4/10 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Braun Strowman’s first appearance as WWE Universal Champion, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. The Kabuki Warriors for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles, WrestleMania 36 fallout

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown
Taped in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired April 10, 2020 on Fox

[Hour One] Michael Cole checked in and plugged the insurance company sponsor. New WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman made his way to the ring while he was introduced by ring announcer Greg Hamilton. Corey Graves was on color commentary. Cole set up footage that recapped Strowman beating Goldberg to win the title at WrestleMania 36.

Strowman stood in the middle of the ring and said he did more than just answer when opportunity knocked on the door, he said he knocked it off its damn hinges. Strowman said he took everything that Goldberg had to dish out and said he’s a WWE Hall of Famer and a legend for good reason. Strowman said he refused to stay down and he put Goldberg down for good.

Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance theme interrupted Strowman. Graves reminded viewers that Strowman beat Nakamura to win the Intercontinental Championship. Nakamura recalled Strowman talking about opportunity knocking. “Knock knock,” Nakamura said. He added that Strowman was supposed to say “who’s there?” Strowman told Nakamura to let him enjoy his night as champion while he knock, knock, knocks the crap out of him.

Strowman brought up a Japanese proverb. He said it meant that the meek are weak and the strong eat. Strowman said he had a proverb of his own that Nakamura would “get these hands.” Strowman turned and caught Cesaro trying to sneak attack him. Strowman pushed Cesaro over the top rope to the floor. Nakamura threw a kick at Strowman, then joined Cesaro at ringside while Strowman threw a fit inside the ring…

Cole hyped The Dirt Sheet with The Miz and John Morrison. Graves spoke about the romance between Mandy Rose and Otis, then Cole hyped the WWE Women’s Tag Title match as coming up after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: We won’t know for sure until the segment, but if The Miz appears then that’s obviously encouraging. Reports indicated that he missed WrestleMania due to illness, but his return tonight would seem to suggest that it was not coronavirus related. The opening segment was pretty basic. It was interesting that Nakamura delivered his own promo and we didn’t see Sami Zayn.

A sponsored recap showed the WWE Women’s Tag Title change from WrestleMania 36…

1. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. “The Kabuki Warriors” Asuka and Kairi Sane for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles. Sane attacked Bliss when the bell rang to start the match. Bliss was isolated by the heel challengers. Bliss caught Sane with a baseball slide under the bottom rope, but Asuka caught her with a “hip” attack. Asuka climbed onto the broadcast table and put on the headsets for a moment, but Miss followed her up and shoved her to the floor. Cross dove onto Asuka and spazzed out heading into a break. [C]

Cross took her turn being isolated coming out of the break. Asuka held up Cross and then Sane leapt from the top rope and punched her. Asuka put her in an armbar. Cross rolled onto Asuka, who had to release the hold when the referee made a two count. Cross went for an Asuka Lock, but Bliss broke it up.

Sane tagged in and went for the Insane Elbow, but Cross rolled out of the way and made a gag. Bliss performed a DDT on Sane and covered her, but Asuka pulled Sane to ringside. Cross leapt off the apron at Asuka, who caught her with a knee. Bliss performed Twisted Bliss from the top rope onto both heels at ringside. Asuka rolled Sane back inside the ring. Cross tagged herself in and performed a neckbreaker on Sane and then pinned her…

Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated “The Kabuki Warriors” Asuka and Kairi Sane in 12:30 to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: A decent match. There appeared to be some creative production work, as they had a bad shot to avoid showing the impact when Bliss performed a move at one point. On a side note, why do they need to have the broadcast team at ringside? They could just as easily watch the monitors and call the show from backstage. I’d rather see them replaced by some wrestlers spread out in the crowd to add some noise similar to the way that AEW does on their show. Unfortunately, Stephanie McMahon seemed to take a jab at AEW for taking that approach, so I’m guessing that WWE will stubbornly decline to improve their own atmosphere. Having some wrestlers spread six feet apart at ringside would surely be safer than having the broadcast team seated right next to one other while two wrestlers climb on their desk.

