SmackDown on Fox Episode #35
SmackDown Episode # 1,084
Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center
We open the show by going on the scene to some kind of car accident that has just happened outside of the PC and the police are already on the scene. We see that Elias was a victim in the accident as he is being checked on by EMTs and is on a backboard as he is getting prepped to go into an ambulance. Renee Young tells us that an eye witness saw the driver flee the scene wearing all black. The officers are searching the vehicle and they find a bottle of booze as well as a receipt for the rental car and the name on the receipt is Jeff Hardy. We then go over to Kayla Braxton who will be speaking to the eye witness mentioned earlier which just happens to be Braun Strowman, Strowman says he saw the whole thing happen and he was the one that called 911 and he hopes they catch the SOB that did this and that he hopes Elias is ok.
The interview is cut short when we see a commotion happening in the background as people start running toward a certain direction and we see that Jeff Hardy has been found and is helped to his feet and walked back toward the scene of the crime by road agents Jamie Noble and Jason Jordan Angle, while Noble and Angle are worried about Hardy’s well being the police keep wanting to ask Jeff questions and Noble has to kindly tell them to chill and one of the officers say that he smells just like the booze found in the car. The cops eventually put the cuffs on Hardy despite Noble trying to plead with them to at least let him get checked out first but that falls on deaf ears as they load Hardy into the police car and take him away to jail.
As the car pulls away we see either a member of the media or a nosey Karen trying to record everything going on despite the referees repeatedly telling her to stop. We then see Elias getting loaded into the ambulance because for some reason a man that just got hit by a car has yet to be taken to the hospital and the EMTs are taking their sweet ass time getting him there. We close the segment with Renee saying they will keep us updated throughout the night if anything else regarding the situation as it develops.
I definitely wasn’t expecting something like this to kick off the show and now after watching it I wish they hadn’t done any of it because there were so many things wrong about all of this. First off, the acting by everyone except one person was absolutely atrocious and the worst actor out of all of them was Braun Strowman but I don’t really blame him because WWE should’ve known that acting is a weakness of his and thus should’ve never put him in the position, on the flip side the best actor of the entire segment and the person who felt the most natural was surprisingly Jamie Noble as I liked how he interacted with Hardy and the asshole cops as they were walking back to the crime scene.
The second problem with this segment can be chalked up to the fact that WWE was once again tone-deaf to the world around them as it felt very icky and uncomfortable that they did an arrest angle or anything involving cops while the nation is protesting the murder of George Floyd and other racial injustices that the police have been responsible for. The third reason as to why this whole thing was wrong is that they made a very serious issue (drunk driving) into nothing more than a trivial wrestling storyline and to make it even worse they had Jeff Hardy be involved in the angle when it is well known that he has had a history of alcohol and drug abuse and that is so wrong but then again this is the same company that had Steve Austin poor beer on Scott Hall when he was trying to get sober back in 2002 so this is nothing new for them. To sum it all up, this segment did way more bad than it did good and there is no storyline explanation that could ever be good enough to make up for all this bad.
We go to break and when we come back we cut backstage where some of the SmackDown roster is gathered around while Adam Pearce informs them of what happens and then announces that both Elias and Hardy are out of the Intercontinental Championship tournament. We then get a bunch of yelling back and forth and people stating why they should or other people shouldn’t be in the tournament. AJ Styles wants a bye to the finals and Adam Pearce grants it to him for some reason, however, Bryan wants to fight for his way to the finals so Adam Pearce sets up a battle royal and the winner will face Daniel Bryan later tonight and the winner of that will face AJ Styles for the vacant Intercontinental Championship in two weeks. The battle royal is coming up next.
Match #1: WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament Semi-Final Qualifying Battle Royal
The match starts as soon as we come back from commercial and it’s total chaos as all ten men brawl around the ring. We see some early near elimination spots and then we see Metalik hitting a splash onto Cesaro and then moments later Cesaro tries to gutwrench suplex Dorado over the top but he hangs on. Dorado saves himself multiple times from elimination. Cesaro attempts a press slam on Ziggler onto the top turnbuckle but it gets botched. Sheamus tries to press slam Dorado out of the ring on the other side but he is still able to hang on. Metalik looks to hit a Spanish fly on Gulak but Nakamura stops that from happening for some reason. Lucha House Party double team Corbin in the corner and this leads to our first elimination when Dorado attempts a springboard but Corbin knocks him out of the air sending him to the floor. Gulak and Corbin go at it near the ropes and this leads to our second elimination at it looks like Gulak is going to eliminate Corbin but he hangs on and they battle it out for another minute until Corbin pulls Gulak throat first into the top rope and then biels him over the top rope to the floor.
