Cleat Geeks

Straight Up Smack Down (not so Live)


A lot happens in a week, especially in WWE. The wrestlers on their roster must always stay on their toes because like the saying goes, “Life comes at you fast.”  We are rapidly approaching Survivor Series & Smack Down’s 5th team member was still unsettled. One week ago, Shane McMahon had this to challenge to Rusev: defeat A.J. Styles & join Team Smack Down….

Here’s where that “life comes at you fast” quote starts to kick in. 2 day later, Shane McMahon changed his mind about having A.J. face Rusev. Instead, he awarded Styles with a title shot against WWE Champion Jinder Mahal for this week’s episode:

Which is all well & good, but where did that leave Rusev? In some contrived way, Smack Down decided that Randy Orton will face Rusev instead. You know, Orton….the guy already on the team. This was a bit of a head scratcher because why would Orton acquire a loss, remain on the team, & then fight alongside Rusev? As you might guess, here’s what happened:

There was no Rusev Day on Tuesday night. Rusev was NOT happy following his loss to Orton & brought up many valid points:

This video promo could easily lead to Rusev having the same type of fed up with Shane-type program that Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens are currently in…..but this is most likely the end of it. The 5th & final spot on Team Smack Down was still up for grabs when Smack Down went off air Tuesday night. However, immediately following the end of the show, Shane McMahon took to Twitter & just bluntly announced who the final teammate was:

Just like that we went from Rusev versus A.J. Styles, to Rusev versus Randy Orton, to just a tweet. Unbelievable. So, Let’s Go Cena? Is he still a free agent? I mean for all the Team Blue loyalty over the last few weeks, this hardly coincides with that mantra. Not to mention that all five members: Cena, Shane, Roode, Nakamura, & Orton are babyfaces. Throw in Finn Balor’s entrance for Team Raw, along with Team Blue’s entrances & this match is going to take 10 minutes just to commence.

Let’s circle back to A.J. Styles & his title match this evening. This came about because Shane said that Jinder unfairly attacked Styles last week. Probably just coincidence that Smack Down was live from Manchester in the United Kingdom this week. WWE.COM caught up with Styles before Smack Down began & asked him some very leading questions that seemed like foreshadowing:

Seems odd that the interviewer knew that stat about the overseas title change….but WWE didn’t stop there. Tape delay across multiple time zones caused WWE to break news on Twitter again. This tweet was posted 7 hours before Smack Down was aired on USA network:

I guess they had to do this, as to not get scooped by the fans in attendance. This also created buzz heading into Tuesday’s TV airing, with millions of fans wanting to see Styles reclaim the WWE title…..

Great match by both competitors, definitely one they should remember for a long time & each be very proud of.  Judging by the Manchester fans’ reaction, I’d say they were satisfied with the outcome! So now Survivor Series will pit Universal champion Brock Lesnar against WWE champion A.J. Styles. That’s about as must-see as they come. What a whirlwind couple weeks for Styles. He goes from being on tour in Chile with WWE, to having to fly overnight back to the United States to fight & lose to Finn Balor at TLC, then take part in a 6 man tag match on Raw with Rollins & Ambrose the very next night, participate in the “#undersiege” angle that same night on Raw, fight one Singh brother on Smack Down the following night on Smack Down, then fight the other Singh brother the following week on Smack Down & get decimated in an ambush by the WWE champion….only to learn that same night that you have to face & defeat Rusev the following week on Smack Down in order to qualify for Team Blue at Survivor Series, then 48 hours later that all changes so now instead you have a title shot against Jinder Mahal in Manchester this week  & you win. WOW. Life comes at you fast. Congrats to the new champ.


Speaking of titles, a previously scheduled match from last week actually took place on Tuesday. The Usos put their Tag Team titles on the line against Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin:

Definitely a unique ending to this match & the outcome left the door open for more match opportunities between these two teams in the future.


Shane was very prevalent on Tuesday’s show & was excited to congratulate New Day for showing up on Raw the previous night. Shane was so excited that he even began to dance with New Day:

I may have never been happier to see Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn then I was here. Thank God those two interrupted that group dance session. Kofi & Sami actually had a pretty good match afterwards, including a pretty awesome looking, new move by Kingston (at 50 seconds):


Shane’s presence then shifted to backstage, where he delivered some very disturbing news to Smack Down Women’s champion Natalya:

So Charlotte will challenge Natalya next week in Charlotte, North Carolina. Coincidence? Following the Ric Flair 30 for 30 on ESPN Tuesday night, there was even more attention put on Charlotte. The last thing to consider is that more & more of the Raw/Smack Down “champion versus champion” matches at Survivor Series are changing into traditional babyface versus heel setups. This would be another opportunity to do that & pit Charlotte against Alexa Bliss at Survivor Series.


Team Blue captain Becky Lynch got embroiled in an online Twitter battle against James Ellsworth this week. She was rewarded with a one on one match against Ellsworth on Tuesday night. Here is Ellsworth with some ridiculousness before their match:

James was out of line & EXTREMELY sexist in this clip, so apparently Becky wasn’t the only Team Blue member that was offended by this:

Time will tell if CarmEllsworth is really done, but I would guess that they have at least another on-camera exchange very soon. Here Carmella briefly describes her logic:

I also found an interview clip of James Ellsworth, following his match against Becky Lynch…..

Say what you want about Ellsworth, but he remains an optimist. Also, it looks like he & Enzo Amore both have a thing for leopard print wrestling gear.


There was so much that happened this week on Smack Down, I almost forgot to mention that there was another Bludgeon Brothers vignette! Excuse the feigned enthusiasm……

Incredible. This was so vastly different than the last 3 vignettes, I would have never forgiven myself had I not remembered to mention this. At this rate, WWE Network is going to have to charge an extra $5 a month to pay for all of the bludgeoned cameras. Hopefully this duo can get some ring time soon & save us all some money.


Thanks for reading!

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