Date: October 9, 2018
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips
With Australia behind us, it’s time to get ready for the return to Saudi Arabia. That means qualifying matches for the World Cup of Wrestling, the latest tournament because the more than dozen plus that we’ve had this year already aren’t enough. Other than that we have the build towards Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles for the Smackdown World Title. Let’s get to it.
Women’s Title: Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch
Becky is defending and can lose the title via DQ. They’re in the ring for the Big Match Intros with neither getting an entrance so they’re starting fast. Becky works on a wristlock to start before raking Charlotte’s eyes across the top rope. A legdrop sets up the strut from Becky but she misses the spinning version, allowing Charlotte to roll her up for two. They clothesline each other but it’s too early for the Disarm-Her.
Instead Charlotte hits a dragon screw legwhip, only to be taken down into an armbar. Becky gets catapulted into the corner for a trip to the floor, which of course means a dive to take us to a break. Back with Charlotte being slammed off the top for two as Becky works on the arm some more. Charlotte chops away and grabs a belly to back suplex for a double knockdown.
Lynch gets crotched on top but manages to roll off into a cross armbreaker. That’s reversed into a sitout powerbomb and we take a second break. Back again with Becky trying to walk out but coming back in and throwing the belt down. That leads to an argument that doesn’t get us anywhere, so it’s an exchange of rollups, followed by a spear to put Becky on the floor.
Charlotte misses the moonsault though and the Bexploder gets nine. Becky follows her out and gets Bexploded as well, followed by Natural Selection back inside. Charlotte can’t cover though as Becky rolls outside, leading to another brawl for the double countout at 25:12. That might be a record for the longest one fall women’s match.
Rating: B. They beat each other up here and the ending should set up some kind of gimmick rematch at Evolution. You know, because the way to get any big feud to the next level is to have them fight multiple times in a month and a half. Either way, the draw is the right call here as neither is hurt and Charlotte can say she deserves another rematch.
Post match Charlotte spears Becky through the set. I feel that warrants a new version. Say with a giant fist.
Undertaker will be at SmackDown 1000.
World Cup Qualifying Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe
So you remember last month when Hardy had that big bump in the Cell and looked to be gone for a long time? Well he was gone less than a month instead. Both guys get videos about themselves, almost as if we’re seeing them for the first time. Hardy goes after Joe’s banged up knee to send him outside and we take a break.
Back with Joe elbowing him in the face and putting on e neck crank. Jeff fights up and drops the legs between the legs to send Joe outside again. Joe’s bad knee is sent into the steps and Hardy hammers away at it back inside. Hardy pounds away on it….and the referee stops the match due to Joe’s injury at 7:52.
Rating: C-. What a bizarre ending as Joe was still moving around and you’ll see worse injuries in other matches. I guess the idea is to protect Joe from another loss and that’s all well and good, but how about YOU DON’T BOOK HIM IN A MATCH WHERE HE’S GOING TO LOSE? If you want Hardy in the tournament, just have him beat someone else to qualify. Or do what you did with Cena and put him in the tournament without a win.
Video on Randy Orton. Are these just filler videos or is this some kind of season premiere?
Video on Evolution, who will be making their Smackdown debut next week.
Paige makes Becky vs. Charlotte at Evolution in a Last Woman Standing match.
It’s time for MizTV. Miz promises to remain professional tonight with his guests, AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan. AJ comes out first and Miz asks about a slightly less intimidating opponent. Miz: “If he comes to your house, he’ll tend your garden.” Bryan comes out and shakes AJ’s hand, which Miz doesn’t care to see. Bryan asks if Miz would rather talk about their match, because it shouldn’t take very long.
When asked about how this is going to be different, A talks about making sure this is going to stay in the ring. Miz: “With that, you’re saying you’re better than everyone.” Bryan doesn’t buy it and says he’s glad AJ thinks he’s the better wrestler. See, Bryan wants to beat a worthy champion and AJ has defended his title for over 300 days. That makes him more excited to win, because he knows he can beat AJ. Styles says no offense, but Bryan hasn’t faced any phenomenal opponents since he came back. You mean save for his first singles match back.
