wrestling / TV Reports

Acero’s WWE Smackdown Review 7.17.20

July 17, 2020 | Posted by Tony Acero
WWE Smackdown 7-17-20
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Acero’s WWE Smackdown Review 7.17.20  

Keep Refreshing For The Latest WWE Smackdown! Results

Technology is crazy, y’all. Currently, I’m in an RV, on my way from Iowa, to Mount Rushmore, then taking a second leg to Idaho to visit family. What this means is that I’m keeping my fingers crossed we don’t enter into some sort of Dead Zone between the hours that Smackdown is on! If it is, I’m just going to fake the results and likely do a better job than the WWE could anyway.

Side note, no match times this week, as I just don’t have the comfort level while crossing northern America to use my hot spot, my iPad, my MacBook, and my timer.

Let’s go!

The blue brand starts with AJ Styles backstage, saying he’s defending his title against that barefoot bum Matt Riddle. Technically, he beat AJ, because he had the element of surprise. Tonight, no surprises, no shoes, and no chance. He is a flash in the pan, and this is still the house that AJ Styles built!

Matt Riddle cuts a promo as well, wondering what “AJ” stands for – Arrogant Jackass? Last week was no fluke. After tonight, he’ll officially be, “The Bro that Runs the Show.”

Daniel Bryan, in the forest, has a promo that says he’s looking forward to a new IC champion.

We switch to Alexa, who says she has a special guest tonight on A Moment of Bliss, but she won’t tell.

Flip to Morrison and Miz, as the Loading Screen Generic Music #3 continues to play. Morrison is terrified of Braun.

Speaking of Braun, he’s going to eat John Morrison.

Cesaro and Shinsuke say they are going to take the titles this Sunday.

Big E and Kofi give us a spoiler alert, and it’s that Shin and Cesaro will not win come Sunday, and Cesaro won’t win tonight. Big E then announces New Day.

Match 1: Big E vs Cesaro

Big E with a HUGE clothesline as the bell rings. He uppercuts in the corner. Whip to the outside. Big E follows. Cesaro kicks and hits a right hand then Big E sends him into the steps. Shoulder to Cesaro. Back in the ring, and Big E crashes into the post shoulder first. Cesaro grabs Big E and sendshim to the outside. He sends him into the post on the outside then back in the ring. Cesaro to the top rope/. He dives with an axe handle. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Knee to the back then a chin lock from behind. Elbows from Kofi. Cesaro grabs him, lifts, body slam and a pin for 1..2..NO!!! Cesaro to the top rope. Cesaro with another Axe, but Big E catches and hits a belly to belly. Another. A third. He hits the ropes, Big Splash. E tries for the abdominal stretch, but Cearo hits an uppercut. He’s on the apron. Big E sends him into the post. He drags Cesaro over the apron and attacks the chest with some forearms. Big E to the apron. He runs with a splash to Cesaro.

Back, and Cesaro is hitting an uppercut in the corner. He goes for another, but Big E hits a Uranage and a pin for 1…2..NO!!! Big E hits the ropes as Cesaro stands on the apron. Cesaro with a boot! Cesaro with a springboard spinning uppercut and a pin for 1..2…NO!!!! Cesaro with an uppercut. He locks the head, Big E shoots the leg. Stretch Muffler to Cesaro! Cesaro pulls up with his core, floats off and grabs the legs then swings Big E around before locking in the Sharpshooter!!! Kofi screams for E to get to the ropes. Cesaro stops him and locks in a Crossface. Shinsuke knocks Kofi on his ass and mocks Big E. E stands out of the crosssface, gets Cesaro to the shoulders.

Big E backs Cesaro into the ref, Shinsuke up with a kick to the face. Neutralizer from Cesaro to Big E! Pin for 1…2…3!!!!

