6/26 WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Keller’s report on U.S. Title defense by Jeff Hardy, Miz TV with the Bludgeon Brothers

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

WWE Smackdown Live logo - new July 2016 (c) WWE.com


JUNE 26, 2018

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

NOTE: After Smackdown concludes, join me live for the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show with guest cohost Jason Australia. You can stream the show live HERE or call to participate: (347) 215-8558 (push “1” after calling if you want to participate on the show with a question or comment).

Email your questions about tonight’s Smackdown to wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com.


-They opened with Miz standing mid-ring with the Miz TV set. No mention of being in Ontario either verbally or on the graphic. Last night for Raw, WWE proudly put up a banner in the corner at the very start saying they were in San Diego. He introduced The Bludgeon Brothers. He said they’re the real deal, unlike the phony CGI dinosaurs in “Jurassic World.” Phillips wondered if Miz regretted inviting the Bludgeons after they looked mean and intimidating toward Miz with their mallets. Miz stepped back trepidatiously.

Miz said he and the Bludgeons share in common that they both proved how easy it is to dismantle Daniel Bryan. He asked them why they attacked Bryan. When fans chanted “Let’s Go Bryan,” Miz told the fans not to disrespect the tag team champions of Smackdown. He said he gets that the Bludgeons are “the strong silent types.” He then threw to their “feature presentation.” On the big screen they replayed Renee Young asking Bryan if he’s ready to take on the “biggest and baddest Superstars in WWE,” then chanting “Yes!” like a big dork. Miz said Bryan is overconfident and his head is in the clouds and he’s about to get a rude awakening that he can’t achieve anything he sets his mind to.

Miz said Bryan is a glory hound. He said Bryan is the villain of this film, and his favorite part of this movie is Act Three where the Bludgeons beat up Bryan in the Gauntlet Match to set up Miz for his easy pinfall victory. He asked fans to give it up for the Bludgeons. “What a performance!” he said. “You deserve a Mizzy.” He said it’d have to be a Supporting Mizzy because he was the leading man who defeated Bryan in mere seconds. He told the Bludgeons it seemed to him that they were auditioning to be the new Miztourage. He offered them a role in “Ruff Ruff Ref.” The Bludgeons knocked the mic out of his hands. He backed off. Bryan came out to his music.

Miz went on and on, so Bryan told him to shut up. Bryan told the Bludgeons that last week they cost him a chance at the WWE Championship. He said size isn’t nearly as important as heart, and he isn’t afraid of the two of them or the person standing behind them. He asked which of them is going to fight him first. Erick Rowan was about to step up, but Luke Harper took the mic. He said Daniel never learns, but he will tonight. The Bludgeons music played.

(Keller’s Analysis: That is Miz being Miz, totally carrying a segment. This is a round-about way to eventually get back to Miz vs. Bryan, but it seems to have lost steam because it’s like they’re starting from scratch rather than acknowledging their history.)

-Backstage the New Day watched a man in a monocle and a top hat and tuxedo t-shirt blending pancakes. Xavier took a sip and made a crazy face as his teammates cheered.

-Phillips plugged Xavier vs. Rusev up next. [c]

-Phillips said Paige made it officially during the break, Bryan would face Harper tonight for the first time ever.

(1) XAVIER WOODS (w/Big E, Kofi Kingston) vs. RUSEV (w/Aiden English)

Graves said when you liquify pancakes, they become batter again, and it’s disgusting. Aiden sang before the match. Graves said it is illegal to eat pancakes on Rusev Day. Phillips, taking this all too literally, said that’s a problem because every day is Rusev Day. Big E held up a sound bubble sign that said “Ouch!” next to Rusev after Xavier knocked him into the ropes. They cut to a break but stayed with the action on split screen. Rusev dominated throughout and settled into a bearhug. [c]

Back to full screen, Xavier broke free and gave Rusev a spinning forearm. Xavier hit a DDT and scored a two count. A crawler plugged 205 Live and the UK Championship Tournament. The Rusev Day and pancake talk continued ad nauseam. When Xavier went for a spinning move, Rusev kicked him. He then landed a Machka Kick. Xavier went down hard. Rusev yelled and flexed and then stomped Xavier before locking on the Accolade for the quick tapout win.

WINNER: Rusev in 8:00.

-After the match, Rusev said tonight wasn’t about Booty O’s or pancakes or trombones, but it was about A.J. Styles. He said Styles is scared and he proved it last week when he punched Aiden in the face. A dueling chant of “A.J. Styles/Rusev Day” broke out. Rusev Day chants were with a deeper voices. Rusev said he’s breaking the door down to Styles’s house and taking his title “and it will be a great Rusev Day.”

