SmackDown on Fox Episode #19
SmackDown Episode # 1,068
San Jose, CA – SAP Center
We open with a video hyping Goldberg’s return tonight on SmackDown and then we go to the intro video and the pyro opening.
The Miz & John Morrison make their way to the ring to host the first episode of The Dirty Sheet in over ten years. Miz & Morrison introduced us to a short film they put together titled “Once Upon A Time on the Dirt Sheet” which was a spoof of the “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood” movie, the film featured cameos from Lance Storm, Johnny “Ace” Laurinaitis, & future Oscar nominee George “Mr. Miz” Mizanin. The movie was used to hype up their match with The New Day at Super Showdown. New Day come out and the two teams take shots at each other before Miz & Morrison state that they have beaten every team on SmackDown in order to become the #1 contenders. This brings out The Usos who remind Miz & Morrison that they have never beaten them and then they welcome Miz & Morrison to the Uso penitentiary. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode come out and we get a brawl with all four teams as we go to commercial.
I thought the film part of this was really fun as it was something a bit different than we’re used to seeing. I thought the whole promo part after that was pretty meh, except for the fact that we had a bit of a bait and switch as it seemed like we were either going to get Usos vs Miz & Morrison or an 8 man tag, but no we have to get a pairing that we have seen face each other in some shape, form, or fashion over twenty times in the last couple of months.
Match #1: The Usos vs Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
The match starts as soon as we come back from commercial. Ziggler and Jimmy start the match and jockey for control while still in the lock-up, Ziggler backs Jimmy into his corner and tags in Roode. Roode works Jimmy over in the corner before whipping him into the opposite corner, but Jimmy leaps up and over Roode and then delivers a stinging chops of his own. Jimmy hits Roode with a big right hand as he comes off the rope and then delivers one to Ziggler who comes into the ring. Jimmy tags in Jey who jumps off the top with an ax handle to the arm of Roode. Roode reverses a whip into the ropes by Jey who gets tripped up by Ziggler and as he turns back around is clotheslined by Roode. Roode tags in Ziggler and Ziggler dropkicks Jey for a 2 count. Ziggler and Roode continue to work Jey over on their side of the ring while they make frequent tags.
Roode grounds Jey for a couple of minutes before hitting him with a gourdbuster and Ziggler follows that up with a fameasser for a 2 count. Ziggler knocks Jimmy off the apron and as he turns his attention away from Jey he gets rolled up in a schoolboy but is able to kick out. Ziggler and Roode hit their Spinebuster and Zig-Zag combo move for a very close 2 count as Jimmy breaks it up at the last second. Jimmy hits a superkick on Ziggler only to turn around into a big boot from Roode. Jey hits Roode with an enziguri and then goes up top only to get shoved off the top to the floor by Ziggler as we go to commercial.
As we come back Roode is raking the face of Jey across the top rope and then works him over in the corner. Jey tries to make a comeback when Ziggler gets tagged in but a single kick to the knee sends him back down to the mat. Jey fights his way out of the heel corner and then dumps Roode to the outside and just as he is about to finally make the tag to Jimmy he is cut off by Roode, Roode tries to knock Jimmy off the apron but he ducks and then Jey crawls between Roode’s legs and finally makes the tag.
Jimmy enters the ring via a diving crossbody of the top and then fires away with right hands and uppercuts followed by a Samoan drop on Roode and then one on Ziggler. Jimmy hits the running hip smash on Ziggler and goes for one on Roode, but gets caught with a powerslam instead. Jimmy counters an attempted Glorious DDT with a backdrop and this leads to Roode tagging Ziggler back in. Ziggler hits the Zig Zag on Jimmy for a close 2 count. Ziggler sets up for the superkick, but Jimmy connects with his own first and then hits one on Roode as well. Jey is tagged back in and he goes for the Uso Splash, but Ziggler gets his knees up and rolls Jey into a pin but Jey is able to kick out.
