4/24 WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: Keller’s report on Triple H 25th Anniversary Celebration, more Money in the Bank qualifiers, Bliss & Cross vs. Carmella & Brooke

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


APRIL 24, 2020

Announcer: Michael Cole, Corey Graves


-They opened with archive footage of Triple H with Stephanie McMahon introducing him. The narrator said, “It’s the 25th Anniversary of Triple H tonight on Fox.”

-The standard Smackdown opening theme aired. Then Cole introduced the show alongside Graves as they showed the augmented reality scoreboard announcing they were at the WWE Performance Center. They showed a graphic hyping the Triple H anniversary celebration. Graves gushed about him. They showed a collage with five versions of him over the years. Graves said he was at the PC tonight. Cole hyped Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans in a qualifying match for MITB. Graves hyped Carmella & Dana Brooke challenging Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross for the Women’s Tag Team Titles.

-The New Day ring entrance took place. Big E came up to Cole and Graves and climbed onto the announce desk and began yelling in their faces, spraying god knows how many droplets at them. They showed clips of Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston celebrating remotely last week when Big E won the tag titles for them. In the ring, Kofi and Big E talked about being champions for the eighth time. Kofi gave Big E the credit for beating the odds. “Put your hands together for Big E,” Kofi said. Big E, “There isn’t anyone here. Not a soul.” Big E said “our girls are wrapped around our waist” again. When he said, “Speaking of last night,” Kofi interrupted him and said, “Not here.” Kofi said he’s not trying to be braggadocios, but he is proud. He said they have more title reigns than great teams like The Hart Foundation, The British Bulldogs, The New Age Outlaws, Edge & Christian, and Demolition. Big E said it’s more titles than future Hall of Famers Tom Brady, a new Tampa Bay Buccaneer.

The Lucha House Party walked out and said they’re tired of watching team after team get opportunities instead of them. They congratulated them and challenged them. Miz & Morrison interrupted and walked right past them. Miz asked, “Really? Really?” He questioned whether New Day are worthy champions after winning a singles match only. Morrison said they make the tag titles look like jokes. Gran Metalik spoke in Spanish and Miz asked Morrison what he said since he wrestled in Mexico. As Lince Dorado began to translate, The Forgotten Sons interrupted.

Miz laughed at the Forgotten Sons and asked how they are. Steve Cutler introduced himself and his partners. He said they actually served their country, and they have been ignored and treated like trash ever since. He said they will be forgotten no more. Miz complained about them interrupting them. He said he has been in WWE for 15 years. Jackson Ryker said he’s a poser because he played a Marine in a movie. Wesley Blake said they are gifted athletes and some might call them savages. He said they can strike anywhere, anytime, and they wouldn’t see it coming. Blake threw an elbow at Big E. A brawl broke out. Miz and Morrison took a few shots and then bailed out and retreated to the stage to watch. The Sons beat up New Day and powerbombed Kofi onto Big E, then stood over them.

-Cole hyped Drew Gulak vs. King Corbin in a MITB qualifier next. [c]

-They showed a clip of early Hunter Hearst Helmsley debuting in WWE from 1995 with Vince McMahon calling him a Connecticut Blue Blood as he old entrance music played.

-Renee Young interviewed Miz & Morrison backstage and asked what they plan to do about the Forgotten Sons. They said their issue is with Lucha House Party for instigating everything. Miz said they want to wrestle them tonight.

-They replayed Corbin attacking Elias. Cole said Elias has had his musical abilities hampered because his larynx was injured and his middle and pinky fingers are broken. “He cannot sing or play the guitar,” he said.

(1) DREW GULAK (w/Daniel Bryan) vs. KING CORBIN – MITB Qualifier

Corbin threw Gulak over the top rope at the start. Corbin trash-talked Gulak. Gulak slidekicked Corbin into the announce desk, then dropkicked him over the desk. They cut to an early break at 2:00. [c]

Back from the break, Corbin was in control. Drew came back at ringside with a dragon screw leg whip into the ringside steps. Back in the ring he landed a top rope flying clothesline for a two count. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro snuck up behind Bryan and attacked him. Gulak made the save. Corbin charged and shoved Gulak into the ringpost. Back in the ring he hit End of Days for the win.

WINNER: Corbin in 7:00 to qualify for the MITB match.

-Cesaro and Nakamura held Gulak then Corbin struck him with his scepter. His music played to end the segment.

-The announcers talked about those who have qualified so far: Corbin, Bryan, Aleister Black, Rey Mysterio, and Apollo Crews. Then they hyped the feature on the history between Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt.

