Smackdown – September 25, 2018

Date: September 25, 2018
Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips

With less than two weeks to go before Super Show-Down, a lot of the big feuds are already in high gear. It’s almost like Smackdown has a good idea of how to set up a pay per view rather than just wasting time and having everything else going on at once. The big story is of course Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles for the World Title so let’s get to it.

We open with MizTV….as hosted by R-Truth and the now brunette Carmella. This is now Truth TV so Truth wants a WHAT’S UP. Carmella is introduced as the “Andy Richards” to his Conan O’Brien and hypes up Daniel Bryan as the guest. Truth has to read through some cards for his questions and asks about how Bryan took care of Miz and the other Carmella last week. Bryan: “This show is already better than MizTV.” Actually hang on, because we need a seven second dance break.

Truth and Carmella dance, followed by Truth promising an animal segment next. Bryan says last week was cathartic and now he wants to be WWE Champion again. That’s what’s coming at Super Show-Down because Bryan wants to be WWE Champion to prove that he’s the best while Miz wants to win the title so he can say he’s the best. Cue Miz to ask what Truth is doing. Truth says that he beat Miz two weeks ago and Miz didn’t have a title, he’s taking his talk show instead. Miz: “You’re an idiot.” Truth: “I’m an idiot with a talk show!”

Miz doesn’t like Bryan but Bryan always fights fair, which is why he’ll never win. That’s why Miz won at Summerslam and why he’ll win at Super Show-Down. Miz had one idea foiled last week but he has an idea for every minute of every day. If Bryan cheats in Australia, he’ll tarnish his own name and the beliefs of these people.

Truth complains about Miz talking too long and taking away the time from his animal segment. He’ll fight for the show right now, even though Miz says this is his show. Truth: “DANCE BREAK!” Miz goes to the back and rants to Paige about the show being stolen so we’re having a match for the show right now.

The Miz vs. R-Truth

Bryan is on commentary. Truth runs him over to start and stops to dance, with Miz being sent outside for a staredown with Bryan. Miz is knocked outside again and goes after Carmella, earning a clothesline from Truth. Back in and Truth charges into a boot to the face, followed by the YES Kicks. Bryan actually critiques the kicks and says why they’re not quite the real thing.

A DDT sets up a bow and arrow as Bryan actually praises Miz’s improving wrestling skills. Truth reverses a backslide into one of his own but Miz elbows him in the face as we take a break. Back with Truth hitting some clotheslines and a Stinger Splash, followed by a jawbreaker for two. The Lie Detector gets two but Miz pokes him in the eye, stares at Bryan, and hits a running knee for the pin at 11:40.

Rating: C-. Now, again, consider the difference between Raw and Smackdown’s way of building things. In addition to the obvious Bryan vs. Miz feud, tonight Miz and Asuka are facing Truth and Carmella on Mixed Match Challenge. Last night’s Finn Balor vs. Jinder Mahal match beat you over the head with they Mixed Match hype. This was more subtle, basically saying “hey if you want to see more of this, check out this other show”. That’s far better and more appealing than the Raw method, as it’s not beating you over the head. In other words, much better.

Earlier today, Becky Lynch jumped Charlotte at a photo shoot and demanded that her photos were taken instead. Charlotte has been sent home due to her injuries.

Big E. vs. Sheamus

Before the match, Kofi talks about not taking people seriously sometimes. That’s why before this match, we’ll be having the Say Something Nice Challenge. We’ll start with Cesaro, who has weird nipples and looks like a Swiss Jason Statham, but it’s cool because they like Statham movies. Sheamus’ mohawk is big and weird looking, but the carpet must match the drapes. Sheamus cuts them off and promises of taking the Tag Team Titles are made.

Sheamus jumps Big E. from behind as Graves talks about areola shaming. A hiptoss brings Sheamus to the floor and we take a break. Back with Big E. throwing him with a belly to belly and some hip swiveling. The Warrior Splash hits knees though and Sheamus gets two off a powerslam. The Brogue Kick is countered into a powerbomb for two but the spear through the ropes is countered. Sheamus escapes the Big Ending as well and it’s a Brogue Kick for the pin at 6:41.

