In a week in which we learned of the return of the brand split, as well as the qualifying matches for the Money in the Bank ladder match. SmackDown saw another such match along with a lot more.
To determine the sixth entrant in the ladder match, Alberto Del Rio took on Zach Ryder. Long Island Iced Z put on a good display, proving once again that he can hold his own with the best on the roster. However, it was Del Rio who picked up the win with the Cross Arm Breaker. A fantastic match to start the show. Ryder deserves a push!
The first of two title matches of the evening saw Rusev defend his US Title against Kalisto in a rematch from Extreme Rules. The Littler Lucha put up a spirited fight despite suffering from a back injury. This allowed the Bulgarian Brute to dominant his opponent, locking in the Accolade to retain his title. Things got really interesting after the bell when Titus O’Neil came down to ringside to protect Kalisto and challenge for Rusev to a match. This could be a feud which is drawn out until Money in the Bank, and is a genuinely interesting one. Its nice to see Titus with a storyline although I can’t see him taking the belt any time soon.
In the least interesting match of the night, Dana Brooke took on Natalya, with Charlotte watching on from ringside. The match itself lasted little more than a minute before Natalya locked in the Sharpshooter forcing the Women’s Champion to interfere and break it up. This match felt like a slight waste of time and yet another example of poor booking in the Women’s division.
Time for a little light relief next with Golden Truth versus the team with the greatest name, Breezango, following last week’s double turn. This was a short match with Tyler Breeze picking up yet another victory! I am genuinely curious to see how long they can drag this story out for if it’s still not dead… It should, however, be taken out back and shot.
The main event saw The Miz defend his IC Title against the man who beat him on RAW, Cesaro. This was a great match, worthy of it’s main event status. There were a plethora of false finishes and twists and turns, but it was the A-Lister who walked away with his title reign in tact. One would assume that this rivalry is now complete and we shall see a new competitor for the belt in the weeks leading up to Money in the Bank.