Smackdown – October 23, 2018

Date: October 23, 2018
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton

It’s the go home show for Evolution and one of the last shows before Crown Jewel, which may or may not still take place in Saudi Arabia. The big match this week is a rematch of last week’s 1000th episode as AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan team up to face the Usos. Other than that, expect a lot of not saying where next week’s show will be taking place. Let’s get to it.

Here’s New Day to open things up, with Big E. saying “don’t you dare be shower.” I guess Newark is a bathtub town. New Day talks about losing their Tag Team Titles and that lowered the bar. What Kofi doesn’t get is the Big Show involvement though. He helped them, so is he the Bar tender? Big Show has flipped more times than a flapjack so tonight Kofi wants some payback. Well here we go.

Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus

Show and Cesaro are at ringside too….and hang on a second as we have a change of pace.

Kofi Kingston vs. Cesaro

Or not again.

Kofi Kingston vs. Big Show

Show throws him around to start and hits a trio of chokeslams. The fourth is loaded up but New Day and the Bar come in for the no contest at 1:30.

Post match New Day gets wrecked with a chokeslam to Big E. and a KO to Woods.

We see the Roman Reigns announcement from last night.

The fans give him a THANK YOU ROMAN chant.

Usos vs. AJ Styles/Daniel Bryan

Rematch from last week. Bryan headlocks Jimmy to start but a blind tag brings in Jey, who is clotheslined to the floor. AJ knocks Jimmy out and there are the stereo dives to drop the Usos again. Back from a break with Bryan fighting out of a chinlock until they both hit crossbodies for a double knockdown. The hot tag brings in AJ and everything breaks down. Jey gets caught in the Calf Crusher but Jimmy makes a save. The Phenomenal Forearm almost hits Bryan but AJ pulls up at the last second. Instead though, the Pele hits Bryan, allowing Jey to hit a superkick into the Superfly Splash to finish AJ at 7:46.

Rating: C. I’m liking the story they have here and it’s about as good of an idea as you can have to set up the title match in Saudi Arabia. They don’t have anything personal between them so building something up makes as much sense as anything else. Also, it’s not like they’re losing to some thrown together team as the Usos are one of the best and most successful teams of this era. Now just let us get something new for the Usos.

Video on the Bella Twins turning on Ronda Rousey.

Post break AJ says it was an accident but Bryan accuses his nose of growing. Eventually it turns into the Too Sweet sign.

On Saturday, Charlotte was giving a speech at the Performance Center, talking about respect. She talked about how she’s grown up in the last few months and being ready for the first Last Woman Standing match when Becky Lynch came in. Becky is the one they should really be listening to and the fight was on. The rookies break it up.

Backstage, Charlotte is near tears as she talks about Becky going over the line at the Performance Center. At Evolution, she’ll win the title back and be standing over both an opponent and a friend who lost her way.

Rusev vs. Aiden English

Aiden sings about how Lana could have had a long Aiden Night instead of a Rusev Day. The chase is on and Aiden is thrown into a variety of things. Back in and Aiden hits a swinging neckbreaker but stops to yell at Lana. That means a Machka Kick and the Accolade for the tap at 1:24.

Here’s Miz for MizTV. Miz talks about the World Cup and how he’s ready to become the best in the world. That brings him to his guest this week: the man who defeated Shinsuke Nakamura last week, Rey Mysterio. Miz accuses him of being stuck in the 90s because people are no longer interested in the plucky underdog. It’s all about the bigger stars like him, who has been here becoming a must see man while Mysterio has been on hiatus.

Miz will be winning the Smackdown bracket and then the rest of the tournament while Mysterio is disappointed. Mysterio already is disappointed because he was supposed to be on TruthTV. Miz talks about how that show was canceled but Mysterio wants to fight now. That earns him a cheap shot but Rey fights back and almost hits the 619.

The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio

Joined in progress with Rey speeding things up and running Miz over without much effort. A missed charge in the corner lets Miz get in a few shots of his own but he has to avoid the 619. Miz gets two off the short DDT and we take a break. Back with Miz hitting the YES Kicks and taking Rey up for a super Skull Crushing Finale. That’s reversed into a super victory roll and the springboard seated senton has Miz in more trouble. The Reality Check gives Miz two but the Skull Crushing Finale is broken up. Rey hits a quick 619 into the springboard splash for the pin at 9:05.

Rating: C. Mysterio was looking better here and while I’m not interested at all in the World Cup, it’s nice to have the field be as stacked as it currently is. Let us see what these people can do when they’re given the chance, which will hopefully be in front of a crowd that actually cares this time around.

Asuka/Naomi vs. Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville

Actually hang on as here are the Iiconics to say Newark sucks and they’ll win. Lana comes out to say something similar but Carmella cuts her off. It’s time for a dance break but Zelina Vega comes in to throw her inside. The fight is on with Vega clearing the ring…expect for Asuka, who kicks her in the head. No match.

Evolution rundown.

Here’s Shane McMahon for a chat about the World Cup. He applauds everyone at Evolution before moving on to the World Cup. On the words Best in the World, the CM Punk chants begin with Shane saying he’s not in the tournament. Shane thinks someone from Smackdown will win and we hear the entrants involved. With that said, it’s main event time.

Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy

This is billed as their first match in a month. Jeff kicks away to start but gets sent outside for a ram into the steps. Back in and a chinlock sets up one of the weakest chinlocks I can ever remember to keep Jeff down. Orton ties him in the Tree of Woe for some kicks to the chest and the pulling of the ear, followed by a drop onto the announcers’ table.

Jeff fights up and hits the legdrop between the legs for two, followed by the Whisper in the Wind for the same. The Twisting Stunner connects but Orton rolls away before the Swanton. Instead Hardy misses one to the floor and gets brought back inside for the RKO to give Orton the pin at 8:48.

Rating: D+. I just can’t get into this whole World Cup thing. Maybe it’s the leftover feelings from how worthless the Greatest Royal Rumble was, but these things just feel so unimportant and so boring that it’s crippling any show it’s on. At least with Raw there’s the slightly amusing Angle vs. Corbin feud, but on here it’s just two guys having a match that isn’t likely to have anything to do with the tournament itself. That’s a very Money in the Bank style feeling and I could go without it.

Overall Rating: D. This show wasn’t bad, but it was lifeless and that’s even worse. There’s no hiding the fact that Crown Jewel isn’t something people want to see and while the build for Evolution has been better, it’s still not exactly an interesting show. Hopefully once Crown Jewel is over, they cut out this promoting multiple shows at the same time nonsense. It hasn’t worked, but there’s a chance that it’s just trying to promote these specific shows more than anything else.


Kofi Kingston vs. Big Show went to a no contest when New Day and the Bar interfered

Usos b. AJ Styles/Daniel Bryan – Superfly Splash to Styles

Rusev b. Aiden English – Accolade

Rey Mysterio b. The Miz – Springboard splash

Randy Orton b. Jeff Hardy – RKO

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