By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,103)
Live from in Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
Aired October 9, 2020 on Fox
[Hour One] The ThunderDome was flipped on while the broadcast team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves checked in. Cole spoke about the WWE Draft and said WWE officials were in touch with officials from Fox and USA Network to learn their preferences for the draft. They ran through the basic rules…
Stephanie McMahon was introduced and she walked out to the podium that was set up on the stage. She said it was her honor and privilege to host the draft again this year, then announced the first picks.
Drew McIntyre was drafted as Raw’s first pick.
Roman Reigns was drafted as Smackdown’s first pick.
Asuka was drafted by Raw.
Seth Rollins was drafted by Smackdown.
“The Hurt Business” Bobby Lashley, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, and Cedric Alexander were drafted by Raw.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Seth Rollins backstage. Rollins said it was never about the Monday Messiah name, it was about the message. Rollins said he was thrilled to jump to Smackdown. He said he was a little heartbroken that he can’t be there in person to see the Mysterio family implode, but lucky for him he never has to look at their disgusting faces again…
Powell’s POV: Rollins moving to Smackdown was the only mild surprise of the first round. There was no reason to move the two men’s world champions, and hopefully Asuka staying on Raw means the Smackdown Women’s Champion will also remain on Smackdown.
1. Big E vs. Sheamus in a Falls Count Anywhere match. The wrestlers fought to ringside where Big E pulled a kendo stick out from underneath the ring. Sheamus blasted E with a knee to the head before he could use the kendo stick. Sheamus tied up Big E’s arms in the ropes and hit him with the kendo stick repeatedly. Big E’s arms came loose and he fell to the floor where Sheamus covered him for a two count.
Sheamus crawled under the ring. Big E used duct tape to tie Sheamus’s ankles together, then returned fire with the kendo stick. Sheamus tumbled over the ringside barricade heading into a commercial break. [C]
Big E and Sheamus fought to the backstage area with Big E continuing to use the kendo stick. Sheamus bounced back and slammed E, then hit him with the stick. Sheamus had some nasty welts on his body. Sheamus poured flour from a catering table on E, then threw a bunch of eggs at him.
Sheamus picked up a small monitor, but Big E hit him with a broom and then a trashcan. The fight spilled into the parking garage. They ended up on top of a car where Sheamus performed White Noise and put E through the windshield. Sheamus covered E for a two count.
Sheamus slammed the car door on E a few times, then stuffed him in the trunk. Sheamus put E’s arm out and wanted to slam it, but Big E blocked it with his foot. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, but Big E ducked it. Big E powerbombed Sheamus onto a car and it looked like he was supposed to go through the windshield, but Sheamus slipped down the hood. Big E put Sheamus through the windshield, then performed a Big Ending onto another car and got the pin…
Big E defeated Sheamus in roughly 15:00 in a Falls Count Anywhere match.
Jey Uso made his entrance. Cole said Uso would confront Roman Reigns… [C]
Powell’s POV: The wrestlers took advantage of being able to do more backstage during a Falls Count Anywhere match than they could in normal times when there would be an arena filled with fans getting irritated while watching on a big screen. Sheamus strikes me as a candidate to move to Raw now that Drew McIntyre stayed put. They are friends and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them feud over the WWE Championship at some point.
Big E was interviewed by Braxton backstage. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods showed up dressed as security guards and surprised E with a New Day reunion. Kingston and Woods said they are missing their Smackdown Tag Titles…
Jey Uso stood in the ring and wondered if Roman Reigns was going to come out. Uso started to go into promo mode when Paul Heyman appeared on the big screen and interrupted him. Heyman said Uso would not dictate when Reigns appears. Heyman set up footage of Reigns beating Uso at Clash of Champions to serve as an example of what happens when someone chooses to face Reigns.
Backstage, Reigns was seated near Heyman Reigns recalled his father telling him to believe nothing you hear and only half of what you think in this business. “What you just saw, you can believe that,” Reigns said. “I tried to help you. I tried to make your life better. All you had to do was say the words, acknowledge me as your chief.”
