Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Top 5 Takeaways from WWE SummerSlam PPV


Top 5 Takeaways from WWE SummerSlam PPV
By Anton Ware
8-21-17


Hello Geektified family! It's time for another monthly review as we cover WWE’s 2nd biggest show of the year, SummerSlam. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY hosts the event for the third straight time which coincides with the 30th edition of the show. With 13 matches and eight titles up for grabs, WWE looked to hit a home run to showcase their best and brightest. So what were the highlights, you ask? Well look no further because Geektified has you covered.


#5: Ladies Night

Summerslam was not kind to former cheerleaders as both Naomi and Alexa Bliss lost their respective titles last night. With the Smackdown Women’s Championship, Natayla ended her near seven-year drought and became a title holder once again. The last time she won gold was at the Survivor Series 2010 show against Lay-Cool. Since that loss, she’s been regulated to reality shows, dancing with the Great Khali and mentoring younger stars, but on this night, she finally proved that she could still hang with the next generation of women stars and ascend to the top of women’s wrestling. Over on RAW, Sasha Banks won her 4th RAW Women’s championship by tapping out Alexa Bliss. Summerslam hasn’t been kind to Sasha in the past, as this was her first win on the big show. In a twist of luck, Sasha Banks wasn’t originally supposed to be on the card as Bayley had won the right to face Bliss until she suffered a shoulder injury during a match against Nia Jax a few weeks ago on Raw. With the RAW Women’s Title in her possession, The Boss is back on top and the rest of the competition should beware.

#4: Enzo Amore: Human Crash Test Dummy

Big Cass faced off against The Big Show in a regular one on one singles match while Enzo Amore was locked inside a shark cage suspended above the ring. As the match progressed, Enzo managed to strip down to his boxers, lather himself with oil, slip through the bars of the cage and climb down to the ring, only to immediately catch a big boot by his former friend Big Cass. Cass finished off Big Show with a boot for the win. The prospects of Enzo Amore succeeding as a singles competitor doesn’t look promising. It seems like every week he ends up getting pinned for the three count or getting knocked out. He even managed to get laid unconscious in a match that he wasn’t even in. It's time for Enzo to move on and leave Cass be. The more he tries to 1UP Cass, the more he comes out looking inferior. Either he can move to Smackdown or the Cruiserweight Division, but if whatever he chooses, he MUST get away from Cass and this rivalry.



#3: Tag Team Excellence

Not only did we get two women’s title changes, we got two tag title changes from both brands.  From Smackdown, The Usos invoked their rematch clause against The New Day in a thrilling contest. Jimmy and Jey won back the straps by performing a Double Samoan Splash on Big E to become four-time Tag Team Champions.  The Usos are creating a tag dynasty in WWE and before it's over, they’ll go down as one of the best tag teams in the modern era. With a tag dynasty brewing, another one is reforming as former Shield stablemates Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose challenged The Bar, Cesaro and Sheamus for the RAW Tag Titles. At first, the Hounds of Justice seem to have trouble working out the wrinkles of teaming together with missed tag opportunities, but eventually would get on the same page and turn up the offense against The Europeans. Finishing sequence saw Ambrose and Rollins counter The Bar’s double team finisher by hitting Sheamus with the straight-jacket high knee (Rollins) and Dirty Deeds (Ambrose) for the win! Fun fact: This is Ambrose’s first tag title win and officially makes him a Grand Slam Champion. Speaking of this match…



#2: Cesaro Is Not A Fan Of #BeachBallCity

Note to any wrestling fan attending a wrestling event: the performers don’t appreciate when you try to entertain yourself when they’re trying to put on an exhibition for you. Please be respectful and enjoy the show.

#1: Lesnar Retains The Title, But Strowman Steals The Show

The Fatal 4-Way match for the Universal title was absolute chaos. Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar were four pissed-off brawlers looking to leave Brooklyn, New York as a champion and what a war they had. It was exactly as you’d expect: big, strong men with uncanny agility using all kinds of plunder to destroy one another. In the end, Brock Lesnar would retain the title by delivering an F5 to Roman Reigns, but the MVP of the contest was the Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman. It may have been #SuplexCity for moments of the contest, but Strowman was having none of it and proceeded to manhandle Lesnar by powerslamming him through TWO announce tables and flipping the third one on top of him. This punishment was so severe that Lesnar had to be stretchered out, only to come back in a rage. Even though a proper one-on-one brawl hasn't happen between the two, it's only inevitable that a Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman title match is upon us. The question is when? No Mercy next month? Survivor Series? Only time will tell.


