Date: September 19, 2018
Location: BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton
We’re on Wednesdays now and officially no longer live as this was taped on Tuesday night before Smackdown, therefore making the show much closer to what it should have been a long time ago. Things are getting better, though the lack of people sticking around for the show is about as bad of a sign as you can have. Hopefully things can get better this time around and a Cruiserweight Title match between champion Cedric Alexander and Drew Gulak could help that effort. Let’s get to it.
We open with a look back at the Summerslam Kickoff Show match between Alexander and Gulak, with the latter saying Cedric won’t get lucky again in their rematch tonight. Gulak had to create some chaos to get the match made but it eventually worked.
There are still a bunch of empty seats in the lower arena. From what I’ve heard though, this was due to WWE not announcing that the show would be starting earlier. Most Smackdowns I’ve been to start at 7:30, and if this taping started at 7:00, you can’t imagine many fans were going to be there for the start of the show.
TJP vs. Lince Dorado
Dorado takes him down to start as the cameras try to avoid the mostly empty seats opposite the hard camera. An early armbar has TJP in trouble so he armdrags Dorado and tells him to stay down. That earns TJP a slap to the face and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but TJP is right back with a guillotine choke over the ropes. A high crossbody doesn’t even warrant a cover as TJP would rather hammer away instead.
A Pentagon arm snap still isn’t enough for a cover as TJP dropkicks him in the back instead. The slingshot hilo sets up some rolling suplexes for two as the Eddie Guerrero tribute begins. We hit the armbar as the fans get behind Dorado (“LET’S GO LUCHA!”), bringing him back to his feet. The comeback is cut off by a springboard spinning forearm but Dorado spinwheel kicks him right back. A single overhand chop puts TJP down again and Dorado gets two off a moonsault press. With nothing else working, TJP pulls the mask off and rolls the shocked Dorado up for the pin at 8:30.
Result: TJP b. Lince Dorado – Rollup (8:30)
TJP steals the noisemaker and Dorado chases him to the back.
Lio Rush comes in to see Drake Maverick and says he can’t wrestle tonight because he has commitments with Bobby Lashley on Monday Night Raw. That’s not cool with Drake, who says Rush has to fulfill his obligations here. Rush brings up Drake being AOP’s manager, which Drake brushes off. Rush vs. Noam Dar is set for next week and there will be consequences if Rush doesn’t wrestle.
Post break Mustafa Ali comes in to see Drake as well and wants to face Hideo Itami. Drake is worried but agrees to make the match for next week.
Cruiserweight Title: Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander
Gulak is challenging and has Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick in his corner. The fans (who are now filling in the seats) are behind Cedric here, which isn’t the biggest surprise in the world. Feeling out process to start as the announcers go into a discussion of Super Show-Down. An early Kendrick distraction lets Gulak try the Gulock but Cedric dives for the ropes. A lockup doesn’t go anywhere as they’re still mostly in first gear.
The referee catches Kendrick cheating though and ejects both him and Gallagher to get us down to one on one. The now focused Alexander takes over with an armbar and a stomp to the arm for good measure. Alexander’s springboard DDT is countered into a high collar suplex and Gulak takes over for the first time.
We hit an armbar with Gulak’s knee going into Cedric’s neck, followed by a hard elbow for two. That means a chinlock as things stay slow. Cedric fights up and they both try suplexes, with Gulak eventually being suplexed over the top…and they both land on their feet, allowing Cedric to suplex him out there instead.
Back in and Gulak gets sent into the corner for a running kick to the face, followed by the springboard clothesline for two. The Lumbar Check is countered into a small package so Alexander Neuralizes him out to the floor. Gulak is right back up and grabs the Gulock, sending Alexander to the ropes. The champ is rocked though and Gulak slams him a few times. Some trash talk sets up a running clothesline for two but Alexander flips out of a powerbomb.
A Michinoku Driver gets two and Cedric starts firing off the hard chops (the sweat flying is always a nice touch). Cedric charges into a boot in the corner though and Gulak GOES UP TOP for a clothesline and a near fall of his own. The Gulock with the bodyscissors goes on in the middle of the ring and the fans really don’t react. They clap Alexander out of the hold for a few seconds but Gulak gets it back on, only to have Cedric flip out and hit the Death Valley Driver into the corner for the real break. They chop it out again and Cedric elbows him in the jaw, setting up the Lumbar Check to retain at 20:16.
Result: Cedric Alexander b. Drew Gulak – Lumbar Check (20:16)
Buddy Murphy says Alexander’s winning streak is impressive but seeing the Age of Alexander crash down is going to be even better.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2003 Smackdown Reviews.
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