By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown
Live from in Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
Aired September 18, 2020 on Fox
The show opened with Michael Cole and Corey Graves on commentary. They rattled off sponsors and then went immediately to the Dirt Sheet with The Miz and John Morrison.
Morrison and Miz introduced themselves, and called themselves the greatest tag team of the 21st Century. They said they would uncover the biggest stories in WWE, and would expose Bayley’s motivation to attack Sasha Banks. They would also uncover why WWE tried to erase Sami Zayn’s Intercontinental Championship reign, and Samoan family secrets. They then threw to a video package of Miz unveiling Mandy Rose’s trade to Raw.
Miz said some people have accused him of playing mind games, and using his influence to break up Mandy and Otis. He claimed that he was trying to help Otis, because he understands the pressure of carrying the briefcase. Miz said Otis can now focus on the opportunities in front of him for cashing in his briefcase, and he had removed the only obstacle that was in his path. He then said if what he’s hearing is true, Mandy is already over it. Morrison said the guys on Raw want to do a lot more than smell that rose. He then said she and Ziggler had dated previously, but Miz said they were just doing some Netflix and Chill.
Otis ran out and assaulted Miz and Morrison. Tucker offered some assistance and kept Miz from escaping through the seats to the crowd. Miz then did his worm elbow drop on Miz, followed by a Vader Bomb from the second rope. He ten celebrated for a bit, but after Miz got up, Otis pulled off his jacket and pants, revealing Miz in white briefs. Morrison took off his jacket and covered up Miz as they ran to the back…[c]
My Take: Miz and Morrison were gross here, and didn’t really portray the Raw locker room in a positive light either. I’m surprised WWE wasn’t more aggressive with the crowd noise for both the insults and the beating Otis put on Miz and Morrison.
Backstage, Miz swore he had a plan. Kayla Braxton asked Miz if he regretted aggravating Otis, and instead he took a phone call and said “She’s here? Was it enough?” before walking away. In the arena, Lucha House Party made their entrance. Gran Metalik will be competing. We saw a picture in picture promo where Kalisto and Lince Dorado argued about coaching Metalik. Cesaro made his entrance with Shinsuke Nakamura.
1. Cesaro vs. Gran Metalik: Cesaro charged in to start, but Metalik caught him with a monkey flip. Cesaro recovered and traded punches before landing a big lariat for a two count. There was some arguing at ringside that led to Dorado and Kalisto being banned from ringside. Cesaro told them off, only to get surprised by Metalik coming off the top rope with a splash…[c]
Cesaro landed a big boot and covered for a two count. They tangled in the corner, and Metalik ended up jumping off the corner post and pulling Cesaro into the ring with a head scissors. Cesaro fired back with a big uppercut and a Neutralizer for the win.
Cesaro defeated Gran Metalik at 8:12
After the match, Corey Graves plugged a confrontation between AJ Styles and Sami Zayn, and the main event of Roman Reigns and Jey Uso in a Samoan Street Fight against Sheamus and King Corbin. Kayla interviewed Jey Uso, and aired some footage of the main event of last week’s Smackdown with Roman Reigns stealing the win at the end of the match. Kayla asked him if Roman’s actions last week had changed things between them. Jey said Paul Heyman said it was a miscommunication. He said tonight he expects Roman to have his back. Jey said Big Uce has been throwing his weight around since they were kids, but they weren’t kids anymore. He said they would sort that out at Night of Champions, but tonight it was Friday Night Lockdown.
Alexa Bliss will have Nikki Cross on her talk show next…[c]
My Take: Kind of a nothing match in the feud to nowhere between Lucha House Party and Cesaro and Nakamura. I liked Jey Uso’s promo. He did a good job of expressing that he’s and Roman are not on the same page without beating you over the head with it.
We got a pre-taped promo from Matt Riddle. He said he uses the word bro because it’s a universal language. He then aired a video where he conveyed a number of different moods using the word Bro. Happy, Sad, Confident, etc. Alexa Bliss then made her entrance while the announce team plugged her upcoming podcast.
Alexa said after what happened between them last week, she needed to get Nikki Cross in the hot seat on her show. Nikki walked up and pumped up the imaginary crowd. Footage was shown of Alexa when she delivered Sister Abigail to Nikki Cross. They hugged and Alexa called Nikki her best friend. Alexa congratulated her and said she was very happy for her.
Alexa said she had no filter, and asked her what her plan of action is for the next match. She said it had to be different, because she had spent the summer losing to Bayley, and hadn’t defeated her since last year. Nikki acted surprised, and said that this time was different because she didn’t have to have eyes on the back of her head to watch for Sasha Banks. Nikki said she saw what Bayley had done to Sasha with a steel chair, and the contempt she had in her eyes, and it makes her want to give her the beating she deserves. She promised she would become the next Smackdown Women’s Champion.
