The WWE Draft begins with Friday Night SmackDown!
The rosters of Raw and SmackDown are up for grabs! Who from the Friday pool will be staying on Fox? Who will be leaving for Mondays on the USA Network? And who from Mondays will be coming to Fridays?
- Falls Count Anywhere: Big E VS Sheamus; Big E wins.
- The Miz & John Morrison VS Jeff Hardy & Matt Riddle; Hardy & Riddle win.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Sasha Banks; Sasha wins by disqualification, Bayley retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro VS The New Day; The New Day wins and become the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
- Kevin Owens VS The Fiend; The Fiend wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Stephanie McMahon is here!
She welcomes us to the show and the 2020 WWE Draft, and it is her honor and privilege to preside over this event that will shake up the landscape of Raw and SmackDown. To start, the first pick for Monday Night Raw is the WWE World Champion, DREW MCINTYRE! A natural choice, of course! As for SmackDown, they naturally take the WWE Universal Champion, ROMAN REIGNS! And championship picks continues as Raw chooses their Raw Women’s Champion, ASUKA! But in a bold move, SmackDown takes the Monday Night Messiah, Seth Rollins!! Well, he won’t be a Monday night messiah anymore, but perhaps he’ll still bring about “the greater good” on Fridays.
Stephanie notes that as someone who knows what’s best for business, she’s been keeping an eye on this last pick of the opening round. Raw selects THE HURT BUSINESS! All four men, from MVP to Shelton Benjamin to Cedric Alexander to the WWE United States Champion, Bobby Lashley, are staying on Mondays! Definitely a bargain, but SmackDown might’ve stolen the best pick already.
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.
The Architect is now on Friday Night SmackDown, what is his initial reaction? “It was never about the name. It was always the message that mattered the most.” Rollins has spent his entire career as a Raw superstar, so he is thrilled to make the jump to SmackDown. A new path to carve, new trails to blaze, all very exciting. But he is heartbroken and upset that he won’t be there to watch the Mysterio Family implode. Luckily for him, he’ll never have to look at any of them again. Alas, onward we go, and the Greater Good comes to Friday nights.
Falls Count Anywhere: Big E VS Sheamus!
AWWWW~ THUNDERDOOOME~! There are no disqualifications, no count outs, and nothing holding these two back from finally settling the score! Who gets the win on what could be the last Friday Night SmackDown either of these two ever have?
The bell rings and the two start throwing hands! Big E knees low and whips but Sheamus runs him over! Cover, ONE, but Sheamus brings Big E up to fireman’s carry. Rolling senton! Cover, ONE! Sheamus gets up and runs at Big E, but into the URENAG-E! Big E seethes as he watches Sheamus get to the apron. Big E runs and SPEARS Sheamus to the floor! Big E covers, TWO!! Sheamus survives that fall but Big E smiles as he gets back up. Big E decides to use the No DQ rule, and looks under the ring. Wait, are those giant Booty O’s? Where did those come from? But Big E brings out a kendo stick! Only to turn into a KNEE from Sheamus! Cover, TWO! Sheamus grimaces as he drags Big E up for European Uppercuts. Sheamus goes after Big E at the desk and bounces him off it! Then throws more EuroUppers!
Big E hits back with big haymakers but Sheamus kicks low. Sheamus RAMS Big E into the apron, hoists him up onto it, then throws haymakers back. Sheamus wraps Big E up in the ropes and traps him! Sheamus dares Big E to do something, but watches out for those kicks. Sheamus has the kendo stick! He pokes Big E then lines up the shot for a SMACK! Sheamus SMACKS Big E again! Big E can only endure as Sheamus tries to go yard on Big E’s ribs! Big E pops free of the ropes and Sheamus covers, TWO! Sheamus looks under the ring, throws some rolls of duct tape aside, then he crawls in deeper. What could he be looking for? But Big E grabs some tape and goes after Sheamus’ ankles! Big E tapes Sheamus’ feet together! Sheamus tries to get his feet free but Big E SMACKS him with the stick! And again!
