The John Report: WWE Smackdown Live 10/02/18 Review


Live from Portland, Oregon, this is Smackdown Live for episode #998. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. Please check out even more of our great content over at TJRWrestling on Patreon now!

The show began with Smackdown Live General Manager Paige in the ring for a promo. Paige said that what “Samoa” did last week was out of line last week. She forgot to say “Joe” there. Paige said that we need to see the footage from last week. That led to a replay of Joe doing a cell phone promo from AJ’s “house” as Smackdown ended.

Analysis: She basically said that what Joe did was really bad, but let's show it again! Okay.

According to Paige, Joe did not enter the house last week and Joe was charged for trespassing. Paige said she talked to upper management, who claimed that Samoa Joe should be fired. Paige called another person…AJ Styles. Paige said that she felt AJ’s emotion while she spoke to AJ and said that no man should be in that situation with his family. Paige said that AJ is dropping the charges and AJ begged Paige not to fire Samoa Joe. Some fans did the “what” at her, so she repeated it. Paige said that Styles wants to hand out the punishment to Joe, so the match is on at Super Show-Down.

AJ Styles was shown sitting on a couch in his house. Styles said he wanted to apologize for not being at Smackdown Live, but under those circumstances, he doesn’t think he can perform tonight. Styles said that this is bigger than WWE and he didn’t want to something that he would regret. Styles said that he is not leaving his house until he gets confirmation that Samoa Joe is on a plane to Australia. Styles said his four amazing kids really need him right now and he needs to be there at his house before he goes to Australia. Styles said that he needs to be there for Annie his daughter because for the past week she’s been waking up in the middle of the night looking for her uncle Joe like he’s some kind of boogeyman…but not The Boogeyman (I added that part). Styles said this is going to end, this needs to end and he told Joe he is not coming back from the land down under because that’s exactly where AJ will put him. Styles said he’s not going to put Joe in a casket, he said he’s going to bury Joe alive. That ended it.
Analysis: It was a solid promo from Styles trying to put over how serious the situation is with Joe due to Joe going to Styles’ house last week. The fans booed when Styles said he wasn’t at the show. Paige did fine to set it all up in the promo to open the show.

The match at Super Show-Down is still on and it’s Styles vs. Joe for the WWE Title in a No DQ, No Countout match where there must be a winner.

Analysis: Will I pick Joe to win? Probably. I could change my mind, though.

Coming up later: One Night in Milwaukee presented by Aiden English and Becky Lynch has a Super Show-Down surprise.

The Fabulous Truth duo of R-Truth and Carmella made their entrance for a tag team match.
(Commercial)
Andrade “Cien” Almas and business manager Zelina Vega made their entrance.

R-Truth and Carmella vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega
Vega knocked down Carmella, then Carmella got back up and hit a dropkick followed by a moonwalk. Vega worked over Carmella with a body scissors on her upper body using the ropes. Truth tagged in, so Almas was forced to go in and Truth hit a hurricanrana. Almas blocked a corner charge from Truth, then Truth whipped Almas into the ropes so Almas and Vega did a tranquilo pose. Truth and Carmella did the splits at the same time. Vega and Almas bailed to the floor. Truth and Carmella had a dance break. Fans chanted “Truth TV” for them. Almas took control with a forearm to the back of Truth. Almas with a corner charge with the knee, Truth moved and Almas bumped over the top to the floor.
(Commercial)
The show returned with Truth knocking down Almas and Carmella got the hot tag. Carmella with two clotheslines, an atomic drop and a hurricanrana off the top by Carmella. Bronco Buster by Carmella followed by flatliner for a two count because Almas pulled Carmella off Vega. Truth back in with punches for Almas and a clothesline over the top to the floor followed by a cross body block over the top that took out Almas. Vega got a rollup, but Carmella rolled through and Carmella slapped on her Code of Silence submission (leg scissors around the neck) on Vega for the submission win after about ten minutes.
Winners by submission: R-Truth and Carmella vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega
Analysis: **1/4 It was a solid match with the crowd strongly behind Truth and Carmella, which shows that their pairing is clearly working. I’m glad that Almas didn’t take the fall because that would have been bad for him. Almas is a guy that needs to have a featured rivalry and used better than he is right now. The win by Carmella gives her some momentum as a face after her recent turn.

