SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JUNE 26, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT PERFORMANCE CENTER
AIRED ON FOX NETWORK
Announcer: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
-They opened with a montage of highlights of Undertaker’s career including very early footage from WWE. Then wrestlers assembled on the stage and chanted “Thank you, Taker!”
-Michael Cole and Corey Graves hyped that the Undertaker vs. A.J. Styles “Boneyard” match would air next. [c]
-The Boneyard match aired. wrestler soundbites aired between commercial breaks including John Cena, Edge, Kane, and Ric Flair.
-Back to the Performance Center 47 minutes into the show, Cole and Graves referred to it as the retirement match for Undertaker.
-King Corbin stood mid-ring and said Undertaker’s final match just happened to be 30 years after his first match. He said they called it a Boneyard match because Undertaker is “an old bag of bones” and “a shell of what he used to be.” Undertaker basically said that in part five of the Undertaker docu-series on WWE Network. He said Undertaker was the founding member of the Kiss My Ass Club, kissing up to a certain family. He said he was coddled and protected by the owners for three decades. “Undertaker, you’ve been stealing money from this company for the last 20 years,” he said. He said he’s a selfish son of a bitch because he’s been holding back superior athletes like him for a long time. He complained about the wrestlers of today chanting “Thank you, Taker!” They started the chant again from behind the plexiglass. Jeff Hardy attacked him. [c]
-More soundbites aired with wrestlers talking about Undertaker including Steve Austin and Kurt Angle. Austin called him a war horse. Angle touted his intelligence and said he’s the epitome of Superman in this business.
-At ringside, Sarah Schreiber asked Hardy about perhaps taking Corbin’s comments about Undertaker personally. Hardy said the Mount Rushmore of WWE should be Undertaker’s face four times. (Hulk Hogan has to hate hearing that.) Hardy said Corbin can consider that a challenge. He said he’ll unleash all his painful knowledge it took him a lifetime to acquire.
-They went to the announcers on camera. Graves announced Corbin vs. Hardy was official. Then Bayley and Sasha jaunted to ringside and taunted Cole, then sat next to each other near the announce desk.
(1) NIKKI CROSS vs. ALEXA BLISS vs. LACEY EVANS vs. DANA BROOKE – Winner Gets Smackdown Women’s Title match
Bliss and Nikki attacked Lacey and Brooke at first. When Nikki tried to roll up Bliss, Sasha and Bayley said they’d never betray each other like that. Cole and Graves expressed incredulity.
Lacey and Brooke beat up Nikki and Bliss, then battled. Brooke took Lacey down with an elbow after a gymnastic move, then sloppily bodyslammed her. She leaped off the top rope and overshot Lacey with a flip senton splash. Nikki broke up the cover. Bliss then attacked Brooke. Bliss went for Twisted Bliss, but Brooke moved and lifted her knees. Lacey went on the offense and KO’d Brooke with a Woman’s Right, but Nikki rolled her up from behind suddenly for the three count.
WINNER: Cross in 5:00 to earn a Smackdown Women’s Title match at Extreme Rules.
(Keller’s Analysis: Some audience members were wearing masks including NXT wrestler Eric Bugenhagen in the front row. That was especially clunky when Lacey and Brooke were in there.)
-Graves hyped a new segment with The Monster Unleashed with Braun Strowman later.
-They showed Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura, New Day, Lucha House Party, and Miz & Morrison arguing backstage. Cole said they all wrestle four-on-four next. [c]
-Triple H and Shawn Michaels talked about Undertaker some more.
(2) THE NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Big E) & LUCHA HOUSE PARTY (Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik) vs. MIZ & JOHN MORRISON & CESARO & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Big E splashed Miz on the ring apron early, then launched Dorado onto Miz for a two count. They cut to a break a few minutes in with the heel teams gloating about beating down Kingston. [c]
Chaos broke out at ringside leading to Cesaro & Nakamura and New Day brawling to the back. Dorado hit a springboard stunner on Miz, then Metalik landed a top rope elbow onto Miz for the win.
WINNERS: New Day & LHP.
-They cut to Schreiber interviewing Corbin backstage. She said Hardy said he saw Undertaker as a mentor. Corbin asked where that got him – in and out of jail, in and out of rehab. He said he’ll teach Hardy a lesson in reality. He said he should follow in Undertaker’s footsteps and retire.
-They showed Braun backstage as Graves plugged that he’d speak about Bray Wyatt next. [c]
-A recap aired of Bray’s segment last week.
-A disheveled Braun made his ring entrance. He said he wanted to talk about when he first met Bray Wyatt. He said for the first time in his life, he felt fear. He said it’s the type of fear that makes a grown man tremble. He said one night they were sitting on the edge of that disgusting swamp with Bray’s lantern glistening. He said a snake slithered out of the swamp and Braun was going to stomp on it, but Bray stopped him and said it was his friend. The snake lashed out and bit Bray right in the face “and all he did was laugh.” He said the snake repeatedly bit him over and over. “I knew I was in the presence of evil,” he said. He said all Bray did was laugh. “I knew Bray Wyatt was the devil himself. I realized Bray was the serpent.”
He said then he started doing the devil’s work. “The bad part of it all was I loved every second of it,” he said. He said part of him still does. He said he has tried everything in his power to block that side of himself away. “But it calls for me,” he said. He said he can’t go on living like this. “What do you say we go back to the swamp, that eerie miserable hell you call home,” he said. He said there’s only two ways this can turn out. He said he’s either going to come out of this the most evil son of a bitch this earth has ever seen or he’s coming out with the satisfaction he spit in the devil’s face and ripped him limb from limb. He said he’ll drag Bray into the swamp and let the alligators finish him. “Do you want to go to the place of your creation? Let’s go because I’m ready to turn it into the place of your destruction, one more time,” he said. Clips aired of Bray in the swamp. Then Bray’s old laughter played over the sound system. Bray then laughed maniacally.
-A commercial for Raw hyped a double contract signing with Drew McIntyre-Dolph Ziggler and Asuka-Sasha Banks, plus an update on Seth Rollins.
-Mick Foley and Batista talked up Undertaker. Foley said what Undertaker did for his career can’t be overstated. He said he can’t imagine his career without him.
(Keller’s Analysis: Batista always talks like he’s a disappointed parent talking quietly to a 14 year old who made a big mistake.)
(3) JEFF HARDY vs. KING CORBIN
Graves hyped that next week, Sheamus would deliver a special toast to Jeff Hardy. Corbin battered and dominated Hardy in the opening minutes. Hardy fought back at ringside and reverse-whipped Corbin into the announce desk. Corbin avoided a Whisper in the Wind and threw Hardy into the ringpost. He stood and gloated center-ring. He then kneeled and mocked Undertaker’s pose as they cut to a commercial. [c]
Hardy won with a Swanton.
WINNER: Hardy in 12:00.
-Corbin attacked Hardy after the match. A bunch of wrestlers came out to ringside. Big E attacked Corbin with a Big Ending. He called Braun into the ring. Braun gave him a powerslam. Matt Riddle was called into the ring next. He landed a Floating Bro as the wrestlers at ringside cheered him on. “What an incredible night here on Smackdown!” Cole proclaimed. Hardy stood as the wrestlers at ringside cheered him. Hardy kneeled and signaled toward an Undertaker photo on the big screen.