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ELDER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JULY 24, 2018
EVANSVILLE, IND. AT THE FORD CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
-The show opened outside with a limo pulling up to the arena. The Miz exited first, followed by Maryse, who picked up their new baby to the crowds delight. Corey Graves then announced the premiere of “Miz & Mrs” tonight after Smackdown.
Randy Orton entered to his music. Corey Graves wondered if they would learn why Orton has been on such a violent streak since his return, and what his reasons are for attacking Jeff Hardy multiple times. A highlight package is then shown showcasing Orton’s brutal assaults on Jeff Hardy last week on Smackdown. Randy Orton addressed the crowd. He asked the crowd if they want to know why he did what he did. He said “Look into the mirror. I did it because of you.” He continued to say that he was not given the respect that he deserves. Orton went on to say that he will destroy every superstar that the fans have put on a pedestal, beginning with Jeff Hardy. He then said that he has been known by various nicknames, but the three letters that he can be known by is R-K… then dropped the microphone to the ground and slowly exited the ring.
-They cut to the announcers at ringside where Phillips reiterated Orton’s intentions of writing Hardy’s final chapter. He then mentioned that they would be covering last night’s historic announcement of the all-women Evolution pay-per-view.
(Elder’s analysis: A well delivered promo here. This was to the point. This is exactly what I wanted to hear from Orton right now. He is setting himself up to go on a warpath.)
-They cut to their first commercial break.[c]
-They return to Phillips introducing a highlight from the Evolution announcement last night. They showed some Twitter reactions afterwards.
-Rusev, accompanied by Lana, came out to his music. They cut to footage from earlier today of a backstage confrontation between Rusev, Lana, Andrade Almas and Zelina Vega. Almas then enters to his music with Vega by his side.
(1) RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS (w/Zelina Vega)
Rusev showed his strength early, but Almas quickly taunted with his “Tranquillo” pose in the ropes. A “Rusev Day chant began from the crowd as they wanted Rusev take charge of the match. They cut to commercial with the match visible in PIP. [c]
They return after some back and forth action continued through the commercial break. Rusev delivered a strong series of kicks and a shoulder in the corner. Rusev covered for the pin but Almas kicked out at two. Almas landed a strong spinning back elbow before Rusev countered with a Machka kick. Both men were on the ground when the action began outside the ring. Vega walked over to Lana and they argued with each other before Lana got the upperhand. With Lana atop Vega, Aiden English appeared and sprinted down the ramp.English pulled Lana off Vega. Vega jumped on the back of English who fell forward into Lana, knocking her down. Rusev noticed this and questioned English about what happened when English grabbed Rusev and put him down with a hammerlock DDT. Almas covered Rusev with the three count. Lana entered the ring to be by Rusev’s side. English looked on from the outside of the ring.
WINNER: Almas via pinfall in 9:00.
(Elder’s Analysis: A fun back-and-forth match. Both of these guys are great in the ring, but this match was all about Rusev Day. The seeds are finally planted for their inevitable demise. This should be interesting going forward. Meanwhile, Almas racked up another win while Vega continues to get the pair more and more heat from the fans with her villainous antics outside the ring. She’s doing an awesome job by his side.)
-Graves announces that The Miz and Maryse will hold their own premiere party for their new show live tonight on Smackdown.
-Backstage R-Truth reminds Tye Dillinger how Samoa Joe is a bad man. Dillinger gave Truth some confidence before his match with Joe before cutting to a commercial break. [c]
-They return to Aiden English arguing with Lana backstage with Rusev looking on. They both accuse each other for not working for Rusev’s best interests. Rusev shouted ‘Enough! Maybe none of you is best for Rusev!” before storming off.
-R Truth entered and rapped along with his music, getting the crowd to chant “What’s up!” Samoa Joe then entered to his music with the crowd chanting “Joe.” Before the match began, they showed the highlights of Samoa Joe’s dominant showing last week against Tye Dillinger.
(2) R-TRUTH vs. SAMOA JOE
Joe went on the attack initially but Truth surprised him with some quick offense. However, the tide quickly turned and Joe threw Truth to the ground where he quickly applied his Coquina Clutch which caused Truth to tap immediately.
WINNER: Samoa Joe by submission in 1:00.
(Elder’s Analysis: After such a long hiatus, its great to see R-Truth on TV. He still looks like he has some matches left. However he, much like Dillinger last week, is just fodder for Samoa Joe. With all of these quick victories under his belt, I wonder if Joe will be rewarded with a certain title shot? Also… is this the only way that Dillinger and Truth can find TV time?