Cole hyped Strowman vs. Nakamura as being official for later in the show. Graves said they would talk about the Rose and Otis love story coming out of the break… [C]

Elias stood on the WWE Performance Center perch and said he put an end to King Corbin at WrestleMania. He noted that he was standing on the same perch that Corbin pushed him from when trying to end his career. Elias had his guitar and sang a song about wanting to hear the world sing Walk With Elias. Once he was finished, he thanked the crowd and said goodnight…

The broadcast team touted the success of WrestleMania 36 on social media… A video package recapped the Mandy Rose and Otis saga with the updated footage from WrestleMania 36…

Cole said Otis is a true inspiration and said we can swing for the fences. Dolph Ziggler’s ear piercing entrance music played. Ziggler and Sonya Deville came out and barked at the broadcast team about wanting to talk with Mandy Rose.

The Heavy Machinery theme played. Tucker walked onto the stage and said he could tell this Ziggler “is still smitten with my man Otis’s kitten.” Tucker showed off footage of Otis and Rose working out together. Tucker said that Otis and Rose were busy, but he and Ziggler had unfinished business that they would take care of on the spot. Cole hyped the match for after the break…

An ad hyped a celebration of 25 years of Triple H in WWE starting in two weeks of Smackdown… [C]

Powell’s POV: Starting? Just how long will this celebration last?

The broadcast team recapped Ziggler hitting Tucker with a Zigzag on the ring steps last week…

2. Dolph Ziggler (w/Sonya Deville) vs. Tucker. Tucker pulled the ring steps apart. Ziggler thumbed Tucker’s eye and went for a move, but Tucker caught him and slammed him onto the top of the broadcast table. Back inside the ring, Tucker powerslammed Ziggler for a near fall. Tucker got another near fall off a middle rope cross body block. Ziggler caught Tucker with a superkick and then fell on top of him and got the pin…

Dolph Ziggler beat Tucker in 4:20.

The broadcast team set up a recap of the Triple Threat ladder match from WrestleMania 36… Graves hyped The Dirt Sheet for after the break… An ad aired for the Edge documentary on WWE Network… [C]

Powell’s POV: I hope the WrestleMania 36 ceiling fan ends up on display WWE Axxess. On a serious note, I finally watched the Edge documentary today and it’s outstanding.

Cole plugged WWE Backstage and hyped Edge as the special guest on Tuesday’s show…

The Miz and John Morrison hosted The Dirt Sheet segment in the middle of the ring. Morrison said his glass is always half full. He said even when it’s all the way full it’s still half full. Miz boasted that they retain the Smackdown Tag Titles in the brutal ladder match. Morrison said he actually retained the titles, and said that he is the first person in history to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles by himself. Miz boasted that he’s the first person in history to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles from his couch.

They ran through some WrestleMania notables and told some jokes along the way. Miz noted that their new champion makes it to almost every show. When it came to the Firefly Funhouse match, they said Bray Wyatt made John Cena disappear. Morrison said “that you can’t see me crap” is finally true.

[Hour Two] Miz and Morrison performed their “Hey Hey Ho Ho” song in the middle of the ring. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso finally came out and stopped them. They said Peewee Herman has more street cred than Miz and Morrison. The Usos tried to stir the pot about Morrison defending the titles by himself. Miz said he’s still not cleared to compete.

Miz and Morrison tried to leave, but the New Day introduction occurred. Big E and Kofi Kingston came out and said that the original WrestleMania match didn’t go on as planned. He said that since some members were able to compete for the tag titles at WrestleMania, the others should compete for the titles. Kingston announced The Miz vs. Jey Uso vs. Big E for the Smackdown Tag Titles on next week’s Smackdown…

Cole hyped Strowman vs. Nakamura for later in the show… Graves hyped The Forgotten Sons. He said that after dominating NXT, they have now arrived on Smackdown and will be in the ring after the break…

Powell’s POV: After dominating NXT?!? The Forgotten Sons?!?

