TJR: WWE Smackdown 09/11/20 Review

Welcome to this week’s WWE Smackdown review. I thought last week’s Smackdown was the best episode of the year or one of the best, so let’s hope that WWE can continue that positive momentum.
From the WWE ThunderDome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, this is Smackdown for episode #1099. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit 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 an image that said "Never Forget" on in tribute to what happened at the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001. It's a historic day, that's for sure. Too many innocent lives were lost that day. May they rest in peace.
A recap video aired showing highlights from last week when Jey Uso won a Fatal 4-Way match (after Sheamus attacked Big E to take Big E out of the match) to earn a Universal Title match against cousin Roman Reigns. That match will be at Clash of Champions on September 27.
The pyro went off in the WWE ThunderDome and we were welcomed to the show by the announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves.

Let’s Hear from Roman Reigns with Paul Heyman
The Universal Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance with his special counsel Paul Heyman by his side. There were boos for Roman’s entrance since he’s the heel. We don’t know if that reaction is fake or actual nose from the ThunderDome crowd. I’m sure most fans will have their own opinions on that.
Heyman said that our “tribal chief” Reigns wanted to enlighten us on some recent history. Heyman talked about how Reigns left Payback as the Universal Champion. Last Friday on Smackdown,  Roman’s bloodline, his family, his cousin Jey Uso stepped up as the beneficiary of the Fatal 4-Way and he won the match to emerge as the number one contender for the Universal Heavyweight Championship. Heyman said Roman wanted to introduce us to the number one contender and said “Clash of the Champions” even though WWE’s version doesn’t have “the” in it (the NWA/WCW did have "the" in it). Heyman said that this man is Roman’s cousin, but they may as well be blood brothers.
Jey Uso made his entrance with Cole talking about how Jey and Jimmy were always close like brothers. It is true because they’re the same age and were very close in how they grew up. I’ve seen Roman do interviews talking about how he spent a lot of time at The Usos house growing up because they were such a close family.
Jey thanked Heyman for helping him get the spot on Smackdown last week and said now he gets to compete for the Universal Championship at Clash of Champions. Jey had a line about how his Heyman went way back with his family because at one point in his career about 30 years ago, Heyman managed Jey’s dad Rikishi. Heyman said that it was Roman’s idea while telling Jey that Roman was the “tribal chief” because Heyman likes saying that as well as going over the fact that Reigns is the Universal Champion.
Reigns said you didn’t have to thank him. They’re blood. He is proud of him, the family is proud of him and he earned this. Reigns said now Jey gets to be in the main event of Clash of Champions and take a huge payday home to his family. Roman told Jey this is his moment. Roman told Jey to look at him, not the title and said he’ll whoop Jey’s ass. Roman said that this has to stay on his shoulder for the family to stay where it is. Roman said just like when they were kids, he’s going to whip his ass and it’s all love. Jay said it’s different now because they’re grown men.
King Corbin showed up for the interruption. Corbin said this was set up all along because Roman pulled the strings for his very first title defense. Corbin said that this case of nepotism makes him sick. Corbin said nothing despises him more than somebody that abuses their power. That’s a line for a guy that tries to abuse his power.
Sheamus said he agreed with Corbin because this whole situation stinks. Sheamus said that Big E took an unfortunate spill and it should have been a triple threat, but then Jey Uso is now in the match. Sheamus wondered how you can prepare on such short notice.
Jey suggested they prepare to take a tag match against Jey and big cousin Roman. Jey suggested it’s called The Blood vs. Butt Mud? Weird name. Jey sent Sheamus out of the ring and sent Corbin into the ring post. Reigns didn’t even move while nodding at his cousin. Roman quietly left the ring.
Analysis: It’s fine as an opening promo segment to set up a tag team match for later. The complaints by the heels Corbin and Sheamus did make sense from their perspective. Even though Roman is a heel now, it’s understandable that Jey would try to see the best in Roman. When Roman said he needs to keep the title, it was an interesting line that suggests Reigns will do anything to keep it, even hurt his cousin Jey. It’s an intriguing, fresh main event tag team match even though I don’t love Reigns wrestling Corbin again considering how many times they wrestled last year.

