SmackDown on Fox Episode #21
SmackDown Episode # 1,070
Glendale, AZ – Gila River Arena
We open the show with a video hyping up Goldberg being on the show tonight and then we go to our intro video and pyro. The announcers then hype up everything happening tonight including a “Symphony of Destruction” match.
The Usos come to the ring and talk about how they hated missing last week especially since Miz & Morrison couldn’t keep their names out of their mouth. The Usos say they are here tonight and there is going to be a superkick party and everybody is invited. The New Day comes out and both teams trade compliments. The Usos hope The New Day is keeping the titles warm because after Super Showdown they want to challenge for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
The Miz & John Morrison come out and talk about how perhaps they could become popular if they had a catchy chant like The New Day and The Usos have. Miz talks about how they will be the greatest tag team champions of the 21st century. Dolph Ziggler & Bobby Roode make their way to the ring and then all of the heels surround the ring as the babyfaces are back to back when the heels start to step in the ring the babyfaces move toward them sending the heels back down to the floor as we go to commercial.
Match #1: The Usos & The New Day vs The Miz/John Morrison & Bobby Roode/Dolph Ziggler
We come back with the match already in progress as Jimmy and Ziggler as the legal men. We get a couple of quick tags by the babyfaces and then all four babyfaces hit running strikes on Ziggler in the corner. Big E becomes the legal man and he sends Ziggler into the corner and then hits a big backdrop on Roode. Big E whips both of the Usos into the corner so they can hit Ziggler with the running hip attack and then The Usos whip Kingston into the corner where he connects with a running dropkick to a seated Ziggler. The Miz & John Morrison run in but are met with uppercuts from The Usos. The babyfaces are in complete control as Kingston signals for the Trouble in Paradise, but Roode distracts the referee which allows Morrison to grab a hold of Kingston and body scissors him over the top and to the floor and then The Miz delivers a big boot to Kingston on the outside. The Miz sends Kingston into the barricade which brings all the babyfaces over so the referee has to try and keep them back while at the same time the heels are putting the boots to Kingston. Miz rolls Kingston back into the ring and goes for a cover but only gets a 2 count.
Miz & Morrison hit their catapult backbreaker and slingshot elbow combo move but Kingston still kicks out in time. Morrison tags in Roode who put a boot to the ribs of Kingston and then grounds Kingston with a reverse chin lock. Kingston tries to escape the grasp of Roode so he can make a tag, but Roode rakes the eyes to regain control over Kingston. Roode tags in Ziggler who chokes Kingston with his boot and then distracts the referee so the rest of the heels can get their cheap shots in. Kingston gets a brief hope spot and it looks like he is going to make a tag, but Morrison catches him and sends him back into the heel corner. Morrison sets Kingston on the top and attempts a superplex, but Kingston knocks him down and then attempts to take care of the rest of the heels which allows Morrison to get back to his feet and kick Kingston off the top rope and to the floor as we go to commercial.
We come back from commercial to see Kingston is still getting worked over as he is immediately hit with a dropkick from Ziggler that gets a 2 count. Ziggler sends Kingston hard into the corner before tagging Roode back in and they attempt to double team Kingston only for it to backfire as Kingston backdrops Ziggler to the outside and then hits the mushroom stomp on Roode. Both men are able to make tags which brings in Big E who hits his belly to belly trifecta on The Miz and then he hits him with the big splash only to get a 2 count. Big E sets Miz up for the Big Ending, but Miz slips out only to be thrown over the top rope, but as he is in mid-air Morrison is able to make a tag to become the legal man. Big E attempts to hit the suicide spear, but Morrison connects with a knee that stops Big E in his tracks.
Morrison charges at Big E in the corner, but gets caught and slammed to the mat with a uranage that gets a 2 count and then we get the first of a couple of mysterious static cut-ins. Big E looks to make a tag but Roode yanks one of The Usos off the apron and sends him into the steps. Morrison hits a chuck kick on Big E and follows up with a knee to the face and to cap things off he hits a standing shooting star press, but he isn’t able to get a 3 count as Kingston breaks the pin. The Miz comes in and looks to hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Kingston but gets thrown off and then Kingston clotheslines him over the top rope. Kingston looks to go for a dive onto Miz, but as he runs to the ropes Morrison flies in with a springboard tornillo taking down Kingston.
