Smackdown – September 11, 2020

Smackdown
Date: September 11, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

Things took a surprising turn last week as Jey Uso of all people became the new #1 contender to the Smackdown World Title. That could set up quite the one sided title defense for Roman Reigns but you never know. As for tonight, Jeff Hardy defends the Intercontinental Title against AJ Styles. Let’s get to it.

We open with a Never Forget graphic.

We get a long recap of Reigns’ comments last week, plus Uso becoming #1 contender.

Here are Reigns and Heyman for a chat. Heyman talks about letting the cat out of the bag two weeks ago. Then at Payback, they took the Universal title. That took us to last week when Jey Uso captured the #1 contendership in the biggest win of his career. Heyman invites Uso to the ring and we see some photos of the Usos and reigns growing up together. Uso thanks Heyman for getting him a spot last week but Heyman says it was Reigns’ idea, with Heyman just following an idea.

Reigns talks about how they are family and Jey earned this. He has never had a chance like this and while Reigns is going to beat him up like when they were kids, they’re still blood. Uso can go with that but here’s King Corbin to cut them off. Corbin thinks this is a setup because it’s family facing off at the Clash. He can’t stand someone abusing their power. Cue Sheamus to interrupt this time to recap all of the strings being pulled last week. Uso doesn’t want to hear it and challenges them to a tag match. The brawl is on with Reins not moving an inch as Uso cleans house.

Here’s what’s coming tonight, including Jeff Hardy defending the Intercontinental Title against AJ Styles. Sami Zayn storms the production truck and wants the title graphic taken away from Hardy.

Intercontinental Title: Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles

Hardy is defending but hang on a second because here’s Sami Zayn during the Big Match Intros. They can have this match but it’s an exhibition. Cue Adam Pearce with security to get rid of Sami, who doesn’t like any of this. AJ jumps Jeff from behind but walks into the Twist of Fate. The Swanton misses though and we take a break. Back with AJ hammering away and sending it outside to stomp on the floor. Jeff sends him into the steps though and nails the Whisper in the Wind back inside. The basement dropkick into the splash gives Hardy two and Hardy sends him outside again. Cue Sami to jump Styles for the DQ at 7:34.

Rating: C. The match never had the chance to go anywhere because of the time but the triple threat at Clash has seemed pretty obvious for a good while now. I’m glad they didn’t let this go very far as there was no reason to let us get invested into a match that is going to go nowhere on the way to the pay per view.

Post match Sami hits the Helluva Kick on Jeff.

After a quick look at Reigns and Uso, Hardy collapses on his way to the back.

Post break Hardy is dehydrated. Styles storms in and wants Sami to stop all these shenanigans.

We recap Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura going to Raw, with commentary explaining the Brand To Brand Invitational deal.

Cesaro and Nakamura are in their room in the back but here are the Street Profits to say they wanted to check the show out. With Cesaro and Nakamura gone, the Profits eat their popcorn.

Hardy is getting better when Sami comes in again, triggering a brawl.

Lucha House Party vs. Cesaro/Shinsuke Nakamura

Non-title and we get an inset promo from Kalisto, who calls himself the leader and says it’s time to win the Tag Team Titles. Gran Metalik hurricanranas Cesaro a few times to start and it’s quickly off to Kalisto for an assisted splash. Nakamura comes in for some knees to the face and ribs for two, followed by a knee choke in the corner. Kalisto is sent outside but we cut to the Street Profits in the back where a party has broken out with Nakamura and Cesaro’s champagne. That means a rollup pins Nakamura at 3:33.

Rating: D+. They aren’t wasting time with this show and in a way that’s nice. I could have gone without the champs being pinned but at least it wasn’t clean. The champions vs. champions match taking place on Raw is a little weird but there is a good chance that they are setting up something for the pay per view. It would at least make some more sense.

Post break the House Party joins the party.

Here’s Bayley, with the chair she used to destroy Banks, for a chat. We look at the beatdown and Bayley says of course she loved every second of it. Bayley knows everyone wants answers but she is full of questions. Banks is watching so did she really think Bayley wasn’t going to be her next target?

Sasha wanted to be Two Belts Banks again and was just using Bayley the whole time. She knows it because Bayley was using her the whole time. Bayley used her to become Bayley Dos Straps and is now the longest reigning Smackdown Women’s Champion in history. After last night though, Banks is nothing to her. Good promo here, and the explanation is a nice twist on the usual formula.

Nikki Cross vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Tamina vs. Lacey Evans

The winner gets Bayley at Clash Of Champions. Nikki comes out first but Bayley jumps her during the entrance. Lacey knocks Bliss down for an early two and whips her into Alexa’s boots in the corner. Tamina gets taken down as well but Evans misses the slingshot stomp. It’s Bliss coming back in to clean house until Tamina runs her over. Bliss’ DDT is easily blocked and Tamina kicks her in the face.

