12th Sep2018

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

by Phil Wheat

smackdown-2018-logo

Welcome to Nerdly and welcome to our review of this week’s Smackdown Live – and yes, I’m back for my second WWE review this week in Nathan’s absence (get well soon  Nathan!) and I’m hoping Smackdown at least measures up to the action we saw this weekend at Wrestling MediaCon!

Match #1: Jeff Hardy def. Shinsuke Nakamura via DQ.

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

With Jeff Hardy wanting to “cleanse his soul” prior to his clash inside Hell in a Cell with Randy Orton this Sunday, The Charismatic Enigma looked to settle his unfinished business with United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura in non-title action on SmackDown LIVE. Hardy’s pent-up aggression was evident from the start, as the daredevil stormed out of the gates, bringing an early onslaught to The King of Strong Style despite Nakamura’s attempts to stall. As the match wore on, Nakamura was able to ground Hardy with his smothering and impactful offense, but Brother Nero flat out refused to quit.

In the pivotal moments, Hardy appeared to be closing in on a victory when The Viper suddenly struck from out of nowhere, and threw Hardy off the top rope. Orton then began a brutal assault on The Charismatic Enigma that saw him smash his head into the ring steps repeatedly and then grab a steel chair and laid Jeff out with several brutal shots. The Apex Predator would not stop there though, attempting to lay Hardy out with an RKO, but Hardy was able to counter, give Orton a taste of his own medicine with the steel chair and then lay him out with a Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb respectively.

My take: Less singing Jeff and more wrestling. Otherwise this was a solid match between Hardy and Nakamura who have, by now, learnt how each other works and were able to put on a great display of high octane and high flying wrestling – and the crowd were REALLY into this! What let this one down was the crappy finish, with Orton once again inserting himself into Hardy’s match. WWE really needs to stop with these dusty finishes.

Match #2: Charlotte Flair def. Sonya Deville

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Five days before she defends her SmackDown Women’s Championship against former best friend Becky Lynch at the WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event, Charlotte Flair strapped in to prove a point to The Irish Lass Kicker by taking on the fiery Sonya Deville on SmackDown LIVE. Flair and Deville duked it out while Mandy Rose watched on from ringside. Despite Mandy attempting to trip The Queen, Charlotte maintained her focus and withstood Sonya’s explosive strikes before trapping The Jersey Devil in the Figure-Eight Leglock for the tapout victory.

The Queen couldn’t celebrate for long, however, as she was suddenly ambushed by a mysterious assailant during her walk back up the ramp. The “fan” soon revealed herself to be Becky Lynch, who delivered several punishing haymakers before trapping the titleholder in the excruciating Dis-arm-her. Over the past several weeks, the opportunistic Irish Lass Kicker has been seeking any advantage possible heading into to Sunday’s title bout. And tonight? She succeeded.

My take: And more WWE main roster newcomers get buried. I thought more of Smackdown to be honest but it looks like their taking a page out of the same playbook as Raw and giving the bigger “name” the win. There looked to be a couple of botched spots but that didn’t detract from a solid women’s match; and hey, at least the waited till AFTER the match for Lynch to attack Flair!

Match #3: Rusev Day def. The Bar

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

With both teams having reached this destination by winning Triple Threat Tag Team Matches, Rusev Day and The Bar collided on SmackDown LIVE for the opportunity to challenge The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles this Sunday at the WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event. While The New Day provided commentary from their specially designated table, Rusev & Aiden English and Sheamus & Cesaro engaged in a brutal battle for the championship opportunity. Rusev & English continued their recent resurgence and stayed on the same page in the face of The Bar’s barbaric offense.

In the pivotal moments, Rusev appeared to be worse for wear and right in the line of fire for Sheamus’ Brogue Kick. However, Sheamus instead drilled English with the devastating maneuver when The Drama King shoved his partner out of the way and absorbed the blow. Rusev, the legal man, took advantage by catching The Celtic Warrior with a Machka Kick to claim the victory and a championship match this Sunday for Rusev Day.