(Keller’s Analysis: So Rusev is still a heel? Good luck with that. If the goal is to give Styles, the most popular wrestler on Smackdown the past couple years, a feel-good win, this isn’t it. I’m all for Rusev getting a push at this level, but the fans clearly wanted to get behind him and root for him, and WWE is fighting that and undercutting Styles in the process.)

-Jeff Hardy was upside down with facepaint and odd contact lenses and talked some gibberish. Then he flipped over and said he’s ready to take flight.

-They went to the announcers on camera. Phillips said Shinsuke Nakamura suffered an injury last night, so Hardy is going to defend against someone else. He said Hardy issued an open challenge.

-Hardy made his ring entrance. [c]

-A sponsored vignette aired on the Usos.

-Backstage Lana and Naomi were arguing in friendly banter over who was the better dancer. In walked the cast of “GLOW,” standing single file behind each other to all fit on camera, which looked preposterous. They said they “feel the glow.” Naomi said she loves “GLOW” despise the Russian character on the show. The leading woman spoke in a Russian accent and said she and Lana could be twins. Lana then spoke in a Russian accent. They said they were both good dancers and should stop arguing. Naomi suggested they work together and everyone can “feel the glow.”

-Poor Jeff Hardy was in the ring the entire time sitting in the corner. He stood up and clapped once they got back to him. Sanity’s music then played to reveal a member of Sanity was answering his challenge.

(2) JEFF HARDY vs. ERIC YOUNG (w/Killian Dane, Alexander Wolfe) – U.S. Title match

It suddenly felt like Impact Wrestling invaded Smackdown. Hardy dropped Young early and went to the top rope, but Young rolled to the floor. They cut to an early break. [c]

With both men down after simultaneous clotheslines, Phillips called it a “fantastic match.” (It was just okay, and plays into the impression I think Phillips gives off that he’s automated and just a programmed “sports entertainment announcer” who doesn’t really feel anything when he says it. Over-complimenting a match like this is credibility-damaging.) The Usos made their way to the ring from the crowd. Dane and Wolfe were excited to see them and met them at ringside where a brawl broke out. Young threw Jey Uso into the ring. The ref called for the bell.

WINNER: No contest in 9:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: So last night Raw’s IC Title match ends with interference, and WWE decides to end this U.S. Title match with interference? I mean, doing it once is risky enough, but doing it twice in back to back televised title matches is too much.)


The match was restarted as a six-man tag match. The announcers used the match as a backdrop to talk about the key traits for each member of Sanity. After taking an extended beating, Jey shoved Young out of the ring. When he leaped to tag Jeff, Young yanked Jeff off the ring apron to stop the tag. Young went back to work on Jey.


Jimmy eventually did get the hot-tag and went to work on Wolfe. Jimmy nailed Wolfe with a running hip attack (butt cheek attack, actually) to his head when he was sitting in the corner. Young broke up the cover. Chaos broke out. The Usos worked the crowd and then Jimmy dove onto Young and Dane at ringside. Wolfe rolled up Jey for a near fall. Wolfe suplexed Jey right into the corner to tag Jeff. Jeff then landed a Swanton on Wolfe for the win.

WINNERS: Hardy & The Usos in 8:00.

-Becky Lynch was warming up backstage with headphones on. A guy in headsets came up behind her and said she’s up next. She nearly punched him because he startled her. (How convenient the first time they show someone tapping a wrestler on the shoulder to tell them they’re up next that the wrestler had headphones on and almost socked him in the face. What’re the odds!) [c]

-They aired a segment of a WWE.com interview with Becky, which was interrupted by Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. Deville mocked her for having two wins and suddenly becoming Becky Balboa. Becky asked which of their arms they’d like her to break tonight. Deville said she’s up for a fight.

(4) SONYA DEVILLE (w/Mandy Rose) vs. BECKY LYNCH

The announcers talked about how both women are losers for the first several minutes. Deville got frustrated early and bailed out to the floor. Becky went after her and threw her over the announce table. They cut to a break. [c]

They stayed with the action on split screen during the break. Deville took control. After the break, she wrapped Becky in a body scissors and a chinlock. Phillips “complimented” Becky by saying “she never goes away, she never quits entirely.” Graves said Becky is good at losing. Deville punched away at Becky near the edge of the ring. Mandy mouthed off to Becky, so Becky shoved Deville into her and then applied the Disarm Her. Phillips totally missed what happened and just called it a collision between Deville and Rose.

