Welcome to another WWE Smackdown review on TJRWrestling. This show was taped hours earlier in Manchester, England and I posted the spoilers on TJRWrestling, so I already know all the results going into the show. It shouldn’t affect my viewing of what I like and don’t like.
Live (on tape) from Manchester, England, this is Smackdown for episode #1055. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.
There was a video package that showed highlights of last week’s Smackdown where the NXT roster beat up Smackdown all night long.
The Smackdown intro video aired. When that stopped, there was pyro in the arena and it looked like a packed house in Manchester or at least close to that.
It was not the usual Smackdown set. There was no ramp. Since they taped Smackdown and Raw in the same arena, WWE chose to use a more basic set for these shows.
Let’s Hear from “King” Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin made his entrance in his ridiculous fur king robe and black crown. The fans booed him loudly. Michael Cole and Corey Graves welcomed us to the show.
Corbin talked about how Survivor Series will be Raw vs. Smackdown vs. NXT, which led to “NXT” chants from the crowd. Corbin said that the WWE Universe likes talking about how NXT dominated Smackdown last week and Corbin blames one person that claims to be a locker room leader, Roman Reigns. Corbin talked about Reigns headlining four WrestleManias, winning titles and overcoming leukemia to come back. Corbin said what has Reigns done lately…and the answer is nothing. Corbin spoke about how Reigns puts on a suit and tie, he takes days off while spending days with his family and that WWE used to be his family. Corbin said that Reigns didn’t desire to be champion. Corbin spoke about himself noting he was a king. Corbin noted that The Shield has abandoned him and while Reigns calls himself the Big Dog, Corbin said it’s like his testicles have shrunk. Corbin said that Roman’s bark has gone down to where it sounds like a chihuahua, so then there was an animated dog barking on the screen with weak sounding barking. Corbin said that Reigns isn’t man enough to go face to face with him. The fans chanted “We Want Roman” and Corbin told Reigns to bring his little testicles out there.
Corbin claimed Reigns isn’t there because he’s making some wish for some child. Corbin said that Reigns will be there later and Corbin is going to beat the hell out of him. Corbin had some “doggy poop bags” and he told the crowd to scoop of the Big Dog’s excrements. It sounded like some fake crowd noise was edited in there. Corbin said you will all bend a knee to King Corbin.
Analysis: This was a boring promo. I get that it was done to get heat and piss the fans off, but they were barely reacting to Corbin’s words. You could tell they edited in fake booing noises. The bit with the little dog barking was lame too. This just didn’t work very well especially without Reigns there to shut him up. Bad way to start the show.
Still to come: Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin, Nikki Cross vs. Sasha Banks and Tyson Fury is there.
The New Day duo of Big E and Kofi Kingston were shown walking backstage. Kayla Braxton interviewed them. They had “XW” on black armbands on their arms. Big E told Woods not to do the soap, Kofi said Woods isn’t in jail, he’s at home recovering. Big E: “If we don’t start our seventh title reign, how will we ever catch up to Charlotte Flair?” That’s funny. Kingston said that they will become the 7-time tag team champions and they said they are doing this for Woods.
Analysis: The line about the title reigns was funny. Flair is at 10 title reigns in case you forgot.
The entrances took place for the Smackdown Tag Team Title match. The New Day were up first to a good pop followed by The Revival with their titles. It was mentioned that if New Days wins the titles then they will replace The Revival in the Survivor Series match featuring the three championship teams in one match.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E)
Kingston took down Dawson with three straight rollups for two counts each time. Dawson decked Kingston with a punch, Wilder in with double knees, Kingston with chops and Big E tagged in with Kofi hitting a leapfrog into a leg drop on Wilder for two. They did a spot where Wilder did a leapfrog and he grabbed his right knee as if it hurt him. That led to a break.
The match returned with Big E hitting a belly to belly suplex on Wilder. It was a fake knee injury from Wilder as they showed during the break. Kingston tagged in with a dropkick on Dawson, a leaping clothesline, Kingston dropkick on Wilder and Kingston hit a running dive over the top onto both Revival guys on the floor. Kingston went up top and hit a cross body block onto a standing Dawson. Wilder saved Dawson from a Trouble in Paradise attempt. Dawson with a superplex on Kingston and Wilder hit a splash off the top on Kingston for a two count because Big E made the save. Big E with a belly to belly suplex on Dawson and Wilder hit Tornado DDT on Big E. Kingston blocked a DDT from Wilder and Kingston hit the SOS takedown for a two count. Big E tagged in, Dawson took out Kingston, blind tag by Dawson and the Revival hit a double team bridging DDT on Big E for a two count. Wilder was the legal man leading to a forearm into a German Suplex pin for a two count. Woods tagged in, Big E blocked a Shatter Machine attempt. Kingston with a dropkick on Dawson, Big E held up Wilder and Kingston hit a Trouble in Paradise kick on Wilder for the pinfall win after about nine minutes. The crowd popped for the title change.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E)
Analysis: ***1/4 A very good match as expected from two of the best teams in WWE. There were a lot of fun exchanges in the match with The Revival coming close to winning a few times. I liked the finish with Big E blocking a double team attempt, Kingston took out Dawson and Kingston finished off Wilder to get the win. The crowd was into it, especially in the final few minutes. It was a good showing by everybody involved. I would have liked to see them get five more five minutes.