Ziggler tags Roode in and they attempt a double suplex on Jey but Jimmy makes the save, Ziggler and Jimmy both go over the top to the floor. Jey goes for a superkick on Roode but his leg gets caught and Roode tries for an O’Connor roll but at the last second Jimmy blind tags himself into the match. The Usos hit a double superkick on Roode and then Jimmy goes up top and hits the Uso Splash to pick up the win.
Winners: The Usos via Pinfall Match Rating: **½
This was a good match as usual between these two teams but nothing about it made it stand out from the rest of their matches against each other.
We cut to the back where we see Alexa Bliss getting ready for her match when Nikki Cross walks up and hands Alexa her gloves. Alexa talks about how she has beaten Bayley before and she can do it again, but Nikki reminds her that she has to get through her match tonight first and Bliss lets her know she has a plan up her sleeve.
We got a recap of the main event segment last week with King Corbin getting covered in dog food. We see Corbin entering the production truck and he wants to know who just played that video, he finds the guy and throws him out of the production truck and down the stairs that lead up to the truck. Agents run over and back Corbin away.
I really enjoyed this segment with Corbin as it made sense that a heel would be so embarrassed and pissed off about what happened to him that he would want to take his frustrations out on the people that re-aired the video for the entire world to see. With that being said I personally didn’t need to relive that horrible Wrestlecrap segment yet again.
Elias is in the ring and he plays the guitar for a while until Cesaro and Sami Zayn cut him off. Zayn gets on the mic and starts trash talking Elias saying that what happens to him tonight at the hands of Cesaro is his own fault. Cesaro and Zayn walk down to the ring as we go to commercial.
Match #2: Elias vs Cesaro w/ Sami Zayn
We come back from commercial with the match already in progress as Cesaro has Elias back up into the corner. Elias shoots Cesaro into the ropes from being in a headlock and as he comes back Elias tries for a hip toss but it’s blocked and then Cesaro lands a big European uppercut. Elias reverses a whip into the ropes and hits a big back body drop on Cesaro. Elias hits a one-armed backbreaker on Cesaro that gets a 2 count. Cesaro then reverses a whip into the corner but this ends up being a bad decision as Elias hits him with a mule kick out of the corner. Elias looks to go up top but before he can Zayn gets up on the apron, this leads to Cesaro sending Elias into the ring post face-first and then he hits Elias with a big boot knocking him off the apron.
Cesaro goes out to get Elias but first, he slams him sternum first onto the barricade. Cesaro rolls Elias into the ring and covers Elias for a 2 count. Cesaro locks Elias in a chin lock for a couple of minutes until Elias starts to fight his way out of it. Cesaro then hits Elias with a back body drop and an elbow drop for another 2 count. Cesaro hits a gutwrench suplex that Elias kicks out of. Cesaro chokes Elias across the middle rope and then distracts the referee long enough for Zayn to get in a cheap shot. Cesaro grounds Elias once again with another chin lock. Elias fights his way out once again and then Cesaro lowers his head looking for another backdrop but Elias kicks him instead. Cesaro tries to go for a rest hold for a third time but Elias hits him with a belly to back suplex. Cesaro looks to hit a running European uppercut in the corner, but Elias gets his boot up and then hits a nice jumping knee strike that keeps Cesaro down long enough for a 2 count.
Elias goes up top but Cesaro crotches him, Cesaro joins Elias on the ropes and wants to hit a superplex but Elias keeps blocking it and finally pushes Cesaro off the ropes sending him down to the mat. Elias is slow to get into position for what he wants to come off the top with so Cesaro springs to his feet and hits Elias with a jumping European uppercut that sends Elias down to the apron. Cesaro then hits a deadlift superplex but this still isn’t enough to finish off Elias. Cesaro looked to be going for the Neutralizer, but Elias counters it into a jackknife pin for another 2 count. Elias runs off the ropes and Cesaro catches him with a pop-up uppercut but that still isn’t enough to finish off Elias.
Cesaro picks up Elias and hits him with a barrage of short-range European uppercuts. Elias fires back with some chops and now we have both men exchanging strikes. Elias backs Cesaro into the corner and hits him with repeated strikes to the point where the referee has to pull him off Cesaro. Elias then hits a clothesline and a body slam on Cesaro and finally, he hits the top rope elbow drop and that is enough to put the Swiss Cyborg down for the 3 count.
