4/17 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of The Miz vs. Jey Uso vs. Big E in a Triple Threat for the Smackdown Tag Titles, Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro and Naomi vs. Dana Brooke in Money in the Bank qualifiers, Sasha Banks vs. Tamina

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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown
Live from Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired April 17, 2020 on Fox

[Hour One] The show opened with a graphic acknowledging the death of Howard Finkel… The AC/DC opening aired (yeah, yeah, we’re f’n ready)… The broadcast team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves checked in and hyped the previously advertised segments…

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss headed to the ring for “A Moment of Bliss” segment. Bliss introduced WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman as the guest. A graphic listed Strowman vs. sweater wearying Bray Wyatt for Money in the Bank.

Bliss brought up the Strowman and Wyatt closing segment from last week. A portion of it was replayed. Bliss asked for Strowman’s response to what Wyatt said. Strowman said no one knows Wyatt better than he does. Strowman said he was part of Wyatt’s family and it’s a part of his history that he’s trying to forget. Strowman said Wyatt didn’t create him. He said Wyatt is a manipulator. He said that if Wyatt wants to challenge him then so be it, but if he comes for him rather than the title then the only thing he’ll get is “these hands.”

Strowman noticed a gift box that was in the corner of the ring. “Is that for me?” Strowman asked. Strowman assumed that Bliss got it for him. She said she did not, but he still assumed it was from her. Strowman opened the box and found a sheep mask. Bliss and Cross backed away while showing fear. The Wyatt laugh track played. A graphic showed Strowman wearing the mask when he was in the Wyatt family… [C]

Powell’s POV: Congratulations to WWE’s creative forces for making everyone involved in that segment look stupid. Strowman looked like a dope for thinking the gift was for him and assuming it was from Bliss, and he looked even worse when she told him that it wasn’t from her and he still assumed otherwise. And just when it looked like it couldn’t get any worse, Bliss and Cross backed away from a plastic sheep mask like it was an explosive device.

Cole and Graves explained the significance of the black sheep mask for the benefit of five year-olds and the adult viewers who are too dim to have figured it out from when they showed the shot of Strowman wearing the mask from his Wyatt Family days. They plugged Strowman vs. Wyatt for the WWE Universal Championship for the Money in the Bank event…

1. Sasha Banks vs. Tamina (if Tamina wins, she gets a shot at the Smackdown Women’s Championship). Bayley sat in on commentary for the match. The bell rang and Banks gave Tamina a “Legit Boss” t-shirt, saying they could be girls, “for real this time.” Tamina told her the shirt was too small because she wears extra large, then threw it at Bayley. Tamina dominated the opening minute. [C]

Banks performed a meteora from the second rope coming out of the break. Cole played up the idea that Banks might put herself in line for a title match with a win. Bayley said that would be awesome. Banks awkwardly leapt from the bottom rope into a rough looking uranage. Banks quickly rolled to ringside.

Tamina followed Banks to the floor. Bayley stood up and yelled to get her attention, then Banks shoved Tamina into the ring post. Banks followed up by running Tamina into the ring steps. Lacey Evans ran out and leapt off the ring steps onto Bayley. Tamaina caught Banks with a superkick kick and rolled her back inside the ring. Tamina returned ot the ring where she superkicked and pinned Banks to win the match…

Tamina defeated Sasha Banks in roughly 9:00 to earn a Smackdown Women’s Championship match.

The broadcast team hyped the MITB qualifying matches. Graves referred to it as them as the most unique MITB ladder matches in history…

Jey Uso delivered a brief backstage promo and then a graphic hyped the Smackdown Tag Title match… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m not really sure why WWE is on this Tamina kick. Is it because she was sidelined for a long stretch which saved her from the poor booking that has damaged the other women in the division? I also don’t know what to make of Graves repeatedly saying it promises to be the most unique MITB ladder matches in history. It could be as simple as the lack of fans being present, but perhaps they have a new wrinkle.

Lacey Evans was interviewed Charly Caruso backstage. Evans said wherever Banks goes she goes because of what Banks has done to her. She pulled the glove off her punching hand and it had Sasha’s name crossed out…

2. Sheamus vs. Denzel Dejournette. Sheamus was rolled up to start the match. He came right back with a series of elbows to the side of Dejournette’s head. Graves said the referee should think about calling for the bell. Sheamus threw some knees to the head of Dejournette, who was in the ropes. Sheamus followed up with a Brogue Kick and scored the pin.

