SmackDown takes on the big issues!
Jeff Hardy battles Sheamus and temptation in a Bar Fight, Naomi “continues the conversation” on Miz TV, and the Golden Role Models talk the landscape of the WWE Women’s Division!
- SmackDown Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Nikki Cross VS Alexa Bliss; Nikki wins and will face Bayley for the title next week on SmackDown.
- Matt Riddle VS Tony Nese; Riddle wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s match: Drew Gulak VS Chad Gable VS Lince Dorado VS Gran Metalik; Metalik wins and will challenge AJ Styles for the title next week.
- Bar Fight: Jeff Hardy VS Sheamus; Hardy wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Superstars hype up SmackDown!
“Hello. My name is Jeff Hardy, and I am an alcoholic.” And tonight, he faces Sheamus in the environment that is his enemy: a bar. Sheamus’ bullying is the manifestation of everything Hardy dislikes about himself. “I repeat, my name is Jeff Hardy, and tonight, I beat the holy hell out of Sheamus!”
But Sheamus replies with a chuckle. “Jeff, after I beat you tonight, it’s gonna dawn on ya. This is truly where you belong.” If you want to talk about struggles, Hardy will be in a very familiar place: wallowing on the cold, hard floor of that bar, struggling to stand. And that ache in his head won’t be a hangover. It’ll be courtesy of a Brogue kick. Hardy will be crushed by this defeat, and the only thing that’ll make him feel better is crawling back to the gutter, bottle in hand, and drowning his sorrows.
JBL says if anyone knows about mud, blood and beer of a bar fight, it’s him! He’ll save predictions for later, but he does know this will be a great one. Emotions are running higher than the blood alcohol levels in an APA poker game, and Sheamus VS Hardy, “We fight here on Friday Night!”
The bartender is preparing Irish Shannon’s for the fight, and has even dreamed up some new cocktails in case anyone gets thirsty. Who will be saying bottom’s up when this all goes down?
The Golden Role Models are here!
#BayleyDosStraps and the would-be #TwoBeltsBanks strut down to the ring with the WWE Women’s Tag Team, SmackDown Women’s and Raw Women’s Championship belts in hand, but only three of those rightfully belong to them. Extreme Rules saw each best friend help the other survive their matches and walk away with the singles titles BUT! Sasha “won” thanks to referee Bayley. They’re dripping in even more controversy than they are gold, but they’re still going to boast and brag as they hold up their belts and grab the mics. “Do you guys wanna know what ‘greatness’ means in the dictionary?” Greatness is defined by the quality or state of being great, as in size, skill, achievement or even power.
But that’s the old definition. After taking over the WWE Women’s Division, does anyone want to learn the NEW definition? Greatness is being THEM! They said they’d get all the gold, and when they saw it, they mean it. They don’t just talk the talk, they walk it! The crowd chants “You Suck!” but Bayley says they don’t suck! Do you idiots know how hard it is to walk the walk with all this gold weighing them down? So from this point on, the Women’s Evolution is OVER! It started with Bayley and Banks, and it will end with Bayley and Banks! They officially usher in a new era! An era of greatness! The Era of Sasha and Bayley! That’s a… creative name…
So to all the kiddies sitting at home, looking up to them, just know that if you do great things, one day your dreams will come true. And no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be as great as them!! But wait! Here comes Bliss-Cross! Nikki says Sasha is a fraud and she is sick of this nonsense! They’re ruining SmackDown and the Women’s Championship! They stole those belts! The Era of Sasha and Bayley is already over! Did she forget to take her rabies meds? Alexa says this isn’t a good idea. Nikki says she had a shot at the SmackDown title and all she has to show for it is cracked ribs! She was replaying it in her head, and she’ll take her anger out on both of them! Bayley’s first as Nikki wants a rematch for the title NOW!
Hold on, settle down. At Extreme Rules, Bayley won “fair and square.” But being the role model, she will lead by example. Their show, SmackDown, is the land of opportunity. Nikki can have her rematch, if she beats a worthy adversary in a former SmackDown Women’s Champion and future hall of famer, HER OWN FRIEND, ALEXA!! And the winner faces Bayley next week! Nikki and Alexa realize the trap set, but only Nikki wants to go through with it. They have to do this! Nikki shoves Alexa?! Then storms to the ring! Have Bayley and Sasha found a way to break up Bliss-Cross?
SmackDown Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Nikki Cross VS Alexa Bliss!
