This week’s episode of Smackdown Live is the historic 900th episode of the “blue brand” that started as a regular weekly television show in August 1999. On tap for this week is a special appearance from The Undertaker, WWE Hall of Famer Edge is back to host his Cutting Edge talk show and Dolph Ziggler defends the Intercontinental Title against The Miz.
Live from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania this is Smackdown for episode #900.
The opening video package featured some highlights from Smackdown over the years. Then it highlighted what’s to come tonight: Ziggler vs. Miz for the IC Title, Edge hosting the Cutting Edge with the Smackdown Survivor Series team and The Undertaker returns.
The Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan entered the arena to a thunderous ovation along with plenty of “yes” chants. They stood on the stage for a promo.
Shane welcomed us to the 900th episode of Smackdown Live. Bryan said it’s a historic night. He plugged Edge hosting a special edition of The Cutting Edge. Bryan also mentioned the return of The Undertaker to Smackdown after 3.5 years. Shane said we’re going to begin with the IC Title match.
Analysis: A quick promo that lasted two minutes to remind us of what’s to come and set up the IC Title match. I like that this match takes place so early in the show.
The Smackdown announce team of Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield, David Otunga and the host Tom Phillips set up the history of this feud. Phillips doesn’t talk during the matches.
The Miz made his entrance first with his lovely wife Maryse. The champion Dolph Ziggler received a huge ovation.
Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz (w/Maryse)
They each countered some of their signature moves early on. It was a good sequence that lasted about one minute. The show went to break one minute into the match.
Back from break, Miz jumped off the top rope and Ziggler hit a dropkick that knocked both of them down. Back elbow by Ziggler. Miz hit his backbreaker into a neckbreaker combo. Otunga and JBL bickered about Miz relying on his wife so much. JBL had a funny line about how Otunga is only there because WWE wants Otunga’s wife Jennifer Hudson to show up. That was good. Miz went for a running clothesline in the corner, but Ziggler moved and Miz hit the turnbuckle. Ziggler with leaping clotheslines and a corner splash. Ziggler hit a neckbreaker followed by an elbow drop for two. Ziggler got a rollup for two. Miz came back with a boot to the face and his feet were on the ropes, but the referee Mike Chioda saw the feet on the ropes. Miz argued with him. Ziggler nailed a Fameasser for a two count. That’s always a great two count. Another commercial ten minutes into the match.
Back from break, Ziggler hit a rollup for two. Miz shoved Ziggler off when Ziggler jumped on his back. Miz did a Daniel Bryan yes taunt as he nailed kicks on Ziggler, who countered with a rollup. Miz nailed a running knee to the face followed by the Skull Crushing Finale for a two count. There’s Ziggler kicking out the finishing move of Miz. There were more counters between them leading to Ziggler hitting the Zig Zag. He didn’t hook the far leg, so Miz got his right foot on the ropes. The Spirit Squad duo of Kenny and Mikey showed up. Ziggler kicked them off the apron. Miz kicked the back of leg of Ziggler. Miz applied the Figure Four Leglock submission on Ziggler in the middle of the ring. Ziggler was able to crawl over to get his hand on the bottom rope. Ziggler had a cradle pin, then Maryse shoved them and Miz got the cradle pin with him on top. Miz won the title with the successful pinfall. It went 18 minutes.
Winner by pinfall and New Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
The win means The Miz will defend the IC Title against Sami Zayn at Survivor Series. The Miz is now a six-time IC Champion.
Analysis: ***3/4 That was a great match from them like they have done many times this year. It went back and forth with a lot of nearfalls, which is something they have mastered in their matches. They hit their big moves, the other guy found a way to kick out and they kept on going. The crowd was into it just like their other matches. I didn’t expect a title change since Ziggler won the title last month. It’s possible that Sami Zayn beats Miz for the title and takes it to Raw, but I think that would hurt Smackdown to not have either the US or IC Title on their show. Check this match out if you missed it because it was a lot of fun. Their best match was No Mercy, but they really haven’t had a bad match.
Post match, they showed replays to show that Maryse clearly helped Miz win, but JBL noted there were no replays to change calls.
There was a clip of what happened at the end of Raw. Edge is hosting the Cutting Edge later tonight and The Undertaker is back.
A clip aired from when Steve Austin blew up the DX Express bus on Smackdown in April 2000. The graphic said August 27, 2000, but it was definitely April 2000 leading up to Backlash that year. Somebody screwed that up.
