WWE Smackdown is coming at us LIVE from the DCU Center in Worcester, MA this evening. You want spoilers? Too bad, because spoilers are no more! This is a LIVE show! And, it’s gonna be a hot one.
We’ve been talking about the roster split for months now, and tonight it becomes reality. We’ve established Mick Foley as the GM for Raw, and Daniel Bryan as the GM for Smackdown. Who will they pick? Will the newly announced Cruiserweight Division have a role in the draft lottery as well? And, what the heck is going on with the end of the title match last night?
Both Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins had their shoulders on the mat. As the show went off the air, Stephanie McMahon awarded the title to Rollins, but that decision was reversed on the WWE Network as the match was ruled a draw, thus keeping the title in Ambrose’s hands. Will Stephanie announce Raw gets their own title, or will she wait for the Raw after Battleground to do that?
All this plus lots more starting at 8pm EST!
Our show opens with Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon walking out to the ramp. Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon are already on the stage behind their podium. Mauro Ranallo and Michael Cole are on commentary. So is Jerry Lawler.
Stephanie interrupts the Yes party and wants to get right into it. Steph says noone does pandering better than Mick Foley, and he chimes in with a cheap pop. Stephanie says they get the first pick, and she queues up Mick Foley to make the announcement, but she interrupts him, saying their first pick is Seth Rollins.
Raw: Seth Rollins
Shane makes a “crossfit Jesus” joke, and Daniel Bryan announces that WWE Champion Dean Ambrose is their first pick.
Smackdown: Dean Ambrose
Mick Foley says Raw needs a strong women’s division, and he drafts the WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte.
Shane and Bryan act like they stole a pick from them, but he decides to go in a different direction, choosing AJ Styles as their second pick.
Smackdown: AJ Styles
Mick Foley chooses someone from NXT – Finn Balor! The crowd goes bananas!
Raw: Finn Balor
And then, John Cena’s music hits. Looks like he’s coming out for a match. Mauro Ranallo hypes up the show, Byron Saxton also at his side. AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows come out next. Cena isn’t playing around though, as Enzo and Cass come out to even up the odds at ringside.
John Cena (w/ Enzo & Cass) vs. Luke Gallows (w/ AJ Styles & Karl Anderson)
The match barely gets started and we go to commercial, but they do something very different and have the match continuing in the inset while the commercial airs. Interesting… Anyhow, Cena and Gallows trade punches, but Gallows nails Cena with a boot to the head. Gallows whips Cena into the corner, maintaining control. Gallows misses a running elbow as we go back to full screen, but Gallows catches Cena and drops him for a near fall.
Enzo and Cass step into the ring, taunting AJ and Anderson. The Club charges Enzo and Cass, and they send them over the top, allowing Cena to hit Gallows with an AA.
Winner: John Cena
Short match, nothing to write home about.
Later tonight, Rusev and The Miz face off against Darren Young and Zack Ryder.
Back from break, it’s time for some more draft picks. Mick Foley makes his next pick, Roman Reigns.
Raw: Roman Reigns
Shane McMahon picks John Cena.
Smackdown: John Cena
Stephanie picks Brock Lesnar. I didn’t know he was elegible.
Raw: Brock Lesnar
Daniel Bryan goes tit-for-tat and picks Randy Orton.
Smackdown: Randy Orton
Last pick for Raw this round, The New Day.
Raw: The New Day
We go to the ring for out next match.
Darren Young & Zack Ryder (w/ Bob Backlund) vs. The Miz & Rusev (w/ Maryse & Lana)
Early on Miz keeps control of Ryder. Tag in to Rusev, who drills Ryder with a punch to the face. Back and forth, hot tag to Darren Young, who gets a near fall after a gut check to Miz. Rusev comes in and starts tossing bodies around. Young and Ryder send Rusev over the top, and Young locks in the Crossface Chicken Wing on The Miz for the tap-out win.
Winners: Darren Young & Zack Ryder
Later tonight, Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte & Dana Brooke, but up next is Xavier Woods vs. Bray Wyatt! We go to break.
Back from break, Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, and Erick Rowan are on their way to the ring. New Day is already in the ring.
Bray Wyatt (w/ Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman) vs. Xavier Woods (w/ Big E & Kofi Kingston)
The bell rings, and Wyatt immediately starts with mind games, leaning backwards out of the corner. Woods cowers in the corner, seeking strength from his teammates. Wyatt drops to his knees and begs Woods to attack. Woods lowers his fist and walks towards Wyatt slowly. Wyatt comes to his feet, puts his hand on Woods’ shoulder, and Woods looks like he’s in a trance. Wyatt attacks Woods, dropping him to the mat and wrenching in a chinlock. Bray goes on the offense and hits a senton.
Woods crawls to the corner as Bray stalks him. He counters Bray with a few right hands. He hits a jumping knee to the face. Wyatt falls to the ground, but pops up in to a crab walk, hits Sister Abigail out of nowhere, and gets the win.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Wyatt lays across Woods for a moment before The New Day are able to drag their partner out of danger.
After the break, it’s time for another match, oddly enough. Kane is already in the ring. His opponent? Kevin Owens, who seems to be pissed noone’s drafted him yet.
Kane vs. Kevin Owens
Well, this doesn’t happen. Sami Zayn runs out and attacks Owens immediately. They brawl, and roll into the ring, where Owens gets the advantage. Owens tosses Zayn into Kane, who catches him for a chokeslam. He grabs Owens too, and slams them both, then leaves the ring.
Well, now it’s time for new draft picks.
Steph says the #1 show gets the #1 pick, so they pick Sami Zayn.
Raw: Sami Zayn
Shane decides to go with Bray Wyatt.