Big E stalks behind a hopping Sheamus and he SMACKS him again! Speaking of home runs, Big E sends Sheamus up and over the barriers! The Celtic Warrior is down and SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and Big E follows Sheamus around the back of ThunderDome screens near the stage. Big E SMACKS Sheamus and Sheamus hobbles away backstage! The mark on his back is bright red! Big E SMACKS Sheamus again! Big E drags Sheamus over to some sort of table, but Sheamus fights back! Sheamus suplexes and SLAMS Big E onto the trunks! Sheamus takes a moment to catch his breath before he grabs the kendo stick to SMACK Big E back! Sheamus then brings Big E around to catering. Apparently it’s a make-your-own-pancakes station as Sheamus dumps flour on Big E’s head and shoves eggs in his mouth! Then he just dunks an entire carton on Big E’s head!
Sheamus drags Big E up to throw him into more trunks! Big E goes down in a heap but Sheamus says there’s no time for sitting around. Sheamus brings Big E down the halls and shoves him into a hallway. Sheamus stomps Big E and taunts him, “No more unicorns or pancakes!” Sheamus grabs a flat screen computer monitor and tells Big E this is his moment. But Big E SMACKS Sheamus with a broom! He smacks Sheamus until the broomstick breaks! So he grabs the other one, and breaks it off Sheamus’ back, too! Big E grabs the trash can and SMACKS Sheamus with it! And again! And again! Sheamus rolls down the hall and stands, but Big E RAMS him with the can! Sheamus ends up going through a doorway into the garage area!
Sheamus drags himself away, asking for mercy, but Big E washes off before stalking Sheamus. Big E BOOTS Sheamus and then follows him between some cars. Big E says Sheamus wanted this, so he’s going to get it. But Sheamus hits back with a TIRE IRON!! He SMACKS Big E in the side and in the arm! And then throws him onto a car hood! Sheamus climbs up and drags Big E up, for WHITE NOISE onto a windshield! Sheamus used that to sideline Big E weeks ago! Cover, TWO!?! Sheamus is shocked! Big E flops off the car hood, but Sheamus opens a car door! Sheamus puts Big E through to SLAM the door closed!! And again! And again! Sheamus drags Big E up, stalks him to the trunk, and puts Big E in! He keeps an arm hanging out, and says this will be career defining, if not ending!
Sheamus grabs the trunk, but Big E BLOCKS the trunk from being closed! Big E BOOTS Sheamus away, drags himself out of the trunk, and dodges the BROGUE! The Brogue breaks the trunk lid off the car!! Sheamus tries again, Big E catches him to POWERBOMB him off the other car’s hood! Sheamus slides off and hits the floor, so Big E brings him up. Big E THROWS Sheamus onto a windshield! Big E gets up onto the car with Sheamus, drags him up, and scoops him, for a BIG ENDING through a table!! Cover, Big E wins!!
Winner: Big E, by pinfall
Fitting that cars were involved, because this was a demolition derby! Big E is victorious, but will he stay on SmackDown? Or will Raw want him for their own after seeing this?
Backstage interview with Big E!
Congratulations on the win, but it took a lot out of him. But wait, Kofi Kingston is back! And so is Xavier Woods! Yo bois, the New~ Day~, is reunited! But something is missing, right? What is it? They’ve got Kofi, Big E, Woods, Francesca is on the table even. What are they missing? Oh! The W, W, E, World, Tag, Team CHAMPIONSHIPS~! But not to overlook E, the bois are back to get those belts back! And why? It’s been so long since they’ve said this. BECAUSE~! NEW! DAY ROCKS!
Jey Uso heads to the ring!
The rematch is coming at Hell in a Cell in Hell in a Cell, but Roman Reigns has already vowed this time will have the biggest consequences in WWE history! We’ll all hear what he means by that, after the break!