-Cole and Graves talked about how Rob Gronzkowski has come out of retirement to join Tom Brady in Tampa Bay next year. They showed a People magazine headline that noted he is back in the NFL, but he still is a WWE Champion. Cole and Graves wondered if Gronk caught a touchdown in a game, but then was pinned for the 24/7 Title. [c]

-They showed clips of the 2014 Money in the Bank match with Seth Rollins taking crazy bumps and Cole yelling, “Are you kidding me!”


Cole said Vito is a WWE Performance Center talent (rather than being “from NXT.”) Graves said he’s a former professional rugby player in Australia. He went right after Sheamus with forearms, but Sheamus fought back and beat him down in the corner including a spinning back elbow and then pounding his chest with his forearm. Cole said Sheamus feels disrespected. Sheamus then finished Vito with a Brogue Kick.

WINNER: Sheamus in 1:00.

-Cole and Graves threw to a video feature on Jeff Hardy. He said last week was about the fall, and this week is about the redemption. They showed a smiling Hardy saying fatherhood taught him the straight and narrow. He said he didn’t want his daughters to ever see him like that again. They showed clips of him playing with his two daughters. They went to the grave marking of his mother. He said she helped him through it. They went to a clip from 2017’s WrestleMania 33 with the Hardys hiding backstage. Jeff got emotional and teared up right before New Day surprised everyone by announcing the match became a Fatal Four-way. They showed the crowd going bonkers. They had clips of Big Show and Christian talking about their comeback.

-Graves said they’d show part four next week of the video series titled “The Comeback.”

-Miz and Morrison made their ring entrance. [c]

-They showed a clip of DX invading the site of WCW Nitro on a tank in April 1998.

-They went to Cole and Graves talking about Hardy. Sheamus was standing behind Cole. He was upset. He yanked off Cole’s headset and stood over him. Cole cowered.

(Keller’s Analysis: Cole should take issue with the people formatting the shows, because they know how irritated Sheamus gets with Jeff Hardy features right after his matches!)

(3) MIZ & MORRISON vs. LUCHA HOUSE PARTY (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado)

Graves called Morrison “a living, breathing highlight reel.” Dorado surprised Miz with a roll-up for a surprise pin. Miz sat up bug-eyed with shock. Cole exclaimed it was a huge win.

WINNERS: Lucha House Party in 6:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: I like that finish. LHP are underutilized and they needed some kind of a win to seem even slightly relevant. Plus, Miz is a good foil for being upset by underdogs.) [c]

-Sasha carried a picture of Lacey’s daughter cut out and glued to a stick. Graves said Banks is looking to get her teeth knocked out.


(4) SASHA BANKS (w/Bayley) vs. LACEY EVANS – MITB Qualifier

Bayley taunted Lacey with the picture of her daughter. Sasha attacked Lacey from behind at the start. They went to the floor where Lacey reversed Sasha into the ringside barricade. Banks threw Lacey into the ringpost. Sasha scored a near fall mid-ring. Sasha focused on Lacey’s hand, then applied a mid-ring Bank Statement. Evans rolled out of it, but Sasha stayed in control. Lacey surprised Sasha with a Woman’s Right out of nowhere. Bayley put Sasha’s leg on the bottom rope to break the count. Bayley credited Sasha’s “ring awareness.” Lacey hit Bayley. Sasha rolled up Lacey, but the ref was preoccupied with Bayley. Lacey then caught Sasha with another Woman’s Right for the win while holding the stick holding the picture of her daughter (wrestling’s newest foreign object!).

WINNER: Lacey Evans in 7:00 to advance to MITB.

-As Sasha and Bayley soaked up the loss on the stage, Tamina showed up and superkicked Bayley. Sasha looked on as Tamina backed away. Lacey went back to celebrating to her music in the ring. [c]

-They showed the exterior of the Performance Center. Graves then hyped Triple H was coming out live later.

-A video package on the Braun Strowman-Bray Wyatt history played. They showed clips from 2015 of Braun’s debut. Bray called him the greatest gift Sister Abigail has given him. Then they went into a replay of what happened last week with the gift box that Braun noticed in the corner which had the sheep mask in it, which stunned Braun. (Remember how well it worked out for Seth Rollins when he was intimidated and spooked into paralysis by Fiend’s games?)

-Cole plugged that Braun defends the Universal Championship against Bray in two weeks at MITB.

-They aired a sponsored video package on the Mandy Rose, Otis, Sonya Deville, Dolph Ziggler saga. Then they hyped next week Otis faces Ziggler and Mandy faces Carmella in qualifiers for the MITB matches.

-Backstage Dana asked Carmella if she’s ready for their match tonight. She razzed Carmella about not being 100 percent focused on their match tonight because she has a MITB match next week. They shared a laugh and predicted victory.

-A Raw commercial hyped a contract signing for Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins next Monday. [c]

-A clip aired of Triple H in May 2001 suffering a torn quadricep muscle, then returning in January 2002 at MSG, eight months later.

