SmackDown can’t rest after SummerSlam, Payback is coming!
The NEW WWE Universal Champion, Bray Wyatt, can’t celebrate his achievement because he, Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns are going to sign a title match contract! Will this one week be all Bray gets with the title?
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: Jeff Hardy VS ???; Hardy wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
- Matt Riddle VS Baron Corbin; changed to…
- Matt Riddle VS Chad Gable w/ Baron Corbin; Riddle wins.
- Drew Gulak VS Braun Strowman; Strowman wins.
- Cesaro w/ Shinsuke Nakamura VS Kalisto; Cesaro wins.
- Six Man Tag: Big E & Heavy Machinery VS Sheamus, The Miz & John Morrison; Big E & Heavy Machinery win.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE mourns the loss of “The Bullet” Bob Armstrong.
Adam Pearce puts security on notice.
“Tonight is a very combustible night.” Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns in one ring, then Retribution lurking around and Mr. Vince McMahon is here. If you see something, say something to Pearce and make it fast. The guards head out, Pearce checks in with Mr. McMahon and Vince says he seems nervous. Just a little. Vince says it’s fine, Vince is intimidating. But he has a mission for Pearce, should he decide to accept. It will take him into the presence of Roman, Braun and Bray. All three in that Triple Threat No Holds Barred need to “autograph” this contract. Start with The Fiend. Wait, start with The Fiend? Is he here? He could be on the other side of the door. Or at least talk to Bray on tonight’s Firefly Fun House.
Speaking of Fun, Vince is having some fun, and he gives Pearce a certain garment bag. Seriously? Deadly. And say hi to Huskis for Vince. Vince loves that loud burp of his. It sounds like we’re doing a different kind of contract signing tonight! Can Pearce survive encountering all three of the heaviest hitters on SmackDown today?
Jeff Hardy is here!
The Charismatic Enigma is once again WWE Intercontinental Champion after managing to overcome a blindside attack on his leg by AJ Styles! There is admittedly some controversy since the knee brace Hardy needed is what knocked Styles off balance, but others might just call that karma. Hardy has a mic to say it’s great to be standing in the WWE Thunderdome. And he is tickled pink to be standing at all. But Hardy isn’t complacent in his success, so he is ready to defend- Here comes AJ Styles! Styles glares at Hardy from the stage as he asks, “Is this real? Is it?” Because Hardy sure seems proud of what he did last week! Not about what he accomplished, but about what he did! Hardy is no conquering hero! He’s a liar and a cheater!
Styles joins Hardy in the ring as he tells Hardy can blame him for all sorts of stuff. But Styles has had knee injuries before and never did he whine or cry to get “an illegal object” on his knee. But Hardy did! Hardy had a plan to use that object! Styles clearly had Hardy beat in the Styles Clash but then the leg and its illegal object hit him in the face! Hardy knew what he was doing! And Hardy knows how to play the system! Oh yeah! Because that same doctor Hardy whined to will not medically clear Styles tonight, and it’s Hardy’s fault! Hardy says that does suck, because he was about to give an Open Challenge to anyone backstage tonight except Styles. Styles accuses Hardy of taking advantage of the system!
Styles rants on and on and starts shoving Hardy but the ref tells him to stop. Styles doesn’t, so Hardy DECKS him! Hardy’s challenge is still open, who accepts it when SmackDown returns from break?
WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: Jeff Hardy VS ???
SmackDown returns and the challenge is accepted by… Shinsuke Nakamura! A former Intercontinental Champion and a current SmackDown Tag Team Champion, will the King of Strong Style become a double champion?
The bell rings while Style complains on commentary. Hardy and Nakamura tie up, go around, and end up in a corner. Hardy lets off at the ref’s count and gets clear. Nakamura circles with Hardy, ties up, and shoots through to waistlock. Hardy standing switches, Nakamura breaks free to wrench Hardy’s arm to a wristlock. Nakamura shifts to a cording hold, Hardy fights up, Hardy pries free to a wristlock of his own. Hardy clubs the arm, wrenches more, but Nakamura pulls hair! The ref counts, Nakamura ab leans then kicks Hardy low. Nakamura headlocks, grinds Hardy and Styles cheers Nakamura on but Hardy powers out. Nakamura runs Hardy over and things speed up.
