WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS 7/31: Keller’s report on show including Summerslam hype for Styles-Joe, Becky-Carmella, Bryan-Miz, more

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

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


JULY 31, 2018

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

Tonight after WWE Smackdown, join me live with guest cohost Nike Chiari from Ring Rust Radio to break down the show with live callers, mailbag, and a live on-site correspondent from Tampa.

•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com


-The show opened with a crowd shot and a banner graphic at the top touting they were in Tampa, Fla. and Phillips said they were in Tampa. Tampa made the cut!

-Renee Young stood mid-ring and introduced Becky Lynch, the challenger for the WWE Smackdown Women’s Title at Summerslam against Carmella. Phillips said she is looking to put two years of frustration behind her. Renee asked Becky what it feels like to be back in the championship picture after such perseverance. Becky said she did doubt if it would ever happen, but she knew if she kept pushing, she’d eventually get back to this stage. She said she hasn’t been Smackdown Women’s Champion since December 2016 and she hasn’t had a title match since WrestleMania 33 nearly a year and a half ago. She said last week when she beat Carmella, she couldn’t sleep because she kept thinking about Summerslam and what it means to be Smackdown Women’s Champion. She spoke about what an honor it is. She said she wasn’t born to be a champion, she fought to be a champion. Fans cheered. She said come Summerslam it will be her honor to leave Summerslam as Women’s Champion and walk into Evolution as the Women’s Champion.

Carmella came out next. She said she could blame her loss last week on being distracted because James Ellsworth got fired, but that’s not the case. She said Becky beat her fair and square last week to earn her title shot at Summerslam. She said she was so focused on her match last week, she didn’t fully appreciate the announcement Stephanie McMahon made on Raw. She said it hit her that they’re going to be part of the first-ever all-woman PPV, representing every woman who has ever stepped foot inside a WWE ring. She said she has let everyone down because they should be building each other up, not tearing each other down. She said in NXT she was told she’d only be a manager and a “hype girl,” while Becky was killing it and part of the Four Horsewomen, but she was never too successful to give her advice. Becky looked on skeptically. Carmella then said Becky was the first woman drafted to Smackdown whereas as she was the last draft pick out of everybody – men and women.

Fans weren’t buying it. Carmella acknowledged that “most of the WWE Universe doesn’t think I deserve to be champion.” She said she tries so hard to block out all of the haters on social media who say she sucks and is unworthy of the title. She began to cry. Fans chanted “You suck!” She said there are legends of the industry telling her she should just go away. “It’s honestly just exhausting, but I have to put on a brave face,” she said. Then she told Becky she couldn’t be more excited wrestling someone at Summerslam she has always admired. “We’re going to kill it,” she said. “Honestly.” She wished Becky good luck and offered a handshake. Becky looked at her as if she wasn’t buying any of it. Then, over eight minutes into the show, Ellsworth’s music played. Becky turned to the stage. Carmella attacked Becky from behind. Graves said he was buying Carmella’s every word. Coach said he didn’t buy a word of it.

Charlotte Flair ran out and made her return, saving Becky. She gave Carmella an overhead suplex, sending Carmella rolling to the floor. Corey said it was brilliant and genius what Carmella pulled off. Carmella retreated as Charlotte helped Becky to her feet.

(Keller’s Analysis: They have to STOP having top heel women wrestlers do these phony insincere long-winded heel promos. If it was done once every six years, maybe it’d be okay. But it’s the go-to schtick that nobody buys at all and it just feels like “acting class in session” at the expense of fans and the desire to move on to some action. At least Becky didn’t buy it for a second.)

-They showed an intense Samoa Joe backstage staring into the camera lens. Graves hyped he had a personal message for A.J. Styles later.

-A promo aired with the Usos backstage. [c]

-Carmella complained to Smackdown G.M. Paige backstage. Paige said she actually believed her out there, but she should be ashamed of herself. Carmella said she poured her heart out there. She said Paige will never be the champ again. Paige said she’d teach her how to be the real champ because the real champ always has the odds stacked against her without complaining. She booked her against Charlotte and she said if Charlotte wins, her title match will become a triple threat.

(Keller’s Analysis: They’ve done a nice job building up Becky as the earnest challenger who worked her way back into title contention, and now Charlotte through happenstance is going to diminish her odds of winning. Charlotte could also end up turning heel on Becky and winning the title.)

