WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER 9/11: Why Bayley Why, Phenomenal Challenge for Hardy, We’re Really Glad You’ve Become Our Friend



SEPTEMBER 11, 2020

Announcers: Michael Cole and Corey Graves

Remembering 9/11/01

Today marks the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. at the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Let us remember those who lost their lives and those who lost loved ones including family and friends, on that terrible day. Here is Vince McMahon on the Smackdown episode which took place two days after the attacks:

Top Three Developments from Last Week

  • Paul Heyman cut his first promo representing Universal Champion Roman Reigns.
  • Jey Uso defeated Matt Riddle, Sheamus, and King Corbin to earn the right to face his cousin Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at Clash of Champions. Jey replaced Big E, who had been scheduled for the match but was attacked by Sheamus. Paul Heyman talked Adam Pearce into getting Jey into the match. (Not that this will be brought up on TV, but Paul (as Paul E Dangerously) once managed the Samoan Swat Team in WCW. That included Fatu, who eventually became Rikishi, the father of the Usos. Jey asked Roman “what’s the deal with Paul E?”)
  • After failing to recapture the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship, Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley viscously attacked her partner and best friend Sasha Banks.

Items Advertised by WWE

Tonight, we continue towards Clash of Champions which is slowly taking shape. Thus far, the matches are set for the Universal Championship and the WWE Championship. Here’s what’s on tap for tonight:

  • Bayley to address last week’s vicious attack on Sasha Banks.
  • Jeff Hardy and A.J. Styles set for Intercontinental Championship showdown.
  • Bray Wyatt to unveil newest character on Firefly Funhouse.

Bayley to Address Attack on Sasha Banks

Last week, Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks tried to regain their recently lost WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship from Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. Jax and Shayna captured the titles from Bayley and Sasha at Payback.

During the match Sasha attempted a running knee at Shayna, but she moved out of the way causing Sasha to hit the ring post and “injuring” her knee. Later after fighting valiantly to stay in the match, Jax hit a splash on both Bayley and Sasha and scored the pin to retain the titles. Afterwards, Sasha would get medical attention which she refused. Then Bayley would go on a viscous attack that lasted several minutes. It ended when Bayley put a chair through Sasha’s neck, and jumped on the chair off the ropes. Sasha then got medical attention.

Bayley will address the attack tonight. Both women, who are usually vocal on social media, have been quiet all week. Sasha was on The Bump though, which is available on WWE’s YouTube channel. They put out an update on Sasha’s condition as well as Big E who was attacked by Sheamus as I mentioned earlier. Here’s a link to that update:

Frank’s Analysis: Sasha is likely injured for real or could just want a little time off. There had been indications of issues between the two with passive-aggressive comments by Bayley, although I think people just saw an angle play out rather than people being mad at Bayley and feeling sympathy for Sasha. Everyone expected a turn, but I think people just want Sasha to be a babyface because they like her rather than having her actions on TV having people feeling bad for her. Both women have been equally unlikable for a long period of time.

Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy (champ) vs. A.J. Styles

The Intercontinental Championship picture has become interesting to say the least in recent weeks. Jeff Hardy captured the championship from A.J. Styles just before SummerSlam after A.J. held the title since mid-June. A.J. won the title via a tournament after it was vacated when WWE said Sami Zayn was “unable to compete” shortly after WrestleMania.

Sami returned a few weeks ago claiming to still be the champion after Jeff retained the title over Smackdown Tag Team Championship co-holder Shinsuke Nakamura. He continued to do so last week when he came out to cut a promo, only to be interrupted by Jeff and then A.J. A.J. went after Jeff, and then Sami joined in only to have A.J. attack him. Ultimately, Sami landed a Helluva Kick on Jeff and hustled away with “his title.”

Tonight, Jeff defends against A.J. Here’s A.J. and Sami talking a little trash:

Frank’s Analysis: I get the sense we’re heading for a screwy finish to set up a triple threat match at Clash of Champions. Truthfully, while I’m not the guy that advocated for triple threats, this may be a story where it’s justified.

New Character on the Firefly Funhouse

Last week on an edition of the Firefly Funhouse, Bray Wyatt told us he would be introducing a new character for the “Funhouse.”

Recently, Alexa Bliss has been acting in an odd way after being assaulted by Bray when he was feuding with Braun Strowman. A few weeks ago, she revealed a “dreadlock” in her hair in a backstage segment with Tamina and her best friend Nikki Cross. She then smashed the mug she gave Nikki when they first became friends. Last week, she apologized to Nikki, and then hugged her quickly and left.

It’s hard to say and probably even doubtful she’s the new character, but you never know.

Frank’s Analysis: I have no idea what they have planned, nor do I care to speculate. They’ve advertised a new character on the Funhouse before and didn’t deliver. That’s not my issue, it’s more the fact that this has nothing to do with professional wrestling. If Alexa aligns with Bray, that would be interesting.

Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week

  • Miz & John Morrison defeated Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker). After the match, Morrison ran off with Otis’ Money in the Bank briefcase. Later, it was revealed that the contract was in a lunch pail Otis carried around. Morrison opened the briefcase to find a sandwich.

Final Thoughts

I will be on Wrestling Night in America with long-time Pro Wrestling Torch columnist Greg Parks. I always look forward to joining Greg and talking the big events in wrestling. I’m sure the big stories of Smackdown will come up (Roman, Jey Uso, Bayley-Sasha, Intercontinental Championship situation). I’m overall positive on Smackdown. I like the paring with Heyman and Roman, Bayley getting a chance to stand on her own now, and what’s next for the IC title. We’ll see if things move in a good direction!

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!

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