Tye Dillinger walked up to Paige backstage and said he wanted Randy Orton in a match after Orton attacked him. Paige gave him the match.

The New Day made their entrance with chef hats and Mr. Bootyworth their pancake helper was with them. Up next is “New Day Cooks” in a cooking segment. Yes, really.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for Total Divas on Wednesday. I am busy not watching it.

New Day Cooks
The New Day trio were in the ring for their cooking segment. They defend the SD Tag Team Titles against Sheamus and Cesaro at Super Show-Down on Saturday.

Big E welcomed us to the pilot episode of “New Day Cooks.” Mild cheers from the crowd. Big E said Icopro was a sponsor. Great. Xavier Woods stopped him and said they will defend their Tag Team Titles against The Bar in Australia at the Super Show-Down on WWE Network. Kingston noted that in the past couple of weeks, The Bar has had their number. Kingston said they need a strong dose of positivity, which brings them to Mr. Bootyworth. Kingston said that man cooks the pancakes every week. Kingston said that he is going to share the special recipe with all of the WWE Universe, so here’s Mr. Bootyworth. The fans cheered as the guys started a “Bootyworth” chant. When Bootyworth was about to talk, Sheamus and Cesaro interrupted.

Sheamus said it was another week of Smackdown Live with New Day acting like a bunch of children. Sheamus said instead of preparing for the title match at Super Show-Down, they are playing for food. Woods said this pilot was going to Guy Fieri and they are ruining it. Cesaro said this was awful, so they are there to help. Sheamus said that Cesaro is from Switzerland and they know how to make pastries. Cesaro said his friends call him “chef” as they entered the ring. Sheamus dumped over the table of food and that led to a fight between the two tag teams. Kingston hit a kick to the head of Cesaro, but Sheamus threw flour at Kingston. Sheamus with a Brogue Kick on Woods. Double team backbreaker by The Bar on Kingston. Sheamus and Cesaro hit their double team White Noise on Big E. The Bar posed. Mr. Bootyworth was all alone in the corner of the ring. Cesaro dumped the batter into the black tophat of Mr. Bootyworth and Sheamus put the hat on Bootyworth that had the batter on it. When Bootyworth tried to leave the ring, Cesaro dumped more batter on Bootyworth. The sad Mr. Bootyworth left and The Bar posed in the ring.

Analysis: It was obvious what was coming from the moment it started, which is fine. I like all the guys involved and the tag team match at Super Show-Down should be good. I expect New Day to retain their titles. The only thing I know for sure about that segment is that I have never typed the name “Bootyworth” more times in my life than I did while describing what happened.

Orton vs. Dillinger is next. The announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton were shown on camera at ringside.

A commercial aired of the WWE 2K19 video game, which launches next week.

(Commercial)
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There were preview promos from Finn Balor and Bayley vs. Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox for the Mixed Match Challenge. I’ll have a review up on Wednesday on TJRWrestling only.

Tye Dillinger was in the ring. Randy Orton made his entrance. They showed Orton’s attack on Dillinger last week. It was also advertised that Orton’s Evolution group will be back on Smackdown 1000 in two weeks.

