Welcome one and all to Friday Night Smackdown and Rajah.com's live results coverage! There's a lot in store for us! Tonight is the debut of the ThunderDome, for starters! Also, tonight marks the go-home edition of Smackdown, before this weekend's SummerSlam. For our very own preview of the ThunderDome, click here! And for those interested in the official WWE revelation of the ThunderDome, look no farther than here because you know we gotcha covered, Rajahmaniacs!
After the surprise return of yours truly, Mike "Hulk" Hogan, to NXT live results coverage helped boost NXT to its best ratings this year, we've learned that Vince McMahon himself will kick off tonight's episode of Smackdown! I have to assume he'll want to personally thank me for helping NXT pull a huge ratings win over AEW.
We've learned earlier today that the company may be using the ThunderDome launch as a reboot of sorts, and we may be in store for some unexpected returns soon! But enough about that, what's in store for tonight?
Tonight's official preview is out and boy howdy, do we have a care in store for you tonight! The Intercontinental Championship will be on the line as defending champ, AJ Styles clashes with Jeff Hardy. Will Hardy's
retribution comeback story continue or will he be reminded that Smackdown is the house that AJ Styles built? Braun Strowman will deliver a final message to "the Fiend" Bray Wyatt on tonight's program. The Smackdown Tag Team Titles will be on the line as the current champs, Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro defend their recent acquisitions against the Lucha House Party Will the Kings of Cyborg Style reign supreme or will they disculparse humildemente? We'll also see Big E taking on Sheamus tonight as the big man continues his singles run. Will the Celtic Warrior crush his dreams or can Big E get the big W? All this and more, tonight on Smackdown!
WWE Friday Night Smackdown Live Results (8/21/2020) - Amway Center, Orlando, FL
We start off tonight's show live as the ThunderDome is shown in its full glory as AC/DC plays the theme over our screen. It's an impressive, large setup with rows of screens. Michael Cole welcomes us live to the ThunderDome.
In the Ring: Vince McMahon
Vince welcomes us all to Friday Night Smackdown and the ThunderDome! The screens are all lit up and we see thousands of fans watching globally. A crowd's sound is obviously piped in. As Vince gets ready to hype SummerSlam, the lights flicker, go out...and it's time to let me in!
Enter the Fiend
The lights and ThunderDome go red, with tons of lasers as the Fiend makes his way slowly down the ramp! Cole and Graves freak out and wonder what business the Fiend has here with the Chairman in the ThunderDome! The Fiend is doing his full, looong entrance. He's got the Bray's Head lantern in hand. We're reminded that in just forty-eight hours, the Fiend will take on the Monster Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship. Tonight, though, the Fiend has his sights on the chairman! The Fiend reaches the ring, holding his head and shaking crazily before yelling in rage. he enters the ring.
The red lights come up and Vince looks the Fiend over. The Fiend approaches Vince and Vince backpedals. Vince tries to take a step to the side and the Fiend counters. The Fiend laughs at Vince when, suddenly, we get Braun Strowman's modified ThunderDome entrance! Strowman, sporting that shaved head, makes his way to the ring. He stands at ringside, staring at the lantern, before climbing in. The ThunderDome still isn't showing fans yet, not since the Fiend started his walk out.
The fan/audience screens come back up. The lights flicker black and normal as Braun tells Bray that his door is open. Suddenly, Retribution hits the ring!
Now there are over a dozen members of Retribution! They surround the ring on all four sides and keep yelling at the two WWE competitors. Braun nods his head; Bray nods his. Then Bray waves goodbye, the lights go out and when they come back on it's just Braun in the ring!
The entire pack of Retribution attack the ring, immediately taking it to Braun. They all manage to take down the Universal champion. Finally, the Smackdown Roster begins to run out in waves. The first wave hits the ring but is fought to a standstill by Retribution. A second and third wave of the roster hit the ring--everyone from AJ Styles and Shorty G to Heavy Machinery, everyone seriously--and Retribution is chased out of the ring. After Retribution have mostly backed away, the Miz runs out and joins the rest of the roster.
Braun Strowman suddenly snaps and lays out Drew Gulak. One of the Usos attempts to ask him what he's doing, and Braun grabs him. Finally Braun climbs out of the ring and walks us off to a commercial break.
Big E vs Sheamus
We come back from the break with both competitors in the ring. We're told this match was supposed to happen later tonight but has been moved up. Many members of the Smackdown Roster are still around the ring, standing guard against a Retribution attack. The bell rings and both men lock up. Side headlock that sends Big E into the ropes. Big E and Sheamus collide but no one budges. Sheamus with a chop. Big E sends Sheamus over the top rop. Big E runs around the ringside and hits a shoulder tackle, driving Sheamus into the barricade. The ThunderDome thing doesn't look so bad. It grows on you. Reminds me of the crowd in Madden 64.
