Date: August 14, 2018
Location: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
It’s the final show before Summerslam and there isn’t much to do this time around. Sunday is set up and unless they add one more match to the card, which is entirely possible around here, I wouldn’t get my hopes up on much happening tonight. Hopefully the promos are good enough to carry things. Let’s get to it.
Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Carmella all come to the ring to open things up. Carmella isn’t happy with having to defend the title in the triple threat match but she’s so awesome that it doesn’t matter. Becky doesn’t have a chance now and should probably go back to being a clown, because it’s the one thing she does better than Charlotte.
It’s true that Becky doesn’t want Charlotte in the match because she’s going to make it harder to win. Becky was losing sleep over the idea of beating up Carmella one on one but now she’s dreaming of beating them both. Carmella laughs off the idea of Becky beating Charlotte because it’s really hard to do. I mean, Carmella did it twice (and beat Asuka twice) but Becky isn’t doing it.
Charlotte points out all the cheating and thinks it’s why no one respects her. Or is it because Carmella is a Diva living in a women’s era? Are we really going back to that again? It must be Total Divas season again. Anyway, Carmella is proud of being a Diva because neither of them have her looks, body or career. Cue Paige to thank Carmella for losing to Charlotte so the match can be a triple threat. It’s Paige’s job to give us good competition so let’s have a tag match right now with Carmella on commentary.
Becky Lynch/Carmella vs. Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville
Carmella is on commentary as Charlotte avoids some early kicks from Sonya. That means a strut, which is of course crazy over here in Flair Country. A few chops put Sonya in the corner and it’s Becky coming in for the running legdrop after what looked like some confusion (it looked like Becky wasn’t sure what to do, maybe due to Sonya not being in the right place).
Mandy comes in and has some better luck, including posing a lot. It takes a bit too long though and Becky scores with a dropkick, allowing the tag off to Charlotte. Sonya comes back in and misses a sliding knee, allowing Charlotte to throw her down with a fall away slam to send Sonya outside.
Becky adds a forearm from the apron as Corey and Carmella take shots at Saxton. A cheap shot from the apron knocks Carmella down though and we take a break. Back with Sonya choking Becky until an enziguri gets Lynch out of trouble. Mandy breaks up the hot tag but Becky kicks her in the face. There’s the Bexploder to Mandy and a baseball slide to Sonya, setting up the Disarm-Her to make Mandy tap at 10:56.
Rating: C-. The story they were telling here was fine with Becky not wanting to share the spotlight, but egads Carmella and Graves were annoying on commentary. The ripping on Byron stopped being entertaining a lot time ago, which is why WWE is hammering it into the ground even more. To make it even worse, it wouldn’t shock me to see Carmella retain the title, because four months of “HAHA I’M STILL CHAMPION” hasn’t been enough.
Miz and Maryse are at home and have some huge news: there will be a second season of Miz and Mrs.!
Charlotte asks why Becky didn’t tag her in but Becky doesn’t quite answer. They agree that the best woman should win on Sunday and Becky says she will.
Triple Threat vs. Bludgeon Brothers
No names for the jobbers. The Brothers jump them to start and knock the trio to the floor. Rowan slams Harper onto one of them as I don’t think the bell ever rang. The crushed one gets slammed onto the member on the apron, followed by a powerbomb/middle rope clothesline combination. No match.
We get part one of a three part series on Miz vs. Daniel Bryan. It starts with Bryan debuting in NXT, back in the competition days with Bryan as a rookie and Miz as his pro. Bryan was new to WWE, even though he had been wrestling for over ten years. Miz had a reputation of a reality TV star and we see some clips of Miz yelling at Bryan and talking down to him.
Miz says all Bryan had to do was shut up and listen, which is why the whole thing failed. Then Bryan was eliminated fairly on in the competition, partially due to going 0-10. Bryan got a match on Raw against Miz and beat him, so maybe Miz needed Bryan instead of vice versa. More on this later.
Sanity vs. New Day
Kofi has a Birthday Boy sign and celebrates by throwing out some pancakes. Big E. and Young start things off as we have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY chant. A belly to belly suplex puts Young down and it’s off to Kofi, who jumps over Big E. for a backsplash. Wolfe low bridges Kofi to the floor though and a big crash puts Kingston in trouble. We go split screen for a Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar video and come back with Dain dropkicking Kofi into the corner.
Wolfe’s top rope forearm gets two and we take a break. Back with Kofi hitting a DDT on Wolfe and bringing in Woods to speed things up. The numbers game gets the better of Woods though as Young slams him onto Wolfe’s raised knees and brings Dain back in for more stomping. That doesn’t last long though as Kofi comes back in with Trouble in Paradise to Wolfe. Kofi hits the big dive off the top onto Wolfe and Young, leaving Big E. to tag himself in and scoop Dain up (with ease) for UpUpDownDown and the pin (including Big E. hip swiveling on the count) at 10:14.
Rating: C+. The ending was the right call here but egads Sanity coming up to the main roster feels like a big waste of time. I don’t think they’ve won an important match yet and they’re just around to put over teams like New Day and the Usos at the moment. Maybe they can get a story after Summerslam, but for now it’s not working.
Here’s part two of Miz vs. Bryan. We start with Bryan’s retirement in 2016 but Bryan said he wasn’t ready to leave yet. Miz says it’s Bryan’s fault for wrestling such a reckless style. Bryan couldn’t wrestle like the coward that Miz is, but before that could go anywhere he got the chance to be General Manager of Smackdown.
