SmackDown on Fox Episode #33
SmackDown Episode # 1,082
Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center
We open the show with a recap video of Otis and Asuka winning their respective Money in the Bank matches and then we go into the PC where the announcers hype up Charlotte Flair appearing later tonight.
The Miz & John Morrison are in the ring as it’s time for another edition of Miz TV.
Miz and Morrison barely have time to speak a few sentences before Otis comes to the ring without being properly introduced, Otis is hyped up to be Mr. Money in the Bank. Otis goes to sit in one of the chairs but it breaks, so Otis decides he will stand up instead. Otis says that winning Money in the Bank may have been a big win, but his biggest win was winning Mandy Rose’s heart. Morrison’s inquiring mind wants to know how Otis of all people was able to snag someone like Mandy, Morrison suggests that perhaps Otis is gifted in the way that Robert Fuller is or he is great in the sack. We see a few pictures of Otis growing up and with each one Miz makes passive-aggressive comments until he eventually has enough and tells Otis what is really on his mind. Miz is insulted (as a past Money in the Bank briefcase winner) that a clumsy buffoon who is a mommy’s boy won both the briefcase and the girl and he didn’t even have to climb the ladder to do it.
Miz wants Otis to call Tucker out there because he wants a tag match later tonight, but unfortunately, Otis lets us know that Tucker isn’t available because he got a case of the disenberry. Miz says that he wants Otis to find a partner for a tag match later tonight against Miz & Morrison.
I thought this was a nice way to start out the show and the fact that Otis was featured in the opening segment of the night made him feel like a big deal. I liked how when Miz and Morrison were mocking Otis he let it roll of his back instead of getting sad like he usually would because right now there is nothing they can say that can get him down because he has his peach and is Mr. Money in the Bank. I really hope Tucky is ok because that case of disenberry that he got on the Oregon Trail sounds bad.
The announcers talk about how Sami Zayn was stripped of the Intercontinental Title and tonight a tournament will begin which will crown the next Intercontinental Champion.
Elias makes his way to the ring as the first match in the Intercontinental Championship tournament is coming up after the break.
Match #1: Elias vs King Corbin (WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
Corbin goes right toward Elias and tries for a clothesline, but Elias ducks, and then both men get shots in on each other as the control of the match keeps going back and forth. Corbin catches the leg of Elias and puts him in a Boston crab but Elias is able to shift his body and kick Corbin away only to be taken down by a back elbow from Corbin moments later. Corbin tries to lock in one of his many boring rest holds, but Elias throws him off only for Corbin to come back and lock it in anyway. Elias gets to his feet and tries to escape Corbin’s grasp, but Corbin takes him back down to the mat. Elias eventually gets back to his feet once again and elbow his way out of the hold, Elias looks to send Corbin into the corner but it gets reversed so Elias mules kick him instead.
Elias throws Corbin out of the ring to try and create some distance so he can catch a breather, but Corbin slides back in and goes for a clothesline but Elias ducks it and then lands a clothesline of his own that sends Corbin over the top rope and to the floor. Elias goes up top and dives onto Corbin on the outside and then rolls him back inside the ring but as he does Corbin rolls out on the other side. Corbin is waiting on Elias as he walks over as he delivers a right hand and then sends Elias into the barricade. Corbin throws Elias back in and then goes over and picks up Elias’s guitar and mocks him but this causes him to take his focus off Elias which ends up costing him as Elias takes Corbin down with a dropkick through the ropes and then he sends Corbin into the steel steps at ringside. Elias throws Corbin into the timekeeper’s area as we go to commercial.
We come back from break and Elias is giving Corbin a taste of his own medicine as he now has him in a rest hold, but Corbin quickly turns out of it and lands another knee to Elias’s midsection. Corbin lands a forearm and charges at Elias who sidesteps him and sends Corbin into the turnbuckle, Elias starts to work over Corbin’s arm and even takes a page out of The Undertaker’s book by going for Old School, but Corbin trips him up which causes Elias to get crotched on the top rope. Elias rolls to the outside and Corbin soon follows, Corbin pushes Elias into the announce table and then starts reigning down with punches as Elias is laid across the table, Corbin rolls Elias back in the ring and goes for a cover but only gets a 2 count. Corbin puts Elias in the corner and lands some right hands which sends Elias crumbling out of the corner and then Corbin chokes Elias on the bottom rope.
