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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
OCTOBER 9, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Tonight after WWE Smackdown, join me live with guest cohost Travis Bryant from the PWTorch East Coast Cast to break down the show with live callers, an on-site correspondent, and the mailbag.
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-Phillips introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd. He didn’t mention they were in Indianapolis, although the screen graphic did note the city. They have an NFL team, and WWE still doesn’t want to draw too much attention to being in that city. They were happy to name Chicago excitedly last night. The announcers listed the scheduled matches including World Cup qualifiers with Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy and Big Show vs. Randy Orton. It’s Hardy’s first match since Hell in a Cell and Show’s first match in over a year.
(1) BECKY LYNCH vs. CHARLOTTE – WWE Smackdown Women’s Title
Becky and Charlotte were in the ring as Becky’s music faded and the ref held the belt in the air. The ring announcer was booed when he said Becky loses the title if she’s DQ’d. (This is so strange going right to the match without a video clip of Becky getting herself intentionally DQ’d and trying to get counted out in Australia.) Then when Charlotte was introduced, she was booed. Becky, cheered. The announcers quickly updated viewers on Becky willfully getting herself DQ’d to retain her title. (They are using new camera angles tonight.)
A “Becky!” chant started early. There was some push-back by Charlotte fans with a dueling chant. Nothing too intense either way, though. A few minutes in, Charlotte was booed as she tried to apply a Boston Crab. Becky reached for the bottom rope. Charlotte shifted to catapulting Becky into the top turnbuckle. Graves acknowledged that catapult was a little clunky (it kind of looked like Becky had to adjust herself into position and fling herself toward the turnbuckle mid-way). Charlotte then slingshot herself onto Becky on the floor. [c]
Back from the break, Charlotte climbed to the top rope. Becky press slammed Charlotte off the top rope. Charlotte got up and chopped away at Becky and then back suplexed her. Both were slow to get up. Becky yanked Charlotte off the top rope a minute later. Charlotte avoided a Becky top rope dive, but Becky tried again and was knocked off balance by Charlotte. Becky went for an arm breaker next, but Charlotte powered her up and then sit-out powerbombed her down. They cut to another break, but this time stayed with the action on split-screen. [c]
Phillips noted that they are in Indianapolis. Both were down after battling back and forth when they returned to full screen. Becky kicked Charlotte and shoved her into the middle turnbuckle as Charlotte was trying to apply the figure-four. Becky then left the ring and tried to leave with her belt. Graves said the stip was about disqualifications, not countouts. Charlotte chased her down and threw her into the ring. When Charlotte rolled into the ring, Becky shoved Charlotte into the ref. Then she kicked Charlotte in the jaw. Becky was about to use the belt as a weapon, but the ref warned her not to do it. Becky yelled at him. Charlotte then rolled up Becky from behind. Becky rolled through and scored a two count with a handful of tights. Charlotte speared Becky a second later. Both were slow to get up again. Becky rolled to the floor. Charlotte leaped off the top rope with a moonsault, but Becky moved. Becky then gave Charlotte a Becksploder suplex and returned to the ring as the ref counted Charlotte out. When Charlotte was about to re-enter, Becky slidekicked her. Charlotte grabbed her and suplexed her on the floor. Then she threw Becky into the ring and gave her a Natural Selection. When she went for the cover, Becky rolled to the floor again. Graves said it was almost instinctual of Becky to roll to the outside. Becky shoved Charlotte into the ringpost. The ref ended up counting them both out. Fans booed the finish.
WINNER: Double Countout in 23:00 so Becky retained the Smackdown Women’s Title.
-Afterward, the fight continued. Becky tried to retreat up the ramp, but Charlotte got up and chased her down. Becky got the better of Charlotte and continued to walk to the back, but Charlotte got up and charged and speared her through the entrance stage LED wall. Referees and producers checked on them. Charlotte sat up crying holding her reddened hand and wrist. She was either actually cut or they marked up her hand from the back as her hand was out of view for a while as she lay on top of Becky. They cut away quickly to the announcers once her had was shown.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good to see them get a healthy dose of TV time like this after their match felt cut short at SSD in Australia. They delivered a really good match.)
-The announcers hyped that Miz TV would feature A.J. Styles and Daniel Bryan, the champion and the challenger, at the Crown Jewel event. [c]
-Byron hyped that Undertaker returns to next week for Smackdown 1000. Phillips said the Brothers of Destruction will face DX at Crown Jewel. They showed the LED wall panels on the stage still broken apart. Graves said Charlotte suffered “severe cuts on her arm.”
