After a disappointing Backlash pay per view in the eyes of the majority, it’s time to rebound and begin the road to Money in the Bank. Last night on Raw we learned Braun Strowman and Finn Balor both qualified for the mens Money in the Bank ladder match while Ember Moon qualified for the women’s. Tonight on Smackdown Live there were qualifying matches as well and will continue until both ladder matches books four from Raw and four from Smackdown Live. Here’s the hits and misses of Smackdown Live.
HIT: The MITB Women’s Qualifying Match was Iconic WOOOOO
Charlotte Flair and Peyton Royce were the first two women from Smackdown Live to fight it out for a spot at Money in the Bank. This was a really good match. Royce definitely has been impressive and I really hope there are big things in the future for her and Billie Kay. Unfortunately for Royce, the seasoned veteran Charlotte kicked out of many close calls in this match and found a way to lock on the figure eight to make Royce tap. Charlotte will look to retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase in six weeks.
MISS: Becky Lynch Takes Another Loss
Mandy Rose made her Smackdown Live in ring debut against Becky Lynch. Before the match though, Paige intercepted Rose and Sonya Deville and told Deville she was barred from ringside. This is definitely a strange storyline to begin with, but anyways. Rose debuted a new theme that sounds like music from an exotic adult film and managed to get the win over Becky Lynch in a quick match. I have no problem with Rose winning, they’re definitely building her up. However the match was as I said quick and Becky Lynch was the one to fall victim. Lynch for some reason is the doormat right now of Smackdown Live and I’ll never figure out why. Some are saying she’s going to turn heel (which I hope she does). Some folks on Twitter believe this was a Money in the Bank qualifying match, but I’m sure this match was not for Money in the Bank. Especially since Raw only had one women’s qualifier last night.
HIT: The Miz and Jeff Hardy Put Together a Must See Match
Tonight’s Smackdown Live started with US Champion Jeff Hardy taking on The Miz in a Money in the Bank qualifier. This match got around a half hour which speaks volumes when Smackdown is only two hours. These two were all over the ring, outside the ring, they didn’t stop. Just when we all thought Hardy was going to win, Miz kicked out. The biggest moment was when Hardy hit the Swanton Bomb and Miz kicked out. Not only did he kick out, but he quickly rolled up Hardy up for a three and sealed a spot for Money in the Bank. Booking wise it makes sense being Hardy has the US title and Miz is insanely over right now he deserves to be in the WWE Championship hunt. Imagine the promos Miz would be cutting as the MITB winner. Miz is on another level and one would have to assume a favorite to win.
MISS: What Are New Day and The Bar Feuding Over???
Another episode of Smackdown Live, another week of this random feud between New Day and The Bar. They’re not even feuding over the right to challenge for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship. This week Cesaro and Sheamus had a dispute backstage with Sheamus losing last week to Xavier Woods and Cesaro saying he could beat him. Sure enough the match was booked as expected. However you figured Woods was probably going to pull off another victory, but Cesaro denied him. At least next week this is going somewhere where The Bar and New Day meet in a match with the winning team getting to send one representative to compete in the Money in the Bank ladder match. This is definitely going to cause some internal issues with whatever team ends up winning this privilege.
HIT: Money in the Bank is Also Rusev Day
The main event featured Daniel Bryan vs Rusev in another stacked Money in the Bank qualifying match. As expected, the crowd was split. The match was physical and close, but Daniel Bryan was still wore down from his brutal attack at the hands of Big Cass after their match at Backlash. Rusev with the Machka Kick took Bryan down and Rusev punched his ticket to Money in the Bank. Rusev definitely needs the opportunity more than Daniel Bryan. Very surprised WWE let Rusev win. Even more surprised it was a clean win opposed to a Big Cass interference. The Money in the Bank ladder match right now is looking very promising considering who’s booked to participate so far.
MISS: What Once Was a Promising Tag Team Division
Once upon a time ago, Smackdown Live was the land of opportunity and elite tag team wrestling. Seems like ever since the Bludgeon Brothers won the titles and overcame the Usos and New Day all is lost. Harper and Rowan were off television last week, but this week they were melting Mattel WWE Elite figures of their rivals. Very disappointing that this once thriving division is fading fast. The worst part is Smackdown Live acquired the Club in the Superstar Shakeup, but they’ve barely been a factor so far. Sanity was acquired from NXT, but we’re still waiting for their debut. Hopefully there’s more to the Smackdown Live Tag Team Division other than the random pancakes in luggage feud I touched one earlier.
That concludes my hits and misses this week. Follow me on Twitter @chairmanpodcast and we’ll do it again next week and see who else joins the ladder matches at Money in the Bank.