The search for the top heel continues on the roster. The new plan is to unite the forces of Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre with the authority of Baron Corbin. The heavyweight who came to dominate, aka the Alpha Male, gave thanks before participating in the pummeling of Elias. Lashley was the definitely the butt of the pre-match song, but he would give his final review in the form of a roundup spear with the help of his new found friends. Lio Rush added a bit more heat to the situation when he shouted, “Give me the mic!” at JoJo before she could announce the winner, but his role has been a bit diminished with the addition of two more talkative heels. The jury is still out on how I feel about this new look.
The absence of Braun Strowman is set to reverberate throughout the show roster. Ember Moon is preparing for her Mixed Match Challenge playoff match with a warm-up contest against Alicia Fox. The issue, though, was that Strowman’s replacement was appointed by Baron Corbin, and it’s the hapless Curt Hawkins. Hawkins is uber excited about the team because he sees Ember as his gift horse. He was as giddy as he could be once Moon washed Fox. Ember was carried up the ramp as though she was the game-winning performer.
Instead of following up with a match between Curt Hawkins and Jinder Mahal, No Way Jose made his return to the show. It wasn’t much of a return yet more of an exhibition for Mahal and time for the commentary team to sell Jinder some more.
The Miz wasn’t too happy about the way the New Day was “appreciating” his performance and challenged one member of the trio to match. Kofi Kingston drew the straw, but this match was only a part of a larger story involving the Miz. Kofi made quick work of the Hollywood movie star.
All the women not named Charlotte or Becky Lynch competed in a battle royal to be added to the SmackDown women’s title match. It would seem like there was a set up to have Naomi or Asuka eliminate the other, but no worries because Naomi would be taken out of the match by Sonya Deville.
Mixed Match Challenge
Alicia Fox found a bit of retribution and Ember a bit of frustration when the Curt Hawkins shoe dropped. The Ember plan was to keep herself in the match as long as possible, but Alicia made it to her corner and tagged in Jinder Mahal. The shocker was set up when Hawkins escaped getting Ember back in the match and she went through her chain of signature spots. Moon climbed the turnbuckle for the Eclipse and eventual win but was tagged by her partner in the process. Fox was pinned by the illegal man before Mahal corrected Hawkins. Mahalicia would pick up their second win in as many weeks, and Fox would refer to the Singhs as the Singh sisters once they made it backstage.
Bobby Lashley avoided Finn Balor early on allowing his partner to get in on the action. “Big Show” Bob used the sneak attack to get the advantage, yet it would be Mickie James scoring the pin and win for their team to advance in the playoffs.
William Regal assigned the task of slowing down Mia Yim to the flashy Vanessa Borne. Borne emoted through a match that came off as if she wasn’t ready to back down. Yim went over with an Eat Defeat to get back on the winning track. Borne saved enough face to continue being the vicious vixen of NXT who demands her opponents’ respect.
The Keith Lee – Lars Sullivan main event served as nothing more than validation for Sullivan, who has been announced as the next main roster acquisition for a few weeks now. It’s this knowledge that the less than impressive show of big man strength would tilt in favor of Lars. For now, I can safely deduce that this means Keith Lee is about to get a mean push during 2019.