Winner: Elias via Pinfall Match Rating: ***¼
I definitely wasn’t expecting this match to be as good as it was, but these two went out and put on a really good match, putting on a really good match is nothing new for Cesaro, however, it definitely isn’t something I come to expect from Elias as most of the time I find him average at best in the ring. This may be Elias’s best singles match of his WWE career but then again it’s hard to have a bad match when you’re standing across the ring from one of the most underrated wrestlers that WWE has on its roster.
We see Goldberg getting mic’d up for an interview as we go to break.
When we come back we are getting ready for the Goldberg interview, but before that Corbin comes out and cuts the heel promo you would expect from him. Corbin says he wants Roman Reigns in the ring one more time because Reigns would’ve never beat him without The Usos. Corbin pours a drink on a fan and that is when Reigns comes out and beats the shit out of Corbin until Corbin retreats through the crowd. Reigns gets on the mic and says if Corbin wants another match with him that’s fine but it’s going to be inside of a steel cage.
I can’t even begin to express how sick and tired I am of this feud, this feud has been going on for 4 damn months, that’s right a feud between Roman Reigns and Baron Corbin has been going on for 4 DAMN MONTHS and while there are some feuds in the history of WWE that have lasted 4 months and still feel fresh and still have something to offer, this is far from being one of those feuds. There have been three times in the last four months where this feud should’ve ended, but Vince McMahon for some reason thinks the fans are so invested in this feud that it needs to keep going into eternity but in reality this feud is only playing to an audience of one and that one is Vince McMahon himself. The fact that they are putting the match in a steel cage doesn’t bring any added interest to it at all, in fact, they could get naked and light themselves on fire and I still couldn’t give two shits about these two facing each other.
We then go to the interview with Goldberg via satellite where he talks about how he never got a chance to regain the Universal Championship so he is challenging The Fiend. We are then interrupted by breaking news courtesy of Firefly Funhouse News (FFN) and we go to lead anchor Bray Wyatt. Bray sets that The Fiend accepts and then throws to Mercy the Buzzard for the weather who says that Goldberg has no chance in hell of taking the title off The Fiend. Goldberg cuts in and says that Bray’s intimidation isn’t going to work and that he is going to take the Universal Championship from The Fiend and that The Fiend is NEXT!
When it was announced earlier this week that Goldberg was going to be on SmackDown I was under the impression that he was actually going to be there but instead, we got him via satellite from his garage. I am very interested to see how this Fiend vs Goldberg match plays out as this could just be a simple one-off for Goldberg where he just comes in and gets some more Saudi blood money while at the same time giving The Fiend a win over another legend, but on the other hand, Goldberg could be working a match at WrestleMania and could go in as the Universal Champion just like in 2017. If Goldberg does go into WrestleMania as champion then his most likely opponent would be Roman Reigns, but if that happens then who does that leave The Fiend face at WrestleMania?
Daniel Bryan is in the locker room minding his own business when Heath Slater walks up and he says that he is worried about Bryan. Slater starts talking about everything Bryan went through with The Fiend and he keeps rambling on and on about it to the point where Bryan finally got tired of hearing it and challenged Slater to a match before leaving the locker room.
Match #3: Daniel Bryan vs Heath Slater
As soon as the bell rings Bryan connects with a running corner dropkick on Slater and then throws him out of the ring so he can hit him with a tope suicida which sends Slater falling over the announce table. Bryan throws Slater back into the ring and then comes off the top with a missile dropkick. Bryan hits the Yes Kicks and follows that up with the running knee, but he isn’t done with Slater yet. Bryan clutches the wrists of Slater and repeatedly stomps on the head of Slater before finally locking in the Yes Lock to pick up the win.
Winner: Daniel Bryan via Submission Match Rating: *¾
I really locked the locker room exchange between Slater and Bryan because just like the Corbin thing earlier in the night with the production truck it felt like something new and fresh. I liked how the subject matter in the promo that Slater cut was very serious, but yet the way he delivered it was hilarious. You don’t realize how much you miss Heath Slater on TV until he shows back up and knocks whatever he is doing out of the park which he does every time he is given the opportunity to. I’m still not sure where this Daniel Bryan thing is going but unlike a lot of stuff on SmackDown lately I am definitely interested to see where it goes.