Post match, there was a title celebration for The New Day with the fans cheering them. It is the 7th title reign for New Day.
Analysis: I think WWE wants New Day to have the most tag team title reigns in the history of the company. The number of reigns isn’t mentioned by WWE that much, but The Dudleys have the most, I believe. It just depends on what number is going to be used.
Roman Reigns was shown walking into the arena with his bag. Shorty G walked up to him to fill him in on what Corbin said although we couldn’t hear all of it.
Daniel Bryan was shown walking backstage. Sami Zayn walked up to saying he wanted to talk about the invitation to stand side by side with Nakamura and Zayn. Sami said it was fine, but if Bryan had said yes then Bryan would have beat Adam Cole for the NXT Title. Zayn claimed that Shinsuke Nakamura is liberated because of him and Cesaro is free now because of him. Zayn told Bryan that Nakamura and Cesaro will be in a tag team match against Ali and Shorty G, so he invited Bryan to ringside to show what they can do. Bryan said nothing as Zayn left.
Analysis: Zayn is so great in this role as the heel that thinks he’s a bigger star than he is and that tries to manipulate people.
The Heavy Machinery tag team of Tucker and Otis entered for what was announced as a match.
There was no match because the NXT UK stable Imperium went into the ring to beat up Heavy Machinery. They are a four-man team led by WWE UK Champion Walter along with Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. They stomped away on Heavy Machinery for about five seconds. There was a save from babyfaces on the roster like New Day, Shorty G and Ali, so the heel Imperium group ran away through the crowd.
Analysis: Walter is one of the best wrestlers in all of WWE. I know the NXT UK brand isn’t that popular, but whenever I watch Walter I’m impressed. He’s an incredible heel champion. The thought of Walter against some of WWE’s best wrestlers is very intriguing. Anyway, good to see the Smackdown guys helping their guys after an attack to show that some babyfaces do have friends to save them.
There was a backstage interview with Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks with shorty Kayla Braxton doing the interview. Bayley talked about how they were the women that built the NXT Women’s division while talking trash to Shayna Baszler. Banks talked trash about her opponent tonight, Nikki Cross. Bayley told Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler to watch their backs because they can play takeover games too.
Analysis: I point out Braxton’s height because she makes Bayley look like a giant and makes Banks even look tall even though she’s short. That’s because WWE only wants short women as backstage interviewers because then they make the superstars look bigger.
Shinsuke Nakamura, the Intercontinental Champion, entered along with his buddy Sami Zayn for a tag team match up next.
Cesaro was already in the ring as Nakamura’s partner. Zayn mentioned Cesaro in his promo earlier, so perhaps this is now a team, but I don’t know if that’s an official thing.
The babyface team of Ali and Shorty G made their entrances. Shorty is still wearing the basketball style uniform as his ring gear. Graves complained about Shorty telling Reigns about what Corbin said earlier.
Ali and Shorty G vs. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Sami Zayn)
Daniel Bryan entered the arena to watch the match by the entrance area. Cesaro decked Shorty with a forearm to start the match. Shorty sent Cesaro out of the ring, but Cesaro came back in to prevent a tag. Shorty broke free, tag to Ali and there was a headscissors by Ali on Cesaro. Ali with a kick to the head followed by a roll through into an X-Factor. Cesaro picked Ali up, but Ali countered with a sweet DDT for two as Nakamura made the save. Shorty grabbed Nakamura and gave him a belly to belly suplex over the top to the floor. Cesaro with an uppercut on Shorty and he tossed Shorty out of the ring. Ali kicked Cesaro out of the ring. Ali hit a suicide dive to take out Cesaro. Ali sent Cesaro back in the ring, Ali jumped off the top with a cross body block, but Cesaro caught Ali and gave him a backbreaker. That was impressive. Nakamura tagged in. Shorty went back in the ring with an Ankle Lock on Cesaro, who kicked Shorty out of the ring. Ali dumped Cesaro out of the ring. Nakamura hit a reverse Exploder Suplex on Ali. Nakamura charged, but Ali decked him with a superkick. Ali on the top rope, Zayn distraction, Shorty looked at Zayn, so Cesaro tripped up Ali on the top. Cesaro took out Shorty on the apron and Nakamura followed with a Kinshasa knee strike on Ali for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
Analysis: **1/2 A fast-paced, short match that left me wanting to see more. It was a predictable ending due to Zayn causing a distraction at ringside. I always like to say that if you’re going to have a manager or somebody at ringside, it’s a good idea to have them factor into the finish of the match. I liked the result also because the IC Champion Nakamura was booked strong with the win. Guys like Shorty and Ali are younger guys on the rise, so they still both have bright futures.
