ELDER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
AUGUST 7, 2018
ORLANDO, FLA. AT AMWAY CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
-The show began with Tom Phillips welcoming everyone from Orlando, Fl, as Randy Orton entered to strong boos from the crowd. Orton showed a clip of his attack of Jeff Hardy last week on Smackdown. Orton said that he erased the enigma, and that he will erase every superstar that the crowd respects. He went on to say that he doesn’t get the respect from the crowd or from anyone from the locker room.
-Orton reiterated his impressive resume and again said that has not been given the proper respect. He said that he could be referred to as Randy Orton, The Viper, or the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment; “R-K…” and then threw the mic to the ground without saying “O” and left the ring.
-Backstage they cut to The Bar who had just watched Orton on a monitor as Corey Graves reminded everyone that they would be fighting The New Day later tonight in the tag team tournament finals.
-They cut to Becky Lynch and Charlotte having an awkward moment before Charlotte went on to apologize to Becky about how she did not intend on ruining Becky’s moment at Summerslam with her inclusion in the championship match. Becky said that she understood, and said that while she wanted to be happy for Charlotte, that she really had just wanted Carmella to herself. She said that the hill she would have to climb just got a little big bigger and that’s OK. Charlotte asked if they were good for their upcoming tag team match and Lynch replied “Of course, we’re not Sasha and Bailey” before they smiled and tapped their hands together in solidarity.
-Carmella’s music hit and she walked toward the ringside area as Phillips said she would be joining them on commentary for the Lynch & Charlotte match against The IIconics before they cut to their first commercial break. [c]
-Coming back from break, Phillips welcomed Carmella to the booth as Lynch and Carmella came down to the ring. As Charlotte walked to the ring, Carmella reminded everyone that she has already beaten her twice.
-The IIconics entered with microphones in hand and immediately began addressing Charlotte & Lynch. The crowd wasn’t into it, and started a “boring chant.” They ended by saying “Poor Becky, always a bridesmaid, but never the champion” before dropping their mics. Carmella added “The truth hurts” after the statement.
(1) BECKY LYNCH & CHARLOTTE vs. THE IICONICS (Billy Kaye & Peyton Royce)
Lynch & Charlotte took control of the match from the start. Charlotte flipped over the top rope onto Kaye as they cut to commercial while the action continued PIP. [c]
They return as Charlotte reached Lynch with the hot tag. Lynch took control and nearly had a pin and a submission on Royce but was stopped by Kaye. After Charlotte tagged herself in, she hit both IIConics with a moonsault as Carmella commented that she once again stole Lynch’s thunder. Charlotte applied the Figure Eight on Royce who tapped quickly. Both Charlotte and Lynch embraced in the ring before Carmella could taunt them with her belt from ringside.
WINNER: Becky Lynch & Charlotte via pinfall in 7:00.
(Elder’s analysis: This is just the calm before the inevitable storm that is the longstanding friendship between Charlotte and Lynch. I appreciate that WWE did not overplay their hand with this. There were no outright devious intentions. No supposedly accidental partner-kicking. However, like Carmella noticed, Charlotte did take things into her own hands at the end of the match. That will be just one more thing for Lynch to remember as she goes into the triple threat at Summerslam.)
-Backstage Renee Young welcomed The New Day to a strong applause from the crowd. Kofi said he was Kramer King as he unzipped his coat showing a suit and bowtie and applied a blonde wig. With a Dave Chappelle-like delivery, he began interviewing Big E and Woods about their upcoming match against The Bar. Woods said that they have beaten them before and will beat them again. When asked about The Bludgeon Brothers, Big E said they would be made to “bow down to the power of positivity.’ They then celebrated and handed the mic back to an amused Renee Young.
-They cut to The Miz who had security on each side of him. He said that he gave Daniel Bryan the gift of relevancy due to their upcoming match at Summerslam. They then cut back to the announcing team who let everyone know that A.J. Styles is coming up next as he is shown walking backstage before cutting to another commercial break. [c]
-Back from commercial, Lynch & Charlotte were backstage where they briefly celebrated their win together. Becky said that they were great together tonight, and Charlotte added that at Summerslam they would need to be great against each other before they silently locked eyes as they tapped fingers together with a quiet intensity.
-A video package of Samoa Joe’s message to A.J. Styles last week was shown.
