6/26 Powell’s WWE Smackdown Live TV Review: Jeff Hardy issues an open challenge for the U.S. Title, Miz TV with the Bludgeon Brothers, Becky Lynch vs. Sonya Deville, Rusev vs. Xavier Woods, GLOW cast members appear

By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Smackdown Live on USA Network
Live from Ontario, California tonight at Citizens Business Bank Arena

[Hour One] The Miz stood in the ring for a Miz TV segment. He took a jab at the CGI dinosaurs in the latest “Jurassic Park” movie and then introduced the Bludgeon Brothers Luke Harper and Erick Rowan as two walking wooly mammoths. The duo brought their giant f’n Thor hammers inside the ring with them. Miz acted intimidated and quickly said they had something in common in that they proved how easy it is to dismantle Daniel Bryan.

Miz said his agenda was clear, but he wanted to know why they attacked Bryan. Miz fearfully held up a mic while keeping his distance and neither man said a word. Miz set up a video package that recapped the Bludgeon Brothers and Bryan’s interactions last week. Miz eventually got too chummy with the Bludgeon Brothers and one of them knocked the microphone out of his hand.

Just when it looked like Miz was about to get his ass kicked, Bryan inexplicably made his entrance. Bryan said the Bludgeon Brothers cost him a shot at the WWE Championship. He said they are big, bad, and scary, but size isn’t as important as heart. He said he wasn’t afraid of them and certainly not Miz. He said he wasn’t asking if they would fight him, he was asking which one of them would fight him first. Harper pulled Miz’s arm with the mic in front of him. “You just never learn, do you, Daniel?” Harper asked. “Well, you’re gonna tonight”…

Backstage, New Day had Bootyworth make them what appeared to be a milk and pancake smoothie… The broadcast team was Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton. Phillips hyped Rusev vs. Xavier Woods for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: I hate when babyfaces are made to look like idiots by entering right when their enemies are about to fight one another or get beaten up. Putting that aside, the segment was fine with Miz carrying it while the Bludgeon Brothers remained mostly mute. They can get a couple weeks out of Bryan working singles matches with Harper and Rowan, but it will be interesting to see if this leads to a tag match and who Bryan will end up teaming with if it does. By the way, I’m filling in again this week for the vacationing Jake Barnett, who will return next week.

New Day made their entrance. Aiden English delivered his singing introduction of Rusev…

1. Rusev (w/Aiden English) vs. Xavier Woods (w/Big E, Kofi Kingston). Graves said New Day was in violation of the Bulgarian edict that made it illegal to eat pancakes on Rusev Day. Big E held up a cartoon word balloon that read “Ouch!” as Woods was performing a move on Rusev. [C] Late in the match, Woods went up top and jumped. Rusev avoided him. Woods ran the ropes and slid under Rusev, who caught him with a kick and then a Machka Kick. Rusev applied the Accolade and got the submission win…

Rusev defeated Xavier Woods in 8:55.

After the match, Rusev said it wasn’t about Woods, pancakes, trombones, etc., it was about AJ Styles. Rusev said he knew Styles was watching and he was scared. He said Styles proved it last week when he hit English. There were dueling chants for Rusev Day and Styles. Rusev said he would take the title and it would be a great Rusev Day…

Powell’s POV: The match went on longer than I anticipated. Rusev controlled the majority of the offense, but I’m surprised they didn’t make him look more dominant as he moves closer to challenging AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules.

An upside down shot aired of Jeff Hardy in his make up. He spoke about taking flight and fighting… The broadcast team noted that Shinsuke Nakamura suffered an injury on Monday night and was not medically cleared to compete. Thus, Hardy would defend his U.S. Title in an open challenge. Graves pointed out that Seth Rollins lost the Intercontinental Championship in an open challenge two weeks ago…. Hardy made his entrance heading into a break… [C]

