SmackDown on Fox Episode #15
SmackDown Episode # 1,064
Evansville, IN – Ford Center Evansville
We go straight to the intro video and then we go to the arena where MizTV will be kicking things off.
Miz says the reason he acted the way he did last week was simply because he was having a bad day and he wants to apologize to Kofi Kingston for attacking him last week. Miz says the last few months have been hard as he has had to deal with The Fiend terrorizing his family, but the one bright spot he has had in the past few months was the fact that his best friend has returned to the WWE and this leads to Miz bringing out John Morrison.
Miz and Morrison talk about how great of a team they were and then Miz throws to a video package that highlights the career of Morrison. Morrison talks about how he was supposed to have this big comeback that included a chronicle special on the network, new music, etc but after seeing everything that Miz has gone through he realized he just needed to be with his friend and that is why he showed up last week. Morrison then says he is disappointed in that the fans would boo Miz just because he had one bad day after how hard he has worked his ass off all these years.
The New Day come out and trade insults with Miz and Morrison (including one where Big E said that Miz is so bad at acting that he couldn’t even be the back end of the Human Centipede) which sets up our first match of the night.
Match #1: The Miz w/ John Morrison vs Kofi Kingston w/ Big E
The match opens with an extended lock up with both men jockeying for position until Kingston breaks and kicks Miz in the leg. They lock up again and this time MIz delivers a knee to the gut followed by an ax handle to the back. Kingston tries for a monkey flip but Miz blocks and takes Kingston down for an attempted Figure Four, but Kingston catches him in a roll-up for 2 and then shortly after Miz hits him with a kitchen sink. Miz stops and looks around while Kingston is down and then eventually lands a kick to the face of Kingston for a 2 count. The Miz locks in a chin lock but Kingston gets back into the match quickly only to be taken back down with a shoulder block. Kingston hits the jumping back elbow off the ropes and then throws Miz to the outside. Kingston teases a dive which pisses Miz off and when Miz get back into the ring he is immediately clotheslined right back out and hit with a tope suicida. Kingston goes to pick up The Miz, but is shoved into Big E who was on commentary, this causes both Big E and John Morrison (who were on commentary) to get to their feet and now we have face-off as we go to commercial.
We come back to see Kingston fighting out of a hold from The Miz and hitting a back suplex. Kofi starts firing up and is making his comeback as he hits Miz with the Boom Drop and then he signals for the Trouble in Paradise only to be caught and have his leg slammed down across Miz’s knee. Kingston stops another Figure Four attempt and then springs off the top turnbuckle with a crossbody for 2, Miz then hits the snap DDT for a 2 count as well. Miz hits the It Kicks, but when he goes for the big roundhouse Kingston ducks and tries to hit an S.O.S., but Miz counters that into a Skull Crushing Finale attempt only to have Kingston roll him up for a 2 count. Kingston hits the S.O.S. for yet another 2 count and now Kingston is heavily favoring the knee. Miz pushes Kingston into the corner and hits the running knees, but when he goes for the third one Kingston moves and kicks him in the head. Kingston goes up top and tries for a diving chop but Miz avoids and this causes Kingston to come down with all his weight on the bad knee.
The Miz is finally able to lock in the figure-four but after a couple of minutes of struggle, Kingston is able to get to the rope which breaks the hold and then Kingston rolls to the outside. Miz goes out to get Kingston, but before he does he stands on the apron and gives a little kick to the back of Big E’s head and this causes them to go face to face and this provides a long enough distraction to allow Morrison to leap off the steps with a side flip that lands on Big E. In the ring The Miz is able to hit the Skull Crushing Finale and pin Kingston for the win.
Winner: The Miz via Pinfall Match Rating: **¾
I’m already liking this New Day vs Miz and Morrison feud and can’t wait to see the matches they have together as I have a feeling they could be up there with the New Day vs Usos series from 2017. It’s interesting they brought Morrison back and immediately turned him heel as I was for sure back when they announced he was returning he was going to be an upper mid-card babyface, but I’m not complaining as he is just as good at being a heel who thinks he is better than everyone else. I never thought about it until now, but if they change Morrison back to Johnny Nitro and then bring Maryse back in they could be MNM 2.0, I mean Miz already has the Hollywood star gimmick so why not just combine the two. One fun mini-story that I wouldn’t mind seeing inside the Rumble match is Morrison and Kingston trying to outdo each other with near elimination spots as that seemed like it was going to be Morrison’s thing in the Rumble before he left and it was just passed on the next year to Kingston.
