SmackDown on Fox Episode #38
SmackDown Episode # 1,087
Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center
We open the show with a video recap of last week’s fantastic Intercontinental Championship match between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles and after that, we get our intro video.
We go inside the PC where the majority of the male superstars are surrounding the ring and in the ring is Renee Young who will be the host of the AJ Styles championship celebration. AJ Styles comes to the ring and gloats about his title win and then says that Renee is not the person he wants to present him with the title as there is only one man qualified to do that and it’s Daniel Bryan, Styles begs for Bryan to come in the ring and says he beat Bryan fairly to win the title. After much reluctance, Bryan finally enters the ring and after even more reluctance he puts the title around the waist of Styles, but that isn’t enough for Styles as he wants a real congratulations out of Bryan and Bryan gives him just that as Bryan congratulates him and tells him the better man won and he will be a great Intercontinental Champion…that is if he shows up to defend the title every week.
Bryan talks about how Styles could leave a great legacy as champion if he defends his title against the likes of Shorty G, Gran Metalik, or Big E, Styles says that none of the men that Bryan mentioned are on his level nor have they earned a shot and furthermore Bryan is at the back of the line, Bryan is completely fine with this but if Styles wants to talk about people earning title shots then he should have no problem defending the title against Drew Gulak seeing as Gulak beat him two weeks ago and thus earned a title shot. Styles refuses to defend against Gulak as he isn’t defending against anyone who hasn’t explicitly earned a number one contender spot.
Matt Riddle comes out and introduces himself to Styles and this leads to Styles mocking him for not wearing shoes and says all he sees is someone else looking for a handout, but Riddle just wants to let Styles know that Styles may be The Face That Runs The Place, but he is going to be The Bro That Runs The Show and this leads to Styles and Riddle brawling and Riddle sends Styles out to the floor and this sends us to break.
We come back and it looks like we are getting Styles vs Riddle, however, Styles makes sure everyone understands that the title is not on the line because no shirt, no shoes, no Championship match. Also, the wrestlers were still at ringside during the match despite it not being an Iron Man match.
Match #1: AJ Styles vs Matt Riddle
Styles goes for a kick immediately but Riddle catches it and hits Styles with a German suplex followed by a couple of rolling gutwrench suplexes for a 2 count. Riddle stomps Styles a couple of times and then lays in some mounted forearms until Styles reaches over to grab the ropes. Riddle goes to pick Styles up but Styles hits him with a chin breaker, Styles looks to whip Riddle into the ropes but Riddle hangs onto the top rope to prevent that and then goes for a roundhouse which Styles is able to duck and then tries to lock in a waist lock but Riddle reverses only for Styles to back him into the corner in order to break the hold. Styles waits too long before following up and pays for it as he is kicked square in the face which gets a close 2 count.
Riddle hits Styles with a broton bomb and then grounds him with a front face lock which is soon transitioned into an armbar. Styles gets to his feet and backs Riddle into the corner once again and this time he drives his shoulder into the midsection of Riddle and also gives him a few chops. Riddle makes a comeback with a couple of slaps to the face which have Styles backing up into the corner and this gives Riddle an opening to hit some rapid-fire body shots to Styles followed by some forearms and Riddle is fired up. Riddle walks back over toward Styles but he walks right into a dropkick, Styles works Riddle over in the corner with forearms and kicks but once again Riddle comes back with a combination of strikes and yet again Styles is backed into the corner where Riddle stomps a mudhole in him. Riddle walks away from Styles and once again walks into some offense from Styles as he delivers a cross chop straight to the throat. Styles clotheslines Riddle out to the apron and is looking to inflict more punishment, but Riddle hops to the floor and tries to pull Styles out with him but Styles kicks him off which sends Riddle crashing into King Corbin which leads to those two having words as we go to commercial.
