Monday, July 22, 2024

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Smackdown 08/28/18: The Spotlight Is Set

Welcome, Smackdown fans to this weeks recap! One of the top stories in all of WWE right now is the destruction of the Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair friendship. Two best friends have now turned bitter rivals, and the story is still fresh and just starting. Lynch continues to have the upper hand, and after the main event of the evening she still does. We will get to that a little bit later, but first let’s start with the first sighting for the women of the evening.

This moment was mostly about Rusev and Aiden English being told by General Manager Paige, that they will be given a shot to become the number one contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Paige told the trio of Rusev Day that she was convinced to grant Rusev and English the match.

Rusev assumed it was Lana and was thankful for her influence. Lana denied her contribution that her husband felt she made on his behalf. It turns out that English approached Paige about this chance as another olive branch to strengthen their friendship. The Rusev Day trio seems to be all back on the same page (no pun intended, or was it?).

Next, we are treated to an interview from Renee Young with the Smackdown Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair outside of her locker room. Young questions Flair if her fallout friendship with Lynch is weighing heavy on her going into her championship match against Carmella later on. Flair explains how Lynch can never win the big one, and that this isn’t a game where everyone wins a trophy.

She states that she earned this title because she has worked hard everyday for it. She doesn’t understand what Lynch expected her to do, because she was not going to just lie down and not be her best. Lynch wants the spotlight that she isn’t receiving, but Flair will give that to her after she defeats Carmella, again.

We have our first woman’s match of the night next to discuss. Last week, we saw the glow grace us with her presence, Naomi who had her first match in months. She ended up on the losing end by succumbing to Peyton Royce. Royce being one half of the IIconics, has been on a losing streak herself recently, so her getting the win against a former champion may have been a shock to some. This week, we see the second half of the IIconics, Billie Kay, get her chance to take on the glow.

As the IIconics make their way to the ring, Kay announces that she feels that she is clairvoyant. Royce warns Kay from using big words as they are in Toronto, so they won’t know what that means. Kay explains that it means she can see the future. She saw last week that Royce was going to beat Naomi and she was right. She went on to speak negatively against the Toronto Raptors, which strum up a “Let’s Go Raptors” chant by the audience that seemed to catch the two off guard. Royce finishes up by saying their catchphrase that they can see that the future is iconic.

The match itself was not very long and did not have many memorable moments. A key thing that can be taken away from this match was that the referee did seem to let a few things slide. For instance, Kay focused on Naomi’s hair for a longer time frame that should have been allowed. The majority of these recent interactions between the IIconics and Naomi have been to show off the teamwork between the IIconics.

Last week, Kay provided enough distractions to cost Naomi the match and this week Royce returned the favor to Kay. Royce from the outside, kicked Naomi while she was between the ropes, which allowed Kay to take advantage and roll Naomi up for a win. The referee seemed to have turned his head enough to see Royce’s interference, but no bell rang, and the match ended with the pin to Naomi.

Brie Bella made her return to Smackdown last week during the Miz/Maryse/Daniel Bryan segment. Maryse called out Bryan and stated his last name might as well be ‘Bella’. Brie, seemingly tired of Maryse’s antics, ran down the ramp and into the ring. She was not able to get her hands on Maryse, but was able to throw some punches on the Miz.

This week, Bella and Bryan were in the middle of the ring discussing their brewing rivalry against the self-proclaimed “It Couple”. Bryan addresses the crowd on how the Miz is a coward and hides behind his wife. Last week, he pulled Maryse in front of himself to divert any attack that Bryan may enforce. Bella comments that Maryse is always helping the Miz to win and that those two are always running their mouths. She was more than happy to punch the Miz right in the mouth. With the mixed tag match set for the Hell in a Cell PPV coming up, Bella feels that Maryse has nowhere to hide.

Bella and Bryan were interrupted with Andrade “Cien” Almas’ music being played. Zelina Vega and Almas make their way to the ring. Vega takes to the mic and said that she is standing next to legends referring to only Almas and Bella. She then apologizes to Bryan and that she forgot to introduce themselves to him. She describes herself as the breathtaking, deal-making, la muñeca, business manager to El Idolo. She continued by listing off Almas’ accomplishments.

According to Vega, the Miz has already outsmarted Bryan, but she wants Almas to outwrestle Bryan. Bryan, who is not General Manager anymore, wonders if there was only someone who could make this match. Everyone waits for Paige’s music to hit, and nothing happens. A few moments later, Paige’s music finally hits. She jokingly seems to be out of breath and admits her office is on the other side of the building and unlike Bryan, she has to wear heels. Paige grants the match with the crowd’s approval.