Hardy hip tosses, ducks Nakamura’s clothesline to atomic drop! Hardy snapmares, neck snaps and drops an elbow! Cover, TWO! Hardy whips, Nakamura holds ropes, Hardy kicks low. Hardy whips, Nakamura reverses and dropkicks Hardy’s bad leg out! Styles is glad as Hardy writhes and holds that knee. Nakamura stalks Hardy, and dropkicks the leg out from behind! Nakamura stomps the leg, and gives Hardy a grounded DRAGON SCREW! Nakamura bumps Hardy off buckles, knees low then grabs a leg. A quick snippet from Cesaro says that Nakamura isn’t more ambitious but certainly more impulsive than him. Cesaro wishes his tag partner “good luck” with Hardy.
Nakamura has Hardy’s leg on the rope and kicks it! Then he gives the bad leg some Bad Vibrations! The fans boo Nakamura and rally up for Hardy as Nakamura looms over the champ. Nakamura drags Hardy up, knees low and hard, and Hardy hobbles and falls to another corner. Nakamura drags Hardy up to club him down, then KICKS him in the chest! Hardy sits up but Nakamura KICKS again! And again, but Hardy blocks! Hardy back kicks Nakamura down! Hardy clubs Nakamura, bumps him off buckles, then runs in, only to get a knee! Nakamura puts Hardy on the top rope, but Hardy avoids the Top Shelf Knee!
Hardy clubs Nakamura, and aims for the outside! Nakamura resists the suplexes to suplex Hardy in! Hardy lands on his feet but hobbles from the bad leg. Hardy still clotheslines Nakamura out! Hardy swings and dropkicks Nakamura away, then goes outside, to throw Nakamura onto Styles! Hardy stands tall as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Hardy fights against Nakamura’s leg lock. Hardy kicks free with his good leg, gets to a corner, and boots Nakamura away. Hardy throws haymakers, whips, but Nakamura reverses, only for Hardy to forearm him down! Hardy gives Nakamura an atomic drop and the leg splitting leg drop! Basement dropkick! Splash down! Cover, TWO!! Styles wants Nakamura to do better but Hardy stays on Nakamura. Nakamura fires off a strike fest, Hardy ducks one kick but not the next! Hardy is back in a corner, Nakamura brings Hardy up to bump him off buckles. Nakamura puts Hardy up top, clubs Hardy on the back but Hardy elbows him away. Nakamura falls off the ropes, Hardy stands up, WHISPER IN THE WIND!
Hardy clutches his leg and Styles laughs. Hardy still hobbles around, Nakamura runs in at the corner, blocks boots and turns Hardy sideways. Nakamura runs side to side, SLIDING GERMAN SUPLEX! Nakamura climbs up and watches Hardy crawl. Hardy stands, Nakamura hits a FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Hardy survives, Nakamura grows frustrated and Styles tells the ref to count better. Nakamura aims from a corner, Hardy stands up, “YAO~!” But Hardy dodges the Kinshasa to kick. No Twist, Nakamura gets a sleeper. Hardy snapmares free, uses the knee brace knee to hit low, then hits a TWIST OF FATE!! Styles protests, Hardy climbs up top, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, Hardy wins!
Winner: Jeff Hardy, by pinfall (still WWE Intercontinental Champion)
Styles protests, but Hardy tells him to step up. Styles is “not” medically cleared tonight, but will he be first in line when he is?
Wait a minute, Sami Zayn is back?! And he has a copy of the Intercontinental Championship?! Sami says THIS is the true title, Hardy is a fraud! Both men raise their belt, but they both look at Styles staring at them. And then Sami HELLUVA KICKS Hardy down! Sami shouts “FRAUD! FRAUD!” before leaving. Hardy staggers up to his feet in time to see Styles creep closer. Styles says it doesn’t matter who the real one is, he’s going to be the real champion soon enough. Who will be the one true Intercontinental Champion of WWE?
