9/25 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Roman Reigns in-ring interview, Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Sami Zayn in a non-title match, Alexa Bliss vs. Lacey Evans, the final push for Clash of Champions

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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown
Live from in Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
Aired September 25, 2020 on Fox

[Hour One] A graphic memorialized the late “Road Warrior Animal” Joe Laurinaitis… The ThunderDome was turned on and then Michael Cole checked in on commentary and touted ThunderDome and the show sponsor…

AJ Styles made his entrance. There were ladders set up on the stage, ramp, at ringside, and in the ring. Sami Zayn headed to the ring with his Intercontinental Title belt in hand. Finally, Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy made his entrance.

Cole’s broadcast partner Corey Graves stood in the ring and hosted the verbal segment. Graves noted that both title belts will be raised above the ring in the first ever Intercontinental Title ascension ceremony.

Styles told Hardy to savor the moment because it’s the last time he would hold the title belt. Styles questioned why Zayn was even involved. Styles said Zayn took the summer off and grew out his neck beard.

Zayn said the match shouldn’t even be happening, but Styles took part in a tournament and became the “fraudulent champion.” Zayn said Hardy went on to win the same fraudulent title. Hardy said he actually agrees with Styles because they have defended the title with honor and added “some more than others.”

Hardy suggested they hang the belts now so that they can tear the house down on Sunday. The belt hook was lowered. Hardy and Zayn placed their title belts on the hook. Graves wished all three men luck as the belts were raised. Zayn went to the apron, then shoved a ladder onto Hardy and Styles. Zayn fired some punches at Hardy, then ran off once Styles recovered.

Adam Pearce came out and announced that he was adding Styles to the scheduled Hardy vs. Zayn match. Pearce said the Triple Threat was coming up next. In the ring, Hardy hit Styles with a Twist of Fate… [C]

Powell’s POV: Who is Adam Pearce and what is his role? Okay, so many of us know exactly who Pearce is, but there have to be some casual fans wondering who he is and just how much power he wields. Pearce does a really nice job. I just continue to wish they would give Pearce’s character an actual title. Anyway, the opening segment was entertaining and it’s good to see the ladder match getting a lot of attention to open the show.

1. Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn in a non-title Triple Threat match. Hardy had Styles down and set up for his finisher, but Zayn shoved him from the top rope to ringside around 5:45. Zayn went to ringside and threw punches at Hardy. Styles kicked Zayn through the ropes, then performed a dive over the top and hit Styles with a forearm shot on the way down. [C]

Zayn hit both opponents with Helluva Kicks, but Styles responded with a Pele Kick. A short time later, Styles hit Hardy with a Phenomenal Forearm. Zayn dumped Styles to ringside and stole the pin.

Sami Zayn defeated Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles in 12:00 in a non-title Triple Threat match.

After the match, Styles hit both men with a ladder. Styles set up a tall ladder in the middle of the ring, then pulled down both title belts…

The broadcast team hyped the Roman Reigns interview, and Matt Riddle vs. King Corbin for later in the show…

Otis and Tucker were shown talking backstage while looking over legal paperwork… [C]

Powell’s POV: WWE formula booking says that Zayn winning the match means he’s probably not winning on Sunday, and Styles mugging with the title belts means he’s probably not winning on Sunday either. I guess that means Hardy retains, but we’ll see what happens. Meanwhile, the Money in the Bank contract means so little right now that I actually forgot they were doing the lawsuit angle.

Cole said no one in entertainment cares more about its fans than WWE. “This ThunderDome is for you,” Cole said. He transitioned to setting up a recap of The Miz and John Morrison’s recent drama with Otis and Tucker…

Kayla Braxton interviewed Otis and Tucker in the backstage area. She noted that he had a week to decide whether to fight Miz’s lawsuit or forfeit his Money in the Bank contract. Otis indicated that he wasn’t going to forfeit the contract.

The Miz and John Morrison showed up. Tucker told them that Otis won the contract. Miz threatened that his lawyers will drown Otis in debt to the point that he’ll be left with a mountain of debt. Otis got pissed. Miz boasted that he got Mandy Rose traded to Raw.

Tucker pointed out that Miz’s lawyers only put Miz’s name on the contract. Morrison asked Miz what that meant. Otis attacked Morrison. Several WWE producers showed up to pull Otis away from Morrison…

Cole and Graves set up a sponsored recap of the Bayley and Sasha Banks feud developments…

Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley made her entrance with a chair in hand. Cole noted that she had been champion for 347 days. Bayley set up the chair on the stage and then took a seat to deliver her promo. Bayley said she doesn’t have an ounce of energy to waste on Banks because she has work to do.

