Dolph Ziggler Interrupted The New Day
Kofi Kingston continues to cut pretty good promos, but as I've said before, he's in desperate need of a rival he can bounce off of. Ziggler is not that guy. He said the same things here that he has for the past month and I don't understand why he was even granted another opportunity to wrestle Kingston coming off his back-to-back losses at Super ShowDown and Stomping Grounds. You also don't need me to tell how formulaic these segments on SmackDown Live and Raw have become with the champion coming out to open the show every single week. It just feels so lazy.
The New Day def. SmackDown Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and Rowan (Non-title); Heavy Machinery and New Day def. Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Bryan and Rowan
New Day beat Bryan and Rowan on Raw this week and again here, and while it makes total sense for them to re-enter the SmackDown Tag Team Championship picture, why not have them win a number one contender's match instead of pinning the champions? WWE does that way more often than they should and it makes the titles feel meaningless as a result. Both of these bouts were entertaining and it was interesting to see Owens walk out on Zayn. I wonder if it will lead to the two going their separate ways at long last, or if it will be forgotten about by next week.
Elias def. The Miz in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
If Miz won this, he would've been given another shot at Shane McMahon. I'm getting really, really tired of these 2-out-of-3 Falls matches on Raw and SmackDown. I realize now that they keep happening because WWE doesn't want any wrestling during commercial breaks anymore if it's not picture-in-picture. This featured far too much interference and ended exactly how you'd expect it to with Miz losing per usual. The only thing this succeeded in doing was putting more heat on Shane, but sadly, it's coming at the expense of other heels and babyfaces on the active roster.
Nikki Cross def. SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley (Non-title)
As much as I've been digging the stuff with Cross and Alexa Bliss over the past month, I have no desire to see it play out on SmackDown. They're Raw wrestlers and therefore their story should be relegated to Monday nights. I was excited coming out of Stomping Grounds for Bayley hopefully getting new challengers to her championship, but instead, we're getting another Bayley vs. Bliss match at Extreme Rules as a result of Cross' victory here. Cross being included to make it a Triple Threat would make it more interesting, but I'm not holding my breath.
Sonya Deville def. Ember Moon
Deville and Mandy Rose have been bullying Moon in backstage segments on WWE.com/YouTube for weeks, so while it feels like Moon hasn't been on WWE TV in forever, this bout actually had some buildup behind it. I was looking forward to a quality contest between the two, but they ended up receiving all of one minute. It was fine for what it was but of course too short to be anything memorable. This will likely lead to Carmella and Moon teaming up to take on Rose and Deville on an upcoming episode.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston def. Dolph Ziggler in a 2-Out-of-3 Falls Match (NON-title)
If Ziggler won here, he would have been added to the WWE Championship match between Kingston and Samoa Joe at Extreme Rules. I noted my disdain earlier for 2-out-of-3 Falls matches these days in WWE, but this was really great with a smart layout. The first two falls were nothing out of the ordinary, but that third fall was fantastic with the crowd eating up everything they did. I was mildly disappointed by their clashes at Super ShowDown and Stomping Grounds, but I'm glad they could end their rivalry on a high note. Kingston has been the best booked WWE Champion in years, though I certainly wouldn't be opposed to Samoa Joe beating him for it at Extreme Rules.
I'm not a fan of this new edict that there can't be any wrestling during the commercial breaks, because it's led to a a ridiculous amount of 2-out-of-3 Falls and elimination matches. That was once again the case on this edition of SmackDown and it made for a less-than-stellar show on the whole. There are too many rematches going on at the moment and even the above-average main event was a rematch. I didn't feel there was anything worth writing home about from this episode outside of Kingston vs. Ziggler. SmackDown is quickly becoming Raw 2.0 like the old days and it's sad to see.