MAYLE’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
APRIL 24, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton.
-The show opened with a picture dedicating the show to Bruno Sammartino.
-Live, Tom welcomed everyone to Smackdown Live, and The Miz’s music hit. Miz walked out alone in a suit and sunglasses as host of Miz TV. He stood in the ring with the microphone as fans actually booed him. He asked, “Are you done?” They continued booing. Miz put his hand in the air asking if they knew what that meant. He finally said, “When my hand goes up, your mouth goes shut! You will welcome me back to Smackdown Live!” He welcomed everyone to Miz TV and shouted that he’s back on Smackdown Live. He then paused and said there is something missing; his Intercontinental Championship. He plugged in three days he would return to Smackdown with it. He then took it back to present. He hyped his guest as someone who threatened to “punch me in the face.” He said, “He is a man who wants to get his hands on me so bad he can taste it!” He prefaced his next point by explaining he just recently had a child and that he knew at that moment that he had to be a better man. He said he knew at that moment that all his anger towards Daniel Bryan melted away. He said both he and Bryan are both masterful in-ring technicians. Finally, he said, “Daniel Bryan, if you want to come out here and punch me in the face, then come punch me in the face.” After a moment waiting and fans chanting for Bryan, Big Cass’ music hit and out he came in a full suit, smiling smugly.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I like where this is going.)
Cass stood in the ring with Miz as fans booed. Miz asked, “Can I help you?” Cass said, “Well it looks like you don’t have a guest, so I’m your guest now.” He sat down with Miz and said, “Nobody cares about Daniel Bryan.” He complained that when he himself got cleared, no one was talking about Cass’ return. Instead, they were talking about Daniel Bryan. Miz said, “I understand that you’re upset, but if you’re out here trying to help me with Daniel Bryan, I don’t need your help.” Cass said, “Not everything is about you.” Miz got angered yelling in Cass’ face. Cass stood up tall and said, “How about I shut your mouth right now.” Miz calmed down explaining that this isn’t about them, and that it is about Daniel Bryan. Cass talked about how Bryan spews trash to all the fans. He told the fans that none of them will achieve their dreams because they are unattainable. He said all the fans are Joe Shmoes. He explained that he got bullied and pushed around until one day he got tired of being pushed around and grew to be 7 feet tall. He said then he went back and beat up everyone who pushed him around. He touted about how he’s now in WWE, and that he didn’t have to wrestle at bingo halls or Japan because he’s tall, educated, and good-looking. He said that makes him money, but he still lives in the shadow of Daniel Bryan. He’s going to make sure Bryan goes back to where he belongs; on the shelf beaten and retired. He mocked the YES chant, threw the microphone, and exited the ring. Miz seemed impressed with Cass.
(Mayle’s Analysis: Wow. That was fantastic. Cass presents himself as a big deal and speaks with clarity, passion, and a mission. This angle feels important. Put Cass on your radar, in my opinion.)
-The announcers plugged the contract signing between Carmella and Charlotte’s title match tonight.
-Backstage, Asuka and Becky were walking to the ring when they came across Daniel Bryan hurt on the floor with officials aiding him. (c.)
-The announcers informed that Daniel has been taken to medical care.
-The Iconics were in the ring complementing themselves for their looks. They then started mocking Becky Lynch as a generic Irish woman. Then they downplayed Asuka’s “empress of tomorrow” gimmick, saying that they are better than Asuka. They said she is now the Empress of Yesterday. They began to say their catchphrase, “We are the future, and the future is…” Becky Lynch’s music interrupted them.
Becky came out first, then Asuka’s music played as they both walked to the ring.
(1) BECKY LYNCH & ASUKA vs. THE ICONICS (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay)
They cut to commercial before the action began.
Back live, Asuka tagged in Becky. Becky picked up offense on Royce. She’s earning appropriate crowd pops. Royce was able to tag in Kay who was able to subdue Becky. The Iconics made rapid tags to wear down Becky. Billie had Becky in an armbar as Asuka rallied the fans in the corner. Becky escaped to take down Royce and Kay. She got the hot tag to Asuka. Fans cheered as Asuka took down The Iconics. Kay tried to stop Asuka Lock on Royce, but Becky took her off the apron. Asuka tagged in Becky. Becky accidentally pushed Asuka off the apron as Billie distracted Becky enough to give Royce an advantage to get a quick rollup for the victory.
WINNER: The Iconics in 8:00.
(Mayle’s Analysis: They must be relieved to be able to let Asuka lose now.
-Backstage, Renne Young stood outside Shane McMahon’s office. Out walked A.J. Styles. He stated Shane just granted him the opportunity to face Shinsuke Nakamura tonight in a 6-man tag match.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I wonder who his partners will be…)
-The announcers plugged Styles vs. Nakamura for the WWE title at The Greatest Royal Rumble, the IC Title 4-way ladder match, John Cena vs. Triple H, and the 50 Man Royal Rumble match. Then they hyped Carmella and Charlotte’s contract signing still to come tonight. (c.)
