Smackdown, Smackdown, Smackdown…no huge surprises in this recap, so let’s get started!
The newly reformed Team Hell No started off the show. The Usos came out and couldn’t believe General Manager Paige gave Team Hell No a title shot just by hugging each other. Team Hell No argues on whether or not they should face the Usos tonight. Paige’s music hits and she states that the Usos will take on Team Hell No in the main event. If the Usos win, they will be added to the Smackdown tag team title match at Extreme Rules to make it a triple threat.
Before Smackdown starts, James Ellsworth took to Twitter to let Asuka know he is ready for her:
It’s almost time!!
IM READY FOR @WWEAsuka
NO ONE IS READY FOR ELLSWORTH!!! #SDLive
— James Ellsworth (@realellsworth) July 3, 2018
Ellsworth is seen backstage in the locker room flexing. He goes on to continue with his sexist rants saying how men are stronger than women. His match against Asuka is happening in moments and he seems rather confident that he can beat her due to the fact that he is a man.
Asuka did come out first for the match, followed by Ellsworth. The referee seems confused and that he didn’t know when to ring the bell. He was clearly waiting for something. This match, for lack of a better term, did not start until the Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella moonwalked her way on stage. She proceeded to the announce table to guest commentate the match. After Ellsworth did 3 push-ups (it was barely 3, I counted) and rolled up his sleeves, the referee finally rings the bell.
Asuka pushes Ellsworth down and he immediately rolls out of the ring. Carmella steps off commentary and tells him that he needs to get back in the ring. He gets back in the ring for about 5 seconds (I timed that as well), and then after Asuka hit him a few times and had him in a headlock he rolls back out of the ring.
Ellsworth does not have a single offensive moment in this match. Asuka continues to hit him and she gets him up on her shoulders and spins around with him. After Ellsworth fights back throwing up from all the spinning, he gets a big slap to the face by the Empress. He then leaves the ring and jumps over the barricade. He takes off running through the crowd to what appears to be the lobby area but they never show where he goes. Asuka runs after him in hot pursuit of the chinless wonder. Due to this, they are both counted out. Just moments after the referee calls for the bell, Ellsworth comes running back to the ring with Asuka right behind him. She catches him back at the barricade, but he gets away just in time for Carmella to push Asuka into the barricade (rather lightly I might add).
After the match, Carmella is giving Ellsworth some tough love backstage. Ellsworth reiterates how hard Asuka slapped him. Paige shows up and lets Ellsworth know that he will not be getting away from Asuka next week as they will have a rematch with a stipulation. Since Ellsworth is such a ladies man, the women’s roster will surround the ring next week for his match because it will be a Lumberjack match.
Now we witness a match that was originally set for last week but we had Lynch face Sonya Deville instead. Lynch faced off against Peyton Royce. Being one half of the IIconics, Royce set out to avenge her partner, Billie Kay‘s loss to Lynch two weeks ago. The match had potential. Both ladies had high energy, however, neither woman was pushed to their limits. If they were given a longer time to be pushed to their limits, this could have been a better match. The ending was rather predictable as it was the fate of many women before Royce. Royce had the Irish Lass Kicker up on her shoulders about to do a big move when Lynch was able to counter out of it and roll her over and get her into the dis-arm-her. Royce taps out and Lynch is once again victorious.
Unrelated to the match, but the IIconics were featured on WWE’s Ride Along this week. Check out this clip of when they were told they were going to be moved up to Smackdown:
— WWE (@WWE) July 3, 2018
Thoughts: Well, as I stated in the beginning, no surprises. I had little hope that when Asuka was facing Ellsworth that it would be an actual match.
They could have done so much with this match and made it Extreme Rules ready. I get they want to still have that separation between Carmella and Asuka. They generally want to keep PPV participants from having matches before the PPV, which I understand. However, when Asuka chased Ellsworth out of the ring, through the crowd, and to wherever they ended up, they could have done so much more. They could have had some hardcore action. Asuka could have hit Ellsworth with a trashcan, a chair, whatever was around.
This really did not add any sort of excitement for any sort of follow up. Next week we will see Ellsworth face Asuka in a Lumberjack match. At least we will see all the women out around the ring, but I will use the term “match” loosely again here.
I was really disappointed that they did not a follow up with a tag team of Ravishing Glow. Naomi and Lana would be a great tag team and after their discussion about it last week with the GLOW cast, I had some hope. Naomi and Lana both had good performances in the Money in the Bank Ladder match and haven’t stepped foot in the ring since. I’d love to see them feud against the IIconics or Mandy/Sonya. It would be nice to see IIconics win a match since I don’t think they have since they beat Becky and Asuka in a tag team contest.
As far as the Becky and Peyton match, it really did have potential. I would love to see a match where they take each other to the limits. I love that Becky keeps winning, but what bothers me is it is always with the Dis-Arm-Her. It is becoming rather predictable. I feel like they are pushing her to a title chance, but it would be more interesting to me if she had a solid storyline against someone instead of just beating someone different every week. I just hope this means Becky will be feuding with whoever is champ after Extreme Rules for a kick butt match at Summer Slam.
Overall they could have done much more from this Smackdown. They could have had Asuka and Ellsworth go extreme, and they could have given Becky and Peyton a longer match if they really wanted to. However, we wouldn’t have had that pancake eating contest then. Shucks.
What did you think of last nights Smackdown? Are you hoping Becky gets a title match at SummerSlam? Would you have liked Asuka and Ellsworth to get extreme? Chat about the show in the comments below!!