(2) JEFF HARDY vs. SAMOA JOE – World Cup qualifier match
After Hardy’s ring entrance, a video package aired on him talking about his career and the risks he has taken. Then Samoa Joe made his ring entrance. Then they cut away to a video package on Joe. (New camera angles, a title match without ring entrances to start the show without a long talking segment, and now personalized video packages as wrestlers make their way to the ring – interesting production changes this week.)
The bell rang and Joe took it to Hardy early including a headbutt to floor him. Hardy fought back and went for an early Twist of Fate. Joe blocked it. Hardy dropkicked Joe’s injured leg. Joe dropped to ringside. They cut to a break. [c]
Phillips talked up the World Cup as determining the best in the world (so what is the WWE Title and Universal Title for, then?). He said this is the first-ever one-on-one match between Hardy and Joe. Joe yanked Hardy out of the ring and rammed him face-first into the steps. He roundkicked at Hardy, but hit the stairs when Hardy moved. Hardy stomped away at Joe’s leg back in the ring. Joe punched Hardy in the face to stop the attack. Joe tried to stand, but his leg gave out twice. He collapsed. The ref called for the bell. The fans booed.
WINNER: Hardy via referee stoppage in 8:00 to qualify for the World Cup.
-The announcers threw to a video segment on Randy Orton. This showed vintage early career footage of Orton as part of hyping his World Cup qualifier match with Big Show later tonight. Graves hyped “The rest of One Night in Milwaukee with Aiden English” will air later. They shifted to hyping Smackdown 1000 with the reunion of Evolution – Ric Flair, Triple H, Batista, and Orton. (Talk about overlapping branding with this reunion the same month as the all-women’s PPV event.)
-Miz made his ring entrance for Miz TV.
-Mixed Match Challenge selfie promos aired. [c]
-They showed the Charlotte spear of Becky against the LED wall from multiple angles. Graves said both women were being tended to. Graves said Charlotte is fine and cleared to participate in Mixed Match Challenge later.
-Paige said there was no clear winner between Becky and Charlotte, so because of the intensity of their rivalry, they’ll face each other one more time at Evolution in a Last Woman Standing match.
-Miz TV: Miz made the red suit and red and grey striped tie work. He bemoaned that Bryan would challenge Styles for the WWE Title at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. He did mention Saudi Arabia by name despite growing controversy right now with the missing journalist that Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy and V.P. Mike Pence are Tweeting about. The announcers commented on freeze-frames of the Styles victory over Joe at SSD.
Styles came out first. Miz asked, “How’s the family?” Styles stood. Miz stammered and said he has a kid, too, and understands the rage he went through. He said he is now facing a new type of opponent who doesn’t engage in psychological warfare like Joe, and if he visits his house it’ll be a tend to his garden. He said he’s a Boy Scout and made a snoring noise. Bryan made his ring entrance. Byron said Bryan didn’t have to compromise his morals or his beliefs to achieve his goal.
Bryan said the last thing anyone wants to see is a handshake and mutual respect. Bryan asked if Miz would like to talk about their match in Australia. “I promise, it won’t take you very long,” he said. Miz fumed. Fans chanted “Daniel Bryan!” Miz asked Styles how Bryan ranks among his challengers. Style said up until now, Joe has been his greatest competitor – taking things beyond the ring and to his doorstep and made it personal. He said the match with Bryan is going to stay in the ring, between the ropes, “in the house that A.J. Styles built.” Miz said Styles basically just said he’s better than Bryan.
Bryan said Styles didn’t actually say that, but he said he’s glad Styles thinks he’s better than him. Bryan said he wants to be a worthy opponent next, and Styles is that very opponent. “He’s defended the most coveted championship in WWE for over 300 days, night in and night out,” he said. He said Styles has earned the right to think he’s better than everybody else. He admitted since his return, he still has a lot to prove. He said he knows he can beat Styles, though. Styles said since Bryan return, he hasn’t faced anyone who is Phenomenal. Miz seemed to enjoy where this was going, even if some of it came at his expense. Bryan called Miz “the two minute man.” He added, “I’ve heard that about him for a long, long time.” He said this is the very reason he fought so hard to come back from retirement.
Bryan stood and said as of yet he hasn’t explained what his dream was. He said it wasn’t to come back and do psychological warfare or have fun or to reunite Team Hell No or fight “this jerk” (Miz). He said his dream was the WWE World Championship. He said the one thing standing in the way of him and his dream is Styles. Styles stood and said he’s not moving for him or anybody. Miz smiled and said finally something interesting. Styles asked Bryan how good does it feel to punch Miz in the face. The tension released and fans applauded. Bryan said it feels great. Styles said he knocked his tooth out. They shared stories of their delight at beating up Miz. Miz said he’s tried to remain professional, but the truth is Bryan stole his WWE Title opportunity with his “fluke small package.” He claimed the referee was out of position and his shoulder was up. He listed his wins over Bryan and he said Paige favors him and wouldn’t listen to his valid complaints. “At least when I beat you, I knocked you out.”
