SmackDown Report for 7/24/20

SmackDown on Fox Episode #43
SmackDown Episode # 1,092
Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center

The show opens just like last week with some promo videos, but this week they were all centered around the bar fight as we got to hear from Jeff Hardy, Sheamus, & bar room brawl veteran JBL. 

These opening promos were even worse than last week, especially the first part with Hardy as he is very hit or miss when it comes to promos and this was a miss by a country mile. 

We then go inside the PC where the Golden Role Models make their way to the ring for our 10-15 minute show opening promo. Sasha and Bayley talk about how they redefined the word greatness after they “won” all the gold at Extreme Rules and how they don’t just walk the walk they talk the talk. They say that the Women’s Evolution is over because the concept began with them and now it ends with them since they have all the gold. They say that kids at home need to look no further for proof that their dreams can come true, but despite how hard they try they will never be as good as they are. 

Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss make their way out to the top of the ramp and Nikki is fired up about how she was cheated out of a win at Extreme Rules and demands a rematch with Bayley.  Bayley says that SmackDown is the land of opportunity and Nikki can have her rematch but only if she beats a worthy opponent, that opponent ends up being Nikki’s best friend Alexa Bliss. Alexa looks very hesitant and doesn’t really want to go against her best friend but Nikki has become so hell-bent on getting back at Bayley that Alexa’s hesitance pisses her off and she shoves Alexa on her butt and storms to the ring. That match will be right after the break.

Match #1: Alexa Bliss vs Nikki Cross
The Golden Role Models were on commentary during this match. 

We get a lockup and both women jockey for position in the corner and then we get a break before another lockup where Nikki tries for a waist lock but Alexa takes control of the arm and then both women keep transitioning into different moves to try and take control of the other’s arm until Alexa tries to get a quick win with a schoolgirl but Nikki kicks out at 1. It looks like we are getting another lockup but Nikki surprises Alexa with her own schoolgirl but Alexa is able to kick out as well. We get a side headlock takeover from Alexa but Nikki scissors out of it and then we get Nikki taking Alexa down with a side headlock and Alexa scissors out of it as the tag partners stare each other down. Alexa with another waist lock and a side headlock but Nikki shoots her into the ropes where Alexa ducks a couple of clotheslines and takes Nikki down with a shoulder block

Alexa runs off the ropes and gets caught with a couple of arm drags and then Nikki locks in an armbar. Nikki then sends Alexa into the corner and charges in but Alexa moves out of the way and goes to slap Nikki, but Nikki blocks and hits her with an elbow and then tries for a tornado DDT but Alexa blocks and tries to transition into the DDT, but Nikki counters and clotheslines Alexa a couple of times and then hits Alexa with a dropkick followed by an avalanche in the corner. Nikki pulls Alexa out of the corner only to send her right back in and hit her with another avalanche followed by a running bulldog that gets Nikki a 2 count. Nikki sets up for The Purge but Alexa counters with an STO takedown and then she hits Nikki with a basement dropkick that sends Nikki out of the ring. Alexa looks to hit Nikki with the baseball slide but Nikki traps her in the ring skirt but isn’t able to capitalize as Alexa hits her with a kick. At this point, Sasha and Bayley had gotten out of their seats and were loudly mocking both women so they decked the champions and this took us to commercial. 

We come back to both women trading right hands while Nikki is on the apron and when Alexa tries to run to the ropes Nikki grabs her by the hair but gets slapped by Alexa and then Alexa drives her shoulder into the injured ribs of Nikki and kicks her back down to the floor where Alexa successfully hits the baseball slide. Alexa allows Nikki to crawl back into the ring and then she kicks her in the ribs and stomps a mudhole into her in the corner. Alexa snapmares Nikki into the center of the ring and applies a top wristlock that gives Alexa full access to Nikki’s ribs and she takes advantage of that as she drives her elbow into the ribs. Nikki tries to get back to her feet in order to escape the hold but Alexa quickly brings her back down with a couple more kicks to the ribs. Alexa hits the double knee drop onto Nikki which sends Nikki rolling to the outside for a breather, Alexa goes after Nikki who tries to make a comeback with a knee to the gut and a side headlock, but Alexa pushes her off into the barricade which inflicts even further pain on her injured ribs. 