(5) NIKKI CROSS & ALEXA BLISS vs. DANA BROOKE & CARMELLA – WWE Women’s Tag Team Title match

Dana dropkicked Nikki at the start. Carmella then leaped onto Bliss off the ring apron at ringside. Everyone fought at ringside. As Brooke celebrated, they cut to a break. [c]

Nikki and Cross gave Carmella a modified 3D to win a couple minutes after returning from the break.

WINNERS: Bliss & Cross in 7:00 to retain the Women’s Tag Team Titles.

-They hyped Triple H was up next. [c]

-Cole announced Bryan faces Corbin next week on Smackdown.

-Triple H made his ring entrance. Triple H said he can’t believe it’s been 25 years. Then he was interrupted by Shawn Michaels who said he couldn’t celebrate without him. When Triple H put his arm around him, Michaels pushed him away and said, “Social distancing, buddy. Social distancing. I love ya’, but don’t touch.” Triple H asked if those are the new “two words for you”? Michaels said he sent out hundreds of invitations to his friends and loved ones who care the most about him, “and, well, we’re all here for you.” They went to a wide shot of the empty PC. Michaels asked him to appreciate that Cole and Graves showed up. He said he’s still a draw and still packing them in.

Michaels said they’ve been friends for the entire 25 years, but before they celebrate, he never got the chance to thank him for his 25 year anniversary show that they celebrated on Smackdown. He said it was a great time. He asked if he remembers that special episode. Triple H looked uncomfortable. Michaels asked what his favorite moment was of that show. Triple H said it was hard to boil it down. Michaels asked him to boil it down. Triple H said he can’t. Michaels said there wasn’t a celebration for him. Triple H feigned surprise and said when he gets to the office, heads are going to roll.

Michaels said all kidding aside, he wants to share with the world his thoughts on him. He said as DX, “we were money.” He said it was a good time and they had fun. “Flawless execution, one-take wonders,” he said. “Everything we touched turned to gold.” They went to a video package on DX’s greatest moments. They showed outtake bloopers. Then Michaels threw to Triple H losing a bunch of matches including Ultimate Warrior, Undertaker, and Daniel Bryan. They added up the WrestleMania losses with a counter on the screen that reached 11 and then they showed Ronda Rousey punching away at him. Michaels looked at Triple H and said, “You weren’t that good.” Triple H asked about Michaels’s record. He changed the subject. “This isn’t about me,” he said. “Focus.”

Triple H said he does want to be serious and thank so many of his opponents. He listed a bunch of big names he faced. He said without them, his career would be nothing. Michaels talked about the hiccup in his career “when you met her, that girl.” He called her Stephanie No Fun. He mocked her nagging him. Triple H’s phone rang. He answered it and Stephanie was shown on the screen complaining about Shawn bringing her up. She said she can see Michaels mocking her in the background. “You tell that no-good, lazy-eyed…” at which point Triple H hung up. Triple H said Stephanie said he looks great. Michaels said he has a lot of whacky people in his life. Triple H agreed. Michaels shifted to talking about Ric Flair, and then his phone rang and there was Ric Flair on the screen congratulating Triple H. Flair warned Triple H not to let Shawn superkick him at the end of the segment. As soon as he hung up, the phone rang again. They cut to a break. [c]

It was Brian James on the screen this time. He asked if Flair was crying on live TV a minute ago. James said if he knew he was going to be live on TV, he’d have colored his beard. Michaels said it was time to go, they had to wrap it up. Triple H said he got time cleared on Fox. Michaels said that’s good because he didn’t get to Katie Vick yet.

Vince McMahon then stepped out onto the stage to his music. Michaels stepped out of the ring and said he’d let Vince and Hunter celebrate 25 years. Vince said under normal circumstances, he’d give Hunter a big hug in the ring. Vince said he knows there are people who appreciate what’s happening in the ring tonight. He said the front row of his family would be cheering for him, but the rest would be chanting “Boring! Boring!” Vince talked about the big Gobbledy Gooker reveal with the egg and he expected a big reaction when it hatched, but nobody reacted – no cheers or boos. He then brought up the Katie Vick segment. He explained it, and he referred to Triple H as his son-in-law. “There, I said it.” He said it was in poor taste. He said this is like “Bayley, this is your life.” He said it wasn’t Bayley’s fault.

Vince said he loves Triple H. He said he loves both of them. He said their performance was horrible tonight. “God awful,” he said. “It sucked. It was absolutely rotten. I’m ashamed of your guys.” He then said good night and turned and left, doing the McMahon strut. Triple H asked if he was throwing them out. The lights began to dim as Hunter looked around. They played the sound of crickets. That ended the show.

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