SmackDown on Fox Episode #28
SmackDown Episode # 1,077
Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center
There is so much to get to on this week’s show that they didn’t even have time to air the intro video as we go straight inside the PC where Michael Cole welcomes us to the show and then the new WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman makes his way to the ring.
Strowman talks about how when the opportunity to face Goldberg at WrestleMania came knocking on his door he did more than just open that door he knocked it off the hinges. Strowman says that he took everything Goldberg had to give him and then he got up and gave everything right back to Goldberg and was eventually able to keep Goldberg down for good and now he is the Universal Champion and to make it even sweeter the victory came at WrestleMania.
Shinsuke Nakamura makes his way down to the ring and for the first time in quite a while he is riding solo without Sami Zayn. Nakamura tries a knock-knock joke on Strowman as he says he is knocking on Strowman’s door. Nakamura reminds Strowman that the last time they were in the ring together Strowman got beat by him and his boys. Strowman says he wants to knock knock knock the crap out of Nakamura and Nakamura tells him to be careful what he wishes for. Nakamura talks about a Japanese proverb and then Strowman retorts with one of his own which is that tonight Nakamura is going to “Get These Hands”. Cesaro tries to sneak attack Strowman, but Strowman feels him coming and just turns around and with little effort throws Cesaro out of the ring, however, as Strowman turns around he is met with a kick to the head from Nakamura. The heels escape as Strowman tries to gather himself after being dazed from the kick to the head.
I thought this was a good way to start off the show by establishing that there is a new top guy on SmackDown for those who didn’t watch WrestleMania. I thought Nakamura was a good choice for his first opponent as they have recent history and it guarantees that Strowman is going to have a good match for his first match as the champion. I liked how Strowman was smart enough to expect a sneak attack was coming and was ready for it as he was able to fend off Cesaro but in the end, Cesaro was still beneficial to Nakamura as his distraction allowed Nakamura to have the opportunity to kick Strowman in the head. It was strange to see Nakamura and Cesaro without Zayn but his boys were able to hold their own without him.
The announcers hype up what we have to look forward to on tonight’s show. It’s nice to see that Corey Graves is finally back on color commentary.
After the break, we get a recap of the WWE Women’s Tag Title match at WrestleMania as we are set to have a rematch right now.
Match #1: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross © vs Kabuki Warriors (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)
Kairi rushes Alexa and hits her with a running dropkick as soon as the bell rings and then Kairi sends Alexa into the corner and chokes her with her boot while also making a tag to Asuka. Asuka knocks Nikki off the apron and then runs over to stomp a mudhole in Alexa. Asuka tags Kairi back in and they attempt a double suplex, but Alexa blocks it and then starts trying to fight off both of her challengers, but the numbers get to be too much and they slam her back down to the mat. Kairi leans Alexa against the ropes and delivers a big forearm to the small of her back. Kairi sends Alexa into the ropes and looks for a hip toss, but Alexa counters it into a rollup that gets a 2 count.
Alexa and Kairi trade strikes for a moment until Kairi gets the best of Alexa and then starts stomping on Alexa’s toes. Kairi drags Alexa back into the corner and Asuka tags herself back in, Asuka knocks Nikki off the apron once again and then goes back to working over Alexa in the corner. The Kabuki Warriors make another tag and then send Alexa into the ropes and when she comes back the Kabuki Warriors work her over with strikes as Asuka hits a kick to the mid-section, Kairi hits an ax kick to the back, and then Kairi finishes up with a basement dropkick. Kairi makes an arrogant cover on Alexa which Alexa is able to kick out of and then Kairi tags in Asuka. Alexa is finally able to hit a dropkick out of nowhere that sends Kairi rolling to the outside. Alexa hits Kairi with the baseball slide but turns around into a flying hip attack from Asuka. Asuka jumps up on the announce table and starts doing commentary and this is the last straw for Nikki as she joins Asuka on the announce table and they start locking up but as soon as Asuka gets toward the edge of the table Alexa grabs her feet and pulls her down sending her face-first into the announce table and then Nikki dives off the table with a crossbody onto Asuka as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Asuka working over Nikki. Asuka tags in Kairi and they send Nikki into the corner and then Asuka whips Kairi towards Nikki and Kairi connects with a jumping forearm and then Asuka follows up with a running hip attack. Nikki tries to crawl over to her corner but Kairi continues to beat her down and toy around with her. Kairi picks Nikki up and looks to hit an Alabama Slam, but Nikki rolls through and turns it into a sunset flip pin which gets a 2 count. Nikki once again tries to crawl over and this time gets very close before Kairi hits a jumping elbow to her back. Kairi drags Nikki back into the corner so that Asuka can tag in and work over Nikki in the corner. Asuka charges at Nikki in the corner, but Nikki gets her boot up and then fights her way out of the corner, Nikki catches a running Asuka with a surprise schoolgirl pin but Asuka kicks out at 2. Nikki tries to crawl over to her corner again but Asuka grabs the leg and then attempts a German suplex but Nikki blocks it and then hits a running bulldog and this is enough to allow Nikki to make the tag and Kairi is tagged in as well.
