Welcome to the Smackdown Review for July 18, 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.
One of the most unique structures in WWE history made an appearance before Battleground. The fact is the Punjabi Prison match has only been used twice, with the last one being ten years ago. What Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal do in this match depends on how far they are willing to go. The big question is why would Mahal choose this match when it takes the Singh Brothers out of the equation? WWE could be positioning Mahl to be a more powerful warrior who does not need interference. Orton and Mahal can make this match exciting and very brutal
For the Flag
Is there any thing that can unite the WWE Universe like a battle for the glory of America? John Cena, who always gets a mixed reaction, had everyone standing and rooting for his victory on Sunday. By running down a history of America and what the flag stands for, Cena had the most positive reaction in a very long time. When Rusev attacked him, I legitimately worried for his safety for being the Anti-American heel. Rusev looks formidable, but it would be foolish to think he will host his country’s flag on Sunday. Cena will win and then focus on getting the championship from the other big foreign heel.
What’s in the Box??
Fandango and Tyler Breeze are a national treasure. There, I said it and I’m glad I did. This week, it was a send up of The X-Files. Some many things to love about this: The board behind them (I Want to BO-lieve), Breeze getting Scully and her characteristics down exactly (“There are no aliens!”), Fandango thinking a delivery man was an alien (“So human like!), and so much more. We even got a Seven reference as a bonus. A message states that the mystery will be solved at Battleground. Hopefully, this gimmick will continue to roll on long after. After all….The Truth is Out There.
Match of the Night
Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch (Lynch wins by pin fall)
Babyface vs. Babyface matches can be so good and are used so rarely. We got to see one of these and Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch put on a great one. When you don’t have to worry about cheating or outside interference, you can just focus on a great match. Lynch and Flair have worked together for so long that they know what they can do. Lynch used technique while Flair went for athleticism. A very solid match that promises some great moments at Battleground. You can be friends and still go out and beat the hell out of each other.
There was little talk of Sunday and there didn’t need to be. The fact that we will see a type of match that has only been done twice before, see who will fight Naomi at Summerslam, and finally discover who has been targeting Breezango are enough to have the WWE Network. Throw in New Day, AJ Styles, Cena, and Nakamura, and we might have a great opening act before the WWE’s second biggest pay-per-view of the year.