SmackDown returns, and while these two best friends have entered the ring, Bayley and Sasha have joined commentary. The bell rings, Nikki circles with Alexa and tie up. They go around, Nikki powers Alexa to ropes but Alexa turns it around. They end up in a corner, the ref calls for a break, Nikki backs off. Nikki and Alexa circle again, tie up, Alexa gets an arm but Nikki rolls and wrenches to a wristlock. Alexa steps through to hammerlock but Nikki drops, rolls and reverses to a wristlock. Alexa pries the hold, steps through and rolls Nikki, ONE! Both women back off to circle again. Nikki rolls Alexa, ONE!
The crowd cheers the exchange, Nikki and Alexa tie up again. Alexa headlocks, hits the takeover but Nikki headscissors. Roles reverse, Alexa headscissors but Nikki pops out and the two stand off. Nikki grows frustrated as she circles with Alexa. Bayley and Sasha like the competition, Alexa headlocks Nikki. Nikki powers out, Alexa ducks and dodges then runs Nikki over! Alexa runs, Nikki drops then arm-drags Alexa around! Nikki has an armlock, Alexa endures, Nikki whips Alexa to a corner. Alexa dodges, but Nikki sees the slap coming! “You tried to slap me?!” “You shoved me!” Nikki elbows Alexa back then hops up. Tornado but no DDT, Alexa spins out but Nikki breaks free! Alexa SLAPS Nikki, Nikki LARIATS Alexa!
Bayley and Sasha are surprised as Nikki rallies on Alexa with clotheslines and a dropkick! Nikki runs in to corner splash then whips Alexa into buckles for another splash! BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Alexa lives and Nikki glares at Bayley. Nikki drags Alexa up, Alexa spins out of the neckbreaker to hit the STO! And a basement dropkick! Nikki bails out, Alexa catches her breath and then runs, but into the skirt trap! Alexa knows that too well and ROCKS Nikki first! Bayley and Sasha go wild as Alexa BOOTS Nikki away! Alexa frees herself from the skirt as Sasha and Bayley egg them on. So Nikki and Alexa both CLOBBER Bayley and Banks! The crowd goes wild for that as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Nikki and Alexa brawl on opposite sides of the rope. Alexa throws another, Nikki grabs her hair but Alexa SLAPS and shoulders Nikki back. Alexa kicks Nikki down then wrecks her with a dropkick! Nikki is down and Alexa lets the ring count climb. Nikki gets in at 4, Alexa kicks her to a corner. Alexa stomps away on Nikki then snapmares Nikki to a keylock. Nikki endures as Alexa cranks on the arm. The crowd rallies up, Nikki fights up but Alexa KNEES the ribs! Alexa kicks the bad ribs more and that surprises the Golden Role Models. Alexa drops knees but Nikki bails out. Alexa pursues, Nikki knees back but Alexa shoves them splashes Nikki into barriers! Alexa goes back to the ring while the ring count climbs again.
Nikki stands at 5, crawls in at 6, but Alexa is on her with clubbing forearms. Alexa KICKS Nikki and Bayley mockingly starts dueling chants, “Let’s Go, Nikki!” “Nikki Sucks!” Alexa hits Insult2Injury! Cover,TWO! Nikki survives but Alexa lines up a shot to KICK her in the back! Nikki gets to a corner, Alexa rams her shoulder in. The ref counts as Alexa digs in, but Alexa lets up at 4. The crowd rallies up, Alexa throws Nikki down by her hair, then goes back after the arm with the stretch. Nikki flails, Alexa stands on her and KICKS her again! Alexa keeps on the stretch but Nikki still endures. Alexa digs her elbow into the ribs but Nikki fights her way up! Nikki arm-drags free and hits a jawbreaker!
Nikki throat chops, headbutts and throws forearms! She backs Alexa down then fires off in the corner. Nikki bumps Alexa off buckles again and again and again and again! The ref counts, Nikki tops it off, then climbs up top. Nikki reels Alexa in, but the tornado is denied again! Alexa BOOTS then hops up to SUNSET BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Alexa is losing her cool but she goes to the corner. She climbs up, but Nikki stops her with forearms! Nikki and Alexa fight, Alexa resists the superplex and clubs Nikki down. Alexa adjusts, hops over Nikki but Nikki spins her for the straitjacket neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Nikki and Alexa both grit their teeth as the crowd rallies up.
