SmackDown on Fox Episode #45
SmackDown Episode # 1,094
Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center
We open the show with a recap video that covers the Swamp Fight as well as what happened last week between The Fiend and Alexa Bliss.
We then go to the Firefly Funhouse where Wyatt has removed all of the pictures on his wall and replaced them all with pictures of Braun Strowman. Wyatt says he has been getting a lot of hate for what happened to Alexa Bliss last week, but the person who should be blamed is Braun Strowman as he could’ve prevented it from happening if he had just given The Fiend what he wants. Wyatt says The Fiend will be there later tonight and he is bringing a special friend, Wyatt advises Strowman to give The Fiend what he wants or else Alexa Bliss will truly see how evil The Fiend can be. Wyatt then waves bye as this edition of Firefly Funhouse comes to a close.
We go inside the PC and immediately go into the first match of the night.
Match #1: Matt Riddle vs Sheamus
They lockup and Sheamus backs Riddle into the corner where he tries to rough Riddle up but Riddle fights back. Riddle goes behind and locks on a sleeper and then jumps on Sheamus’s back but Sheamus gets to the ropes to force the break. Both men circle the ring trying to feel the other out as neither wants to make the wrong move, Sheamus finally grabs a side headlock and uses it to slam Riddle to the mat and then Sheamus grabs control of the arm but Riddle is able to quickly escape and then he takes Sheamus down with a leg pick. Sheamus gets back to his feet and we are back to square one and once again Sheamus grabs a headlock but Riddle backs him into the ropes to force a break. Sheamus takes Riddle down with a knee to the gut and then puts the boots to him and then he grounds Riddle with a standing armbar until Riddle fights back with shots to the midsection, Riddle applies an armbar of his own but he can’t get Sheamus down to the mat so he uses some joint manipulation on the fingers to get Sheamus down and once Riddle does that he transitions into a hammerlock and then he transitions from into a pin attempt but only gets a 1 count.
Both men get to their feet and Riddle tries for a double leg takedown but Sheamus blocks and then he powers Riddle up and slams him on the mat with a powerbomb, but is unable to capitalize right away due to the pain in his arm. Sheamus delivers some right hands to Riddle and tries to whip him into the ropes but Riddle blocks and then hits Sheamus with a big forearm before backdropping him to the apron, Sheamus snaps Riddle’s neck across the top rope and then delivers the Ten Beats of the Bodhran. Sheamus climbs up top but Riddle hits him with a running forearm that knocks Sheamus down to the floor and that sends us to commercial.
We come back to Sheamus rag-dolling Riddle around as he has him in a rear chinlock, Riddle escapes and comes off the ropes where he is caught with a trifecta of Irish Curse backbreakers which gets him a 2 count. Sheamus goes back to the rear chinlock and this time when Riddle tries to fight out of it Sheamus hits him with a knee and then goes for a back suplex but Riddle lands on his feet and then drops Sheamus with a big roundhouse kick. Sheamus is somehow able to get right back to his feet but Riddle is ready for him as he hits him with repeated body strikes and then a push kick sends Sheamus rebounding off the ropes and then Riddle catches the arm on a clothesline attempt and hits Sheamus with a Pele kick. Riddle is fired up as he hits Sheamus with a couple of running forearms in the corner followed by an exploder, a PK, and a broton but Sheamus is still able to kick out at 2.
Riddle hits Sheamus with another broton and then goes up top looking for the floating bro but when he jumps off Sheamus moves out of the way and Riddle was able to see it coming as he lands on his feet and rolls through and then charges toward Sheamus who catches him with White Noise for a 2 count. Sheamus calls for the Brogue Kick but Riddle sidesteps and hits Sheamus with a deadlift German suplex for a 2 count. Riddle goes for a running knee strike but Sheamus side steps and catches Riddle in a schoolboy for a 2 count and then Sheamus hits Riddle with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Riddle goes over to the corner and sidesteps sending Sheamus shoulder first into the ring post and out to the floor. Riddle goes out and delivers some kicks to Sheamus’s chest but Sheamus comes back with a knee strike and then gets back into the ring. Riddle gets back to his feet and when he does Shorty G runs down the ramp and attacks Riddle to cause a DQ.
