10/16 WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: Keller’s report on Smackdown 1000 including Evolution reuniting, Rey Mysterio vs. Shinsuke, Miz vs. Rusev, Batista, Ric Flair

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
OCTOBER 16, 2018
WASHINGTON D.C.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves


Tonight after WWE Smackdown, join me live with guest cohost Jake Barnett from ProWrestling.net to break down the show with live callers, an on-site correspondent, and the mailbag.

STREAM LIVE HERE STARTING WITHIN 5 MINUTE AFTER SMACKDOWN
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
•SEARCH “WADE KELLER” TO DOWNLOAD THE SHOW A FEW HOURS AFTER RAW


[HOUR ONE]

-A video package aired on Smackdown 1000 with various snippets of Smackdown’s different looks over the years with different memorable moments with Eddie Guerrero, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Edge, Heidenreich, Vince McMahon, Steve Austin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Big Bossman-Big Show, the ring collapsing after a Big Show superplex, Edge and Vickie getting married, the Eric Bischoff-in-disguise at Billy and Chuck’s wedding, Teddy Long’s heart attack when he was about to marry Kristal, JBL on a white horse and kissing babies, the post-9/11 Samckdwon, and Ric Flair hugging Charlotte after her WWE Women’s Title win (hey, a moment related to in-ring competition!).

-Phillips hyped over 15,000 fans sold out the arena. He called them “fans,” not “member of the WWE Universe.”

-They went to the ring for Truth TV. Carmella sat by R-Truth’s side. He asked the fans what was up. Truth said in all of the years Truth TV has been on the air, they’ve had a lot of memorable, history-making moments, but none is as special as tonight. Carmella broke the news to Truth that there’s only been one episode of Truth TV and they got cancelled afterward. Truth told her to hold that thought. He said it’s time for the dance break. They stood and did The Floss. Graves said it’s embarrassing; Saxton told Graves to join in. Graves said there won’t be an episode 1001. “One more time!” chanted the fans.

Carmella handed Truth cue-cards so he could introduce his guest. The card said his guest needs no introduction. He took it literally and decided to do another dance break instead. Carmella said they should welcome their first guests now. Stephanie McMahon’s music played. She sat down next to Truth and Carmella and said she was the first-ever G.M. of Smackdown. She said she had a vision and it has been great to see it come to life.

Truth was about to ask her a question when Shane McMahon’s music played. He danced onto the stage in his sneakers. Graves asked, “Where has Shane been in the last eight months?” Phillips said he hasn’t been micro-managing the current G.M. Paige. Shane pounded his fist to his chest at the first sign of a “Shane-o-Mac” chant. He asked, “What’s up, D.C.?” He talked about all of the memories from Smackdown’s history. He thanked the fans for making WWE the success that it is.

Stephanie said: “And just like that, they buy it. They eat it up. You pander to them, you thank them. People, I thought you were a little bit smarter than that. It’s just so easy to say the name of the city, you cheer. Come on.” Shane welcomed them to the A-show. Stephanie said it’s “a show,” but also the second-longest running episodic show on TV. Stephanie said on Raw they hold things to a higher standard, because they’d never – no offense – kick off the show with Truth TV. “We’d start if off a little bit bigger, a little bit bolder.” Fans chanted “Truth TV!”

Vince McMahon’s music played and he strutted out. Fans sang along to the “No chance in hell” lyrics. Vince entered the ring and played to the crowd. Vince said no one wants to see Stephanie and Shane bicker and argue, they want to be entertained. He said the “E” stands for entertainment. Stephanie told the crowd not to “What?” him because “he has a hearing aid in, so it’s all good.” He suggested a dance break. Vince joined Truth, Camella, Shane, and Stephanie in dancing. Saxton said he doesn’t want it to end.

(Keller’s Analysis: That was a very small dose of Vince McMahon. Seeing him initiate a dance break, though, made up for it. So far they’ve made the 1000th episode feel like a big deal.)

-Phillips plugged that for the first time in four years, the King of Lucha Libre is back and facing Shinsuke Nakamura in a World Cup Qualifier. Saxton said Edge would host “The Cutting Edge” with Becky Lynch and Charlotte. Graves plugged the reunion of Evolution – Batista, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Triple H.

