SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ELDER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
AUGUST 28, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Tom Phillips welcomed everyone to Smackdown Live from Toronto. The New Day came to the ring with their newly won Smackdown Championship belts as well as a replica of the Stanley Cup trophy.
Big E addressed the crowd and stated that the New Day are now “Not one time, not two time, not three, not four, but” until suddenly “Can you dig it, Sucka” rang through the arena and caught everyones attention as Booker T appeared at the entrance way. Booker, wearing a crown and robe, and carrying a septor, made his way to the ring to a chant of “Booker T” as Tom Phillips reminded the audience that he is a five time Tag Team champion. Introducing himself as King Booker, he reminded The New Day that he was a “five time, five time, etc.” tag team champion. Keeping with his royal motiff, he told them that he would be granting them each special nicknames. “Xavier the wise, Kofi the brave, and Big E.” Big E instantly cut Booker off…” asking why he didn’t get a cool and regal sounding name as his teammates received. Booker retorted by saying that ‘Big” is his nickname. Big E responded by saying “My King, you just went full Saxton on me” and Booker exclaimed “Tell me you didn’t just say that!” It appeared to get tense before Booker said “Welcome to the Five-Timers Championship Club of All Time.” Booker then asked “Can you dig it, sucka,” and proceeded to celebrate with the New Day.
The New Day then helped Booker remove his crown and robe before he executed a decent Spinnerooni in the center of the ring. Woods and Kingston followed with Spinneroonis of their own. Big E went to attempt one but instead dropped on to his back and bounced around like an upside down turtle. Big E used his good natured demeanor and and the four of them celebrated his attempt.
They cut to the announcers table and showed a table next to them complete with pancakes where The New Day will join them to add their commentary on the upcoming match.
Sheamus and Cesaro entered the arena to their music as Phillips stated that they would be facing The New Day and The Colons in a triple threat tag team match next. They then cut to their first commercial break. [c]
Phillips welcomed the audience back to Smackdown and explained that the winner of this upcoming triple threat tag team match will determine who will face The New Day for a shot at their Smackdown tag team titles.
(1) THE BAR (Sheamus & Cesaro) vs. ANDERSON & GALLOWS vs. THE COLONS (Primo & Epico) in a tag team triple threat to determine the number one contender to The New Days’ Smackdown titles.
-The match got off to a slow start with Anderson & Gallows taking control early. They cut to a commercial break with the action shown in PIP. [c]
-The Colons handled much of the match during the break by strategically isolating Karl Anderson. Eventually Sheamus tagged himself in and picked right off where The Colons left off. Anderson forced his way out of a backbreaker by Sheamus. With both men down, made it to Gallows for a hot tag and he cleared house with a series of big boots and a pumphandle slam on Cesaro.Gallows landed a splash and went for a cover on Cesaro but it ended in a two count. The match soon broke down as everyone got involved briefly. As Anderson & Gallows went for a Magic Killer on Primo, Epico made the save with a backstabber on Anderson. Gallows went for a clothesline on Epico but wound up hitting Sheamus who just climbed onto the apron. Distracted, The Colons were given time to hit a double backbreaker. Cesaro made the tag off of Primo’s back and knocked Primo out of the ring. Sheamus took care of business outside of the ring landing big boots on Anderson and Primo as Cesaro made the pin on Gallows.
WINNER: The Bar via pinfall in 10:00.
New Day celebrated, perhaps sarcastically, and threw some pancakes in the air.The Bar then went over to their table and knocked a plate of pancakes onto the floor. “Kingston yelled “You’ll pay for that.”
(Elder’s analysis: Awesome to see Booker T back in the squared circle. As for the match, it felt relatively metiocre. Despite a fun finish, it felt like they mailed this one in. Or perhaps it is just me getting sick of these matches or tournaments to determine a number one contender, be it in tag team or singles competition. The number one contender matches seem to happen way to often. It feels as though every competitor or team (within reason) is just one match away from a title shot. There was no story here. Throwing a team like the Primos who are rarely even on TV into a match where they could earn a title shot seems ridiculous.)
They cut backstage where Paige was addressing Rusev Day and Lana. She told Rusev Day that she heard a very compelling argument for Rusev Day to be in the tag team title picture. Paige agreed, and added that next week Rusev Day will fight The Usos and Sanity in a triple threat match, and whoever wins will be one step closer to a title shot. Rusev was thrilled, exclaiming that this is the best day before saying “Lana is the best, Lana is number one.” Thinking Lana is the one who gave Paige the ida, he went for a kiss. As he said thank you and went for a kiss, she backed away and said that she didn’t do it. Aiden English admitted that it was him, and Rusev seemed very pleased with him. English told Rusev that the match would take place on “Rusev Daaaaaay.” The trio celebrated as they cut away.