They showed a tweet from Sami Zayn saying he is looking forward to taking the IC Title from The Miz at Survivor Series.
Alexa Bliss was backstage complaining to Daniel Bryan about how her foot was on the rope against Becky Lynch last week on Smackdown and the referee missed it. Bryan said she’ll get her rematch, but he didn’t say when. Natalya showed up with a whistle saying this is such a teachable moment. She told Alexa to get back up when you are knocked down…it was a quote from the Tubthumping song from Chumbawumba in the late 1990s. Natalya has a gimmick of reciting song lyrics and acting as if she has no idea what people are talking about. Bliss walked away frustrated.
Analysis: Regarding the story that the ref’s decision is final, it’s interesting that they had that moment and the Ziggler/Miz finish with the ref not seeing some obvious cheating.
Orney Locan from NXT was in the ring for the next match.
Kalisto vs. Orney Locan
Locan hit running forearm smashes and then an overhead suplex. Kalisto went for a springboard attack, but he slipped on the ropes. Locan jumped on him right away, which is what you should do. He fell down. Kalisto was able to hit Salida del Sol to win the match after about two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Kalisto
Analysis: 1/2* A very quick match. The slip by Kalisto looked bad, but he recovered fine. I would have liked to see them get more time. Smackdown tends to have some short matches, though.
Later on Smackdown, Nikki Bella faces Carmella.
The Undertaker’s black hat was shown backstage and then he picked it up with his hand.
A Smackdown history clip aired from Episode 1 on August 26, 1999. Rock hit a Rock Bottom on Triple H, who was the WWE World Champion. Shawn Michaels was the special referee, he hit a superkick on Rock and Triple H hit a Pedigree to retain the title.
The announcers talked about Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg. They’re all excited.
There was an Instagram post from The Rock congratulating Smackdown on 900 episodes. They got the name of the show from his “Laying the Smackdown” catchphrase.
The five Smackdown tag teams were together in the locker room. Heath Slater and Rhyno got a motivational speaker to get them ready. Booker T showed up in his King Booker attire. The Fashion Police duo of Tyler Breeze and Fandango showed up to him. Booker did his other catchphrases to yell at Breezango to put the blue Smackdown shirts on. The other guys all celebrated it and said “all hail King Booker” in unison.
Analysis: Good to see Booker in his King Booker attire on the show. He was a lot of fun as that character on Smackdown because it was so ridiculous and over the top. He made it entertaining.
Nikki Bella made her entrance.
A clip aired of John Cena’s Smackdown debut on episode #149 on June 27, 2002. He challenged top guy Kurt Angle to a match. Backstage, Cena got a handshake from Undertaker, who was impressed by his performance.
Carmella made her entrance. It’s the top of hour two as this match began.
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
Carmella ran around the ring and Nikki followed her. Nikki nailed a suplex followed by a dropkick. Carmella swung Nikki around on the apron and then drove Nikki down neck first onto the ground. Carmella tossed Nikki into the steel steps. Carmella continued to work on the neck of Nikki by pulling the rope into Nikki’s neck. Standing side kick by Carmella knocked her down for a two count. Carmella applied a chinlock. Carmella worked on Nikki’s neck some more by putting it against the ropes. Another chinlock. Carmella missed a bronco buster attempt as Nikki moved out of the way. Both women were down. The Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte walked down the aisle and walked down to the ring in a red Raw t-shirt. The match went to break at the seven minute mark.
Back from break, Nikki got some offense in with an Alabama Slam. Corner clothesline by Nikki and then a kick off the middle ropes. Carmella left the ring, so Nikki tossed Carmella into the barricade at ringside. Charlotte talked trash to her, so Nikki hit her with a forearm. Referee called for the disqualification. It went about 12 minutes.
Match Result: Disqualification
Analysis: **1/2 It was a fast paced and intense match. I liked the offense from Carmella as she worked on the neck of Nikki for much of it. Nikki’s comeback was good. She nearly won, but lost her focus by going after Charlotte. I assume there will be a blowoff match between Nikki and Carmella since there wasn’t a proper finish on this match.
The other five women from Raw were in the ring in their street clothes wearing the red Raw shirts. Smackdown’s women ran down to the ring to join the fight. Jax tossed around a few women, but then she took herself out by missing a spear on Lynch against the barricade. Naomi nailed a top rope attack that took out for Raw women. The Smackdown women were left in the ring while the Raw women were out of the ring. The crowd was cheering while the announcers put over the Smackdown girls.
