Bryan Makes Some Enemies
This was a slightly different start to the show and was a nice call back to similar segments from the attitude era. Instead of starting the show in the ring, WWE started it from the concession stands which was a nice change of pace.
Daniel Bryan is really sinking his teeth into his role as a heel and his days where he had universal support are well behind him. Knocking drinks and hot-dogs off of fans was a nice heelish touch.
Another surprise was in store as he eventually made his way to the ring and was confronted by none other than R-Truth. We never though that we would one day enjoy seeing Daniel Bryan get beaten up by R-Truth but kudos to both men for being able to pull it off.
Daniel Bryan vs R-Truth: The match that followed was all Bryan as after an initial onslaught from R-Truth, Bryan put him in his place and picked up a rather easy win.
This was a pretty decent start to SmackDown and the post-match attack from AJ Styles keeps that feud moving forward.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Samoa Joe and Almas Halt Mysterio and Ali In Their Tracks
Samoa Joe & Andrade “Cien” Almas vs Rey Mysterio & Mustafa Ali: This was an excellent tag team match between four individuals who haven’t had much going for them lately. All four are class acts and that was on display here.
Mustafa Ali is still getting wild reactions from the crowd and WWE has played an excellent hand by putting him on the blue brand. The only issue with this match-up is that it confines these four men in no man’s land.
While Mustafa Ali and Almas have time on their side, Samoa Joe and Mysterio might be on the last leg of their careers which is why it is important to put them in a meaningful feud ASAP. That is however a rant for a different time.
This was a fun match and the heels winning adds momentum to this matchup. How this shapes up in the future will define how these men will be remembered but for now WWE is on the right track.
Winners: Samoa Joe and Andrade Almas