It’s the SmackDown Live before Money In The Bank. It was sure to be an exciting night to wrap up the stories going into what is arguably WWE’s fifth most important night of the year. So let’s not waste any more time and get right into it.
New Day and Breezango vs The Usos and The Colons
It’s a New Day! Yes it is! The New Day were joined by a ensemble band playing them to the ring. It had a really great New Orleans feel to it and it should because that’s where they were.
New Day gave it up for the band that walked them to the ring and hyped the fact that WrestleMania was going to be in New Orleans next year. Looks like they’re already trying to sell those tickets.
Xavier said when they beat the Usos for the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships Jimmy and Jey will return to the off-off-off-off Broadway version of Straight Outa Compton.
The Usos came out and called Woods “Drumline,” that was funny. As the Usos said they were still going to be the SmackDown Tag Team Champions after MITB, Breezango came down to break up their promo.
Fandango said there’s a major break in their case as it turns out their Day One was not so H. Breeze said they were gross and that the Usos don’t have the authority to lock anyone up in their Penitentiary because they’re the police.
Then the Colons came out and told Breezango they were the worst police ever and their fashion sense was horrible. The Colons got a bunch of “what” chants and it didn’t go over well.
Then Big E said New Day and Breezango were about to beat the heels because “New Day rock…”
Jimmy and Fandango started out but the Uso said he wanted Kofi. But as soon as Kofi got the tag he tagged in one of The Colons. Kofi showed some great steps and hit some good moved for a two count. It’s nice to have him back in action.
Xavier got the tag. Big E was sitting on the side line in this one which is a good idea because he’s New Day’s heavy hitter and you don’t wanna give away those spots on the go home show.
Fandango got the tag and started besting Epico. He pulled a move where it looked like he was falling for a roll up pin, but instead he just swiveled his hips.
Jey Uso got the tag and rightfully so took control over Breeze. After hurting Tyler, Primo jumped in the ring and applied a chinlock on Prince Pretty until Breeze caught him in the back of the head.
Xavier got the tag and he told Breeze to “do the thing” and him and Tyler executed a nice double-team move. Those two work well together but have been friends since NXT, so that was something they’ve probably worked on before and it looked very nice.
Woods hit an Honor Roll on a comeback and the match soon broke loose. The babyfaces ended up getting everyone down and clotheslined them over the ropes at the same thing. Xavier grabbed Francesca II and started to play a victory song.
Once the match started back again Breeze started taking some moves and selling like a young Shawn Michaels. He tried to mount a comeback but was knocked back down for his troubles. He’s so good at making someone look great.
Breeze took a double dropkick from The Colons while he was seated where he was the meat in a former Matador sandwich. One of the Colons locked him in a submission that stretched his body while Breeze screamed in agony. Tyler Breeze has such a good torture face.
The Usos hit a double team move where Jay jumped off the top rope onto him as he laid across Jimmy’s knee for a two count. Then he took a brutal hip attack in the corner just like Rikishi only more like a Ferrari than a freight train. Breeze really got the piss beat out of him for a bit.
Epico got the tag and they kept Tyler Breeze from getting to his corner again. He wrapped Tyler up in a headlock and the crowd started to rally for Breeze but it didn’t work. He hit Tyler with a back breaker and knocked Fandango off the apron.
The Colons went for another double team move but Breeze took them out and crawled toward his corner. Xavier Woods got the tag and cleared out The Colons.
jimmy got the tag and so did Kofi. The Uso took a Trouble In Paradise, but Jey broke up the tag. Primo got the tag and tried to hit a backstabber, but Kofi blocked it and tagged in Woods.
Xavier climbed the roped and hit him with a stomp while Kofi held him. 1-2-3 and babyfaces won.
Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles were backstage. Just seeing them next to each other is outstanding. Sami Zayn walked up to them and said since they’re on a team they need to strategize.
Sami said they’re three of the best on Earth. Then Zayn kept talking. He started chasing rabbits and rambled about what they should do. AJ tried to calm him down but it didn’t work. Sami just kept going on and Nakamura didn’t know what to say.
After Sami left there was an awkward silence.
“I like him” Nakamura said.
“Of course you do” AJ replied.
Mojo Rawley was interviewed backstage and asked about coming up short last week and not getting a spot in the MITB match. He said a loss last week was devastating. He also said there’s a small part of him that’s glad he lost because he knows how he bounces back from defeat.
He said the best of Mojo Rawley is yet to come. Then a hand appeared on his shoulder. Mojo turned around and Zack Ryder was standing there.
Ryder said he was back and they had unfinished business as a team. Yes please!
Naomi vs Tamina
It really shouldn’t be a surprise that they booked Lana in the SmackDown Women’s Championship match at MITB because every other woman is in the ladder match.
Tamina came out and looked scary. But before the match could start Lana came out wearing the same blue dress.
Tamina started the match out by over powering the SDLive women’s champ as “we want Rusev” chants started to ring out in the crowd.
Tamina hit Naomi with a headbutt and sent her crashing to the mat. Tamina wrapped up Naomi from behind with a chinlock and applied pressure as Lana looked on from ringside.
