After she used a DQ to retain at Super Show Down, SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch will again defend her title, WITHOUT Champion’s Advantage!
- SmackDown Women’s Championship, No Champion’s Advantage: Becky Lynch VS Charlotte Flair; Double Count-Out, Lynch retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
- WWE World Cup Qualifying Match: Samoa Joe VS Jeff Hardy; Hardy wins and qualifies for the WWE World Cup.
- Shelton Benjamin VS AJ Styles; Styles wins.
- WWE World Cup Qualifying Match: Randy Orton VS The Big Show; Orton wins and qualifies for the WWE World Cup.
PLAY BY PLAY
SmackDown Women’s Championship, No Champion’s Advantage: Becky Lynch VS Charlotte Flair!
No sense in wasting time, it’s time for the Lass Kicker to see if she can defend her title against The Queen without cheating!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and Indianapolis behind Becky with the bell. Becky and Charlotte circle and tie up. They push each other around, but Becky manages to put Charlotte in a corner. She honors the break at 4 but still says she’s gonna win this. They circle and fans rally up for Becky again. They tie up and Becky goes after the arm with a wristlock. Charlotte reverses to her own wristlock, but Becky reaches for ropes. Charlotte keeps her from them so Becky stomps a foot. Becky gets a wristlock as fans duel. Charlotte bends back and kips up to arm-drag Becky off. Charlotte gets the takedown and the legs but Becky gets away. The Queen tells the champ she was that close. Becky shoves Charlotte because she disagrees. Charlotte scoops and slams Becky!
Becky gets to a corner and boots Charlotte back. She bumps Charlotte off buckles, then grinds her face on the ropes! She bumps Charlotte again, then goes for a third. Charlotte turns it around to bump Becky, but Becky dodges the chop. Becky kicks a leg out then throws Charlotte into buckles! Becky drags Charlotte up to throw her back down. Cover, ONE! Becky runs to drop the leg, then she parodies the styling and profiling to drop the elbow. She goes for the other leg but Charlotte dodges to roll up. TWO, jackknife cover, TWO! Double clotheslines take both women down! Indy rallies up for both women as they stir. Becky and Charlotte crawl at each other, the grudge in their glare.
Becky stands but walks into Charlotte’s neckbreaker. Charlotte scoops but Becky slips out to kick the spear away. Becky goes to throw Charlotte but Charlotte reverses. Becky dodges to jump kick Charlotte! She wants the arm but Charlotte breaks free to dragon screw a leg! Both women slowly stand but Charlotte runs into an elbow. Becky runs and arm-drags Charlotte for an arm-bar. She grinds a knee into Charlotte’s head as she pulls on the arm. Charlotte shifts around but Becky bridges through for full extension! Charlotte endures as Becky moves around to keep the hammerlock. They stand up and Becky knees low. Becky whips but Charlotte catches the dropkick! Charlotte wants the Boston Crab but Becky crawls and scrambles for ropes. Becky can’t reach them before Charlotte turns her around, for a catapult into buckles!
Becky bails out of the ring but Charlotte takes aim. Charlotte slingshots and topples Becky down! The Queen takes control while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and both women stand again. Becky knees and whips but Charlotte tumbles to the apron to boot her away. Charlotte heads for a corner but Becky pursues. Charlotte climbs but Becky intercepts with forearms! And then she throws Charlotte right down! Cover, TWO! Becky can’t believe it but Charlotte is hurting on that left side. Fans rally up while Becky grits her teeth. She glares down at Charlotte and brings her up for European Uppercuts. Charlotte counters one into a back slide attempt but Becky pulls hair! Becky mule kicks then pumphandles for the Becksploder! Cover, TWO! Becky grows frustrated but she still has ideas. Fans chant but Charlotte hits the backbreaker to STO! Charlotte chops Becky again and again, and again and again! She whips and catches Becky into a back suplex!
