SmackDown arrives at its new home!
SmackDown’s Fox premiere is finally here and it is as big as you’d expect! The Rock, The Four Horsewomen, Brock Lesnar VS Kofi Kingston and more!
- Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch; Flair & Lynch win.
- Champion VS Champion: Seth Rollins VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn; No Contest.
- Ladder Match: Kevin Owens VS Shane McMahon; Owens wins and Shane McMahon is fired from the WWE.
- 8 Man Tag: Braun Strowman, The Miz & Heavy Machinery VS Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler; Strowman, Miz & Heavy Machinery win.
- Lumberjack Match: Roman Reigns VS Erick Rowan; Roman wins.
- WWE World Championship: Kofi Kingston VS Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman; Lesnar wins and becomes the new WWE World Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Vince McMahon is here!
The Chairman and CBO, Stephanie McMahon, walk out to open the first SmackDown on Fox! Welcome to history! Welcome to Fox! Welcome to Friday Night SmackDown!!
Are you ready for a good time?
The Man is on Fox!
Becky Lynch may be Raw Women’s Champion, but she’s more than ready to bring the Straight Fire to SmackDown! Fans are just as fired up as Becky takes the mic. “It feels so good to be kicking off the very first episode.” Because SmackDown is in Becky’s blood. She smashed the glass ceiling and changed the game here. This is where all the fans used their voices to raise her up, and she thanks them for that. But how about repaying the favor by kicking some lass? Let’s start tonight off right! With King Corbin? The Lone Wolf King grins as he walks out on stage with a mic. “Yes, yes, The King is here!”
Corbin says Becky needs to listen to herself. Based on what she said, what should be kicking the show off is the King of the Ring. Does she think she’s still The Man? Step in the ring and we’ll find out. He does, but here comes THE ROCK! The Staples Center erupts for the Most Electrifying Man in ALL of Sports Entertainment! The Rock takes off his jacket, tosses it at the camera, then heads down to the ring to strike his iconic pose on the corners. Fans cheer for “Rocky! Rocky!” as he stands before The Man and the Lone Wolf King. “Many, many moons ago, The Rock uttered a phrase to some jabroni that changed the WWE landscape forever.” The Rock told that guy he would Lay the Smack Down! And now SmackDown has become a show, an institution, a global phenomenon in front of the millions (and MILLIONS) of fans around the world, and is now in front of Becky and a “broke ass Burger King on crack.” Because “FINALLY, The Rock has come back…” Wait for it. Fans chant “Rocky! Rocky!” as they do. “…home!”
But Corbin cuts Rock off there, and fans boo. Corbin is correcting something: this isn’t The Rock’s home. The Rock is no longer the Great One. No, the Great One is the Most Electrifying King in Sports Entertainment! And King Corbin says to know your role and shut your mouth. Clever. But Rock will take this and Becky obliges. Rock has to correct Corbin on something. Just because he won, that doesn’t make him a king, or wanna be walking around like a 35 year old virgin at ComicCon. Becky is The Man. Becky isn’t walking around with testicles, now is she? Well if she did, they’d be bigger than Corbin’s. Corbin’s testicles are perfectly fine! And King Corbin will dress and do whatever he wants! He is superior to Becky, to Rock, and to the fans! So the way Corbin sees it, there is only one King and it ain’t LeBron!
Well just so we’re clear, Corbin thinks he’s better? He thinks he’s better than the fans? And he thinks he’s better than LeBron? Becky says “It doesn’t matter what you think!” Corbin fell for that one. But Rock knows Corbin. Corbin is a legit competitor, even a badass. So he’s a “super tough dude?” Actually, yes. Corbin is a super tough dude. But since this is The Rock’s show, this is going to be an inclusive and engaging show. They’ll make Corbin feel good. In three seconds, the fans will chant what they think. “STD! STD!” That’ll stick for life. All around the world, they’ll chant that for Corbin. But live on Fox, Rock sees Corbin is upset. But that’s what happens when you insult The Man, you insult the fans, and you insult the Jabroni Beating, Pie Eating, Trailblazing, Eyebrow Raising, People’s Champion, The Rock! They both punch away on Corbin with haymakers!