We come back to Styles in control as he has Riddle in a chin lock and as Riddle gets to his feet he is slammed back down to the mat by his hair and at that time we get a replay of what happened during the break which saw Styles hit a dropkick through the ropes onto Riddle. We come back to the current time where Styles hits Riddle with a running backbreaker out of the corner. Styles delivers some Daniel Bryan esque kicks to the chest which starts to fire Riddle up, but Styles cools him back down by hitting him with a snap suplex. We get a short strike exchange between the two men before Styles sends Riddle head-first into the turnbuckle and then he scrubs Riddle’s face across the top rope. Styles snapmares Riddle into the middle of the ring and then hits him with a running knee drop. Riddle starts to make a comeback with some forearms and palm strikes and then goes for a couple of kicks but Styles catches his leg and hits him with a dragon screw and then follows up by kicking Riddle’s leg out from under him. Styles tries to stay in control but Riddle isn’t making it easy as they jockey for position near the ropes, Riddle blocks an Irish whip attempt just like earlier and goes for that big roundhouse once again and just like earlier Styles ducks the kick and then he takes Riddle down with a chop block.
Riddle backs up into the corner and begs off but Styles isn’t letting up as he picks the leg of Riddle and this gives Riddle the opportunity to land a jumping knee strike. Riddle delivers some more palm strikes but Styles cuts him off with a kick to the leg and then goes for a suplex, but Riddle counters into a desperation fisherman suplex. Both men get back to their feet and Styles charges toward Riddle in the corner and looks to hit a running forearm in the corner but Riddle avoids it and comes off the ropes with a couple of running forearms of his own and then he hits Styles with an exploder suplex. Riddle hits Styles with a PK and another broton bomb for a 2 count. Riddle locks in a sleeper with a body scissors but Styles leans back turning it into a pin but only gets a 2 count. Riddle picks Styles up for an attempted Bro 2 Sleep but Styles counters into a calf crusher but Riddle gets to the ropes to cause a break. Riddle rolls onto the apron and starts getting coached by Daniel Bryan and Styles is not happy about this as he goes out to the floor and shoves Bryan which leads to the babyfaces holding Bryan back, Styles starts to get back into the ring but then decides to go out and argue with Bryan some more. Styles goes for the springboard as he is looking to hit the Phenomenal Forearm but he gets caught by Riddle who hits him with Bro Derrick for the win.
Winner: Matt Riddle via Pinfall Match Rating: ***
After the match all of the babyfaces celebrate with Riddle.
I really liked the opening segment as the mic work between Styles and Bryan was great as both men excel in their roles as the overconfident heel and the fair sportsman babyface. I liked how Styles made Bryan put the title around his waist and unlike most babyfaces who would just hit Styles with the title Bryan actually put it on him because he realizes that the best man won at Backlash fair and square. I also liked how Bryan was being generous about who gets the next title shot as a lot of babyfaces would cry and complain and would want to immediately get the next title shot, but Bryan was fine with going to the back of the line just as long as those who are deserving such as Drew Gulak get a shot at the title, that was a nice touch you don’t see out of all babyfaces.
We then get into the Matt Riddle portion of the segment and what should have been a happy moment was anything but happy as given the accusations made against Riddle as part of the recent #SpeakingOut movement on Twitter. I never thought that after the Chris Benoit tragedy there would be others where I have to separate my love of their on-screen character from my disgust of something they did in their personal life but after this past week I am having to do that with quite a few of my favorites, but it’s completely worth it because after reading some of the stories these women are telling about their horrifying experiences with several of the male wrestlers I am completely on board with getting all of these creeps, predators, & monsters out of the business because without them the wrestling industry can only get better and can for the women it can only get safer.
I thought the match between Styles and Riddle was great but not on the same level as Bryan vs Styles was last week.
We cut to the back where Jeff Hardy is deep in thought when some crew member starts to mic him up for the interview which is coming up next after the break.
We come back and get a recap video of the latest in the Hardy vs Sheamus feud and then we go to a sitdown interview with Renee Young and Jeff Hardy.
