This edition of Friday Night SmackDown came back to the Performance Center in Orlando Florida with PC trainees in attendance. Advertised for the show was the confrontation between Universal Champion Braun Strowman and The Fiend and a triple brand battle royal featuring female competitors from Raw, NXT and SmackDown to determine who Bayley will defend the SmackDown Women’s Championship against at SummerSlam.
The opening match with Big E and John Morrison was about to start until Retribution came in and attacked them. They chased Michael Cole and Corey Graves away as they continued their assault on Big E and Morrison. They left ringside after their attack, leaving Big E and Morrison down.
SmackDown Superstars talk about the attack backstage. Corbin said they need leadership now that they are under attack. He claimed himself the leader and will keep them safe. Big E said he may be disrespected but not defeated. he said he will face Morrison later on because he is here to fight. Sheamus came up to Big E, saying Retribution attacked him because he is vulnerable without Kofi and Xavier. Sheamus claimed that Retribution is afraid of him. Big E said he is not alone in this fight as the rest of the SmackDown locker room walks away with him.
Bayley and Sasha Banks appeared in the ring. Bayley said Retribution interrupted the match because they wanted to hear what they are going to say. Sasha revealed that her and Bayley will defend their tag titles at Payback. Bayley said she’s excited to find out who will face her at SummerSlam and she will do the ring introduction for the battle royal. They introduced The Iconics, Tegan Knox, Shotzi Blackheart, and Lacey Evans. They stop at one name, claiming that they think they got the wrong card. Asuka came out to the ring, going after Sasha and Bayley. They brawled until Sasha and Bayley escaped from her.
Asuka Wins The Triple Brand Battle Royal To Challenge Bayley For The SmackDown Women’s Championship At SummerSlam
Review: I enjoyed this battle royal a lot but I don’t know how I feel about having Asuka pull double duty at SummerSlam. While it is an interesting plan to see Asuka challenge both of them at the same time, this kind of just seems like they don’t have any faith in anyone except Bayley, Sasha and Asuka. Shayna could’ve definitely used this win and I thought WWE is missed the boat there. There was also too much of people who got eliminated grabbing the person who eliminated them and getting revenge by eliminating them. It’s good for only one instance in my opinion.
Bayley and Sasha Banks complain about Asuka getting the win backstage. Asuka came from behind and attacked them until officials separate them.
Mandy Rose talked backstage saying that she has been hearing that she is all looks and nothing else all her life. She said she worked hard to get where she is today. She thanks Sonya for reminding her that she is more than a pretty face. She challenges Sonya to a hair vs. hair match at SummerSlam.
Sheamus excused the security guards backstage, confident that he will be able to handle Retribution if they ever show up.
Nikki Cross looked disappointed backstage for not winning the battle royal. She hugged Alexa Bliss as she saw her and apologized for leaving her alone with The Fiend. Alexa said she is fine. Nikki tried to help her but Alexa kept pushing her off and said she needs to get answers from Braun.
Sheamus Defeated Shorty G
Review: Good match. Shorty gave a really good showing and hopefully this leads to something more down the road for him.
AJ Styles came out to the ring with Joseph Park. AJ said that he has been a fighting champion with beating Drew Gulak, Matt Riddle and Gran Metalik. He said he wants to enjoy the moment as IC Champion at home while Twitch streaming. He talked about people saying he should face someone based on statistics. He said he has hired a statistics team to create the Phenomenal Intercontinental Statistics System aka PISS. He showed the statistics of who he should face and himself being number. he revealed that no one below him should face him. Jeff Hardy came out to interrupt him, saying that he respects everything AJ has done. He said the IC title has been very special to him since it was the first singles title he has won. He wants to challenge AJ for the IC title. AJ said he respects Jeff and admires everything he has went through. AJ said he deserves to be on the board but he says hell no to the challenge. AJ said this is not a pity party. Hardy attacked AJ and planted him with the Twist Of Fate. Hardy put himself on the board.
