The Miz vs. Big E: It’s difficult to remember the last time The Miz wasn’t entertaining or didn’t have a great segment and Tuesday nights opening segment was no different. Miz TV kicked off Smackdown Live with special guests The New Day. Miz did a tremendous job drawing heat whether it was touting the Cleveland Cavaliers or attempting to create a rift inside The New Day. After the Miz TV segment, Miz had a solid match with Big E that resulted in a win thanks to distraction tactics from The Bar. Miz’s in-ring work is as good as its ever been and he showed it again Tuesday night. The match lasted about 11 minutes as the crowd was behind this one from jump street. Good way to open the show, good back and forth, but nothing we will remember a week or two from now.
Bryan’s Enthusiasm Promo: Daniel Bryan’s backstage promo following the opening match was very good. It’s become obvious that with each promo Bryan’s talking skills become more and more believable. He put over Jeff Hardy, his opponent in the main event, calling him a legend and a revolutionary, but then vowing that on this night he will make the legend tap out. Real solid promo to elevate the main event
Lana Day: It’s about time WWE embraced Rusev Day as a babyface act. It’s something that should’ve rang their bell a month or two ago. Nonetheless, with the help of Aiden English, Lana qualified for the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match with her match against IIconics member Billie Kay in about a minute. I have this as a “Hit” because of how over Rusev Day is. The crowd was hot for Lana (not meant how it reads) and English even without Rusev.
A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura Stipulation Reveal: Anytime A.J. Styles is on screen it’s going to be special regardless of what he’s involved in. Shinsuke Nakamura spoke very well during this segment making Styles watch and see why Shinsuke can make this call to begin with. Nakamura came off a weasel-type heel and Styles played with it. The chemistry between the two came off strong and the crowd was into it. Nakamura chose a Last Man Standing Match at Money in the Bank for the WWE Championship. The brawl between the two men elevated this lengthy rivalry and should continue brewing leading up to the PPV payoff.
Naomi vs. Sonya Deville: It was a quick match. That said, I was impressed with Deville’s performance against the former Women’s Champion. Deville has stepped up her game as of late and I think she should be considered as a real contender down the pipe sooner rather than later. Naomi won with a roll-up to qualify for the women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match.
MAIN EVENT – Daniel Bryan vs. Jeff Hardy: It’s amazing that it’s 2018 and this match was actually a real thing. It was refreshing to see a “wrestling match.” Two extremely over babyface Superstars facing off with Money in the Bank implications means a lot. Both guys sold their behinds off in this match. Bryan continues to show he hasn’t changed his style much at all and still took high risk chances. Same, per normal, can be said for Hardy who hung with Bryan the whole way through. Hardy submitted to a heel lock following a wicked dragon sweeper. Hardy had been selling a left knee injury since mid-match.
Andrade Cien Almas: It’s not the performer I am blaming for this “Miss.” It’s the booking of his match against an unnamed jobber. Oh I’m sorry, “enhancement talent.” Almas beat his opponent in a little over a minute with a hammerlock DDT. I like Almas and Zelina Vega and hope there’s a payoff somewhere down the line soon.
Gallows & Anderson vs. The Usos: What could’ve been a great tag team matchup turned into anything but. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson have arguably been the most underused team on the roster since their arrival and The Usos may be the tag team of the decade. So, to say this quick five-minute bout was a disappointment is a gross understatement. The match ended with a Magic Killer finisher and a clean pin. Gallows & Anderson will head to Money in the Bank to try and earn the Smackdown Tag Team titles against The Bludgeon Brothers.
Carmella Backstage Promo: Maybe I am too hard on her, but there’s nothing Carmella has done to show me she’s a solid Women’s Champion. Her promos aren’t convincing and same can be said with her in-ring work. She touted the fact she beat Charlotte twice and talked about how she plans on beating Asuka at Money in the Bank as well.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS COLUMN: WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES 5/15: Mellabration with Paige, Styles vs. Nakamura, Daniel Bryan opening promo, New Day vs. Bar, Almas debut