Ziggler and Corbin double team Metalik but he comes back with a handspring back elbow that takes them both down. Metalik goes for his rope walk dropkick but when he springs off the rope he is caught with a superkick by Ziggler and this leads to a third elimination as Corbin tosses him over the top and to the floor. Corbin and Ziggler celebrate their good work but when Corbin turns his back Ziggler tries to throw him over but Corbin doesn’t budge. Ziggler tries to play it off and Corbin goes in for a handshake and that is when our fourth elimination comes as he uses the grip he has on Ziggler to throw him over the top and to the floor. Corbin has some words for Ziggler and turns his back on what is happening in the ring and he ends up paying for it because when he turns around Jey Uso hits him with a superkick that sends him over the top for the fifth elimination and this sends us to commercial.
We come back to the former members of The Bar double-teaming Shorty G and trying to get him out but he fights back only to be taken down with a double clothesline and then they fist bump each other. Sheamus sits Shorty up top but Shorty fights back and catches Sheamus with a hanging armbar, Shorty releases the hold and pulls himself back up so that he can hit Sheamus with a tornado DDT. Jey hits superkicks on Cesaro and Nakamura and then Shorty hits Cesaro with a rolling koppo kick in the corner and Jey follows that up with a running hip attack on Cesaro. Nakamura ducks an enziguri attempt from Jey and then hits him with a spinning wheel kick. Shorty tries to get Nakamura over the rope but he wraps his legs across the top rope until Cesaro can come over and make the save. Cesaro attempts to put Shorty over the top but he hangs on and looks to hit Cesaro with a shoulder thrust but Sheamus connects with a knee instead. Shorty grabs a side headlock on Cesaro and uses the leverage to pull Cesaro over the top and to the floor and with that we have the sixth elimination.
We are down to the final four which are Sheamus, Shorty G, Jey Uso, & Shinsuke Nakamura.
Nakamura comes over and delivers a knee strike to the gut of Shorty. Shorty reverses a whip into the ropes but Nakamura hooks the ropes instead of coming back and when Shorty charges at him he takes him down with a knee to the gut. Shorty ducks two big kicks from Nakamura and then uses all of his strength to power Nakamura up and over the top rope and to the floor for the seventh elimination. Nakamura tries to get back into the ring which allows the referees to be distracted long enough for Cesaro to run in and eliminate Shorty and because of the distraction, the referees think that one of the men who are still legally in the match threw out Shorty and thus his elimination counts.
Jey takes it to Sheamus in the corner and then prevents himself from being whipped into the corner and delivers a couple of right hands to Sheamus. Sheamus catches Jey running off the ropes and tries to backdrop him over the top but Jey hangs on, Sheamus attempts the ten beats of the bodhran as Jey is on the apron but Jey blocks it and hangs Sheamus across the top rope. Jey hits an overhead kick to create distance so he can climb up to the top but Sheamus ducks under whatever Jey was going for but Jey rolls through and hits Sheamus with a superkick and then follows up with a running clothesline that is almost enough to get the job done but Sheamus is able to hang on. Sheamus rakes Jey’s eyes and pulls him out to the apron with him where he continues to rake at the eyes until Jey starts to fight back. Jey tries to superkick Sheamus off the apron but Sheamus catches his leg and pushes him back to where Jey slams the back of his head into the ring post and then Sheamus hits Jey with a Brogue Kick that sends Jimmy to the floor and gives Sheamus the win.