Sheamus beat Denzel Dejournette in 1:05.

Sheamus was standing at ringside when Cole mentioned Jeff Hardy. Sheamus slammed his hands on the broadcast table. He took exception to being dominant in the ring only to have Cole talk about Hardy. Sheamus got in Cole’s face and said, “I will not be disrespected, fella”…

A Jeff Hardy video aired. It was labeled “Chapter Two: The Fall” and was listed as being courtesy of WWE Network. Big Show told a story of Hardy being in pain on a tour bus. Footage aired of Hardy saying goodbye “for now” in 2009. Hardy spoke about abusing pain killers, and footage of him partying was included. Christian spoke about Hardy claiming he was fine. Hardy said he was eventually busted. A more modern mug shot were also shown. Hardy spoke about going to jail and hitting rock bottom. He said he has a lot of making up to do and he will. Graves hyped “Chapter Three: The Redemption” for next week…

Powell’s POV: Let me guess, the third part of the video series will air right after a Sheamus match? It should be an interesting feud between Hardy and Sheamus. The tough part is that both men need wins. Was it really necessary to have Sheamus bark right in Cole’s face during a pandemic? Come on, guys.

Dana Brooke was shown warming up for her match when Carmella approached her and complained about her facing Naomi when they have a tag title match next week. Brooke defended herself and spoke about what’s at stake. Brooke said she would do this. “Whatever you say, Dana, good luck,” Carmella responded…

Naomi made her entrance… [C] An ad aired for next week’s 25th anniversary celebration. The narrator said it “starts” on next week’s Smackdown… Graves gushed over Hunter, then Cole said Triple H never won the Money in the Bank ladder match.

Graves explained that the MITB ladder matches will take place at WWE Headquarters. The wrestlers will start at the ground floor and the briefcase will be on the roof of the building. A graphic listed “Climb The Corporate Ladder”…

Powell’s POV: Interesting. I give WWE credit for coming up with a unique concept for the MITB matches. Only time will tell whether I actually enjoy the execution, but I like the idea of making it feel like a special attraction in today’s environment.

3. Naomi vs. Dana Brooke in a Money in the Bank qualifier. Brooke’s entrance was televised. Brooke got a near fall following a sit-out powerbomb. Naomi came back with a Rearview and only got a near fall. A short time later, Brooke avoided a split legged moonsault and then performed a sunset flip into a pin for the upset win.

Dana Brooke beat Naomi in 4:10 to qualify for the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match.

After the match, Brooke yelled, “I did it” an then walked over and hugged Cole…

Powell’s POV: Are they hazing Cole by having Sheamus get in his face and then having Brooke hug him in back to back matches? Seriously, why is this happening? Putting that aside, Brooke getting an upset win is fine with me, as she has worked hard to improve and it’s fun to shake things up a bit.

The broadcast team set up a video package that recapped the Otis and Mandy Rose saga involving Tucker, Dolph Ziggler, and Sonya Deville. Graves hyped Deville attempting to clear the air with Rose after the break… [C]

[Hour Two] The broadcast team hyped their FS1 programming that will air on Tuesday night…

Sonya Deville came to the ring and delivered a promo in which she pleaded with Mandy Rose to come out so that she could tell her what she’s been trying to tell her all along. Rose made her entrance and said she didn’t have anything to say to her after what she did to her and Otis.

Deville said she spent more time with her over the last five years than she has with her own family. She said she feels like that meant nothing to her. Deville acted emotional. “You’re the most… selfish human being I’ve ever met in my entire life.”

Deville complained about how their tag team was more about Rose than the two of them. She complained that she came out to Rose’s entrance music. Deville said she only had to keep her focus on Fire & Desire and they wouldn’t be having this conversation. She said Dolph Ziggler actually cares about her “and look at Otis.”

Deville said she wants to see Rose hurt. She said she’s a dime a dozen bottle blonde who looks like she was created in a lab. Deville said Rose has no talent and labeled her eye candy. Deville said she would do everything she could to ruin Rose’s life. She said everyone would realize who the real champion of Fire & Desire was, an actual fighter, not a centerfold bitch.

Dolph Ziggler headed to the ring. Ziggler told Rose that he made a huge mistake and he will spend however long it takes trying to make it up to her. “Look me in the eye and tell me that you didn’t feel anything for me,” Ziggler said. Ziggler touched Rose’s hair. Rose shoved him and told him not to touch her. Deville blasted Rose with a forearm.