Corbin delivers a few more strikes that back Elias into the corner but then he goes for one punch too many as Elias blocks one and starts to make a comeback only for Corbin to knee him in the gut for what feels like the fifteenth time in this match. We then get the slide out and slide back in and hit a clothesline spot from Corbin which gets him a 2 count on a pinfall attempt. Corbin hits a couple of short-arm clotheslines and trash talks Elias while he does it and then he goes for a third short-arm clothesline, but Elias counters it and hits Corbin with a neckbreaker but is unable to make a cover due to all the punishment Corbin has inflicted on him. Both men get to their feet and Elias goes after Corbin and hits him with clubbing blows which fire him up as he rips his shirt off. Elias beats down Corbin while he is in the ropes and the referee has to back him up. Elias hits Corbin with a clothesline and follows up with a rolling neckbreaker which gets a 2 count.
Elias hits Corbin with a running knee drop and then goes up top but Corbin is able to avoid him and then Corbin grabs Elias by the throat but Elias smacks his arm away but then gets hit with a right hand. We get another slide out and slide back in spot and this time Elias ducks the clothesline but walks right into a spinebuster that gets a 2 count. Corbin sets Elias on the top and then joins him up there but Elias fights him off and then slides down and gets Corbin on his shoulders in the electric chair position but Corbin slides out the back and hits a big chokeslam on Elias which gets a 2 count. Corbin keeps pulling Elias up from the mat to hit him with a punch while talking trash to him at the same time. Corbin rolls out of the ring and grabs Elias’s guitar once again and he smashes it on the ring post. Corbin gets back into the ring and Elias hits him with a jumping knee and then rolls him up in a small package to pick up the win and advance in the tournament.
Winner: Elias via Pinfall Match Rating: *¾
Whoever made the decision to have a 16-minute match involving Corbin and Elias needs to be severely punished there was absolutely zero reasons as to why this match needed to go that long. I am glad to see Elias pick up the win because we don’t need to see Corbin holding the Intercontinental Championship.
The announcers hype up the other tournament match happening tonight which will see Daniel Bryan squaring off against his good friend and coach Drew Gulak.
We then go to the back where Otis is looking for a tag partner for tonight’s main event, Sheamus walks up and Otis asks him to be his partner but Sheamus turns him down.
We come back from a commercial break and go right back to Otis who is starting to get worried he won’t find a partner, but his peach Mandy Rose walks up and suggests that he ask Braun Strowman, Otis calls her a genius and goes to find the Universal Champion.
We got our weekly hacker video but nothing new came out of this one as I believe it was the exact same one they showed at Money in the Bank.
We go back to Otis for the third time and he has found Strowman, however, when he asks Strowman to be his partner Strowman hesitates and questions Otis as to where he legit wants him to be his partner or if he is just setting him up so that Otis can cash in his briefcase, Otis assures Strowman that he has no ulterior motives. Strowman says that he respects the fact that Otis had the balls to come and ask him face-to-face so he will think about it. Otis looks on and seems more hopeful than he did earlier in the night and that sends us to commercial.
I liked that Strowman didn’t automatically agree to tag with Otis just because he is another babyface, Strowman doesn’t want to be the dumb babyface that falls into a trap that allows Otis to easily cash in his briefcase. I do wonder if this could turn into a story where Otis wants to cash in the briefcase fairly but Mandy keeps pushing him to take advantage of the fact that the briefcase can be cashed in at anytime and urges him to cash it in when the champion is down, I think that could be an interesting story to tell if done right.