During the match, Bella and Vega stayed at ringside. Throughout the match, the Miz and Maryse were seen backstage watching the match. In the middle of the match, the Miz’s music hits and he comes out slowly and makes his way down the ramp. Bryan takes out the Miz in an attempt to make his distraction a non-factor. Towards the end of the match, Bryan locks in the Yes Lock on Almas and Vega hops on the ring apron to distract the referee. Bella comes to her husband’s aide and pulls Vega off the ring apron. Bella punches Vega and levels her at ringside. Maryse then shows up from behind and attacks Bella by throwing her headfirst into the ring post. This was enough for Bryan to break his Yes Lock on Alma. The match ended in a disqualification from the Miz attacking Bryan from behind.

After the bell rings, the Miz and Maryse take the advantage of having Almas and Vega help them in their attack. Almas hits a hammerlock DDT on Bryan. Maryse gets Bella in the ring and she sets herself in the corner. The Miz locks the Yes Lock in on Bryan while Vega gives Bella the double knees in the corner. Maryse follows up Vega’s help with a French Kiss DDT of her own. She then holds Bella back and forces her to watch Bryan locked in his own submission lock. The “It Couple” ends the segment by kissing each other in the middle of the ring with their Hell in Cell opponents laid out.

We are now ready for the main event. Although it is becoming more normal, it is still always exciting as a wrestling fan to see the women main eventing. Carmella is set for her rematch against the Queen and is determined to get her title back. She has beat Flair twice (in case you didn’t know), and she is hoping the third time is the charm with regaining the title back.

Throughout the match we witnessed Carmella’s frustrations showing. The match never felt one sided, with both women having enough offensive moves to grant a victory. A few key points of the match is as follows:

Flair heads to the top turnbuckle, possibly to do a moonsault, but Carmella was able to knock her off the top and she fell down landed right into the barricade. Carmella stayed on top of this and delivered a suicide dive between the middle ropes to lay out Flair. Carmella attempted to capitalize on this offense but was only able to get a two count. Carmella delivered many kicks to the champions face, but Flair kept kicking out of any pin attempt. The match ended with Flair successfully executing the natural selection and locking in the Figure Eight. Carmella taps out and the Queen remains champion.

After the match it didn’t take long for Lynch to strike her new enemy from behind. Flair attempts to get up from the beating, but Lynch ends up kicking her right back down. Lynch then yells for someone to give her a mic. The crowd chants “Let’s go Becky”, as Lynch grabs the SmackDown Women’s Title. She holds onto the title and tells Flair that come Hell in a Cell, she will be getting her title back. She ended her short but powerful statement with, “You bitch.” Lynch then raises the title over her head. She ends up leaving the ring and makes her way slowly up the ramp and to the backstage. Smackdown goes off the air with Flair in the corner of the ring grasping her title.

Today, as an aftermath of Carmella’s loss, she took to twitter to confirm that she will become champion again:

Thoughts: Another enjoyable Smackdown. I think last weeks was slightly better, but I did enjoy this one as well. I can honestly say I am invested in all the storylines involving the women. It seems like they have moved on, perhaps, from Lana versus Vega though. I am a little bummed if that is the case, but we will see.

I am not crazy about Naomi now losing two weeks in a row, but at least she is on my TV again. On the same note though, the IIconics picking up wins is good though. I was getting frustrated that they were never winning. That being said, I still am not a big fan of tag teams facing single wrestlers. The “numbers game” is something that never interests me. I guess it does create an “underdog” story sometimes though. I think they could build a great feud between the IIconics and Mandy/Sonya if they really wanted to go that route.

I am completely happy that the Bellas are back. The Zelina/Brie/Maryse interaction was great. I still fee Zelina and Lana could put on some more matches, but if they continue to include Zelina in matches period, I am excited about it. I am looking forward to the mixed tag match at Hell in a Cell and the build-up shows promise.

Now, heel Becky does it again. I was not the biggest fan of her winning week after week leading up to the Triple Threat match because I felt like it was forced. I feel like now that she has turned heel, her character is only going to involve and make her better. Good friends always put on the best matches against each other. I am definitely excited for the Smackdowns to come leading up to Hell in a Cell and then Evolution. I hope they make the match a Hell in a Cell match, that would make this even more perfect.

What did you think of the show this week? What are you hoping to see in the next few weeks? Do you want Becky to win the title at Hell in a Cell, or should it be at Evolution? Do you want to see Becky and Charlotte in a hell in a cell match? Sound off your answers in the comments below.

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