Winner: Matt Riddle via DQ Match Rating: **¾
After the match, Riddle turns the tables on Shorty and starts beating him down as he slams him into the announce table and the plexiglass and then takes him down with a flying superman punch off the steps and then sends him into the steps before he walks to the back. Sheamus throws Shorty G into the ring and lays him out with two Brogue Kicks for costing him the match just because he wanted to capture Corbin’s bounty.
This was a fun match between two guys who I didn’t know I wanted to see face each other but as good as the match was it would’ve been even better if it didn’t have a stupid DQ finish, but given that it was the first of 3 DQ/No Contest finishes in one night it wasn’t too egregious and I did like that they are continuing the story of Shorty G trying to cash in on Corbin’s bounty.
The Dirt Sheet with special guest Sonya Deville is up next.
We come back to Corbin talking to some random girl backstage when he is interrupted by a less than pleased Sheamus who is pissed about Corbin’s little minion costing him a win because of Corbin’s stupid bounty, Sheamus says that if Corbin tries that again he will kick his head off his shoulders and stick his crown up his ass and if Corbin thinks he is joking all he has to do is try him. Corbin says that Sheamus is lucky that he has to deal with Jeff Hardy because if not he would kick Sheamus’s ass right then and there and then Corbin walks off.
I liked that Sheamus took his frustrations further than just beating up Shorty and directed it toward Corbin as he knew that was the main reason as to why Shorty ran out there in the first place because you rarely see a heel confronting another heel.
It’s time for the Dirt Sheet
We get a recap of last week when Sonya Deville beatdown Mandy Rose and cut off some of her hair. The Miz and Morrison start talking about what happened when their mics start cutting out and Morrison says that The Retribution isn’t booked for tonight’s show. They then talk about giving a victim of Sonya’s attack last week a platform and this leads to a dumbass 5 minute part of this segment where on the tron there is a video that shows some hair with googly eyes that Miz and Morrison do the voice for and this is so dumb I barely paid attention to what they said, however, I immediately got back into the segment when they then introduced Sonya Deville to the Dirt Sheet.
Sonya doesn’t understand why everyone is so confused as to why she did what she did last week, she was just delivering on a promise she made weeks ago which was to make Mandy as ugly on the outside as she is on the inside. Sonya says she absolutely enjoyed everything she did to Mandy last week because she could see that Mandy was scared and concerned about her face because Mandy’s good looks are all she has ever had going for her. Sonya says she doesn’t feel bad at all for what she did because she doesn’t respect Mandy. Sonya says she has broken Mandy both physically and emotionally.
Sonya said that everyone is waiting on Mandy’s music to hit but it’s not going to happen and then challenges Mandy to come out and prove her wrong. Miz and Morrison say that Mandy has been silent all week and hasn’t even posted anything on social media. Sonya says Mandy got to the WWE by winning bikini contests and then talks about how Mandy won a Bumpy Award (an award given out on the WWE Network exclusive show The Bump) just for making out with Otis and how the only bright side of all of this is that Mandy and Otis now look like a more suitable couple. Miz and Morrison start mocking Otis and Mandy and that is when Heavy Machinery runs out and beats down the heels until they retreat to end the segment.
The first half of this segment was some of the dumbest and shittiest comedy I have ever seen in wrestling and was so cringeworthy, however, once Sonya came out I was all about this segment as she once again stole the show and saved this segment from being considered as Wrestlecrap. I’m so glad this feud is continuing as it has been one of the top highlights on SmackDown for the entire year.
Match #2: Cesaro w/ Shinsuke Nakamura vs Lince Dorado w/ Gran Metalik
They lockup and Cesaro pushes Dorado into the corner and delivers a punch and a knee to the gut before whipping Dorado into the opposite corner, but Dorado jumps up and over Cesaro and then cartwheels and backflips into another corner and when Cesaro charges toward him Dorado moves out of the way and then tries for a flying headscissors on Cesaro, but he gets caught and hit with a backbreaker followed by a European uppercut. Dorado grabs the leg of Dorado and is perhaps looking for the Big Swing, but Dorado kicks away and tries to get Cesaro away from him but Cesaro grabs the ankle and looks to pull Dorado up but Dorado lands on his feet only to be taken down with a leg trip from Cesaro. Dorado uses Cesaro to pop-up to his shoulders and take him down with a headscissors and then we get more Retribution light dimming, Dorado looks to hit a tope con hilo but Cesaro catches him and tries for a powerbomb, but Dorado grabs onto the top of the plexiglass and starts landing some punches on Cesaro and then dives off the barricade with a hurricanrana.