Naomi and Lana were arguing about who won their dance contest. The cast of GLOW showed up including star Alison Brie, who did her Russian character’s impersonation. The other cast members suggested they work together. Naomi said that would be a possibility of Lana would quit tripping. Lana said she didn’t fall down once. Naomi thought better of trying to explain herself. She said Lana is a good dancer and they could be ravishing together if they got on the same page. It all ended with Naomi and the cast members yelling, “Feel the glow.” Phillips hyped the second season premiere of the Netflix series for Friday…

Jeff Hardy had to watch all of this while sitting in the ring. Sanity made their entrance. Eric Young was the open challenger…

2. Jeff Hardy vs. Eric Young (w/Killian Dain, Alexander Wolfe) for the U.S. Championship. There was a botched Twist of Fate in the opening minute. Hardy went up top, but Young rolled to ringside. [C] Later, Hardy went for another Twist of Fate, but Young avoided it. They both clotheslined one another and fell to the mat. The crowd reacted to something off camera, then Dain and Wolfe did as well. The Usos showed up near the timekeepers area and ended up brawling with Dain and Wolfe at ringside. Young left the ring and got involved. He threw Jey inside the ring and followed. Jey speared Young and the ref called for the bell. Hardy sided with the Usos and helped clear the ring…

Eric Young beat Jeff Hardy by DQ in 9:40.

Powell’s POV: That botch was rough early, but I like the decision to go with a DQ finish in this case. It’s too soon for Young to lose, yet I wouldn’t want to see him take the U.S. Championship. The Usos regained some mojo by coming out and brawling with Sanity after being roughed up by them next week. Sanity looked a little weak here, but I assume that will be corrected with a six-man tag match after the break.

3. “Sanity” Eric Young, Killian Dain, and Alexander Wolfe vs. Jeff Hardy, Jimmy Uso, and Jey Uso. The match was joined in progress and Phillips said Smackdown manager Paige set it up during the break. The Sanity trio isolated Jey. He came close to making a tag, but Young pulled Hardy off the apron.

[Hour Two] Jey eventually tagged in Jimmy, who worked over Wolfe. There was a rapid fire spot sequence. Dain took multiple superkicks and didn’t go down until the Usos hit him with a double superkick. Wolfe superkicked an Uso into his corner and he tagged in Hardy. The Uso superkicked Wolfe, then Hardy performed a Swanton Bomb and scored the pin…

Jeff Hardy and The Usos defeated Sanity in 6:55.

The broadcast team hyped Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper for later in the show… Backstage, Becky Lynch was shadowboxing and nearly hit a crew member, who told her that she was up next. The broadcast team hyped her match against Sonya Deville…

Powell’s POV: I don’t want to read too much into a single loss, but it doesn’t seem like they have big plans for Sanity right out of the gate or they wouldn’t have been booked to lose so early in their run. Dain was made to look strong despite his team losing, and the match was entertaining.

A graphic touted WWE’s “social media dominance”…

4. Becky Lynch vs. Sonya Deville (w/Mandy Rose). Footage aired from earlier in the day of Deville and Rose interrupting an interview that Lynch was doing with the WWE website. Lynch was in offensive control heading into a break. [C] Deville took control during the break and threw a nice knee or kick to the chest of Lynch and got a two count. Lynch came back and got a two count off an exploder suplex. Deville connected with a step up enzuigiri for a two count. Rose provided a distraction that led to another two count for Deville. Lynch pulled Deville through the ropes and into Rose, then applied the Disarmer for the win…

Becky Lynch defeated Sonya Deville in 8:55.

Powell’s POV: A competitive women’s match. The live crowd didn’t seem to react to the near falls, but they did come to life for Lynch applying her finisher.

James Ellsworth strutted around backstage with an Asuka mask on. He saw Tye Dillinger and pulled up his mask. Dillinger said it was better with the mask on. Ellsworth asked if he was a ten without the mask. Dilinger let him know he’s a one… [C]

James Ellsworth made his entrance and delivered an in-ring promo. He called Asuka “babe” and said when you mess with the bull you get the horn. He said he loves women and has a love life that’s so hot that you can fry an egg on it. He said there’s no love or respect between him and Asuka. He took his attire off until he was shirtless and claimed he wasn’t ready last week. He challenged Asuka to come out and try to kick him again.

