Shane McMahon and Elias Attacked Roman Reigns
What the hell ever happened to The Miz's feud with Shane? Miz attacked Shane on the night of his Raw debut last Monday, but we haven't heard anything else about it since. Their beef wasn't acknowledged at all this week, so we're being led to believe that their storyline is over. If so, what a waste it was to have Shane beat Miz at WrestleMania 35. Nevertheless, this segment was designed to kicked off an Elias vs. Reigns rivalry heading into Money in the Bank. If nothing else, at least Shane didn't go further with the tease of firing Reigns, because that has been done to death in the past.
Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor def. Andrade (Non-title)
In case you missed it, Andrade and Zelina Vega are back on SmackDown Live, reportedly because FOX wants a Latino star on the blue brand in time for the show's move to the network later this year. That makes sense, but he shouldn't have switched shows to begin with if that was the case. This really should have been for the title considering Almas beat Balor the last time they faced off, but this was another entertaining encounter from them. I was hoping Andrade would win again to set up a title match between them for Money in the Bank, but no such luck.
Kairi Sane def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champion Peyton Royce
It's amazing how The IIconics' promos are given more time than the matches they're involved in. And by amazing I mean sad. The IIconics lost far more than they won before becoming WWE Women's Tag Team Champions, and that hasn't seemed to change even though they're now in possession of the titles. It was smart to keep this short and sweet, and I'm glad Sane went over in decisive fashion, but this didn't do The IIconics any favors.
Jinder Mahal vs. Chad Gable Went to a No Contest
Apparently the Superstar Shake-up isn't over yet, because Mahal is now a member of the SmackDown roster as well. I can't say that does much for me, and it feels like a poor trade-off with Cesaro going to Raw. Oh well, as long as he stays far, far away from the WWE Championship this time around. I'm stoked Gable is back on the blue brand, but he was quickly ambushed from behind by Lars Sullivan, who also attacked The Singh Brothers and R-Truth. As I said last week, I'm cool with Sullivan feuding with Truth from the get-go because it should lead to a few easy wins for him.
Charlotte Flair def. Bayley in a SmackDown Women's Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
Becky Lynch and Flair brought the best out of each other on the mic like they usually do, but I have to agree with Bayley: seeing them in the ring together felt like a rerun. Despite that, we'll be getting Lynch vs. Flair Part 823 at Money in the Bank for the SmackDown Women's Championship. There's so many other options for Lynch to face from SmackDown, yet we're getting that for the umpteenth time. Ugh. On the bright side, Flair vs. Bayley was very good while it lasted, and Bayley showing more aggression than usual was a welcome change for her character.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston def. Shinsuke Nakamura by Disqualification (Non-title)
Kingston would have been an easy opponent for Nakamura to beat one year ago, but boy, how the tables have turned in one year's time. Nakamura wasn't much of a threat to Kingston, but from an in-ring standpoint, this was a solid main event. Better yet, the post-match angle with Kevin Owens betraying Kingston and Xavier Woods was excellent. You had to know the heel turn was coming eventually, but I'm happy they didn't waste time and can start building toward Kingston vs. Owens at Money in the Bank as soon as next week.
I maintain that Raw ended up with the stronger roster on the whole following the Superstar Shake-up (are we sure it isn't over yet?), but SmackDown can still make the most of what it was, as seen on this show. There was plenty of hype for Money in the Bank and a number of well-wrestled matches. Owens' heel turn capped off the evening on a high note, though several Superstars (Randy Orton, Buddy Murphy, Daniel Bryan) were conspicuous by their absence.