Nikki fireman’s but Alexa slips out. Nikki standing switches, INVERTED DDT! Cover, TWO! Alexa still lives and Nikki is losing her cool. Nikki hurries back to a corner, back up top, and CROSSBODIES only to flop! She clutches her ribs as Alexa hurries over. The ref keeps her back to check on Nikki. Nikki insists she’s okay, and she gets Alexa in a cradle! NIKKI WINS!
Winner: Nikki Cross, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Nikki has her rematch! Will Bayley have to actually do things fair and square this time? Will Sasha get through Asuka to officially have the Raw Women’s Championship this Monday?
Nikki is excited backstage.
She has that second chance at the SmackDown Women’s Championship! Alexa walks over and admits she lost. Nikki wants to apologize but Alexa also speaks. Nikki lets Alexa go first. Alexa says she thought back to Nikki saying she hasn’t gotten the same chances as her. But this one, Nikki earned. And Alexa is happy for her. They’re still friends and they hug it out. Now, time to focus on beating Bayley and become the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion. Nikki can do this!
SmackDown presents a new Firefly Fun House!
First, a recap of the Swamp Fight between Braun Strowman and the Eater of Worlds, complete with narration by Firefly Bray. The swamp, the shadow of his former self, as well as his deepest desires. These were the things the Monster Among Men had to face on top of Bray’s brutality. Just when it looked like Braun had conquered his demons, his demons dragged him down into the depths! But what emerged was not the New Face of Fear, but THE FIEND!
The head lantern is back! YOWIE WOWIE, that sure was fun, huh? Firefly Bray says a family reunion always warms his soul. Braun came home~! He knows some are worried Braun is trapped for all eternity in that “filthy, disgusting, stinky swamp,” but it’s okay! That swamp is 100% certified organic. The lantern whispers but Bray says his job is done for now. And sorry, he can’t let that Bray out again. Listen, man. You had your chance. “It’s his turn now. He has been unleashed.” Yes, The Fiend is coming. Bye~! Have a great day! Say bye, lantern head! Mwah!
Matt Riddle VS Tony Nese!
Bro… The Wolf King attacked The Original Bro after the phenomenal WWE Intercontinental Championship match with AJ Styles last week. However, Riddle doesn’t seem to sweat it as he goes up against the Premier Athlete. Will Baron Corbin show up again to try and run more of the fun?
The bell rings, they tie up and Riddle waistlocks to slam Nese down! Riddle floats around, gut wrenches and suplexes Nese! He holds on to do it again! Riddle drops the BROTON! Cover, TWO! Riddle drops another! Cover, TWO! Nese scrambles to ropes and throat chops back! Nese gives Riddle the bulldog hotshot! And PREMIER TRIANGLE! Cover, TWO! Riddle gasps for air but Nese puts on the body scissors squeeze! Riddle endures and the crowd rallies up. Riddle pries at the hold, but Nese chinlocks instead. Riddle gets up with Nese as a backpack, to then pop him up into position, but Nese fights out of the slam! Riddle boots Nese then forearms in the corner! Side to side for another forearm, then a BROSPLODER! Riddle runs to Penalty Kick Nese! Nese rises up, Riddle gut wrenches, tucks and BRO DEREK! Cover, Riddle wins!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall
Riddle wins to get back up from his loss to Styles, and grabs a mic to speak. “I’m kinda new here, so I don’t know how this works, but I’m gonna give it a try.” King Corbin, Riddle’s calling you out, bro. “C’mon, bro, let’s go.” Corbin appears! He has a mic to respond, “Matt, look, buddy. You are right, you don’t know how things are.” You can’t just call someone out! Certainly not the king! You need to give a formal request. Though that request will be rejected. Riddle doesn’t belong in Corbin’s kingdom, he’s just not ready. Riddle has talent and the “new car smell,” but that smell fades. then what’s left? A frat boy with no shoes who looks like he just rolled out of bed.
Riddle doesn’t belong in a professional environment like SmackDown. No, he needs to go back to NXT for a little more seasoning. Or better yet, after that win there, he could go to 205 Live and be a “top guy.” Corbin is so confident that Riddle doesn’t belong here, Corbin is putting out a “King’s Ransom” to anyone that can prove Riddle doesn’t belong in Corbin’s kingdom. “Bro, you’ve got it all wrong.” Riddle isn’t a helpless subject in some weird, made up subject. But Corbin is the next special guest on The Bro Show! Nese sneaks up on Riddle but gets a ROUNDHOUSE! Corbin says there’s a price on Riddle’s head, but will anyone be able to cash in? Or will Riddle dethrone the Wolf King first?
