Date: October 16, 2018
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington DC
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips
This is a milestone show as we’re hitting the 1000th episode in the show’s history. The big deal here is a variety of cameos and appearances from some of the biggest stars the show has ever seen. I’m not sure what to expect here, but WWE’s record with important shows like this has been hit and miss. Let’s get to it.
One more note: between each match and coming back from breaks, we get classic stills from Smackdown’s history. That’s a very nice touch.
We open with a long montage of the show’s history, which is of course awesome. WWE does these things better than anyone else and this is no exception.
Here are R-Truth and Carmella for Truth TV, which is also celebrating its 1000th episode. Carmella explains things to him so Truth pauses for a dance break. Since their guest needs no introduction, let’s have another dance break! That brings them to their guest….who of course is Stephanie McMahon. She soaks in some booing and brags about her time as Smackdown General Manager but here’s Shane McMahon to a much stronger introduction. Stephanie: “How come I don’t ever get any love?”
Shane actually sounds a little choked up as he thanks the fans for being here for 1000 episode. Stephanie: “And just like that, they buy it.” After a bickering session, Stephanie says we should be starting a little bigger than Truth TV, which gets a Truth TV chant. And now, here’s Vince McMahon to really interrupt. The YES chants start up but Stephanie says that he’s got his hearing aid in tonight. Vince gets straight to the point: he wants a dance break! Everyone starts dancing and that’s that. How nice of Stephanie to rip the show we’re celebrating and then dance because she’s Stephanie and no one can stay mad at her.
Usos vs. Daniel Bryan/AJ Styles
Oh hey the Usos are still alive. Jey and Bryan start things off with Jimmy coming in to take Daniel down with a double elbow. It’s quickly off to AJ for some kicks to the leg but Jey stomps him down in the corner. The Calf Crusher goes on Jey and Daniel gets the YES Lock on Jimmy but a rope is grabbed to send us to a break. Back with Bryan kicking away and moonsaulting over Jimmy, setting up the suicide dive onto Jey. There’s a missile dropkick to Jimmy and the YES Kicks have him in even more trouble. Everything breaks down and Bryan forearms AJ by mistake, setting up a double superkick to pin Bryan at 9:08.
Rating: C. This was angle advancement instead of a match and that’s perfectly fine. Bryan and Styles aren’t the kind of people to hate each other so building tension over wins and losses is the most logical path to a match that they have. It’s also nice to give the Usos a win as they’ve barely been a factor in a long time now.
Vickie Guerrero, Johnny Ace and Teddy Long join Paige for some dancing.
Here’s Evolution for their Smackdown debut. HHH talks about the show reaching 1000 episodes by evolving over the years. Flair says he’s more used to that 10,000 number but seems happy to be here. Orton says it was a great way to start his career with these men and he’s never stopped evolving. Now HHH runs the show, Flair lives vicariously through his daughter and Batista spends more time in a makeup chair than in the ring but Orton is still cementing his legacy.
Batista says he’s nervous but he’s going to enjoy his time, including ignoring what Orton said. The last place he wants to be is here with a microphone in his hand. He’s come up with four things to say though. First, he wanted to be here because this is 1000 shows. Second, we’re here in his hometown, where he bounced in clubs and saw more violence than he could ever imagine but now he’s made it.
Third, he’s here for the people, no matter what they said to him over the years because he worked hard for them every night. Finally, and definitely not the least, is the three other members of Evolution. This was an army of World Champions that will never be assembled again.
Orton was special the moment everyone laid eyes on him. Flair is…..well he’s Ric Flair and that sums it all up. Batista to Flair: “You keep that thing in your pants.” And they’re all cracking up. Finally there’s HHH, who has done everything there is to do in this business…..except beat Batista. Tensions are teased but everyone hugs, with HHH giving a very long stare at Batista. This was the Batista show and you can tell the Hollywood stuff has helped him quite a bit.
World Cup Of Wrestling Qualifying Match: The Miz vs. Rusev
Neither gets an entrance and Kurt Angle is on commentary. Aiden English runs down for a distraction and Miz grabs a rollup for the pin at 41 seconds. The spoils of a dance break I guess.
Post match Rusev destroys English.
In the back Curt Hawkins and Edge give us a quick Edgehead reunion.
Here’s Edge (with Tony Chimel doing his intro for old times sake), with the shoulder length hair again, for the Cutting Edge. This has always felt like his show because this is where some of his greatest achievements took place. He cashed in Money in the Bank on the Undertaker and had a No DQ match against Eddie Guerrero that people still talk to him about to this day. He even married and divorced Vickie Guerrero. However, he’s been watching the show for the last few weeks and now he needs to be Smackdown’s moral compass.