Dorado rolls Cesaro back into the ring and hits a sunset flip pin but Cesaro kicks out and then Dorado slides back out to the apron and hits Cesaro with an overhead kick and then goes for a springboard crossbody but Cesaro catches him and hits him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a 2 count. Cesaro grounds Dorado and hits him with some clubbing blows to the chest and then hits him with an elbow drop for another 2 count. Cesaro tries to lock in a surfboard but Dorado blocks that with a mule kick and then hits Cesaro with a jawbreaker.
Cesaro reverses a whip into the corner but runs into a boot from Dorado, Dorado charges at Cesaro and pops up on top of Cesaro’s shoulders and backflips off of them and then he hits Cesaro with a handspring stunner. Dorado goes for the moonsault trifecta but when he goes for the third Nakamura hops up on the apron to serve as a distraction and this allows Cesaro to hit Dorado from behind and then he goes for a Razor’s edge but Dorado counters it into a hurricanrana for a 2 count. Dorado bounces off the rope and runs into a big European uppercut from Cesaro and then Cesaro hits Dorado with the Neutralizer for the 3 count.
Winner: Cesaro via Pinfall Match Rating: ***
This match definitely has to go to be added to the list of greatest sub 5 minute matches as these two put on one hell of a sprint to the point where I had to bump it up to three stars despite it not being a long match. I definitely want to see these two work together more and if they make Cesaro & Nakamura vs LHP official for SummerSlam it will definitely be the sleeper pick for best match of the night, just like this match was the best match on this episode of SmackDown by a long shot.
We are informed that The Miz & John Morrison will face Heavy Machinery tonight after what happened on The Dirt Sheet earlier in the night.
We go backstage where Kayla Braxton interviews Heavy Machinery who are not happy. Otis says that Miz & Morrison crossed the line and while he doesn’t mind people making fun of him he will not stand for it when it comes to his peach Mandy Rose and when you get him angry it no longer becomes a laughing matter.
The Fiend then makes his way to the ring and this sends us to commercial.
We come back to the ring with The Fiend in the ring and Alexa Bliss is sitting below him. The Fiend circles around her and then backs up into the corner and crawls back towards her, it looks like he is going to put the Mandible Claw on her once again but this time she grabs his arm and then looks up at him and places her hand on his face and just as it seemed like the Bray Wyatt part of him was going to give into her but The Fiend part took back over and snapped him out it but before anything else can happen we hear Strowman’s voice as he is on the tron.
Strowman says he doesn’t give a damn about Alexa as all he cares about is destroying The Fiend. Strowman knew that after the Swamp Fight he was either going to come out as the evilest son of a bitch anybody has ever laid eyes on or he would have the satisfaction of spitting in the devil’s face and now you’re looking at the evilest son of a bitch. Strowman said he tried to fight it and tried to resist but he has been pushed to his breaking point but now he is letting it all out and fulfilling his destiny. Strowman says he is more than a man, he is a monster and that Fiend can have whatever he wants at SummerSlam. Strowman tells The Fiend to face his fears and face the monster.
Much like the Dirt Sheet segment earlier in the night this segment was both good and bad. I enjoyed the first part with just The Fiend and Alexa as it further teases that perhaps she could join Wyatt in the future which as I said before is something I would love to see. I do have one problem with the Alexa part of the segment as it made zero sense which is how and why did Alexa just magically appear in the middle of the ring, it would’ve been much better if The Fiend had been dragging or carrying her to the ring as he made his entrance instead of her just showing up out of thin air.
