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SmackDown Live Recap & Review – Episode 996

WWE SmackDown Live
Episode 996

Original Air Date: September 18, 2018
Event Date: September 18, 2018 (aired live)

City: Tulsa, OK
Venue: BOK Center

Commentary: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton


Becky Lynch became the new SmackDown Women’s Champ at Hell in a Cell.

Ring Area
The Miz is already in the ring for Miz TV. Miz has some breaking news. Daniel Bryan and The Miz will compete in a WWE Title number one contender match at Super Show-Down. Miz says he’s beaten Bryan before and will beat him again. But tonight, The Miz has a special guest: Maryse.

Miz asks Maryse how difficult it was to defeat Brie Bella. Maryse says it was the easiest thing she’s ever done in her life. Miz asks Maryse what’s next now that she has conquered Brie, so Maryse says tonight is her last night on SmackDown Live. Miz gets upset when People boo Maryse, so Miz says he will punish everyone by destroying Daniel Bryan.

Daniel Bryan heads to the ring, and he’s pissed. Bryan says Miz can say whatever he wants about him, but Miz better not say anything more about Brie. Bryan attacks, and in the brawl Bryan dropkicks Miz into Maryse. Bryan apologizes, and as he’s distracted Miz tries to hit Bryan with the Skull Crushing Finale. Maryse laughs, but Bryan blocks Miz’s attempt. Miz ends up running into Maryse on his own before Bryan clotheslines him out of the ring.

New Day search for something in the hallways (with Xavier and Big E dressed in safari attire).

Kayla Braxton asks Daniel Bryan about what just happened. Bryan says he wasn’t tricked by Miz and Maryse tonight because Miz is always up to something. Also, Miz is a coward. In Australia, Bryan intends to do more than just punch Miz in the face.


Match 1
Cesaro w/ Sheamus vs Kofi Kingston w/ Big E, Xavier Woods (SD Tag Champs)
(referee: Jason Ayers)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Cesaro wins via pinfall after the Neutralizer
Time: 7:02

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Kofi attacked first, but Cesaro came back quickly and started working on Kofi’s leg. Cesaro used his considerable strength to hobble Kofi by continuing to punish his leg throughout the match. Kofi started to mount a comeback with a dive and some agile moves, but he was considerably slower than usual tonight because of Cesaro’s attack. Cesaro shut Kofi down in a very impressive finish. I really liked this match.


Rusev celebrates Rusev Day with Lana when Aiden English walks up. English says Hell in a Cell was a tough loss, but he has a good feeling about tonight. Rusev says he has a good feeling too, because English won’t be in his match. Rusev says English needs to pull his own weight.

Rusev and Lana walk off. Upset, English starts talking to a random guy about how their tag loss wasn’t his fault. He says Rusev’s recent failures have been Lana’s fault. Lana is standing behind English, and he tries to take everything back. Lana says she’s going to tell Rusev what English just said.

Randy Orton intimidates one of the backstage crew as he pulls up images of Orton using a screwdriver on Jeff Hardy at Hell in a Cell. Orton says what he did to Hardy will pale in comparison to what he will do to his next victim.

Kayla Braxton welcomes AJ Styles. Styles says maybe he got lucky at Hell in a Cell, but maybe Joe’s loss was karma. Regardless, they’ll face each other again at SUper Show-Down, and it will be Anything Goes.

But tonight, Styles has to focus on Andrade Almas. Styles knows Almas can beat him if he’s not careful, so Styles excuses himself so he can go prepare.

Lana wants to tattle on Aiden English, but Rusev stops her. He says whatever she has to say can wait. Tonight, he needs to focus on the US Title, and he wants English to introduce him as usual.


Match 2
US Title Match
Shinsuke Nakamura (US Champ) vs Rusev w/ Aiden English, Lana
(referee: Charles Robinson)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Shinsuke Nakamura wins via pinfall with a schoolboy (after an unintentional distraction from Aiden English)
Time: 7:27 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. The stuff with Lana and Aiden English became a distraction (for the viewer and in the match), but that was kind of the point. Even so, it made it feel like Nakamura was just a prop for Rusev Day in their ongoing story.