SmackDown returns to Sami singing.
“Oh happy day~!” Kayla Braxton wants an answer, he wants to get going, but she asks why did he attack Jeff Hardy. Is there never any good question? What has he always been about? Righting wrongs! What was wrong was Hardy pretending he is Intercontinental Champion, and AJ Styles pretending to be before him. They were frauds! Sami won the title fair and square all by himself, 3/8/2020 (in a handicap match) and then defended the title at WrestleMania! Daniel Bryan couldn’t even beat him! Sami never lost the title!
Then where was he to defend it? Oh there are many, perfectly valid reasons, that Sami does not need to explain to him! He is from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, a man of the world and a true Intercontinental Champion in every sense of the word. He says good bye in French, but that doesn’t really explain anything. Will we get an explanation
SmackDown presents a brand new Firefly Fun House!
Bray enters and waves hi to the Fireflies. Welcome back to the Firefly Fun House~! Feels great to be home with all his friends. Abby and Mercy and even Ramblin’ Rabbit and Huskis. “Certified squeals, seven different meals, bring a bucket with some slop for this fat arse piggy!” Okay, Huskis, calm down. What’s the matter, bro? No more internet, Huskis. It’s rotting your brain. But anyway, Bray feels like something is missing. What could it be?! Worms? Buzzards? No! The Universal Championship! YOWIE WOWIE, he has it back! And neither monsters with the big teeth can take it away this time.
Now, Roman, it’s been a long time. It was great to see him again. Ding dong, someone is here! Who could it be? It’s… Adam Pearce the Mailman~! Postman Pearce will not be stopped by snow nor rain nor heat nor dystopian hellscape! He was hoping Bray could sign this for Payback. Why Bray? Well, it just seems there’s a connection between you and… him. Well, okay. YAY~! Hopefully Braun and Roman know what they’re getting into. Done and done. And if Bray knows “him” like he thinks he does, he really just signed a couple of death warrants~! YAY~! And remember, Fireflies, #LetMeIn. Bye~! See you Sunday!
Matt Riddle VS Baron Corbin!
The Original Bro and the King of the Ring have had beef but now it’s time to squash it! Riddle gets the mic to say, “Corbin, you said that anyone that can prove I don’t belong on SmackDown is entitled to the King’s Ransom.” But it just seems like Corbin is scared. If Corbin has something to prove, than prove Riddle wrong right now! Will the Wolf King see this through? Or will he avoid the Bro’s challenge to #brodown?
SmackDown returns and Riddle is still waiting. C’mon, Corbin! It might be hard to get that little crown on that big cranium, but this is ridiculous! Get the show on the road, bro! Corbin finally does make his entrance, but still takes his time heading to the ring, because CHAD GABLE attacks Riddle from behind! Corbin says he accepts Riddle’s challenge for a match, on behalf of Shorty G! It seems Gable is again Corbin’s fool as he goes for broke on the King’s Ransom!
Matt Riddle VS Chad Gable w/ Baron Corbin!
Riddle fires off forearms on Gable, then kicks. Gable catches a kick for a DRAGON SCREW! Gable climbs on for a rear mount, clubs away with crossface forearms, but Riddle gets to ropes. Gable whips, Riddle reverses to gut wrench suplex! Gable fights off the second, but Riddle brings him up, Gable slips out, chicken wings for the TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Corbin tells Gable to get going, and Gable stalks Riddle. Gable drags Riddle up, pushes him to buckles then rolls back, CHAOS THEORY! But Riddle lands on his feet to FINAL FLASH! And then gut wrench, Gotch hold, BRO DEREK! Cover, Riddle wins!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall
Corbin is furious and runs in but Riddle is ready! They brawl, Riddle kicks but Corbin slides out, and stays out! The Bro dares the King to man up, but when and where will Riddle finally prove to Corbin that he belongs?
SmackDown shares a WWE Network Exclusive from Big E.