-So what did you guys think of the show? Hit or miss? Let me know in the comments section. Thanks for reading!


-Anton

Geektified's NXT Takeover III: Brooklyn Review 8.20.17


Geektified's NXT Takeover III: Brooklyn Review 8.20.17
By Anton Ware
Official Results
-NXT Takeover is LIVE from Brooklyn, New York.

-Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson, and Mauro Ranallo are your hosts for this evening.

-Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas: A match where both competitors have experienced recent changes in their professional careers. Gargano has recently returned following a vicious attack from former tag partner Tommaso Ciampa and is now looking to make waves as a solo star. Meanwhile, Almas has enlisted the services of valet Zelina Vega (the former Thea Trinidad) to help propel his career to new heights and get some gold around his waist. Both men are needing a win to climb the ranks of NXT. Solid outing to kick off the show. The match started off with some mat wrestling with Almas working over Gargano’s left arm for the majority of the contest. Gargano would eventually get back into the swing of things with his patented move set of the suicide dive to the outside, apron spear to the inside, and devastating kicks to the head. It wasn’t enough to put Almas away as the deciding factor of the match was the number of counters Almas had for Gargano. Almas not only had been scouting and studying Gargano for the match, he even had a trick up his sleeve for his superkick finisher. As Gargano looked to be victorious with a superkick, Zelina Vega would throw a DIY t-shirt at Gargano for the distraction when lead to Almas hitting a running dropkick and modified DDT for the pin and win! Almas gets the much needed victory.
-Raw and Smackdown GMs Kurt Angle and Daniel Bryan are in attendance in the skybox. Roderick Strong, No Way Jose, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce are all joining the two in hopes of potentially getting signed.

- NXT Tag Title Match: Authors of Pain vs. SaNiTY: Akem and Rezar of AOP have demolished every team put in front of team. They’ve proclaimed themselves to be the most dominate force in NXT today. One group disagreed and decided to put the Tag Team Champs on notice. During an episode of NXT, SaNiTY (minus the absent Eric Young) engaged in a brawl with AOP to send the message that they were next in line for the gold. Young would return and help Dane and Wolfe with a sneak attack on AOP which led to an official match on this show. Former NXT announcer Corey Graves joined commentary for this match.  A nice mix of brawling, basic tag-wrestling and crash-tv chaos made for a good match between two of NXT’s most feared factions. Both teams brawled before the bell rang and during the chaos, Eric Young set up a table on the outside. When the match finally began, AOP would take control over Alexander Wolfe. When Wolfe got out no man's land against AOP, Eric Young replaced Killian Dane (who never tagged in the match) and ignited another outside brawl only to get grounded by AOP for a lengthy duration. Young eventually got Wolfe back in the match as he came dropped AOP with suplexes and strikes. The two teams traded big time maneuvers against each other which led to Young and Wolfe hitting dives on AOP to gain the upper hand. This inspired Nikki Cross to get involved as she dived onto Akam while the referee was distracted by Paul Ellering. Cross gets caught, but Dane gets involved by spearing both of them through the table Young set up earlier in the contest. With Akam taken out, Wolfe and Young hit a backdrop/neckbreaker combo on Rezar for the pin and win!! NEW CHAMPS!!
-After the match, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly come through the crowd and attack both teams with strikes and double team moves. They make it known they want the NXT Tag Titles.

-Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami: After losing his NXT Title opportunity against Bobby Roode, Hideo Itami showed frustration and disdain over his string of bad luck in NXT. From back- to-back shoulder and neck injuries to watching other stars pass him by for greener pastures, Itami finally snapped and took his rage out on long-time friend, Kassius Ohno. Following the attack, Itami demanded respect from the NXT Universe and would beat it out of anyone that got in his way which lead to Black answering his threat by knocking him out with a kick. The match was then set and here we are. WWE Hall-of-Famer Jim Ross joined commentary for this bout to play into the NXT Homecoming theme. As you’d expect, this was a hard-hitting affair with PLENTY of kick strikes. Itami would get the better of Black in the beginning with his variety of kick strikes. He would bust Black’s face open and even taunted him with his signature Indian-style pose. It would seem like every time Black would come back into the match, Itami would shut him down with brutal offense. Itami even got an impressive top-rope falcon arrow for a two-count. All this punishment from Itami only enraged Black as he would connect with a DEVASTATING roundhouse kick for the win! Black remains undefeated.
-Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch of the Four Horsewomen are in attendance tonight.