After the match was over, Daniel Bryan was shown looking at the trio of Nakamura, Cesaro and Zayn in the ring. Bryan didn’t have any emotion on his face. Bryan just walked to the back. Graves said he thinks Bryan will come around.
Analysis: I hope the trio of Nakamura, Zayn and Cesaro are a regular group every week. At least it gives Cesaro some direction to have him with some heel allies.
Nikki Cross was shown walking backstage for a match against Sasha Banks after the break.
Bayley was at ringside with the Smackdown Women’s Championship and she joined commentary for this match.
When Sasha Banks made her entrance, there was a remix version of her song. It featured lyrics from her cousin Snoop Dogg from when he did her entrance at WrestleMania 32 three years ago. It was announced by Cole that Banks will be captain of Team Smackdown for the women’s elimination match at Survivor Series.
A replay aired from last week showing Bayley beating Nikki Cross thanks to an assist from Banks. After the match, Shayna Baszler attacked all three women. Nikki Cross made her entrance and she’s from nearby Scotland, so it’s close to home for her.
Sasha Banks vs. Nikki Cross
Banks whipped Cross into the turnbuckle followed by a suplex. Bayley complained about how she’s been overshadowed and overlooked. Banks drove her knee into the back of Cross against the ropes. Banks with a double knee attack on Cross for two. The fans sang the “Hey Bayley” song and Bayley said she wanted the fans to shut up. Cross came back with hip tosses followed by a running cross body block for two. Cross sent Banks out of the ring, kick to the face and Cross hit a running cross body off the apron onto Banks on the floor. Cross went after Bayley and hit her with punches. Cross yelled “Manchester” for the fans. Cross was on the apron, Bayley grabbed the leg and Banks kicked Cross off the apron. Back in the ring, inside cradle by Cross got two. Running cross body block by Cross got a two count. Banks rolled out of the ring to talk strategy with Bayley, which led to a break.
The match returned with Banks in control with a double knee drop off the ropes. Cross came back with a Tornado DDT out of the corner. That’s a popular move on this show. Cross with two forearms, then a corner splash and a bulldog. Cross went up top and hit a cross body block, but Banks rolled through into the Bank Statement, then Cross got out and Banks got a two count. Cross with a dropkick. Banks with a sunset flip into a jackknife pin for two. Banks wit the backstabber into the Bank Statement submission. Cross tried to fight it, but then she tapped out to give Banks the win at around nine minutes.
Winner by submission: Sasha Banks
Analysis: ** The match was just average. It was a bit boring at times and the fans weren’t into Nikki’s comeback that much. I liked the aggressiveness of Banks, who is at her best as a heel. They need some babyface women on Smackdown to step up because right now that’s a weak point on Smackdown. Cross losing to Bayley and Banks doesn’t help her much at all.
After the match, Bayley attacked Cross with punches and kicks while Banks left. Shayna Baszler showed up from the crowd and she hit Bayley with a forearm to the back. Cross rolled to the floor. Baszler hit a gutwrench suplex into a slam. The fans chanted “NXT” for Baszler, who is a heel champion. Banks went back in the ring as Baszler left through the crowd and walked to the back.
Analysis: Good attack by Baszler. The fans reacted to it in a big way and the “NXT” chants is another reminder of how popular the third brand is in the eyes of the fans.
Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan were shown talking in the locker room. Zayn said Bryan should have celebrated with them. Zayn told Bryan he doesn’t need more time. Zayn said that he can tell that Bryan’s mind is already made up. Zayn claimed Bryan didn’t want to go back to the Yes Movement, he wants to move forward with them and just say so. The lights went out in the room and then there was a red light in the room. The Fiend was standing behind Bryan. The Fiend gave Bryan the Mandible Claw as the red light was in the room and The Fiend laughed. Zayn left. That led to a break.