The announcers did a rundown of what’s coming up.
There was a video of Sami Zayn in the control room with the Intercontinental Title. Zayn complained that Hardy is the IC Champion even though Sami thinks he’s the champion. Zayn was told he’s not supposed to be there, then he touched some button and it led to a break.
Jeff Hardy entered as the Intercontinental Champion. They showed highlights of when he beat AJ Styles for the title three weeks ago. AJ Styles made his entrance as the challenger.
Sami Zayn showed up with his Intercontinental Title while talking about how this can’t be for the IC Title because he was the champion. Zayn said he won the title on March 8, then defended it against Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania and then he took a few months off, so WWE created a sham champion. Zayn said that is fine, but he’s back now. Zayn announced that this is an Exhibition Match, which led to Adam Pearce showed up with Sami saying he was a voice of reason. Pearce had security with him and told Zayn to leave. Zayn said, “this is an insult” and left.
Analysis: Fun fact there is that the two guys that helped Sami to the back were D-Von Dudley’s twin sons. Cool moment for them.
Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles
Styles did a cheap attack. The bell rang, Hardy missed a corner attack, Hardy with a boot and Twist of Fate. Hardy went up top, he jumped off with a Swanton Bomb and Styles moved, so Hardy hit the mat as the show went to break.

The show returned with Hardy charging, Styles ducked and sent Hardy under the bottom rope to the floor. When Styles stood on the steps going for a move, Hardy shoved him and then Hardy hit a jumping attack off the steps to send Styles into the barricade. Back in the ring, Styles blocked a double leg drop attack. Hardy went up top and hit a Whisper in the Wind attack onto a standing Styles for a two count. Styles had Hardy on the shoulders leading into a slam into the knee for the Ushigoroshi for a two count. Hardy fought out of a Styles Clash, then the two leg drops, basement dropkick and a splash got a two count. Hardy with a spin kick on Styles. Hardy went for a kick against the corner, Styles moved and Styles went for a move off the apron, but Zayn showed up to attack for the DQ after about eight minutes.
Winner by disqualification: AJ Styles (Jeff Hardy remains champion)
Analysis: **1/4 It was what I expected since I tweeted about it and wrote about it in my Smackdown preview post earlier in the day. Zayn showing up was the obvious outcome. The work by Styles and Hardy was fine, but it was only a portion of the match so it’s not as good as if they had a longer, regular match.

Zayn attacked Styles and threw him into the steel steps. Zayn went into the ring and hit the Helluva Kick on Hardy. They played Zayn’s music as he left.
Analysis: Sami is a terrific heel and one of my favorites in all of WWE. Nice job by him not just as a whining heel, but showing aggression as well.
There was a shot of Jey Uso talking to Roman Reigns in their dressing room since the tag team match was official.
Jeff Hardy was shown staggering up the ramp after his match and then he collapsed on the ramp.
There was a video of Alyse Ashton outside the trainer’s room saying that Jeff Hardy was dehydrated. AJ Styles showed up saying that this has to stop. Styles said that Sami Zayn disappeared for months. Styles said he knows he can beat Zayn and Hardy, so he didn’t care when or how and he didn’t care what match it is, but he will prove once and for all that he is the true, one and only Intercontinental Champion.
Analysis: The obvious route is to do a Ladder Match with both sets of IC Titles above the ring.
A clip aired of Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura challenging The Street Profits on Raw.
Cesaro and Nakamura were in the Champion’s Lounge and The Street Profits shows up. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins showed up say they wanted to hang out in the Champion’s Lounge. Cesaro told them they had a match right now. Dawkins and Ford said they would hang out back there. Cesaro told Street Profits not to break anything and Nakamura said don’t touch anything, but as soon as Cesaro/Nakamura left, Street Profits had some popcorn that was there.