WINNER: Lynch in 8:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Another hum-drum match. It was okay, but completely overshadowed by the announcers talking incessantly about how Becky is an underachieving loser and Deville is tired of spinning her wheels and not getting respect. I understand owning and acknowledging the history of wrestlers and I also get that a redemption story can get fans invested in a wrestler’s journey, but this was too much.)

-They showed Asuka walking backstage. Oh wait, it was James Ellsworth in a mask. He walked up to Tye Dillinger who said he’s more like a “1” than a “10.”


-Zelina Vega asked in a selfie-style promo where the competition is for Andrade. She told everyone to stay out of their way if they know what is good for them.

(Keller’s Analysis: So does Zelina want competition for Andrade or does she want everyone to stay out of their way?)

-Ellsworth walked to the ring. He said it’s a man’s world, and if you mess with a bull, you get the horns. He said he loves and respects women. He said he has a love life so hot, you could fry an egg on it. “And I assure you, the feeling is mutual,” he said. He said with him and Asuka, there is no love and no respect. He took off his shirt and dared Asuka to come out because he wasn’t ready last week, but he is this week. “I dare you!” he shouted. Paige came out instead.

Paige exposed that Ellsworth knew that Asuka is at home with her family in Japan this week. She said that’s when he got brave. Paige said Carmella will face Asuka at Extreme Rules. Ellsworth said Paige is really out there to ask him out on a date. Paige played along and said that’s exactly right. She asked if next Tuesday is open. She ran her fingers down his arm. Ellsworth said yes. She “shhh’d” him and told him next Tuesday it is. Ellsworth was really excited. Paige revealed he’s not going on a date with her, but rather it’ll be a match against Asuka.

-A soundbite aired with Luke Harper. Well, he just stared at the camera. There was no sound.

-Bryan warmed up by punching Luke Gallows’s hands. Or else he was totally confused on which Luke he was booked to fight. [c]


A few minutes in, Bryan made a comeback and dove onto Harper at ringside. Harper caught him and threw him onto the edge of the announce table face-first. Harper then gave Bryan a running boot to the face, sending him into the time-keeper’s area. They cut to a break. [c]

Harper controlled Bryan after the break, settling into a chinlock eventually. Then Bryan made a short-lived comeback before Harper grounded him again. Bryan fought out of a superplex attempt and then gave Harper a turning DDT. Both were slow to get up. Phillips dutifully asked: “What is more important? Is it size or is it is heart? Daniel Bryan trying to prove it’s the latter tonight.” Bryan threw Yes kicks at Harper. Harper brushed them off, but Bryan schoolboyed him for a two count. Harper swung at Bryan, but Bryan ducked and took Harper down for a Yes Lock. He locked it on. Rowan attacked Bryan.

WINNER: Bryan via DQ in 12:00.

-The Bludgeon Brothers double-teamed Bryan after the match. As they set up their finisher, Kane’s music played and he came out. The Bludgeon Brothers dutifully stopped their move and stared at Kane make his long walk to the ring. Bryan gave Rowan a running knee. Rowan rolled out of the ring. Kane then choke slammed Harper.

Bryan looked on shocked at Kane’s return. Kane offered a hug. Bryan shook his head no. Fans booed. Then they chanted “Yes!” as it appeared Bryan might reconsider. Bryan did. They hugged. Fans cheered. Graves said, “Team Hell No is hugging it out!” Paige came out and booked Bludgeon Brothers vs. Team Hell No at Extreme Rules.

NOTE: After Smackdown concludes, join me live for the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show with guest cohost Jason Australia. You can stream the show live HERE or call to participate: (347) 215-8558 (push “1” after calling if you want to participate on the show with a question or comment).

Email your questions about tonight’s Smackdown to wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com.

1 Comment on 6/26 WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Keller’s report on U.S. Title defense by Jeff Hardy, Miz TV with the Bludgeon Brothers

  1. Isn’t Kane in an election? Wouldn’t appearing on WWE sort of violate election expenses? I’m curious if WWE has made changes to their physical therapist and clothing matrons…. Paige looked superb, Becky and Deville looked good, the Bludgeon Brothers look so much better than when they were Wyatts’s stooges. It just seems the wrestlers are upping their game physically. BTW Vinny, I have no use for Asuka but for heavens sake LET HER WRESTLE and not get into a comedy feud with turtle boy.

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