In the first hour of WWE SmackDown, Retribution attacked the show, Asuka won a shot at Bayley for SummerSlam, and Sheamus beat the crap out of Shorty G. Security guards are at ringside to prevent another Retribution attack. Will it work? Or will they be back out? If Big E vs. John Morrison is the main event tonight, we'll have our answer.
WWE Smackdown Report for August 14th, 2020 Part 1
We left off in part one with AJ Styles yelling at Joseph Parks backstage. After the break, Styles comes to the ring with Parks. The announcers pretend not to know who he is. Styles says everyone wants to know who's gonna face him for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Styles says he's been a fighting champion, just like Daniel Bryan wanted. He beat Drew Gulak, Matt Riddle, and Gran Metalik. Styles wants to enjoy being the champ. He plugs his Twitch account. But people keep harassing him about who his next opponent will be, citing statistics about who will be his best opponent.
Styles says whenever he watches other sports, he sees statistics. And Styles cares about statistics in wrestling too. So he's hired a team to figure out the Phenomenal Intercontinental Statistics System or PISS. Backstage, Sheamus gets a boner. Styles wants to see who's number one in statistics. He has a whiteboard in the ring covered with black strips of paper. He pulls off the first strop and finds he himself is number one.
Next, it's… nobody. The board is empty. Styles says nobody has earned the right to be in the ring with him. But if you work really hard then one day, you can make it onto the board and face AJ. Jeff Hardy's music plays and he comes out. Michael Cole calls Parks a "bozo." Really, Cole? That's the pot calling the kettle black.
Hardy says he has a lot of respect for Styles, but he never got a fair chance at the Intercontinental Championship tournament because Sheamus framed him. Jeff says the IC title is special to him because it was his first solo championship. Long story short, he wants a shot at Styles at SummerSlam.
Styles says he's always respected Hardy. And a lot of people would love to see them wrestle each other. Hardy deserves to be on that board. So if he's asking for a shot at AJ Styles, Styles says… hell no! Styles says Hardy hasn't earned it. Hardy kicks his ass, grabs the marker, and writes his name on the whiteboard. Hardy punks down Abyss and heads backstage.
Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura are hanging out backstage, talking trash about Lucha House Party. While they're talking, Lucha House Party sneak up behind them and steal their WWE tag team championships. SmackDown goes to commercials.
Kayla Braxton interviews AJ Styles backstage. Styles says Hardy assaulted him and he doesn't respect him or the championship. Styles is gonna show Hardy what happens when you mess with AJ Styles. You get erased. He tries to erase Hardy's name from the whiteboard, but Hardy wrote it in permanent marker. Abyss apologizes. Styles storms off.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Gran Metalik
Lucha House Party come to the ring with the tag belts. Cesaro and Nakamura come out and Cesaro collects the titles. Nakamura is facing Gran Metalik.
- During the match, Michael Cole and Corey Graves tout WWE's plans to move to the Amway Center arena and introduce virtual fans.
- Gran Metalik controls the early part of the match.
- Until Cesaro distracts him, allowing Nakamura to take control.
- Nakamura gets ready for the Kinshasa when Lucha House Party's music plays. What?
- Kalisto comes out. He and Lince Dorado take out Cesaro on the ramp. Never trust a furry.
- Gran Metalik hits a crossbody and pins Nakamura.
Okay, so Kalisto is back. And Lucha House Party will be feuding with Nakamura and Cesaro at SummerSlam, I guess. Alexa Bliss, who is looking traumatized, gets ready for her interview as SmackDown goes to commercials.
Kayla Braxton interviews Matt Riddle. She asks him about his thoughts on Baron Corbin. Riddle says no one likes to have a bounty on their head, bro. He's a laid back guy, bro. All these guys keep coming at him, bro. But that's cool, bro. He's here to compete. But Corbin is just a royal pain, bro.
Shorty G appears, bro. He wants to explain himself, bro. He has a family, bro, and the money Corbin was offering goes a long way, bro. But it doesn't justify what Shorty did, bro. He's sick and embarrassed and he's here to apologize, bro. He offers a fistbump to Riddle, bro. Riddle gives him the fist bump and says it's all good, bro, but any time he wants to wrestle, just let him know. Bro.
Corbin runs up and attacks Riddle from behind, bro. He thanks Shorty for the help. Shorty looks conflicted, bro.
Alexa Bliss is interviewed backstage, bro. Asked how she's feeling, bro, she says… Hang on. *slaps self*. She says she's been better. Asked about her history with Braun Strowman, she says she got to know him during the Mixed Match Challenge. Bliss says he's a good man, funny, and witty, protective and compassionate. They get along great. They're best friends.