We get another tag on both ends as Jey tags himself in and Morrison tags in Roode, Jey backdrops Morrison to the floor and then Roode attempts an O’Connor roll only for Jey to counter into a pinfall attempt of his own that gets a 2 count. Roode and Ziggler hit their Spinebuster and Zig-Zag combo move which gets another 2 count as Jimmy breaks up the pin this time. Jimmy hits superkicks on Ziggler and Miz and then turns around into a Glorious DDT by Roode. Jey attempts the enziguri on Roode but he ducks and then tries for another Glorious DDT, but Jey counters and hits Roode with a superkick and that is enough to get the job done.
Winners: The Usos & The New Day via Pinfall Match Rating: **¾
This was a fun match that I feel could be a preview of what we are going to see at WrestleMania as I wouldn’t be surprised if at least three of these teams are in the SmackDown tag title match on the show. I am curious what the static cut-ins are leading to, the most logical explanation would be the debut of Killer Kross if that is indeed what it turns out to be then they really see a lot in him as he would be the first big indy name since AJ Styles to not spend time in NXT. It will also be interesting to see if they pair him up with his wife Scarlett Bordeaux or leave them as separate acts.
We cut to the back where Daniel Bryan runs into Drew Gulak who wants to let Bryan know that he has some flaws in his game and wants to help him out. Heath Slater walks up and wants a rematch with Bryan because he wasn’t ready last time. Bryan accepts Slater’s challenge and invites Gulak to join Slater since he has seen all these so-called holes in his game.
I am all here for a Drew Gulak and Heath Slater comedy team if they aren’t going to do anything meaningful with Gulak as both men are great at providing non cringe-worthy comedy in wrestling. I would love to see a team where Gulak becomes Slater’s coach and his sole purpose is to teach Slater strategy via PowerPoint presentations so that Slater can finally get back to winning matches so he can provide for his kids.
As we come back from break we get a recap of what happened last week with Otis and Mandy. We then cut to the back where Tucker walks up on Mandy and Sonya talking, Tucker is upset by the fact that Mandy hurt Otis and when Mandy tries to explain Tucker cuts her off. Tucker says Otis was so upset that he wouldn’t even leave the hotel tonight. Mandy says that she didn’t invite Ziggler and she didn’t send Otis the text saying she was running late, Tucker isn’t buying what Mandy is saying and tells her that he was a fool to think she ever had good intentions. As Tucker walks off Sonya tells Mandy that Ziggler is more her type anyway. Later in the night, Mandy is waiting for her ride when Dolph Ziggler walks up and says he has a car and she can ride with him, Mandy agrees and leaves with Ziggler. As the camera pans over we see that Otis was standing there the entire time and once again his heart has been broken.
These segments did a good job of furthering the story as I like Tucker sticking up for his buddy by confronting Mandy. I think they are wanting the fans to think that Ziggler was the one that sent the text, but I feel like they are setting up a swerve of having it be Sonya that sent the text as this entire time she has been jealous of Otis taking Mandy’s attention away from her. I am starting to wonder if they will finish this story at Elimination Chamber or will they have enough material to extend it out until WrestleMania.
We go to Renee Young who will be interviewing Lacey Evans. Lacey says the loss to Bayley at Royal Rumble was a tough loss and what made it even worse was the fact that she lost to a bully like Bayley. Renee then calls Lacey out for calling Bayley and Sasha bullies when she herself was a bully not that long ago and was calling people nasties. Lacey tries to defend the term nasties by saying it could have multiple meanings and sometimes it is used as a term of endearment. Lacey then says Renee is right and admits that she was a bully, but it took her coming to SmackDown and seeing Bayley and Sasha bully the rest of the women’s division and tormenting her daughter before she was able to realize that she had been a bully herself.
