WWE SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Aug. 30, 2016) from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Backlash pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for next month in Richmond, Virginia.
Advertised for tonight: We finally hear what Daniel Bryan has to say after The Miz ran him off Talking Smack last week.
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR AUG. 30
They're walking by the night, the moon has frozen blue. Long black coats a shelter from the rain, their load must get through... but I'm just here to liveblog a pro wrestling show, folks.
Show opens with a recap of Daniel Bryan and the Miz on Talking Smack. Cut to backstage with Shane McMahon and Bryan watching on a monitor and having a moment. Shane thinks Bryan owes Miz an apology, says you can't provoke talent that way even though he totally agrees with what Bryan said. Bryan agrees, and says maybe he won't be so honest next time. He does find the advice a bit ironic coming from a guy who has beef with Brock Lesnar, though.
Off to the opening video we go.
Miz out with a mic, he's angry, wants his music cut. He asks if he has our attention and says not to boo him, which of course gets him booed. 148 days as IC Champion got our attention, a title that's been tarnished by quitters and serial failers. Maybe people don't like him because he's a great champion, he says. General Manager wants to apologize to him, but people don't see the big picture, they don't see behind the scenes. When they need a spokesperson, when they need somebody for a commercial, for a movie, to be on the red carpet, they call the Miz. We cheer people who work in front of fifty people in a VFW hall and end up broken when he's out there succeeding, so we're the cowards, apparently.
Dolph out to interrupt, says Miz is making a lot of great points. He does do it all, but there's a reason the crowd will never get behind him. They see through everything Miz does, he says. WWE superstars all go above and beyond to be the best, but Miz just wants to be famous. That's why no one will ever believe in him and why Daniel Bryan calls him soft and cowardly. Everybody sees through the facade, he says. He could change that perception every time he walks down that ramp, he can prove he belongs, but he doesn't. Miz wants to talk about opportunities and proving things to everybody from Daniel Bryan to Maryse to himself that he's not a coward, well, he can do it right now. No title shots, no referees, no ring bell, just Dolph and Miz in a fight, right now.
The crowd begins with the Yes! as Miz fumes. Dolph takes his shirt off and they square off but Miz bails. Off goes the blazer, the shirt cuffs are rolled up, but Miz stops short at the ropes and decides to leave. Dolph says Daniel Bryan was right, he's nothing but a soft, safe, coward, at which point Miz turns right back around. Maryse holds him back, but Miz is hopping mad. She prevails, though, as he heads to the back in the end.
Commentary puts over Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt's Sermon For the Serpent later in the night before saying that Vaudevillains vs. Hype Bros is next and throwing to commercial.
Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder) vs. Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) (SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round Match)
Back from break we get a nice little black and white promo where the Vaudevillains talk about the good things in life, like cartilage crushing beneath your fist and winning tag titles.
English and Ryder to start, crisscross, Ryder with a dropkick, gets English right in the corner for the Broski Boot but Gotch pulls him out. Neckbreaker on Ryder on the outside, English tosses him back in and works the arm a little before tagging Gotch in. Big Saito suplex from Gotch gets two and he grabs a hammerlock and starts doing pushups. Finlay Roll, tag to English, misses the Swanton and Mojo gets the tag and comes in light a freight train!
Big lariat levels English, Stinger Splash, a second, fireman's carry press slam! Gotch breaks up the pin and Zack Broski Boots him for his trouble. Huge corner shot from Rawley and...
Hype Bros hit the Hype Rider for the win and advance to the semifinals.
Postmatch interview and Zack says it's one down, two to go. A lot of great teams out there, but the Hype Train has left the station and there's no turning back. "Choo choo," Mojo adds, before they drop their catchphrases and pose for the crowd.
AJ Styles is shown walking backstage wearing his trophy armband and greeting everybody. He can't remember Apollo Crews' name, and Crews corrects him, spelling it out. AJ says it's not a spelling bee, but he's the face that runs the P-L-A-C-E and we go back to commercial.
After the break, AJ Styles makes an entrance, complete with being announced as the Face That Runs the Place. Mauro Ranallo puts him over as being on Talking Smack tonight, so be sure to tune in!
Big AJ Styles chants as he announces that the Phenomenal One is here! The Face That Runs the Place is here! The Face That Beats Up John Cena, the Face That Beat John Cena at SummerSlam, and The Face That Will Beat Dean Ambrose. Dean will see his face in nightmares, he says, after he's crowned the new WWE World Champion at Backlash.
Oh hey, it's Apollo! Cut the music, AJ says, and is infuriated that Crews would interrupt him. Apollo went to Daniel Bryan and got permission to challenge AJ to a match, and that match is right now!
AJ Styles vs. Apollo Crews
AJ peppers Crews with shots right away, but eats a boot after whipping him into the ropes. Big dropkick from Apollo, AJ bails and Apollo slams him into the apron and punches him, before telling Mauro that was a punch and then spelling the word punch. He sends AJ back in the ring and we cut to commercial.