The People’s Fist knocks Corbin down, then Becky drops the leg! And LA explodes over The People’s Elbow!! Becky back kicks, front kicks and Corbin staggers into a Rock Bottom! Rock loves SmackDown, if you SMELLLLL, what The Rock is cooking! The Man and the People’s Champion stand tall over the Lone Wolf King! If this is just the beginning, what more are we going to see as the night goes on?
Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch!
The Boss challenges The Man for the Raw Women’s Championship this Sunday at Hell in a Cell, but they’ll team up with their fellow Four Horsewomen to build some last minute momentum! Who gains an edge on the way into the most sinister structure in the WWE?
The teams sort out, and we begin with The Queen and the SmckDown Women’s Champion. Bayley shoves Becky but Charlotte decks Bayley. The ref keeps Becky from getting in while Charlotte CHOPS Bayley and stomps her in a corner. Charlotte lets up to scoop but Bayley slips out to throw Charlotte down! Bayley bumps Charlotte on buckles and tags in Sasha. The Boss & Hug crisscross Charlotte to then snapmare and basement meteora! Cover, ONE, and Sasha is upset already. Charlotte gets up and CHOPS Sasha to an open corner. And then she keeps up the CHOPS! Sasha slips out but shoulders into a knee. Charlotte runs to BOOT Sasha off the apron! Bayley coaches Sasha up but Charlotte soaks up the cheers and “WOO~!” Charlotte climbs but Bayley runs over. Becky intercepts with forearms, but that doesn’t keep her down! The ref brings Becky away while Bayley gets up and yanks Charlotte down anyway! Sasha kicks Charlotte against barriers while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns as Bayley has Charlotte in a waistlock. Charlotte elbows out and gets to a corner, but Bayley runs in. Charlotte knees her back down, then hurries to tag in Becky! The Man rallies on the Hugger but the Boss dodges. Becky jump kicks and fires off on Bayley to then snapmare and forearm! Fans fire up more as Bayley wobbles up, into a Becksploder! Becky makes sure Sasha is watching as she goes after an arm. Bayley gets up, Sasha distracts and Bayley whips Becky to a corner. Becky boots Bayley down then hops up to hit a BIG leg drop! Cover, TWO! Sasha distracts again, Bayley rolls Becky up, TWO! Becky dropkicks Bayley down, but then Bayley hotshots Becky. Tag to Charlotte and the Queen gives Bayley a backbraeker, NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, but Sasha breaks it with a kick to Charlotte’s face!
But now Becky gets in, and the preview begins with a brawl! Bayley tackles Becky and helps Ssaha, but Charlotte goes after Bayley! It is a brawl of all four Horsewomen! Becky and Charlotte get the advantage, exploder for Bayley! Becky is put on the apron but she kicks Sasha back. Becky forearms then hops up as Sasha stands, missile dropkick hits! The Boss & Hug bail out but Charlotte climbs up top! The Queen’s Moonsault hits them both! Fans are thunderous as Charlotte puts Bayley in. Bayley flounders up but Charlotte trips her to the Figure Four! Then bridges to the FIGURE EIGHT! Bayley taps, Charlotte and Becky win!
Winners: Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch, Flair by submission
The Queen beats the SmackDown Women’s Champion, is she going to be in line for another title match? As for Becky will she be able to bankrupt The Boss this Sunday? Or will going through Hell in a Cell be too much, even for The Man?
Erin Andrews has a backstage interview with The New Day!
Big E, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston join Erin and are pumped for tonight. Kofi defends his title against Brock Lesnar, and is an underdog to many. But if they’ve seen his matches, he’s always the underdog! Samoa Joe, Randy Orton, but Kofi finds a way to win! Lesnar is the next mountain to climb but Kofi climbs mountains and overcomes every time. Will he have the “posse” ringside? They’re many things, but they’re “ya bois” the NEW~ DAY~! But Kofi has asked to do this alone, because he wants to prove everyone in the arena, watching at home and to Lesnar himself why Kofi is the W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, CHAMPION~! The Power of Positivity is strong tonight, but is it enough to survive The Beast?
Champion VS Champion: Seth Rollins VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn!