SmackDown returns and Jey has a mic to say, “Big Dog! What’s it gonna be, Uce? What’s the stipulation to our Hell in a Cell match, Uce?” Jey waits, but Roman doesn’t show. He gets it. This is on Roman’s terms. But he said there will be consequences. Jey won’t run from ’em! It’s Lockdown with the Uce that’s got the Juice! WELCOME, to the USO- “Stop, stop, stop. Please, Jey.” Paul Heyman tells Jey, from the titantron, to “stop embarrassing yourself, and more importantly, your entire family, with this foolish attempt to dictate the time and location” of Roman Reigns. That is all at the leisure and convenience of the champion. As for Jey, everyone else on SmackDown, both tenured and draft picks, the champion applauds Jey’s ambition. It is necessary for survival “on the island of relevancy.”
But to anyone who gets too ambitious, and want after the champion, “here’s what happens when you step in the ring with the razing, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman. Reigns.” Footage replays of Clash of Champions and what Roman did to Jey. Cut to present, and Roman sits in a very luxurious suite of the ThunderDome. “When I was a kid, my dad, your uncle, he used to say that in this business, believe nothing that you hear, and only half of what you see.” But what we all just saw, “you can believe that.” Roman says he was trying to help Jey. He was trying to make Jey’s life better. All Jey had to do was say the words, and acknowledge Roman as the Tribal Chief. “So now, for the first time inside Hell in a Cell, there will be an I Quit Match.”
Roman says it didn’t have to be like this. He just wants to help Jey. Roman still loves Jey. But after Jey says, “I Quit,” there will be even more consequences. How far will Roman go to break Jey’s spirit and make him verbally submit to the Tribal Chief?
Stephanie talks with Adam Pearce backstage.
They’re clearly going over the next five picks of the 2020 Draft. It seems like some really good ones are coming. We’ll learn who takes who, after the break.
SmackDown returns as Stephanie is at the podium.
The 2020 Most Influential Female CMO now presents the second round of the Draft! She also announces another title match for tonight! With the New Day’s Kofi and Woods back, they are challenging the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro! Now back to your regularly scheduled draft picks. Raw takes the PHENOMENAL AJ STYLES! Mondays just got, well, phenomenal again! SmackDown takes THE BOSS, SASHA BANKS! Win or lose, Fridays are still legit! Raw takes NAOMI, and Mondays will #FeelTheGlow! SmackDown takes the EST, BIANCA BELAIR! And Raw closes the round with the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER! Of course, with the tag titles, they can still go to any brand, but Mondays will still be home for the Irresistible Force and Queen of Spades!
SmackDown hears from AJ Styles.
“I should be offended right now. I should’ve been the first pick for SmackDown! After everything that I Have done for a brand, I should be offended. But I’m relieved.” As skilled and respected as Styles is, he should not have to be surrounded by cheaters like Jeff Hardy “and that neck-bearded loudmouth, Sami Zayn!” Styles is going to Raw and his future looks phenomenal.
The Miz & John Morrison VS Jeff Hardy & Matt Riddle!
The Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century *stare off into distance* are getting ready to take Otis to court over the Money in the Bank briefcase, but they’ll first get in the ring against an Enigma and a Riddle! Will the Hollywood A-Lister and Guru of Greatness be able to solve the mystery that is #BROetryInMotion?
The teams sort out and Morrison starts with Riddle. Morrison rolls under the roundhouse to come back, but Riddle blocks the Eddy Gordo to a FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Tag to Hardy, they go after Morrison with a double whip. Riddle sets up, it IS Broetry In Motion! Miz runs in, he gets sent out! Hardy sets up, FLYING BRO! Broetry in Mayhem, if you will! The Bro and the icon are standing tall as SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns as Miz brings Hardy up to tag Morrison in. Miz snapmares Hardy, Morrison runs to SHINING WIZARD! Miz runs to BASEMENT BOOT! Standing shooting star from Morrison! Cover, TWO! Morrison keeps on Hardy with a cravat and he bends Hardy over his shoulder. Hardy fights up and throws elbows and body shots. Hardy kicks but no Twist! Both men spin and clothesline! Fans fire up as Morrison and Hardy crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Miz and Riddle! Riddle ROUNDHOUSES Miz, blocks a kick to PELE Morrison, then he kips up to hit a forearm and BROSPLODER on Morrison! Then forearm, BOSSPLODER and BROTON on Miz! Riddle fires up, deadlift GERMAN SUPELXES! Cover, but Morrison breaks it!