We get an episode of Firefly Funhouse where Bryan says he loves the fireflies but some people like Daniel Bryan aren’t worthy of love. Bray says that at first, The Fiend wanted Bryan to remember (we see flashes of when Bryan was apart of the Wyatt Family in early 2014) and then The Fiend wanted to change Bryan, but now that Bryan wants to go after the title The Fiend hates Daniel Bryan and at the Royal Rumble The Fiend wants to hurt Daniel Bryan.
As we come back from commercial we are in the back where Sonya is trying to get Mandy hyped about her match tonight, but Mandy looks occupied with something else. Mandy tells Sonya she will be there in a minute but she has something to do first and then Mandy pulls out a big white box.
We then go to the ring where we get another Elias performance and this time he sings about everyone who is already confirmed for the Royal Rumble and how he is going to eliminate Brock Lesnar and then win the WWE Title.
We go back to the back where Heavy Machinery are in the hall and Tucker is trying to hype up Otis just like Sonya was trying to hype up Mandy earlier, but Otis is still sad over what happened two weeks ago. Mandy walks up and tells Otis she is sorry about what happened to the fruitcake Otis’s mama made and then gives him the white box which contains a cake that says “I’m Sorry” with a little frowny face. Mandy has to quickly go as she has a match next when she leaves it is obvious that Tucker is suspicious of Mandy’s intentions with Otis.
Match #2: Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville vs Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross
As Alexa is making her way to the ring we get an inset promo with Alexa and Nikki saying they are entering the Women’s Royal Rumble and Nikki says that nothing can get between them, Alexa says as long as she wins everything will be fine and this gets a look from Nikki that shows she isn’t in agreement with that.
Mandy and Alexa lock up and Mandy pushes Alexa into the corner, but we don’t get a clean break as Mandy gives Alexa a shove. We get another lock up and Alexa grabs a side headlock, but Mandy shoots her into the ropes where Alexa tries for a shoulder block, but Mandy doesn’t move and then shoves Alexa around while talking trash. Alexa finally gets enough and smacks Mandy and then gets her over in the corner where she stomps a mudhole in her. Alexa drops Mandy with a drop toe hold and then delivers another smack to the face of Mandy. Alexa looks to hit the DDT, but Mandy picks her up and drives her into the corner where she delivers a series of shoulder attacks to Alexa’s mid-section. Mandy charges at Alexa in the corner, but Alexa lifts her and throws her over to the apron where Mandy tries for a shoulder attack but Alexa is out of position. Alexa slaps Mandy for the third time and this sends Mandy off the apron and to the floor.
Alexa hits a baseball slide on Mandy that sends her back into the barricade. Alexa rolls Mandy back in, but as Alexa is going to get in the ring Sonya gets up on the apron, Nikki tries to pull her down, but Sonya kicks her away so Alexa hits Sonya with a right to knock her off the apron. As Alexa steps into the ring, Mandy connects with the bicycle knee strike that gets a 2 count. Mandy mounts Alexa and delivers some punches and then she chokes Alexa cross the middle rope. Mandy takes Alexa down and locks in a chin lock, but Alexa easily fights out of it and then Mandy tries for the Bed of Roses, but Alexa blocks and then both women take each other down with a clothesline. Both women get to their feet and Alexa fires back with clotheslines and then another slap followed by another right hand and a dropkick. Alexa is fired up now as she has the crowd behind her. Alexa hits Insult to Injury and as she does the music of Heavy Machinery hits and outcome Tucker and Otis with the cake, Alexa sets Mandy up for the DDT, but the distraction allows Mandy to roll her up and get the win.
Winner: Mandy Rose via Pinfall Match Rating: **
It should be noted that Alexa is back to wearing a shirt again, maybe she has done this in the weeks since she has returned, but this is the first time I’ve noticed it. I like how the story with Mandy and Otis progressed this week, however, if they wanted to play more on Mandy favoring Otis over Sonya they should’ve had Mandy give Otis donuts instead of a cake as that is her and Sonya’s thing, they even have their own show called DaMandy’s Donuts so they could have done some interesting storytelling if Sonya had found out Mandy is sharing their favorite food with this guy who just came into the picture.