The Miz and John Morrison review video backstage.
Now they’re up to speed on the buzz around Naomi. What about Morrison? He was steamrolled by a man who thinks he’s a train! Doesn’t Morrison deserve better? And think about #FridayNightDelightAlright! Convoluted but it rhymes. Or maybe #JohnMorrisonIndubitablyDeservesBetter. Indubitably? Who can even spell that? HashtagJohnMorrisonIsTheMasterofTheHashtag, but spell out “hashtag” both times. What? They have a show to do. Let’s go. It’s not that complicated… But will the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century be able to clear things up about The Glow and the WWE Universe?
JBL gives his Bar Fight predictions!
“A couple of things I know a lot about and love, and that is going into a bar and fighting!” He has been in some of the toughest bar fights imaginable with one of the toughest men around, Ron “Farooq” Simmons! He is speaking from experience that Hardy and Sheamus need to be ready. This is unpredictable, there’s beer on the floor, bottles on the shelves and “some local yokel idiot” that needs to be put out. Everything you get hit with in there is going to hurt. This isn’t about talent but will. Sheamus is tough, a true deal, but the Hardy Boys won their first tag titles off JBL and Ron Simmons. Jeff has been incredibly innovative and fearless. “There’s nothing like a man fighting for redemption.” Hardy gets JBL’s pick.
SmackDown presents Miz TV!
Miz and Morrison are already in the ring for the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show! They know that the key to staying relevant is keeping up with whatever has the most buzz, even if you don’t understand why! True! Morrison and Miz have trend forecasters, which are like weather forecasters but they’re super nerds. And yet those guys told Morrison to wear that shirt in 2020? Yeah, Canadian tuxedos, slacks and sunglasses will definitely get #MoreMorrison to trend worldwide. What if it doesn’t? Well then he’d be sick. How sick? Four Seth Rollins puking sick! And Rollins doesn’t look too good. Did he stop tanning and exercising? Is he depressed?
Moving on! The guest tonight is what the “internet hive mind” has been raving about for a week! It’s NAOMI! Naomi makes her entrance as fans think #NaomiDeservesBetter. Miz and Morrison kick step and floss as Naomi joins them in the ring. She grabs a mic as Miz tries to fix his stanky leg. Are they done? They take their seats and Naomi admits Miz has some moves. They welcome her to the show and bring up the “heartbreaking loss.” Yet despite all that, it was Naomi, not Lacey Evans, that trended worldwide. It is crazy how the fans support her. It isn’t always easy to come out with a smile on her face and push herself in the ring, but she does because of the millions of people counting on her.
And this was not the first time this year. Her return at Royal Rumble was big, too. Though, she didn’t win that. Then Miz doesn’t get it. Him and Morrison going viral for hit music videos, that makes sense. But Naomi does it after losing? Shouldn’t Lacey be the one everyone talks about? Yeah, how does losing make Naomi feel? Not good, right? Probably really bad. Like sick even? Seth Rollins level sick? Does Lacey make Naomi sick? Naomi says these two are making her feel pretty sick. How sick? They want a number, and it’s FIVE Seth Rollins puking! That’s sick! But fans don’t like weak stomachs. No one trends doing that.
Naomi doesn’t want to trend. She asks why fans are with her through thick and thin and upset that Lacey attacked Naomi after karaoke. That is the conversation right there. Oh, Miz didn’t have any of that. Well then Naomi asks them questions. Why do they feel they get to pass judgment on someone and the fans supporting that someone? Naomi has shown up and shown out for the last decade, giving it her all! That is why fans care and support her, and why they want more for her. Does she need to explain? NO, no! Miz did not expect this to get so confrontational. Morrison apologizes to Naomi, because it’s only getting worse! A SURPRISE guest! It’s Lacey Evans!
The Sassy Southern Belle struts her way out and Naomi is in a worse mood. Lacey enters the ring, has a mic, and asks the “gentleman” a question. Did you ever get beat up so bad that you got a pity hashtag that went viral? Naomi has been here a decade, has little to show for it, and is just about as washed up as ever. “Bless her heart.” Naomi shoves Lacey and messes up her lipstick! Lacey throws hands but Naomi gives them back! Naomi kicks Lacey out of the ring and Lacey grabs her bag. Lacey sees the line on her face and the lipstick in her teeth and is furious! The Glow gets the better of this exchange, will #Rematch be trending worldwide?