Lacey says that going forward she is all about change and progress in order to be a better person and this is a new chapter for her. Renee asks her what’s next and Lacey says her sights are set on the Elimination Chamber and getting back to the point where she can challenge for the Women’s Championship at WrestleMania. Renee thanks Lacey for taking the time for the interview.
The first thing I have to say about this interview is that when Lacey talks in her normal voice as opposed to the character voice of the “Sassy Southern Belle” she is way more engaging and relatable for me personally as I find the southern belle voice to be an over the top caricature of what a woman from the south sounds like. I liked how Renee called Lacey out on her hypocrisy as most of the time when someone turns from heel to babyface their past actions are never brought up or questioned in the way Renee did in this segment, while I thought her defense of using the term “nasties” wasn’t that great I did like her reason as to why she changed her ways as it took someone bullying her and her family before she realized how much of a bully she had been herself.
According to what Lacey said in this interview It appears that we for the first time ever we are having three Elimination Chamber matches on the Elimination Chamber card as both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s #1 Contender spots are on the line as is the #1 Contender spot for the Universal Title.
Match #2: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn vs Elias & Braun Strowman (Symphony of Destruction Match)
Elias and Nakamura start out the match and Nakamura wants a test of strength, but when Elias goes to lock up Nakamura takes a cheap shot and then delivers a flurry of forearms. Nakamura runs off the ropes but is met with a back elbow from Elias. Elias takes Nakamura down with a hip toss and then Zayn hands Nakamura a tambourine, but before Nakamura can use it Elias kicks him in the gut and then slams Nakamura’s head on the top turnbuckle while the tambourine was around Nakamura’s neck. Elias starts hitting Nakamura with the tambourine and then hits him with a jumping knee that sends Nakamura out to the floor.
Elias goes out and grabs a giant drum but before he can do anything with it Cesaro runs over and grabs it from him, Cesaro then looks to hit Elias with the drum but he gets it taken from him by Strowman who smashes the drum over Cesaro’s head and then knocks him silly with a big right hand. Zayn tries to interfere by hitting Strowman in the back with his ukulele but Strowman doesn’t even flinch. Strowman chases after Zayn and runs right into a guitar shot from Nakamura that takes the big man down as we go to commercial.
As we come back from commercial Cesaro has a guitar case in the ring but when he opens it up he pulls out the good ol’ cowbell, Cesaro attempts to hit Elias with it but Elias blocks it and ends up hitting Cesaro with the cowbell. Elias wants to suplex Cesaro from inside the ring to the outside and through a table, but Zayn grabs the leg of Elias and this distraction allows for Cesaro to move out of the way so that Nakamura can hit a running kick that sends Elias off the apron and through the table. Cesaro goes out to grab Elias, but before he can he is run over by a freight train named Braun Strowman. Strowman is in full control as he is throwing both Cesaro and Nakamura all over the place. Strowman is in full control of the match as he chokeslams Cesaro onto the ring apron.
Strowman teases picking up a guitar but he looks over and sees the double bass that he brought to the ring with him so he goes over to grab that instead, but once again Zayn gets involved as he smashes a keyboard over Strowman’s back. Zayn grabs the bass and lays it down on the floor and then Cesaro and Nakamura suplex Strowman through it, but somehow Strowman is able to kick out when Cesaro pins him on the floor as falls count anywhere in this match. Elias is now back in the match as he grabs Nakamura and throws him into the barricade and then attempts to hit Nakamura with a tuba, but instead Nakamura nails Elias with the gong mallets that he has turned into nunchucks, Nakamura goes for a second shot with the nunchucks, but Elias ducks only to get blasted with a spinning heel kick and at this point, we see that Elias’s back is bleeding. Nakamura measures Elias as he looks to hit him with the Kinshasa but Elias is able to move out of the way sending Nakamura crashing into the gong knee first.
Elias clotheslines Nakamura into the timekeeper area and then blocks a guitar shot attempt from Cesaro before sending him into the ring post and then Elias smashes the guitar over Cesaro’s back. Elias lays Cesaro on one of the tables at ringside and goes up top looking for the elbow drop, but Nakamura grabs his leg momentarily until Strowman comes over and tosses Nakamura over the announce table. Elias sends Cesaro through the table with the elbow drop and immediately after Strowman hits Nakamura with a Powerslam off the announce table and onto the piano at ringside. Strowman pushes Nakamura’s lifeless body off the piano and pins him to pick up the win.
