Well WWE Universe, you finally have what you want – former world champions Daniel Bryan and The Miz will collide at Summerslam.
After initially declining Bryan’s challenge, The Miz accepted the challenge on the Aug. 7 episode of Smackdown Live and will face the “Yes” man in a match at the Biggest Party of the summer.
The Miz and Bryan have a storied past. When Bryan first appeared on WWE programming as a part of the first season of NXT, the Miz was his pro coach. This was at a time when the Awesome One was rising through the ranks and Bryan was a beloved figure on the indie scene. The two mixed like oil and water in the beginning.
After Bryan returned to WWE after being released, he was in a program with the Miz and won the WWE United States title. Their paths didn’t cross in WWE for a number of years.
The two came ahead on an episode of Talking Smack in 2015. Bryan, who was retired at the time, called The Miz a soft wrestler. In his response, The Miz delivered a promo calling a Bryan a coward for not fulfilling his promise to not return to the ring.
The two traded verbal jabs and glares over the next few years. While fans were always hoping for Bryan’s return, Miz was becoming one of the most talented wrestlers on the roster. When Bryan was cleared to return to the ring, fans were hoping these two would meet in the ring.
The build for this match has been fun so far. Both Bryan and The Miz shine on the microphone in their own ways. Bryan attacking the Miz is icing on the cake.
Bryan vs. The Miz is not the only match added to Summerslam after Smackdown Live.
The New Day defeated The Bar in one of the best matches on Smackdown to earn a shot at the Bludgeon Brothers Smackdown tag team titles.
The Blungeon Brothers have been on a tear since winning the blue belts at Wrestlemania. They have beaten former champions the Usos and The Club. They have a chance to solidify themselves as one of the best teams if they beat a high caliber foe like the New Day.
Of course, The New Day are looking for their fifth tag team title. Adding another trophy to their rainbow-colored case would bring them one step closer to being the best tag team in WWE history.
Some fans may cringe at the idea of the Bludgeon Brothers facing the New Day because most of the champions’ matches have been squashes. Harper and Rowan aren’t flashy wrestlers – they are powerful, dominating monsters. Still, the New Day is crafty and clever and will be able to get in some good offense.
Both matches are worthy additions for a large event like Summerslam.
WWE has touted SummerSlam as the party of the summer and in recent years has built their annual August cards to Wrestlemania-level in terms of talent and matches.
This year’s SummerSlam event appears stacked on paper. Sure fans will complain about Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Title match because it’s the fourth main event title between the two. But this time around fans aren’t getting the same promos as before – Lesnar shoving Paul Heyman around is a nice change from the advocate spewing his usual lines promoting Lesnar.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? January 7, 2019
For Raw, the main event between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental championship was a great match and a good way to end this rivalry and move forward with both competitors. Ambrose ended up winning after Bobby Lashley interfered and attacked Rollins. This made sense as the show opened with Rollins and Lashley brawling and these two have been at each other for the past few weeks. What’s really good to take out of this is now Rollins can focus on the Royal Rumble and Ambrose can focus on who is next contender is for his championship.
For Smackdown, the push for Shane McMahon and The Miz to go for the tag team championship was an entertaining way to help build this match up at the Royal Rumble. After Shane expressed aggressiveness and prove worthiness to earn a championship match, the Miz tried to impress him by going out there and challenging the Bar to that match by himself. The challenge was accepted and even though that isn’t what Shane meant, they are getting the match that wanted when they first formed.
For Raw, the Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar “face to face” segment fell flat. Strowman struggled on his delivery of insults to Lesnar, and the “face to face” was more of just Lesnar walking around the ring over and over again without getting in Strowman’s face. At this point, anybody but Brock Lesnar needs to hold the Universal championship in order to give it a more important feel.
For Smackdown, there was nothing they had that was really too bad. Smackdown was able to give proper time for all the rivalries they are building up.