Back at the announcer table, Phillips said that he was glad to see that Rusev and Aiden English have managed to save their friendship, and added that Charlotte and Becky Lynch were unable to do so. They then cut to a video package of Lynch’s attack on Charlotte at Summerslam.
A graphic of Carmella and Charlotte appeared as Phillips announced that Carmella has induced the rematch clause and will challenge Charlotte for the Smackdown Womens title tonight.
They then cut to Jeff Hardy backstage with his face fully painted. He slowly turned his head from left to right and remained silent before they cut to commercial. [c]
Back from commercial, Jeff Hardy made his way to the ring. Hardy grabbed a microphone and addressed the crowd about his recent dealings with Randy Orton. He stated that Orton had gotten inside his head, inside his brain and eradicated all of his rational thoughts. Hardy said “Orton made him feel like he could fly, which is the reason he did this” as he threw to a video highlight of what he did last week on Smackdown as they cut to footage of the low blow he delivered as well as putting Orton through a table. Hardy stated that he felt alive when he put Orton through that table. He added that he felt like his old self again.
Hardy then called out Orton, saying that he will finish “what Orton started.” Orton’s music immediately hit, and Randy appeared on the stage. Orton said that he is glad that Hardy credits him for making him feel alive and reborn. Orton said that he is not finished with Hardy yet, and will destroy this new version of him by leaving Hardy a heap of broken bones in the middle of the ring. He asked Hardy if he really thought that he would get into the ring tonight. He added that he knows Hardy isn’t as dumb as all of the Canadiens in the audience which garnered plenty of boos.
Orton said that he will leave Hardy with this. He can call him anything that he wants. Apex Predator, Viper, Legend Killer. But the only thing that he needs to refer to him as is the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment. R.-K.- … until Hardy yelled “NO!” Hardy told Orton that he is going to hell, and that Hardy is going with him, inside a hell in a cell. The crowd instantly broke into a “delete” chant. Orton then dropped his mic and backed his way up the ramp with Hardy looking on confidentally.
Backstage Carmella was approached by Renee Young. Young asked Carmella how she feels after losing her title at Summerslam. Without really answering the question, Carmella began by saying that she is has been the hottest thing going in WWE for the past four months, and that the attention that she draws is responsible for the upcoming all-womens Evolution pay per view. Carmella added that despite Lynch pulling an epic tantrum” at Summerslam, Charlotte still has not pinned her. She reminded everyone that she has beaten Charlotte twice. Carmella then said that she just wants to win her title back and Becky and Charlotte can go have their best friend fight somewhere else. Carmella finished by saying that Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch are chump change, and ‘Mella is money.”
As Carmella walked off in one direction, R Truth walked in from another. “Look out on the cookout, said to Renee. “Which way did she go?’ Tye Dillinger approached Truth and asked him what he was talking about. Truth said he was looking for Carmella. Dillinger told Truth not to bother with that and that Carmella had a lot to do tonight with a title shot coming up. Truth misunderstood, and believed Dillinger was talking about timing. Truth retorded with “when the time is right, the truth will set her free.” Truth walked off with Dillinger, looking bewildered, stating “this is my life.” before the camera cut away.
Phillips hyped the Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse match scheduled for Hell in a Cell.
Naomi’s music hit and she made her way down to the ring as they cut to a commercial break. [c]
Back from commercial, Phillips added that Naomi is a two-time womens champion as The IIConics entered the arena. As they slowly made their way down to the ring, the dished out some insults, including one directed at the Toronto Raptors. This prompted a “Lets go Raptors” chant from the crowd. The duo finished by saying “the future will be iconic.”
(2) NAOMI vs. BILLIE KAY (w/Peyton Royce)
-Some 50/50 to start the match with Kay mocking her opponent each chance she got. Royce caught Naomi with an unnoticed kick to the head which allowed Kay to roll her up for the pin.
WINNER: Billie Kay via pinfall in 2:00.
They then showed a video package highlighting A.J. Styles vs. Samoa Joe at Hell in a Cell and Graves stated that Styles will be addressing Joe tonight on Smackdown.
Backstage Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella are watching footage of their attack on Miz & Maryse last week on Smackdown Live before cutting to a commercial break. [c]
Back from break, Daniel Bryan and Brie made it to the ring while wearing matching “Yes is back” t-shirts. A “Daniel Bryan” chant erupted immediately and he in return said how good it was to be back in Toronto which also garnered a large positive reaction.