3. “The Forgotten Sons” Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler (w/Jaxson Ryker) vs. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik. Metalik performed a springboard onto the shoulders of his partner before falling onto his opponent. In the end, the Sons hit a double stomp into a reverse DDT finisher on Metalik and got the pin…

“The Forgotten Sons” Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler beat Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik in 4:15.

Powell’s POV: I’m not really sure how springboarding onto the shoulders of your partner before falling onto an opponent would really make a move more impactful, but I guess it looked cool. Anyway, the silence in the WWE Performance Center for the Smackdown debut of the Forgotten Sons is probably similar to the reaction the trio would have received in a packed arena. For those who don’t watch NXT, it’s an act that just never clicked. Ryker, who worked as Gunner in TNA, has had some good moments. I guess this means the patriotic feud with the Grizzled Young Veterans is finished after just one match.

Bliss and Cross were celebrating their win backstage. Cross said she feels unbeatable. Dana Brooke and Carmella showed up and said they didn’t get to compete at WrestleMania, so they were hoping to make up for it by challenging them for the titles. Bliss tried to pass, but Cross was giddy and accepted the match…

Sasha Banks and Bayley made their entrances in regular attire heading into a break… An ad for Raw hyped Drew McIntyre and Becky Lynch… [C]

Bayley and Banks were in the ring together coming out of the break. Bayley said it was three weeks ago when “that annoying, jealous Paige” tried to ruin her WrestleMania and their friendship by putting them in a five-way elimination match. Banks pointed out that she was not successful.

Bayley boasted about defying all odds at WrestleMania. Bayley said it’s because she’s the best, then quickly corrected herself to say “we’re the best.” Bayley said they had two simple words for anyone who thought their friendship would end. “Screw you,” Banks said to those people.

Tamina’s entrance music interrupted the promo. Bayley said it was great to see Tamina again and said her hair looked good and she smelled great. Tamina told Bayley to shut up. She said Bayley didn’t beat her at WrestleMania. She pointed out that it took all of the entrants to eliminate her. Tamina challenged Bayley to a title match.

Banks said she knows that Tamina just returned from whatever coconut shell she was hiding in for the last year, but there’s a pecking order. Bayley said she’s a role model and likes to be fair, so Tamina could have her match against her if she could beat Banks. “Challenge accepted,” Tamina said. “And, Sis, your bestie just screwed you.” Banks looked at Bayley, who tried to talk her down while Tamina’s music played…

Powell’s POV: A nice development with Bayley throwing Banks under the bus by volunteering her for the match against Tamina. Banks looked miffed initially, then seemed to show some confidence after Bayley spoke to her while Tamina’s music was playing. I suspect we’ll see a lot more of this until Banks eventually turns to set up their feud.

Cole hyped Strowman vs. Nakamura for later in the show. Graves hyped an in-depth look at the career of Jeff Hardy for after the break… [C]

A graphic touted that The Big Show Show debuted as the No. 3 show on Netflix this week…

Powell’s POV: Netflix added a list of the top ten most watches shows recently. Sure enough, The Big Show Show was listed at No. 3 earlier today.

4. Sheamus vs. Cal Bloom. Sheamus held Bloom on the apron and told the broadcast team that he loves the sound of silence. Sheamus clubbed away at the chest of Bloom. Once Bloom stood up, Sheamus put him down with a Brogue Kick and scored the pin…

Sheamus pinned Cal Bloom in 1:15.

