KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
SEPTEMBER 25, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Tonight after WWE Smackdown, join me live with guest cohost Jason Solomon from the Solomonster Sounds Off podcast to break down the show with live callers and the mailbag.
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-Phillips introduced the show and mentioned being in Denver as the camera panned part of the lower bowl.
-R-Truth and Carmella stood mid-ring. Fans chanted “R-Truth!” Truth introduced “Miz, I mean, Truth TV.” Graves threw a fit. Truth introduced Carmella, who was now in full babyface mode and new auburn colored hair. She excitedly introduced Daniel Bryan. Byron said he’s loving Truth TV. Bryan hopped to the ring as fans chanted “Yes! Yes!” Graves called Truth TV a “low rent rip-off.” Phillips plugged the Bryan vs. Miz match, with the winner earning a “future WWE Title opportunity.” They were clear this time that it’s not for a title shot later that night.
Bryan sat down with Truth and Carmella. Fans chanted “Daniel Bryan!” out of sync. Bryan told Truth that they’re in Denver and hit him with his best question. Truth put on reading glasses (he is in his mid-40s, after all). Truth got some laughs saying Maryse is “the other Carmella.” Truth thanked Carmella for dying her hair to avoid all that confusion.
Truth asked Bryan a question, but then Carmella said, “It’s time.” Carmella said it was time for the “seven second dance break.” Truth and Carmella stood and danced for seven seconds. Bryan said Truth TV is much better than Miz TV.
Bryan then said he has a lot of unfinished business with Miz, so if he beats Miz at Super Show-down to get one step closer to the WWE Championship, it would be cathartic. Truth liked the word “cathartic.” As Bryan began to explain the biggest difference between him and Miz, Miz’s music interrupted. Fans loudly chanted “Truth TV!” Truth said two weeks ago he beat Miz in this ring, so if he had a championship, it would be his, but instead he has a talk show, “so I just took that.” Fans laughed and applauded. Miz said, “You’re an idiot.” Truth sang, “I’m the idiot with a talk show!” Miz raised his arm and said when his arm goes up, their mouths go shut. He said Bryan will want to hear what he has to say.
Miz said he knows why the fans like Bryan. “You’re the scrappy relatable underdog who knows right from wrong,” he said. “You never stop fighting, no matter the odds, but you always fight fair, and that is why people love you.” Yep. “And that is why you will never beat me,” he continued. He said he’s not as scrappy as Bryan, but he’s smarter and he’s not a coward and he wins at all costs. He said that’s why he always beat Bryan. He said he will do anything at Super Show-down to win, but Bryan is too proud to do whatever it takes to win. He said that’s why he always lets down his loved ones. He said Bryan will have to cheat to win, and he will forever tarnish the name Daniel Bryan when he does so.
Truth said Miz is talking so long, it’ll kill his animal segment. He said Miz is “ban-did” from Truth TV for life. Truth told Miz he’ll fight him for his show “right now.” Then they broke into a dance break. Miz stormed off to the back.
Miz asked Paige how she can replace a ground-breaking show like Miz TV with crap like that. He demanded Truth TV get cancelled. Paige said if he wants Miz TV back, he has to run out there and win it back. The dance party continued. Bryan stood there with his hands on his hips, smiling and watching like a wallflower.
(Keller’s Analysis: Fun segment that fits the current characters of everyone right now. The seven second dance break was pretty funny. Truth is a good foil for Miz. Bryan felt more like a bystander than a star, but I did enjoy the precise summation of why fans like Bryan. It’s almost out of an official WWE Creative Handbook listing the traits that defines the Bryan character. It doesn’t feel “World Title Level” in terms of tone, though.)
-The announcers said Rusev will demand answers from Aiden English later. Also, a contract signing with A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe.
(1) R-TRUTH (w/Carmella) vs. MIZ (no Maryse)
Bryan was on commentary. He said Miz runs away from every challenge and just wants to find the easiest way possible to be famous. He said Miz is full of crap and always lying. Bryan said he did lose to Miz, but now his eyes are wide open because he knows Miz will cheat. He said Miz does kick very hard, especially with that high big boot. (Uh, that was a bit tone deaf of Bryan considering his wife’s Brie’s actions last night. It’s too soon to brag about hard high kicks by anyone.) Bryan said you need a certain sense of moral clarity to be WWE Champion, which is why Styles has been so successful. Bryan picked on Miz’s technique with his roundkicks, noting he doesn’t roll his hips and thus they lack power. Truth got in early offense, but Miz took over and controlled the body of the match. Bryan said Miz used to be a very poor wrestler, but he’s learned. He said he’s shocked he doesn’t use his wrestling skill to win matches, but rather still resorts to cheating to win. [c]
They stayed with the action during the break on a split-screen. Miz settled into a chinlock, but Truth eventually made a comeback. After the break, Bryan admitted he was rooting for Truth TV to continue. He wondered if Truth won, if he would replace Miz at Super Show-down. Miz poked Truth in the eyes and hit the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz looked over at Bryan and took his time following up. He tried to start a “Yes” chant, but fans chanted “No!” He then hit Truth with a running knee and scored the pin. Phillips said that’s another move Miz stole from Bryan.