The Architect may have The Fiend waiting for him in Hell in a Cell, but the Universal Champion doesn’t back down from a fight. Will he get that and more out of the Intercontinental Champion? Or will he #BurnItDown even against the King of Strong Style?
But before the match begins, Firefly Fun House interrupts! Bray glares at the camera, but then cheers up as he says hi. Welcome to Firefly Fun House! Since we’re all being introduced to SmackDown’s new home, let’s introduce everyone to his home, and all his special friends! Abby the Witch is grumpy, Mercy the Buzzard is surly, Huskis the Pig is hungry, and Ramblin’ Rabbit is a Rollins cosplayer? He wants to #BurnItDown too! But he’s also warning Rollins to NOT go to Hell in a Cell. It won’t end well. Just walk away!
What’s this poppycock all about? Who knew Ramblin’ was such a big fan? Bray now has a fantastic idea! Instead of telling Rollins what’ll happen, let’s show him! “In this corner, playing the role of Seth Rollins, we have the Squealer, Ramblin’ Rabbit!” Dude let him out of the red cage! But playing the role of “him,” here is “No Mercy” the Buzzard! Seth, turn away. This could get ugly. Mercy attacks Ramblin’ with his vicious beak! Stuffing is flying everywhere! So much stuffing. Bray reaches in. Mercy, no. Ramblin’ Rabbit is literally in pieces! And Bray just laughs. Rollins is not as amused. But history has a horrible way of repeating itself. They’ve all hurt for so long. But now, it’s Rollins’ turn. See you in Hell! Bye~! Rollins keeps calm, and Nakamura makes his entrance so this match can begin.
SmackDown returns and the bell rings. Nakamura gets Rollins right down in an armbar! Rollins scrambles up to deadlift buckle bomb Nakamura! Nakamura bails out, Rollins runs and DIVES! Direct hit but Rollins isn’t done there, he DIVES again! Another hit and now Rollins gets Nakamura in the ring. Sami is ringside barking but Rollins runs him off. Rollins goes back to Nakamura but gets a strike fest! The knee misses but Rollins hits a Slingblade! Rollins runs in at Nakamura in a corner but Nkaamura puts him on the apron. Rollins blocks the kick to give a kick, then springboards for a flying knee! SUPERKICK! Fans fire up as Rollins stomps, “Burn It Down!” Rollins aims at Nakamura from a corner, but the lights start going out! First a surprise Firefly Fun House, and now this?!
Rollins has gotten to the stage. Nakamura is also worried, but The Fiend… attacks from the stage!! He gets Rollins again! Rollins tries to fight but the Mandible Claw is in deep! The Fiend shouts and laughs as he smothers Rollins, then throws him off the stage!! Rollins lands hard on the ground and The Fiend looks down at him, before disappearing again. Bray’s laugh echoes out, but will we hear this laugh again in Hell in a Cell?
Ladder Match: Kevin Owens VS Shane McMahon!
After everything they’ve put each other through, it finally escalates to this! The man who brings down the briefcase wins, and the loser is GONE from the WWE! Who will literally take their own fate, and their opponent’s, in their hands?
Kevin won’t let Shane even get to the ring, he goes right at him on the ramp! They brawl back into the ring and this match begins with fists! Kevin clotheslines Shane out but pursues to throw him into steel steps! Kevin then grabs a ladder and carefully makes a bridge between ring and barriers. He throws Shane into the side of the ladder! Then again! Shane falls but Kevin goes under to grab another ladder. Kevin takes that one and puts it in the ring. Kevin stands this ladder up, wanting to end this already. Kevin climbs but Shane catches up to pull him down! Shane Russian Leg Sweeps Kevin down then stomps away! Shane climbs up fast but Kevin stops him now. Kevin throws haymakers then headbutts to rock Shane. Kevin decides to use this ladder as a weapon, throwing it! Shane gets out of the way and the ladder lands outside. Kevin wants a stunner but is denied, but he still hits Shane with a lariat!