Winner: Sheamus via Last Eliminating Jey Uso with a Brogue Kick Match Rating: ***
Lince Dorado by King Corbin
Drew Gulak by King Corbin
Gran Metalik by King Corbin
Dolph Ziggler by King Corbin
King Corbin by Jey Uso
Cesaro by Shorty G
Shinsuke Nakamura by Shorty G
Shorty G by Cesaro
This was a lot of fun as most battle royals are, I thought the booking of the match made sense as most of the eliminations made sense although I was hoping Gulak would hang on longer than he did. I liked that they set up a Shorty G vs Cesaro & Nakamura feud out of this. This was a perfectly fine battle royal and I have no major complaints.
After the match, the announcers hype up tonight’s Moment of Bliss where New Day will be the guests.
Sonya Deville is warming up backstage and says that she beat one blonde last week and tonight she will do the same to Lacey Evans. Lacey Evans walks up behind Sonya and shoves her to the floor as we go to break.
As we come back we cut backstage once again and Shorty G is arguing with Cesaro about how he caused him to be eliminated, this leads to a lot of short jokes and then Cesaro gives him the choice to either walk away or step back in the ring with him so Shorty answers his challenge with a forearm which means he accepts.
Match #2: Sonya Deville vs Lacey Evans
Sonya goes in for a takedown but Lacey is able to move out of the way and then she goes for the takedown again and once again Lacey is able to avoid it. Lacey then gets down on all fours in the amateur wrestling start position as she wants to show Sonya how good of an amateur wrestler she is since Sonya had said that blondes can’t wrestle, We get some fast-paced mat wrestling that ends with Lacey taking Sonya down with a double leg. Both women get to their feet and then we get a proper lock-up where Lacey grabs a side headlock and then gets shot into the ropes where Sonya takes her down with a shoulder block.
It’s time for things to pick up as both women tie up their hair. Sonya goes for the first shot but Lacey ducks and lands a kick, Lacey pulls out her handkerchief and after patting down her face she throws it at Sonya who is not pleased in the least and responds with a big right hand that takes Lacey down. Sonya throws Lacey into the ring post shoulder-first and then lands a couple of right hands on Lacey. Sonya steps on the hair of Lacey and gets kicked in the gut so Sonya slams her leg into the mat. Sonya steps on Lacey’s hair once again and this time Lacey uses her legs to throw Sonya to the mat. Lacey gets back to her feet and lands a kick to the gut of Sonya and then plants her face-first into the mat which sets up a gator roll that Lacey uses to roll Sonya over to the apron where she chokes her with the ring skirt and then drags her to the floor. Sonya comes back with a spear and then delivers some mounted punches before Lacey turns things in her favor and delivers her own punches, the referee ends up counting both women out as they fight on the floor.
Winner: N/A via Double Count-Out Match Rating: **¼
After the match, Lacey throws Sonya rib first into the announce table and when Sonya gets back to her feet she walks off and says that she fights on her own terms.
Once again Sonya was the star of the segment she was in as everything she did in this match looked good and Lacey was fine in the match as well with the exception of the ring skirt spot as that came off a bit awkward.
We get a Forgotten Sons promo…next.
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross are backstage talking when New Day sneaks up behind them and scare them and then the four of them join arms and walk toward the ring.
We come back and it’s time for A Moment of Bliss
Alexa and Nikki welcome their guests The New Day. Nikki is excited to give them a gift of Scottish Pancakes and New Day returns to the favor with some coffee beans that Big E pulls out of his singlet. New Day says the beans came straight from Djibouti, Big E pours the beans in Alexa’s coffee cup and then adds water and stirs and now she has coffee but refuses to try it despite Nikki and New Day urging her to. Alexa moves on and asks New Day if there are any tag teams that stand out as their next challengers and they mention that The Forgotten Sons looks good during the four-way match at Money in the Bank. Big E then asks Alexa who are their next challengers but before she can answer SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley and “The Boss” Sasha Banks makes their way to the ring.
Sasha takes her jacket off and throws it in Alexa’s direction and this nearly starts a brawl but things get settled down before any punches can be thrown. Alexa says everyone in the ring has a title except Sasha and then asks Sasha where her title is. Bayley defends Sasha and then Sasha talks about how they made those tag titles relevant and this leads to Bayley volunteering Sasha for a match against Alexa which Alexa is happy to accept, but Sasha isn’t as happy about this as she isn’t even dressed to compete and is wearing her heels so Bayley tells her she will go get her boots from in the back, Bayley runs backstage and as she does Alexa dropkicks Sasha which sends Sasha out of the ring and sends us to a commercial break.
