WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS 8/14: Keller’s report on final Summerslam hype plus New Day vs. Sanity, Charlotte-Becky-Carmella face-off

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


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

KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
AUGUST 14, 2018
GREENVILLE, S.C.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton


Tonight after WWE Smackdown, join me live with guest cohost Jonny Fairplay to break down the show with live callers, mailbag, and a live on-site correspondent from Orlando.

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[HOUR ONE]

-They went right to the arena with a banner on the screen saying they were in Greenville, S.C. as Phillips welcomed fans to Smackdown Live (but he didn’t mention the city).

-As Charlotte made her ring entrance, Saxton plugged Sanity vs. The New Day. Also, Graves framed the Miz vs. Daniel Bryan as a match “eight years in the making” and said they’d chronicle it in a video package later. Phillips said A.J. Styles has a promise for Samoa Joe.

(Keller’s Analysis: That felt like more of a full show preview than usual for WWE which usually just starts with a segment and sprinkles in teasers for what’s coming up throughout the first several segments. I like setting the scene like that and wish they’d even add a mention of a couple more matches if for no other than reason than to frame them as being “important enough” to mention and hype as being worth staying tuned for, even if they’re not blockbuster PPV main card match-ups.)

Becky Lynch came out second, and then Carmella. Carmella spoke first. (I was hoping she’d pretend to be a nice person who has seen the fault of ways for five minutes only to laugh at people who bought her story.) She said she’s tired of being punished for being such a great champion, but she said since she is champion, life is good. Carmella turned to Becky and asked if she used to be a clown for a living. She said she should consider that again because it’s the one thing she does better than Charlotte. She said it’s too bad with Charlotte in the match her chances of winning went down. Becky said Charlotte is in the match only because she’s so great. She said Charlotte being in the match means Carmella has less of a chance of retaining her title. Becky said her dream used to be dismantling Carmella one-on-one, but once Charlotte “made her way into the match, I didn’t feel sorry for myself, but I started thinking of a new dream – beating you [Carmella] and whipping you [Charlotte].”

Carmella laughed and said she beat Charlotte twice, but she’s fabulous. She said Becky was the first Smackdown Women’s Champion, but only because Charlotte was on Raw. Charlotte stepped in and said the lies, cheating, and manipulating all ends at Summerslam. She said in order to beat Asuka, Carmella had to dig up James Ellsworth. “And you wonder why the WWE Universe doesn’t respect you,” she said. “Really? Maybe it’s because you’re a diva living in a women’s era.” Carmella said she is a diva and she’s damn proud of it. She asked them to compare their beauty and body and charisma to theirs. “I’m the champ and you’re not!” she concluded. Crowd booed.

Paige walked onto the stage to her music and said her job as G.M. is to create the best competition for Summerslam, which is why Charlotte got her opportunity for this Sunday. She said she earned the opportunity by beating Carmella, so fans should chant “Thank you, ‘Mella.” The crowd did. Carmella plugged her ears. Paige said they’d steal the show at Summerslam. She then said Charlotte and Becky will show what they do best by wrestling a tag match next, and Carmella can watch at ringside. Charlotte and Becky smiled. Then Mandy Rose came out. Corey Graves moaned orgasmically. Then Sonya Deville walked out. [c]

(1) CHARLOTTE & BECKY LYNCH vs. MANDY ROSE & SONYA DEVILLE

Saxton asked Carmella if she’s upset that she can lose her title without being pinned or submitting. Carmella said she could only hear a strange buzzing noise and avoided answering the question. Sxaton asked her another question and she asked if someone said something. Graves then took over and asked how she’ll overcome the odds. Carmella said she beat Charlotte twice fair and square without help from Ellsworth. Phillips said Charlotte beat her last, but Carmella said it was a curveball and she wasn’t ready. [c]

They stayed with the action during the commercial on split screen when the heel duo beat on Becky. Carmella said half of Staten Island is coming to Barclays Center to see her retain her title next Sunday. Becky tried to make the hot-tag, but Rose intervened after she tagged in. Becky came back on her own and knocked Rose down, then walked right past Charlotte and instead gave Rose a Beck-sploder suplex, knocked Deville off the ring apron, and then applied the Disarmher for the tapout win. Charlotte and Becky celebrated together, and then when Becky signaled to Carmella at ringside that she’d take her title, Charlotte stared down Becky.

WINNER: Becky & Charlotte in 11:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Becky not tagging Charlotte seemed to be a plot point in the Becky-Charlotte dynamic, but the announcers didn’t draw attention to it and Charlotte didn’t sell being upset at all, so maybe it wasn’t.)

-A selfie video aired from Miz and Maryse’s home. They announced that USA Network has ordered a second season. They were elated and said no series has ever been picked up for a second season so quickly. They smooched.

