WWE's latest edition of Smackdown Live came from Worcester, Massachusetts as we continue to build towards June's Money In The Bank pay-per-view.
In the first episode broadcast since it was announced that Smackdown will be moving to FOX in 2019, good matchups were promised in abundance.
Jeff Hardy would take on Daniel Bryan for the first time ever as well Sonya Deville taking on Naomi and Lana facing Billie Kay for opportunities to be in the women's ladder match at Money In The Bank.
Also, The Miz would host Miz TV where guests The New Day could possibly announce which member of their faction would represent them in the upcoming ladder match.
Here are all the results from Smackdown Live:
MIZ TV WITH THE NEW DAY
The Miz opened the show by announcing the air date of his newest reality show, Miz and Mrs, and gained some cheap heat by cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are currently facing the Celtics in the NBA playoffs.
He called out The New Day and they verbally sparred for a minute before asking which member would be in June's Money in the Bank ladder match. The Miz then made the suggestion that he could beat any member of New Day any day of the week.
As he was attacked by flying pancakes, The Miz scrambled backstage and ran into General Manager Paige - where she demanded that the former Intercontinental Champion faces one of The New Day right now.
Big E was the chosen one to face off against The Miz, with Xavier Woods providing wisdom on commentary. E started the match strong, showing off his brutish strength by shoving Miz around the ring. Big E performed his big splash on the ring apron before downing some maple syrup in a quick pit stop.
In the closing moments, Sheamus and Cesaro came down to the ring to blindside Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. Whilst wiping out Woods and Kingston, The Miz was able to hit Big E with a Skull Crushing Finale to pick up a sneaky win.
Rating - 8/10
The Miz is definitely one of the best talkers in WWE and his verbal battle against The New Day was highly entertaining. The New Day are still so fun with their catchphrases and their chemistry within the group is incredible. The match itself was good, with both Miz and E getting in good stages of offence. Their double clothesline spot to allow the run-in from Sheamus and Cesaro was perfectly executed and it worked well to continue the story between the 6 men. The Miz has yet to lose on Smackdown Live since his loss to Seth Rollins at Backlash.
LANA VS BILLIE KAY
It has been almost a year since Lana competed for the Smackdown Women's Championship at Money in the Bank 2017. Since then, the Ravishing Russian has only wrestled 5 times on television and three more times on pay-per-view.
Billie Kay, on the other hand, has wrestled 3 times already for the blue brand since her move from NXT in April.
Lana was accompanied by Aiden English to the ring, but not by husband and fan favourite Rusev. The IIconics came out and dissed Lana before the match got underway. Aiden English produced a sign praising Lana, which distracted Kay and Peyton Royce.
Lana dispatched of Royce and rolled Kay back into the ring, executed a beautiful roundhouse kick and then hitting the Lana Bomb to pin Kay in swift fashion - a massive upset!
Rating - 7/10
This was a massive win for Lana as it means she qualifies for the Money In The Bank ladder match. Aiden English has helped her gain popularity from the crowd and it basically turned her into a face by default. It was sad to see Billie Kay get pinned so quickly but it showed her naivety, especially as a new member of the roster.
ANDRADE 'CIEN' ALMAS VS ENHANCEMENT TALENT
After last weeks impressive debut, former NXT Champion Almas took to the ring to face another non-permanent Smackdown Live talent.
He looked slick and although his opponent got in a couple of elbows, Almas' hard-hitting style proved too much. Double knees to a downed opponent before a Hammerlock DDT picked up the victory for Cien, who gets two wins in as many weeks.
Rating - 6/10
We didn't hear anything from manager Zelina Vega after the match this week but once again, Almas looked brilliant in between the ropes. His little combination of knee and a spinning elbow was unique and brilliant and the Hammerlock DDT looks extremely painful- a worthy finishing move. Hopefully, soon we can see him work his way through some of the Smackdown roster.