After the tense verbal confrontation on Talking Smack last week, Big E told us all that he doesn’t really want to be on MizTV tonight, but he will because he is obligated to and doesn’t want to get fined. Miz and John Morrison walk over and ask what Big E is talking about. They heard him! Do something about it! But then Sheamus comes by and now it looks like 3v1. Until Heavy Machinery walks over to back Big E up. Things are tense, and MizTV is cancelled for tonight, because this will be a Six Man Tag! Will Tucker and Otis help Big E bulldoze the Fella and the so-called Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century?
Big E hangs out with Heavy Machinery backstage.
Otis has both the Money in the Bank Briefcase AND an MITB themed lunch pail! Does Otis have something good in there? Lunchables? The bootleg snacks that don’t come out until 2021? Nope, just some hard salami. The Golden Role Models walk over and laugh at the “clowns playing with their meat.” Heyo~! But Big E, don’t worry what Miz said. It’s not that Big E doesn’t have what it takes. It’s just that some people can only handle a tag title! HAH! Um, doesn’t that mean Bayley’s insulting Sasha Banks? Sasha and Bayley still head out together to head to the ring, after the break.
SmackDown returns to Adam Pearce outside Roman Reigns’ room.
Pearce knocks and tells Roman it’s about the contract for Payback. Is he even in there? Pearce walks away, and we catch Corbin walking in. Kayla asks if Corbin is considering Riddle’s challenge, but Corbin says he is not considering anything! Payback will be Corbin rearranging Riddle’s face, and knock Riddle’s teeth down his throat and dents in his forehead, then break every single one of Riddle’s “disgusting little toes.” Corbin vows to send Riddle back to NXT, UFC or anywhere else he wants to go next. Corbin vows to prove Riddle does NOT belong in his “Kingdom” of SmackDown!
The Golden Role Models head to the ring!
Sasha is no longer #TwoBeltzBanks but she still stands with #BayleyDosStraps! Of course, that could change at Payback when they have to defend their WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships against Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax. The Role Models get mics and Bayley says, “We are in the midst of one of the most difficult weeks of our careers.” They both defended their singles titles at SummerSlam, and must now defend their tag titles against Shayna and Nia. “But lucky for us, we are the greatest tag team champions in the whole world!” They look amazing together! Bayley Dos Straps and Sasha… Oh, sorry, too soon. Sasha is devastated over losing her Raw Women’s Championship. But even when they have the best intentions, things don’t go the way they’re planned.
And Bayley takes the blame for that. Bayley should not have let Sasha challenge Asuka for the title way back when! But the way Sasha looked at #BayleyDosStraps, and how Sasha wanted to match her, Bayley couldn’t help it. But even so, Bayley should’ve remembered Sasha’s horrible track record of never being able to hold onto the Raw Women’s Championship. Wait, no, she didn’t mean it to sound like that! That’s all the past, okay? They will moo-ve forward! Get it? Sasha’s cow print pants. But anyway, they are stronger together! They are in this together! Sasha always says the tag titles represent their friendship! And Sunday, these two cannot lose!
Sasha agrees, they can’t lose. And Bayley is worried because it’s Nia and Shayna, but Sasha doesn’t want her to worry. So long as they have each other’s backs, they can get through anything. Sasha may not have two belts anymore, but she knows who she is and what she stands for. And lucky for Bayley, she’s still Sasha’s best friend. But Nia interrupts via the titantron! “Ladies~!” She and Shayna tell Sasha she’s had a bad week, and it’s going to get worse. Bayley and Sasha have done the impossible. The only two people Nia can’t stand worse than Shayna, is them. Shayna says the same, she despises Nia who sucks, but getting to beat up Sasha and Bayley and get titles, she’d partner with anyone.
What’s the point of interrupting them? Well the best friends are talking about the titles, what they represent, how much they mean to Bayley and Sasha. Everything except for winning. Winning? Sasha doesn’t need to talk about winning because it’s what she and Bayley do. One bad week won’t hold Sasha back! She is THE Sasha, she knows what she wants, when she wants and how she wants it. And she will get her vengeance and walking out with HER tag team title, and there’s nothing Nia and Shayna can do about it. Will this determination help the Boss and Bayley keep their titles?
