By: Jamie Henry –
Last night’s WWE Smackdown Live, coming to you from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, begins with AJ Styles opening the show with the following quote: “You know, they say you can tell a lot about a man through his failures. And if that’s the case, we know a lot about Shinsuke Nakmura,” He goes on to talk about how Nakamura is a con artist, not just an artist, to debating crowd chants of Styles and Nakamura. He adds that he was looking forward to his match against Daniel Bryan, until Nakamura interrupted – and that he’s not leaving the ring until he goes face to face with Nakamura, calling him a ‘two-faced coward’ and begging him to fight him ‘right now’. Instead, we hear the clearing of Aiden English’s throat, as he comes out alongside Rusev. English tells us Nakamura is on a vacation but that Rusev is there. Styles agrees as Rusev comes down to the ring with a referee appearing out of nowhere.
The match begins with Rusev landing numerous right-hooks to Styles, who ends up using a Calf Crusher on Rusev. English breaks up the move, with the match ending. English and Rusev kick Styles, along with Daniel Bryan who comes down to even the odds. Bryan joins the fray, throwing Rusev over the top rope as Styles throws English over. The crowd continuously chants “yes!” while the four men stare at one another.
Shane McMahon appears backstage with Paige, who creates a tag team match with Bryan/Styles vs English/Rusevas their main event.
Shelton Benjamin comes out next, all by himself as Chad Gable moved over to RAW. Benjamin reiterates what he tweeted before adding that his someone hacked his Twitter account and he would never call Gable an inspiration. “I never needed Chad Gable. Chad Gable needed me,” he says. He goes on to say he deserves respect and that he asked Paige to send him competition – big competition – when Randy Orton comes out. Before he can get to the ring, newly crowned United States Champion Jeff Hardy interrupts . Hardy and Benjamin fight – giving right hooks and Knife Edge Chops. Hardy manages an Atomic Drop and then a Dropkck with Benjamin kicking out after a Whisper in the Wind. Benjamin attempts a Pay Dirt but Hardy counters, pinning Benjamin with a Swanton Bomb.
We see a short video clip of Miz, who updates us saying that he will arrive to Smackdown next week, as he deserves the spotlight only on him. The segment also featured a very funny moment of Maryse telling The Miz off for swearing in front of their daughter.
We find out that Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose are coming to Smackdown before we go to the ring where Jey Usoawaits alongside Jimmy, for his match against Luke Harper. The match is short with Rowan distracting Jey, and Jimmy coming to his brother’s aid before Harper manages to pin Jey. When it seems like The Bludgeon Brothers are going to once again destroy The Uso’s, Naomi comes out, telling them to stop. I feel a bitter resentment crawling up my throat because The Uso’s and Naomi deserve a lot better than this.
Sin Cara is waiting in the ring next, when Samoa Joe comes out, making the move from RAW to Smackdown. Samoa Joe taps out Sin Cara with a Coquina Clutch moments later. Samoa Joe says, “Well, if it isn’t the land of opportunity. But you see, to me, this place seems more like the land of hand outs…” He goes on to mention Roman Reigns and how he will beat whatever is left of him after The Greatest Royal Rumble, which I doubt.
We see Renee Young interviewing Daniel Bryan next about his helping AJ Styles, where he states he respects him, only to be interrupted by returning wrestler, Big Cass, who has been out on injury and was a former RAW superstar. We then segue into Carmella’s ‘Mellabration’. Before she can begin though, the crowd chants ‘You Deserve It’ which causes her to laugh and say none of them supported her beforehand, so they can shut up. Carmella begins cheering for herself about how she beat Charlotte Flair, which is great, while telling the crowd to shut up again. We view a short clip celebrating Carmella and as Carmella continues to toot her own horn, Flair interrupts. Surprisingly, Flair congratulates Carmella, before giving her words of wisdom. “It is much harder to stay on top then to get to the top. And you have something of mine.” Flair is then interrupted by The IIconics, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce.
After The IIconics say their piece, Flair attempts to attack them, getting cornered against the barricade until Becky Lynch comes out to help her. We return from commercial with Flair facing Billie Kay as Carmella watches on commentary and Lynch and Royce watch from their respective corners. Kay dominates Flair early on, and manages to distract the referee long enough for Royce to attack Flair. However, in the end, Flair manages to put Kay into a Figure Eight, causing her to tap out.
Carmella attacks Flair afterwards, with Lynch coming to Flair’s rescue and all of the women getting into a brawl as I wonder which RAW superstar will make her debut. Asuka interrupts and tears down The IIconics with Lynch and Flair helping out after with Carmella on the top of the ramp watching.
Afterwards, we learn that Luke Gallows and Carl Anderson are heading to Smackdown Live. We also learn that Cesaro and Sheamus are coming to Smackdown Live, making the RAW Tag Team Division pointless and nonexistent. Smackdown Live also picks up NXT superstar ‘Cien’ Almas.
Next is Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles vs Aiden English and Rusev. Bryan takes the lead early on before tagging in Styles, who does a Gut Buster to Rusev. Styles tags Bryan back in, who attempts a Yes Lock only to be surprised by English, who Bryan throws over the top rope. He gives Rusev Yes Kicks, before Shinsuke Nakamura suddenly appears and gives Styles another low blow, which wasn’t seen by the referee. As Bryan goes towards Nakamura, Big Cass appears out of nowhere, giving Bryan a kick to the face as the crowd boos, and the match ends.
Renee Young attempts to interview Nakamura who once again, tells her he ‘no speaks english’ as the show ends. What will happen next week? And how will these switch ups affect the outcome of The Greatest Royal Rumble?