You’re reading Spain’s SmackDown Report, because you’re a disappointment to your parents, partners and everyone around you. Now that we’re clear on that, let’s watch some rasslin’.
The show kicks off with the Miz in the centre of the ring, presenting Miz TV. The crowd chants for Daniel Bryan like the ungrateful little tarts they are. Miz shits on Jurassic World in what I can only assume is a fair and honest review, and then promises to introduce two actual dinosaurs. I was holding out hope for a DX reunion, but he meant “dinosaurs” in the complimentary sense and it’s the Bludgeon Brothers. I demand to see the footage of these two agreeing to come on the show; I don’t care if it’s the Miz offering or Paige telling them: the truth is out there and I want to see it.
The Bludgeon Brothers bring their hammers into the talk show set, which is fair enough considering you’re presumably allowed to bring guns into a preschool in America, and they stare at the Miz as they try to work out whether to kill, fuck or eat him. Or, you know, all three. Miz tries to pretend like he’s not a few seconds away from splatty-splatty-rape-death and asks the Bludgeon Brethren why they attacked Bryan last night. The Hammer Fraternity don’t respond, thus proving that neither the Miz nor Paige explained the concept of a “talk show” to them.
They run the footage of Bryan claiming that he’s ready to face the baddest people in WWE, and the Miz spins this whole story out in terms of screenplays and acts because did you know he’s in movies? We’re then shown Bryan interrupting the Bludgeon Brothers’ exit from last week, and I’m not going to victim-blame or say that Bryan secretly wanted this, but look at the way he was dressed.
No, wait: I mean that he shouldn’t have interrupted the Bludgeon Brothers.
But the guy was also not wearing pants.
This is followed up by footage of the Bludgeon Brothers brutally beating Bryan. Miz says that it was awesome, and asks whether they want to apply to be new members of the Miztourage. It’s like Miz is trying to employ everyone related to Bray Wyatt without actually employing Bray Wyatt. Considering that list includes Randy Orton, Braun Strowman and Daniel Bryan, that would be quite the stable. Shit, I talked myself into that one.
Harper bitchslaps Mike’s mic to the ground, meaning he’s probably made his kill/fuck/eat choice. The Bludgeon Brothers advance, because fuck the Miz for offering them a job in this economic climate. Bryan’s music hits and the Miz, remaining true to the most basic component of his entire being, starts yelling at Daniel Bryan. That is called character consistency and I can’t think of any better example in WWE.
Bryan tells the Miz to zip it and then tells Harper and Rowan that they might be big, but that won’t stop him caving their skulls in with his feet. He wants to know who’s going to fight him tonight, because one of the three men in that ring is going to fight him tonight. Harper grabs the Miz’s microphone, by which I mean he grabs Miz by the arm and makes him hold the mic up to his big beardy maw, and tells Bryan that he never learns. Was that a Wyatt Family reference, or was he literally talking about a week ago? Whichever, he tells Bryan that he’s going to learn today, alright alright alright.
Backstage, the New Day are having their butler mix something up in a blender before Woods drinks it whilst the others chant for him to chug. Based on what this looks like, I have to say there’s a 99% chance that glass is full to the brim with semen. Tonight, Xavier Woods will be fighting Rusev for no clearly defined reason: welcome to wrestling.
“New Rusev Day” would be an amazing stable name
Fresh from sipping cum backstage, here’s the New Day. They dance their way to the ring before Aiden English aggressively clears his throat. The crowd are damn pro-Rusev tonight as English manages to find a rhyme for “waffle” that isn’t “offal” (I’m not a great poet and I write poems about breakfast foods). Rusev arrives, ripping his shirt off before this show gets on the road.
Woods manages to latch on a headlock to start things off before Rusev overpowers him, knocking him to the mat with a shoulder block. Xavier rallies with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, sending Rusev into the ropes before Big E holds a speech bubble saying “OUCH” next to his face. New Day, don’t you ever dare change. Woods tries to the Honor Roll, but Rusev catches him plants his ass into the mat with a spinebuster as we go to a break.