My take: Easily the match of the night, The Bar and Rusev Day really worked well together; and when Aiden English took the hit for Rusev it put a definitive full stop on the “English keeps messing up our matches” storyline for good (hopefully). That’s not to say it was perfect by any stretch of the imagination (whst the hell was Cesaro doing holding his arms in the air during a pin attempt?) but there was just enough brutality and explosive action to both further the Smackdown tag-team storyline and solidify Rusev Day, who are back on the straight and narrrow once more.

Match #4: Andrade “Cien” Almas def. R-Truth

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega took great exception to R-Truth when he mused that he was now on a “winning streak” after defeating The Miz last week, prompting this contest on SmackDown LIVE. With his WWE Mixed Match Challenge partner Carmella in his corner (the two seemed to squash their beef last week), Truth and Almas went toe-to-toe in a contest that saw both Superstars find pockets of offense. In the height of the action, Carmella pulled Zelina out of the ring while she and Andrade did their signature pose, but the ruckus allowed Almas to slip behind Truth and roll him up with a handful of tights (unbeknownst to the ref) for a controversial victory.

My take: The two men Vince McMahon is apparently hot for right now (if internet rumours are to be beleived) faced each other in a match… and proved just how out of touch McMahon is. Or not. R-Truth actually pulled off some decent moves without being too ridiculous this week – and Almas matched him beat for beat. Though again, STOP WITH THE ROLL-UP FINISHES!

Match #5: Brie Bella def. Maryse via DQ.

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Brie Bella and Maryse took centerstage just days before they teamed up with their husbands Daniel Bryan and The Miz in Mixed Tag Team action at the WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event this Sunday. Set to compete in her first singles match in seven years, Maryse seemed hesitant to engage with Brie, constantly stalling and bailing from the squared circle. Finally, Brie grabbed the microphone, called Miz’s Mrs. a coward and goaded her to get into the ring. However, The A-Lister (who was at ringside, along with Bryan) took great exception to Brie calling his wife a coward. An irate Miz ranted that The “Yes!” Couple would have to wait until the WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event to see them again. Miz & Maryse began to take off, but Brie ran down Maryse and brought her back to the ring.

After each Superstar landed a few haymakers, Brie trapped Maryse in the “Yes!” Lock, but Miz grabbed Brie’s leg and yanked her out of the ring to give Bella the disqualification win. The “Yes!” Man immediately pounced on his rival and started raining fists on The A-Lister. With The Beard continuing to hammer away, Miz tossed Bryan out of the ring right onto an unsuspecting Brie outside. The chaos would continue with Maryse and Brie brawling once again, and Brie soon claimed the upper hand. Left alone with a furious Bryan and Brie, Miz caught another right hand from Brie Mode before Bryan clotheslined him out of the ring… and this was just a small taste of what’s to come on Sunday.

My take: Less of a wrestling match and more an extended promo for the couples’ Hell in a Cell match this weekend. A waste of a main event TBH.

News of the Night:

  1. AJ Styles cut a decent promo, in an empty arena, on Samoa Joe in preparation for their Hell in a Cell match this weekend.
  2. AJ Styles also didn’t wrestle on Smackdown. Yet again.
  3. Chrlotte Flair’s T-Shirt was available post-show to bid on for the Connor’s Cure charity auction – do they wash these things afterwards or is someone going to buy a Flair-sweat drenched shirt? Maybe that’s a selling point for some of WWE’s [lonelier] audience members?
  4. Becky Lynch jumped Charlotte Flair from the crowd and beat her down. Reminiscent of Stone Cold, The Shield and more – a sign of good booking for Lynch at last?
  5. Samoa Joe told AJ Styles a bedtime story, out-promoing Styles completely.
  6. By defeating The Bar, Rusev Day are set to face The New Day at HIAC.
  7. Asuka looks like she’s using the same “language barrier” angle as Shinsuke did earlier this year – only to poke fun at the IIconics.

Final Verdict:Smackdown Live takes it for this week, with more “matches” than usual (I know the ratio of matches to promos has been a bugbear for Nathan recently) and a fantastic Tag-Team match that easily saved the show – along with Becky Lynch’s attack on Charlotte Flair and Samoa Joe’s ridiculously camp promo. And hey, at least Smackdown seemed to be building for Hell in a Cell rather than like over on Raw, which concentrated more on the Australian Super Show-Down this week.

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