Pearce asks around for where he can find Roman and/or Braun.
Drew Gulak doesn’t know about Roman, but he owes Braun for last week. Pearce advises Gulak to rethink that, given what tonight is. But Gulak spots Braun, grabs a chair, and SMACKS him on the back! Braun barely flinches, so Gulak tosses the chair to Pearce! Pearce explains, and tells him about the contract. Braun hears that Pearce wants to find Roman, too. Pearce better do it before Braun does. And as for the contract, the only way Braun is signing it is to get “that twerp” Gulak in the ring NOW!! Done. Will Gulak #GetTheseHands while Pearce gets that signature?
SmackDown returns to Cesaro talking with Nakamura.
The Swiss Cyborg tries to get Nakamura to understand, they’re the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, they can’t just do things without each other. Cesaro supported Nakamura tonight but he needs his teammate by his side. But speaking of, Sami returns to reunite with his “Artist Collective!” The band’s back together, boys! Where’s the energy? Well, he was gone for four months without a phone call. Oh, well, okay, yeah he should’ve communicated. Sorry! No, don’t be sorry for vanishing like that. Some things changed for the better! Yes! Sami saw that, it was part of the plan! What? This was to hep Nakamura and Cesaro unite and become champions! Now they’re all champions! And Sami won’t fault Nakamura for challenging Hardy, no one knew Sami was back.
But wow, Champion’s Lounge! Sami is going to get comfortable, set his belt down next to the tag titles. Cesaro is fine with that, but he and Nakamura were having a private tag team conversation. Oh…! Then, should Sami… go? Yep. Please? No, that’s cool. Sami does have to go, actually. Yeah, he has so much to do now that he’s back. You two do your thing. Is Sami still even part of this “collective?” Or will that have to be another special conversation for later?
Drew Gulak VS Braun Strowman!
We just saw the Philly Stretcher pick a fight with the Monster no longer among men, and now he’ll have to face the consequences! Will Gulak be able to make it to his commentary post for 205 Live tonight?
The bell rings and Braun powers Gulak to a corner then TOSSES him across the ring! Braun glares at Gulak as he gets up, then corner splashes him! Then whips him corner to corner and corner clotheslines to Gulak’s back! Braun doesn’t stop, he brings Gulak up to reel him in for a LARIAT! Braun roars before he drops a senton! That’s certainly new from Braun! Braun clubs away on Gulak’s chest then roars again. Fans are torn as Braun drags Gulak up for a DEAD LIFT CHOKE SLAM! But Braun isn’t done with Gulak as he drags Gulak back up by his beard. “You asked for this! Is this what you wanted?!” Scoop and MONSTER SLAM!! Cover, Braun wins!
Winner: Braun Strowman, by pinfall
The Monster mangled Gulak, and as promised, he signs the contract. Two down, one to go, can Pearce track down the Big Dog and complete this trifecta of power and rage?
Lucha House Party talks backstage.
Kalisto tells Lince Dorado that he learned form his mistakes last week against Cesaro. But just do him a favor and stay backstage, and watch how it’s done. Fine, then! Show him how it’s done! But as Kalisto makes his entrance, Lince and Gran Metalik get blindsided by Cesaro and Nakamura! Now Kalisto will be all alone anyway! Will the Lucha Dragon be able to survive the Swiss Cyborg and King of Strong Style alone?
Cesaro w/ Shinsuke Nakamura VS Kalisto!
SmackDown returns as Kalisto finishes his entrance, probably unaware of what happened to his amigos. Cesaro makes his entrance now, Nakamura by his side. Will the SmackDown Tag Team Champions shut out all of Lucha House Party from these titles?