Alexa comes in and clotheslines Kairi a couple of times and then hits her with a dropkick, Alexa goes for Insult to Injury but Kairi moves out of the way for the moonsault part of the move and this allows Kairi enough time to hit Alexa with the spear which gets a 2 count. Kairi picks Alexa up, but she fires back with a big right hand which stuns Kairi. Alexa drags Kairi into the corner and Nikki tags herself in, the champions are looking for some kind of double team move, but Asuka cuts them off as she connects with a kick to Alexa’s head and then Kairi hits Nikki with a spinning back fist. Kairi sidesteps a running Nikki which sends her into the corner and then Kairi makes a tag to Asuka. Asuka hits a stiff kick to the back of Nikki and then lifts her up in a powerbomb position so that the Kabuki Warriors can hit the Doomsday Device, but Asuka is out of place at first as she is in the opposite corner of which she should be, so she moves over and then they hit the move. Asuka immediately locks in a cross armbar, but Nikki is able to roll toward Asuka and get a pinfall but Asuka kicks out at 2, but as soon as she kicks out Asuka quickly transitions into the Asuka Lock and Alexa has to enter the ring to break up the hold. Kairi then takes Alexa down with a running blockbuster.
Asuka tags in Kairi and she goes up top looking for the Insane Elbow, but Nikki moves out of the way and then knocks Asuka off the apron. Nikki ducks a clothesline from Kairi and makes the tag to Alexa. Alexa ducks a spinning back fist and then hits the DDT, but only gets a 2 count as Kairi gets pulled out of the ring by Asuka. Nikki looks to dive off the apron onto Asuka, but Asuka is able to get a knee up. Alexa climbs up top and comes off with a Twisted Bliss onto both members of the Kabuki Warriors who were standing at ringside. Alexa throws Kairi back into the ring and then goes back up to the top rope where she looks to hit Kairi but she notices Kairi moving out of the way so she jumps down landing on her feet. Nikki makes a blind tag and then Alexa catches the leg of Kairi and hits her with a big right hand which dazes her enough for Nikki to hit the Purge and pick up the win.
Winners: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross via Pinfall Match Rating: ***¼
When the women’s tag match at WrestleMania was as good as it was I was truly shocked as I didn’t expect these two teams to have as great of a match as they did, fast forward to a few days later when they announced this rematch was happening and I was thinking that there is no way they could have another match as good as the one they had at WrestleMania, but here I am writing this review and sure enough, this match was almost just as good as their WrestleMania match, Who would’ve thought these two teams would have such great chemistry with each other, actually it’s probably a good thing that they have great chemistry with each other as it isn’t like there are tons of teams in the women’s tag division so most likely these two teams will be facing off quite often.
I like many others on Twitter who were pointing it out am confused as to why this match was happening on SmackDown when the Kabuki Warriors are on Raw and while the champions can be on either brand the challengers must stay on the brand they are drafted to.
I want to give recognition to Asuka as she has been hands down the MVP of the empty arena shows as everything she has touched over the past month has turned into gold whether it be in the ring, during a promo, or even in the role of being on commentary she has truly proven why she is the GOAT.
We come back from break and go to the balcony where Elias sings about how he beat King Corbin at WrestleMania and as he sings we see a recap of the match.
This was fine as they had to have some kind of segment to talk about what happened between Corbin and Elias at WrestleMania.
We get a recap of the Otis vs Dolph Ziggler match at WrestleMania and then Ziggler comes to the ring along with Sonya Deville. Ziggler and Sonya walk over to the announce table and start ranting and raving about how the footage last week was edited to make them look bad. Tucker makes his way down the ramp and says that he has some pictures that Ziggler needs to see and this leads to pictures of Otis and Mandy showing up on the screen. Tucker says he and Ziggler have unfinished business after last week and they will finish things tonight.
We go to a break and when we come back it’s time for the next match.