-Graves plugged the Miz-Bryan video package. [c]

-Backstage Charlotte told Becky she was amazing, but she didn’t have to do it all herself. Becky said she got carried away. Charlotte wished her luck. Becky said neither of them need luck. They agreed that the best woman would win.

(Keller’s Analysis: Okay, so there it was. Acknowledgment by Charlotte that Becky didn’t tag her in.)

(2) THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS vs. THE TRIPLE THREAT (Three Jobbers)

The Bludgeons just beat up all three guys at ringside and then in the ring with a top rope Hart Attack style finisher.

WINNERS: Match never officially started.

(Keller’s Analysis: Why not just ring the bell and have them score a pin? The nonchalance of the announcers that the Bludgeons beat up their opponents without the bell ringing diminished the impact of the Bludgeons supposedly being uncontrollable beasts. It also made it seem like actually having scheduled matches is not important. That all said, the Bludgeons attack fit their gimmick and did get across they’re wild and violent.)

-They went to the announcers on camera who hyped Smackdown 1,000 and tickets going on sale for the Oct. 16 event.

-Daniel Bryan & The Miz, pt. 1: The video package included comments from both Bryan and Miz talking about each other and their history. Bryan said he joined NXT in 2010. He said NXT was different then because it was eight rookies vying to be the next WWE Superstar. He said the rookies were paired with pros, and even though he had already been “competing in Japan and all over the independent circuit for over tens years, I was completely naive to how WWE worked.” He said Miz was assigned as his pro. Miz said, “Of course I was a mentor because by then I had been in WWE five years.” He said he had already been U.S. Champion and a tag champion, so he knew how to win, but he came from a popular reality star and was it’s biggest star, so he already knew how to draw ratings.

Bryan said Miz had a stigma of being a reality star. He said Miz thought he knew better than everybody else and he’d take every shortcut to get ahead. “He just wants respect so badly, but he doesn’t want to put in the hard work to earn it,” he said. Miz said you always respect veterans and don’t talk back. “You’re supposed to be a sponge,” he said. “You’ll get eaten alive without help.” Clips aired of Miz offering Bryan tips on how to be a proper WWE Superstar and how to prove himself. Miz said Bryan just needed to shut up and listen. Bryan said Miz wanted to turn him into Miz, so it was destined to fail. A clip aired of Matt Striker announcing Bryan had been eliminated. Miz said he was 0-10 because he didn’t listen to his pro. Miz said for all of his talk of how great of a wrestler he is, he didn’t have the talent. Bryan said he did indeed lose every match under Miz’s learning tree, but when he faced Miz he beat him. “I realized something that night,” he said. “I didn’t need Miz, but maybe Miz needed me.”

(Keller’s Analysis: Great start. I’m so glad they’re doing this because there’s so much history between these two and so many viewers have come along since 2010 and won’t seek out the full history. It’s also good just to review it even for those of us who have watched it all play out in real time. They did a great job framing Bryan and Miz in ways that match their personas today with how things played out back then.)

-Phillips said they’d have more to come in this three-part series.

-Sanity made their ring entrance. [c]

(3) SANITY vs. THE NEW DAY

This was three-on-three. They cut to a split screen plug for Summerslam early in the match pushing the Brock Lesnar-Roman Reigns match. New Day got in some early offense, but then Sanity took over on Xavier. [c]

The Xavier beatdown continued for several minutes. Eventually he rallied, but Young broke up his cover with a flying elbow drop off the top rope. Killian Dane ran in and knocked Kofi and Big E off the ring apron. Young officially tagged in and lifted Xavier on his shoulders and dropped him onto Alexander Wolfe’s knees for a near fall. Dane tagged in. Big E broke up his pin attempt. A little chaos ensued. Kofi then leaped onto Young and Wolfe at ringside. Xavier then kicked a charging Dane in the face and then Big E and Xavier delivered the Up Up Down Down for the win.

WINNERS: The New Day in 11:00.



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[HOUR TWO]

-Phillips threw to part two of the Miz-Bryan video series.

-They showed Bryan and Miz each winning world titles in WWE. Then they went to Talking Smack footage. They aired Bryan announcing his new life as a former wrestler back in February 2016. Bryan said he wasn’t anywhere near ready to retire despite all he accomplished. Miz said: “Of course Daniel Bryan was forced to retire, but that’s what happens when you spend years competing against pros but still fighting like a rookie. All he needed to do was put his fragile ego aside and not take so many risks.” Bryan said he knew some day his style would catch up to him, but he couldn’t live with himself if he took shortcuts or was afraid to “take punches, like Miz.” He said he was a good G.M. Miz said Bryan was a terrible G.M. He accused Bryan of taking out his frustrations on him. Miz said someone needed to tell Bryan the truth. Miz said he wrestles the way he wrestles because he can do it day in and day out. He said he has never been injured. He told Bryan to quit and go to bingo halls. He said he was expecting to get knocked out when he said it, but Bryan got up and walked away.

