24th Oct2018

WWE Smackdown Live – Oct 23rd 2018: Results & Review

by Phil Wheat


Welcome to this weeks review of Smackdown Live, which follows last weeks huge Smackdown 1000 episode and continues the road to Crown Jewel… Whether thats is a certain country overseas or, as some are positing, another location in the US, remains to be seen.

Match #1: Big Show vs. Kofi Kingston ended in a no-contest

The following comes courtesy of WWE.com:

The New Day kicked off SmackDown LIVE by addressing the very controversial way they lost the SmackDown Tag Team Titles last week, as Big Show shockingly assisted The Bar to victory. Rather than dwelling on Big Show’s seemingly unprovoked assault, however, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E focused on the challenges ahead … like Kofi’s one-on-one contest with a member of the new faction.

After some deliberation (and taunting) on the part of Sheamus, Cesaro and Big Show, The World’s Largest Athlete squared off with Kofi on the blue brand. From there, Big Show demolished Kingston, pulverizing The New Day member with a barrage of strikes and chops and punctuating the beatdown with a trio of Chokeslams. Fed up and fearing for their partner’s safety, Big E and Woods attempted to interject, but they were quickly met by Cesaro & Sheamus. New Day were no match for the blue brand’s newest trio, however, as Big Show, The Celtic Warrior and The Swiss Cyborg issued a savage beatdown, featuring a Chokeslam to Big E and a Knockout Punch and a Chokeslam to Woods.

My Take: The New Day were essentially the target of a mugging by The Bar & Big Show… Not so much a wrestling match as a beatdown. A terrible start to tonights Smackdown.

Match #2: The Usos def. AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan

The following comes courtesy of WWE.com:

In a rematch from SmackDown 1000, WWE Champion AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan attempted to work cohesively against The Usos, as their WWE Title clash at WWE Crown Jewel rapidly approaches. Much like last week, Styles and Bryan matched the blue brand cornerstones move for move while making timely tags and seemingly keeping the peace. However, the good vibes could only last so long, and The Phenomenal One drilled Bryan with a Pele Kick – seemingly accidently — after Jey Uso evaded it. That split second of miscommunication between AJ and Bryan was all Jimmy Uso needed to connect with a big splash and pin Styles to earn a second consecutive win. Still down on the canvas, Bryan and Styles exchanged unpleasant looks with one another.

My Take: A repeat of last weeks Smackdown 1000 match – resulting in another fantastic match. Everyone involved got a chance to shine and shine they did – with some really, really, good high-flying spots and a finish that added even more fire to the AJ/Daniel Bryan feud.

Match #3: Rusev def. Aiden English

The following comes courtesy of WWE.com:

The Bulgarian Brute looks to make Aiden English pay for his baseless accusations against Lana.

My Take: A short and sweet beating for English at the hands of Rusev, eventually forcing English to tap out with the Accolade. I guess this is the end of the fued and the end of Rusev and English’s career spotlight on Smackdown. More episodes of Superstars and less episodes of Smackdown in the future for both methinks?

Match #4: Rey Mysterio def. The Miz

The following comes courtesy of WWE.com:

After watching the confrontation on “Miz TV” moments earlier, SmackDown LIVE General Manager Paige gave Rey Mysterio what he wanted, setting up him vs. Miz for right now on the blue brand. There was no warming up in the bullpen for Mysterio, as he came out of the gates hot and was all over Miz. Crafty as ever though, The Miz found his openings and wore down the legendary luchador as the match progressed. In the pivotal moments, Rey caught Miz off-guard with a headscissors that landed The A-Lister in perfect position for the 619, allowing Rey to tattoo his opponent with his signature maneuver, drop the dime off the top rope and get the monumental W heading into WWE’s World Cup.

My Take: Rey Mysterio looked as fresh as ever, like he never left the WWE. Just a shame this match was against The Miz, who looked to have forgotten how to wrestle – instead looking clumsy and oafish. Thankfully Mysterio had the wherewithall to carry this match and The Miz.

Match #5: Mandy Rose vs. Naomi… NOPE, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs. Naomi and Asuka…. NOPE. Womens Battle Royale? Er…

The following comes courtesy of WWE.com:

After WWE Evolution Battle Royal participants Mandy Rose and Naomi had gotten into a spat on social media over the weekend, Paige set up a match between the two, which later transitioned into a tag team match after Rose and Sonya Deville challenged Naomi and Asuka earlier in the night. Before the match could begin, however, The IIconics arrived with the message that they would be the victors in the Battle Royal, which then opened the door for Lana, Carmella and Zelina Vega to hit the scene ahead of Sunday’s high-stakes Battle Royal, which will award the victor a future Women’s Championship Match. The Princess of Staten Island attempted to lighten the mood with a dance break, but Vega scoffed at the idea and incited an all-out brawl. Bodies were flying in a scrap that saw Asuka stand tall, but will The Empress of Tomorrow outlast the field this Sunday?

My Take: Oh my god… another non-match. That’s technically two on one show (you can’t count the opening tag match as a match – it was a beatdown). This was a huge mess and a waste of the women on this weeks episode. For shame Smackdown, for shame.

Match #6: Randy Orton def. Jeff Hardy

The following comes courtesy of WWE.com:

A classic, brutal rivalry was reignited, as Jeff Hardy squared off with Randy Orton on SmackDown LIVE. The two WWE World Cup combatants battled it out for the first time since their barbaric clash inside Hell in a Cell last month. The two picked up right where they left off, as the contest saw The Viper savagely backdrop Hardy onto the announcer’s table and The Charismatic Enigma fire back with his explosive attack, including Whisper in the Wind and a Twist of Fate. However, just when it seemed that Jeff was setting up for the Swanton Bomb, The Apex Predator wisely rolled to the floor.

Hardy attempted another spur-of-the-moment Swanton onto Randy’s prone body on the floor, but Randy moved out of the way, leaving Hardy in bad shape. Orton rolled Hardy back into the ring, and although Jeff evaded an RKO, the war-torn Charismatic Enigma was easy pickings for The Viper, who connected with the dreaded move for the win.

My Take: An average match that felt like a tired retread of what came before. No build, no excitement but still some clean wrestling and a clean win for Orton. But do we need to see that ear pull over and over again? Very much a meh match.

News of the Night:

  1. Shane McMahon is apparently back to regular Smackdown appearances.
  2. The Bar to defend their tag titles against The New Day at Crown Jewel.

Final Verdict 1.5/5

This weeks Smackdown was a hell of a comedown from last week. Retreading old ground and two non-matches made this episode of the Blue Brand really feel like the “B Show” every claims it is. I hope to god the rumour that Fox (soon to be the new home of Smackdown) want actual wrestling and less comedy & terrible storylines is true – Smackdown needs it. The roster are great but the storytelling is swiftly going downhill.


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