ELDER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JULY 10, 2018
MANCHESTER, NH AT SNHU ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
-Tom Phillips introduces us to a short video package promoting this Sunday’s Extreme Rules PPV.
-Phillips then sends us to the middle of the ring where The Miz opens the show, welcoming the crowd to Miz TV. The Miz introduces his guests, Team Hell No. Kane appeared first after his music hit, followed by Bryan coming out to a solid “Yes!” chant. In the ring, with the “Yes!” chant still going strong in the background, Bryan asks the Miz if he will be punching Miz in the face, which prompted the “Yes!” chant to get louder. Miz continues to talk-up Team Hell no with underlying sarcasm, eventually showing a short video package he described as highlights of their team, only for it to actually show clips of them arguing from recent weeks. Miz continues to prod at Bryan, suggesting that Team Hell No is on the road to implosion. Kane eventually had enough, grabbing Miz by the neck.
Before Kane could do anything, The Bludgeon Brothers’ music hit, and they appeared at the entrance. Halfway down the ramp, Sanity’s music hit. With everyone facing the entrance ramp, Sanity appeared behind Bryan and Kane, attacking them. The New Day ran down for the save but was quickly overcome by the combination of Sanity and The Bludgeon Brothers.
With everyone else on the ground, Bludgeon Brothers and Sanity stared each other down as Harper and Rowan backed up the ramp.
(Elder’s Analysis: The Miz and Daniel Bryan’s rivalry continues to build. The crowd can’t wait for The Miz to get his comeuppance, and WWE did a good job showcasing The Bludgeon Brother’s and Sanity’s dominant status while preserving the Bryan/Miz showdown for a later date.)
-Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton appear at the announce desk further promoting Extreme Rules as well as announcing a ten-man tag team match for later this evening between Team Hell No & The New Day vs. Sanity & The Bludgeon Brothers (c).
(1) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. A.J. STYLES
Nakamura’s music hits first and enters the ring followed by Styles. Each received a solid pop from the crowd. Styles’s music is interrupted as Rusev Day came out to the top of the entrance way. He lets Styles know what he will be facing this coming Sunday at Extreme Rules. With Styles distracted, Nakamura took advantage of the opportunity and attacked from behind before heading to our first commercial break. Rusev and Aiden English join the announcer’s table while Nakamura continued his early domination to the delight of Rusev Day. Grave’s tells Rusev that Styles has been preparing for Sunday’s match, in part, by drinking milk. Rusev responded by jokingly saying that “milk is for babies.”
-An advertisement for WWE: The Shield DVD appears briefly at the bottom of the screen.
Nakamura continues to dominate in a slow paced match before a second commercial break interrupts the action. We return to AJ slowly gaining control with a series of leg kicks. Styles mocks Nakamura’s “Come on” taunt causing Nakamura to charge at him, missing, and flying to the outside. Styles then connected with a phenomenal forearm. English then taunted Nakamura, insisting he do better. Styles attempts a knee strike on Nakamura who moves out of the way, causing him to hit English. This caused Rusev to intervene, causing a disqualification. Jeff Hardy came down for the save.
WINNER: Styles by disqualification (Rusev interference)
-Smackdown General Manager Paige then came out to declare that Rusev Day will be fighting AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy in a tag team match… right now.
-We cut to another commercial break and return with the tag team match underway.
(2) RUSEV & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. JEFF HARDY & A.J. STYLES
Rusev dominates Styles early on. An Extreme Rules advertisement featuring Bliss/Jax/Rousey is shown with the match in PIP. Styles moved out of the way of a Rusev charging shoulder, giving himself time for a hot tag to Hardy. Hardy comes in strong with a Whisper in the Wind and a Twist of Fate, but Nakamura pulled his leg out before he could execute a swanton onto Rusev. Rusev then recovered and nailed Hardy with the Machka Kick and covered for the pin.
WINNER: Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura by pinfall in 6:00.
(Elder’s analysis: Two decent contests with nothing special between them. The crowds love The Phenominal One, but are still hesitant to boo Rusev. Still, this was all clearly a means to an end. I still have hope that Rusev and Styles can entertain us on Sunday Night.)
-A backstage segment between James Ellsworth and Carmella. Ellsworth gives her a wink to indicate that he would be victorious. Carmella told him never to wink at her again and demanded that he did not let her down.
-The entire Smackdown Women’s Division walks down to ringside in succession for the Lumberjack Match before cutting to a commercial break.