The Final Verdict
Smackdown has been hitting on all the right cylinders with their shows for a while now. Once they establish a championship match for the PPV, they give proper buildup and interesting scenarios for each one. Along with that, when Smackdown wants to build up a rivalry just for their show, they are able to do that effectively as well. While Raw does try to do the same, there segments and matches just don’t have the spark that Smackdown is able to deliver. So, with that said, Smackdown had the better show this week. In conclusion, the Royal Rumble is one of the big 4 PPV’s for the year of 2019 for WWE, and so far it looks like everything is going right for Smackdown while Raw is still trying to find their footing.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? December 31, 2018
For Raw, the whole segment and match featuring Seth Rollins was a great feature on this show. With Rollins demanding a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship against Dean Ambrose, Triple H decided to come out and address this. Triple H told him that the “automatic rematch” clause is no longer going to happen and that superstars have to earn their title opportunities from now on. This then led to a match with Bobby Lashley, which ended in a DQ when Rollins took out Lashley and Lio Rush with a steel chair. This has fans thinking if Triple H possibly set something off in Rollins going forward.
For Smackdown, the main event was a fatal five way match to determine who would face Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble and it was a spectacular match. With each superstar getting their time to shine, it was a solid showing from everybody. AJ Styles ended up winning the match after hitting a 450 splash on Randy Orton. With what has been happening with Styles recently after his encounter with Vince McMahon last week, it is interesting to see what is going to happen next in this feud.
For Raw, their main event compared to Smackdown’s was underwhelming. We got a standard tag team match between Natalya and Ronda Rousey versus Nia Jax and Tamina. The match was ok overall but didn’t really have anything too attention grabbing. Along with that, this is a match we have already seen multiple times.
For Smackdown, we really didn’t get anything out of the tag team division this week. There was no segment, promo, or anything in regards to what is next in store for the champions so that was very disappointing.
The Final Verdict
Overall, with the holidays falling on both scheduled times of these shows, they had to put on good shows that would get people to actually watch. While they could throw in segments related to the holidays, they still need to push forward for the Royal Rumble. In regards to which brand did a better job of this, Smackdown takes this week too. With a solid main event, proper time given to build up the United States Championship, and things to look forward for next week’s show, Smackdown keeps hitting on all cylinders while Raw still needs to figure out what to do.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? December 24, 2018
For Raw, it was funny to see Rhyno make a comeback to help out Heath Slater. During Slater’s match with Jinder Mahal, Rhyno dressed up as Santa Claus and was handing out gifts during the match. When it looked like Slater was about to win the match, the Singh Brothers interfered to help out Mahal, giving Slater the win via DQ. Rhyno then came to the ring to save the day. I guess that this means that they are back to being in the tag division.
For Smackdown, we have a new United States Champion! In the main event of Smackdown, Rusev was able to defeat Shinsuke Nakamura in a great match. This match was given a good amount of time and it was able to show what each competitor was about. Overall, this was an interesting change considering Nakamura’s title reign wasn’t really effective, so this is a change to embrace.
For Raw, when WWE announced that we would see new matchups, I expected some interesting things to see in the future. But, WWE decided to recycle the Riott Squad versus Bayley and Sasha Banks once again. This matchup was literally shoved down the WWE fans’ throats when the Riott Squad first came onto Raw and now they seem to be bringing it back. Hopefully though, one of these teams moves to another brand during this new era.
For Smackdown, one thing I noticed was how much they edited the crowd and other things during this show. A prime example was during Rusev’s entrance, they showed a clip of a fan chanting Rusev Day, which a shot that was taken earlier in 2018. Along with that, a majority of the crowd noise was edited too, which doesn’t give it much of a authentic feel.
The Final Verdict
Both brands put on a pretty good show. The Royal Rumble isn’t for another month so building it up extremely wasn’t necessary this week. Both shows were entertaining and helped integrate the Christmas theme too. With that said, I would have to say that Smackdown had the better show this week. With a new US champion, and a very interesting exchange between AJ Styles and Vince McMahon to close the show has questions going into next week. In conclusion, Smackdown continues to roll with solid show week after week so it’ll be interesting to see where this goes for 2019.
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