By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,102)
Live from in Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
Aired October 2, 2020 on Fox
[Hour One] A recap of the Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso title match was shown in a video package. It focused heavily on Roman’s demands to be called Tribal Chief, and Jimmy Uso throwing in the towel. We then got the normal show open from ThunderDome with Michael Cole and Corey Graves on commentary. Roman Reigns made his entrance with Paul Heyman. He wore a “Show up and Win” T-Shirt. Roman took several minutes to reach the ring, milking his entrance for all he could.
Heyman had the mic first. He asked for forgiveness and said he was a bit nervous. Heyman said he has known Reigns and his entire family since the day he was born, and he had always looked forward to this moment, because he knew it was destined to happen. Paul then said that we are all here to declare Roman Reigns as the Tribal Chief, and not just of his own family or WWE, but the Tribal Chief of the WWE Universe. He said that’s why it was necessary for Roman Reigns to be the undisputed Universal Champion.
Heyman mentioned Peter Maivia, his Uncle Afa, and his father Sika…Reigns then grabbed the microphone. Roman said he didn’t want Heyman to call him that, because he didn’t acknowledge him. He said his brother called him that, but he refused, and so he wants his cousin Jey to come out right now. Jey made his entrance and walked to the ring. Jey had a bandage on his forehead. He said he didn’t know him.
Jey said he was supposed to be his blood and his family, and at Clash of Champions he showed his true colors, and so did he. He said Roman beat his ass, but not his spirit. He was ready to go to war, and if Jimmy hadn’t thrown in the towel, he would be Universal Champion. Roman asked him if he thought he was proud of what he did. He said it was the worst night of his career and his life. Roman said it wasn’t his intentions, and he was trying to do him a favor. All he wanted to do was put him in the main event, and he wanted to help him by giving him a big payday for his wife and kids.
Roman said he loved him, even more than his brother does. He said they had been together their whole lives, and all he wanted to do was raise him up. Roman said all he had to do was acknowledge him as Tribal Chief. Roman stated that it was his birthright since the day he was born, and Jey had seen it the whole way. He said all he wanted was to represent their family together in the main event, but Jey decided to disrespect him and their whole family.
Roman said he broke his heart, and even now he’s looking at the Universal Championship instead of into his eyes. Roman asked him if he wanted another shot….and granted it to him at Hell in a Cell. Roman said this match will have the highest stakes of any match in WWE history. He hugged Jey, and said if he was him he wouldn’t accept the challenge, because it would have grave consequences. Roman then released the hug and walked out of the ring and to the back.
Jey grabbed the mic and said whatever the stakes are, he was on. Roman cracked a smile without turning back and facing Jey. The announce team questioned what Roman could have meant as real consequences. AJ grabbed a mic and asked if it really mattered who was at the end of the table? Styles said what really matters is that he cares about him. He doesn’t want him to take another beating, and so he should relinquish his opportunity to someone more qualified.
AJ said he should just let Reigns be the tribal chief, and they can sacrifice a goat or something. He said his brother is the better athlete anyway, and he can go on living life as the runt he’s always been. Jey charged AJ and sent him out to the floor. He then took a run and jumped off the announce tables onto Styles…[c]
My Take: A goat sacrifice? Are we doing Island savage racism again? The rest of the promo was great. Roman and Jey Uso continue to tell an interesting story. The “real” consequences stipulation is a nice hook, but the only thing that makes sense is a title vs. career match right?
1. AJ Styles vs. Jey Uso: AJ talked trash and mocked Uso for fighting when he was angry. Jey landed a body slam and hit the ropes for a jumping headbutt. He then ran into the corner, but Styles got out of the way and took over on offense. Styles landed a lariat and a running knee drop for a two count. Styles landed a series of strikes, and set up for Styles Clash, but Jey launched him into the air to escape and then delivered a lariat that cleared Styles to the floor. Jey then set up for a suicide dive, but AJ cut him off with an elbow strike. AJ then pulled him through the ropes into a vertical suplex position and dropped him onto the announce table…[c]
Styles landed a knee to the back and made a cover for a near fall. He then landed some stomps before applying a rear chin lock. Uso battled free and landed a kick to the gut. He then landed a neckbreaker and covered for a near fall. Styles ducked a superkick and landed a pele kick. He then picked up Jey and dropped him into an ushigoroshi for a near fall. Styles then went for a Styles Clash again, but Uso battled out and flipped Styles out to the apron. Jey landed an enziguri, and then dove on Styles out on the floor.
Uso then tossed Styles into the ring and went for a top rope splash, but Styles got his legs up to intercept. Styles crept out to the apron for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Uso cut him down by kicking the ropes. He then landed a Superkick and a Splash for the win.