Dillinger attacked Orton with a clothesline outside the ring. Orton fought back with punches. Dillinger wit ha chops and a clothesline that sent Orton over the top to the floor. Referee Mike Chioda has yet to call for the bell. Orton tried a back suplex on the announce table, but Dillinger hit a back suplex on Orton on the table. Orton whipped Dillinger over the barricade at ringside. Orton with a DDT off the barricade with Orton hitting Dillinger with the DDT on the floor. Orton ripped off a protective cover on the steel that connects the ring post to the turnbuckle. Orton stuck one of Dillinger’s fingers through the steel and pulled back on it. Dillinger was screaming in pain as Orton wrenched back on it. It was Orton pulling back on the right index finger of Dillinger. The announcer Graves put it over as a disgusting, malicious assault. Referees showed up to get Orton to stop. Orton slowly left with a cold look on his face.
Analysis: No match because the bell never rang. Dillinger got some offense in, but it was all about putting over Orton again for doing something disgusting. It’s not that bad when you think about it compared to some things people do in wrestling, but it does look like a painful visual to have Orton wrench on Dillinger’s finger like that. The story is that Orton hated the “Perfect 10” hand gesture from Dillinger, so Orton attacking the fingers like that prevents Dillinger from doing that hand gesture like he normally would. It makes sense within the story.

Later tonight is Daniel Bryan vs. Shelton Benjamin.

Shelton Benjamin was shown in the locker room. The Miz gave him a pep talk telling him that he needs to destroy Daniel Bryan. Shelton said that he has been sitting on the bench for weeks and Bryan is an unfortunate victim. Miz said he’ll be on commentary and he thanked Shelton. They shook hands.

Aiden English was shown backstage talking to a guy in a headset. English asked him if the production truck is ready, the guy said yes and English was happy with it while adding that it needs to be in high def. That is up next.

(Commercial)

What Happened in Milwaukee?
The husband and wife duo of Rusev and Lana made their entrance in the ring. I’ll use this opportunity to say that Lana’s Instagram is great especially this past week. That’s all. There was a clip of Aiden English attacking Rusev two weeks ago.

Rusev stood in the ring with Lana as the fans chanted “Rusev Day.” Rusev said two weeks ago, Aiden English attacked him and ended their team and friendship. Rusev said that Aiden took it a step further saying that there’s some video of his wife Lana and the city of Milwaukee. Rusev said that it makes him want to tear apart Aiden’s pale body. Rusev called on English to show the evidence.

Aiden English appeared on the stage with the fans booing him. English said that the evidence is right here, but first a little backstory. English talked about Milwaukee and Lana said that Aiden is stalling because he’s messing with the people. English talked about Milwaukee being the home for TV shows like Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days and movies like Love, Actually and Baseketball, so that was funny. English cued up a video called “One Night in Milwaukee.”

There was a video shown of English practicing a promo on his cell phone in his hotel room. He got a knock on the door and Lana walked in the room. Lana said that she’s been thinking about this for a long time. She said: “I want you.” The video paused there.

Rusev looked at his wife. English said he wants to show him the rest, but he can’t due to legal obligations. English said that he’s entertaining a very attractive offer from TMZ and he wouldn’t want to “cheat on ‘em” as the crowd let out a big “ohhhh.” Lana said that’s not everything. Rusev left the ring and ran up the ramp after English. Lana stood in the ring alone. The fans booed her while she made sad faces.
Analysis: That was a nice tease without giving away too much and making it seem like Lana did something bad, but it could be a case of English lying about it. I’m not sure if they will do something where Lana turns heel on her husband Rusev and joins up with English because that stuff is hard to do in today’s world when Lana is on Instagram all the time showing her life with Rusev. They gave away a bit, but not too much. I think it will show that English was lying about it and it's a way to get heat on him while Lana stays loyal to Rusev. There’s more to the story that they will take their time showing us. I'm fine with them not rushing it.

Highlights aired from the end of Raw to set up Triple H vs. The Undertaker at Super Show-Down on Saturday. The event starts at 5amET on Saturday.

Daniel Bryan made his entrance for his match against Shelton Benjamin.
Analysis: After three straight non-match segments, it’s good to know there’s another match coming.

(Commercial)

Shelton Benjamin finished his entrance.

