20th Sep2018

WWE Smackdown Live – Sept 18th 2018: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

smackdown-2018-logo

Welcome to this week’s Smackdown Live review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have a few things to cover. So, like a monkey with a bazooka, let’s play ball!

Match #1: Cesaro def. Kofi Kingston

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The New Day outdueled Rusev Day at the WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event this past Sunday, but Kofi Kingston was right back in action less than three weeks before his squad takes on The Bar at WWE Super Show-Down in Melbourne, Australia on Saturday, Oct. 6. Having no patience for New Day’s shtick (they opted to be on “safari” tonight), Cesaro & Sheamus were ready to dim the light on The New Day in Melbourne and attempted to start that process here as Cesaro collided with Kingston. With Big E, Xavier Woods and Sheamus patrolling ringside, Kingston and The Swiss Superman battled back and forth in a match that had the WWE Universe on their toes. Kingston took risk after risk, but Cesaro stopped the hard-charging Kofi dead in his tracks by kicking him in the knee, then struck with a ring-rattling Neutralizer for the big singles victory.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a fine match that felt fresh, mostly because Claudio/Cesaro/whatever and Kofi haven’t really been doing singles work this year. There was a great spot where Kofi went from the top rope and landed on Cesaro that was as exciting as Austin/Xavier/Consequences/who cares made it out to be. Kofi and Cesaro should have been in more World Title matches by now, but Vince just has to subvert what pays the bills every time, doesn’t he?

Match #2: United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura def. Rusev

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Despite the slight miscommunication that potentially cost them the SmackDown Tag Team Titles this past Sunday, Rusev Day had another chance to enter the circle of champions on the blue brand tonight as Rusev challenged United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Rusev brought the fight to The King of Strong Style and had an ample cheering section with Lana and English in his corner. Seemingly hoping to atone for his team’s loss on Sunday and his verbal tirade on how Lana is weighing Rusev down earlier in the evening, The Mozart of Mayhem began to literally cheer on The Bulgarian Brute via the microphone at ringside.

Rusev continued to push the pace on WWE’s Rockstar and dropped the titleholder with a wicked Machka Kick. However, just when it seemed The Super Athlete was in position to trap Nakamura in the Accolade, English got up on the apron and screamed Lana’s signature “Rusev crush” into the microphone. This off-put Rusev, distracting him just long enough for Shinsuke to sneak up from behind and roll him up for three. Before Rusev Day could have a group meeting about English’s verbal sacrilege, Aiden shockingly cracked Rusev with the microphone and pulverized The Super Athlete with several more microphone strikes, laying him out cold as Lana screamed in horror. Likely for the last time ever, The Drama King belted out one final “Happy Rusev Dayyyyyy” before leaving his former friend in a crumpled heap in the ring.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was an excellent match that had fine action and taut suspense. It sounds like I’m a Canadian film critic describing Friday The 13th: Jason Goes Electric Boogaloo. These two guys work well together and could do well if they go to PPV, again. Rusev should not be sacrificed so often, but he is good at protecting himself, so at least Rusev isn’t being destroyed by another loss. Nakamura has done very well with the US Title and felt like a big star in this match, which is what he should have gotten when he became the WWE World Champion, but he never got his run with the strap. Overall, this match will come and go, but at least it made its mark, in the after-math.

Match #3: WWE World Champion AJ Styles def. Andrade “Cien” Almas

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Despite retaining his WWE Championship this past Sunday in controversial fashion against Samoa Joe at the WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, AJ Styles arrived on SmackDown LIVE feeling like he had something to prove as he prepared to take on Andrade “Cien” Almas.

Almas wasted no time, barely allowing Styles to even enter the ring before blindsiding him prior to the start of the match. Once everything reset and Styles declared he could give it a go, The Phenomenal One and “Cien” brought their best to the table in an explosive bout — their second-ever singles match against one another. Almas proved yet again he can hang with the champion, preying on the damage he inflicted on AJ prior to the opening bell. With Zelina Vega finding ways to interject herself into the contest behind the referee’s back, it appeared the odds were firmly stacked against Styles. However, The Phenomenal One refused to give in, weathering Almas’ devastating Running Double Knees and using some nifty footwork to abort his own pinfall attempt and drop “Cien” with a Styles Clash out of nowhere for the win.

Styles had virtually no time to celebrate, however, as he was immediately blindsided by Samoa Joe. The Samoan Submission Machine’s attempt to get the jump on The Phenomenal One did not quite go as planned, as AJ halted the attack by slamming Joe’s head off the steel steps, prompting his nemesis to exit through the WWE Universe as AJ proudly displayed his WWE Championship in the air ahead of their title rematch where there must be a winner at WWE Super Show-Down on Oct. 9.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – We’re three for three with our scores on this card, which is a good sign for the Final Verdict. AJ and Cien worked hard to put on a good match that was worthy of their talents and they were successful. Cien is rumored to be high on Vince McMahon’s list right now, so that’s good. It’s amazing that AJ is still WWE World Champion, considering that so many others, including CM Punk, Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy, Booker T and the like had such middling title reigns despite putting in great efforts while holding the strap(s). AJ really is a special guy. Cien looked good in his loss to AJ, so the effect of losing again was not severe, but Cien/La Sombra does need a big win and soon.

Match #4: Main Event – Asuka def. Billie Kay

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Taking her newly forged friendship with Naomi to the next level, Asuka was backed by the Glow as she battled Billie Kay (flanked by Peyton Royce) on SmackDown LIVE. With an equalizer watching her back at ringside, The Empress of Tomorrow paid no mind to Royce and leveled Kay with a series of blistering strikes. Kay attempted to slow down Asuka’s momentum, even getting one close call at a three-count, but Asuka pushed through Kay’s attack and trapped her in the Asuka Lock for the tapout victory less than three weeks before teaming with Naomi against The IIconics at WWE Super Show-Down on Oct. 9.

My Take: 1.5 out of 5 – Technically, a promo is the actual main event, but promos can’t be main events because this is professional wrestling, not pro talking, so Asuka beat Billie Kay in our finale. This was a squash, so I wouldn’t expect too much for your viewing pleasure, but the match had the right winner, at least.

News Of The Night:

  1. Daniel Bryan and The Miz had a brawl.
  2. Maryse will take some time off to be a Mom.
  3. Aiden English turned on Rusev with a hit from a microphone.
  4. The AJ Styles/Samoa Joe feud continued with a brawl.
  5. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair brawled in the finale of the card to set up Lynch as a heel, even though the crowd ignored it to keep Lynch a face.

Final Verdict: 2.5 out of 5 – This was a good card that needed a little more wrestling, but had a lot of good action to make it worth a viewing. The repetitive promos and brawls have already gotten old. Why not just have some new matches to make Smackdown feel different? Hey, what if you got some-body over with the new matches?

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