For the second night in a row at Madison Square Garden, WWE’s talent continued to perform in an arena enriched in history. This time, SmackDown was up to the plate. This is the last show prior to Clash of Champions this Sunday, so it was all about building up the matches on the pay-per-view card. There wasn’t as big of a match such as the Four Horsewomen tag team match that took place on RAW, but the women were still featured decently.
The two matches of the night were Mandy Rose vs. Nikki Cross and Ember Moon vs. Bayley. Having the Women’s Tag Title build-up for Clash of Champions was crucial as it didn’t appear on RAW last night. Fire & Desire were announced as the challengers for the tag titles over the weekend as a result of Rose pinning Alexa Bliss last week on SmackDown.
Prior to the match, Rose took to the mic to address Cross. She continued with her bullying from last week where she brags about being better looking than Cross. Rose states that she is beautiful and Cross is ugly. She puts up a side by side photo of the two of them on the screen. She chose the most unflattering picture of Cross to prove her point.
The Golden Goddess continues by saying that Cross looks like an “oversized rat crawling out of the Lincoln Tunnel.” Alexa Bliss comes out first followed by Cross. Cross doesn’t waste any time and rushes to the ring attacking Rose.
The match was decent but short. It ends with Cross first hitting a bulldog as she then heads up to the turnbuckle to execute a crossbody. As she is up top, Sonya Deville jumps on the ring apron and attempts to cause a distraction. Bliss takes Deville crashing down off the ring apron to the floor. Cross misses the crossbody, but then Rose misses a running knee. Cross rolls her up for the win.
Cross looked strong heading into Clash of Champions with a victory.
The second match occurred when Ember Moon approached Bayley backstage. Moon criticized Bayley for doing what she did to Becky Lynch stating that ever since Sasha has been back, she has changed. She is not understanding that what Bayley is doing is helping boost the SmackDown women’s division as the champ claims. Moon also threw it in Bayley’s face that she was pinned by Charlotte Flair on RAW last night.
The match was another short one and didn’t do much in Moon’s favor which was to be expected. Flair was on commentary throughout the bout. She mentions that Bayley has never beat her without help from Sasha Banks. Bayley was able to pick up the win. After the match, Flair entered the ring and motioned that she will become a 10-time champion in her hometown at Clash of Champions.
More could have been done from this, but Bayley simply smiled, nodded, and exited the ring. It would have made more sense if they would have brawled or at least gotten into it somewhat seeing as they have been hyping Bayley up to be more aggressive as of late.
It makes sense for Bayley to pick up the win on Moon as she took the pin from Flair on RAW. After the great tag team match from RAW though it just left me wanting more from SmackDown.
Winner: Nikki Cross
Cross redeems herself from the lost her and Bliss took last week. Successfully beating Rose heading into their title match on Sunday shows that she is a strong champion. It doesn’t seem likely that Bliss and Cross will lose their titles, so if Rose would have picked up this win it wouldn’t have been the worst thing.
Loser: Mandy Rose
Rose talked a lot of talk prior to the match, but when it came down to it she couldn’t back it up and fell short. It would have obviously favored her and Deville if she would have picked up the win. Basically the reasons why Cross is a winner this week is also the reasons why Rose is on the losing end.
Loser: Ember Moon
She needs to turn heel and have a solid storyline. Her gimmick isn’t doing anyone justice as a babyface. It is understandable for Bayley to have someone put her over in this go-home show, but it did nothing for Moon.
They could have easily slid Liv Morgan into this role over Moon. She could have easily been the side storyline to transfer into the main storyline after whoever wins at Clash of Champions.
What did you think of this week’s SmackDown? Who were your Winners & Losers? Did you expect more from Bayley and Flair? Discuss your thoughts in the comment section.
Check back with Diva Dirt on Sunday for any potential title changes at Clash of Champions.