Smackdown – September 18, 2020

Smackdown
Date: September 18, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

We are coming up on Clash Of Champions and that means it is time to start getting ready for the pay per view. There are a lot of different things being set up, including a few more title matches. Tonight we might get a few steps closer to that but you never know around here. Let’s get to it.

We open with the Dirt Sheet, with Miz and John Morrison promising to get all of the dirt on the biggest stories going on in WWE today. After a clip of Miz announcing Mandy Rose is on her way to Raw on Talking Smack, Miz insists that he is not trying to get back at Otis. No, instead he is trying to help Otis as a former Mr. Money In The Bank. Now that Mandy is gone, Otis can focus on cashing in the briefcase while the men on Raw can focus on Mandy. Morrison: “Isn’t Ziggler over there?”

Cue Otis to beat both of them up, with Tucker throwing both of them back in as they try to escape. Otis is so angry at Miz that he hits the Caterpillar, showing the height of his violence. He even strips Miz down to his underwear, which isn’t quite the biggest deal when he wrestles in the same kind of gear.

Post break, Miz makes a phone call and says they have a plan.

Gran Metalik vs. Cesaro

The rest of Lucha House Party and Shinsuke Nakamura are here too. Metalik headscissors him down to start but gets taken into the corner for the uppercut. The armbar goes on as Kalisto and Lince Dorado seem to argue at ringside. Metalik gets sent outside and the referee ejects the rest of the House Party. Cesaro is pleased but the distraction lets Metalik hit a big springboard flip dive and we take a break. Back with Cesaro getting two off a big boot but Metalik gets up top for a flip dive and his own two. The moonsault hits raised boots though and Cesaro Neutralizes him for the pin at 6:59.

Rating: C. The Lucha House Party’s collapse continues, even though they’re getting a pay per view title match. I’m not sure how good it is going to be to split them up because the trio doesn’t seem like the kind of guys that are going to get a push on their own, but tag teams exist to be split up in WWE so it doesn’t matter that much. Also, how random is that champion vs. champion match on Monday feeling? It really does seem to be just a one off instead of building to anything, which is a little odd.

After looking at a clip of last week’s main event, Jey Uso says he trust Roman Reigns tonight. At Clash Of Champions tonight though, one of them is leaving as the Universal Champion. They’ve been fighting since they were little, but now they aren’t little anymore.

And now, Know Your Bro with Matt Riddle. Matt demonstrates how many different emotions you can convey with the word “bro”.

It’s time for A Moment Of Bliss, with Nikki Cross as the guest. We look at Bliss giving Cross Twisted Bliss last week and walking away, only to have Cross win anyway. Cross and Bliss hug before Bliss can get to the question: why should we believe Cross can beat Bayley after losing to her all summer? Cross says she’s ready for Bayley and promises to win the title. Now that we have that settled, Cross has a question for Bliss: what is going on with her?

Last week she hit Cross with Sister Abigail, but Bliss can’t explain it. She doesn’t know how to handle it…and here’s (the rather not dead) Lacey Evans to interrupt. Lacey asks if this is the View with these women talking about their feelings. Cross should be thanking Bliss for helping her last week because Bliss threw Lacey off of her game. Besides, Cross can’t win if she doesn’t have a mean streak. The fight is on and they fight to the ring for their scheduled match.

Lacey Evans vs. Nikki Cross

Bliss is on commentary but hang on because Evans needs to sanitize before the bell. Cross kicks her to the floor and then takes it back inside to jump on Evans’ back. Lacey sends her into the corner and starts working on the arm with some hard knee drops. A running boot in the corner connects and there’s the slingshot Bronco Buster for two.

The chinlock doesn’t last long but Evans cuts her off again and starts pulling on the arm some more. Evans rams her head first into the mat and stays on the arm before hitting the standing moonsault. With Cross down, Lacey sprays the hand sanitizer in Nikki’s eyes, but she’s right back up with a hair takedown. Nikki hits a corner splash and finishes with the hanging neckbreaker at 7:12. Bliss seems rather pleased.

Rating: D+. The sanitizer deal was rather dumb here as Nikki acted like it was water in her eyes instead of alcohol. The rest of the match was Evans beating up Nikki in a match she had no chance of winning because Nikki has a title shot coming up and Evans has fallen through the floor. Nothing to see here, which shouldn’t be that shocking.

Post match Evans crawls over to Bliss while shouting about the Fiend. Bliss goes into the same trance as last week, hits Sister Abigail, and slowly walks off in the trance.

Paul Heyman narrates a video about the Anoa’i Family being perhaps the greatest wrestling family of all time. We see a lot of the members in action and dang there have been a ton of them over the years. Heyman talks about how it is a battle of the family at Clash Of Champions, but while they feast at the same table, there is one ruler of the dynasty.

We get a sitdown interview with Sasha Banks, beginning with a look at Bayley attacking her two weeks ago. Banks is nearly in tears and says she’s still here as we hear a lot of cheering noises. Cole talks about how Bayley used her and Banks knows that Bayley finds her useless now. She and Bayley used to walk these halls and talk about everything they have done together.

