SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
SEPTEMBER 25, 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 attacked Sasha Banks, who was responding to Bayley’s words from a week earlier.
- A.J. Styles defeated Sami Zayn. After the match, Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy proposed they have a triple threat ladder match for the championship since everyone seems to have a claim to the title.
- Otis of Heavy Machinery was served with legal papers, saying that he is being sued by Miz and John Morrison. He must surrender the Money in the Bank contract or he will be taken to court.
Items Advertised by WWE
Tonight’s Smackdown will be the final edition before Clash of Champions this Sunday. Here’s what’s advertised for the show:
- Roman Reigns set for in-ring interview before Clash of Champions
- Jeff Hardy and Sami Zayn to go head-to-head before Clash of Champions
- Alexa Bliss to take on Lacey Evans after last week’s Sister Abigail attack
WWE hyped a video that talked about Otis and whether he would surrender his Money in the Bank contract:
Assuming WWE is going to address that, I’ve included discussion of it in addition to what is advertised for tonight.
Will Otis Surrender Money in the Bank?
It’s been several weeks of antics between 2020 Money in the Bank winner Otis and the Miz & John Morrison. Last week saw them go at on the Dirt Sheet, which opened the show. Miz said he got Mandy Rose sent over to Raw so Otis could be on high alert, as he must be while holding Money in the Bank citing his own experience. He went a little far saying the Raw wrestlers want to do more than “smell that rose,” which drew Otis to the ring. He went after both Miz & Morrison, stripped Miz down to his tighty whities, and gave him the caterpillar. Here’s an exclusive of Miz being locked out of the Thunderdome in just his manhole cover:
I mentioned in the top three developments what happened later in the show. Tonight, we’ll find out whether Otis surrenders the contract.
Frank’s Analysis: Miz and John Morrison continue to be abysmal with their humor. It’s not funny nor entertaining. Otis holding Money in the Bank is bad too, but if this gets the contract away from him, I’m all for it. That’s not because I want Miz or Morrison to have it, but either one of them are better choices than Otis. I never wanted him to win the thing.
Roman Reigns Interview
Last week, Universal Champion Roman Reigns teamed with his cousin Jey Uso and defeated King Corbin and Sheamus in a Samoan Street Fight. At the end of the match, the cousins hugged with enthusiasm. When Jey walked away alone, Roman’s expression turned intense as Paul Heyman stood by his side. Two weeks ago, they defeated the same men in a straight-up tag match. Roman did not show up until long after the match started. At the top of the ramp, they raised each other’s hand but stared at each other with an intense look. Jey claimed that Paul Heyman told him there was a miscommunication between the men.
This Sunday at Clash of Champions, Roman defends the Universal Championship against Jey. Tonight, Roman will be interviewed in-ring ahead of the match. They showed a video of Roman and Jey’s history last week narrated by Heyman. Heyman then talked about the “true Roman” on The Bump this week.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m afraid Jey is looking too naïve and gullible, thinking (in story) that Roman has his back. It looks too obvious that Roman is just going to destroy him and Jey will look foolish for thinking everything is on the up-and-up with he and his cousin. The only thing I can think of is maybe the relationship with Roman and Heyman is bogus and the Usos are really with him, but would they go to all that trouble just to align a tag team with Heyman? I don’t think so. I don’t know what will be satisfying out of this story, but at least it’s quite intriguing.
Non-Title Match: Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Self-Proclaimed Champion Sami Zayn
Before they head towards the triple threat match this Sunday at Clash of Champions to determine the Intercontinental Champion, Jeff and Sami go one-on-one tonight in a non-title match. I talked about what happened between them in the top three developments. To further add detail, Sami was upset he got caught holding A.J.’s tights while trying to pin him. A.J. managed to roll Sami up for the win.
Sami continues to claim that he is the real Intercontinental Champion. Here he is on Twitter complaining about the graphic on TV during his introduction:
Who let this graphic get on TV @WWE?!
I have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career that make me a nightmare. If you fix it now, it'll be the end of it. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you…and I will kill you
– SZ pic.twitter.com/ca5uNtD1bQ
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) September 22, 2020
Frank’s Analysis: They got to the place I expected when I wrote last week’s primer. This is a case where a triple threat works, even if it still isn’t my favorite match. Sami continues to be a great performer. While he’s playing his role very well, I hate how he loses so much. I know somebody must lose and “winning matches” aren’t everything, but he is still better than his presentation. On the positive, at least Sami is involved in a meaningful story. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins Sunday, but something tells me Jeff will still be the champ.
Lacey Evans vs. Alexa Bliss
It was a tale of two Alexas last week once again. She interviewed her best friend Nikki Cross last week on A Moment of Bliss following her earning the right to face Bayley, again, for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Clash of Champions. She defeated Alexa, Lacey Evans, and Tamina in a fatal four-way the previous week. Nikki said that because of Sasha Banks being out of the way, she can focus on Bayley.
Now to the elephant in the room. During the fatal four-way, Alexa gave Nikki a Sister Abigail and walked away from the match in a trance. Nikki asked Alexa what was up with her, but she couldn’t explain it because she didn’t understand what has been happening with her. Alexa hasn’t been the same since being attacked by “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt during his feud with Braun Strowman over the Universal Championship over the same. Out came Lacey Evans, questioning whether this was an episode of Dr. Phil. Evans and Nikki went on to have their scheduled match, with Alexa on guest commentary. After Nikki defeated Lacey, Lacey confronted Alexa and asked if she was going to get the Fiend. That sent Alexa into a trance, and she proceeded to give Lacey a Sister Abigail.
Tonight, Alexa goes one-on-one with Lacey. Here’s Alexa in an exclusive:
Frank’s Analysis: As much as I think this story is cool, Alexa is all over social media talking about her new WWE podcast and being interviewed by people all happy and with smiles. It’s one thing with an actor as they play multiple roles. Wrestlers play one character. While the character is fictional, you get invested the most when you believe they are immersed in and are willing to protect that character. Alexa seems like a wonderful person and I hope my family and I meet her one day, but all the happy smiley social media stuff makes it hard for me to think she has this impending alliance with the Fiend.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week
- Cesaro defeated Gran Metalik.
- Matt Riddle explained why he says “Bro” so much. Can’t a character just do their thing and leave the reasons to the imagination?
- Another vignette of the mystery woman aired.
I covered just about everything I had to say throughout the report. I suppose if I were to add anything it would be how much more I look forward to Smackdown these days over Raw. There are still redundant matches involving people feuding with each other, but that’s the WWE formula these days. Complaining about that would be like farting in a windstorm. The stories are fun to watch. Hopefully, there are worthwhile payoffs ahead.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!