Welcome to the Smackdown Review for July 11, 2017. For both this and Raw, I will go over what the big talking points were, pick the match of the night, and look ahead to the next show.
Woods Fights Alone
I love Xavier Woods. From his debut, to The New Day, and his gaming channel. One thing that has always been asked is does he even wrestle anymore. On Smackdown, he did, facing Jey Uso without the aid of Big E and Kofi. Woods can not relay on power moves, so he became a whirling dervish. His elbow from the top rope while Jey was in the ropes looked painful. If Woods is going to take a more active physical role in the future, you will get no complaints from me. The New Day shows that a tag team can be funny and still be considered serious challengers. What is interesting is if the Usos decided that they don’t like the 3 on 2 handicap, who might they recruit to their side?
The Five Women
Who will be the next challenger for Naomi and her Championship? We got part of the answer when Shane McMahon made a number one contender’s elimination match for Battleground. Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Natalya, Tamina , and Lana will fight for the right to challenge at Summerslam. While everyone might have their favorite for the match, one of the most interesting things happened during the announcement. When Charlotte was trash talking Lana, Tamina inserted herself , warning Charlotte to stop. While this might seem like a friend defending another friend, it seemed to me to be more…romantic? It’s a little too early to tell, but the reasons that Tamina is defending Lana bears some close watching.
Full disclosure here: it seems for the future that Tyler Breeze and Fandango will always be on this list. It is a very funny series of skits that makes me laugh every time I see them. I look forward to them every week. This one had a parody of Walker, Texas Ranger as they continued to investigate who has been trashing their office. One way to make this type of craziness sell is how other wrestlers react to it. Zack Ryder was the the guest and you could see that he was trying not to laugh the whole time. There is a part of me that wishes that they never find out who is the culprit. We will find out next week is our dynamic duo is any closer. And as a bonus….Ghost Aliens!!
Match of the Night
John Cena and AJ Styles vs. Rusev and Kevin Owens (Cena and AJ win by pin fall)
So many things to like about this match. AJ was the main focus here, fighting out of almost everything. Cena got the crowd into it, willing the cheers for AJ. Owens looked angry, the lost of the US Title still fresh in his mind. Russev, looking trim, seemed to find another gear. All four of these men went hard at each other. I have been questioning if Owens was hurt, hence dropping the title to AJ at a house show, but he looked fine here. This match provided a taste of what will happen at Battleground and what these men will do.
More matches were made for BattleGround. In addition to the Women’s match, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin was booked as well, Jinder Mahal promised a sneak peek at the Punjabi Prison, and Sami Zann was attacked by Mike and Maria Kanellis. Next week’s go home show before the Pay-Per-View might give us another match to the card and the final statements for all involved. If nothing else, Fashion Files will continue and there is nothing bad about that.