Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn Crashed Big E's Welcome-Back Party
Big E's return would have better off as a surprise, but I don't blame WWE for advertising it in advance to draw in viewers. This was your typical over-the-top New Day celebration and it was nice to see them all back together since right after WrestleMania 35. That said, I was enjoying serious Kofi Kingston, so hopefully he can get back to that starting next week. Owens and Zayn played their roles well here and built toward Kingston's match against Zayn later in the night.
Ali def. Andrade
I love the chemistry these two have as their matches never cease to deliver. While they have yet to go all in one of their encounters, this was still enjoyable for the time they were allotted. Ali winning (albeit with a roll-up) was slightly surprising, if only because Andrade will be challenging Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Championship at Super Show-Down. Perhaps Ali will be added in to make it a Triple Threat.
Carmella vs. Mandy Rose Ended in a No Contest
This stemmed from Carmella costing Rose the Money in the Bank briefcase on Sunday. Ultimately, it didn't serve any purpose whatsoever, as new 24/7 Champion R-Truth ended up being the focal point. All of SmackDown Live's losers ran down to ringside and chased after Truth. For those wondering, there was no followup to the tension teased between Rose and Sonya Deville in recent weeks.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston def. Sami Zayn (Non-title)
Although nothing stood out as special, this was a well-wrestled match with a nice pace. I can't believe Zayn has been losing so frequently since returning last month, but he put a good fight here before losing. Afterward, Dolph Ziggler shockingly emerged to attack Kingston in brutal fashion. He's been M.I.A. since the Royal Rumble. It was a cool and unexpected angle, but WWE is going to have to do a lot to sell me on him as a threat to the title after the many years of bad booking he's endured.
SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley and Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans
Bayley ditching the hugs for a more aggressive edge was long overdue. Here's hoping she can maintain momentum as SmackDown Women's Champion and doesn't drop the strap any time soon. This was a quality tag team affair that effectively followed up on what happened at Money in the Bank. It's worth noting that Bayley and Lynch hinted at facing off for both of their belts, so look for that to lead somewhere sooner rather than later.
Dolph Ziggler Explained His Actions
As I noted in an earlier paragraph, it's going to be difficult to buy into Ziggler as a main event player again. It's been a great while since I last took him seriously, simply because he's been positioned as a glorified midcarder for years. That said, there is potential for a program between him and Kingston given their history and Ziggler's reasons for targeting him. He showed a lot of passion in this program and I'm willing to give the feud a chance. Now I'm just wondering what this means for Owens, because it looks like his time in the title picture is done.
Roman Reigns def. Elias
Reigns proved he could beat Elias within seconds (despite getting hit with a guitar beforehand) at Money in the Bank, so I'm not sure why fans were supposed to believe this would end any differently. I haven't been a fan of this feud since it started and thus this match did nothing for me. Shane McMahon attempted to interfere, but to no avail. Sure, Drew McIntyre laid out Reigns afterward, but Reigns has already beaten McIntyre multiple times, so I'm not excited for their eventual rematch, either.
Putting Reigns vs. Elias in the main event spot was the wrong call. I rolled my eyes at the announcement of the outing on Raw, but I would've been all right with it opening the show, not closing it. This was an enjoyable episode otherwise with Big E and Ziggler returning, Bayley and Lynch successfully teaming up, and Ali and Andrade having a fun match. Plus, I'm still getting a kick out of the 24/7 Championship stuff for what it's worth. It won't save these shows, but it'll give me a little something extra to look forward to every Monday and Tuesday night, if nothing else.