Charlotte is too tired to cover from here, but she kips right back up! She staggers over but doesn’t cover. She wants to go up top again! Becky trips her up again, bringing her right to the mat! Now Becky gets to the corner and climbs her way up. Becky aims at Charlotte, but Charlotte dodges the crossbody! Oklahoma roll, TWO! Becky enziguris Charlotte down! But she won’t cover, either, she wants to go up top! Becky aims but now Charlotte trips her up with ropes. Charlotte grabs hair but Becky throws forearms. Becky gets a super takedown into the armbar!
Charlotte resists and shifts to make it a cover. The two struggle for control and Charlotte hammers away with her right hand. Charlotte makes it a cover, ONE and Becky holds on. Another cover, ONE, to a deadlift and sit-out! Cover, TWO!! This match ins’t over, so we go picture in picture! Both women are down and the referee checks on them. They’re okay to continue, and slowly stir. Charlotte makes sure her arm is still working, but a 10 count begins. The count passes 5 and Charlotte finally sits up. Becky follows but Charlotte grabs a leg. Becky forearms that away to then hit leaping forearms! Cover, TWO!! This still isn’t over and Becky is furious. She tries again, TWO! Again, TWO! Both women grit their teeth as they rise up.
They start throwing hands, Becky with the haymakers and Charlotte with the chops. They go back and forth, Becky then Charlotte. Neither woman backs down even as they stagger about. Becky hits, Charlotte hits, repeat. Becky gets an edge with a headbutt! She runs, but Charlotte follows to boot her down! Cover, TWO!! Both women are down again, how much do they have left to give? We return to single picture as fans duel again. Charlotte crawls over but not to cover. She wants the Figure Four, but Becky pushes her right into buckles! Charlotte’s down and Becky bails out. Becky wants her belt, because a count out is still one way out. But Charlotte won’t her run, she grabs her at the ram and throws her back in!
Becky shoves Charlotte into the ref, then kicks her low. The ref turns around to see Becky wants to use the belts. Becky throws it down, defending she wasn’t gonna hit Charlotte. Charlotte rolls her up! TWO and Becky has it, TWO! SPEAR!! But Charlotte can’t cover before Becky rolls out again! Becky is down but “This is Awesome!” Charlotte crawls her way over but to a corner, for a SUPER MOONSAULT! That crashes and burns!! Becky Becksploders her to the floor! Becky leaves her for dead as the count restarts! Charlotte barely stirs before 5, but crawls over at 8. Becky goes to dropkick but Charlotte catches her into an exploder of her own! Now they’re both down and the count starts a third time. Charlotte puts Becky in at 3, then stalks her from behind. NATURAL SELECTION!! But Becky bails out again!!
Charlotte is furious that her former friend keeps fleeing. She dares her to fight her, but then Becky pushes her into the LED apron. The count is at 5 but Charlotte won’t let Becky get in! They both fall from the apron, but the count is at 9! Instead of getting in, Charlotte goes to throw Becky, but Becky counters and throws Charlotte into barriers!
Double Count-Out; Becky Lynch is still SmackDown Women’s Champion
The Champion’s Advantage only applied to disqualifications, so Becky gets away with her belt again. But she won’t get away from the fight as Charlotte pursues! They brawl on the ramp and Becky boots Charlotte right down! But she still can’t get away, Charlotte SPEARS Becky through the LED stage wall!! Indianapolis loses its mind while the SmackDown staff panic to get medics. Forget who is the best woman on SmackDown, will either woman be okay to compete?!
WWE World Cup Qualifying Match: Samoa Joe VS Jeff Hardy!
The Destroyer was again denied the WWE Championship, but there was no controversy this time. The Charismatic Enigma wanted to destroy The Viper, but was instead put through hell at Hell in a Cell. Now both men get a chance at the inaugural WWE World Cup to determine who is the best in the WWE today. Will the Coquina Clutch be denied by a Twist of Fate? Or will the man immune to fear still be put to sleep?