Paige made her entrance instead. She said Ellsworth knew that Asuka wasn’t in the building because he was asking everyone about it backstage and then went to the ring and got tough after he found out she was in Japan with her family. Paige booked Carmella vs. Asuka for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Extreme Rules. Ellsworth said Asuka doesn’t deserve a title shot. Ellsworth assumed Paige was there to ask him on a date. She told him it was true and booked it for next Tuesday, then informed him that it wasn’t a date with her, it would be a one-on-one match against Asuka…

Luke Harper was shown staring into the camera backstage. Daniel Bryan was shown shadow boxing with Luke Gallows while Karl Anderson watched… [C]

Powell’s POV: Man, I guess Paige just couldn’t handle the idea of dating someone as out of her league as the ultimate male James Ellsworth clearly is. Her loss.

An ad for 205 Live hyped the debut of Lio Rush and the previously advertised six-man elimination tag team match… Daniel Bryan made his entrance. Bludgeon Brothers were already in the ring…

5. Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper (w/Erick Rowan). Bryan went for an early kick through the ropes. Harper caught him and then ran him into the barricade. Back in the ring, Bryan threw a couple of kicks and then ate a big punch from Harper. Bryan came back and went for a suicide dive. Harper caught him and dumped him on the broadcast table, then hit him with a big boot that knocked him into the timekeepers area. [C]

Harper cut off a Bryan comeback with a Mininoku Driver and got a two count. At 11:30, Harper set up for a superplex, but Bryan fought him off with punches and then performed a DDT. A short time later, Bryan was in the process of applying the Yes Lock when Rowan attacked him for the DQ.

Daniel Bryan beat Luke Harper by DQ in 12:50.

Bludgeon Brothers worked over Bryan after the match. They set up for double team move when Kane’s entrance music played and he headed to the ring. The Bludgeon Brothers outnumbered Kane, but Bryan hit them with a missile dropkick from behind. Kane chokeslammed Harper. Bryan sat in the corner with a surprised and apprehensive look on his face while Kane looked down at him. A “Team Hell No” chant broke out. Bryan pulled himself up and stared at Kane, who eventually walked toward him and opened his arms for a hug. The fans cheered and chanted Yes. Bryan shook his head no, then looked to the cheering crowd. Bryan ran forward and he and Kane hugged.

Paige came out and announced Bludgeon Brothers vs. “Team Hell No” Bryan and Kane for the Smackdown Tag Titles at Extreme Rules. Bryan and Kane led yes chants and then hugged again. Bryan raised Kane’s arm and they continued to celebrate to end the show…

Powell’s POV: A fun an unexpected conclusion to the show. For some reason, I thought of Kane as a potential replacement for Shane McMahon at WrestleMania, but I honestly didn’t see the reunion coming this time around. The reunion should be fun. I just hope it doesn’t lead to a breakup and a long feud between the two. Overall, this wasn’t the most eventful show until the fun reunion at the end. AJ Styles and Samoa Joe were both off, and Shinsuke Nakamura was pulled due to an injury. Fortunately, the fun at the end made the time investment feel worthwhile. I will be by later tonight with more thoughts in my members’ exclusive audio review.


Readers Comments (6)

  1. I’m really looking forward to seeing Bludgeon Brothers vs. Kane and the other guy. Fun match-up.

  2. I live in Florida and they are still showing commercials for the upcoming Orlando show that’s advertising Jeff Hardy and Daniel Bryan versus The Miz and Big Cass. But isn’t Big Cass fired? That’s funny.

  3. Why, oh why couldn’t Andrade have been the one to answer the open challenge?…Was expecting Becky v.s. Peyton but I’ll take my girl Sonya Deville any day…Show seemed kind of meh tonight but I have a feeling next week is gonna be a thrill ride.

  4. Man, I am so fired up to see Ruff Ruff Ref!!!

  5. Sasha and bailey going into therapy. Now team hell no. Does this mean Dr.Shelby?

  6. Kane comes out to fill Cass dismissal and Hell NO reunion
    gr8 job SD!!!

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