Bryan addressed the crowd about Miz and his actions at Summerslam. Bryan called Miz a coward for using his wife, Maryse, as a shield. Bryan directly called him a coward. Bryan added that was where Brie came in. Brie got a bit of a “Brie” chant before she stated that if felt great it felt to punch Miz in the face. Bryan then added that he wasnt acting while he said this, but he actually found her actions quite hot and stated that his wife is a butt-kicking, diaper-changing, face-punching, hot mama and at Hell in a Cell their opponents wont be able to hide behind each other…
Before Bryan could continue, Andrade “Cien Almas’s music hit and he made his way on stage accompanied by Zelina Vega. Vega stated how it was to be in front of two legends, Brie Bella, and Cien. Vega brought up how Almas has put Sin Cara on the shelf, took A.J. Styles to his limit, and destroyed Rusev. She said that despite The Miz already outsmarting Bryan, that it was time for Almas to outwrestle Bryan. Bryan reponded by saying that he would love to make the match official right now, but is no longer the official Smackdown Live general manager. Bryan wondered aloud if there was anyone backstage that could come out and make it official. After a bit of delay, Paige made it to the entrance clearly short of breath. Paige said that her office is on the other side of the building and it was a long way to go in heals. She added that she is in fact the Smackdown general manager. She asked the crowd if they would like the match to happen, and then called a referee out to make it happen after a positive response from the fans. [c]
(Elder’s Analysis: Brie looked incredibly stiff on the mic, and sounded as though she was reciting lines that she just committed to memory. Next to Daniel Bryan, Zelina Vega, and Paige… her mic skills clearly aren’t on their level. Aside from that, I am excited to see these two square off against each other.)
(3) DANIEL BRYAN (w/Brie Bella) vs. ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS (w/Zelina Vega)
-The two competitors felt each other out early on. Phillips announced that this was their first time meeting in a one on one match. Almas set himself between the ropes in his tranquillo pose but was dropkicked out by Bryan. Miz and Maryse were shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Bryan landed some Yes Kicks in the corner. The action spilled out of the ring. Bryan hit Almas with a flying knee off of the apron which sparked a “Yes!” chant from the crowd. As they made it back into the ring, Almas countered Bryan with a stiff uppercut and went for a pin attempt unsuccesfully. They cut to commercial break here with the match continuing in PIP. [c]
-Much of the break consisted of restholds but they go back to full screen as Bryan is landing Yes Kicks on Almas. Bryan landed a brutal superplex off the top rope. As both competitors were down, Miz’s music hit and he made his way down to the ring. This distracted Bryan and Almas went to capitalize. Bryan countered then left the ring to attack Miz. After landing a few punches Bryan was hit from a sincredible attack from the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring Almas attempted a moonsault onto Bryan who blocked the impact with his knes. Bryan quickly applied a Yes Lock on Almas.Vega distracted the referee before he could see Almas tap. Bella made the save and attacked Vega. Suddenly, Maryse appeared and attacked Brie, throwing her face first into the ringpost. With Bryan distracted again, The Miz attacked Bryan from behind causing an instant disqualification. Miz then helped Almas set Bryan up for his hammerlock DDT. Miz then applied a Yes Lock on Daniel Bryan as Almas watched on.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan via disqualification.
Afterwards, Vega pushed Bella into the ring so she would be forced to watch as Miz and Almas landed a few moves on a helpess Bryan. Vega then landed a solid double knee into Brie’s face. While still holding him in the sumbission, Miz forced Bryan to watch as Maryse delivered a Skull Crushing Finale on Brie. Miz & Maryse stood proud in the ring over Bella and Bryan to a surprisingly 50/50 crowd.
(Elder’s analysis: Good match. If this is indeed their first time working together, I think it is safe to say that we can expect an excellent match between them somewhere down the road. Miz & Maryse are fantastic at what they do. They are almost so good at being heels that the crowd just feels compelled to give them an applause.)
Renee Young is backstage interviewing Charlotte. Charlotte asked a rhetorical question about what people would expect someone to do if they were in her situation. Charlotte added that she would expect Becky to do the same exact thing. She added that this isn’t a game where everyone gets a trophy, and she won’t apologize for being who she is, for being successful, for having ambition, and for working her ass every single day to get where she is today. She added that she will not be rolling over for anyone that tries to take anything from her. Not even if it is, or was, her best friend. Charlotte finished off by adding that if Becky wants center stage, if she wants the spotlight, then once she is done running through Carmella tonight, then that is exactly what she is going to give Becky.
A.J. Styles made his way to the ring as Phillips described Styles as an “emotional champion.”