Smackdown: Bray Wyatt
Steph doesn’t seem to want anyone from The Wyatts. Mick says he wants to remind Shane and Daniel that there are women in the draft. They want to make it “Raw is Boss.”
Raw: Sasha Banks
Bryan says they missed out on the best woman on the roster, Becky Lynch.
Smackdown: Becky Lynch
Foley says he’s gotta change plans a bit here, and he goes diving into a garbage bag, pulling out a pile of paper. He makes his pick.
Raw: Chris Jericho
We see a backstage segment with Dean Ambrose, who is happy to be on Smackdown. He says the title is going with him and he’s going to beat Seth Rollins tonight and again on Sunday.
Out of the break, we see a graphic listing the top superstars yet to be drafted. Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, Kalisto, Del Rio, Big Show, and others are listed.
Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks in a Handicapped Match
Sasha and Dana start it off. Sasha sends Dana head-first into Charlotte. Charlotte tries to get in the mix, and Sasha hits a pair of double knees off the apron to the floor. Brooke attacks her from behind, rolls her into the ring and goes on the offense. Sasha regains control again. Dana counters a back stabber, but hits a second one. Charlotte breaks up the Bank Statement and hits Natural Selection for the win. I didn’t even see the legal tag.
Winner: Charlotte & Dana Brooke
They show the tag on the replay, it was a quick one.
Time for another round of picks!
Raw: Rusev (w/ Lana)
Smackdown: The Miz (w/ Maryse)
Raw: Kevin Owens
Smackdown: Baron Corbin
Raw: Enzo & Cass
So far, they’re really making it look like Raw is getting all the good picks from Smackdown. I’m not crazy about that.
Chris Jericho vs. Cesaro
Cesaro immediately goes for some uppercuts. Jericho tumbles out of the ring and Cesaro takes the fight outside. He nails Jericho with a running uppercut into the barricade. Crossbody from the top rope for 2. Jericho goes for a quick rollup attempt. Enzuigiri from Jericho and a near fall. Jericho hits a top rope Frankensteiner for two.
Cesaro runs in for an uppercut, but Jericho catches him with a boot. He goes for a lionsault but is countered by Cesaro, who goes into a Cesaro Swing, into a Sharpshooter. Jericho counters, hits a Codebreaker, and ends it.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Back from break, Becky Lynch and Natalya are brawling at ringside. Nattie was scheduled to have a match, but there’s 13 referees pulling them apart.
Well, might as well make another round of picks.
Raw: Gallows & Anderson
I’m disappointed they’re splitting up The Club, but now Gallows and Anderson can get chummy with Finn.
Daniel Bryan puts his choice over as a big deal.
Smackdown: American Alpha
Mick Foley is disappointed with their pick, but chooses…
Raw: The Big Show
Smackdown: Dolph Ziggler
Raw: Nia Jax
Backstage, Seth Rollins cuts a promo about his match tonight. He assures that he’s leaving with the title tonight.
Last round of picks out of the break…
Smackdown: Alberto Del Rio
No more televised picks, but there are 30 more to go on the WWE Network.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose (c) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Seth Rollins doesn’t even wait for the introductions to finish before attacking Ambrose. The bell hasn’t even rung as the fight spills outside the ring. He sends Ambrose head-first into the ring as we go to break.
The bell rings after the break and Seth is immediately on the attack. He hits a falcon arrow for a near fall. Rollins attacks Ambrose between the ropes. He keeps Ambrose grounded. Multiple cover attempts from Rollins. They brawl outside, Ambrose sending Rollins over the barricade into the timekeepers’ area. Ambrose climbs up a table and leaps towards Rollins, but Rollins dodges. Rollins goes for a cover as we go to break.
We return to Rollins continuing control of Ambrose. I could swear I hear a CM Punk chant, but hey. Rollins hits a running elbow to the face. Ambrose fires out of the corner with a clothesline. Ambrose gets momentum, getting a near fall and a neckbreaker for two. Rollins hits a buckle bomb, then misses a frogsplash. Ambrose goes for a cradle for two.
Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds. Rollins sneaks an eye poke and goes for a Pedigree, but Ambrose drops him over the ropes. He dives through the ropes, taking Rollins out. Ambrose goes up top and Rollins meets him there. Superplex, rolling into another, but Ambrose counters with Dirty Deeds. He covers Rollins for the win.
Winner: Dean Ambrose to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan run down to congratulate their #1 pick. The fans chant Yes! with Bryan as Ambrose’s music plays us out.
This show felt very rushed. I know they were working with a lot of content and had a clock to deal with, but that didn’t change the fact that things really never had a chance to breathe. Next week will be a better example of what Smackdown’s future will be.
I’m going to hold off until the supplemental draft completes before I make any final analysis of the draft.
We will not be covering the supplemental draft live here on the site, but will follow up on it once completed. I’m sure Bill and I will have a ton to talk about tomorrow in Ring Rap Audio as well.
In the meantime, here’s the complete list from the live broadcast.
Raw Draft Picks
- Seth Rollins
- Finn Balor
- Roman Reigns
- Brock Lesnar
- The New Day
- Sami Zayn
- Sasha Banks
- Chris Jericho
- Rusev (w/ Lana)
- Kevin Owens
- Enzo & Cass
- Gallows & Anderson
- The Big Show
- Nia Jax
Smackdown Draft Picks
- Dean Ambrose
- AJ Styles
- John Cena
- Randy Orton
- Bray Wyatt
- Becky Lynch
- The Miz (w/ Maryse)
- Baron Corbin
- American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan)
- Dolph Ziggler
- Alberto Del Rio