This week, WWE SmackDown emanates from Philadelphia, PA. The main event will be Roman Reigns and Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman.
The New Day come out after a recap of what happened with them and the Dudley Boyz, John Cena and Dolph Ziggler on RAW. Even outnumbered, the power of positivity couldn’t be stopped. Then they list off a bunch of factions of the past, saying they are more dominant than all of them. They get some cheap heat by trashing on Philly’s sports teams, then go off about how the Dudleyz have “politicked” their way into another title match at Hell in the Cell, and that’s pretty much it.
Dolph Ziggler interrupts their chanting and says normally he’d be out there with them for jokes, but this isn’t a joking matter. The three of them cost them a shot at the US title against Cena, but tonight, the Authority has given a shot at redemption tonight. He said he wanted a match with a guy he taught how to steal opportunities, so he’s facing Big E tonight. Xavier Woods promises it’ll be a fair fight. Ziggler agrees, and that brings out the Dudleyz.
MATCH 1: WWE TAG TEAM CO-CHAMPION BIG E (W/KOFI KINGSTON AND XAVIER WOODS) VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (W/THE DUDLEY BOYZ)
Ziggler immediately hits a dropkick, then plants E with a leaping DDT, causing E to roll to the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, E is in control with some clotheslines. E knee-chokes Ziggler across the bottom rope, then kicks him in the gut before dancing. E applies an abdominal stretch, which Ziggler fights out of. E drops him with a back elbow for 2, then goes back to the knee choke, this time over the middle. Kofi and Woods are commentating with no microphones. Back in the ring, Ziggler hits a few strikes, then goes for a cross-body, only to get caught with a backbreaker for 2. E hits another kick to the gut, then lands a punch to the gut that drops Ziggler. E applies a rear chinlock. Ziggler tries to fight out, only to get trapped in a bearhug. Ziggler breaks free with elbow, then connects with a boot in the corner. He ducks a clothesline and rolls E up for 2, then goes for the rocker dropper. E catches him and then drops him face-first onto the top buckle before missing a running shoulder, colliding with the ring post in the process. Ziggler nails the rocker dropper, but only gets 2. E blocks a superkick and catches a belly-to-belly before connecting with a Warrior Splash for 2. E signals for the Big Ending, but Ziggler escapes and connects with a superkick for 2. Kofi jumps on the apron, but gets yanked down by Bubba Ray. Ray looks to boot Kofi into the steps, misses, and gets kicked into the steps himself. D-Von comes around as Woods distracts the referee. Kofi jumps on the apron and hotshots Ziggler behind the ref’s back. D-Von pulls Woods down, only to have the ref turn around and count 3 on Ziggler.
WINNER: BIG E.
Professor Steiner Says: Old, Butt-Sucking Bastard.
The match was okay, but ruined by the schmozz ending.
MATCH 2: TEAM BELLA (BRIE, NIKKI AND ALICIA FOX) VS. CHARLOTTE, BECKY LYNCH AND NATALYA
Lynch and Fox start with a lock-up. Fox attempts an arm wringer. Lynch reverses into a school girl for 1. She ducks a clohtesline and hits a pair of armdrags into an armbar. Charlotte tags in, and CB hit a double hiptoss and a double elbow drop for 2. Charlotte applies a front chancery before tagging in Nattie. They hit a double snapmare before Nattie walks over Fox’s head and hits a seated dropkick for 2. Fox comes back with a jawbreaker before tagging in Nikki, who comes off the middle with a double axe handle to the arm. Nattie reverses an arm wringer and hits an armdrag. Lynch tags in as we see Paige watching in the back. Lynch gets 2 off a suplex by Nattie (I think; the camera on my feed was partially cut off). Nikki comes back with a kick and tags in Brie, who hits a missile dropkick from the middle for 2. Brie hits a couple elbows as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Fox and Brie are double-teaming Lynch in the corner as Nikki causes a distraction. She foot-chokes Lynch before tagging in Fox, who hits a northern lights suplex for 2. Fox applies a rear chinlock, but Lynch gets to her feet. Fox shoves her into the ropes and lands a dropkick for 2. Brie tags in and connects with a clothesline out of the corner for 2. Lynch comes back with some weak punches before getting yanked down by the neck. Brie ties her up in the ropes for a chinlock, then drives her knee into Lynch’s back. Nikki kicks Lynch in the face behind the ref’s back, then Brie stomps her against the ropes. She misses her stupid running knee and falls on her stupid ass before Lynch goes for a tag. Brie tries to prevent Lynch from making a tag, but gets kicked away. Nikki tags in and stops Lynch from tagging out by applying a front chancery. Lynch fights out before running into a back elbow. Nikki throws her to the corner for some shoulders before running into a back elbow. Lynch sends Nikki into the middle buckle and tags in Charlotte. Charlotte hits some knife-edges before connecting with the Layout and a big boot. Nikki comes back with her awful version of the Disaster Kick for 2, then knocks Nattie off the apron. She goes for the Rack Attack, but Charlotte escapes and hits a spear. She calls for the Figure-8, but Brie breaks it up. Nattie yanks Brie off the apron, ducks a clothesline and clobbers Fox. Nattie then gets clothesline by Brie as Charlotte locks in the Figure-8 in the ring, leading to the submission.