I absolutely hated the Strowman part of this segment as this deep-voiced “evil” Strowman just isn’t cutting it as this is not the Strowman people want to see because it’s not the same Strowman that everyone fell in love with. The lines they are giving him aren’t working either, mainly because he keeps repeating the same lines that he has been saying for the past month. Why do I feel like after hearing this promo that we are going to get Strowman as a monster at SummerSlam as they are going to go all-in on building a Fiend vs Monster match.
The only part of the Strowman part of the segment that I liked was the part where he said he didn’t give a damn about Alexa because that once again feels like a reason as to why Alexa would want to turn on him and join up with Wyatt, also why are we supposed to believe that he doesn’t care about Alexa when he was making a beeline toward her when she showed up in the Swamp Fight, this was just a terrible promo and a halfway terrible segment all together.
Match #3: Jeff Hardy vs King Corbin
Hardy ducks a clothesline right off the bat and hits him with an inverted atomic drop and then works over the arm for a moment until Corbin breaks his grip. Hardy ducks another clothesline and comes back with a running forearm and then we get the inverted atomic drop, double leg drop, and a basement dropkick to the face for a 2 count. Hardy calls for the Twist of Fate, but Corbin hits him with a big right and then charges in, Hardy moves which sets up the slide outside and back inside spot and when Corbin slides in Hardy tries for the Twist of Fate once again but Corbin spins out and levels Hardy with a big clothesline for a 2 count.
Corbin picks Hardy up off the mat a couple of times just to knock him right back down. Corbin throws Hardy to the outside where he hits him with some punches across the announce table and then rolls him back inside the ring. Corbin drives elbows down into the shoulder of Hardy and then locks in the patented Corbin rest hold, Hardy tries to fight out of it but Corbin takes him right back down for another minute until Hardy gets to his feet once again and elbows out of the hold.
Corbin throws Hardy back into the corner and it looks like we are going to get another slide out and back in spot, but Hardy hits him with a dropkick through the ropes sending Corbin into the barricade. Hardy sends Corbin into the plexiglass and then throws him back into the ring but when Hardy slides in he runs right into a Deep Six for a 2 count. Corbin looks to pull Hardy in for the End of Days, but Hardy blocks it with punches and then tries for a sitout jawbreaker but Corbin connects with a knee to the chest which sends Hardy rolling to the outside. Sheamus runs down and hits Hardy with a Brogue Kick which causes our 2nd DQ finish of the night.
Winner: Jeff Hardy via DQ Match Rating: **
This match was absolutely nothing special and the fact that it gave us the second DQ finish of the night didn’t help make it any better.
We come back from commercial to an impromptu match.
Match #4: King Corbin vs Sheamus
Sheamus works over Corbin in the corner with punches and kicks and then he bounces his head off the top turnbuckle and continues to stay on him with uppercuts and knee strikes. Sheamus sends Corbin into the ropes but drops his head too early which allows Corbin to kick him in the head, but when Corbin runs off the ropes he is caught with a kitchen sink by Sheamus. Corbin tries to roll out of the ring but Sheamus catches him and pulls him up to the apron where he tries for the 10 Beats of the Bodhran but Corbin blocks it and slides down to the floor to escape Sheamus. Sheamus goes to the outside but is taken down by a big clothesline from Corbin. Corbin sends Sheamus into the plexiglass and then delivers body blows to Sheamus and bounces his head off the announce table before sending Sheamus back into the ring.
Sheamus catches Corbin with a knee as he gets into the ring and then he clotheslines Corbin back to the outside where he delivers the same punishment Corbin delivered to him and then he sends Corbin into the ring post. Sheamus throws Corbin back into the ring and goes up top where he tries for a clothesline but Corbin ducks and then hits Sheamus with a side slam for a 2 count. Corbin delivers some mounted punches and then sends Sheamus shoulder-first into the ring post and delivers some more punches to the back of Sheamus’s head. We get our second Corbin rest hold of the night which Sheamus eventually fights out of and then he tries to deadlift Corbin for the White Noise, but Corbin slides out the back and levels Sheamus with a clothesline. At that time Riddle springboards over Corbin to cause a distraction and this leads to Sheamus hitting a Brogue Kick to pick up the win.