-NXT Women’s Title Match: Asuka vs. Ember Moon: This is the rematch from Takeover: Orlando. During that match, Ember Moon looked to be on the brink of dethroning Asuka for the Women’s Title, but in a desperate move, Asuka used the referee to block Moon’s Eclipse finisher and scored the victory with a kick to the head. To add insult to (literal) injury, Asuka would take out Ember Moon during an episode of NXT by throwing her out of the ring to injure her shoulder, thus leaving her out of Takeover: Chicago. Now healthy and wanting revenge, Ember has been granted a rematch for Asuka’s title and it may be her last shot at the gold. This was just as good (maybe even better) than their first outing during WrestleMania weekend.  These two ladies have great chemistry. Ember’s speed and flashy offense works well with Asuka’s striking and mat wrestling. The match starts off fast and furious with Ember attacking Asuka right out the gate with stiff kicks and a cannonball dive. Asuka one-ups Ember by ramming her left arm into the steel steps, then suplexing that same arm on the steel ramp by the entrance way. Asuka worked over Ember’s arm and tried to put her in the Asuka Lock only for Moon to counter each time. Moon’s resilience would show as she would come back to deliver strikes and show off her eye-catching aerial ability. This would lead to Moon hitting her finisher for a two count! While Asuka was down, she lured Moon into her trap and once again got her into the Asuka Lock. Moon would fight diligently to get out, but the pain was too much and she was forced to tap out. Asuka wins the match and remains undefeated. After the contest, the Brooklyn crowd gives Moon a standing ovation for her efforts.

-NXT Title Match: Bobby Roode vs. Drew McIntyre: This is the match of ultimate redemption for McIntyre, as he was a former Intercontinental Champion on the main roster, only to be released. McIntyre went to the independents to re-invent himself and earned another shot with WWE by coming to NXT. To prove to the NXT Universe and himself that he can hang with the new generation of WWE stars, he challenged Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship. Solid main event to close the show. Highlights include Roode hitting a Blockbuster off the apron to the outside and a wicked backstabber on McIntyre and McIntyre himself hitting a dive to the outside on Roode and nailing him with the Futureshock DDT for a near fall. It would all come down to signature finishers as Roode hit McIntyre with two Glorious DDT’s for a two-count. When he would attempt a third one, McIntyre countered with the Claymore Kick (running boot) for the pin and win! NEW CHAMPION!!!
-The celebration wouldn't last long as Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly would return to ringside looking to ruin another championship victory as the debuting Adam Cole would come from the crowd and jump McIntyre. All three men would then attack the new champion, with Cole delivering a superkick to McIntyre. Cole grabbed and posed with the NXT Title which signified that he wanted to be inserted into the title picture. All three men stood over McIntyre as the show went off the air.
-END SCENE

-So what did you guys think of the show? Hit or miss? Let me know in the comments section. Thanks for reading.

-Anton

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Raw Exposé: Night Two Of The Beach Ball Bull**** Fiasco (AKA: SummerSlam Madness Part III of IV)


By: Keila Cash

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The Raw Exposé. Tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw emanated from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. After a one week hiatus, I am back and ready to tackle night three of four as WWE invades New York’s most populous borough. After a so-so SummerSlam PPV, did the company offer some razzle dazzle on free television as a make good or did the pre-fall malaise start to set in? The answer to that question can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s show in no particular order.

·        After Paul Heyman suggested that the beatings, victimizing, and conquering should be left to Brock Lesnar after successfully defending the Universal Championship at SummerSlam, Braun Strowman came out and kicked Lesnar’s ass by laying him out with a pair of Running Powerslams.

·        Strowman grabbed the Universal Title and held it high in the air to proclaim that he was next in line for a championship opportunity as the opening segment came to an end.

·        This was a hot way to start the show. Paul Heyman did a great job putting The Beast over, but Strowman was the true star as he laid out the Conqueror for the second time in under 24 hours. Strowman and Lesnar should have quite the slobber knocker for the Universal Championship whenever the match takes place.