Winner: Cesaro
I feel like I brought this up on RAW, but tonight was no different in the fact that when a match is cut in half by a commercial, nothing of relevance happens pre-break. This is not different, as Cesaro and Big E put together a stellar second half that was fun and Heel 101 but nothing that happened before the break mattered. ALSO, Cole “wondering” what stipulation will be after both teams just tried to put each other through a table is just…ugh.
Total Rating: **

Cesaro stomps Big E after the match. He and Shinsuke go to the aprong and try to grab a table under their ring. Kofi in the ring. He divs over the top rope onto Cesaro and Shinsuke! He continues to pull the table out and sets it up near the announce table. Kofi grabs Cesaro and sends him into the apron first then the table. Stomp to Shinsuke from Big E. Kofi to the top rope. He climbs on top of Big E’s shoulders. Shinsuke grabs Cesaro and pulls him off, and they run to the ramp.

BACKSTAGE, Corbin is interviewed about Matt Riddle. He says Riddle attacked Corbin and started this. As for AJ, AJ is one of the best. His opnion will be quick and decisive – AJ remains. Corbin says Riddle is ambitious; it’s the honeymoon phase, that this is like the movies. He’s playing with fire, and he’s going to get burned. After Styles, everyone will realize that the bro is nothing but a litte boy.

BACKSTAGE, Cesaro says finally they are getting the proper respect, and they earned it the hard way. This Sunday, they want a Tables Match.

IN THE RING, Alexa and Nikki are ready for A Moment of Bliss. Last week was the fifth year anniversary of Evolution. They want to give the women of the WWE a round of applause. Bliss says she feels a bit clairvoyant. Nikki talks about her Aunt Claire. She predicts that the LA Lakers will win the NBA Championship. She predicts that Matt Riddle will become the new IC Champion, and she predicts, also, that Braun Strowman, will walk out of the Wyatt Swamp Fight victorious this Sunday. She ALSO predicts that her special guest will tear the roof off come Sunday.

Nikki has a guess – it’s her. She thinks it’s her that Bliss will announce. She will realize her dream She will give Bailey a living nightmare. She will be the next Smackdown Women’s Champion.

Alexa asks her to bring it down, wondering how many Nitro Brews she had today. Nikki is NOT her guest today, actually.

Out come Bayley and Sasha. Bayley tells her to get used to feeling disappointed, Nikki, because this Sunday, she will be a failure, as well. Sasha calls her a hyper chihuahua, and after Sunday, it’s back to the shadows of Bliss for her. Bayley says before they get to the ring, there are a few things Bliss got right. It is the 5th year of the Women’s Evolution, but did anyone miss a step? They forgot to give credit to Sasha and Bayley, the architects of the Evolution. They built the ring that Bliss and Nikki are sitting in. You’re welcome.

They enter the ring.

Bayley has a little prediction for Alexa. This Sunday, she will beat Nikki, Banks will beat Asuka, and they will be the NEW RAW Women’s Champ and the longest reigning combined SD champion.

Sasha says there isn’t anything anyone can do about it.

Bliss says that’s sweet and all, but she never got to finish.

It’s Asuka. As she makes her entrance, Bayley and Sasha attack Nikki and Bliss. Asuka runs in to help. Bliss says that they need to settle the issues in the ring and calls for a ref.

Match 2: Asuka and Nikki Cross vs Bayley and Sasha

Asuka and Bayley to start. Bayley shoves Nikki on the apron, and Nikki wants in. Asuka tags. She runs in and mounts Bayey then shoots the legs and hits a few rights. Nikki sends her into the corner and stomps away. Bayley stops Nikki from sending her into the post head first and sends her to the corner instead. Bayley hops over the top rop, tags Sasha, it’s not legal, thuough, says the ref, as Bayley gets a cheap shot. Sasha in to destroy the wrestling world as we know it. Cover for 1…2..NO!! Tag to Bayley. Cover for 1..2….NO!!! Bayley lifts Nikki by the head and sends her into the corner. Tag to Sasha . Banks whips with Bayley, sending Nikki into the cornrer High knee lift from Sasha. Tag to Bayley who runs in with an inside Cradle. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Nikki crawls under, tags in Asuka, she kicks Bayley. She runs in, sends Sasha and Bayley down at the same time. Kicks to Sasha. Sasha fights back, hip attack to Baley, Sasha with a hurricanrana to the outside. Sasha hits the roeps, baseball slide but Sasha floats in between the apron and sirt. Asua beats down the back. Tag to Nikki. Asuka with a sliding knee off the apron. Crossbody to Sasha! Nikki and Asuka dance on the announce booth.

