Smackdown – July 24, 2020

Smackdown
Date: July 24, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

We’re finally done with Extreme Rules and less than a month away from Summerslam. That means it’s time to start getting ready for one of the bigger shows of the year, but first we need to have a bar fight between Sheamus and Jeff Hardy, as one of the more questionable feuds of the year continues. Let’s get to it.

Jeff Hardy says he is an alcoholic and is ready to face Sheamus in his newfound enemy: a bar.

Sheamus is ready to give Jeff a headache, but it’s from a Brogue kick instead of a hangover.

JBL knows what a bar fight is like and says the emotions are running higher than the blood alcohol content in an APA poker game. Points for actually managing to make this even more cringe worthy.

Here are Bayley and Sasha Banks to gloat. Sasha talks about what it means to be great but the definition needs to be changed to the two of them. After Bayley yells at some fans, Banks declares an end to the Women’s Revolution. It started with them and it’s ending with them, because they are starting a new era. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be them, but here are Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss to interrupt.

Cross rants about how sick she is of the two of them so Bayley asks if she took her rabies medicine. Even Bliss thinks it’s too much right now but Cross wants a Women’s Title shot tonight. Bayley says fine, but Cross has to face Bliss, with the winner getting the title shot next week. Cross says they have to do this and shoves Bliss down, although not out of anger.

Nikki Cross vs. Alexa Bliss

The winner gets a shot at Bayley next week so Bayley and Banks are on commentary. Cross comes in with taped ribs thanks to the ring shot on Sunday, which Banks turns into a plug for WWE Shop. Bliss gets shoved down to start but Cross can’t hit a tornado DDT. They get annoyed at each other, even as Bliss can’t hit her own DDT. Cross gets more fired up and forearms away, setting up a bulldog for two.

Bliss dropkicks her tot he floor but misses the charge and gets caught in the ring skirt. A kick to the face gets Bliss out of trouble, so Bayley and Banks shout “GET HER! GET HER!” That earns them a double knockdown and we take a break. Back with Bliss dropkicking her out to the floor as Cole and Graves laugh at the knockdown before the commercial. Bayley challenges Cole for Summerslam as Bliss kicks away at the bad ribs and drives them into the barricade to put Cross down outside.

Back in and some knees to the ribs give Bliss two before she cranks on the arm with a knee in the ribs. It’s off to a seated abdominal stretch so Cole can list off all of Bliss’ accomplishments. They really need to stop doing that as so many people have won so many titles that they lose all meaning every time you hear them.

Cross fights up but the tornado DDT is countered into a sunset bomb for two. Back up and Cross grabs a Regal Cutter for two more, followed by a reverse DDT for the same. Cross misses the high crossbody though and the ribs are banged up again. The referee goes to check on her so Cross insists she can keep going, which means a small package to finish Bliss at 14:55.

Rating: C. This was good enough and they’re planting the seeds for a Bliss/Cross split. That’s possibly their backdoor out of next week, though I’m not sure where that leaves Bayley for Summerslam. The ribs stuff was good here though, and Bayley and Banks are really entertaining on commentary, as you can tell how well they get along. It’s certainly better than Nikki screaming every chance she gets.

Post break Nikki is excited when a dejected Bliss comes in to congratulate her. Bliss says it’s time to focus on becoming the new Women’s Champion next week.

It’s time for the Firefly Fun House, which starts with a package on the Swamp Fight. Bray, standing next to the Fiend lantern, says that was fun because Braun Strowman came back home. Some of you are probably worried that Braun is now trapped in the swamp, but don’t worry, because it has been certified organic. The lantern starts talking to him but Bray says its job is done for now. No he can’t let the lantern out again, because he had his chance. Now it’s his turn, because he has been unleashed. We cut to the Fiend and that’s it.

We look back at AJ Styles vs. Matt Riddle from last week.