Hardy gets Morrison for TWIST OF FATE! Miz throws Hardy out, but turns into the FINAL FLASH! Riddle gut wrenches Miz for BRO DEREK! Cover, Broetry in Motion wins!!
Winners: Jeff Hardy & Matt Riddle, by pinfall
Bro! But wait, is that…?! LARS SULLIVAN!? The Freak is back from months of hiatus! But that hasn’t made him any less frightening! And he shoves Riddle down to CLOBBER Hardy! Riddle fires off on Lars but he doesn’t flinch! He gives Riddle the POWERSLAM! And then he choke grips Hardy to RAM him into a corner, and reel him out for a LARIAT! Lars won’t let up, he drags Hardy back into the corner and corner clotheslines! Riddle gets up but Lars CLOBBERS him! Lars hauls Riddle back up, for the FREAK ACCIDENT!!
Miz is still in the ring, and Morrison can’t get him away! Lars drags Miz up to clobber with crossface forearms over and over! And then he deadlifts Miz to RAM into buckles! Miz flounders but Lars is right back on him! Miz suffers a FREAK ACCIDENT!! The Freak is in the ThunderDome, will anyone survive!?
SmackDown returns with round three of the Draft.
Stephanie McMahon is back at the podium to give us the next five picks. A quick note, Lars Sullivan is back, but will be part of the Monday draft pool. As for this round, Raw opens with the One and Only, RICOCHET! SmackDown follows up with JEY USO! Uso gets to stay on SmackDown to finish what he and Roman started! Raw takes MANDY ROSE! A natural choice as she only just arrived on #MandyNightRaw. SmackDown takes THE MYSTERIO FAMILY! Rey and Dominik, as well as Mrs. Angie Mysterio and young Aalyah, will be coming to Fridays! Rollins didn’t get his wish at all! But Raw closes the third round with THE MIZ & JOHN MORRISON! The Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century are now on USA! I wonder why…
Dominik and Rey celebrate the pick backstage.
Dom is so excited to stick with Rey. And after what Rollins said, they laugh that he won’t get to leave his past behind. The past isn’t through with Rollins, they’re gonna whoop his ass!
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley VS Sasha Banks!
A main event caliber match is happening now! The Boss may not be 100% but she doesn’t care, because she wants nothing more than to give back every bit of venom Bayley has used in trying to end Sasha’s career! Will Sasha at least end Bayley’s historic 361-day title reign? Or will Bayley be able to make it to the one year anniversary?
Bayley again has the chair, and she vows Sasha will never get the Grand Slam like Bayley has! The introductions are made and the tensions are high. The ref does his best to keep the peace but then Sasha SLAPS Bayley down! Bayley protests, they both want this match to start, so the belt raising is skipped. The bell rings and this grudge match finally begins!
Sasha rushes Bayley and she fires off on Bayley! Bayley scrambles away but Sasha blocks the kick to KNEE Bayley back! Sasha stomps a mudhole into Bayley but Bayley gets out of the ring! The ref tells Sasha to cool off but Bayley protests. The ring count starts and Bayley wants to leave, but Sasha runs out to grab Bayley’s hair! Sasha puts Bayley back in, gets around her and rolls her up, TWO! BANK STATEMENT! Bayley rolls to a cover, TOW! Sasha ghost pins, TWO! Sasha dodges Bayley and comes back, tilt-o-whirl roll up, TWO! Bayley CLOBBERS Sasha! Bayley seethes as things finally slow down a moment. Bayley stands over Sasha, drags her back up and whips her to a corner. Sasha goes up but Bayley catches her as she goes over to an Electric Chair.
Bayley spins Sasha, Sasha uses that to arm-drag! Ghost pin, TWO, BANK STATEMENT! Bayley gets caught in the same trick but she scrambles around! ROPEBREAK! Sasha holds until 3 and Bayley gets out again. Sasha grabs at Bayley but Bayley CLUBS her! Sasha backs away but comes back for more. Bayley USES THE CHAIR!