We come back from break, and Sasha misses a kick in the ring. Cover from Asuka for .1.2..NO!! ! Sasha with a clothesline and a cover for 1..2.NO!!! Sasha stomps the hand. She lifts Asuka and sends her into the corner. She swigns Asuka down and hits the knees. Cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Banks stomps Asuka in the corner a few times then yells at the ref. She tags in Bayley. They double teams Asuka with a hold and a punch. Bayley covers for 1…NO!!! Asuka attacks the mid section. Bayley lifts her. Backslide from ASuka for 1..2..N!O!!! Kick from Bayley. She drops an elbow. Cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Bayley sends Asuka into the heel corner and tags in Sasha. She kicks the mid section and hip splashes in the corner. She snapmares Asuka to the middle of the ring. Chinlock. Sasha drives her elbow into the face of Asuka. Asuka turns into the hold. Elbows and Sassha sends her into the corner. Blind tag from Bayley. She slaps Asuka. Shoulders to Asuka. Asuka kicks Bayley away, elbows Sasha of the apron, rollup to Bayley for a 1..2…NO!!!! Huge knee to the face of Bayley.

Tag to Cross. Tag to Banks. Clotheslnie, another, a headbutt all from Nikki. Dropkick to Sasha. She runs, Monkey flip to Sasha. Nikki rushes the corner with a huge splash. Bulldog to Sasha. Cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Nikki bangs her head against the top buckle and looks to dive from the top. She does, Sasha rolls and Nikki hits the mat. Sasha with a low dropkick and a in for 1..2…NO!!! She screams in frustration. She yells for Bayley to get up. She drags Nikki over to the corner and tags in Bayley. Bayley to the top rope. Her climb is stopped as Niki stops her. Sasha on the apron. Bayley in and sends Nikki to the outside. Nikki with a throat thrust. She uses the announce booth to hit a tornado DDT. She then sends Bayley to the inside of the ring and covers for 1..2..N!O!!! Banks breaks the hold. Asuka in. She attacks Banks. Right hands to Sasha. Another. She sends Banks to the ropes, Sasha holds on, moves to avoid the hip attack. Bi kick to the face. Asuka falls to the outside. Bayley goes for a tag, Asuka there to grab the leg. Sasha dives off for the knees, but Asuka ducks underneath and hits Banks with a dropkick. Bayley shoves Asuka.

In the ring, Nikki goes for another Tornado DDT, but Bayley reverses and stacks Nikki up. She uses the ropes. 1….2….3!!!!

Winners: Sasha Banks and Bayley
The girls got it goin on. There seems to be a more and more formulaic method to the wrestling in the WWE, but luckily, these girls are good enough for it to be masked by a small hand of creativity. Also, I’m biased.
Total Rating: ********

Backstage, Miz and Morrison continue to talk about Braun. They are movie guys, and in every good horror film the hero comes out and slays the monster. Morrison is the hero. Morrison sees it, he’ll become a legend. Every hero has a best friend who fights the monster in case the hero isn’t ready. Miz says he’s not really a horror guy so he doesn’t know what Morrison is talking about.

AT THE SWAMP, Bray Wyatt is whistling that he’s got the whole world in his hands. He stares at a greenly lit body of water that looks far too nice to be a swamp. When Braun first laid foot here, says Bray, he was nothing more than a lost sheep looking for a home, and he found it. He looked the devil straight in the eyes, and Bray gave him a purpose. He created a monster.

Then he left, or so he thought. This is a place where darkness comes to life, where the devil comes to dance, and all the horrors feel right at home. It’s a special and evil place, and once entered, one can never truly leave. It still lives within Braun, but he’s not capable on his own. Bray bestowed the gift he bestowed upon him. He didn’t embrace the monster, so now he must destroy the monster that Braun has become.