I had some problems with this match, first off as I have said before the whole Mandy yelling that her opponent will never look like her is lame to begin with but even more so when she is facing Alexa F”N Bliss, who is one of the most beautiful women in WWE history. Ok, so everyone better get the record book out and jot this date down as I’m fixing to make history on my SmackDown Report as I’m actually going to criticize Alexa Bliss. I felt like Alexa was the weak link in this match as not only was she out of position for a move, but 95% of her offense is slaps and punches. Alexa is a super athletic girl who is capable of doing some really cool things in the ring similar to a Kacy Catanzaro, so why are we not seeing more variance in her move set? During Alexa’s long break there were pics of her training at the PC with Mike Quackenbush (who if you aren’t aware is the founder of the Chikara promotion) who is one of the most versatile wrestlers you will find as he is an expert in many different styles of wrestling. I was hoping that after training with him she would return with some really different and unique moves like Quackenbush is known for, but instead, it feels like her moveset has regressed since her return. Come on Alexa, I’m begging you to pull out some cool shit you learned from Quack because your current move set is not only lacking variance but is more of a fit for a heel rather than a babyface.
Lacey Evans comes to the ring as she is supposed to face Sasha Banks, but Sasha never appears, however, Bayley appears on the tron and says that Sasha is in Los Angeles as some studio time opened up for her to go record more for her record. Laceys says she isn’t surprised as that is the difference between someone like her and a nasty like Sasha. Lacey then challenges Bayley for tonight, but Bayley says she isn’t Lacey’s snot-nosed kid and doesn’t have to listen to her, this leads to Lacey running to the back. Lacey runs toward Bayley’s locker room but Bayley attacks her from behind but Lacey fights back and we have a backstage brawl between the two before a referee is able to step in and calm Lacey down as Bayley runs away.
This was an ok segment, but I like some of the other stuff they have done with this feud a lot better. It’s interesting how Bayley is the champion and the ultimate goal for Lacey should be to face her, but they are making it as if she is just a stepping stone to get to the bigger match with Lacey facing Sasha. I definitely did not expect the USA chant from the crowd tonight considering the people Lacey is feuding with are also American. While I do love babyface Lacey I still wish they would give her a more modern look and get away from the 1920s pin-up look. Is this the first time a brawl has been broken up by only one referee?
We are shown a video of what happened last week between Daniel Bryan and The Fiend and then we go to an interview with Bryan. Bryan says that he remembers six years ago with the Wyatts. Bryan says The Fiend has made him more dangerous than ever and that The Fiend won’t break him because he knows The Fiend can be beaten and that he will do just that and takes The Fiend’s title. Ramblin’ Rabbit pops up and is about to reveal a secret as to how to beat The Fiend, but before he can Bray grabs him and covers his mouth and then tells everyone that snitches get stitches.
Braun Strowman makes his way to the ring for the next match after the break.
Match #3: Braun Strowman vs Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn & Cesaro
Strowman charges right at Nakamura and shoves him into the corner where he delivers somebody blows and then biels Nakamura across the ring. Strowman goes for the avalanche in the corner, but Nakamura moves and then delivers some kicks to the legs of Strowman. Nakamura back Strowman against the ropes and unleashes a flurry of strikes, Nakamura is able to duck a couple of clothesline attempts but runs right into a big boot from Strowman. Strowman delivers a clubbing blow to the back of Nakamura and then a kick to the mid-section. Strowman puts Nakamura in the corner and comes down with another clubbing blow to Nakamura. Strowman whips Nakamura hard into the corner and then is able to connect with the corner avalanche, but when he goes for another one Zayn pulls Nakamura out of the ring. Strowman goes out to get Nakamura but ends up chasing Zayn who runs in the ring and distracts the referee which allows Cesaro to push Strowman into the ring post and then Nakamura delivers a running kick to the head that sends Strowman into the timekeeper area as we go to commercial.