Match #2: Naomi vs Dana Brooke
We get a lock up with both women jockeying for position until Naomi slips behind and tries to pick up a quick win with an O’Connor roll but only gets a 2 count. Naomi hits a clothesline and a dropkick followed by a running forearm into the corner. Naomi looks for the bulldog into the corner, but Dana pushes her off and rolls Naomi up for a 2 count. Dana ducks a kick and then delivers a kick to the midsection of Naomi. Dana fires herself up and then hits the handspring back elbow and then whips Naomi into the opposite corner and tries for another one but Naomi gets her knees up in time. Naomi goes up top and hits a crossbody but Dana rolls through into her own pinfall attempt but Naomi immediately rolls through that for a pinfall attempt which gets her a 2 count. Naomi goes for a wheelbarrow move, but Dana drops down which pins Naomi’s shoulders down to the mat for a 3 count, and just like that Dana has scored another upset win over Naomi.
Winner: Dana Brooke via Pinfall Match Rating: *¼
I am so confused as to what they want to do with Dana Brooke because sometimes they let her pick up big wins like she did in this match while at other times she is used as the butt of all the jokes. It’s a shame they can’t make up their mind what they want out of her because she has improved quite a lot in the last couple of years.
Charlotte Flair will be coming up next after the break.
We come out of the commercial and go to a video recap of Asuka becoming the new Raw Women’s Champion as well as Becky announcing that she is pregnant.
The segment that opened Raw is one of the best opening segments they have done in a long time and it was nice to see a genuine feel-good moment. I thought the way they switched the title over from Becky to Asuka was great and then Asuka’s reactions to both winning the title and finding out Becky was pregnant were very endearing. Congratulations to Becky and Seth on their big news and while Becky is gone I can’t wait to see what Asuka has in store for the Raw women’s division.
Charlotte makes her way to the ring as part of the new brand to brand invitation which we are told allows for a superstar to show up on another brand up to four times a year.
Charlotte talks about how she has shown up on all three brands because after doing the math it’s clear that the people want more Charlotte Flair. Charlotte talks about how she won five of her twelve women’s titles on SmackDown and because of that she is surprised there isn’t a giant poster of her put up in the PC in order to inspire others.
Bayley and Sasha Banks make their way to the ring. Bayley talks about how the last time she saw Charlotte on SmackDown she was beating her for the SmackDown Women’s Championship to which Charlotte replied that it took Bayley getting a horrible new haircut in order for Bayley to beat her. Bayley says that Charlotte needs to go back to Raw or NXT because Sasha and herself run SmackDown and she is the most dominant champion in SmackDown’s history. Charlotte says that the only reason Bayley is still champion is because of Sasha. Charlotte looks Sasha in the eyes and gives her a bit of a reality check as she runs down all the history she and Sasha made and then asks why Sasha is content with being an afterthought in Bayley’s corner. Bayley tells Charlotte to shut the hell up and says that Charlotte will never understand a friendship like theirs. Bayley challenges Charlotte to a champion vs champion match and Charlotte accepts. Charlotte turns her attention back to Sasha and asks her if she is her own woman or is she happy just being Bayley’s lackey. Charlotte lets out one last Woo before her music starts and the segment comes to an end.
I get that Charlotte is one of the greatest women’s wrestlers of all time but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and that is exactly how I feel about Charlotte being on all three brands thanks to this brand to brand invitation (aka wild card rule) bullshit that started back up this week, the fact that they said that a superstar can only show up on another brand four times a year is laughable because we all know that rule will be broken within a week or two.
I enjoyed the segment and thought it was good, I especially liked how Charlotte used the history between Sasha and herself to convince Sasha that she is worth more than just being Bayley’s sidekick. I thought Bayley did great in the segment as she came out so confident as she talked up all the history between Charlotte and herself and how she has got the best of Charlotte in the past year, but when Charlotte started spitting truth to Sasha she started getting worried and very defensive to the point where she challenges Charlotte to a match just to shut her up because she knew Charlotte was right. I am liking this slow build to Sasha and Bayley breaking up once again.
