Welcome to another WWE Smackdown Live Review right here on TJRWrestling for the second last time on a Tuesday night. There’s the September 24 Smackdown on Tuesday next week and then after that, Smackdown moves to Fridays on October 4 on Fox.
Live from Atlanta, Georgia, this is Smackdown Live for episode #1048. 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.
The show began with a shot of the crowd and then a highlight of from Clash of Champions when Luke Harper returned to help Erick Rowan. The Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton did a rundown of what’s coming up on the show including Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair.
The New Day trio of WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods made their entrance. They had pancakes with them and the crowd cheered the popular trio. The Revival, who are the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions, entered first for their team. They were joined by their buddy Randy Orton.
Analysis: Starting with a match five minutes after the show started is a great way to begin. I prefer this over a show opening promo that we get most weeks.
The New Day – Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E vs. Randy Orton and The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)
Big E hit a belly to belly suplex on Wilder followed by a Big E splash on the apron on Wilder. Woods tagged in with a brace on his left knee to sell his worked knee injury as Big E slammed Woods onto Wilder. When Wilder got back up, he kicked the left knee of Woods. Dawson with chops, but Woods came back with a spinning elbow to the face. Kingston tagged in with a double axehandle onto the arm of Dawson. Orton tagged in, Kingston with a springboard dropkick, there was a splash from Kingston, an elbow drop from Woods and Big E with a splash on Orton as well. The Revival got knocked off the apron. Kingston went for Trouble in Paradise on Orton, but Randy bailed to the floor and that led to a break.
The match continued with Dawson and Wilder working over the left knee of Woods. Dawson put the leg of Woods on the bottom rope and then he splashed onto it. Orton tagged in with a kick to the left leg of Woods. When Woods tried to fight back with punches, Orton gave him a thumb to the eye to stop him. Orton with chops to chest of Woods as Phillips noted that some of Xavier’s family was sitting ringside because he’s from Atlanta. Dawson tagged in with a leg lock on the left knee of Woods to keep him grounded. Woods kicked Dawson out of the ring, Wilder tagged in and Woods got a sunset flip on Wilder for a two count. Orton got the tag, Woods kicked Wilder and Wilder launched Woods over the top to the floor. That’s where Orton picked up Woods and gave him a belly to back slam on Woods on the announce table. The table didn’t break as usual when Orton does that move, but Woods sold it very well.
The match returned with Kofi Kingston getting the hot tag with clotheslines on Orton, a dropkick on Wilder and Kingston hit the SOS slam on Orton for two because Dawson broke up the pin. Orton tossed Dawson out of the ring, Big E clothesline on Dawson, Wilder DDT on Big E, Wilder tripped up Woods on the apron, Kingston kicked Wilder down and Kingston wanted a dive, but Orton caught him with a draping DDT off the ropes. Wilder tagged in, then Dawson tagged in and the heels wanted a triple team move, but Big E sent Orton into the ring post. Kingston with a double DDT on both Revival guys. Woods up top with an elbow drop across the ring on Wilder. Dawson was left in the ring with Kingston and Kofi hit the Trouble in Paradise kick on Dawson for the pinfall win after 18 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The New Day – Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E vs. Randy Orton and The Revival
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a pretty good tag team match. They followed the usual tag team formula with Woods as the face in peril, then Kingston was on fire after the hot tag and New Day got the clean win. The crowd was really into the match. New Day worked so well together. They’re awesome. I’m not surprised that Kingston pinned somebody other than Orton although that feud is over now based on what happened next.
After the match, the music of Brock Lesnar hit and “The Beast” Brock Lesnar was in the arena with his advocate Paul Heyman. They were staring at New Day, especially Kofi Kingston, in the ring. Kingston told Big E and Woods to leave because he’s got this.
Analysis: The Lesnar appearance was unadvertised, so it was a surprise to me when I saw him.
Lesnar, who had a bit of a beard, walked on the apron with Heyman while Kingston stood in the ring holding the WWE Title. They went into the ring with Paul Heyman doing his introduction. Heyman said that Lesnar stands in front of him and the longevity of his title reign. Heyman said it’s a bad day for the New Day…yes it is.