-Phillips says that Sanity will be facing The New Day tonight in the first round of the tag team tournament.
-Backstage Charly Caruso asks Asuka what her reaction was to the announcement of the Evolution pay-per-view which Asuka responded “I’m so excited!” She then changed direction and said that right now, however, she is ready for Billy Kay, and that Kay is not ready for Asuka. Phillips announced that match would be taking place next before heading to a commercial break. [c]
-Returning from break, Asuka entered the arena. Billie Kay followed with Peyton Royce by her side. A vignette is shown of Kay and Royce where they come to the conclusion that they’re each “better than Asuka.”
(3) ASUKA vs. BILLIE KAY (w.Peyton Royce)
Kay takes control quickly and taunted Asuka. Asuka didn’t appreciate it and landed a dropkick and shining wizard before covering unsuccessfully for a pin. Kay reached for Royce for help, but when Asuka pulled her back, their grip slipped and Royce fell back to the ground outside the ring. Asuka landed a series of stiff kicks and covered Kay for the pin.
WINNER: Asuka via pinfall in 1:30.
-Backstage Shinsuke Nakamura addressed Jeff Hardy directly through the camera. He told Hardy that he had been bitten by a viper. Nakamura then told Orton to be careful, saying “I bite back”
-Phillips reminded the audience that if Becky Lynch beats Carmella tonight, then Carmella would have to defend her title at Summerslam. Graves then added that Smackdown GM Paige had an announcement involving A.J. Styles Summerslam opponent. They then cut to commercial break. [c]
-The Miz, with his family beside him, are shown backstage being photographed by numerous “paparazzi.” They cut to the arena where Paige is there with a round, velvet table standing center in the ring.
Paige announced A.J. Styles, who then came down to the ring to a huge ovation from the crowd and shook Paige’s hand. Styles talked about his past successes at previous Summerslams before signing his contract for his match. Paige then began to announce his opponent to the sounds of a drum roll before they were interrupted by James Ellsworth. Ellsworth reminded the crowd that he had beaten Styles three times already, and that “the fourth time is the charm.” Paige exited the ring to confront Ellsworth and proceeded to call him a joke which he immediately turned back on her. Ellsworth insulted her accent and the way she dresses. Paige walked closer to Ellsworth and said that she had two words for him. He wanted “title match,” but she said “You’re fired!” before having security come out to escort him out. The camera followed them backstage as security put Ellsworth down and Paige literally kicked him out of the doors of the building.
-Suddenly back in the ring Samoa Joe attacked A.J. Styles from behind. He quickly put Styles out with his Coquina Clutch before signing the contract and then flipping over the table. Joe then backed up the ramp yelling “Tick-tock champ, tick-tock!” to Styles who was just getting up from the attack. They then cut to a commercial break. [c]
(Elder’s analysis: They threw us a swerve here. But it ultimately landed exactly where it needed to go. Whether or not Ellsworth is really fired is irrelevant. A.J. Styles vs. Samoa Joe is appointment viewing. Having Joe attack Styles from behind and signing the contract while Paige was busy backstage with Ellsworth is some creative storytelling that made for a great visual.)
-They cut to another commercial break, once again highlighting “Miz & Mrs.”
-They return backstage with Paige finding Samoa Joe. She asked him why he did what he did, while also mentioning that Joe was in fact her choice for the match. Joe responded that her way of announcing him was pedestrian, while his way was “phenomenal.” Carmella then approached Paige and told her how she beat Charlotte and Asuka before and will beat Becky Lynch right now.
Becky Lynch entered to her music to a strong positive reaction from the crowd. Carmella followed to a more muted reaction.
(4) BECKY LYNCH vs. CARMELLA
Becky got some offense in early before Carmella retreated to the outside of the ring. They cut to a commercial break while the match continued in PIP. [c]
After the break, both competitors trade some offense. Carmella landed a flat liner then went for an unsuccessful pin. Becky regained control and landed a Becksploder. With Carmella prone in the ring, Becky went for a leg drop off of the top rope. She missed and Carmella landed a quick kick. Carmella grabbed Becky who reversed it into a Dis-Arm-Her which caused Carmella to quickly tap out. Phillips announced that with the win, Becky Lynch will be going to Summerslam to challenge Carmella for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
WINNER: Becky via submission in 7:00.
(Elder’s Analysis: I am absolutely thrilled for Becky Lynch. The crowd has been behind her for as long as I can remember. I’m glad they are rewarding her excellent in-ring work with a title shot. Can she drag a decent pay-per-view worthy title match out of Carmella? We will find out. But until then… this is absolutely the right move. It’s been a long time coming.)
