Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Progressive Insurance welcome us to WWE SmackDown. WWE SmackDown is coming to us taped from the coronavirus hotspot of the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, where if you ignore it hard enough, it will eventually just go away. Tonight, we'll get a video package recapping the feud between Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman, AJ Styles will defend the Intercontinental Championship against Drew Gulak, and Sheamus will continue to spiral down the depths of hardcore piss addiction. Speaking of piss chuggers, Cole is in the ring, and he brings out Matt Riddle.
Cole congratulates Riddle on his upset victory over AJ Styles two weeks ago. Riddle is unable to put into words what the victory meant to him because he's been smoking too much reefer bro. Like, whoa, bro. Riddle says he respects AJ Styles bro, but AJ doesn't like him. Riddle also appreciated celebrating with the SmackDown roster, bro. He names lots of bros he particularly enjoyed. Cole asks him why he wrestles in bare feet, bro. Riddle says it's a long story, bro. When he was a kid, he went on vacation to Wisconsin and he was swimming in a pool and walking in the snow and got frostbite and the doctors thought they might have to amputate and when he wears shoes it feels like frostbite. I feel like my brain is frostbitten after listening to this, bro. Cole wants to know what's next for Riddle. "The Ratings King of Friday Night" has the answer. Ha! And you thought this segment couldn't get any worse.
King Corbin comes out to teach this punk a lesson. Corbin says Riddle's story was a waste of time. He lays into Cole for being such an asskisser all the time and kicks him out of the ring. Okay, I can get on board with this agenda. Corbin is angry with Riddle for ganging up on him last week during the Undertaker tribute show. He says nobody likes Riddle and nobody wants him on SmackDown. Projecting much? Corbin also takes issue with Riddle's overuse of the word "bro." Hmm, I hadn't noticed. Does he do that? Corbin thinks someone needs to teach Riddle some respect. Riddle wants to fight him, but Corbin says he needs to beat five jobbers first, so he brings out the first jobber: John Morrison. The jobber comes to the ring with his tag team partner, The Miz. SmackDown heads to commercials.
King Corbin joins the announce table for this match. Riddle throws his flip flops at Corbin before the match. Such disrespect! Riddle and the jobber exchange grapples, which Riddle gets the better of. On commentary, Corbin makes a Fast Times at Ridgemont High reference, which Cole has the guts to make fun of for being dorky and out of touch. Pot, kettle, black. The jobber nails Riddle with a stiff forearm and so Riddle tosses him around with gutwrench suplexes. The jobber reverses one into an Alabama slam and then hits a big kick to the head. He pins Riddle for two.
Riddle is letting this jobber get in way too much offense. The jobber does some flippy shit and tries another pin, getting two. The jobber hits some brutal knees for another two-count. Riddle starts to hulk up, shrugging off the jobber's strikes. Riddle invites him to strike him some more. The jobber pokes him in the eyes instead. Riddle reverses a move into a backdrop. He charges the jobber in the corner and jumps over the rope to the apron. Both men hit each other with forearms, sending the jobber to the mat and Riddle to the floor. Riddle punches Corbin, causing Corbin to get him and the ref to get involved as SmackDown goes to commercials.
Back from break, Riddle hits a Bro to Sleep and a German Suplex for a two-count. He tries the Floating Bro but the jobber gets the knees up. The jobber hits a helicopter Razor's Edge. He gets two, but Riddle locks in the Bromission. The jobber stands up with Riddle on his back and climbs to the second turnbuckle. Riddle is making this jobber look like a star, which much really piss off Corbin. Riddle tries a German Suplex to no avail. He climbs out to the Apron but the jobber hits an armdrag off the turnbuckle and then a standing Spanish Fly for a two-count. They exchange blows as they get to their feet. Riddle lands a kick then a knee to the face. The jobber reverses a powerbomb with a dropkick. Riddle flips over him and hits a powerbomb, then a running knee for two. Now The Miz tries to interfere, but Riddle knocks him to the floor. Corbin tries and Riddle fends him off. Riddle wins with a rollup.
Boy, Corbin's plan to humiliate Matt Riddle by making him fight five jobbers before he's allowed to face Corbin is really backfiring. Riddle and this jobber put on a real banger. Someone ought to offer this guy a contract. A few years on Main Event or 205 Live and he might be ready to make a nice mid-card run on the main roster. AJ Styles runs out to attack Riddle. He's jealous as hell that Riddle had such a good match with a jobber. Drew Gulak comes out to attack AJ and defend the honor of jobbers everywhere. It's absolute chaos as SmackDown goes to commercials!
