WWE Smackdown hits it’s 900th episode, and it’s looking to be a major one, with WWE Hall of Famer Edge making an appearance for a special edition of The Cutting Edge, and The Undertaker making a return. Plus, Dolph Ziggler is defending the Intercontinental Championship against The Miz, with the winner going on to Survivor Series to defend the title against Sami Zayn.
Speaking of Survivor Series, it’s right around the corner. Will Raw invade the show? Probably!
Read on for delayed coverage of WWE Smackdown Live!
A video package opens the show, highlighting some of the most famous moments from the early years of Smackdown. It includes past and present stars including The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Edge, Booker T, Mickie James, Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, and others. It then hypes up tonight’s episode.
Mauro Ranallo introduces the show, and then Shane McMahon heads out to the ramp. He cues up Daniel Bryan, who comes out to a pretty big pop. Both men stand on the ramp. Shane welcomes the fans to the 900th episode of Smackdown Live. Bryan says it’s truly historic tonight. What a better way to celebrate than with the return of The Rated R Superstar, Edge. “And speaking of returns… finally after 3 and a half years, tonight we welcome back to Smackdown Live The Undertaker.” Shane says he can’t think of a better way to kick off the show than with the Intercontinental Championship match.
Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. The Miz (w/ Maryse) for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, winner goes on to face Sami Zayn at Survivor Series.
Big match intros here. The two men lock up, jockeying for position. The announcers talk about the history of the IC Title and why they would weant to keep it on Smackdown, as if Sami Zayn wins at Survivor Series, the title goes to Raw. There’s a nice exchange as both men counter each other’s finishers. It’s a standoff as we go to break.
We return to Miz leaping off the top rope, but eating a dropkick. During the break the two brawled outside the ring. The two make it to their feet before the 10 count. Miz hits a neck breaker combo for a near fall. He starts working Ziggler’s leg. Miz misses a leaping clothesline in the corner. Ziggler picks up steam, and sends Miz into the turnbuckle, hits a neckbreaker and a diving elbow for two.
Ziggler goes for the sleeper and locks it in near the ropes. Miz gets his foot on the bottom rope, and the hold is broken. He hits a boot to the face and goes for a pin, feet on the ropes. The referee catches him and scolds him. As Miz and the referee argue, Ziggler catches him with a fameasser for a believable near fall. We go to another break.
Back in from break and Ziggler has another near fall. The two trade blows. Miz gets the better of the exchange and lays in some Yes kicks (No kicks if the audience has their way). He misses the big roundhouse and gets rolled up, but hits a running knee to Ziggler. Miz hits Skull Crushing Finale. Ziggler kicks out.
Miz goes for a Figure Four, but Ziggler counters, going for a DDT. Miz rolls through, kicks out the knee. Ziggler counters a DDT and hits a Zig Zag. Miz, again, foot on the ropes.
Ziggler readies a superkick, but the Spirit Squad distracts Ziggler. Miz takes out Ziggler’s leg and locks in the Figure Four in the middle of the ring. He crawls to the ropes and Miz is forced to break the hold. Miz immediately goes for it again, and Ziggler rolls him up, but they’re near the ropes. Maryse pushes on Miz when the ref isn’t looking, and it gives him the leverage to roll the pin. Miz gets the pin and the win.
Winner: The Miz to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship
After the match, The Spirit Squad, Maryse and The Miz celebrate outside the ring, while Ziggler sells his complete disbelief.
Miz is going on to Survivor Series against Sami Zayn, which makes sense on a face vs. heel level, but the fact remains that Dolph Ziggler still cannot get any momentum. His title win may have saved his career a month ago, but what good is it if he can’t retain it? What good is it if he loses again? His win was a fluke, not the standard.
That said, Maryse gave Miz that extra heat. The fans are gonna be pulling for Zayn to bring the title to Raw, especially after this finish. So, on that level, this works.
Tom Phillips cues up a video highlighting the brawl on Raw between Team Raw and Team Smackdown.
We see a video clip from August 2000, when Steve Austin dropped a block of concrete onto the DX Express bus.
After the break, Alexa Bliss is arguing with Daniel Bryan about the finish of her title match last week. Bryan says the referee’s decision is final, and she will get her rematch, but for now she needs to focus on beating Team Raw. Natalya comes in with her whistle and says that this is a teachable moment. “Alexa, when you get knocked down, you get back up again.” Sounds like another song lyric. Sure enough, it’s Chumbawumba. Alexa is pissed. “Chumbawumba? And this is our coach?” She storms off.
We go to ringside, and NXT’s own Oney Lorcan is in the ring. Not sure why, but he’s facing Kalisto.
