By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown
Taped April 25, 2020 in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired May 8, 2020 on Fox
Backstage, Many Rose was working with a resistance band when Otis walked up. He asked if she was ready, and she replied that her match with Sonya was a long time coming. Otis asked if he could help, and she said he should focus on Money in the Bank because she could handle herself. Elsewhere, Sonya was shadow boxing and Dolph approached and asked if she was ready. She said she would unleash five years of beatings on Mandy. In the arena, Mandy made her entrance, followed by Sonya. Footage was shown of last week’s show where Sonya cost Mandy her match and gave her a beat down afterwards.
1. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville: The bell rang and Mandy landed a running knee strike. Sonya recovered and landed a strike, but Mandy landed a right hand of her own. Deville escaped to the floor, and then took control with a kick on the apron as she got back into the match. She started focusing on Mandy’s bruised leg and talked trash to Sonya.
She applied a body scissors and told Mandy that this was fun for her and that her performance in the match had been embarrassing. She tore off some of her fake eyelashes, and then told her she was nothing but her looks, so she would make her ugly. Sonya told Mandy to stop embarrassing her, and then kicked her in the chest. Sonya hit the ropes, and Mandy responded with a running lariat. She then landed a knee that sent Sonya to the floor.
Mandy slammed Sonya into the announce table and then the ring steps. She then tossed her into the steps a second time, and then over the announce table. Mandy tossed Sonya into the ring and demanded she get up. Mandy attempted a slam and a knee lift, but Deville reversed out of both and rolled her up for the win.
Sonya Deville defeated Mandy Rose at 5:54
After the match Sonya celebrated on the ramp. The announce team plugged Wyatt and Strowman in a face to face confrontation, and an 8 man tag is next…[c]
My Take: This match was enhanced greatly by the personal conflict, but it was fairly basic in terms of technical execution. Sonya’s performances continue to stand out, and Rose showed some good fire here down the stretch. I’m hopeful both women are saving their best stuff for the eventual blowoff match.
Some footage was shown of Miz and Morrison vs. Lucha House Party from a few weeks ago. New Day made their ring entrance, followed by Lucha House Party, The Forgotten Sons, and Miz and Morrison. Footage was shown of The Forgotten Sons defeating New Day last week.
2. The Lucha House Party and New Day vs. Miz and Morrison and The Forgotten Sons: Kofi and The Miz started the match. The action quickly broke down and the heels were cleared from the ring…[c]
Big E landed an elbow on Blake and tagged Kofi Kingston. He entered and landed an assisted leg drop over Big E’s back onto Blake. He then landed a splash and tagged Big E, who entered and splashed Blake himself. Gran Metalik then tagged in and hit a splash of his own for a two count. Kofi entered the match again and missed a splash in the corner, and hit the ring post. Blake made it to the corner and tagged in The Miz.
Morrison landed a few strikes and tagged in Morrison. He took a few shots and tagged in Cutler, who draped Kofi over the second rope and worked him over with a knee choke. Blake then tagged in and applied a side headlock. Kofi broke free briefly, but The Miz pulled him to the outside. Blake then hit a suicide dive, which looked Brutal as Blake’s shoulder seemed to land right on Kofi’s chin…[c]
Miz controlled Kofi as the show resumed, and he tagged in Morrison. He landed a jumping kick for a near fall. He then tagged in Blake, who applied an abdominal stretch. He tagged Cutler as Kofi hip tossed out of the stretch. They prevented Kofi’s escape for a tag, and Cutler tagged The Miz. Kofi was near a tag, but all of his teammates were pulled off the apron. Kofi landed an SOS on Miz, and then made a tag to Gran Metalik when he got back to the apron.
Metalik landed some aerial splashes and kicks on Morrison. The Forgotten sons tried to interfere, but got hit with a Double Springboard Stunner. Dorado and Metalik tried to put away Morrison with a Moonsault followed by a Shooting Star Press, but The Forgotten Sons broke up the pin. The action spilled everywhere as Big E got involved again. The Forgotten Sons landed The Lost and the Damned on Big E on the floor, and then powerbombed Kofi on top of him.
Back in the ring, Dorado and Morrison went back and forth a bit. Morrison landed what looked like a Samoan Drop, but missed the follow up Starship Pain. The Miz made a blind tag and landed the Skull Crushing Finale on Dorado for the win.
The Miz and Morrison and The Forgotten Sons defeated New Day and Lucha House Party at 18:02
After the match, the heel teams had a heated discussion in the ring. King Corbin was interview backstage, and was asked about tonight’s tag match. He spoke about Cesaro and Nakamura being assassins, and said they’d have no trouble with guys they made kiss their feet the past few weeks like Bryan and Gulak. He couldn’t even think of anyone who would want to tag with them. He then insulted his fellow competitors in Money in the Bank, and swore he would become King Money in the Bank. Jeff Hardy is next…[c]
My Take: The Tag Division remains impressive from a physicality standpoint, but ultimately shallow because of the lack of a really compelling feud. The match was solid, but difficult to get fully invested in.