Backstage, Corbin, Miz, and the jobber are complaining about Riddle when Sarah Schrieber interrupts. Corbin says he's gonna use his backstage pull to bury Matt Riddle. Ah, the Triple H strategy. We go to the ring right as Styles vs. Gulak is starting. Styles is still livid about that last match and he's not gonna be shown up. He immediately takes control and tosses Gulak out of the ring. Ringside violence occurs. The Performance Center trainee crowd is pounding on the plexiglass barrier like zombies trying to break into a house.
The plight of these poor trainees might be my favorite part of WWE right now. Now not only do they have to stand around for twelve hours at a time pretending to be excited about WWE programming and eat lunch out of brown paper bags in the parking lot while everyone else dines on in the air-conditioned catering area, but now they have to wear masks for the entire length of the taping. Don't get me wrong, people should absolutely be wearing masks, but do you know how bad those things must stink after you've been shouting WWE-scripts chants through them for hours on end? And that's not even the worst part, as you'll see from this text conversation with one of my most loyal readers:
Nasty. Back in the ring, Gulak starts to get some offense in. Daniel Bryan joins via Zoom to distract from the match. He praises Gulak. He says he and Gulak talked about taking advantage of AJ when he takes to the air. In the ring, Styles hits a dragon screw on Gulak, queuing some knee-selling. Styles zeroes in on that knee. Styles goes for a calf-crusher but Gulak reverses into an arm submission. Styles gets to the ropes. Styles takes a breather outside. Gulak hits a baseball slide to transition to some commercials.
Back, and Gulak is in control. He rams his shoulder into Styles in the corner. Styles throws him into the ringpost. He hits a suplex for two. Daniel Bryan talks about his relationship with Gulak as Styles beats on him. Bryan says Gulak is even more technically sound than Bryan. He says they complete each other. Styles continues to punish Gulak's knee. He can't put him away though. Gulak begins to make a comeback. He beats Styles down in the corner and heads to the apron, but Styles hits a jawbreaker.
The Saviors of WWE Have Arrived!
Daniel Bryan talks up Gulak's enlarged heart as Styles works a chinlock. Bryan is running out of things to talk about. Uh oh. Bryan says masks are for sheeple and the only way to cure coronavirus is with a vegan diet. Gulak drops Styles face-first on the top turnbuckle. He hits a few dropkicks, rocking Styles, then a basic bodyslam which Cole calls a modified Michinoku driver for two. Bryan says he joined a hippie drum circle last week that boosted his immunity. Gulak puts Styles up on the turnbuckles. Styles slips through his legs and drops Gulak on the turnbuckle. Styles misses a splash, but catches a Gulak hurricanrana attempt, hits a powerbomb, then lifts him back up for the Styles Clash. Bryan shares a recipe for homeopathic coronavirus cure made out of lettuce and eucalyptus bark. Styles picks Gulak up instead of pinning him, props him up on the ropes, and hits the Phenomenal Forearm for good measure. Let's see you top that with a jobber, Matt Riddle. Sasha Banks and Bayley leave a production truck. They've been working on a video package, a tribute to themselves. We'll see that after the commercials.
Sasha and Bayley head to the ring. Bayley talks about the week the champs have had. Sasha took out Asuka. Sasha interrupts Bayley when she tries to bring up NXT. Bayley says they should be called "Sasha Three Shows" and "Bayley Three Brands." They're carrying the company, but they get no respect. Well, except one person: The Undertaker. Bayley says The Undertaker, who she calls 'Taker because they're so close, called her up last week after SmackDown. She does an Undertaker impression.
"Bayley Dos Straps, I'm quite frankly embarrassed at all the fuss and tribute you guys paid to me last week when clearly you're the greatest champion in WWE history. You and Sasha Banks are redefining what it means to be champion. At Extreme Rules, I can't wait for you both to win your matches and hold all the gold in WWE." Bayley says Taker knows what's up. "And I implore WWE to pay yo some respect and have a tribute for you." Bayley says who are they to refuse the Undertaker's wish? Bayley is glad Undertaker has finally retired and WWE can move on, but she does like the tribute idea. They cue up the video. It's funny. These two are carrying WWE on their backs right now.
The first hour of SmackDown is over, and it's consisted entirely of two really good wrestling matches and a promo and video segment featuring the two best wrestlers in the world right now. Am I dreaming? Is this real? Where's all the piss-drinking? Fake care accidents? Prank wars? Cuckolding? Who are you and what have you done with Vince McMahon?! We'll see if Smackdown can continue at this level in the second half of our SmackDown report.