Alexa rolls back in the ring and looks to try and get a count-out victory but Nikki slowly gets back into the ring so Alexa continues to go after the ribs including two more double knee drops which surprisingly only get Alexa a 2 count. Alexa gets Nikki in the corner and repeatedly drives her shoulder into Nikki’s midsection. Alexa slams Nikki to the mat and locks on another top wristlock so she can continue to drive her elbow into the ribs. Nikki finally fights her way out and hits Alexa with an arm drag and a jawbreaker. Nikki hits Alexa with a cross chop and then hits her repeatedly with forearms until Alexa is back in the corner and then she slams Alexa face-first into the top turnbuckle and then goes for another tornado DDT but once again it doesn’t work as Alexa throws her off and then hits her with a code red for a 2 count. 

Alexa goes up top but is cut off by Nikki who climbs up to join her, Alexa blocks a superplex attempt by elbowing Nikki in the ribs and then she shoves Nikki back down to the mat and jumps over her when she comes charging back toward her. Alexa tries for a big right hand but Nikki ducks and hits Alexa with an arm trap neckbreaker for a 2 count. Nikki picks up Alexa and puts her in a fireman’s carry position but Alexa escapes out the back and tries for a waist lock but Nikki quickly reverses and hits Alexa with an inverted DDT for yet another very close 2 count. Nikki goes up top and looks for a crossbody but Alexa moves out of the way sending Nikki crashing down to the mat with her injured ribs, Alexa tries to go over and capitalize but the referee tells her to stay back and once Nikki tells the referee she is ok Alexa walks over and is caught with an inside cradle and this was what put Alexa down for the 3 count.
Winner: Nikki Cross via Pinfall   Match Rating: **¾ 

We come back from the break to Nikki Cross who is excited about her win, Alexa walks up and tells Nikki that tonight she got one over on her and she is very happy for her and then Alexa tells Nikki that it’s time to focus on taking the title from Bayley. 

I really enjoyed the promo from the Golden Role Models and the fact that they wanted the Women’s Evolution to end just because in their eyes it can’t get any better than them having all the gold. I liked that they had Nikki earn her rematch rather than automatically giving it to her. The match itself really surprised me as I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was, in fact, I would have to say that this is Alexa’s best singles match in quite a long time. I feel they are teasing Alexa turning on Nikki pretty soon and while I wouldn’t mind Alexa going back heel which is where she really excels I don’t think they need to be breaking up one of the very few women’s tag teams that they do have because the division is pretty scarce already. Sasha and Bayley were great on commentary and their back and forth with Michael Cole is always great.

Just like last week, I didn’t like that Bayley got to make the match between Alexa and Nikki because she is not in a position to make those kinds of decisions, why didn’t they just have Stephanie show up on the tron just like she did Monday and make the match, I mean if wrestlers can now make matches why aren’t all of them just booking themselves into world title matches. I know people are tired of the authority figures in wrestling and while I would agree with that to some extent I feel they are needed in order to make sense of why certain matches are happening, if they have an authority figure for Raw and SmackDown that just shows up every once and awhile as William Regal does in NXT then it could work. 

We then get a recap of the Swamp Fight before going inside the Firefly Funhouse.

Once we are inside the Funhouse Wyatt says the Swamp Fight was fun and the fact that Braun Strowman came back home warms his heart. Wyatt understands that some are worried that Strowman is stuck in the nasty swamp forever but Wyatt assures us that everything in that swamp is 100% organic. We then start hearing strange noises that are coming from the head lantern but Wyatt tells it to hush as he is not letting him out again because he had his chance but now it’s The Fiend’s turn. Bray starts laughing and waves goodbye as this edition of the Firefly Funhouse comes to an end. 

I liked this edition of Firefly Funhouse as I found it interesting how the lantern which represents the old backwoods cult leader part of Bray Wyatt’s mind still wanted out but Wyatt told it to shut up and he can’t let it out which means that for now, he has gone back to suppressing that part of his mind and because of what happened with Strowman the Fiend part of his mind has been awoken again and now it’s time for the even more demonic and evil part of his mind to take over and face Strowman, this was some really good shit. 

We go to a recap of last week’s match between Matt Riddle and AJ Styles and then Matt Riddle makes his way to the ring as he is in action after the break. 