-Philips announced The New Day vs. Sanity as coming up next. They cut to The Bludgeon Brothers who say that a “bludgeoning” awaits the winner of the tag team tournament.
-The New Day entered the arena to a positive crowd reaction before they cut to another commercial break. [c]
Returning from break, they brought us ringside where The Uso’s have joined the announcing team for the upcoming match. Sanity then entered the arena. Saxton reminded everyone that Sanity has had The New Days’ number for each of the last two weeks.
(5) THE NEW DAY vs. SANITY
Alexander Wolfe and Xavier Woods started off the match trading blows before Wolfe tagged in Killian Dain. They cut to another commercial break from there. [c]
Returning from break, Woods landed a big dropkick from the top rope on Dain. Wolfe is tagged in by Dain as Woods reached Big E who came in strong after the hot tag. Chaos ensued as all competitors from each team got involved. Woods flipped over the steel stairs and steamrolled Killian Dain outside the ring. Back in the ring, Big E picked up Alexander Wolfe and Xavier Woods connected with the Up Up Down Down. Big E covered Wolfe for the win.
WINNER: The New Day via pinfall in 7:30 to advance to the next round of the tag team tournament.
-Following the match, The Uso’s rose from the announcer table and walked towards the ring before Sheamus and Cesaro’s music hit. They appeared at the top of the ramp and announced that they will advance their way through the tag team tournament to face The Bludgeon Brothers at Summerslam for the Smackdown Tag Team titles.
-Phillips then announces that Sheamus and Cesaro will be facing The Uso’s next week on Smackdown as part of the tag team tournament. The winner of that match will face the New Day, while the winner of that match will face The Bludgeon Brothers at Summerslam.
-Backstage The Miz, with Maryse and their daughter by his side is joined by Paige and a silent Sin Cara. The Miz announced that it was time to introduce everyone to the world’s cutest baby before cutting to a commercial break. [c]
-Returning from break, The Miz, Maryze and their baby Monroe come to the ring with the baby strapped across her father’s chest. Corey Graves stated that everything feels right in the world as The Miz and Maryse will be premiering their own show tonight following Smackdown. In the ring, The Miz introduced his wife as “mother of the century.” Maryse stated that the women’s revolution began with her, and that the evolution continues. The Miz then finally introduced his little “scene stealer,” his daughter, Monroe Sky. The Miz then hyped a premiere of ‘Miz & Mrs” to be shown. However, the video that aired was a variety of embarrassing moments for both Miz and Maryse, including their loss at Wrestlemania 33 to John Cena and Nikki Bella. Daniel Bryan then appeared on the jumbotron and said he wanted to apologize for that video. He then said he should just apologize in person. Bryan’s music hit, and he came out to a strong “Yes” chant. Bryan walked down to the ring and fought his way through The Miz’s security before entering the ring.
Out of nowhere, The Miz threw what appeared to be his baby at Bryan, who caught it. The Miz then grabbed Bryan and landed a Skull Crushing Finale as a toy baby doll is dropped by Bryan. The Miz then grabbed the microphone to say that he fooled everyone and announced that the baby used for that was in fact a doll. He went further by asking the crowd if they really thought if he would bring his baby to a city like this. He then said that if they really wanted to see his baby that they could tune in live following Smackdown and that it will be “awesome!!!” Corey Graves added that the entire ploy was genius by The Miz. Phillips then announced the world premiere of “Miz & Mrs” as The Miz and Maryse embraced at the top of the ramp and Smackdown cut directly into the new show.
(Elder’s Analysis: As much as I’ve enjoyed the build to this feud over the past few weeks, this segment really failed to hit its mark. First off, Maryse is way too timid on the microphone. It is only that much more evident when she is next to The Miz who is one of the best in the industry on the microphone. In terms of content… this was ridiculous. The fake baby business is one of those eye-rolling WWE moments. So this was one elaborate ruse to lure Bryan to the ring to use a doll as a decoy to gain a quick upper hand? Well… This just left a bad taste, and it didn’t do anything positive for their feud.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: If we take anything away from tonight, it’s A.J. vs. Samoa Joe at Summerslam. This is a match we can all sink our teeth in to. While their segment tonight may have missed the mark, The Miz and Daniel Bryan will have many more encounters to further develop their feud. Tonight it got campy, but Brian will want to get even, and we can look forward to that. Lastly, the end of Rusev Day is nigh. This entire angle has been fun. As much as I hate to see it end, this is what had to happen. Rusev needs a singles push again, with Lana by his side. And most importantly, does Lana Day continue if Rusev Day is over? I need to check my calendar.