KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (11/14)
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WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN
OCTOBER 18, 2019
AIRED LIVE ON FOX
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
The Smackdown opening theme aired with AC/DC’s “Ready for a Good Time.” It still features Kofi Kingston at the start followed by Sasha Banks, Braun Strowman Lacey Evans, Carmella, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt, Miz, Roman Reigns, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bayley, Undertaker, Mandy Rose, King Corbin, New Day, Alexa Bliss, Elias, and a few legacy stars such as Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, and John Cena. That matches up pretty close to the redistributed roster after the draft last week.
-Cole introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd in the arena. He said they were in Indianapolis.
(1) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (w/Sami Zayn) vs. ROMAN REIGNS – Intercontinental Title match
As Reigns made his ring entrance, Cole said for a week everyone’s been talking about Bayley. He said Bayley would be on Miz TV. Graves plugged the Six-Pack Challenge for the no. 1 contendership for the Women’s Title. Nakamura’s ring entrance began as Cole said King Corbin had some interesting things to say about Reigns earlier on social media. The wide shot of the entrance stage during the ring entrance looked spectacular in this Fieldhouse venue with the unique roof all lit up. Graves called this a huge, monumental main event to kick off Smackdown. They showed the augmented reality scoreboard image of Nakamura and Reigns.
Sami joined the announcers on commentary. Some of Fox’s new camera angles were utilized here, although the wide angle under the ropes aimed up at the wrestlers kept catching the middle rope in view which was distracting. A couple minutes in, after some methodical back and forth, Reigns went after Nakamura at ringside and set up a Drive By, but Sami yanked Nakamura out of the path. Nakamura then jump round-kicked Reigns. They cut to a break. [c]
Sami wanted to be called Nakamura’s “liberator.” Reigns caught Nakamura leaping off the second rope and made a comeback. Cole said he is a master at overcoming adversity. Graves told Sami this would be a good time to get concerned. Sami said Nakamura needs just a minute to get out of this. Reigns hit him with the ten count-along clotheslines in the corner followed by a big boot. Reigns looked to the crowd. They cut to a kid in Reigns vest cheering. Nakamura countered a Superman Punch with an armbar attempt. He maneuvered into a triangle choke. Reigns reached for the bottom rope. Reigns stood and sit-out powerbombed Nakamura to break the hold and score a two count. Sami told Cole to start singing the praise of the resiliency of Nakamura. They went to a wide shot of the arena. Sami saw enough and leaped onto the ring apron to yell at Reigns. Nakamura kicked a distracted Reigns, then set up his Kinshasa, but Reigns caught him with a Superman Punch for very near fall. Sami looked distraught at ringside. Corbin showed up and hit Reigns from behind with his scepter. Cole reminded viewers that Corbin had words aimed at Reigns earlier because of what Reigns’s cousin, The Rock, did to him two weeks ago on Smackdown.
WINNER: Reigns in 13:00 via DQ.
-Daniel Bryan ran out to make the save. Cole called Bryan an unlikely ally of Reigns in recent weeks. Bryan fired up and the crowd cheered and half-heartedly chanted “Yes!” Sami grabbed Bryan’s leg to slow him down. Nakamura took forever, but he finally stood up and charged and kicked Bryan. (Nakamura seemed to fall asleep for about ten awkward seconds there.) Sami, Corbin, and Nakamura walked back up the ramp together as Nakamura’s music played. (Why would Nakamura’s music play here?)
-They went to Cole and Graves. Cole said the WWE Draft concluded on Monday and people think they did well. Graves said the general consensus is Smackdown came out on top. He talked about Cesaro and Drew Gulak being picked up in free agency, too.
-Backstage The New Day sang together. Kofi played with pancakes. In walked Tucker. He put a table down in front of them. He said they’ll battle at Crown Jewel in the Tag Team Turmoil match, but tonight they’re working together. Kofi said he has the power of positivity and that’s all he needs, but he winced a little as he said it and he smooshed the pancakes in his hands as if he was hiding the fact that it was eating him up inside. In walked Otis who was wearing an apron with the image of a woman’s bikini. He was stirring batter in a metal bowl. Tucker poured protein powder in. Xavier Woods said they can’t eat now or they’ll cramp in their match. “It’s like swimming,” he said. Otis said that means more for him. He poured it right from the bowl all over his face and beard. They all sang “New… Day Rocks!” [c]
-They showed postcard shots of Indianapolis.
-Cole threw to Kayla Braxton (by name!) to interview Corbin backstage. She asked Corbin as he “happened to be walking by” if he had anything to say to the WWE Universe about brutally attacking Roman Reigns. He put on his crown on and smiled and walked away.
(Keller’s Analysis: Why can’t WWE present backstage interviews like that as if they’re scheduled? What does it add to the segment that Kayla “just happens to be standing there as Corbin walks up to her in the hallway,” especially when Cole threw specifically to her, presumably for “something planned”? It’s just a strange way to present an interview segment like that.)
-A video package aired on Baron Corbin calling Chad Gable “shorty.”
