WWE SmackDown LIVE: Five things we learnt as the build-up for Money in the Bank heats up

Here are five big things we learnt from last night’s show.

Carmella is ready for Asuka – as long as she’s got tricks

Women’s champ ‘Mella opened the show with a promo, claiming Asuka has lost her edge since going from undefeated to just, erm, defeated.

Asuka came out to face her, but was interrupted by Mandy Rose and Sonja Deville, who individually challenged Asuka – but she agreed to face them both at the same time.

“The Empress” made quick work of the jobber duo in a 2-on-1 match, regaining some of the momentum that she has genuinely lost since her defeat at WrestleMania.

Asuka even fought off a post-match beat down from Mandy Rose, but Carmella surprised Asuka with a solid super-kick to the face.

Mella is better every week as a character and crafty tricks like this are the way to book her against Asuka. Defeated or not, the Empress still looks like a killer in the ring.

Shinsuke Nakamura is the last man standing (for now, at least)

AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura signed the contract (or attempted to) for their Last Man Standing Match at Money in the Bank.

Nak was back to playing mind games, this time claiming that none of the pens worked. Credit to snide heel Nakamura for making such a stupid gag work for this high-profile feud.

Styles lost his temper and slapped Nakamura, forcing agents (including Attitude Era star Dean Malenko) to drag the champ out.

Nak then pulled a pen out of his pocket – he had one all along, the cheeky devil, and signed the contract. He then pointed out that he was the last man standing in the room.

As much as we’re enjoying his heel persona, we still don’t seem him winning the title at MITB – this has to be AJ’s moment of retribution.

Becky Lynch has defeated Charlotte Flair

The MITB competitors, best pals, and familiar opponents wrestled a hard-fought match up.

Becky is the unsung hero of the women’s evolution and is often overlooked in big storylines, so it was a welcome surprise to see her get a clean win over “The Queen”.

The finish came when Charlotte attempted to lock in the Figure-8, but Becky reversed it into the Dis-Arm-Her, forcing Charlotte to tap.

There was a moment after the match when Charlotte refused Becky’s help, but they eventually hugged.Was it the start of a heel turn tease? Probably not. But we’d love to see that happen. Remember when Charlotte was the best heel in the company?

Becky’s win doesn’t mean she’s tipped to win MITB. All bets are off while WWE builds anticipation and makes every competitor look like a potential briefcase winner.

Big Cass has a tall tale

After costing Daniel Bryan his shot at MITB last week, Big Cass came out to cut a promo on Bryan.

Cass claimed that he’d been backstage at WrestleMania XXX – where Bryan won the WWE title – and recalled it being a fluke and said Bryan was an undeserving champion.

It was a nifty bit of retconning by WWE, trying to add some depth and history to the feud beyond “Cass makes fun of Bryan because he’s a bit short”.

Cass’s promo was better than usual, but he needs to turn up the intensity even more to become the monster heel WWE wants him to be.

The New Day are in the mix for MITB

New Day had more fun at The Miz’s expense last night, tricking him into putting his hand in some pancake mix. (Childish, but worth watching for Big E’s hilarious response.)

The trio then faced Miz and fellow MITB competitors Samoa Joe and Rusev in a six-man tag match.

The New Day got the win when Joe and Rusev turned on The Miz, because he accidentally threw pancakes in their faces. Yes, really.

New Day then hit Midnight Hour on Miz for the pinfall victory.

It was good to see comedy team The New Day defeat more serious MITB players. We sense something big coming for the trio.

We still don’t know which of them will enter the match. Could this lead to them finally splitting up?







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