Analysis: It should be a very good match on Raw between two strong championship teams. Neither title will be on the line.
Lucha House Party made their entrance. A clip was shown of Kalisto doing something of a pep talk saying he was the leader of the group while the other two guys didn’t seem to agree with that.
There was a shot of the trainer’s room with the doctor telling Jeff Hardy he needed fluids, Sami Zayn showed up and that led to Jeff attacking Zayn. It led to a break.

Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura entered as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions for this non-title match.
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Lucha House Party – Kalisto and Gran Metalik (w/Lince Dorado)
This is a non-title match. Metalik with a headscissors on Cesaro, then a kick to the ribs and a hurricanrana off the ropes. Kalisto with a splash off the shoulders of Cesaro for a two count. Nakamura got in Kalisto’s way, so Cesaro hit a clothesline to the back. Nakamura hit a knee drop for a two count. Cesaro with a running uppercut on Kalisto for two leading to a chinlock. Cesaro with a body slam along with a leg drop for two, then Nakamura tagged in and hit the running knee to the ribs. Nakamura with a knee off the ropes into a gutwrench suplex by Cesaro for a two count. That led to Street Profits being shown in the Champion’s Lounge with a bunch of other people there joining them for a party. Cesaro and Nakamura looked at the video screen looking angry about it. Dawkins sprayed some champagne and Kalisto did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Cesaro for the pinfall win after about three minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Kalisto and Gran Metalik
Analysis: *1/2 I like everybody involved here, but I hate when champions lose non-title and that kind of finish is the worst ending that WWE books way too often. The experienced team of Nakamura and Cesaro have to act like dumbasses by looking at the screen instead of focusing on their match, so then we get that dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to win. It’s just a lame ending that doesn’t help Lucha House Party that much even if they get a title shot.
Lucha House Party celebrated the win while Cesaro and Nakamura weren’t happy about it.
Bayley is up next at the top of hour two.

This Monday on Raw “In Your Face” is Asuka defending the Raw Women’s Title Match against Mickie James, Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins in a Steel Cage Match, Street Profits vs. Cesaro/Nakamura and Drew McIntyre vs. Keith Lee. The commercial kept saying it was “In Your Face” too.
Analysis: This Monday is the first week of NFL Monday Night Football, so WWE going for some big matches on Raw and that's certainly not a bad thing for the fans. I don't see Drew vs. Keith having a clean finish. I wrote a preview of Raw with predictions right here.
It was back to the Champion’s Lounge with Lucha House Party joining Street Profits and others to celebrate their cheap win.
Let’s Hear from Bayley
Bayley made her entrance with the Smackdown Women’s Championship around her waist and a steel chair in her hands. Cole noted it was 328 days for Bayley as the Smackdown Women’s Champion. It was weird seeing her without Sasha Banks, but that’s what happens after Bayley attacked her last week.
Bayley sat on the steel chair in the ring. Bayley pointed to the video screen as we got a recap of last week’s Smackdown when Bayley beat up Banks after they lost the Women’s Tag Team Title match when Jax pinned both women at the same time with a cross body block off the ropes. Banks was selling a left leg injury during the match, which led to Bayley’s cheap attack that included a stomp on a steel chair that was around Sasha’s neck. The video package took about three minutes.
There were boos from the ThunderDome crowd as Bayley said that people are now asking how Sasha is feeling. Bayley said that nobody is asking how she feels. Bayley wondered if you think it made her feel good to destroy her best friend – Bayley admitted she loved every single second of it. Bayley said that everybody wants some answers while saying she’s full of questions now. Bayley asked Sasha if she is some sort of idiot? Bayley said she knew what Sasha was thinking all along. Bayley said that Sasha was waiting for the right time to keep Bayley close so that Sasha could turn on her. Bayley said when Banks saw Bayley at the top of her game, Banks had to become Two Belts Banks. Bayley said that Banks was using her and she knows that because she was using Banks. Bayley said she didn’t care about Banks or their friendship with Bayley saying she used her. Bayley said that she became the first-ever Grand Slam Women’s Champion and the longest-reigning Smackdown Women’s Champion. Bayley said that after last week, Banks is completely useless to her. Bayley picked up the chair and left.