Winner: Sheamus via Pinfall Match Rating: **¼
If this match didn’t have Riddle interfering at the end to make it the third match on the show with a finish involving someone interfering I would have enjoyed this much better as these two hosses were beating the hell out of each other and I would love to see them face each other again but next time give them more time and a clean finish.
We cut backstage where Bayley looks worried and when Sasha asks her what’s wrong Bayley tries to act like nothing’s wrong but when Sasha asks her if it has anything to do with her facing Bayley on Raw Monday she does say that she wishes Sasha would’ve asked her first but Sasha reassures her that she has nothing to worry about and that not only are they role models but Bayley is her role model. A member of the crew walks up and tells them they are needed in the ring for a video conference with Stephanie McMahon and this sends us to break.
We come back from commercial to Kayla Braxton who is interviewing Big E who talks about how he plans to give all of himself in this singles run and that while the support from the fans and the co-sign from Kingston & Woods should be a weight that holds him down instead it lifts him up. Big E and Kayla then do the New Day rocks together and Big E gets Kayla laughing.
Why was Big E in his gear when he didn’t have a match on the show? I love the chemistry that Kayla has with the members of New Day especially Big E as this was a fun little interview and the part at the end where Big E got Kayla laughing was kinda cute.
We then go to the ring where Sasha Banks and Bayley are awaiting their meeting with Stephanie McMahon via satellite. Stephanie congratulates them on winning all the gold and then Bayley and Sasha start trying to suck up to Stephanie saying that they want to be role models to all little girls including Stephanie’s daughters. Stephanie tells them to chill and while they may have found a loophole to the stipulation she made for the Raw Women’s Championship match last week she doesn’t hold a grudge and won’t be punishing them, however, she does want to challenge them and that’s why at SummerSlam Sasha will possibly defend her title against Asuka while Bayley will defend her title against the winner of a tri-brand battle royal which will be happening next week on SmackDown.
I enjoyed this segment as Bayley and Sasha were great as usual as they were trying to suck up to Stephanie to the point where they bring up wanting to be role models to Stephanie’s daughters. I like the idea of the tri-brand battle royal to determine Bayley’s next challenger as that hopefully means a fresh challenger that we haven’t seen her against, I feel this is a perfect way to bring one of the many talented women of NXT onto SmackDown. Battle Royals are a guilty pleasure of mine so I look forward to covering that match next week.
We cut backstage where Miz, Morrison, and Sonya are chilling when Kayla walks up for an interview and asks them if they regret anything they said during the Dirt Sheet earlier in the night but they don’t regret it and say that what they did was sophisticated commentary and they were trying to outsmart Heavy Machinery because outsmarting Otis is like playing chicken against a pot-bellied pig and then they say more disparaging things toward Heavy Machinery before walking off.
Match #5: The Miz & John Morrison w/ Sonya Deville vs Heavy Machinery
It looks like we are going to get a lockup but Morrison hits Tucker with a forearm and a couple of kicks but the tide quickly turns when Tucker catches the leg of Morrison and uses it to slam Morrison to the mat. Tucker then hits a waistlock takedown and then mounts Morrison for a moment and then goes for another waistlock takedown, but Morrison back elbows Tucker to escape his grasp. Tucker blocks a kick from Morrison and then takes him down with a clothesline and then we get some more Retribution light flickering.
Tucker sends Morrison into the babyface corner and tags in Otis who whips Tucker into Morrison for an avalanche and then Tucker sends Morrison toward Otis who hits Morrison with a shoulder block which Morrison takes a hilariously unrealistic spinning bump from. Otis sends Morrison into the ropes and Morrison flips over the back of Otis and makes a tag to The Miz. Otis no-sells some strikes from The Miz and then rips his shirt off and hits The Miz with a headbutt and a body attack before tagging in Tucker. Heavy Machinery hits The Miz with a double belly bump which sends Miz rolling out of the ring and then Tucker dives off the apron with a cannonball that takes down both Miz and Morrison and this sends us to break.