Match #3: Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross vs Sasha Banks w/ Bayley
Bayley and Nikki Cross are on commentary for this match.
Sasha is stalling by arguing with the referee and then she bends down to tie her shoe and at that time Alexa power walks over to Sasha but it was a trap as Sasha pushes Alexa face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Sasha goes over to kick Alexa in the corner but Alexa blocks and tries to score a quick win with a rollup but Sasha kicks out immediately. Alexa then goes for an Oklahoma roll and a small package but neither gets the job done. Sasha gets a shot in on Alexa and then sends her into the ropes but Alexa comes back with another pinfall attempt which Sasha turns into a crucifix pin but Alexa easily kicks out. Sasha then blocks a kick from Alexa and takes time to taunt Nikki Cross and that is a mistake as Alexa comes back with a big right hand which knocks Sasha silly and this makes Alexa so happy that she decides to grace us with her sweet innocent little angel pose.
Alexa grabs control of Sasha’s arm and uses it to flip Sasha over her back and then she delivers a basement arm wringer. Alexa hits the Insult to Injury which only gets a 2 count. Sasha crawls over to the corner and Alexa charges at her but then stops short as she looks to deliver a slap but Sasha catches the arm and uses it to send Alexa into the turnbuckle. Sasha then hits Alexa with a Meteora where she slingshots from outside on the apron back into the ring, but this only gets Sasha a 2 count. Sasha mounts Alexa and starts punching her and then tries to get a pinfall but Alexa kicks out. Sasha continues to work Alexa over in the corner as she stomps a mudhole in her and then chokes her with her boot. Sasha hits Alexa with a knee strike in the corner and then snapmares her into the middle of the ring where she hits Alexa with a basement Meteora for another 2 count.
Sasha grounds Alexa and locks in a surfboard stretch and after a minute Alexa works her way to her feet and knees Sasha in the gut a few times in order to break the hold, however, Sasha takes Alexa back down with a backbreaker moments later. Sasha delivers some forearms to Alexa in the corner and then takes time to taunt and trash talk Alexa, but this would end up being a huge mistake as this gives Alexa enough time to make a comeback, Alexa fires back with her own set of forearms and then blocks an attempt by Sasha to spring off the ropes by slamming her face-first into the mat. Both women get to their feet, Alexa hits several clotheslines and then she goes for her slap and right punch combo, but Sasha catches her arm and tries to take her down for the Bank Statement, but Alexa rolls through and hits Sasha with a dropkick. Sasha rolls over to the corner and when Alexa charges at her Sasha hooks Alexa’s head with her legs and uses that to drive Alexa face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Sasha follows up with a basement Meteora followed by a rope-assisted double knee drop to the midsection of Alexa but that is still not enough to finish off Alexa.
Sasha sets up for the backstabber but before she can hit it Alexa catches her with a rollup out of nowhere but only gets a 2 count. Alexa hits Sasha with a flying headscissors and then a big right hand before heading up top, but before she can hit Twisted Bliss Bayley hops up on the apron and right behind her is Nikki Cross who also jumps up on the apron to prevent Bayley from costing Alexa the match but her plan doesn’t work out as Bayley shoves her into Alexa which causes Alexa to fall off the top rope. Sasha hits Alexa with a running knee strike to the back of her head and then she catches Alexa with a nice slingshot into a pinning combination and that is enough to finish the match.
Winner: Sasha Banks via Pinfall Match Rating: **1/2
This was by far my favorite segment of the night and it had nothing to do with what was happening in the ring as the match itself was a complete afterthought even though it was a pretty good match. The MVPs of this match were the four individuals sitting at the announce table, as they were pure comedy gold and Nikki, was the best out of all of them as she made the other three corpse due to all of the craziness she was doing during the match as she would stand on the announce table causing it to shake and then she would stand up for Michael Cole against Bayley’s verbal assault to the point where she is patting him on the head and this leads to Cole breaking away from being professional as he joins Nikki in chanting for Alexa, Corey Graves’ reactions to all of this chaos were amusing as well. This was something that would be better if you just watch it because my description can’t do it justice.