Lacey is back in but her slingshot dropkick is broken up. Cross is back up for the first time and kicks Tamina leg off, followed by the running clothesline for two. Tamina and Evans are sent outside for a dive from Cross. Bliss helps Nikki up but gives her Sister Abigail on the floor as we take a break. Back with Bliss having slowly walked out, almost in a trance. Lacey kicks Tamina down and hits the slingshot elbow for two.

Tamina is back up to break up the moonsault but misses a charge into the corner. The double jump moonsault connects but it’s Cross coming back in to make the save. A bulldog/running clothesline combination gets two on Lacey but it’s Tamina taking Cross down. Tamina superkicks Cross but walks into the Woman’s Right. Cross is back up with the Purge to Lacey but she has to slip out of Tamina’a Samoan drop. The rollup to Tamina sends Nikki to the Clash at 12:00.

Rating: D+. I can’t believe how much of a relief it was that Tamina didn’t win here. That would have been one of the most annoying outcomes they could have had and it is far from outside of the question around here. That being said, they were on different pages near the end there and it looked pretty rough. At least Nikki won, but I’m not sure how much of a chance she has a the pay per view. Still better than Tamina though.

We get another vignette of the mystery woman, who is getting dressed and has long blonde hair. Sweet goodness it isn’t Eva Marie is it?

Otis vs. John Morrison

Tucker is at ringside and Miz is on commentary. Morrison starts by kicking away but Otis uses the power of jiggling. Miz gets up so Tucker cuts him off, only to have Miz run off with the lunchbox. Otis uses the distraction to splash Morrison and hit the Caterpillar. The Vader Bomb is good for the pin at 2:27. Miz does know that he himself said possession of the contract means nothing right?

We look at Big E. being taken out by Sheamus last week.

Otis reveals that Miz had a fake lunchbox. Then he bites the real contract.

Miz says his lawyer thinks they can find a loophole in the Money in the Bank contract now that they have it. In reality they have an apple core, so Miz calls in a favor.

It’s time for the Firefly Fun House where they have rolled out the welcome mat. Bray Wyatt talks about how, thanks to Roman Reigns, something special is missing around here. Everyone handles loss in a different way though, and that’s The Less You Know. Now it’s time to have some fun and meet the newest member of the Fun House. That would be…Pasquale The Persevering Parrot. Actually Pasquale won’t come out because Bray forgot to cut some hoels in the box. Abigail: “Polly want a headstone?”

Evil Vince Puppet comes in (Vince: “What the my home is going on in here?”) and says Bray has lost his trust. If Bray doesn’t cooperate, he’ll be fired. That’s why there is a new special advisor to the Firefly Fun House, Wobbly Walrus, who might remind you of a certain Heyman. Vince: “This is such good ****!” Bray: “OH NO!” To Be Continued.

Jey Uso/Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin/Sheamus

There is no Reigns to start so Corbin punches Uso down, allowing Sheamus to hit the ten forearms to the chest. Jey manages a Samoan drop to Corbin to set up the running Umaga Attack but Corbin rolls away. Sheamus comes in for White Noise (with commentary arguing over what the move is called). The Brogue Kick is loaded up but here’s Reigns, with the distraction letting Uso hit a superkick to Sheamus. There’s a suicide dive to Corbin and a superkick to Sheamus sets up the Superfly Splash. Reigns tags himself in and spears Sheamus for the pin at 4:02.

Rating: C-. There’s something awesome about this Reigns showing up and doing almost nothing to get a win. It’s such an obnoxious thing to do and suits him so well, including the subtle things like Reigns telling Uso to get out of the way so he can hit the spear. This has worked crazy well and Reigns has barely done anything since joining Heyman.

Post match Jey holds up Reigns’ hand, with the Universal Title, as Reigns stares at him to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This was one of the more efficient shows that Smackdown has produced in a good while. They advanced stories, they kept things fast and set up a few things for the future. Above all else, this show flew by and I was stunned when it was halfway over. Now that being said, as well structured as it was, the content wasn’t all that great with a lot of the stories feeling pretty middle of the road at best. The Universal Title and Women’s Title matches are both feeling pretty small and the other story is about Otis’ lunchboxes. That’s not much, but the show was well put together, which isn’t that bad.

Results

AJ Styles b. Jeff Hardy via DQ when Sami Zayn interfered

Lucha House Party b. Cesaro/Shinsuke Nakamura – Rollup to Nakamura

Nikki Cross b. Lacey Evans, Alexa Bliss and Tamina – Rollup to Tamina

Otis b. John Morrison – Vader Bomb

Roman Reigns/Jey Uso b. King Corbin/Sheamus – Spear to Sheamus

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