Match #2: Matt Riddle vs Tony Nese
Riddle takes Nese down with a waist lock takedown and then hits him with a couple of gutwrench suplexes and then hits a couple of brotons both to the front and back of Nese both of which result in 2 counts. Nese makes a comeback as he jumps over the top rope while at the same time he hangs Riddle throat first across the top rope and then he follows up with a big springboard moonsault for a 2 count. Nese locks in a bodyscissors but Riddle eventually gets to his feet with Nese on his back and then he tries to power Nese into position to hit the Bro Derrick, but Nese knees Riddle and escapes from the hold. Riddle hits Nese with a push kick that sends Nese into the corner where Riddle hits him with a couple of running forearms and then Riddle hits an exploder followed by a PK and then Riddle finishes things off by hitting Nese with the Bro Derrick for the win.
Winner: Matt Riddle via Pinfall   Match Rating: **¼ 

After the match, Riddle gets on the mic and calls out King Corbin.

King Corbin comes out and says that Riddle doesn’t get to just call him out as he has to put in a formal request but that request would most likely get rejected because Riddle doesn’t belong in his kingdom. Corbin says that Riddle may be new on SmackDown but that freshness will fade and after that is gone all that is left is a frat boy with no shoes who looks like he just rolled out of bed. Corbin then announces that he is putting a King’s Ransom out to anyone who can prove that Riddle doesn’t belong on SmackDown. Riddle says that he is not a subject in Corbin’s kingdom but rather Corbin is the next special guest on the Bro Show. 

Tony Nese slides back in the ring and looks to capture the King’s Ransom but he immediately gets laid out with a roundhouse kick as the segment comes to a close. 

The match itself was a fun little squash. I like the concept of Corbin putting a bounty on Riddle’s head as that makes this feud a little more interesting than it would’ve been otherwise as bounty storylines in wrestling are always fun when they are done right (Harley Race putting a bounty on Ric Flair’s head heading into Starrcade 1983 for the best example). This was a pretty tolerable Corbin segment as the promo was pretty quick and his time on the show was kept short which was nice. 

We go to the back where John Morrison is talking to Miz about hashtags he could use for himself but Miz keeps rejecting them all and then they head to the ring for MizTV which is after the break. 

Miz and Morrison are in the ring and welcome us to MizTV, Morrison continues to talk about hashtags for himself until Miz announces their special guest Naomi. 

As Naomi comes to the ring Miz and Morrison are dancing in the ring with Miz really going over the top with the dancing, but Naomi isn’t impressed. Miz talks about how Naomi started trending on Twitter after last week with fans using the #NaomiDeservesBetter and Naomi replies that while it’s not always easy to come out to the ring with a smile on her face, she is able to do it because of all the support she has. That answer isn’t good enough for Miz so he digs in even deeper and asks why she always loses if she has all that support and this sets Naomi off and leads to her cutting a passionate promo where she says that she wasn’t trying to trend but then asks Miz to consider why people are behind her so much that they start a hashtag for her it’s because for the last decade whether she is in a match or stuck in a karaoke contest she shows up and gives it her all on a consistent basis and that’s why fans support her and want to see more of her. 

Miz and Morrison then say things are going to get worse as they bring out their surprise guest Lacey Evans. Lacey starts to put on lipstick while she cuts a nonchalant promo where she asks Miz and Morrison if they have ever gotten their asses kicked so bad that they needed a pity hashtag in order to stay relevant and then she says that Naomi has been there for a decade and has nothing to show for it and this is enough to push Naomi over the line as she shoves Lacey which causes Lacey’s hand to slip and she now has red lipstick on her face and teeth and then we get a brawl between the two women which ends with Naomi getting the better of Lacey. The segment ends with Lacey storming to the back when she sees her lipstick all over her. 

We need more of this Naomi on the mic as this was the most passion she has shown since she got into the WWE, 

We got a recap of the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tables Match from this past Sunday. 

