12th Dec2018

WWE Smackdown Live – Dec 11th 2018: Results & Review

by Phil Wheat


Welcome to this weeks Smackdown Live review, right here on Nerdly. And it’s week four of: “will this episode of Smackdown be more of a success than Monday’s Raw” – with Raw’s improvement this week, lets see if that’s still the case shall we?!

Match #1: WWE Champion Daniel Bryan def. Mustafa Ali

The following comes from WWE.com:

Daniel Bryan has proven over the last few weeks he’s no longer interested in hero worship, but onetime admirer Mustafa Ali provided a bit of a bonus for the WWE Champion: Bryan could actually beat him up. Of course, Bryan preferred not to have the match at all, as he believed the WWE Universe was too fickle to deserve it, and besides, Ali was just a “small little man” whose decision to drive an SUV put him on the level of the “sheep” in the audience. But when the Cruiserweight daredevil responded to Bryan’s literal and figurative slaps to the face with a flurry of offense, the champion decided to give the man what he asked for. He got as good as he gave. Despite controlling the match early on, Bryan attempted to go high-risk, which played right into his opponent’s hands, and The Beard found himself subjected to an impressive array of high-octane offense. Ali came inches from victory with an 054 attempt, but Bryan evaded the maneuver and grounded the high-flier with a series of attacks on his leg before forcing him to submit to a heel hook. Bryan continued his attack after the bell, stomping Ali’s face and locking in another heel hook on the ramp. Whether the post-match assault was a statement directed at AJ Styles, the 205 Live roster, or the WWE Universe was somewhat unclear. The message, however, was crystal clear.

My Take: On paper this sounded ridiculous. But in reality? One hell of a match between two guys who seemed perfectly matched – giving Mustafa Ali an excellent platform to show his skills to those who don’t watch 205 Live, and possibly convert some to giving that show a chance too. It might seem like an odd choice for Bryan to fight someone NOT on the Smackdown roster but I like it. In fact I’d like to see Bryan take the fight to wrestlers on all WWE programming – make him the new “free agent” like John Cena or bring the fight to him each and every week. Can you imagine Bryan taking on ALL of the 205 Live roster? That would get me excited for wrestling once again.

Match #2: Shane McMahon & The Miz def. The Vegas Boys

The following comes from WWE.com:

For all The Miz’s trickery, give him this: When he decides to go in on something, he goes all the way in. The A-Lister’s strange desire to join forces with SmackDown LIVE Commissioner (and Best in the World trophy co-parent) Shane McMahon took another turn this week when The A-Lister went behind SmackDown General Manager Paige’s back and finagled a match between himself, Shane and a pair of locals called The Vegas Boys, who jumped Shane-O-Mac from behind. The gambit paid off, albeit to a point: Shane singlehandedly defeated Chip & Chad to prove he and Miz can co-exist and win as a tag team, though the ruse was quickly uncovered by Paige. When Shane got in Miz’s face about it, The A-Lister got uncharacteristically sincere: Before crossing paths with Shane, he had never, despite all his accolades, been included among the best in the world. His attempt to genuinely shake on it with the Commissioner went nowhere, but fans of The Awesome One can still take heart. If his WWE career has proved nothing else, it’s that he will not be denied so easily.

My Take: So a few weeks into The Miz’s face turn and we get jobbers. Local jobbers at that. To go from being a heel facing some of the biggest names on the WWE roster to playing second-fiddle to Shane McMahon in a match with jobbers. Oh how the mighty have fallen…

Match #3: Rusev & Jeff Hardy def. U.S. Champion Shinsuke Nakamura & Samoa Joe

The following comes from WWE.com:

Two of SmackDown LIVE’s budding rivalries — Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev — crossed paths on Tuesday in a tag team match that showcased the best of all four Superstars, plus a Dance Break from Carmella and R-Truth that actually came at the beginning of the match rather than the middle. It also provided an early glimpse at where those two rivalries stand. Samoa Joe, who has chosen to play mind games with Hardy, remained in almost complete control of The Charismatic Enigma, save for a last-ditch rally. Rusev, meanwhile, bulldozed Nakamura all over the ring, eventually dropping The King of Strong Style with a pinpoint Machka Kick for the 1-2-3.

My Take: How much does the WWE care about this match? They open it with an interuption and a friggin’ DANCE BREAK! Nice way to cut the legs from under this match and pull out all the excitement built up in the wrestlers intros. Then they go straight to a bloody picture-in-picture ad break! If the WWE don’t care about this match why should we? Though Rusev came out of this one looking the best (and frankly he looked liked a total badass), getting the win over Nakamura – seems Rusev’s push didn’t end with with Aiden English’s!

Match #4: Asuka def. Charlotte Flair via Disqualification

The following comes from WWE.com:

Last time Charlotte Flair and Asuka locked horns, it was at WrestleMania, and The Queen escaped with a definitive win that snapped Asuka’s incredible undefeated streak. But that was a long time ago, and much has changed: The Empress of Tomorrow was all over Charlotte in a rematch of their WrestleMania contest that also served as a preview of Sunday, where both women will challenge Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women’s Title in a Triple Threat TLC Match. With Becky watching inscrutably from ringside, the preview was almost all Asuka. The former NXT Women’s Champion had been something of a dark horse in the title picture before tonight, but she dismantled The Queen in excruciating fashion, transitioning from submission to submission while the second-generation Superstar attempted to brawl her way back into the running.

Charlotte finally found separation with a sit-out powerbomb and followed up with a targeted assault of Asuka’s knee to tee up the Figure-Eight, though The Empress of Tomorrow kept pace through sheer force of will, eventually trapping her opponent in the Asuka Lock — at which point an overwhelmed Charlotte sent both women tumbling through the ropes and attacked Asuka with a Kendo stick to lose via disqualification. Her attempt to turn the weapon on Becky didn’t go quite as well, as it prompted a ruthless retaliatory tattooing from The Man. Asuka got the last word, however, seizing hold of the stick and pummeling both women with savage abandon, ending the show perched victoriously atop the announce desk with the weapon held above her head. As the last few months have shown, this isn’t the same Becky Lynch we saw during WrestleMania season, nor is it the same Charlotte Flair. But it ain’t the same Asuka either.

My Take: A great demonstration of submission wrestling from both women, this match had some great storytelling – managing to remind people of just how dangerous Asuka can be too, after all she’s been something of an after-thought on Smackdown when it comes to the title picture. Judging by this match that’s not the case anymore. And hey, at least this match and the aftermath guarantese we’ll have at least one good mtach at this weekends TLC pay per view.

News of the Night:

  1. The less said about THAT rap battle the better. It was like watching early-90s pre-Attitude era WWF.
  2. Rey Mysterio finally got payback on Randy Orton, beating him down with a chair.
  3. Another “Lars Sullvan is lurking” promo aired (the same one as last night on Raw) – stupid promo, even stupider tagline… Lurking indeed. Pah!

Final Verdict: 3/5

This one gets three out of five purely for the three things that made the show – that opening match, Rusev’s performance in the tag match and the tremendous main event between Asuka and Charlotte Flair. The rest of the show was totally throwaway.


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