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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
MAY 29, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT PERFORMANCE CENTER
AIRED ON FOX NETWORK
Announcer: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
-They opened with Renee Young outside of the WWE Performance Center. There was an ambulance visible and a car that was knocked onto a curb and Elias was being aided by two paramedics. The police looked in the car and saw a sheet of paper that said Jeff Hardy on it. Renee said that would suggest that the rental car belongs to Hardy.
About ten yards away, Kayla Braxton interviewed eye-witness Braun Strowman. He said he just arrived and saw the accident and a guy jumped out of the car and ran away. He said he called 911. He said he hopes somebody catches the SOB who did this. Suddenly police ran to the back of the P.C. and there was Jeff Hardy. He was gasping for breath and limping. The police asked if he was driving. He said his head hurt. They asked if he had been drinking. Jamie Noble and Jason Jordan were among those helping Jeff. The police said he smelled of alcohol. They cuffed him and said they have to take him to the station and do a blood test. Hardy continued to gasp and cry out and seemed disoriented. Renee said he appeared to be inebriated. They walked him up to his rental car. Then he saw Elias being loaded into an ambulance. He cried out, “Elias!?” Then he was loaded into the police car.
They went back to Renee who said Hardy was taken away by police for questioning while Elias was being taken to a medical facility for evaluation. Several referees watched the ambulance drive away with the sirens blaring.
(Keller’s Analysis: Well, let’s see how WWE handles telling this story of Jeff Hardy relapsing. Or so it seems, at least. Maybe he was framed and doused with alcohol by Sheamus, who the real drive!) [c]
-Adam Pearce addressed the wrestlers backstage. Sheamus said Hardy relapsed and he’s a pathetic junkie. Styles said it’s not rocket science, he should just advance to face Daniel Bryan. Bryan suggested they each face a different opponent to earn their way to the finals. Styles criticized Bryan for not accepting the free ride to the finals. He said he’s known him a long time, but that’s the dumbest thing he’s ever said. King Corbin said he should get a chance. Styles said he’s taking his bye and won’t accept a new semi-final opponent. Sheamus said he liked Bryan’s idea. Sheamus said he’ll face Corbin and Bryan in a Triple Threat match, winner faces Styles in the finals. The other wrestlers protested. Jey Uso said Jimmy is hurt, but he wants in. Dolph Ziggler said this isn’t the tag team division. He said he’s a six-time IC Champion and they’ve forgotten how damn good he is. Gable said nobody forgot, but they also see him as an enormous jackass. Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Lucha House Party were the others there. Pearce gave Styles his free ride to the finals, and said Bryan would face the winner of a battle royal later in the show. Then the finals will air in two weeks on Smackdown. Pearce said the battle royal is next. Everyone left other than Bryan and Styles. Styles said, “You really are an idiot.”
(Keller’s Analysis: The biggest news is that Chad Gable and Drew Gulak were both there. I supposed Bryan looks like a stand-up guy wanting to earn his way to the finals, although Styles looked pretty savvy negotiating a free ride to the finals for himself.)
(1) BATTLE ROYAL – Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, King Corbin, Jimmy Uso, Cesaro, Lince Dorado, Shinsuke Nakamura, Chad Gable, Drew Gulak
Graves defended Styles’s decision to take his bye. Cole was critical. A lot of action early with three or four clusters fighting. Graves said he also respects Bryan’s decision to fight for the honor of making the finals, especially since the IC Title is known as the workhorse title. He said he thinks Styles was the smarter of the two, though. Corbin tossed Gulak out first around 3:00. Corbin threw Dorado out of the ring when Ziggler kicked him out of mid-air, then Corbin tossed him out. Ziggler tried to eliminate Corbin from behind. Ziggler said he was messing around and offered a handshake. Corbin yanked him by his arm and tossed him out to eliminate him. Uso superkicked Corbin out of the match. Uso sat in the corner and laughed as Corbin absorbed being eliminated. [c]
It came down Uso, Shinsuke, Cesaro, Sheamus, and Gable after the break. Graves noted that Sheamus and Cesaro are The Bar were a big-time tag team for a long time. Usos superkicked Cesaro, then Nakamura. Gable landed a rolling Liger kick to Cesaro next. Uso hip-attacked Cesaro next. Shorty G tried to toss Nakamura out, but Cesaro hit Gable from behind. Gable, though, leveraged Cesaro over the top rope to eliminate him. Nakamura attacked Gable after that. Gable overhead-suplexed Nakamura over the top to the floor. It came down to Shorty G and Sheamus. Cesaro ran in and tossed Shorty G over the top rope illegally while the referees were all preoccupied with Nakamura trying to get back into the ring. Sheamus and Jey were the last two left. They battled onto the ring apron and exchanged strikes. Jey went for a kick, but Sheamus caught his foot and shoved him into the ringpost. Then he landed a Brogue Kick to knock Gable to the floor.
WINNER: Sheamus in 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Well, this certainly worked out well for Sheamus. How convenient, huh?)