As we come back Nakamura has Strowman down in the corner doing the Good Vibrations stomp. Nakamura charges at Strowman in the corner, but Strowman catches him and throws him over to the apron where Nakamura connects with a kick to the head and then follows up by coming off the middle rope with a diving knee attack that only gets a 2 count. Nakamura grounds the Monster with a chin lock until Strowman gets back to his feet and slings Nakamura off his back. Nakamura hits Strowman with the spinning wheel kick and it takes Strowman down to his knees, but he recovers quickly as he catches Nakamura by the throat as he comes off the middle rope and then Strowman delivers a devastating clothesline that would make JBL proud. Strowman hits two shoulder blocks, an avalanche in the corner, and a clubbing blow to the chest, but Nakamura is able to kick out. Strowman picks Nakamura up and is looking to hit the powerslam, but Nakamura slides out the back and hits a flying kick and then follows up with a running knee, but that still isn’t enough to keep Strowman down.
Nakamura drives his knees into Strowman and then delivers some palm strikes, Nakamura charges at Strowman again, but this time is caught with a spinebuster. Zayn gets on the apron to distract the referee while Cesaro comes in the ring with a chair, but the referee sees him coming in and stops him, however, as this is happening Zayn throws in the Intercontinental title for Nakamura to use, but Strowman ducks the attempted belt shot and then hits the Powerslam on Nakamura for the 1-2-3.
Winner: Braun Strowman via Pinfall Match Rating: ***
After the match as Strowman holds up the title Zayn runs in and grabs the title and escapes like a thief in the night.
I wasn’t sure how a match between Nakamura and Strowman would go, but this was really good and I look forward to seeing the title match between these two and finally seeing Strowman win some singles gold that is long past due.
We see a taped video promo from Sheamus where he says that being short isn’t something to be proud of, it’s something to be exterminated. Sheamus says he proved size does matter and he embraces chaos now that he is back.
As we come back from break we see Daniel Bryan in the locker room where there is a present for him and when he opens it he pulls out Ramblin’ Rabbit who has had the side of his face bashed in.
I like how they went back to the story where Ramblin’ Rabbit knows something and he wants to tell everyone, but every time he keeps getting caught by Bray and ends up getting killed, I just hope we eventually get to find out what he has been trying to tell us the whole time. I really hope we can get a match at Rumble that is at least half as good as their 2014 Royal Rumble match even though we will have to watch it under the red light of death.
We get a video showing The Usos return last week when they saved Roman Reigns from being covered in dog food once again.
Roman Reigns comes out and talks about how 2019 ended rough for him and how in the past he would rely on his friends to help him out, but when it comes to dealing with Corbin and his goons he needed to look to family for help. Reigns says 2020 will be his year and he will do it with The Usos by his side. The Usos then come out and cut a promo about how happy they are to be back on SmackDown and how they plan to turn Friday Night SmackDown into Friday Night Lockdown. Jimmy says it was tough watching what Reigns was going through and that Kings come and go, but family is forever. Just as The Usos were about to deliver their signature Uso Penitentiary line they are interrupted by Corbin and Ziggler.
Corbin says that Reigns is afraid of him and is throwing his family under the bus and is hiding in the Rumble match just so he doesn’t have to face Corbin. After Corbin says he is entering the Rumble, Reigns challenges Corbin for a match earlier in the Rumble card which Corbin agrees to. Corbin says right now it’s time to take care of Reigns’ bitches, this leads The Usos to hit double dives onto Corbin, Ziggler, and the henchmen carrying the sedan as we go to commercial.
I don’t think there will ever be an Usos promo that doesn’t get me hyped as they are so good on the mic. It just dawned on me during this promo that this is my first Usos match to review and I want to apologize ahead of time for saying the wrong Usos name as I feel that could happen a lot as I still can’t tell them apart after 10 years of them being in the WWE. Oh boy just what we all wanted another match between Corbin and Reigns and this time we don’t even have a TLC stip to make it more exciting. I guess this will be the high profile match on the undercard that takes up the spot where we would usually get a Lesnar match.
We are told next week we will see Morrison’s first match back in WWE as he will take on Big E.
Match #4: The Usos w/ Roman Reigns vs King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler
The match starts as soon as we get back from break.