As we come back we get a recap of the opening segment.
Match #4: Cesaro w/ Shinsuke Nakamura vs Shorty G
Shorty starts the match out hot by hitting Cesaro with two kappo kicks right off the bat and then moments later he catches Cesaro with a sunset flip out of the corner that gets a 2 count and then he follows that up with a big moonsault off the top rope to a standing Cesaro. Shorty goes to work on the leg of Cesaro until he is kicked off and is then sent into the ropes where he runs into a big clothesline from Cesaro and then Cesaro follows up with a running leg drop which gets a 2 count. Cesaro pulls Shorty up and drops him right back down with an uppercut. Cesaro takes Shorty down with a gutwrench suplex and then applies a rear chin lock but Shorty gets to his feet and fights his way out of the hold and then he catches Cesaro with a dropkick to the knee after being sent into the ropes. Shorty goes for another kappo kick but is caught and hit with an elevated powerbomb which Shorty is able to kick out of.
Cesaro hits Shorty with a basement spinning European uppercut and then he sets Shorty up on the top rope where he attempts a back suplex but Shorty lands on his feet and quickly locks in an ankle lock until Cesaro rolls through sending Shorty ricocheting off the ropes right into another European uppercut which gets Cesaro another 2 count. Cesaro sets up for the Neutralizer but Shorty backdrops him only for Cesaro to roll through and this leads to a couple of pin attempts by Cesaro. Cesaro sends Shorty into the ropes and Shorty catches him with a rolling sunset flip which catches Cesaro off guard and ends up being enough to give Shorty the win.
Winner: Shorty G via Pinfall Match Rating: **½
This was a really fun match that left me wanting more and I hope this is the beginning of a feud between Cesaro and Gable as these two could deliver some really good matches that could really help boost SmackDown’s mid-card. I also wouldn’t complain if this leads to a couple of matches between Shorty and Nakamura.
We go to another commercial after the match and when we come back we cut to a video of Otis and Mandy by the pool and in this video, Otis wants to get into the pool but Mandy would rather take a nap and as she dozes off to sleep she fantasizes about Otis and then we get Otis re-enacting the famous scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. When we go back to reality Otis has actually not got in the pool yet and decides he wants to do a cannonball and this leads to what you would expect it to which is Mandy getting soaked with the water that splashes out of the pool because Otis is fat in case you weren’t aware, the segment ends with Mandy and Otis in the pool making out.
While I do love the Mandy and Otis story this skit didn’t really do anything for me.
We then go backstage where Kurt Angle talks about being back on SmackDown and talks about the history of the show and all the talent that has been on the show including Edge & Randy Orton who are going to have “THE GREATEST MATCH EVER!!”. Angle then announces that this next superstar will be the next face of SmackDown as he has a bright future and this leads to a video package featuring highlights of Matt Riddle.
Bro! Stallion Matt is coming to SmackDown and if they use him right this could lead to some really fun matches between himself and Styles, Bryan, Gulak, Shorty G, Nakamura, etc but I will wait before I get too excited because this is WWE after all and knowing them they will have his first feud be against Corbin.
We cut to the back where Sheamus is getting interviewed and he is not happy about Riddle coming to SmackDown and getting all of this hype. Sheamus moves on and says that he looks forward to kicking Sheamus’s face off on the way to winning his first Intercontinental Championship. Bryan walks up and they stare each other down and Sheamus wants Bryan to say whatever he has to say and then pokes him, Bryan stays silent and just gives Sheamus a hard kick in the shin as he walks off.
As we come back from break the announcers tell us that next week the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships will be defended when the champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross take on the challengers Bayley and Sasha Banks.
