Live Report: SmackDown Live (August 1, 2017)

*Live Report*

SmackDown Live

(WWE – Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, OH – August 1, 2017)

Correspondent: Luke Anderson

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I always enjoy going to WWE shows.  It’s a fun experience that allows you to run into people who enjoy the craft of wrestling as much as you do.

My friend Chris and I went to Quaker Steak and Lube located inside “The Q” (Quicken Loans Arena) to grab a bite before the show.  We sat next to some older gentlemen who were saying some inappropriate things and weren’t cognizant, nor cared, that kids were around.  

With the recent trade rumors of Cleveland Cavaliers player Kyrie Irving, I was surprised that his likeness is still up around “The Q.” Maybe it’s because it’s the offseason?

We have floor seats near the ramp with a great view of the wrestlers when they walked out.

Dark Match

Viktor vs Luke Harper

Viktor lands a nice high knee from the top rope.

Loud “Let’s go Harper” chants!

Harper hits the “Sidewinder” to Viktor. He then superkicks Harper nails a superkick to Konnor.

Harper wins via “Clothesline from Hell.”

Luke Harper is over, however, I don’t know what is his character.

Konnor is huge!!!

Winner: Luke Harper

I see a “Kyrie you just made The List” sign.

SmackDown Live

United States Championship

AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens 

The crowd is hot for this match.  

Styles hits a forearm on the floor.

(At this point I eat Chris’ spicy wings by accident because he ate my BBQ wings.)  

I’m always in awe of the back body drop, in person.

Owens scores a near-fall after a superkick.

Styles wins via pinfall due to a roll up.  I almost missed it due to security telling me to sit down.

Owens right shoulder was clearly up.

Winner: AJ Styles

Backstage they set up a rematch at SummerSlam with Shane O-Mac as the “Special Guest Referee.”  Shane is big like his dad.  How come I just noticed it?

Sami Zayn vs Aiden English

Aiden English got major heat for his singing prowess.  I’ll be honest he can really sing.

English wins via roll-up.

Mike and Maria Kanellis comes out to cut a promo on Zayn.

Sami Zayn used to be over and now he is nothing.

Winner: Aiden English

The Uso’s Promo

The Usos fake out everyone by making them think that the New Day was coming out. They cut an awesome promo. This shift in character has done wonders. (Side observation: I locked eyes with Jey, I believe.)

A Machine Gun Kelly song is the theme for SummerSlam. Being from Cleveland, no one cared. Sad. (To be honest, he has changed his style since his “Lace Up” days and I don’t like it.)

Carmella & Natayla vs Naomi & Becky Lynch

I went to the bathroom.  However, Naomi’s entrance is easier on the eyes in person than on TV.

Winner: Naomi & Becky Lynch

Chad Gable vs Rusev

Gable hit two belly-to-belly suplexes then a German to Rusev. I marked out. He hits a moonsault for a convincing near fall. I thought he was going to win.

Faint “USA” chants.

Gable locks in an ankle lock but Rusev powers out. A superkick and “Accolade” later, Rusev wins.

Rusev claims that no one can beat him. Here comes RKO TO A HUGE POP.  RKO vs Rusev at SummerSlam.  RKO hits the “RKO” on Rusev.

Gable: I like him. He is legit. Why did they break up American Alpha? They were the Steiner Bros 2.0. Maybe that’s why?! I have a feeling Chad Gable will be the one to beat Neville for the Cruiserweight title.

I’ll tell you what, Rusev is championship material.

Winner: Rusev

Raw is returning to Cleveland on December 11th. The” presale password is “WWEPRE.” It must be used by August 4th.

John Cena vs Shinsuke Nakamura

I like that Cena came out first and was introduced first in formal ring announcements. Something fresh. Also, I like that they utilized formal ring announcements for the match. It shows that this is a “big” match.

Nakamura kicks out of the “AA.”  Wow!!!

Faint “Yes!” chants. 

Cena goes for another “AA” AFTER HITTING ONE. Nakamura reverses it and hits a vicious belly-to-back suplex.

Nakamura connects with the “Kinshasa” and gets the pin.

I don’t know what shocks me more: Cena putting over Shinsuke or the match ending clean.

Baron Corbin comes out to attack Nakamura. Cena makes the save by hitting Corbin with an “AA” through the announce table.

There is a little girl in my section wearing a wedding veil like a bride. She is holding a sign asking Cena if she can she be his “Jr. bride.” He came by after the match and gave her a wristband. It’s the little things like this that kids will remember for the rest of their lives.

205 live

Many people are staying for 205 Live. The ring crews need to get some crunk in their system; they are moving slow.

Brian Kendrick vs Jack Gallagher

The match ends in DQ. Gallagher viciously attacks Kendrick. Possible change in character?

Winner: Brian Kendrick

TJ Perkins approaches Rich Swann in the locker room about him being better than Swann. Friendly competition. Swann challenges him to a match next week.

Tony Nese cuts a promo on Cleveland. He is the “Premier Athlete.”  

(The woman with the Cena’s “junior bride” has a thing for Nese.  He IS cut.)

Gran Metalik vs Tony Nese

Nese wins via a running knee in the corner. I wasn’t really paying attention because I was taking selfies with random people.

IMG_3284

Correspondent Luke Anderson (backwards cap) and a few new friends.

As someone in the crowd mentioned, Nese looks like a rip-off of “Little Petey Pump” Petey Williams.

Winner: Tony Nese

Winner Meets Neville at SummerSlam

Akira Tozawa vs Ariya Daivari

Daivari cuts a forgettable promo.  

Tozawa chants are prevalent around “The Q.” He is out without Titus O’Neil.

I have an idea to save the Cruiserweight division: put a high-profile match as the main event for Raw or Smackdown. If Cass v. Big Show can be the main event on Raw, then a Cruiserweight match can be too!

Tozawa wins after hitting his aweeesome senton bomb. He gets so much air.

I ran into some guys who’s buddy is a writer for SmackDown. He is from Euclid and  got them free tickets

Main Event

Dark Match

Jinder vs Randy Orton

Mahal is tired of facing Orton and so he will make this a non-title match.

Mahal lands a kick that appears to have jarred loose one of Orton’s teeth.

The Singh Brothers interfere and break the count after an RKO. The match ends in disqualification.

Orton RKO’s both brothers, ending the show on a good note.

Final Thoughts

Overall, a great show. I learned in college that it’s better to have three great pages of writing than ten pages where only 1-2 are good. This analogy goes the same with wrestling shows. It’s better to have four great matches than trying to fit seven mediocre ones in a two-hour window.

Also, a wrestling show looks and feels different in person than on TV. There is so much that happens that television doesn’t show.

In person, Nakamura’s entrance is amazing. If you would’ve told me that it will be Jinder Mahal v. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Title at SummerSlam, I would’ve said you were nuts. It is crazy to think about. Good…but still crazy!  

I wished I would’ve gotten to see Charlotte and the New Day—but that’s neither here nor there.  

205 Live needs to be retooled…or scrapped. Maybe, start it before SmackDown Live at seven o’clock instead of afterward at ten? After SmackDown ended, I could tell the crowd was dead. Heck, I was drained.

Luke Anderson      

More Wrestling Reviews

WWE Great Balls of Fire (2017)

NXT Cleveland (6/12/15)

NXT Cleveland (3/4/16): The Clash at the Classic

NXT Cleveland (3/3/17)

IPW: The 11-Minute Show

 

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