Winners: Elias & Braun Strowman via Pinfall Match Rating: ***
This was a really fun match. It’s nice and refreshing anytime WWE has a match that doesn’t involve the typical WWE weapons that we see in every no DQ match like the Singapore cane and steel chair. I thought there were some really creative spots with the instruments like using the gong beaters as nunchucks and then having Nakamura crash into the gong with the missed Kinshasa. The powerslam that Strowman hit on Nakamura onto the piano couldn’t have felt great as there was no give in that piano. It’s pretty ironic that Strowman and Elias were teaming up in this match considering they were facing each other in the first Symphony of Destruction match. I think the feud between Strowman and Nakamura is coming to an end as I fully expect him to start feuding with Sheamus as that will most likely be the Intercontinental Championship match at WrestleMania.
I really don’t see the John Cena vs Elias match rumor being true (even though it would make sense for them to actually have a match against each other given what has happened the last two years at WrestleMania with John Cena interrupting Elias) because it makes zero sense to turn Elias back heel this soon as he is over as a babyface. If John Cena is going to have an actual match at WrestleMania they are going to want him to face someone higher up on the card, I see Cena’s most likely opponents being either Daniel Bryan seeing as Bryan feels like he is in limbo right now with no clear direction as to what he will be doing at WrestleMania or perhaps they want Cena to finally beat Flair’s record so they put him against The Fiend.
We go to a video package highlighting the feud between Roman Reigns and King Corbin.
We then go backstage where Kayla Braxton interviews King Corbin about his match against Roman Reigns next week. Corbin says he is going to end the whole facade that Roman Reigns is a locker room leader and then says Reigns has never beat him one-on-one and he will beat Roman in Saudi Arabia.
We come back from break and it’s time for A Moment of Bliss. Alexa talks about the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees that have been announced so far and then she introduces The Bella Twins as the next inductees into this year’s class. The Bellas talk about how happy and excited they are to be inducted and they thank their Bella Army for getting them there. The Bellas then put over Alexa Bliss, but she turns the attention right back onto them. The Bellas talk about being pregnant only a week apart from each other.
Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring and he is carrying his daughter Birdie before he hands her off to Brie.
This was quick and simple just like it needed to be because if you keep The Bellas out there for too long talking about their accomplishments then you run the risk of people in the crowd turning on the segment and booing it, especially since a major part of the WWE audience already don’t care for The Bellas and think it’s a shame that they are going into the Hall of Fame. I am completely fine with The Bellas going into the HOF as they were a major part of the bridge years between Trish and Lita leaving and the Four Horsewomen arriving in NXT. Unlike some of the other women around that time they did work hard to improve despite having no prior wrestling experience before coming into WWE. They should also be credited for bringing in new female fans thanks to their work on Total Divas and Total Bellas as their fans are right up there with the Sasha Stans when it comes to loyal fan bases. Also, fans who have a problem with The Bellas going in should probably just realize that eventually, every woman who made even the least bit of an impact in WWE will end up getting inducted as the pool of eligible women is significantly smaller than that of the men. I thought it was a nice bow on the announcement segment to have Bryan come out right after for his match carrying Birdie as it was a sweet genuine little moment.
Match #3: Daniel Bryan vs Heath Slater
Slater starts out by talking some trash and then he pushes Bryan a couple of times and then on the third attempt Bryan grabs Slater’s arm and tries to lock in the Yes Lock, but Slater gets to the ropes. Slater gets in control of the match somehow but we miss it as the camera was focussed on the announce table where Drew Gulak is sitting on commentary. Slater goes to work on the leg of Bryan as he slams it down on the apron and then follows up with a chop block. Bryan finally gets enough as he fires back with punches and then he goes for the backflip off the top turnbuckle, but when he lands he tweaks his knee which allows Slater to take advantage and hit a big DDT for a 2 count. Slater goes up top and this causes Gulak to freak out as he yells at Slater to get down, Slater dives off but Bryan moves out of the way. Bryan successfully connects with the Yes Kicks. Bryan goes to hit the running knee, but Slater catches him out of nowhere with a schoolboy roll-up that gets a 2 count. Slater and Bryan both get back to their feet and this time Bryan connects with the running knee to get the win.