Big E boasts on the ring post. Sheamus is up, the action goes back inside the ring. Sheamus catches Big E from the apron and clubs him. Big dive by Sheamus. Sheamus now slowing the pace, working Big E on the mat and again using the ropes to hold Big E, hitting the Ten Beats of the Bodhran. Sheamus sends E into the ropes and hits the Irish Curse backbreaker. Sheamus covers but only gets a two. Again, the lights flicker. Sheamus leaps to his feet and begins looking around, as do the superstars surrounding the ring. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and some of the superstars at ringside are doing a "new-day rocks" chant. Big E hits a belly to belly toss suplex, flooring Sheamus in the middle of the ring. Big E posts up over Sheamus and does a little jig, then hits the ropes, across to the other ropes, up and down for the Big Splash! Two count! Big E sets Sheamus on the top turnbuckle but the Irishman is fast off of it and hits a slightly leaping knee, covering for a two.
Both men back to their feet and slugging it out. Big E with a big Uranage for a two. Sheamus rolls out and stands up on the apron. Big E runs for him but Sheamus stops him and attempts another Ten Beats of the Bodhran. Outside the ring, we see Baron Corbin throwing insults at Matt Riddle. As the action goes on in the ring, Baron Corbin and Riddle end up clashing. This distracts Sheamus, allowing Big E to roll him up for the win!
Your Winner, Big E!
After the Match/Announcements
Sheamus is upset as Baron Corbin's feud with Matt Riddle has cost him another match. We then are told of something going on backstage. We see Jeff Hardy seated with his leg extended as a medical staff member checks in on him. He's asked what happened and he doesn't know, he was just injured during the Retribution attack. He begs the medical trainer for a leg brace as he has to perform.
Backstage w/ the Lucha House Party
The LHP are celebrating and walking backstage, excited for their match, when out of nowhere strikes the tag team champs! Nakamura and Cesaro take out all three members of the LHP. Cesaro tells them "...and your match starts in 3...2...1!" then laughs as they walk off. We go to break; the Smackdown Tag Titles are on the line, next!
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro(c) vs Lucha House Party
In case you needed to know, the Match Flo brought to you by Progressive was a quick recap of last week when these two teams clashed and a returning Kalisto shocked the reigning champs. The distraction helped the LHP to win their match. Out first are our champions, Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura. Cole runs down the champions, insinuating that they're afraid of LHP. Note that during the entrance for our tag champs, the ThunderDome is lit like a normal arena entrance--meaning, no fans. Out next are the LHP! Same thing, fans not on screen yet. Kalisto escorts the LHP out, back just last week after a separated shoulder injury that kept him out for months.
The bell rings and it's Gran Metallik taking on Nakamura. Nakamura sends Gran into the ropes and hits a knee tot he abdomen. Shinsuke lays in a kick then tags in Cesaro. Cesaro hits a sliding elbow drop and pins for a one. Cesaro locks in a neck crank, trying to use his power against Gran. Gran escapes. Metallik attempts the springboard dropkick but Cesaro catches him in midair and powerbombs him, getting a two. We see that The Miz & Morrison are watching backstage. Miz says that these lucha libre style isn't a threat for Cesaro and Shinsuke. Morrison interjects that "Libre is Spanish for liberation." They then make a sly comment at our tag champs, and work a luncha-lunch joke into things. We focus back on the action in the ring. Nakamura came in and continued to work Gran with strongstyle strikes and a bit of a slow-down working hold. Cesaro is tagged in. Cesaro loses control of Gran, and Gran hits a hurricanrana off the top rope. Gran is crawling across the ring, trying to get to his partner. Cesaro calmly walks over and tags in Nakamura just as Gran tags in Lince Dorado!
Lince hits the ring like 1996 Rey Misterio Jr on a case of Red Bull. Dorado kicks in full gear lucha. Back flips across the ring and charges into a strike. Hits a modified around the world. Slips out of a grab and nails a high strike. Finally the heels get a bit of control. Gran Metallik enters the ring and charges across, diving through the air and taking out Cesaro at ringside! Shinsuke takes it back inside to Lince. Lince makes for a comeback, evading the fast Nakamura. Nakamura reverses an attempted rana and attempts a pinfall. He only gets two so Cesaro tags in. Lince tries to reignite his offense but Cesaro shows off his athleticism, reverses a Dorado move and gets the cover for the win. The last two minutes of this were crazy fast!
