SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
MAY 29, 2018
RALEIGH, N.C. AT PNC ARENA
PREVIEW BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
The WWE makes its return to Raleigh five years after its last appearance.
SAMOA JOE VS. DANIEL BRYAN
We continue on the path to the Money in the Bank PPV, as the final competitor for the men’s ladder match will be decided in a match between Samoa Joe and Daniel Bryan. Bryan had a second chance match with Jeff Hardy last week to determine who would face Joe in the final qualifier this week. Hardy was previously unsuccessful punching his ticket as he lost a tremendously competitive match against The Miz a few weeks ago while Daniel couldn’t get past the Bulgarian Brute Rusev.
Due to an injury to Big Cass, who was supposed to face Samoa Joe in a qualifier last week, Bryan and Hardy were given a second chance and delivered a fine one-on-one for the Worcester, Mass. fans. After a great exchange of offense, the leader of the “Yes! Movement” came out victorious with a heel lock submission. Bryan couldn’t celebrate for long as Joe, who had been on guest commentary, got in his face after the match. Moments later in gorilla with Renee Young, he told everyone he would put Daniel to sleep.
What will happen this week? These two wrestlers have crossed paths on the independent scene; however, never in a WWE ring. Daniel Bryan’s previous Smackdown match in this arena was a loss to Dean Ambrose, then of the Shield. Will the venue prove unsuccessful once again, or will this second chance propel him to the annual ladder match he won back in 2011?
NEW DAY VS. THE MIZ & THE BAR
Another match announced for this week is a six-man tag featuring The New Day vs. The Miz & The Bar. Last week The New Day were guests on Miz TV. We thought we were going to find out whom of The Booty O’s clan would enter Money in the Bank, as they had won the right to choose a member in their previous victory over The Bar. After quite the spirited verbal exchange between both parties we did not get a result, however a match was announced between Big E and The Miz. The A-lister would come out victorious as Sheamus and Cesaro would come out and attack Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston on the outside. This caused Big E to be distracted, allowing Miz to hit the skull crushing finale and score the pin. This week, all six gentlemen will do battle. Can the New Day regroup? Does Miz come out on top again with help from a tag team with whom he’s previously been paired?
-Some other issues of which we should pay attention is the continued rivalry of Shinsuke Nakamura and WWE Champion A.J. Styles. Nakamura announced their match for the title at Money in the Bank will be Last Man Standing. Will their be a further exchange between these two now very fierce rivals?
-Also Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella reiterated how she had been victorious twice over Charlotte, who had previously beaten her upcoming challenger Asuka at WrestleMania. Will Asuka have something to say this week to the Queen of Staten Island, or will Carmella continue to trash talk her upcoming opponent who recently touted quite an impressive undefeated streak?
-Lana qualified for the women’s Money in the Bank ladder in quick victory over Billie Kay. Will the IIconics seek a measure of revenge? Rusev is advertised for the show, therefore Lana can’t be far behind.
-Let’s also look for Andrade “Cien” Almas who scored his second victory last week since debuting on the main roster. Though not advertised for the show, will Elidolo and his business manager Zelina Vega grace us with presence? Finally The Good Brothers Gallows & Anderson scored what could be classified as an upset over The Usos in a #1 contender’s match to face The Bludgeon Brothers for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship at Money in the Bank. Will the Usos seek revenge? Will the current Tag Champs have something to say to their upcoming challengers?
-According to PCNarena.com, dark matches announced are Shinsuke Nakamura vs. WWE Champion A.J. Styles. In addition Daniel Bryan and Jeff Hardy team to face Big Cass and The Miz. It will be interesting to see if this is changed due to Cass’s injury, or occurs at all depending on what happens in Daniel Bryan and/or Miz’s matches. Also advertised are Charlotte Flair, Carmella, The Bludgeon Brothers, and G.M. Paige. The card of course is “subject to change.”