We come back and Miz has Tucker in a front facelock and as Tucker tries to walk over and reach his corner he is hit with a knee to the face and a big boot which sends Tucker staggering back into the heel corner. Miz tags in Morrison and despite Tucker trying to fight his way out of the corner Miz catches him and we get a double team combo of a backbreaker and double stomp combo which gets him a 2 count. Morrison hits Tucker with a kick to the back and then tries for a running knee but Tucker gets his feet up and kicks Morrison in the leg. We get a quick strike exchange before Morrison kicks him in the leg and then hits the running knee he was looking for earlier and then tags in The Miz.
Miz and Morrison hit Tucker with a double gutbuster and then Miz hits him with a basement DDT for another 2 count. Miz leans Tucker across the middle rope and distracts the referee long enough for Morrison to get in a cheap shot. Miz and Morrison try to hit their catapult and slingshot elbow combo, but Tucker forearms Morrison off the apron and then and then sits down on Miz. Tucker makes the hot tag to Otis who comes in with clotheslines for both men and a flapjack on Morrison. Otis slams Miz and then throws Morrison across the ring with an exploder and then he hits Morrison with an avalanche and then he hits the Caterpillar elbow drop for a 2 count when Miz breaks up the pin.
Tucker pulls Miz out of the ring and looks to hit him with a clothesline but Miz sidesteps and this sends Tucker into the barricade and then he sends Otis into the steps. Mandy Rose runs down and we have a brawl that leads to the match being thrown out.
Winner: N/A via No Contest Match Rating: **¼
After the match, both teams hold back their respective ladies to keep them from ripping each other apart and that sends us to break.
We come back to the women still trying to get to each other while they are being held back and while this is happening the lights go out momentarily and then come back on.
The match was decent but nothing special and it completed the trend of the night of having shitty non-finishes. This match was just a way to set up the brawl between Mandy and Sonya at the end. I like the new shorter hair on Mandy as it really suits her. I have a feeling all of this hair cutting could be leading to a hair vs hair match at SummerSlam between Mandy and Sonya.
We cut inside the arena and The Retribution has arrived with weapons and they start to tear up stuff and then harass the crew at ringside which sends Graves and Cole running to the back. Retribution then goes behind the plexiglass and attacks one of the female PC audience members and then they go back in the ring with some spray paint and paint up the place, finally they grab a chainsaw and cut the ropes before hyping each other up as the show comes to a close.
I get what they want this Retribution group to be but I feel like they shot themselves in the foot right from the beginning when they announced the group was going to debut on Raw as that completely does away with the chaotic, unpredictable, and anti-WWE vibe that the group is supposed to have because why would the group tell WWE ahead of time they are going to show up and furthermore why would they even want to communicate with the company they are supposed to be against. I keep going back and forth on whether or not I liked this closing segment on SmackDown as I feel they wanted it to be as chaotic as some of the other faction debuts in history with the most notable being the Nexus, however, this segment paled in comparison to that awesome Nexus debut. I think one reason as to why this segment didn’t connect for me personally was because the whole time I was more concerned with who these people are under the mask rather than what chaos they were causing whereas with the Nexus debt we knew who they were right from the start and thus could put full concentration on the actual chaos they were causing. With that said I will remain optimistic about the Retribution storyline and look forward to seeing where it goes next because I don’t think it’s dead in the water like a lot of other people do in the IWC.
I know a lot of people are shitting on this segment (as well as the Raw Underground segments) because of all of the camera cuts but for me, all of those camera cuts don’t hinder or help my enjoyment of a segment or match, I don’t know what it says about me but I never really notice or pay attention to the camera cuts in the moment and probably wouldn’t ever pay them any mind at all if people didn’t bitch about them constantly, of all the things that make WWE hard to watch at times the camera cuts are at the bottom of the list for me.
After the great show we had last week this week’s show was a letdown as we had 4 out of the 5 matches end in either a DQ, No Contest, or distraction, we had a stupid segment where Miz and Morrison talked to Mandy Rose’s hair, we had Strowman cutting a terrible promo, and the final segment didn’t come off as impactful as they had hoped it would be. The highlights of the show were the Cesaro vs Dorado match, everything involving Sonya & Mandy, and the interaction between Alexa Bliss and The Fiend.
That’s all for this week see you guys next week for more blue brand action including a giant tri-brand battle royal.
SmackDown on Fox Episode #45