Big E waits by the doctor/trainer room.
Kofi Kingston walks out and gives an update on his ribs. Not the best news, as he’ll be out at least six weeks. But he’ll get to spend time with the family. Big E is sorry, wants Kofi to heal up, and promises that when Kofi comes back, Shinsuke and Cesaro will pay! Kofi appreciates that, and they’ll get the titles back when the time is right. But something makes Kofi think this is a sign. Xavier Woods has been out, Kofi is out now, so Big E is alone. this is his time! Big E appreciates that back, but Kofi cuts him off. Kofi and Woods talk all the time. The last six years, Big E has selflessly put the group ahead of himself! Even when Kofi was world champion, Big E always had love, no jealousy. Kofi appreciated that, and couldn’t have done any of that without him.
But now, it’s Big E’s time to show what he can do. Kofi and Woods want this for Big E. Big E needs to shine before he’s waited a decade like Kofi. More importantly, Big E has earned this and deserves this, and has the team’s blessing. Hug gently now. Much love between the New Day members. Is Big E going to get gold all his own in these next six weeks?
AJ Styles joins commentary!
The Phenomenal Intercontinental Champion wants a front row seat to the match up next, as it will go a long way to determining his next challenger!
WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s match: Drew Gulak VS Chad Gable VS Lince Dorado VS Gran Metalik!
An incredible line-up that even has the Lucha House Party facing itself! Will Gulak earn another shot at AJ Styles? Or will a new contender step up to feed that hunger for gold?
The bell rings and Dorado dropkicks Shorty G out of the ring! LHP goes after Gulak together, but Gulak cradles Metalik. Dorado kicks it apart then clubs Gulak to ropes. LHP go after Gulak again, double whip and double hip toss! Dorado gets help from Metalik, wheelbarrow leg drop! Then LHP bumps into each other, and decide to test who is the superior luchador! Dorado trips Metalik, speeds things up and Metalik hurdles but Dorado leaps. Gulak drags Dorado out and scoop slams him hard on the floor! Metalik FLYING HURICANRANAS Gulak off the apron! The crowd fires up while Styles mocks Gulak. Gable German Suplexes, Metalik lands on his feet but things speed up.
Gable arm-drags Metalik then wrenches to a whip. Metalik handsprings, Gable dodges, but Metalik ducks to mule kick! Metalik runs the ropes in a corner to missile dropkick! Cover but Gulak breaks it! Dorado dropkicks Gulak to a corner and fires off chops and kicks! Dorado wrenches and whips, Gulak reveres, Dorado goes up and over and handsprings to then BOOT Gulak back! Dorado keeps moving, huricanrana! The crowd fires up for the Golden Lynx, he builds speed but ducks Gable to DIVE onto Gulak! Gulak hits the desk, Dorado stomps away! Metalik enziguris Gable, springboards into a dropkick of Gable’s! Gable aims as everyone groups together on the outside, to SUPER MOONSAULT! All four contenders are down as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Gable elbows away on Metalik. Gable brings Metalik up, feeds him to Gulak’s uppercut then hits a BIG back suplex! Cover but Gulak drags Gable off to cover him, ONE! Dorado covers Gulak, ONE! Gable splashes but misses, Dorado covers him, only for Gulak to break it! Gulak throws Dorado out hard then snapmares Gable, only for Gable to backslide! TWO and Gulak uses his legs to drag Gable into a cover, TWO! Gable sits on the cover, ropebreak, but Gable snap suplexes Gulak! Cover, TWO! Gable brings Gulak up to throw forearms, but Gulak whips only for Gable to reverse and send him out! Styles insists he’s a fighting champion but still doesn’t think this is how it works.
Gable and Metalik fight on the apron, Gable puts Metalik in to CHOP away! Gable throws forearms, Gulak pushes him out of the way to stomp Metalik. Gable shoves Gulak to stomp Metalik. Gulak shoves Gable, and the two decide to work together for a moment. Gulak scoops, Metalik escapes. Gable scoops, Metalik escapes. Gulak kicks Metalik and the two grapplers whip him. Metalik handsprings to back elbow them both down! The crowd fires up as all three men roll to sides. Dorado returns and lariats Gulak down, dropkicks Gable out! Dorado fires off forearms and CHOPS on Gulak then whips corner to corner. Gulak reverses but misses in the corner, Dorado KICKS hard, QUEBRADA! Cover, TWO!
