Roman Reigns is back, baby! The Big Dog will be in the Thunderdome tonight, and that freshly-returned superstar smell hasn't had a chance to wear off yet, so the WWE Universe will be pleased. And if they're not pleased… well, a producer will tell them to act pleased anyway. And then Ryan Satin will defend it on Twitter with all of his being. It's the circle of life, folks. It's Friday Night Smackdown!
WWE Smackdown Report for August 28th, 2020 Part 1
Smackdown starts with an In Memory Of graphic for Bullet Bob Armstrong. Then, after the WWE stinger, we see a video showing the end of SummerSlam and the return of Roman Reigns, laying out both Braun Strowman and The Fiend.
Smackdown official Adam Pearce orders security guards to be on the lookout for Retribution. Vince McMahon is here, hanging out in his dressing room. Pearce looks for a fist bump from McMahon, but McMahon isn't into it. He says he has a mission for this guy that will take him into the presence of Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and The Fiend. He needs a contract signed for the triple threat match at Payback. He hands him a dry cleaning bag and sends him on his way.
And finally, Michael Cole welcomes us to Friday Night Smackdown on Fox. He wastes no time shilling for Progressive insurance, and then Jeff Hardy's music plays. Hardy comes out. Michael Cole is concerned we may not remember Smackdown last week, so he plays us some videos showing the shenanigans between Hardy and AJ Styles and Hardy winning the Intercontinental Championship.
Smackdown Promo – Jeff Hardy
Hardy cuts a promo, or maybe you could say, finishes cutting the promo he tried to cut last week when WWE played his music in the middle of him talking. Alas, it's not to be this week either, as AJ Styles comes out. Styles wants to know if this is real life. He says Hardy seems proud of what he did. Styles seems to have the same grasp of what happened last week as he does of the spherical shape of the Earth. He calls Hardy a liar and a cheat for hitting him with the knee brace he was only wearing because Styles attacked his knee earlier in the night.
Styles says that he's had knee injuries before, and he didn't whine and cry to a doctor. It's no surprise that Styles wouldn't believe in modern medicine. He says he would have beat Hardy last week if not for the knee brace, and Hardy did it on purpose. Styles says Hardy knows how to play the system because the same doctor won't clear Styles to compete tonight.
Hardy says he was about to issue an open challenge for the championship for anyone but Styles. Styles freaks out. He goes full Karen and accuses Hardy of taking advantage of the system. Hardy punches him out, and Smackdown goes to commercials.
After the break, Styles is at the commentary table, and Shinsuke Nakamura is in the ring.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy – Intercontinental Championship Match
- On commentary, Cole accuses Styles of being less tough than Hardy since Hardy competed last week with an injury, and Styles won't. He offers Styles a z-pack. Graves sympathizes with Styles because they're both cowards.
- Cesaro cuts a promo mid-match. He seems to potentially be a little jealous that Nakamura went out there for the open challenge without even telling him.
- In the ring, Nakamura works on Hardy's injured knee.
- Eventually, they brawl outside, and Hardy tosses Nakamura into the announce table, which is the cue for Smackdown to go to a commercial break.
- Hardy is in control after the break, ripping off Shotzi Blackheart's offense.
- One of the fans in the Thunderdome appears to be a still photo of Adam Cole. The fan seems to get booted quickly. My god! Adam Cole is the new Chris Benoit!
- Nakamura gets a few near falls, and then Hardy knees Nakamura with his knee brace and hits a Twist of Fate. Styles is livid.
- Hardy hits a Swanton Bomb and wins. Styles is practically in tears at this point.
You know what, I like this new morally ambiguous Jeff Hardy. Hardy talks some trash to Styles and then gets back in the ring to pose with the belt. He leaves with the belt. Styles yells at him that he's gonna take the belt back and…
Sami Zayn's music plays! Zayne comes out with the old Intercontinental Championship and gets in Hardy's face. He says he was never defeated for the championship (true). He hits Heluva Kick on HArdy as Styles watches with disdain and, maybe, I think I see a little bit of sexual pleasure.
Styles heads up the ramp to attack Hardy when he's down, but Hardy gets up, selling the Helluva Kick like HBK sells Randy Orton's punt, which is to say, not at all, brother! Firefly funhouse promo and then Smackdown takes a well-deserved commercial break.
Sami Zayn is walking and singing backstage when he's accosted by Kayla Braxton. She wants to know what he attacked Hardy. Sami mocks Kayla's journalism skills and says she should have read his Twitter account. It's true, as a journalist, I get so many articles out of Twitter. Both Hardy and Styles were frauds as champs. Zayne won the championship back in March and then defended it at WrestleMania. Kayla asks why he didn't defend the title all that time.
~Flashback to a production meeting earlier today…~
Vince: Now that Roman Reigns is back, what other superstars had the balls to refuse to come to work because of COVID, pal?
Bruce: There's Sami Zayn, boss.
Vince: Get him over here right now!
Bruce: Yes, sir! Very good, sir. But how will we explain his time off?
Vince: I'm gonna make that son of a bitch pretend he didn't come to work because he's a coward and now nobody likes him! Hahahaha! Pal!
Bruce: Good one, boss.
Zayn says he had very good reasons, and he didn't have to explain himself. Zayn is so upset at the loss of his dignity that he cuts the rest of his promo in French. Time for the Firefly Funhouse… in part two of our Smackdown report.