Nikki then said she had a question for Alexa, and brought up Sister Abigail. Alexa said she didn’t know what to say, because she doesn’t really understand it. They were interrupted by Lacey Evans, who laughed at her claiming she was changing. Lacey told Nikki that Alexa leaving the match threw her off her game, and that was the only reason that she lost last week. She told her she would never beat Bayley, because she’s too nice. She doesn’t have a mean streak, or a spine.
Nikki stole Lacey’s handkerchief and blew her nose with it. They then brawled briefly before Lacey headed to the ring for their match…[c]
My Take: Not much in the way of story development for Alexa here, but Nikki cross cut a nice promo where she showed a bit of anger over what had happened to Sasha Banks. She had trouble containing her anger after she was done speaking. With Lacey accusing her of being too nice and not having a spine, I’m guessing a character revamp could be on the way for Nikki as well. I liked the unhinged Nikki we saw in NXT, but tempering it a little bit wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Lacey drowned her hands in hand sanitizer before the match.
2. Nikki Cross vs. Lacey Evans: Nikki jumped on Lacey’s back and applied a sleeper. She then hit a splash from the second rope for a two count. Lacey focused on Nikki’s left elbow with knee drops and using the ropes. She then landed a handstand bronco buster in the corner for a near fall. The match moved very slowly with Lacy spending a lot of time wearing down Nikki’s left arm. The announce team spent a lot of time asking Bliss about Sister Abigail last week.
Lacey continued the assault on the left forearm, and landed a standing moonsault for a two count. Alexa started to fan herself with her hands like she was getting hot. Lacey started spraying hand sanitizer onto Nikki’s face, but the ref didn’t call for the bell for some reason. Nikki fired up and landed a splash in the corner, followed by forearm strikes. She then stomped on Lacey’s hands, and then a tornado DDT out of the corner. She then landed a twisting neckbreaker using the ropes, and covered for the win.
Nikki Cross defeated Lacey Evans at 6:54.
After the match, Lacey crawled over to the announce desk and talked trash to Alexa, who went expressionless again, and gave Evans a Sister Abigail on the floor. The announcers said that Lacey mentioned The Fiend before Alexa snapped. An interview with Sasha Banks is next…[c]
My Take: A rather plodding match. I’m not sure why they spent so much time on the forearm if it wasn’t going to play into the finish. I guess they were giving Alexa and the announce team enough time to set up the post match angle. The best parts of the match were when Nikki was on offense.
Cole and Graves introduced a video package for Roman Reigns and Jey Uso that focused on the Samoan family dynasty in WWE. Paul Heyman narrated the video, and they coined their match The Battle of the Bloodlines.
Sasha Banks was interviewed, and a video was shown to recap the attack from Bayley. Sasha wore an immobilizing neck collar. After the video, Cole asked Sasha the extent of her injuries. She said she was still there. She was then asked about Bayley’s comments that she had used her throughout their entire friendship. Sasha said she had done everything for her, but now she was useless to her. She said she was overcome with emotion being at the performance center, because it was a place they built. They trained together and talked about their dreams together there, and it was exactly what they had accomplished this Summer.
Sasha said they promised they would take over the company together, and when she sees all the girls that go there now, it breaks her heart. She said all the rooms and walls display their accolades they built together. If those walls could talk….
She then addressed Bayley, and said she was an idiot and naive. She called Bayley nothing without her, and since she’s useless to her now, one day she would take the one thing she loves, the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Bayley then appeared out of nowhere and smashed Sasha from behind with a chair. She then wrapped the chair around her neck, but Security intervened before she could continue the attack…[c]
My Take: Sasha did a nice job of conveying her sadness and anger over the situation. Bayley’s attack was fairly easy to see coming, because they kept a really tight shot of Sasha’s face so you couldn’t see the movement in the background. You could see it anyway, but it was a nice effort. Sasha left a lot of sentences kind of half finished, so I don’t think we’ve heard her entire rebuttal quite yet.
Sasha was shown grabbing at her neck and chest while waiting on medical personnel. AJ Styles then made his entrance in the arena, followed by Sami Zayn. Footage was shown of Sami Zayn interrupting AJ’s match with Jeff Hardy last week. Sami then made his entrance holding his Intercontinental Championship. Sami accosted Greg Hamilton for not announcing him as Champion. He was then ambushed by AJ Styles, who threw him into the ring.
3. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn: Styles landed an ushigoroshi out of the gate. Action spilled to the outside and back after Sami attempted to regain his bearings. Zayn applied a chinlock, but was backed into the corner by Styles. Sami setup for a Heluva Kick on the apron, but Styles missed and Sami kicked the ring post. Styles then landed a flying forearm onto Zayn on the floor…[c]
Styles landed a vertical suplex into a neckbreaker for a two count. Zayn responded with a jawbreaker, and afterward they traded strikes. Styles landed a Pele Kick and both men were down. Zayn caught Styles with a Blue Thunder Bomb after a struggle for a near fall. Styles went for the calf crusher, but Sami rolled out. He then threw Styles into the turnbuckles with a suplex, and set up for the Heluva Kick. Styles avoided it, but Zayn rolled him up. He grabbed the tights, so the ref refused to count. Styles then rolled him up, and did a better job of holding the tights, and got the win.
AJ Styles defeated Sami Zayn at 10:37
After the match, Sami complained to the ref. Jeff Hardy ran down and took down both men, and grabbed a ladder. He landed a Twist of Fate to Zayn, and then climbed the ladder in the ring. Zayn rolled to the floor. Jeff grabbed a microphone. He said he was sick and tired of the Intercontinental Title situation. He was tired of being called a cheat and a fraud, and wanted to end it permanently. He said he would challenge both Styles and Zayn to a ladder match at Clash of Champions.
Backstage, Otis was served papers for a lawsuit. Nobody explained what it was about…[c]
My Take: The best match of the night so far between Styles and Zayn. Not much of a bar to hurdle, but it’s something. Hardy had a noticeable limp during his run in. I hope he was selling the previous week’s attack from Zayn rather than genuinely hurt. A Triple Threat Ladder match could be really good with this mix of competitors.
Miz and Morrison are suing Otis for emotional distress, negligence, and creating an unsafe work environment. They gave him a week to give up the Money in the Bank contract, or they would take him to court. That’s not how that works….
Elsewhere, Corbin and Sheamus were strategizing about their match. A security guard walked up, and Sheamus said this was the guy that helped him set up Big E. The guy said Sheamus’ car was being towed. Sheamus walked out into the loading dock area looking for his car, where he found Big E standing there.
Big E landed a few shots before Sheamus ran away. He then turned his attention to the guard who set him up. He tossed him around and threw him into a crate. He then gave him a belly to belly through a car windshield, and tossed him into the trunk. Adam Pearce then had security escort Big E out of the building…[c]
My Take: The lawsuit angle is beyond stupid in both premise and execution. Big E returning felt good. He showed good fire and got a piece of the men who set him up. I wouldn’t be surprised if he challenged Roman Reigns sooner than later.
We got more of our blonde mystery woman that is almost certainly Carmella.
Otis and Tucker, Lacey Evans, and Jeff Hardy will be on Talking Smack. Roman Reigns made his entrance in the arena. Heyman gave Roman the microphone. He said he came out first this week because he didn’t want there to be any confusion. Roman said this was his yard, his island, and his WWE. If you want it, you can come take it from him. Jey Uso then made his entrance. Roman cracked a half smile while Jey made his entrance, and the camera darted away….[c]
King Corbin completed his entrance as the show returned.
4. King Corbin and Sheamus vs. Jey Uso and Roman Reigns in a Samoan Street Fight: Things immediately devolved into a brawl. Reigns threw Sheamus into the virtual crowd, and Jey landed a superkick. Corbin tossed a chair at Reigns, and then landed a deep six on Jey Uso. Reigns recovered and threw Corbin into the ring, and wore him out with a chair. He then went to ringside to get a table, but Sheamus leveled him with a running knee. Corbin and Sheamus then tossed Reigns over the announce table.
Sheamus and Corbin brought the table into the ring and beat down Jey Uso. They then set the table up in the ring. Jey took out Sheamus with a kick, but got cut off before he could go to the top rope. Both Corbin and Sheamus then powerbombed Jey through the table. Sheamus then covered for a two count. Reigns wiped out Corbin with a desk chair from the announce table. Sheamus then took down Reigns with a running double axe handle.
Sheamus went for white noise on the announce table, but Reigns escaped and landed a Samoan drop on the table. He then sent Corbin into the ring post, and speared Sheamus through the barricade.
Corbin recovered and tossed Reigns into the ring steps. He then tossed Reigns into the ring. Jey Uso used the Universal Title to blast Corbin in the face. Reigns then hit a spear on Corbin. Uso came off the top rope with a big splash for the win.
Jey Uso and Roman Reigns defeated Sheamus and Baron Corbin at 6:57 in a Samoan Street Fight.
After the match, Jey Uso celebrated and Reigns looked a bit upset. Jey grabbed the Universal Title and teased holding it over his head, but threw it to Roman instead. Roman smiled and they shared a hug while Roman smiled big. As Jey celebrated up the ramp, Roman’s face got cold and serious.
My Take: The big month for Jey Uso continues, as he had another strong showing here. Roman played his part very well, and the final seconds of the show where he cut the act and looked like a killer was good stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of match they put together at Clash of Champions, even though the outcome doesn’t really seem in question.