·        Enzo Amore defeated Big Cass in a Brooklyn Street Fight after Big Cass was unable to finish the match due to injury. Apparently, Cass injured his left knee which caused the referee to put up the dreaded X sign to call off the bout. It’s hard to tell whether or not the knee injury is a work or a shoot. It should be noted the camera didn’t cut to Cass again after the trainer checked on him at ringside. It was later confirmed by WWE that Cass did suffer a legit knee injury and will undergo an MRI tomorrow to examine the extent of the damage. Here’s hoping it’s nothing too serious, but the things don’t look promising at the moment.

·        The match itself was bland as Cass was on offense for 99.7% of the match until he got injured. This was similar to the lopsided and hideous Kendo Stick on a Pole Match between Bayley and Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women’s Championship at Extreme Rules from a couple of months ago. This feud needs to come to an end. Stat!

·        Nia Jax defeated Emma with a Samoan Drop in a quick match. Emma’s mouth continues to get her into trouble.

·        Elias defeated R-Truth with a Swinging Neckbreaker in a serviceable match. Elias held a pre-match concert dissing Brooklyn, but the crowd was more than happy to clap along to his song. I think The Drifter has garnered a following amongst hardcore fans. That would’ve been unheard of a year ago.

·        Kurt Angle introduced John Cena as the newest member of the Raw Roster which led to a series of events which saw Cena call Reigns out, Miz complaining that the spotlight should be on him instead of two glory hogs who get moment after moment each week, Cena challenging Miz and a member of his Miztourage to a tag-team match against him and Reigns, and Samoa Joe offering his services as Miz’s partner while ripping Reigns on the mic and sucker punching Cena.

·        Joe had Cena locked in the Coquina Clutch until Reigns nailed Joe with the Superman Punch. Cena had Joe up for the AA until the Samoan Badass rolled out of the ring.

·        The segment was a bit all over the place with the fans siding with the heels while chanting “You Both Suck” at Cena and Reigns. Normally, Cena can win over a tough crowd over by throwing serious amounts of shade at his opponent.  He didn’t get a chance to do that here which might cause the crowd to be even more ferocious during the main event. It won’t be a pretty sight, to say the least…

·        Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, Gran Metalik, and Rich Swann defeated Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari, and Noam Dar when Alexander pinned Nese with the Lumbar Check. The match was fine, but the crowd mentally checked out when they started to do The Wave after the commercial break. Sad times…

·        Why is Seth Rollins channeling his inner Heath Slater by saying the word “baby” with such zest and enthusiasm?

·        Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins defeated The Hardy Boyz when Rollins pinned Jeff Hardy after Ambrose nailed him with Dirty Deeds. This was easily the best match on the show so far as both teams were on point when it came to executing the art of tag team wrestling. For whatever reason, the crowd faded as the match went on. I guess the face vs. face dynamic left them a bit cold, but they popped for the finish.

·        I do question WWE giving away such a high-profile match on free television, but I guess the company wanted to give the Brooklyn crowd a hot match despite the so-so response down the stretch.

·        In a blockbuster announcement, Brock Lesnar will face Braun Strowman for the Universal Championship at No Mercy next month. Welcome to Monster Mash 2017!

·        Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks traded some ho hum bars leading up to a rematch for the Raw Women’s Championship next week in Memphis, Tennessee. The promo work from both ladies was bland and uninspired for the most part.

·        Finn Bálor defeated Jason Jordan with the Coup De Grace in a solid match. The fans are not buying Jordan as Kurt Angle’s long-lost son as he was greeted with general apathy when he made his way to the ring. To make matters worse, someone blew up another beach ball that made its way to the front row before tumbling over the barricade. If fans want to play with a beach ball, they need to go the beach.

·        It’s incredibly rude and disrespectful for fans to go into business for themselves while the wrestlers are in the ring entertaining the rest of the audience that came to see a quality show. It’s not cute and most of the crowd has booed the stunt in recent months. At this rate, Cesaro should be the Beach Ball Monitor of WWE to curtail this disturbing trend.

·        John Cena and Roman Reigns defeated The Miz and Samoa Joe when Cena pinned Miz with the AA. The match was good, but the fans decided to go into business for themselves when another beach ball reared its ugly head before The Wave broke out once again. Miz was visibly frustrated while Cena tried to embrace the madness. The fans eventually calmed down, but their chill factor killed the heat of the match down the stretch.

·        Reigns made the hot tag to Cena which saw the 16-time World Champion run roughshod over Miz. Samoa Joe stopped Cena in his tracks when he locked in the Coquina Clutch. Reigns tried to break the submission hold, but he inadvertently nailed Cena with a Superman Punch.

