Welcome to the WWE Smackdown review. There are two episodes of Smackdown left before the next PPV, which is the ridiculously named “The Horror Show at Extreme Rules” event on July 19. This show was taped over a week ago.
From the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, this is Smackdown for episode #1090. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present.
The show began with a shot of the WWE Performance Center that was full of developmental wrestlers in the crowd. The Miz and John Morrison were in the ring to host Miz TV. The announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves gave us a rundown of what’s coming up this week.
Miz TV with Jeff Hardy as the guest
The Miz and John Morrison were in the ring to host the Miz TV talk show. They did their usual thing about complimenting the guest, but Morrison was also making jokes about Hardy. Morrison even did some Hardy hand gestures. I should point out that Miz and Morrison were in their wrestling gear, which usually means a match is coming.
Jeff Hardy made his entrance with the wrestlers in the WWE PC dancing along to the classic Hardy theme song. Jeff got into the ring, which had three chairs in it as part of the set.
The Miz apologized for Morrison’s comments and Morrison said he just had enthusiasm for Jeff. Miz said that they heard Jeff had an amazing clip, Jeff said there was no clip and then Miz said it’s time for a clip.
A video package aired about Jeff Hardy’s feud with Sheamus over the last few months. It took a few minutes to get through the story, which included Jeff beating up a waiter that Sheamus hired to try to get Jeff drunk.
The Miz and Morrison continued the insults. Jeff didn’t like their comments. The Miz claimed his daughter’s favorite wrestler is Jeff Hardy because of the bright lights while saying he didn’t want her to put faith in somebody that will screw up and meltdown. Jeff wondered if there was a question. Miz and Morrison asked Jeff if he was okay.
Jeff said he’s okay because he’s been to hell and back. Jeff said he’s been to a dark place that you can’t even imagine. Miz wondered if that was really true since Sheamus got in his head. Jeff said he would be lying if he said Sheamus wasn’t bothering him. Jeff said that he would be lying if he said that the Backlash loss didn’t bother him because it does. Jeff said that he has to do everything in his power to destroy Sheamus so that he can put his past behind him. Jeff said that he’s going to be a beacon of light for anybody that watches him, that struggles with addiction and he will show them that change is possible. Jeff: “Hope is real and there is a life behind their wildest dreams waiting for them if they can stay sober.”
Morrison said he has goosebumps and Miz said that was incredible. The Miz said that Jeff needed a rematch with Sheamus, but not inside a WWE ring. Morrison said it needs to be a place where he’s guaranteed to do his best work. Miz suggested that Jeff fights Sheamus in a Bar Fight. Morrison said it would be like facing your physical enemy Sheamus and your metaphorical enemy, the bar. Jeff figured that Sheamus got these guys to suggest this with Jeff saying that Sheamus is wrong and he’s going to take Sheamus out in that Bar Fight. Hardy said he’s on his way to redemption, he’s on his way to success and he’s never letting y’all down ever again. Jeff said you can tell Sheamus he accepts.
Jeff also issued a challenge to Miz or Morrison while saying you can’t invite me to be on your show and not expect to be punched in the face. Jeff punched Miz and Morrison, but Morrison threw his jacket on Jeff. Hardy sent Morrison into the ropes and Jeff hit him with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Miz was already out of the ring. Hardy threw the chairs out of the ring as they went to break.
Analysis: It was a way to set up the Hardy vs. Sheamus match at Extreme Rules, which was obviously coming based on the storyline over the last few months. Doing a Bar Fight instead of a regular match will make it more of a brawl and I assume Jeff will get the win since Sheamus won the last match. I thought Jeff’s promo was very good in terms of sounding like a noble babyface that wants to prove he has overcome his past mistakes as an alcoholic and he said he be an example for others. It’s what you would want a babyface wrestler to say. Miz and Morrison did a solid job as obnoxious jackasses in this segment. The Bar Fight also likely means a third Cinematic Match at Extreme Rules, which feels like too many to me.
The bell rang to set up a match with Jeff facing Miz, which is what I predicted in the preview of the show. It was expected since that’s what usually happens with the Miz TV show.
Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz (w/John Morrison)
Jeff with a hiptoss followed by a side headlock. Miz sent Jeff to the apron, Miz slid out of the ring and tripped up Jeff on the apron. Miz was in control with kicks to the ribs followed by Miz jumping on Hardy’s back. Miz sent Jeff into the ropes followed by a running kick to the face for two. Miz slapped on a chinlock, Jeff fought back and got a rollup for two. Jeff sent Miz to the apron, Miz with punches and Miz jumped off the ropes, which led to Jeff hitting a neckbreaker. Morrison pulled Miz out of the ring, so Jeff was on the top and Jeff hit a cross body block on both guys on the floor.