That led us to the famous Talking Smack segment where Bryan called Miz a coward, sending Miz into the rant of a lifetime against Bryan for being the real coward. Bryan said he had to leave without doing something he would have regretted. Miz thinks Bryan would have been fired for being a man but left instead. Then Miz started stealing Miz’s moves but Bryan started training for a comeback. Miz thinks Bryan is the coward, and he’s ready to prove it.
Paige knocks on Samoa Joe’s door and asks why he doesn’t want to address the WWE Universe separately from AJ Styles. She needs Joe to be professional, but Joe doesn’t think that’s what Paige was looking for when she made the match in the first place. Joe isn’t saying what he’s going to do and Paige can deal with the consequences. Paige can enjoy her night, just like Joe is going to enjoy his.
We recap the Lana/Rusev vs. Zelina Vega/Andrade Cien Almas issues.
Aiden English vs. Andrade Cien Almas
Before the match, Aiden sings about fighting for Rusev Day. Joined in progress with English hitting a clothesline and adding a frog splash (with an Eddie Guerrero chest slap) for two. Almas elbows him in the face though and the running knees in the corner set up the hammerlock DDT to finish Aiden at 1:26 shown.
Post match Vega and Almas say Sunday is the end of Rusev Day. Vega accuses Lana of being the dead weight that drags down Rusev, but here are Rusev and Lana to interrupt. Rusev promises to end Vega’s luck and Lana, with the accent coming in and out, promises to crush them because Summerslam is on Rusev Day. These four can’t get on the main show but Baron Corbin vs. Finn Balor can?
Paige begs AJ to keep it together out there with Samoa Joe. AJ says he’s keeping his promise.
Part three of Miz vs. Bryan focuses on Bryan’s return to in-ring competition, which he never thought would happen. Miz didn’t care that Bryan came out of retirement because they were on different shows. Bryan stepped down as Smackdown GM, but before he left he insisted that Miz move over to Smackdown. Miz says Bryan has embarrassed himself over and over again because Miz has carried him all these years. After Summerslam, Bryan will have to admit that Miz is the better man.
Bryan admits that Miz has a bunch of things that he’ll never have, but that’s not why Bryan came back. He’s not back to have a big house and celebrity friends. He’s back because he loves wrestling and wants to do nothing more than prove that he’s the better man. These were all great videos and while there’s no chance it’s going to happen (and I understand why not), there’s a case to be made for this closing Summerslam.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Jeff Hardy
Joined in progress with Shelton putting on a chinlock. The BROTHER NERO chants bring Jeff up and let’s go split screen for a Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss ad less than a minute after we’re back to the show. Jeff….I guess hits Whisper in the Wind as he jumped for it while we were still in split screen but the contact was cut off by a full screen Summerslam graphic. Thankfully the replay shows it connecting for the subsequent two count, followed by the basement dropkick for the same.
The kick to the chest puts Benjamin down and it’s the reverse Twist of Fate to make things even worse. Benjamin is too far away for the Swanton so he pulls Hardy down with a superplex for two. That’s it for Shelton though as the Twisting Stunner (stop calling it the Twist of Fate) is good for the pin at 4:12.
Rating: C-. Well what we could see in full was fine but the inset promos strike again. As usual they have nothing better to do that fill a show with ads, even though WWE TV tends to mostly be ads for their bigger shows in the first place. Hardy vs. Nakamura could be anywhere between interesting and a mess but it should be fun to watch either way.
Post match Shinsuke Nakamura comes out and knees Hardy in the back but Kinshasa is reversed into a Twisting Stunner. The Swanton leaves Nakamura laying as Randy Orton is shown watching from the shadows.
Here’s AJ Styles for the big closing segment. He talks about his time in this business, which has allowed him to travel the world and face the best in the world. Sure there’s pressure to being WWE Champion, but Samoa Joe hit his pressure points. We see a clip of Joe attacking AJ and signing the contract, followed by Joe talking about AJ’s family cheering for Joe at Summerslam. That was too far for AJ, who was ready to take Joe out until he saw his family. AJ’s wife told him to not lose his cool and AJ is ready….to be cut off by Joe.
With a piece of paper in his hand, Joe says AJ knows that’s not true. The paper is a letter from a fan which AJ needs to hear. The letter says that Joe’s comments a few weeks ago made the person physically ill. Not because he was wrong, but because what Joe said was true. Now it’s clear that AJ never wanted kids or a wife, which is why AJ is such a great champion: he’ll do anything to stay away from his family. The fan hopes Joe wins because he lost AJ a long time ago. Signed Wendy Styles (AJ’s wife). Well that worked. Very well actually.
Overall Rating: C+. It’s kind of amazing what a lack of Roman Reigns will do for a show. When that isn’t being focused on all night long, the show is that much easier to watch. The difference between Raw and Smackdown continues to be about how many things get a focus. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar dominated last night’s show, along with the other bad match that Raw focuses on. Bryan vs. Miz got a lot of time tonight, but it’s the right kind of focus. Smackdown doesn’t have that annoying stretch that Raw tends to go through every week and it makes a world of difference.
Becky Lynch/Charlotte b. Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville – Disarm-Her to Rose
New Day b. Sanity – UpUpDownDown to Dain
Andrade Cien Almas b. Aiden English – Hammerlock DDT
Jeff Hardy b. Shelton Benjamin – Twisting Stunner
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