Ring Area
After the match, Rusev looks frustrated. As he gets to his feet, Aiden English attacks him from behind. English hits Rusev with a microphone a few times before wishing him a “happy Rusev Day.” English walks away as Lana screams at him.


Match 3
Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega vs AJ Styles (WWE Champ)
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)

Show/Hide Results

Result: AJ Styles wins via pinfall after the Styles Clash
Time: 11:13 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Great match. Almas attacked Styles prior to the opening bell, so that set up Styles at a disadvantage. A good part of the match was Styles trying to fight back up to an even footing with Almas. Both men hit some big moves here and there, and the pace of the match was kept prety high. This felt like a fight, but it was also very technical battle. And the finish was impressive. Hopefully Styles and Almas will get into a longer, exclusive feud at some point. I’d love to see more of this and what else they can do with each other.


Ring Area
Immediately after the match, Samoa Joe runs into the ring and attacks Styles. The brawl goes out to the floor where Styles manages to fight back. Joe retreats over the barricade and walks away through the crowd.

Naomi and Asuka walks towards the ring area.

Ring Area
The IIconics are in the ring. Peyton Royce thinks Tulsa is the worst, but Billie Kay thinks the team of Naomi and Asuka are even worse than Tulsa. Peyton kind of likes them though. They sort of match, and they dance.


Match 4
Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce vs Asuka w/ Naomi
(referee: Jason Ayers)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Asuka wins via submission with the Asuka Lock
Time: 1:44

Match Thoughts
This wasn’t much of a match, but it was pretty fun. Billie Kay hit a nice big boot, but other than that, Asuka didn’t have much trouble here.


Ring Area
Already in the ring, Paige introduces Becky Lynch. Becky heads to the ring where Paige presents her with the SmackDown Women’s Title. Becky says it took a while, but she’s now back where she belongs. She then calls out Charlotte Flair, so Charlotte heads to the ring.

Paige doesn’t want a fight, and Charlotte assures her that there won’t be one. Charlotte says she’s here to show Becky the respect that Becky didn’t show Charlotte on Sunday. Charlotte says Becky was the better woman, but she paid a steep price to win the title. Charlotte can’t wait to get back in the ring and take her title back.

Becky says she didn’t allow Charlotte to raise her hand on Sunday because she knew Charlotte just wanted to steal Becky’s spotlight like she always has. Tonight though, Charlotte can put the title belt around Becky’s waist. Charlotte says she’s always shown Becky respect. Becky says she didn’t really want Charlotte to put the title around her waist, she just wants Charlotte to call her “Queen.”

Charlotte starts to walk away, and Becky calls her a “bitch.” Charlotte attacks Becky, but Becky turns the attack around on Charlotte out on the floor. Becky throws Charlotte over the announce table and puts her in Disarm Her back in the ring. Becky walks up the ramp. As she reaches the stage, Becky holds the title in the air.


Show Impressions
Good show. The matches were all good even if the story segments weren’t all great. I’m not a fan of breaking up Rusev Day, especially the way they’re doing it. English was never the bad guy in this situation, so to have him go full heel on Rusev like he did kind of dumbs down the story in my opinion. It could have been more interesting had they left some shades of gray in the story. Or, you know, they could have just not broken up a fun team.

I’m also not super into the Miz/Bryan stuff, but hopefully Maryse was being truthful when she said this was her last night. Adding Maryse and Brie felt like a big sidetrack, so maybe now they can finally pay this feud off now that it’s just Bryan and Miz.

I’m really enjoying Charlotte and Becky Lynch though. Becky is good at being mean and arrogant.

Match of the Night
Andrade Almas vs AJ Styles
This match was better than their last, and I expect their next to be even better than this one. They work extremely well together.


Official Results:https://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/2018-09-18



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