(1) THE USOS vs. THE BAR (Sheamus & Cesaro) – WWE Smackdown Tag Team Tournament match

The winner faces The New Day to earn the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title match at Summerslam against The Bludgeon Brothers. Before the match began, The New Day came out. “My heart feels like it’s in a swimming pool of happiness right now,” Saxton said. Saxton said what a surprise it was New Day came out. The camera showed that there was a New Day announce desk set up with Bootie Os and Pancakes next to the announcers, so how could Byron be “surprised.” I suppose he could have been being sarcastic. Sheamus took an early break at ringside after eating a few punches and a boot to the face. [c]

They stayed with the action on split screen and Cesaro took control with mostly mat holds. Big E continued to munch on pancakes. Sheamus tagged in and went to work on Jey. The Usos eventually took control and Jimmy scored a near fall after a superkick and a body press on Cesaro. Jimmy checked with the ref as if he expected to win with a move that never ever ends a match in WWE these days. Maybe when Ricky Steamboat did it to jobbers in 1987. Cesaro knocked Jimmy off the top rope seconds later. They cut to another break. [c]

Back to the action, Jey yanked Sheamus off of an attempted double superplex on Cesaro. Jey then headbutted Cesaro off the top rope and then landed a twisting moonsault. They went back to the New Day at ringside playing with pancakes. Graves said it’s outrageous that New Day are talking about breakfast food instead of focusing on the match in the ring. Why is that a heel comment? After brief four-way action, Jimmy rolled up Sheamus for a near fall. HJey then landed a top rope splash for a believable near fall, broken up by Cesaro. They showed an inset picture of New Day clowning around with cereal in response to the kickout. The Usos then flattened Sheamus and set up splashes from opposite top rope corners. Cesaro caught Jey with an uppercut out of mid-air, then Sheamus lifted his knee and caught Jimmy on a splash and scored a three count. Graves called Cesaro an “anti-missile defense system.”

WINNERS: The Bar in 17:00 to earn a match against New Day next week to earn a title match at Summerslam.

-After the match, The Bar called New Day into the ring. New Day stood up and got serious for a few seconds in a jaw-jacking session. The Bar retreated. Fans chanted “New… Day Rock!”

-The announcers hyped Daniel Bryan speaking live later to address Miz throwing a stuffed baby at him last week, plus Lana vs. Zelina Vega.

-Backstage Renee interviewed Charlotte. She welcomed her back and asked what it feels like to have an opportunity to be added to the Smackdown Title match at Summerslam.  Charlotte said it feels good and she was back just to support her friend, Becky. She said they’ve always had each other’s backs. “The Queen is back and I’m ready to reclaim my throne.” (Apparently Charlotte has spent most of her time away bleaching her teeth. Geesh, those redefine the color white!)

-The announcers reviewed the Samoa Joe attack on A.J. Styles last week. Graves hyped Joe’s personal message was up next. [c]

-Joe made his way to the ring as the announcers talked about Summerslam being the first-ever match-up between Joe and Styles in WWE. Joe sat on a stool mid-ring and said he sent a message last week. He said truth be told, he respects the house that A.J. built and making the WWE Title the most prestigious in all of WWE. He said he has put being champion in front of friends, in front of his vices, and even in front of his family. The crowd “ooooh’d.” He said A.J. can be anything he can put his mind to, but he’s known him a long time, “and you’re barely home enough to hug your child, let alone look at her lovingly in the eye.” He said the truth is in his heart he feels more comfortable being on the road and living in a suitcase than he has being at home being a husband to his wife. He said he has put being a champion above all else, even if it means he’s a failure as a father. He said he is coming to take it all from him. He said when the whole world is cheering him to victory, secretly his family in their realist of feelings will be cheering for him – Joe – because after he’s done tearing down his house and putting him to sleep, his wife and kids will have their daddy back. “But I will be WWE Champion,” he said.

(Keller’s Analysis: Man, I’m almost rooting for Joe to win so Styles can be with his wife and kids more. But man was that personal.)

-Byron said Styles talks all the time about cherishing his wife and kids. Graves said there is no doubt that Joe believes he is speaking the truth. Then they shifted to commenting on the Randy Orton-Jeff Hardy angle last week.

-They went backstage to Jeff Hardy putting on facepaint in a mirror. Byron said he’d call out Orton after the break. [c]

-WWE Fact: Last Tuesday Miz & Mrs. premiered as the top rated WWE reality show in the last seven years.

(Keller’s Analysis: That’s going to stir some trouble within WWE! Of course, it helps to also be the only WWE reality show in seven years that aired right after live WWE TV on USA Network instead of E!)

-Hardy entered the ring and said being U.S. Champion is more than a title to him, it’s a part of his life force and his fifth eye. He said it revitalizes him and deepens his connection with the WWE Universe. Fans cheered. Hardy thanked them. He said when he lost the title, a part of him was severed away. He said nothing is more important than getting it back from Shinsuke Nakamura other than beating the hell out of Randy Orton. He called Orton out. “It’s time!” he shouted. Orton’s music played and he made his way toward the ring.