The match returned with Hardy sending Miz into the turnbuckle, Morrison tripped up Jeff on the apron (the referee didn’t see it) and Miz sent Hardy into the announce table. Miz whipped Hardy into the plexiglass followed by Miz hitting a running knee while Miz was on the apron. Miz with a slingshot that sent Jeff throat first into the middle turnbuckle. Miz remained in control with a running clothesline against the turnbuckle. Miz jumped off the top with nothing, Jeff with a kick to the ribs and Miz with a DDT for a two count. Miz worked over Hardy with the “It Kicks” to the chest while Morrison “sang” during them and Graves thought it was tremendous as Miz hit a roundhouse kick to the head for a two count. Miz hit a running splash to Jeff’s back against the turnbuckle. Jeff started the comeback with a jawbreaker. They were both down selling, Jeff ran the ropes, forearm, atomic drop, leg drop to the ribs, basement dropkick and a splash for two. The crowd chanted “Hardy” for Jeff. Miz went for the Skull Crushing Finale, Jeff slipped out and there was a rollup for two. Hardy sent Miz to the turnbuckle and a dropkick. Jeff knocked Morrison off the apron. Jeff went up top with Sheamus appearing on the video screen at home as he drank some beer at his house. Sheamus said he was loving it. Miz got a rollup, but Hardy rolled through and Hardy sat on top of Miz for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jeff Hardy
Analysis: *** It was a good match with Miz controlling most of the match until Jeff made the big comeback and found a way to get the win. It's a pretty standard singles match in WWE where you know the good guy is going to win and it's all about telling a story with the heel Miz controlling the match until Hardy found a way to win. Miz is fine for a role like this since he isn't being pushed at all. I don’t like when WWE does those kinds of finishes where somebody appears on a video screen to distract a wrestler in the ring. At least Jeff got the win because he needed it.
Post match, Jeff stared at Sheamus on the video screen and Sheamus said congratulations on the victory.
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura were interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. Cesaro and Nakamura didn’t like that Sarah insinuated that it would be an upset if they won. Cesaro said that they already have beaten New Day. Cesaro said he’s sick of New Day and he’s been sick of New Day for a long time. Cesaro said you’ll still have New Day because they never change while Nakamura noted that you’ll also have new Tag Team Champions.
Sasha Banks made her entrance for her match with tag team partner Bayley. They are the Women’s Tag Team Champions while Bayley is also the Smackdown Women’s Champion. At “The Horror Show at Extreme Rules” it’s Bayley defending that title against Nikki Cross and Banks challenging Asuka for the Raw Women’s Title.
As Bayley and Banks made their entrance, Cross attacked Bayley from behind and jumped on her back. Bliss ran out there to get into a brawl with Banks. They went to break there.
Dana Brooke was shown doing some awkward dancing backstage for the “Karaoke Showcase” later tonight.
Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
This is not for the Women’s Tag Team Titles. Banks and Bayley worked over Cross with stomps against the turnbuckle. Bayley sent Cross to the apron, but Cross pulled Bayley out of the ring and trapped Bayley against the apron. Cross worked over Bayley with forearms to the back. Bliss tagged in, Cross with a splash and Bliss with a slap to the stomach followed by a slap to the face. Bayley with a knee to the ribs and she brought Bliss towards the corner, which led to Banks tagging in. Bliss with an arm wringer on Banks, then Cross tagged in and hit a neckbreaker. Bliss back in with a punch on Bayley, who pulled Banks out of the ring to save her partner from a double team move. Bayley and Banks yelled at Cole for his commentary work. Cross held Bayley’s title, which led to Bliss hitting a double dropkick. Cross hit a cross body block off the announce table onto Bayley on the floor, which led to a break.