The bell rings and Joe goes right at Hardy with forearms and headbutts! Joe bumps Hardy off buckles then stalks him to a corner. He chokes Hardy on the ropes but backs off at 4. That leg is still bothering him but Joe comes back for more. Hardy throws hands, kicks, but Joe powers out of the Twist. Hardy rebounds and dropkicks the bad leg. Joe bails out to rest his leg while we go to break.
SmackDown returns and Hardy has Joe in a chinlock. Joe fights out and headbutts to then chop Hardy. Hardy comes back with forearms but then runs into the big back elbow! Joe paces while Hardy is down on the mat. Joe drags Hardy up and drives elbows into the shoulders. Fans duel while Hardy sits back up. Joe wrenches Hardy’s neck but Hardy hears fans building to a rally. Hardy feeds off the energy and fights up but Joe throws him down to then back senton! Cover, TWO! Joe keeps his cool while he drags Hardy back up. Joe headbutts Hardy to a corner then throws those swift jabs. He rolls Hardy out to then pull back on the arms. He digs a knee into Hardy’s back but Hardy endures.
Hardy fights his way up to fight out and throw hands. Hardy whips but Joe reverses, only for Hardy to knock him down. Joe staggers into the atomic drop, then Hardy uses the leg splitting leg drop! Joe clutches his back leg and crawls to ropes. Hardy says “DELETE!” but Joe yanks him right out of the ring. Joe brings Hardy up to bounce him off the steel steps. Joe kicks but hits only steel! Hardy and Joe crawl into the ring, but Hardy goes after that leg! He throws elbows and stomps and even drops a leg. Joe gets to ropes so Hardy backs off. Hardy comes back with a dropkick then more stomps! The referee backs Hardy off to check on Joe, but Joe won’t quit over this.
Hardy stomps Joe more but Joe throws a heavy hand! Joe can only hobble, but that bad leg is too bad. The referee calls the match!
Winner: Jeff Hardy, by referee decision; qualifies for the WWE World Cup
Indy isn’t happy with this, but neither is Joe. Hardy is headed to Crown Jewel along with John Cena and Kurt Angle, but who else will join them?
SmackDown GM Paige addresses the Women’s Championship incident.
After the brawl “got ugly”, both Becky and Charlotte require medical attention. But there was no real winner, so they will face each other once more, at WWE Evolution! And there will be another first at this All Women’s PPV, in WWE’s first ever Last Woman Standing match!
It’s time for Miz TV!
The Hollywood A-Lister is back to host his Most Must-See WWE Talk Show, and promises big things from his guests tonight, after the break.
SmackDown returns and The Miz says Paige told him to be “professional”, so professional is what he’ll be. Though that seems hard for him to do as he must introduce his guests as the champion and challenger for the WWE Championship. First, the Phenomenal AJ Styles! The WWE Universe in Indianapolis is glad to see Styles is still champion after his No Holds Barred match with Samoa Joe at Super Show Down. The Miz sits with Styles and wants to ask something. After what Joe put Styles through, how’s the family? Miz means this in the most sincere way, as a new father. That rage surely led to Styles’ victory, but now Styles will be facing a man who won’t attack from behind, and would only break into your home to tend to your garden. This man is “better than a boy scout” snore, Daniel Bryan.
The Yes Man makes his way to the ring and Indy is even happier to see him! Miz is especially sour that he lost his #1 contender’s match to Bryan so quickly. All it took was a small package counter out of the Skull-Crushing Finale, and Bryan was the new contender to the WWE world title. Bryan and Styles shake hands and Miz is already disappointed to see this “mutual respect.” No one wants to see that for the most coveted prize in sports entertainment! Bryan knows Miz asked about the title match, but does he want to talk about their match? It won’t take too long. Styles likes that one. Miz seethes while fans cheer for Bryan. But Miz is remaining professional.
