WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
SEPTEMBER 25, 2018
DENVER, COL. AT THE PEPSI CENTER
AIRS ON USA NETWORK 8:00 P.M. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Arena / Recap of Last Week
As Raw did last night, Smackdown will emanate from the Pepsi Center as WWE stays put in the arena which is the home of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, a team that hopes to return to the playoffs after a first-round elimination last season.
Last week, Samoa Joe furthered his issues with WWE Champion A.J. Styles by attacking A.J. following his victory in a non-title match over Andrade “Cien” Almas. Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch was “coronated” as champion and poured fuel over what is now an intense feud with former champion Charlotte Flair by once again calling her a “bitch.” Aiden English decided to stop celebrating Rusev Day by attacking Rusev following his unsuccessful attempt to win the U.S. Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura. Cesaro defeated Kofi Kingston of the Smackdown Tag Team Champions New Day. Asuka defeated Billie Kay of the IIconics. Finally, the Miz’s wife Maryse appeared as the “guest” on MizTV and announced it would be her last night on Smackdown, but not before faking an injury following an appearance by Daniel Bryan who arrived to dropkick Miz into Maryse.
Tonight, we turn our attention towards the WWE Super Showdown coming Oct. 6 and follow up on some of the items from last week’s show.
Super Showdown WWE Championship Contract Signing: A.J. Styles (champion) and Samoa Joe
A.J. Styles will defend the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe at the Super Showdown on Oct. 6 in a no-DQ, no count-out match. This will be the third straight PPV/WWE Network event in a row where these two will go at it. This past Saturday, G.M. Paige made this announcement on Twitter:
It’s No-DQ, No Count-Out, there MUST be a winner for the @WWE Championship at #WWESSD … so I’m making it official with a contract signing THIS Tuesday on #SDLive. @AJStylesOrg @SamoaJoe pic.twitter.com/ZM9yTPczHp
— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) September 22, 2018
Frank’s Analysis: We’ve seen many contract signings in the past, so it’s hard to get excited when one is announced. In this case, I like what was done from a few standpoints. Number one, it was announced in advance. You can build some anticipation for it vs. WWE telling you the night of the show. Granted the announcement was on Paige’s Twitter feed, but that has become more of a norm as of late so it’s fine. Number two, the rivalry is organically intense between these two. The dialogue should be good, especially from Samoa Joe who has shown why he is arguably the one of the top heels in this company right now. I would expect some sort of brawl to end the signing, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they switch things up and end it with a stare down of some sort. That would save the physicality for their match at the Showdown.
Big E vs. Sheamus
Smackdown Tag Team Champions New Day continue their budding feud with the Bar tonight as Big E of New Day takes on Sheamus of the Bar. Last week, Sheamus’s partner Cesaro picked up a win over New Day’s Kofi Kingston in just under ten minutes.
Big E and Sheamus had this interesting back and forth on Twitter about their history in WWE’s previous developmental territory, FCW:
In this fairytale I see you scribing this tweet a with quill, wearing a smoking jacket, and surrounded by many leather bound books. Any more from Big E’s BS Stories of Yore? https://t.co/gBGAWGmpDw
— Sheamus (@WWESheamus) September 24, 2018
Frank’s Analysis: It will be interesting to see if the announcers bring up this little tidbit of history between Big E and Sheamus. As for the match tonight, it’s fairly straight forward and a way to continue the feud between these teams. The New Day will defend the Smackdown Tag Team Championship against the Bar at the Super Showdown.
Rusev Demands an Answer from Aiden English
Last week, Rusev challenged Shinsuke Nakamura for the U.S. Championship. He came up short when Aiden English, in Rusev’s corner along with his wife Lana, jumped up on the ring apron and began cheering for Rusev on the microphone which somehow distracted him and allowed Nakamura to roll him up for the victory. Following the match, English attacked Rusev from behind and with him laying on the mat grabbed a mic and said “Happy Rusev Day,” effectively ending their partnership. Here’s a few tweets from Rusev and English following their “breakup”:
You make your bed you lay in it ! #RusevDay
— Rusev (@RusevBUL) September 19, 2018
Happy Aiden Day.
— Aiden English (@WWEDramaKing) September 19, 2018
Frank’s Analysis: I was the guest co-host with long time excellent PWTorch columnist Greg Parks this past Sunday on Wrestling Night in America on the PWTorch Livecast. We discussed this situation and in particular if WWE got the timing and the characters right. I believe they got the characters correct as Rusev has clearly been over with the fans even if it’s because of a cheesy “Rusev Day” chant. It also makes sense to have them on the babyface side considering you have another “couple” in Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega as heels. English will be fine as a heel in the mid-card and could even be a foil in the main event scene given his match last year with Randy Orton. Even if he turns out to be a “jobber to the stars,” at this point it works better if he’s a heel. As far as the timing it’s hard to say, as Rusev was a lot hotter earlier in the year. I was in attendance though at the Smackdown in the Barclays Center and the fans were into him for sure. There’s also a lack of babyfaces on Smackdown, so in that regard with the right opponents and promos things should be fine.
U.S. Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tye Dillinger?
For those of you clamoring to see Tye Dillinger in the ring, there has been a Twitter exchange between him and U.S. Champion Shinsuke Nakamura:
“Pledge your allegiance”
**WARNING** Crazy person alert!
Sounds like someone needs to pledge a foot in your ass. https://t.co/IXAgxde46M
— Dilly! Dilly! Dilly! (@WWEDillinger) September 23, 2018
Frank’s Analysis: I toss a little sarcasm in there, but as I mentioned earlier there are a lack of babyfaces on Smackdown at the moment. You’re going to need guys like Tye Dillinger to be elevated if anything to have a foil for Nakamura or any of the other heels on the show. Rusev makes sense to slide into the U.S. title picture, but until that happens if it’s even planned they need somebody to work with Nakamura. Dillinger is fine as long as everything isn’t reference as a “10” every two minutes.
- I’m not sure what it means, but Paige tweeted this on Sunday:
Time to make some real changes. #Revolution
— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) September 23, 2018
- Naomi accompanied Asuka as she took on Billie Kay, who had her IIconics partner Peyton Royce in her corner. If the women’s tag team championships are still a possibility at some point, look for Asuka & Naomi to work more as a tandem and even be in line for the championship. Here’s a tweet showing their partnership “solidifying”:
— Trinity Fatu (@NaomiWWE) September 22, 2018
WWE doesn’t seem to be committed to either woman as a single’s wrestler. Asuka & Naomi take on the IIconics at the Super Showdown.
- Randy Orton was shown in the production truck forcing one of the video technicians to watch stuff he had done to Jeff Hardy. He said it was nothing compared to what he will do to his next victim.
Start Time & Matches Advertised
The arena website shows a start time of 5:30 p.m. local time with doors opening at 4:00 p.m. They advertise these matches:
- AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz & Samoa Joe
- Women’s Champion Becky Lynch & The IIconics vs. Charlotte Flair & Asuka & Naomi.
Follow me on Twitter @FrankPeteani and ask any questions you may have. Thank you for reading!