Rusev was shown backstage asking a dude where Aiden was, so the guy pointed in another direction. Lana said there’s more the situation and it’s not what he thinks. Rusev said that he is not going to talk about it with her there.

Daniel Bryan vs. Shelton Benjamin
The Miz was on commentary for this match. Benjamin with a knee to the ribs of Bryan and he did a second time. Benjamin with a press slam on Bryan that drove his knee to Bryan’s ribs. Bryan worked over Benjamin with kicks, but Benjamin launched Bryan into the air leading to Bryan crashing into the mat. Bryan managed to come back with the Yes Lock submission on the arm, but Benjamin broke it by getting to the ropes. Benjamin whipped Bryan into the barricade and ring apron repeatedly. Benjamin sent Bryan throat first into the barricade as the show went to break about three minutes into it.
(Commercial)
The match returned with Bryan hitting a headbutt on Benjamin. If Bryan stopped doing that move that would be great. Benjamin with a suplex. Bryan tripped up Benjamin and sent him into the middle turnbuckle. Bryan with a corner dropkick, but Benjamin came back with a running knee to the face followed by a bridging German Suplex for a two count. Benjamin went for a move off the turnbuckle, but Bryan fought back with elbows followed by a top rope hurricanrana. Bryan with Yes Kicks to the chest, he avoided a Benjamin kick and Bryan hit a kick to the head. Miz said he deserved to be champion. Miz distracted Bryan, so Bryan punched him off the apron. Benjamin hit Paydirt on Bryan and covered him for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Shelton Benjamin

Analysis: **3/4 It was a good match with Benjamin controlling it early, Bryan made a bit of a comeback and Miz was the difference in preventing Bryan from getting the win. That’s a big win for Benjamin, who has become a forgotten man on Smackdown, so maybe they will start using him more often. The finish was basic stuff with the Miz distraction leading to the Bryan loss. I guess wrestlers that have been doing this for nearly 20 years like Bryan get distracted easily. We are supposed to think that they are still dumb as if they are rookies.

After the match was over, Miz sent Bryan ribs first into the announce table three times since Bryan was selling a rib injury. Miz sent Bryan into the ring where Miz hit him with a Skull Crushing Finale.

Analysis: Bryan lost and got his ass kicked. I thought Bryan was going to win at Super Show-Down anyway and after this booking, I am more sure of it. They could go with Miz, though. Bryan winning is not a lock by any means.

They showed highlights from Raw with the trio of Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre standing tall over The Shield. They have a big six-man tag at Super Show-Down on Saturday in Australia.

Becky Lynch is still to come. Asuka vs. Peyton Royce is up next.

(Commercial)

There was a commercial of some of the biggest highlights in Smackdown history to promote Smackdown 1000 in two weeks.

Naomi was in the ring to talk about breast cancer awareness month and cued up the same video from Raw about WWE’s work with Susan G. Komen to fight breast cancer. There were three guests in the ring along with WWE “ambassador” Dana Warrior including a woman that was a survivor. Go to Komen.org/DonateWWE for more info.

Asuka made her entrance. She’s teaming with Naomi against the Iiconics at Super Show-Down on Saturday. A pre-taped promo aired from The Iiconics featuring a bad dance. Elaine from Seinfeld is jealous.

(Commercial)

Asuka (w/Naomi) vs. Peyton Royce (w/Billie Kay)
Royce was in control early with a spot where she had Asuka on her back and Royce hit a backbreaker like variation. Asuka went for a missile dropkick, Royce moved and Asuka hit the mat. The fans chanted for Asuka. Royce got a rollup for two followed by a clothesline for two. Asuka got back into it with a successful dropkick off the middle rope for two. Asuka slapped on a kneebar submission leading to an ankle lock, but Royce got to the ropes. Asuka changed it up into an Asuka Lock submission leading to the victory after about four minutes.
Winner by submission: Asuka
Analysis: * Easy win for Asuka like all of her matches against Peyton and Billie.

