SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
JULY 10, 2020
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE WWE PERFORMANCE CENTER
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
Top 10 Moments from Last Week
News and Items Advertised by WWE
With tonight’s edition of Smackdown we continue to head towards Extreme Rules: The Horror Show, which comes to us on Sunday July 19 from the WWE Performance Center. From the Smackdown end, nothing was added in the past week, but two matches were added for Raw that I’ll talk about in Monday’s primer. With that said, here
- The New Day await title challenge from Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro
- Bayley & Sasha Banks ratchet up rivalry with Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
- Jeff Hardy joins “Miz TV” after crashing Sheamus’ toast
- Relive Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt’s showdown at WWE Money in the Bank
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: New Day (champs) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro
Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro have been on the heels of Smackdown Tag Team Champions New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) for a while. Several weeks ago, they defeated New Day in a non-title match. A week later Cesaro came out to the commentary table and said they were tired of being overlooked. Last week, Nakamura defeated Kofi Kingston one-on-one after Cesaro and Big E got kicked out by the referee. Cesaro returned to celebrate his partner’s win and was going to put Kofi through a table before Big E came out for the save.
It’s certainly not Cesaro’s first dance with New Day regarding tag team championship gold. He and Sheamus (The Bar) ended New Day’s record 483-day reign back in December of 2016 when they defeated them for the Raw Tag Team Championship. They also defeated New Day for the Smackdown titles on the 1000th episode of Smackdown back in October of 2018 with the help of Big Show (in one of his many turns). Tonight, he attempts to gain gold with Shinsuke Nakamura, a former Intercontinental and U.S. Champion as well as the 2018 Royal Rumble winner. Here they are in a WWE exclusive:
Frank’s Analysis: I like the pairing of Cesaro and Nakamura. If they’re not going to do anything worthwhile as singles acts, you may as well put them in a team. I like the promo work Cesaro has been doing. A title change would not surprise me in the least.
Non-Title Match: Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks & Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Where to begin with Bayley and Sasha Banks, as they have been all over WWE television. Nikki Cross made her presence known on Monday, as she distracted Bayley both on commentary and from the “fan” area behind the plexiglass during her eventually loss to Raw Women’s Champion Asuka.
Last week, Bayley and Sasha had a lot to say including making fun of the tribute to the Undertaker a week earlier. Bayley claimed that the WWE legend called her on her cell and said he was embarrassed at all the fuss made of him during the tribute show. They played a tribute video of their own and chanted things to each other. Former women’s tag champions Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross came out and mocked Sasha & Bayley. Nikki said her journey was all about heart and later, Alexa slapped Bayley. Sasha then reversed the roles a bit and volunteered Bayley for a match against her long-time on-and-off rival Alexa, much to the dismay of Bayley. Bayley defeated Alexa via DQ when Nikki interfered in the match.
As a result of Asuka defeating Bayley this past Monday, she, and her Kabuki Warrior partner Kairi Sane earned a title match against Bayley & Sasha. They are former tag champions. Tonight, Bayley and Sasha defend against the women from whom they took the titles in Alexa & Nikki. Here’s Bayley talking about Nikki’s distraction on Raw this past Monday:
Frank’s Analysis: WWE continues to use Bayley and Sasha as much as possible and why not, as their act has really taken shape as of late. I personally wasn’t a fan of their promo last week, but I do see what they were trying to accomplish. As far as tonight goes, we’ll just see what they do as these women have wrestled each other in some way, shape, or form in recent weeks. Since Nikki is challenging Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Extreme Rules, we all know Nikki getting the pin on Bayley is a possibility.
Jeff Hardy on Miz TV
Last week, Sheamus toasted Jeff Hardy from (what I assume) was his home sitting at a bar. Jeff was in the ring where they set up a table with various bottles of liquor, which some might have been top-shelf, and a bartender. (I was looking to see if they had Gentlemen Jack, Crown Royal, Bacardi Limon, Grey Goose Vodka, Bailey’s, Sambvca, Captain Morgan’s Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, or any red wine. What, I can’t look for what are normally staples in my liquor cabinet?) Anyway….
Sheamus was giving Jeff a hard time as he has been lately and said his solution was on the tables in the ring, referring to the booze. He officially toasted him to his passing put on the floor, his family crying, and called him a “beautiful, beautiful junkie.” Jeff obviously didn’t appreciate Sheamus’ words and actions, questioning if he thought this was funny. Sheamus said he was only there to help. The bartender poured him a drink. As Jeff was going to take a sip, he then poured the drink over the bartender’s head. He broke a bottle over his head, and then gave him his signature Swanton Bomb to close out the show. The poor bartender…I hope Sheamus gave him a big tip.
Tonight, Jeff joins the Miz and John Morrison on MizTV, where they will likely poke fun and antagonize Jeff. Last week, Morrison lost to Matt Riddle.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m not a fan of exploiting Jeff’s past transgressions, but I have to say I’ve liked his mic work as of late. I feel the same way about Sheamus overall. After this I hope they move on to better things. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the Miz & Morrison’s 10th grade nonsense tonight. Who’s got money on an impromptu tag team match with say, Matt Riddle teaming with Jeff to wrestle Miz & Morrison?
Relive Universal Championship Match from Money in the Bank between Champion Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt
Tonight, they will replay the Universal Championship match between champion Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt at Money in the Bank. Braun defeated Bray, portraying his Firefly Funhouse character but teased joining him by putting on the mask he wore while in the Wyatt Family. Braun was in the Wyatt Family upon his promotion from NXT post-SummerSlam 2015 until the rosters split in 2016.
Braun and Bray will go at it in a Wyatt Swamp Fight at Extreme Rules: The Horror Show. Bray has reverted to his character that lead the Wyatt Family from 2013-2016 (your mileage may vary on when the stable broke up). He has vowed to destroy Braun, whom he claims he created.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m not going to say much about a match that has already taken place and been reviewed. It’s likely with the COVID-19 case within WWE that their recording time was limited, so they needed something to fill two hours. Reviewing this match is a sensible step as they continue to build the feud between Braun and Bray.
Other Match Results and News Items from Last Week:
Michael Cole interviewed Matt Riddle to start the show. He explained why he wrestles barefoot and said bro a lot. King Corbin interrupted, and was challenged to a match by Riddle. Corbin then announced Morrison as Riddle’s opponent.
A.J. Styles defeated Drew Gulak to retain the Intercontinental Championship.
Smackdown is still a low-end show to me, but last week’s episode was decent enough despite the continued nonsense with Jeff Hardy. I’m still curious how everything will move forward with Otis holding Money in the Bank, Braun as Universal Champion, and believe it or not what happens with Cesaro and Nakamura. Also, let’s pay attention to what happens with Matt Riddle. According to TMZ Sports, he admitted having an affair with Candy Cartwright, but never sexually assaulted her. We’ll see how his push moves along if the story develops further.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!