-A.J. Styles’s music played and the WWE Champ made his entrance. Daniel Bryan also came out. [c]

-Slidehow images aired of Smackdown moments including John Cena’s TV debut against Kurt Angle, King Booker, and Booker T in the convenience store with Steve Austin.

(1) THE USOS vs. A.J. STYLES & DANIEL BRYAN

Graves said there’s no way Bryan and Styles can have the teamwork necessary to beat a polished, experienced team like the Usos. The Usos got in some sustained offense against Styles. When Styles made a comeback and applied a Calf Crusher on Jey, Jimmy tried to interfere, but Bryan put him in a Yes Lock. [c]

They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split-screen. The Usos went back to work on Styles. After the commercial ended, Bryan got a hot-tag, but the announcers were commenting on a split screen of action that occurred during the break. Usually WWE has that timed better. Bryan dove through the ropes onto Jey, then leaped off the top rope with a dropkick onto Jimmy back inside the ring. He played to the crowd and got cheers. He threw Yes Kicks and scored a two count. Jey broke it up. Bryan mistakenly hit Styles, then ducked a Jey super-kick which hit Styles. The Usos then double-kicked Bryan and pinned him.

WINNERS: The Usos in 8:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: This match existed to build dissension with an all-too-coincident misfire by Bryan, but it should have been longer and better. It felt too obvious the in-ring action was just filling a few minutes until they do the angle at the end.)

-More slideshow of iconic Smackdown moments including Eddie Guerrero, Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, and Steve Austin.

-Backstage Vickie Guerrero showed up to chat with Paige. Teddy Long danced into the picture. Then John Laurinatis entered the picture. Vickie yelled “Excuse me!” when he blocked her.

-Phillips announced The New Day would face The Bar later. Graves plugged the Evolution reunion. [c]

-Evolution walked onto the stage. Triple H led them to the ring. Phillips said 49 world titles between those four legends. A “Ba-ti-sta” chant broke out after they entered the ring. Triple H asked how you accomplish something as monumental as 1,000 episodes. He said it’s through constant evolution. He said you celebrate by bringing together the one group that epitomizes the word “evolution.” Flair spoke next. He did his strut and let out some “woo’s!” He didn’t get through a third sentence before it sounded like he was about to cry. He said he’s more used to the 10,000 number than 1,000. Orton talked about getting his start as a young kid in Evolution. He said he’s been evolving, and while Triple H has been running the show and Ric has been living vicariously through his daughter’s achievements and while Batista has spent more time in a make-up chair than in the ring, he’s been busting his ass night in and night out to make a name for himself to build his legacy. The crowd “ohh’d”

Batista stepped up and shook his head as another “Ba-ti-sta” chant started. “I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little nervous being back in this ring. It’s been a long time,” he said. “But I’m going to enjoy every second of it and I’m going to ignore what [Orton] said.” He said the last place he wants to be is with this microphone in his hand, so he thought about it and thought about what he really wanted to say to the fans “on this auspicious occasion” He said he thought of four things. He said he wanted to be here tonight because it’s Smackdown 1,000. He said he is proud to say he helped build the Blue Brand. He said the second reason he wanted to be on Smackdown is they’re in his hometown where he grew up as a poor kid, working 13 years bouncing in a nightclub two blocks away and a kid who saw more violence than any kid should ever see. He said being there tonight is a dream come true.

He said the third reason is the fans. He said even though they called him “Boo-tista” sometimes, he busted his ass and loves them. “Listen to me when I say, I love you,” he said. “I wanted nothing else but to entertain you. I gave it my all. I didn’t care if I won or lost, I wanted to entertain you. You’re welcome.” He said the fourth reason, and not the least reason, is his three partners. “Do you realize how special this is?” he said. “Do you realize how the molecules changed when we walked into a room?” He said they were four World Champions who built an army. “This is special,” he said.