Up next is Becky Lynch’s Super Show-Down surprise.

(Commercial)

The promos aired for the Mixed Match Challenge from the Smackdown side: Rusev/Lana vs. Jimmy Uso/Naomi.

Let’s Hear From Becky Lynch
Becky Lynch did a promo with fans chanting her name. Lynch said that since SummerSlam she has become the best part of Smackdown and she took over the division by beating all the women on the show. Lynch said that she is relentless, she strikes first and she strikes often just like this.

The video aired of Lynch attacking Charlotte at SummerSlam and also Lynch winning the title at Hell in a Cell. It also showed their brawl from a few weeks ago with Lynch continuing to have the upper hand. They also showed Lynch attacking Charlotte from behind last week.

Lynch said that video was nice and she could watch it all day as fans chanted “Becky” again. Lynch said that she has proven she is better than Charlotte Flair. Instead of her, she has to see the woman she beat pose for future covers and press releases. Lynch said that come Saturday, it’s this face that deserves to be on the magazine covers, the billboards and PPV posters. Fans cheered that. Lynch said that if nobody is going to give it to her, she’ll do it herself. Lynch said she designed a new poster for Super Show-Down, so she revealed a poster of Lynch standing on Charlotte Flair from last week. The fans cheered that too.

Charlotte Flair made her predictable entrance. Flair tossed a microphone down and went into the ring after Lynch. They got into a brawl with Charlotte hitting a huge Spear leading to the fans booing. Flair tossed Lynch into the poster. Flair slapped on the Figure Four and pulled back on Lynch’s legs by the side of the apron. Flair kicked Lynch down. Flair did a “Woo” over a fallen Lynch to celebrate her attack.

Charlotte left the ring while Lynch was down in the ring, so Flair got the advantage. Flair said she was the “only queen” as she stared back at Lynch to end it.

Analysis: The story between them in the last couple months has been about Lynch as the one standing tall, so Charlotte finally got some revenge against her. It was notable that the crowd was firmly behind Lynch during her promo and when Charlotte hit that Spear, there were a lot of boos. I don’t think WWE needs to react to it that much because the fans want to cheer Lynch since she’s acting cool a lot, but if they did turn Charlotte heel it may help the story anymore. As for what that attack means, I expect Lynch to retain the title at Super Show-Down and I would be shocked if she didn’t since she just won it a few weeks ago at Hell in a Cell.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Becky Lynch
  2. Daniel Bryan
  3. Randy Orton

 

The Scoreboard
5 out of 10
Last week: 7
2018 Average: 6.53
Last 5 Weeks: 7, 7.5, 6, 6.5, 6.5
2018 High: 8.5 (July 31)
2018 Low: 4.5 (January 2, January 9)

Final Thoughts
I give this week’s Smackdown a 5 out of 10.

I thought it was a disappointing show compared to what we are used to from Smackdown. A 5 is an average score normally, but as you can see above, the Smackdown average is in the 6.5 range, so it’s below what Smackdown usually delivers.

There were only three matches in two hours although the Orton/Dillinger segment was like a match. I thought the lack of Samoa Joe hurt as well. Some of the storyline advancement for Super Show-Down matches was good, but nothing really stood out as great to me. The Aiden/ Lana thing will keep people guessing, so I don't mind that. I like a good cliffhanger.

The next major WWE event on WWE Network is Super Show-Down on October 6 in Melbourne, Australia. Here's the lineup.
Triple H (with Shawn Michaels) vs. The Undertaker (with Kane)
The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) vs. Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre
WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe
Bobby Lashley and John Cena vs. Elias and Kevin Owens
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz – The winner is the #1 contender for the WWE Championship
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Nikki Bella) vs. The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan)
Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Buddy Murphy
Asuka and Naomi vs. The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce)
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John Canton
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