Dorado aims at Gulak in the corner but is put up top. Dorado kicks Gulak away, BIG cfrossobody hits! Cover, TWO! Dorado keeps his cool as he whips Gulak. Gulak reverses, Dorado handsprings to GOLDEN REWIND! Cover, Metalik breaks it! Amigos must do what they must to get at the title! Gable shoves Metalik into Dorado and hits a BIG EXPLODER! Gable fires off uppercuts and then uses an EXPLODER on Dorado! Gable fires up, runs to HEEL KICK both Gulak and Dorado! EXPLODER for Gulak! Gable spins Metalik around for a SAIDO! Bridging cover, Gulak breaks it in time! Styles is actually impressed by Shorty G.
Gable drags Gulak up, Gulak fights the waistlock and spins around to scoop and dragon sleeper, GuLOCK! Gable fights the hold, pops out of the body scissors and uses the ropes to climb up, to get out and trip Gulak up! ANKLE LOCK! Gulak flails, reaches, and Gable shots, “This is MY chance!” Gable drags Gulak from ropes and GRAPEVINES! Dorado FROG SPLASHES outta nowhere!! Cover, TWO!! The crowd is thunderous for this match as Dorado SUPERKICKS Gable down! Bottom rope MOONSAULT! Second rope MOONSAULT! Dorado wants the hat trick, but Gulak shoves him off the top into the crossbar!
Gulak climbs up behind Dorado, Dorado fights the back suplex and Gable adds on. Gable electric chair lifts and DUMPS Gulak out! Gable goes after Dorado SUPER GERMAN!! Dorado flounders out of the ring, Metalik SPRINGBOARD ELBOW DROPS! Cover, METALIK wins!!
Winner: Gran Metalik, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the WWE Intercontinental Championship)
The King of the Ropes finds the opening he needed and is now a contender! Styles joins him and Dorado in the ring to congratulate him. Styles wants to shake Metalik’s hand but Metalik hesitates. Styles SLAPS Metalik down and says that is why you don’t trust anyone. Metalik SLAPS him back! Then springboard tornado DDT’s! Dorado keeps Metalik from doing any more, this fight is coming next week! Will Styles regret firing up his future opponent?
SmackDown reviews the romance of Otis Dozovic and Mandy Rose.
Heavy Machinery’s human wrecking ball won over the Golden Goddess’ heart slowly but surely, and have had quite a time together over both the holidays and now in the summer sun. They even had a horse a carriage ride together, as well as regular work out sessions. The love story continues, next week on SmackDown as Mr. Money in the Bank and his sweet peach return!
Backstage interview with Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura!
They’re the NEW SmackDown Tag Team Championships after the Extreme Rules PPV TABLES Tag Match! “That’s right, Kayla. Welcome NEW champions!” But Nakamura isn’t sure what was more rewarding. Putting Kofi Kingston through the first table, or putting him through that second table. But either way, Kofi went SPLAT. Cesaro’s only regret is not being able to put Big E through a table, too. Yes, that would’ve been a bigger splat. But there will be a chance to do that very soon. Though, with Kofi out for about six weeks… This isn’t Big E’s time at all. This is THEIR time! The Winner Time! Champion’s Salute! “We’ll make all teams on SmackDown go SPLAT.”
Bar Fight: Jeff Hardy VS Sheamus!
The Charismatic Enigma and Celtic Warrior have gone back and forth both in and out of the ring. Hardy won in the Intercontinental Championship tournament’s opening round, but Sheamus got his revenge both with a hit ‘n’ run drunk driving frame-up and with the rematch at Backlash. Hardy got Sheamus back via his bartender’s shame, but Sheamus booted Hardy down. This battle inside Irish Shannon’s will settle the score once and for all! Will Hardy exorcise his demons while shutting Sheamus up? Or will he lose to both a bully and the beer?
Sheamus arrives to see his bartender and the referee waiting. “What’s crackin’, lads?” Everything ready to go? Good, good. Sheamus wants a quick shot before things get started. Haven’t seen Hardy yet. But before Sheamus can take his shot, Hardy walks in. Hardy sits at the bar with Sheamus, and Sheamus is glad he could make it. How about a shot to take the edge of? No thanks. Hardy wants a glass, though. Is he ready to do this? Hardy tells the ref to wait a moment. After all, he’s only here to count to three. Hardy wants Sheamus to know something first. That Jeff can’t handle his alcohol like a real man? Something like that.