Ziggler asked Deville why she did that. Otis ran out and cleared Ziggler from the ring. Deville climbed on the back of Otis. Rose pulled Deville down aggressively. Ziggler and Deville headed to the back while Otis and Rose remained in the ring. Ziggler returned and went after Otis, but he knocked him down and gave him the Caterpillar.

Powell’s POV: I would dump my lady of 22 years if Dolph Ziggler’s entrance theme played whenever she entered the room. In other words, Mandy made the right call. Anyway, Deville did a nice job of acting emotional one moment and vindictive the next.

Cole and Graves were shown at their desk. Cole said he came to WWE nearly 24 years ago and knew nothing about sports entertainment. He said that for the first four months he was in the company, he rode with Howard Finkel, who taught him a lot. Graves said everyone in WWE has a story about Finkel. Cole set up a video package on Finkel… [C]

An ad for Raw questioned how Drew McIntyre will respond to being attacked by Seth Rollins…

The Miz delivered a backstage promo about it being an injustice that he has to defend the Smackdown Tag Titles when John Morrison already did so at WrestleMania…

Cole set up a brief video package on The Forgotten Sons…

4. Daniel Bryan (w/Drew Gulak) vs. Cesaro (w/Shinsuke Nakamura) in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. Bryan sent Cesaro to ringside and then hit him with a suicide dive. The hacker took over he broadcast and said we’ve heard all the lies and questioned when we will hear the truth. Footage aired of The Usos, Bliss and Cross, Miz and Morrison, Banks and Bayley, and Big E and Kofi Kingston. The hacker said some keep their friends close nad others keep their enemies closer. “The Truth Will Be Heard” graphic appeared on the screen. [C]

Cesaro powered up Bryan from a submission hold and slammed him to the mat. Cesaro slammed Bryan and covered him for a two count. Bryan wrenched on Cesaro’s arm, then went up top and dove at him. Cesaro caught Bryan and gave him a backbreaker that led to a near fall. Cesaro applied a Sharpshooter. Bryan reached the ropes. Bryan rolled to ringside. Cesaro followed and hit him with an upper cut. [C]

Bryan rallied and hit Cesaro with a series of kicks and then covered him for a two count. Cesaro hoisted Bryan onto his back and ran him into the corner, then performed a GTS for a two count. Cesaro applied a crossface, then Bryan countered into a Yes Lock, which Cesaro escaped. Cesaro hit Bryan with some uppercuts. Bryan went for a moonsault, but Cesaro caught him. Bryan countered into the Yes Lock. Nakamura tried to run in, but Gulak stopped him. Cesaro tapped out…

Daniel Bryan defeated Cesaro in 14:30 to qualify for the Money in the Bank match.

Powell’s POV: A very nice match. I’m not saying he should have won this match, but I remain baffled over WWE not doing more with Cesaro.

Big E delivered a backstage promo. He said he does this for his house and said he and Kofi Kingston will become eight-time tag team champions…

Elias was shown exiting his locker room. Cole hyped a special musical performance. King Corbin attacked Elias and ran him into a production truck. Corbin told Elias that he’s nobody and then put the boots to him. Elias’s handed ended up between two production crates, which Corbin shoved together. While Elias sold a hand injury, Corbin grabbed his guitar and asked him to play a song. Corbin said he had a better idea. Corbin dragged Elias by one arm and said they were going to have some fun… [C]

The backstage beatdown continued. Corbin told Elias that he will bow down like everybody else. Corbin walked away, then returned and slammed Elias’s guitar over his back. “Hey, boys, he’s in here,” Corbin said…

Powell’s POV: The beatdown was solid. If you missed Edge vs. Randy Orton at WrestleMania 36, imagine 35 more minutes of that minus commercials and either wrestler wearing a stupid crown on his head while spouting cliche royalty lines. By the way, Corbin became King of the Ring on September 16, 2019, so we still have at least a few more months of this dreadful king gimmick to go. Sadly, it could go on even longer if WWE doesn’t do another KOTR tournament in 2020.

