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WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
SEPTEMBER 18, 2020
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE THUNDERDOME IN THE AMWAY CENTER
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM SPECIALIST
Announcers: Michael Cole and Corey Graves
Top Three Developments from Last Week
- Bayley explained why she betrayed her best friend Sasha Banks following their ill-fated attempt to regain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
- Alexa Bliss gave her best friend Nikki Cross a Sister Abigail and then walked out on in the middle of a Fatal Four-Way to determine the next challenger to Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
- Jey Uso and his cousin Roman Reigns, the current Universal Champion, defeated Sheamus & King Corbin. Roman did not appear until late in the match and scored the pin following his tagging himself in the match and hitting Sheamus with a spear. Roman and Jey stared at each other intensely while raising each other’s hand to celebrate the victory.
Items Advertised by WWE
The top three developments lead to the advertised items for tonight, as we are a little over a week away from Clash of Champions. Here’s what’s on tap thus far:
- Roman Reigns & Jey Uso to face Sheamus & King Corbin in Samoan Street Fight
- Sasha Banks to respond to Bayley for first time since devastating attack
- Alexa Bliss welcomes Nikki Cross as special guest on “A Moment of Bliss”
- A.J. Styles to battle Sami Zayn as Intercontinental Title argument heats up
Samoan Street Fight: Universal Champion Roman Reigns & Jey Uso vs. King Corbin & Sheamus
Roman Reigns will defend the Universal Championship against his cousin Jey Uso at Clash of Champions. These days Roman is flanked by Paul Heyman, a former rival from his days feuding with Brock Lesnar. Last week, all three men were in the ring discussing their upcoming match. Roman told Jey he was doing the family proud but reminded him that he kicked his ass as a kid and will do so at the Clash. King Corbin showed up and expressed his frustration at the “nepotism” that was going on and hated watching people abuse their power (look in the mirror, dork). Sheamus came out and agreed with Corbin, and said it was unfair because they had no time to prepare for Jey. (didn’t Sheamus and Corbin have a beef a few weeks ago?) Jey offered to team with Roman against Corbin and Sheamus later in the show, and then went at it with them while Roman looked on.
In the top three developments I talked about what happened in that match. Tonight, a rematch has been made only it will be a Samoan Street Fight.
Frank’s Analysis: I can’t imagine the difference between a Samoan Street Fight and any other street fight or no-DQ match. I get the sense Roman’s character is reluctant to act the way he’s been acting, and Jey senses he’s being pulled to the “dark side” with Paul Heyman. He knows his own family and is more forgiving as I suggested to Wade Keller on the post show last week. I also sense there will be issues with Jey and Roman tonight seeing as they won last week, but Roman showed up late. Why the referee started that match without Roman present is still annoying, regardless of the story WWE is trying to tell.
Sasha Banks Responds to Bayley
We found prior to Raw this week that Sasha Banks would return to Smackdown tonight to address Bayley’s attack on her a few weeks ago. Last week, Bayley explained herself. She claimed that Sasha was following her for a while, going back to when Bayley first won the Raw Women’s Championship. She claimed she did so to keep her close but also needed to become Two Belts Banks seeing the success Bayley was having as Smackdown Women’s Champion. She said while Sasha was using her, she was doing the same and never cared about their friendship. Sasha is of no use to her.
Sasha returns tonight to respond to Bayley. Both women have been on relatively quiet on social media, at least regarding each other. This isn’t the first time Bayley has attacked Sasha. She did so two years ago on an episode of Raw, which led them to have to take anger management classes. Things are much different this time as Bayley is the Smackdown Women’s Champion, and I’m sure Sasha is targeting that title as well as vindication for the attack.
Frank’s Analysis: I said this on both the Wade Keller post show and with Greg Parks on Wrestling Night in America. I thought the turn was well-executed, but I didn’t understand why Bayley picked that night. Did she feel like Sasha was dead weight because she couldn’t retain the Raw Women’s Championship and they lost the tag team titles? Sasha did get “hurt” in the match. She should have said so unless she was implying that in the “you’re of no use to me.” I don’t know, but we’ll see what Sasha has to say. We must see the whole thing play out. With Bayley set to defend against Nikki Cross and Hell in a Cell around the corner, I wonder if they pivot to Bayley vs. Sasha inside the cell.
