By Jake Barnett, Prowrestling.net Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Smackdown Live on USA Network
Live from Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
Randy Orton’s music hit to open the show and he headed towards the ring. He was booed heavily and a you suck chant broke out. Orton spoke about the brutality he rained down on Jeff Hardy last week, and then showed a video package of the assault and the wiping away of his makeup afterwards.
He asked the crowd if they still believed, and said the reason he didn’t give warnings to the squeamish is because he wants to make people uncomfortable. He said his goal is to break down heroes and wipe away their identities, and he wants to become so violent that people change the channel. Orton said they won’t, because people still believe in heroes. People still want Jeff Hardy to come down to the ring, but he won’t, because he’s been erased.
Orton went on to say he will erase anyone who the fans love, because they don’t respect him, and he doesn’t get enough respect from the back. He then went on to list his career highlights, being the youngest world champion, 13 time Champion, WrestleMania Main Events, etc. He said that in life when you don’t get the respect you deserve you have to make difficult choices. And he has made his choice to take the respect he deserves.
He said people can call him Apex Predator, Viper, or Legend Killer, but the only three letters anyone needs to remember is RKO. Backstage, the Bar was shown in front of a monitor prepping for their match, followed by Becky Lynch and Charlotte running into each other backstage. Charlotte said she didn’t want to ruin her moment, but she’s competitive, and she had to take the opportunity put in front of her. Becky said she knows Charlotte is competitive, and it’s fine. She said she wanted Carmella to herself and now there is a tall blonde boulder in her path, but she doesn’t hold it against her. Charlotte asked if they were ok for their tag match, and Becky said they aren’t Bayley and Sasha…[c]
My Take: This Orton promo was good, but not as well written as his previous one. I think he’s onto the right tone, but they’ll need to keep the content fresh, as this felt partially recycled. Becky and Charlotte are pals, at least for now. I wonder how slow of a burn this will be. The Women’s Tag Division looming means it could be longer than anticipated.
Becky and Charlotte made their entrances, along with Charlotte and the Iconics. The Iconics got on the mic and trashed Orlando. They also called Charlotte overrated and Becky a sidekick.
1. Charlotte and Becky vs. The Iconics: Becky and Billie started the match, and was quickly isolated. Charlotte and Becky quickly dispatched both Iconics out to the floor. Charlotte splashed them out on the floor. After a distraction from Peyton, Billie was able to hit a big boot and take over on Charlotte.
Both Iconics made quick tags and cut off the ring, isolating Charlotte. After a lengthy stretch of offense from the Iconics, Charlotte and Billie both hit big boots, which allowed Becky to make a tag. She entered and hit Peyton with a clothesline, followed by a kick and an exploder suplex. She then hit a forearm from the top and covered for a two count. She then cinched in the Disarmher, but Billie broke things up.
Charlotte did another awkward moonsault that neither Iconic really bumped for, and then applied the Figure Eight on Peyton for the win.
Charlotte and Becky defeated The Iconics at 8:33.
Backstage, New Day were interviewed by Renee Young. Kofi put on a blue jacket and a Blonde Wig, and proceeded to use a corny white guy voice to interview Big E and Woods. They talked about sparring with the Bar, and mostly clowned around before having a laugh with Renee and saying they could do her job too.
Another backstage promo aired, and Miz said he would face Daniel Bryan at Summerslam. AJ Styles was shown backstage, and he’ll be out next…[c]
My Take: Becky looked rather unimpressed as Charlotte got the victory, so that story will continue to develop. The New Day corny backstage segment was fun, but I missed part of it due to my TV streaming provider being a buffering mess tonight. The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan wasn’t really a surprise, but it’s nice to have it confirmed.
Backstage, Becky and Charlotte were shown celebrating backstage. They agreed they were great together, but Becky said in two weeks it would be different. Charlotte said they would have to be great against each other, and they had a bit of a knowing staredown. The announce team then threw to a video package that covered Samoa Joe’s intense promo on AJ Styles last week.
AJ Styles made his entrance and got his typical favorable reaction. He said a lot goes on between the ropes, a lot of trash talking and manhood being tested. He said Joe had made it personal when he started talking about his family. AJ got heated and spoke about how much his family means to him. He said he’s gone over 200 days a year, he misses birthdays and little league games, but he celebrated 18 years with his wife on August 5th. He said the reality is that his wife is a single parent, because he’s just not there.