Naomi tried to hit some kicks to soften Tamina up, but that just ended up working against her as Snuka sent her back down. Tamina hit Naomi with a hip attack in the corner and got a two count. She was working very stiff with Naomi.
Tamina kept up the assault with some stiff clotheslines and got another two count. She just wouldn’t let up and Naomi wasn’t looking strong at all to be the reigning SD Woman’s Champ.
Tamina took a few kicks from Naomi that almost caused her to fall but she just caught Naomi while doing a cross body and slammed her back to the mat for another two count. Tamina climbed to the top rope but Naomi hit her with a dropkick and pulled Tamina to the mat.
Then Naomi hit a split legged moonsault for the win. That last move was the only real move of substance that Naomi pulled off in the entire match but it still helped her win. Naomi didn’t get to celebrate for long though because Lana jumped in the ring and hit her with her finishing move.
Lana picked up the SmackDown Women’s Championship and held it up high. As much as we love Lana it just didn’t look right.
Jinder Mahal Segment
The Singh Brothers introduced Jinder Mahal and India’s hero (and he should be your hero too!) came out with a big sinister grin on his face with the WWE World Title around his waist.
Jinder looked angry to be in America but happy to have his title. He rose his title up in the corner while wearing a blue suit looking like a true classy heel.
The Modern Day Maharaja demanded respect and told the crowd to stand up for him. He said he will prove Orton is a coward and afraid of letting down St Louis and disappointing his friends and family.
Mahal said Cowboy Bob Orton will be sitting front row at MITB with others stars of the past. That didn’t sound like it’s hinting at anything that’s gonna happen on Sunday at all.
Orton is a defanged garden snake and Mahal is going to cut down Orton’s legacy (nice choice of words) piece by piece until there’s nothing left.
Then he spoke to his people in his language of Canadian… I mean Punjabi. As he spoke the “USA” chants were thick.
Insert Randy Orton here.
“I hear voices in my head they council me, they understand, they…” but Orton didn’t come out. Mahal sent his goons up the ramp to get him and Randy popped up behind Jinder and gave him an old-fashioned RKO outa nowhere.
Then Orton left as quickly as he came in. He was in full wrestling gear without a shirt on looking like he was ready for a match. Randy Orton obviously showed up in New Orleans looking for a fight but all it took was one RKO.
Baron Corbin, Heel Ziggler, and KO were shown in their locker room as they prepared for the big match tonight.
Ziggler and Corbin said Owens is out of his mind if he thinks they’re going to listen to him. Kevin said they had two options out there tonight in his opinion. They can work together and take out the babyfaces and then on Sunday it’s just the three of them trying to get the briefcase. Or they could come out there and Corbin could punch him and Ziggler could kick his head off and he could powerbomb Dolph and they could walk into MITB even worse for ware.
KO said he wasn’t saying they should be friends, they just shouldn’t be their own worst enemies. Then he walked off with his US Title still around his shoulder.
They played the logo for Great Balls Of Fire really quick but they cut out half of it so you couldn’t see the old logo that looked like some junk.
Randy Orton was interviewed and he said he said all he needs to say in the ring and he’s gonna take that WWE Championship back at MITB. Awwww yeah!
Natalya vs Charlotte
These two ladies had of the best female wrestling matches I’ve ever seen at TakeOver. But this match is leading toward what could be an even more important match for either of these women at Money In The Bank.
Natalya looked focused and Charlotte looked like The Queen. Both women were ready to make a statement and hold the very first Women’s MITB briefcase.
They circled each other until Nattie took Charlotte down with a headlock that was countered with a leg scissors and then they popped back up to their feet. It was a great display of wrestling ability and reminiscent of the TakeOver match they had so long ago.
As Charlotte locked in a submission hold Becky Lynch was seen watching contently backstage on a monitor. The Lass Kicker also wants that briefcase so very badly.
Charlotte reversed a submission into a backdrop and hit Nattie with a knee to the back of her head. Charlotte just looked down at Nattie like she was ready to keep going.
Charlotte ended up toppling to the floor and Nattie posed for the crowd. She went outside and after a strike threw Charlotte back in the ring. She pinned her but The Nature Girl kicked out.
Nattie applied a stretching submission hold and fought to keep it on as Charlotte tried to get out. Charlotte dropped to the floor and Nattie shot off the ropes for a dropkick to the face.
After a two count Nattie football kicked Charlotte’s ribs and applied a beautiful bow and arrow submission. She was really bringing it.
After Nattie let go of the hold she didn’t stop bringing it. After an elbow she threw Charlotte into the middle turnbuckle. Charlotte and Nattie locked up and traded some sliding pins then got back up and Charlotte took control.
She hit some clotheslines and a knee drop, did her little strut and got a bunch of “woos” from the crowd. Charlotte climbed to the top and hit a nice moonsault. 1-2-kick out!
While Charlotte fought to maintain control of the match Carmella and James Ellsworth were shown backstage plotting how they’re going to win the MITB ladder match.
Nattie hit Charlotte with a planting powerbomb for a two count and tried for a sharpshooter. Charlotte fought out of it and hit a big boot for a two count of her own.