WINNERS: CHARLOTTE, BECKY LYNCH AND NATALYA.
Professor Steiner Says: Gimme a F**kin’ Mic!
Not a good match (mainly thanks to the Bellas and Fox), but it was relatively clean and the botches were minimal, so I can’t justify giving it the lowest rating.
We see Paige still watching backstage, when Renee Young asks her what she thinks about what she just saw. Paige says there’s no Team NBC (I’m sure a certain network won’t put a stop to that name). Nattie is trying to horn in on her turf and take Paige’s girls from her. She doesn’t like the situation, and she doesn’t like Nattie.
MATCH 3: RUSEV (W/SUMMER RAE) VS. RYBACK
Kevin Owens is on commentary for this match. We get an inset promo from Ryback. He says he has a voracious appetite. Back to the ring, Ryback goes on the attack with shoulder thrusts in the corner before stomping Rusev down. In the adjacent corner, Ryback beats Rusev down with fists, then throws him back to the original corner for another shoulder, followed by some chops. Rusev comes back with punches before running into a Thesz press and some punches. Rusev reverses an Irish whip, then knocks Ryback to the outside with a back elbow. Ryback temporarily gets tangled in the bottom rope before escaping and falling to the floor. Rusev follows him out and slams Ryback’s arm into the announce desk before slamming his face into the apron. He wraps Ryback’s arm around the ring post, then slams it into the steps. Ryback rolls back in, where Rusev gets a 1-count. Rusev continues the attack on the arm by tying it in the ropes, then starts pounding on Ryback’s shoulder. Ryback comes back with some weak chops before getting thrown shoulder-first into the ring post. Rusev slams the arm into the mat, then smacks Ryback around. Ryback comes back with punches, then runs into another back elbow for 1. Rusev applies an armbar. Rusev knocks Ryback to the corner, but then gets caught with a surprise belly-to-belly. Ryback hits a couple shoulders, ducks a clothesline and hits a flying tackle. In the corner, he boots Rusev away, then hits a running powerslam for 2. Ryback sets up a powerbomb, but Rusev counters into an Alabama Slam for 2. Rusev goes for a suplex, but Ryback blocks and gets Rusev up. Rusev escapes and applies a sleeper. Ryback counters into a backpack stunner for 2. He calls for Shell Shocked and gets Rusev up, but Rusev escapes and hits a thrust kick for 2. Ryback got his foot on the rope before Rae pushed it away. The ref saw it and stopped the count. Rusev throws a fit before calling for the Accolade. Ryback blocks the stomp, shoves Rusev away and hits the Meat Hook. He gets Rusev up again, hits Shell Shocked and gets 3.
Professor Steiner Says: Old, Butt-Sucking Bastard.
Given who was in this match, it wasn’t that bad. Fortunately, Rusev didn’t botch a spinning heel kick or a fall-away slam here, which certainly helped the rating.
Bray Wyatt appears on the TitanTron. He says what tangled webs we weave when we start to believe. At HIAC, will Wyatt be locked inside with Roman Reigns, or will Reigns be trapped inside with him? It makes no difference, because the result stays the same. He is going to put Reigns down. But tonight, Reigns and Randy Orton will face his judgment and the wrath of the “Black Sheep”. *laughter* Braun Strowman appears, takes his mask off and says he used to catch rabbits. He’d squeeze them tight, and he’d name them George, and he’d hug them and pet them…Run little rabbits, run.
MATCH 4: KING BARRETT VS. NEVILLE
We get a video package for Barrett after he comes out. I really want this new push to lead to something, but given how badly WWE have repeatedly screwed Barrett on pushes for unknown reasons, I have very little faith. The two lock up, and Barrett applies an arm wringer. Neville flips through and hits an armdrag that sends Barrett to the corner. THey lock up, and Neville now applies a wringer. Barrett backs him to the corner, sends him across the ring, Neville flips over him, handsprings across the ring, then connects with a springboard cross-body for 2. Barrett nails a punch and tosses Neville to the apron. Neville shoulders him through the ropes and flips over him back into the ring, only to get yanked down by the hair. Barrett connects with a big boot for 2. Commercials.