We go backstage where Big E is pacing in front of the trainer’s room which Kingston soon exits from and Big E asks him what the trainer said (about his injured ribs) and Kingston tells him that it’s not good as he is set to be out for the next six weeks, but on a positive note, he plans on taking those six weeks to spend more time with his family. Big E tells Kingston to take his time and when he gets back they will go back to chasing after those tag team championships, but Kingston tells him that he feels that this happened for a reason and now is the perfect time for Big E to shine on his own because for the first time since the formation of New Day both Woods and Kingston are on the sidelines. Big E tries to talk his way out of it a couple of times but Kingston is persistent as he says that Big E has been selfless for the past six years since New Day formed but it’s now time to show the world what Big E has to offer and that he has the blessing of both Woods and himself and this is enough for Big E to finally allow himself to be comfortable with going out on his own. Kingston tells him to put his meat on his meat and the two best friends hug.  

This was by far my favorite moment of the night because it was simple and genuine and shows that you don’t need to always have a lot of over the top gimmicks and gaga to make special moments in wrestling. I love that Big E is getting a singles run without having to break up New Day or turn heel. If they really put everything behind this singles run and actually have him go for the Universal Title it could be bigger and create more buzz than when Kofi Kingston was having his run at the top last year because as much as people love Kingston I feel the love for Big E is even greater, Big E has a bigger personality than Kingston and in a lot of ways has been the star of The New Day. Seeing as both Kingston and Woods won’t be around I wouldn’t mind seeing Big E drop the comedy stuff for a while and be more serious like he was during this segment, but either way, I look forward to seeing what Big E does next. 

AJ Styles makes his way to the ring as he will be on commentary for the next match after the break.

Match #3: Shorty G vs Lince Dorado vs Gran Metalik vs Drew Gulak
The winner of this match would face Styles next week for the Intercontinental Championship.

LHP split off to face the other two men in the match as Dorado takes Shorty down with a dropkick and then LHP teams up on Gulak and he tries to fight them off but LHP hits him with a double hip toss and an assisted wheelbarrow senton. We then get a face-off between the two LHP members, Dorado with a single leg takedown and then we get a drop-down, leapfrog, and tumble over spot and then Metalik passes Dorado into the ropes where Gulak trips him up and pull him out of the ring so he can slam him on the floor. 

Gulak gets back on the apron but is sent right back down to the floor with a running hurricanrana over the top rope. Metalik gets back in the ring and is having words with Gulak when Shorty G comes up from behind and attempts a German suplex but Metalik lands on his feet and then Shorty ducks a clothesline and takes Metalik down with a flying arm drag and then Metalik rebounds off the ropes with a handspring and a backflip which Shorty is able to avoid. Metalik hits a spin kick to the gut of Shorty and then walks the ropes where he comes off with a dropkick on Shorty for a 2 count when Gulak breaks up the pin. 

Dorado hits a dropkick on Gulak and then works him over in the corner with strikes but Gulak reverses a whip into the corner moments later only for Dorado to leap up and over and then backflip all the way into the opposite corner and then Gulak runs into a boot and is then sent back out of the ring with another running hurricanrana. Dorado looks to dive out onto Gulak but Shorty tries to stop him buck Dorado ducks and takes out Gulak with a tope suicida. Metalik hits Shorty with an overhead kick and looks to hit a beautiful springboard crossbody but Shorty catches him in mid-air with a dropkick. Shorty goes up top and hits a moonsault to the outside which takes out all three of his opponents and this sends us to commercial. 

We come back to Shorty working over Metalik and then he shoves Metalik into a back elbow from Gulak and then hits him with a back suplex which Gulak breaks up. We get a moment where everyone is trying to make quick pinfalls but they keep getting broken up. Gulak sends Dorado to the outside and then looks to hit Shorty with a snapmare but Shorty counters it into a backslide which leads to both men trading pinfall combinations none of which are successful. Shorty hits Gulak with a suplex and then Gulak is sent out of the ring. Shorty tries to go out after Gulak but Metalik cuts him off and both men are back in the ring. Shorty and Gulak double team Metalik and send him into the ropes but he comes back with a handspring back elbow that takes out both men. Dorado enters the ring and sends Shorty to the floor and then he goes to work on Gulak in the corner, Gulak reverses a whip into the corner but Dorado dodges a clothesline attempt and takes Gulak down with a springboard moonsault for a 2 count. Gulak rolls over to the corner and Dorado goes for a monkey flip but Gulak catches him and spins him around to where Dorado is on the top rope and Dorado comes off the top with a crossbody for another 2 count. 