While I did think the segment was really good and effective in what it was trying to accomplish, I kind of wish that if Charlotte was going to be on SmackDown she does something with someone like Dana Brooke to help her get over and feel like a bigger deal just like she did with Liv on Raw last week and is doing with the women in NXT rather than rehashing old history with her fellow Horsewomen.
We go backstage where Strowman is working out when Kayla Braxton walks up and assumes he has made his decision about being Otis’s partner because he is warming up, but Strowman tells her that he is still thinking it over and this is how he does his thinking.
We go to a commercial.
We come back and get a promo from The Forgotten Sons where they talk about how they chose to serve their country so they could fight for something they believe in, but when they came back they were shunned by people and now they are going to beat the crap out of people because of this. They end the segment by pounding their chests because of Merica.
Shouldn’t this have been a promo that we see before they debuted on SmackDown rather than a month after? I’m sorry but as much as I like what these guys do from bell to bell I will never be able to get behind their gimmick and I feel like there are a lot of fans that share that same opinion.
Renee Young interviews Miz and Morrison and they talk about how Strowman may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even he isn’t dumb enough to fall for the cash-in trap that Otis is leading him into.
We go to another commercial break.
Match #3: Daniel Bryan vs Drew Gulak (WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
We get a handshake between the two competitors.
They lock hands and Gulak immediately grabs a wristlock, Bryan tries to roll around and find a way out of it but eventually just resorts to hitting Gulak with a suplex. Gulak gets Bryan in a headscissors but Bryan rolls out of it and grabs control of the legs but Gulak picks the ankle of Bryan and this sends Bryan bailing out to the apron. Bryan gets back into the ring and we get another lockup, Bryan grabs a side headlock and then transitions into a hammerlock and he uses this to take Gulak down. Bryan tries to get control of Gulak’s hand but when he steps over Gulak rolls Bryan up in a schoolboy but he immediately kicks out and tries to go back to work on the arm as he attempts an armbar, but Gulak grasps his hands together so Bryan tries to get in the Yes Lock but Gulak rolls through, however, Bryan is able to lock it in anyway until Gulak gets to the ropes to force the break.
Bryan and Gulak get to their feet and we get another lock up and this time Bryan goes behind Gulak with a rear waist lock and tries to take him down to the mat but Gulak gets back to his feet and switches into his own rear waist lock, Gulak rolls backward and gets Bryan in position to lock in the Gu-Lock with the body scissors but somehow Bryan is able to escape so Gulak tries to reapply it but Bryan gets to the ropes before he can. We get another reset as both men get to their feet and we get another lock up which results in Bryan going back to work on the arm as he hits Gulak with an arm breaker over his shoulder.
Bryan goes for a double underhook, but Gulak drops down to one knee and then when that doesn’t work he backdrops Bryan who still has Gulak’s arms hooked which means his shoulders are on the mat but Bryan is able to roll over and get back to his feet while he still has Gulak’s arms hooked. Bryan goes for the Danielson special but Gulak clasps his hands to prevent Bryan from locking in the armbar so Bryan rolls through and tries once again to lock in the Yes Lock but Gulak rolls back and Bryan is able to catch him in a crucifix pin but they are too close to the ropes. Bryan and Gulak exchange rear waist locks until they are close enough to the ropes where Gulak can backdrop Bryan over the top and to the floor and this sends us to a commercial break.
We come back from the break and see that Gulak has a full nelson on Bryan and then he spins him around and hits a back suplex for a 2 count. Gulak grabs a side headlock and despite Bryan hitting him with a shin breaker Gulak holds on to the headlock until Bryan hits him with a second shin breaker and a dragon screw. Gulak tries to get back in control but Bryan takes him down with two more dragon screws. Bryan locks in an ankle lock but Gulak quickly gets to the ropes so Bryan takes him back down with a leg trapped German suplex and although Gulak kicks out, Bryan holds on to the waist lock and then tries to lock in a full nelson but Gulak slides out and rolls Bryan up for a 2 count.