Analysis: It was a pretty good explanation by Bayley talking about how she used Banks to get ahead and it worked for her. It wasn’t a particularly long promo because it was maybe five minutes, but Bayley made her points well in talking about how she thought Banks was waiting for the right time to turn, yet Bayley was the one that did it. The key thing is that Bayley, as the heel in the feud, showed no remorse for what she did. There’s no apology or sign of regret. Bayley bragged about it. That’s what you want the heel to do there.
Smackdown really loves Fatal 4-Way matches because there was a women’s Fatal 4-Way match up next.
Nikki Cross made her entrance while Bayley was leaving up the ramp and Cross stared at Bayley, who hit Cross with a chair to the back.
Analysis: The babyface wrestlers in WWE are booked like dummies. That is what just happened to Cross.

Nikki Cross was being checked on at ringside by WWE medics (the fake ones that are indy wrestlers) with her buddy Alexa Bliss there as well. Bliss is a very attractive woman normally, but this look certainly helps in that regard. Lacey Evans entered to make it four women in this match.
Analysis: I don’t know how they logically came up with Bliss, Cross, Evans and Tamina. Naomi pinned Bayley a few weeks ago in a Beat the Clock match, yet she’s not even in this match. Instead, they put in Tamina, who is barely on the show. My guess is they’re saving Naomi for another time because we know Bayley is going to win at Clash of Champions and then probably face Sasha Banks at Hell in a Cell in October. In other words, this is just a way to set up a title shot where the winner of this match will lose. I’m just saying in terms of logic, Naomi should have been in here. There’s also Mandy Rose, who won at SummerSlam a few weeks ago and has been off the show since then. It’s WWE, though. They don’t explain why people are in matches. They just throw people out there in the matches and expect the audience to just accept it.

Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Cross vs. Lacey Evans vs. Tamina
Bliss attacked Evans with a forearm while Tamina threw Cross out of the ring. Tamina with a boot to Bliss to knock her out of the ring. Evans choked Tamina with her leg across the throat. Evans with a sweep kick, Tamina avoided a splash and Tamina hit a headbutt. Bliss with a dropkick on both opponents. Bliss with punches on Tamina, then a dropkick to Evans, double knees by Bliss to Evans and Tamina hit a clothesline on Bliss. Tamina with a suplex on Evans for a two count with Bliss breaking it up. Bliss tried a DDT, but Tamina blocked it and Tamina booted Bliss in the face. Tamina with a corner splash while Evans raked Tamina’s face against the top rope, but Tamina came back with a boot to the ribs of Evans. Cross with a dropkick to the knee of Tamina as well as a running clothesline for two. Cross knocked Tamina off the apron as Bliss hit a running kick on Evans and Tamina on the floor. Cross with a cross body on Tamina and Evans on the floor. Bliss grabbed Cross, kissed the head and hit the Sister Abigail neckbreaker on Cross like Bray Wyatt does. Bliss looked off in space as the show went to break.
The match returned with Tamina slamming Evans face first into the mat. A clip was shown of Bliss walking to the back after her Sister Abigail attack on Cross. The changes for Bliss continue. Evans with a neckbreaker against the rope along with a kick to the leg to take Tamina down. Evans with an elbow drop on Tamina for a two count. Tamina sent Evans face first into the turnbuckle, but then Evans came back with a drop toe hold to send Tamina into the middle turnbuckle. Evans with a corner splash on Tamina. Evans with a moonsault off the top with Cross breaking up the pin attempt. Cross did the babyface comeback with a running splashes on both women and a running bulldog/clothesline combo for two. Cross with a Tornado DDT on Tamina followed by a neckbreaker on Evans for a two count. Tamina with a superkick on Evans, but Evans came back with the Woman’s Right punch to the face. Cross hit Evans with the spinning neckbreaker off the top rope for two. Tamina wanted a Samoan Drop, Cross slipped out of it and Cross hit a sunset flip on Tamina for the pinfall win after about 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nikki Cross
Analysis: **1/2 This was just an average match that was really dragging when Evans and Tamina were squaring off for a few minutes because it was really boring when it was just the two of them. The story of the match was Bliss doing The Fiend/Bray Wyatt move on her best friend Cross on the floor and Bliss walking out of the match looking like she was in some trance. Cross saved the match from being terrible because her babyface comeback was great. The finish was a bit sloppy and Cross didn’t win with her finisher, but it was still a resilient babyface win that ended up working pretty well by the end.

