This episode of Friday Night Smackdown was the go home show before WWE Backlash. It took place at the Performance Center in Orlando Florida with PC trainees and NXT stars in attendance. On the show, a contract signing occurred between Sheamus and Jeff Hardy for their match this Sunday, plus AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan faced off in the finals to determine the new Intercontinental Champion.
Renee Young opened the show, introducing Sheamus and Jeff Hardy to the ring for their contract signing. Sheamus had officials bring out a curtain along with a doctor come out to the ring with him. Sheamus said he nothing to do with Elias and Hardy’s incident. Hardy said that Sheamus tried to ruin his life. Sheamus told Jeff that before he signs the contract, he wants jeff to take a piss test. He said there is no way he’s facing a junkie. Hardy said his name and claimed himself to be an alcoholic. He called Sheamus a bastard and said he will be a beacon of light for everyone who is suffering with addiction. Hardy takes the test. At the same time, Sheamus is telling the people watching at home to not do drugs. Sheamus rubbed it in his face, making light of Jeff’s addiction. Jeff said to Sheamus that it’s better to be pissed on than be pissed off. Hardy threw the glass of urine on Sheamus, leaving him soaking wet in the ring.
Sheamus is shown washing off the urine on him. The doctor tells him that Jeff’s results came back negative. Sheamus flipped out as he continued washing.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro Defeated The New Day
Otis and Tucker prepared for their match with Tucker testing out his five senses as he is blindfolded. Mandy kisses Otis on the lips, wishing him good luck. All of a sudden, they turn their heads to the noise of scuffling. Jeff Hardy and Sheamus are shown fighting each other. Officials try to separate them.
AJ Styles Defeated Daniel Bryan To Become The New Intercontinental Champion
Renee Young interviewed Styles after the match. She asked how it feels for him to win the title. He said he is the best champion the WWE Universe has ever seen. He called himself phenomenal.
Braun Strowman cut a promo backstage. He talked about Miz and Morrison making his life a living hell. He said that he is not in the mood for Otis to try anything tonight to cash in the briefcase. He is focused on getting his hands on Miz and Morrison.
The Women’s Tag Team Champions Bayley and Sasha Banks came out to the ring for their championship celebration. The PC trainees boo them as they are in the ring. They tell them to shut up. Bayley gloats about being on top with the SmackDown Women’s Championship and one half of the Tag Team Champions. Banks claimed themselves as role models. She said the tag titles represents their friendship and that they are unstoppable. Bayley was about to read a poem to Sasha until Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross interrupted. They say they love a good party. The Iconics showed up on the screen, saying that they have beaten both of those teams before. They tell Bayley and Sasha to not turn their backs on Bliss and Nikki. Bliss and Cross attack them and knock them out of the ring.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Miz and Morrison. They introduce their new “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho” music video until Braun Strowman’s music interrupted it as he came out for the main event.
As they came back from commercial break, a vignette is shown for Matt Riddle. They announce that Matt Riddle will make his SmackDown debut next week.
During the match, Corbin confronted Mandy Rose backstage. He asked her about Otis taking his crown last week. He tries to convince her that she should be with a king like him. Otis runs to the back and attacks Corbin. Officials try to separate them.
Heavy Machinery and Braun Strowman Defeated Miz, Morrison and Dolph Ziggler
The show ends with Heavy Machinery, Braun Strowman and Mandy Rose all celebrating in the ring.
Review: Really good show tonight. The segments and matches on the show made this a manageable two hours.
The best match on the show was the Intercontinental title match between AJ and Daniel Bryan. Bryan did not need the title, it was the right call to have AJ Styles win it. With him as the champion, it looks like it will make that division a lot more better. The amount of commercial breaks during the match was the only takeaway, there was a lot for one match. I would also make an argument that with the way this match happened, this should’ve main evented the show. The 6 man tag was what it was but I don’t think it deserved to main event over that match.
I did like the Sheamus and Jeff Hardy contract signing to help build for their match. It reminded me of the Raw segment from 2006 with Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon when Michaels had to take the piss test and he threw that on McMahon like Jeff did on this show. The only thing that doesn’t make sense though is why would this be needed if Sheamus was worried about facing a junkie, storyline wise. Shouldn’t he do this at the actual event? Jeff could be messed up that night before their match. Other than that, the segment itself was really good.
I can’t wait to see what they do with Matt Riddle once he debuts next week. I know people might say he’ll be buried there but I won’t be quick to say that until they actually do it. We’ll see how does then.
The Bayley/Sasha celebration segment didn’t really do anything for me to hype up their title defense at Backlash. I will say Bayley and Sasha are doing great work as heels though and their promos are on point.
I’m Mike Pappas and this is my results and review for this edition of Friday Night Smackdown.