Back from break and AJ's working Apollo over with a rear chinlock. Recap from during the break shows AJ slamming Crews shoulder-first into the ringpost. Back in the present, Crews fights out with strikes and drops Styles with a pair of lariats and a running a boot before landing the Stinger Splash. Jumping lariat into a kip-up and AJ's reeling. Looks for the Olympic Slam but Styles slips out. Styles to the outside, Apollo with the moonsault off the apron!
Crews sends AJ back in the ring and stalks him, landing punches in the corner before setting him up top. Crews looking for a superplex but Styles slips out and trips him. Leaping lariat knocks Crews out of the corner, AJ dives at him but Crews catches him into a fallaway slam for a tight nearfall! Apollo heads to the top, AJ runs in before he can dive, stunner over the ropes!
And a Phenomenal Forearm gets AJ Styles the victory.
Commentary puts Ambrose/Corbin over some more and we're back to commercial.
Back from break and commentary talks about Heath Slater's quest to earn a contract. Cut to a Renee Young interview at Slater's house!
He welcomes her to his humble abode, where Rhyno is hanging out, because of course he is. Introduces his wife, Beulah, who immediately clobbers him with a hug. He asks her to calm down and she eyes his butt as he walks away.
At their dinner table, Beulah takes the flowers away and offers everybody some hors d'oeuvres, which happen to be a plate of saltines, a can of cheese spray, and a couple chopped up hot dogs. Renee politely declines and asks Heath how it felt to be passed over in the draft. He thinks it's not that they didn't want him, but rather it was just an oversight, he's not an afterthought. His wife pipes up saying she bought pizza crusts for dinner tonight. Rhyno draws a sad cheese face on a cracker as Renee asks Heath about facing down Brock Lesnar. He says it's a wonder he's still alive.
Beating Randy Orton was like icing on the cake, which Beulah loves. Heath did not mean to call Shane beautiful and hey, sometimes you just mix two bearded dudes up and the contract probably didn't meet his demands anyway. Renee asks him what it would mean to be the first SmackDown tag champs, and he says he's proud to stand by Rhyno but it's not for him anymore, it's for his family.
Renee asks Rhyno why he decided to team up with Heath, and he just eats a cracker, leading Slater to pipe up and say Rhyno's just concerned about his family. Renee asks if the kids are at school and Heath says they're out back picking up cans and bottles. Heath would like to show her the above ground pool when tires squeal and he yells something about Roscoe and storms off. Rhyno makes eyes at Renee and we're done here.
Graphic for their match against the Headbangers and commentary promises Bray's sermon next before sending us to break.
Back from commercial and Bray Wyatt makes his entrance to the usual sea of fireflies.
Bray sits on his rocking chair in the ring and says he doesn't fear snakes, nor monsters. He fears no man, because he is fear. When he thinks of the legend of Randy Orton, he thinks of him as just a man. A man that believes that he has venom running through his veins. Well, that excites Bray, because Randy is sick, and that's what he likes about him. What Brock did to him at SummerSlam he found interesting. He exploited all of Orton's flaws, he says, and Orton went in without fear and untouchable, but he came out damaged.
Hi, his name is Bray Wyatt, and if Randy didn't know, that's his game. He eradicates the infected, and if he really does have voices in his head, he prays those voices are telling him to run. Run, Randy, run.
Orton's music hits and Bray gets out of the chair. Randy says that actually, the voices in his head are asking him who in the hell Bray thinks he is. Bray thinks he's damaged because he has some staples in his skull, but he's been damaged for a long time, it's what gives him most of his charm. So from one damaged man to another, he has his attention.
Bray says that's the Randy Orton he was hoping for, the predator he wanted to see. He admires Randy's courage, but he doesn't understand that he's no longer the predator in this situation, because he's damaged and weak. Bray is the predator now, and Randy should know better than anyone what a predator does best. He kills, and at Backlash, Bray is gonna cut the serpent's head off and hang it on the mantle, just like the trophy Randy is.
Orton says he's played this game with many people over the years but he's still standing. He thinks he knows about his scars, the scares he got from Cactus Jack, from the Undertaker, but those aren't the scars to worry about. The scars to concern himself with are the internal ones, and maybe that's why he half-ass respects Wyatt, because he knows he has his demons, just the same. Randy accepts the match and says he's not afraid of a man who calls himself a god, and he ain't afraid of kicking his ass right now.
Orton slides in the ring but we get the graphic and the sound effect so I guess Bray teleported again because commentary puts a women's tag over and goes to break.
Back from break to introduce Nikki Bella on commentary before the match and play a recap of Carmella's shocking attacks last week.
Alexa Bliss & Natalya vs. Becky Lynch & Naomi
Nattie and Naomi to start, whip in the corner, Naomi with a boot but Nattie follows up with the slingshot atomic drop. Naomi fires off a headscissors takeover and Nattie bails to commune with Alexa and we go back to commercial.
Back from break and Nattie has a headlock on Naomi. Naomi fights out but Nattie slams her to the mat and knocks Becky off the apron. Becky fights with referee Dan Engler and Nattie makes the tag. Alexa uses Naomi's hair to choke her against the ropes before doing a giant step and stomping the head, as befits the Queen of Hoss Style. Naomi fights back with a dropkick and looks for a tag but Bliss pulls her back in and rains strikes down on her head.
