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A stunning title change rocks Smackdown Live main event

Smackdown Live addresses several controversies from SummerSlam.  A tag team match is announced for Hell In A Cell.

Daniel Bryan is not finished with The Miz.  Becky Lynch and AJ Styles explain their controversial actions at SummerSlam.  What Superstars scored an unbelievable title victory on Smackdown Live?

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY hosts its fourth straight night of wrestling this 21st of August, 2018.

Retirement Speech?

The Miz opens the show all smiles following his shady victory over Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam.  He begins to address the WWE Universe, seemingly overwhelmed with emotion.  After becoming a new father and the success of his reality TV show, The Miz announces his retirement from WWE.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFGxKy74sPs]

This is both a mockery of Daniel Bryan’s health struggles and an obvious way out of having to face him again.

Bryan comes out and repeatedly calls The Miz a coward.  Both The Miz and Maryse insult Bryan until Brie Bella also storms to the ring and decks the A-Lister.  Having spoken with the Smackdwon Live general manager Paige, Bryan announces that at Hell In The Cell there will be a mixed tag match featuring all four Superstars.

This move by WWE has the opportunity to create deeper anguish between Bryan and Miz.  This feud does not feel stale even after building for months and The Miz is on fire as a cheating heel.  It will be interesting to see how The Miz and Maryse sleaze their way around the stronger wrestlers on team Bryan.

Enough Is Enough

Jeff Hardy finally gets his shot at Randy Orton following weeks of sneak attacks by The Viper.  After a loss to Shinsuke Nakamura at SummerSlam, Hardy is poised to take out his frustration on his assailant.

After a slow start, Hardy gains momentum against his more vicious opponent.  However, Orton once again utilizes Hardy’s gauged earlobes to throw The Charismatic Enigma off his game.  He stretches Hardy’s ear with his finger in a grotesque display.  This enrages Hardy who stomps Orton’s groin ending the match via disqualification.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a020dtGgvz8]

From here Hardy loses his mind as he proceeds to beat on Orton with steel chairs throughout the arena. Finally, Hardy hits his Swanton Bomb, driving Orton through a table.

It is refreshing to see Hardy emerge from a victim status but is it too early to give away this match?

The whole three way rivalry between these two and Nakamura has been confusing but perhaps all will make sense in time.  Although there is no definite conclusion here there could have been a more substantial build to this moment.  With Hell In A Cell on the horizon, it seems these two may be involved in some sort of extreme contest.

Glow Time

Peyton Royce accompanied by Billie Kay wrestles and uninspiring match against Naomi.  Not surprisingly, Naomi quickly defeats Royce despite the distraction of the screaming Kay at ringside.

Not much going on here aside from smack talking and flashing lights.  Naomi is largely in the periphery these days and her talent deserves better.  However the women’s roster is arguably more crowded than it has ever been before.  Hopefully she will ascend in a similar fashion as Becky Lynch.

Speaking of which.

It Finally Happened

Becky Lynch can no longer control the frustration of being overshadowed by other WWE Superstars after a painful SummerSlam loss to Charlotte.  Lynch is now given an opportunity to explain why she attacked her former best friend following their title match on Sunday.

Lynch wastes no time declaring SummerSlam was not supposed to be about anyone else but her.  This Smackdown Live is supposed to be her coming out party, a celebration of her hard work.  Instead an enraged Lynch stares down the camera and embraces her hatred for her former friend.  Lynch also attacks the fans for their fair weather support although she is roundly cheered for finally turning heel.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDCfnWcjUWk]

Charlotte emerges from the back but instead of talking storms to the ring, lunging at Lynch.  The two scrap until the entire Women’s locker room empties in an unsuccessful attempt to separate the two.

This is great.

Lynch has never been more relevant and the heel turn is a good band aid for a potentially redundant Charlotte title victory at a major pay per view.  The only issue is her positioning as heel while the fans obviously empathize with her struggle to the top of the women’s roster.  This may be remedied if Lynch continues attacking the fans but the WWE Universe are known for the non compliance with transparent booking.

However Lynch stands to successfully overcome this with excellent promos such as tonight’s monologue.

Still Friends

Rusev Day once again faces Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zalina Vega.  The fractured faction of Rusev continuously comes up short due to a lack of cohesion.

Tonight they successfully defeat their opponents with the help of an old friend.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK131TwND2o]

Although Almas initially owns the first part of the match, the size advantage of Rusev proves to be too much.  When Almas procures a chair, Aiden English appears at ringside to snatch it away from him.  A distracted Almas suffers a Machka kick and Rusev Day wins.  Although Lana dominatesVega during the contest, the two add little to this contest.

English proves to be in the corner of the Bulgarian Brute despite their differences.  It will be interesting to see what the future will bring this faction.  This win is certainly a boost.

Bed Time

After a stale ending to their WWE Championship match on Sunday, AJ Styles and Samoa Joe have unfinished business.

Tonight Styles explains his actions following the disqualification finish via multiple chair shots to Joe at SummerSlam.  After continual verbal attacks on Styles’ family it was only a matter of time until the champion snapped.

An emotional AJ Styles attempts to communicate his feelings to the WWE Universe but Joe attacks out of nowhere.  Joe quickly chokes out Styles, grabbing a microphone in the process.  Glaring into the camera, Joe tells the Styles family that their daddy will not be home to tuck his kids in.

The WWE Championship match should have had a decisive victory.  It feels as though this feud has been cheapened be the inconclusive finish.  It would have been spectacular to see Joe win the title.  Styles being distracted by the emotional family trauma would have been a perfect cover for the loss.  This would have protected Styles and elevated Joe while building towards a rematch.

Instead, this family angle will surely grow tiresome if it remains the main focal point of this feud.

Tag Team Title Match

This special edition of Smackdown Live concludes with a tag team title rematch from SummerSlam.  The Bludgeon Brothers no longer have the safety of a potential disqualification as they face The New Day in a no holds barred contest.

The New Day minus an injured Big E put up a significant effort despite the brutal punishment of Harper and Rowan.  The match goes back and forth much to the dismay of Bludgeon Brothers.  After utilizing chairs and the trademark mallets Harper and Rowan drive Kofi Kingston through a ladder and go for a cover.

Kingston miraculously kicks out.

The New Day use the mallets against their opponents and Xavier Woods hits a springboard elbow, driving Harper through a table.  The New Day both pile on top of Harper a pin him to become five time WWE Tag Team Champions.

Although Harper and Rowan’s run with the gold was short lived, this is a good thing for the Smackdown Live tag team roster.  Both The Bar and The Good Brothers are already waiting in the wings for their title shots.  The New Day are great champions and this fifth title reign makes them ever more legitimate.  Although this occurred a few days too late, it is still a welcomed outcome.


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