He said when he saw Randy Orton in OVW, he knew he was special. He said he has more talent his pinky than half the guys who have stepped foot in the ring. Orton smiled and nodded, seeming to enjoy the compliment. Then he pointed at Flair. Hunter whispered something to Flair and they laughed. Batista said there isn’t anything he could say they don’t already know. “Or could I?” he said. “Keep that thing in your pants,” he told Flair. Orton and Hunter lost it. “It’s a family show,” said Batista. He then gushed about Triple H and said there isn’t one thing he hasn’t done in the business except beat me. Things got serious. Hunter looked sternly at Batista. Fans cheered. (I can’t wait for Triple H vs. Batista to go 45 minutes at WrestleMania next year.) Flair stepped between them and played peacemaker. Then Hunter and Orton hugged it out. Fans booed. Graves said he thinks they were just clowning around, “or were they?” Hunter smiled until Batista looked away, and then he gave Batista a bit of a death stare. The Evolution music played as they continued to hug each other.

-Graves plugged that Undertaker was there. They showed his shadow on a brick wall. [c]

-They showed a Tweet from The Rock congratulating his “WWE Family.” He said he had a fun fact, that in 1998 he told Vince McMahon he’s going to use the word ‘smackdown’ in his promo tonight and McMahon asked what it meant, and he said it means he is gonna whup some ass, to which Vince belly laughed “and the rest was history.”

(2) THE MIZ vs. RUSEV (w/Lana) – World Cup Qualifier

Kurt Angle joined in on commentary. Fans loudly chanted “Rusev Day!” at the start. Angle said he is there to scout the match. Aiden English ran out and tripped Rusev, and then Miz schoolboyed Rusev for the quick three count.

WINNER: Miz in under 1:00 to advance.

-Lana yelled at English and then kicked him in the crotch afterward at ringside. Rusev grabbed him and threw him into the ringside steps a couple times. Then he threw English into the ringside announce table. They cut away mid-brawl to show Curt Hawkins showing off something on his phone to Edge, who has grown his hair out again. Saxton noted that Hawkins is Edge’s former protege.

(Keller’s Analysis: It felt weird to cut away from a fight at ringside to show someone holding up a cell phone image to someone else backstage. But they were running long in the first hour (Batista!) and wanted Edge’s ring entrance at the top of the second hour.) [c]

[HOUR TWO]

-Edge said a great man he knew lived his life huge. He said it doesn’t get more huge than Smackdown 1,000. He said Smackdown has always felt like his show. He talked about some of his big matches such as against Undertaker and Eddie Guerrero. He said he married and divorced Vickie Guerrero, too. He said the show means something to him. He said he, the Rated-R Superstar, is going to be Smackdown’s Moral Compass. (He’s going to tell WWE not to go to Saudi Arabia!?!) He introduced Becky Lynch. Becky came out to, yes, cheers and a “Becky!” chant.

Edge acknowledged that the WWE Universe is happy she’s there, “and we’ll get to Charlotte,” he said, drawing some boos. Edge said he notices they have some similarities. Becky said she modeled her career partially after his. He said more than anyone else, he understands what she’s doing and thinking and going through because he wasn’t supposed to be in the main event or on the posters. He said he wasn’t the hand-picked one and thus he had to scratch and claw and bite for every inch he earned in the company. Fans chanted “You deserve it!” He said he understands that she thinks she’s doing the right thing to throw away her friendship with Charlotte, but he thinks it is the wrong choice.

Edge said he made the same choices. He said if there was a relationship standing between him and getting to the top, he stepped on it and left a trail of burnt bridges. He said she can win championships and her face can be on all the posters, but the choices she’s making will change who she is and stain her soul. He said he still sees a good person in there. He said the choices she’s making leads to her alone at home staring at her titles and reminiscing about her accomplishments by herself. “But here’s the kicker,” he said. “You won’t even like yourself.” Becky seemed moved. She said it’s true that she doesn’t like herself. She looked up and said, “I love myself!”

She told Edge to stop condescending the champion and “get out of my ring.” She said, “Be careful you don’t hurt your neck again going through those ropes.” She stood and held up her title belt. Charlotte’s music played as Graves said it was completely tasteless.