Back to Styles, he’s been a champion for 11 months and defended against some of the best. Where does Bryan place among them? Styles says Joe was the greatest because he went out of the ring and right to his doorstep, making it personal. But Bryan, this is going to be in the ring, in the House that AJ Styles Built! So Styles thinks he’s better than everyone? How does Bryan feel about that? Bryan points out Styles isn’t trying to say that. But it’s good that Styles thinks he’s better. What? How?
Bryan says Miz doesn’t know a thing about this, but Bryan wants to beat a worthy opponent. And no one is more worthy than AJ Styles, as he has had the most-coveted title for over 300 days! Styles has earned the right to think he’s better, and Bryan still has a lot to prove. Therefore, Bryan is glad Styles thinks he’ll win, because Bryan knows he can win. Miz uses this to get Styles going. Styles says that Bryan hasn’t exactly faced someone Phenomenal. Styles and Bryan are having good time poking fun at the Two-Minute Man, which has been Miz’s name for a long time. But their match at Crown Jewel, their WWE World Championship match, is the very thing Bryan fought to come back.
Bryan talked about fighting for his dreams, but he never said what his dream was. Not mind games, not having fun, not reuniting teams, and certainly not fighting “this jerk.” Bryan’s dream that kept him going was one thing and one thing only: The WWE World Championship. Styles is the only thing in the way of his dream. Styles stands up to be face to face with Bryan, and Miz backs up to give them space. The Phenomenal One isn’t moving out of the way. That took long enough. Finally it gets interesting for The Miz. Styles has a question for Bryan: How good does it feel to punch Miz in the face? Punching that guy? It feels great, it’s so fun!
Miz gets upset, and sees they’d easily pick on him. He’s tried to remain professional, but to be honest, Bryan won with a fluke! Just look at the footage! Miz got a shoulder up! He demanded a rematch but Paige wouldn’t give it. Miz has won again and again, but Bryan has his stupid roll-up!? At least when Miz won, he knocked Bryan out! And as for Styles, he’s just Bryan with an accent! Styles has been champ for a year yet it’s never been more irrelevant! Do you know why the title doesn’t main event? Look in the mirror! Miz doesn’t care who wins at Crown Jewels, Miz calls next! Styles smiles but Miz says to wipe that smile off his face. Styles faces the man who beat Bryan last week, so “good luck”. Shelton Benjamin heads to the ring! Can the Gold Standard be better than Phenomenal?
Shelton Benjamin VS AJ Styles!
SmackDown returns as Benjamin bucks Styles off the waistlock. Benjamin runs but Styles arm-drags him. Benjamin blocks the next arm-drag and brings Styles down with a Russian leg sweep. Oh and Miz and Bryan are both on commentary.
Benjamin puts Styles in a corner to then throw forearms. Styles throws forearms back and whips, but Benjamin reverses and hits a big corner knee. Benjamin snapmares and covers, ONE. He puts Styles in a chinlock but fans rally for Styles. Styles stands up and jawbreakers out. He runs but into the big back body drop! Cover, ONE, but Benjamin covers again. ONE, and Styles gets away to the ropes. Benjamin puts Styles in a corner and throws in a shoulder. He backs off at the ref’s count but comes back to throw haymakers. Styles hits back with chops and forearms. Styles whips but Benjamin reverses. Benjamin leaps but Styles dodges the corner splash! Miz and Bryan argue about line of succession in terms of challenging for the title while Styles gives Benjamin the Phenomenal Blitz! Benjamin dodges the back hand but Styles dodges the dragon whip to PELE!
Both men are down but Styles gets up. He wants the Clash but Benjamin resists. Benjamin pops Styles up from fireman’s carry to suplex, but Styles slips out. Benjamin runs but into a boot. Styles slingshots but into a BIG knee from Benjamin! Styles crashes down and a ring count begins. Benjamin waits while Bryan says Benjamin is ten times the wrestler Miz is. Benjamin pursues Styles on the outside to then throw him into the barriers. He bounces Styles off the apron then off barriers again. The Gold Standard has control while we go picture in picture. Benjamin drags Styles up again to whip him into barriers! He refreshes the count then puts Styles in the ring. Cover, TWO! Benjamin grows frustrated but he puts Styles into a sleeper hold and body scissors.