When we return, Rusev has Woods in a bear hug; there’s probably a joke involving the word “bear” and my earlier accusations of jizz-gargling, but I can’t be bothered to think that one through. Xavier fights his way out, keeping Rusev off-balance as he lands strikes and dodges past his larger adversary, culminating a heavy forearm to the face of Rusev. Woods is sent out onto the apron, but answers with a roundhouse kick and a tornado DDT which almost nets him the win.
Rusev looks bewildered, which on his face is a very adorable expression, and Woods actually manages to lift the big man up on his shoulders. Rusev slides out, but Xavier still has control, pummeling Rusev before nailing him with a superkick. Woods charges, but the Bulgarian manages to counter into a Samoan drop, killing the New Day member’s momentum. He takes Woods up to the top turnbuckle; Woods fights his way back down to earth and manages to bait Rusev into slamming shoulder-first into the post.
Woods goes high, looking for the Limit-Breaker. Rusev manages to dodge his flight; Woods runs the ropes, sliding below Rusev’s legs before getting hit with a roundhouse kick, then a Machka Kick. The Accolade is applied, and Woods quickly taps.
Good showing from both of these men. I like that Woods seems to be getting primed for a singles push, but I’d like Rusev to show a little more dominance against people not currently in the Championship picture: make him seem like a real threat even if we know he’s got little chance of winning the strap. 2.5 Stars.
Rusev gets on the mic post-match and berates AJ for decking English last week. He states that tonight is a preview of Extreme Rules, when he’ll take Styles’ title and have a great Rusev Day.
Backstage, Jeff Hardy is upside-down, presumably to try and make the drugs work faster. He babbles off some nonsense that sounds like he’s been stealing Bray Wyatt’s old notebooks and using the crossed-out bits. Shinsuke Nakamura is injured tonight, so Jeff’s trying out the old open challenge match in the hopes we can have one of these things on SmackDown that’s not interrupted or cancelled or whatever.
To my mind, the United States Championship should become the open challenge belt: it’s never going to have the acclaim or interest that the Intercontinental Championship has, and the only time anyone was ever truly attracted to its storyline was during John Cena’s open challenge series. It doesn’t have to be every week and there could still be the occasional conventional feud over the belt, but the open challenge was something new and interesting and it made people actually care about the title.
I feel like SAnitY are probably a healthier state of mind than Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy makes his entrance, and then we have a break and suddenly the camera’s on Naomi and Lana talking about their dancing abilities. Unless one of them’s answering the open challenge, which I would watch the hell out of, I’m confused as to what’s going on here. And suddenly the cast of Glow is backstage, so WWE finally heard about it and decided that it’s almost kind of like what they do but don’t want to waste Charlotte, Becky or Asuka on this bit. Could be worse: could have been Absolution.
At least it’s the first time I’ve recognised one of the celebrities they’ve had on this thing, because Alison Brie is actually a celebrity. Naomi and Lana look like they’ve formed an alliance, based upon their mutual love of dancing and the lack of anything that Creative has for them.
Meanwhile, Jeff Hardy has been sitting in a ring during this whole bit. It’s the audience I feel sorry for; Jeff’s probably having the time of his life watching Citizen Kane with all the cast members played by mutated insects with the face of his mother in whatever remains of his mind. And his opponent is…
Oh damn: that’s SAnitY’s music. Like…is this a challenge or just a beatdown? SAnitY make their way to the ring, and then Dain and Wolfe chill outside as Young gets in the ring. Alright: let’s make this happen.
We get the post-entrance announcements (#bigmatchfeel), and then get underway. Young jumps on Hardy, clubbing him to the mat before flipping over the ropes and shouldering Jeff in the stomach. Then Young botches a Twist of Fate not once but twice before rolling out of the way of a Swanton Bomb. Nice job killing your stable’s push, Eric.
After a break, Young is in full control of Hardy. He takes himself up to the top rope before dragging Jeff up for a dragon sleeper, the Champ’s feet off the ground. Young continues to bully Hardy, twisting his head around. Jeff, meanwhile, is wondering why these multicoloured talking cats are beating the shit out of him. Young wrenches Hardy’s head, presumably taking the opportunity to apologise in a grovelling fashion for fucking up a Twist of Fate like that.