Match #5: Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus (WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament Semi-Final Match)
They lock up and Sheamus takes Bryan down with a headlock takeover and holds him there for a minute and then both men are back up while Sheamus still has the headlock locked in, Bryan steps on the calf to get Sheamus down to his size and this allows him to finally be able to slip out of the headlock and transition into a hammerlock and then quickly switches to a chin lock as Sheamus gets back to his feet and arm drags Bryan across the ring. Bryan gets back to his feet and we get another feeling out process which sees Sheamus trying to go back to the headlock but he settles with a standing armbar which ends up getting broken when Bryan gets to the ropes. Bryan has Sheamus in the corner where he delivers some body shots, corner kicks, and uppercuts until Sheamus gets enough and takes Bryan down with a clothesline. Sheamus delivers some clubbing blows and then wrenches on the neck of Bryan. Sheamus jumps on the back of Bryan and then goes back to the standing armbar. Sheamus sends Bryan into the corner where he backflips off of it and then hits Sheamus with a running clothesline. Sheamus runs at Bryan but ends up getting backdropped over the top rope to the floor and then Bryan wipes him out with a tope suicida that sends us to commercial break.
We come back from commercial to see Bryan has control of Sheamus’s arm and is slamming it down across his own shoulder. Bryan tries to get Sheamus down to the mat but Sheamus uses his power to stop that from happening as he sends Bryan into the ropes and tries to catch him but Bryan slips out of his hands and goes behind with a waist lock, Sheamus backs up into the corner where he has Bryan trapped and then he delivers a ton of elbows to the neck and shoulder region to the point where he has Bryan down on the mat and then he follows that up by delivering some knee drops that look just as nasty as the elbows did. Sheamus plays to the PC crowd and it is at that point we get a clear shot of just how red and beat up his chest is. Sheamus delivers a big knee lift that sends Bryan rolling to the outside and Sheamus follows him out to the floor where he sends him into the barricade. Sheamus gets in Michael Cole’s face as he wants him to do the Yes! chants and Cole does as he is told as he looks scared to death.
Sheamus rolls Bryan back into the ring and then goes up top where he comes off with a diving clothesline which gets him a 2 count. Bryan makes a comeback with strikes and then comes off the middle rope where he is caught with an Irish Curse and is then put in the Texas cloverleaf which is broken when Bryan gets to the ropes. Bryan rolls out to the apron and Sheamus goes for the ten beats of the Bodhran but Bryan stops that from happening as he levels Sheamus with several forearm shots and then hangs his throat first across the top rope. Bryan goes up top but is crotched when Sheamus kicks his leg out from under him, Sheamus joins Bryan up top and looks to hit a top rope superplex but Bryan blocks it and headbutts Sheamus back down to the mat so that he can come off the top with a missile dropkick.
Bryan hits Sheamus with the Yes Kicks but Sheamus is able to duck the big roundhouse and then attempts to hit Bryan with another Irish Curse, but Bryan counters it into a crucifix pin for a 2 count. Bryan tries to keep Sheamus down by driving his elbow into the neck of Sheamus but it barely phases Sheamus as he hits Bryan with the White Noise for a 2 count. Sheamus whips Bryan into the corner but Bryan sends him face-first into the middle turnbuckle with a drop toe hold when Sheamus charges at him. Bryan hits a running dropkick in the corner but when he goes for a second Sheamus nails him with a running double axehandle. Sheamus sets up for the Brogue Kick but before he can hit it Jeff Hardy shows up which distracts Sheamus long enough for Bryan to hit him with the Running Knee and pick up the win.
Winner: Daniel Bryan via Pinfall Match Rating: ***¼
After the match Hardy attacks Sheamus and this is how the show goes off the air.
This match was what Good Ol’ JR would call a Slobber Knocker as these two beat the living shit out of each other. Why in the blue hell did we need the tasteless angle that started the show when we ended up with the same final match for the tournament anyway as it was always going to be Styles vs Bryan. They could’ve easily just had Styles beat Elias and then have Sheamus cost Hardy his match against Bryan and it would’ve saved us from having to have to watch a tone-deaf and tasteless angle take up the first fifteen minutes of the show.
This was a mixed bag of a show as all of the in-ring work was really good to great especially the main event but at the same time, everything that didn’t happen in the ring such as the opening segment and the video with Otis and Mandy either didn’t do anything for me or was completely tasteless. The one thing I will remember from this show is the commentary during the Alexa vs Sasha match as the reactions of Graves, Cole, & Bayley to Nikki’s craziness during the match were priceless.
SmackDown on Fox Episode #35