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WWE SmackDown Live preview (Oct. 2, 2018): Super-villain

WWE’s on the west coast before hoping on planes for the land down under. Team SmackDown’s jumping off point? Portland.

The Headliners

Let’s take a second to appreciate WWE’s Tuesday night brand for having their championship prominently featured on this weekend’s pay-per-view (PPV)/mega-house show. Good on you, blue!

Now, back to more pressing matters... how are Wendy and the Styles kids?

One of the title matches we’ll see this weekend in Melbourne is the latest duel between WWE champion AJ Styles and his long-time rivals Samoa Joe. Theirs is a “No Disqualification, No Count-Out, No Rules Match”, and when last we left Joe, he was outside the champ’s house in Georgia getting ready to take the whole no rules thing to the extreme.

Joe bypassed the planned contract signing to show up at AJ’s house (or someone named “Styles” house, unless Allen Jones is really living the gimmick and has his kayfabe name on his mailbox), cut a menacing promo, and ring the doorbell while the Phenomenal One freaked out in the ring in Denver and USA Network moved on to it’s 10PM Eastern programming.

It was the PG era version of a home invasion angle. Some liked it, some didn’t. After accepting the inherent silliness and going with it, I questioned if it added anything to the feud. Then I realized it didn’t really matter. It gave us more reasons for Joe to promo, and that’s been the best thing about the whole program, so...

Tonight should feature the reveal that nothing happened after last week’s episode ended, with General Manager Paige and AJ upset the #1 contender would take his mind games to this extent. Joe can nail another villainous monologue about proving his point that he’s willing to do anything while Styles isn’t even willing to miss one show to be home with his family (or something along those lines).

Is it an all-time great feud? Their history in TNA probably does more for that than this. How much will it matter to their WWE legacies? Probably depends on whether or not we ever see the belt change hands, or if this is a repeat of how AJ’s last program was booked?

Does it remind the world that Samoa Joe is one of the best talkers, with one of the best characters, in the game? Yes. So mission accomplished.

The Title Scene

The “heel” has also been a revelation in the Women’s championship story, where Becky Lynch will try and top last week’s surprise of beating down Charlotte Flair at a photo shoot she felt should have been hers. The official preview for the episode on is making it sound like the announcement could be a stipulation for their rematch at Super Show-Down. But since this is a feud with no end in sight (and that a lot of fans don’t want to end), maybe they should save the stips for Evolution?

The New Day will build to their tag team title defense against long-time rivals The Bar with... a cooking segment? You’d think the Princes of Positivity might want to get serious after their recent singles losses to Cesaro and Sheamus, but who are we to argue with the five time champs? Or the Langton Big E’s family’s famous pancakes...

At least they’re on the card for Saturday. U.S. champ Shinsuke Nakamura looks to be sidelined again, a week after another of his matches was interrupted by Randy Orton. Is there something to the Viper continuing to protect Nakamerica?

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- What happened in Milwaukee? Aiden English blames Lana, and not his decision to beat up Rusev, for the break-up of Rusev Day. The Artiste claims to have video proof she can’t be trusted, and he’s says we’ll see it tonight.

- Sadly, Truth TV is no more. But The Fabulous Truth marches on... at least as long as WWE has Mixed Match Challenge to promote. The entertaining duo of Carmella & R-Truth will mix it up with Andrade “Cien” Almas tonight. There better be dance breaks...

- He’s got a match with his nemesis Miz on Saturday with a WWE title shot on the line. He’s not happy with how the internet has reacted to wife’s return to the ring. Daniel Bryan needs to put all that aside tonight and focus on beating Shelton Benjamin. Something tells me a certain A-Lister won’t let him forget that first thing, though.

It’s the Super Show-Down ‘go home’ show!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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