Cesaro and Nakamura mock Lucha House Party as Lucha House Party steals the Tag Team Titles from behind. Cesaro and Nakamura caught them and they run. Cesaro and Nakamura chased after them.
Kayla Braxton interviewed AJ Styles backstage about what Jeff Hardy did. AJ said Hardy disrespected him and his system. He accepted Jeff Hardy’s challenge. He said he will erase him from the board once he is done with him. He tried wiping his name off but the name wouldn’t come off. AJ flipped out when he found out it was written in a permanent marker.
Gran Metalik Defeated Shinsuke Nakamura
Review: Pretty good match between them. I’m still not too into having Lucha House Party taken as serious challengers for Nakamura and Cesaro. I do appreciate that they are trying with the segments and doing more than just having matches but it still doesn’t do it for me even with Kalisto coming back during the match.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Matt Riddle, asking how he is remaining positive with Corbin making his life miserable. He said it’s cool even though Corbin put a bounty on him because he came here to compete. He said Corbin is a pain and doesn’t know what else to do with him. Shorty G said he has a family and he had to act on the bounty. He said he’s embarrassed and apologizes to Riddle. Riddle accepted his apology. Corbin attacked him from behind, saying that this is his kingdom.
Alexa Bliss is interviewed about Braun Strowman. She said she got to know Braun as a person during the Mixed Match Challenge and traveling with him. She called him compassionate and friendly. She said she cared about Braun and maybe there was possibility for a relationship. She doesn’t know if The Fiend attacked her because of the feelings between her and Braun. She was asked about Braun saying he doesn’t care about Alexa, she gets emotional and doesn’t comment on it.
Sonya Deville was cutting a promo backstage saying that people said Mandy is just all looks because it’s true. She accepts Mandy’s challenge for SummerSlam.
During the Big E and John Morrison match, Retribution attacked referees and PC trainees backstage. They destroyed everything backstage. The Superstars head backstage as they were surrounding the ring to find Retribution gone and the whole backstage area destroyed.
Big E Defeated John Morrison
After the match, Sheamus came out and took out Big E with a Brogue Kick. He was about to do more damage to Big E until Braun Strowman came out.
Review: Really good match. I’m enjoying Big E’s singles run so far. It’s a step by step process and he had a good showing with an athlete like John Morrison.
Braun called out The Fiend saying that he will rip him limb from limb. He said he is now the most destructive SOB that he has ever been. Alexa Bliss came out to the ring saying this is not the Braun she knows. Braun claimed she used him as a pawn and said she turned him into a clown. Braun said everyone who comes in contact with The Fiend changes including her. He demands that she leaves the ring. She demands that he looks at her and she slaps him over and over. Braun picks her up over his shoulders but then the lights start to go out. Braun drops Alexa as the lights went out. The Fiend appeared in the ring as Alexa is down. Braun is gone but appeared on the screen laughing. The show ended with The Fiend sticking his tongue out at Braun as Braun screams.
Overall Review: This show really kept my attention throughout the night. This was probably the best SmackDown that has aired this month. The show starting with Retribution felt a little better than how they were portrayed as of late. There was a lot more of them than usual. They didn’t use the weapons on Big E or Morrison in that match and the attack didn’t look all too exciting but their attack backstage when Big E and Morrison looked a lot better. I don’t know though why they only target Raw and SmackDown and not NXT. The segment between Styles and Hardy was really great. I was glad to see Joseph Park again. It’s really bizarre seeing him in a WWE ring. Styles and Hardy’s match I’m really looking forward too, I wish though that they would do this match at SummerSlam. Mandy and Sonya cut really good promos to build up their hair vs hair match at SummerSlam. The ending with Braun, Alexa and The Fiend was a great way to end the show especially Braun’s promo. he has gotten a lot better now with how his character is portrayed. Alexa’s promo was good, maybe she kind of overacted a bit on the promo, she was much better in talking about Braun when she had that sit down interview earlier in the night but the ending segment worked either way. Also, was SmackDown really TV 14 tonight? That caption was on whenever they came back from commercial.
Overall Grade: 7/10