Winner: Daniel Bryan via Pinfall Match Rating: **
After the match, Bryan keeps looking over at Gulak while he celebrates his win.
This match actually went longer than I expected it to as I expected a complete squash, but they actually let Slater get in some offense including that nice schoolboy rollup when Bryan was going for the knee that was completely unexpected. In the end, Bryan comes out with another win over Slater and judging by the post-match we can assume Bryan will face Gulak next week and while I expect it to be a short match like this one it would be nice to see a non-squash match between Gulak and Bryan as I’m sure they could put on one hell of a wrestling clinic.
Naomi makes her entrance as we go to commercial.
We come back to a Sheamus video where he announces he has entered the Elimination Chamber match.
Apollo Crews and Shorty G are in the back talking about Sheamus, Shorty talks about how he is not backing down and neither should Apollo, Apollo tells Shorty he doesn’t need a pep talk and he will handle the Sheamus situation in his own way.
Match #4: Naomi vs Carmella
The women shake hands to start the match, but Naomi uses the handshake to pull Carmella into a side headlock takeover which she hangs onto as she keeps Carmella on the mat. Carmella scissors the head of Naomi only for Naomi to nip up to get out the headscissors and both women are back on their feet. Naomi takes Carmella right back down with another headlock takeover, but Carmella quickly gets to her feet and is able to lock in a side headlock of her own, but Naomi fights out and sends Carmella into the ropes where Carmella comes back with a shoulder block. We get a drop-down and leapfrog spot that ends with Naomi hitting a flying back elbow. Naomi tries for a sliding kick, but Carmella is able to avoid it. It looks like we are going to get a lockup, but there is some miscommunication as Carmella goes low for a single leg takedown, but Naomi doesn’t go down and looks a bit confused so she grabs a front facelock, Naomi tries for a pin out of a backslide but Carmella kicks out.
Carmella sends Naomi into the corner, but Naomi jumps up and mule kicks Carmella across the ring and then hits a clothesline. Naomi hits Carmella with a full nelson bomb and tries to turn her over for a pinfall, but Carmella keeps kicking out. Carmella finally gets back to her feet and even lands a knee to the gut which Naomi no-sells as she sends Carmella into the ropes where Carmella comes back with the Mella-Go-Round flying headscissors. Carmella throws Naomi to the outside and looks for a dive, but is caught with a kick to the head from Naomi instead and this gets a smile from Bayley who is sitting at ringside watching the match as the winner will be facing her at Super Showdown next Thursday. Naomi springboards back into the ring with a crossbody that takes Carmella down long enough for Naomi to get a 2 count. Naomi jumps up to the middle rope, but Bayley jumps up on the apron to distract Naomi long enough for Carmella to get back to her feet and hit a Stratusphere out of the corner for a 2 count. Naomi rolls to the outside to catch a breather and this leads to Bayley coming over to trash talk her which is enough for referee Jessika Carr to throw Bayley out and send her to the back even though Bayley never touched anyone. Carmella dives through the bottom rope with a tope suicida that takes out Naomi as we go to commercial.
We come back to Naomi working her way up to her feet and then she hits Carmella with a backbreaker. Naomi hits several kicks to the back of Carmella’s leg and then Naomi hits the rapid-fire kicks until Carmella catches one of them and shoves Naomi down to the mat for a 2 count. Both women start trading forearm strikes and then Naomi tries to slam Carmella, but she counters and takes Naomi down with an Edge O Matic for another 2 count. Naomi pushes Carmella away from her so she can create distance to hit the running sitout jawbreaker and she follows that up by hitting the chuck kick, but she is unable to take advantage as Carmella crawls out of the ring. Naomi dives out onto Carmella with a tornillo. Naomi rolls Carmella back into the ring where she gets a 2 count on a pinfall attempt.
Carmella tries to get her whereabouts as she walks over to the corner where she is able to avoid a stinger splash attempt by Naomi. Carmella goes up top and hits a nice crossbody that gets a 2 count. Naomi rolls out to the apron and Carmella tries to suplex her back into the ring, but after seeing that wasn’t going to happen she hangs Naomi’s throat across the top rope, but this fires Naomi up as she lands a kick to the head of Carmella. Naomi hits a sunset flip pin for a 2 count and then Naomi attempts her Slay-O-Mission submission hold but Carmella easily avoids it being locked on. Naomi puts Carmella into position for the split-legged moonsault, but Carmella doesn’t give her a chance as she rolls her up in a schoolgirl pin for a 2 count and this leads to both women trading pinfall combinations until Carmella rolls out of a jackknife pin and locks in the Code of Silence. Naomi struggles for a bit in the hold before she finally gets to the ropes.
We get both women dodging kicks until Naomi connects with one of hers to the face of Carmella and then she catches Carmella with the Rear View for a 2 count. Naomi once again goes for the split-legged moonsault, but just like last time Carmella stops her as she pulls Naomi’s leg off the rope and then hits her with a basement superkick for yet another 2 count and at this point, Carmella is questioning what she has to do in order to finish off Naomi. Carmella charges at Naomi in the corner but Naomi gets her feet up and when Carmella pushes them out of the way Naomi nails her with a kick. Naomi goes up top and hits a blockbuster and then she finally hits the split-legged moonsault to get a hard-fought win.
Winner: Naomi via Pinfall Match Rating: **½
This match started out really rough as there was some sloppiness but it got better the longer the match went and while I won’t say it was on the same level as last week’s match between Carmella and Bayley it was still a good match. As much as a raved about Carmella last week I felt she was off a bit this week and was the reason for the sloppiness in the beginning stages of the match, however, I will say she made up for not being at the same quality as last week by providing plenty of sideboob during this match lol. I look forward to seeing what Bayley and Naomi can pull off at Super Showdown or at least I look forward to it as much as one can look forward to a match on one of these Saudi shows. I am pretty sure Bayley will retain and then Naomi can be one of the entrants in the SmackDown women Elimination Chamber matches which she may or may not come out on the winning side of depending on Sasha’s condition.
After the match, we go to the back outside of Goldberg’s locker room as he will be coming out after the commercial.
Goldberg comes to the ring and says it’s good to be back on SmackDown and since he hasn’t been on SmackDown in a while he is going to take his time, but then he immediately calls out The Fiend. Firefly Funhouse pops up and Goldberg says he isn’t here to play games, he is here to take The Fiend’s title. Wyatt introduces Goldberg to his Firefly Funhouse puppets and then threatens Ramblin’ Rabbit with his mallet. Wyatt then says he knows someone who is dying to meet Goldberg. The lights go out and The Fiend shows up behind Goldberg who is expecting him, we get a staredown for a minute and then Goldberg hits The Fiend with a Spear. The Fiend looks like he is going to get back up, but as he gets to his knees the lights go back out and The Fiend has vanished. SmackDown ends with Goldberg in the ring posing for the fans.
This was an OK final build for their match at Super Showdown, but nothing too spectacular. At this point anytime Goldberg comes to the ring without being knocked loopy because of him headbutting a door is a good night for him. Why was Wyatt acting like he didn’t know who Goldberg was when he clearly knew who Goldberg was during their first promo a few weeks ago when Goldberg was via satellite. I really hope this match at Super Showdown is a Goldberg style match that is quick because if this match goes longer than five minutes it has the potential to become the worst match of the year.
This week’s episode was better than most mainly because we didn’t spend a big chunk of time devoted to the Reigns vs Corbin feud which is very refreshing. I thought it was as good of a go-home show as you could expect for a Saudi show.
That’s it for this week but I’ll be back next week where we get the fall out of Super Showdown and the two-week build for Elimination Chamber begins. We also get the big return of John Cena where I’m sure his WrestleMania feud will begin so I expect that to be a big part of my review next week. Until next week see ya later loyal readers.