Kevin fetches that ladder and brings it back over, but Shane dropkicks the ladder into Kevin’s face! Shane has the ladder now, and SMACKS Kevin on the back! Shane clears off the announce desk now and puts Kevin on it. This is classic crazy Shane as he also goes back to the ring. The referee advises him not to be so reckless, but Shane comes back to club away on Kevin. Kevin fights back with clawing hands but Shane rains down rights and elbows! Shane then takes the desk hood to SMACK Kevin in the head! And again! Kevin stays put but Shane is on his guard. Kevin sits up to get another SMACK from the hood! Shane now heads back to the ring and up to the top rope. Fans know what’s coming as Shane takes aim. Shane LEAPS for the elbow through the desk!! Both men are wrecked and fans lose their minds! SmackDown goes to break as both men are down.
SmackDown returns and Kevin has risen! Kevin has Shane on the ladder bridge and goes up to the top rope himself now! Kevin FROG SPLASHES on Shane, and they crash through the ladder! The ladder is broken but so is Shane, and the fans lose their minds again! Kevin manages to drag himself away as fans declare, “This is Awesome!” Kevin gets a good ladder into the ring and goes as fast as he can to set it up. It’s also of note that another ladder had been set in a corner across the ropes, during the break. Shane somehow rises with a chair and he SMACKS Kevin’s legs! Kevin falls and so does the ladder! Shane SMACKS Kevin with the chair again! Kevin backs off to a corner but Shane jabs the chair into his ribs. Shane thinks about using the chair more but he tosses it aside, to bring the ladder over.
Shane positions the ladder in Kevin’s face and then goes across the way. Shane climbs up and fans anticipate this new COAST2COAST!! The ladder is kicked into Kevin’s face! Kevin slumps out of the ring but Shane is down from his part in that impact. Shane gets up and brings the ladder up. He stands it under the briefcase, and fans boo as he looks moments away from ending Kevin’s WWE career. Shane climbs, but Kevin rises again! Kevin grabs at Shane, yanks him off, POWERBOMB to the ladder in the corner!! Shane is down, Kevin climbs up, Kevin grabs the briefcase! Kevin takes it down, Kevin wins!!
Winner: Kevin Owens; Shane McMahon is FIRED
The Prizefighter grabs the sweetest prize he’s ever held! He has the briefcase that has the lawsuit that says Shane is GONE Kevin grabs a mic and looks down at Shane. Kevin makes it official as he tells Shane, “YOU’RE! FIIIIRED!” Kevin tops it off with a STUNNER! Shane is no longer part of SmackDown, and this truly begins a new era! What will this mean for the WWE as a whole?
Backstage interview with Paul Heyman.
Kayla Braxton asks the Advocate to the Beast what he thinks about tonight’s main event. Heyman doesn’t care what Kofi has to say, just show the relevant footage. A video package plays, and it’s of the assault on Rey Mysterio and his son, Dominick. Heyman wants to make this so easy that even as simple as Dominick can understand. Rey was in Lesnar’s way and Lesnar got rid of Rey. Kofi is in Lesnar’s way, so do the math. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a prediction, this is a spoiler.” Once again, the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Champion of the World, BROCK. LESNAR.
8 Man Tag: Braun Strowman, The Miz & Heavy Machinery VS Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler!
The Monster Among Men and Hollywood A-Lister are on a truly massive team alongside Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic, and against a star-studded team of The Viper, the Phenomenal One and the GLORIOUS Raw Tag Team Champions. Which side takes a big win on this big night?
The teams sort out and Miz starts against Ziggler. They circle but Miz hits Roode. Ziggler gets after Miz with fists and taunts Strowman. ZIGZAG! But Ziggler doesn’t cover, he dares Miz to stand. Miz blocks the superkick to DDT Ziggler instead! Fans rally as Ziggler and Miz crawl, hot tag to Strowman! Strowman runs Ziggler over and the others just run away. Strowman whip Ziggler corner to corner for a big splash! Then a clubbing forearm! Cover, but Roode breaks it. Miz gets Roode with a Finale, Orton gives Miz an RKO! Otis gets in and runs Orton over, but STyles hits a Phenomenal Forearm! Tucker clotheslines Styles and himself out, so Ziggler and Strowman are the two that remain. But Strowman sees all the bodies on the outside, and decides to take a lap!