Bryan said he had no choice but to leave the studio. Bryan said he was torn because when Miz told him to leave and wrestle somewhere else, that’s what he wanted to do, but he said he promised Vince McMahon he would finish out his contract. He said therefore he took the high road and left the studio before things escalated and he punched Miz in the face. Miz said Bryan would probably spin what he did into something noble, but he said Bryan wouldn’t be fired or suspended “for being a man.” He said Miz started stealing his moves. They showed Miz doing “Yes kicks” which Graves said were “It kicks.” Bryan said it kept him up at night, and that regret created a desire which he turned into fighting for his dream to return to the ring. Miz said Bryan is haunted by the truth which is that he knows Bryan’s moves better than he does and he knows his fears better than Bryan does. “The truth is and always will be that I’m not only Daniel Bryan’s pro, but I am superior to Daniel Bryan.”

-Back to the announcers. Phillips called it “compelling” and said part three is coming up later. He said tomorrow morning “Miz and Maryse” will be on the Today Show on NBC to share the news. Graves said it’s better than Christmas; it’s like Super Christmas. Saxton hyped A.J. Styles coming up later. [c]

-Graves thanked Flo Rida for “Sweet Sensation,” the official theme of Summerslam.

-Paige knocked on Samoa Joe’s door. He answered and stepped out wearing a suit coat. He asked Paige, “What’s up?” He looked like he was going to get chewed out. She said Joe refused to address the WWE Universe in the ring tonight separately from A.J. Joe said, “I’m shy.” He rolled his eyes petulantly. She said in case he suddenly becomes an extrovert, she needs him to be professional. Joe said when she approached him to be Styles’s opponent at Summerslam, she praised his unpredictability. “How am I supposed to be unpredictable if I tell you everything I’m going to do?” he said. He said he’ll promise to keep doing what he damn well pleases whenever he damn well wants to. That drew some crowd cheers. He said she and Styles and the WWE Universe will have to wait and deal with the consequences. He also offered to sit back and relax and enjoy her hard work. He told her to enjoy her night because he’ll enjoy his.

(Keller’s Analysis: Joe’s as good as it gets at playing that arrogant smart heel. There’s no cartoonish schtick, which has it’s place. With Joe, his heel act has a dignity to it that totally fits his core as a character.)

-The announcers reviewed some of the Aiden English backfires lately.

-English stood mid-ring and sang an apology to Rusev and Lana. He sang: “I’ll make Andrade pay, for tonight I fight for Rusev Day”

(4) ANDRADE CIEN ALMAS (w/Zelina Vega) vs. AIDEN ENGLISH

They cut to a break almost immediately. [c]

After the break, English got in some offense but thanks to a distraction by Vega, he ultimately fell to Andrade’s Hammerlock DDT finisher.

WINNER: Almas in 4:00.

-Afterward, Zelina said Sunday at Summerslam will be the end of Rusev Day and the end of Lana Day. She said Lana is dead weight dragging down her husband. Rusev’s music interrupted. Rusev and Lana stepped out. Rusev said they will find out why Lana is the best and number one. Lana said together they will crush them because this year Summerslam falls on Rusev Day.

(Keller’s Analysis: For a Kickoff Show match, this was okay. The whole thing seems to marginalizing whatever momentum Almas could have had upon his main roster entrance and it feels smaller than Rusev’s crowd reactions call for at the same time. Maybe it’s the English storyline being so scattershot and never-ending that seems to be muddying the apparent babyface role Rusev and Lana are landing in.)

-Backstage Paige was texting when A.J. Styles walked in. She thanked him for coming to talk to her. She said she needs him and Joe to stay professional because she can’t afford to jeopardize her main event at Summerslam. Styles asked if she talked to Joe already. She said yes, but it didn’t go well. Styles said he made his wife a promise and he intends on keeping it. He didn’t reveal what that promise was.

-They showed Jeff Hardy up close with his eyelids painted and then when he opened his eyes, he revealed checkerboard contact lenses.

-Part three of the Daniel Bryan & Miz story was titled “Homecoming.” This was more or less a recap of their more recent angles, what they each feel they have to prove, and some final heated words from Miz and Bryan about wrestling at Summerslam.

-They aired the end of the Shelton Benjamin ring entrance music as he paced in the ring. Phillips called him “always dangerous” which is a pro wrestling announcer euphemism for “he’s losing, folks.” Jeff Hardy made his ring entrance.

(5) JEFF HARDY vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN

They went to a split screen early to promote the Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey match. Hardy eventually won with the Twist of Fate.

WINNER: Hardy in 5:00.