Back from the break, Neville goes for a headscissors out of the corner, but Barrett blocks it and kicks him in the gut for 2. Barrett sets Neville across the top rope, clubs him in the back, then connects with a running kick to the ribs for 2. Barrett applies a modified surfboard, then applies a rear chinlock. Neville fights out, hits a spinning back kick and a jawbreaker before ducking a big boot, crotching Barrett in the process. Neville connects with a step-up enziguri that knocks Barrett to the floor. Neville heads up and connects with a moonsault to the floor. Nevill rolls Barrett back in and hits a low dropkick. He connects with a bridging German suplex for 2 before Barrett surprises him with a clothesline. Barrett goes for the Wasteland, but Neville counters into a schoolboy for 2. Barrett goes for it again, which Neville counters into a DDT. He heads up to the top, but Barrett sees it coming and heads to the ropes. Neville grabs him, but the referee pushes him away. Barrett uses the distraction to flip the elbow pad inside out and then connects with a Royal Bull Hammer while still hung up in the ropes. Barrett falls back into the ring and onto Neville for 3.
WINNER: KING BARRETT.
Professor Steiner Says: Old, Butt-Sucking Bastard.
A decent match, but I’m giving it a lower rating because I know both guys are capable of better matches with each other.
Stardust is going off about Neville while looking at playing cards. He says something about selecting a queen. He pulls up a playing card and seems happy about it, then laughs.
WWE does the obligatory shill for Susan G. Komen. If you want to donate to breast cancer research, that’s great, and I fully support it. However, do it through any other charity than Komen. Only 21% of donations through them actually go to research, and they’ve tried to sue other organizations that use pink, the pink ribbon or the word “cure” in their name for supposed trademark violations.
Alright, I’m off my soap box. On to the main event.
We get an inset promo from Reigns. He says to call tonight “purgatory”. Orton and Wyatt start the match with a lock-up. Wyatt backs Orton to the corner and nails a couple shots before hitting a headbutt. He sends Orton across the ring, only to have Orton come back with a clothesline. He goes for the hanging DDT, but Wyatt escapes before getting thrown to the apron. Orton goes for it again, but Wyatt drops to the floor. Outside, Orton hits a clothesline while Strowman stares at him. Orton rolls Wyatt back into the ring, and Wyatt crawls to his own corner for a tag to Strowman. Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds enters the ring, no-sells some punches (that’s Orton’s bit!), then nails a shoulderblock. Orton tags in Reigns, and the two opponents have a stare-down. They go into a lock-up, and Strowman throws Reigns across the ring. Reigns comes back with some punches before running into a shoulder. Strowman misses a clothesline, Orton makes a blind tag, and now the faces are double-teaming him. Strowman goes to on knee before hitting both with shoulderblocks. Orton comes back with some kicks before running into a big boot. Strowman throws Orton to the corner and tags in Wyatt, who beats Orton down. Wyatt drags Orton to the apron and nails a boot to the side of the head. Back in the ring, he gets 2. Wyatt hits an uppercut and follows up with an avalanche. Orton comes back with the 3.0. Orton crawls to the wrong corner as Strowman tags in. Strowman misses an avalanche, which allows Reigns to tag in. Reigns gets caught in a powerslam, escapes, hits a boot in the corner and connects with a leaping clothesline, only for Strowman to remain on his feet. Reigns looks for a Samoan drop, but Strowman escapes with elbows to the head. Strowman throws Reigns to the floor and heads out, only for Reigns to comes back into the ring and catch Strowman with a kneelift. He follows up with some punches as Strowman is hung up on the middle rope. Reigns connects with a Superman Punch and knocks Strowman to the floor. He taunts Wyatt and challenges him to get in the ring. Reigns goes after him, and Wyatt heads to the floor, only to get tackled against the barricade. Wyatt gets launched into the timekeeper’s area before Reigns turns around and catches Strowman with a Fly-By. He goes back to Wyatt, who hits him in the gut with a chair, leading to the DQ.
WINNERS: VIA DISQUALIFICATION: RANDY ORTON AND ROMAN REIGNS.
Professor Steiner Says: FAAAT ASSES!!
Strowman is a slug in the ring, and Orton is a just a placeholder at this point in his career. Meanwhile, Reigns and Wyatt did nothing but punch and kick. Had this been Reigns vs. Wyatt or the two of them with other partners, it probably would have been a lot better.
Wyatt continues the attack with another chair, cracking it across Reigns’ back. He rolls Reigns into the ring and signals for Sister Abigail. Orton connects with the worst Thesz press in history before Strowman pulls him off of Wyatt and locks him in that godawful choke. Reigns breaks that with a Superman Punch, but Strowman is still on his feet. Reigns dumps him to the floor like this is a battle royal, then turns around into Sister Abigail. He fights out and sends Wyatt into an RKO Clearly Outta Somewhere. Reigns then caps it off with a spear.
END OF SHOW.