Original Air Date: June 27, 2017
Event Date: June 27, 2017 (aired live)
Commentary: Tom Phillips, JBL, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
SmackDown is about opportunity and capitalizes on those opportunities when they present themselves.
Daniel Bryan heads to the ring. Bryan says he is proud of the women on SmackDown and talks about the two big matches in the women’s division tonight. He is interrupted by Carmella and James Ellsworth as he speaks.
Carmella says SmackDown isn’t about opportunity, it’s about injustice. She repeats her exact argument from last week, her completely fallacious argument that completely misses the point. Bryan tells Carmella she has some valid points but points out the actual correct argument in this case, the fact that Ellsworth was the one to retrieve the briefcase. He asks the crowd if he should cancel tonight’s ladder match and hand the briefcase to Carmella. The crowd reacts as you’d expect.
Ellsworth tells everyone to shut up. He says the people in the crowd are the true villains here for manipulating Daniel Bryan. Ellsworth used to look up to Bryan as a man, but now he only sees a coward who made up an injury to avoid competing in the ring. After a few seconds of intense staring, Bryan laughs. He says he could just fire Ellsworth, but tonight isn’t about him. It’s about the women in the ladder match. He then decides to ban Ellsworth from the arena for the rest of the night. Security comes out and drags Ellsworth away.
Hype Bros vs The Usos (SD Tag Champs)
(referee: Ryan Tran; special stipulation: if Hype Bros win they get a tag title match)
Result: Jimmy Uso pins Zack Ryder after a Samoan Splash
Time: 2:21 (1 break)
This was okay, but it was very short. I feel like it should have either been a lot more competitive, or they should have postponed this until sometime after New Day’s next title match. As it was, it didn’t have a ton of intrigue since it seemed almost guaranteed that the Hype Bros weren’t going to get a title shot. But if they use this match as a reason to maybe break up the Hype Bros, or at least have them wrestle as singles wrestlers while still being friends, then I think it will work well in the long run. Otherwise the match just feels like a blow-off.
New Day heads to the ring after the match. They start talking but the Usos cut them off. They’ll take a pass on beating up New Day tonight, but at Battleground they’re going to send them crying back to their playpen. New Day gets the last word with a rhyme from Kofi. Then they dance.
In the latest episode of “Fashion Vice,” Breezango interrogates The Ascension. Fandango plays good cop by offering The Ascension some Eddie Money tickets for information. When that doesn’t work, Tyler Breeze fails at playing bad cop when he offers Viktor and Konnor some ice tea and a cheese platter. Breezango then finds their office has once again been trashed while they were performing their interrogation.
SmackDown Women’s Title Match
Lana vs Naomi (SD Women’s Champ)
(referee: Mike Chioda)
Result: Naomi wins via pinfall with a split-legged moonsault
This was barely a match. Lana attacked Naomi from behind before the opening bell, but the match itself was extremely short. It makes me wonder why they had this match at all. I suppose it was to reestablish Naomi as a strong champ after having a relative wrestling rookie actually give her a competitive match. It certainly accomplished that goal.
Dasha Fuentes welcomes Becky Lynch. Becky says a fair chance is all she needs to legitimately win the women’s Money in the Bank contract.
Aiden English is in the ring and literally singing his own praises when Randy Orton interrupts. Orton asks English to leave the ring and hits him with an RKO when he doesn’t. Orton then sits down in a chair and refuses to leave the ring until he gets what he wants. What he wants is a rematch for the WWE Title. If he doesn’t get one, he will repeatedly beat up Jinder Mahal until he does get one. Mahal doesn’t come out, so Orton prepares to head to the back to hunt him down.
Shane McMahon comes out and heads to the ring before Orton can leave. He tells Orton that he can’t have wrestlers threatening the safety of the WWE Champ. Orton says he doesn’t care about getting into trouble. Mahal disrespected his family. McMahon points out that Orton himself has attacked people’s family members in the past, including McMahon’s own family. McMahon does agree to give Orton a title match though. He also says that the match will be competed in a stipulation of the champ’s choosing.
Jinder Mahal comes out to the stage with the Singh Brothers. He’s not happy. Despite the prejudice he’s enduring, he decides on the match type for Battleground. He wants to battle Orton in a Punjabi Prison Match. The crew apparently anticipated this entire “impromptu” segment because they immediately put pictures of a Punjabi Prison Match setup on the tron.
** Am I the only one that thinks the Punjabi Prison being made out of bamboo feels kind of strange? I mean, Jinder Mahal’s character seems to be all about modernity and money and power, but he decides to have a match that paints the Punjab region of India as some backwater civilization that still constructs their prison cells out of bamboo. It doesn’t fit. I understand Mahal’s thing is also about “the culture of his people” which has really only broadly been inferred as people from India who speak Punjabi, but are bamboo prisons a thing he really wants to celebrate? It feels completely tone deaf to me. **
AJ Styles wants to talk to Daniel Bryan about Kevin Owens’ open challenge. Owens interrupts and says that his open challenges are for people that he hasn’t beaten yet. He’s beaten Styles, therefore Styles is a loser. Bryan has an idea. Next week there will be a battle royal to determine a number one contender for Owens’ title. Styles likes the idea. Owens doesn’t.
A trailer for the upcoming WWE 2K18 video game featuring Seth Rollins on the cover.
Mike and Maria Kanellis come out to the stage. They begin to talk (probably about love) when Sami Zayn’s music plays. Sami walks past them on his way to the ring for a match.
Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin
(referee: Eddie Orengo; watching in the back: Shinsuke Nakamura)
Result: Baron Corbin wins via pinfall after End of Days
Time: 5:10 (1 break)
Good match. Corbin probably needed this to make him a serious and credible threat as Mr. Money in the Bank. Getting one win back on Sami Zayn (in a rather brutal and one-sided fashion) doesn’t really hurt Zayn, but it does even out the lopsided nature of their previous feud when Zayn got a few wins.
Dasha Fuentes asks Nakamura about facing Corbin one-on-one. Nakamura says Corbin is dangerous, but he’s scared of what Nakamura can do.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a SmackDown Women’s Title Match Contract
Charlotte Flair vs Natalya vs Tamina vs Becky Lynch vs Carmella
(outside referees: Dan Engler, Danilo Anfibio, Ryan Tran)
Result: Carmella retrieves the briefcase and becomes Ms. Money in the Bank
A very good match. I wish they had done this the first time. It kind of makes me wonder what the point of all of the “controversy” was. I don’t think it gave any more heat to Carmella than it would have if they had done the match this way on the PPV.
Without the main event match this would have been a pretty good to average show with more of an emphasis on story and talking than on wrestling. But the main event does make this a good and memorable show.
Match of the Night
Women’s MitB Ladder Match
When I look at this match without thinking about the story that necessitated it, I think it’s a very good match. Very entertaining and a great step for the women in WWE. This plus the women’s gauntlet match main eventing RAW this week makes this a great week for the WWE women’s divisions. The story (and its implications) surrounding the first (and second) women’s MitB matches is always going to bother me, but I won’t let that take away from the great work done by all the women who competed on TV this week. It really was fantastic.