WWE Smackdown – Is This Really How You Sell a PPV?

With Clash of Champions just two days away, WWE must make an effort to sell that PPV on Friday's episode of Smackdown. But just because they must doesn't mean they will.

The official logo for WWE Friday Night Smackdown.
The official logo for WWE Friday Night Smackdown.

WWE Smackdown Report for September 25, 2020 Part 1

After a graphic in memory of Road Warrior Animal, WWE Smackdown begins. It's the last show before Clash of Champions, so that we can expect big things, but Smackdown possibly top the in-ring debut of T-Bar, Mace, and Slapjack? Michael Cole welcomes us to the Thunderdome, where ladders are set up all over the stage, ramp, and ringside ara. AJ Styles comes out for something called the Intercontinental Championship Ascension Ceremony. Isn't that what the Mayor of Sunnydale did in Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Sami Zayn comes out next with his version of the Intercontinental Championship, and then Jeff Hardy comes out with his.

Intercontinental Championship Ascension Ceremony

Corey Graves is hosting this nonsense. He explains the rules of the triple threat ladder match on Sunday. Apparently, they're gonna raise the belts to the ceiling tonight ahead of the ladder match on Sunday. So what's to stop one of these guys from coming back on Saturday and 3 AM and just taking them?

AJ Styles talks some trash to Jeff Hardy, accusing him of cheating to win it off AJ. Then he talks to Sami, accusing him of taking the Summer off to have fun and grow a neckbeard. Flashback to a WWE board meeting that took place earlier this week…


Bruce Pritchard: Sir, there's trouble in NXT. Another COVID-19 outbreak.

Vince McMahon: You mean another liberal hoax outbreak?

Bruce: Yes, of course, sir! You're right, as always.

Vince: Didn't Sami Zayn take off several months because of that fake news virus?

Bruce: I believe he did, sir.

Vince: That son of a bitch! Tell creative to write a segment on Smackdown where we mock his decision to but his health and family ahead of WWE by claiming he was just taking off to grow a… what's the beard style all the marks have these days?

Bruce: A neckbeard, sir?

Vince: Say he was taking time off to grow a neckbeard! Haha ha haha!

Bruce: Yes, sir! Right away, sir!

Vince: Is that good shit, pal?

Bruce: Oh, yes, sir! Very good shit, sir! You've done it again, sir!

Vince: Hrn.


Zayn says all of this happened because AJ participated in a fraudulent tournament to win the Intercontinental Championship that Sami never lost. And when Jeff won it, he should have called Sami and gave it back to him. Now Sami has to participate in a dangerous ladder match.

Hardy says Sami should be grateful. AJ and Jeff have been defending the belt every week. Hardy wants to hang the titles and put an end to the nonsense. On that, we're agreed.

The belt hanger lowers from the ceiling, and Sami and Jeff attach their belts to it while AJ talks more trash to them. The belts are raised. Graves wishes everyone luck. It looks like this may end without violence as Sami leaves the ring… then comes back in and pushes a ladder down on Jeff and AJ.

He runs away… but Adam Pearce stops him at the top of the ramp. He adds AJ Styles to Zayn's match against Hardy tonight, and it's happening next. Because why wouldn't WWE give away the match they're having at the PPV on free TV two days earlier? Hardy attacks Styles with the Twist of Fate and Smackdown goes to commercials.

AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn vs. Jeff Hardy

  • Aj Styles vs. Sami Zayn vs. Jeff Hardy is a pretty incredible matchup that we should be pretty excited to see, so why am I annoyed that we're going to see it twice over the next three days instead of just one time?
  • That being said, these guys have got to compete at a PPV on Sunday, so they don't exactly go all out here. It's a fine match, but nothing spectacular. We know the match will have no real steaks because they're fighting for the belts on Sunday, so the whole thing is pretty much a waste of time.
  • Zayn pins Hardy after throwing Styles out of the ring right after he hits the Phenomenal Forearm.

So I guess Sami isn't winning on Sunday. AJ takes out Zayn and Hard with a ladder after the match. Then he brings in another ladder, climbs it, and takes the belts. He holds them up at the top of the ladder. Backstage, Otis and Tucker are still trying to figure out what to do about The Miz suing Otis. Smackdown takes a commercial break.

We get a replay of last week's Dirt Sheet with Miz antagonizing Otis by claiming Mandy Rose is sleeping around on Raw. This got Otis to come out and attack Miz, which apparently allowed Miz to sue Otis for the Money in the Bank contract. Try not to think too hard about it.

Backstage, Kayla Braxton asks Otis if he's gonna give up the contract or go to court. Otis doesn't trust lawyers, but before he can go on a rant, Miz and John Morrison interrupt. Miz says the WWE Universe deserves a Mr. Money in the Bank like Miz, not Otis. Miz says his lawyers are high-paid, and they'll ruin Otis. Miz will take everything from Otis, including his mother's double-wide. Miz says if Otis doesn't believe he can get that done, just ask Mandy Rose.

Otis says where he comes from; they settle their differences in the ring, not the courtroom. Otis asks Miz why only his name is on the lawsuit, not Morrison. Morrison is distracted. They brawl for a minute before officials break it up. You know, if this was one of those plots that WWE just dropped one day with no explanation, no one would complain. Well, except maybe Otis's mom in the double-wide.

Everything having to do with this storyline is garbage, but maybe Smackdown will turn things around? Find out in part two of our report.



This post is part of a multi-part series: WWE Smackdown Report for September 25th, 2020.

About Jude Terror

A prophecy once said that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

Sadly, that prophecy was wrong. Oh, Jude Terror was right. For ten years. About everything. But nobody listened. And so, Jude Terror has moved on to a more important mission: turning Bleeding Cool into a pro wrestling dirt sheet!

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