Matt Riddle vs. Tony Nese

Riddle goes straight to the rolling gutwrench suplexes into the Broton for one. Nese knocks him down and hits a Lionsault for two, followed by a bodyscissors to keep Riddle in trouble. Back up and Nese has to knee his way out of the Bro Derek, meaning Riddle settles for a t-bone suplex. Now the Bro Derek can connect for the pin at 2:03. Nice back on track win for Riddle.

Post match Riddle calls out King Corbin to fight him right now. Cue Corbin to say the request is denied because Riddle doesn’t belong in the kingdom. Riddle still has the new car smell but after that wears off, he’s just a frat boy who looks like he just rolled out of bed. That’s why Corbin has put out a king’s ransom on his head. Riddle says Corbin has it all wrong because Corbin is the next guest on the Bro Show. Nese tries to jump Riddle and gets kicked in the head.

Miz and John Morrison try to think of hashtags to get themselves some extra attention, with Morrison’s getting rather long.

JBL talks about what a bar fight means and talks about Jeff Hardy’s career. Jeff wins tonight.

Here are Miz and Morrison for MizTV. They have been talking with a team of trend forecasters to find out what is going to trend in the future. That’s why Morrison’s jacket has a MoreMorrison hashtag sign in his shirt. He’ll be sick if that doesn’t trend. How sick you ask? Four Seth Rollins vomiting sick. With that out of the way, here is Naomi as their guest. Last week she may have lost, but Naomideservesbetter was trending after her match. Naomi thanks the fans for having her back, with Miz talking about how she went viral for returning at the Royal Rumble this year too. Miz: “But you didn’t win that match either.”

Why aren’t people talking about Lacey Evans? Naomi says the two of them are making her sick. Miz and Morrison: “How sick?” That would be five Seth Rollins vomiting sick, which Miz warns will prevent her from trending. Naomi talks about everything she puts in the ring every time and that’s why the fans are behind her.

Miz didn’t expect this kind of a confrontation, so here’s Lacey Evans as a surprise guest. Lacey thinks Naomi’s hashtag was trending out of pity and calls her washed up. Naomi shoves Lacey as she does her lipstick, meaning the fight is on with Lacey bailing. I can go with Naomi getting a push, but because of karaoke, makeup and hashtags?

We look at Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura winning the Tag Team Titles on Sunday.

Big E. is outside of the trainer’s room when Kofi Kingston comes out. He’s holding his ribs and limping because there is some bad news: he is going to be out about six weeks. Big E. promises they will get the Tag Team Titles back but Kofi wants Big E. to go do something on his own while the rest of the team is on the shelf. Kofi: “I put your meat on my meat man.” They hug and Big E. seems touched.

Gran Metalik vs. Lince Dorado vs. Shorty G. vs. Drew Gulak

One fall to a finish and the winner gets an Intercontinental Title shot against AJ Styles (on commentary). Gable and Gulak are sent outside in a hurry but the Lucha House Party fight doesn’t break out as Gulak breaks things up. Metalik hurricanranas Gulak to the floor before dodging a German suplex attempt from Gable. The rope walk dropkick gets two on gable with Gulak making a save. Dorado comes in and hammers away in Gulak in the corner as AJ says he wants to face the one who gets beaten up the worst. AJ: “It just makes sense right?”

Dorado suicide dives onto Gulak and Gable sends Metalik outside. A huge Gable moonsault wipes out everyone and we take a break. Back with Gable and Gulak going into a pinfall reversal sequence for two each. Metalik comes back in and gets double teamed down but Gulak and Gable argue over who gets to stomp. The arguing lets Metalik hit a handspring elbow to take both of them down and it’s Dorado coming back in to chop away.

Metalik breaks up Dorado’s cover though and the argument is on, only to have Gable jump Metalik with a suplex. There’s one for Dorado as well and Gable is fired up. Gulak takes a third and a hard belly to back suplex gets two on Metalik. Back up and Gable gets caught in the Gulock but he climbs the ropes to reverse into an ankle lock. The grapevine makes it even worse but Dorado makes the save with a top rope splash for two. Dorado goes up again, earning himself a crotching from Gulak. Gable takes them both down though and Metalik walks the ropes for the top rope elbow and the pin on Gable at 11:47.