Jey Uso defeated AJ Styles at 10:34
Jey celebrated after the match and repeatedly told himself “I’m gonna get him.” Alexa Bliss was advertised for the KO show, and Sami Zayn will face Jeff Hardy, Highlights were then shown from the Triple Threat Ladder Match from Clash of Champions. Sami then cut a promo backstage. He said people are probably expecting him to gloat. Sami said his genius may have been on full display, but he was a whirlwind of emotions. He said he regretted having to put himself through so much punishment to regain what was always his.
Sami said he initially blamed WWE Management, but realized that it was the fans fault. They had accepted blindly WWE stripping him of the title, and allowed Styles to call himself legitimate. And they cheered when Hardy had won as well. Zayn revealed a trash can, and said that’s where Hardy’s sham title belonged and that’s where his Championship dreams would go later tonight.
My Take: A nice boost for Jey Uso with a victory over Styles. We haven’t seen that match 1000 times either, so it felt fresh. Sami Zayn cut another very good promo, as he normally does, and continues to cast himself as a victim of injustice.
John Morrison made his entrance for the next match. Video was shown from Miz and Morrison trash talking Otis from a few weeks ago. Otis made his entrance next. Miz and Tucker are banned from ringside. Tucker was shown in a brief promo and announced he would represent himself in court next week.
2. John Morrison vs. Otis: Morrison quickly escaped to the outside. Otis clobbered him with a forearm as he got into the apron, and then stood on his chest. Otis then landed an overhead throw and splashed him in the corner. Otis performed the caterpillar elbow, and then a Vader Bomb out of the corner for the win.
Otis defeated John Morrison at 1:56
Otis celebrated after the match with his briefcase. Sasha Banks struck a pose backstage, and Cole said she had a message for Bayley…[c]
My Take: Otis just squashed Morrison. It’s probably not going to matter much with the draft coming up, but it was a bit surprising.
Sheamus made his ring entrance for the next match. We then saw a video promo posted early to twitter from Big E. He addressed Sheamus and said his Momma was right about him, because he’s special. He said they needed to have another match, and with the draft coming up they needed to do it quickly. Big E challenged him to a Falls Count Anywhere match next week.
3. Sheamus vs. Shorty G: After a German Suplex for a two count, Shorty G missed a moonsault and ate a Brogue Kick. Sheamus then landed a second Brogue Kick for the win.
Sheamus defeated Shorty G at 0:58
Sheamus celebrated on the ropes after the match. Backstage, Kevin Owens was shown preparing for the KO show…[c]
My Take: Shorty G must just be waiting out his contract at this point. He’s way too talented to be wasted much longer in WWE.
KO was in the ring for the KO Show. He said this may be his new home after the draft, so he jumped at the opportunity to come to Smackdown to host a special edition of his show. He said he had a lot of questions for a member of the Smackdown roster, because he’s been watching the show, and she happened to be his guest tonight Alexa Bliss.
[Hour Two] Video was shown of the Fiend interruption of Alexa Bliss’s match last week leading to a DQ.
Owens said he had so many questions for her because of what’s been happening to her. He asked her about her shift in attitude and anger that she’s been displaying the past few weeks. He said it reminded him of Aleister Black over on Raw. She replied that she had no idea what he was talking about. Owens said she wasn’t the kind of person he met at the performance center a few years ago. Bliss said people change, and he should try it sometime.
He said he actually agreed, and that he’s been trying to change himself, because he’s done a lot of terrible things in his career. Owens said this wasn’t about him, it was about her changes. He asked about the darkness inside her, and if she had seen what had happened with Aleister Black. She asked if he’d ever been around him, and said it’s equal parts terrifying and captivating. She said when he looks at you, he looks through you, and when he touches you it’s like your body goes completely numb.
Owens said it’s like she’s been brainwashed. Bliss said her brain had been washed….washed of all the lies she used to tell herself. She then said she knows better who she is now, and he can help others too. Owens remarked that he’s here, isn’t he? Bliss then said he was everywhere, and to let him in.
The lights went out, and the Fiend’s music hit. He applied the Mandible Claw to Owens as the lights came on all red, and choked him out. He then took Bliss’s hand, and she smiled…[c]
My Take: Well, they finally got to the point where the two of them are together, but the question that’s always remained for me is what now? How do these two come together as a singular act? Do we see Bliss in the Funhouse? What does she think of sweater vest Bray? It’ll be fascinating to see if they can pull it off.
Lucha House Party and Matt Riddle made their entrances.
4. Matt Riddle, Lince Dorado, and Gran Metalik vs. King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro: Dorado and Nakamura started the match with some knee strikes. Kalisto walked down less than a minute into the match…[c]
The heels were isolating Metalik in their corner. Kalisto was talking trash at ringside. Cesaro entered and landed a hanging vertical suplex, and then tagged out to Nakamura. He entered and applied a front facelock, and then knocked Dorado off the apron. Metalik managed to land a tornado DDT, which triggered tags to both Corbin and Riddle.