-Shinsuke Nakamura came out afterward and interrupted Hardy’s celebration. Hardy stared at Nakamura coming to the ring, but then was distracted by Shelton stepping onto the ring apron. Nakamura then attacked Hardy from behind. Hardy avoided the Kinsasha and gave him a quick Twist of Fate and a Swanton. Graves said they’ll have a new champ if this happens on Sunday. They showed Randy Orton peeking past a backstage curtain and watching. Graves said Hardy will need to use his third eye on Sunday. Graves said Orton lurking is an unnerving visual.

(Keller’s Analysis: Orton better work a dark match, because if he flew to Greenville for that, that’s one of pro wrestling’s easiest paydays ever.)

-They went to the announcers who plugged the Summerslam line-up and the WWE Network sign up.

-Styles began his ring entrance. [c]

-Styles smiled as fans chanted “A.J. Styles.” Styles talked up the prestige of the WWE Title. He said he’s learned a lot as WWE Champion. He said Joe stabbed him in the back and stabbed him in the heart. Clips aired of Joe attacking him and bringing his family into it. Styles said Joe’s plan worked and he got him to go to a dark place where he wanted to rip his head off for bringing his family into it. He said he then got home and hugged his kids and his wife. He said his wife Wendy told him not to lose his cool. Joe then interrupted.

Joe stepped out onto the stage. He pulled out the sheets of paper that Paul Heyman handed Roman Reigns last night on Raw. Or so it appeared. He said he has nothing left to say to him, but in his hand he holds a letter from a member of the WWE Universe, and he thinks Styles should hear it. He read it: “Dear Joe, two weeks ago I heard the things you said about A.J. Styles and his family. Your remarks were disgusting and made me physically ill – not because they were wrong, but because they were true. I used to be the biggest A.J. Styles fan in the world, but now it’s clear A.J. Styles never wanted children. Maybe he never wanted a wife, either. And that’s why A.J. is such a great champion, because he’ll do anything to stay away from his family. At Summerslam, I pray that you win so A.J. can know the feeling of losing the thing that means the most to him because I lost him a long, long time ago.” Styles looked quizzically at Joe. Joe said it was signed, “Wendy Styles.”

(Keller’s Analysis: Joe is great right now. His promos and his delivery are just spot on and World Title level. I love this version of Joe more than the yelling and frothing Joe, which seems undignified and unbecoming, especially because of how great he is at this role, which few are able to pull off. Styles’s body language was strong here throughout. Joe came off like a giant jerk for reading a fake letter that went so far as to say Styles’s wife thinks he didn’t want kids or to marry her. So Styles should charge at Joe with a vengeance as soon as the bell rings at the PPV. I could see Joe winning the title, and he seems ready for a long title run if WWE wants to build around him as a top heel champion. But if they’re ready to go all the way with Joe as a top star, then stick with Styles and let his reign last longer and let him be the champion who further defines this Smackdown era.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Good show that effectively built up the three key matches on the PPV that Smackdown is contributing.



FIRST $1 VIP SALE OF THE YEAR – NOW IS TIME TO SAMPLE VIP BENEFITS

Get PWTorch VIP membership for a full month for just $9 (90 percent off).

Use coupon code: “dollarslam” 

Find out about VIP benefits HERE. Here’s several bullet points of VIP benefits…

  • Exclusive podcasts every day only for VIP members – well over 100 per month
  • The most timely, comprehensive coverage of pro wrestling biggest events worldwide
  • The top mix of diverse viewpoints from pro wrestling’s best analysts – including Todd Martin, Sean Radican, Alan “Alan 4L” Counihan, Greg Parks, and Bruce Mitchell.
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  • desktop sites
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  • Keller’s newsletter reports with star ratings on every Summerslam ever
  • Special sections dedicated to articles/podcasts on specific themes and historical events
  • Roundtable Podcasts available Sunday nights after every WWE PPV w/Wade Keller & Bruce Mitchell & Todd Martin

Don’t miss out on our FIRST $1 SALE OF THE YEAR… Act now and check out what you’ve been missing for just $1 today.

MORE DETAILED VIP INFO (Be sure to check out our shiny new VIP info page!)

OR JUMP RIGHT TO SIGN UP FORM (and use coupon code “dollarslam” to take $9 off any subscription term)

Thank you for considering this special offer! I really believe you’ll love our hard-hitting, independent, cut-through-the-b.s. style of pro wrestling coverage unlike anything you’ll find anywhere in this quantity and quality. For over 30 years, the Torch brand has approached pro wrestling journalism and analysis with a distinctive style you might have been craving without even realizing it. Let us take your enjoyment of pro wrestling to the next level with the best team of reporters and analysts led by Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame PWTorch editor Wade Keller.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS 8/7: Keller’s report on Summerslam developments including The Bar vs. New Day in tag tourney finals, Miz’s answer, Nakamura-Orton-Hardy

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