Your Winners and STILL Smackdown Tag Team Champions, Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura
After the Match: Lucha House Problems
Lince is up to a knee. Gran Metallik is slow to get up ringside. Kalisto comes in and yells at Lince "friend, what is this?" He repeats himself a few times then smacks Lince. Lince and Kalisto get into a heated argument. Gran Metallik quickly comes in and between the two, trying to keep them apart. Lince shoves Kalisto down and they fuss more. We cut backstage to show Jeff, still seated where he was before.
Earlier Tonight/Backstage w/ AJ Styles, Bayley and Sasha Banks
We're shown clips of Retribution earlier. We see that during the attack, AJ Styles came over and stomped on the back of his knee. AJ sees this backstage and starts to leave, when Kayla catches up with him and tells him that we can clearly see he attacked Jeff. AJ goes on to rundown his opponent before walking off. He comes across Sasha Banks & Bayley and they greet each other as champs. The Role Models say that they all look great in gold and AJ makes a crack about the only thing better than their titles is his Intercontinental title. He says he's just joking and we go to break.
Backstage w/ Mandy Rose & Kayla Braxton
Kayla is just checking on Mandy. She asks how she's doing and Mandy says she doesn't know, it's been a really rough two weeks. She says that despite all the bad and ugly that they've gone through, with SummerSlam just days away, she wants to address Sonya. She says that together, as best friends, they've been through a lot of good and beautiful things. So Mandy is going to believe that the Sonya she knows is still out there. So she doesn't know how Sonya feels going into this Hair vs Hair match at SummerSlam, but Mandy wants to choose to see the good in Sonya and wants them to put it all back behind them.
In the Ring: Corey Graves w/ Bayley & Sasha Banks
The reigning double double-champs make their way out to the ring. Corey welcomes "Two Banks" Belts then corrects himself. He asks the ladies if they're splitting up as he's heard rumors, and they both answer know. He then brings up the fact that, in two nights at SummerSlam, both women defend their individual titles against Asuka and that Asuka is capable of becoming a double champion. Both women interject and object. Corey then goes on to mention that Asuka has beaten both women, and that it took Bayley's interference to help Sasha even beat Asuka for the Raw title. Banks then interferes "Corey Graves, if that is your real name," and verbally claps herself on the back. Corey then says that he watched Monday Night Raw, and Bayley seemed all too happy to do the heavy lifting to face Asuka first at SummerSlam. Corey says that doesn't seem logical as Asuka beat her two weeks ago and the revenge she'll want for Kairi Sane who was retired by Bayley. Bayley says that "what I said on Raw was just a suggestion, Sasha's as capable as going first as I am." Sasha cuts in--"Just a suggestion? Are you trying to volunteer me again?" Corey asks if he's sensing tension tonight. Bayley quickly jumps in and tries to explain things when Naomi interrupts and comes out!
Naomi says "hello ding-dongs, how about I make a suggestion to handle the situation. How about I face you both tonight?" The tag team champs laugh. Naomi asks who's she taking on first, and Bayley tries to make a suggestion for it. Corey interrupts and says that he suggests they make it a beat-the-clock challenge. They agree and Naomi attacks both, sending them both out of the ring. Apparently SummerSlam positioning is on the line in this--whomever wins this challenge will get their pick of whether they take Asuka on first or second. All that, after this message from our sponsors!
Beat the Clock Challenge, Match 1/2: Naomi vs Sasha Banks
We're reminded that whomever can beat Naomi in the quickest time will determine who faces Asuka first or second. And this is, of course, assuming they can beat Naomi. Our competitors are in the ring and ding ding goes the bell as we start our match!
Naomi is on the offense first, and takes her sweet time. She smacks Banks, and Bayley at ringside yells "Don't treat my best friend like that!" Banks is sent to the outside again and Naomi goes out after her. Bayley is near by and the ref warns her off, to which Bayley repeats "I ain't touched her" over and over. Naomi takes Sasha Banks back in. Banks hits a move in the corner and covers but barely gets a two. Banks locks in a rear chinlock for a few moments until Naomi can make her way to her feet. Naomi slips out, rebounds off the ropes and hits the jawbreaker. Naomi goes up top and hits a diving crossbody for a two; Sasha rolls it through for a pin attempt but gets nothing. Naomi pops Sasha up, hung over the top rope. Attempts a cover, gets a two. Naomi drags her to the corner and goes to bounce on the middle rope but Sasha grabs her and back rolls her up for two. Naomi and Sasha take it to the middle of the ring. Sasha wastes no time in locking in the Bank Statement, and at 3:39 Naomi taps out.