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA ANNOUNCES MATCH STIPULATION FOR MONEY IN THE BANK
Renee Young welcomed WWE Champion AJ Styles and challenger Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring. Nakamura first showed highlights of last weeks Smackdown main event, where he defeated the current champion.
Firstly, Nakamura announced the match would be a pillow fight as a joke before a brawl took the two out into the crowd. Nakamura grounded AJ Styles with a chair shot as he looked to take flight.
A Kinshasa to Styles keeps him on the ground as Nakamura counted to ten, similar to how a referee counts a grounded superstar. Once the ten count was reached, he took to the announce table and announced that the stipulation would be last man standing.
Rating - 6/10
The pair didn't interact too much but this feud is brewing nicely after several months. The last man standing stipulation adds an extra dynamic to the next match in the saga. Nakamura has been brilliant recently as a heel and Styles is a true champion. The last man standing matchup gives so many opportunities for new spots and unique finishes to occur.
GALLOWS AND ANDERSON VS THE USOS
A short verbal spar before this number one contenders match ended in a four-person brawl before the match could get underway. Once the bell rang, The Usos high flying style gave them the upper hand early on.
Karl Anderson then took a leaf from The Usos' book, going to the middle rope to perform a lovely Neckbreaker. Superkicks and a splash were not enough to put Luke Gallows away early on. Jimmy Uso hit another superkick before Gallows replied with one of his own and was able to tag in his partner Anderson to execute the Magic Killer.
Picking up the win, Gallows and Anderson go to Money In The Bank as number one contenders to face The Bludgeon Brothers for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships.
Rating - 6/10
A short match but a necessary one to ensure Gallows and Anderson have enough time to build a feud with Harper and Rowan before their match in three weeks time. Gallows is extremely agile for his stature and he can execute a superkick extremely well. Sadly for The Usos, it marks another loss and a lack of momentum for them could see them not get a title shot in the near future.
SONYA DEVILLE VS NAOMI
Both superstars were looking to take Smackdown's last available spot for the women's ladder match at Money In The Bank and Sonya started strongest. However, a quick match with no real story led to roll up from Naomi to take the win.
Rating - 3/10
The entrances lasted almost as long as the actual match itself. I'd love to see these women get given more time because they are both very good in the ring. We have yet to see Deville's full potential inside the ring and Naomi is a former champion, so we know that a good match could occur if they were given the time. A quick roll up secured Naomi's status in the ladder match and joins Lana, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch from Smackdown Live to compete for the briefcase.
JEFF HARDY VS DANIEL BRYAN
With Samoa Joe on commentary and set to face the winner for a spot in Money In The Bank ladder match, the stakes were extremely high in this match. Despite both being extremely popular with the crowd, only one could win and go on to face Joe next week on Smackdown.
These two put it all on the line throughout the match, with some stiff kicks and Hardy threw his body off the apron onto Bryan. Bryan managed to get Hardy into the Tree of Woe and executed some venomous Yes Kicks before Hardy absolutely nailed Whisper in the Wind.
The face vs face dynamic is always tough to pull off but these two both had the crowd chanting. A Twist of Fate stunned Bryan but he managed to get his knees up to block Hardy's signature Swanton Bomb.
Bryan then began to target the weak left knee of Jeff Hardy and managed to surprise everybody as Hardy tapped out to a heel hook. Immediately, Samoa Joe got on the microphone and asked what all the celebration was about as it meant Bryan had to face him next week.
Rating - 7/10
A good match between the two but I think everybody would love to see more between the two veterans. They bumped hard for each other and threw their bodies about, as you would expect from Hardy and Bryan. Joe was brilliant on commentary, putting down the superstars in true heelish fashion. The post-match promo from Joe was a little bit unnecessary but do not let that ruin what was a good first match between Jeff Hardy and Daniel Bryan.
Overall, a very good episode of Smackdown Live has given us two new competitors for the women's Money In The Bank ladder match and also set up a first WWE match between Samoa Joe and Daniel Bryan.
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