IN THE RING, Morrison and Miz wait for Braun.

Braun comes out to say that he will face his fears this Sunday. He is ready and illing to walk through the gates of hell and slap the devil himself in the face. He must go home and face his fears, because the last thing that he wants is for him to turn into The Fiend, because The Fiend is every bad thought hes ever had. He’s got to go hom and end him before he ends Braun.

Match 3: Jim Morrison (w/ The Miz) vs Braun Strowman

Braun tosses Morrison across the ring, then splashes in the corner. Clothesline to Morrison. Chokeslam to Morrison. Braun laughs loudly. He lifts Morrison, locks in a modified bear hug like he used to do when he was fat and knew no words, then hits a powerslam.

Winner: Braun Strowman
The whole yelling promo beforehand was dumb, and only served to let us know that a match with The Fiend will be next after he beats Bray at The Swamp.
Total Rating: NR

He hopes Bray was watching, because he is coming home.

They act as if Morrison can’t feel his neck, and Miz takes him to the back. Lacey Evans doesn’t give a shit, because here she comes to have a one-on-one with Naomi.

Lacey is officially a heel again, saying that after tonight, Naomi’s glow will be nothing but a little sparkle.

Match 4: Naomi vs Lacey Evans

Naomi starts off hot, saying she won’t be respecting Lacey. Lacey floats over the ropes and hits a shoulder. Leg sweep to Naomi. She dives over and drops with an elbow. Cover for 1..2…NO!!!! Lacey drags Naomi to the corner and drops another elbow. Moonsault off the bottom rope, but Naomi got the knees up. Kip up and a split cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Naomi with a kick. Another kick to the side. She goes for another, and Lacey catches the fourth. Go behind, Full nelson, elbow from Lacey. She misses a Woman’s Right. Naomi hits the ropes and flies back with a hurricanrana. LAceyy on the apron, misses a leg sweep, gets kicked in the face, Naomi hangs her over, pulls the hair, Lacey pulls the hair as well, ties it up on the second rope.

< The ref doesn’t do anything. Naomi escapes after a bit and eats a Woman’s Right. Pin for 1..2…3!!!!

Worst. Ref. Ever.
Total Rating: *

BACKSTAGE, Jeff Hardy is chugging straight from a Jack Daniels bottle. Oh, wait, that’s me.

Kayla brings up the barroom brawl, as she wonders why he is testing his sobriety by having the barroom brawl.

Jeff says it’s risky, but the chance to see him look in the mirror and regret what he sees is a risk he’s willing to take.

She asks Jeff what his prediction is for the IC Title. He blames Sheamus for not being able to be in the match tonight but in comes Sheamus to Brogue Kick him and tell Jeff he’ll see him on Smackdown next week.

BACKSTAGE, Bayley and Sasha talk to Kayla about momentum. They have more mass than Nikki, thus having more momentum than Nikki. It’s freakin science. After Sasha decimates Asuka and becomes two belts Banks, that’s not science – it’s fate.

Sasha says it’s their destiny to win all the gold. Bayley knows that Nikki is bordering apoplexy, but if she is disappointed in herself now, Bayley will hate to see her after she loses her first one-on-one. She should just go back to being a chimney sweep.


Nikki and Alexa is backstage, Nikki is frustrated. She blew it last week, blew it tonight, is gonna blow it on Sunday. Bliss has been there. Nikki says they don’t get the same opportunities. Nikki says this is her chance, she has friends and family that she left, and they are watching her lose every week. Her confidence is just shaken, and she’s worried about this Sunday.

Alexa says she will defeat Bayley, and Nikki says the only Horror Show will be if she doesn’t defeat Bayley on Sunday.

Laughter is heard from the background. It’s Bayley and Sasha. Nikki rushes them and attacks Bayley. Sasha fights her off as Bayley screams to Alexa to put a freakin leash on her.

They replay AJ and Riddle’s promos from the top of the show.