Phillips announced that Samoa Joe’s announcement will be coming up next before cutting to break.[c]
The show returns and Phillips threw to a video package highlighting Samoa Joe’s assault on Styles which occurred on last weeks episode of Smackdown. Back in the ring, Styles announced that it is official, “Samoa Joe vs. A.J. Styles at Hell in a Cell for his WWE Heavyweight Championship. Styles stated that he had enough of Joe’s mindgames and that he was going to put an end to them right now. A.J. then called Joe out, saying that it was a demand, and that he was going to knock him out.
On the jumbotron, Joe appeared standing in the parking garage. He told Styles that he would not be coming out tonight before he took out his phone and called A.J.’s wife Wendy. Joe said that he would keep the promise that A.J. Never did by sending him home soon. Joe then asked Wendy if they were still on for the back to school BBQ next week. Joe asked Wendy to save him a plate and added that he may stop by next Tuesday before hanging up the phone. Styles then left the ring quickly and ran up the walkway heading backstage.
Phillips showcased a few of he matches for Hell in a Cell and added that Paige has now confirmed that Jeff Hardy will be facing Randy Orton in the cell at the upcoming pay per view.
Carmella then made her way to the ring as Graves stated that Carmella has already beaten Charlotte twice, and that third time is the charm. Phillips added that the match will be for Charlottes newly won Smackdown Women’s Championship before they cut to a commercial break. [c]
Back from break, A.J. was shown running around backstage looking for Samoa Joe to no avail.
(4) CARMELLA vs. CHARLOTTE (c) for the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
-The referee announced that this match was for the title, and then introduced Carmella to a smattering of boos. Charlotte was announced next to noticably louder boos from the crowd.
As the match began with groundwork, a chant of “we want Becky” emanated from the crowd. After gaining the advantage, she climbed to the top rope in hopes of landing a moonsault but was pushed off by Carmella. Carmella then landed a suicide dive on to Charlotte as they cut to a commercial break. [c]
-Returning from break Carmella was still in control, shouting out a Flair “Woooo” while incapacitating Charlotte with a chokehold. Unable to put Charlotte away, Carmella got visibly frustrated after an unsuccessful pin attempt and proceeded to yell “C’mon Charlotte, give up!” as she wildly slapped Charlotte repeatedly. Carmella became more and more visibly frustrated and proceeded to throw wild punches while shrieking repeatedly. Again, Carmella was unable to keep Charlotte down for a three count. Charlotte fought back and regained the advantage, eventually catching Carmella in a Figure-Eight. After a fair amount of time, Carmella was forced to tap out.
WINNER: Charlotte via submission in 14:00.
As Charlotte held her belt high in celebration, she was attacked from behind by Becky Lynch. Lynch demanded a microphone and talked down to a laying Charlotte, saying that “Come Hell in a Cell,” I will be getting my belt back…you bitch!!!”
Corey Graves described Lynch’s attack as they cut to a segment of the beatdown. The camera cut to Charlotte, leaning in the corner a la Jake the Snake, with her belt over her shoulder, staring at the stage before the show went off the air. [c]
(Elder’s analysis: From a wrestling standpoint, that match was cringeworthy. The crowd appeared uninterested for much of the match itself, and only popped when Becky made her attack. The match itself brought me back to the Diva days where slapping and whining was the norm. However, in present day, with a roster so loaded with talent that they simply don’t know what to do with them… its unfortunate that is what they chose to close their flagship show with. As for Becky… I really don’t think there is anything that she can do to be accepted as a heel, even if she is calling another competitor a “bitch.” That really isn’t her fault, either. She is such a likeable person, and WWE did not help themselves by having her turn heel on Charlotte, who comes off as arrogant and Carmella who constantly cheats to win and insults everyone in her path. Still, I can’t wait to see Charlotte and Becky square off at HIAC. In a one on one environment, I trust these two to put on an excellent match.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Much of this episode of Smackdown felt as though it would have fit perfectly right in before Summerslam. Most competitors are remaining in feuds with the same person that they fought at Summerslam, as if none of those outcomes really made much of a difference. Still, the Samoa Joe & A.J. Styles drama is really interesting. It is impossible to say how far WWE wants to push this family envelope. It was awesome and unexpected to see Booker T back and I join the rest of the WWE universe in wondering if this was a one-off, or if there is anything more to it. In the age of instant information, it has become difficult to be truly surprised any more. But like the Shield on the Raw after Summerslam, tonights Booker T appearance wasn’t blatantly telegraphed. It all, it was a decent show, but as always, I would love to see another match or two get thrown into a two hour TV block.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS RELATED ARTICLE: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – SMACKDOWN 8/28: Becky Cheered Again, King Booker Returns, The Mizanins Take Out the Bryans