Hardy gets whipped hard into the corner, but manages to fight through the beating to get a roll-up. Young kicks out at two and then levels Hardy with a clothesline before wrenching on the head again. Kind of a dull match for an apparently-insane individual and, you know, Jeff Hardy. Hardy hits a jawbreaker, starting his comeback, hitting his dropkick and leg drops. The Twist of Fate is countered rather than botched this time, and both men deck each other with clotheslines.
And then the Usos arrive, because good open challenge matches only happen on RAW. Young abandons the match for the fight, and the brawl prompts the DQ.
This was hardly a great match nor a good introduction to Young: no-one benefited here. 1.5 Stars.
During the break, Paige presumably busted out her best Teddy Long impression (I’m choosing to imagine she absolutely applied blackface) and made a tag team match. One of the Usos is squaring off with Dain before the big Irishman flattens him with a crossbody. The tag’s made to Wolfe, who mauls Jey Uso on the outside before bringing him in and tagging Young.
Young goes right back to wrenching on the head before Jey fights his way out. Young clubs away his comeback before tagging in Dain, who hits a hard suplex to the former Tag Team Champion. Jey almost makes the tag before Killian gets him back under control, squashing him in the corner before tagging in Young. Jey finally slips out of a back suplex and shoves Young out of the ring. Before he can make the tag to Hardy, Young drags Hardy off the apron and brings Jey back under control yet again.
Jey dodges assaults from both Dain and Young, finally tagging in Jimmy. The Uso unloads on Wolfe, taking him out with a crossbody from the top before putting him down with an enzuigiri and a Samoan Wrecking Ball. Young and Dain rush the ring, with Young getting taken out by Hardy and Dain taking superkicks like your Mum takes dicks: one after another, sometimes two at the same time, preferably in the face.
Jey launches himself out of the ring at Young and Dain, whilst Wolfe pounces on Jimmy. Hardy tags himself, letting Wolfe run into a superkick before hitting the Swanton Bomb to win.
The Usos were, as usual, the best bit about this match. So far, SAnitY’s SmackDown tenure has been pretty poor, though Dain managed to shine a bit here. 2 Stars.
This match seems really familiar somehow
Here’s Becky Lynch, with commentators still rubbing the Money in the Bank loss in her face like it was an announcement that she was Nazi. Tonight she’s facing Sonya DeVille, who persists in making her way to the ring dressed in a bathrobe. Corey’s commentary whenever Mandy Rose comes out is going to be really helpful if she ever wants to file a restraining order against him.
Sonya tries to lace Becky with kicks, but Lynch avoids every shot, locking up with DeVille for a test of strength. She backs Sonya down onto the mat before the Absolution member works her way back up, knocking Becky down this time. Lynch escapes a pin, gets kicked in the stomach and dragged down to the mat by Sonya. Becky grasps DeVille’s head as the two tussle and exchange holds; Lynch finally ends the exchange by sending Sonya through the ropes, then tossing her over the announce table.
When we come back, Sonya is hitting Becky with a strike combination before wrapping her legs around Becky and locking her arms around the head. Becky tries to counter with a pin, escaping the hold before Sonya plants her back down on the mat. A kick from Sonya knocks Lynch down again. Sonya’s hold is reapplied, but Becky finally powers her way out, scoring a kick to Sonya before following up with clotheslines and a calf kick.
Sonya takes a Bexploder across the ring, but Sonya answers with a knee to Becky’s face. Becky rallies, grasping control back from Sonya and knocking her to the mat before attempting the Disarmer. Sonya tries to roll her up before kicking her in the face for two. A distraction from Mandy allows DeVille to drag Becky off the turnbuckle, but Becky is able to smash Sonya’s head into Mandy’s, then tap DeVille out with the Disarmer.
This felt like it could have been much better than the rest hold-fest it was. Hopefully this Becky thing goes the distance, because that’s the only thing I want out of this. 2 Stars.
Backstage, Tye Dillinger is rating James Ellsworth on his appearance: Be A Star.
Dear 2K, I’ll pre-order WWE 2K19 when your games have a goddamn story mode again, and when they don’t make my World Champion CAW enter the Royal Rumble and then have a WrestleMania main event match against himself for the title. Rey Mysterio being a playable character doesn’t make up for your game being so broken it destroyed reality, you worthless FUCKS.