Jeff’s brother had to “delete” his WWE career. Tonight, Jeff recovers his. Jeff’s been doing this since he was 16 years old, and has made mistakes to last a lifetime. Sobriety has changed Hardy, so hopefully Sheamus is ready for anything. Sheamus wants Jeff to face it. He can’t change. He’s too weak, pathetic and no one cares anymore. Is Sheamus still The Bar? Oh making jokes now? Yeah, Sheamus still raises the bar because he still IS The Bar. Cool. Hardy has connected to everything now. The window, the light, the TV. He IS this bar! What is he talking about/ Sheamus is the bar, and Hardy is just a junkie. “Alright, boss. Take care of that, will ya?” Sheamus hands his hat over. And watch out for Jeff, he doesn’t like bartenders.
Jeff SPLASHES Sheamus with the drink he poured! And then starts hammering away on Sheamus at the bar! Sheamus shoves Hardy but Hardy comes back for more! Hardy bounces Sheamus off the bar, clubs away again, then uses him to knock over glasses. Sheamus knees low and then high. Sheamus scoops Hardy to slam him onto the bar! Sheamus clubs away, and does the classic slide down the bar! He clubs Hardy, rips off his shirt, and gives him beats of the Bodhrain! Sheamus hits all ten times and Hardy flops to the floor. Sheamus catches his breath and pulls down the suspenders. He wants some top shelf refreshment this time. But Hardy runs along the bar to LEAP onto Sheamus!
Sheamus shoves Hardy into the brick wall! Hardy throws Sheamus into barrels! And then throws the basketballs from the arcade games at him! They brawl to the back, Hardy bounces Sheamus off wall in the hall! He clubs Sheamus down at the couch and bounces basketballs off him. Sheamus kicks back and keeps Hardy from using the keg. Sheamus uses the keg on Hardy! Sheamus digs it into Hardy to sandwich him against the wall! Sheamus drags Hardy up to bounce off walls in return for just a moment ago! Sheamus uses the bathroom door to SMASH Hardy into the corner over and over! Then they go into the bathroom for Sheamus to bounce Hardy off the sink!
Sheamus clubs Hardy towards the stalls, and gives him a swirly in the urinal! This is Sheamus “cleansing” Hardy of his demons! Sheamus lets up as Hardy gasps and coughs. Sheamus says Hardy has had worse than that, and brings him to the mirror. This is who Hardy is! “You’re trash!” Hardy hits back and throws Sheamus into a stall! hardy gets away, still gagging and retching from the toilet water. Sheamus staggers up after Hardy, shouting all the way. “I’m only here to help, remember?” Hardy can’t run or hide from this. Sheamus looks for Hardy, but he pops out of the storage closet! Hardy RAMS Sheamus with a ladder! Hardy throws the ladder at Sheamus!
They return to the main bar and Sheamus is crawling while clutching his ribs. Hardy climbs up to run along the tables and leap! But Sheamus catches him, to RAM him into the brick wall! Sheamus clears some space as he brings Hardy back up. They’re in the band area and Sheamus grabs a guitar. Maybe this will help with Hardy’s music career! The guitar SMASHES off the way as Hardy dodges! Sheamus shakes out his hands, Hardy clubs him from behind! Hardy clubs over and over, then brings Sheamus back up to whip. Sheamus reverses and sends Hardy tumbling into the drum kit! Hardy is down and SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns as Sheamus yells at Hardy, “How did that feel?” Sheamus says Hardy wanted this. Hardy gets up, Sheamus aims but Hardy blocks the Brogue with a drum! The two stagger around, Hardy throws Sheamus into tables! Hardy tackles Sheamus on the ground then staggers back up. Hardy drags Sheamus up to go at the bar but Sheamus turns it around to bump Hardy. Hardy ducks the punch to kick, TWIST OF FURY! Sheamus is down, Hardy sets up the ladder by the barrels. Hardy fetches Sheamus, drags him over, and stomps him down. Hardy climbs up but the BARTENDER attacks! Well, he is still upset about Hardy pouring beer on him and knocking him out. Hardy kicks Jeeves back, clubs him and reels him in, to POWERBOMB him through a table!