-A.J. Styles entered to a strong applause. He stood in the ring and the crowd chanted his name. Styles said that Joe made it personal when he talked about his family and that he wanted to be great for his family. He said that he did make sacrifices because that is what he is supposed to do as a father and as a man. Styles said that Joe knows his wife and kids, and they that had shared the she same apartment complex years ago, and that he Joe threw everyone away by mentioning his family. Styles added that Joe won’t be walking out of Summerslam as champion, and in fact, would be lucky to walk out, period.
-They cut to Samoa Joe laughing after watching Styles’s speech on a monitor backstage.
-Backstage Rusev tells Lana that he will be ringside with her tonight for her match against Zelina Vega. Lana thanked Rusev before Aiden English walked up to them. English apologized for messing things up for Rusev and Lana recently. Rusev quickly said “Fine, we forgive you” and patted him on the arm. Rusev and Lana then began to walk away and English was ready to follow when Rusev stopped him and said “Wait, we forgive you, but maybe it’s better if you stay back here tonight.” English watched helplessly as Rusev and Lana walked off.
-Zelina Vega entered with Andrade “Cien” Almas by her side before they cut to commercial break. [c]
-Back from break, Lana entered with Rusev at her side. Phillips highlighted some of Lana and Vegas recent Twitter comments made about each other.
(2) LANA (w/Rusev) vs. ZELINA VEGA (w/Andrade “Cien” Almas)
Lana took control from the start and the crowd soon started to chant “Lana’s number one, Lana is the best.” Almas went for the distraction so Rusev took him out. With Rusev and Almas tangled up outside the ring, Lana was climbing to the top rope as Vega was down in the center of the ring. Suddenly, Aiden English rushed to Rusev’s aide, inadvertently knocking them into Lana who fell off of the rope into the ring. Vega landed some running knees and then covered Lana for the pin. Rusev consoled Lana in the ring while English walked back up the ramp visibly disappointed.
WINNER: Zelina Vega via pinfall in 4:00.
(Elder’s analysis: Well, things are getting a bit ridiculous here. How many consecutive matches can Aiden English ruin with a boneheaded decision? The answer, apparently, grows with each passing week. Rusev may be unhappy, but I personally thank English for mercifully ending Lana vs. Vega 2.0.)
-Backstage Renee Young introduced Shinsuke Nakamura who said he will erase Jeff Hardy and leave nothing for Randy Orton. Suddenly, Tye Dillinger showed up with R. Truth who said that he wanted to face Nakamura for his United States Championship at Summerslam. When Nakamura asked just how he planned on making that happen, Truth said ‘Same way everyone else does… I’m gonna pin Carmella.” (This got a nice little reaction from the crowd, me included.) Dillinger reminded him that isn’t how it works, and Truth responded by saying that he wouldn’t fight Renee which garnered a few more laughs. Nakamura then said something to him in Japanese which Truth apparently understood, but was too vile for him to repeat in public. Truth then said that he wanted a match with Nakamura.
-Graves announced that he has an interview with The Miz next. They showed Byron Saxton leaving the announcer’s table as they cut to commercial break. [c]
-Back from commercial, Phillips announced that Smackdown General Manager Paige approved a match between Shinsuke Nakamura and R. Truth for later tonight.
-In the ring, Byron Saxton introduced The Miz. His music hit but stopped quickly as The Miz appeared on the jumbotron. Saxton asked if he was afraid to be there in person because of Daniel Bryan but Miz responded by saying that the reason that he is not there is “because he is a star” after promoting his new TV series “Miz & Mrs.” Saxton asked Miz what he would do during his match with Daniel Bryan at Summerslam and Miz responded by saying that he would embarrass Bryan and finish things once and for all as well as expose Bryan as “beneath him.” The Miz then suggested that Saxton should just go talk to Bryan who is likely somewhere in catering eating kale when suddenly Bryan attacked him out of nowhere. Miz’s security came to his aide and hit Bryan with a vase before helping Miz walk away from the scene.
-They cut to the announcers table as Graves said that he had never seen Daniel Bryan like this before. He added that Bryan is to the point of obsession.
-Phillips then hyped the upcoming tag team tournament final match between Sheamus & Cesaro and The New Day.
-Shinsuke Nakamura made his way to the ring with the United States Championship around his waist before they cut to a commercial break. [c]
-They returned from commercial with Nakamura in the ring as R. Truth made his way down the ramp rapping to his theme music. The crowd chanted “What’s up” along with him before the match began.
(3) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA VS. R. TRUTH
Nakamura took control of the match quickly and nearly submitted him with a triangle choke. Philips said this was the first time these two competitors have ever fought each other. Nakamura hit Truth with a reverse exploder before nailing him with a Kinshasa and pinning him for the win.
