Universal Champion Roman Reigns Addressed The Usos
I'm not usually a fan of talking segments kicking off wrestling shows, but I'm willing to make an exception for The Tribal Chief, who has consistently delivered on the mic since turning heel. He basically said that The Usos would suffer the consequences if they lost, adding additional stakes to an already-exciting tag team title match. It was the usual quality promo from Reigns that segued seamlessly into The Usos vs. the Mysterios.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dominik and Rey Mysterio def. The Usos
With the amount of time they had to work with, it's no surprise this was an entertaining encounter. Rey and Dominik are a ton of fun and The Usos are another level whenever they're together. It didn't reach that next gear, but that was likely because they ran it back in the main event later on. Considering that also had a fluky finish, I have no idea why they did the match here first other than to kill television time. It's not like they fired more of their SmackDown Superstars...
Carmella def. Liv Morgan
Something about WWE putting Morgan in a singles match two days after they released her tag partner Ruby Riott just feels wrong. It's nice they actually used her and I hope they continue to going forward, but this was nothing out of the ordinary as it was over within a few minutes. It's clear WWE is building up Carmella for a possible program with Bianca Belair once she's done with Bayley.
Bayley Taunted SmackDown Women's Champion Bianca Belair
It's great that Belair has stepped up her game on the mic since becoming champion as well as further developing her character and telling viewers more about her struggles, accomplishments and what she's all about. Bayley's rebuttal was fairly basic, but I guess the segment was unique with the champion throwing out the challenge because she wants to end Bayley's whining at Hell in a Cell. Bayley has turned into a great heel, but the forced laugh is awful. I assume that's a Vince McMahon idea.
King Corbin def. Shinsuke Nakamura
Rick Boogs has been a cool addition to Nakamura's act and it should be even cooler in front of fans when WWE returns to touring this summer, but this feud hasn't been overly interesting. They've been trading wins (and the stupid crown) back and forth for no real reason and neither of them have benefited much at all. The match was fine, but it was barely two minutes long and ended in a lousy roll-up-esque pin.
Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews def. Kevin Owens
Commander Azeez was banned from ringside. Azeez ambushed Owens backstage beforehand, so that was Owens' out for losing. As expected, this was a well-wrestled match. Crews winning in clean finish was a pleasant surprise. Combine that with Sami Zayn attacking Owens afterward and it certainly looks like Owens' time in the title picture is done for now. Owens and Zayn obviously have awesome chemistry, but I'm not sure what more they can do with their rivalry.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dominik and Rey Mysterio def. The Usos by Disqualification
This went about half of the time as the match earlier, and again, I don't know why you'd do it twice if it was going to have a fluky finish both times. I don't want WWE to burn people out on this feud before it has a chance to really get going. That said, it was another quality contest between the two teams and not going with the rushed title change was the right call. Reigns attacking Rey afterward gives me hope this is leading to a match between them for the Universal Championship at Hell in a Cell. You know Rey isn't going to win, but it's fresh and he's another person for Reigns to beat in what could be a blast of a bout.
I could have done without the tag title match being done twice in the same night, but at least both bouts were enjoyable and, as always, the stuff with Reigns carried the show. The stuff in the middle was solid. The Belair and Bayley segment didn't light the world on fire, but it furthered their feud along and made their match official for Hell in a Cell. Carmella vs. Morgan and Nakamura vs. Corbin were decent but didn't inspire a lot of excitement. The entertaining Intercontinental Championship match was a treat along with the show's main storyline. It's such a shame Aleister Black got released because I was looking forward to him vs. Big E as a midcard rivalry.