The win by Cross means she will challenge Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Title at Clash of Champions.
Analysis: This is not a fresh matchup at all. I feel like I have reviewed that match about ten times this year. It’s probably closer to five realistically, but it’s been a lot. Anyway, in this case, it’s likely being done because Alexa Bliss is going to show up, cost Cross the match and that will set up the split of that duo with Bliss going to the dark side, so to speak. In other words, I pick Bayley to win. Maybe Sasha Banks returns after that match to attack Bayley, which would set up Bayley vs. Banks at Hell in a Cell in October, perhaps as the main event of that show.
There was a shot of Sheamus and King Corbin talking strategy in the locker room.
Otis entered with his Heavy Machinery tag team partner Tucker by his side. Otis had the regular Money in the Bank briefcase with him along with a smaller green lunchbox.
There was a video featuring a woman getting dressed although we couldn’t see her face. She was shown putting on shoes, her top and her dress while some music played. The key thing is that it was a mystery without showing who it was, but it seemed like it was Carmella, who has been off for months. I had some astute readers point out that one of her tattoos was visible, so it looks like it will be Carmella in the near future.

Analysis: Carmella has been away for months, probably just because WWE wanted to give her a break and reboot the character. It looks like Carmella will be doing some fashion model kind of gimmick like the “Emmalina” thing we saw WWE tease a few years ago with Emma, which led to nothing. Carmella has a strong personality that can pull off a fashionista gimmick if that’s what it is.
John Morrison entered with The Miz for a singles match. Last week, Heavy Machinery beat Morrison and Miz in a tag team match. Morrison stole the Money in the Bank briefcase, but then found out the contract wasn’t in the briefcase because it was in the smaller lunchbox.
Otis (w/Tucker) vs. John Morrison (w/The Miz)
The Miz was on commentary complaining about Otis being a disgrace to Money in the Bank. Otis with a running elbow on Morrison while Miz correctly said that the MITB briefcase fell into Otis’ lap, he didn’t actually climb a ladder to win it. Morrison with kicks, Otis no sold it and hit an overhead suplex. Otis with a spinning powerslam. Miz on the apron to distract, Tucker told Miz to get away, Otis missed a corner charge and hit the middle turnbuckle. Morrison tossed Miz the lunchbox and Miz ran to the back with it. Morrison was happy about it while Otis capitalized with a running splash against the turnbuckle. Otis did the Caterpillar into the elbow drop and then the Vader Bomb (Otis Bomb?) off the turnbuckle for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Otis

