Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy def. SmackDown Tag Team Champion Shinsuke Nakamura
This was an open challenge issued by Hardy and he specifically said that AJ Styles couldn't answer it. Speaking of Styles, he sat in on commentary and did well. This was a pretty good match, but it was slow at times due to Hardy selling the knee injury and it didn't help that viewers had no reason to take Nakamura seriously as a threat to the title. Sami Zayn returning afterward and attacking Hardy was great to see as he's been off the show since April. That's another nice boost to SmackDown with Roman Reigns returning as well last weekend.
Matt Riddle def. Shorty G
Riddle challenged King Corbin to a one-on-one match, but Corbin had Shorty G face him instead. I've been looking forward to these two colliding for a while, so I was obviously annoyed that this was so short. It literally lasted no longer than two minutes. I've said it a million times before, but Chad Gable deserves better. Corbin vs. Riddle was made official for Payback right after.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler Interrupted WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley
We're clearly getting closer to Banks and Bayley splitting up and it's about damn time. They've been entertaining as a team, but they've been on Raw and SmackDown so much this summer that they feel incredibly overexposed. I'm ready for them to drop the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship, but I don't want it to be to Jax and Baszler. Their mic work was nothing special, but Bayley and Banks carried this segment and did an excellent job of teasing tension with Bayley unintentionally taking shots at Banks.
Braun Strowman def. Drew Gulak
I'm glad Gulak attempted to get revenge on Strowman after Strowman attacked him for no reason last week on SmackDown. Of course, it was to no avail. Unlike with Riddle vs. Chad Gable earlier in the show, I had no problem with this being booked like a squash. I like Gulak, but he never stood a chance. They're also apparently trying to get Strowman over as a dominant heel, so it made sense for him to make short work of Gulak here.
SmackDown Tag Team Champion Cesaro def. Kalisto
This had the potential to be a blast based on the level of talent involved, but it was too short to be anything out of the ordinary. What we got from them was fun, though. I'd say that they're building to The Lucha House Party vs. Cesaro, Nakamura and Zayn, but both trios are having issues at the moment, so I'm not sure how likely that is. I have to assume The Forgotten Sons are on their way back soon because, although I'm not their biggest fan, this SmackDown tag team division desperately needs teams.
Big E and Heavy Machinery def. Sheamus, The Miz and John Morrison
Big E has great chemistry with Heavy Machinery. People are going to complain that Big E shouldn't be acting as goofy now that he's on his own, but like he's said himself, he isn't going to evolve overnight and become more serious for no reason. The match itself was entertaining and gave Big E another notable win to further boost his credibility. I still have no idea why Otis won the Money in the Bank briefcase because I don't see a scenario where he cases in successfully.
The biggest thing coming out of this show wasn't even an actual segment or a match but rather the closing moments with Roman Reigns being shown seated next to Paul Heyman. Yeah, that happened, and just the sheer thought of it was amazing. Whether they follow it up properly remains to be seen, but that was one hell of a cliffhanger. The rest of the show was solid, but it had the tough task of following up a pay-per-view from last Sunday in addition to building up another one for this coming Sunday. It was an enjoyable two hours on the whole, though that Heyman-Reigns reveal did more to get me excited for Payback than anything else that happened on this edition of SmackDown or Monday's Raw.