The match returned with Bayley working over Bliss with Bayley saying it was a tribute to her friend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Heels lie. Bayley wanted a suplex, Bliss got an inside cradle and Bayley brought in Banks again. Banks grounded Bliss with a chinlock, then Bayley was back in as the champs sent Bliss into the turnbuckle and Bayley hit a running clothesline. Bayley called the referee a “little dummy” because he was making sure Cross was out of the ring and he didn’t count her pin attempt. Banks with a hard slap on Bliss that got a two count. Banks sent Bliss to the turnbuckle, Bayley did some choking while the referee wasn’t looking and Bayley tagged back in with a suplex for two. Bliss came back with punches, then double knees to the ribs and Cross tagged in with a corner splash on both heels. Cross with a running bulldog on Banks and she sent Banks into the turnbuckle. Bayley made the tag and Banks hit a DDT like move on Cross with Bayley getting the two count. Cross went for a DDT, Bayley blocked and Cross hit a neckbreaker for two with Banks barely making it there to break it up. Banks whipped Bliss into the barricade. Cross with a kick on Banks to knock her down. Bayley came back with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with Bayley’s foot on the bottom rope and that was enough for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Bayley and Sasha Banks
Analysis: **1/2 It was an average match that was similar to most of the matches these teams have had in the last few months. Bayley and Banks did some good work as the heel team in full control for most of the match and I thought Cross might pick up the win to give her momentum, but instead the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes again. Why? Because it’s so deadly. This company loves that move. I would be fine if we don't see this tag team match again for a long time because it has happened too often.
They said that up next is a replay of the Braun Strowman match with Bray Wyatt from Money in the Bank.
The trailer aired for the WWE Battlegrounds game that will be released on September 18. It’s an arcade style game. I’m not a gamer anymore, but when I was I rarely got into these kinds of arcade style games, but I did love many wrestling games in my life. I think No Mercy on Nintendo 64 is the best wrestling games ever while the Smackdown vs. Raw era games on Playstation were a lot of fun. Going back even further, Wrestlefest in the arcade was a lot of fun too. I think graphically this game looks pretty good. We have more info on the WWE Battlegrounds game in a post right here. If you want to see the trailer, check it out below.
The re-air of Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt from Money in the Bank was next on Smackdown. It took place on May 10. Here’s my review of the match.
Universal Championship: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
Strowman with a punch to the ribs followed by a shoulder tackle and some manly groaning. Wyatt laughed about it. Wyatt: “You are strong.” Braun said he’s not the same boy that he used to be. Strowman hit another shoulder tackle leading to Wyatt bailing to the floor. Strowman sent Wyatt into the steel steps and then Braun sent Bray into the ring post. Back in the ring, Strowman hit a running shoulder tackle and Wyatt fell out of the ring. Strowman charged at Wyatt on the floor, but Bray moved and Bray sent Braun into the side of the announce table. Strowman took a hard fall over the table onto the floor. Huskus The Pig was in the crowd telling Wyatt he can do it as Wyatt hit Strowman with a DDT on the floor. Back in the ring, Wyatt hit a running clothesline followed by a senton splash. Wyatt whipped Strowman into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Wyatt did his upside-down pose in the corner, but Strowman punched him in the chest. Wyatt with a kick followed by a Tornado DDT off the middle ropes. Wyatt hit the Sister Abigail for a two count about five minutes into the match. Wyatt was shocked that it was only a two count. Wyatt teased a Sister Abigail again, but Strowman blocked it and hit a Chokeslam. Strowman with a two running corner splashes and he sent Wyatt out of the ring. Strowman ran at Wyatt with a running shoulder tackle that sent Wyatt into the barricade. When Strowman was on the apron, Wyatt kicked Strowman out of the ring. While Strowman was on the floor, Braun put on a Black Sheep mask and Bray laughed about it saying: “It’s you!” Wyatt said he knew he would find you. Strowman went into the ring, Braun ripped off his shirt and Bray said that this time everything will be perfect. Braun got down to his knees beside Bray and when Bray got back up, Braun extended his hands for a hug. They hugged in the middle of the ring. The other Firefly Fun House puppets were at ringside saying Braun is home. Braun took off the mask, Bray told him to trust Bray and Braun stomped on the mask. Strowman with a Running Powerslam for the pinfall win at 10:55.
Winner by pinfall: Braun Strowman
Analysis: **1/4 This was a passable match with some good action early on as Wyatt hit the Sister Abigail five minutes into it only for Braun to kick out of it. The finish saw Strowman outsmart Wyatt to show that Strowman has evolved as a man and a champion, which is a sign of growth for Braun’s character. Braun winning was the right call here. I'm sure some fans hated the story at the end with the hug, but I think it fits the story of Braun learning from his past. Should Universal Title matches be better than this? Yes they should.
Post match, Braun told Bray that Bray never created him and Braun did this (winning the title) on his own. As Wyatt looked at Braun, there were images of The Fiend shown, so that means the feud continues.
The match at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules is a Wyatt Swamp Fight between WWE Champion Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt. It is not a title match.