He said he always wanted to give their families everything they didn’t have. You want to be there for them when they fall down, and when they cry so you can wipe their tears. He said that’s what pisses him off the most, because Joe knows his wife and kids, and he knows the sacrifices that they’ve all made. AJ said they’ve known each other for 10 years, and used to live in roach infested apartments and ate stale pizza together, but Joe threw it all away when he mentioned his family name. Styles said he wouldn’t let Joe walk out of Summerslam with the title, in fact, he may not be walking at all.
Backstage, Rusev agreed to be in Lana’s corner for her rematch with Zelina Vega. Aiden English walked up and apologized, and they forgave him, but Rusev told him it’d be better if he stayed backstage. In the arena, Zelina Vega made her entrance with Andrade Almas…[c]
My Take: A rough promo from Styles. He showed some good fire in spots, but he seemed to struggle with remembering his lines down the stretch. I think he got the point across, but I bet he wishes he could have another crack at it. The Rusev storyline continues to go in circles.
Lana made her entrance with Rusev. Their twitter feud was shown during the entrance.
2. Lana vs. Zelina Vega: They traded blows early on. Vega retreated to the outside after giving Lana a forearm shiver, and then ambushed her after a brief Andrade Almas distraction. Lana weathered a chinlock and hit a snap suplex for a one count. They went back and forth again with both women back on their feet, but Lana hit a bulldog and a pair of suplexes. She set up for her facebuster, but Almas provided another distraction.
Rusev initially destroyed him on the floor, and Vega turned her attention to him to intervene. Lana took advantage initially, but English ran down and knocked her off the top rope inadvertently. Vega hit a double knee strike and covered for the win.
Zelina Vega defeated Lana at 4:48.
Backstage, Shinsuke Nakamura was interviewed by Renee Young. She asked about his Summerslam match with Jeff Hardy. He said he has no match with Hardy, because he’s been erased. Renee laughed and said despite what Orton said, Hardy hasn’t been erased. Shinsuke said he would erase what’s left of him at Summerslam, and wouldn’t leave anything left for Randy. R-Truth then walked up and wanted a match with Nakamura at Summerslam. When he was asked how he was going to do that, he said he would pin Carmella like everybody else.
Tye Dillinger tried to pull him away, but Nakamura apparently insulted him in Japanese. He then said the match with Carmella is off, and he wanted Nakamura tonight. Byron Saxton will interview The Miz next…[c]
My Take: The backstage segment with Truth was entertaining. The match between Vega and Lana was about par with last week, which isn’t much of a compliment. Almas getting caught up in a dreary midcard feud is a real shame. Everybody looks clownish.
Byron conducted an interview from the ring, but Miz was “on the set of Miz and Mrs”. He asked why Miz wasn’t there again tonight. Miz called him a second rate announcer, and said the reason he isn’t there is because he’s a star. Byron mentioned the 4th season of Total Bellas, and Miz said the first two episodes of his show got more viewers than all of Total Bellas Season 3. Miz said Bryan should watch so he can learn how to make his career relevant again.
Byron asked about his match with Bryan at Summerslam. Miz said he had been carrying the sub par amateur for 8 years, and he was tired of listening Bryan call him soft. He laid into Bryan and said he’s been wrestling and building his career while Bryan was sitting at home wishing he was him for the past two years. He said Bryan needs a match with him, not another way around. He said he’s not hiding from anybody, and he will expose Daniel Bryan for what he is, and that’s beneath him. Miz said he was tired of talking about Bryan, why don’t you ask him, he’s probably backstage in catering eating some kale chips or something.
Bryan then appeared from out of frame and attacked Miz and his bodyguards, and Miz was able to escape when his bodyguards occupied Bryan and he hit him with Vase “Sugar Glass’ full of roses. Bryan got up and appeared to head in the same direction Miz was headed. Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance in the arena…[c]
My Take: Miz continues to assault the character of Daniel Bryan, without Bryan getting any quality digs back at him. I’m not sure what they are trying to do with Bryan’s character, but I’m not much of a fan of the way this has been written thus far. Miz has been going for the jugular and Bryan has been cast as an obsessive psycho. It’s not a great look for a babyface character.
R-Truth did his What’s Up entrance. Nakamura waited impatiently. Truth did an encore for some reason, and Nakamura chuckled.
3. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. R-Truth: Nak hit some knees and clowned on Truth early on. Nakamura taunted Truth, who rolled him up and mocked him with the same taunt. Truth got in some offense with a nice hip lock takeover and a splash in the corner. Nakamura got back into the match with a kick to the back of the neck, and then applied a triangle choke. Truth reached the ropes and slowly got to his feet.
Nakamura then delivered some knees and stomps, and then hit a reverse exploder suplex. He then charged up and hit Kinshasa for the win.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated R-Truth at 5:22.
Backstage, The Bludgeon Brothers cut a backstage promo about how they are awaiting their challengers for Summerslam, and that they would break them mentally and physically when they arrive. They then made their ring entrance in the arena.
My Take: Nakamura needed a TV win, and Truth gave him a passable match. Hopefully they can separate Orton from the US Title Program eventually and place more of a focus on him as Champion.
A Jobber Team of 3 guys named 3SK made their way out during the break. This is a handicap match.
4. The Bludgeon Brothers vs. 3SK: This was a bludgeoning. All three guys got worked over. They pinned one of them after hitting their Powerbomb Finish.
The Bludgeon Brothers defeated 3SK at 1:48.
After the match, the announce team went over the matches announced for Summerslam. After the plug for Summerslam, The Bar made their entrance…[c]
My Take: The Bludgeonings are always a fun romp on television, but the Bludgeon Brothers as an act are woefully underdeveloped.
The New Day made their entrance to a great reaction from the Orlando crowd.
5. New Day vs. The Bar: Cesaro and Big E started the match, with a big We Want Pancakes chant going in the crowd. New Day dominated the early going, until Sheamus used his power to avoid a monkey flip, and sent Kofi to the floor with a forearm shot. Sheamus then followed out to the floor and hit a hard shot to the chest. Cesaro tagged in and continued to cut off the ring. Kofi got hit hard with a euro uppercut…[c]
Kofi held the ropes to avoid a spinebuster, and then dumped Cesaro to the floor. Sheamus tagged in to prevent Kofi’s tag, but ran into the post in the corner instead. Big E tagged in a hit some suplexes. He clotheslined Cesaro out to the floor, which allowed Sheamus to hit a knee that sent him reeling into the corner. Sheamus charged in and ate a uranage for a two count. Cesaro tagged in, and Big E tagged Kofi for a Midnight Hour, but Sheamus knocked Big E to the floor.
A moment later, Big E tagged in and missed a splash on Cesaro on the apron. Sheamus grabbed Kofi Kingston and hit a rolling slam on the floor. He then pulled Big E into the ring and covered for a near fall. Cesaro tagged in and they wish boned Big E. Cesaro is carrying himself like he’s working hurt, but seems mostly ok…[c]
Kofi is still out on the floor, and The Bar is working over Big E in their corner. Sheamus set up for a superplex, but got shoved off. Cesaro hit Big E with a big boot, and then hit the Superplex. Sheamus followed up with a knee drop and covered for a near fall. Sheamus went for a Cloverleaf, but he couldn’t get it applied like he wanted to. Big E kicked off and Sheamus landed out on the floor.
Cesaro tossed Sheamus back into the ring and tagged him. Kofi tagged in and delivered a boom drop to Cesaro. He then splashed both Sheamus and Cesaro down on the floor. Kofi tossed Cesaro back in the ring and hit a double stomp, but Sheamus broke it up. Kofi went for Trouble in Paradise on Cesaro, but got caught. Sheamus tagged in and he and Cesaro hit a double team backbreaker, but only got a near fall.
Sheamus set up for a Brogue Kick, but Kofi avoided it and knocked Cesaro to the floor. He then hit a dropkick and tagged in Big E. Cesaro got a blind tag and Big E set up Sheamus for the midnight hour. Cesaro knocked Kofi off the ropes and they hit a double team device on Big E for another near fall after Kofi broke it up.
Cesaro put Big E in the Cesaro Swing and then a Sharpshooter. Kofi took out Sheamus on the floor, but Big E still hadn’t reach the ropes. Cesaro transitioned into a crossface, but Big E fought to his feet and tagged Kofi. They hit the midnight hour, and covered for the win.
New Day defeated The Bar at 21:32
After the match, New Day Celebrated. Harper and Rowan were shown watching the New Day from the arena.
My Take: That was a treat for a TV main event. I’m genuinely surprised by the finish, as I thought The Bar was set to win this thing. Perhaps lingering injuries are a problem, as New Day has already lost to the Bludgeon Brothers and didn’t seem like the fresh choice. Overall, this was another solid two hours of television, but I didn’t think it was quite up to par with last week. There were fewer must see segments, and I missed the intensity of last week’s show.