Renee Young was in the ring, and welcomed Jeff Hardy out for an interview. She spoke about his video, and all of his ups and downs, and asked what he had left to prove. Jeff said his lows have taught him how to be a survivor. Sheamus was shown backstage jawing at a TV Screen. Hardy spoke about still being able to hear the voices of fans, and thanked them for sticking with him for his entire career. Hardy asked the fans to stick with him for one more run. Sheamus complained backstage that this is all we’ve been waiting for?
Hardy called Sheamus out. He made his entrance, and said Jeff was an adrenaline junkie looking for one more swig from the bottle, and there’s nobody here to give it to him. He said nobody will say it to him because he’s a legend, but nobody cares about him. He listed off Jeff’s accolades, but said fans are tired of Jeff’s releases, no shows, and second chances.
Jeff called him a hater, and said he sure does know a lot about him. Sheamus said he’s not a hater, he used to respect him, but after watching his video package last week he decided he’s never really coming back. Sheamus said everyone knows Jeff Hardy’s next failure is just around the corner except Jeff Hardy. He said his flame has been burning for far too long, and he’s going to put it out.
Sheamus headed to the ring for a fight, and Hardy took him out with a Whisper in the Wind and a Twist of Fate. He then hit a Swanton and posed on the ropes. Sheamus dragged himself to his feet and yelled at Hardy as he walked up the ramp….[c]
My Take: Sheamus was good here, but Hardy was underwhelming on the microphone. They almost set Sheamus up to look like he was in the ring, as Hardy came across completely insincere in his ask for yet another chance without demonstrating that he had changed at all.
Braun Strowman made his way out to the ring. He said he debuted with the Wyatt Family, but he doesn’t owe them his success. He called Wyatt deranged for thinking so, and said he’s been trying to talk to him with puppets and giving him gifts. He said if he has something to say to him, he should say it to his face. Wyatt walked to the ring with his funhouse entrance.
Wyatt said all he wanted was him to say he was sorry. Braun said he didn’t owe him anything. Wyatt said that wasn’t true, and he knows it. Braun replied that he would give him what he owes him on Sunday. Wyatt said he knew him, because he knows his creations. He said he doesn’t belong out there with the rest of them, and he could lift that burden from around his waist so he could come home.
Wyatt said he need “get” the Universal Championship Back. Bray said he wasn’t going to say get these hands just to please him. Wyatt said he needed to come home on Sunday, and held out the black mask. The puppets started telling him to come home. Braun said on Sunday he is home, and he’s the Universal Champion. He told Wyatt he would keep it on Sunday, and he would be stuck playing with his puppets.
Wyatt told Braun he was sorry, and that he had tried. The six man tag is up next. Backstage, Bryan and Gulak spoke to Otis…[c]
My Take: This segment came across pretty well, but the feud is still far too shallow. I keep waiting for them to reveal some details about their past that would give this story more emotional weight, but it’s just more Bray hocus pocus to cover for the fact that the gruel is pretty thin in this case.
Footage was shown of the brawl backstage between Bayley, Sasha, Tamina, and Lacey last week. In the arena, Sasha and Bayley made their entrances, followed by Tamina and Lacey.
3. Sasha and Bayley vs. Tamina and Lacey Evans: Sasha and Bayley argued about who would start the match, so Tamina clotheslined them both out of the ring. They tried to surprise attack Tamina with interference, but were unsuccessful. Tamina landed a powerslam on Bayley and then splashed her in the corner. Sasha made a tag, and then Bayley landed a chop block on Tamina. They then took turns putting the boots to her in the corner.
Tamina broke free and slammed Bayley and Sasha together. They then retreated to the floor and asked for a break. Lacey intercepted them on the outside and took out Banks with an elbow. Tamina then pulled Bayley back onto the apron. Bayley hung her on the top rope and climbed to the top. She jumped at Tamina, but got hit with a hard right hand on the way down. Bayley rolled to the outside to recover with Banks…[c]
Lacey landed a springboard elbow onto Banks. She then went for a moonsault, but a Bayley distraction allowed Banks to pull her down and land a basement dropkick. Banks and Bayley then landed a double back elbow. Bayley choked Lacey on the second rope, and Banks landed a slap from the outside. We then got another double team from Bayley and Sasha that lasted an eternity. Eventually Lacey made her way to her corner for a tag, but Bayley immediately sent her to the floor.