WINNER: Miz in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I know Miz poked Truth in the eye, but the long gap between the Skull Crushing Finale and running high knee made Truth look like he had zero recuperative powers. It’d be crazy to sacrifice Miz to Truth headed into the Super Show-down, but it was deflating that Truth TV has been cancelled!)
-They showed Becky Lynch attacking Charlotte backstage during a photo shoot earlier in the day. Becky said people don’t want to see her face, people want to see the champ’s face. She stomped her and then insisted the photographer take her photo. “Take the champ’s photo!” she said. She stood on Charlotte and posed with the belt.
-Phillips said Charlotte has been sent home as a result of the injuries she suffered. Graves said Becky is champion “and you can’t argue with results.”
-Sheamus and Cesaro made their ring entrance. [c]
-New Day made their ring entrance and said they’re having a #SaySomethingNiceChallenge where they’d compliment their opponents. They said even though they make fun of Cesaro’s areoles and think he looks like a Swiss Jason Statham, they like his movies. Regarding Sheamus, Big E said the three of them decided that regarding Sheamus’s mohawk, the carpet must match the drapes. Sheamus yanked the mic away from Big E. He said they just want to fight, not goof around. Cesaro said this mockery comes to an end at Super Show-down when they take the championships from them.
(2) SHEAMUS (w/Cesaro) vs. BIG E (w/Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods)
Sheamus took it to Big E at the start, but Big E arm dragged Sheamus over the top rope to the floor. He pounded his chest with forearms on the ring apron, and then gave him big splash on the edge of the apron [c]
When Sheamus rallied, Cesaro yelled encouraging words at him to “enter your zone!” Sheamus pounded his chest and yelled. He charged, but Big E lifted him and powerbombed him for a near fall. Sheamus rolled to the ring apron. Big E charged, but Sheamus lifted his knee. Big E went for the Big Ending, but Sheamus grabbed the top rope. Sheamus then fired back with a Brogue Kick for the win. Lots of “momentum” talk by the announcers.
WINNER: Sheamus in 7:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: It was fine, but not a lot this match. With a commercial break in the middle, just a few spots before and after the break. I’m surprised they had Big E lose clean like that in such a short match.)
-Backstage Paige told Styles she is taking precautions just in case things get out of hand out there. She said the monitors on the commentary table are very expensive. Styles said he’s out there to sign on the dotted line, that’s it, and if he needs to destroy something, it’ll be Samoa Joe. Paige didn’t seem comforted by that. She tried to talk to herself into her incantation: “This is gonna be fun. This is gonna be fun.”
-Backstage Rusev left his locker room and told Lana that Aiden will pay for what he did, but he wants to know why he did what he did last week. He marched toward the stage and Lana followed behind. [c]
-A commercial aired hyping Triple H vs. Undertaker at Super Show-down. They say it streams live on WWE Network at 5 a.m. ET.
-The announcers commented on last week’s happenings between Rusev and English. Then live in the ring, as a “Rusev Day!” chants faded, Rusev said last week his friend and partner Aiden English betrayed him. Boos. “And he did it on the greatest day of them all. That’s right, he did it on Rusev Day. That makes him a traitor.” He said before he crushes his little soul, he wants him to come out there and explain why he did it.
English stepped onto the stage and said none of this is his fault. He said when they met, Rusev was supremely talented, but none of the fans cared about him. Lana didn’t like that. “You were floundering,” he said. “You lacked direction. But I saw potential in you and I joined your side. I made you the most beloved Superstar in WWE.” Fans gave him the “What?” treatment. He threw to a video package.
The video showed English singing a year ago that Rusev Day was proclaimed. Then clips aired of English and Rusev teaming together with Graves putting them over as a cohesive unit. The video was flattering toward English’s role in the team. English said they were destined to be legends, “but what happened?” He said he’d tell him what happened. “She happened!” Rusev looked at Lana. English said the whole mess is Lana’s fault. He threw to another video package. They showed Lana miscues and arguments.
Back in the ring, Rusev shook his head no. English said things were better when it was just him and Rusev without Lana. Lana said before him, she helped Rusev be an unstoppable force. She bragged she got him a tank for WrestleMana so he could crush people. She called him a glorified cheerleader trying to make a name for himself at the expense of Rusev. English said she is loyal and honest with him, right? He asked if with all of her honesty she must’ve told him “about that one night in Milwaukee.” He dropped the mic as Lana called him crazy. Rusev shot her a look, though.
-They went to the announcers. Graves excitedly asked if this was salacious and said this is great and he was going to text someone to find out. Phillips then plugged the contract signing and threw to footage of the prior contract signing between Styles and Joe before Summerslam two months ago when Joe attacked Styles.
-They showed Joe’s locker room door.
-Elsewhere backstage, Naomi held up pads as Asuka punched away at them to warm up. Naomi sold sore wrists afterward.