Nakamura attacked Hardy from behind and kneed him a few times. Nakamura set up a Kinshasa, but Orton stepped in his face. They had a staredown. Fans seemed to side with Orton. Orton stepped aside and let Nakamura hit the Kinshasa. Nakamura took Hardy down. Orton then walked back up to Nakamura and had a few words for him. Nakamura slipped out of the ring. Orton played to the crowd like he was still a babyface. Then he signaled for an RKO, but instead took Hardy to the mat and did the body stomps. Orton then gave Hardy the DDT off the middle rope. Then he went to ringside and delivered a DDT off the ring apron onto the floor. Then he cleared the announce desk and put Hardy on the desk. He yanked off his necklace and pendant. Graves said he tore off the very identity of Hardy. Orton grabbed a water bottle and poured it over Hardy’s face. #Waterboarding? Then he punched away at him. Orton then began wiping the facepaint off of Hardy’s face. Orton walked away with Hardy’s pendant.

(Keller’s Analysis: Orton is believably intense, but he’s no less in a hurry than anything else he’s done the last ten years. His wild animal grunts as he wiped facepainit off of Hardy was a nice touch.) [c]

-Renee interviewed Becky backstage about Charlotte potentially being added to the WWE Smackdown Women’s Title match. Becky said she’s happy that Charlotte is back and she has a golden opportunity tonight. Renee said mathematically Becky’s chances go down if Charlotte wins. Becky said she’s not so happy about the thought of a triple threat because she’s been fighting her way through the roster to get a one-on-one match against Carmella and she’s sure she could beat Carmella one-on-one. Renee asked if she’s rooting against Charlotte. Becky said she’d never root against her best friend. Saxton said he kind of feels for Becky.

(Keller’s Analysis: That is so Becky to sincerely not root against her best friend, but to want that title so badly and to think she earned that one-on-one shot not to be able to hold back her dissatisfaction with this turn of events. Becky is great. Just a refreshing character in pro wrestling right now.)

(2) LANA vs. ZELINA VEGA (w/Andrade Cien Almas)

They cut to a very early break with Zelina regrouping at ringside. [c]

They stayed with the action on split screen with Zelina taking over. Lana rallied a few minutes later. Almas distracted Lana twice, so Aiden English ran out and yanked him off the ring apron. Zelina then rolled up a distracted Lana for the win. English was dismayed that his help backfired.

WINNER: Vega in 5:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: I don’t like the idea of babyfaces resenting someone’s best intentions when it doesn’t go quite right. I get being upset in the moment, but there’s video replay or asking around so there’s no excuse to be upset a week later, or even five minutes later.)

-Phillips plugged The Bar vs. New Day next week.

-The Bludgeon Brothers spoke backstage. They said no one will escape the bludgeoning at Summerslam. Graves said he wouldn’t want to win the tournament only to have to face the Bludgeon Brothers.

-Daniel Bryan made his way to the ring. [c]

-Backstage English was still beating himself up over what happened. He tried to apologize to Lana. She asked him to leave her alone. He explained himself and said he wanted to do the right thing. She said the right thing would be to leave. Rusev came up to Lana and yelled for Aiden, but he was gone. He asked Lana if she was okay. He said that would have never happened if he was out there. Lana said she understands he needed a break to figure things out, but she could have really used him out there tonight.

(Keller’s Analysis: I sure hope English is supposed to be the lone babyface here, because the other two aren’t being particularly reasonable or admirable.)

-Bryan’s music stopped and he addressed the crowd. Bryan talked about Miz saying things because Bryan wasn’t cleared, and that protective wall crumble when he was cleared. He said he brought his wife and what he thought was his very own baby to the ring. He called Miz to the ring so he could punch him. Miz appeared on the big screen flanked by two security guys who couldn’t have looked more serious. He said this isn’t a high school gym where he can just call him to the ring. He said he is elite and in demand. He said he’s on location on set for “Miz & Mrs.” He plugged episode no. 2 airing right after Smackdown tonight where he and his wife throw the best-ever baby shower.