Styles endures the squeeze from Benjamin, and manages to slip out of the body scissors. He fights back with elbows but Benjamin throws him down by his hair. Benjamin backs off while Miz applauds. Benjamin puts Styles in a corner for shoulders, then hoists him up to the top rope. He climbs up to join Styles and prepares a superplex. Styles slips out, trips Benjamin up, then uses the Electric Chair to drop him! We return to single picture while both men are down. A 10 count begins but Styles is up at 6. Benjamin follows but Styles knocks him down with clotheslines. Styles gives the Phenomenal Blitz in full and then hits the sliding forearm! Indy fires up with Styles as he hits the corner clothesline. Styles lifts but Benjamin slips out. Benjamin suplexes but Styles slips out. Styles gets Benjamin in the Calf Crusher!
Benjamin endures while Bryan compliments Styles’ ability. Benjamin gets the ropebreak and Styles lets him go. Styles goes back at Benjamin but Benjamin puts him against ropes for knees. Benjamin walks into a swift kick from Styles! Styles runs in but Benjamin puts him on the corner. Styles hits Benjamin away, then springboards, Phenomenal Forearm! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Bryan applauds the champ, but Miz is still surly. Styles raises his belt up high, but will he still be raising his belt after Crown Jewel?
Aiden English is in the ring.
The Drama King hears the chants for “Rusev Day!” but brings up the glimpse of #OneNightinMilwaukee. English has six figure offers for that much alone, but he gives us the Director’s Cut. We again see Lana visit English in his hotel room. The Ravishing Russian tells English that she “wants” English to know how much he means to Rusev. English’s singing of Rusev’s praises, that’s awesome right back. Lana really appreciates what English has done for them. English is so thankful, and he says they mean the world to him. But then he makes a move towards Lana, and Indy gets interested. But English won’t give us the rest until Rusev appears. The Bulgarian Brute obliges!
Rusev glares daggers at English but English says he won’t show the rest. However, we all know what comes next. English gives his offer: he will destroy the video, if Rusev kicks Lana to the curb so that they can reunite Team Rusev Day! Fans chant for Rusev Day, but here comes Lana! Lana tries to reason with Rusev first before any of them speak on the mic. English says Rusev’s made his choice! “C’mon, buddy!” Rusev makes his way to the ring, but then says that this is really serious. Go ahead, play the tape. No, SmackDown is a family show, and no man should have to see his wife like that. Well fine, Lana will play the rest. And how will she do that? English got hacked, that’s how! Gasp! Well, English’s password being “I <3 Rusev”, that’s easy to break in. Hit it!
The footage rolls, and we continue from where it left off. English makes his move, but Lana stops him. This was a misunderstanding, English wanted a hug but she still left. Indy chants “Creep! Creep!” and English feels like a fool, both in the past and in the present. He admits it, they got him. But the offer’s still on the table, Lana. Maybe when you get tired of Rusev Days, treat yourself to an Aiden Night. Rusev chases Aiden down! And beats him down! English turns the tables but then runs away to the ramp. The Drama King is actually the Fool, but will he get what’s coming to him on a very special Rusev Day~?
Rey Mysterio will return on SmackDown 1000!
Not only that, but the King of Lucha, the man of the 619, will have a qualifier for the WWE World Cup! But it will be against the current United States Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura! Will Mysterio be able to overcome the King of Strong Style in his WWE television return? Or will a Kinshasa be in his near future?
WWE World Cup Qualifying Match: Randy Orton VS The Big Show!