A Moment of Bliss: Guest Nikki Cross
As I mentioned in the top three developments, the friendship between Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss may have went south as Alexa gave Nikki Bray Wyatt’s finisher Sister Abigail on the outside of the ring. This was during a fatal four-way match Nikki eventually won over Alexa, Lacey Evans, and Tamina to earn the right to challenge Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Clash of Champions.
Things have been odd between Nikki and Alexa ever since Alexa was attacked by “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt during his feud with Braun Strowman recently. Alexa admitted to being captivated by Bray and started wearing dreadlocks in her hair like that of which Bray wears. She smashed the mug she gave Nikki but apologized a week later. Then last week happened, and she walked out in a trance. Tonight, she welcomes Nikki into her occasional talk show A Moment of Bliss. Nikki wants to “save” Alexa, as she says here in a WWE exclusive:
Frank’s Analysis: I’m worried about Nikki losing another championship match to Bayley, because I think another loss hurts her. Maybe I’m wrong, but I also understand Smackdown is in a weird spot because there are no other babyfaces worth putting in the title match. This may sound crazy, but instead of trading Mandy Rose to Raw you could almost have used her and let Nikki and Alexa build their feud on their own. It’s a moot point now, but I thought of it, and had to get it out there. That said, it’s clear they’re going towards Alexa returning to her heel role and feuding with Nikki to start. There’s an outside chance this is all a smokescreen and Nikki has been corroborating with the Fiend to mess with Alexa, which would be interesting, but I don’t think they’re going that way.
A.J. Styles vs. Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn has made some noise upon his return to Smackdown several weeks ago, as he has claimed to be the rightful Intercontinental Champion. He won the title before WrestleMania and defended it against Daniel Bryan, but shortly thereafter was unable to compete. A tournament was held to determine a new champion, which was won by A.J. Styles. He held the title until just before SummerSlam when he lost to Jeff Hardy.
Last week, Jeff defended against A.J., but the match ended when Sami attacked A.J. He then attacked Jeff and held up his belt and yelled he was the real champion. Later, A.J. said he can beat Sami and Jeff in “any match.” Sami walked in on the trainer checking on Jeff, and they started brawling. Tonight, Sami goes one-on-one with A.J. It’s not their first dance as they feuded over the WWE Championship back in late 2017-early 2018 when Sami aligned with Kevin Owens. Sami spoke in a WWE exclusive, making his case to still be Intercontinental Champion:
Frank’s Analysis: I don’t see where else they’re going but a triple threat match at Clash of Champions. They could do a triple ladder match, as a caller suggested on the post show last week. They could hang both Sami’s and Jeff’s title belts the way they did it with Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon for their ladder match at WrestleMania 10. I love Sami’s act, and the way everyone is playing their role in this story. I wouldn’t hate it if the end point is Sami with the title.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week
- Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Kalisto) defeated Smackdown Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match. During the match, Raw Tag Team Champions the Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) were shown having a party in Cesaro & Nakamura’s “championship lounge.” Here’s Lucha House Party in a WWE exclusive and Cesaro & Nakamura:
- Money in the Bank contract holder Otis defeated John Morrison. I’m sorry but they’ve made Morrison a no-good stiff and it’s dumb that Otis has Money in the Bank. They did more goofiness with the briefcase that I don’t care to recap in detail.
- Another vignette was shown with a “mystery” blond woman.
- Bray Wyatt was to introduce a new character on the Firefly Funhouse, Pasquali the Parrot, but it ended up being dead. The Vince McMahon character introduced Wobbly Walrus, which looked like Paul Heyman.
I’m overall interested to see how most stories play out on Smackdown. The Roman-Jey situation, the Intercontinental Championship picture, what’s going on with Bayley and Sasha, as well as the deal with Nikki and Alexa are all cool stories to see unfold. With the lack of tag team depth, I don’t understand why Heavy Machinery isn’t more featured as a team. Otis having Money in the Bank is dumb. I don’t know if they’re foreshadowing a Bray vs. Roman match by introducing a Paul Heyman-type character in the Firefly Funhouse. Hell in a Cell is around the corner and I’m afraid those two have that match written all over them.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!