Winner: Sasha Banks, by disqualification; Bayley is still SmackDown Women’s Champion
Bayley take advantage of Champion’s Advantage again! And now she wants to finish Sasha! Sasha dodges the chair shot to kick Bayley down! Sasha sits the chair up, goes up and over and brings Bayley into the chair! The Boss grabs the chair and aims for Bayley. She SMACKS Bayley on the back! And again! “SCREW YOU, BAYLEY!!” Sasha SMACKS Bayley again! Sasha puts the chair around Bayley’s head and climbs up top! Sasha leaps but Bayley gets the chair off! Bayley retreats and referees rush in to stop this from getting any worse! Bayley doesn’t care, so long as she is still champion! But will Sasha find a way back to the title and force Bayley to face the consequences of her actions?
Alexa Bliss confronts Kevin Owens backstage.
“Let. Him. In.” A warning of sorts from The Fiend’s new friend. Will Kevin heed it?
SmackDown Tag Team Championships: Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro VS The New Day!
The King of Strong Style and Swiss Cyborg seem more than eager to defend against the returning Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods! Will the New Day’s triumphant return bring them an incredible ninth tag team title reign? Or will the Champions’ Lounge stay the property of Cesaro and Nakamura?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and this golden return match begins!
Teams sort out and we begin with Cesaro and Woods. They circle, tie up, and go around. Cesaro puts Woods in a corner, messes with Woods’ hair then shove shim. Woods throws haymakers! Cesaro knees low and EuroUppers Woods off his feet! Cesaro whips, Woods ducks and dodges to tilt-o-whirl headscissor! Cesaro gets up and CLOBBERS Woods! Cesaro kicks at Woods toyingly and then pushes him around. Woods throws haymakers and CHOPS in return to back Cesaro to ropes! Woods whips, Cesaro reverses, again Woods ducks and dodges then slides, to ROLLING ELBOW! Woods SUPERKICKS Nakamura down to then tag in Kofi. Kofi climbs up and Woods scoops Cesaro, DOUBLE STOMP BACKBREAKER! Cover, Nakamura BOOTS Kofi down!
Nakamura ROUNDHOUSES and BOOTS Woods off the apron and then storms off to his corner. The champions get even immediately as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Cesaro brings Kofi up. Fans rally and Kofi fights back, but Cesaro pushes him to a corner to throw EuroUpper after EuroUpper, and even forearms and stomps! The ref counts, Cesaro lest off at 4 to whip Kofi corner to corner. Kofi slips out and swing kicks Cesaro back! Both men crawl to their corners, hot tags to Nakamura and Woods! Woods dodges Nakamura, DECKS Cesaro and then dodges Nakamura again to shove and LEG LARIAT! Cesaro gets in, puts Woods in a corner but Woods boots! HONOR ROLL! Nakamura whips but Woods reverses to send Nakamura out. Woods builds speed to WRECK Cesaro with a dropkick! Nakamura gets in but gets an enziguri! And the step-in DDT! Cover, TWO!! Woods grins because he’s got Nakamura down.
Woods grabs at legs but Nakamura boot shim away. Woods runs corner to corner but Nakamura dodges! Woods gets stuck on the top rope, to get a TOP SHELF KNEE! Tag to Cesaro, he gut wrenches Woods off the ropes and Nakamura KNEES Woods into the GUT WRENCH SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro tells Woods he should’ve stayed home. Woods jawbreakers back! Tag to Kofi and he elbows Cesaro to then HIP TOSS him out! Kofi bounces on the ropes for a slingshot(?) TORNADO DDT to the floor! Fans are cheering on their screens as Kofi drags Cesaro up and into the ring. Kofi goes up top, leaps, into a EuroUpper! Cover, TWO!! Kofi survives but Cesaro says it’s time to go for a spin! Tag to Nakamura, SWISS SWING! But Woods anchors Nakamura!