Reigns announced that he and Uso would meet in the first I Quit match to be held inside the Hell in a Cell structure. Reigns said he just wanted to help Uso and told him that he loves him. “But after you say I quit, there will be consequences.” Uso watched from the ring as Reigns’ entrance theme played…
Powell’s POV: A good promo from Reigns. I like the stipulation and the added threat that there will be consequences. I don’t think anyone expects Uso to win, so they needed to make this more about than just the outcome.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon showed Adam Peace the round two picks. He acted surprised… [C]
Cole touted Forbes naming Stephanie McMahon the most influential female Chief Marketing Officer…
Powell’s POV: Stephanie actually finished second on the list behind Phil Schiller. WWE opted to focus on her being listed as the top female CMO.
Stephanie McMahon announced that Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro would defend the Smackdown Tag Titles against Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. Stephanie announced the following second round picks.
AJ Styles to Raw.
Sasha Banks to Smackdown.
Naomi to Raw.
Bianca Belair to Smackdown.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler to Raw.
Powell’s POV: Normally, I would assume that the Street Profits would follow Belair to Smackdown because she is married to Montez Ford. That could still happen, but with all shows being held in Orlando, it’s not as big of a deal for couples to end up on opposite brands right now. The company can always correct course once things get back to normal.
AJ Styles delivered a promo from his home. He said he should have been the first pick of the brand. He said a person with his skills shouldn’t be around people like Jeff Hardy and Sami Zayn. He said he was going to Raw and his future is phenomenal…
2. Matt Riddle and Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz and John Morrison. Riddle and Hardy sent Miz and Morrison to ringside. Riddle performed a dive onto them heading into an early break. [C] Graves said today marks one year of sobriety for Hardy. Riddle hit Bro Derek on Miz and pinned him clean.
Matt Riddle and Jeff Hardy defeated The Miz and John Morrison in 5:30.
After the match, Lars Sullivan made his entrance. Sullivan had short hair and a dark beard. Sullivan destroyed Riddle and Hardy with his power moves. Morrison tried to pull Miz to safety, but Sullivan grabbed Miz and hit him with forearms shots to the head, then ran his head into the middle turnbuckle. Sullivan slammed Miz to the mat, then glared into the camera while Cole called him The Freak…
Powell’s POV: Sullivan is finally back after suffering a knee injury in June 2019. I guess he can finally start working off that $100,000 fine that WWE gave him for making bigoted comments on a message board prior to his WWE career.
[Hour Two] Stephanie McMahon stood at the podium and announced that Lars Sullivan would be added to Monday’s draft pool. Stephanie read the round three draft picks.
Ricochet to Raw.
Jey Uso to Smackdown.
Mandy Rose to Raw.
Rey and Dominick Mystero to Smackdown.
The Miz and John Morrison to Raw.
Rey and Dominick Mysterio celebrated their move to Smackdown backstage…
Ring entrances for the Smackdown Women’s Championship match took place. Cole noted that today would have been Eddie Guerrero’s 53rd birthday. Cole also said Bayley’s title reign was up to 361 days…
3. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Bayley brought a chair to the ring with her. Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Sasha slapped Bayley, then the bell rang to start the match. Banks went for a Bank Statement, but Bayley put her foot on the ropes before she could apply it. Bayley rolled to the floor and punched Banks from there. Bayley grabbed her chair and jabbed Banks with it for the DQ.
Sasha Banks beat Bayley by DQ in 2:30 in a Smackdown Women’s Championship match.
After the match, Banks ended up with the chair and beat Bayley with it repeatedly. Banks wrapped Bayley’s head in the chair and went to the ropes, but Bayley rushed out of the ring before Banks could leap onto her…
Powell’s POV: I have no idea why they felt the need to go with this match, but at least they kept it short and didn’t actually give anything away. A couple of draft notes. Ricochet being drafted eleventh is ridiculous considering how poorly he’s been booked, but perhaps it’s a sign they intend to do more with him. And how silly does it look to have Rose traded to Raw recently only to have the brand use a high draft pick to keep her. Did USA Network hire former Houston Texans’ coach and general manager Bill O’Brien to serve as their draft consultant?
Cole set up a sponsored recap of last week’s KO Show with Alexa Bliss, which led to The Fiend attacking Owens… Owens was shown putting on his wrist tape when Alexa Bliss approached him and said, “Let him in”… [C]
4. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods for the Smackdown Tag Titles. Graves questioned what Kingston and Woods did to earn the title shot. Cole pointed to their past success. Kingston and Woods hit an early double team move on Cesaro and had the pin, but Nakamura broke it up. [C]
Cole noted that the champions dominated the offense throughout the break. Late in the match, Woods made a blind tag. Kingston hit Nakamura with Trouble in Paradise, then Woods performed a top rope elbow drop and scored the pin.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods defeated Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro in 8:30 to win the Smackdown Tag Titles.