Bayley jumped on Tamina’s back on the outside, but was tossed off. Tamina then tossed her back into the ring and splashed her in the corner. Tamina then climbed to the top, but Banks provided interference. Bayley then climbed up to stop Tamina, but got shoved off. Tamina dove at her, but Bayley got the knees up. She then hit Bayley to Belly and climbed to the top rope. She then landed a big top rope elbow for a close near fall.
Bayley pulled Tamina to her feet, who picked her up for a Samoan Drop. Sasha prevented the slam, but Lacey entered the ring and landed a Woman’s Right to Banks to send her out of the ring. Tamina then landed a Superkick and Samoan Drop on Bayley for the win.
Tamina and Lacey Evans defeated Bayley and Sasha Banks at 13:25
After the match, Tamina and Lacey celebrated and Banks and Bayley looked on disappointed…[c]
My Take: The match dragged in the middle a bit, but the finish was strong. I think you could have trimmed a few minutes from the match, and it would have been tighter overall and gotten the same result. Banks and Bayley did a great job making the action look good down the stretch, as Tamina looked to be struggling to catch her wind at points late in the match.
A video package aired that gave a brief tour of the WWE headquarters. It went through various conference rooms, executive suites, the lunch room, rows of cubicles, etc. The ring on the roof with the hanging briefcases was shown briefly. Backstage, Kayla interviewed Carmella and Dana Brooke. Dana teased Carmella for not believing she could beat Naomi to qualify for the match, and said she has as good a chance as anyone of winning the match because it’s so unpredictable. Carmella said she would grab the contract for the third time and become Mella in the Bank once again.
In the arena, King Corbin made his entrance. He was followed by Cesaro, and then Shinsuke Nakamura…[c]
We got a WWE hacker segment. At the end, the hacker played a voicemail that said payback was coming real soon in a female voice. Back in the arena, Daniel Bryan made his entrance with Drew Gulak. Footage was shown of Corbin, Cesaro and Nakamura taking out Bryan and Gulak over the past few weeks. Otis made his entrance as their mystery partner.
4. Otis, Daniel Bryan, and Drew Gulak vs. Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Baron Corbin: Bryan landed a running knee strike on Corbin as the match began. They struggled back and forth a bit until Bryan landed some leg kicks. Gulak tagged in and landed some punches and a dropkick that sent Corbin reeling to the floor. Corbin tagged Cesaro, who entered and traded blows with Gulak. Cesaro got caught coming off the ropes and slammed by Gulak. He then took to the rope, but Nakamura shoved him off the ropes.
Cesaro capitalized and stomped on Gulak before tagging in Nakamura. Gulak quickly escaped and tagged Otis, who tossed Nakamura around and got fired up. He then tossed Cesaro into the air as he tried to interfere. The heels retreated to the floor, and the babyfaces had a brief celebration in the ring…[c]
Bryan was controlled by the heels during the break, but was able to break free and tag in Gulak. Cesaro entered and Gulak tossed him with a T-Bone Suplex. Gulak then climbed to the top rope, but got caught with a european uppercut. Gulak managed to catch Cesaro with a chicken wing, but Cesaro was able to break free by simply picking up Gulak and slamming him.
Gulak applied the Gulock on Corbin, but Nakamura broke it up. Otis entered and cleared Nakamura and Cesaro from the ring, but Corbin sent him to the floor. Gulak landed a flying clothesline on Corbin. Nakamura and Cesaro traded with Bryan and Otis on the floor. Corbin then landed a Deep Six on Gulak and got the win.
Corbin, Nakamura and Cesaro defeated Bryan, Gulak and Otis at 11:01
After the match, a brawl broke out. Corbin set up to hit Gulak with his scepter, but Bryan landed a running knee. Gulak, Otis, Cesaro, Bryan, and Nakamura all brawled to the backstage area. Corbin then set up a ladder in the middle of the ring, but Bryan entered the ring and pulled him down. Corbin recovered and tossed Bryan into the ladder, and then shoved Bryan out of the ring.
Otis then got back in the ring and collapsed the ladder. He then picked it up and slammed the ladder into Corbin. Otis then set the ladder back up and climbed it, but the rungs of the ladder kept snapping off. Corbin entered the ring again and sent Otis into the corner ring post. Bryan brought another ladder into the ring and set it up. This one was tall enough to actually reach the briefcase.
Bryan climbed his way up, and Corbin dumped him off and tossed him into Otis on the outside. Corbin then grabbed the briefcase and celebrated his meaningless accomplishment.
My Take: The last five minutes of the show were completely pointless, unless you think trolling the audience with Corbin winning is genius. The main event had some bright spots, notably when Cesaro and Gulak were working together, but otherwise wasn’t terribly exciting. Overall, this show continues to lack the feeling of being must watch television. There’s just too many uninteresting programs going on, and the continued prominence of King Corbin is a noticeable drag on the show.