WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from October 2
SmackDown Live focused on its female talent Tuesday, just days before Super Show-Down in Australia, and the result was a refreshing show that did just enough to further its ongoing rivalries while continuing to produce fresh matchups.
The blue brand continued its hot streak this week with a fun, intriguing and entertaining two hours that continues to eclipse WWE's flagship Raw on a fairly regular basis.
Relive the go-home show to WWE's live event spectacular Saturday night with this recap of the October 2 show.
Paige Kicks Off SmackDown Live
SmackDown general manager Paige kicked off this week's show and reassured the WWE Universe the Styles family is fine after last week's show. She revealed charges were filed and Joe was arrested for trespassing before kicking it to AJ Styles, who was live via satellite from his home.
The WWE champion revealed he was dropping the charges against Joe, and contrary to what Paige thought, he did not want The Samoan Submission Machine fired.
He apologized for not being at SmackDown and vowed that Joe is not coming back from Australia this weekend, putting an emphatic and ominous end to the segment.
Styles threatening to bury Joe alive in Australia may match the tone of the program, but it seems a bit excessive for a company that touts its family-friendly image.
With that said, Styles was strong here, showing just how evolved he has become as a performer since signing with WWE.
The clash between Styles and Joe figures to be one of the best on the entire Super Show-Down card if the Superstars are allowed to have their match.
Of all the title bouts scheduled for the show, it is the most likely to feature a surprise switch to lend credibility to the show. That outcome would make sense and write the latest chapter in the program.
R-Truth and Carmella vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas and Zelina Vega
After a weekend of Twitter back-and-forth between Carmella and Zelina Vega, the women met in a Mixed Tag Team match that pitted Vega and Andrade "Cien" Almas against Carmella and R-Truth.
Vega overcame an early bit of celebration from a confident Carmella to seize control of the match. However, a jawbreaker from the former SmackDown women's champion allowed the male competitors to tag into the match.
A well-timed boot to the face from Truth allowed the babyfaces to seize control heading into the break, and Carmella continued for her side, scoring a near-fall on Vega that Almas broke up to a swarm of boos. Truth took him out, allowing The Princess of Staten Island to apply the Code of Silence for the submission win.
Carmella and Truth defeated Almas and Vega
Yes, Carmella and Truth are a fun act. They have chemistry, for sure, and are fairly over with the audience. Almas and Vega, though, are a main event act waiting for their opportunity to run with the ball. Sacrificing them to put over a midcard comedy act is not the best use of the duo by any means.
Particularly Almas, who is on one of the hottest runs of any wrestler in 2018. Having him work with Truth every week will hardly continue his momentum.
New Day Cooks
The New Day made its way to the ring Tuesday night for a cooking segment, flanked by someone named Chef Bootyworth. After a few words, The Bar interrupted.
It was only a matter of time before the table in the ring was overturned and the tag teams were at each other's throats in a grand brawl.
The Bar systematically picked off each member of The New Day, leaving them lying.
Cesaro and Sheamus turned their attention to Bootyworth, humiliating him before standing tall to close out the segment.
There really is no other valuable, less harsh way to describe it.
Yes, New Day is an exceptionally fun comedic act, but there was nothing fun about this before The Bar arrived—and damn sure nothing fun after.
Worst of all, it did nothing to make me want to see the two teams fight again. You know what does, though? The last match they had. Stick to the ring, WWE Creative, and let these immensely talented wrestlers do their thing without the bells and whistles of an awful entertainment segment like this one.
Tye Dillinger vs. Randy Orton
A week after Randy Orton brutalized Tye Dillinger, interrupting his match with United States champion Shinsuke Nakamura, The Viper squared off with The Perfect 10 in singles competition.
Dillinger took the fight to Orton from the onset of the match. He clotheslined the former WWE champion to the floor but found himself being slammed face-first into the announce table. Dillinger returned the favor, though, obviously not willing to let his more decorated opponent walk all over him.
However, Orton gained the upper hand with a draping DDT to the arena floor.
From there, he removed the turnbuckle pad, stuck Dillinger's finger in the bolt and sickeningly twisted it as the NXT alumnus screamed in agony.
After a high-profile rivalry with Jeff Hardy, it is interesting that Orton is working with the oft-forgotten Dillinger. It is not at all a bad thing because just working with The Viper will elevate the star of Dillinger, but it is nonetheless surprising given Orton's status as one of WWE's elite.
This was a great example of the lengths to which Orton will go to send a message and prove he is one of the sickest and most depraved heels on the roster.
Hopefully, this is not the end of Dillinger as a player on SmackDown because this could be his shot at a star-making program.
