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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JULY 10, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT PERFORMANCE CENTER
AIRED ON FOX NETWORK
Announcer: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
-The announcers hyped the show including the replay of the first Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt match.
-Miz TV: Miz and Morrison were in the ring and co-introduced Jeff Hardy. They told jokes at his expense, including saying he had make-up better than early 1990s Doink the Clown and had a bad memory. Miz did say he’s a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. Jeff Hardy made his ring entrance as Miz and Morrison made fun of his mannerisms. Miz apologized for what Morrison said about him. Miz and Morrison made a big deal of wanting to show a clip. They asked Hardy if they could show their clip. He said yes, and seemed rather vexed by what a big deal they were making of it.
The video package showed various Hardy and Sheamus soundbites and highlights of last week’s incident. Hardy looked irritated when the two minute video ended. Miz told Hardy that he is his daughter’s favorite wrestler, but she doesn’t know about him. He said she just likes the bright colors. “She doesn’t know about the darkness that is inside of you, that you’ve been so honest about,” he said. “As a dad, I don’t want her to put faith in someone that is going to self-destruct again and let her down.” Hardy asked if there was a question in there somewhere. Hardy said he’s been to hell and back with addiction, and he’s been to a dark place they couldn’t even imagine. He said it’ll take more than Sheamus to send him back on that path. Miz asked if that loss to Sheamus isn’t irritating him. Hardy said he’s emotional and losses bother him, and the loss to Sheamus bothers him. He said he wants to beat Sheamus so he can put the past behind him. He said he’s going to be the beacon of light for people who struggle with addiction and show them that change is possible and hope is real. He wants to show them there’s a life beyond their wildest dreams waiting for them if they can stay sober.
Miz said that was incredible and he’s so glad he came on the show. “I feel like we’ve made some progress and we want to help you redeem yourself,” he said. He said he wants him to have a rematch with Sheamus, but not in a wrestling ring. He said he should face Sheamus on his home court in a bar fight. Morrison said, “Think of the symbolism.” Morrison said he could fight Sheamus and alcohol at the same time. Hardy said it’s like a handicapped match – alcohol and the Celtic butt-hole. He accused them of putting Sheamus up to it. He said Sheamus thinks he’ll crumble, but he’s wrong because he’ll never go back to that place. He said he is on his way to redemption and success once more and he’s never letting any of them down again. “You can tell Sheamus I accept,” he said.
Hardy said they can’t invite him onto their show, mock him to his face, and not get punched. He punched Miz and then Morrison. Graves complained that Miz and Morrison weren’t ready to compete. Cole said, “These jerks, they deserve this!” He asked if they’d take up Hardy on the challenge. [c]
(1) JEFF HARDY vs. MIZ (w/John Morrison)
Cole said Miz accepted Hardy’s challenge. He decried their words in the prior segment. He applauded Hardy for standing up for his demons, “but enough is enough already.” Hardy had Miz down and climbed to the top rope a few minutes in. Morrison yanked Miz out of the ring. Hardy leaped onto both of them at ringside. They cut to a break. [c]
(A Raw commercial hyped Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. The Kabuki Warriors, Randy Orton vs. R-Truth, Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens, and The Viking Raiders vs. Angel Garza & Andrade in a tag team elimination match.)
Back to the match, Hardy was in control against Miz. Morrison yanked Hardy off the ring apron by his boot. Miz wrecking ball kicked him into the announce table. Miz reset the count, smiled at the ref, and then went back at Hardy on the ring apron, bashing his head against the edge and then connecting with a running kneelift. Miz catapulted Hardy throat-first into the middle rope. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but Miz countered with a DDT for a two count. Miz threw a barrage of Yes kicks at Hardy’s chest and head, then scored a two count. Graves said he’s “a superficial, shallow person, and that’s why I’m enjoying Miz and Morrison right now.” Hardy gave Miz a jaw-breaker, but also sold the blow to his own head. Both were down and slow to get up. The audience chanted “Hardy!” and pounded on the plexiglass. Hardy eventually made a comeback and climbed to the top rope. Sheamus appeared on the big screen and distracted Hardy. Miz rolled up Hardy, but Hardy rolled through and scored the three count.
WINNER: Hardy in 14:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Shouldn’t there be an investigation into who put Sheamus on the big screen at that pivotal moment in the match? Good Miz-style match – a hard-working honest effort, but with all of its formulaic mediocrity and rounded edges to everything.)
-McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura. She asked if they are predicting an upset win tonight. Nakamura and Cesaro took exception to being deemed underdogs. Cesaro mocked New Day smiling endlessly.
-Sasha Banks and Bayley came out onto the stage. Nikki Cross leaped onto Bayley’s back. Alexa Bliss joined in. They cut to a quick break as Cole talked about their scheduled tag match. [c]
-They showed Dana Brooke humiliating herself by warming up for a karaoke competition later.