Your Winner in Three Minutes & Thirty-nine Seconds, Sasha Banks
Beat the Clock Challenge, Match 2/2: Naomi vs Bayley
Bayley IMMEDIATELY hits the ring and tries to roll up Naomi but the ref warns her back as the match hasn't even started. Quickly, the ref checks on Naomi before giving the okay to start the match. The bell rings and Bayley takes advantage right away. Bayley attempts a cover; Naomi gets out. Bayley continues to striek Naomi down and attempt quick pinfalls. Finally it backfires as Naomi shoves Bayley back, hits the Rearview Mirror, and immediately pins Bayley for the win!
Your Winner, Naomi!
After the Match
Well, to start:
Your Winner of the Beat the Clock Challenge, Sasha Banks!
Asuka comes out as Sasha happily checks on her bestie. Asuka yells in Japanese before switching to English. She says that at SummerSlam, she will be the Empress of every title because no one is ready for Asuka! Banks runs up the ramp and eats a kick to the back of her head for her efforts. Banks is down. Asuka runs to the ring and gets in, striking Bayley with a series of kicks. Bayley escapes the ring, thenr uns back to grab her two belts. She runs past Sasha Banks, who's still down and "knocked out" (per Cole) on the ramp.
Backstage w/ Jeff Hardy
Jeff is trying out his leg. The medic gives him clearance to fight tonight. Jeff makes a comment about being the one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, then says tonight this one-legged man is gonna win. We're told that later tonight will be another Firefly Fun House.
Backstage w/ Sonya Deville
Sonya blows off an interviewer. Dana Brook comes over and tries to console Sonya after everything's Sonya been through this week. Sonya smacks the crap out of Dana, calls her disrespectful, and walks off as we head to commercials.
As Sonya makes her way out the ring, Cole & Graves remind us that it's a Hair vs Hair Match for Deville & Rose this Sunday at SummerSlam. Then, during her entrance, we get a video package catching us up about the Fiend and Braun in recent weeks, as it regards to Alexa Bliss that is. I feel Hulu missed a match or something.
Video Promo: Nikki Cross
Nikki Cross is backstage, seated in front of a drop cloth. She's afraid that the Alexa Bliss that she's seen ever since the Fiend attacks isn't the Alexa she knows, and she's worried about her.
MAIN EVENT: WWE Intercontinental Championship: AJ Styles(c) vs Jeff Hardy
We cut back to the ThunderDome as AJ styles makes his way out to a chorus of piped-in boos. We see Daniel Bryan on picture-in-picture who welcomes us to the ThunderDome and says he can't wait to see the match. And on that ironic note, we go to commercials.
Back from the break and out comes the challenger for these here Intercontinental Titles, Jeff Hardy! He walks down with a limp to his right leg. We're treated to a replay from earlier tonight, when Styles took advantage of Retribution's assault and kicked Jeff in the back of his knee. Jeff gets up on the second rope and does his usual schtick. We're told that what we don't see is that he's wearing a knee brace under his ring gear, on his right knee. The bell rings and the referee makes the announcements. We're ready to kick this one off!
Jeff Hardy grapples AJ and backs him up against the rope as this one starts. Ref forces the break, so Hardy whips Styles into the ropes and uses his injured leg to kick Styles. Styles is up quick and takes Hardy to the corner. Hardy hits a kick to gain some breathing space then climbs up to the second rope, only for Styles to quickly clothesline his legs out from him. Jeff tumbles to the ring rather Hardy. AJ immediately rips Hardy's pants open, and pulls the knee brace off. Styles takes control and begins slowly striking and applying pressure to the injured knee of Jeff Hardy.
Styles continues to stomp the knee. Styles gets a little too cocky and charges Hardy as he uses the ropes to steady himself, leading to Hardy to back-flip Styles right out of the ring. Styles comes up from ringside and yanks Hardy's feet out from under him, dropping him down on his knee and slamming it into the apron. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and we're reminded that it's all about AJ Styles, who has dominated ever since the cheapshot earlier tonight gave Styles the advantage. Hardy fights to his feet. Hardy goes for a kick with his good left leg but AJ catches it and laughs at him; Hardy leaps, pivots and donkey kicks him. Hardy hits the Vintage Hardy and covers for a two. Hardy pulls Styles to his feet and hits a face-first/faceplant suplex and covers for two, but Styles kicks out again!
