WWE SmackDown Live took place in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday, December 11 2018
Daniel Bryan insults fans Summary: Daniel Bryan apologised for calling WWE fans “sheep” last week. He said his comments were unfair on sheep and described fans as “parasites” instead. The WWE champion continued to insult the crowd before he was interrupted by Mustafa Ali. Bryan said he sees a lot of himself in Ali and told the 205 Live star that the fans do not deserve to see a match between the two men. He went on to ask Ali what car he drives and described the cruiserweight as “ignorant” when he said he has an SUV. When Bryan began to slap him in the face, Ali fought back and landed a top-rope somersault onto the champ at ringside.
Verdict: The New Daniel Bryan is the best male character that WWE has had all year. This was another sensational promo from the WWE champion. Check it out if you didn’t watch SmackDown!
Match 1: Daniel Bryan vs. Mustafa Ali Summary: Daniel Bryan dominated the early stages, connecting with a series of kicks to Mustafa Ali’s chest before throwing him into the ring post. Ali turned things around with a top-rope Spanish Fly and a tornado DDT but Bryan took control again when he repeatedly threw his opponent’s leg against the ring post. The champ locked in the Heel Hook moments later to make Ali tap out. Following the match, Bryan attacked Ali on the entrance ramp and locked the submission in again.
Verdict: SmackDown Live is desperately lacking babyfaces right now, so it made for a refreshing change to see Ali on the show. The match was shorter and less competitive than expected, hence the B grade, but it was still very good quality.
Rap Battle: The Bar vs. The Usos (hosted by The New Day) Summary: The Bar kicked off the battle with a short rendition of “Ice Ice Sheamy”, while The Usos responded by mocking Sheamus’ appearance and Cesaro’s teeth. The segment ended with The Bar standing tall after a brawl between the three teams ahead of Sunday’s TLC Triple Threat
Verdict: Last year’s rap battle was one of the best SmackDown segments of the year. This, however, was not good… not good at all. I’m in the minority with this opinion — fans on social media seemed to like it — but I didn’t find any of it entertaining in the slightest! Let us know what you made of it in the comments.
Match 2: The Miz & Shane McMahon vs. The Vegas Boys Pre-match: Holding the World Cup trophy in his arms, The Miz said he is not Jon Snow and he will not hesitate to bend his knee and beg for Shane McMahon to join him in the middle of the ring. When Shane (not dressed in wrestling attire) appeared, Miz continued to talk up their World Cup achievement and called for a referee and a rookie tag team, Chip & Chad (The Vegas Boys), to come out to the ring for a match.
Match: Miz stood on the ring apron for the duration of the short match as Shane threw one of the Vegas Boys out of the ring before making the other one tap out to a triangle hold. Following the match, it was revealed that Chip & Chad and the referee were all paid by Miz to take part in the match. Paige told the referee she should fire him for officiating without her permission, while she tore up Chip & Chad’s $5,000 invoices.
Verdict: As a storyline, I’m more intrigued by this Miz-Shane thing than I probably ought to be. As a match, this was bad. It looked at one stage as if one of The Vegas Boys could have been legitimately injured after Shane planted him awkwardly on his neck with a DDT.
Randy Orton addresses TLC match Summary: Randy Orton questioned during an in-ring promo why Rey Mysterio thinks he can defeat him in a chairs match at TLC, adding that the high-flyer will always be a “victim” when he meets him in the ring. Just as the 13-time World Champion was finishing his promo with his usual ‘RKO’ line, Mysterio attacked him from behind with a chair before connecting with a 619
Verdict: Of all the non-title feuds that will be settled at TLC, Orton vs. Mysterio definitely deserved to be added to the card. This was a short segment simply designed to promote Sunday’s match. Nothing spectacular.
Match 3: Jeff Hardy & Rusev vs. Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura Summary: R-Truth and Carmella appeared at the start of the match to have a dance break on the stage. Shinsuke Nakamura kicked a distracted Jeff Hardy in the back of the head and the heels took control. The babyface duo turned things around when Hardy hit a Whisper In The Wind on Samoa Joe before tagging in Rusev, who caught Nakamura in the face with a Machka Kick to pick up the win
Verdict: Again, this was a short match/segment to further these rivalries on a storyline-packed show. I’m a little surprised that Joe and Hardy were already involved in a match together when it looked as though their storyline was going to slowly build and build. Nakamura’s US title reign has been a total disaster, so let’s hope Rusev will become champion when they inevitably meet soon in another title match.
Match 4: Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (Becky Lynch at ringside) Summary: Asuka had the better of the earlier exchanges, landing an impressive suplex before attempting to make Charlotte Flair submit to the Asuka Lock on two occasions. Flair turned the match around when she targeted her opponent’s leg and repeatedly slammed it against the ring post. However, when she tried to connect with a spear, Asuka turned it into a variation of a codebreaker to counter. Flair successfully hit a spear moments later but only gained a 2-count. In the end, both women ended up at ringside when Flair struggled to escape the Asuka Lock. “The Queen” then grabbed a kendo stick and hit Asuka — and then Becky Lynch — with it to cause a disqualification. All three women used the kendo stick on the other two in the last few minutes of the show but it was Asuka who stood tall on the announce desk after repeatedly striking Flair and Lynch with the weapon
Verdict: Very good. Flair showed an aggressive side to her character again, just like at Survivor Series, and Lynch was involved in physicality for the first time since thatbrawl on Raw. Asuka has gained a ton of momentum recently and the end to this episode was the perfect set-up for her to win the title in what should be the main event of TLC on Sunday.
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