The Viper continues to hunt the heroes of the WWE Universe, but he’s not above chasing a title like “best in the WWE”. However, the World’s Largest Athlete is back and he wants to prove that size is everything. Will the Legend Killer be able to bring down WWE’s greatest giant? Or will Crown Jewel become that much bigger?
The bell rings and Show puts Orton in a corner. Orton avoids the big chop but not the body shot. He bails out and Show roars. Indy is happy to see him, but Show keeps his eyes on Orton. Orton slithers back out of the ring while we go to break.
SmackDown returns once again and Show has Orton by the throat! Orton breaks free and DDT’s Show down! Orton catches his breath while getting to his feet. Cover, TWO and with force! Orton stomps Show’s limbs, then wraps on a chinlock. Show endures while fans build to a rally. Show stands up and powers Orton down with a back suplex! Orton sits up first but Show follows as he shakes the cobwebs out. Show rallies on Orton with clubbing clotheslines then a big corner bump. He keeps moving and easily runs Orton over! Fans fire up with Show but Orton bails out of the ring. Show pursues, and puts Orton back in the ring. Orton is on Show with the dropkick, then drags him out for a GIANT draping DDT! Cover, TWO! Show still lives, and Orton backs away.
Orton aims at Show, he wants to bring something back just for Show. Orton runs in, but Show SPEARS him down! Cover, TWO!! Orton survives that steamrolling, but fans let Show know “You Still Got It!” Show knows he still has something left, and prepares the big hand! Orton bails out, but Show grabs him and brings him up by his chin! Show drags Orton all the way in, clamps on the hand, and lifts, for the GIANT Choke Slam! Cover, TWO!? Orton survives again and Show can’t believe it. Fans want the slam “One More Time!” and Big Show prepares the Weapon of Destruction! Orton bails out again, but the referee wants Show to stay back. Show refuses, but Orton pokes his eye! Then RKO!! Cover, Orton wins!
Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall; qualifies for the WWE World Cup
The Apex Predator always has something up his sleeve, and he joins four other great former champions in the tournament. The World Cup is half formed, who will be the other four men competing to be the best in the WWE?
A pretty solid episode of SmackDown, but perhaps lacking in some areas. We start fast and furious with the Women’s Championship match, and it was actually okay they did a Double Count-Out if it meant giving us a match at WWE Evolution. I thought we were just going to go to that but this holdover was good. Especially with that stage spot! I’m thinking both Charlotte and Becky were okay, but kayfabe selling that Charlotte had cuts at best and a bad wrist at worst will play into the story for these two as Becky loves arm submissions. This first-ever Last Woman Standing match is going to be great, but I’m still holding onto Becky retaining.
Obviously the night was dominated by Crown Jewel build, but clearly Saudi Arabia wants certain stars for the World Cup they’re funding. John Cena was an automatic in, and aside from Samoa Joe, the first SmackDown entrants are all basically older stars from the previous era. We know Rey Mysterio is on his way, and goes against Shinsuke Nakamura. I’m pretty sure it’s a safe bet Mysterio wins to qualify to make this World Cup a trip back in time. There’s also little chance anyone not in the World Cup, the world title match or the Universal Championship Triple Threat will be on the card, as an 8-man tournament will be SEVEN matches. Hopefully Nakamura does something anyway, he hasn’t defended his title or done much of anything since getting it.
“The Rest of One Night in Milwaukee” was as expected. We find out English was exaggerating and he looks like a creep. Rusev VS English is going to be fun, and I think it makes sense for Rusev to win here so that the husband and wife triumph over their former friend turned conniving enemy. The best part of tonight was the stretch from Miz TV to Benjamin VS Styles. I liked that Miz tried stirring the pot, as Miz is wont to do, but Bryan and Styles (being ROH alumni) kept things respectful yet still competitive. Benjamin VS Styles was a great match, and naturally Styles wins. Miz wants next, but I’m sure something will happen where he loses his cool and at least goes after Bryan, maybe even add himself to the world title match to make for two triple threats on one show.
My Score: 8.5/10