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EA’s Weekly SmackDown Live YouTube Report (8/7/18)

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As we all know, social media and other outlets have become a huge means of drawing in interaction and viewers for WWE. Most people will point to television ratings like they did during the Monday Night Wars in the late 1990’s, however that can be skewed with so many various means of watching today that do not include cable television.

As you’ve become accustomed to, here is this week’s SmackDown Live YouTube Report (8:20 PM EST, 8/9/18):

  1. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. R-Truth – 974k views
  2. Daniel Bryan crashes The Miz on set – 756k views
  3. Randy Orton vows to destroy WWE’s top stars – 541k views
  4. AJ Styles responds to Samoa Joe’s comments – 427k views
  5. Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs. The IIconics – 373k views
  6. Lana vs. Zelina Vega – 360k views
  7. The New Day vs. The Bar – 339k views

On a week where SmackDown Live’s ratings took a pretty significant drop, the blue brand’s YouTube numbers do a bit of the same. Coming in at number one is Shinsuke Nakamura vs. R-Truth, which fails to reach a million views. To be honest, I haven’t got a clue as to why this match tops the list. It’s nothing more than what I refer to as a “glorified squash”, a match where you know who’s going to get the win even though there’s not your quintessential jobber involved. Overall, SmackDown Live was pretty lackluster this week and I think that’s reflected in our list.

At number two is SmackDown Live’s hottest rivalry where Daniel Bryan finally got his hands on The Miz this week. If I was to prognosticate what clip would have topped our list, I would have figured this would be it due to a lack of interesting segments this week. At this point, I’m just ready for them to finally step into the ring at SummerSlam.

Sliding in at the third spot is Randy Orton with another promo, basically some of the same things he’s said the last couple of weeks. Had this segment involved some other guys like last week, I’d have to think the views would be higher. Unfortunately, this was just Orton by himself. We see some of the same at number four with our WWE Champion AJ Styles responding to Samoa Joe’s comments from last week. Two pretty basic promos.

For the last three spots on our list, we get the rest of the matches from this week’s episode of the blue brand. Number five was the most promoted match this week as Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair took on The IIconics, the opening contest of the show. Next at number six is a rematch from last week with Lana facing Zelina Vega again, another affair that was a little rough to watch no matter how easy on the eyes these ladies are. Lastly, the best match of the night rounds out our top seven as The New Day defeated The Bar to earn their shot at The Bludgeon Brothers’ SmackDown Tag Titles at SummerSlam. Great match, but if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again…great wrestling doesn’t constitute ratings or YouTube views (unless there’s a title change). It’s about name value here and as good of a contest as it was, The New Day’s popularity has definitely waned while The Bar just don’t provide it.

 

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SummerSlam Results: Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

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With three straight matches on SummerSlam coming to us from SmackDown Live, it was finally time for RAW to retake the action as Finn Balor met Baron Corbin in a rematch from last month’s Extreme Rules.

While most were expecting the usual out of this match, Balor surprised everyone with the reemergence of ‘The Demon King’ for the first time in nearly a year. With Constable Corbin caught completely off-guard. Right at the bell, Balor would connect with a Shotgun Dropkick and plant Baron with the Sling Blade, RAW’s Constable quickly looking to escape to the floor seeking refuge. The aggressive Finn would give no such breaks though, flying over the top with a somersault senton and driving Corbin into the barricade.

After sending Baron back into the ring, another Shotgun Dropkick was followed by another Sling Blade, then the Coup De Grace to finish it in under five minutes.

 

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SummerSlam Results: Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz

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After an incredibly physical WWE Championship match, the next match at SummerSlam was eight years in the making as the very personal feud between The Miz and Daniel Bryan came to a head.

With his fist in a ball, Bryan couldn’t wait to finally make ‘The A-Lister’ taste his knuckles, but the early head games by Miz forced him to wait just a bit longer. The Miz looked to use some of Bryan’s trademark offense against him in the beginning, but it was short-lived and those knuckle sandwiches were finally served up. However, ‘The A-Lister’ is no slouch inside the squared circle, showing Bryan that he was capable of delivering technical maneuvers with his own version of a surfboard.

Unfortunately for Miz, nobody knows better how to escape the hold and Daniel returned the favor before zeroing in with the Yes Kicks. His aggression would lead to a minor mistake that had Bryan crotched on the top rope and ‘The A-Lister’ would take control of the match, again showing his technical prowess with a cravate and stiff knees to the skull. Some heavy offense would follow by The Miz, peppering Bryan with big lefts before getting a little too overconfident. A flurry of big maneuvers by Daniel would follow, planting Miz into the canvas, flying to the outside and burying kicks to the chest, but ‘The A-Lister’ would show why he’s held numerous titles in the WWE and prevent a three count on multiple occasions.

After a barrage of slaps to the face and a stiff roundhouse kick to the head, Bryan would line up for the running knee that was countered into a Figure Four, then countered back into the Yes Lock. Miz would fight it off, catapulting Bryan head-first into the corner and following with a Skull Crushing Finale for a near fall, much to the dismay of ‘The A-Lister’. The fight would be taken to the apron where a missed kick by Bryan ended up landing into the ring post, leading to Miz slapping on the Figure Four, but Daniel would hang on long enough to reverse the pressure.

A flurry of heavy elbows would lead to the Yes Lock with Miz barely escaping to the outside, taking the fight out in front of Maryse at ringside who would hand her husband a foreign object out of the official’s vision. One shot and a quick cover, and that was all she wrote for Daniel.

 

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SummerSlam Results: WWE Championship

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With SmackDown Live already seeing one championship change hands, next up at SummerSlam was the WWE Title match that was no longer just about becoming champion after Samoa Joe brought AJ Styles’ family into the conversation.

With Styles’ wife and daughter sitting ringside, Joe would interrupt the usual championship introductions to point them out and needle ‘The Phenomenal One’ just one final time before the bell. It didn’t seem to phase AJ though, as the pace was slow to begin with the champion trying to get into Joe’s head by using irritating leg kicks. The challenger would start firing back with strikes of his own, utilizing what “brought him to the dance”, but Styles also owns a pretty good striking game and would show that he too could hang.

One mistake by ‘The Phenomenal One’ would give Samoa Joe the opening he needed to control the contest, showing his array of power, high-flying and strong strikes to put the champion in jeopardy. The resilient Styles would of course show the heart that’s allowed him to be the WWE Champion for an extended period of time, coming back to finally score with the Styles Clash, but it still wasn’t enough.

After another big exchange that left both men staggering to their feet, AJ would find his way to getting on the Calf Crusher that was quickly countered into the Coquina Clutch, but the champion was too close to the ropes. Joe’s frustration would start to come through as he called for the Muscle Buster, but AJ would fight it off only to be knocked to the outside by an enzuigiri. After depositing Styles into the steel steps, Joe would grab a mic and proclaim he would be the new daddy of AJ’s wife, sending ‘The Phenomenal One’ into a rage. The match became the last thing on Styles’ mind and he would decimate Joe with a chair, leading to a disqualification.

 

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