Oney Lorcan vs. Kalisto
Lorcan immediately runs in with a European Uppercut. He is extremely aggressive, and hits a belly to back suplex. Two-count. Kalisto connects with a pair of kicks, but slips on a springboard move. Lorcan immediately goes for the cover, gets a two count. He hits a pair of uppercuts. Kalisto hits Salida Del Sol out of nowhere for the win.
Not a good showing for Kalisto, who only got in three or four moves and missed one completely. At least they didn’t try to redo the spot. On the other hand, Lorcan looked solid here, but for crying out loud, give him a different name.
A graphic hypes up Brian Kendrick vs. Kalisto for the Cruiserweight Title (and division) at Survivor Series. Later tonight, Nikki Bella vs. Carmella.
A teaser plays for The Undertaker, showing a closeup of his hat, and his hand picking it upo.
We then see The Rock vs. Triple H from August 26th, 1999, with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee. Michaels hits a superkick on The Rock, giving Triple H the win and allowing him to retain the title.
The announcers chat about Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, and show an Instagram post The Rock posted congratulating Smackdown’s 900th episode.
Backstage, the Smackdown Tag Team Survivor Series Team is getting hyped up. Magically, they all like each other right now. Heath Slater and Rhyno say they got a motivational speaker to hype them up, and in walks Booker T as King Booker. He gives a royal speech, saying he was summoned at the behest of the team captain. During his speech, the “Fashion Police” Breezango come in and interrupt, handing out tickets for fashion violations. Fandango hands “King Booger” a different shirt. Booker gets pissed. “Tell me you didn’t just say that.” He tells them to dress the part of champions, not rejects from Pirates of the Carribean. “Can you dig that sucka?” He forces them to change their clothes. The rest of the team is pleased.
I’d be fine with this if The Usos – the nastiest tag team on either roster – wasn’t all on board with the cheering and chanting.
We see a clip of John Cena’s debut in 2002 against Kurt Angle, including a congratulations from The Undertaker after his match.
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
The two lock up. Not much happens. Carmella baits Bella in after a chase around the ring. Bella hits a face buster and a suplex, followed by a dropkick. Carmella bails out of the ring, and Bella goes to follow, but Carmella hits a neck breaker off the apron. Bella sells it, and Carmella drives her face into the floor repeatedly.
Back in the ring, Carmella locks in a choke across the ropes, and is forced to break it after 4. Bella sneaks a rollup, but Carmella hits a kick to the face.
Bella retreats into the corner, and Carmella yanks on the hair, using the ropes as leverage. Carmella mocks Bella to strong heat. She continues to work the neck. Carmella misses a bronco buster in the corner, and both ladies are out.
Suddenly, the ladies of Raw start making their way through the crowd. Charlotte has a ticket in hand, belt around her waist. She sits at ringside and we go to break. We return, and the match continues. Bella slams Carmella back-first into the turnbuckle. She goes for an Alabama Slamma, but can’t make the pin. The action spills outside, and Bella tosses Carmella right in front of Charlotte. They trash talk, and Bella attacks Charlotte. The referee calls for a DQ.
Winner: No contest due to interference
Bella and Charlotte brawl in the middle of the ring, but the rest of Team Raw rushes in and attacks Bella. Carmella steps in and starts attacking Team Red. The rest of Team Smackdown runs down to even the odds, and the brawl spills outside. Nia Jax tosses Becky Lynch and sets her up for a tackle outside the ring, but misses, going straight through the barricade. Naomi leaps off the top rope onto three members of Team Raw. Team Smackdown stands tall in the middle of the ring, unified. Worthy of note – I don’t recall Bayley being a part of the invading force.
This was a solid match up until the interference. Once Charlotte came to ringside, I knew the match would get tossed out. That said, the fans are into the Carmella/Bella feud, and both women put on a compelling match worth watching.
Another vignette teases The Undertaker. We go to break.
We come back to Renee Young, who talks about Lesnar vs. Goldberg, which cues up a video package on the match.
Time for a 16-man tag team match. Oh boy.
The Spirit Squad (Kenny & Mikey) & The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) & The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) & The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) vs. American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable) & The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) & The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley) & Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango), with Heath Slater & Rhyno
Gable and English are at it after the break. Jason Jordan tags in and takes English down. Jimmy Uso tags himself in and words are exchanged, but he keeps control as Mikey tags in. The Usos double-team Mikey. Tag to Gotch, and then Jey Uso tags in as a “We want Slater” chant breaks.
Mojo tags in, catches Gotch mid-air and slams him before hitting a running seated senton. Tag to Ryder, and shortly thereafter, back to Mojo. Mojo gets hyped and slaps the taste out of Gotch’s mouth. Ryder back in, but Gotch breaks free and tags in Viktor. Ryder catches Viktor with a pair of knees and a dropkick. A clothesline sends him over the top, and Ryder runs the ropes, hitting a low dropkick. Both teams start bickering at ringside and we go to break.
