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MAYLE’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
APRIL 17, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton.
-The show opened with a replayed interview of the Style/Nakamura angle from last week. The video opened with Shinsuke’s interview from last week talking sarcastically about his low blow to Styles at Mania. It then cut to his other low blow to Styles later that night.
-Back live, A.J. Styles made his entrance to cheers from the crowd. Tom welcomed viewers to the show. The crowd chanted, “A.J. Styles!” as Styles stood in the ring with a microphone. He said, “You can tell a lot about a man through his failures, and I think we can tell a lot about Shinsuke Nakamura.” The crowd booed. He said, “Shinsuke’s not an artist. He’s a con-artist.” Fans chanted a mixture of “A.J. Styles” and “Nakamura”. Styles continued talking about how Nakamura ruined another dream match in Styles vs. Daniel Bryan. He then stated he would not leave the ring until Shinsuke met him in the ring. He demanded, “Shinsuke, you two-faced coward, get down here and meet me for a fight!” The crowd cheered.
The vocal warm-up sang out and Rusev and Aiden English walked onto the stage. English talked up Rusev and Rusevday. Styles then said since Nakamura was too much of a coward, then he would fight Rusev.
(1) A.J. STYLES vs. RUSEV (w/Aiden English)
Styles quickly put Rusev in a calf crusher, but English interfered and attacked Styles, causing a DQ.
WINNER: Styles via DQ in 0:20.
-Daniel Bryan then ran out to help Styles fend off Rusev and Aiden English’s attack. Fans cheered.
-They cut to backstage of Shane McMahon and Paige talking about the great things in store for the Shake-Up. Paige imitated Teddy Long and declared we will see a tag match of Styles and Bryan vs. Rusev and English tonight. Shane announced the Miz will be returning to Smackdown just as Daniel Bryan requested. Before leaving, Paige said, “Holla!” and danced off like Teddy Long. Shane, alone, began dancing like Long as well only to be embarrassed when Paige returned to the room.
(Mayle’s Analysis: Paige is already doing a great job. She’s fun and likeable to younger as well as older audiences. She also has a pride about her that is very forthright.)
-They plugged the NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion Carmella appearing tonight, and then cut to a break.
-Back from break, Shelton Benjamin walked to the ring. The announcers explained that his tag partner Chad Gable had been sent to Monday Night Raw.
Shelton grabbed a microphone. He said he wished Chad Gable all the luck and best wishes on Twitter, only to swerve, as WWE loves to do now, and say his Twitter got hacked because he would never say that about Chad Gable. He said he never needed Gable and asked Paige for more competition, in fact, big competition. He sat down the microphone, and Randy Orton’s music hit. Fans cheered, but Randy’s music ended midway to the ring, awkwardly, and then Jeff Hardy’s music hit. Jeff danced to the ring wearing the United States title, as Orton looked annoyed about the interruption. Jeff entered the ring as Shelton’s opponent.
(Mayle’s Analysis: Something here seemed botched. Randy stood waiting awkwardly long for Jeff’s music to hit. Nevertheless, I’m happy to see Jeff on Smackdown now. He and Randy have always worked well together, but I’m more excited to see what he does with a certain talent debuting later (SPOILER) from NXT.)
(2) JEFF HARDY vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN
-Shelton quickly took offense against Jeff, naturally, and they cut to an early break.
Back live, Jeff picked up some offense. Jeff sold his leg well. He performed his groin leg-drop for a near fall. He then went for the Twist of Fate, but it was reversed by Shelton pushing Hardy up to the turnbuckle. Jeff went for a Whisper in The Wind there, but Shelton held him on the turnbuckle. Shelton was able to get a running knee as Jeff was on the top turnbuckle. Jeff then butted Shelton off the ropes and hit the Whisper in The Wind for a 2-count. Shelton was then able to turn the tides for a moment, but Jeff was able to hit a Twist of Fate, then a Swanton Bomb for the win.
WINNER: Hardy in 8:00
-The announcers said Hardy showed why his will be a huge asset to Smackdown as Jeff celebrated in the ring.
-They sent it to a selfie video of The Miz. Miz talked about Daniel Bryan’s wanting to punch him in the face. He said the fans wouldn’t get to see it because he’s in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. He then stated next week on Smackdown, he would make his Smackdown debut.
(Mayle’s Analysis: With everything else that will probably go on tonight, it’s a good idea to make the fans wait until next week to see The Miz. It makes Miz and Bryan’s feud more of a big deal that, I think, it should be rather than getting lost in the shuffle tonight. I also hate those darn selfie videos, but for Miz, I guess, they work with his gimmick.)
-They plugged Carmella’s appearance for later, as well as Uso vs. Luke Harper next. They cut to commercial.
-Back live, the commentators announced that Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville are now on Smackdown.
(Mayle’s Analysis: No surprise there. Raw isn’t big enough for two rebel woman factions. Now, we just need a good babyface tag team for the women to combat all these heel factions.)