·        This gave Miz the opening he needed to hit the Skull Crushing Finale, but it was to no avail as Cena countered with his finisher for the win.

·        Raw went off the air with Cena and Reigns standing tall with the Big Dog apologizing to Cena for nailing him with an errant Superman Punch.

·        This was a fine way to end the show. The main event was marred by fans who wanted to entertain themselves instead of focusing on the action in the ring. It took me out of the match from an emotional standpoint and I don’t blame Miz for pitching a fit with his mannerisms and insults. The man deserved better after wrestling in an empty arena during the SummerSlam pre-show last night. One can only assume that the Hollywood A-Lister is glad to get the hell out of Brooklyn.

·        As for Cena and Reigns, they have an uphill battle to climb when it comes to making hardcore fans care about a potential dream match. The Brooklyn crowd was pretty nonchalant during their face-to-face confrontation earlier in the show. If this is one of the marquee matches for WrestleMania next year, Cena has to bring his A+ game when it comes to demolishing Reigns on the mic. The Big Dog might want to brush up on his promos because he will get destroyed if he’s scripted to sound like a monotonous robot. Here’s hoping WWE can rearrange the pieces on the chess board because tonight’s experiment was a bust.

·        Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of Raw was middling at best. The opening segment and Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs. The Hardy Boyz were the best things on an otherwise boring show.

·        SummerSlam was a borderline meh show and WWE made matter worse by delivering a so-so Raw. The fans resorted to playing with beach balls and doing The Wave in order to pass the time. It’s never a good look to see fans entertain themselves when the wrestlers are supposed to be the main attraction. A part of me can’t blame them because the company didn’t give them much to sink their teeth into from an in-ring standpoint. However, their antics have become grating instead of humorous over the past couple of years which detracts from the overall viewing experience.

·        With SmackDown Live emanating from the same building and city tomorrow night, let’s hope the blue brand puts on an entertaining show that is hijack proof. Fingers crossed!


On that note, this wraps up another edition of The Raw Exposé. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back tomorrow night with a brand new installment of The SmackDown Files. See you later, boys and girls! 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Rick and Morty Recap: Season 3 Returns!!!



For all you Rick and Morty fans out there you know how long we waited for this season.  The wait was worth it, and I can’t wait for tonight’s all new episode. Each episode thus far has given us plenty of laughs and insight into the lives of these crazy characters.  I will now prompt the SPOILER ALERT for the remainder of this recap.

"The Rickshank Rickdemption"


 
 
Let’s start with the premiere episode that aired on April 1st and the fact that it was the greatest April fool’s joke ever. A surprise episode drop was amazing and scary because I almost missed it. The premiere was non-stop action and humor where Rick gets back at the Federation, the other Rick’s, and Jerry. This episode also brought a lot of attention to a discontinued sauce at McDonald's called Szechuan sauce. The way Rick was going on and on about the sauce had me wanting to give it a try, and I’m sure that plenty of others wanted a taste.
 
 
The show also had a guest appearance from Nathan Fillion who I know from Firefly and his character was fantastic. So, let me break it down for you the Federation entered Rick’s mind to learn his secrets. They believed they had them and his back story but this is Rick, and it’s never that simple. He tricks them quickly, escapes and starts jumping through bodies and in an elaborate plan he brings down the Federation, the other Ricks and gets Jerry back.
 
 
Through all the madness and plans the episodes finally shows the end of Beth and Jerry relationship. A relationship that has been volatile since the beginning of the show and the aftermath of this breakup will bleed into the remainder of these episodes.  The ending of the episode after the credits has rolled we see the return of Tammy and Bird Person now reborn as Phoenix Person.  So, we have that encounter to look forward to probably in the season finale.
 
 
 
 

"Rickmancing the Stone"

 
 
The second episode of this season had a Mad Max vibe but also dealt with the effects the divorce was having on the kids and Beth. With no effect on Rick he continues to have adventures just like normal but we the audience can tell Morty and Summer changed. Summer is emotionless and kills a man without blinking while Morty starts killing many people with a new arm who has a mind of its own. Beth is wondering how her kids are dealing with the divorce and spent most of the episode with robot versions of her children and Rick.
Jerry is staying in a motel being bullied by a whisper in the wind telling him he is a loser and Dog who eats his unemployment checks. I honestly feel so sorry for Jerry.  Summer, in the end, goes to visit her father and Morty simply states if Dad wanted to be here he would fight to be here. Will they stay separated or will they get back together?