Hardy says his life has been a rollercoaster both physically and emotionally and he is just trying to turn his life around at 42 years old. Hardy says that no matter what, he has to do what’s best for his family even though the bad times haunt him and his struggle is real but he can’t let those bad times get the best of him. Hardy says it doesn’t bother him that he lost the match against Sheamus because he has lost matches before, his problem with Sheamus is that he is constantly reminding him of what he doesn’t like about himself and that causes him to start thinking negatively.
Going into the match at Backlash Hardy was hoping that beating the shit out of Sheamus would help him heal, but once he lost he started to doubt whether he was a good father, husband, or worker but he eventually realized that he had to catch himself from thinking negatively before he falls back into the cycle he has repeated for many years and it gets out of control. Hardy says he just needs to step back and look at the situation he is in and, to be honest, he knows he is a junkie for adrenaline as well as an alcoholic, but Sheamus is a bully that mistakes his vulnerability as weakness. Hardys says he has overcome far greater obstacles than what Sheamus has put in front of him and just like the times before he will overcome this obstacle on his way to redemption.
Although I’m still not into this feud between Sheamus and Hardy I thought this was a really good promo.
We then cut to an interview with Shorty G who talks about how it doesn’t matter how tall they are or how much they weigh they are all the same but what they don’t know is what it’s like to have eyes in the back of your head, at that moment Shorty knocks Mojo Rawley (who was standing behind him during the interview) on his ass. That is our next match after the break.
We come back from break with both men already in the ring.
Match #2: Shorty G vs Mojo Rawley
Rawley charges at Shorty and drives him into the corner where he delivers several shoulder strikes to the midsection, Rawley bounces Shorty’s head off the top turnbuckle and then whips him hard into the opposite corner. Rawley picks Shorty up and looks to drive him into the corner once again but Shorty slides out the back and turns it into an attempted sunset flip but when he sees that Rawley isn’t going down Shorty grabs the ankle and tries to lock in the ankle lock but Rawley hits him with a back elbow. Shorty ducks a clothesline and hits Rawley with a northern lights suplex for a 2 count. Shorty runs at Rawley but gets caught with a hotshot and then Rawley knocks Shorty out of his boots with a pounce but that is only enough to get a 2 count.
Rawley delivers some mounted punches and then locks Shorty in a half nelson chin lock but when he sees that Shorty is coming back he sends him into the ropes and looks to hit some sort of tilt-a-whirl move but Shorty hangs on and locks in a sleeper hold while he is on Rawley’s back only for Rawley to throw him off moments later. Rawley charges at Shorty but he sidesteps which sends Rawley out of the ring, but Rawley quickly gets back in and smashes Shorty in the corner with an avalanche. Rawley looks to hit another avalanche but Shorty sidesteps him and then hits him with a deadlift German suplex. Shorty goes up top and looks to hit a crossbody but he is caught by Rawley in the fireman’s carry position which Rawley attempts to turn into the HyperDrive, but Shorty counters it into a small package and that is enough to pick up a win out of nowhere.
Winner: Shorty G via Pinfall Match Rating: **
This was a fine little match but nothing much to talk about.
The Miz and John Morrison are shown getting prepared for MizTV which is coming up next.
The Miz and John Morrison open Miz TV talking about their Universal Championship match and how Miz lost focus momentarily and broke up a pinfall attempt by Morrison onto Strowman and they say the only reason that happened is because the WWE changed the rules of the match hours before and they complain that it was unfair to change the rules that soon before the match. They eventually get around to the reason for this episode of MizTV which is their guest Mandy Rose, Miz and Morrison talk down to Mandy about how bad of a friend she was to Sonya to which Mandy is having none of as she gets up to leave, but they convince her to stay and then they tell her they have a surprise guest which just happens to be Sonya Deville.