Analysis: * A dominant win by Otis while Morrison continues to look like a loser with losses happening far too often whether in singles or tags. At least Otis didn’t win with the elbow drop. The Vader Bomb is a better choice for a finisher.
A video aired showing Big E getting attacked by Sheamus last week. It was a surprise attack by Sheamus that saw him slam Big E onto the windshield of a car. Big E was taken away on a stretcher to sell the injury.
The announcers said that Big E had lacerations and severely bruised ribs. In other words, his worked injuries are not that major, so he should be back soon as Big E’s rivalry with Sheamus will continue.
This week on Talking Smack, which premieres on WWE Network on Saturday mornings, it’s hosted by Kayla Braxton and Xavier Woods and the guests are Nikki Cross, AJ Styles and Paul Heyman. Let’s hope Styles and Heyman are not around eachother at the same time based on past comments Styles said about Heyman. Here’s a recap of Styles calling Heyman a liar in the past. They might be fine with eachother now since Heyman is not an Executive Director of a show anymore.
There was a tease for the Firefly Funhouse up next.

The Heavy Machinery duo of Otis and Tucker were shown backstage with Otis telling Tucker that Miz may have a lunchbox, but he doesn’t have this lunchbox. Otis opened the Money in the Bank briefcase to reveal a small lunchbox with the Money in the Bank contract in it.
That led to a shot of Miz and Morrison backstage with the lunchbox with Morrison saying that the MITB contract is non-transferable. Miz said that his lawyer said that there are loopholes in every contract. They opened it up to find an eaten apple. Miz said he was calling in a favor, made a call on his phone and that was it.
Analysis: This storyline is weak. That’s all I have. I figured Heavy Machinery might get a Tag Team Title push after a win last week, but it doesn’t appear to be the case now.
Firefly Funhouse
Bray Wyatt was in the Firefly Funhouse with “Welcome” signs behind him and his other puppets were there. Wyatt said thanks to Roman Reigns, something very special is missing from the Funhouse – the Universal Championship. Wyatt said that how you handle loss defines the person that you become. A graphic said “The Less You Know” as a knockoff of “The More You Know” messages from TV in the past. Wyatt introduced us to the newest member of the Firefly Funhouse while saying he has overcome so much in his life to make it this far. Wyatt teased that there was a parrot named Pasquale, but there was nothing. A graphic said “Technical Difficulties” and Wyatt said he should have cut some holes in the box to suggest that Pasquale died. He had a good run. The Vince McMahon puppet showed up saying that Wyatt has lost his trust and he can’t handle the Firefly Funhouse on his own. Wyatt asked what he had in mind. The new “Special Adviser” of the Firefly Funhouse was introduced: Wobbly Walrus. It is a knockoff of Paul Heyman due to the “ladies and gentlemen” line. Wyatt said “Yowie Wowie” and Vince said “This is such good s**t.” Wyatt looked into the camera saying “OH NO!” And that was it.

Analysis: This was ridiculous, even by Firefly Funhouse standards. I’m sure that Vince McMahon found it hilarious that they created a character named “Wobbly Walrus” to make fun of Paul Heyman, so that’s really all that matters because this show is produced for an audience of one named Vince McMahon. Anyway, there were some decent lines in here, but overall this was a weak segment and I’m not sure how it’s supposed to help Wyatt, who is rumored to be a face now. It’s not really clear for sure if that is the direction of this character. I guess we're supposed to feel sorry for him since he has to deal with "Wobbly Walrus" now? That could be the storyline here. I did like “The Less You Know” bit at least. That’s something positive.
King Corbin made his entrance on his sedan that was carried down to the ring by some indy wrestlers. Sheamus entered as Corbin’s tag team partner for the main event.
Jey Uso made his entrance, Sheamus attacked him, Jey tried to fight both guys off, but that failed and Jey was sent into the ring. The referee Charles Robinson called for the bell even though Roman Reigns wasn’t there yet, so he is okay with starting a match with one guy on a team.
Jey Uso and Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. King Corbin and Sheamus
There were only a few minutes left for this match. I don’t know if that was the plan or if other segments felt long. Usually, main events have more time. Corbin sent Uso into the corner, Jey broke free and punched both opponents. Jey with a sunset flip on Corbin. Jey with a kick to the ribs, Sheamus tripped up Jey and Corbin hit a Deep Six Slam for the two count. The match continued with Corbin and Sheamus taking shots on Jey with punches and forearms. Sheamus hit a spinning slam on Jey. Corbin missed an attack off the turnbuckle, Jey with a shot to the gut and a superkick. Jey with a Samoan Drop on Corbin. Jey charged, Corbin moved and Jey hit the turnbuckle as Sheamus tagged in with the White Noise slam for a two count. Roman Reigns decided to show up with Paul Heyman with Reigns wearing his “Wreck Everyone & Leave” shirt. Jey with an enziguri kick, a hip attack and a suicide dive on Corbin. Jey jumped off the top on Sheamus, who caught him and Jey hit a superkick. Jey went up top, he hit the Uso Splash and Roman made the tag by tagging his cousin on the hip. Jey didn’t even realize it as he tried a cover. Reigns set up in the corner and hit a Spear on Sheamus for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall:  Jey Uso and Roman Reigns

