Good morning good readers! It is the go-home show for the blue brand, as TLC is just days away. The SmackDown Live roster has plenty to finish hyping before the final PPV of the year. We have the oh so wrestling related rap battle to look forward to (or not)! If that isn’t good enough (it isn’t), we get Charlotte and Asuka, in a bit of a sampling of a TLC match, along with an intriguing match between 205 Live Superstar Mustafa Ali and WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. Let’s crack open this Nutshell and find out who is ready for Asuka!
Best Match of the night:
Bryan versus Ali was a surprise, and a good match. It’s nice to see WWE utilize their lesser know or lesser featured talents, and it helps avoid repetitive feuds which can really be a drag (See: Orton versus Cena). This was a nice match.
But, it wasn’t my prime choice. For that, I go with Asuka and Charlotte Flair. Strong match that did well to set up the first ever women’s TLC triple threat match. With the way this one was positioned, I am beginning to think this match is destined to be our main event on Sunday. If how the close of the show is anything to go off of, then we won’t be disappointed.
Worst match of the night:
Miz and Shane versus The Vegas Boys.
Raise your hand if you know what WWE is doing with this program…because I don’t have a clue. Honestly, I don’t think WWE Creative does either. Miz deserves something more prominent here, and Shane just doesn’t seem fully invested in being a regular performer.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
No! No! No!
Star of the Night
I have to say, as the show faded to black, one woman stood out-Asuka. Maybe she won’t win on Sunday, but seeing her tower over two downed opponents for the title match? Compelling footage that certainly makes us take note that she may not just be an extra body in the match for filler.
From the men’s side, how about Rusev getting the pin on current United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura
Spot of the Night:
Less a spot and more a segment, but the women using the kendo stick deserves this award tonight.
Jobber of the Night:
The Vegas Boys get the nod here. This one was relatively easy to call.
Upset of the Night:
Nothing to report here
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
On many nights, we might go with Rey attacking Randy Orton and finally getting a measure of revenge. But…not tonight.
You knew the main event would end up building up the women’s triple threat. The thought of tables, ladders or chairs becoming involved made sense. Charlotte decided to bring out her new favorite, however, when she broke out the Singapore cane. Flair used it to clobber Asuka, which earned her the DQ. Then she turned her attention to Becky Lynch, who had been sitting at ringside. Lynch turned the tables on Flair and used the cane against the Queen, but the fun wouldn’t stop there.
Ultimately. the Empress of Tomorrow got the upper hand and closed the show obliterating both of her Sunday opponents with whatever was left of the kendo stick.
Anyone have any doubts about that match now?
Botch of the night:
Shane will pull off incredible, death defying moves. And then he screws up the routine stuff. Tonight, he and a Vegas Boy clearly were not on the same page.
LOL Moment of the night:
The rap battle was surprisingly entertaining-I had honestly expected an abject train wreck.
R-Truth and Carmella with the oh-so-random dance break. It works to keep things entertaining, and for R-Truth, it manages to keep him somewhat relevant.
I have to say, seeing Rusev pin Nakamura may be a positive sign for the Bulgarian Brute. It may be grasping at straws, too.
Shane and The Miz. Could quite possibly be the worst program going currently. Maybe worst all year.
Excellent hype package to open the show. Sometimes these packages can be a waste, sometimes they are well done, well executed and must-see. Tonight we got the better option.
Bryan and Mustafa Ali worked a nice match (these remind me that Bryan works great with guys who are a similar weight…)
The rap battle actually did not disappoint.
The women, closing the show yet again, delivered ahead of their Sunday clash for Becky’s title.
After the final bell:
Overall, this was a strong show in my opinion. Not going to compare the shows (or, I will try not to), but I do feel a lot more optimistic about the focus of the blue brand heading into Sunday’s 2018 finale. TLC should be a pretty strong way to close out 2018.