Rating: C+. They kept the action going here and that’s the best thing they could have done. That being said, they picked Metalik to get the title shot? Actually…..why not? One of the biggest criticisms about WWE is they can be predictable so Metalik winning here is quite the twist. He won’t win the title or anything, but points for trying something new.

Post match AJ gets in the ring and slaps Metalik in the face, earning himself a tornado DDT. Metalik holds up the title.

Video on Otis and Mandy Rose’s romance.

Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro are happy with their titles but they are sad about not putting Big E. through a table. It would have made a bigger splat you see. Even with Kofi being out of action, it isn’t Big E.’s time. They salute and promise to make all of the Smackdown teams go splat.

Long video on Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus.

Next week: AJ Styles defends against Gran Metalik and Nikki Cross gets another shot at Alexa Bliss.

Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy

They’re in a local bar and Sheamus arrives first, meaning he can order a drink. Jeff arrives and asks for a cup as he sits down next to Sheamus. His brother had to delete his career and Jeff had to save his own. Rehab made him better but Sheamus says no one cares about Jeff anymore. Jeff asks if Sheamus is still the bar and says he is connected to everything. Like the window, the TV and this bar. Sheamus: “I’m the bar!” Sheamus is ready to fight so Sheamus throws a drink in his face and it’s on.

That means Sheamus gets the better of it in a hurry and hits the ten forearms over the bar. Sheamus wants a top shelf drink but the distraction lets Jeff run down the bar and dive onto him. There’s a whip into some barrels and Jeff steals the basketballs from a machine and pelts Sheamus with them. They fight into the back with Jeff having a barrel knocked out of his hands. Sheamus sends him into some walls and they head into the bathroom, with Jeff’s face going into a urinal.

Jeff one ups him by throwing Sheamus into a stall and crawling out, leaving Sheamus to scream about Hardy. Sheamus goes looking for him but gets laddered in the chest. Jeff dives off the bar again but gets rammed into the wall for his efforts. Now it’s Jeff being thrown over a set of drums and we take a break. Back with Sheamus Brogue kicking a drum and being sent into a table. The Twisting Stunner rocks Sheamus and Jeff grabs the ladder.

The bartender, the same one from the toast, jumps Jeff from behind though, earning himself a powerbomb through a table. Sheamus breaks a chair over Hardy’s back, puts his hat over Jeff’s face, and says sweet dreams. Sheamus has a drink and calls over the referee, but now Jeff’s face is painted and his eyeballs have some kind of a film over them. He gets up and hits Sheamus with a glass before climbing the ladder. The Swanton hits Sheamus for the pin at 13:14.

Rating: C. It was a good enough brawl but good grief enough with the supernatural stuff. Hardy going into some trance and suddenly having paint on his face took me way out of this as they were having a good and almost realistic fight for a long time. But then oh wait never mind because we need to tell some story or have Jeff be some weird creature. He can’t just fight up because he wants to prove people wrong and come back against the odds for the win. No no, the solution is to be smart instead, because that hasn’t gotten WWE in trouble lately whatsoever.

Overall Rating: C. Your individual taste may vary here as they seem to have a plan for Summerslam (that’s good) but some of the choices are a little out there (that’s usually bad). The action was good enough and the main event felt like a step forward for Hardy, but dang I don’t need to see anything cinematic for a LONG time to come. They do seem to be going in a few fresh directions though and right now, that is a good idea. Granted baseball’s big return is going to ravage this in the ratings anyway, but points for planting some seeds.

Results

Nikki Cross b. Alexa Bliss – Small package

Matt Riddle b. Tony Nese – Bro Derek

Gran Metalik b. Lince Dorado, Shorty G. and Drew Gulak – Rope walk elbow to Shorty G.

Jeff Hardy b. Sheamus – Swanton off a ladder

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