Miz turned to Styles and made fun of his accent. He said he’s been WWE Champion for over a year and his title has never been less prestigious. He said if he wonders why the WWE Title doesn’t headline PPVs, “just look in the mirror.” Miz said, “I’ve got next.” Miz told Styles he’s not facing him tonight, he’s facing the Superstar that beat Bryan last week (Shelton Benjamin). He wished him luck and stepped to the floor. Then suddenly out came Shelton. [c]
(3) A.J. STYLES vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN
Miz and Daniel Bryan were on commentary for this match. Graves congratulated Miz on the restraint he showed during the interview with Styles and Bryan. Phillips plugged Mixed Match Challenge. Shelton made a very weak cover of Styles and Styles easily kicked out. Bryan and Miz bickered. Shelton nailed Styles with a jumping high knee as Styles appeared to set up a springboard move. Styles bumped hard to the floor. Bryan said Shelton is strong and athletic and he thinks he’s ten times the wrestler Miz is. Miz told Bryan to give Shelton his WWE Title shot at Crown Jewel. Shelton beat up Styles at ringside as they cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split screen. [c]
Miz and Bryan continued to bicker. Phillips touted the length of Styles’s WWE Title reign. Styles landed a Phenomenal Forearm for the win. Bryan stood and applauded. Miz mocked Bryan and said that’s what people want – mutual respect and handshakes. Graves then “defended Miz” and said he thinks two minutes “is above the national average.”
WINNER: Styles in 8:00.
-A video aired on Big Show. [c]
-Aiden English stood mid-ring as fans chanted “Rusev Day!” He said last week he gave fans a glimpse of One Night in Milwaukee and he’s received six-figure offers to sell it, but he has something else in mind. He said now he’s presenting the Director’s Cut.
On the big screen, the video aired. Lana said: “I want you… to know how much you mean to Rusev, how much you’ve contributed, the way you sing his songs and praises are just so amazing, we think you are so awesome and we so appreciate you and everything you’ve done for his career.” English thanked her and said that means a lot to him. He said they both mean the world to him. He moved in and put his hand on her arm in what appeared to be “making a move.”
Back in the ring live, Aiden invited Rusev out. He made an offer. He said he would destroy the video and it would never see the light of day if he kicks Lana to the curb and gives the world what it wants by reuniting Rusev Day. Lana walked onto the stage and had an off-mic talk with Rusev. She seemed distressed. Rusev took a few steps down the ramp. English told Lana to beat it because Rusev made his choice already. Rusev said this is serious and he asked English to play the full tape. English said no one should see the full tape because this is a family show. Lana said she will play the tape herself. English asked how. Rusev said, “Because you got hacked.” English said that’s impossible. Lana said his password is “iheartrusev,” which anyone could have guessed.
The tape played. Lana pushed English away and said he misunderstood. English said he was moving in for a hug. She left and he seemed embarrassed. English told Lana when she gets tired of “those boring Rusev days,” come to him. Rusev chased him down and beat him up. Graves said this is what Aiden deserves for “bait and switching us.” English escaped and ran away.
-The announcers threw to a video package on the return of Rey Mysterio next week. [c]
-Phillips plugged the Suaan G. Komen charity.
(4) BIG SHOW vs. RANDY ORTON – WWE World Cup qualifying match
As Big Show made his way to the ring, Phillips said it’s great he’s back. Byron said he’s dedicated to a new workout plan and diet. Graves said this could be the coldest, most vicious, mos brutal Orton we have ever known in WWE. Orton took it to Show at the start. Orton bailed out. Phillips talked about Show missing a year of action after a cage match with Braun. They cut to a very early break with Orton at ringside. [c]
Orton applied his obligatory mid-match chinlock after the break. Phillips noted Big Show came back for a chance to win the World Cup, which shows how important it is. Orton dropkicked Show on his surgically repaired hip and then DDT’d him off the second rope. Big Show kicked out. Orton bailed out to ringside after Big Show chokeslam. Show picked him up by his neck onto the ring apron, but Orton thumbed Show in the eye. Then he delivered a quick RKO for the win.
WINNER: Orton in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: A bit of a flat finish, but I do like the idea that Big Show returned to partake in the World Cup.)
-The announcers said Orton, Hardy, Cena, and Angle are in the cup. They showed four more outlines of Rob Terry’s body outline. Will someone not from the U.S. fill out those final slots? ###