Gulak almost spikes Bryan’s head into the mat with a Michinoku Driver for a 2 count. Gulak stays in control as he locks in a full nelson on Bryan and then goes for another back suplex, but this time Bryan lands on his feet and tries for an O’Connor roll but Gulak hangs on to the top rope and then Bryan hits Gulak with a release German suplex. Bryan crawls over to the corner and waits for Gulak to get up and when he does Bryan goes for the running knee, but when he does Gulak rolls under him and grabs Bryan in a sunset flip which gets a 2 count. Gulak hits Bryan with a powerbomb and then performs a jackknife cover but Bryan reverses into his own pin attempts which gets a 2 count. Gulak grabs Bryan and locks in the Gu-Lock but Bryan rolls through and tries to apply the Yes Lock only for Gulak to roll through into an Oklahoma roll which Bryan escapes from immediately. Bryan goes for a dragon screw on Gulak but it gets blocked but Bryan doesn’t give up as he picks the ankle and locks Gulak in a heel hook and after all the damage done to his leg throughout the match Gulak has no choice but to tap out.
Winner: Daniel Bryan via Submission Match Rating: ***½
After the match, Bryan cuts a promo talking about how he had to relinquish the title back in 2015 and has never gotten another shot at the title (not only did WWE strip Zayn of the title but they also somehow made Bryan forget that he had a title match against Zayn at WrestleMania last month, damn WWE you savage). Bryan wants the Intercontinental to represent the best wrestler in WWE and that is him. Bryan and Gulak hug and shake hands as we go to break.
Whew, buddy, this was one hell of a match between two of the greatest technicians to ever step into a wrestling ring. I love that these two went out and had a wrestling match to the point where not even one strike was thrown for the entire match. This match was very fast-paced to the point where I had to pause a lot in order to make sure I was getting my move by move breakdown right as they were slipping in and out of holds with great ease. If this match wasn’t special enough it was revealed on Saturday that this would be Gulak’s last match in WWE as he has opted to not have his contract renewed. It was nice to see that the last thing Gulak may ever do in WWE was something he could be proud of and they didn’t make him look a fool upon his departure and I’m sure he was cool with his last match being against a guy like Bryan who Gulak has a lot of respect and admiration for.
We come back and get the rundown for next week’s show where we will see the other two Intercontinental Championship tournament quarterfinal matches where Sheamus will face Jeff Hardy and Shinsuke Nakamura will take on AJ Styles from Raw, we will also see the champion vs champion match between Charlotte and Bayley, and in addition to all of that that we will get the mixed tag we all knew was coming as Otis and Mandy will take on Ziggler and Sonya.
Speaking of Sonya and Ziggler we cut to the back where Sonya cuts a promo on Mandy while Ziggler just stands there in silence. Sonya says that she has kept every promise she has made to Mandy and next week she plans on humiliating Mandy once again. Sonya says that Mandy isn’t good at anything except being pretty and she wonders where Mandy will be once that beauty fades and she figures it will leave Mandy in a trailer somewhere with a bunch of screaming kids while Otis is asking her to get him a beer. Sonya says that Mandy will never be as good as her and will never have all of the positive attributes in which she possesses. Sonya says she still has plenty of plans left for Mandy because when she said she was going to ruin Mandy’s life she meant it, so she wants Mandy to go home and get herself together and next week show her why she belongs in the same ring as her. Sonya says that she and Ziggler will see Otis and Mandy in the ring next week…Bitch! Sonya blows a kiss and winks as the promo ends.
We go from having one fantastic match between Gulak and Bryan to a fantastic promo cut by Sonya Deville. I knew Sonya was a great worker but I never could’ve imagined how great she would be at cutting a promo once she was given a chance, but between this promo and the one she cut on Mandy a couple of weeks ago she is excelling on the mic. I liked how they had Ziggler just standing there silent as the supporting act who allows Sonya to shine on the mic rather than trying to get himself over because let’s face it there is nothing Ziggler could say that we haven’t heard from him already.