As we come back from commercial we are shown footage of last week when Braun Strowman won the Intercontinental Championship.
Braun Strowman is interviewed by Renee Young about his title win last week, he says winning the title is the greatest accomplishment of his career. Strowman is interrupted by Sami Zayn & Shinsuke Nakamura who wants a rematch as Strowman’s win was fraudulent. Strowman says Nakamura can have a rematch anytime he wants including tonight. Nakamura and Zayn walk toward the ring but then decide against it and instead Strowman is attacked from behind by The Revival. Strowman comes back and takes out everyone and then runs after Zayn but Zayn runs into the ring and when Strowman follows he is hit by Nakamura with a Kinshasa.
This was fine as it continues on the feud between Strowman and Nakamura and also got The Revival on the show. I guess The Revival will join Zayn’s stable as his lackeys while they wait on their contracts to run out so they can leave the company.
We then get a video package showing Otis getting ready for his date with Mandy Rose next week via a Rocky esque training montage that shows him trying on different outfits as well as trying to learn etiquette.
This was an easy yet effective way to feature this story on the show and remind us of the big date next week between the two love birds.
Match #4: Sheamus vs Apollo Crews
Sheamus hits clubbing blows to the back of Crews and then goes for a clothesline but Crews ducks and lands some strikes of his own. Sheamus reverses an Irish whip but lowers his head too early and gets kicked and then hit with an enziguri. Sheamus avoids a splash in the corner and then hits Crews with the Brogue Kick to pick up the win.
Winner: Sheamus via Pinfall Match Rating: ½*
After the match, Shorty G runs out and tries to make the save but ends up getting hit with the Brogue Kick as well.
Yep, this happened, nice to see Apollo Crews get his bi-annual Raw or SmackDown squash appearance.
The announcers hype up the Super Showdown matches before we go to the main event.
Match #5: Alexa Bliss vs Naomi vs Carmella vs Dana Brooke
We only get to see Naomi’s entrance as the other three women are already in the ring, Bayley is at ringside and will be watching the match to see who her next opponent will be. I think we should’ve at least got Alexa’s entrance as she has had a big week as she first got to interview the stars of the Birds of Prey movie, then a song was released by the band Bowling for Soup that is all about her, and finally, TMZ ran a story about Alexa and the new man in her life Ryan Cabrerra so it has been an eventful week for the “Five Feet of Fury”.
We start out with Carmella and Alexa fighting it out in one corner and Naomi taking on Dana in another corner. Dana backdrops Naomi to the apron but Naomi connects with a sunset flip pin on Dana which Dana kicks out of and then tries to score a pin of her own, but Naomi kicks out. Carmella tries for a schoolgirl pin on Dana and right after Alexa tries for an Oklahoma roll on Carmella but neither pinfall attempts are successful. Dana kicks Naomi in the gut and then tries to clothesline Carmella, but Mella ducks and then moonwalks until she backs into Alexa who hits her with a big right hand. Dana hits a dropkick on Naomi and then hits the handspring back elbow on Carmella after Alexa moves out of the way. Alexa hits a forearm shot to Dana and then dropkicks her sending her out of the ring under the bottom rope. Naomi dropkicks Alexa and she rolls to the outside and then Naomi hits a tornillo to the outside onto all three of her opponents. Bayley takes this time to raise her title and talk some smack, Naomi gets to her feet and shoves Bayley and this leads to Bayley sending Naomi into the steel steps as we go to commercial.