Nattie rolled Char Char up in a small package for a two count and Charlotte popped up at two. The Nature Girl hit the Natural Selection out of nowhere and got the pin. 1-2-3 and Charlotte goes out on top going into Money In The Bank.
When they cut to the announce desk they hyped Great Balls Of Fire and used the logo with the balls in it. So that logo isn’t officially gone because they’ve already put it in so many promo packages before a bunch of people went off about it looking like a thermos.
Fashion Files Bit
Even though Breezango went over in the main event the still played one of these outstanding segments. In this instalment Breeze was on the ground saying he was jumped by a guy with greasy hair. As he talked Fandango drew in his note pad. He was drawing a description of the people who attacked Breeze. When Dango finally got Tyler up we can see he was just drawing stick figures. Yay for good comedy!
Lana was interviewed really quickly and the very Ravishing Russian said she didn’t care what anyone thought about her. She said she was going to show the world how she can crush at MITB and become the first Ravishing SmackDown Women’s Champion. Yay for booking decisions!
Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin, and Heel Ziggler vs AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Sami Zayn
The heels were introduced first because they don’t have the snazzier entrances. Except for Baron Corbin because that whole melting cityscape deal he has is still outstanding. That post-Apocalyptic theme is on point. Let the world burn IDGAF! That’s so Lone Wolf.
Ziggler came down and petted every ladder that now lined the entry way. Guess they put up a bunch of ladders to remind us what match they were all in on Sunday like the fact that’s all they talked about wasn’t enough of a hint.
In all honesty, this might be the best Money In The Bank ladder match of all time. It very well might be the greatest ladder match of all time in general. Think about who’s in this thing. Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens are great heavy hitters and AJ plus Ziggler equals amazing. Nakamura is the wildcard. I could keep going and I will in my MITB predictions deal I’ll do soon. Let’s just hope nobody gets injured trying to pull off something insane.
Nakamura and Ziggler had a chance to recreate some magic in the opening segments of the match. Nakamura hit the Good Vibrations and took a stiff uppercut from Dolph on the return. KO got the tag and he started putting the boots to Nakamura right off the bat.
Corbin got the tag and he joined in on the fun of beating up Shinsuke Nakamura. Ziggler got in and applied a headlock to Nakamura while facing the babyfaces to taunt them. He took down Nakamura with a shoulder block as the crowd started an “ole” chant.
AJ Styles got the tag and started running a clinic on Ziggler. KO came in the ring but was dispatched with. He hit Ziggler with a fireman’s carry neckbreaker for a two count. KO came back in the ring but Sami Zayn cut him off and tossed him outside. Zayn hit a great flipping dive on KO as the crowd erupted in “ole” chants.
Styles and Ziggler kept wrestling in the ring and AJ went for the Styles Clash but it was reversed into a DDT. They both tagged out to their partners and Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn entered the ring.
Corbin hit a Deep Six on Zayn but The Underdog From The Underground kicked out at two… big surprise. The Deep Six is a powerful looking move but it never seems to get the job done.
Ziggler smashed Zayn with a shoulder block and tagged in KO to pick away at his former best friend. KO has a bad reputation with friends…
He went for the running senton on Sami, but Zayn threw up his knees and KO landed hard. But Zayn couldn’t get to his corner and Baron Corbin was tagged in to keep up the punishment on Zayn.
He punched Sami in the corner and ran to hit a splash but Sami moved, Baron ran around the post in that spot he loves to do, and ran back in the rig to cut Zayn off at the pass for a tag. It was nice.
KO got back in the ring and Sami countered into a Blue Thunder Bomb but couldn’t get the tag because Baron got the tag before he could and he took Sami out again. The Lone Wolf was really highlighted here.
Both heels tried to stop Sami from getting to his partners after a counter but he dramatically dodged each one of them. Just as Sami was getting to the corner to make the tag his partners were pulled down and he wasn’t able to make the tag. Now it was just Sami vs all three.
Zayn suddenly hit a Helluva Kick on Baron Corbin and got the clean pinfall.
After the match some chaos ensued with all six dudes. KO brought a ladder to the ring like it wasn’t hard because they were everywhere. Ziggler and KO used a ladder to beat AJ down and that looked like it hurt because they used a huge ladder.
Then Ziggles and Kevin faced off in the middle of the ring. But Baron Corbin came in and took them both out but you missed it if you saw it live because Kevin Dunn was deciding to pan up to the MITB briefcase for some reason.
Baron Corbin used a ladder against Ziggler and sent him toppling over the ropes. He set the ladder up and started to climb toward the briefcase. Then Shinsuke Nakamura climbed in the ring and pushed Corbin’s ladder over because he’s in the match too!
Nakamura hit a Kinshasa on Baron Corbin and set up the ladder. The King Of Artist Strong Style climbed up the ladder and unbuckled the Money In The Bank briefcase from its clip. As he brought the briefcase down his music started to play and the crowd popped huge.
It looks like Shinsuke Nakamura is a fan favorite to win the ladder match on Sunday even though smart money is still on Baron Corbin.