(Mayle’s Analysis: Interesting they didn’t promote the Undertaker match for the Greatest Royal Rumble show.)
-A promo aired featuring Andrade “Cien” Almas as the new Smackdown Live recruit coming soon.
-The Usos were shown in the locker room with Naomi. Jey left. Jimmy begged her not to come out the ring tonight. She said she has a bad feeling about the match tonight. Jimmy reassured her that Jey would be out there tonight to have his back. Naomi pretended to be okay with it, but she still seemed worried after Jimmy left.
The Bludgeon Brothers made their ring entrance. (c.)
-Back live, the announcers promoted Make-a-Wish World Day. A Wish Kid was at ringside, whom they honored. The Usos came out and high-fived him.
(2) ROWAN (w/Harper) vs. JIMMY USO (w/Jey Uso)
Rowan immediately took strong attacks on Jimmy. Jimmy was able pick up some offense and hit a crossbody to Rowan for a 2-count. Rowan threw Jimmy to the barricade and attacked him at ringside. Just as Rowan was going to hit a slam to finish Jimmy, Naomi’s music hit and she did her full entrance with the lights and everything to distract Harper and Rowan. Jey dropkicked Harper, as Jimmy rolled up Rowan for the win.
WINNER: Jimmy in 4:00.
The Usos and Naomi smiled together walking back up the ramp.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I’m into the angle, but I still just don’t feel any connection with Harper and Rowan.)
-The announcers plugged A.J. Styles & Gallows & Anderson vs. Rusev & Aiden English & Shinsuke Nakamura tonight in a 6-man tag match. They also hyped the Women’s Championship contract signing still to come. (c.)
(Mayle’s Analysis: I’m a fan of Styles having The Club behind him as he’s champion. I do wish Finn would’ve come over to make it a feud, but it’s cool.)
-Renee stood in the ring to introduce the contract signing for the Women’s Title match. Carmella made her entrance as champion. She took the microphone from Renee, but she couldn’t get a word in because fans booed profusely. She said it is disrespectful to introduce the champion before the challenger (Good point). She said to the fans, “I’m YOUR champion.” They booed. She said, “You’re booing me because you’ll never know what it is to be a champion like me.” She went on about how no one gave her praise after she showed everyone her highlight reel last week. Fans chanted she sucked. She told them she would play the same highlight reel again, but this time everyone will give her a standing ovation when it’s over. The production team aired the highlight video from last week of Carmella winning the Money in The Bank and winning the Women’s Championship.
(Mayle’s Analysis: Her heel work just seems right.)
Back live, everyone booed. Carmella said that wasn’t good enough. She said, “I’ll tell ya what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna play it again! And this stand, when it’s over, you’ll stand up!” She had the production team play it again. This time, we could still hear the live audience booing as it played.
In the middle of the video, Charlotte’s music played and fans cheered as Charlotte made her entrance. Charlotte sat down at the desk in the ring professionally, as Carmella touted like a school girl that she was the champ. She finally took her seat after Renee told her to be professional and take a seat. Charlotte remained confident as ever and signed the contract with a smile. After signing, she woo’d at Carmella. Carmella held the title in her face, and Charlotte slammed her head on the table and pushed it over on top of Carmella. She then exited the ring to cheers.
(Mayle’s Analysis: That was a nice little segment. Everything went the way it was supposed to go regarding fan reaction, character portrayal, and narrative. It feels easily flowing. Carmella plays a great bratty heel while Charlotte plays a perfectly confident challenger who deserves the title.)
-The announcers plugged The Greatest Royal Rumble event again. This time, they hyped the Universal title match between Lesner and Reigns, as well as The Undertaker vs. Rusev in a casket match. Okay cool.
-They sent it backstage to Charlie trying to get an interview at Shinsuke Nakamura’s locker room, but Aiden English opened the door and demanded, “No interviews.” He shut the door.
-They showed Jeff Hardy backstage wearing the U.S. Title making his way to the ring. (c.)
-The announcers explained that Carmella signed the contract during the break, so the match will go on at Backlash.
-Jeff Hardy made his ring entrance as Shelton Benjamin stood in the ring. Midway down the ramp, Jeff’s music stopped. Jeff waited and looked annoyed like he knew what was coming, then Randy Orton’s music hit and out Randy came.
(3) RANDY ORTON vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN
Shelton and Orton traded maneuvers as Jeff sat ringside to watch the match. The announcers mentioned Orton and Benjamin’s familiarity with each other as they came up in OVW over 15 years ago. Shelton kicked Orton to ringside and they cut to commercial.