Heyman said that his client Brock Lesnar hereby challenges him to a match for the WWE Championship of the world on Friday, October 4 at the Friday Night Smackdown premiere on Fox.
Kofi Kingston said when he won the WWE Title he said he was going to be a fighting champion, so as far as the challenge is concerned, he accepts. Lesnar grabbed Kingston and hit the F5 on him to leave the WWE Champion down on the mat. Lesnar grabbed the WWE Title and tossed it towards Kingston on the mat.
Analysis: There’s a big match for the first Smackdown on Fox, which was expected. I think Lesnar will win the WWE Title. I know that pisses off a lot of people that don’t like him, but Lesnar is the biggest name in WWE for casual fans and I think WWE wants to get the WWE Title on him. Lesnar wrestling on TV is rare, so obviously WWE considers the Smackdown on Fox debut to be a huge deal if they are having Lesnar vs. Kingston for the WWE Title.
Coming up next we’ll hear from Erick Rowan about his recent actions.
Sasha Banks and Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley were interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton. Banks said she is the star of the women’s division, so she’ll take on any challenge of any jealous wannabe. Banks noted that she has been in Hell in a Cell before, but Lynch has not. Bayley said that Banks will answer all the questions about her match tonight when she’s in the ring later.
There were highlights shown from Clash of Champions when Erick Rowan beat Roman Reigns thanks to the surprising return of Brock Lesnar.
Interview with Erick Rowan
Erick Rowan did a sitdown interview with Michael Cole with Cole asking why Luke Harper chose that moment to help Rowan. That led to Rowan asking if he had a question for him. Rowan said that the attacks on Reigns were to scare the man and Cole said you tried to kill him. Rowan said he doesn’t allow anybody to speak to him like that. Rowan claimed he did what he did to Reigns to show that his dominance is an illusion while Rowan said he was underappreciated and disrespected. Rowan said that people like Reigns and Daniel Bryan think that he’s just a goon meant to do somebody else’s bidding. Rowan said he’s not a puppet, he’s not a follower and he said he’s a leader. Cole asked why Rowan betrayed Bryan. Rowan said that Bryan thinks they were intellectual equals and he claimed he was smarter than he’ll ever be. Rowan said that Roman, Bryan and all of WWE will learn to never disrespect him again.
Analysis: That was fine. Rowan continued to make his point that he didn’t want to be disrespected and he is his own man. I don’t mind WWE wanting to try a push with him because they need to utilize different people once in a while. Plus, he’s a big dude and we know Vince is always going to want to push guys like that.
Still to come: Daniel Bryan is on Smackdown for the first time since Rowan attacked him.
Ali made his entrance for a match after the break.
Sami Zayn made his entrance with a neckbrace saying he was still in pain and wanted the fans to respect him. Zayn did a big introduction for the Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. He was really over the top with his introduction. Nakamura entered with his red cape.
Zayn pointed out that several weeks ago, Ali beat Nakamura and he said luck had a little to do with it. Zayn said that was before Nakamura partnered with Zayn. Zayn claimed that he respected Ali, he likes him, he’s super athletic and Ali will never be a champion.
Zayn held the leg of Ali and Nakamura hit Ali with a knee to the back of the head. Nakamura sent Ali into the turnbuckle. Nakamura hit the Kinshasa on Ali to put him down.
Analysis: No match. Just an angle. Ali already beat Nakamura non-title and then he didn’t get a title shot after it, so WWE is picking up that storyline to likely set up an IC Title match at Hell in a Cell. That’s fine with me. They’ve wrestled a few times and have good chemistry together. Plus, the presence of Zayn adds to the heat that Nakamura gets, so I think the fans will rally behind Ali, who may end up winning the title.
Kevin Owens was shown arriving to the arena with a spotlight on him and Owens sat in the crowd where there was an empty seat because he had a ticket.
Shane McMahon was in the office when referee John Cone showed up. A guy in a suit went up to Shane and gave him papers saying that he has been served. Shane opened the envelope, didn’t look happy about it and left.
A commercial aired for NXT on USA Network on Wednesday.
The next WWE PPV is Hell in a Cell on October 6. Here’s the official lineup so far.
Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Hell in a Cell Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks
That’s all for now. More matches to come.
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