(2) CHAD GABLE vs. CURTIS AXEL
Cole said Gable has embraced his new nickname. Graves said Gable once dribbled a bowling ball. Gable fended off a distraction by Bo Dallas and then blocked an Axel PerfectPlex attempt and put him in an ankle lock for the tapout win.
WINNER: Gable in 2:00.
-Kayla interviewed Gable who congratulated him with the tone of a mom congratulating a three year old for stacking blocks. He said until this point, he always felt he was being held back because of his height, but now he realizes that his height is what makes him who he is. He said in this life, it’s okay to be exactly who you are. Scattered cheered. He said there are people who want to make fun of you and screw with you, but to those people, he says “thank you.” He said they’re the ones who made him look deep into himself and embrace who he is. He said everyone has insecurities, but he stands there to tell everyone to overcome and accept who you are. “I’m Shorty Gable,” he said. “Actually, let’s shorten that up. I’m Shorty G.” He smiled and stuck his tongue out. Cole called it an inspirational speech.
(Keller’s Analysis: This isn’t an inspirational promo about overcoming what others perceive as shortcomings. It’s a promo designed to make bullies the heroes because, really, without them, people like Gable wouldn’t know to look deep down inside for inspiration. So thank you bullies everywhere for making the world a better place.)
-Cole plugged Crown Jewel’s Team Hogan vs. Team Flair. Cole said Team Hogan members have been dropping like flies, and Hogan and Flair have been going at it on social media. They showed Tweets where they went after each other. Flair told Hogan maybe he could get Johnny Rodz or Bob Backlund. They went to the announcers on camera. Graves said Seth is so preoccupied with Bray Wyatt, Team Hogan has no captain. They went to Hogan sitting at the counter at his beach store with Hogan merchandise and memorabilia behind him. He said he’s got Flair’s number. He said everyone in the WWE locker room wants to be on his side. Cole asked Hogan who is going to be on his side. Hogan said Shorty G and Ali have stood out to him so far, and he’ll make a big announcement by the end of the show.
(Keller’s Analysis: How about Apollo, Kofi, and Titus?)
-Heavy Machinery made their ring entrance. New Day then made their ring entrance. Cole said they’d team up against The Revival & Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler next. [c]
(3) HEAVY MACHINERY & XAVIER WOODS & BIG E (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. ROBERT ROODE & DOLPH ZIGGLER & THE REVIVAL
Cole said all four teams will part of the biggest tag team match at Crown Jewel. He plugged the 1 ET start on Halloween afternoon. The two babyface teams dominated early and knocked the heels to the floor. Xavier did a flip dive onto Revival on the floor. Roode and Ziggler came back with a double-team move on Xavier at ringside. They cut to a break. [c]
(A commercial noted that Smackdown will air on FS1 next week “for one time only.”)
Dash had Xavier in a chinlock mid-ring after the break. Cole said he thinks Revival are the best tag team on the planet. Otis eventually hot-tagged in and went to work on all four heels. Cole said Otis is 5-10, 330 pounds. Graves said those aren’t normal dimensions for a human being, but there’s nothing normal about Otis. Otis did his pelvic thrust and they cut to fans laughing. Otis did the Caterpillar onto Dawson. Dash, though, interfered leading to a near fall. Big E blind tagged himself in and he then put Dawson on his shoulders and Xavier tagged in and landed the Midnight Hour for the win.
WINNERS: The New Day & Heavy Machinery.
-They went to Cole and Graves with “breaking news.” Graves said Corbin & Nakamura will face Reigns & Bryan in the main event.
(Keller’s Analysis: In place of what? Surely WWE had something big planned for the main event of a live broadcast two hour wrestling show on Fox, right? What got displaced?)
-Kayla interviewed Bryan backstage. He said he’s been beat up a thousand times and he doesn’t care about that or grown men arguing about who was draft when. He said this is his first fight on Friday Night Smackdown, that’s what he’s excited about. He said he and Reigns are going to take the two kings and put them in their place.
(Keller’s Analysis: See how easy that was, AEW and NXT? Have a fired up babyface interviewed to set the stage for the main event match?)
-They showed Bayley, with her new look, walking backstage with her title belt. Cole said Miz would try to get some answers next on Miz TV, and Sasha Banks would be around. [c]
-An Ali vignette aired.
-Miz TV: Bayley and Sasha walked out. Miz said he didn’t know Sasha was going to be there. She said she as there to support her best friend. She said Bayley is the first-ever Grand Slam Champion. Miz said there’s been a buzz all week about Bayley’s actions last week. A video package aired including a boy sobbing when Bayley attacked her inflatables. They showed fans in the venue reacting with shock when she said “Screw You, Bitches.” Back live in the ring, Miz asked Bayley why. She paused and seemed slightly conflicted about her actions. Then she said she doesn’t owe Miz or anyone an explanation. Miz asked about the kids who idolized her. “A champion who doesn’t talk?” Miz said. “Who are you? Brock Lesnar?” Miz asked if the fans didn’t cheer her loud enough or she knew she was destined to always play second-fiddle to Sasha? Sasha said Bayley shouldn’t listen to someone drafted in the fifth round. Miz said fifth round, third round, doesn’t matter. He said he didn’t have to slash a few Bayley Buddies to be relevant. She said the Bayley Buddies are stupid because they have defined her during her entire career. She said every week she gave and gave and gave – headbands and high-fives and hugs – and the fans just took. She said she was trying to be a role model to change the world. She said at Hell in a Cell after losing her title, she was heartbroken and in pain, crying. She said no one was there to hug her. She said she has put herself second her entire career to be a role model for their children, but when she needed them most, where were they? She said she picked herself up and won her title back. She said no one was backstage to congratulate her and give her a big hug.