In a perfect world, he’d be wearing a MAGA hat
James Ellsworth makes his way to the ring, clearly still hurting after Tye Dillinger’s bullying bullshit. He calls himself a real man and says that Asuka has got a lot of nerve for attacking him last week, and he knows that she’s here tonight. He says that he’s ready for Asuka this week, and dares her to come out here and try that again. I genuinely don’t know whether this is bullying or brave. James Ellsworth defies conventions and warps assumptions.
Paige arrives instead, and tells Ellsworth Asuka’s not here tonight and that she knows he knows that too. She makes the match at Extreme Rules between Asuka and Carmella for the Women’s Championship, and somehow James Ellsworth construes this whole thing as her hitting on him. Dear God, it’s like someone made a dick pic into a human. He’s Dick Picnocchio.
Paige puts Ellsworth in a match against Asuka, which is the sort of option which should be open to more women confronted by fuckboys.
Also, going by wrestling mathematics, if Asuka beats Ellsworth, who’s beaten AJ Styles, then technically she should be able to challenge for the WWE Championship.
Hell No? Hell yes
Luke Harper has arrived in the ring, accompanied by his Bludgeon Bro, and Daniel Bryan heads out there too. Harper overpowers Bryan in the early going, able to swat away his offence in the early going and hammering him on the outside. Bryan is able to counter, shoving Harper into the ring post and trying to kick the big man to death. But Harper continues to bull his way through Bryan’s attacks, putting him down once again and clawing at his face.
Bryan finally manages to low-bridge Harper, sending him out of the ring, but his attempted dive sees him fly right into Harper’s hands, and the Bludgeon Brother sends him over the announce table before booting him into the timekeeper’s area. Following a commercial break, Bryan is still trying to rally whilst Harper continues to halt any of his momentum. A jawbreaker sees Bryan released from a sleeper, but Harper just clamps it right back on and continues his assault.
Finally, a boot to the jaw staggers Harper, and Bryan goes on a dropkick spree…before the Bludgeoner grabs him out of the air and plants him with the Michinoku Driver before locking him in a sleeper again. Bryan escapes, once again fighting back, but Harper quells the fight in him with a dropkick. Harper headbutts and chops Bryan before setting him up on the second rope for a superplex. Bryan fights back, punching Harper away from him before smashing his opponent’s skull into the mat with a tornado DDT!
Bryan is psyching himself up as Harper gets to his knees, and the former World Champion begins kicking the shit out of him. Harper ducks the last Yes Kick before trying to powerbomb Bryan; Bryan slips out behind him, rolling Harper up, ducks the clothesline and locks Harper in the Yes Lock! Rowan immediately barrels into the ring, and the Bludgeon Brothers start putting the boots to him.
Good story being told in this match, even if it didn’t get a chance to unfold enough before the interference. 2.5 Stars
The beating continues, with Harper and Rowan laying waste to Bryan as the referee just stands there and watches like a dick.
And then Kane’s music hits. Called the shit out of this one, but I am still psyched as fuck for a Team Hell No reunion! Kane heads right to the ring, stepping up to Harper and Rowan, and then decks Harper. A fight breaks out, but the Bludgeon Brothers are able to overpower Kane with the numbers advantage. Bryan suddenly flies off the apron, dropkicking both Bludgeon Brothers! He takes Rowan out with the knee; Kane chokeslams Harper!
Bryan and Kane exchange a long, long look: just kiss, you fools. The crowd are really into this, and I totally am too. “Team Hell No” and “Hug It Out” chants abound, and then Kane wants a hug. Remember how last time these two met, Kane assaulted Bryan? Bryan apparently doesn’t, because he hugs that big red bastard and the crowd fucking pops for it.
God, I love wrestling.
And then Paige shows up to make a Tag Team Championship match between the two teams. Yeah, Paige: that was sort of massively implied.
Tags: aiden english, AJ Styles, Asuka, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Daniel Bryan, James Ellsworth, Jeff Hardy, Kane, Luke Harper, rusev, Samoa Joe, Sanity, shinsuke nakamura, smackdown live, Sonya Deville, The Bludgeon Brothers, The Miz, the usos, WWE, xavier woods