Match #2: Dolph Ziggler w/ Sonya Deville vs Tucker
Ziggler goes after Tucker as soon as the bell rings but Tucker stops him momentarily, but Sonya gets on the apron and distracts Tucker and Ziggler tries to take advantage but Tucker fights him off and sends Ziggler shoulder first into the ring post. Tucker puts the boots to Ziggler and then hits him with a vertical suplex which gets a 2 count. Tucker continues his attack on Ziggler until Ziggler fires back with a back elbow which stuns Tucker, but he recovers quickly as he catches the legs of Ziggler off a dropkick attempt and catapults him into the corner. Tucker is fired up as Ziggler rolls to the outside for a breather.
Tucker continues his assault on the outside as he sends Ziggler into the steel stairs. Tucker takes the stairs apart looking to inflict damage on Ziggler just like Ziggler did to him last week, but before Tucker can do anything Ziggler rakes his eyes and then attempts a rocker dropper, but Tucker catches him and slams Ziggler on the announce table. Tucker rolls Ziggler back into the ring and hits him with a big powerslam but Ziggler is able to kick out at 2. Tucker picks Ziggler up and Ziggler tries to fight back, but Tucker takes him down with a hellacious lariat. Tucker springs off the middle rope with a crossbody that gets him another 2 count. Tucker charges at Ziggler who gets his foot up for a superkick, but Tucker catches it and spins Ziggler around and then charges at him but Ziggler sidesteps which sends Tucker shoulder first into the ring post and then Ziggler hits the superkick to get the win.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler via Pinfall Match Rating: **1/4
This was a good match that could’ve been better but the finish hurt it as it made no sense that one superkick would get the win after Tucker had beat down Ziggler for the entire match, why not just let Tucker get his revenge for last week by beating Ziggler it’s not like a loss for Ziggler would hurt him. They will announce later in the show that next week Mandy and Sonya will come face-to-face and I am looking forward to seeing what happens with that.
We see a video recap of the triple threat ladder match from WrestleMania and are told that a new episode of The Dirt Sheet will be coming up next after the break.
We go to the ring for the latest edition of The Dirt Sheet. Miz and Morrison talk about how Morrison retained the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania and then crack jokes about all the other major matches that happened on the show. Miz and Morrison then start talking about how their new song has gone gold and they are going to perform the song live right now, but halfway through the song, they get interrupted by The Usos.
The Usos talk about how John Morrison may have retained the title at WrestleMania, but both Miz and Morrison are the tag team champions so they both have to defend the titles. Morrison realizes what they are trying to do which is to cause friction between the two but he has Miz’s back. MIz says that The Usos and New Day are the reason he couldn’t make it to WrestleMania as they injured him and made it where he wasn’t medically cleared and he still isn’t medically cleared.
The New Day comes out and Big E says that things may have not gone their way at WrestleMania, but they figured since one half of each team competed for the titles at WrestleMania then it’s only right that the other half of each team get their shot to compete for the titles. Kingston says that they have consulted with both WWE management and the Fox executives and next week there will be a triple threat match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships as it will be The Miz vs Big E vs Jey Uso.
This was a completely forgettable segment for me except for the fact that we are getting the triple threat between the other three members of each team. I do like how they are doing the singles thing as it is something different that we haven’t seen, but if they wanted to spice up the division, even more, they should have had Jey Uso and Kofi Kingston each grab a belt during the ladder match and have them become the new tag team champions because we know that magic happens when you put New Day and The Usos in the ring together, but we’ve pretty much seen everything they can do with their traditional partners so why not mix things up and make them have to rely on a guy who is usually on the opposite side of the ring from them.
The announcers hype up the SmackDown debut of The Forgotten Sons that will be in action after the break.
Match #3: The Forgotten Sons w/ Jaxson Ryker vs Lucha House Party (Metalik & Dorado)
Cutler and Dorado lockup and Cutler pushes Dorado into the corner where he works him over. Cutler sends Dorado into the ropes and connects with a back elbow and then tags in Blake who connects with a blow to the mid-section. Blake roughs up Dorado in the corner and then he sends Dorado into the ropes and tries for a back elbow of his own, but Dorado ducks and springboards off the ropes with a moonsault that takes down Blake. Dorado tags in Metalik who stands on Dorado’s shoulders and delivers a splash but it only gets a 1 count. LHP makes another tag and Dorado comes off the top with a clubbing blow to the arm of Blake. Dorado works on the arm for a bit until Blake gets back to his feet and backs Dorado into the corner so he can tag Cutler back in, Dorado tries to fight his way out of the corner but Cutler cuts him off and hits a butterfly backbreaker. Cutler hits a series of forearms to the lower back of Dorado and then chokes him across the bottom rope. Cutler tags Blake back in and they hit a double uranage backbreaker and then Blake drives his knee into the back of Dorado and then locks in a chin lock.
