figures of tag teams. The Bludgeon Brothers say they have their own set of toys so come play with them. They smash the camera with their hammers.
Becky Lynch vs. Mandy Rose
In the back, Paige says Sonya Deville can’t go out there with Mandy. An early kick to the face gives Mandy two but a chinlock doesn’t last long. The Disarm-Her attempt sends Mandy outside so Becky catches her with the Bexploder instead. Becky’s bouncing kick out of the corner is broken up though and Mandy sends her throat first into the ropes for the pin at 2:26.
Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega debut next week.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Rusev
Bryan starts in on the legs early on and kicks the arm out for good measure. Some more kicks sends Rusev outside so Bryan tries the suicide dive, only to be caught and thrown over the announcers’ table as we take a break. Back with Rusev throwing him around some more but getting dropkicked in the corner.
The Spinning Rock Bottom doesn’t work so Rusev kicks him in the head for two instead. A quick YES Lock sends Rusev bailing to the ropes and Aiden English is rather relieved. Rusev heads outside so Bryan hits the running knee off the apron for two. Back in and the running knee misses, setting up a Machka Kick to give Rusev the completely clean pin at 11:20.
Rating: C+. Uh…..huh? I’m not sure how the reaction to this one is going to go as Rusev winning a big match is nice, but Bryan losing clean almost has to be leading somewhere. You don’t have Bryan come in here and lose like that, but maybe they have something planned. If nothing else, I’m sure Miz has something to say about that loss.
Bryan looks devastated to end the show. It certainly seems like they have something planned there.
Overall Rating: C+. As usual, I’m not thrilled with the Money in the Bank season but at least most of the wrestling was good tonight. The Bryan loss is more perplexing than anything else but I could go for finding out where they’re heading with it. We’ve got four weeks of build to the pay per view left and that could go in a lot of directions, which is a good problem to have. Nice show this week, but more importantly it has me wondering about some things.
The Miz b. Jeff Hardy – Rollup
Charlotte b. Peyton Royce – Figure Eight
Cesaro b. Xavier Woods – Uppercut
Mandy Rose b. Becky Lynch – Neck snap across the top rope
Rusev b. Daniel Bryan – Machka Kick
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