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WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
OCTOBER 9, 2018
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. AT THE BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE
AIRS ON USA NETWORK 8:00 P.M. ET
BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Arena / Super Showdown Recap
WWE Smackdown will emanate from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IND. after appearing earlier this year prior to WrestleMania. We’ll continue the fallout from Super Showdown and as we did on Raw last night, turn our attention towards Evolution taking place on Oct. 28 and Crown Jewel happening on Nov. 2.
At Super Showdown, A.J. Styles retained his WWE Championship over Samoa Joe while Joe was struggling with an apparent knee injury during the match. Becky Lynch retained the Smackdown Women’s Championship over Charlotte Flair by getting disqualified, thus losing the match but retaining the championship. New Day retained their Smackdown Tag Team Championship over The Bar. Daniel Bryan became the #1 contender for the WWE Championship by defeating the Miz in a surprisingly quick match. The IIconics had a feel-good moment defeating Asuka & Naomi in their home country of Australia.
As of this morning, WWE.com has announced three matches for tonight as well as a MizTV segment. Two matches are qualifiers for the World Cup tournament to take place at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (champion) vs. Charlotte Flair; Becky Loses the Title If She is DQ’d
At the Super Showdown, Becky Lynch defended her Smackdown Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair in a rematch from Hell in a Cell. She got herself disqualified by hitting Charlotte with the title belt as Charlotte was applying a figure-four leglock.
Later in the evening, it was announced that a rematch would take place tonight on Smackdown. WWE added the stipulation that if Becky were to get disqualified, she would lose her championship. Becky had some comments in response to WWE’s announcements on Twitter:
— Rebecca Quin (@BeckyLynchWWE) October 6, 2018
Even when I’m the champion, they still tip the scales against me. Looks like I’m fighting a battle on both sides of the curtain. Nothing new therehttps://t.co/YYUd4Ck5YT
— Rebecca Quin (@BeckyLynchWWE) October 7, 2018
Frank’s Analysis: The champ-getting-DQ’d finish is always an easy way out, and this was no exception. Historically, when trying to protect both parties and trying to keep the feud going, the DQ or count out is utilized. WWE also wanted to cement Becky’s heel turn by her getting herself disqualified intentionally to keep her title. My fear is that she will get counted out tonight, which will allow her to retain her championship as opposed to the DQ which is not an option. This feud is expected to carry on to Evolution, and thus the conclusion of this match should lead us in that direction.
World Cup Qualifying Matches: Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe, Randy Orton vs. Big Show
WWE announced a World Cup tournament for the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia on Nov 2. Four Raw and four Smackdown wrestlers will participate. Thus far John Cena and Kurt Angle are in, with more participants to follow. Tonight, Jeff Hardy returns to Smackdown for the first time since Hell in a Cell to take on Samoa Joe in a qualifying match. Joe unsuccessfully challenged A.J. Styles for the WWE Championship at Super Showdown. Hardy recently lost his Hell in a Cell match to Randy Orton.
There’s probably not much to this, but Samoa Joe had a complaint about the local hotel in Indianapolis on Twitter. I post this because he sold a knee injury during the match with Styles this past weekend. If he loses tonight, he could use these issues as excuses for recent failures:
Doing the media rounds in Indianapolis today to reveal the @OmniHotels does not have hot water. So if your into sub arctic showers stay there. Also there is Smackdown Live tonight, but mainly no hot water.
— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) October 9, 2018
In another qualifying match, Randy Orton will take on a returning Big Show. We have not seen Show in the ring since September of last year prior to his having hip surgery. He has appeared in various spots on TV, most notably inducting his good friend Mark Henry into the WWE Hall of Fame this past April.
Frank’s Analysis: John Cena is a free agent, so what show does he represent? I also don’t recall Big Show being drafted to Smackdown. More importantly doesn’t a World Cup involve parties from different countries? Thus far, we have two United States-born wrestlers in the tournament. Tonight’s matches feature four more United States-born wrestlers trying to qualify. I figured Joe may be the exception, but he was born in Orange County, CA. if his Wikipedia page is accurate. Why not call this a King of the Ring tournament? Are they not allowed to use the word “King” in Saudi Arabia, or did the prince want this called a World Cup tournament? With all that said, it’ll be interesting to see if Samoa Joe is the odds-on favorite for this as a way of keeping him relevant following his failure to capture the WWE Championship at Super Showdown. If that doesn’t happen and let’s say Hardy beats Joe and Orton beats Show, we could revisit Hardy vs. Orton depending on how the brackets are set up.