-Cole said Styles has advanced to the finals with a bye while Bryan will face Sheamus later on Smackdown for the right to face Styles.
-They hyped New Day would be the guests of Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross on “A Moment of Bliss.”
-Sonya Deville warmed up backstage. She said last week she beat one bleached-blonde Barbie Doll and now Lacey is next. “Put your hair up and square up!” she said. Lacey walked up behind her covertly, heard what she said, then shoved her and said, “Come on, ya’ nasty, see ya’ in the ring.” [c]
-Gable told Cesaro and Nakamura he can handle losing, but he doesn’t like having an opportunity stolen. Cesaro said this is the big leagues and he can’t really think he’d be an IC Champion. He said stepping into the ring with him would be a big mistake, so “run along little buddy.” Gable knocked him down with a forearm to the face. He said he accepted his challenge.
(2) LACEY EVANS vs. SONYA DEVILLE
Cole said the feud started on Twitter. Deville said she already beat Lacey, but she’ll get another opportunity because she’s blonde and pretty. Lacey said she’ll happily be the blonde that shuts her up. Sonya said if she asks for the match, she’ll get it. As Sonya walked out, Cole said she has been “the talk of sports entertainment” for the past couple of weeks for both good and bad reasons. They showed Deville beating Mandy Rose last week after a kick from behind. Cole said a match like this can help decide who faces Bayley for her title. Lacey tackled Sonya for an early take-down. They circled each other. Lacey taunted Sonya by putting up her hair, as Sonya requested. Sonya wiped her brow with a hanky and then threw it at Sonya. Lacey trapped Sonya between the ring and ring apron and beat on her. Sonya popped out from under it and speared Lacey. The ref counted both of them out as they continued to right at ringside.
WINNER: Double Countout in 6:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good short match. They’re both really improved this year.)
-The fight continued with Sonya throwing Deville into the announce table. Lacey returned to the ring and trash-talked Sonya. “Get your ass in here!” she yelled. Sonya picked up a headset and said, “I’m fighting on my terms, blondie.” Graves said this issue is far from over between them.
-A Forgotten Sons vignette aired. Jackson Ryker, Steve Cutler, and Wesley Blake introduced each other. Blake said he used to be like all of them, but his brothers taught him not to turn the other cheek. He said their blood was on the hands of them, so it’s only fair now that their blood “is on ours.”
-As Nikki and Alexa were chatting, New Day snuck up behind them and scared them. They headed to the entrance stage, acting wacky together.
-A Raw commercial advertised Asuka vs. Charlotte, plus Rey Mysterio’s Retirement Ceremony. [c]
-A Moment of Bliss: Cole said Cross and Bliss have had issues with the IIconics over on Raw, and they have to defend on all brands as Women’s Tag Team Champions. Nikki said she was so excited. Bliss told her to calm down. New Day danced out as Graves took issue with everything about them. Cole said Graves is like the Grinch. Nikki said she has a present for them. She presented Kofi with a box of Scottish pancakes. Kofi said they didn’t come empty-handed. Big E pulled coffee beans out of his trunks and dropped them into a coffee mug. They poured water over them. Big E then pulled a wooden spoon out of the back of his trunks, stirred it, and then licked the handle. They gave Bliss the mug and told her to take a sip. Bliss said she’d save it for later. Bliss asked if there are any tag teams that stand out to them as contenders. Nikki nervously fidgeted with the coffee mug, not sure where to put it. Kofi brought up The Forgotten Sons. Big E then asked them who stands out to them as contenders for their tag team titles.
Bayley and Sasha Banks interrupted. Graves said he never thought he’d be so relieved to hear that music. Bayley told the P.C. trainees to shut up as she walked out. They entered the ring and Sasha threw her jacket at Bliss. Nikki held Bliss back. Nikki congratulated Bayley on her win last week against Charlotte. Bayley said it was impressive because she is the most dominant Smackdown Women’s Champion in history. She said Nikki should tell her partner, Bliss, how good she is. Bliss said she just ignores Bayley when she started talking. She asked Sasha where her title is. Bayley told her not to talk to her best friend that way. She said she is the leader of the Women’s Division. Sasha said they put those tag team titles on the map. She said they could win them right back. Nikki told her to name a time and place. Bayley said sure, some day, but first Sasha is going to beat Alexa one-on-one, right here, right now. Sasha was not happy. She pointed at her high-heel boots and said, “Are you kidding me?” Bliss then threw her jacket at Sasha, then dropkicked her. Cole said Bayley just threw her friend to the wolves again. [c]
(3) SASHA BANKS (w/Bayley) vs. ALEXA BLISS (w/Nikki Cross)
Bayley and Nikki joined the announcers on commentary. Graves asked if there is a name for what’s wrong with Nikki. Nikki was very excited and enthusiastically reacting to everything in the match. When Cole said Bayley cheated last week, but maybe Sasha will win fair and square, Graves said he can back his chair up and let Bayley hit him. Nikki said not to dare threaten Cole. That was funny. Sasha landed a meteora mid-ring for a two count at 3:00. Nikki loudly chanted “Lexi! Lexi!” Nikki stood on the announce desk. Bayley asked if anyone had a spray bottle for Nikki. Bliss climbed to the top rope. Bayley ran to interfere. Nikki cut her off. Bayley shoved Nikki into Bliss. Sasha then gave her a running knee strike from behind. Sasha then rolled up Nikki for the three count.