WINNER: Nakamura via pinfall in 3:00.
-Backstage The Bludgeon Brothers addressed their upcoming match at Summerslam against the winner of the tag team tournament. They added that “mentally and physically, this is going to be fun.”
-The Bludgeon Brothers entered the arena as they cut to a commercial break. [c]
-During the break, in PIP, a trio of enhancement talent was shown warming up with resistance bands as The Bludgeon Brothers looked on from inside the ring.
(4) THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS vs. 3SK
The match began as Phillips announced that it was a 3 on 2 handicap match. The Bludgeon Brothers dominated from the start. They take all three out quickly. Harper clotheslined one opponent off of Rowan’s shoulders before covering him for the pinfall.
WINNER: The Bludgeon Brothers via pinfall in 1:30.
-The Bludgeon Brothers stood tall above their opponents briefly as the announcing team talked over a Summerslam promo.
-Sheamus & Cesaro entered the arena as they cut to another commercial break. [c]
-Returning from break, The New Day came out throwing pancakes into the crowd to a strong positive reaction. Philips reminded everyone that it was Sheamus & Cesaro who ended The New Day’s historic championship run.
(5) THE BAR (Cesaro & Sheamus) VS. THE NEW DAY (Big E & Kofi Kingston w/Xavier Woods) – Winner meets Bludgeon Brothers for title shot at Summerslam
The match began slow as the teams felt each other out. The crowd chanted “We want pancakes” to the amusement of the announcing team. [c]
Returning from commercial, the action picked up with Big E landing some belly to belly suplexes on Sheamus. A distraction by Cesaro allowed Sheamus to briefly gain the advantage but Big E regained it quickly as the teams continued to go back and forth. Big E went for a splash but hit the apron hard as Cesaro moved out of the way. Sheamus gave Kingston a rolling senton on floor at ringside. Sheamus & Cesaro beat down Big E in their corner while making quick tags between each other. [c]
Returning from break, Sheamus & Cesaro continued their domination. Cesaro superplexed Big E and Sheamus followed with a knee from the top rope. “This is awesome” chants erupted from the crowd. Big E managed to avoid a cloverleaf by Sheamus and then hit Kingston for the hot tag. Kingston cleared house quickly and landed Air Kofi onto both members of The Bar at ringside. Kofi followed with a stomp from the top rope onto Cesaro. Sheamus made the save on the pin attempt. Cesaro avoided Trouble In Paradise from Kofi and hit a double backbreaker on Kingston along with Sheamus. Kingston kicked out of the ensuing pin attempt.
Kingston avoided a Brogue kick by Sheamus and knocked Cesaro off the apron before getting to Big E for the tag. Cesaro saved Sheamus from a Midnight Hour by knocking Kingston off the top rope and they reversed it into a White Noise onto Big E. Kingston still managed to make the save on the ensuing pin attempt by Cesaro. Sheamus dragged Kingston out and Cesaro executed a giant swing before applying a sharpshooter on Big E. Xavier Woods got the crowd to chant “New Day Rocks” after a few notes on his trombone.
As Kingston attempted to help Big E, Sheamus pulled him away. Kinston turned it into a swinging DDT off of the barrier onto the floor outside. Cesaro spun Big E into a crossface. With a crossface still applied, Big E managed to lift Cesaro up and make it to Kingston for the tag. Kingston climbed to the top rope and hit a Midnight Hour before pinning Cesaro for the win. Woods joined his teammates in the ring to celebrate the victory as Phillips reminded everyone that they earned their match for the Smackdown title at Summerslam.
WINNER: The New Day via pinfall in 26:00 to earn match against The Bludgeon Brothers at Summerslam for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship.
-With The New Day celebrating in the ring, Harper and Rowan are shown looking on from the floor of the arena. They turned and walked away unimpressed as the show went off the air.
(Elder’s analysis: Another very good match between these two teams. These two teams have plenty of chemistry. There were some fun spots and decent build to a fun finish. This sent the crowd home happy, but I don’t know how excited I am to see this matchup at Summerslam.)
Final Thoughts: I can’t see The New Day taking the title off The Bludgeon Brothers at Summerslam. That being said, I really don’t know which team would be the right team to do it. I must reiterate the point that I need something else to shake up this tag team division. Someone else needs to enter into this fold for me to really be invested. The more I think about it, the more I like their decision to keep Styles and Joe apart, as well as Miz and Brian out of the ring tonight. I expect Joe to send Styles one last emphatic message next week.