The bell rings and Cesaro ties up with Kalisto. Cesaro scoops and slams hard, then brings him up to bump off buckles. Cesaro whips corner to corner, Kalisto goes up and over then runs, tit-o-whirl and a little more to huricanrana Cesaro out! Kalisto springboards to DRAGON RANA! Cesaro staggers up to his feet but Kalisto keeps after him. Kalisto puts Cesaro in, enziguris him away then springboards again, but Cesaro catches him! Scoop and BACKBREAKER! Cesaro covers, ONE! Cesaro keeps on Kalisto with a whip and back drops! Kalisto hits hard, Cesaro covers, but they’re in the ropes! Cesaro drags Kalisto up, whips again, and back drops again but Kalisto sunset flips! Cesaro stays up, brings Kalisto up, Kalisto just sunset flips again! TWO and Cesaro BOOTS Kalisto down! Then drops a BIG elbow! Cover, TWO!
Nakamura complains about the count but Cesaro keeps close on Kalisto. Cesaro shoves Kalisto to a corner, then throws a big European Uppercut! Cesaro whips Kalisto corner to corner, Kalisto boots back! Kalisto dropkicks the legs out, but Cesaro blocks the kick to flip Kalisto. Kalisto ducks, dodges and rolls, but his huricanrana is blocked! Cesaro pops Kalisto up, Kalisto stands on Cesaro’s shoulders, then hits a BIG DDT!! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro survives that crazy satellite but gets a SPIKE RANA! Cover, TWO!! Kalisto grows frustrated but stays fired up. Kalisto aims from a corner and gets the fans fired up with “Lucha! Lucha!” But Cesaro says no to Salida, only for Kalisto to elbow and huricanrana him into buckles!
Nakamura gets on the apron, Metalik and Dorado rush out to get even, but Cesaro rolls Kalisto up in the distraction! Cesaro wins!!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
LHP meant well but they didn’t think they’d mess Kalisto up! He gets mad at his friends while Nakamura and Cesaro leave with smiles on their faces. Metalik tries to keep the peace again as Kalisto and Dorado argue. Kalisto and Metalik hug it out, but Kalisto is not about to talk to Dorado. Is the party almost over for Lucha House Party?
Someone knocks on Vince McMahon’s door.
Vince says for them to come in, and it’s Pearce. He has two of the contracts, but Roman just doesn’t answer. Vince knows Pearce thinks two out of three ain’t bad, but Vince wants three out of three. Vince advises Pearce to knock the door down. Vince would have men on either side and throw Pearce in there if he could. Pearce heads out to try one last time. Will the Big Dog play ball for No Holds Barred?
Tamina finds Nikki Cross backstage.
What’s she doing all along with a coffee mug? It’s the first present Alexa Bliss ever got her. How is Alexa doing? The others are worried about her. But Alexa come sin and hugs her best friend, and even hugs Tamina. So now that she’s here, Tamina asks Alexa how she is doing. She’s better than ever! That’s great! Alexa is happy to see them. Oh and the mug she got Nikki. A year already, huh? A long time. And, Alexa hasn’t had pigtails in a longer time. It’s cute but… What’s this braid? Alexa thought about doing half ‘n’ half. Nikki isn’t so sure about that. Yeah, Alexa thought doing about the whole thing.
No, that’s fine, it looks great. Nikki’s point is that it reminds her of… him. The Fiend. Alexa freezes up for a second, but says that’s silly. She was hoping Nikki would be more supportive as a best friend but maybe now they’re not best friends so Alexa’s going to take BACK her gift and SMASH it!! Alexa storms off, and she leaves both Nikki and Tamina at a loss for words. What IS going on inside Alexa’s head?
The Miz and Morrison talk backstage.
Morrison tells Miz about duct taping a baseball to his foot and kicking through the sensors. His kick was 70 miles per hour! That’s incredible. That is MLB fastball fast. Sheamus comes by and asks about a game plan. DO they have one? Yes. What is it so far? Big E is a powerhouse, they can’t let him in the ring. But Tucker is… Tall. And also strong. As two or three. Keep him out. But then that leaves Otis. Otis is a crazy man, like a wildcard. So he can’t get in. Wait. Then… No one can be in? That’s the same as having no match! Sheamus tells them to follow his lead. Miz and Morrison argue over the plans, or lack there of. Will it go well when all three opponents are worst case scenarios in their minds?
SmackDown returns to Pearce’s last attempt at Roman’s door.
