It's been an eventful Smackdown so far, as evidenced by the fact that we've already over 2000 words about it and thus had to split this report into three parts. AJ Styles successfully defended his Intercontinental Championship against Gran Metalik. Baron Corbin successfully paid Shorty G to take care of his bully for him. Big E had a singles match with The Miz, and it was shockingly good. And in the Firefly Funhouse, Bray Wyatt promised to take from Braun Strowman the thing he holds most dear. That part will be important later. That's right, WWE did foreshadowing. Old dogs can learn new tricks.
WWE Smackdown 7/31/2020 Part 3
Sheamus cuts a promo backstage. In retrospect, it was a mistake to fight Jeff Hardy in his natural environment, a bar. Sheamus knew he was in trouble when he saw Hardy get stronger and stronger the more he broke beer bottles over him. Sheamus with a power greater than himself. Even though Hardy didn't drink, he was powered by alcohol. It was practically a handicap, Sheamus vs. Hardy and alcohol. Sheamus isn't here to make excuses, though. He says he doesn't need to try to push Hardy back to the bottle. For an addict like Hardy, it's only a matter of time. Hardy is not his problem anymore, and that's bad news for the Smackdown locker room because now they might get stuck in a long and boring feud with Sheamus.
Lacey Evans comes to the ring with a mic. She says she beat Naomi last week and beat her in Karaoke the week before that, but people want to start a hashtag about how #NaomiDeservesBetter. Lacey is unimpressed, and people are nasties, and taking down Confederate statues is erasing our history. Naomi, who's probably wishing she could join Cameron in AEW right about now, comes out to the ring. How will WWE humiliate Naomi for a third week in a row? Michael Cole talks about the hashtag, which means the movement is officially dead. Michael Cole getting into a hashtag is like when your parents get into your favorite band.
Naomi vs. Lacey Evans
Naomi tries a hurricanrana on Evans, but Evans reverses to a powerbomb. Evans abuses Naomi. She pulls her out to the apron and wrenches her back on the ring post. Lacey rams Naomi's face into a different ring post. She traps Naomi's hair in between the two pieces of the ring steps and lays down inside the ring. Naomi makes it in, but Evans tosses her by the hair.
Naomi fights back and hits a knee and sends Evans outside. Naomi hits a sliding sunset flip powerbomb, but it's super sloppy. Not sure who's fault it was. Even the announcers don't know what to call it. Graves eventually settles on "modified sunset flip," which works, if modified means "f**ked up." Naomi tosses Lacey inside and gets a two-count. She goes for a bulldog, but Evans throws her into the turnbuckles. Lacey tries to tie Naomi's hair up in the ropes, but it doesn't work. Naomi ducks a Women's Right and pins Evans with a backslide.
Every other match on this show lasts through at minimum one commercial break. This match lasts two minutes. That tells you all you need to know.
Otis and Mandy Rose are walking backstage. Mandy has booked them a reservation at Otis's favorite BBQ spot. She got them a private room so no one can see them eat. Otis is excited for ribs and steak. Mandy says she wants to surprise him with a peach sundae with whipped cream, syrup, and a cherry on top. She tells him to get ready for their date. After they split up, Sonya Deville is seen lurking in the background.
Mandy is applying makeup when Sonya appears in the mirror behind her. Sonya attacks. She holds Mandy against the table and draws on her face with lipstick. The camera keeps partially cutting out while Sonya attacks, something they ripped off from Impact wrestling. Sonya slams Mandy's face into the concrete floor. She grabs some scissors and cuts Mandy's hair extensions. Sonya says Mandy ruined her life, and now Sonya is gonna ruin hers. Sonya kicks her in the face. She finds some clippers, but before she can shave Mandy's head, officials arrive and break it up. Sonya collects the hair extensions she cut and walks off. Mandy cries.
Michael Cole calls this a sickening attack. Even Corey Graves thinks this has gone too far. Despicable is the word he used. They say they have more from Kayla Braxton backstage.
Kayla Braxton reports from the scene of the attack. Otis and Tucker arrive and tend to Mandy. The Miz and John Morrison walk up, outraged about this attack. Morrison said MAndy's hair is her best thing. Miz says now she looks like a soccer mom. They make a bunch of hair puns, and Tucker chases them off.
To make himself feel better, a distraught Michael Cole plays us a video about the last few weeks of the Bayley vs. Nikki Cross feud. Nikki Cross heads out to the ring with Alexa Bliss. Smackdown goes to commercials. Bayley comes out with Sasha Banks. Introductions happen. We have a main event match.
Bayley vs. Nikki Cross – Smackdown Women's Championship Match
Nikki is amped to fight. Bayley less so. Nikki gains control early and hits Bayley with a flurry of offense, such as it is. Bayley is overwhelmed. Bayley slides outside the ring, and Nikki follows. They fight, and Nikki slams Bayler's head on the apron and throws her back in. Bayley kicks Nikkin on her way back in and hits a leg drop on Nikki as Nikki hangs over the bottom rope. Bayley gets a two-count. Now Bayley in control and beats down Nikki with various strikes. Nikki fights back. She tosses Bayley through the ropes into the ring post. She hits a diving crossbody out of the ring, climbs up on the announce table, and pounds her chest. Smackdown goes to commercials.
Bayley is back in control after the break. She introduces Nikki's face to the turnbuckles. Bayley hits a back suplex and pins, Nikki, for two. Bayley hits Nikki with her shoulder in the corner. Nikki dodges a running attack. She shoves Bayley and hits a dropkick, then a crossbody. Nikki gets a tornado DDT and a two-count. They roll to the apron. Nikki hits a scorpion death drop on Bayley on the apron. She goes for a dive, but Bayley rolls inside. Nikki hits a reverse bulldog and gets a two-count.
Nikki has finds Sasha's boss ring, which Sasha attempted to slide in to Bayley. That's slide in to Bayley, not slide into Bayley, no matter what Grammarly keeps trying to tell me. That would be a completely different show, Grammarly. What kind of recap do you think I'm running here?! But instead of using it to clock Bayley and get disqualified, Nikki tosses it outside. Nikki hits a suplex. Bayley rolls outside and jams Nikki's neck on the ropes with she tries to follow. Bayley gets on the announce table to brag, but Nikki attacks her. Back in the ring, Sasha gets up on the apron to interfere, but Alexa pulls her off. Nikki hits a baseball slide.
Nikki hits a diving crossbody into a pin, but Bayley reverses. Nikki kicks out. Nikki tries more pinning combos, always getting two. Bayley rams Nikki's face into the canvas and gets the pinfall.
Not a bad match. It's impossible for Sasha or Bayley to have one of those. But what was the point of this rematch? We already saw Nikki lose. Why did we need to see it again? Oh, here's why…
Alexa tries to console Nikki after the match, but Nikki pushes her away. Alexa persists, and Nikki shoves her to the ground. The lights go out with creepy sound effects. They come back on with The Fiend standing over Alexa. He gets down on one knee and in her face. Alexa looks terrified. The Fiend raises his hand by Alexa's face. He slowly approaches and then suddenly puts the mandible claw on Alexa. The lights go out, and Smackdown is over.
Smackdown was… pretty good tonight. Highly enjoyable, actually. Smackdown has figured out a good pace, it has multiple ongoing storylines, and perhaps most shockingly at all, it has some pretty good wrestling too. Too bad Bruce Pritchard is gonna need to be fired in a few months when Vince needs someone else to scapegoat for the falling ratings.
This post is part of a multi-part series: WWE Smackdown Report for July 31st 2020.