Recap: The show led off with the previously advertised “Women’s Summit” with Naomi, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Lana. Paige gave a speech about how the women in the ring would bring the briefcase to SmackDown. The four women argued over who would win.
The IIconics then came to the ramp. They mocked Becky’s accent, Charlotte’s mannerisms, and Naomi’s dancing. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville then appeared, claiming that the talent outside of the ring was superior than the talent inside.
The faces in the ring then exited the ring to attach the heels. The camera cut away during the brawl. An 8-woman tag match was set.
Later backstage, Asuka asked Paige for a match against Carmella. Paige declined, but instead added Carmella and Asuka to the tag match, making it a 10-woman tag.
During a backstage makeup statement, Carmella commented on how little makeup she needs to look great. Renee attempted an interview, but Carmella laughed off her questions about Asuka.
In the main event, Asuka tapped out Carmella with the Asuka Lock.
Evaluation: The dialogue for the “Summit” was scripted as usual, but was at least better than last night’s opening segment on Raw.
Carmella consistently cuts the best promos among the women, and tonight’s makeup room segment was no different.
It didn’t strike me until tonight, but the heel-face dynamic is very unbalanced for the women’s MITB. All of the SmackDown women are faces, as are all of the Raw women other than Alexa Bliss. I suppose Sasha Banks and Lana could potentially play heels in the match, as their face-heel status has been somewhat up in the air in recent weeks.
Forecast: Asuka tapping out Carmella tonight makes me think Carmella may retain on Sunday. I would not expect her to beat Asuka cleanly. The match itself could be ugly, as up until now Carmella’s in-ring work hasn’t been great. Maybe Asuka is great enough to bring out the best in her.
BRYAN LOOKS INTENSE…
Recap: Early in the show, they cut to a Daniel Bryan selfie promo. This one was actually good, as Bryan came across as very intense and unscripted in promising to make Cass tap out on Sunday.
Daniel Bryan had a later match against Shelton Benjamin, which he won with a heel hook. During the match, Shelton worked Bryan’s knee, and the announcers commented that it was weak.
Cass cut a promo late in the show, claiming that he had done an earlier appearance at the opening of a new roller coaster. He then revealed the height requirement poster for the new roller coaster, which was 7 feet. He claimed Daniel Bryan didn’t make the height requirement for the ride.
Evaluation: I really liked the passion and intensity in Bryan’s promo. On the other hand, all of Cass’ roller coaster stuff just to further insult Bryan’s height seemed forced.
Forecast: My fear is that selling the knee was done to set up Bryan losing on Sunday. I really, really hope that isn’t the case, as no one wants to see this feud continue.
PANCAKES TO A NEW LOW…
Recap: Miz was performing weird movements backstage in a referee shirt and headband. Paige came across him and asked what he was doing. Miz made up a fake story about rehearsing for a movie about a dog refereeing at WrestleMania called “Ruff Ruff Ref.” Miz claimed that being named referee for the Samoa Joe v. Rusev would be good for his character research. Perplexingly, Paige first claimed that she saw through him and would not comply, but then at the end of the promo named him referee anyway.
During the match, Joe accidentally hit Miz, leading to Miz refusing to make a count for a Joe pin attempt. Eventually Rusev hit the Matchka kick for the win.
After the match, Rusev hit Joe with the ladder and began to climb it to pull down the decorative briefcase. Miz pulled Rusev off the ladder and hit the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz climbed the ladder, and triumphantly slammed the briefcase down in front of Byron Saxton. It was then revealed that the briefcase was full of pancakes. Miz screamed in anger.
Evaluation: I cannot believe that we had several segments all to build to this stupid pancake prank. Presumably Paige was in on it, but how did they know Miz would even get up the ladder.
Why would Miz even care that there were pancakes inside? It’s just a decorative briefcase, not the real one for the MITB match. It’s not like he missed out on the real contract due to pancakes being in the briefcase.
Forecast: The pancakes garbage will never die.
Although he was only on the show for a minute, at least AJ Styles did a standard face wrestling promo that wasn’t awful….
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – SMACKDOWN 6/5: Building Carmella vs. Asuka, Shinsuke vs. AJ, More Pancakes