“Roman, it’s Adam Pearce!” When there’s no response, Pearce opens the door. Here goes nothing. He explains about the contract, Roman looks it over, and Pearce is on stand-by. Will the Big Dog sign on the dotted line?
Six Man Tag: Big E & Heavy Machinery VS Sheamus, The Miz & John Morrison!
Awwwww~ THUNDERDOOOME~! Don’t you dare be sour! Clap for literally the biggest main event yet, and FEEL~the POWER~! Will Big E, Otis and Tucky be swivelin’ them hips all night long in celebration after this?
Miz and Morrison make their entrance together, then Sheamus follows. The teams sort out and we start with Otis eating a sausage, and Morrison. They tie up, Morrison waistlocks but Otis backs him down to a corner. Otis hip tosses free but Morrison lands on his feet! Morrison springboards but bounces off Otis! Otis tosses Morrison to a corner, hits a corner splash and Big E tags in! Tag to Tucker, and the three men swivel together. Heavy Machinery double whip Big E in to RAM Morrison! Tucker corner splashes then feeds Morrison to Otis’ shoulder tackle! Cover, but Sheamus breaks it! The ref reprimands, Big E calls Sheamus out and Tucker tells Sheamus to go back to his corner.
Tucker runs at Morrison, Morrison dodges but Tucker goes up and LEAPS! Crossbody, cover, TWO! Tucker runs but Sheamus gets a cheap shot in! Morrison fires off knees on Tucker, tags in Miz, and they double GUT BUSTER! Miz stomps Tucker down, then stomps Tucker more. Miz mocks Big E then goes back to Tucker. Tucker throws body shots, Miz knees low, tag to Morrison. Morrison and Miz mug Tucker, Morrison drags Tucker to a cover, TWO! Morrison wraps Tucker up with a chinlock and drives in elbows. Tucker endures, Morrison moves to a chinlcok and throws big forearms. Tucker fights back and fights out of the enemy corner!
Tucker DECKS Morrison, but Morrison throws body shots and a dropkick! Tucker falls out of the ring in a heap, but he dropkicks Sheamus away first! And then Miz, too! Tucker hurries in, Morrison whips him but Tucker LARIATS back! But who is ringing the bell? Sheamus? He used it to simply throw everyone off, and things sort out as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Morrison and Miz knee and boot Tucker down! Cover, TWO! Morrison stomps Tucker, Sheamus wants in but Morrison tags Miz. They double whip Tucker to a corner, Morrison whips Miz in, A-Lister Lariat! Feed to the SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Miz smirks at Otis but Sheamus wants a tag. Miz keeps on Tucker with the chinlock, digging a knee into Tucker’s back. The fans rally, Tucker fights up and back suplexes Miz down! Both men are down, crawling for their corners. Hot tag to Morrison and he clobbers Tucker! Morrison kicks the leg, drags Tucker around, and then spins around to ground ‘n’ pound!
The ref counts, Morrison lets up and Sheamus wants in. Morrison bends Tucker back with a modified cravat, but Tucker fights up. Miz tags in, he and Morrison mug Tucker. Miz taunts Otis, then it’s the FLYING CHUCK HART ATTACK! Cover, but Big E and Otis both break it! Big E and Otis coach Tucker up, but Sheamus tags in! The ref didn’t see it and says the Fella isn’t legal! Sheamus is furious but Morrison gets back in to drag Tucker back up. But Sheamus is so furious, he doesn’t see Tucker shove Morrison into him! Down goes Sheamus, BIG hip toss for Morrison! Both Tucker and Morrison are down as Sheamus throws a fit, thinking it was some kind of betrayal.
Miz doesn’t understand but Sheamus i going to leave. Miz tries to stop him from leaving but Sheamus scares him off! It’s now a handicap match! Morrison hits Otis down, but Tucker back drops him! Hot tags to Miz and Big E! Big E OVERHEAD suplexes Miz, then does it again! Then the side belly2belly! Big E fires up and swivels them hips! Big E runs and hits the BIG SPLASH! Big E claps and fans clap with him! Miz stands and bails out to the apron! Big E pursues but Miz hotshots him away! Miz slides in, runs corner to corner, into the Urenag-E! Cover, but Morrison springboard double stomps it apart! But Otis scoop slams Morrison down!