Jeeves is down but Sheamus SMASHES a chair on Hardy’s back! Sheamus grabs his hat and puts it on Hardy’s face. “Sweet dreams, fella.” Sheamus goes behind the bar to grab himself a Guinness. Cheers. Sheamus takes a couple of good swigs, finishes it off, then goes back to where he left Hardy on the floor. “Referee, get ready.” But when Sheamus takes the hat off, Hardy has face paint on!? And those wild eyes! Hardy springs up and fires off hands! Sheamus shoves him into the bar but Hardy SMASHES a bottle on Sheamus’ head! Hardy climbs the ladder, steadies himself with the barrels, and then SUPER SWANTON BOMBS onto Sheamus!! Cover, Hardy wins!!
Winner: Jeff Hardy, by pinfall
The Charismatic Enigma is not yet OBSOLETE! He has conquered bully and inner demons, but will this victory propel him back to the top?
A really good SmackDown to keep up momentum from Extreme Rules. The hype up promos at the start were really good, and I liked that they were focused on the main event match’s story. JBL being part of it is great, I like that he’s getting to do more panelist work between the WWE PPV kickoff shows and now this. The Bar Fight being a theatrical on-location match rather than just a themed Street Fight was actually a great surprise and of course worked way better. I liked that the bartender got involved given the quick history from the build, and the bit with Hardy “magically” having his face paint for a super mode of sorts. Between that and Hardy using “delete” in reference to brother Matt is a sign that the rest of Jeff’s run will be somewhere between Brother Nero and his own ideas.
Having the women’s title story for the opener was great. It was a brilliant Heel move to pit Nikki against Alexa, Bayley and Sasha were great on commentary and Nikki VS Alexa itself was a great match. Nikki winning makes sense, and I would hope Stephanie McMahon makes a similar stipulation for the rematch as she did for Sasha and Asuka this Monday. At the very least, it needs to be announced that there is a ringside ban so Sasha and Alexa can’t be there. Assuming Asuka wins to get the belt back, there can still be tension put back into the Bayley-Sasha dynamic even if she wins, steering things towards SummerSlam again.
Tonight’s Firefly Fun House was really good, going another step in the Three Faces of Foley development for Bray. In fact, this wasn’t the first time lantern head being Eater of Worlds Bray was done, so kudos to a very long game Bray’s been playing at. Strowman VS Fiend for the title is a given for SummerSlam, but the promos like this are making it work. Riddle VS Nese was obvious filler to put more into the story with Corbin. Oddly, I hope there’s someone who does take Riddle down if for a moment to make Corbin give up that “king’s ransom,” only to reveal he doesn’t actually have that much money to give them. But in the end, pretty sure Riddle VS Corbin happens for SummerSlam and for Riddle to win big to jump into some sort of title picture after.
The Miz TV segment was pretty good, but does bring into question if Booker T criticizing #NaomiDeservesBetter was work or shoot. If it was at least a worked shoot, that’s admittedly good adjustment from WWE. And while Naomi gets the better of Lacey tonight, a lot of the SmackDown Women’s Championship story will influence this one. If Bayley retains, I could see Naomi becoming her contender on the way to something with Sasha. If Bayley loses, Lacey and Nikki could have quite the program against each other, with Lacey leaning hard into her “Ya Nasty!” gimmick, criticizing Nikki’s wardrobe and behavior as the way to get heat going.
The developments in the SmackDown Tag and Intercontinental Championship stories are probably the most intriguing things from tonight. Whether work or shoot, Kofi’s injury keeping him out is definitely a great way to give Big E his chance as a solo star again. This certainly allows Cesaro and Nakamura to shake things up in the tag team division, but again, without The Usos or Heavy Machinery, not really sure who they face right now, unless the Undisputed Era makes the move and the turn to Face. Cesaro & Nakamura VS reDRagon (O’Reilly and Fish) would be some incredible stuff.
Then there was the surprise Fatal 4 that ended in a surprising way. I didn’t think it’d be Metalik, but he and Dorado and Kalisto (by the way, where has he been?!) have done such great stuff, they deserve some chances. This is a great opportunity for Metalik, who honestly hasn’t had much since being a finalist in the one and only WWE Cruiserweight Classic tournament YEARS ago. AJ Styles being AJ Styles, I’m pretty sure he wins, but he and Metalik can definitely have a phenomenal match.
My Score: 8.4/10