-In the ring, The Usos waited for Harper and Rowan to enter the ring. The announcers also plugged a Tag Title match between the two teams at The Greatest Royal Rumble PPV.
(3) JEY USO vs. LUKE HARPER
-Jey took offense, but Rowen distracted Jey on the apron. Jimmy pulled him off the apron. Jey turned back to Harper and was met with a hard clothesline. Harper picked up the win.
WINNER: Harper in 00:20
Harper and Rowen then demolished both Usos. They dragged Jey out to ringside, but Jimmy hit them with one of their own mallets. However, the Bludgeon Brothers threw him into the steel steps. Naomi then ran out screaming for them to stop it. Harper and Rowen walked back up the ramp as Naomi checked on Jimmy.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I’m still not sold on the Bludgeon Brothers. Sure, they’re brutal, but with a combination of the costumes and the mallets, I just think it’s way too campy, even for professional wrestling.)
-Back on air, Sin Cara waited in the ring for his opponent. Finally, Samoa Joe’s music hit. Fans cheered.
(4) SIN CARA vs. SAMOA JOE
-Sin Cara quickly tried to get some attacks on Joe, but Joe quickly subdued Sin Cara. After some heavy offense, he put him in the Kokina Clutch and Sin Cara tapped out.
WINNER: Joe via submission in 1:00.
-Joe took the microphone and said, “Well, isn’t it the land of opportunity. Seems like to me this is the land of handeouts.” He shouted now he would get the opportunity to put to sleep all their favorites, such as, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and A.J. Styles. He concluded by mentioning that whatever is left of Roman Reigns after Brock Lesner’s beating, he would put “the big dog” out to pasture. He then stated he may even bring the Intercontinental and Universal titles to Smackdown, somehow. The announcers confirmed his words weren’t a mistake.
(Mayle’s Analysis: Well, I’m not sure what to make of this. I think it’s a good move having Joe on Smackdown because of the shortage of good heels, but he honestly confused me with what will happen between he and Roman after Backlash. I’ll need some time to think clearly about it.)
-They aired the commercial of all the superstars lip-sinking that song promoting the duel-branded PPV’s.
-Back live, the announcers plugged Backlash being the first co-branded PPV this year. They then plugged the Styles/Bryan vs. Rusev/English match tonight. They also plugged Carmella’s appearance next.
-They aired NXT’s Sanity making their Smackdown debut soon.
(Mayle’s Analysis: Look out Bludgeon Brothers, there’s a better faction of crazies in town.)
-Renee Young caught an interview with Daniel Bryan in the hallway. She asked why he aided Styles tonight. Bryan said that he respected Styles, and that, when he was injured, he made a list of wrestlers he wanted to face, and Styles was at the top of the list. Shinsuke ruined that match, he said. But, regardless, Bryan said he was proud to fight side-by-side with A.J. Styles tonight because he knew one day they would face each other again. He then turned around to Big Cass making his return. Big Cass looked high above Bryan’s head as if Bryan were too short to see from his height. Cass said, “So, you’re who all the fuss is about, little man?” He then walked away.
-Carmella entered the ring to cheers holding her new championship. When she stood in the ring, a few fans chanted, “You deserve it!” She shut it down saying none of them supported her before, but now they want to jump on the bandwagon. She then said, “You can call me the moonwalkin’, trash talkin’, queen of Smackdown Live!” There was a mix of boos and cheers. She boasted that she beat Charlotte Flair, declaring, “One of the greatest WWE superstars in history; I beat her! The woman who ended Asuka’s undefeated streak; I beat her!” She declared that her title win will go down as the biggest moment in WWE history. She sent it to a recap video of her own highlights of when she won the Money in The Bank through her winning the Women’s title last week.
Back live, fans booed. Carmella laughed. She said she would miss Frankie, her briefcase. She then introduced us to her title, Cleopatra. Charlotte’s music then hit. Fans cheered. Charlotte stood on the ramp and said, “The only reason you had a successful Money in The Bank win was because of that chinless freak, and the only reason you won the Women’s championship was because of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce.” She also stated, “It is much harder to stay on top than to get to the top. And, you have something of mine.”
The Iconic Duo’s music hit. Peyton mocked Charlotte as if she were a baby. Kay laughed and agreed her imitation was spot-on. She asked what she was crying about. “Last week you asked for magic, and we gave it to you,” Kay said. They said it was all because of them that Carmella has the title and that we are looking at the future, and the future is “iconic”. Charlotte then attacked Royce and Kay, only to be taken over by the Iconic Duo. Then, Becky Lynch’s music plaid and she ran out to aide her friend Charlotte. They cut to commercial as Becky attacked both Royce and Kay.
(Mayle’s Analysis: Glad to see Becky helping her fellow babyface. This should make for some good tag matches.)
-Back from break, Charlotte is apparently in a match with Billie Kay.