They brawled until Riddle landed an overhead suplex and a penalty kick for a near fall. Nakamura broke up the pin, but Dorado cut him off with a stunner. The match broke down with bodies flying around. Kalisto clobbered Dorado by mistake, but Riddle put Cesaro away with a Bro Derek anyways.
Matt Riddle, Lince Dorado, and Gran Metalik defeated King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro at 6:56
Lucha House Party argued after the bell, and Dorado was furious with Kalisto for kicking him. The announce team quickly cut away to some footage of Bayley’s attack on Sasha Banks from 3 weeks ago, and the various assaults since. Banks made her entrance in the arena with a neck brace on…[c]
My Take: Sasha doing her normal catwalk entrance and posing with a neck brace is a weird way to sell a cervical spine injury. Does anyone care about the Lucha House Party split? Are they just going to split them in the draft?
We got a reveal for Carmella, and a promo where she said she wasn’t our princess anymore. She blamed her efforts to please the fans for her past failures, and said this time she’s untouchable.
Sasha was in the ring and called Bayley a coward. A coward that needed her to keep her title, and used her for her accomplishments and achievements. She recognized her as the longest reigning Smackdown Women’s Champion, and said she wasn’t there because she was afraid of her. Sasha said next week it was going to be Bayley vs. Sasha one on one for the thing she loves the most. Sasha then said when no one was there to save her, she didn’t stand a chance…bitch. She took off her neck collar during the last line of the promo.
Sami Zayn made his entrance for the next match. Video recapped his promo from earlier where he dropped Hardy’s version of the IC title in the trash….[c]
My Take: I wasn’t a fan of how basic that promo was. They put this feud together over a year, and since they flipped the switch on building the match, it seems like they just keep repeating the same material. I was hoping we’d get the kind of uncomfortable personal attacks that you can only get in a feud where best friends know how to get under each other’s skin, but this has been disappointing in that regard. I hope the match next week lives up to the long wait.
Next week, Kevin Owens will face the Fiend, as well as Big E vs. Sheamus in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Sami Zayn was in the ring with his elbow and ribs wrapped up. Jeff Hardy then made his entrance. Greg Hamilton made ring introductions for the Intercontinental Championship Match.
5. Sami Zayn vs. Jeff Hardy for the Intercontinental Championship: Hardy got on offense early and targeted Sami’s injured ribs. Sami targeted the leg of Hardy that he was limping on. Zayn tried to toss Hardy into the corner, but the turnbuckle pad was missing. Nobody knew how it had been removed. It happened off camera. The action spilled outside, and Hardy charged at Zayn, and crashed and burned into the barricade when Zayn moved…[c]
Zayn was on offense when the show returned. It was revealed that Zayn removed the turnbuckle pad during Hardy’s entrance. Zayn applied a rear chinlock, and talked trash about how Hardy was a fraudulent champion. He then tossed Hardy through the ropes to the floor. Zayn ran Hardy into the barricade and then back into the ring for a couple of two count pinfalls. Both Hardy and Zayn sold rib injuries at this point. Sami landed a Bret Hart second rope elbow smash for a near fall.
Sami climbed the ropes again, but Hardy crotched him into the turnbuckle. Hardy climbed and landed a superplex, but couldn’t make a cover. Hardy landed a basement dropkick and a running splash for a near fall. Hardy called for a Twist of Fate, but Zayn pulled him into a backslide for a near fall. Sami tried for a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Hardy rolled him up for a close near fall.
Sami recovered and suplexed Hardy into the turnbuckles for a near fall. Sami eyed the exposed turnbuckle and tried to throw Hardy into it. Jeff resisted and landed a mule kick to the ribs. Jeff missed a charge in the corner and Sami landed a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. He then placed Hardy on the ropes and climbed for a superplex of his own, but Hardy shoved him down and went for a Swanton. Zayn got the knees up and they seemed to connect with the neck and upper back fo Hardy.
They fought in the corner with the exposed turnbuckle for a bit. Jeff climbed the ropes and Sami tripped Hardy into the steel ring and covered for the win.
Sami Zayn defeated Jeff Hardy at 14:05 to retain the Intercontinental Championship.
The announce team plugged the draft for next week…
My Take: A good match to close the show. Hardy and Zayn work well together, and they paid off the use of Chekhov’s exposed turnbuckle from earlier in the match. This was a solid show overall, although just about everybody involved in the six-man tag desperately needs a fresh matchup. Corbin needs a new gimmick more than anybody in WWE at this point. The Samoan Dynasty storyline continues to be some of the best storytelling in wrestling, and it’s going a long way to carry the show.