Dorado eventually gets to his feet, but can’t escape from the grasp of Blake as Blake hammerlocks the arm and fires away with some brutal strikes. Blake charges at Dorado who leapfrogs over him which sends Blake flying to the outside. Blake is able to tag in Cutler before Dorado is able to make a tag, Cutler sends Dorado into the ropes but he comes back with a handspring stunner that sends Cutler back into the corner which allows Blake to tag himself in while at the same time Dorado makes the tag to Metalik. Metalik takes down both Cutler and Blake with a springboard crossbody and then Metalik handsprings off the ropes and then hits a springboard back elbow. Metalik hits the rope walk dropkick that sends Blake flying across the ring.
Dorado comes in and delivers some strikes to Cutler and then Dorado charges at him, but Cutler backdrops him to the outside. Metalik hits a superkick that sends Cutler to the outside and then Blake tries for a schoolboy but Metalik rolls through and then delivers an enziguri to Blake. Metalik tries for another handspring but this time he is caught but Metalik escapes only to be taken down with a clothesline from Blake. Blake tags in Cutler and they hit their reverse DDT and foot stomp finisher to pick up the win.
Winners: The Forgotten Sons via Pinfall Match Rating: **¼
The Forgotten Sons are now on SmackDown? Really? Really? Why were they chosen to come over to one of the two main brands over some other names down in NXT, I mean they could very well become the first act to not get over on any brand they are put on. I actually feel bad for The Forgotten Sons as they have improved as a team and work well together, but unfortunately, their gimmick sucks and they come off as very bland.
We cut to the back where Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross are celebrating their win over the Kabuki Warriors earlier in the night and they say they feel unbeatable. Carmella and Dana Brooke walk up and challenge Alexa and Nikki to a match for the titles and after a minute of discussion amongst themselves, they accept the challenge.
How is it that a makeshift team like Dana and Carmella are getting a future title shot when an established team like The IIconics can’t even get on TV?
Sasha Banks and Bayley make their way to the ring as we go to commercial.
Bayley talks about how just a few weeks ago Paige was trying to ruin her WrestleMania as well as her friendship with Sasha, but she failed at both. Bayley says beating the odds at WrestleMania was her greatest moment yet. Bayley says she and Sasha are the ultimate role models and if anyone thinks their friendship is going to end that easy then screw them. Sasha says that nobody from the past, present, or future can touch them.
Tamina comes out and Bayley tries to kiss her ass by saying she smells good and that she had a dominant performance at WrestleMania, eventually Tamina just tells her to shut up and eventually she challenges Bayley to a one-on-one title match. Sasha tells Tamina she has no right to make demands after being gone for the last year and while she is saying this she is telling Bayley to hold her back which Bayley does, however, it’s clear that Sasha isn’t moving anywhere near Tamina. Bayley says she is fair and that she will give Tamina her match, but first, she has to beat Sasha next week which Sasha does not look pleased about. Tamina accepts Bayley’s challenge and tells Sasha that her best friend just screwed her over.
It seems like Tamina is being featured on TV quite a lot recently which is pretty ironic considering that the Jimmy Snuka episode of Dark Side of the Ring premieres on Tuesday. I like how they are starting to set up the tension between Sasha and Bayley as it’s basically Bayley taking advantage of Sasha’s friendship by expecting Sasha to do whatever she asks of her and doesn’t even care if it is not in Sasha’s best interest. I did get a kick out of Sasha and Bayley when they were interacting with Tamina.
We are told that after the break we will see the first of a series of highlight videos recapping the career of Jeff Hardy.
We came back from commercial and we did not go to the video, but we did go to our next match.
Match #4: Sheamus vs Cal Bloom
Sheamus goes right at Bloom with a kick to the mid-section and clubbing blows. Sheamus sends Bloom into the ropes but ducks his head too early and this allows Bloom to take advantage for a moment, Sheamus reverses a whip into the ropes and nails Bloom with a back elbow. Sheamus puts the boots to Bloom which causes him to roll out to the apron and this leads to Sheamus hitting the 10 Beats of the Bodhran. Sheamus slowly walks back into the corner in order to create space so he can hit a devastating Brogue Kick to pick up the win.
Winner: Sheamus vs Pinfall Match Rating: *¾
After the match, Sheamus goes over to the announce table and stares intensely at the announcers and then walks off.
For those unaware, Cal Bloom is the son of Wayne “The Train” Bloom aka Beau Beverly. This was a quick but very hard-hitting match. For someone who they hyped up a lot with vignettes, Sheamus hasn’t really done anything since his return and it was surprising that he didn’t even have a match at WrestleMania. If they plan on keeping the title on Strowman for a while I wouldn’t mind a feud between those two bosses.