Analysis: This segment wasn’t shown to the live crowd. They edited in crowd reactions to it. It wasn’t mentioned in any of the reports I read. I assume this was done to set up The Fiend defending the Universal Title against Daniel Bryan. That should be a win for The Fiend. It makes sense since Bryan’s a former multiple time World Champion in WWE.
A replay aired of The Fiend’s attack on Bryan with Cole saying the crowd was still stunned. As I mentioned, I don’t think the crowd saw that Fiend segment.
There was a brief video package about Tyson Fury’s countout win against Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel. It was not a good match, but I’ve seen worse from non-wrestling guys.
Let’s Hear from Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury made his entrance in the arena. Fury is from Manchester, England, so he got the hometown pop.
Analysis: This was taped last on Smackdown at the tapings, so some people thought it might be the main event. Obviously, it’s not the main event.
Fury fired up the crowd and they continued to give him a big ovation. Fury said he’s been fighting people all around the world like Klitschko, Wilder, Strowman and there’s no place like home, but there’s no place like him because this is the place he calls home. Fury told Manchester to make some noise. Fury said that on February 22nd he’s going back to America to fight Deontay Wilder because he’s got unfinished business. Fury said he’s got somebody here in WWE who he has unfinished business with.
Braun Strowman made his entrance and got in the ring with Fury. Strowman said if you wanted him, here he is. Fury thanked Strowman for a great fight, he said now he knows why they call him the Monster Among Men and they shook hands.
Fury said if they ever fight again, they should fight as a tag team together. The fans cheered and chanted “yes” for that. Strowman said he liked the sound of that. Strowman said there ain’t two dudes in the back stupid enough to fight them unless they want to get all four of these hands.
The B Team duo of Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel made their entrance. Cole: “Oh my God.” Axel said they are stupid enough to fight them. Dallas said that came out went way wrong. Dallas said the “B” in B Team stands for fearless and they aren’t scared of them hands.
Dallas and Axel stood on the apron, so Strowman knocked both guys down. Strowman ran around the ring leading to shoulder tackles on Dallas and Axel on the floor.
Strowman sent Dallas into the ring and Fury decked him with a right-handed punch. Strowman gave Axel a running powerslam to put him down. Strowman celebrated to end the segment as Braun and Tyson posed for the fans. Graves said he’s got a feeling this isn’t the last time they see Fury in these ropes, which is telling the audience Fury will be back again.
Analysis: It was a feel good segment for the local fans since Fury is a Manchester guy and Strowman is one of the top faces in WWE. Using the comedic B Team to get beat up was an obvious choice. The fans enjoyed t. As for Fury’s future in WWE, I think it’s very possible he’ll be involved in a match at WrestleMania. On the After the Bell podcast with Corey Graves, Fury said he wanted to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, so we’ll see if that happens.
They showed a clip of Baron Corbin attacking Roman Reigns in the backstage area on the WWE Backstage show over two weeks ago.
The Fire and Desire team of Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose were already in the ring. Hello Mandy. Dana Brooke and Carmella made their entrance as the babyface team. A video aired of last week when Bianca Belair beat up Brooke and Carmella in the backstage area.
Carmella and Dana Brooke vs. Fire and Desire (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville)
Deville with a clothesline to take control early on. Carmella did a headscissors takedown. Deville with a knee to the ribs, Rose tagged in and stomped on Carmella. Deville went back in with punches, Rose back in again and Rose hit Carmella in the back. Carmella came back with punches, Rose caught Carmella in her arms and hit a fallaway slam. When Cole mentioned JBL for the fallaway slam, Graves had a funny line saying Cole shouldn’t do that again because Cole ruined it for Graves. Carmella got out of a double suplex, she kicked Rose and then Deville kicked Carmella to keep her grounded. The fans were dead quiet, so Brooke tried to get the crowd to clap for Carmella. That led to Brooke getting the hot tag to not much of a reaction and Brooke hit a cartwheel into an elbow, then a bulldog and a splash for two. Carmella back in with a superkick for two. Deville went out of the ring, Brooke with a dropkick and Deville went crashing into the steel steps. Brooke rolled Deville back in, the fans were clapping, Brooke went up top and hit a Senton Bomb on Deville for a three count. When Brooke landed, she went crashing right on her ass, so it sounded a bit rough. Anyway, it went about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Carmella and Dana Brooke
The win by Carmella and Brooke means they are on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series along with Sasha Banks.