(3) ASUKA vs. JAMES ELLSWORTH w. CARMELLA (C) LUMBERJACK MATCH
Carmella walked to ringside first to a pattering of boos before Ellsworth entered to a more muted response. Ellsworth takes the microphone before the match begins and removes his shirt before telling the Lumberjacks how only he is capable of beating Asuka, as well as insisting that they resist attempting to kiss him. (ugh)
The match began and Asuka wasted no time getting the upper hand. Ellsworth retreats to ringside but is attacked by the women’s roster. It quickly breaks down as the women begin fighting against each other and Ellsworth makes a break for the ramp. Becky Lynch and Naomi catch him and drag him back to ringside before Asuka hits the entire group with dive off the top rope. Ellsworth enters the ring and is handed some sort of handheld spray my Carmella. Asuka follows into the ring and avoids Ellsworth attempt at spraying her and successfully applies the Asuka Lock for the submission. Carmella then attacks Asuka after the match and stands over her with her championship belt over her shoulder.
WINNER: Asuka by submission
-Phillips, Saxton, and Cole show us footage of the chaos that ensued in tonight’s opening segment which is leading us to the 10 man match tonight.
-Backstage The New Day are joined by Kane and Daniel Bryan who are going over their strategy for tonight’s matchup. Kane and Bryan get caught up in another “Yes/No/Yes” argument before Big E steps in to talk some sense. Kane quote’s N’Sync lyrics. Because… well… because he can.
-We cut to another commercial Break.
-We return to Carmella and Ellsworth who are soon joined by Paige. The Smackdown General Manager is offered the opportunity to kiss Ellsworth, which she politely denies. She then informs them that to keep Ellsworth from interfering from Asuka and ‘Mella’s match at Extreme Rules, he will be suspended above the ring in a shark cage!
(Elder’s Analysis: Considering every time someone is suspended in a shark cage they somehow manage to get involved anyway, it would make more sense to just ban him from ringside altogether. But WWE needs an Extreme stipulation, and they’ve got one here.
(4) SIN CARA vs. ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS (w/Zelina Vega)
A commercial break interrupts the early portion of this match.
The match began relatively slow but picked up in pace after the commercial break. Sin Cara got in more offense than one might expect before Almas took over. Almas nails Sin Cara with double knees while in the corner and covers him for the pin.
WINNER: Andrade “Cien” Almas defeats Sin Cara by pinfall
(Elder’s Analysis: Almas looked impressive, and Vega continues to provide him some extra heat. It’s good to see Sin Cara on the main show despite the losing effort.)
-The announcing team heavily promotes many of the matches scheduled for Extreme Rules, including a Tables Match between Sanity and the New Day.
-Sanity and The Bludgeon Brothers talk about their upcoming match. Rowan – “Let the Bludgeoning Begin!”
-Another Extreme Rules promo precedes a commercial break.
-We return with a recap from last Tuesdays July 4th pancake eating contest with The New Day and the interruption by Sanity that followed. Phillips then plugged the Tables match scheduled between the teams on Sunday.
(5) TEAM HELL NO & THE NEW DAY vs. SANITY & THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS in a 10 man Tag Team Match
Team Hell No enters first followed by The New Day and then their opponents. As the match begins we cut to a commercial break. As we return, frequent use of tags keeps The New Day and T.H.N. in control. Another short Extreme Rules promo is shown. We return to the match which is continuing at a slow pace before cutting to our final commercial break of the night.
We pick up the match with Harper comfortably handling Xavier Woods before others get involved, leading to Eric Young entering the match followed by an enthusiastic Daniel Bryan. Yes kicks are followed by a yes lock on Young, but the hold is interrupted. Kane runs in to the rescue before everything breaks down. Big E assists in launching Kofi Kingston over the ropes onto Luke Harper. The ring empties save for Bryan and Young. Bryan nails Young with a running knee and covers him for the pin.
WINNER: Team Hell No & The New Day in 16:00.
The victors make their way to the top of the ramp while Bryan leads a “Yes” chant. Kane demonstrates his ability to do the chant as well, so Bryan attempts to summon Kane’s trademark pyro. After a few attempts, and asking for the crowds backing, Bryan motion’s for it and fire explodes on each side of him to Kane’s pleasant surprise. The show goes off the air with Team Hell No celebrating at the top of the ramp.
(Elder’s Analysis: Too much of this match took place during the commercial breaks. However, overall, we knew this combination wouldn’t disappoint. Bryan summoning Kane’s fire was an awesome touch, and particularly unexpected after WWE changed their policy on pyro. Their win, and that final fun moment ends Smackdown on a high note. Regardless of whether this rendition of Team Hell No is a swan song for Kane, I think this is a great way to go with Daniel Bryan right now, and leaving The Miz knocking at his door only makes it that much more satisfying when they inevitably clash.)