We then go to the Jeff Hardy video package and after that ends we go to break.
We come back from commercial and the announcers hype up next week as we will have the first two Money in the Bank Qualifying matches as Daniel Bryan goes against Cesaro and Dana Brooke goes against Naomi, these matches are in addition to the triple threat match for the tag titles, Tamina Snuka vs Sasha Banks, and a face to face between Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville.
We then go to our final match of the evening.
Match #5: Braun Strowman vs Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Cesaro
Strowman throws Nakamura back into the ring, but then Strowman turns his attention toward Cesaro again and this time it ends up costing him as Nakamura catches Strowman with a knee as he goes to enter the ring and this sends Strowman back down to the ringside area. Nakamura charges at Strowman (who is leaning against the barricade) but Strowman catches him and slams him down on top of the barricade as we go to commercial.
We come back from commercial and see Strowman effortlessly presses Nakamura over his head and sends him crashing down to the mat. Strowman hits an avalanche on Nakamura and then sets up for the powerslam, but Nakamura slides out the back and lands a spinning wheel kick that causes Strowman to stumble back into the ropes and as Nakamura distracts the referee Cesaro runs up and hits a jumping uppercut from the floor onto Strowman. Nakamura hits a running knee which Strowman kicks out of at 2.
Nakamura tries to ground Strowman with a chin lock, but Strowman easily gets to his feet and hits Nakamura with a sidewalk slam. Strowman hits another avalanche in the corner and then knocks Cesaro off the apron with a big right hand. Strowman charges at Nakamura but Nakamura connects with a push kick that sends Strowman rebounding off the ropes and he lays Nakamura out with a clothesline.
Nakamura rolls out of the ring and Strowman mows him down with the Strowman Express and then he throws Nakamura back into the ring, but before he gets back into the ring himself he decides to take Cesaro out with the Strowman Express and when he hits it Cesaro gets sent over the barricade. Strowman gets back into the ring and Nakamura is ready for him as he catches him with another running knee which leads to a pinfall, but Strowman is able to get a shoulder up. Nakamura sets up for the Kinshasa but as he charges in, Strowman catches him and hits a tilt-a-whirl running powerslam to finish the match.
Winner: Braun Strowman via Pinfall Match Rating: ***
After the match, it’s time for an unannounced Firefly Funhouse and we go into the Funhouse and see that Wyatt has a whiteboard with the history between himself and Cena and then says he was just re-writing history and this leads to him actually erasing the word history and re-writing it and this leads to a recap of the match at WrestleMania. Wyatt then focuses his attention on Strowman and he talks about how he created him but he will forgive Strowman if he just apologizes, Strowman says he isn’t playing Wyatt’s twisted games. Wyatt says that Strowman needs to be more focussed on Learning These Manners rather than Getting These Hands and he is going to teach Strowman about sharing. Wyatt says Strowman has something that he wants which is the Universal Title, Wyatt says that since he brought Strowman into the world he will take him out of it as well. Bray tells Strowman bye as Firefly Funhouse is over for this week.
Strowman tells Wyatt that any time he is ready he will let Wyatt in and then he tells Wyatt bye in the same way that Wyatt closes out all the episodes of Firefly Funhouse.
This was a really good match to kick off Strowman’s reign as Universal Champion as it showcased him as an unstoppable force as he dominated the majority of the match and when Nakamura did get in some offense Strowman was able to quickly recover and get right back to dominating Nakamura. I think if done right this feud between Strowman and Wyatt could be really interesting as they have their past that they can play off of.
As the first SmackDown post WrestleMania 36, I thought this episode was fine but there wasn’t really anything special to talk about like you would come to expect from the post WrestleMania shows. I liked the women’s tag title match quite a bit as well as everything involving Strowman but everything else was just there. I do feel like what they have lined up for next week could make for a better show, especially the Bryan vs Cesaro match, I also look forward to the face to face between Mandy and Sonya and what happens next with that story.
That’s all for this week but I’ll be back next week for what is now going to be a live show because for some absurd and ludacris reason Vince thinks that he needs to risk the health of his talent by having them fly back and forth each week in the middle of a pandemic rather than going with their original plan which was to tape a month worth of TV leading up to Money in the Bank. I don’t know why it matters whether a show is taped or live under these circumstances as long as the show gets aired on TV, but I guess nobody can understand that logic unless you are a rich and greedy old man who is out of touch with reality named Vince McMahon.
SmackDown on Fox Episode #28