Miz TV: WWE Champion A.J. Styles & Daniel Bryan
Miz TV returns to Smackdown tonight and should be a contentious affair. The Miz will have Daniel Bryan, the man to whom he lost a #1 contender’s match for the WWE Championship at Super Showdown. In addition, he will have WWE Champion A.J. Styles, who is scheduled now to defend his championship against Bryan at Crown Jewel.
Miz surprisingly lost to Bryan in around three minutes this past weekend when Bryan put Miz in a small package. Miz later on posted a photo on Instagram which you can see here via his Twitter account, where he also had some words:
— The Miz (@mikethemiz) October 6, 2018
In a hard-fought, 24-minutes match A.J. Styles retained the WWE Championship over Samoa Joe. A.J.’s run as champion is approaching 350 days. He defends at Crown Jewel against Bryan who last won the title (then the WWE World Heavyweight Championship) at WrestleMania 30, but had to relinquish the title a few months later due to injury. Fast forward through a two-year retirement and return, Bryan is back in a WWE Championship match.
Frank’s Analysis: Tensions are certain to be high as in storyline, Miz will claim he was cheated. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Miz is inserted into the match at Crown Jewel to make it a triple threat, given WWE’s propensity towards this method given their history. The factor that must be mentioned is Bryan’s loss to Shelton Benjamin last week. Miz had words with Benjamin prior to the match last week and could make a case that Bryan is not deserving of a championship opportunity because of the loss. WWE would be smart to address the loss but it’s not crazy to imagine them dropping it at the same time. The actions of Bryan will be interesting to watch going forward given his wife Brie Bella turning heel last night on Raw with her sister Nikki. We have had the heel husband (Jimmy Uso during the Usos heel run) and babyface wife (Naomi) on the same show and WWE swept that under the carper. Bryan and Brie are bigger stars, so it will be interesting to watch.
- Aiden English shed some light on Lana’s “One Night in Milwaukee.” He showed a video of he and Lana in a hotel room having a conversation. When Lana started a sentence “I want you,” the video stopped much to the chagrin of he husband Rusev. If you bought that story the way Rusev did, I have a bridge in Brooklyn, N.Y. I can sell to you.
- Asuka defeated Peyton Royce last week. As I mentioned earlier, Royce and her IIconic partner Billie Kae defeated Asuka & Naomi at the Super Showdown in front of their Australian country people. Asuka continues to be a shell of her NXT character. It’s hard to imagine remembering she won the women’s Royal Rumble this year and challenged Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown Women’s Championship this past WrestleMania in what many tabbed a “dream match.”
- The Fabulous Truth, Carmella & R-Truth defeated Andrade “Cien” Almas & his business partner Zelina Vega. Carmella got Vega to submit with a Code of Silence leg lock.
- Randy Orton and Tye Dillinger fought to a no-contest. Orton put Dillinger’s finger through an exposed turnbuckle and bent it back, causing extreme pain to Dillinger. Orton continues to be a vile and sadistic character.
- Next week’s Smackdown will be the 1000th episode. Several acts will be returning and recently it was announced that Rey Mysterio will be one of those acts. According to PWInsider he has signed a two-year contract; however, he may opt out after 18 months which is right around WrestleMania of 2020. Whatever the case may be, this is tremendous “get” for Smackdown as babyfaces are desperately needed and who better than one whom has always been incredibly popular. Look for an eventual feud with Andrade “Cien” Almas.
Start Time & Matches Advertised
The arena website shows a start time of 7:30 p.m. local time. They advertise these matches:
- A.J. Styles & Daniel Bryan & Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz & Samoa Joe & Randy Orton. Given Orton, Joe, and Hardy are already in matches I don’t see this happening.
- Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair. This is certainly accurate given WWE announced this match during Super Showdown.
They also show U.S. Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Tag Team Champions New Day appearing, plus the proverbial “many more.” You can’t forget the also-proverbial “talent is subject to change.”
Follow me on Twitter @FrankPeteani and ask any questions you may have. Thank you for reading!
NOW CATCH UP ON LAST WEEK’S SMACKDOWN: 10/2 WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: Keller’s report on fallout from Samoa Joe visiting Styles house last week, Super Show-down hype, Bryan-Shelton