WWE was live in Manchester, New Hampshire for SmackDown Live. With only five days until Extreme Rules, this was the last chance for competitors to send their messages to their opponents before Sunday.
SmackDown kicks off with MizTV with guests Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane). Before the questions get asked, the ongoing tension between Miz and Daniel almost erupt, but Kane blocks anything from happening.
Miz tries to create dissension between Team Hell No by showing a collage of clips that show the past between Kane and Daniel. Times like Kane nearly abducting Daniel’s wife and nearly ending Daniels career. However, Daniel has none of it and attacks Miz, lifting the tension back. Kane tries to calm the issue but Miz tries to stir the pot leading to Kane nearly chokeslamming him.
However, SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) and then Sanity (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain) attack Team Hell No. Leading to The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E, & Xavier Woods) tries to make the save, but the two dominant forces of The Bludgeon Brothers & Sanity lay out Team Hell No and The New Day. Leading to a 10-Man tag team match for later in the night.
Shinsuke Nakamura v. AJ Styles
A major problem on SmackDown is the lack of development of the undercard. Even though we have seen AJ take on Shinsuke for the better part of the year so far, they are still fighting each other. Even though they are in different rivalries, they are still fighting each other. Less than a month after their epic encounter at Money in the Bank, they are still battling each other in what is being advertised as a WrestleMania rematch. AJ and Shinsuke could have faced several superstars that are on the roster. There is no need for this match to happen, however it did last night.
Before the match, Rusev comes out to state that on Sunday at Extreme Rules (which happens to be on Rusev Day), he will destroy the house that AJ Styles built and win the WWE Championship.
Shinsuke looks to hit the Kinshasa on AJ but hits Aiden English. Rusev then attacks AJ but United Champion Jeff Hardy comes to help AJ. Leading to General Manager Paige making a tag team match with the four competitors.
Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev v. AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy
The four combatants in the singles championship matches on Sunday compete in a tag team match on SmackDown. This will be the last chance for them to send a strong message to their opponents Sunday, when these rivals duke it out.
Rusev picks up yet another win hitting a Machka kick on Jeff Hardy for the pin and the win. Will Rusev leave Pittsburgh Sunday as WWE Champion and make it the biggest Rusev Day ever?
Battle of the Sexes II: Asuka v. James Ellsworth
In a contest to determine the superior gender, Asuka battles James Ellsworth in a rematch from last week, with an added twist. It’s a lumberjack match, with several women surrounding the ring to make sure Ellsworth doesn’t run away like last week.
The lumberjacks are the women of SmackDown. However, during this match, they spend more time beating on each other rather than doing their job of keeping the competitors in the ring.
Asuka was able to lay them all out except Carmella who stayed away from the chaos. Asuka would dodge a sneak attack from James who attempted to blind her with a spray. Asuka then put on the Asuka Lock for the win.
After the match, Carmella tried to attack Asuka from behind. However, James blinded Asuka with the spray leading to Carmella hitting her with a massive kick. How will Asuka fair against the numbers game with Carmella & James Ellsworth Sunday at Extreme Rules?
Backstage, General Manager Paige announces that at Extreme Rules, James Ellsworth will be locked and suspended in a shark cage above the ring during the Women’s Championship match.
Andrade “Cien” Almas v. Sin Cara
Finally, Andrade “Cien” Almas is finally back on SmackDown. Also, we finally get the match between Almas & Sin Cara that had been building for the past month. Sin Cara was out for over a month with an elbow injury.
Almas picks up the win in an impressive contest between these two superstars. Each of their luchador backgrounds played a role in this contest. Almas shows his future is bright and he can go nowhere but up.
New Day & Team Hell No v. Sanity & The Bludgeon Brothers
Sunday, Team Hell No gets their chance at the Tag Team Championships against The Bludgeon Brothers. Also, The New Day faces Sanity in a tables match on the Extreme Rules Kickoff Show. However, all ten men collide in a massive 10-man tag team match.
The match begins with all the men from each team brawling with each other. A glimpse of what Sunday might look. These teams took the fight to each other to send their message to their opponents before Sunday.
Daniel was able to hit the flying knee to Eric Young for the win. Team Hell No has all the momentum heading into Extreme Rules Sunday. Could they be the next tag team champions after Sunday?
The blue brand still continues to be the show to see, as anticipation continues to rise heading toward the Extreme Rules pay-per-view. These SmackDown shows still have issues, mainly the lack of depth in the roster. However, being the go home show to Extreme Rules, the main storylines going into Sunday are going to be the most prominent. However, hopefully after Extreme Rules, the depth and talent of SmackDown can be shown more often.