Otis hits a DOUBLE CATERPILLAR! Well, Miz avoids his, at least! SKULL CRUSHING FINALE! But Big E is back, he scoops Miz, BIG ENDING! Cover, Big E and Heavy Machinery win!
Winners: Big E & Heavy Machinery, by pinfall
Big E is all fired up! Will he prove to everyone that he can be strong and serious, and therefore a serious threat in the SmackDown locker room?
SmackDown checks in with Roman and Pearce.
Roman says he isn’t signing the contract?! At least, not until some changes are made. But Roman promises to be at Payback one way or another. He will #WreckEveryoneAndLeave, and win back the title he never lost in the first place! “That is not just a prediction. That’s a spoiler.” Because Roman is a PAUL HEYMAN GUY!! The Advocate for the Beast is now the manager of the Big Dog! #BelieveThat! Will Roman become your reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion of the World at Payback?
Wow! Raw did a really good job pivoting from aftermath to go-home in this PPV sandwich we’re in, but SmackDown did an incredible job with it! Styles has a good promo claiming conspiracy on Hardy, and thinking about it now, anything even remotely related to conspiracy talk should’ve told us Sami Zayn was coming back. Sami of course puts his spin on how he became champion and why he couldn’t defend it, great character consistency from him. I really liked that there was also concern that Nakamura and Cesaro are not truly united as a team, but also that LHP is going to fall apart. We got a great match out of Cesaro and Kalisto, even with that finish, because it feeds story. I wonder if we’ll get a Six Man of LHP VS “Artist Collective” before one or both trios fall apart.
And as for the Intercontinental Championship issue, just make a Ladder match for a PPV, hearkening back to HBK VS Razor Ramon Scott Hall. One last amazing ladder match for Hardy in his career, since this feels like Hardy’s last run period. If need be, have Styles get involved to make it even more competitive, and to take some of the load off of a returning Sami and an outgoing Hardy. Then that midcard, workhorse title can move on. Riddle and Gable have a fast match, which is a bit of a shame, but Riddle and Corbin will settle things at Payback, it seems. Big E and Sheamus can also get in on the IC title scene, and they have great segments with Miz, Morrison and Heavy Machinery tonight. The main event Six Man was great, and naturally Big E wins to prove Miz and Morrison wrong.
The blending of stories continues to be great, as Bayley and Sasha talked trash on Big E and Heavy Machinery, and it was great for there to be an unintentional insult to Sasha. The same goes for the promos from Bayley and Sasha in the ring, and the “interruption” by Nia and Shayna. It sounds like there will be two dysfunctional duos at Payback, and I feel like this is the moment Bayley and Sasha lose the tag titles and turn on each other. It would definitely add an interesting dimension to the story of Nia and Shayna, and we’d get the long awaited Bayley VS Sasha match. The wait was worth it, this is going to be as explosive as when they were previously enemies and Bayley told Sasha, “You ain’t s*it!” I really hope they keep things going into Hell in a Cell for some real brutality.
Then there’s everything even remotely circling around The Fiend’s story. For one, I thought it was really clever for Alexa to come back, almost reverting back to her very early NXT days of being the happy, glittery Face. But she’s also entering that middle phase where she was WWE Harley Quinn. I totally felt smashing that mug happening, and I’m really curious to see how Tamina is going to factor in now. Pearce having to go to Vince, Bray, Braun and Roman in turn was a great main thread of the show, especially when he had to be a new cast member of Firefly Fun House. Strowman got to decimate Gulak, and it’s a good thing 205 Lives are filmed ahead of time or Gulak might not be part of it. Actually, he might still not be to keep kayfabe. Roman holding out was great, and HOLY CRAP he’s a Heyman Guy now?! That’s probably even wilder than just him going Heel! Payback might actually be worth it now!
My Score: 8.8/10