WWE SmackDown Results: Becky Lynch, Charlotte Main Event-Ready and Top Takeaways
It's all personal on SmackDown Live with major rivals taking every opportunity to get an advantage before WWE Super Show-Down on Saturday. The October 2 edition was the final chance for several top heels to take their shots before heading to Melbourne, Australia.
Samoa Joe's heinous actions were addressed as the night began by general manager Paige, but neither Joe nor AJ Styles appeared live on the night. This left others to shine, including Becky Lynch who unveiled a new poster for Super Show-Down that set off her rival, Charlotte Flair.
Shelton Benjamin made his return to action and defeated Daniel Bryan with the help of The Miz. Aiden English revealed his Milwaukee tape that indicated Lana was cheating on Rusev with his former best friend.
Randy Orton continued to grotesquely dissect human bodies by going after the finger of Tye Dillinger. Not many good guys on SmackDown had a good night, but one former villain did, with Carmella picking up a win in a mixed tag team match with R-Truth.
It was a night of outright villainy and calculated misdirection that set the stage perfectly for what could be to come at Super Show-Down, but a few takeaways stand out most clearly from the night.
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair Proving They Should Main-Event Evolution
Lynch ended the night with a new Super Show-Down poster that featured her standing over Charlotte. This set off The Queen, who stormed the ring and took down her former best friend with a Spear.
This was a simple and straightforward segment, but it worked because Lynch is in such top form right now. Charlotte has been knocked down so many times that she hasn't had many chances to speak in response, but she's been great as well. The whole angle has been SmackDown's best segment for weeks.
Regardless of the result at Super Show-Down, there is no way these two will stop fighting. Their title match is just about the biggest bout for the blue brand at the Australia event, and it still doesn't feel like the climax of the rivalry. That should come at Evolution on October 28.
While there are multiple exciting possible contests coming at Evolution, with Trish Stratus returning to the ring to face Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey likely to be up against a major challenger, not a single women's match will have hype and heat behind it like Lynch vs. Charlotte.
The Irish Lass Kicker has been the best female performer on either brand since her turn. Add a stipulation, perhaps making it a street fight, and it will be impossible for anyone to top the third Lynch-Charlotte title clash. Not only have the two earned that spot, they deserve it as well.
Carmella's Alliance with R-Truth Has Been Shocking Success
Carmella and R-Truth teamed to face Andrade "Cien" Almas and Zelina Vega, and the Mixed Match Challenge team looked far more cohesive and dangerous. The Princess of Staten Island rolled through the grip of Vega right into the Code of Silence for a submission victory.
The alliance of Truth and Carmella started as a joke, and it was a shock when it started to genuinely materialize into an angle. How she suddenly became a fun-loving face was never genuinely explained, but she has thrived in the role.
It helped that the two were aligned on MMC, but this is a story that could have worked just as well without the separate program. While hilarious, Truth is not the type of star who is going to be able to stand out in modern WWE anymore. He's 46 years old.
He can be a great support to others, though. He has so effortlessly gotten people behind him and Carmella that her transition has gone off without a hitch. He's been the perfect manager.
After losing her SmackDown Women's Championship, most expected the former champion to fall into the background, but this story has not only kept her relevant but also been just as entertaining as her best moments with the title.
Randy Orton Is Pushing the Limits of What WWE Can Show on TV
Dillinger demanded a shot at Orton which Paige granted with a warning that he may regret the decision.
The Viper assaulted Dillinger at the bell, stomping on his opponent and sending him to the outside for a more brutal assault. He ended up trapping The Perfect 10's finger in the turnbuckle and wrenching at it.
Officials had to get involved with Dillinger clearly injured, ruling the match a no-contest. WWE may not be as strictly PG as in the late 2000s, but there's still an understanding that the product is made for all audiences. That means less gore and sexual content.
Somehow the restrictions do not include close-up shots of a wrestler breaking an opponent's finger. Much like his grotesque assault of Jeff Hardy's earlobe, The Apex Predator is pushing all the limits right now. It is hard to watch him as he dissects limbs in a way few wrestlers have done in such vivid detail.
The gimmick is working and making Orton as compelling as he has ever been. Those who cannot stomach such focused violence may need to turn away, but it is telling how such small acts can be far more affecting than the violent heel attacks shown every week.
Rusev and Aiden English Will Suffer If This Infidelity Angle Lasts Too Long
English revealed the "One Night in Milwaukee" tape to everyone with Lana appearing to speak to The Artiste in his hotel room, saying "I want you" before the video cut off. As The Ravishing Russian looked dejected in the ring, Rusev chased down his former friend but was unable to catch him.
An infidelity angle was inevitable after The Drama King's promise last week, but Tuesday's segment was still disappointing. The cut at the end of the video made it far too obvious that Lana was being taken out of context.
Despite this, The Bulgarian Brute took the bait. He looked like an idiot falling for the most obvious trick possible. If this leads to false drama for weeks on end with Lana and Rusev struggling to communicate, it will ruin an angle that had started so well.
English needs this angle to succeed, but it could already be dead in the water. The next few weeks will decide the future of this charismatic and talented star, with the storytelling mostly out of his hands.
Shelton Benjamin Should Not Be Forgotten
Demanding a chance on SmackDown, Benjamin was granted a match against Bryan with Miz supporting him. While the clash was back-and-forth throughout, The Beard looked poised to win, only for The A-Lister to distract his Super Show-Down rival, who walked into Paydirt and took the pinfall.
Bryan vs. Benjamin is a match that has already happened on SmackDown, but it often feels like the only way The Gold Standard can stand out. Even on a roster maximizing talent, the long-time veteran has been barely seen for months.
A victory over a former world champion and perhaps the future WWE champion should keep the collegiate wrestling star relevant for a short while, but he deserves more than a fluky win that is forgotten after a month.
This is one of the most fluid and entertaining athletes on the blue brand. He can look good against anyone. He also does not have a clearly established role on SmackDown right now. With Shinsuke Nakamura seeking a new rival, it would be easy for the veteran to turn face and challenge the United States champion.
Raw could also use an experienced performer at the level of Benjamin if SmackDown can't find a role for him. Whatever comes next, it would be a bad idea to leave The Gold Standard out of the loop.