(2) SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY vs. NIKKI CROSS & ALEXA BLISS
Sasha and Bayley had control over Nikki. Graves talked about the power, influence, and money Sasha and Bayley would have if Sasha won the Raw Title. He said it’d be as close as two wrestlers could get to a monopoly. Nikki and Bliss eventually took over. Bayley yanked Sasha to ringside to save her from the attack. They went to the announcers and yelled at them. Nikki stood behind them and was holding Bayley’s belt. Graves said it’s blasphemy. Nikki leaped off the announce table onto Bayley. They cut to a break. [c]
The heels took control for a while. Nikki eventually rallied against Bayley and scored a near fall after a neckbreaker. Sasha broke up the cover. Bliss yanked Sasha to the floor. Sasha tossed Bliss into the ringside barricade. She taunted Nikki. Nikki turned to her and kicked at her. Bayley rolled her up and put her foot on the ropes for extra leverage (barely) for the win.
WINNERS: Sasha & Bayley in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Solid TV match.) [c]
-Cole and Graves were shown on camera. They introduced Braun vs. Bray from Money in the Bank this past May.
-They replayed the entire Money in the Bank match between Braun and Bray. It’s amazing how different the atmosphere is without anyone behind plexiglass making noise.
-Mitchell interviewed New Day. She asked if they’re underestimating their opponents. Kofi Kingston said in a mocking high-pitched tone that everyone asks if they’re taking Cesaro & Nakamura seriously enough. Big E said they won’t let them off the hook. He said they will stomp their feet and march all night to remain tag champions. Big E sang, “New… Day Rocks!” Mitchell smiled and applauded.
-Lacey was practicing her signing. Naomi walked up to her and showed off her flexibility. [c]
-Jey Uso introduced the Karaoke Contest. Lana sang “With My Baby Tonight” with very poor pitch. Dana Brooke sang Honky Tonk Man’s theme song really poorly. Tamina was about to sing Triple H’s theme, but Uso cut her off pretty quickly when it wasn’t looking good. Naomi then sang the Dusty Rhodes theme song. She was pretty decent, at least relative to the three who preceded her, although it got worse the longer it went. Dana and Lacey were making cringe faces behind her. Her dancing stole the show, though, as much as anyone would want to steal this segment. Uso then asked the audience who they thought won. Lacey got some cheers. Dana got fewer cheers and some heckling. Tamina got mostly boos. Naomi got the loudest cheers. Uso raised her arm in victory. Lacey shoved Naomi as she celebrated her win. Naomi yanked off her earrings and shoes. Uso stepped between them as they cut to a break.
(Keller’s Analysis: I don’t really have to comment. It was exactly as described.) [c]
(3) NAOMI vs. LACEY EVANS
Graves said every karaoke night he’s been to has ended like this, with a fight. Graves said Cole doesn’t hang out in the places he does. Cole said he thought Lacey did well, but Naomi “killed it.” Dana told Lacey not to be a sore loser. “Suck it up, you lost!” she said. Tamina tried to step between them, but Lacey shoved her. All four brawled in the ring. Lacey broke free and returned to the back, looking bitter about it all.
WINNER: No contest in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Was that a Lacey heel turn?)
-Mitchell said it appears some people take their karaoke seriously. She then interviewed A.J. Styles. He bragged about easily beating Drew Gulak, who is Daniel Bryan’s coach. He said this means he’s going to be IC Champion for a long-long time. Mitchell said she was just informed he’ll be defending his title next week against Matt Riddle. Styles hyperventilated and asked who he has ever beat. She said he beat him. Styles said his question was rhetorical. He angrily asked what Riddle will do when the entire Smackdown roster isn’t there to rub his stinky feet. He stormed off.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s appointment TV.)
-New Day made their ring entrance. [c]
(4) THE NEW DAY (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. CESARO & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA – Smackdown Tag Team Title match
A few minutes in, Big E launched Kofi over the top rope at Cesaro, but Cesaro caught him with a European uppercut. They cut to a break [c]
Cesaro and Nakamura took over after the break. A four-way brawl broke out several minutes later. Cesaro and Nakamura threw Big E to the floor. Kofi began a comeback against Nakamura. Big E returned and brawled with Cesaro at ringside. Cesaro got the better of Big E. Cesaro and Nakamura threw Big E into the ringside steps. Kofi leaped into the fray, but was soon overwhelmed. Cesaro slid a table into the ring. They put Big E on the table. Nakamura lifted Kofi into Cesaro’s arms as he sat on the top turnbuckle. Then Cesaro powerbombed Kofi through the table. Nakamura’s music played as they stood over the fallen New Day members, holding up the tag team titles.
WINNERS: No contest so New Day retained the tag titles