With most of an uneventful WWE Smackdown in the record books, it's just about time for the main event. Will Jeff Hardy manage to stay sober while fighting Sheamus in a bar fight? Will the audience? Did the production crew? Find out now…
WWE Smackdown 7/24/2020 Part 3
We get a video package for Otis and Mandy Rose, who have been off TV for COVID-19 I suppose. Cole says that love story warms his heart. It looks like Otis and Mandy will be fully recovered and back on Smackdown next week. More commercials.
Kayla Braxton interviews Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura says he isn't sure what was more rewarding on Sunday: putting Kofi Kingston through the first table, or the second table. Either way, he want splat. Cesaro's only regret is not being able to put Big E through a table, which Nakamura says would have made a bigger splat. Cesaro says with Kofi our for six weeks, he doesn't believe a word Kofi said, It's not Big E's time. Nakamura says it's his and Cesaro's time. They'll make all the teams on Smackdown go splat. Kayla is thinking, "I survived coronavirus twice for THIS?!"
Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus – Bar Fight
Time for a video package about the bar fight. This was originally supposed to be a match at Extreme Rules, but WWE decided the prospect of Jeff Hardy relapsing was their best option for popping a rating on Smackdown. We'll see tomorrow. Smackdown goes to commercials.
Okay, it's finally time for the bar fight. To pay proper tribute to Jeff Hardy, I've taken a handful of pills and chugged margaritas all night in preparation for this match. Sheamus enters the bar first. The ref is drinking on the job. Sheamus gets a shot of Jameson, but he doesn't get a chance to drink it because Hardy shows up.
Sheamus offers Hardy a shot to take the edge off. Hardy orders a coke instead. He wants to make sure Sheamus know something. His brother had to delete his WWE career. Tonight he has to recover his. He's been doing this since he was 16. He's made enough mistakes to last a lifetime. Sobriety has changed him. Sheamus should be ready for anything.
Sheamus says Hardy is weak, pathetic, and nobody cares about him anymore. Sheamus says he still raises the bar and he still is the bar. Hardy says he's connected to everything now. He's the window. The light. The TV. He is the bar. Sheamus is confused. Sheamus is the bar. Hardy is a pathetic junkie. Sheamus takes off his hat and the fight is ready to begin.
Hardy tosses soda in Sheamus's face and they start fighting. Let's talk about all the reasons this is insulting. It's making light of Hardy's drug addiction, but not even in an honest way (because they act like alcohol is his only problem). There's Sheamus fulfilling Irish stereotypes about drinking and challenging people to bar fights. There's the terrible royalty-free music they use as the background music. There's the fact that someone thought this nonsense would pop a rating.
Anyway, after some fisticuffs in the bar, the fight spills back into a hallway where Sheamus tries to choke Hardy with an empty keg. Lots of heads are smashed into walls. Doors are smashed into heads. Jeff Hardy is getting his ass kicked. They brawl into the bathroom. Sheamus puts Hardy's face in a urinal and flushes it. Remember folks, this is a real bar. Disgusting.
Sheamus takes his shirt off. He shows Hardy himself in the mirror. He says Jeff is trash and a junkie. Hardy stars to fight back. He tosses Sheamus into a stall and the toilet flushes. Hardy flees the bathroom. Sheamus follows, looking for him. Sheamus is looking f**king ripped, btw. As Sheamus walks down the hallway, Hardy emerges from a doorway behind him with a ladder. He bashes Sheamus with the latter back into the bar room. Hardy goes for a crossbody off the bar, but Sheamus catches him and smashes his back into a brick wall. Sheamus tries to hit Hardy with an electric guitar but Hardy ducks. Hardy fires back at Sheamus with punches. Sheamus throws Hardy into a drum set. It makes a satisfying ba-dum-crash as Smackdown goes to commercials.
Sheamus and Hardy brawl when Smackdown returns. Hardy hits a Twist of Fate on Sheamus. He sets up the ladder next to some stacked barrels of liquor that look perfectly positioned to come crashing down on someone tonight. Hardy climbs the ladder, but Sheamus's bartender attacks him. Hardy powerbombs the guy through a gimmicked bar table. But Sheamus has enough time to recover and he smashes a chair over Hardy's back. He puts his hat over Hardy's face. Sheamus heads behind the bar and pours a Guinness. He takes a sip. The camera cuts away, and then the glass is nearly empty and Sheamus finishes it. Jeeze.
Sheamus removes his hat and Jeff's face is painted and he's wearing white contacts. He smashes a beer glass over Sheamus's head. He climbs the leader and hits the swanton, ostensibly onto the concrete floor, but it's extremely obvious that it's on top of some padding. Hardy puts Sheamus's hat on Sheamus's face now. What s mess. Hardy closes his eyes, and when he opens them, the contacts are gone.
Winner: Nobody, least of all the fans, though Jeff Hardy technically got the pinfall
This match stunk, and this Smackdown stunk. They had how many weeks to work on this match? The wrestling (if you can call it that) was fine, but the production was terrible. From cheap, generic music looped meaninglessly in the background, to the poor editing to make it look like Sheamus chugged a beer (And who the hell chugs Guinness anyway?), to the even worse editing on the wanting spot, this whole thing was embarrassingly bad. The Naomi segment was a big misfire, making this feud about dancing and makeup now in addition to karaoke and 1-minute matches. Nothing else of much consequence happened. At least Otis and Mandy are back next week, so Smackdown's biggest stars will be here for SummerSlam.
This post is part of a multi-part series: WWE Smackdown 7/24/2020.