31st Oct2018

WWE Smackdown Live – Oct 30th: Results & Review

by Phil Wheat

smackdown-2018-logo

Welcome to this weeks review of Smackdown Live, this blue brands go-home show on the road to Crown Jewel…Where there’s a certain WWE superstar set to be written out of the controversial event tonight.

Match #1: WWE Champion AJ Styles def. Daniel Bryan

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Per the order of Shane-O-Mac, WWE Champion AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan threw down with the title on the line three days early on SmackDown LIVE. A contentious atmosphere permeated through the arena with each Superstar hellbent on walking out of Atlanta with the WWE Title over their shoulder. The two wasted no time bringing the energy, exchanging several high-impact moves in the early goings. None were bigger than a suicide dive by Bryan to Styles on the floor that definitely did its damage to AJ, but Bryan appeared to tweak his knee.

Soon, The Phenomenal One targeted Bryan’s harmed knee, focusing a vicious attack on the body part while looking to ground The “Yes!” Man for good. Bryan refused to stay down, however, and he fought back with a barrage of strikes that had the Georgia native reeling. Styles would not relent on the left knee, though, and he suplexed Bryan over the top rope before conking him onto the announcer’s table. Never one to surrender, Bryan fought back yet again, feeding off his adrenaline, despite Styles continuing to target the knee. Bryan seemed to be closing on the title when he locked The Phenomenal One in a series of submission holds, but Styles fired back and caught Bryan in the Styles Clash. AJ then locked in the Calf Crusher; the agonizing pain to Bryan’s already battered knee was too much, and he had no choice but to submit.

My Take: What else would you expect from these two other than one hell of a match? That’s what the audienvce expected and that’s what they got. Forget the real reason this took place on merely an episode of Smackdown and just revel in the fact we got a PPV quality match on a standard TV broadcast. The downside was that everyone knew Bryan was never going to win – after all Crown Jewel still needs a big championship match right? But it didn’t matter, these two put each other through the ringer – building the damage to Daniel Bryan’s knee clearly and succinctly so that Styles could score the tap out rather than a clean pin. Let’s hope Styles and Bryan get to go at it again – and this time for a little longer, with a little less urgency.

Match #2: Big E def. Cesaro in a Trick or Street Fight

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

With The New Day hilariously dressing as The Brood for Halloween and mimicking their trademark entrance, Big E took on Cesaro in a Trick or Street Fight on SmackDown LIVE. The bout quickly broke down, as Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Big Show and Sheamus quickly got involved. The WWE Universe saw everything from Big Show forcing Xavier to bob for apples, to Cesaro dropping Big E into a pile of jack-o-lanterns … only for Big E to return the favor. In the match’s pivotal moments, The New Day once again channeled The Brood, as Woods spit the mysterious red liquid into Big Show’s face before Big E did the same to Cesaro, allowing New Day’s powerhouse to hit the Big Ending for the impressive, bizarre win.

My Take: A quick fun match that had little by way of tension but was a whole load of ridiculousness and a fantastic homage to The Brood – apt given this was the Halloween episode AND its Edge’s birthday. Surprising how the Big Show wasnt that much of a threat this week… Hmmm. Gotta love WWE booking!

Match #3: Shinsuke Nakamura def. R-Truth

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Tye Dillinger was slated to face Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown LIVE tonight, but The Perfect 10 re-aggravated an old injury, and thus, his good buddy R-Truth faced off against The King of Strong Style. Truth, who was flanked by his Fabulous Truth partner Carmella, brought the fight to WWE’s Rockstar, but Nakamura turned back The Rapping Superstar with a barrage of strikes that concluded with a ring-rattling Kinshasa for the win.

My Take: R-Truth was FINALLY given a chance to actually wrestle. Yes, the man also known as Ron Killings is actually a really good, nay great, wrestler who was at one time in the main event picture. He’s spent most of the past few years as a joke act with the occasional match to get thrashed in. Here he was allowed to put on a decent offence against Shinsuke Nakamura – a man whom R-Truth couls actually have a great program with if given the chance. A shame then that this was billed as “R-Truth is merely a replacment for Tye Dillinger.” Sigh. I guess its more dumb humour and dance breaks for Truth then.

Match #4: Rey Mysterio & Jeff Hardy def. Randy Orton & The Miz

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

In a major main event, the four Superstars representing SmackDown LIVE in the WWE World Cup to determine the best in the world at WWE Crown Jewel squared off in hard-hitting tag team action, as Rey Mysterio joined forces with Jeff Hardy to take on Randy Orton & The Miz. All four Superstars had a sense of urgency, as Shane McMahon announced earlier in the night that if a SmackDown LIVE Superstar lost to Raw in the finals, they would no longer have a job on SmackDown LIVE. In the early goings, Orton & Miz wore down and cornered The Charismatic Enigma. Hardy battled back with intensity and tagged in the always dynamic Mysterio, who brought an offensive onslaught that had The A-Lister and The Viper reeling. Soon, Jeff and Rey synced up their impressive attacks, hitting unique versions of Whisper in the Wind to clear Orton from the ring before Mysterio drilled Miz with a 619 and Jeff followed up with a Swanton Bomb on The A-Lister for the victory. The two would have no time to celebrate whatsoever, however, as The Apex Predator dropped each of them with RKOs before catching Miz by surprise with a third, making a major statement ahead of WWE’s World Cup.

My Take: For a match featuring such huge names this turned out to be something of a snoozefest… for the most part. OK, so Hardy and Mysterio got to show off, hitting their trademark spots but every time Orton got in the ring things slowed down to a crawl and the excitement was sucked out of the match.

News of the Night:

  1. Samoa Joe takes Daniel Bryan’s place at Crown Jewel, facing AJ Styles for the Championship.
  2. Tye Dillinger is injured.
  3. Shane McMahon added a stipulation to the Crown Jewel World Cup that if Smackdown talent loses to a Raw wrestler in the final, they’re fired.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

A good episode of Smackdown – one that was marked by some great matches and a really fun one; but an episode that was let down by the main event and the reliance on way too many promos. Again. When Smackdown focuses on actual wrestling its great but the storytelling is marred by a reliance on promo after promo – let the matches tell the story, let the rivalries tell the story. We don’t need to be spoon fed it. But hey, at least this isn’t Raw, where the main event IS a promo!

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