Strowman runs Orton over! He runs Roode over! Then Styles! Fans fire up with Strowman, but he nods to Tyson Fury at ringside. He and Fury put up their dukes, but then Ziggler attacks from behind! Strowman throws Ziggler into a post for that! And then at the barriers! That bumps Fury, but Strowman puts Ziggler in the ring. Fury is a little annoyed but Strowman says it was nothing serious. Ziggler SUPERKICKS Strowman! But he runs into a MONSTER SLAM! Cover, Strowman’s team wins!
Winners: Braun Strowman, The Miz & Heavy Machinery, Strowman pinning
But Fury hops the rails! The security rushes Fury to keep him from Strowman! Is the undefeated heavyweight boxer going to test the hands of the Monster Among Men?
Lumberjack Match: Roman Reigns VS Erick Rowan!
Twenty superstars surround the ring as the Big Dog and the Redwood prepare for a big rematch from Clash of Champions, all ahead of their tag team grudge match at Hell in a Cell. Will Roman or Rowan take momentum before teaming with Daniel Bryan and Luke Harper?
Speaking of Daniel Bryan, he’s on commentary to watch this at a slightly safer distance. The bell rings and Roman circles with Rowan. They tie up and Rowan puts Roman in a corner to throw big hands. The Lumberjacks watch closely as Rowan stomps away on Roman. Rowan backs off at the ref’s call, then he throws big forearms. Rowan runs and runs Roman over! Roman bails out and the Lumberjacks stomp Roman for a moment. They all put Roman in, but Rowan is on Roman. Roman slips out of the scoop and then clotheslines Rowan out! Now it’s Rowan’s turn! Rowan fights the Lumberjacks but Roman comes around to run at Rowan! Rowan catches Roman to throw him into barriers! Rowan glares and no one comes close, so Rowan goes back into the ring. Some Lumberjacks go after Roman but others back them off. Those Lumberjacks get Roman in, but Rowan hits him with the big heel kick! Cover, TWO, and SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Rowan has Roman in the knuckle vice! Lumberjacks rally as Roman endures the fists squeezing his head. Rowan grinds harder and Bryan will give Rowan that he has might. But Bryan disagrees with “Might equals right,” and Roman fights out! Roman uppercuts Rowan hard, then runs, to kick Rowan and uppercut him again! Rowan kicks back then whips, but Roman stops himself to elbow Rowan away. Roman dodges in the corner and throws point-blank lariats! Roman goes all the way to 10, then runs to leaping lariat! Rowan rebounds into a Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO! Rowan survives and even the Lumberjacks are surprised. Roman rises but so does Rowan, and everyone rallies up. Roman locks ‘n’ loads, runs but into Rowan’s arms! Roman elbows free but Rowan boots him back! Roman rebounds to SUPERMAN PUNCH!
Both men are down and Bryan spots something. Harper is here, so Bryan hurries off commentary. Harper blasts his way through Lumberjacks but Bryan is on him! Harper shoves Bryan off and now the Lumberjacks fight whoever is around! Roman LEAPS onto them all! Roman bowls the Lumberjacks over, but Harper gets up and hurries away. Rowan takes Ali up as a weapon to throw at Roman! Then Rowan puts Roman back in the ring, runs and body checks! Cover, TWO!? Roman survives and shocks Rowan! Rowan keeps his focus as he dares Roman to stand again. The claw is ready, clamps on, but Roman elbows out! SUPERMAN PUNCH! Harper runs in, to LARIAT Roman! Bryan gives Harper the Planet’s knee! Roman SPEARS Rowan! Cover, Roman wins!!
Winner: Roman Reigns, by pinfall
The Goat helps the Big Dog survive the towering trees tonight! Bryan offers a handshake, fans chant “YES! YES!” and Roman takes it! They’re united against common enemies, but will that be enough to win?
WWE World Championship: Kofi Kingston VS Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman!
Kofimania has been “the underdog champion” this whole time, but perhaps never more than now! Will the Power of Positivity stay the W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, CHAMPION~!? Or will he fall as we see the return of the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World, The Beast, BRRROCK, LESNARRR?