Mandy said she is done with Sonya, but Sonya says she wishes she could be done with Mandy but she can’t. Sonya talks about how Mandy was to be the sole guest for MizTV while she was nowhere to be seen on SmackDown and this is just one of many opportunities Mandy has had over her and what has she done with all of those opportunities, absolutely nothing. Mandy comes back at Sonya asking her what she has other than being a fighter and then goes on to say that Sonya is alone and asks how long she plans to hang on to these petty resentments. Sonya says she is not mad at Mandy anymore she is just confused as to what she has to do to get the attention Mandy does because she sees no difference between the two of them other than the way Mandy looks. Sonya says she is done and she is going to rip Mandy apart piece by piece until her outsides are as ugly as her insides.
Mandy and Sonya start fighting and Mandy gets the best of Sonya to the point where Sonya puts The Miz in front of her and bails from the ring and when Mandy tries to go after her she is blocked by The Miz so for his troubles, Mandy slaps him across the face and then storms out of the ring to end the segment.
Once again Sonya stills the show with her promo and makes some very valid points about why she is looked over. I thought the brawl between Mandy and Sonya was very well done as they were going toe to toe and neither one was backing down until Sonya bailed from the ring. I look forward to seeing what kind of stipulation match they put these two in at Extreme Rules.
Sasha Banks and Bayley make their way to the ring as they will be on commentary for the next match after the break.
Match #3: New Day vs Lucha House Party
Kingston and Dorado start out the match with a lockup and Dorado takes control of the arm until Kingston flips out of it and takes control of Dorado’s arm and then Dorado does some flipping around until he catches Kingston with a headscissors into a pinfall for a 2 count. Kingston and Dorado trade rear waist locks and then Kingston sends Dorado into the corner, but Dorado backflips out of the corner, and then Kingston springs off the middle rope but misses Dorado and then they both hit simultaneous dropkicks. We get another lockup and then Kingston sends Dorado into the ropes but drops his head too early which allows Dorado to flip over his back and tag in Metalik who catches an incoming Kingston with an overhead kick. Metalik hits the splash off of Dorado’s shoulders but that only gets a 1 count.
Metalik reverses a whip into the ropes and this allows Big E to make a blind tag, Kingston hooks the top rope which stops him from coming back off the ropes and as Metalik charges in Kingston gets a boot up and Metalik hits it so hard it turns him around right into a side belly to belly suplex by Big E, Kingston leapfrogs over Big E and hits a leg drop on Metalik Big E catches an incoming Dorado and hits him with an overhead belly to belly suplex over the top rope and to the floor. We are shown that Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura are watching the match backstage. Big E is getting ready to launch Kingston to the outside but as Kingston runs to the ropes Metalik pulls the top rope down sending Kingston out of the ring to the floor. Dorado hits an overhead kick on Big E and then Metalik follows that up with a springboard dropkick that takes the big man down. Lucha House Party hits dives to the outside onto New Day and this sends us to commercial.
We come back to Big E in control as he sends Dorado into the corner and charges in only to eat a boot from Dorado. Big E catches Dorado off a top rope crossbody attempt and looks to be setting up for the Big Ending, but Dorado slips out the back only to receive a back elbow from Big E and that is followed up by a big splash by Big E for a 2 count. Big E locks in an abdominal stretch but Dorado elbows him in the leg and tries to reach out to make the tag, but Big E breaks the hold and sends Dorado into the ropes but Dorado comes back with a handspring stunner and now both men are down. We get a hot tag on both ends as Kingston comes in with a springboard ax handle on Metalik and then Kingston hits chops and a dropkick but Metalik is able to jump up and sidestep a mushroom stomp attempt from Kingston. Metalik hits Kingston with a back kick and a big chop, Kingston reverses a whip into the corner but runs into a boot in the corner and then Metalik hits Kingston with a sling blade bulldog. Metalik goes for the rope walk dropkick but Kingston catches him with a dropkick as he leaps off the ropes which gets a 2 count.