Rating: D+. Not enough time to go anywhere but it was a watchable enough power match. Both tag divisions continue to be desperately in need of some switching up though as the Usos have nothing to do and Raw has almost no tag teams of note. You could easily mix things up and get a few better matchups out of the teams but that doesn’t seem likely.

Paige tells AJ Styles not to go too crazy out there during the contract signing.

Lana comes in to see Rusev, who wants answers from Aiden English.

Here are Rusev and Lana for a chat. Rusev calls English a traitor for turning on him on Rusev Day, so English needs to explain himself right now. English comes out to say none of this is his fault. Before they met, Rusev was the super athlete but no one cared about him. We see a clip of Rusev being here a year ago and the rise of Rusev Day since that moment. At Wrestlemania, 70,000 people were chanting their names (true for the most part), but then SHE happened.

We look back at Lana joining the team and everything falling apart. Lana talks about the Wrestlemania XXXI tank (still awesome) and accuses English of riding Rusev’s coattails. English says he knows Lana’s loyalty to her husband, but is she going to tell him about that one night in Milwaukee? That’s good for a mic drop and a HOLY S*** chant from the crowd.

Clip of the Summerslam contract signing between AJ and Joe.

Asuka and Naomi warm up.

Lana tells Rusev she has no idea what English is talking about when Becky comes in to say Milwaukee is a fun town. Trash talking ensues and Becky leaves as Rusev wonders when they were in Milwaukee last. Lana walks away.

The Iiconics are in the ring before the next match but Naomi’s entrance cuts them off before anything can be said.

Asuka/Naomi vs. Sonya Deville/Mandy Rose

Instead the Iiconics are on commentary. This is the result of some bickering earlier in the day. Joined in progress with Asuka in trouble and not being able to dive over to Naomi for the tag. That lasts for all of a few seconds until the hot tag brings in Naomi, who is taken down with a forearm to the back. The illegal Asuka hip attacks Mandy to the floor and it’s a double kick to Sonya’s head for the pin at 2:28 shown. Just a warmup for Australia.

Some wrestlers went to a Denver children’s hospital earlier today.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tye Dillinger

Non-title. Tye goes right after him to start but gets kicked down in the corner, followed by some stomps to the head. Kinshasa is blocked though and Tye gets two off a superkick and a frog splash. Tye hammers away in the corner…and here’s Randy Orton to pull him off for the DQ at 2:06.

Post match Orton wrecks Dillinger and leaves him laying. Not wanting to feel left out, Nakamura adds Kinshasa.

Rusev tells Lana he believes her saying nothing happened but Lana doesn’t seem happy.

Orton says Tye isn’t his next victim, but he doesn’t like the Perfect Ten thing.

Becky Lynch vs. Lana

Non-title. Becky knocks her down to start but Lana is right back with right hands to the head. That’s enough to send Becky outside and Lana makes the mistake of following her, earning herself a quick beating. Back in and a small package gives Lana two but it’s a Bexploder into the Disarm-Her for the tap at 2:53. Not quite a squash but close enough.

English promises video proof of what happened in Milwaukee.

Here’s Paige to run the contract signing. AJ comes out and says he’s just here to sign. There’s no Joe, which AJ says isn’t a surprise. Joe pops up on screen and he’s at AJ’s house. That must put a nauseous feeling in AJ’s stomach because there’s nothing he can do, even though Joe promised him to do all this stuff. Joe even has a doll for Annie and AJ is clearly panicking. That’s what Joe wants, and Joe wants that feeling from AJ in Australia. Joe rings the doorbell and says daddy’s home to end the show. This was awesome again, but at some point Joe needs to actually win the title to really make it mean something.

Overall Rating: C+. As usual, there’s a goal for almost everything you see here and Smackdown knows how to sprinkle in the fun/entertaining stuff to go with the important series material. I’m looking forward to Super Show-Down, but the more I watch of the build makes me worry that we’re going to be watching another show that means nothing. At least the build has been good this time around, so hopefully we get something good this time around.


The Miz b. R-Truth – Skull Crushing Finale

Sheamus b. Big E. – Brogue Kick

Asuka/Naomi b. Sonya Deville/Mandy Rose – Double kick to Deville’s head

Tye Dillinger b. Shinsuke Nakamura via DQ when Randy Orton interfered

Becky Lynch b. Lana – Disarm-Her

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