Analysis: Good brawl. The crowd loves stuff like that, so it was smart to do it on this show without announcing that Raw’s women will be there. Smackdown women getting the advantage could mean Raw’s women are winning on Sunday. I’m undecided at this point.
The Undertaker’s music played as his shadow was shown backstage and it went to break.
There was a chart noting Smackdown was the second longest weekly episodic show in television history after Raw.
Renee Young was shown on the Talking Smack set. She set up a video package.
A video package aired to set up Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg at Survivor Series.
Analysis: We are supposed to believe that Smackdown people don’t like Raw, yet here’s a video package hyping Raw’s Lesnar vs. Goldberg feud.
A clip aired of some USA Network show called Shooter debuting after Smackdown. Randy Orton is on an episode.
Analysis: I know the show has Mark Wahlberg as a producer and he was in the movie, but I don’t think the concept is that compelling. Good luck to that show.
There’s some 16 man tag match coming up with eight different tag teams. They were all in the ring as the show went to break.
Chad Gable, Jason Jordan, Tyler Breeze, Fandango, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder (w/Heath Slater & Rhyno) vs. Kenny, Mikey, Mosh, Thrasher, Simon Gotch, Aiden English, Konnor & Viktor
It’s a 16-man tag match. The first eight guys I listed are on Team Smackdown and are wearing blue Smackdown shirts.
There were a lot of tags early as the fans chanted “We Want Slater” for Heath, who is not even in the match. Running splash by Rawley gets a two count on Gotch. Ryder hit a neckbreaker on Gotch for a two count. Fans chanted for Rhyno as Viktor worked on Ryder to isolate him from his team. Ryder got his knees up to block a attack and hit a missile dropkick that sent Viktor out of the ring. Dropkick on Konnor. Viktor hit a back elbow on Ryder on the floor. Both teams went on the floor to argue as the match went to break.
Back from break, Ryder avoided a corner charge and made the hot tag to Gable. Mosh hit a body slam on Gable. Thrasher got the tag, Gable back body drop on Mosh and Gable hit a top rope Alphaplex on Thrasher. That led to a sequence where a lot of the teams ended up on the floor after hitting moves. The Usos hit an Usos Crazy dive over the top to take out the loser teams. Gable and Jordan hit Grand Amplitude on Thrasher to win the match by pinfall. It went 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Chad Gable, Jason Jordan, Tyler Breeze, Fandango, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder
Analysis: **1/2 That was a lot to digest. I know I missed a lot of it towards the end because there was so much going on. Basically, it was just a showcase match for the Team Smackdown guys to beat the loser teams. There really weren’t many issues by the Smackdown guys even though The Usos are supposed to be heels that don’t like the others.
The announcers went into the hard sell for the WWE Network plugging NXT Takeover Toronto and Survivor Series.
The great WWE Hall of Famer Edge made his entrance. Huge ovation. My favorite theme song and entrance in wrestling history. He’s rocking a beard as well as a leather jacket.
Analysis: Great to see him again. He’s also sporting a wedding ring because he married Beth Phoenix – mother of his two daughters – a few weeks ago.
Cutting Edge With Team Smackdown
Edge was in the ring as they put a carpet in the ring. Edge said it felt good to be there and be there for Smackdown Live’s 900th episode. He said that he bleeds blue and that he helped make this show, so he’s interested in seeing Team Smackdown. He asked for Team Smackdown to walk out right now.
The WWE Champion AJ Styles walked out first followed by Dean Ambrose with James Ellsworth, Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt. They were all in the ring.
Edge said that there’s one man that is a beacon of light that has shown that Smackdown is a land of opportunity. Edge wanted to shake that man’s hand…he shook Ellsworth’s hand.
Ellsworth said he had been a fan of Edge his whole life. He said it would be an honor to stand beside one of the forefathers of Smackdown Live and do a five second pose. Styles prevented it from happening. He said it was stupid then and it’s stupid now.
Styles said he’s the face that runs this place, so listen to him. He said nobody cares about Ellsworth and nobody cares about Edge, so ask a question to somebody that actually matters. Fans chanted for “AJ Styles” even though he’s a heel.
Edge turned to Randy Orton, who he noted was his former partner in Rated RKO. He wondered what was going on with Randy and asked if he would need Bray to pull the string for him to talk. Wyatt said that the Randy that Edge once knew is dead, but this Sunday you will see a far more dangerous viper than ever before.