They had planned to take over the whole company together but now she sees these halls and, through tears, she sees all of the things she and Bayley did together. Banks gets a lot more serious and calls Bayley an idiot who is nothing without her. Now Banks is coming for the title. Bayley runs in and blasts her with a chair before wrapping the chair around Banks’ neck again. Some rather short people run in to break it up before Bayley can stomp on the chair. The idea made sense, but Banks isn’t much of an actress and the delivery hurt it a lot.

Sami Zayn vs. AJ Styles

Sami goes to insist that he is introduced as the Intercontinental Champion but AJ jumps him from behind to start fast. Sami gets in a few shots and stomps away before grabbing a quickly broken chinlock. As Cole manages to find new levels of annoyance by talking in that completely unnatural manner associated with WWE commentary, Sami kicks the post by mistake and falls to the floor.

The slingshot forearm takes him down again and we take a break. Back with Sami hitting a Stun Gun but AJ grabs a neckbreaker for two. Sami slugs away but the Pele kick connects to drop them both. The Blue Thunder Bomb gives Sami two and he suplexes AJ into the corner. The Helluva Kick misses though and AJ grabs a rollup, possibly with tights, for the pin at 10:18.

Rating: B-. Not too bad here but you can almost see the triple threat at Clash from here. Sami at least looked good after his long time off. AJ was a smart choice for the first opponent too as he can have a good match with anyone, meaning this was almost a layup. It’s hard to make heel vs. heel work but they pulled it off here.

Post match Sami jumps AJ and complains about the tights being pulled. Cue Jeff Hardy to take Sami out…and grab a ladder (oh freaking dang it). Jeff is tired of being called cheat and a fraud so let’s end it once and for all, with a ladder match. Good grief I’d give so much money to put a ban on ladder matches for a few years.

Otis is served with a lawsuit. Apparently Miz and Morrison are suing over emotional distress, creating an unsafe working environment (STOP MAKING UP STORIES ABOUT THAT BECAUSE YOU DO IT ALL THE FREAKING TIME!) and violating their First Amendment rights by interrupting their news program. Otis has a week to decide if he will forfeit the Money in the Bank contract or go to court.

Sheamus and King Corbin are ready for their Samoan Street Fight tonight. The guy who lured Big E. to the parking lot last night comes in to say Sheamus’ car is being towed. Sheamus goes outside and gets jumped by Big E. in disguise. Big E. beats up the guy from last week as well, including a Big Ending on the car and throwing him in the trunk, showing more seriousness than he has in years. Adam Pearce comes in to say Big E. needs to leave. This worked a lot better than I would have expected.

The mystery woman gets dressed behind a screen. She turns around but there is a mirror in front of her face.

Roman Reigns/Jey Uso vs. Sheamus/King Corbin

Samoan Street Fight and Paul Heyman is here with Reigns (actually present to start the match) and Uso. Before the match, Reigns says he didn’t want any confusing this week. This is his yard, island, ring and WWE. If you want to change it, come take it. Sheamus is a little banged up but still here. It’s a brawl to start and thankfully there are no tags here because thankfully they understand the idea of a street fight.

The villains are sent to the floor early on, where Corbin pelts a chair at Reigns’ head for a scary crash. Jey dives onto Corbin but a second dive is countered into Deep Six on the floor. Back in and Corbin grabs a chair but gets kicked in the head for his efforts. Reigns chairs Corbin down but Sheamus runs Reigns over on the floor. The beatdown is on and Reigns is thrown over the announcers’ table. A regular table is brought inside and Uso gets planted through it for a near fall.

Reigns is back up and throws an announcers’ chair at Corbin’s head for a pretty impressive power display. Sheamus knocks him down again and loads up the announcers’ table but White Noise is broken up. Reigns kick Sheamus low and Samoan drops him onto (not through) the table. Corbin is posted and Sheamus is speared through the barricade. Back up and Corbin jumps Reigns before throwing Jey over a bunch of stuff. Uso is back with a title shot to the face though and Reigns adds a spear. The Superfly Splash gives Jey the pin at 6:10.

Rating: B. This was a lot of fun and most of that is because of Roman Reigns. THIS is the Reigns that people had been wanting to see for a long time. He was like a bulldozer here and running through everyone in his path, which made for some really awesome moments throughout. That’s the kind of Reigns that looked like the star of the company and someone who could be the champ for a long time with a huge moment being needed to take it from him. I liked this a lot and Reigns came off as the monster they have been wanting for a long time now.

Post match Reigns doesn’t look happy with Uso. Jey grabs the title and teases posing with it but throws the title to Reigns for a smile. Reigns and Uso hug so Jey can leave, with Reigns glaring at him from the ring to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. They’re taking an interesting approach to Clash as the main event is little more than a formality but the story has been set up well. Reigns vs. Uso is much more like the next step in Reigns’ story as we’ll get to see what he is willing to do to family, which makes it a lot better than what it would have been otherwise. Then you have Bayley vs. Nikki Cross, which is the most throw away, lame duck title match in recent years. The pay per view is looking hit or miss, but this week’s show worked out well enough. Just enough with the lawsuits and ladder matches though, please.

Results

Cesaro b. Gran Metalik – Neutralizer

Nikki Cross b. Lacey Evans – Hanging swinging neckbreaker

AJ Styles b. Sami Zayn – Rollup with a handful of tights

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

 

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