Big Show vs. Kofi Kingston Ended in a No Contest
I was glad The New Day were more serious than usual during their promo, but there was no reason for them to come out doing their usual shtick by acting all happy and throwing pancakes out to the crowd and whatnot. Apparently they don't care too much about losing the SmackDown Tag Team Championship as much as they are confused by Big Show's actions last week like the rest of us. Anyway, Show decimated Kingston with ease and continued his assault on New Day afterward. It'll be New Day vs. The Bar once again for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at WWE Crown Jewel.
The Usos def. WWE Champion AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan
As well-wrestled as this was (or at least what we saw of it because a majority of the match took place during the commercial break), it was completely unnecessary because it was essentially the same thing from last week, just with the roles reversed between Bryan and Styles. Yes, The Usos picked up another notable victory, but it won't mean anything if WWE doesn't allow them to capitalize on it. Bryan and Styles are teasing tension going into Crown Jewel, but this feud doesn't feel as important as it should.
Rusev def. Aiden English
It's funny because this was exactly what I saw at the WWE live event I attended on last Saturday (which you can read my review of here). Even the promo English cut beforehand was the same. On the bright side, this was kept short and sweet, which was what it needed to be. I honestly haven't cared for this feud whatsoever and I'm sure I'm not the only one, so here's hoping Rusev's decisive victory here means we can finally move on from this.
The Miz Hosted Miz TV with Rey Mysterio; Mysterio def. miz
I remember Miz and Mysterio having strong chemistry during their brief rivalry over the Intercontinental Championship in 2012, so I can't say I was surprised by how entertaining both the Miz TV segment and the actual match were here. Their verbal exchange was well done and then the subsequent match was a blast for the time it was given. There was no sign of Shinsuke Nakamura, but perhaps they're waiting until after Crown Jewel to transition him into his rumored program with Mysterio.
Naomi and Asuka vs. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose Went to a No Contest
While I'm not distraught over not getting the advertised tag team match, what we got instead with these four and the rest of the SmackDown Live women who are set to be a part of the Battle Royal at Evolution this Sunday was not much better. In fact, it was something straight out of 2008 with how none of the ladies stood out as special and it was just one giant mess. I really liked what they did with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair earlier in the evening, but this was a weak attempt to get fans to care about Evolution.
SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon Addressed the WWE World Cup
I still find it hilarious that WWE is holding a "World Cup" with only American talent involved. Crown Jewel should be cancelled for that reason alone! I kid, I kid. In all seriousness, this segment was pretty pointless. Shane did his best to hype up the tournament, but I think the Miz vs. Mysterio and Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton matches managed to accomplish that. I'm happy Shane is seemingly back as a regular on WWE TV for the first time since WrestleMania season, but bringing him in for stuff like this is a waste.
Randy Orton def. Jeff Hardy
It was way too soon to revisit this rivalry. After all, they just had their Hell in a Cell match a mere month ago! I would have waited a while before going back to this bout, but WWE has a World Cup to promote, so dammit, Hardy and Orton need to face each other! I usually enjoy the hell out of their matches, but this was an average outing at best with no sense of urgency about it. I guess this means this means it will be Orton vs. Mysterio and Miz vs. Hardy in the first round of the World Cup. By the way, I'm not excited for the tournament any more than I was before despite WWE's efforts on this show.
Similar to Monday's Raw, the purpose of this show should have been to get fans looking forward to Evolution on Sunday, but the hype for the pay-per-view was abymsal. Yes, the Flair and Lynch angle was cool, but the other segment with the women was total throwaway. Meanwhile, the rest of this edition of SmackDown Live, which largely focused Crown Jewel, felt phoned in and forgettable. Truthfully speaking, I just want Evolution and Crown Jewel to be done with so we can move on to something new on both brands and so the company isn't trying to promote two different events at once.