Dolph Ziggler Crashed The Kevin Owens Show with Kevin Owens, Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre
You can tell not much has changed about SmackDown Live when the show opens with yet another talking segment, unlike on Raw where Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley kicked off the night with a hot angle. This was more of the same from Shane and McIntyre talking about Roman Reigns and The Undertaker, but at least Owens did his best to make it entertaining by running down Ziggler on the mic.
SmackDown Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan def. Big E
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Big E has a ton of untapped potential as a singles star. If this was supposed to be a test to see if he can hang with someone the caliber of Bryan, I'd certainly say he passed with flying colors. This was a very well-wrestled match with a nice pace. It was never quite great, but for a television matchup, I enjoyed it. It was refreshing for Bryan to actually win for a change and get one over on The New Day.
Nikki Cross Hosted Moment of Bliss with SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley; Bayley def. Cross (Non-title)
This marked the third time in the last month that Bayley has appeared on Moment of Bliss. The third time! That's just a lack of creativity right there, and I don't care that Cross hosted instead of Alexa Bliss. I've been digging the story they've been telling with Cross and Bayley, but this accomplished nothing. The subsequent match was perfectly fine, and I'm glad Bayley got her win back, but it defeated the purpose of Cross beating her last week. Sure, Bayley vs. Bliss is still on for Extreme Rules, but I was hoping Cross would be added by virtue of her victory and now that seems a lot less likely.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston attacked Samoa Joe
Not only has Kingston been booked to look strong throughout his reign as WWE Champion, he has also consistently cut excellent promos and this was another one. Joe just might be the best on the mic in WWE today and that was pretty evident in this segment. They had a super strong verbal back-and-forth and the middle finger from Kingston at the end was the icing on the cake. Props to WWE for making this my most anticipated match at Extreme Rules thus far.
Andrade def. Apollo Crews
Whether you've been paying attention or not, Andrade and Crews have been building toward a match for a few weeks now and I appreciated that it finally came to fruition. The commentators actually acknowledged how this was the first match Crews has had on SmackDown since the Superstar Shake-up, which was unbelievable to hear. The Wild Card Rule really has taken opportunities away from guys like him. This was a short and sweet match with Andrade getting back on track with the clean victory.
Ember Moon def. Mandy Rose
Moon's match with Sonya Deville last week was a huge disappointment for how short it was, but thankfully, this was given a bit more time. Granted, it was only about a minute longer, but hey, it's a start. I like the act of Rose and Deville, but Moon desperately needed a win (I don't think she had previously won a singles match in 2019) and this allowed her to even the odds a bit. I've said this for the past two or three weeks, but I still feel Moon and Carmella vs. Rose and Deville is inevitable.
Heavy Machinery def. Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler to Earn Entry Into the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match at Extreme Rules
Ziggler and Owens teasing tension earlier in the evening gave away the outcome of this contest, but once it restarted after the commercial break (this Vince McMahon edict regarding no wrestling during the commercial breaks NEEDS to die), it was serviceable and featured the right result. It looks like Owens is going back to being a babyface following a three month run as a heel, and I'm not so sure I hate that. As long as he gives fans a reason to rally for him, there's a chance it can work. By the way, whatever the hell happened to Owens abandoning Sami Zayn during their tag team match last week? Has that really just been forgotten about?
Monday's Raw definitely had a different feel to it than normal and I maintain that Paul Heyman had a lot to do with that memorable opening segment, but the same can not be said for SmackkDown. It was the same stuff we've been getting for weeks (if not months) and none of it was remotely exciting outside of the Kingston and Joe face-off. That doesn't necessarily mean it was a bad show, mind you, as Bryan vs. Big E was solid and the other matches were decent. However, I wasn't left as satisfied with this episode as I was with Raw.