The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Big E were interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. Kingston talked about how just because they lost some other matches doesn’t mean people should doubt them. Kofi said “they are who we thought they were” and Big E added “and we ain’t going to let them off the hook. Big E mentioned some other song lyrics saying they'll march their knees and go on all night to remain your Tag Team Champions. A “New Day rocks” chant ended it.
Analysis: This was silly, but that’s New Day. The famous line of “they are who we thought they are” was from an NFL post-game rant by former Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green, who said it about the Chicago Bears when the Bears beat them. It was a very memorable rant by the late Coach Green.
Lacey Evans and Naomi were shown backstage getting ready for the Karaoke Showdown up next.
Smackdown Karaoke Showdown
The four women participants were in the ring: Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, Tamina and Naomi. Jey Uso was in the ring as the host. Jey is Naomi’s brother in law since Naomi is married to Jimmy Uso, who is out of action for the rest of the year with a torn ACL in his knee. Jey said he was the “uce that’s got the juice” and he welcomed us to the Smackdown Karaoke Showdown. The rules are that each contestant will get 45 seconds to sing their favorite WWE theme song and the audience gets to vote for the winner.
Lacey Evans sang “With My Baby Tonight” by Jeff Jarrett (or Road Dogg) that is mid-1990s WWE song. Lacey did a decent job, but I don’t think she had much rhythm. This is a favorite song of Smackdown Executive Director Bruce Prichard on his podcast and Jarrett is a Producer in WWE, so it’s not a surprise that this song got on there.
Dana Brooke was next and she had on some giant…sunglasses. Dana sang Honky Tonk Man’s theme song mixed in with some unique dance moves. This was not good. I get that she was trying to be bad and Jey told her that she was bad, so that was the end of that.
Tamina seemed reluctant to do it as Triple H’s theme song “The Game” hit and Tamina did a very poor job of it. She was terrible. She said a few words before it ended. I guess we can thank them for not going 45 seconds like Jey said.
Naomi was up last as she sang the Dusty Rhodes “American Dream” theme song. Naomi did a nice job with it, at least compared to the others. Naomi also threw in some dance moves as well and the crowd was into it while Jey was excited about the performance by his sister-in-law.
The crowd was asked to pick a winner…and they went with Naomi. That was not a surprise.
Naomi celebrated the win and she said she loved Dusty and missed him. Evans was pissed off about losing, so Evans shoved Naomi down. Both women were not in their wrestling gear as they threw off their shoes and Jey tried to break it up.
Analysis: This was terrible. A time waster. One of the worst segments I can remember on Smackdown this year. I realize that Dana and Tamina were booked to be bad at this so that it made Naomi stand out more. It was still an awful segment. With that said, Naomi was definitely the winner, so they did get that right.
This Monday on Raw: Sasha Banks & Bayley defend the Women’s Tag Titles against Asuka & Kairi Sane, Randy Orton faces R-Truth, Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens and Viking Raiders vs. Angel Garza & Andrade in a Tag Team Elimination Match.
This women’s match started when the show returned from the break.
Lacey Evans vs. Naomi
Naomi and Evans were both wrestling barefoot. Evans was wearing one of her southern belle dresses. Naomi was in bright yellow colored top and pants that weren’t her ring gear. Dana Brooke and Tamina watched from ringside. Evans sent Naomi into the middle turnbuckle. Naomi came back with a punch, Evans with a drop toe hold and smothering with part of the dress. Naomi with a kick to the head and Naomi with a roundhouse kick to the head. Naomi kicked Evans out of the ring. Brooke went to Evans, so Evans shoved Brooke down and Brooke told her to be a better loser. Evans also shoved Tamina. Brooke and Tamina went into the ring so the match was thrown out after two minutes.
Match Result: No Contest
Analysis: 1/2* This was bad. Naomi had some good kicks in there, but that’s about it.
The four women got into a brief brawl until the referees broke it up.
Analysis: I don’t think the karaoke or the match was a good idea. It might mean Evans is back to her heel ways, but it’s hard to know for sure if that’s the case with her.
AJ Styles is the Intercontinental Champion and he was interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. Styles bragged about beating Drew Gulak last week in an IC Title match. Schreiber told Styles that she was just informed that he’ll defend his IC Title against Matt Riddle. Styles complained about it with Sarah pointing out that Riddle beat Styles non-title in his debut on Smackdown. Styles said that he’ll beat Riddle.
Analysis: Big match for next week’s Smackdown. I liked their first match a lot. People might say why put it on Smackdown instead of at Extreme Rules? It’s because WWE is getting paid over $200 million per year by Fox for Smackdown. They should put on big title matches on Smackdown and more people will watch it than will watch Extreme Rules too. That’s why you do it this way. With that said, I would like to see Styles in a match at Extreme Rules as well.
