Smackdown – August 21, 2018

Date: August 21, 2018
Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips

It’s the final night in Brooklyn and things have gone rather well so far. Summerslam was a lot of fun and now we can move forward towards Hell in a Cell. It’s pretty clear that AJ Styles will be facing Samoa Joe again and that’s something that I can look forward to. Other than that, we’ll be seeing Miz bragging about beating Daniel Bryan. Let’s get to it.

Miz and Maryse open things up with Miz looking rather serious until the Daniel Bryan chants start up. Miz says he was able to close his eyes and feel that in a way he never could before. Two nights ago, something happened at Summerslam and now he has a family to think about. Maryse is hugging Miz as he looks near tears and says that with a heavy heart….hang on as he needs to cry some more. He announces his retirement and there’s a YES chant.

Actually it’s his retirement of ever facing Daniel Bryan again because Sunday was a satisfying conclusion. Miz did exactly what he promised to do when he beat Bryan in front of a sold out Barclays Center. The 100 punches from Bryan didn’t equal one Miz punch because he has the hardest punch in this entire arena. Bryan promised to punch him but when Miz did it, he got the pin. Miz praises Maryse and plugs Miz and Mrs. but here’s Bryan to interrupt.

Bryan calls Miz a coward over and over again as Miz hides behind Maryse. It doesn’t matter what Bryan calls him because the record books will always say that Miz got the win at Summerslam. Bryan asks him to shut up for once because Miz is just hiding behind things, like the makeup he’s wearing right now. On Sunday, Bryan got to do what he wanted: expose Miz as a wannabe Hollywood star cosplaying as a wrestler.

Maryse tells Bryan to change his name to Daniel Bella but here’s Brie to punch Miz in the face. Miz and Maryse bail and Bryan announces a mixed tag for Hell in a Cell. Good thing Maryse chose now to bring Brie into it. I can go with this as A, Brie was always less annoying than Nikki and B, this isn’t the kind of match that should be in the Cell so having it move forward in another way is the right idea.

Post break Miz yells at Paige, calling her a worse GM than Bryan. Paige: “Well you got punched in the face by Brie Bella.” The tag match stays.

Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton

Orton shoves him into the corner but Hardy will have none of that and comes out with right hands of his own. Jeff gets caught on top though as Orton hits him in the back, sending him into the post and then onto the steps for a nasty crash. Back from a break with Jeff getting out of a chinlock and hitting Whisper in the Wind. The legdrop between the legs and a basement dropkick set up the Twisting Stunner but Orton is ready for the Swanton. Jeff gets crotched. It’s the finger through the ear again but Hardy is fine enough to block the hanging DDT. An intentional low blow is enough to disqualify Hardy at 7:11.

Rating: D+. This was about the storyline instead of the action and that’s perfectly fine. The ending (as well as the ads from the arena) would suggest a rematch inside the Cell, because Hardy hasn’t been banged up enough yet. Still though, this can be a good first big win for the new Orton character and if everything goes well, they can beat the heck out of each other in style.

Post match Hardy throws him over the announcers’ table and into the crowd. They fight towards the production area where Hardy blasts him with a few chair shots. A camera to the head knocks Orton silly and there’s the Swanton through Orton through a table in a scene very similar to Kofi Kingston’s big boom drop from about nine years ago.

The Bar challenges the winners of tonight’s title match to a future title shot but here are the Good Brothers (with Gallows in a suit and speaking in a weird accent and Anderson in big glasses) to say they should get a shot. Anderson: “Now back to Karen in the studio.” They’ll meet next week.

Naomi vs. Peyton Royce

Corey says he’s followed Peyton and Billie since NXT and they’ve never looked better. He’s quite the observer. Before the match, Billie insults Brooklyn and Naomi as only she can. Joined in progress with Naomi hitting a splits legdrop for two and baseball sliding Royce down. A Billie distraction lets Peyton kick Naomi down as Corey says some people on social media can’t take a joke and read too much into everything. Back in and the long legged boot choke sets up the chinlock as Naomi is in trouble. That doesn’t last long but Naomi has to go after Billie, allowing Peyton to hit a quick fisherman’s suplex for the pin at 3:32.

Rating: D. This felt like a match to build Peyton back up after a pretty ridiculous week. It’s not like Naomi is doing anything anyway and a win over her still means something. Billie and Peyton can play some nice roles in the division and if they get over with their annoying characters, good for them. Graves was hilarious ripping on Meltzer here too, which you had to know was coming.

Big E. has taped up ribs so he’s eating some fresh ones. Xavier Woods talks about this being the birthplace of Francesca and about how this is where they’ll become five time Tag Team Champions.

Video on Charlotte winning the Women’s Title and getting laid out by Becky Lynch after the fact.

Here’s Becky to say that she should be Women’s Champion but Charlotte stole it. The night was supposed to be about her and no one else. The fans chant for Becky but she talks over them, saying it was her time to get out of Charlotte’s shadow. Sure the people are acting like they’re with her now but where were they all along? There was no Becky hashtag but there was no boycott when Charlotte was added to the match.