Cesaro BOOTS Woods down, goes back to Kofi, but gets TROUBLE IN PARAIDSE! Nakamura swings a kick, Kofi ducks it but not the WINDMILL! Cover, TWO!! Kofi survives, Nakamura is furious! Nakamura drags Kofi up and brings him around, INVERTED EXPLODER but Kofi lands on his feet! Woods tags in, TROUBLE IN PARADISE! LIMIT BREAKER!! Cover, New Day wins!!
Winners: The New Day, by pinfall (NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions)
Two Raw reigns, SEVEN SmackDown reigns, number nine is looking fine! Big E appears to celebrate with his boys, because they’re back on top! Will they still be on top as the year continues?
Stephanie returns with round four of the Draft.
A quick congratulations to The New Day before the final round of tonight’s draft. But Raw chooses the NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions, the New Day?! Wait, not all three of them, just Kofi and Woods!! What about Big E?! Because SmackDown is KEEPING BIG E!! The New Day has been split up!?! How could this be?! Big E was on a great singles run, but he never thought he’d have to be alone! And what happens if the SmackDown Tag Team Champions are on Raw?!
Raw continues by choosing the Flex Appeal, DANA BROOKE! Dana and Mandy are sticking together, will the #SexyMuscleFriends take over the Women’s Tag Division? SmackDown’s final pick of the night is Mr. Money in the Bank, OTIS! Of course, Miz’s lawsuit might change that. And Raw’s final pick of the night is the Lethal Lothario, ANGEL GARZA! Hurt as he is, Garza will be back to thrill the ladies in and out of the ring!
The WWE Draft continues on Talking Smack!
Just because Raw is the conclusion doesn’t mean it’s the only other time Raw and SmackDown can decide their rosters! Tune in to see who else is staying and going, as well as hear from Bianca Belair, Heavy Machinery and the New Day on how they feel about the draft choices of the brands and networks.
Heavy Machinery do final trial preparations.
Otis is still on SmackDown thanks to the Draft, but Tucker hasn’t yet. Is the team done. Let’s not worry about that now, especially with Miz and Morrison going to Raw. That means the lawsuit should be dropped. But you can’t count on anything, so let’s do some last minute cramming. Actus reus, quid pro quo, and… Infedante Lictu? A paralegal finds Otis and hands him an envelope. Otis opens it up and brings out new papers. Tucker can’t believe this. Miz’s lawyer is filing a continuance. A what? They’re delaying the trial! But they were all ready tonight! They bought the legal pads, these great pens! Miz is out of order! Just a sleazy tactic to draw this out to drain them dry. Otis declares particular memora! NO ONE drains Otis dry! Will this delay only delay the inevitable? And for who?
Sasha Banks speaks.
“Bayley, you coward! I should’ve known.” Bayley got herself disqualified, but Sasha is done playing games. If Bayley wants hell, then she’s got it! In a HELL IN A CELL MATCH! And Sasha vows to finally break Bayley and end everything there is about Bayley. They used to be best friends. Sasha used to love Bayley so very much. But at Hell in a Cell, Sasha finally takes away what Bayley loves the most: the SmackDown women’s Championship!
SmackDown hypes up their season premiere!
To celebrate ONE YEAR on Fox, SmackDown will give us a truly gigantic Universal Championship match! Roman Reigns defends the title against BRAUN STROWMAN, who as of right now has not been drafted away. Will the Monster finally #GetTheseHands back on that title? Or will the Tribal Chief keep things on track towards his I Quit Match with Jey Uso? And speaking of the draft and titles, the New Day will be together one last time as they take on Cesaro, Nakamura and Sheamus in a “Farwell to SmackDown” Six Man Tag! Will Big E, Kofi and Woods be victorious again for the last time?
Kevin Owens VS The Fiend!
Speaking of no more games, it’s time for SmackDown to #LetHimIn! Kevin was just trying to get an idea of what’s going on with Alexa Bliss after her encounter with Bray Wyatt’s living nightmare, only to have his own encounter! Kevin has felt disturbed ever since, and the only way he can feel right again is to take the fight to The Fiend! Will Kevin be able to shake off that chill going down his spine to #JustKeepFighting? Or will he just regret ever trying to help Alexa in the first place?