Bliss wrenching Naomi's neck as Becky tries to rally her partner. Naomi to her feet, elbows and knees before a double wristlock inverted stomp breaks her free. Tag on Becky and she lays Alexa out with a lariat before knocking Nattie off the apron. Forearm in the corner but Alexa fires a back elbow and back drops Becky to the apron. Becky off the top with a missle dropkick but Nattie breaks the pin! Naomi tosses Nattie out and Carmella attacks Nikki at the desk, slamming her into the barricade. Becky is distracted and...
Alexa Bliss wins the match for her team with a roll-up.
Carmella poses on the barricade as Nikki lies beneath her in agony. Commentary walks us through a recap of the attack and when they're done, Becky and Naomi are checking on her.
Mauro puts Backlash over and we get a Headbangers video package to introduce them to folks. The match is up next, and we're off to commercial.
Back from break and we get more Curt Hawkins facts, including the dubious proposition that he can win Connect Four in three moves.
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. the Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) (SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round Match)
Slater and Mosh in to start, Slater off the ropes with a forearm and Mosh clobbers him. Heath on the apron and Mosh drops a springboard triangle crossbody and makes the tag. Thrasher lays Slater out with a lariat and follows with a back suplex. Big right hand and he tags back to Mosh, double-team flapjack gets two. Reverse chinlock on Slater, who fights to his feet only for Mosh to whip him in the corner and follow with a turning corner senton. Mosh drops Rhyno and makes the tag and powerbombs Slater into a leg drop off the top from Thrasher but Rhyno breaks up the pin.
Rhyno drags Slater to the corner and gets the tag...
GORE! Rhyno and Slater advance to the semifinals.
Rhyno got busted open over the eye in there, probably when Mosh nailed him off the apron. Good amount of blood coming down.
Main event up next, so time to go to commercial.
Back from break with an ad for tomorrow's quarterfinal episode of the Cruiserweight Classic-- be sure to check out my preview, folks!
AJ Styles is introduced on commentary once we're back in the arena.
But I guess we're not doing the main just yet, because Gary "the Milkman" Millman is in the ring. He says has been granted a license to compete tonight and he's not leaving until he does just that thing. He takes off his shirt, shoes, and pants, so he's gonna wrestle in his underpants and socks. Kane comes out and Gary tries to scramble back into his clothes but it's too late.
He turns to face Kane and eats a chokeslam. Kane leaves, and Baron Corbin makes his entrance. I hope he and Dean have to wrestle around the Milkman's unconscious body and pile of clothing. Kane and Corbin have a nice little Sam & Ralph moment as they head where they're going, but Corbin gets to the ring and Gary has evacuated. Booo.
Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose
Collar and elbow lockup, Dean goes behind, gets a headlock, shoots off, Corbin levels him with a shoulder block. Knee lift to the champ and right hands in the corner. Corbin pulls him out and fires another knee off. Whips Ambrose and he comes back with a crossbody and mounted punches before sending Corbin to the outside and jumping into him.
Dean slams Baron face first into the announce table and sends him back inside only to get caught by the hair when he jaws at AJ. Fights out, missile dropkick, corner lariat but Corbin sends him into the turnbuckle and catches him with the Northern Lariat. Grounded punches follow, then a bunch of stomps. Dean rolls around in agony and Corbin steps on his chest before throwing him back outside and us to commercial.
Back from break and Corbin's standing over Dean on the mat. He grabs a crossface half nelson but Dean fights out. Pendulum lariat attempt and Corbin counters with a practically Akira Taue-esque chokeslam, all low angle violence. Stomp to the champ and back to the crossface half nelson. Ambrose laying body blows in and he escapes and whips Corbin outside. Corbin slips right back in and eats a swinging neckbreaker. Dean with kicks and punches, looking for Dirty Deeds but Corbin sends him into the corner.
Ambrose dodges, Corbin eats the ringpost shoulder first, schoolboy for two. Corbin with a big lariat, he picks Dean up and they trade a few desultory blows before Ambrose lands the pendulum lariat. Ambrose up top, Corbin cuts him off with punches and looks for a second rope superplex but Dean fights out with a headbutt and forearms. Low bridge and Corbin goes outside. Ambrose with the suicide dive and he lands on the barricade and takes a breather. Back in the ring Deep Six gets two! Corbin takes Dean outside and slams him into the barricade, at which point AJ comes out and tells Corbin to stay on him. Dean attacks Corbin from behind, which bowls AJ over in turn.
Diving elbow gets a nearfall and Styles gets on the apron. Ambrose swats at him and Corbin looks for a schoolboy but only gets two. O'Connor Roll attempt and AJ nails Corbin with a gamengiri.
Charles Robinson throws the match out-- logically it's a DQ win for Corbin, but it's never announced as such.
AJ and Dean tussle on the outside for a moment before Ambrose goes back in to deliver Dirty Deeds to Corbin. AJ looking for the forearm but Dean kicks the rope and crotches him hard. Styles in agony (it could be ringpostitis!) and the champion bounces the rope up and down a bit.
That's the show, folks.