Cole announced Drew Gulak vs. King Corbin, and Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans in MITB qualifiers for next week. Graves hyped Bliss and Cross vs. Dana Brooke and Carmella for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles, and an in-depth look at Strowman and Wyatt…

Big E made his entrance. A video package recapped John Morrison beating Kofi Kingston and Jimmy Uso in a ladder match to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles at WrestleMania. Jey Uso made his entrance, then The Miz made his entrance and brought both title belts to the ring with him…

5. The Miz vs. Big E vs. Jey Uso in a Triple Threat for the Smackdown Tag Titles. Cole said the respective tag partners of the three participants would be tweeting during the match. Big E wore an armband with “FINK” written on it in a nice tribute to Howard Finkel. Miz and Uso teamed up to suplex Big E through a broadcast table heading into an early break. [C]

Uso performed a Samoan Drop on Miz and then sent him to ringside. Uso executed suicide dives on Big E on one side of the ring and then on Miz on the other side of the ring. A short time later, Miz sang the “hey hey, ho ho” song before going for a move on Big E that was broken up by Uso. Miz caught Uso in an inside cradle for a two count.

Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale on Uso for a near fall, then immediately applied a figure four leg lock while Big E was down at ringside. Big E returned, picked up Miz, and put him down with The Big Ending and scored the pin…

Big E defeated The Miz and Jey Uso in 7:45 to win the Smackdown Tag Titles for New Day.

They cut to Skype footage of Kingston celebrating at home. Kingston did a Howard Finkel impersonation. Cole said New Day is now one tag title reign behind The Dudleys. They cut to Xavier Woods celebrating at his home while pushing the New Day podcast and his own YouTube show. Meanwhile, Big E rolled around on the ringside mat clutching both title belts as the show went off the air…

Powell’s POV: The finish felt a bit flat with Big E just returning and hitting Miz with his finisher out of nowhere. And I can’t say that I’m a fan of doing a tag title change in a singles Triple Threat match. But it was a nice touch for Kingston to deliver the Finkel impersonation (even though it needs some work). Overall, the MITB qualifying matches were a big help for Smackdown just as they were for Raw. MITB gave a couple matches a sense of purpose that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t MITB time. Those matches combined with the tag title change it helped make this show feel newsworthy. I will have more to say about Smackdown in my members’ exclusive audio review coming up shortly. Let me know what you thought of the show by voting in our weekly post Smackdown poll on the main page. By the way, I haven’t done much streaming this week, but I did get a kick out of what I’ve seen of Brews Brothers on Netflix so far. Have a great weekend.



The Best of The Boom features Jim Ross joining Jason Powell in this May 9, 2018 discussion regarding his relationship with Vince McMahon, why Vince sticks with Roman Reigns, how Triple H has changed over the years, and more. New episodes of the Boom are typically available mid-week...


Readers Comments (6)

  1. Jason, with all due respect – the mask wasn’t what Alexa and Nikki were backing away from. They were backing away from Braun. Alexa in particular knew a simmering volcano when she saw one. You totally missed it.

    • Very possible that I did with the laptop in front of me. So let’s look at it this way. A grown ass man is overly giddy about getting a present, opens it and finds a plastic mask that he used to wear, and then he becomes a volcano ready to erupt to the point that women run away from him? Still stupid.

      • Stupid to those with no relationship. There is one between Braun and Alexa and IIRC Alexa was backing Nikki up. Braun already said that he wasn’t playing Bray’s games. And then Bray plays another one with the present. If I were Braun I’d be angry as well and it makes perfect sense he’d go from thinking it was a present from Alexa (yeah maybe the giddy stuff was stupid) to a game from Bray and infuriating him in the process.

        • The idea behind it could’ve been they were anticipating an appearance by the Fiend, too. It doesn’t really sound like something that would’ve made Alexa and Nikki look bad.

          To me, it does sound like it makes Braun look stupid/bad though. You’re supposed to be the “Monster Among Men”, but THAT bothers you? Did they forget how this went for Seth when they had him cowering in a corner? It was probably one of the things that began the crowds turning on Rollins.

  2. “I remain baffled over WWE not doing more with Cesaro”

    Aren’t we all?

  3. “Cole and Graves explained the significance of the black sheep mask for the benefit of five year-olds and the adult viewers who are too dim to have figured it out from when they showed the shot of Strowman wearing the mask from his Wyatt Family days.

    ok true long time fans kids and adults know about Braun , the mask and the Wayatt family.

    But any brand new fans to wrestling kids or adult would have no clue what the mask means. Wrestling is always getting new fans all the time. so explaining it is more to the new fans.

    if your new to wrestling in general face it your not going to know anything about a storyline that happen in the past and is brought up again for a current feud,

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