Analysis: ** I liked the effort shown by Jey as a fighting babyface that would not quit even in a handicap match situation for most of it. The comeback was really good. The Roman Reigns gimmick of showing up when he wants to and not taking bumps in a match is different, but I guess it can work in terms of pissing off the fans since he won a match he was barely a part of. Sheamus and Corbin were fine in their roles here.
Post match, Reigns left the ring, lifted up cousin Jey and then Reigns walked up the ramp. They showed replays of the Spear from Reigns for the win.
Reigns was on the top of the ramp as the special counsel Paul Heyman handed Reigns his Universal Title. Jey went up to Roman and lifted up his arm that had the Universal Title in it. Reigns just looked at his cousin with a serious look as if to say “don’t touch this.” They had a staredown to end the show.
Analysis: Reigns beating Jey at Clash of Champions is the obvious outcome, but what matters is how they do it. If Reigns kicks Jey’s ass and injures him, that will get Reigns a lot of heat because then he’s beating up a family member in order to hold onto the title that he cherishes so much. It’s an easy story that works.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Sami Zayn
  2. Jey Uso
  3. Bayley

The Scoreboard
5.75 out of 10
Last week: 8
2020 Average: 6.33

Final Thoughts
This was a step back after last week’s great show. The match quality wasn’t as good while some of the promos failed to deliver. I thought the Firefly Funhouse segment was terrible even though making fun of Paul Heyman probably made Vince McMahon laugh. The feud with Otis and Miz/Morrison is poor. The women’s four-way match was only interesting for Alexa Bliss hitting Nikki Cross with a Sister Abigail on the floor. Otherwise, I thought it was a boring match where WWE did a poor job of picking the women that were in the match. I went into my feelings on that in my review of that match. The finish of Cesaro/Nakamura's match is about as bad as it gets as far as WWE finishes go. I kept waiting for a great match or segment, but there wasn't anything that really stood out to me.
On a positive note, I did like Bayley’s promo explaining her heel turn on Sasha Banks by saying that she attacked Banks before Banks could attack her. It wasn’t a long promo although it was effective in terms of what she said. I like where things are going in the IC Title picture with Zayn attacking Styles and Hardy. This should lead to a triple threat ladder match for both IC Titles at Clash of Champions. The story of Roman Reigns facing Jey Uso at Clash of Champions was most of the focus because it was in the opening segment and the short main event match. There doesn’t appear to be any issues between the cousins for now, but it seems likely that we’ll see Reigns attack Jey at some point to put over Roman as a heel and show that he’ll even take out his family to keep the Universal Title.
Smackdown can be hit or miss from week to week. I would call this week a miss.

The next WWE pay-per-view is Clash of Champions on Sunday, September 27. Here’s the lineup so far.

WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton
Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jey Uso
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross

Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams and Toronto Blue Jays. My contact info is below.
John Canton
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