The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Big E made their entrance for this Smackdown Tag Team Title defense. Graves predicted there will be new champions. Big E and Kingston through their jackets at Graves at the announce table, which is always funny.
They showed a replay of Shinsuke Nakamura beating Kofi Kingston on Smackdown last week.
Next week on Smackdown: AJ Styles defends the Intercontinental Championship against Matt Riddle.
The heel team of Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura entered as the challengers for this title match. Shoutout to the ring announcer Greg Hamilton for doing a great job on the entrances. It’s always great how he introduces Nakamura in particular.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) vs. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
Cesaro slammed Nakamura onto the top turnbuckle leading to Nakamura tagging in for a running knee to the ribs. Cesaro hit a gutwrench suplex on Kingston followed by an elbow drop. Nakamura worked over Kingston with elbows, Big E hit a back body drop on Nakamura to the floor. Kingston with a missile dropkick off the middle ropes. New Day did quick tags leading to the unicorn stomp and Kingston hit a running dropkick on Cesaro to send him out of the ring. Big E launched Kingston over the top, right into an uppercut by Cesaro and that led to a break.
Kofi remained the face in peril as Nakamura had a hold of him, but then Kingston hit the SOS trip. Big E tagged in against Cesaro with Big E hitting his usual hot tag offense with the two overhead belly to belly suplex, a side belly to belly suplex and when Big E went for a splash, Cesaro moved. Big E knocked Nakamura off the apron, Cesaro with a rollup for two and Cesaro with multiple elbows and uppercuts to Big E. Kingston tagged himself in, kick to Cesaro and Kingston hit a double foot stomp off the top on Cesaro while Big E held Cesaro and Nakamura hit Kingston with a running knee. Nakamura knocked Big E off the apron. Kingston got a cradle for a two count, Nakamura with a cheap kick and Cesaro with a clothesline on Kofi. Nakamura hit an overhead release suplex for two as Big E broke up the pin. Cesaro went after Big E, Nakamura also went after Big E and they dumped Big E out of the ring. Cesaro tagged in against Kingston with both heels going after Kofi and Big E went into the ring to join the fight. All four guys were brawling in the ring, so referee Drake Weurtz called for the bell, so I guess it’s a double disqualification. It went about 12 minutes.
Match Result: Double disqualification
Analysis: **1/2 This was just average tag team wrestling that felt like the first half of a long match where they worked at a slower pace and then we didn’t get the exciting finish to the match. Based on what happened after that match, that finish to the match is coming at Extreme Rules most likely.
There were a few minutes left in the show as the brawling continued. Cesaro sent Big E into the announce table and Cesaro got a table from under the ring. Big E and Nakamura whipped Big E into the steel steps. Kingston with a diving attack, but Cesaro and Nakamura stopped that as they sent Kofi spine first into the ring apron.
The table was brought in the ring by the heels. Cesaro with a hard slap to the face of Big E. Nakamura kicked Big E and Big E was laid across a table. Nakamura picked up Kingston, Cesaro had Kofi and Cesaro gave Kofi a powerbomb onto Big E through the table. Cesaro and Nakamura posed over the champions.
Cesaro and Nakamura held up the Smackdown Tag Team Titles even though they were not the champions. They tossed the titles onto the champs. Cesaro and Nakamura continued to pose to end the show.
Analysis: The logical thing based on that is a Tables Match at Extreme Rules on July 19. They could do an Extreme Rules match as well, but I think a Tables Match is more likely.
Three Stars of the Show
- Jeff Hardy
- The Miz
- Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
4.5 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
2020 Average: 6.25
This was a poor show. A normal Smackdown has better matches than what we got here and maybe a good promo or two. This episode had several lame segments, the matches weren’t as good as they could have been considering the participants and I have a hard time recommending anything on this episode. I realize that some big names from Smackdown were missing for this episode like the week before, but it’s as if the creative team mailed this one in.
There was some decent story building like the Smackdown Tag Team Title match and I thought Jeff Hardy did some good things. It was really a weak show, though, so if you skipped it you missed nothing.
The next WWE pay-per-view is The Horror Show at Extreme Show on July 19. Here are the matches that have been announced so far.
Wyatt Swamp Fight (Non-Title): Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler – Ziggler gets to pick the stipulation.
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Sasha Banks
Eye for an Eye: Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio
Bar Fight: Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross
United States Championship: Apollo Crews (c) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
I assume we’ll get New Day vs. Cesaro and Nakamura in a Tables Match or Extreme Rules Match.