WINNER: Sasha in 7:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: All four at ringside seemed to be genuinely having a blast, and it’s striking how much it stands out on a WWE TV show when the performers seem to be letting loose and having fun without just reciting scripts or planned moves.) [c]
-They aired a recap of the angle outside the P.C. at the start of the show. Graves said Elias is in stable condition. They hyped the Bryan vs. Sheamus match. [c]
(4) CESARO (w/Shinsuke Nakamura) vs. “SHORTY G” CHAD GABLE
Lots of good action, as you’d expect here. They seemed motivated to fit a lot into this short match. In the end, Shorty G kicked out of Cesaro’s pin attempts and then rolled up Cesaro for the win. Cole sold it as a major victory and big upset.
WINNER: Short G in 5:00. [c]
-They aired a segment on Otis and Mandy Rose hanging out at the pool earlier in the day. Mandy said she was having so much fun. Otis popped a bottle of peach Champaign for his “peach.” Mandy said she’s happy having alone time with Otis. Otis wanted to get into the pool, but Mandy wanted to rest and relax. They went to a Mandy dream sequence next where Otis dipped his toe in the water and she admired him in his skimpy swimsuit. She got hot and bothered by his sexiness and bit her lower lip. Otis got out of the pool. She blew him a kiss. He tore off his t-shirt. She bit into an apple. They made out. She squirted sun tan lotion out of the bottle. (#symbolism) Otis woke her up with a cannonball. He apologized for getting her wet. She said it’s okay because it was an amazing dream. Otis welcomed her into the pool and they began to make out for real. He had lipstick all over his lips. She said, “Oh yeah!”
-Kurt Angle addressed the camera and said he used to run Smackdown. He talked about various top stars from the past and said he’s excited to see what Edge and Randy Orton have in store for them at Backlash. Angle introduced the newest Superstar for Smackdown, Matt Riddle. He said he got to know him on Wednesday. A video package aired on Riddle, who introduced himself. He said it’s ironic that his last name is Riddle, because he’s a tough dude to figure out. He said he’s pretty chill, but he can go from Bro-down to Throw-down in a flip of a switch. Highlights aired of his NXT matches. He said he’s done it all without wearing shoes.
-Kayla backstage said they’re all looking forward to Riddle’s arrival to Smackdown. Sheamus walked up and said she talked about Hardy for weeks, and he’s gone and now she’s hyping Riddle. He said he doesn’t need hype because he produces results. He said the IC Title is the one title he’s never won in WWE, so he won’t let Bryan stand in his way. He said he is on his way to becoming the ultimate grand slam champion. Bryan walked up to him. Kayla left. Sheamus asked if he has something to say. Bryan kicked Sheamus’s shin. “You dirty bastard!” he yelled in pain. “You’ll pay for that!” [c]
-A clip aired of last week’s angle setting up Braun Strowman vs. Miz & Morrison. Cole hyped their two-on-one title match at Backlash. Graves said next week Miz and Morrison will issue a warning to Braun. Cole announced Nikki & Bliss vs. Bayley & Sasha for the Women’s Tag Team Titles next week on Smackdown.
(5) SHEAMUS vs. DANIEL BRYAN – Intercontinental Title Tournament semi-final
They battled back and forth for about five minutes before cutting to a break. [c]
Sheamus took control after the break. Sheamus yelled at Cole, then yelled at him that he created the Yes Movement by beating him in 18 seconds at WrestleMania. Graves said that kind of talk might inspire Bryan. Sheamus landed a Irish Curse backbreaker. Bryan fought back a minute later with forearms and then snapping Sheamus’s neck over the top rope. Sheamus knocked Bryan off balance on the top rope. Sheamus went for a superplex, but Bryan blocked it and then landed a top rope dropkick. Bryan kicked away at Sheamus’s chest. Sheamus came back with White Noise for a near fall. Bryan sent Sheamus into the middle turnbuckle with a drop toe hold. Then he landed a running dropkick. Sheamus knocked Bryan over with an axe handle blow to the head as Bryan charged at him again. Sheamus set up the Brogue. Jeff Hardy walked out to ringside. Sheamus was distracted. Bryan caught him with a running high knee for the 1-2-3.
WINNER: Bryan in 13:00 to move to the IC Title Tournament finals.
-Hardy attacked Sheamus. Sheamus fled. Graves wondered why Hardy did that. “What is going on?” asked Cole. They showed the tournament brackets again. Graves said he’s sure there’s a reason and they have to find out. Hardy applauded as the show ended.