Analysis: *3/4 It was fine and they got through it okay, but the crowd was dead quiet for most of it. The fans did seem to get into Brooke’s offense because she showed off her athleticism with some gymnastics style moves before hitting her finish for the win. There just aren’t any storylines for these women, so it’s hard to get that excited about it.
Roman Reigns made his entrance with Michael Cole screaming about how the “Big Dog” was here. Reigns did his fist pose on by the entrance, which led to some pyro going off.
Baron Corbin made his entrance and they have really pushed the “King Corbin” name for him. I guess that’s the official name for now. The fans booed Corbin as usual.
Analysis: Going into the match, what’s at stake? Absolutely nothing. If it had some Survivor Series implications, maybe we should care. It just feels like a match without much thought or interest going into it.
Reigns hit a clothesline that sent Corbin over the top to the floor before the bell rang. Reigns sent Corbin into the announce table and into the barricade three times. Reigns sent Corbin into the ring, which led to the bell ringing to start the match.
Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
Reigns with punches, Corbin with a kick to the ribs, corner punches and Reigns sent Corbin into the turnbuckle. Reigns with corner clothesline followed by a boot to the face. Corbin left the ring, Reigns punched him and brought Corbin back in the ring. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler went down to ringside, so Reigns dropped Roode with a Superman Punch and a Samoan Drop on Ziggler on the floor. Back in the ring, Corbin hit a Deep Six slam for two, which is the norm for that move.
The match returned with Corbin punching Reigns down while Roode and Ziggler watched from ringside. Corbin sent Reigns out of the ring, so Ziggler and Roode got in cheap shots that the referee didn’t see. Corbin whipped Reigns hip first into the barricade. Back in the ring, Corbin slid out of the ring and went back in with a clothesline. Corbin slapped on a chinlock while Graves claimed that Ziggler and Roode have lost respect for Reigns, so that’s why they were out there. Reigns with two clotheslines, but Corbin came back with a Chokeslam for a two count. Corbin put done Reigns with a knee to the ribs followed by a punch. After Corbin missed a move and hit the ropes, Reigns hit another clothesline for two. Roode distracted the referee, Ziggler went for Reigns, but Reigns punched him. Reigns punched Roode off the apron. Reigns hit a Spear on Ziggler and Corbin hit the End of Days slam for the pinfall win after about 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Baron Corbin
Analysis: **1/2 It was the usual average match between Reigns and Corbin like they did many times when they were on Raw. The assist from Ziggler and Roode was done because WWE doesn’t book Reigns to lose clean that often, so Corbin getting help was the only way they would book Corbin get the win. It reminds me of how Corbin was booked on Raw with Lashley and McIntyre as allies, so it’s just typical booking we see all the time.
Corbin celebrated by the entrance with his king attire while Reigns looked on from inside the ring. They had a staredown. That was the end of the show.
Three Stars of the Show
1. The New Day
2. The Revival
3. Sami Zayn
4.75 out of 10
Last week: 9
2019 Average: 6.67 (Raw is 5.85)
Last 5 Weeks: 9, 4.5, 6.5, 6, 7
2019 High: 9 (November 1)
2019 Low: 4.5 (October 25)
I give this week’s Smackdown a 4.75 out of 10.
This was a below-average edition of Smackdown. I think the highlight was the tag team title match with New Day regaining the gold, but even that was just a good match that was under ten minutes. The tone for this as a poor show was set early on with a boring Baron Corbin promo and then the main event with Corbin beating Reigns in cheap fashion was just a regular match. The only thing that felt out of the ordinary was The Fiend attacking Daniel Bryan backstage, which likely sets them up for a feud.
There wasn’t that much build to Survivor Series, which is disappointing considering the show is two weeks away. This was the kind of show where nothing that interesting happened and if you missed it, you didn’t really miss much. Overall, a weak effort by WWE’s creative team this week.
Last week was the best Smackdown of the year. This week and two weeks ago were two of the worst Smackdowns of the year. The WWE product, especially on Raw and Smackdown, is so inconsistent these days. I don’t blame fans for being frustrated by it.
The next WWE PPV is Survivor Series on November 24. Here’s what we know so far.
WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley vs. NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler
Raw Tag Team Champions Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) vs. NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish)
Men’s Elimination Match: Team Smackdown vs. Team Raw (Seth Rollins) vs. Team NXT – It was announced on WWE.com right here.
Women’s Elimination Match: Team Smackdown (Sasha Banks, Carmella, Dana Brooke and more) vs. Team Raw vs. Team NXT
Since The Fiend attacked Daniel Bryan, that could be a Universal Title match.
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