Kingston sets up for the Trouble in Paradise but Metalik ducks and lifts Kingston into a fireman’s carry, Metalik walks over to the corner so Dorado can make a blind tag and then Dorado dives off of Kingston’s back to take Big E down with a hurricanrana and Metalik hits Kingston with the Metalik Driver and Dorado follows up with a top rope splash but it’s broken up when Big E shoves Metalik onto Dorado. LHP double teamed Big E and kicked him to the outside and then they hit a double superkick on Kingston. Both members of LHP climb up to the top looking for splashes, but Big E pushes Metalik off the top, and then Kingston ducks under Dorado’s dive which causes him to roll through, and then Kingston hits him with the mushroom stomp. Kingston tags in Big E and then they hit the Midnight Hour on Dorado to pick up the win.
Winners: New Day via Pinfall Match Rating: **¾
After the match, Cesaro and Nakamura attack New Day with Nakamura hitting a Kinshasa and Cesaro hitting a Neutralizer on Big E, and then Cesaro hits the giant swing on Kingston. They go over by the announce table and Cesaro shouts that he is tired of them not getting opportunities.
This was a fun little match which you would expect from these two teams. I liked how they had Bayley and Sasha on commentary for a non-women’s match since they are now claiming they are the best tag team ever. I look forward to whatever they have planned for Cesaro and Nakamura.
We go to the back where several members of the women’s locker room are talking about why they should get the next title shot against Bayley. Alexa stops them in mid-conversation and asks them where Nikki went as she was there a minute ago and this mystery sends us to break.
We come back from commercial and go to the back for an interview with Sheamus.
Sheamus talks about how he may have crossed the line when it comes to Jeff Hardy and what Hardy said earlier really made him think and he made him realize that he is a bully and he takes pleasure in that because people like Hardy deserve to get bullied. Sheamus says Hardy is pathetic and weak and he will be there to knock Hardy down every time Hardy tries to lift himself up and he will do it with a smile on his face. Sheamus wants everyone to raise a glass because next week he will be toasting Hardy.
As much as I liked the Hardy promo from earlier this promo from the other half of the feud felt like the same old crap we have heard for the past few weeks and I am not looking forward to whatever happens next week when Sheamus toasts Hardy.
We go back to ringside where Bayley and Sasha are still at the announce table hanging out when out of nowhere they are attacked by Nikki Cross until Alexa runs down to pull her off of them. Nikki screams that she wants to fight Sasha and once again Bayley volunteers Sasha for the match and it will happen after the break.
Match #4: Nikki Cross w/ Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks w/ Bayley
The match is already in progress as we come back from commercial as Sasha is stomping a mudhole in Nikki. Sasha tries to toy around with Nikki but receives a cross chop and a dropkick for taking Nikki lightly. Nikki charges at Sasha but Sasha tells her to stop and for a moment Nikki hesitates but then she charges at Sasha which Sasha was prepared for so she throws her to the outside. Sasha goes for a baseball slide but Nikki pulls the ring skirt away from the ring so that Sasha can slide between the apron and the skirt and then Nikki clubs the chest of Sasha with forearms. Nikki gets all excited after what she just did so she hops onto the announce table.
Nikki rolls Sasha into the ring and goes up top but Sasha rolls back out of the ring to save herself so Nikki changes her gameplan and dives off the apron with a crossbody instead. Nikki rolls Sasha back in the ring and hits her with an avalanche in the corner and then Nikki goes for the bulldog but Sasha counters and sends Nikki into the corner and she hits so hard chest-first that it knocks her back and that is when Sasha hits her with a backstabber for a 2 count. Sasha chokes Nikki in the corner with her boot and then snapmares her into the middle of the ring where she attempts to lock in a chin lock but Nikki immediately breaks it so Sasha switches to a surfboard, Nikki breaks the surfboard by hitting Sasha in the midsection with her butt and then a back elbow for good measure. Nikki hits Sasha with another cross chop and then creates distance so she can go out to the apron and when Sasha comes near she hits her with a shoulder to the gut and then a kick through the ropes.