Big E came out with an ice pack on his shoulder to celebrate with Kingston and Woods.
Stephanie McMahon came out for the final draft picks of the night while New Day remained in the ring.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods to Raw.
Big E to Smackdown.
Dana Brooke to Raw.
Otis to Smackdown.
Angel Garza to Raw.
The New Day trio stood in the ring and looked dejected over being split up via the draft. Graves noted that the Smackdown Tag Titles are going to Raw…
Powell’s POV: The tag title change was completely rushed, but the bigger story is the New Day split. Do they really want us to believe that Raw could have selected all three New Day members as a trio, but apparently decided they didn’t want Big E? I hope there’s an explanation, but I’m not holding my breath. And Raw continues to look stupid by trading for Dana Brooke recently and then having to waste a pick on her in this round.
An ad for Raw hyped the continuation of the WWE Draft…
Cole said the draft would actually continue on Talking Smack when its released on WWE Network…
Backstage, Otis noted that he was drafted to Smackdown, but Tucker was not. Tucker said they wouldn’t worry about that right now. Tucker pulled out a legal book. A woman showed up and served Otis with paperwork. Tucker read it and informed him that the lawyer asked for a continuance so there was a delay in the trial. Tucker said the case has no legal standing and the lawyer was trying to drag it out to drain Otis dry. “No one drains my moisture,” Otis said…
Powell’s POV: Lousy. I didn’t even notice that Smackdown could have drafted Tucker too. What a kick in the balls.
Cole and Graves sold the Otis line by looking bewildered, then recapped the Smackdown Women’s Championship match…
Sasha Banks delivered a promo backstage. Banks called Bayley a coward and said she should have known that Bayley would get herself disqualified. Banks challenged Bayley to a Hell in a Cell match. Banks said she will break Bayley and end everything there is about her. Banks said she would take the thing that Bayley loves the most, her Smackdown Women’s Championship…
The Firefly Funhouse opening aired and then the lights in the arena changed for The Fiend’s entrance. As The Fiend made his entrance, Cole noted that it was the first time The Fiend would compete in a match on Smackdown. [C]
Cole hyped the draft continuing on Raw, while Graves hyped the season premiere of Smackdown for next week. They announced Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship, and New Day’s farewell match against Sheamus, Cesaro, and Shinsuke Nakamura… Kevin Owens made his entrance…
5. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Kevin Owens. The match spilled to ringside. The Fiend performed a uranage slam onto the broadcast table. Fiend kissed Owens’ head and gave him Sister Abigail on the table, which did not break. [C]
The Fiend continued to dominate the match coming out of the break. Owens came back with three superkicks. The third one caused Fiend to fall into a seated position in the corner. Owens performed a pair of cannonballs, then Fiend rolled to ringside and Owens followed. Owens performed a DDT on the floor.
Fiend got up quickly, but Owens knocked him off the apron. Owens performed a frogsplash from the apron to the floor. Owens went for a Popup Powerbomb on the broadcast table, but Fiend didn’t go up right so they had to do it again. Cole marveled at how quickly Fiend got back to his feet and returned to the ring.
The Fiend put Owens in the Mandible Claw. Owens gave Fiend a Stunner, but Fiend kept the hold applied. Fiend gave Owens a uranage, then reapplied the hold. The referee counted Owens’ shoulders down.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defeated Kevin Owens in 10:00.
After the match, the lights went out and when they turned on, Fiend was on the stage staring face to face with Alexa Bliss. They both looked at Owens in the ring, then went back to looking at each other…
Cole and Graves hyped Reigns vs. Strowman for the Universal Championship for next week’s season premiere edition…
Powell’s POV: The match was everything I dislike about The Fiend. I enjoy the entrance, the look, and some other aspects of Wyatt’s persona, but the horror movie no-selling just isn’t for me. Overall, you had to turn your brain off while watching the draft at times. WWE didn’t have many big cards to play, but they went ahead and pulled the trigger on putting the New Day members on opposite brands. We’ll see if it lasts since Kingston and Woods hold the Smackdown Tag Titles.
Let me know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade in our post show poll. I will be back shortly with my audio review of Smackdown and night one of the WWE Draft for Dot Net Members. Join us via PWMembership.net. Have a great weekend.