After the match, the broadcast team was talking about Jeff Hardy returning to WWE. Sheamus stopped for a moment and glared at them before heading backstage…

The Jeff Hardy video aired and focused on the early days, starting with the backyard trampoline wrestling. They also showed some footage of Matt and Jeff Hardy in tag matches during their main roster run, and Jeff performing some insane leaps from ladders and other big spots. Hardy said he believes it is important to wrestle each match like it’s your last…

Graves hyped the main event as coming up after the break… An ad for the Broken Skull Sessions hyped Steve Austin interviewing Ric Flair as debuting on Sunday night on WWE Network… [C]

The ad for Triple H’s 25th Anniversary celebration aired again. Graves raved about the anniversary show, then Cole noted that was in two weeks and pushed the Triple Threat match and the Tamina vs. Banks match for next week. They also hyped Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro in a Money in the Bank qualifier, and Naomi vs. Dana Brooke in an MITB qualifier, and Sonya Deville attempting to clear the air with Mandy Rose for next week’s show…

5. WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Cesaro) in a non-title match. Cole delivered the usual hype about how Nakamura could be next in line for a title shot if he won this non-title match. The wrestlers went to ringside where Nakamura charged at Strowman, who tossed him into the air and let him fall on the barricade. [C]

Strowman continued to dominate and knocked Cesaro over the barricade with a running shoulder. When Strowman returned to the ring, Nakamura caught him with a running knee and then covered him for a two count. Nakamura set up for his finisher, but Strowman caught him and powerslammed him for the win.

Braun Strowman defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in 8:00 in a non-title match.

The Firefly Funhouse opening aired. Bay Wyatt stood on the set with a white board that read “The History of John Cena and Bray Wyatt.” Wyatt erased the word history so he could “re-write history.” Footage of the end of the Firefly Funhouse match aired.

Wyatt acknowledged Strowman, who was watching from the Performance Center. Wyatt said he is so happy for him. The head lantern said something, then Wyatt said that was a long time ago and he’s sure he’s learned his lesson by now. Wyatt said he brought Strowman in from the swamp and gave him a home. Wyatt said Strowman turned his back on him and his family.

Wyatt said he thought he could forgive him. Three puppets were down on the idea, but Ramblin’ Rabbit said Strowman is a good guy. Wyatt told the puppet to shut up. Strowman told Wyatt that he wouldn’t play these games. Wyatt said Strowman has something he wants back “and it’s right there on your shoulder.”

Wyatt looked into the camera and said that as one circle opens, another beings again. “Since I brought you into this world, I’m going to have to take you out,” Wyatt said. Wyatt laughed and waved goodbye. The closing music played. Strowmwan called it off and said that he wants Wyatt to know that anytime he wants, he’s ready to let him in. Wyatt glared into the camera. “Bye, see you later,” Strowman said. Strowman’s entrance music played. Wyatt looked intensely into the camera while they cut back and forth between the two wrestlers to close the show…

Powell’s POV: Strowman vs. Nakamura was totally predictable and yet fine for what it was. The post match bit with Wyatt was solid, and I like that Strowman showed a little personality while cutting him off to deliver his own line to him. Overall, Smackdown was a good show while using the empty venue curve. They made it through the episode without airing any classic matches and this was much better than Monday’s boring Raw show.

I will return shortly with my same night audio review of his episode, which is available weekly for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of Smackdown by assigning it a letter grade in our post show poll. My weekly streaming recommendations are Bosch on Amazon Prime and the movie The Platform on Netflix. I am late to the party on Bosch and have only season the first season. I really enjoyed it. Brian Fritz of BetweenTheRopes.com recommended the show to me and says really good things about the other seasons. Be safe and do your best to enjoy the holiday weekend.


Readers Comments (5)

  1. It looks like Dana Brooke is healthy again which is good. She was supposed to be in the wrestlemania women’s Title Match but she was out but I don’t know if it was coronavirus related.

  2. Nobody else has seemed to notice that $asha was staring daggers through Bæley when she said “Screw you”

  3. Poor Kairi Sane. When she was coming to the ring it was clear she didn’t want to be there. Sorry ass WWE booking will sap the desire out of you.

    • WWE have failed her so badly, Working heel doesn’t play to her strengths and personality at all.

      • Yeah, she’s meant to be a babyface. It’d be cool, now that they have dropped the tag straps, if they’d have Asuka turn on her. Asuka, to me, works better heel anyway. Let them have a lengthy feud, with Sane as the face. The story almost writes itself. I don’t even know that they’d need a ton of promo work to get it over.

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