Therefore, his first guest is Becky Lynch, who Edge sees a lot of himself in. Becky says she modeled her career after him so that means a lot. Edge talks about not being someone who was supposed to succeed and having to scratch and claw their way to the top, just like Becky. The thing is though, Becky didn’t make the right choice.
If there was a friendship that got in Edge’s way, he crushed it, leaving a trail of burnt bridges. That’s not the right way, no matter how many titles you win. The path that Becky is on will lead to her sitting alone, looking at all of her titles on the wall, by herself. The bigger problem is she won’t even like herself.
Becky says it’s true that she doesn’t like herself because she loves herself. She tells Edge to get out of the champ’s ring and make sure you don’t hurt your neck again going through the ropes. Cue Charlotte to say that it’s not cool to go there. The fight is on with agents and referees having to break it up in short order.
Rey Mysterio is back and runs into Jeff Hardy.
Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. The Bar
New Day is defending and since they’re wrestling, Booker T. and Jerry Lawler are running New Day’s commentary booth. Woods headscissors Sheamus down for a basement dropkick and an early near fall as we cut to Lawler and Booker for more analysis than the regular team gives in a week. Cesaro takes over on the arm and it’s off to Sheamus for a double elbow as we take a break.
Back with Sheamus missing a charge into the corner and the hot tag off to Big E. Cesaro comes in as well and gets Rock Bottomed out of the corner, landing on his head. Sheamus misses the Brogue Kick and gets speared through the ropes, leaving Woods to hit a Shining Wizard for two on Cesaro. Back in and the Midnight Hour is broken up but Cesaro makes a blind tag. Big E. hits the Big Ending on Sheamus but gets Neutralized for two with Woods making the save as we take a second break in less than seven minutes.
Back again with Big E. missing a charge and getting caught in a powerbomb/top rope clothesline combination for two with Kofi Kingston breaking up the cover due to feet on the ropes. The Bar loads up the announcers’ table but here’s Big Show to chokeslam Kofi through it instead, leaving Sheamus to Brogue Kick Big E. for the pin and the titles at 13:38.
Rating: C. This was the Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff “do something to make it memorable” title change and that’s fine. The tag division means nothing on this show so switching the titles doesn’t change a thing anyway. Hopefully the Usos can get back in there now as they’re more than overdue to be in the title scene again.
John Cena sends in a video about the history of Smackdown creating new superstars. There is no John Cena without Smackdown and he owes the fans a great deal of thanks.
World Cup Of Wrestling Qualifying Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Non-title and this is Rey’s first singles match for WWE in four and a half years. Nakamura takes him down to start and drops a knee for an early one. A front facelock has Rey in some more trouble but he’s right back out with a headscissors. Rey knocks him outside for the sliding splash underneath the bottom rope. Back in and Rey gets caught in the Tree of Woe and we take a break.
We come back with Rey hitting a top rope seated senton and a top rope hurricanrana getting two. Nakamura kicks him in the head but misses Kinshasa, allowing Rey to headscissor him again. After Nakamura crawls over to the ropes, it’s a 619 into the springboard frog splash for the pin at 10:10.
Rating: C-. This was watchable enough but some of the spots weren’t exactly hitting and Nakamura was his usually uninspired self. Mysterio looked good in spots but it certainly wasn’t a match that would make you thrilled to see him back. It’s more like he’s lost some weight and come back after not being around for a bit. I’m glad he’s back, but it wasn’t exactly anything major.
Post match here’s Undertaker to say “At Crown Jewel, I have three worlds for DX: Rest In Peace” to end the show. His music stopped for less than thirty seconds.
Overall Rating: D+. So we’re going to put this one in the “miss” category as it pretty much stopped being a historical show in the last 45 minutes and turned into a regular episode of the show with Booker T. and Jerry Lawler popping in for about sixty seconds of commentary. The long segments took up way too much of a two hour show (Evolution and the opening segment added up to a half hour) and the rest was the Cutting Edge and focus on Crown Jewel. I could go for a Best Of Smackdown show, but this was trying to have both a regular show and a nostalgia show and neither won.
Usos b. Daniel Bryan/AJ Styles – Double superkick to Bryan
The Miz b Rusev – Rollup
The Bar b. New Day – Brogue Kick to Big E.
Rey Mysterio b. Shinsuke Nakamura – Springboard frog splash
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