She said the Women’s Division is lazy and lacks desire and passion. She said she used to try to be what they wanted her to be, but the truth is she has outgrown them. Fans booed. Bayley said if they want some inspiration, “life sucks and then you die.” Nikki Cross’s music played. She said that’s enough. She said she speaks for everyone in Indianapolis when she says the time for talking is done and it’s time for action. She said after she wins her match tonight, she’ll walk over and give her a big hug. Sasha gave her quite the disgusted look. Dana Brooke swaggered out. She said speaking of passion and desire, what fuels her is being underutilized and overlooked. She said tonight marks a new beginning and she can feel it. She said she will give the WWE Universe something to cheer. She flexed her arm and talked about “flex appeal.” (She’s got some of that Ivory energy.) Lacey Evans then made her ring entrance. Cole said the Six-Pack Challenge is next. [c]
(4) LACEY EVANS vs. NIKKI CROSS vs. DANA BROOKE vs. SONYA DEVILLE vs. MANDY ROSE vs. CARMELLA – Six-Pack Challenge
Rose and Deville threw Carmella into the time keeper’s arena. Dana attacked them with a handspring elbow. Lacey then hit Nikki and threw her into the ring. She wiped her brow and threw the tissue at Bayley and Sasha, who were watching from ringside. Carmella leaped off the barricade onto a crowd at ringside. [c]
They fought for a few more minutes in the ring, then Nikki leaped off the top rope onto a crowd at ringside. Lacey threw Nikki into the ringside steps, then threw Dana into the ring. Dana landed a sitout powerbomb, then landed a flip senton off the top rope for a near fall. Carmella and Rose broke up the cover. Cole said Graves must be conflicted. (Graves lusts after Rose on air, but is dating Carmella in real life.) Graves said it’s the greatest thing he’s ever seen. After a rapid-fire sequence of moves, Nikki gave Rose a spinning neckbreaker and scored the pin.
WINNER: Cross in 8:00 to earn a title shot against Bayley.
-Cole threw to a video package on the Braun Strowman vs. Tyson Fury match at Crown Jewel. [c]
-A video recap aired of the Fiend-Seth Rollins angle on Raw. The announcers hyped their match at Crown Jewel.
-A clip aired of the Braun Strowman-Tyson Fury contract signing.
(5) BRAUN STROWMAN vs. DREW GULAK
Cole said Gulak is the former Cruiserweight Champion. Drew said this is his debut on Smackdown Live. (It’s “Friday Night Smackdown,” Drew.) He said he wanted the opportunity to properly introduce himself. He said he is the most preeminent combat sports historian in the world. He began giving Braun advice not to act like he usually does, because Fury will knock him out cold. He said he went out of his way to create 345 slides in his powerpoint presentation. An animation was shown of ways Braun can beat Fury. He told Braun to turn to look at the big screen. Braun attacked him before they could get past the first slide. He tossed Drew around and gave him a big boot. Cole said Braun has had success in Saudi Arabia, winning the Greatest Royal Rumble. Braun ran around the ring and collided with Drew, smashing him against the ringside barricade. Braun threw Drew back into the ring promptly and gave him a corner splash, a forearm to the chest, and a powerslam for the win. Cole said Drew probably wishes he was back on 205 Live.
WINNER: Strowman in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Drew was a good obnoxious heel opponent for Braun, but man what a burial of 205 Live and the Cruisereweight Division.)
-Cole threw to the updated WWE 2K20 cocktail party commercial.
-Bryan made his ring entrance. [c]
-Cole plugged that next week Hogan and Flair would both be on Smackdown next week. Cole said Team Hogan includes Ali, Rusev, Ricochet, Shorty G, and Reigns.
(6) DANIEL BRYAN & ROMAN REIGNS vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA & KING CORBIN
Reigns went after Corbin at the start with a barrage of punches. They cut to an early break. [c]
When Bryan went for a hot tag to Reigns, Corbin yanked him off the ring apron. He whipped Reigns into the ringside steps. Bryan kicked Corbin, but then Nakamura rolled up Bryan from behind. Bryan countered with a LeBell Lock mid-ring. Corbin broke it up. Graves called Sami “the liberator” again. Back at ringside, Reigns speared Corbin through the ringside barricade. Bryan then gave Nakamura a series of Yes Kicks. He played to the crowd, who cheered. When he charged with a flying knee. Nakamura caught him with a kick. Bryan came right back with a high knee for the win. Bryan and Reigns celebrated as the show ended. Cole reminded viewers next week’s Smackdown will air on FS1.
WINNERS: Bryan & Reigns in 8:00.
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