Nikki goes up top but Sasha cuts her off for a moment but Nikki slams Sasha’s head into the top turnbuckle repeatedly and then hits her with a tornado DDT for a very close 2 count. Nikki is looking for the rope-assisted Purge but Sasha escapes and then backs Nikki into the ropes but Nikki counters it and sends Sasha out to the apron where Sasha hits Nikki with a shoulder to the midsection and then hits her with a step-up knee strike. Sasha rolls through into the Bank Statement but Nikki counters and slams Sasha face-first into the mat. Nikki goes for a crucifix pin but Sasha kicks out. Sasha catches the arm of Nikki on a clothesline attempt and spins her around and attempts another backstabber but Nikki drops down and catches Sasha in a pinning combination and we get a couple of different unsuccessful pin attempts. Nikki runs off the ropes and Sasha goes to backdrop her and we get a roll through by Sasha who hits Nikki with a basement Meteora for the win.
Winner: Sasha Banks via Pinfall Match Rating: **¼
This match was ok but not one of the best from either woman as it felt a bit sloppy at times and just didn’t live up to what I expected from these two. I did find the prematch stuff with Nikki attacking Sasha and Bayley at the announce table and Alexa having to run down to pull her off to be entertaining and the highlight of the night from these four ladies.
We get a video package for Titus O’Neil who is a finalist for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award for all of the charitable work that he does.
I’m so glad that Titus is getting recognized by people outside of the WWE bubble as he absolutely deserves it as he is such a good guy who spends any and all of his free time helping others. It still pisses me off to this day that a man who does all of these great things for others as well as for the WWE was suspended just because he touched Vince and told him to let a woman walk in front of him and it hurt Vince’s ego, if I were him I would’ve told Vince to shove the job up his ass because as talented as Titus is he could’ve easily found work elsewhere.
The announcers hype up the return of Firefly Funhouse which is coming up next.
As we come back from break we get a replay of the opening segment and are informed that next week AJ Styles will defend his Intercontinental Championship against Drew Gulak.
We then go to Firefly Funhouse
Wyatt says he has missed us but while he has been gone he has picked up several hobbies such as knitting and the ancient dark art of resurrecting the dead. Ramblin Rabbit pops up and says that Wyatt has been sitting in a corner crying about what happened at Money in the Bank and this leads to a replay of the finish to the match at Money in the Bank. Seeing the footage doesn’t make Wyatt happy but he has realized that he has gone about all of this the wrong way…at that point, we hear the train pull up to the station as Braun Strowman makes his way to the ring.
Strowman says their feud was over when he beat Wyatt and this causes Wyatt to break out in laughter as he tells Strowman that this chapter may be over but their story is just getting started. Wyatt says he wasn’t kidding about resurrecting the dead and this leads to some old Wyatt Family vignettes and the old Wyatt asks Strowman what’s wrong, he says that in order to move forward they must first take a step back and since he created Strowman it is his right to destroy him. Wyatt tells Strowman that he knows where to find him all he has to do is follow the buzzards…Run.
After all the hype about the Firefly Funhouse coming back, this was a very anticlimactic way to end the show, although I am curious to see if Wyatt finds two new family members since it seems like he is reverting back to the old Bray Wyatt.
And that’s a wrap for this episode of SmackDown.
This episode of SmackDown was a real mixed bag of good and bad as we had a good opening segment and match between Styles, Bryan, & Riddle (even though I will never look or feel the same about Riddle ever again) and then both the Shorty G vs Mojo Rawley match and the tag match were ok, however, the women’s match was pretty disappointing. I liked the Jeff Hardy promo and the Sonya Deville part of MizTV but could do without Sheamus being happy about being a bully and then the ending segment with Strowman and Wyatt was very anticlimactic, so yeah it was a very mixed bag this week on SmackDown.
That’s it for this week but I’ll be back next week for a big Intercontinental Championship match between AJ Styles and Drew Gulak.
SmackDown on Fox Episode #38