Konnor is in the ring after the break. He misses a shoulder to Ryder in his corner, and takes out one of his own teammates. Hot tag to Gable, and Mosh is in too. Thrasher tags in, but Gable counters hitting a top rope belly to belly. There’s no legal man anymore. Breezango takes out the Sprit Squad. Hype Bros take out The Ascension and Vaudevillains, and The Usos, leap over the top rope onto about 8 men at ringside. Grand Amplitude in the ring and Gable gets the pin.
Winners: American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable) & The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) & The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley) & Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)
After some more plugging, it’s time for Edge! Tony Chimmel introduces Edge as “The Rated R SOOOOOOOOPERSTAR”. We go to break.
We return, and Edge says it feels good to be there. He’s excited to be there for the 900th episode of Smackdown Live. He says he bleeds blue, helped make this show, and has a vested interest in the 5-on-5 match at Survivor Series. “Fantasy Warfare just got real.” Ugh.
He introduces Team Smackdown – AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Shane McMahon, Bray Wyatt, and Randy Orton, with James Ellsworth. Edge says he’s been watching since the brand split, and it is truly the land of opportunity. He says there’s one man that personifies that more than anyone else, and he’d like to shake that man’s hand. He starts to walk over, and AJ Styles steps up with his hand outstretched, but Edge ignores him and shakes James Ellsworth’s hand instead. AJ flips out.
Ellsworth says he’s been a fan of Edge his whole life, and it would be a true honor to stand next to one of the forefathers of Smackdown… and do a Five Second Pose! The fans love it, but AJ Styles shuts it down. “It was stupid then, it’s stupid now.” AJ says he’s the face that runs this place. Noone cares about Ellsworth, and noone cares about Edge either. He tells him to do his job and ask the questions to someone that matters on the team.
Edge turns to Randy Orton. “My former partner in Rated RKO, and now member of the Wyatt Family? Randy, are you there?” He wants to know what’s going on with you. He asks if he needs Bray to pull the strings for him to talk. Bray steps up and says the Randy he once knew is dead, but don’t worry Edge – come this Sunday, the entire world will see a more dangerous viper than ever before.
Edge turns to Shane, says he’s got his work cut out for him. Shane says noone has to get along on the team, but for one night they all have to be on the same page. He addresses AJ, says he’s the WWE World Champion, and he may even be the face that runs the place, but one thing is for sure – this is OUR team. He calls it the money show. He says since AJ loves cliches, maybe he’ll be competing on “Shane O’Mac-down.”
AJ questions it. “Shane O’Mac-down? That sounds stupid.” He says they are gonna stick together – because of him. He decided to be the bigger man, to coexist with Dean Ambrose, who can’t control his temper. Ambrose says Styles is lucky he agreed to play nice until Survivor Series because he’s coming after him at TLC to take his championship back. AJ says he agreed too, but maybe he will, and maybe he won’t.
And then, The Undertaker’s bell rings. He walks out to his full entrance, smoke, flames and all, and it’s just as chilling as it’s ever been. The fans start chanting “Holy shit.” Taker walks over to Shane McMahon and they go eye to eye before Taker turns to take a microphone. He says “There could be no better man to be commissioner of Smackdown than the man who has no fear.” He tips his hat to Shane in a subtle gesture. He says he’s there tonight for two reasons – Wrestlemania will no longer define who he is. “I’m back taking souls and digging holes.” He says Survivor Series was where the Undertaker was born, and Smackdown has always been his home. Taker says it brings him to the second reason he’s out there, and an “Undertaker” chant breaks out. “At this year’s Survivor Series, there’s no reason to fear failure. But if you fail, you will have reason to fear The Deadman. Team Raw better REST IN PEACE.” The bell hits, and the lights change, and my DVR cuts it off before the final sell.
Well, it’s awesome to see Taker back, and from the sounds of it, he’s back on the regular. I’m disappointed he’s not taking Shane’s place in the Survivor Series match, though I’m sure there’s a story they can tell if they choose to go there.
Overall, a strong show with good build and some pretty good matches. The Intercontinental Championship match was strong, with a disappointing ending for a number of reasons, none of which have to do with The Miz being the champ. The women had a very good TV match, and all the Survivor Series angles really played off nicely. Plus, the hype for Edge and The Undertaker for the 900th show gave this entire event a big feel to it, while avoiding the usual trapfalls Raw stumbles into when it comes to hyping up shows.
Heading into Survivor Series, I can’t help but find myself on Team Blue. Admittedly, I’m partial, but when I look at Raw and Smackdown, this week Smackdown was far more enjoyable, and it usually is.
Join us on Sunday for complete coverage of Survivor Series starting with the preshow, and heading into the proper show at 7pm Eastern!