One Night in Milwaukee
An ill-tempered and impatient Rusev and Lana made their way to the ring and wasted little time calling out Aiden English, demanding to see what proof he had of his Milwaukee claims.
English arrived and showed his video, in which he was going over the night's promo when Lana arrived. The last thing we heard on the video was The Ravishing Russian saying "I want you" before it ended.
English feigned sincerity when discussing his desire to show the rest of the video to the WWE Universe, instead opting to collect a sizeable sum from TMZ for the remainder.
Rusev argued with his bride before stomping off, leaving fans to boo Lana as the segment came to an end.
It may be cheap soap-opera entertainment that will never go to the lengths it would have in the Attitude Era, but the fans bought into it and gave the desired reaction in booing Lana, proving it's working.
Of course, this will all end with the second half of the video revealing Lana was in mid-sentence when talking to English and that nothing really happened, but for what it is at this point, there are far worse ways to utilize the Superstars involved.
Daniel Bryan vs. Shelton Benjamin
Determined to prove he deserves a bigger role on SmackDown, Shelton Benjamin took the fight to Daniel Bryan from the opening bell while The Miz watched from ringside.
Benjamin worked the midsection as chants of "Daniel Bryan" poured from the stands.
Back from the commercial break, a resurgent Bryan looked to deliver the diving headbutt, but Benjamin rolled out of the way and the former WWE world champion crashed to the mat below. Benjamin cut off a fired-up Bryan, scoring another near-fall.
Bryan fought through the onslaught by Benjamin and delivered a headscissors from the top rope. The "Yes!" kicks followed and an enzuigiri kick grounded Benjamin.
Fed up with Bryan's resiliency, Miz got up from the announce table and provided a distraction. Bryan took his focus off his opponent, flattened his rival and ran right into Paydirt from Benjamin for the win.
After the match, Miz targeted the injured ribs of Bryan, sending him midsection-first into the announce table. He finished with the Skull-Crushing Finale.
Benjamin defeated Bryan
Benjamin scored a big win here in a match that never quite lived up to its potential given the competitors involved. With that said, this was never meant to be a great match. It was more angle than match, as evidenced by Miz's beatdown of Bryan.
Not only did this further Benjamin's quest for acceptance on the blue brand, but it also provided the story for Saturday's match between Bryan and Miz. Taking that into consideration, it was a great use of everyone involved and a worthwhile segment of television.
Asuka vs. Peyton Royce
After Naomi paid tribute to some strong women doing great work with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, she seconded Asuka, who battled Peyton Royce in singles competition.
Billie Kay applauded her fellow Aussie from ringside just days before they battle The Empress of Tomorrow and Naomi in tag team action at Super Show-Down.
Back from the break, a tenacious Royce took the fight to Asuka, laying into her with a series of forearms. The Empress fought back, though. A mid-ring exchange gave way to a modified Widow's Peak by Royce for two.
Royce continued to dominate the action, much to the surprise of the WWE faithful who remember the days when Asuka obliterated competition as a member of the NXT roster.
The Empress of Tomorrow eventually recovered and scored the win with the Asuka Lock.
Asuka defeated Royce
By the time the matches between Asuka and Naomi and The IIconics take to the ring each Tuesday, the show is running short on time and the result is a rushed mess of a bout. This was no different.
What could have been a halfway solid match was another throwaway one that did none of the involved women a favor.
The IIconics will go over Saturday in their homecoming, and fans will be left to wonder how WWE officials could so horribly botch the Asuka main roster run.
Becky Lynch's Super Show-Down Surprise
SmackDown women's champion Becky Lynch took to the squared circle to close out Tuesday's show, promising a big surprise ahead of her match with Charlotte Flair in Australia.
First, though, she produced a video featuring her recent triumphs over Flair.
From there, Lynch said Saturday is not about Triple H vs. The Undertaker but, rather, her first title defense as she showed off a new poster for Super Show-Down featuring her standing over her fallen rival. It was the culmination of a promo in which she took exception to the second-generation star getting all of the posters and merchandise at her expense.
Flair interrupted and rushed the ring, taking the fight to Lynch despite a chorus of boos from the fans.
She applied the Figure Four on the ring apron and eventually stood tall, leaving Lynch to grasp her title in anger to wrap up the night's broadcast.
The best heels believe every word they say, no matter the validity of them.
Lynch's words are not only valid but also reflect the fans' opinions of her and her talent, hence the cheers. She spoke with conviction as she addressed the lack of marketing and merchandising opportunities coming her way.
It was a great promo, a strong segment to sell their match Saturday and, most importantly, another main event opportunity for one of the company's strongest programs.