Then the people applauded Charlotte when she won the title so they weren’t really that upset. For some reason Becky isn’t considered the best of all time and is now seen as the afterthought. A few nights of praise doesn’t work because this is a generation of all talk and no action. The third count on Sunday was like bringing her out of a trance. It was then that she knew Charlotte was holding her back and now it’s her time. Not because the people say it is but because it’s her time, period.

No one can tell her differently but here’s Charlotte to interrupt. The fight is on with Becky trying to get out through the crowd but Charlotte drags her back. Paige sends in the women’s locker room and they’re finally broken up. That lasts all of a few seconds until they’re dragged apart again, only to have Charlotte dive off the apron to get in a few more shots. Heck of a segment here and Becky sold the heck out of the promo, but it wasn’t going to work in front of this crowd. Their Cell match should rock.

Andrade Cien Almas/Zelina Vega vs. Rusev/Lana

Rematch from the Kickoff Show. The guys start with Rusev hitting a hard clothesline to take over earlier on. A quick armbar over the ropes doesn’t do much good on Rusev as he kicks Almas away and brings in Lana. Another kick puts Vega on the floor and the double scream takes us to a break.

Back with Vega choking Lana on the ropes and putting on a crucifix hold. Lana kicks her away and brings in Rusev….who is quickly taken into the corner for the running knees. The hammerlock DDT is broken up and there’s a clothesline to send Almas outside. Vega goes after Rusev and gets speared down as Aiden English appears to take a chair away from Almas. The Machka Kick sets up the Accolade to make Almas tap at 7:28.

Rating: D+. There’s your 50/50 booking in 48 hours as they trade wins, leaving everyone right back where they started. I wouldn’t have Almas taking a fall at the moment but odds are this leads to him beating Rusev at HIAC. You would think Lana beating Vega would have made more sense but sometimes WWE does these things without the most thought going into them.

Shinsuke Nakamura talks about the poem on the Statue of Liberty and says this is now the United States of Nakamerica.

Video on AJ Style vs. Samoa Joe at Summerslam.

Renee Young brings out AJ for an interview on the platform. AJ isn’t happy with what happened at Summerslam but he wouldn’t change a thing. He has a promise for Joe: the next time Joe mentions his family’s name, he’ll rip Joe’s heart out. Joe trips AJ from behind and pulls him down off the platform for the Koquina Clutch knockout. Joe: “OH WENDY!” AJ can’t come home and tuck in the kids because he’s already gone to sleep.

We recap the opening sequence.

Carmella comes in to see Paige, who says Carmella has lost ten pounds. A rematch is demanded but here’s R-Truth to say she’s been dodging him for weeks. All he has to do is pin her to get a title match. Paige says no (Truth: “You got lucky this time.”) and Carmella gets her rematch next week. Moon walking ensues but Truth picks Carmella up despite Paige’s protests.

Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Bludgeon Brothers

The Brothers are defending and this is No DQ with no Big E. at ringside due to his rib injury. Rowan certainly has a lot of padding around his arm. The fight is on to start with Woods and Kofi both being taken to the floor. Woods dropkicks Harper over the announcers’ desk but gets a chair thrown at him as we take a break.

Back with Woods sending Harper face first into the announcers’ table and Kofi kicking Rowan in the face. It’s time for a ladder but the delay lets Harper take them both out with a suicide dive. Some chairs are thrown inside and Woods gets whipped hard into the steps. A big boot gets two on Kofi but he kicks the chair back into Harper’s face. Kofi gets a tornado DDT near a chair for two as Rowan pulls him to the floor.

Woods is dropped face first onto the apron as the announcers talk about how New Day just can’t win here no matter what they do. Back inside and a ladder is bridges between two chairs. Kofi dives in to save Woods but it’s the double spinebuster onto the ladder…for two? It’s table time, which Graves equates to giving Godzilla a chainsaw. So it’s a downgrade?

Rowan headbutts Kofi against the post before grabbing the mallet. Harper hits him three times in a row but misses a charge (Why did he need a mallet for a charge?) through the barricade. Back in and a mallet to Harper’s ribs sets up the rope walk elbow through the table to give Woods the pin and the titles at 15:23.

Rating: B. It’s not exactly a surprise given Rowan’s injury but they did it in a good match. Sunday’s ending left this as an option so it’s not like it came out of nowhere. New Day can keep the titles warm until someone can take them away and that’s a perfectly fine place to be. The mallet was a nice callback to the previous match and it made for a good ending with Woods getting the win.

Big E. comes out to celebrate to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. It’s full speed ahead to the Cell and that’s perfectly fine. This show was much more about moving forward with everything and they did a pretty decent job with that. It was no secret that some of the matches would be set up for next month and WWE didn’t hide that. I liked the straightforward storytelling and the good main event helped a lot. Not a great show as the bad wrestling in the first half hurt things, but the angle advancement made up for a lot of it.


Randy Orton b. Jeff Hardy via DQ when Hardy kicked him low

Peyton Royce b. Naomi – Fisherman’s suplex

Rusev/Lana b. Andrade Cien Almas/Zelina Vega – Accolade to Almas

New Day b. Bludgeon Brothers – Rode walk elbow to Harper

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