-Brief promos aired with Alicia Fox & Jinder Mahal with Sunil Singh and then Bobby Lashley & Mickie James with Lio Rush. [c]
-Lana said she doesn’t know what English is talking about and asked Rusev if he believes her. He said of course he does, but he wanted to know why he brought up Milwaukee. Becky Lynch walked up and said Milwaukee is a fun town. Lana told her to mind her own business. Becky told Lana that she runs the Women’s Division now and she could end up like Charlotte if she’s not careful. She said when she gets her way, Rusev might have to carry her bags because she won’t be able to. “Milwaukee, eh?” Becky said before walking away. Rusev asked when was the last time they were in Milwaukee. Lana said, “Seriously?” and stormed off.
-The IIconics stood mid-ring, but as they were about to talk, Naomi’s entrance music played. They showed a clip of Asuka and Naomi talking about each other’s hair on WWE.com earlier. Then Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville walked in and things got heated.
(3) SONYA DEVILLE & MANDY ROSE vs. NAOMI & ASUKA
Graves was weak-kneed as Mandy made her entrance. They cut to a break before the match, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c]
Asuka ended up with a clean victory after stereo kicks by Naomi and Asuka on Deville.
WINNERS: Asuka & Naomi in 3:00.
-Phillips confirmed that Becky vs. Lana was booked by Paige later on the show.
-They showed Shinsuke Nakamura heading toward the entrance stage.
-A commercial aired for the new Wednesday night WWE Network line-up. [c]
-The announcers commented on photos of Bryan, Truth, and Charlotte appearing at Ryan Seacrest Studios at Children’s Hospital of Colorado visiting with children with cancer.
(4) TYE DILLINGER vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Tye went on offense aggressively from the start and scored a near fall a couple minutes in. When Tye had Nakamura mounted in the corner while throwing punches, Randy Orton interfered and threw him off of Nakamura.
WINNER: Dillinger by DQ in 3:00.
-Orton continued to beat up Tye at ringside with a barrage of uppercuts. He dropped him on the announce table. He DDT’d him at ringside. Nakamura grabbed his U.S. Title belt and was about to leave, but then stopped and turned back and gave Tye his Kinshasa, knocking him hard into the LED ring apron. Then he walked to the back holding his U.S. Title belt in the air.
-Backstage Rusev wished Lana luck. She said she doesn’t think he believes her. Rusev said he does believe her and Aiden is obviously a liar. Rusev said he is just frustrated. Lana walked away and left Rusev standing there. [c]
-In a backstage interview, Mike Rome asked Orton why he attacked Tye. He asked if he’s his next victim. Orton said, “No, but that Perfect 10 crap just pisses me off.” He walked away.
(5) BECKY LYNCH vs. LANA
Byron said Lana has been told she doesn’t have the skillset to succeed, but that motivates her. Graves said trying to improve opposite of the champ isn’t the best of circumstances. Graves said he won’t steal Aiden’s moment, but he has texts coming in with the scoop on Milwaukee. Becky threw Lana into the ringside barricade. Back in the ring Lana surprised Becky with a small package, then landed a high round kick. Lana climbed to the second rope, but Becky yanked her by her legs hard off of the ropes. Becky set up the Beck-sploder and then the Dis-arm-her for the win.
WINNER: Becky in 3:00
-Backstage they showed English shaking his head as he watched the match. Kyra asked English about Milwaukee. He said next week he’ll produce video evidence.
-More Mixed Match Challenge selfie promos aired. [c]
-Paige stood mid-ring and introduced A.J. Styles. Then she introduced Samoa Joe. Joe didn’t answer. Paige apologized. Styles said Joe won’t show up unless he can attack him from behind. He said he has eyes in the back of his head because of the fans in Denver. Styles said Joe has another chance in Australia to take the title from him. He said Joe doesn’t follow the rules, so a No Rules Match is right up his alley.
Joe appeared on the big screen. He was selfie filming himself. Styles signed the contract as Joe talked about traveling to exotic places as part of his job. He said tonight he finds himself in one of those places. He showed the mailbox with bright new white letters on the side that said “STYLES.” (It’s like the all-too-crisp police uniforms on fake cops on WWE TV. Why not rough up the letters a little to make it seem a little more authentic?) Joe admired Styles’s white picket fence. He asked if he’s feeling helpless and if that’s morphing into horror “because you realize there is nothing you can do right now.” He leaned onto Styles’s front porch and made himself comfortable.
Styles told Joe not to do anything. Joe told Styles to take his phone out and call Wendy, but Styles doesn’t bring his phone with him to the ring. (You know they’re on live TV and I suspect, if this were real life, 100 people would be texting Wendy right now, right?) Joe held up a doll and said it’s a gift for his daughter. Styles begged Joe. Joe approached the front door and asked Styles if he’s paralyzed and falling to pieces. “Good, and I want you to remember that feeling because that is exactly how you will feel when I beat you for the WWE Championship in Australia.” He told Styles their rivalry has always been about consequences. He said Styles stole the title from him and that demanded consequences. Styles begged him to please back away from his house and walk away. “Don’t do anything stupid!” he said. Joe asked if he should let himself in, but then he said that would be rude. He said he’ll ring the doorbell. “Daddy’s home!” Joe said as the show ended.