Shane McMahon tried to speak and the crowd started a “Shane O Mac” chant. Shane said for one important night this Sunday they all have to be on the same page. He said that AJ may be the face that runs this place, but one thing is for sure – this is our team. Shane said this was the money show and said since AJ likes clichés maybe he’ll compete on Shane-O-Mac-down. Styles said that was stupid. Styles said he’ll be the bigger man to try toc co-exist by teaming with a hothead like Dean Ambrose. He blamed Ambrose for starting the fight on Raw. Ambrose said after Survivor Series he’s going back after Styles and he’s going to beat him for the WWE Title at TLC. Styles agreed to play nice at Survivor Series, but maybe I will and maybe I won’t.
Analysis: I like the way that Styles spoke about how he’s going to work with the team at Survivor Series, but that’s not a sure thing. It was cool to see Edge try to get a comment from Orton and we got nothing from Orton. We just heard from Bray Wyatt talking for him.
The Undertaker’s music started up. Huge ovation as he walked to the ring as the smoke engulfed the arena and purple light was everywhere. There’s only about five minutes left in the broadcast as he walked down to the ring.
When The Undertaker got into the ring, the lights were back on as he stared at the members of Team Smackdown.
Undertaker stared at Shane McMahon. The crowd chanted “Holy Shit” for him. Undertaker said there could be no better man than the man who has no fear – he pointed at Shane McMahon. Fans chanted “Shane O Mac” for that sign of respect. Undertaker said he’s there for two reasons.
Undertaker said that WrestleMania will no longer define who he is. He said he’s back taking souls and digging holes. Undertaker said that Survivor Series is where he was born and Smackdown has always been his home. Loud “Undertaker” chants. He paused to soak in the chants.
Undertaker told the team that there’s no reason to fear failure, but if you fail you will have reason to fear the Deadman. He ended it by saying: “Team Raw better rest in peace.”
Undertaker did his throat slash hand gesture and that ended the show right at 10pmET.
Analysis: That was a cool moment. I thought that maybe Undertaker was going to replace Shane on the Smackdown team, but instead they went with him talking about how WrestleMania isn’t going to define who he is. It sounds as though he’s going to commit to more of a regular schedule. He also made a threat to the team saying if you cost us the win then you’re going to have to pay by dealing with Undertaker. It gives us something to look forward to as far as his career goes. People always wonder how much longer he’s going to wrestle for and he may have given us an answer with what he said. It will definitely get people talking.
Three Stars of the Show
1. The Undertaker – I missed him. He gets this spot.
2. Edge – Same as above.
3. (tie) The Miz
3. (tie) Dolph Ziggler
7 out of 10
Last week: 6
2016 Average: 6.07
2016 Average Post Brand Split (July 26): 6.34 - Raw is at 5.79
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 6.5, 7, 4.5, 6.5
2016 High: 8 (August 23/September 27)
2016 Low: 4 (January 21)
It gets a 7 out of 10.
I enjoyed Smackdown a lot this week. Good promos all night long. The IC Title match was really good. The Kalisto match was rushed, but the other matches were given a good amount of time.
The ending segment was well done for the most part. Undertaker's speech will really get people talking about what might happen to him, which is awesome.
I thought Smackdown definitely beat Raw this week.
Here’s the Survivor Series lineup:
Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown Live in a 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Men’s Elimination Match
Team Raw – Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman
Team Smackdown – AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton and Shane McMahon
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown Live in a 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Women’s Elimination Match
Team Raw – Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax and Alicia Fox with Dana Brooke in their corner
Team Smackdown – Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Carmella & Naomi with Natalya in their corner
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown Live in a 10-on-10 Traditional Survivor Series Tag Team Elimination Match
Team Raw – The New Day, Enzo Amore & Big Cass, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, Cesaro & Sheamus and The Shining Stars
Team Smackdown – Heath Slater & Rhyno, The Hype Bros, American Alpha, The Usos and Breezango
Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c) vs. Sami Zayn (If Zayn wins then IC Title goes to Raw with him)
Cruiserweight Championship: Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Kalisto (If Kalisto wins then the Cruiserweight Division goes to Smackdown)
Our Survivor Series preview will be up by Friday.
That’s all for now. Go Toronto Raptors. Go Los Angeles Rams.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org