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WWE SmackDown Live recap & reactions (Aug. 14, 2018): Prove it!

WWE SmackDown Live returned last night (Aug. 14) from the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina. It was the final SmackDown Live show before the biggest party of the summer and you can find all the results at the stupendous live blog here.

Don’t Get Burned by the Tea

Tonight’s show opened with the three competitors in the SmackDown women’s championship bout on Sunday - Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and the champion, Carmella.

Carmella began to whine about how poorly she has been treated by Paige. She’s the champion and the champ is tired of looking at Becky and Charlotte’s faces! But hey, at least she is the champ!

Carmella then tries to work some mind mojo on Becky reminding her how hard it is to beat Charlotte Flair - she should know she’s done it twice! Becky admits that she rather not have Charlotte in the match, but that she is prepared to take them both down to become the SmackDown women’s champion once again.

Carmella attempts to thwart Becky’s confidence by listing Charlotte’s accolades, but Charlotte has had enough! No more games, no more cheating, no more nonsense. Carmella wants to know why no one respects her, it’s because “you’re a Diva living in a women’s era!”

Ice. Cold.

If Carmella was offended she didn’t let on, after all - as she continually reminds us - she is the champion.

Paige then came out scolded Carmella and her Diva ways, invited her to join commentary, insinuating that talking was the only thing Carmella was good at, and proceeded to make a tag team match up. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair versus Mandy Rose and Sonya DeVille.

Although the outcome of the match was pretty obvious (no way Charlotte and Becky were going to lose) the match was really fun! Sonya DeVille has dramatically improved her in ring abilities and her chemistry with Charlotte was exciting to watch. There is definitely room for a feud between those two down the line.

In addition to some classic Becky Balboa wrestling, we got to see Becky flex her in ring psychology when she finished the last third of the match solo resulting in the win. Sure Charlotte was there and could have helped, but Becky didn’t need her. And Becky wanted to remind Charlotte just how good her bestie really was.

I love this side of Becky. Although, she is a great heel, I don’t need to see her turn. I do, however, love Becky standing up for herself and acknowledging her importance on the SmackDown women’s roster.

At this point, it’s Becky’s match to lose. May the best women win.

Eight Years in the Making

I honestly feel like I shouldn’t write anything about these videos so that you’ll be forced to go watch them because they are so dang good!

Broken up into three segments these videos took the audience for a stroll down memory lane. But unlike other video packages that are simply full of clips and highlights these videos appropriately had reality show style interviews with each wrestler. Both Daniel and Miz were able to share their side of the story; what really happened each time they faced off.

The most memorable moment for me was in the first video when Miz and Daniel were discussing Daniel’s 0-and-10 losing record on NXT.

According to Miz, Daniel kept losing because he just wouldn’t listen to The Miz. He didn’t have respect for his wrestling elders (LOL) and his pride cost him his spot on NXT.

According to Daniel, he kept losing because Miz was trying to turn Daniel into a mini Miz, completely ignoring Daniel’s already numerous wrestling skills. Once Daniel was away from The Miz he began to win matches again. His losing streak was The Miz’s fault!

The second video told the tale of their epic Talking Smack (RIP) feud and the third Daniel’s return to the ring and their build to Summer Slam ending with a vicious promo from Daniel Bryan.

What made these videos really stand out to me is how similar Miz and Bryan are. Yes, Miz is a celebrity chaser who lives in a fancy house and Bryan is vegan, gardner who once considered installing a composting toilet in his house, but they are both stubborn, driven men who always, ALWAYS think they are right.

But no one is always right. Who will walk away with their head held high after this eight year feud comes to a head on Sunday?

(Seriously, go watch these videos.)

Family Cries

AJ Styles is not rattled by Samoa Joe’s mind games. Sure, Samoa Joe said some awful things about AJ as a father and a husband that initially wounded AJ, but after his little breakdown in the ring last week - threatening to rip Samoa Joe’s head off - his loving wife of 18 years reminded him that cooler head prevailed and that AJ needed to set the example for his family.

Enter Joe. Joe think’s AJ spins a real good yarn, but they both know that’s not the truth and he has proof!

Joe read a letter from some one who used to be AJ’s biggest fan. This person was disgusted by the things Samoa Joe has been saying about AJ’s family. Not because they were lies, oh no, but because they were the truth! It’s clear to this totally anonymous person that AJ never wanted kids (that’s why he has 100 of them) and maybe never even wanted a wife! AJ is a good champion because it keeps him away from his family.

Joe then revealed that the person who wrote the letter was non other than AJ’s wife, WENDY STYLES! * gasp *

Eye. Roll.

This feud started red hot with a sneak attack signing. Every one was hype to finally see AJ vs Samoa Joe one on one at a WWE! But with every passing week and with every weird family oriented promo the fire in this feud fizzles. Let’s hope they can reignite it in the ring this Sunday.

All the Rest

  • The Bludgeon Brothers handily took out the enhancement talent team of Triple Threat. The Bludgeon’s look stronger than I have ever seen them and seem to have a real raw edge heading into SummerSlam. But will that be enough to justify continuing their lackluster reign as SmackDown Live tag team champions?
  • What’s a better birthday present than a plate full of fluffy pancakes? Beating SAnitY just a few days before you wrestle at the biggest party of the summer, duh! New Day looked strong here, especially considering they won with a beautiful Up Up Down Down to the massive Killian Dain. They don’t call him Big E for nothing! While I’m always excited when New Day wins, it is disappointing that SAnitY has yet to find their place on the main roster. Hopefully a certain tiny, ferocious Scot is on her way to help!
  • Aiden English is very sorry. So sorry that he wrote a song about it. Attempting to prove his fealty to Rusev Day, English took on Andrade “Cien” Almas by himself. Unfortunately, for English, Almas won ruining both his apology and his record. After the match Aiden rolled away (presumably to go write more angsty music) and Zelina delivered a biting promo referring to Lana as dead weight. Rusev and Lana answered Zelina’s promo with one of their own...a full on baby face promo! Rusev is a baby face now guys!! Although this match is on the pre-show they’ve done an excellent job setting the animosity between these two duos. Almas and Zelina have been able to sneak out a few wins, but Sunday is Rusev Day!
  • Shelton Benjamin still exists! He faced Jeff Hardy in good, but unsurprising match. Although Benjamin looked strong out of the gate, Hardy gained control and was able to win with a twist of fate and a big splash. Hardy’s celebration was cut short when Nakamura’s music hit. Nakamura tried to knee Hardy, but Hardy was ready for him! Swanton bomb and see ya Sunday Shinsuke!! Oh and Randy Orton was creepily watching from behind a curtain. Weird choice considering all the mega creepy allegations surrounding Orton...

Overall a solid show, but nothing new to report. If it wasn’t for the incredible video packages focusing on Miz and Daniel Bryan this episode would have been one that could easily have been skipped pre-SummerSlam.

Grade: B

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