Main Event: Intercontinental Championship Match
Matt Riddle vs AJ Styles

AJ misses a right. Lockup and Riddle gets AJ in the corner. Ref breaks them up. Back to the center. Go behind and a waist lock. AJ backs him into the corner. Elbow from AJ. He hits some shoulders in the corner. Right hand to the face. Whip to Riddle is stopped. Riddle ducks under, locks the hips, and gutwrench Suplexes AJ. Another suplex sends AJ to the outside. He hops to the apron. Riddle to the top, he knees AJ off the apron. AJ is frustrated. He pounds on the table and out comes Riddle to mock him and do the same. AJ removes the table top and runs to Riddle who kicks him on the side of the head.

We are back, and Riddle has a waist lock from behind. He takes AJ down and knees him then drops a couple of elbows. Knee to AJ. AJ rolls over to the ropes. Riddle wants an arm bar, but has to back up. Riddle is up and waiting. He locks up in the corner ,attacks the sides, Fishermans and a pin for 1..2..NO!!!! AJ with a sick drop, sending Riddle’s face into the mat. Kicks in the corner. Stomps. Riddle with a huge chop to the chest. More rights, high kicks, AJ grabs one. Dragon Screw to the leg. AJ kicks the leg over and over again, sending Riddle to the outside to regroup. Riddle enters the ring and AJ kicks it again, then grabs the leg and drops a knee on it. He pulls back on the foot to put pressure on the knee and shin. Another knee to the left leg. AJ up first. He grabs the leg, hooks up, and hits a right. Another right. Sleeper from behind. AJ with a cravat. Riddle turns into it. AJ jabs him. He gets the fireamans, Riddle lands on his feet. Kick to the face Kick in the corner. Right hand in the corner. Belly to belly and Riddle hits the ropes, misses a kick, goes for a moonsault, lands on his feet, hits the Broton, a running kick to the chest connects this time. BRO2SLEEP! Powerbomb! He flips AJ up. KNEE! Pin for 1..2……NO!!!!

We come back, and Riddle is being pinned by AJ for 1..2..NO!!! AJ to the apron. He may go for the Phenomenal Forearm. He springboads, Riddle is up!!! He locks up for a Bro Derek, but it looks like something stopped him. He drops AJ like a sack of taters and hits another Broton. Riddle with right hands. Chest thrusts. Right hand, misses a kick, Aj fires back with some strikes.

AJ goes for the phenomenal forearm again, Riddle counters! AJ tries for the Calf Crusher. Riddle reverses. AJ stacks him! Pin for 1..2….3!!!!

This was fun! Riddle is different enough to feel fresh. He still has the stigma of “moveset” where there is little deviation, but with a wrestler like AJ, you’re going to get an above average affair. Sucks we’re now stuck with Corbin…
Total Rating: ***1/2

After the match, AJ looks to Riddle, hesitates, and extends his hand. Riddle shakes it. From behind, Corbin attacks Riddle! AJ holds his title and leaves the ring. Corbin mounts Riddle then attacks over and over with rights.

End Show

The final score: review Good
The 411
Thank God, this was a much more singularly driven show than last week's fiasco of a wrestling show. The Main Event was the focal point, and the WWE made it a point to show that other wrestlers cared about this title. True, that means very little because this likely won't happen again any time soon, but for the episode itself, it helped gel together all the pieces that we saw. They are attempting to bring Lacey and Naomi back into the fold, and I'm all for Naomi, but Lacey never really left long enough for us to care, and they stripped her of the only characteristic people seemed to be sticking with. Morrison and Miz aren't funny together, and I don't know who keeps telling them that they are. I know they're funny, I've seen it, but his return has been riddled with subpar and juvenile humor that just doesn't fit the product. Then again, we have Jeff insisting that he face Sheamus in a bar room brawl, so maybe I'm more out of touch than the company I'm claiming to be is. All in all, this was a very big improvement over last week, but is that really saying all that much?

article topics :

WWE Smackdown, Tony Acero