Bryan said he doesn’t care about his stupid TV show or his pretentious Hollywood lifestyle. He said he came out there to fight and just being on the set of his reality show just shows he’s hiding and proves he’s a coward. Miz asked if he just said that. He asked if everyone thinks he’s a coward. Fans chanted “Yes!” He said the last time Bryan called him a coward, they were on the set of Talking Smack. He said Bryan got up and walked away after saying it. He said Bryan just wants to feud with him because it gives his a boost. Miz said it took him five minutes to make him famous, despite Bryan spending ten years on the indy scene and not achieving fame. Bryan said for him it’s about passion, whereas for Miz it’s about fame. Bryan said his dream of being a sports entertainer turned Hollywood star has already been done by better men than him. He said the reality is he’ll never be The Rock or John Cena. “No one will ever remember you as a great Superstar because you are too soft,” Bryan said. “But if you need a big stage and something big to come out and fight, maybe he should get off his set and fight me one-on-one at Summerslam.”

Miz was exasperated. He said the cycle keeps repeating. He said he is done with him riding his coattails and he should accept that the Yes Movement is over, just as Team Hell No is over. He said the WWE Universe has moved on, so he should let his contract expire and go entertain dozens of people in high school gyms because those people don’t care that he defied the odds at WrestleMania 30. “Be quiet and go away,” he said. “All these people look at you and all they see is one thing.” A crying baby appeared on the screen. Then a bunch of other crying babies filled the screen.

(Keller’s Analysis: How did Miz have that “ready to go” and how did the producers know to go to it? So stupid. This was a good promo up until then. The crowd didn’t react at all, either. The instincts of some people in WWE are so off, it’s jaw-dropping. It just took everyone out of a very intense and realistic moment. They just can’t help themselves sometimes.) [c]

-Phillips hyped that Styles would respond to Joe next week.

-Charlotte made her ring entrance.

-Renee asked about the possibility of having a triple threat match at Summerslam, and her fate is in her hands. Carmella said her math skills are just like her fashion sense, and if Charlotte beats her, her chances of retaining the title goes down. She said she knows Becky is rooting against Charlotte. Then she cackled.


Charlotte got in a flurry of offense early and kipped up. They showed Becky watching on a monitor backstage. Carmella rolled to the floor. Charlotte launched herself over the top rope, but she came up short. Carmella threw Charlotte into the barricade at ringside and they cut to a break. Graves said, “Charlotte appears a step behind tonight.” He’s right. [c]

Charlotte went for a moonsault, but Carmella raised her boots. Then Carmella threw Charlotte to the floor. Saxton said Charlotte may be a step slow, but the longer the match goes, the more it could benefit Charlotte. Huh? Carmella attempted to kick Charlotte, but Charlotte avoided it. Carmella then sent Charlotte into the barricade with a head scissors. She then threw her into the time keepers’ area. Carmella ran back to the ring to try to win by countout. Saxton said it’s a smart gameplay. Carmella grounded Charlotte with a barrage of punches and then settled into a chinlock. Charlotte came back with a slidekick to knock Carmella into the ringside barricade. Then she took Carmella down with a moonsault. Graves said it was a glancing blow. (Charlotte is under the mistaken belief that because she can do a bad moonsault, that should be her signature move she does over and over in her matches.) Charlotte hit the Natural Selection for a near fall seconds later. Charlotte sat up in disbelief.

Carmella recovered and kicked Charlotte in the face. Charlotte swept her and went for a figure-four, but Carmella went for a small package as a counter and then kicked Charlotte for a very near fall. Carmella just sat there as if she was filling some time. Then she went for a figure-four, but Charlotte reversed it and bridged into a Figure-Eight. Carmella tapped frenetically. They cut backstage to Becky who hung her head in dismay over this turn of events.

WINNER: Charlotte in 13:00.


Tonight after WWE Smackdown, join me live with guest cohost Nike Chiari from Ring Rust Radio to break down the show with live callers, mailbag, and a live on-site correspondent from Tampa.

•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com

5 Comments on WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS 7/31: Keller’s report on show including Summerslam hype for Styles-Joe, Becky-Carmella, Bryan-Miz, more

  1. Zelina is quite the mini bump machine. All Lana had to do was put her hands in the right place and Zelina executed the move herself. Unfortunately Lana [who I am a great fan of] can’t wrestle her way out of a paper bag. Zelina vs Sasha or Alexa could be quite fun. Ahh yes… Hi Becky, welcome to getting screwed round 14! And look Charlotte’s back, has another new set of boobs [getting a bit silly, is she heading for Dolly Parton territory] and Charlotte is now the main event at Summer Slam. Well, we had 2 ladies matches and a bunch of backstage stuff so it is getting a bit better. Just make sure nobody feeds Vince pudding for desert… he’ll get ideas. I do love the disappearing Russian accent on Lana. I think WWE is just trying to work the Internet community into a frenzy with that. lol

    • That’s because WWE knew how to find Jamaica on a map, Ghana not so much. lol but you could be right. We should never underestimate the lack of intelligence at WWE.

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