SmackDown returns as Kevin makes his entrance. The bell rings and Kevin rushes Fiend with a clothesline! And then a CANNONBALL! Kevin fires up but Fiend gets right up! Kevin goes to punch but Fiend counter punches! Fiend ROCKS Kevin with haymakers but Kevin kicks back. Fiend uppercuts and pushes Kevin around, then whips him to ropes. Kevin dodges but Fiend BODY CHECKS him! Fiend pursues as Kevin gets out of the ring. Fiend comes around to CLOBBER Kevin inside-out! A ring count climbs but Fiend puts Kevin in at 6. Fiend slides in and drags Kevin up. Fiend throws uppercuts, Kevin gets to a corner and fights back but Fiend uppercuts again. Fiend whips corner to corner but Kevin dodges. The spider walk freaks Kevin out!
Fiend runs into a superkick and blocks it to ROCK Kevin again! Fiend picks Kevin up to swing and SLAM him down! Fiend sits Kevin up to club him down, then brings him back up. Fiend uppercuts again, but Kevin boots back from the corner! Kevin runs but into a headbutt! Kevin comes back to LARIAT! Kevin gets up but so does the Fiend! Kevin swings, into the clinch! Kevin elbows free and side steps Fiend to send him out. Kevin pursues, but runs into an URENAGE onto the desk! SISTER ABIGAIL into the desk! Kevin goes down but Fiend is right over him, laughing in his face! The Fiend is toying with Kevin as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns once more and Fiend chokes Kevin on ropes! The ref counts, Fiend lets up and stalks Kevin. Fiend stomps Kevin, Kevin punches back with fury! Fiend knees low, reels Kevin in, for another URENAGE! Fiend then sits Kevin up for the NECK TWIST! Kevin writhes as Fiend stalks Kevin. Fiend laughs as he drags Kevin back up. Fiend reels Kevin in, but Kevin fights off Sister Abigail to SUPERKICK! Fiend stays up!? But Kevin hits another SUPERKICK! And another! Fiend ends up in a corner, Kevin CANNONBALLS again! And then ANOTHER CANNONBALL! Fiend bails out but Kevin pursues and DDT’s him down! The ring count begins again and Fiend is finally down! Kevin gets in at 5 but Fiend gets up!
Fiend gets in the ring at 7, but a SUPERKICK sends him back out! Kevin FROG SPLASHES off the apron!! Kevin goes back into the ring to leave Fiend at the mercy of the count. It reaches 5 but Fiend stands again! Kevin goes out but Fiend drags him down! Fiend runs but into a POP-UP BOMB through the desk!! Kevin leaves Fiend behind again as the ring count climbs to 7! Fiend rises again?! Fiend is in at 9.9!! Kevin is shocked, and he walks into the MANDIBLE CLAW!! Kevin fights back, kicks low, STUNNER!! But Fiend holds on!? Fiend drags Kevin up, for a CLAW CHOKE SLAM!! Cover, Fiend wins!!
Winner: The Fiend, by pinfall
The Fiend was probably even going to win by submission with that claw clamped onto Kevin’s face! The nightmare continues, and then the lights go out. When the lights come back, he and Alexa are face to face on the stage! What power does Fiend hold over her? What power will these two hold over SmackDown? Or Raw, if that’s where the Draft puts them?!
Well this was a rather wild episode, with a roller coaster in quality as things went. To first focus on the draft picks from tonight, the first two choices were obvious: McIntyre and the world title stays on Raw, Roman and the Universal title stays on SmackDown. Roman adding the I Quit stipulation to the Hell in a Cell match is awesome! I never thought stipulations could be added to HIAC like that. That match was already going to be great, just like Clash of Champions, but THIS is going to be amazing. Though, I feel like the season premiere having a Universal Championship match is just for show. Braun is great, but between what happened with him and Keith on Raw, how he has yet to be drafted, and how we just got Roman upping the ante on Jey, Roman is obviously retaining. It’s annoying that WWE still does stuff like this with an almost patronizing attitude of “But what if, though?”
