Here we are again, folks! This was the final go home show prior to this weekend’s Super Show-Down. Tonight’s episode was decent, much like RAW the night before, some good/some bad. Smackdown up until now has had the better storytelling of the two major shows and they focused on that again with this show. But first, we’ve gotta get to the in-ring action!
Carmella/R-Truth defeated Zelina Vega/Andrade Almas by Submission: This was a fun match and Carmella has gotten herself over huge with the crowd. She went from having a mix of go-away heat and legit heat to having the crowd cheer. Pairing her with Truth may have been one of the best things they’ve done for her! The highlight of this match for me was a slick as hell transition from a jackknife cover into Carmella’s Code of Silence.
Randy Orton and Tye Dillinger went to a No Contest: Tye went in like a ball of fire and tried his damnedest to get some revenge against the Apex Predator. He was able to get some serious offense in but it was just a matter of time. Orton did what he always does and took right over and then took it too far. The lasting image from this encounter will be Orton putting Tye’s finger into the turnbuckle bracket and tearing at it.
Shelton Benjamin defeated Daniel Bryan by Pinfall: Over the weekend Shelton Benjamin had tweeted at Paige demanding some competition. Well, he got what he wanted in a match with Daniel Bryan. Benjamin really shined in this match and he always seems to when given the chance. Bryan was about to win the match when Miz got on the apron and distracted him. Benjamin was able to nail the Paydirt and put Bryan away. More on this match later!
Asuka (w/Naomi) defeated Peyton Royce (w/Billie Kay) by Submission: Yet another singles match involving these four as they approach their tag match at Super Show-Down. The Aussies have a load of confidence as they’ll soon be competing in their home. This was mostly an Asuka showcase, she easily put Royce away with an Asuka Lock without breaking a sweat.
The main stories we have on Smackdown are Styles/Joe, Rusev/Lana/English, Bryan/Miz, and Becky/Charlotte. All four of these feuds got touched upon tonight, some more than others.
Styles was featured briefly at the beginning of the episode and he covered the actions of Samoa Joe from last week. This would be the only time we’d get the WWE Champ on tv tonight and we never saw Joe. This was all that it needed to be and was the punctuation to the build leading to their match at Super Show-Down. These two are primed and ready to absolutely beat the hell out of each other on Saturday.
We got to see a glimpse into what happened that one night in Milwaukee, between Lana and Aiden English. The video was short and sweet and was damn near perfect. It left a cliffhanger as it didn’t really dive into whether or not Lana was there for nefarious means. English says he is close to selling the full video to TMZ and doesn’t want to spoil it any further.
The Miz and Bryan are on a collision course for Melbourne and the prize at stake is a #1 Contendership to the WWE Title. Miz did commentary for Bryan’s match against Benjamin and made sure to get his points across. Earlier in the night, he sought out Benjamin to motivate him to injure Bryan.
The Miz wouldn’t waste his opportunity later on in the evening, attacking Bryan viciously with repeated rib shots to the announce table. He capped his assault off with a Skull Crushing Finale. This feud has been going on for years and it seems Saturday will just be another chapter in the long tale.
Becky and Charlotte closed out Smackdown and they didn’t disappoint. Becky made her way to the ring and the crowd loved every second of it. She debuted her modified poster for Super Show-Down, and it’s her after the attack on Flair last week. Charlotte rushes to the ring and attacks Becky and finally is able to get the upper hand. Charlotte ended the night by suplexing Becky into the poster.
These two have had the most compelling story on either RAW or Smackdown. The well-told broken friendship story is rare in wrestling but they’ve succeeded here. These two have a chance to steal the show in Melbourne and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if they do.
This was a fun and easy show to watch. It served its purpose as a final thought going into the event this weekend. The matches were fun with my match of the night going to Benjamin and Bryan. And Smackdown continued its ownership of the best stories on the main roster. Much like RAW I really left this show with a positive feeling and would score it a 6.5/10.
The four I highlighted have been solid since their inception. Joe and Styles have taken things so personally involving family. Bryan and Miz feel like they’re in a “fight forever” cycle. The Rusev/English story has been fun as it’s not overly serious but it’s also not a waste either. And Charlotte and Becky have had the best storyline since Summerslam. I really enjoyed this show and can see Joe, Becky, and Bryan all walking out of Melbourne with victories.
Thanks for reading the first issue of The Smackdown Showdown! Please leave any feedback in the comments section below!