Gulak reverses another whip into the ropes and this time Dorado rebounds with a handspring stunner but once again Dorado only gets a 2 count as this time Metalik breaks up the pin. We get some words exchanged between LHP until Shorty shoves Metalik into Dorado and then he hits an exploder on both men. Shorty hits a running kapo kick on Gulak and Dorado who are stacked in the corner and then he completes the trifecta by taking Gulak down with an exploder as well. Shorty catches a charging Metalik and hits him with a nasty looking bridging back suplex for a 2 count. Shorty attempts a waist lock takedown but Gulak breaks the grip and transitions into Gu-Lock from a scoop slam position, Shorty gets to his feet while Gulak still has the hold locked in and then uses the ropes to flip behind Gulak so he can apply an ankle lock in the middle of the ring and when it looks like Gulak may get to the ropes Shorty falls back and grapevines the leg until the hold is eventually broken when Dorado hits a big splash off the top rope for a 2 count. 

Dorado hits Shorty with a kick and then goes for the moonsault trifecta but when he goes for the final one off the top rope Gulak crotches him and then Gulak goes up for a back suplex but Shorty comes from behind and puts Gulak on his shoulders and then dumps him over the top rope to the floor. Shorty then runs up and hits Dorado with a German suplex off the top which sends Dorado out of the ring and this gives Metalik the opportunity to hit a rope walk elbow drop on Shorty to pick up the win.
Winner: Gran Metalik via Pinfall   Match Rating: ***¼ 

After the match Styles enters the ring and offers to shake Metalik’s hand but before Metalik can extend his hand Styles slaps him in the face and then Dorado gets in Styles’s face which allows Metalik to recover and then he slaps Styles and follows up with a springboard DDT and then holds up the Intercontinental Title to end the segment. 

This match came out of nowhere as there was no advertisement for it ahead of time even though it was for the number one contender spot for the Intercontinental Championship, but it definitely delivered and I was glad to see these four guys who are underutilized get a good chunk of time to go out and have a really great match and I would be completely fine if they decided title challengers in random matches like this especially if those title matches are only going to be for an episode of SmackDown and not a PPV. While I realize there is no chance that Metalik will win the title I am so happy to see him get the spotlight shined on him because he absolutely deserves it as he is so talented and always delivers in every match he is in. While Metalik is the talking point coming out of the match I don’t want to take away from his tag partner Lince Dorado who is also great and that splash he hit to break up the ankle lock looked really good. 

We get a video package for Otis and Mandy Rose and it’s announced that they will be making their return next week.

Nice to see that they are returning next week as the show has felt like it was missing something the last few weeks with both of them gone as well as Sonya Deville. 

We cut to the back where Kayla Braxton interviews the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura who talk about their title win at Extreme Rules and how they enjoyed putting Kingston through both tables and wish they could’ve done the same to Big E. They plan on running through all the teams on SmackDown. 

After the crazy exciting week I had of getting hyped for the upcoming season of Big Brother 22 (which will be their second ever All-Star season and it starts on 8/5 for anyone who might want or need something to watch during their quarantine) and my mind is focussed on that by the time that Friday came I had absolutely forgotten that Cesaro and Nakamura won the tag titles the Sunday prior. While I guess it’s cool that they won the titles I have to say they won them at the absolute worst time as there are no babyface teams for them to face on SmackDown outside of Lucha House Party 

We get a recap of the Jeff Hardy and Sheamus feud as the bar fight is coming up after the break.

Match #4: Jeff Hardy vs Sheamus (Bar Fight)
Sheamus enters the bar first (dressed like former TNA Wrestling star Aiden O’Shea) and takes a seat and asks if Hardy has shown up yet even though it is clear that he hasn’t arrived seeing that the bar is completely empty, moments later Hardy announces that he has arrived and instead of immediately starting the fight like you would expect Hardy decides to take a seat beside Sheamus and have a little chat. Hardy asks Jeeves the bartender for a glass of water and after a few minutes of just hanging out with his arch-nemesis Hardy finally decides to start the fight as he throws the glass of water in Sheamus’s face and away we go. 