The introductions are made, and Heyman takes care of Lesnar’s. The belt is raised, and we begin Fox’s first WWE main event!
Kofi rushes Lesarn, but gets caught!! F5!! Cover, Lesnar wins?!?
Winner: Brock Lesnar, by pinfall; NEW WWE World Champion
Go back with your DVR if you have to, it was THAT fast! Lesnar ends Kofi’s dream, and now begins a FIFTH world title reign! But wait! Here comes Rey Mysterio! The King of Lucha Libre, and a truly furious father, is here! And so is… CAIN VELASQUEZ!? Seems Rey has some incredibly scary friends! Lesnar is sweating bullets seeing the one man to truly beat him. Cain goes to the ring, Lesnar looks worried, but fans are loving this! Cain TACKLES Lesnar and fires off!! Lesnar actually RUNS AWAY! Cain dares Lesnar to man up and fight, and even Heyman wants Lesnar to show everyone who he is. But Lesnar holds onto his world title and backs away. Cain glares and Lesnar finds the courage to head to the ring again.
But Lesnar stops at the end of the ramp, takes his title belt back, and backs away again. LA is loving that someone is finally making Lesnar feel like the victim! Lesnar has Heyman hold up the world title high, then leaves. Fans boo and Cain looks disappointed. When and where will Cain get his chance to beat Lesnar down again?
For the first SmackDown on Fox, and the first on Fridays in years, this started off so well, then fell off somewhere in the middle. Becky and The Rock getting the better of Corbin in that opening segment was so much fun, because Corbin was the perfect one to do that to. Then we got a pretty good Four Horsewomen Tag II, and it makes a lot of sense for Charlotte and Bayley to be the finish. This keeps us guessing on Becky and Sasha, and perhaps will give us another SmackDown Women’s Championship match for Hell in a Cell since there’s barely anything announced for the PPV at this point. The imbalance of a Fox premiere checklist and available time on a two hour SmackDown started showing itself at this point with Champion VS Champion, Rollins VS Nakamura. They had a good half a match before The Fiend showed up and attacked. It might’ve worked better if this had time to breathe, but at least we got that fun Firefly Fun House segment.
The Ladder Match for the fate of Kevin and Shane was incredible! Something still felt rushed, but if TV audiences got to see it all like live fans did, it definitely would’ve felt even better. But the favorites were hit, like Shane’s leap to the desk, Shane’s Coast 2 Coast, and several other ladder spots. And of course, the right result was taken as Kevin wins and “fires” Shane. Next week, Kevin and the entire WWE can start fresh, and there will be a WWE Draft to help with that. Knowing what we know now, maybe Kevin can get in on the World/Universal Championship. Kevin can have a great program with just about anyone, and his feud with Shane proves that. That 8 Man Tag was not needed. At least, it wasn’t needed as an 8 Man Tag. Boil that down to the essentials: Strowman is starting a “celebrity” feud with Tyson Fury. Strowman VS just Ziggler, or 2v2 of Stroman and Miz VS Roode-Dolph would’ve gotten the same end result but with less chaos.
Rowan VS Roman, which was apparently No Disqualification because of Lumberjacks, was more rushed madness. In this case, it works, but after all the other rushed material, it just makes things worse. Roman and Bryan stand tall tonight, so maybe Rowan & Harper win. It doesn’t have to be clean, and it probably won’t be. And it probably gets Harper & Rowan back into at least tag title contention. Maybe these two can recreate a Brothers of Destruction run, going for everything they possibly can, which sadly now won’t included the WWE World Championship. I think Vince’s brain stopped working when Fox shoved money in his face. He and Fox did Kofi dirty tonight. Just dirrrrty. That wasn’t even ONE minute! Kofi should’ve had much more than that, but apparently a man living the 11 year dream means nothing compared to shoving MMA into WWE.
In a vacuum, bringing a ghost from Lesnar’s past is great, but not when it costs Kofi a dream he fought so hard for, both in real-life and kayfabe. Kofi stuck by WWE all that time, and now he’s just the longest reigning transitional champion. But Vince won’t be ashamed of his decision, he’ll just be taking money showers before taking a dip in his golden swimming pool.
My Score: 8/10