Bayley brought up her challenger Nikki Cross. She recalled Cross saying last week that the match will be different because Banks will no longer be in her corner. Bayley told Cross to think about why Banks won’t be in her corner. She said that if she was able to do what she did to her best friend Banks, then Cross can only imagine what she will do to her. Bayley looked at the chair and asked, “Right, Sasha?”…

Powell’s POV: I can’t be the only person shocked that Bayley wasn’t attacked from behind while delivering her promo from a chair on the stage. Her promo addressed her challenger on Sunday, yet also focused on her bigger feud with Banks.

Footage aired of Roman Reigns glaring at Jey Uso while Uso was leaving the ring last week. Cole said both men get a chance to tell their side of the story… An ad aired for a WWE Chronicle featuring Jey Uso on WWE Network… [C]

Cole hyped Lacey Evans vs. Alexa Bliss for later in the show…

2. Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Cesaro) vs. Gran Metalik (w/Kalisto, Lince Dorado). The Lucha House Party entrance was not televised. Metalik performed a flip dive onto Nakamura at ringside, which led to Kalisto and Dorado doing their “lucha” dance. Back inside the ring, Nakamura tripped up Metalik on the ropes and then hit him with a running knee to the back of the head. Nakamura followed up with the Kinshasa and then got the three count.

Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Gran Metalik in 4:25.

After the match, Dorado ran in to check on Metalik. Cesaro picked up Dorado and suplexed him. Kalisto had been on the verge of following Dorado into the ring, but he stopped when he saw Cesaro grab him. Kalisto entered the ring after Cesaro and Nakamura were gone. Dorado shoved Kalisto to the mat and then helped up Metalik…

Powell’s POV: I’m not really sure how the champions dominating their challenger is supposed to sell anyone on the match, so I guess they want you to watch to see if Lucha House Party break up.

Backstage, a happy Jay Uso knocked on Roman Reigns’ locker room door while saying they had thing to do… [C]

A montage of tweets regarding the late Road Warrior Animal were shown. The tweets included Dwayne Johnson, Triple H, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, and Ric Flair…

A video package on Roman Reigns and Jey Uso aired. The video included comments from Rikishi, Sika, and Jey Uso, and included childhood photos and video of Reigns and Uso along with modern highlights…

[Hour Two] Jey Uso made his entrance. Uso stood in the ring and said he is hyped. Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman were shown watching the promo from backstage while Uso played up the family battle. Uso noted that Reigns would be interviewed later and said he has some questions. Uso set up footage from last week of the finish of the tag match main event finish.

Cole pointed out the scowl that Reigns shot look once he was leaving the ring. Uso said people have been asking him about it all week. He said he wanted to ask Reigns. “What’s up with the look?” Reigns and Heyman were shown still seated backstage. Uso said he thought they were better than that. “You smile in front of my face and frown on my back,” Uso said. “What is it?”

Paul Heyman walked out of Reigns’ locker room. He said Reigns will address the situation, but it’s not going to happen when Jey Uso wants it to happen. Heyman guaranteed that the face to face discussion would happen in the ring tonight. Heyman headed back inside the locker room.

Uso said he knew something was up. He said Reigns changed his cellphone number and Heyman is screening his mailbox every ten seconds. Uso said it’s all good because they would man up at Clash of Champions…

At ringside, Graves said he had a great conversation with Reigns (on his podcast), but he didn’t get all the answers he wanted. Cole set up footage of Matt Riddle beating King Corbin at WWE Payback. Footage also showed Corbin attacking Riddle in the backstage area afterward…

King Corbin stood backstage and delivered a promo. He recalled Riddle’s “Bro” video from last week and said he makes him look forward to him using the word Bro to express pain and agony…

Matt Riddle made his entrance. Footage aired of a pre-taped Riddle promo. He said Corbin has serious anger issues. Riddle said Corbin has tried to make his live miserable, but you can’t keep a good bro down. He said he wanted to show the difference between a stallion and a jackass… [C] A Connor’s Cure video aired… King Corbin made his entrance…

3. Matt Riddle vs. King Corbin. Riddle attacked Corbin before the bell. The referee separated them and then called for the bell to start the match. Riddle clotheslined Corbin to ringside. Riddle followed and threw punches at Corbin, who rolled back inside the ring and then cut off Riddle as he was climbing between the ropes. They went back to ringside where Riddle tossed Corbin over the broadcast table. [C]

Late in the match, Riddle acted like he was out, then came to life and blasted Corbin with a knee strike. Corbin ducked a running knee and avoided a standing moonsault, but Riddle eventually connected with a running knee for a two count. Corbin came back with a Deep Six for a near fall of his own. Riddle rallied and went for a springboard, but Corbin caught him with a punch.