"Pickle Rick"

 
 
The third episode was interesting because the family goes to therapy while Rick turns himself into a pickle. And yes, I said a pickle because he wanted to avoid going to therapy which backfired. Rick planned to turn himself back, but Beth took away the reversal antidote, and here we go on another adventure/therapy session. Rick ends up in the sewer and becomes this badass Pickle whose killing rats and people when he accidentally ends up in a secret facility.
 
This facility brings us a new character that will probably show up in later episodes. Jaguar whose is like this Rambo character who lost his daughter and will help Rick on future adventures. Rick manages to get out of the facility and ends up going to the therapy session anyway but as a pickle.  The session went well but this family has some deep-rooted issues that all lead to Rick and will take a few more episodes to resolve.
 
 
The adventures continue tonight at 11:30 pm on Adult Swim Rick and Morty: Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender. Watch the preview below to see what to expect for tonight’s episode.
 
Photo Credit: Nerdist.com, Heavy.com, Denofgeek.com, TheIndependent.com, Tumblr.com, Turner.com, Dateinfo.com, Adultswim.com
Created by: Jasmine Yard
 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The SmackDown Files: The One Where Arn Anderson Kills Tully The Stuffed Horse (An Ode To Friends)


By: Keila Cash 

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The SmackDown Files. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live emanated from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. WWE completes their two-night stand in the 6 as the blue brand puts the finishing touches on their side of the SummerSlam card. Did the creative team continue to build anticipation or lower expectations heading into the second biggest PPV of the year? The answer to that question can be found throughout this blog. Without further, let’s dissect tonight’s show in no particular order.

·        Daniel Bryan announced that John Cena will face Baron Corbin at SummerSlam as the opening segment featured Cena and Corbin trading barbs on the mic.

·        Cena’s promo wasn’t earth shattering, but he did a nice job putting over Shinsuke Nakamura before Corbin interrupted him.

·        Corbin’s new theme music is solid as he came out to a chorus of boos. He didn’t care about Cena shaking Nakamura’s hand and wasn’t out to earn anyone’s respect. Cena had a great one-liner that he lifted from a crowd sign stating that Corbin was a “Skinny Fat Loudmouth Overrated Dumpster Fire.” That fan should immediately be hired as the 29th member of the WWE creative team.

·        Cena doing a little improv with the crowd turned a so-so opener into an entertaining one. His match against Corbin will be interesting. Will the Lone Wolf show up and show out at the second biggest PPV of the year or will he lay an egg instead? We shall see.

·        The Usos defeated Tye Dillinger and Sami Zayn when Jimmy Uso made Dillinger tap out to the Tequila Sunrise in a solid match. The Canadians were over with the live crowd, but the outcome was never in doubt which ended things on a somewhat sour note.

·        After the match was over, Jimmy and Jey taunted The New Day and claimed that they were walking out of SummerSlam the new SmackDown Live Tag Team Champions.

·        However, The New Day made their presence known as Big E came out doing his signature gyration while Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods attacked The Usos from behind.

·        Kingston and Woods gave Jimmy and Jey a dose of their own medicine and were about to tune up the steel chairs when the twins scampered up the ramp.

·        The New Day showed aggression which is rare when it comes to their usual happy-go-lucky attitude. It’s a refreshing change of pace because they have every right to be pissed off after getting ambushed during their championship celebration a couple of weeks ago. It adds more heat to The New Day-Usos feud by upping the ante on the personal front.

·        Fashion Peaks continues to provide laugh out loud moments. From The Ascension stealing a pie to Fandango going through alleged anal probing, this segment had it all. The icing on the cake was Arn Anderson admitting that he destroyed Tully the Horse. It was a great cameo that had me rolling from start to finish. Fashion Peaks, how I love thee…

·        Charlotte defeated Lana when she made her tap out to the Figure Eight. This was a one-sided match that revealed one thing about Lana. She is booked like a novice who is openly mocked for being a mediocre wrestler at best. I don’t know if that’s going to help her get over as a star in the women’s division, but we shall see how it all plays out.

·        Shane McMahon tried to lay down the law leading up to his role as the special referee during the United States Championship match between AJ Styles and Kevin Owens. Styles and Owens made no bones about not trusting McMahon due to his last name and the history of his family screwing over famous Canadians.

