ORTON CONTINUES HIS ROLL…
Recap: The show began with Randy Orton in the ring. He recapped his beating on Jeff Hardy last week. He said he could’ve warned the audience to turn away, but he wanted them to be squeamish in their seats. He said he’d become so violent that the fans would want to turn away, but they wouldn’t, out of hope. He said he had erased the enigma, but still didn’t receive the respect he deserved. He told the fans that because they didn’t give him the respect he deserved, he’d have to take it. He said he would erase every wrestler that the fans believe in. Orton closed by saying, “R-K…” and dropping the mic before giving the fans the “O” they wanted.
Renee interviewed Shinsuke Nakamura later backstage. She asked about his match with Jeff Hardy at SummerSlam, to which Nakamura responded that Hardy had already been erased. R-Truth then appeared, demanding a match for the US Title at SummerSlam. Truth said he would earn the match the way everyone earns matches on SmackDown, by pinning Carmella. Tye Dillinger informed Truth that things don’t work that way, pointing at Shinsuke. Truth thought Tye was pointing at Renee, and remarked that a match with her would be ridiculous. Shinsuke then said something to Truth in Japanese, which Truth seemed to understand and find offensive. As a result, Truth asked for his match with Carmella to be replaced with a match against Shinsuke tonight.
Shinsuke defeated R-Truth in their match.
Evaluation: Randy Orton cut a phenomenal promo tonight. This may have been the best one since his reinvigoration a few weeks ago. After so many years of mediocre effort, he’s really been on a roll these past few weeks.
The R-Truth segment was goofy, but it worked. I strongly preferred it to the New Day’s comedy segments.
Forecast: As good as Orton has been, I can’t see any way he’s not added to the US Title match at SummerSlam.
CHARLOTTE AND BECKY ARE TENSE…
Recap: Backstage, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch discussed last week’s turn of events. It was awkward, as Becky told Charlotte that she wanted to be happy for her, but she also wanted Carmella one-on-one. They both agreed they would be on the same page for their tag match with the IIconics.
In the match itself, Charlotte and Becky were on the same page. The match ended with Charlotte submitting Billie Kay with the Figure 8. Charlotte and Becky hugged afterwards.
Backstage, the two initially seemed euphoric at their victory, discussing how much they enjoyed tagging together. Becky quickly soured, however, relating how things would be changing between them in two weeks. Charlotte attempted to reassure her by saying they would simply need to be as great facing each other as they are together, and offered her the “tea party” hand signal. Becky obliged with the hand signal, but while doing so gave Charlotte a stare.
Evaluation: Becky is hitting all the right notes in her promos. She looks earnestly uncomfortable and awkward, while still wanting to do the right thing deep down.
Forecast: They really could go either way with a heel turn here. We know from past experience that Charlotte is a great heel (better than she is a face), but as much as Becky has been firing on all cylinders I’m hesitant to say she wouldn’t cut it as a heel either.
NEW DAY ADVANCE TO SUMMERSLAM…
Recap: While interviewing the New Day, Renee mentioned that social media had been buzzing about their commentary last week. They said they had something different planned this week and asked Renee to leave. Kofi then debuted a bowtie and put on a blonde wig, claiming to be reporter Kramer Kingman. He interviewed the New Day in a stereotypically nasal white poindexter voice.
The tag team tournament final match against the Bar began with the crowd unfortunately chanting for pancakes. New Day ended up winning the match with the Midnight Hour.
Evaluation: I don’t understand the Kramer Kingman thing. I thought it was awful, but the crowd seemed to like it, so I expect it to return.
The match was good, despite the disappointing (to me) result of New Day advancing.
Forecast: As dominant as the Bludgeon Brothers have been made out to be, I would expect them to retain at SummerSlam.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – SMACKDOWN 7/31: Triple Threat for the Women’s Title at SummerSlam, Bryan vs Miz, Joe Calls Out AJ