(5) CHARLOTTE FLAIR (w/Becky Lynch) vs. BILLIE KAY (w/Peyton Royce)
-Charlotte took aggressive offense on Kay at ringside. Soon, Charlotte and Kay rolled back into the ring where Kay took advantage of a distraction by Peyton and hooked in a chin lock on Charlotte. Charlotte soon rallied and broke the hold, only to be placed into an arm lock. They took an early commercial break.
Back from commercial, Charlotte was hitting some chops and gaining momentum. Fans cheered her on. She went for a neckbreaker, but Kay reversed into a kick to the face for a near fall. Charlotte was able to hit her with a big boot and locked in the Figure 8 for the win.
WINNER: Charlotte via submission in 8:00.
Carmella entered the ring and, along with The Iconic Duo, attacked Becky and Charlotte. Suddenly, Asuka’s music hit. Asuka ran to the ring and laid waste to the Iconic Duo as Carmella ran away. Becky, Charlotte, and Asuka kicked Peyton and Kay out of the ring victoriously as Carmella looked on cowardly.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I’m enjoying the potential stories to be told within these women. I love a tag feud with Charlotte and Becky against The Iconic Duo, and I love a title challenge feud between Asuka and Carmella in the meantime. I could see it culminating in a match between Becky and Charlotte to determine the No. 1 Contender against a newly crowned champion of Asuka at, maybe, Summerslam.)
-A video aired advertising the Smackdown debut of Gallows and Anderson.
-The announcers plugged the tag team main event and cut to commercial.
-Back on air, the announcers plugged Jeff Hardy vs. Jinder Mahal for the U.S. Title at The Greatest Royal Rumble, as well as The Universal Championship Steel Cage match at the same.
-A selfie video of The Bar aired. The boasted their past glories in defeating Raw tag teams, and then announced their debut on Smackdown. Fans cheered.
-The New Day was shown backstage laughing and carrying on. They came across “The Immortal One” R-Truth. He joked along with them. Tye Dillinger then appeared looking furious at Truth. The two the broke out smiles and did a funny handshake. Truth said he was happy to be back on Raw. The others reminded him it was Smackdown tonight. Truth looked dumbfounded and said, “I’ll see y’all tomorrow!” and he ran off. Fans laughed.
-The announcers recapped the new Smackdown additions thus far. They sent it to a video of the newest addition to Smackdown.
A selfie video aired of NXT’s Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega announcing their Smackdown debut. Fans cheered.
(Mayle’s Analysis: More good heels added to the Smackdown roster. These two as a duet will work great on Smackdown, if booked right. The talent they can help put over is large. The great match possibilities seem grand.)
-Back live, A.J. Styles made his entrance for the tag team main event. They cut to commercial.
(6) A.J. STYLES & DANIEL BRYAN vs. RUSEV & AIDEN ENGLISH
-Bryan started the match against Aiden English. Bryan took up offensive holds, focusing on the arm, and then tagged in Styles with a double-team move of Styles hammering English as Bryan held him. Rusev interfered, which made Bryan and Styles get both of them into their respective submission finishers at the same time. Styles had English in a calf crusher while Bryan held Rusev in a crossface.
Back from break, English dominates Styles with a headlock. Styles continually tries to rally, but English keeps him downed. English tagged in Rusev who toyed with Styles a bit before putting him in a bearhug. Bryan stands at the apron rallying the crowd. Styles escapes the bearhug for a moment and charges for the tag, but he is stopped again by Rusev’s bearhug. Rusev rams Styles into the corner and tags in English. English slows down the pace and stomps on Styles. Styles continues to sell for English a while longer as Bryan tries to rally the crowd again. Styles is able to avoid a splash by English and dives for a tag to Bryan. English grabs Styles’ leg to prevent the tag. They stand, and Styles hits a pele kick and tags in a charged Daniel Bryan. Bryan hits his momentum on a tagged in Rusev. He gets one Goat kick and puts Rusev in a crossface only to be broken up by English. Bryan is able to throw English out of the ring and proceeds with the YES! Kicks on Rusef. He Goat kicks Rusef once more, but Shinsuke Nakamura appears and low blows Styles at ringside once again. With his back turned, Bryan is blindsided by the returned Big Cass. Cass hits a big boot on Bryan and stands over his body in the ring.
WINNER: No contest in 13:00.
Nakamura backs up the ramp with that menacing smile while Cass’ music plays. Renee Young comes out to interview Shinsuke, asking why he attacked Styles again, but Shinsuke only said, “No speak English.” The show ended with a shot of Cass standing over Bryan with his fist in the air.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I figured we would have some interference by Shinsuke, but not so much Cass, oddly enough. It was a good way to reintroduce Big Cass as a force to be reckoned with and develop this potential rivalry between he and Daniel Bryan as Bryan’s next big challenge on his way back to the top. I’m not sure how I feel about the story development, or lack thereof between Styles and Nakamura. I know it was a pretty packed show, but two weeks after the heel-turn at Wrestlemania, all we know is that Shinsuke is a sore loser, so he likes to low blow Styles about it a whole lot. I’m hoping for more of a story arc next week, but it’s still not bad so far. Good show.)