Bryan calls Miz the two minute man (AJ: “That’s what I’ve heard for years.”) and says this is what he fought to come back from retirement to do. His dream is to come back and be WWE Champion again. AJ gets out of his chair and asks how good it feels to punch Miz in the face. That’s enough for Miz to go to the apron and say that the small package was a fluke because his shoulder was up. Paige won’t give him a rematch so Miz goes on a rant about Bryan stealing the title and AJ making the title irrelevant. He’ll be waiting on the winner of the title match, which the fans seem to approve. AJ has a match tonight so good luck.
Shelton Benjamin vs. AJ Styles
Non-title with Miz and Bryan on commentary. Shelton takes him down to start and puts on a quickly broken chinlock. Benjamin gets one off a backdrop as Miz and Bryan bicker about the upcoming title match. AJ enziguris him down but can’t hit the Clash as Shelton muscles him up into a suplex.
That’s reversed as well but Shelton hits a jumping knee to break up the Phenomenal Forearm. AJ gets sent into the barricade and we take a break. Back with AJ scoring off an electric chair drop to put them both down. The Calf Crusher goes on but Benjamin is too close to the ropes. AJ is right back up with the Phenomenal Forearm for the pin at 8:20.
Rating: C. Perfectly watchable match with Shelton being built up last week and then losing just a week later. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s the kind of match that has been done for years. AJ and Bryan competing against each other with the same opponents perfectly fine and it’s a good story to send them into their title match.
Video on Big Show.
Here’s Aiden English to show the other half of One Night In Milwaukee. Or the Director’s Cut actually, which they haven’t mentioned until now. Lana says she wants him….to know how important he is to Rusev. He’s done so much for Rusev’s career and she just wanted him to know. English thanks her and moves towards her as the camera freezes again. Back in the arena, English wants Rusev to come out here.
English offers to destroy the video if Rusev will kick Lana to the curb and reunite the team. Lana comes out as Rusev slowly walks towards English without saying anything. Rusev finally says he wants to see the full tape, but English says no man should ever have to see that. Lana has no problem playing the full tape because she hacked English’s phone. Apparently his password is I Heart Rusev.
The full version shows English coming onto her and getting shot down with nothing happening. English says they got him but the offer is still on the table. When she gets tired of those Rusev Days, come treat yourself to an Aiden night. Rusev charges and is smart enough to run where English is heading, allowing him to get in a few shots before English gets away. Well that was rather disappointing. Good segment, but it just came and went in a few weeks.
Rey Mysterio is confirmed to return next week in a World Cup Qualifying Match against Shinsuke Nakamura. Egads man. Really?
World Cup Qualifying Match: Big Show vs. Randy Orton
Show is looking slimmer than I’ve seen him in a long time. Orton gets shoved to the floor early on and we take a fast break. Back with Orton hitting a short DDT and putting on a chinlock. Show fights up with some clotheslines but Orton dropkicks the hip, setting up the hanging DDT for two. A spear gets Show out of trouble for the same and the fans think he still has it. The chokeslam gets two more but Orton bails before the KO Punch. Orton is smart enough to hit a thumb to the eye into the RKO for the pin at 9:25.
Rating: D-. That’s it? That’s the big post pay per view main event? A match that would have been a waste of a house show main event? For the sake of that nothing tournament that is just there for the sake of a trophy? You really can’t do anything better than this for a main event? Bringing Show back for a ten minute match where it’s a lot of chinlocking and clotheslines? Good grief.
Overall Rating: D+. The opener carries this as far as it can go but the rest, save for the Bryan/Styles segment, was a bunch of drek. So much of this was dedicated to that tournament and those weird hype videos for people we already know. I’m not sure what they were going for here and I’m more than willing to write it off as the results of jet lag. If next week is back to normal than fine, but I really hope this isn’t the new style they’re using for the show.
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch went to a double countout
Jeff Hardy b. Samoa Joe via referee stoppage
AJ Styles b. Shelton Benjamin – Phenomenal Forearm
Randy Orton b. Big Show – RKO
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