Hardy is up first. Styles slow to his feet. Hardy sets up and initiates the Twist of Fate but Styles slips free and counters with a Pele Kick! Hardy having trouble keeping weight on his right knee. Hardy is in the corner and blocks an attempted charge by Styles. Hardy tries to go up the ropes but his right knee gives out and he falls hard to the mat. AJ gets on the apron and sets up for the Phenomenal Forearm. He pulls his glove tight and goes flying, only for Hardy to catch him with a fist to the gut as he came crashing down! Hardy goes up top but lands hard on his knee again. Looks like he wanted to do a flip over a pursuing Styles. Styles locks on the calf-crusher. It takes Hardy a few moments, but he reaches the rope and the ref forces the break.
AJ Styles pulls Jeff up and sets up for the Style's Clash but as he flips Hardy up, Hardy hits Styles in the face with the knee brace! Hardy hits a kick to the midsection then a Twist of Fate! Styles may be out! Hardy drags himself to the top rope and hits the Swanton Bomb, covering for the three and the win!
Your Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion, Jeff Hardy!
After the Match
We get multiple replays before Kayla Braxton comes in to congratulate Jeff. She asks him what does it mean to him to be crowned the IC champion again. He says that if you had told him a year ago that he'd be the IC champion again, he'd have called you crazy. He gives a speech about life being a challenge, and how he stands there with a painful knee and it's been a struggle but he's a symbol of hope---and he's played off like this is the Oscars or something, his own theme interrupting!
Backstage w/ Kayla Braxton, Christopher Parks & AJ Styles
AJ Styles is yelling at the former Abyss when Kayla Braxton comes in. He yells at her and Parks about how unfair it is, how the knee brace to face was unfair, etc. He keeps telling people to look at his face and says he pays Parks good money then insults his shirt and tie.
Firefly Fun House!
After a quick promo for Talking Smack, which returns tomorrow and will feature Big E, Jeff Hardy and the Golden Role Models, we get on with the Firefly Fun House!
Bray walks on. "Yowie wowie, what a night! I mean, WWE ThunderDome, am I right? You know what? Come closer, I need to tell you all something." He gets a serious face, then jokingly adds. "I love you! Don't be fooled, fireflies, love can actually be a really terribble thing. It's just a way to trick you into a physical, emotional and financial burden. Love can make an angel (sic) lose its wings" He then takes an imaginary call before continuing. "Take Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss, shall we? Let's revisit a modern day tragedy. Firefly Fun Theatre presents...Braun and Alexa!" We then see his pig and rabbit puppets as Braun and Alexa, respectively, and acts out a scene where Braun gives in to Alexa's charms. Braun yells cut, shakes his head and raises his hands. "What the freakin' heck is going on here guys? That's not at all how it went down!" They apologize and say they're method actors and got lost in the moment. He dismisses them then continues. "As I was saying, love can only lead to more pain and suffering. The best thing we can do is be more like him!" He drops his voice and tells us that he is fueled by anger and can't wait to get his hands on Braun. "In fact...." he stops to sniff the air. He smiles at the camera and whispers "What took you so long?"
From off camera, Braun Strowman attacks Bray and beats him down. He then says "you're coming with me" and appears to be grabbing Bray's feet to drag him as we go to commercial.
We're told that there's some kind of backstage brawl goign on between Braun and Bray. Graves questions how Braun could pierce the multiverse or whatever to end up at the Firefly Fun House. We then cut backstage.
Backstage: Braun Strowman & Bray Wyatt
Braun beats the tar out of Bray in the backstage area. Braun takes Bray to a loading dock ramp and chokeslams Bray off the ledge, dropping him roughly six feet to the concrete floor despite refs and officials begging him not to. Several officials check on him as a slambulance backs up and medics check on Wyatt.
Bray is hoisted up onto a gurney and strapped down as refs stand by helplessly. We hear yelling from off camera and hear officials urging them to hurry up. Bray is loaded and we get a replay of Braun chokeslamming Bray off the loading dock despite the refs' pleas.
The ambulance starts to exit but stops at the garage door, which is still closed. Various backstage officials begin to scream and yell at the ambulance, that it's going the wrong way, and to "just go." They're really, really upset and yelling...until the lights in the ambulance cut to red! The officials back up, asking "what is that?" The camera pans to the right slowly, revealing the Shape of the Fiend against the red light. The camera pulls in and the Fiend begins to laugh maniacally as the camera stays on him for about twenty seconds, cutting to a video clip saying "let me in!" that ends our program.
Well folks, there you have it--the debut of the ThunderDome! What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments below. Y'all have a wonderful, funtastic, safe weekend! See you all here in the comments section for TakeOver and SummerSlam!
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