Back live, Shelton held Orton in a headlock in the middle of the ring. With some rallying of the fans, Orton escaped, but Shelton hit a heel kick on Orton for a 2-count. Shelton went back into the headlock. Orton reversed it this time into a back suplex. Shelton took the quick powerslam from Orton as fans cheered. Orton hit him with the ringside DDT. He then rallied for the RKO, but Shelton slid out of the ring. Orton pretended like he was going to throw Shelton into Jeff, but Jeff moved quickly as Orton smiled. Orton slammed Shelton on the table and threw him back in the ring. Then a masked man tripped Jeff and ran inside the ring. Orton grabbed him and took off his mask. It was Simil Singh. He got the RKO, but Shelton was able to quickly hit the T-Bone on Orton for the win.
WINNER: Shelton in 9:00.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I really don’t want to see some inter-promotional fatal four-way between Jinder, Orton, Benjamin, and Hardy. However, anything can happen in the WWE, even the same match we see every PPV.)
-Backstage, The New Day ate pancakes and drank their Booty O’s cereal. They were interrupted by the Bar, Sheamus and Cesaro. The Bar said that the competition on Smackdown just doesn’t stack up to them.
-Styles was shown warming up in the locker room as Gallows and Anderson walked in. They all hugged and did the 2 Sweet. Tom said, “The Club is back together!” (c.)
-A promo video aired hyping the Smackdown Live arrival of Sanity.
-Renee stood by the trainer’s room door waiting for Daniel Bryan. He came out with an ice pack on his shoulder all taped up. He reassured that he will be 100% for the Greatest Royal Rumble. He said that Cass was a coward for attacking him from behind. He said Paige allowed him a match with Cass at Backlash. He then said that everyone is the same size when they’re laying on the mat tapping out.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I’m excited to see where else this feud goes in the coming weeks. I can see it going on longer than just Backlash. It’s a good heater for Bryan until his full-on rivalry with Miz at, say, Summerslam. That feud deserves a bigger stage than Backlash. This is going well so far.)
-Samoa Joe appeared on video promo. He said that he would end all his competitors in the Intercontinental title match at The Greatest Royal Rumble. He then said he would sit back and watch Roman get demolished in a cage. Then he said if Reigns happens to win the Universal title, he will take that title too. He ended with, “Believe that.”
-Gallows and Anderson made their ring entrance. Fans cheered and held up the 2 Sweet. Styles came out separate to his own ring entrance. (c.)
-Aiden English performed his vocal warm-up. He came out and rapped about Rusev Day. Rusev made his entrance. The announcers talked about his opportunity this Friday to take on The Undertaker. Finally, the lights went out, a video aired of a rock band setting up to play Shinsuke’s entrance music, and out came Shinsuke to a new version of his theme song that has lyrics.
(4) GALLOWS & ANDERSON & A.J. STYLES vs. RUSEV & AIDEN ENGLISH & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Styles and Nakamura started out the match, but Nakamura quickly tagged out. Styles and The Club did rapid tags to decimate all of their opponents until they threw them all out of the ring. All three stood in the ring and did the 2 Sweet. (c.)
Back live, Styles was tagged in and unloaded attacks on Rusev, then knocked English off the ring apron, and tried to attack Nakamura, but Nakamura walked away. Rusev subdued Styles with a cheap shot from behind and tagged in English. English held Styles in a chin lock and then a promo for The Greatest Royal Rumble aired right in the middle of the match not 20 seconds after a commercial aired. How nice.
Shinsuke toyed with Styles as the legal man, then tagged in Rusev. Rusev continued with heavy attacks on Styles. A small group of fans chanted, “We want Gallows!” English was tagged back in and held Styles in a headlock and sang out, “He’s not going anywheeeerrre!” Fans laughed. Styles rallied and hit a dropkick to English. English tagged in Rusev, but Style downed Rusev and tagged in Gallows. Gallows ran roughshod on everyone. Shinsuke came in the ring and the the Kinsasha to Gallows for the win.
WINNERS: Nakamura, Rusev, and English in 10:00.
Styles ran in the ring and attacked Nakamura. Nakamura hit a low blow, then went for a Kinsasha, but Anderson dove in front of the knee for Styles. Nakamura smiled and picked up Anderson, taunting Styles, and then doing the Kinsasha again to Anderson in front of Styles as Styles was too weak to get up.
The final shot was Shinsuke walking backwards on the ramp looking crazed at A.J in the ring.
(Mayle’s Analysis: I have no complaints here. Shinsuke is probably one of the best, if not the best, heel WWE has right now. He’s dangerous, filled with charisma, and a great in-ring worker. The angle with Anderson sacrificing himself (taking a bullet) for Styles was a nice touch, and it was even better when Shinsuke punished him and Styles for it when he did the Kinsasha again to Anderson. It’s like The Joker getting the dirty advantage over Batman and the Bat Family or something. Overall, I’m pretty ecstatic about the amount of great angles happening on Smackdown and the way they are balancing them. It’s all well done and, I think so far, Smackdown is the better show to watch each week.)
NOW CHECK OUT WADE KELLER’S REPORT ON THIS SAME SHOW: KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 4/24: Post-Shakeup edition including Daniel Bryan on Miz TV