Asked if it might ever become more than a friendship, Bliss says, "maybe." They cared about each other a lot. Asked if that's why The Fiend targeted her, Bliss says she doesn't know. Asked what it's like being in the presence of The Fiend, she says it's terrifying but also compelling. Once you've interacted with him, you can feel his presence. Alexa says, for the first time in her life, she understands what they mean when they say "moth to a flame."
Asked about Braun's comments last week where he said he didn't care about Alexa, Alexa tears up. Smackdown goes to commercials. After the break, Michael Cole tells us Jeff Hardy will face AJ Styles next week.
Sonya Deville cuts a promo on Mandy Rose. She's thought about her challenge for a hair vs. hair match at SummerSlam, and she thinks Mandy will look great bald. MAndy may think she's gotten over her insecurities, but did she ever think the reason people say the only thing she has is her looks is because it's true? Deville is gonna show her it is. She accepts the challenge.
Big E vs. John Morrison
Big E and John Morrison are in the ring. The Miz is at the commentary table.
- This match was supposed to happen at the start of the show, but it was interrupted by an attack from Retribution.
- The match was postponed until now, and it seems reasonable to assume that probably means Retribution will be coming back out.
- The match is about Big E's strength vs. Morrison's quickness. Big E's strength proves more useful for the early part of the match.
- Otis comes out in the middle of the match to confront The Miz, who has been talking trash about him and Mandy all night.
- The lights begin flashing on and off and Smackdown goes to commercials.
- After commercials, the Smackdown roster is at ringside.
- The lights flicker some more, but nothing happens at ringside.
- Backstage, however, Retribution invades and starts trashing catering. Guys, Eric Bischoff isn't there anymore. He's been fired.
- They wedge a chair in the door to catering and beat up some res and other personnel and start spraypainting their ultra badass symbol on the walls. The symbol is a WWE logo with a circle around it and a line through it.
- At ringside, a ref tells the locker room what's happening. They all run backstage, except for The Miz, who stays on commentary.
- Yes, there's still a match going on. But the show is not concerned with that.
- The wrestlers arrive at catering to find the carnage. Tucker stares thoughtfully at the graffiti.
- In the ring, Big E makes Morrison tap out with a stretch muffler.
Nothing says "this is a singles push we are taking seriously" like ignoring Big E's entire match to focus on this Retribution nonsense. Sheamus runs out and hits Big E with the Brogue Kick after the match. But before he can do any more damage, Braun Strowman comes out. Looks like he got a haircut. Smackdown goes to commercials.
Strowman mentions the WWE SummerSlam tagline, "you'll never see it coming." But Strowman says The Fiend knows what he's gonna get. When Strowman came out of the swamp, he became totally evil. He calls out The Fiend so he can eviscerate him and… and "consume your entrails." Wow. And you thought Eye vs. Eye was gruesome!
Alexa Bliss comes out. She doesn't want to make him angrier, but she wants to have a conversation with him about what he's doing. She says this isn't the Braun she knows. She doesn't believe that Braun doesn't give a damn about her. They've been friends for years. Strowman says they were never friends. Alexa used him as a pawn. He's not a clown she can lead around by his beard.
Alexa asks him what's happened to him. Braun says everyone that comes in contact with The Fiend changes, including Alexa. He tells her to get out of his ring. He wants The Fiend. Alexa tells him to be careful what she wishes for. If she can't talk sense into him, she'll have to slap some sense into him. She demands Braun to look at her. Then she slaps him.
Braun smiles. She slaps him a bunch more times. Strowman gorilla presses her and The Fiend's sound effects play. Strowman tosses Alexa into the air and the lights go out. When they come back on, Alexa is selling the fall on the ground and The Fiend is in the ring, but Braun is gone.
Braun's face appears, laughing, on the Titantron. The Fiend starts laughing in reply. They laugh some more and then Braun screams. WWE SmackDown goes off the air.
Damn, that's cold, Braun. Lots of good stuff tonight. Good to see Joseph Park/Abyss get an on-screen role. Styles vs. Hardy should be good. Asuka could walk out of WWE SummerSlam with two belts. And Sonya vs. Mandy, due to a great buildup, is a pretty compelling match. And then there was the Retribution nonsense. And the stuff with Braun and The Fiend and Alexa is pretty weird. Ah well, you can't win 'em all.
This post is part of a multi-part series: WWE Smackdown Report for August 14th, 2020.