Jey and Ziggler start out the match and they both struggle to gain control which Jey finally does as he takes Ziggler down with a shoulder block and then tags in Jimmy. The Usos hit a double back elbow and a double elbow drop before Jimmy goes for the pin which gets him a 1 count, Ziggler rolls to his corner and tags in Corbin. Jimmy ducks a clothesline and fires away with some uppercuts until Corbin connects with a knee to the gut. Corbin sends Jimmy to the corner, but he is able to stop on a dime before hitting the turnbuckle and then Corbin goes for a clothesline, but Jimmy ducks so Corbin does his slide out and then slide back in clothesline spot. Corbin backs Jimmy into the heel corner and tags in Ziggler who hits a big dropkick on Jimmy that gets a 2 count. Ziggler tries to ground Jimmy but he gets back to his feet rather quickly and tries to reach for a tag, but Ziggler brings him back into his corner and tags in Corbin. Corbin tries for a back suplex on Jimmy, but he lands on his feet and falls back into a tag to Jey.
Jey hits a kick to the gut and then an uppercut and then fires away with punches in the corner. Corbin goes for the slide-out and slides in spot again but this time it ends with Corbin getting hit with an enziguri. Jey goes up to hit the splash, but The Revival run down to cause the distraction which allows Corbin to push Jimmy off the top rope to the floor, Ziggler uses all this distraction to pull Jimmy off the apron and send him into the crowd. The Revival is proud of the work they have done as they walk up the ramp, but when they get to the top Reigns comes back out and hits them both with Superman Punches as we go to commercial.
When we come back from the break we see that Jey is on fire as he hits Ziggler with a Samoan drop and follows that up with the running hip attack in the corner. Jey then knocks Corbin off the apron with a superkick. Jimmy dives out onto Corbin but is caught and sent into Reigns who is now at ringside with his cousins. Ziggler tries to get a win with a surprise roll-up but Jey kicks out and hits Ziggler with a superkick. Jey goes up top and hits the Uso Splash, but before he can pin Ziggler, he is sent into the ring post by Corbin. Corbin goes back outside and sends Reigns into the barricade and then throws Jimmy back in the ring, but when he turns around, he is hit with a Spear by Reigns which the referee sees and this causes a DQ.
Winners: King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler via DQ Match Rating: **½
After the match Reigns is looking to put Corbin through the announce table when out of nowhere Reigns is attacked by Robert Roode who is back after a month, the last time he was seen on TV Reigns was turning the announce table over on him. Roode sends Reigns into the ring post and then hits him with the Glorious DDT on the outside and then Corbin hits the Deep Six on one of the Usos and then Ziggler hits the other Uso with a superkick. The heels taunt Reigns and then Roode looks to send Reigns through the table with a spinebuster, but when he does the table doesn’t break so Ziggler has to climb on top of it and hits a jumping elbow on Reigns to make the table break. We are shown the replay of what just happened and as that is happening Michael Cole is screaming about the heels burying Reigns under a bunch of stuff, but we are not seeing it as the replay is still going on. The show closes with the heels celebrating what they just did to Reigns and The Usos.
This was a decent match but nothing really happened that warrants writing about, but the post-match was good, especially since it didn’t involve dog food this week. There will never be a time when someone lands on a table that doesn’t break that I don’t cringe a little as it looks like it hurts ten times more than it would if the table had broken and this one was no different as it looked like Reigns’s back broke in half. I have to say nice thinking on the fly by having Ziggler immediately jump on the table and deliver the elbow, kudos to whoever called that on the spot. Nice to see Roode back from his suspension as his return means we have yet another tag team on SmackDown and at this point, I’m really interested in what the SmackDown Tag Title match ends up being at WrestleMania, usually I am against multi-team matches as it just feels like a way to get everyone on the card, but I would be fine with it in the case of the SmackDown tag division as there are so many teams worthy of getting that WrestleMania title match.
This episode of SmackDown felt like it was more centered around promos rather than in-ring action compared to last week. I really enjoyed the stuff with New Day feuding with Miz and Morrison as well as the segments with Mandy and Otis, however, I felt the women’s title feud took a bit of a step back and the Daniel Bryan and Fiend segments didn’t do that much for me this week either. I also enjoyed the Strowman vs Nakamura match and look forward to their match for the title.
That’s it for this week but I’ll be next week to cover everything going on with the blue brand including John Morrison’s first WWE match in 9 years.