Hardy slams Sheamus’s face on the bar a few times until Sheamus comes back and slams Hardy back first on the bar with a side slam and then slides him down the entire bar as glasses and mugs break when he comes into contact with them and then when he gets to the end Sheamus hits Hardy with the ten beats of the bodhran and then dumps him on the floor. Sheamus takes his eyes off Hardy as he orders another drink but when he looks over Hardy is running down the bar and he takes Sheamus down with a flying clothesline off the bar but when he goes to pick Sheamus up he is shoved into the brick wall, but then he sends Sheamus into a wall of Jameson barrels. Hardy grabs some basketballs from one of those arcade-like games set up inside the bar and starts throwing them at Sheamus. Hardy and Sheamus start fighting in the back of the bar next to the bathrooms where Hardy grabs a keg but Sheamus prevents him from using it and then he hits Hardy in the back with it and then uses it to pin Hardy’s head up against the wall. Sheamus sends Hardy into the wall a couple of times and then slams the bathroom door into Hardy multiple times.

Sheamus takes Hardy into the men’s bathroom and slams him head-first into the sink and then drags him over to the urinal and puts his face into it while he flushes it as he is trying to drown Hardy. Sheamus holds Hardy up so that he can look in the mirror and then starts talking trash and this gives Hardy an opportunity to fight back as he throws Sheamus into one of the stalls. Hardy starts crawling back toward the main part of the bar as Sheamus gets to his feet and starts his way back as well, but he is unable to find Hardy at first as Hardy had snuck into a supply closet and now is wielding a ladder which is repeatedly driven into the gut of Sheamus and then throws it at him. As Sheamus tries to recover from the ladder shots Hardy dives off the bar with a crossbody but Sheamus is able to catch him and rams him into the brick wall a couple of times. Sheamus grabs a guitar and looks to smash it across Hardy’s head but Hardy is able to duck and the guitar smashes against the brick wall. Hardy fights back with some right hands and clubbing blows but Sheamus reverses a whip which sends Hardy into a drum set and this sends us to commercial. 

We come back from commercial to Sheamus screaming at Hardy who is still down after being sent into the drum set, Sheamus looks to hit the Brogue Kick but at the last second Hardy holds up a drum and Sheamus kicks that instead and puts his foot straight through it and then Hardy sends him into a table. Hardy tries to slam Sheamus head first on the bar but Sheamus blocks and slams Hardy’s face into the bar. Hardy ducks a clothesline attempt and hits Sheamus with a Twist of Fate. Hardy sets the ladder up next to the Jameson barrels and then drags Sheamus over to where the ladder is set up, but when Hardy goes to climb the ladder he is hit from behind by Jeeves the bartender who Hardy quickly deals with as he powerbombs him through a table. Sheamus takes advantage of Hardy’s focus being elsewhere and breaks a chair across Hardy’s back. 

Sheamus grabs his hat from behind the bar and puts it over the face of Hardy and then takes his time as he goes over and pours himself a drink and then drinks it before going back over to Hardy but when he takes his hat off of Hardy’s face he sees that Hardy’s face is now painted and his eyes have changed. Hardy jumps up and starts beating the crap out of Sheamus and when Sheamus pushes Hardy away to create space between them Hardy grabs a bottle and breaks it over Sheamus’s head, Hardy climbs up the ladder and hits Sheamus with a Swanton Bomb off the top and that is enough to end this Bar Fight.
Winner: Jeff Hardy via Pinfall   Match Rating: ***½ 

After the match, Hardy places Sheamus’s own hat on his face and then blinks his eyes to turn them back to normal and then he calmly walks out of the bar through the back door to end the show. 

I have to say that although this feud between Sheamus and Hardy has been absolutely horrid and completely tasteless this blow-off to the feud was pretty damn good and much better than I expected it to be, even though I thought the part where Hardy has a chat with Sheamus before the fight was dumb. Hopefully, this is the end of this feud and both men can move on to bigger and better things.

This was a pretty good episode of SmackDown I really don’t have anything to complain about as everything was a hit for me on the show. I thought all the matches were really good and we got some nice development on storylines including the much-anticipated singles run for Big E.

That’s it for me this week I’ll be back next week when it will only be five days until the start of the next season of Big Brother which for the next three months will be more important to me than wrestling is.