One more Friday Night SmackDown before the Clash of Champions!
Before defending the WWE Universal Championship against his own cousin, Jey Uso, Roman Reigns will be in the ring for an interview!
- Sami Zayn VS Jeff Hardy VS AJ Styles; Styles wins.
- Gran Metalik w/ Lucha House Party VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Cesaro; Nakamura wins.
- Matt Riddle VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins.
- Alexa Bliss VS Lacey Evans; Evans wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and SmackDown mourn the loss of Road Warrior Animal, Joe Laurinaitis
AJ Styles heads to the ring!
The Phenomenal One is here for this “ascension ceremony” to commemorate the coming Triple Threat Ladder match to crown the UNDISPUTED WWE Intercontinental Championship! But he’s also joined by “the real” Intercontinental Champion, Sami Zayn. Sami is a bit grumpier since he’d have to give up his copy of the title. And of course, that means the real Intercontinental Champion, Jeff Hardy, joins them in the ring, as well! Corey Graves presides over this ceremony and reminds us that Clash of Champions will be “winner take all,” no other superstar will have claim to being champion. The two belts will be raised in this first-ever ceremony. And as a Triple Threat, this match has no champion’s advantage.
Styles asks Hardy how the belt feels right now. Savor that feeling, because this is the last time Hardy will hold the belt that he cheated to win in the first place. And why is Sami even here? Oh, right, because Sami thinks he’s still champion when he took the summer off growing out his neckbeard! Sami is nobody! Styles has broken his back to make the title mean something! And didn’t Styles beat Sami last week anyway? Sami says this entire match should be happening. This is only happening because Styles partook in a tournament to crown a fraud! And that was Styles for a minute. But then Hardy won the fraudulent “shampionship,” but should have denounced it and recognized Sami as the rightful champion! Now Sami has to defend his title in a LADDER match!? Does anyone know how dangerous that is?
Hardy tells Sami to shut up. And he oddly agrees with Styles. Yes, because Styles is the smartest guy here! Hardy says Sami should be grateful. Because Styles and Hardy have at least defended the title. Sami can make things legit at Clash. Let’s raise these belts high to tear the house down this Sunday! The belt hanger lowers as Styles talks trash on Hardy and Sami. Sami says the guys holding belts are going to hang up the belts now, if that’s okay. The belts are strapped to the hanger and the hook rises high above. And then Sami shoves a ladder down onto both Hardy and Styles! Sami rains down rights on Hardy, while shouting “FRAUD!” every time! Styles chases Sami off and says Sami won’t have that belt ever again.
But Adam Pearce is here, and he says Sami should’ve just left enough alone. The match of Sami VS Hardy is going to change, it’ll be a TRIPLE THREAT! And it’ll be next! Sami is freaking out, Hardy gives Styles a TWIST OF FATE! Who wins this sampler of Sunday after the break?
Sami Zayn VS Jeff Hardy VS AJ Styles!
SmackDown returns and the bell rings! Styles throws hands on Sami then on Hardy. Hardy counter punches while Sami bails out. Styles and Hardy brawl, Hardy gets Styles for an atomic drop! Hardy full nelsons but Styles spins out, so Hardy cravats and snapmares to neck snap! Sami returns but Hardy kicks him first. Hardy bumps Sami off buckles, then more buckles. Sami scrambles away to then kick low and throw hands. Sami facelocks, Hardy atomic drops and trips him up! Leg splitting leg drop and basement dropkick! Styles stomps Hardy while Sami rolls out again. Styles bumps Hardy off buckles now, stomps him in the corner, then scoops for the backbreaker!
Styles runs and slides to wreck Sami with a dropkick! Sami bumps into the announce desk while Styles goes back to Hardy. Styles drags Hardy up, Hardy hits back and throws haymakers. Hardy whips, Styles reverses but Hardy holds ropes and boots. Styles catches those to toss Hardy out! Hardy hits the floor, Styles goes out to bring him back up. Styles bumps Hardy off the desk, Sami clobbers Styles! Sami bumps Styles off barriers then throws him into the ring. Sami brings Styles up for haymakers and Styles gets to a corner. Sami stomps Styles, drags him up and whip him to ropes. Sami LARIATS Styles and covers, ONE! Sami sees Hardy on the apron and DECKS him!
Sami looms over Styles but keeps looking up at the two belts. Styles powers Sami to a corner and rams his shoulder in. Styles catches his breath, snapmares Sami and wraps on a chinlock. Sami endures, Hardy crawls into the ring and fans clap on their screens. Styles throws Sami into Hardy to send Hardy back down! Styles chokes Sami on the ropes, which he can do because there are no disqualifications in a Triple Threat. Styles snapmares Sami back to a chinlock and grinds Sami down. Sami endures again, fights up but Styles clubs him. Hardy is up, Styles throws Sami at him but Hardy dodges! Sami tumbles out, Hardy fires off on Styles! Hardy rams Styles in the corner, reels him in for a clothesline, then clotheslines Sami as he gets in.
Hardy throws kicks and haymakers on both opponents but Sami hits Hardy back. Sami kicks and runs but Hardy dodges, to dropkick both Sami and Styles down! Fans cheer as Hardy gets up first. Hardy whips Sami to one corner, then back drops him down! Hardy uses Sami for POETRY IN MOTION on Styles! Styles and Sami are both down, Hardy goes up top! Sami shoves him off! Hardy hotshots off ropes and hits the ground! Sami goes around to drag Hardy up for haymakers. Styles kicks Sami and slingshots for a FOREARM! All three men are down as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Sami has Styles up top. Hardy comes in and grabs at Sami, but Sami fights him off the Tower of Doom. Sami brings Styles up, Styles slips under and trips Sami up! Sami hits buckles, Styles runs at Hardy but Hardy elbows him away. Sami runs in but Hardy boots him! Hardy goes up, a WHISPER IN THE WIND gets both Styles and Sami! All three men are down again but stirring as fans clap. Hardy and Sami sit up first but Styles follows. Styles hits Sami and Hardy, Hardy hits Styles and Sami, Sami hits Hardy and Styles, repeat. Styles fires off on both opponents but Hardy kicks. Styles blocks but Hardy hits the spin back kick! HELLUVA KICK for Hardy, HELLUVA KICK for Styles! PELE!! All three men are down again and fans are showing their energy on screen!
Styles rises first this time, but Hardy follows. Styles hotshots Hardy from the apron then aims at Sami. Sami runs in but Styles forearms him away! Styles pulls the elbow pad and springboards, PHENOMENAL FORERAM on Hardy! Sami throws Styles out to cover Hardy, Sami wins!!
Winner: Sami Zayn, by pinfall
Sami wins this standard Triple Threat because he was able to use that opportunistic skill! But it won’t be so easy with ladders being part of the match! Speaking of which, Styles runs in and RAMS Sami with one! Styles aims and SMASHES Hardy with it now! Fans look torn between clapping and thumbs down as Styles takes an even taller ladder and puts it in the ring. Styles stands the ladder up, climbs it, and undoes both belts from the hanger. Will Styles not just be the Phenomenal but the UNDISPUTED Intercontinental Champion?
Otis and Tucker talk backstage.
Heavy Machinery knows Miz and Morrison want the Money in the Bank briefcase and Tucker heatedly explains the details of the lawsuit. Will they have an answer for this situation after the break?
SmackDown returns with a backstage interview with Heavy Machinery!
Otis was given a week to either fight the lawsuit or forfeit his MITB contract. What is his decision? Otis says that Mama Dozovic always told him not to trust three things: carnival clowns, 1% milk, and lawyers. The Miz and his “fancy pants” lawyers want to take this briefcase from him? Ain’t gonna happen! But Miz and Morrison walk over, and while Miz’s lawyers have tailored trousers, no one is stealing anything. They just want to give the WWE Universe a Mr. MITB they deserve. Tucker defends that Otis won the contract fair and square. Morrison says “You say potato, I say give us the MITB contract.”
Miz makes this even simpler: the firm of Guerrerey, Casielo, Fazzio & Oppenheim bill $2000 an hour and do not sleep! They will bury Otis in motions, drown him in depositions and put a lean on everything he owns! Otis will have nothing but a mountain of bills he can’t pay, and Miz will have everything! From the briefcase to the lunchbox to Otis’ house and his mom’s pretty little double wide! Don’t threaten mama! Morrison shields Miz and has a phone to record this all. If Otis doubts Miz can do all that and more, just go ask sweet little Mandy Rose! Now Otis is mad! Morrison keeps the phone up and Otis’ hands are tied. But where Otis comes from, they don’t settle things in the court. Come to the ring and try and take this briefcase!
Tucker points out something, though. Why did Miz’s fancy team of lawyers only put Miz’s name on the suit? Morrison asks what that’s about. Otis goes after Morrison!! Morrison isn’t protected by the suit so he gets wrecked! The referees hurry to drag Otis off Morrison and Miz gets Morrison away. This is far from settled, but just how will Miz and Otis put this to rest?
Bayley is here!
The SmackDown Women’s Champion has both mic and chair with her as she walks out. She shows off the chair again, because it has been the very thing she’s used on former friend, Sasha Banks. Bayley takes a seat on stage and says, “Can you say Role Model?” She could watch the replayed footage of her hurting Sasha over and over again. But she won’t, because a champion’s time is precious. To be honest, she has not more time to waste on the useless Sasha. And unlike Sasha, Bayley has work to do. And unlike that poor little baby Sasha, Bayley has a match to prepare for. “So Nikki Cross,” Bayley admires your heart and fighting spirit. But last week, she overheard Nikki saying this will be different? That Nikki has a chance now because Sasha isn’t in Bayley’s corner?
“Nikki, I want you to think about that statement.” And think really hard as to why Sasha isn’t here. If you watched to what she did to her best friend, be worried about what she’ll do to you! She’ll start by slapping the smile off Nikki’s stupid face! And you can only imagine what’ll happen next. “Right, Sasha?” Bayley already went to the dark side, but is she going even further down that path?
Gran Metalik w/ Lucha House Party VS Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Cesaro!
The King of the Ropes couldn’t quite overcome the Swiss Cyborg, but that may or may not have had something to do with Lince Dorado and Kalisto arguing the whole time. But now Metalik faces the King of Strong Style to see if things fair any better. Can the Golden Lynx and self-proclaimed leader of Lucha House Party at least get along this time?
The bell rings and Metalik circles with Nakamura. They approach, Nakamura fires off kicks then knees. Nakamura grinds Metalik against ropes then lets off, but Metalik ducks the sucker punch to kick back! Metalik whips, Nakamura reverses but Metalik handsprings! Nakamura gets clear but Metalik dodges him, to handspring arm-drag! Nakamura bails out, Metalik builds speed and slides, but Nakamura ducks! Metalik ducks the roundhouse but not the windmill kick! Nakamura RAMS Metalik into barriers! LHP protests but Nakamura puts Metalik on the apron. Nakamura runs to KNEE Metalik back into the ring!
Nakamura climbs back in at the ref’s ring count of 7, covers, TWO! Nakamura is annoyed already as he kicks Metalik. Nakamura kicks Metalik more, clamps onto an arm but LHP rally. Fans follow that but Nakamura knees low. Nakamura whips, Metalik reverses but runs into another knee! Nakamura rams Metalik into buckles! And he starts scraping his boot off Metalik’s head! The ref reprimands and Nakamura lets up, to bring Metalik up and around. Metalik CHOPS back, Nakamura kicks and knees away then drags Metalik to the mat. Nakamura cranks on the facelock, Metalik endures, but Nakamura spins him around. Metalik fights off the inverted exploder, Nakamura shoves him but Metalik ducks and huricanranas!
Nakamura is on the apron, Metalik blocks the boot to enziguri! Nakamura goes down, Metalik builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit at the ramp! LPH is united in cheering Metalik on! Metalik drags Nakamura up and into the ring, Kalisto and Lince cheer Metalik on. Metalik springboards to SWANTON! Cover, TWO! Nakamura survives but Metalik keeps focused. Metalik drags Nakamura to a drop zone, climbs up top again, and MOONSAULTS! But Nakamura moves, Metalik lands on his feet to roll back and runs at Nakamura. Nakamura sends him up, Metalik lands safe on the ropes but Nakamura trips him up! Metalik hits buckles, then Nakamura runs in to KNEE him in the back! INVERTED EXPLODER!
Nakamura aims from the corner, and KINSHASAS!! Cover, Nakamura wins!
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall
With conflicted coaching, Metalik couldn’t beat Cesaro. With united coaching, Metalik couldn’t beat Nakamura. What is he supposed to do? Lince gets in to check on Metalik, but Cesaro gets in to GUT WRENCH SUPLEX him! Nakamura and Cesaro stomp Lince and Metlaik and Kalisto stays out!? Kalisto waits until the champions leave, but Lince shoves him down! Lince is upset with Kalisto, and doesn’t listen to Kalisto’s claims that he was trying to help. Will LHP not only lose out on the titles, but start to lose their bond as friends?
Jey Uso heads for Roman Reigns’ private locker room.
Knock knock, Cuz! They’ve got business! Open the door, bruh! Jey drums a beat, but will Roman want to talk with him? We find out after the break.
WWE superstars pay tribute to Road Warrior Animal.
From The Rock to Triple H to Hulk Hogan and more, superstars and legends took to social media to share their condolences to the Laurinaitis family as well as celebrate and honor the late, great Hall of Famer.
SmackDown takes a closer look at this coming Battle of the Bloodline.
Jey Uso and Roman Reigns are set to battle 1v1 for the first time ever, and over the WWE Universal Championship. Uncle Afa remembers how the two grew up together, did everything together and were very competitive. Rikishi, father of Jey & Jimmy, remembers family gatherings. Roman would sit close to the chiefs. Afa says it was amazing sitting there watching them all grow up. Roman’s father, Sika, says his son is strong and tough. Jimmy knows a lot of the attitude going on right now comes from the three of them growing up, “literally fighting each other.” They wanted to one-up the others and be the better man. Even at a young age, Roman felt he was the big dog of the pack. Sika is proud of his son, and wants him to be big and tough and mean, just like he and Afa were.
Afa says that everything Roman does, he’s a winner. Rikishi says this is almost destiny for Roman. But then his sons had to step-by-step, day-by-day pay their dues and understand the culture of pro-wrestling. Jimmy knows the Clash will leave it all on the line. Bloodline, Jey VS Roman. Roman has said this is his island and his WWE. But Jey knows he has this once in a lifetime opportunity against his own family. Roman vowed to whoop ass, and the family each believes their own will win. Who will be THE top dog in the Anoa’i Dynasty?
Jey Uso heads to the ring!
“Man, I’m hyped!” The video package with his family fired Uso up! This Sunday is Clash of Champions: Gold Rush, Uce VS Uce, Cuz VS Cuz, Family VS Family. Uso VS Reigns for the Universal Championship! Roman and Heyman watch from backstage as Jey says hey to Corey. Corey is supposed to be the one to interview Roman, but Jey says he can take a break, Jey will handle it. Keeping it in the family because Jey has questions that need answers! But here it is from last week: the Samoan Street Fight belonged to Roman and Jey as they combined Spear and Uso Splash onto Corbin. Jey played around with the belt just a moment, and Roman seemed fine with it. But as Jey walked away, Roman’s smile became a scowl.
Jey says people were asking about that look. But how could he see it with his back turned? Jey asks Roman, “What’s up with the look?” Roman clearly isn’t at gorilla, so there’s no answer. Jey paces and keeps asking, but Roman doesn’t show up. “I thought we were better than this, Uce.” Which is it, Roman? Smile to his face but frown behind his back? Heyman speaks to us by titantron. The WWE Universe does deserve to hear what Roman has to say to Jey face to face and in the ring. But here is where we have it wrong: “It’s not going to happen when Jey Uso wants it to happen. It will happen at the accommodation of the schedule of the Universal Champion, your Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns.” And Heyman absolutely, positively guarantees that discussion will happen tonight. Heyman excuses himself and returns to Roman’s locker room,
Jey knew something was up. Roman done changed his number, Heyman is screening his mail apparently. But it’s all good and all love! Either way, they man up at Clash of Champions! Jey will even show Roman tonight! Welcome to the Uso Penitentiary! Will Uso put this all on lock before the night is done?
Baron Corbin speaks backstage.
“When you’re a king, everyone looks at what you do and how you carry yourself.” So last week, when Corbin was preparing to elevate the main event, you can imagine his disgust hearing and seeing Matt Riddle’s bro montage. Tonight, Corbin looks forward to make Riddle say “Bro” in unbearable pain. Or “Bro” in intolerable misery and excruciating agony. But will Riddle instead be saying “Bro” in victorious vindication?
Matt Riddle VS Baron Corbin!
We all know the Wolf King holds a grudge and is a sore loser, and now he wants payback from Payback! But will he stop being a sore loser and just be a loser who feels sore all over?
SmackDown returns as Corbin makes his entrance minus the palanquin. Corbin puts his cape and crown down but Riddle rushes him with a barrage! Riddle won’t let Corbin get away with cheap shots this time, the bell rings and Riddle dodges Corbin to fire off more! Riddle kicks and clotheslines Corbin out of the ring! Riddle is fired up and fans clap as he goes after Corbin. Riddle throws forearms and Corbin gets into the ring. Corbin kicks Riddle at the ropes and fires off furious forearms in return! Corbin dumps Riddle down then stalks after him. Riddle goes after the leg! Corbin rains down rights to fight Riddle off. But Riddle is after the arm! Riddle wants the Kimura but Corbin stays on his feet! Corbin powers up and scoop slams Riddle down!
Corbin shakes out his arm but Riddle gets up. Riddle goes for another leg but Corbin knees him away. Corbin throws haymakers, has Riddle in a corner and throws body shots. The ref warns Corbin but Corbin keeps on Riddle with those body shots. Riddle drops down but Corbin brings him up for more. Riddle hits back with forearms and palm strikes! Corbin shoves Riddle and elbows him down! Cover, TWO! Corbin is upset with the ref already but he still smirks as he corners Riddle. Corbin whips Riddled but Riddle holds ropes to block. Corbin gets him on the second try and Riddle hits buckles hard! Corbin runs in, slides out then back in, Riddle catches the clothesline for the PELE!
Both men are down but Corbin bails out. Riddle hurries after Corbin and throws him over the announce desk! Riddle gets on the desk and goes wild as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Riddle has an Ankle Lock! Corbin turns, kicks Riddle away but walks into a leg grab! Riddle has the Triangle Hold but Corbin stays up! Corbin dead lifts, Riddle bops him and drags him back down. Corbin dead lifts again for the POWERBOMB! Corbin covers, TWO!! Riddle still has fight in him but Corbin grimaces. Corbin rains down rights on Riddle but Riddle gets away. Fans give thumbs down as Corbin stalks Riddle to ropes. Corbin chokes Riddle on the ropes but CLLUBS Riddle as the ref counts. Corbin brings Riddle up, puts him on other ropes and chokes him more. The ref counts, Corbin CLUBS Riddle down again.
Corbin paces, taunts Riddle and runs, to ROCK Riddle with a right! Corbin soaks up the heat, runs again and DECKS Riddle with another right! Corbin tells Riddle to stay down, but Riddle refuses. Riddle sits up, Corbin runs, but Riddle flops back down. Corbin drags Riddle up but Riddle waistlocks, wristlocks, ripcords and KNEES! Corbin staggers to a corner, Riddle grits his teeth and runs in for a forearm smash! Riddle goes side to side for another! Then the BROSPLODER! Riddle runs to kick but Corbin ducks. Corbin also avoids the moonsault but not the BROTON! PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO!!
Riddle is fired up as Corbin slowly rises. Riddle elbows away and hooks Corbin’s legs and arm, a modified cobra twist! Corbin pops free but Riddle gets the sleeper! Corbin fights up, gest the ropes, but Riddle holds until 3 to KICK the arms! Riddle ripcords Corbin again, but Corbin uses DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO!! Corbin is beside himself, but he drags Riddle around and reels him in. Riddle boots Corbin away, throws knees, and springboards, into a HAYMAKER! Corbin drags Riddle up, reels him in, END- NO! Riddle slips out, FINAL FLASH! Riddle hurries to a corner while Corbin is down, for the FLOATING BRO!! ONTO KNEES!! END OF DAYS!! Cover, COrbin wins!!
Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall
The Wolf King has repaid Riddle for Payback! Will Corbin finally leave it at this? Or will it be Riddle’s turn to retaliate?
Kayla Braxton appears for an in-ring interview with Riddle. He must be disappointed in this loss. “I’m not gonna lie, Kayla. Losing sucks!” But Riddle won’t let the setbacks stop the Stallion. Riddle is here to push himself, and he will continue the grind until SmackDown is The Bro Show.
SmackDown’s mystery woman is almost ready.
She has her hair, her dress, her shoes, now it’s time for makeup. She writes on the mirror, “Untouchable.” Just who is this glamorously anonymous woman?
Alexa Bliss VS Lacey Evans!
The Goddess has been acting odd lately, but it’s really only when you bring up Bray Wyatt and/or The Fiend. Will the Sassy Southern Belle bite her tongue this time and settle things with Alexa directly? Or will she slip up and be reintroduced to Sister Abigail?
SmackDown returns as Lacey makes her entrance. The bell rings and the two tie up. Lacey powers Alexa to a corner and digs her forearms in. The ref counts, Lacey lets up and Alexa rolls her up! TWO, but Lacey kicks low. Lacey whips, Alexa rolls Lacey again for another cover, TWO! Lacey blocks Alexa’s kick, trips her up and rains down rights! Lacey brings Alexa up, throws her into a corner, then takes out her handkerchief to dab herself off. She throws the tissue at the “nasty” and then thrashes Alexa in the corner! The ref counts, Lacey lets up, and comes back for the swinging bronco buster! Lacey snapmares Alexa to a cover, TWO!
Lacey keeps on Alexa with a cobra clutch and taunts Alexa right to her face. Alexa endures, fans clap for her but Lacey throws her down! Lacey toys with Alexa and chokes her on the ropes! Alexa hits back but Lacey throws her down again. Cover, TWO! Alexa sits up but Lacey pushes her around. Lacey bumps Alexa off buckles then climbs up to wrap Alexa’s arm around a rope and use a leg to pull on Alexa’s head! The ref counts, Lacey stops at 4, and then smiles for the cameras. Lacey CHOPS Alexa but Alexa hits back. Lacey hits Alexa more then goes to buckle bump. Alexa blocks, wrenches Lacey and yanks on the arm! Alexa STO’s Lacey down! But Bray’s laughter echoes from the shadows?! Alexa feels haunted as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDOwn returns and Lacey thrashes Alexa around on the mat. The ref reprimands and Lacey lets off to compose herself, and hit a standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Lacey drags Alexa around and goes after the leg. Lacey has the leg trapped as she dribbles Alexa’s head! The ref reprimands, Lacey stops, but digs her forearm in Alexa’s face. Lacey stops to blow a kiss, then pulls back on Alexa’s chin. Lacey shifts to grab the arm and squishes Alexa’s mouth in an effort to make her say, “I give up.” Alexa refuses to actually say that and elbows Lacey back but Lacey dribbles her off the mat again.
Fans clap on their screens to rally up for Alexa. Alexa fights up but Lacey bumps her off buckles. Lacey whips but Alexa reverses and runs in, Lacey slips out, counter punches and bumps Alexa again. Lacey scrapes Alexa’s face on the ropes! Then she knees away on Alexa, sweeps the leg and slingshots, to WRECK Alexa with a dropkick! Lacey then lounges while Alexa is down on the outside. The ref counts, Alexa gets in at 5, but Lacey covers, TWO! Lacey tries again, TWO! Lacey tries again, TWO! Lacey grows frustrated but Alexa dropkicks a leg out! Alexa gets to a corner, Lacey runs in but only gets buckles! Alexa staggers away but comes back to rally with clotheslines! Alexa SLAPS and dropkicks Lacey down!
Alexa grits her teeth as she brings Lacey up, but Lacey wrings the arm out! Lacey goes to a corner, climbs up, and SASSIEST MOONSAULT EVER FLOPS! But now the lights turn red!! The Fiend has taken over the ThunderDome screens! Alexa’s dark side has been triggered! She attacks Lacey with knees and hammering fists! Alexa pulls Lacey’s hair to put her on the roes and she still fires off! Alexa stomps a mudhole into Lacey in the corner, dumps her down and then skateboard stomps away! The fans actually like this but the ref calls the match off!!
Winner: Lacey Evans, by disqualification
But Alexa isn’t done, she throws Lacey out of the ring! Alexa drags Lacey up, and gives her a goodnight kiss, for SISTER ABIGAIL!! Alexa’s hair is a mess and perhaps so is her mind. “LET ME IN!” The Fiend is watching and Alexa smiles. Alexa heads out, will she find her way to the Firefly Fun House?
It’s at this time that Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman walk out. Alexa glares at Roman, perhaps on behalf of Bray. The Universal Champion and his “special counsel” head to the ring, because now is the time for Roman to explain things to Jey. What will the Tribal Chief have to say after the break?
SmackDown returns to Roman and Heyman in the ring.
Heyman, of course, speaks first as he says, “Now is the time-” But Jey interrupts! Jey joins them in the ring and Heyman hands over his mic. Roman speaks, and says he knows Jey wants his side of the story. “To be honest, Uce. I would give you this title if I could. But the truth is, you wouldn’t even know what to do with it.” Jey doesn’t understand the accountability or responsibility of being on top. He doesn’t understand the weight and pressure from being the face of the WWE. How could he? It’s not Jey’s fault. He’s a twin. Jey’s entire life has been dependent on Jimmy. It’s not that Jey is half the man Roman is, he’s not. “You are one half of the greatest tag team of our generation, and because of that, our family and I are so, so proud of you.”
But the family depends on Roman. The family relies on Roman being the chief. That is Roman’s role in life, not Jey’s. And it will never be Jey’s, because it will always be Roman. Roman drops his mic and moves to leave, but Jey speaks up. “What if you’re wrong?” What if Roman is wrong about all of that? Why can’t Jey be the one to provide for the family? Why can’t Jey provide for his wife and kids, Roman’s own nephews! Jey has been battling this his whole life! Roman has been number one, on top. “There goes the Big Dog! There goes Roman Reigns! There goes Mr. Main Event, Mr. WrestleMania!” Do you know what people say when they see Jey?! “Which one are you?”
After Sunday, when they ask Jey, they’ll know who he is! He’s the one who beat Roman at Clash of Champions for the Universal Title! THAT will be who Jey is!! This isn’t just a match for a title, but a fight for pride and respect! Will Jey win so much more a match this Sunday? But as Jey goes up the ramp, Roman returns to SUPERMAN PUNCH him!! Roman gets down on his knees and in Jey’s face to shout, “I don’t just feed my kids with this title! I don’t just feed your kids with this title! I feed a WHOLE FAMILY with this title!!” The family needs ROMAN to be champion, and Jey wants to take that from him!? Jey just needs to take the payday, take the ass whooping that comes with it, and NEVER take the title. Jey will NEVER take Roman’s place at the head of the title! Roman looms over Jey as fans boo and give thumbs down. What lengths is Roman willing to go to just to maintain his position in the family?
This go-home edition of SmackDown definitely felt like it for the most part, with quite a lot of recap going towards both what happened tonight and will happen at Clash of Champions. But then that ending turned everything up! Jey trying to get Roman to talk to him, “intercepting” the interview segment and then “interrupting” the final segment was all great, as was the video package they put together. The Usos have always been great on the mic so of course Jey had great energy and delivery. I figured this was going to be motivated by Roman being convinced that the only way the Anoa’i Family prospers is by Roman having a top title, and it is working very well. And that basically last second attack was a great touch, too, to show how passionate he feels about that, and that it is also part of his Heel turn.
The “ascension ceremony” was an interesting way to get Styles, Sami and Hardy all in the ring together, and it was also an interesting move to give us a normal Triple Threat ahead of the Ladder Triple Threat. It was still a really good Triple Threat, but if traditional booking math is to be believed, Sami winning tonight and Styles standing tall and touching the titles means Hardy is now a shoe-in to win at Clash of Champions. Corbin and Riddle had a good rematch from Payback, and Corbin wins to tie the series, so maybe we get a tiebreaker that counts as a contender’s match to the Intercontinental Championship. I feel like Corbin VS Hardy is going to be next, which seems like a shame really, but it’s not like the matches will be bad.
I liked the backstage segment with Heavy Machinery, Miz and Morrison. This clearly will turn into a match, winner is Mr. MITB, but I liked the detail Tucker found that only Miz was protected by the suit. I wonder if Morrison is the one fighting Otis for the briefcase. The way the story is going, it’d make sense if it was Miz, but Miz has been Mr. MITB before so it’d be cool of Morrison got a turn. Metalik had a good match with Nakamura, and while it sucks for him to lose again, it makes for good progress in the LHP dysfunction story. I feel like this all means Lince and Kalisto are going to be the ones facing Nakamura & Cesaro, and that is what causes the turn, and I would hope it’s Kalisto that leaves LHP. He came back, he’s been having the ego, he should go Heel and possibly even have a new partner by his side at some point.
Bayley had a fairly good promo tonight but it was more of a formality to keep the SmackDown Women’s Championship match in our minds. I’m about as confident Bayley wins against Nikki Cross as I am Asuka beats Zelina Vega in the Clash of Champions Kickoff match. Though, with how Alexa’s been acting, I bet she’s the reason why this time. Alexa and Lacey as the main event match was great, with a lot of aggression and the progression of Alexa’s story with Bray Wyatt. Alexa snapping and attacking Lacey like she did was great stuff, and I am definitely excited to see where it goes next.
I don’t know the chances of this, but could there be a Mixed Tag of Alexa and Fiend VS Nikki and, perhaps, Killian Dain, her real-life husband? Dain is doing an odd couple thing with Maverick, but does he really need to? And how big would it be for Dain to feud with The Fiend? Bray could even bring up their days in SAnitY to mess with them. Or turn them…? New Wyatt Family and also new SAnitY at the same time?!
My Score: 8.7/10