Roman Reigns vs Rusev with Alberto del Rio and King Barrett
SmackDown opened with an interesting turn of events. Alliances were tested. Roman sustained a nasty blow to the shoulder from slamming into the steel steps. Rusev continued to control the pace by arm locking Roman and utilized a lateral press. Roman outmaneuvered the oncoming Bulgarian Brute and Rusev flew shoulder first into the post.
A distraction by The League of Nations caused a disqualification. Dean Ambrose came to the rescue for an overmatched Reigns. Ambrose attempted a suicide dive on The Leagues of Nations, but Ambrose inadvertently crashed into Roman. Can Roman trust The Lunatic Fringe?
Later, Dean blames his demented mind for the error.
Kalisto vs Kevin Owens (Dolph Ziggler as guest commentator)
Kevin Owens was at home in the ring, treating it like his playground. He bounced Kalisto off the ropes like a basketball, launched the Luchador off the barricade, and even powerbombed Kalisto on Ziggler. The Canadian only had one weakness: paying more attention to Dolph Ziggler. The Showoff distracted KO and Kalisto secured a rollup pin.
Ryback vs Erick Rowan with Braun Strowman
This match was like watching two grizzly bears going at it. Ryback was in trouble with a knuckle vice lock. Erick continued the punishment by tangling Ryback in the top turnbuckle and tattooed him with punches. Ryback threw a missile drop kick, Jerry “The King” Lawler coined the move a Flyback. The crowd cheered “Feed me more.” Ryback drove Erick into Braun and picked up the big win with a Meat Hook clothesline.
AJ Styles vs The Miz (Chris Jericho as guest commentator)
The Miz and AJ feud started verbally and finished verbally. While impressive on the microphone, The Miz proved to be all talk. AJ endured taunting, a vicious slam into the barricade, and a short DDT. With a flying springboard and a calf crusher, AJ won by way of tapout.
Chris Jericho congratulated the WWE newcomer, but questioned his greatness. Does AJ have what it takes to be legendary? Does he have what it takes to beat Jericho twice? Jericho proposed a rematch and AJ agreed, stating, “I am more than great. I am phenomenal.”
The New Day vs The Social Outcasts
“If you’re not first, you’re last.” The New Day quoted Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights and taunted The Social Outcasts for not having gold. The New Day targeted Adam Rose, unicorn stampeding him in the corner. Big E further mocked Adam Rose by twerking over The Social Outcast while knocked out. Rose spine busted Xavier but it was not enough. The New Day proved victorious with a pinfall strategically aided by placing feet on the ropes.
Charlotte with Ric Flair vs Alicia Fox with Brie Bella
Alicia would be in the conversation for the Diva’s Championship if she could beat Charlotte. Brie took umbrage to Charlotte and mocked her for losing to her on Raw. With a split leg drop, Alicia was one fall away from the win. Charlotte prevailed and headscissored Alicia, slamming the Diva’s face into the ring. After a double boot, both ladies were down. Charlotte secured the win with the Figure 8. Surprisingly, Ric Flair did not interfere.
Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs Alberto del Rio and Rusev with King Barrett
Dean proved to be unstable the entire night. After choking Rusev in a headlock, he grinded The Bulgarian Brute’s face into the canvas, laughing the entire time.
Roman, on the other hand, was worn out from a roundhouse kick and ran into Alberto del Rio’s boot.
The Lunatic Fringe built momentum with a high-flying drop kick and sent Rusev over the top ropes. A distraction caused Dean to spear Roman, the second accident of the night. The former Shield members exchanged heated words but powered through to win the contest.
The question lingers, can Roman trust Dean?
by Ashley D’Hooge