Charlotte walked to the ring and told Edge all she cares about is the championship. Charlotte tackled Becky and they rolled around on the mat and brawled. Three referees pulled them apart. Then producers came out and pulled them apart. Charlotte broke free and tackled Becky again. Phillips said the rivalry cannot be controlled.

-They cut away to Rey Mysterio hugging Jeff Hardy backstage. [c]

(3) THE NEW DAY (Xavier Woods & Big E w/Kofi Kingston) vs. THE BAR – WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title match

Booker T and Jerry Lawler did guest commentary at ringside with Booty O boxes in front of them. They cut to a very early break, but stayed with the action on split screen. [c]

Big E landed a Big Ending on Sheamus, but Cesaro had blind-tagged in so he entered and gave Big E a Neutralizer, which was broken up by Xavier. They cut to another break. [c]

Sheamus lifted Big E into a power bomb position and Cesaro leaped off the top rope with an uppercut. Kofi broke up the cover. Xavier flip dove over the top rope into the arms of Sheamus and Cesaro, but they caught him and then drove him into the ringside barricade. Sheamus and Cesaro cleared the announce table with Lawler and Booker. Booker said they must not like pancakes. Then Big Show’s music played. He marched to the ring as the announcers wondered what he was doing there. Big Show chokeslammed Kofi through the announce table. Big E was distracted, fuming mad, which led to a Brogue Kick for the win. Big Show entered the ring and celebrated with The Bar, holding up their tag team titles.

WINNERS: The Bar to capture the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles in 13:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Glad they’re making use of Big Show, but what turn number is that? Is he at 1,000 turns yet?)

-They showed more slideshows of Smackdown moments.

-They went to the announcers on camera at ringside. Phillips said they wouldn’t be where they are now without the “Ruthless Aggression” of John Cena. He did a selfie promo (where he continued to morph into JBL) talking about the various incarnations of his presentation over the years. He thanked the fans.

-Rey Mysterio made his ring entrance. Phillips called Rey one of the all-time greats. [c]

(4) REY MYSTERIO vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA – World Cup Qualifier

Shinsuke Nakamura’s ring entrance aired. Graves listed the qualifiers for the World Cup Tournament so far. Still no references to Saudi Arabia throughout the show verbally or on graphics. The bell rang 43 minutes into the second hour. Graves said Nakamura would be happy to spoil Rey’s return. They took it to ringside where Rey slid under the bottom rope and splashed Nakamura on the floor. Fans chanted “You still got it!” Back in the ring, Nakamura knocked Rey off the top rope and shoved his boot into his throat. [c]

At 9:00 Nakamura rallied and set up Kinshasa, but Rey ducked and then headscissored Nakamura onto the middle rope. Rey then hit the 619 and followed up with a springboard splash for the three count. Rey looked wide-eyed at his accomplishment as the ref raised his hand and Graves said Rey erased any doubt about whether he’s still got it. Nakamura sat up bleeding from the bridge of his nose.

WINNER: Mysterio in 10:00 to advance in the World Cup.

(Keller’s Analysis: A fine match, and a big stage and a special occasion with something at stake, but it still ended up feeling a little anti-climactic because it was ultimately just a ten minute TV match. With these two, I’d have rather seen their first match on a PPV with 18-22 minutes to really tell a cool competitive intense story in the ring.)

-Undertaker walked out with Rey still in the ring. He entered the ring and said, “At Crown Jewel.” He paused, the mere mention of the show drew boos. Then he said, “I’ve got three words: Rest In Peace.” Graves said DX is headed to Crown Jewel “and hell is coming with them.” Saxton said it was a bold and direct message.

(Keller’s Analysis: Who lost money betting Undertaker would be all wistful and sentimental about his years on Smackdown?)


Tonight after WWE Smackdown, join me live with guest cohost Jake Barnett from ProWrestling.net to break down the show with live callers, an on-site correspondent, and the mailbag.

STREAM LIVE HERE STARTING WITHIN 5 MINUTE AFTER SMACKDOWN
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
•SEARCH “WADE KELLER” TO DOWNLOAD THE SHOW A FEW HOURS AFTER RAW


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