·        Owens tried to stir the pot by showing a clip of Styles attacking Shane-O-Mac in the parking garage earlier this year which set up their match at WrestleMania. KO also used archival footage from the WWE Network illustrating how Shane screwed Stone Cold Steve Austin out of the WWF Championship at Survivor Series 1998.

·        It was a great way to add a level of mistrust heading into the match. Styles wanted to prove that he could beat Owens outright for the US Title and challenged him to a match tonight. Owens declined his offer because he wanted to regain the title in the United States instead of a loser city like Toronto.

·        Things turned physical when Owens punched Styles in the face which led to the Phenomenal One inadvertently nailing Shane with a Pele Kick. KO laughed at his handiwork before heading backstage.

·        The segment went a bit long, but I thought this was a nice way to add friction between McMahon, Owens, and Styles heading into SummerSlam. Owens did a great job downplaying the home country pop by insulting the crowd at every turn. He’s a true heel who doesn’t acknowledge the adulation of fans even though he’s a native son of Canada. I admire his consistency of living the gimmick to a tee.

·        Carmella defeated Naomi with a Superkick in a decent match. Naomi had a nice showing in the ring, but the fans telegraphed the finish when they started chanting for James Ellsworth. And sure enough, the Chinless One provided the distraction which led to the finish as Carmella scored another win over the SmackDown Women’s Champion.

·        The Women’s Title match featuring Naomi vs. Natalya at SummerSlam is being downplayed for whatever reason. Outside of a few interactions, there is no heat for this feud heading into the PPV next Sunday. Here’s hoping the creative team puts a little hot sauce on this match during the go-home show next week.

·        Randy Orton defeated Jinder Mahal with an RKO in a good main event match. If I’m not mistaken, this might've been Mahal’s first time headlining SD Live since becoming WWE Champion at Backlash. He rose to the occasion and had one of his better matches to date against Orton which surprisingly had the crowd hooked from start to finish.

·        Due to Mahal being Canadian, he was the hometown favorite while Orton received a mixed reaction whenever he pounced on the modern-day Maharaja. It created an interesting atmosphere, to say the least.

·        The finish came when Mahal tried to drop Orton with the Cobra Clutch Slam only for The Viper to counter with the RKO for the win. It would’ve been stunning to see Orton go 0-4 against Mahal, but it does the champ no favors losing a high profile match prior to his WWE Title defense against Shinsuke Nakamura at SummerSlam next Sunday. The booking is a little questionable because Mahal’s first loss should’ve taken place on PPV. Based on what happened at the end of the show, it’s even more baffling in hindsight.

·        Orton was about to head backstage when Rusev nailed him with a Superkick as SD Live abruptly went off the air. I’m sure the action continued on the WWE Network, but Rusev should’ve interfered during the match itself instead of Mahal eating the pin. Orton would still be winless against him, but the asterisk behind each loss would still mean something in the grand scheme of things. The Grudge Match would take place at a later date after Mahal lost fair and square on PPV. It’s a matter of keeping the champion strong and undefeated heading into SummerSlam.

·        Mahal vs. Nakamura is not as must-see without the hook of Mahal being undefeated. Most importantly, WWE might’ve telegraphed Mahal retaining the title by booking him to lose tonight which puts Nakamura in a tough spot when it comes to giving fans hope heading into the PPV. Perhaps Vince McMahon will change his mind at the 11th hour and deliver a surprise ending, but my enthusiasm for the SD Live main event is waning at an alarming rate.

·        Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live was decent at best. The last couple of weeks have been strong, but the show took a small a dip in terms of quality wrestling action. The Toronto crowd was hot, but it was a rough night for their fellow countrymen as Sami Zayn, Tye Dillinger, and Jinder Mahal lost their respective matches. At least Mahal was viewed as a star tonight. Perhaps WWE’s Expedition of Gold should take a detour from India to Canada since Mahal was super over.

·        The Road to SummerSlam will culminate with SD Live emanating from Providence, Rhode Island next week. The Women’s and WWE Title matches need to stand out from the pack heading into the PPV. Here’s hoping the creative team has the winning formula heading into the biggest party of the summer. Fingers crossed!


On that note, this wraps up another edition of The SmackDown Files. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back next week with a brand new installment of The Raw Exposé. See you later, boys and girls!