Raw grabbing up Asuka and the Hurt Business was great, and I had hoped as much for the latter. Hurt Business VS Retribution needs to continue on, so securing part of that tonight was the proper course of action. Seth Rollins to SmackDown was a great surprise, and to me, that naturally meant Mysterios would be following, so it was good they followed through. The question is whether Murphy gets to come along, but maybe that’s decided even tomorrow on Talking Smack’s draft edition. It only makes sense, because then nothing is being undercut by the Draft, just moved over. Plus, however this story goes, it’ll be great for Rey Mysterio to more than likely end his WWE career, and maybe career period, on the show that he basically helped define. I, for one, have always related SmackDown to Mysterio given I grew up watching Rey and Eddie Guerrero and that generation.
I really thought when SmackDown chose Sasha, that meant she’d be champion tonight, but if anything it was actually better they didn’t just follow that. I am disappointed the match ended in disqualification, but I suppose them moving things along to Hell in a Cell is just fine, too. I feel like this is giving away that Bayley is staying on SmackDown and Raw will be open to Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch on their respective returns. And once again, the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships are traveling belts in names only. Those titles haven’t been on SmackDown in some time, and on NXT even less. It seems Bayley and Sasha together was the only reason Vince was pushing those belts and getting the networks to share. Hopefully that changes with SmackDown wanting to hype up their season premiere.
Angel Garza, Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose are all natural choices to stay on Raw. Garza is hurt and he still has a lot to do with Andrade Almas. Garza can heal up, come back to Mondays, and have a great feud with Almas to perhaps even name a title contender of some kind. SmackDown keeping Jey is a given, but I’m surprised Naomi is going to Raw. Is Jimmy really going to be out that long that the family can be separated for a time? Are the Usos as a tag team over? Similarly, Bianca Belair moving to SmackDown, is that a sign the Profits are heading to Fridays, too? Are they losing the belts? Of course, that could happen since New Day is bringing the SmackDown tag titles to Raw. I don’t know what that means, other than a team either reigning as double champions or unifying the belts (again, because we’ve seen unified tag belts before). Either option is cool, and I wonder if Hell in a Cell gives us a HUGE tag match to do that.
Of course, there was still great action amid all this. Already mentioned the bummer Bayley VS Sasha was in the moment, but it’s fine. The Falls Count Anywhere Match was probably the best match, and it was so brutal! Big E wins, and I almost thought he was upset Kofi and Woods were back overshadowing his win, but no he was just hurting. The SmackDown Tag Team Championship match was great, and it was great for New Day to become 9-time champions in total. I can totally see them being WWE’s newest dual or unified tag champions, because they’re already such a historic team for the last however many years. Riddle & Hardy VS Miz & Morrison was great, and I like the nickname of “Broetry in Motion.” Miz and Morrison going to Raw is obviously because of Miz and Mrs. on USA coming back this Fall.
Lars Sullivan returning was quite the surprise, and he decimated everyone but Morrison out there. I wonder if Morrison is behind that. Maybe not. The court case being delayed was an interesting touch, but it actually makes sense. It isn’t a sleazy tactic as Tucker accuses, it’s because Miz got mauled, and we all saw it on TV! Hopefully this is resolved on Raw, though, because this just needs to be done. If Otis is being stripped of his MITB briefcase, that’ll suck. If he loses it in a match, fine, because it’s at least a match. But it just sucks that WWE is backing out of giving the briefcase to him in the first place. It just proves those against Otis winning right in saying that he shouldn’t have been chosen.
Kevin VS Fiend was some really good stuff, because it’s Kevin and Fiend. Closing on Alexa and Fiend staring at each other than the ring was good imagery, but honestly, this should’ve closed with the tag match and the announcement of the final picks being Big E staying on SmackDown and the others going to Raw. I feel like that’s the bigger moment for fans, certainly the long time ones like myself. But I guess they also needed time to plug the “Farewell” match next week. And I assume Kevin gets drafted to SmackDown, as announced on Raw after he faces Aleister. Kevin probably wins while showing the personality changes typical of a post Fiend encounter. Then he goes to SmackDown with some momentum so that he and Fiend can have an even wilder rematch.
My Score: 8.1/10