Corbin went for End of Days, but Riddle flipped through and blasted Corbin with a knee to the head. Riddle went for a Floating Bro, but Corbin put his knees up. Corbin hit End of Days and scored the clean pin.

King Corbin beat Matt Riddle in 11:15.

After the match, Kayla Braxton entered the ring and said she assumed that Riddle was disappointed in his performance. Riddle said losing sucks, but he would continue to push himself and grind until Smackdown becomes the Bro Show…

Powell’s POV: A solid match. Given Riddle’s public mess with his former mistress, I can’t say that I’m surprised to see him lose clean. It’s time for my weekly plea. Corbin has had this terrible King gimmick for over a year now. Pull the plug and end this cartoonish persona and let him be himself.

The mystery glamor woman was featured in a video putting on jewelry and writing “Untouchable” with lipstick on a mirror…

Alexa Bliss made her entrance while a pre-taped promo aired about her match against Lacey Evans… [C] AJ Styles, Bayley, and Lucha House Party were announced as the guests on Saturday’s Talking Smack… Evans made her entrance…

4. Alexa Bliss vs. Lacey Evans. Evans controlled the bulk of the early offense. Bliss wrenched her arm and then slammed her to the mat. The Bray Wyatt laugh track played. Bliss stopped and listened. [C]

Evans controlled the offense until she went for a moonsault and Bliss rolled out of the way. The Fiend lighting turned on in the arena. Bliss let out a primal scream and then violently beat up Evans and was ultimately disqualified.

Lacey Evans beat Alexa Bliss by DQ in 10:35.

Bliss performed Sister Abigail on Evans at ringside. Bliss entered the ring and stared into the hard camera. The Fiend appeared on the big screen and laughed, then Bliss smiled and headed up the ramp. Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman made their entrance and crossed paths with Bliss, who stood and glared at Reigns while he held up the WWE Universal Championship belt on the stage… [C]

Powell’s POV: This was the best of the Bliss under the spell of Bray Wyatt moments. She’s doing a nice job of playing the part, and the long stare at Reigns on the stage was an unexpected surprise.

Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman stood in the ring. Heyman started to say that now was the time, but he was interrupted by Jey Uso’s entrance music. Once Uso was in the ring, Reigns asked if he wanted his side of the story. Reigns said that he would give Uso the WWE Universal Championship, but he wouldn’t even know what to do with it.

Reigns said Uso doesn’t have any idea what it’s like to carry the weight of being the face of WWE. Reigns said Jey can’t understand because he’s a twin and he’s depended on his brother his entire life. Reigns said he isn’t saying that Jey is half the man he is. He put over the Usos as the greatest team. Reigns said it’s him because he’s the one to provide for the family. “But it will never be you,” Reigns said. “It will always be me.”

Reigns left the ring with Heyman. “What if you’re wrong?” Uso asked. “Why can’t I be the one to provide for the family? Why can’t I provide for my wife and my kids, your nephews?” Uso said people call Reigns “Mr. Main Event” and when they see him they ask, “Which one are you?” He said they wlll know him as the one who beat Reigns to win the WWE Championship. “It will be me,” Uso said before throwing down the mic.

Reigns and Heyman went backstage. Jey went to the stage and celebrated. Reigns returned and hit Jey with a Superman Punch. Reigns barked at Jey that he feeds a whole family with the title. He said his family needs the title and Jey wants to take it from him. Reigns said Jey will get the payday and the ass whooping that comes with it. “You will never take my place at the head of the table,” Reigns said…

Powell’s POV: An excellent segment with strong mic work from both men. It was nice to hear Jey finally sound like he was speaking from the heart rather than just being a happy go lucky guy. I would still love to see the Usos join Reigns to form a Samoan Dynasty. With Reigns talking about being at the head of the table and Heyman dubbing him the Tribal Chief, perhaps they can get there somewhere down the road.

Overall, the Reigns and Uso segment made the night. The Bliss segment was intriguing, and I’m sold on the Triple Threat ladder match. Let me know what you thought of Smackdown by taking part in our weekly post show poll available on the main page. Dot Net Members will hear my same night audio review coming up later tonight.

Join me for live coverage of WWE Clash of Champions on Sunday night.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...


Readers Comments (1)

  1. I am so disappointed Alexa didn’t spear/sister Abigail Paul Heyman

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