As we come back from break we see Dana miss a Swanton Bomb and Alexa takes advantage of that by hitting her with a terrible looking DDT and then Carmella hits Alexa with a flat liner. All three women in the ring are laid out and Naomi is still out on the outside after the attack from Bayley. Alexa and Dana get to their feet only to get taken right back down when Naomi hits them with a springboard crossbody. Naomi hits a running jawbreaker on Carmella, a full nelson bomb on Alexa, and finally, she takes Dana down with a springboard chuck kick but only gets a 2 count on a pinfall attempt as Alexa breaks it up. Alexa sends Naomi to the outside and when she does Carmella tries to score a surprise win with a schoolgirl on Alexa but she kicks out at 2. Carmella tries for a superkick but Alexa ducks and hits her slap and right-hand combo and then follows up with Insult to Injury. Dana hits Alexa with the Brooketista Bomb for another 2 count as Carmella breaks up the pin.
Carmella stomps on Dana in the corner and follows up with another moonwalk before hitting Dana with the bronco buster. Naomi then hits Carmella with a bulldog that sends her face-first into the middle turnbuckle and then follows up with the split-legged moonsault which only gets 2 as Dana breaks it up at the very last second. Dana picks Naomi up in the fireman’s carry position, but Naomi slips out the back and then hits Dana with a wheelbarrow stunner. Alexa is back in and she takes Naomi down with a dropkick and then stomps a mudhole into her in the corner. Naomi rolls Alexa up in a small package that gets a 2 count. Naomi hits a big standing leg drop as Bayley looks on from ringside with a concerned look on her face. Naomi sets Alexa up top and they trade strikes which Alexa eventually gets the best of as she pushes Naomi down to the mat and Alexa sees this as an opportunity to try for a pin but she only gets a 2 count.
Alexa hits some clubbing blows and then looks to hit a seated Naomi with a running dropkick, but she stops on a dime and slaps Naomi and gets a one count on a pinfall attempt. Dana and Carmella get back on the apron so Naomi throws Alexa into Carmella and then suplexes Dana into the ring. Naomi hits a split style leg drop onto Dana for a 2 count. Naomi throws Dana to the outside and then gets sent into the second turnbuckle face-first by Alexa. Naomi tries to bulldog Alexa into the turnbuckles like she did Carmella earlier, but Alexa pushes her off and this time Naomi is the one sent into the turnbuckles. Alexa goes to hit Twisted Bliss on Naomi but she gets her knees up and then she takes Alexa out with the Rear View. Carmella runs in and hits two superkicks on Naomi and pins her to pick up the win, however, it looked like Naomi’s shoulders may have come up during the count.
Winner: Carmella via Pinfall Match Rating: **3/4
After the match, Bayley attacks Carmella from behind and actually hits her with The Stroke this time and it looked much better than whatever she had been using as a finisher. SmackDown goes off the air with Bayley walking up the ramp holding her title in the air as Carmella looks on from the ring in shock.
It’s about time the women of SmackDown were featured in a match that lasts more than five minutes as it has been awhile. This match did a great job of putting over Naomi as she was definitely the star of the match despite not winning the match. Naomi not winning came as a total shock as I thought she was a guaranteed winner after the interaction she had with Bayley both last week and earlier in this match, but seeing as it looked like her shoulders were up they will most likely either make it a triple threat match or have the Carmella title defense be on TV (or perhaps they even have the match at Super Showdown although that is the less likely choice) while the title match against Naomi will happen at Elimination Chamber. It will be interesting to see how they get back to Sasha vs Bayley in time for WrestleMania because right now with all the mainstream attention Naomi is getting it feels like she should be the one to dethrone Bayley, but I know the bigger draw for Mania is Bayley vs Sasha.
I thought this was a better episode than last week, but then again any show that didn’t have a match that revolved around someone being covered with dog food would’ve been better than last week. I am interested to see how both the Daniel Bryan and the Goldberg vs Fiend stories turn out. I am also liking the New Day vs Miz & Morrison feud and look forward to seeing more interactions between those two teams. On the flip side, I am sick and tired of seeing anything that involves any combination of Roman Reigns, The Usos, Dolph Ziggler & Bobby Roode, & King Corbin against each other and to a lesser extent, the same can be said about the Sheamus vs Shorty G feud. We got some new interesting stuff on this show, but yet at the same time we still got far too much of the same old shit that we have seen for the past three months.
That’s it for this week ladies and gentlemen but I will be back next week as we continue down the road to WrestleMania that has a long-ass detour that takes us through Saudi Arabia.