Miz and Morrison come out for the main event and then Otis comes out but he is without a partner and this leads to him getting mocked by Miz and Morrison until finally Braun Strowman’s music hits and the heels look terrified at what they just got themselves into.
Match #4: The Miz & John Morrison vs Otis & Braun Strowman
Strowman gives Otis a bit of a pep talk before the bell rings and tells him to shut up Miz and Morrison and this leads to The Miz mocking Strowman from the apron.
Otis goes in to lock up with Morrison, but Morrison ducks and goes behind and grabs a side headlock but Otis uses his strength to push Morrison into the ropes. Otis throws Morrison into the corner and charges toward him, but Morrison rolls out of the way and lands a kick to the mid-section which has no effect on Otis. Morrison hits another kick but Otis catches his leg and spins him around only for Morrison to deliver another kick and this starts to fire Otis up and he starts to thrust the air. Otis lands a headbutt and then takes Morrison down with a shoulder block followed by a big flapjack as Morrison comes off the ropes. Otis knocks Miz off the apron as he tries to enter the ring. Otis tags in Strowman and after a minute of convincing we get a double caterpillar by Strowman and Otis and both men drop an elbow on Morrison and this sends us to commercial.
We come back and see that Miz has Otis grounded and as Otis gets to his feet we get a replay of what happened during the break which was Miz poking Otis in the eye and then hitting him with the snapping DDT. Otis gets to his feet and throws Miz off of him, but Miz comes back with a boot to the face. Miz hits Otis with several It Kicks in the corner and then hits a couple of running knees followed by the corner clothesline, Miz goes up top and takes Otis down with a diving ax handle and then he mocks Strowman. Miz hits the It Kicks on Otis and just when it looks like the kicks may be firing Otis up he is taken back down when Miz hits the big roundhouse and this keeps Otis down for a 2 count.
Miz locks Otis in a chin lock to wear him down but Otis gets to his feet so Miz jumps on his back and this causes Otis to be uneasy on his feet and he walks back into the heel corner which allows Miz to make the tag to Johnny Drip Drip. Miz and Morrison look to hit a suplex on Otis, but he turns the table and ends up suplexing both of his opponents. Otis makes the tag to Strowman and he hits Miz with an avalanche but before he did that Morrison made a blind tag. Strowman brings Morrison into the ring and slams him down and then he sends Miz back into the corner and hits him with another avalanche followed by a throw-away suplex. Miz and Morrison are both on the outside so that gives Strowman the signal that it’s time to fire up the Strowman Express he chases after Morrison who is able to jump over the barricade and dodge the oncoming train, but Miz wouldn’t be as lucky. Strowman throws Miz back into the ring and looks for yet another avalanche in the corner, but this time Morrison pulls Miz out of the way and Strowman goes shoulder-first into the ring post. Morrison springboards off the ropes with a chuck kick and then hits Strowman with a flurry of strikes before running off the ropes where he is caught with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam and that is enough to finish off the “Friday Night Delight”.
Winner: Otis & Braun Strowman via Pinfall Match Rating: **½
After the match Otis and Strowman celebrate their win when Mandy comes out to join them and momentarily distracts Strowman and when she does Otis teases hitting Strowman with the briefcase, but Strowman quickly turns around and catches him, but Otis explains that he was just kidding around and after a moment of tension they bump fists and the show ends with the babyfaces celebrating which includes Mandy hugging Otis.
This was a fun match that did a good job of putting over the Universal Champion and Mr. Money in the Bank as they had a strong showing here.
Once you get past the excruciatingly long Corbin vs Elias match this was a pretty good episode as we got some nice storyline advancement with Charlotte giving Sasha a reality check and after that, we get a great match between Gulak and Bryan which was followed by a great promo by Sonya and then to close out the show we get a fun tag match if you ask me that is a pretty good episode of SmackDown, especially if you compare it to some of the other shows I have reviewed since October.
That’s all for me this week but I’ll be back next week as the tournament to crown a new Intercontinental Champion will continue.
SmackDown on Fox Episode #33