The SmackDown Review – 14th August 2018

On the same week as the blue brand announced its plans for their 1000th episode, the focus heading into the go-home show before SummerSlam was on building stories rather than the wrestling itself. All of the matches featured tonight lasted about as long as your dad, which made a great deal of sense, as there are major matches scheduled for Sunday nights PPV which we want to see in full force. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.

Results:

– Charlotte and Becky Lynch defeated Many Rose and Sonya Deville.

– The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Triple Threat (a trio of jobbers) was a no contest.

– New Day beat SAnitY.

– Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas made short work of Aiden English.

– Jeff Hardy defeated Shelton Benjamin.

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It’s a YES from me:

Three segments on the history of Daniel Bryan and The Miz were scattered throughout the show. A huge part of what makes this story so great is the history behind it. Firstly exploring Miz being Bryan’s NXT mentor despite the latter having far more experience in the world of pro wrestling, then how Bryan gave Miz credit for motivating him to get back in the ring following forced retirement through injury and wanting to kick his ass, which was rounded up with where we are today – Bryan finally squaring off with the Miz to prove to him he is back at his best. This is without a doubt SmackDown’s biggest match at SummerSlam, and despite no titles being on the line, there’s a huge credit to the two involved for the brilliant story they have told over the last few years.

It’s rather interesting to see the gradual breaking down of Jeff Hardy that Randy Orton is inflicting. In his match with Shelton Benjamin, Hardy appeared distracted and not at his best. Despite having Orton in the back of his mind, the fearless one was able to finish off Benjamin with a Twist of Fate. This was when Shinsuke Nakamura charged to the ring to attack Hardy but his attempts failed as Brother Nero hit the Artist with a Twist of Fate and followed it up with a Swanton Bomb. All of this took place as Randy Orton watched from behind the curtain, probably touching his junk. Allegedly.

Samoa Joe once again used AJ Styles’ wife to taunt him by reading out a letter stating that Styles never wanted children, apparently written by his wife. This has the potential to steal the SmackDown blue-tinted limelight away from the Miz and Daniel Bryan feud, but given the little air time and hastiness of how quickly it’s been thrown together, the story isn’t as impactful as it should be. Yet, the proof will be in the match itself come Sunday, which if their previous showdowns in TNA are anything to go by, we are in for a truly special match.

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Ah hell no:

Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Carmella opened the show for their final face-off ahead of their triple threat match at SummerSlam. The promo felt a little rushed and served as a reminder that the heels often give more intense and impassioned promos with Carmella outshining both Charlotte and Becky who appeared somewhat stale on the mic. This was then followed up by a hastily thrown together match by GM Paige who partnered Charlotte and Lynch to take on Mandy Rose and Sonya Devile. The match was nothing special and Becky sealed the win with a Dis-Arm-Her whilst Carmella sat in on commentary.

A completely pointless segment saw the Super Smash Bros Bludgeon Brothers run through a trio of jobbers going by the name of ‘Triple Threat’. The match didn’t even get underway as the former Wyatt family members ran through their opponents before the bell even rang. They’re scheduled to face off with the New Day at SummerSlam for the SmackDown tag team titles but this did nothing to build up the match or the story between the two sides.

Despite being the most chaotic force in NXT, SAnitY looked destined to continue in the footsteps of NXT tag team graduates before them and face an endless cycle of defeats to enhance the status of already successful teams like the New Day. Young, Wolfe and Dain are still yet to be used to their full potential and their match with the New Day gives off the impression that there is nothing for them at this time. The trio fell short on the day of Kofi Kingston’s birthday, succumbing to an UpUpDownDown.

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Look ahead with excitement to Sunday’s matches:

– Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas and Zelina Vega vs. Rusev and Lana (Pre Show).

– SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. New Day.

– United States Championship – Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Jeff Hardy.

– Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz.

– Triple Threat Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship – Carmella (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte.

– WWE Championship – AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe.