SmackDown says hello to some, and farewell to others!
After the 2020 WWE Draft, it’s the Friday Night SmackDown SEASON PREMIERE! And the brand new #TripleCrownProfits put their SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line!
- Jeff Hardy VS Lars Sullivan; Lars wins.
- A Farewell to Fridays Six Man Tag: The New Day VS Sheamus, Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura; The New Day wins.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits VS Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler; No Contest, the Street Profits retain the titles.
- WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Braun Strowman; Roman wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Are you STILL ready for a good time?
Some new stars are in the intro, but this is still Friday Night SmackDown! And to that affect, there are superstars on stage from both Raw and SmackDown, while Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are in the ring! Stephanie welcomes us to tonight’s season premiere! HHH says premieres are exciting with all new action, drama and excitement! Tonight, there’s something for everyone, including tonight’s main event for the WWE Universal Championship! The Monster Among VS The Tribal Chief! Plus, in a farewell match, The New Day takes on Cesaro, Sheamus and Shinsuke Nakamura! And for perhaps the last time, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods man the Big E Cannon! But Steph reprimands them, that is “obscene.”
But moving on, the Charismatic Enigma will take on THE SUPER FREAK, Lars Sullivan! And for the first time in the ThunderDome, it will be DANIEL BRYAN! There he is on stage! The fans chant, “YES! YES!” on the ThunderDome screens. Plus, look at all the new faces to SmackDown. Such as Kevin Owens! And Aleister Black! These two don’t like each other, but there’s still the WWE Intercontinental Champion, Sami Zayn! But also Mr. Money in the Bank, Otis! Oooh yeah~! And defending the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford, THE STREET PROFITS! Some fans chant, “We Want the Smoke!” but Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode attack! Because the GLORIOUS Show-Offs want the tag titles! And the rest of the locker room brawls!
Aleister goes after Kevin, The New Day brawls with Sheamus, Cesaro and Nakamura, and whoever else is in there goes after whoever else they can find! Kevin throws Aleister out, then he CANNONBALLS onto Aleister, Cesaro and Nakamura! Kalisto fights Buddy Murphy, Shorty G hits Kalisto, Apollo goes after Murphy. Ford FLIES onto Ziggler and Roode! Sami is smart enough to stay out of the way, but here comes LARS!! Lars roars as he storms down to the ring! He CLOBBERS Ford, CLOBBERS Dawkins, and catches Kalisto’s dive to RAM him into barriers! Lars glares, Sami runs away but Apollo and Chad Gable try, only to get clobbered! Gable takes a FREAK ACCIDENT! The Freak roars again, but here comes Jeff Hardy! Hardy kicks, but no Twist of Fate just yet! Hardy baits Lars in and dumps him out! Hardy wants payback for last week’s sudden attack, will Hardy’s farewell to Fridays be monstrous?!
Jeff Hardy VS Lars Sullivan!
SmackDown returns as the match begins, and Jeff Jarrett is spotted in the ThunderDome LED screens. Jeff Hardy starts as he dropkicks a leg out and throws haymakers on Lars. Lars blocks a kick but Jeff spins back to heel kick. But Lars comes back to CLOBBER Hardy! Lars drags Hardy up, clubs him with crossface forearms, then looms over him. Lars drags Hardy up and throws him into buckles! Hardy crawls to another corner but Lars stalks up behind him. Lars drags Hardy up to club him more, and Hardy flounders against ropes. Lars brings Hardy up for a back suplex TOSS! Then Lars runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! A bit cocky on that cover, but Lars is upset with Hardy! Lars drags Hardy around, goes to a corner and climbs up top! FLYING FREAK HEADBUTT FLOPS as Hardy moves!
Hardy is up, he kicks and throws more haymakers! Lars choke grips but Hardy breaks free to jawbreaker! Lars staggers, Hardy whips but Lars blocks! Lars whips Hardy but Hardy comes back with forearms! Atomic drop, but Lars blocks the trip-up to CLUB Hardy back down! Lars drags Hardy up and puts him in a corner, but Hardy elbows him away! Hardy goes up, WHISPER IN THE WIND! Cover, ONE?! The Whisper wasn’t enough but Hardy comes back with a kick. Lars denies the Twist again and he shoves Hardy right out! Hardy flounders up as the ring count starts, but Lars pursues! Lars comes around, and CATCHES Hardy’s Poetry in Motion to SLAM him on the apron! Lars puts Hardy in at 8 and stalks him again. Hardy kicks back, TWIST OF FATE!!
Hardy throws off the shirt but Lars staggers up to his feet?! Hardy is up top, sees Lars standing there, and Lars grabs Hardy by the throat! Lars drags Hardy off the top, for a FREAK ACCIDENT!! Cover, Lars wins!
Winner: Lars Sullivan, by pinfall
That move may be called the Freak Accident, but make no mistake, Lars purposefully destroys his opponents! Will Lars have a purpose moving forward on Fridays?
A Farewell to Fridays Six Man Tag: The New Day VS Sheamus, Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura!
AWWWW~ ThunderDooome~! Don’t you dare be sour! Just because Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are moving to Mondays doesn’t mean the Power of Positivity (hold it down!) goes away! Will this be the happiest of “good bye for now” moments as ya bois come out on top? Or will the Celtic Warrior, Swiss Cyborg and King of Strong Style ruin the fun?
SmackDown returns as the New Day have some mics and the fans clap along, “New! Day Rocks!” Big E says that after the last six years, ya bois the NEW~ DAY~, finally found the one thing stronger than the Power of Positivity. And that is the WWE Draft. Now, we all know that Big E stays on SmackDown, and for the first time in those six years, the team will be split. Kofi says they have had a week to think about this, and after going through a plethora of emotions, Kofi is feeling emotional. He couldn’t help but smile, though. When he went on social media, the WWE Universe reminded them of all the special moments. Woods saw the night they won TWO Triple Threat Tag Matches to become the longest reigning W, W, E, World, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONS~!
Kofi remembers the sound of kendo sticks on Woods’ body against the Usos at Hell in a Cell. Big E remembers the tears as they watched Kofi finally become WWE World Champion. Especially Woods’ face. But while those moments are so incredible, this means something else to them. Woods sees two guys who didn’t have to take a chance on someone doing nothing and wouldn’t have been in the WWE anymore. But Big E and Kofi trusted Woods’ idea, and it became the best six years of his life. Big E thinks of those Saturday mornings in towns like Macon, Georgia, or Jackson, Mississippi, eating a meal at Waffle House and talking about families, kids, and Big E’s TV. He’ll be a family man soon enough. Hey don’t rush him.
But Kofi isn’t sure if he said this on TV, but in 2012, he was in a point in his career where he didn’t know if he wanted to do this anymore. Then he was approached by Big E and Woods, they had this idea “to do something special.” Kofi is so glad they did. He knows they did a great, legendary, iconic things in the ring, but more importantly, he made two of the best friends he’s ever had in his life. Kofi fully considers them his brothers in every sense of the word. But now they’re gonna cry before the match. No more sappy! They’re going to get it done in the ring one last time, and whoop that tail the only way they know how! And why? BECAUSE~! NEW! DAY ROCKS! Will all this emotion give us the best match these three have had yet?!
Meanwhile, Kayla Braxton has a backstage interview with Sheamus, Cesaro and Nakamura. Given all their history with the New Day, what does this “farewell” match mean? Sheamus says they’re so grateful to give the three “hip-swiveling Muppets” what they deserve! Cesaro says “those pancake eating punks” stole the tag titles! Tonight, they’ll take great pleasure in ruining these final moments together! Nakamura will bid them adieu. And not just for now, but good-bye FOREVER! The Bar plus one go out one last time in their own right, will their short-lived reunion be the victorious one?
SmackDown returns and the farewell is already underway as Woods and Nakamura grapple. Nakamura waistlocks and rolls but Woods gets up to wrench free. Woods elbows the arm, wrenches again but Nakamura pulls hair to knee low! Nakamura knees and forearms Woods in a corner, whips him corner to corner, but Woods goes up and over and arm-drags! Woods has the armlock, Nakamura gets up but Woods wrenches. Nakamura stomps Woods’ bad foot then throws forearms. Nakamura whips, Woods ducks and Kofi tags in! Woods slides under, mule kicks and feeds Nakamura to Kofi’s DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, ONE! Kofi keeps on Nakamura with an arm wrench, he hits an elbow breaker then whips. Nakamura reverses to knee low and kick, Kofi ducks that but not the windmill!
Tag to Cesaro, he and Nakamura double whip and double hip toss! Then they split the wishbone! Cesaro drags Kofi up, throws heavy European Uppercuts, then body shots in the corner! The ref counts, Cesaro wrenches and whips Kofi corner to corner, but Kofi goes up and dropkicks back! Kofi tags Big E and then leap frogs over for the senton! Tag to Woods, Woods manages to Electric Chair lift Big E for a SPLASH! Woods covers, TWO! Woods drags Cesaro up, CHOPS him, and CHOPS him, but Cesaro DECKS Woods with the EuroUpper! Tag to Sheamus, and the Bar gets to double whip and Bar Lariat once again! Sheamus runs and drops a knee! Sheamus stomps Woods’ hand, then drags Woods up for a EuroUpper of his own!
Sheamus drags Woods up, scoops Woods, but Woods fights out! Woods rolling elbows then mule kicks! And KNEES Sheamus down! Tag to Big E, Woods runs and rolls for Big E to bomb lift! Kofi tags in, Big E POWERBOMBS Woods onto Sheamus! Kofi is up top, he leaps for a FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Kofi keeps Sheamus from the others as he brings him up. Sheamus throws body shots, shoves Kofi but Kofi kicks back! Kofi runs but Cesaro distracts the ref and Nakamura holds the ropes down! Kofi tumbles out hard! Woods and Big E protest while checking on Kofi, but Sheamus tags Cesaro, and Cesaro tags Nakamura! The Bar hold Kofi up for Nakamura to TOP SHELF KNEE! Then Sheamus pushes Kofi for Cesaro’s suplex to the floor! The ref reprimands, Nakamura puts Kofi in the ring and covers, TWO!
Nakamura drags Kofi up, puts him in the corner and gives him Bad Vibrations! The ref reprimands, Sheamus tags in and he throws heavy body shots! Tag to Cesaro and Cesaro stomps away with Sheamus! Cesaro lets up, he eggs Kofi on, and Kofi fights up to throw haymakers! Kofi throws body shots, too, and he backs Cesaro down! But Cesaro scoops and SLAMS Kofi, to then drop the leg, brother! Cover, ONE!! Kofi is tougher than that, but Cesaro tags in Sheamus. The Bar mugs Kofi, Sheamus clubs Kofi down and tags Nakamura. They mug Kofi, then Nakamura stomps away! The ref counts, Nakamura tags in Cesaro, and Cesaro steps on Kofi as he enters! Cesaro walks all over Kofi literally, but Kofi fights back! Kicks and elbows and hayamkers, but Cesaro keeps Kofi from the New Day!
Cesaro puts Kofi up top, Sheamus tags in and just YANKS Kofi down! Kofi crashes to the ground and the #BARtists are in control as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Sheamus clamps onto Kofi with a chinlock. Kofi fights up but Sheamus knees low and then sucker punches Woods! Sheamus goes back after Kofi but Kofi spins around to crucifix pin! TWO, Sheamus runs into SOS! Both men are down, the fans fire up on their screens and Big E starts up the “New! Day Rocks!” claps. Hot tags to Big E and Cesaro! Big E gets Cesaro for an OVERHEAD suplex! Big E hits Nakamura, OVERHEAD suplexes Cesaro again, then gets him for the side belly2belly! Fans cheer Big E as he swivels the hips and runs, to SPLASH! Big E keeps clapping and he waits for Cesaro to stand. Big E scoops Cesaro, Cesaro fights out and gut wrench suplexes! Cesaro goes to Big E in the corner and hits a EuroUpper! Then he whips corner to corner, but Big E elbows him away!
Woods returns and tags in! Cesaro EuroUppers Big E, but Woods shoves Cesaro into the URENAG-E BACKSTABBER! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro survives the combo move but “Morning Woods” didn’t hit hard enough. Woods throws haymakers, Cesaro shoves him but Woods comes back. Cesaro puts Woods on the apron, Woods forearms him away, but Get Over Here runs into a EuroUpper! Nakamura tags in, Woods is stuck and Nakamura hits the SLIDING GERMAN! Cover, TWO!! Woods survives but Nakamura stomps him down. Nakamura kicks at Woods and scrapes him at the ropes! The ref reprimands, Woods shoves Nakamura but Nakamura fires off a strike fest! Woods dodges and drop toeholds Nakamura onto ropes! Woods runs, and tags Kofi while hitting the sliding back attack!
Kofi gets in but Cesaro CLOBBERS Woods! Big E holds the ropes down for Kofi to FLY out onto Cesaro and Nakamura! Sheamus CLOBBERS Big E! Kofi kicks Sheamus back, puts Nakamura in and climbs up top! Kofi leaps into a KICK! Both men are down, Nakamura tags in Cesaro! Swiss Sing KNEE! Tag to Sheamus, catapult to Alabama, Cesaro is up top, A-SWISS-TED WHITE NOISE!! Cover, but Big E breaks it! Big E sees Cesaro coming and scoops for the BIG ENDING! Nakamura is in, DYNAMIC DROPKICK! Woods leaps for the missile dropkick! Sheamus clotheslines woods out hard! Sheamus gets in Kofi’s face, shouting that New Day would be NOTHING without The Bar as their rivals! Kofi HEADBUTTS Sheamus away! And then baits him in to POST him!
Woods tags in, then tags Big E! Big E scoops Sheamus, Woods is up, MIDNIGHT HOUR!! Cover, the New Day wins!!
Winners: The New Day, by pinfall
And THAT is why the New Day is the best trio, tag team and group of three friends the WWE has seen perhaps ever! They have one last emotional good-bye with each other, when and where will they be reunited in the ring again?
Backstage interview with Otis!
Mr. MITB has had a challenging few weeks, capped off by a lawsuit by The Miz, with the MITB briefcase as the price to pay. What is the plan tonight? Sami Zayn butts in to say that Otis isn’t used to talking for himself. It was always Tucker, but he got drafted away. If memory serves, Mandy Rose also went to Raw, too. So surely, when it comes to this lawsuit, Otis will lose that and his MITB contract! But hey, look! There are winners and there are Otises. Otis SHOVES Sami! Sami is upset by this, but what will he get management to do about it?
Because of MLB playoffs, next week’s Friday Night SmackDown won’t be on Fox but on Fox Sports 1!
Daniel Bryan is here!
Well, we saw him earlier, but now he gest to go to the ring! What will he have to say now that he’s back? We find out after the break!
SmackDown returns and fans are still chanting, “YES! YES!” Brie Bella and Birdie are among the ThunderDome screens! Bryan says, “Wow! I’ve watched it from home, but being here, seeing the faces of the WWE Universe in person, man! I love being inside the ThunderDome!” Especially for this season premiere. Now, don’t get him wrong, Bryan loves his time at home. So much so that he got Brie and Birdie the special “VIP seating.” But that said, he could not wait to come back! And what a night to return to! The SmackDown Tag Team Championships, the Universal Championship, and Bryan met the new mix the roster that will be here for the next year on Friday nights! Now, there are some fresh faces, but Bryan is excited to have people like Bianca Belair, The Riott Squad, and even those he can face like Kevin Owens, Aleister Black and Apollo Crews! Bryan can’t wait to get back in the ring!
But wait, here comes another new name to SmackDown! It’s Seth Rollins! And Rollins is so happy to see Bryan again! Rollins is thrilled Brie let Bryan off “Daddy duty” to share the excitement of the ThunderDome! But in all that excitement, baby brain has gotten to him. Bryan mentioned a lot of great superstars, but forgot the most important acquisition! The man who will lead SmackDown into the future, Seth Rollins. SmackDown’s Savior, the Great Leader, Rollins the Redeemer. Choose whichever one you like best. But while they’re both here, Rollins has an important question. “Which side of history would you like to be on?” When it comes to the greater good, either you’re with Rollins, or you’re against him. A man of Bryan’s intellect is surely smart enough to stand beside Rollins and help him mold the future of this industry, in Rollins’ image.
Well this is awkward. Bryan is all for changing the future for the better. Bryan wants to save the planet, he wants to make SmackDown and the WWE the best it can be. But to be honest, Rollins’ “vision” is “shortsighted” and “self-indulgent.” And to be frank, just dumb. Rollins laughs that off because surely Bryan is joking. No, he’s serious. It is dumb. NO, it’s not dumb! It’s NOT! Rollins DECKS Bryan and then throws his jacket down on him! And stomps Bryan at the ropes! Rollins keeps saying “it’s NOT dumb! YOU’RE dumb!” Rollins whips Bryan but Bryan ducks and comes back with a leaping lariat! Bryan fires up, throws his jacket off and goes after Rollins with Yes Kicks! From all sides, even! Rollins bails out and retreats, but here comes REY MYSTERIO! And Dominik, too! Rollins’ past followed him to Fridays!
Rey and Dom chase Rollins back into the ring and Rollins wants Bryan to help him. Um, no? Bryan lets Rey and Dom handle their business. Rollins says Rey and Dom need to calm down, but here comes MURPHY! Is Murphy still the Disciple?! Fans give thumbs down, but Murphy does stand by Rollins’ side. TO TACKLE HIM! Murphy throws hands then a KNEE TRIGGER on Rollins! Rollins runs away, having NO ONE on his side! Murphy stares down with Dom and Rey. He offers a handshake, Dom isn’t so sure, and neither is Rey. They may not like Rollins, but there’s still too much history here to forgive Murphy. But the question is then, who gets after Rollins first?
SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits VS Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler!
SmackDown wants the smoke, just like Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins! But as the GLORIOUS Show-Offs made clear earlier tonight, they only want the gold! Will they get shown up instead as the Profits are up?
SmackDown returns and the introductions are skipped as the belts are raised. Ziggler starts against Dawkins as Ric Flair is watching on the LED screens! Dawkins and Ziggler circle, tie up, go around and Ziggler waistlocks. Dawkins pries free to headlock but Ziggler powers out, only for Dawkins to run him over! Things speed up, Dawkins hurdles and dropkicks Ziggler down! Ziggler goes to a corner, Dawkins runs but misses the cyclone splash! Ziggler tags Roode and Roode stomps away on Dawkins! The ref counts, Roode lets off and drags Dawkins up for a big suplex! Cover, TWO! Roode sucker punches Ford! Roode stomps Dawkins, Flair likes the gourd buster! Tag to Ziggler, GLORIOUS FAMOUSER! Cover, Ford breaks it! Ford and Roode brawl, Ziggler goes after Ford! They brawl, Roode joins back in and it’s chaos! The ref throws this out!
No Contest; The Street Profits retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
It doesn’t seem like Roode or Ziggler care as they literally throw Ford out! The Glorious Show-Offs are furious, but they bring Dawkins up, Dawkins ROCKS them both with haymakers but they attack again 2v1! They double whip Dawkins, into the GLORIOUS ZIGZAG! But Ford is up top, and he LEAPS in for a HUGE CROSSBODY! The Profits still have the belts, and Flair likes that, too! Will Roode and Ziggler come back for another chance? Or are Ford and Dawkins on to bigger and better?
Sasha Banks heads to the ring!
The Boss and the Ruthless Role Model are going to put each other through hell in Hell in a Cell! Not only will that match be for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but it will finally put this grudge to bed. The contract signing is up next, after the break!
SmackDown returns as Bayley makes her entrance with her friend, the chair! The table is set up with Adam Pearce presiding as Bayley gets in. Pearce says that their “extremely bitter and deeply personally rivalry takes us to Hell in a Cell, where for the very first time, the SmackDown Women’s Championship will be defended inside the cell.” This contract signing is of course to make that official. They both know what’s at stake. Sasha as challenger will have the honor of signing first. Sasha takes the pen, signs on the dotted line, and then takes up the mic. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a very long time.” Bayley has been, too! Talk about baggage! Bayley wants to be done with Sasha and continue on as the longest reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion of all time! How long, Michael Cole? But she did it all by herself!
What? By yourself? That’s the lie you’re telling us? Say that to Sasha’s face! So vindictive! That look in Sasha’s eyes is how she keeps looking at Bayley and her title. Sasha’s been waiting to turn on Bayley all this time, but Bayley beat her to the punch. That’s why she’s so upset! It all makes sense. Turn on Bayley? If Sasha was going to turn on her, she would’ve done it years ago. Friends don’t turn their backs on each other. When Bayley was left behind in NXT, who was the first person to call? Who brought Bayley in has her partner? It was Sasha. Sasha was there to help Bayley win that Raw Women’s Championship. And are we just skipping over the Women’s Tag Team Championships? A reign of 370+ days as SmackDown Women’s Champion, big whoop! Congratulations! But don’t forget who helped her every single time! Sasha!
Bayley tried to end Sasha’s career! So Sasha vows to end HER! She is Sasha Banks, whose name is bigger than Bayley’s title. And when Sasha walks out with that title, that will be the icing on the cake. Bayley gets up and grabs her chair, but she still needs to sign. Bayley pushes the contract away and takes her title. She says she doesn’t have to sign anything! Fine, run away, coward! Run, run, run! But Sasha promises that when Bayley is locked inside the cell, there is nowhere to run. Bayley will sign the contract, one way or another. Bayley says Sasha can talk all she wants, she has the title! But Sasha does have a point, and not just about needing to sign. Will Bayley run away from the mess she made?
WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Braun Strowman!
The Tribal Chief may have a Hell in a Cell I QUIT match AT Hell in a Cell with cousin Jey Uso, but that match might not even be for the title now! Will the Monster #GetTheseHands on the Universal Championship and take it with him to Raw? Or will this still be Roman’s title as Braun steps onto Roman’s island?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and one way or another, this classic rivalry says farewell to close the season premiere!
SmackDown returns, Jey is watching very closely backstage, but so is Mark Henry on the LED’s! Strowman and Roman tie up, Strowman powers Roman to a corner but Roman powers him back. They go around, Roman throws Strowman out! Strowman gets up but gets a SUPERMAN PUNCH! Strowman is down again and a ring count begins. Strowman staggers up at 4 but Roman goes out to give him a DRIVE-BY DROPKICK! Roman drags Strowman up and into the ring at the new count of 5, but Roman covers. TWO and with power! Roman is a bit surprised but he throws more hands on Strowman in the corner. Roman also stomps Strowman, throws haymakers, and stalks Strowman. Strowman reverses the whip to put Roman in a corner! Strowman runs in but into an uppercut!
Roman adds a BOOT and down goes Strowman! Cover, TWO and still with power! Roman is annoyed as he ends up outside the ring. Roman gets back in, but Strowman runs over! Roman dumps him out and Strowman hits the floor. Strowman gets up but Roman headbutts him! Roman bumps Strowman off steps, the ring count climbs, but Roman goes in at 5. Roman tells the ref to take it easy, and he goes back after Strowman. Roman bounces Strowman off the desk, but Strowman knees back and pushes Roman away. Roman leaps off the steps, into Strowman’s hands! Strowman POSTS Roman, then THROWS him over the announce desk! Strowman refreshes the count, watches Roman hobbling up, and goes out the side. The Strowman Express BLASTS Roman over the barriers! The Monster roars as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns once more and Strowman runs at Roman in the corner to RAM him! And then TOSS him across the way! Strowman drags Roman up and Goldberg is on the ThunderDome LED’s now! Strowman CLUBS Roman down, covers, TWO! Strowman looms over Roman, Keith Lee is on the screens, too, because he’s waiting for Strowman this Monday. Strowman runs in but Roman BOOTS him away! And then dodges to POST Strowman! Roman goes corner to corner now, SUPERMAN- NO! Strowman has Roman in the choke grip, knees low, and then gut wrenches for the TWISTING DOMINATOR! “I’m not finished with you!” That classic line can only mean, DEAD LIFT CHOKE SLAM!! Cover, TWO!! Roman survives and wait, another “inadvertent” low blow?! The way Roman kicked out against Jey, too!
Roman is up, aiming from a corner, and he SPEARS Strowman down!! Cover, TWO!?! Strowman survives being hit in the balls and being nearly tackled in half!? Roman can’t believe it!! Roman seethes while Strowman stirs. Roman goes back to a corner, watches Strowman rise, and then runs in again, only for Strowman to scoop! But Roman slips out to POST Strowman again! And hone runs, jumps up and gets Strowman in a guillotine!? The Big Dog has some new tricks! But Strowman powers out to RAM Roman into buckles! Roman holds on and Strowman is turning red! Strowman is fading, Roman is squeezing even tighter! The ref checks, Strowman is OUT! Roman wins!!
Winner: Roman Reigns, by submission (still WWE Universal Champion)
Roman wins by submission for the first time perhaps ever, but here comes Jey Uso! Roman seems even more annoyed as Jey is on stage. But Strowman stirs, and Roman is even more upset. Roman wants Jey to watch this one. Roman SPEARS Strowman down! Roman tells Jey to get down to the ring. Jey walks to the ring, and Heyman fetches Roman a chair. Roman says he didn’t want to make an example of Jey. “This is how we eat. This is how we take care of generations of our family. If I’m not at the top, we can’t do that, Uce. I don’t want to do this to you. I’m giving you another chance.” If Roman can do this to the Monster, he can do this to Jey. And then Roman fires off CHAIR SHOT after CHAIR SHOT on Strowman’s back!!
Referees and officials hurry in and get Roman to stop! Roman still has the chair, because he’s not done! He SMACKS Strowman again! And again! And again! Does Jey not understand? Jey gets up on the apron and Roman wants him to get in. Jey does and the chair, bent as it is, is put down. Roman says he would never hurt Jey. But Jey is embarrassing the family, and needs to prove himself. But the fact Jey is trying to take his place and be on the same level as him makes no sense! They’re family, Roman still wants them to be together. Prove Jey he is family, and take the chair to hit Strowman. The officials and refs try to reason with Roman and Jey. If Jey wants to take a shot on Roman, go right ahead. Jey has the chair, he’s conflicted, but then he throws the chair down, having hit no one.
Roman walks in, wanting a hug, but Jey ROCKS him with an uppercut! And then SUPERKICKS him down! Jey says “I LOVE YOU, TOO!” as he SMACKS away on Roman!! Heyman freaks, the officials grab Jey, but the fans are fire dup for this! But then Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES Jey down! Roman says that was Jey’s last chance. But now he has to turn his back on Jey. Is what Roman is saying have anything to do with those consequences that come with the HIAC I Quit match?
Y’know, given the marketing and booking choices as they were announced last week, I thought this season premiere, aka the one year anniversary of SmackDown being on Fox, was overhyped. But in execution, this was actually a great episode! Now, as there tends to be with WWE, there was a lot of hyping, plugging and announcing not really needed to open the show, but it did end up giving us a great brawl that segued into Hardy VS Lars. That was a pretty good match, but between Lars being back and needing momentum and Hardy going to Raw, of course Lars wins. On the flipside, the natural move was for the New Day to win tonight. There was so much genuine emotion from them in what they were saying before the match, which I won’t call a promo because promos are kayfabe. The Six Man Tag was a great match, it was the best send-off for the best trio, certainly of the modern era.
Sami picking on Otis seemed oddly appropriate, Sami likes pushing buttons. I was hoping Sami getting on Otis’ nerves was going to result in a match but maybe that’s for next week. I also kinda hoped Sami pushing Otis was going to make Otis realize he could try to use the MITB contract before having to give it to Miz, but that didn’t happen, either. The SmackDown Tag Team Championship match ending up like it did was a bit of a ripoff, but maybe we get a HIAC match between Profits, Glorious Show-Offs and maybe even a third team. Nakamura and Cesaro are still on SmackDown, they and the Profits have business of their own to settle, so maybe a Triple Threat in the Cell can wrap it all up at once.
Sasha and Bayley continue to change the game in the Women’s Division and WWE overall, because we had a contract signing that didn’t end in fighting, or even really end! Bayley backs out of signing, but with one week left, I wonder. Will Sasha hit Bayley with the contract so hard that Bayley signs it in blood? That’d be pretty fitting for this feud and HIAC. Daniel Bryan had a good segment with Rollins that also helped bring Murphy and the Mysterios around. Murphy trying to be the bigger man is a good move for his character. And I feel like all it would take Aalyah Mysterio to get Rey and Dom to understand is to bring up the principle of forgiveness. If Rollins wants to play Messiah, Aalyah should use the Bible to bite him in the butt. At the very least, Rollins shifting from Mysterios to Bryan is great for Rollins and Bryan as well as fans.
And while Roman VS Strowman was a forgone conclusion because Strowman is leaving for Raw, Jey has his shot at HIAC (and because Goldberg just voiced interest on social media), there was still a lot of great stuff to come out of the main event. Roman bringing out a submission move was something, and I didn’t think it’d win the match for him. Then him going off on Strowman to make a point to Jey was some strong Heel work. It was great for Jey to get his shots in on Roman, too, but Roman still stands tall. We have the go-home, I feel like that will be the night Roman reveals what he truly means by those final consequences. Mentioning turning his back on Jey here, this has to be about disowning Jey from the family. Sure, Jey could “acknowledge” Roman but that would’ve happened by now. This story could take all kinds of twists, and that’s a lot of the fun.
My Score: 8.5/10