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Acero’s WWE Smackdown Review 7.3.20

July 3, 2020 | Posted by Tony Acero
WWE Smackdown
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Acero’s WWE Smackdown Review 7.3.20  

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Tonight, we get a “preview” of the upcoming Swamp Match. Never has an idea jumped the shark (alligator) so quickly as the cinematic match in the WWE. How does one ‘preview’ said match?

Ok, let me calm down my jade, the show hasn’t even started. Jesus.

Cole is in the middle of the ring to introduce Matt Riddle.

We are taken back to two weeks ago where Riddle got a win over AJ Styles. Cole asks Riddle what beating AJ meant to him.

Riddle says he can’t put it into words. He says it was an out of body experience. Like, AJ, he respects him, bro, but hes pretty sure he likes AJ a little more than AJ likes Riddle. But after his victory, to celebrate with Bryan and Gulak and The New Day, bro. He could get used to this.

Cole brings up Riddle’s lack of shoes. Cole wonders why?

Riddle calls this a great question; it’s not. He says it’s a long story, but when he was a child, his family took him on vacation to Wisconsin, and it was winter. They had an in-door pool then go outside and play in the snow back and forth. One day, he stayed outside too long, came back in to swim, and put his feet in the water, and got frostbite. They were thinking of amputating The Bro’s footsies. Luckily, he pulled through, and this is why he never wears shoes. Whenver he puts them on, he still gets the burning sensation. He never wears shoes anywhere, bro. He learned that day, also, that you can lose anything in a moment. Even though he can’t feel anything with his feet, his feet allow him to feel everyting else that much more.

Cole wonders what’s next.

Baron Corbin does not. Hes here. I mean, we knew it was coming, but it doesn’t make it more interesting.

Corbin questions Riddle’s name, and says Riddle could have saved everyone a bunch of time by simply saying that he doesn’t wear shoes because he was an idiot when he was a kid, and is still an idiot. He then tells Cole that he’s an idiot and should be ashamed. He tells Cole to get out of the ring. Corbin brings up how Riddle chose to dive on Corbin last week after he was ganged up on. That was a sign of disrespect. Riddle should bow down. This will not be tolerated. They should all bow down.

Riddle: You do you, bro.


Corbin tells the new guy that someone needs to put him in his place.

Riddle: Let’s go, bro.

Corbin says no, he doesn’t face the king. Tonight, right now, his opponent is

John Morrison.

Ah, match making is a right bestowed upon the king according to the Royal Creed of the WWE. How easily we forget.

Match 1: Matt Riddle vs John Morrison

Bro with the flip flop flip to Corbin on the outside as he sits for commentary. Riddle with the lockup until Morrison turns and locks the head. Riddle with a go behind take down. Morrison rolls to the ropes and get sup with motivation from Miz. Riddle goes for the leg, Morrison shoots under and works the leg, rolls forward, then on top. He works the arm, Riddle takes him down with the leg, Morrison reaches for the bottom rope. Morrison with a hard right hand to Riddle. He hops over a leg sweep and leg scissors the waist and goes for an arm bar. Morrison drops him, but Riddle gut wrenches him into a slam. He doesn’t release, goes for another, doesn’t release and shoots for a third, but Morrison grabs the legs and hits a Alabama Slam with a roll through. Morrison goes for a kick but Riddle picks the leg and goes for an Ankle Lock! Morrison kicks him off, but Riddle holds the leg, rolls, and grabs for another Lock! He pulls upward for a waist lock, goes for a German. Morrison lands on his feet. He springboards with a hard kick to the face. Morrison with a twisting head drop. Pin for 1…2….NO!!! Morrison lifts Riddle, hits a knee, clubs the back. Cravat from Morrison. He releases, slides onto the apron, high kick from Ridle. Corkscrew crossbody off the springboard and a pin for 1…2…NO!!! Front face headlock to Riddle. Riddle lifts the leg, Morrison attacks the mid section. Morrison with a knee to the head. He hits the ropes. Running knee to the face. Cover for 1…2…NO!!!! Cravat from behind. Riddle turns into the hold. Morrison with a right. Kick to the chest. Riddle takes it. Another. Chop from Riddle. He calls for more. Morrison removes his elbow pad. He pokes the eye of Riddle. Ha! Morrison locks the head. Riddle with a surprise Fisherman’s! Riddle on the outside. He flips his flip flop to Corbin then runs back into the ring as we go to break.

We are back and Riddle tosses Morrisno across the ring, misses a kick, misses a moonsault, and hits a Broton instead. Firemans into a Bro To Sleep. German! Pin for 1…2…NO!!! Riddle to the top rope. He flies off with a Floating Bro, but Morrison has the knees up! Morrison with a spin, fake kick, into a leg sweep, flips over, waist lock, set up for a Razor’s Edge, he spins Riddle and slams him down hard! Pin for 1…2….NO!!! THE BROMISSION IS LOCKED IN! Morrison on his feet. He clims the corner with Riddle still on his back. Riddle releases and locks the waist. Elbow from Morrison. He runs up with a waist like but Morrison takes him down onto the apron. Chop from Riddle. He gets to the 2nd rope. He locks up for a Uranage, no! SPANISH FLY BY MORRISON!!!! STANDING SPANISH FLY BY MORRISON!!! 1….2…..NO!!!!! Morrison with a right. Bro does the same. Back and forth. Riddle chops, slaps, misses a mick, Morrison kicks, Riddle grabs the leg, drops, swings a kick up. Rip Cord Knee off the ropes! He lifts up for a powerbomb, Morrison lands on his feet and kicks Riddle. Riddle flies back, floats over, Powerbomb! KNEE!! PIN! 1…2…3!!!!! Miz on the apron.

Riddle knocks him off. Corbin on the other end. Morrison roles Riddle up. 1..2…NO!!!! Riddle rolls Morrison up, puling the leg down in the pin. 1…….2……3!!!!

Winner: Matt Riddle
Another solid outing by Riddle on the blue brand. Morrison more than held his own and shows that even after all his ears in the business, he’s still got a flashy yet fun moveset. Admittedly, there were a few times where the setups were kind of obvious, but considering how little they get a chance to have a match with this time, I can’t fault them fully.
Total Rating: ***1/2
Match Time: 15:00

Riddle celebrates on the stage. AJ Styles from behind! He attacks Riddle!! Out comes GUlak to stop the attack, sending AJ near the ring. Refs come out to stop the raucous.

Match 2: Interconttinental Championship Match
Drew Gulak vs AJ Styles

We come back and the bell rings. AJ has the stars and striped don Gulak in the corner. He hits a shoulder then a chop. AJ sends Drew to the outside hard. Baseball slide to Drew. AJ sends Drew’s face into the apron and scrapes it up a bit. Kick to the gut. He sends Drew back into the ring. Elbow drop to the head. AJ with a right hand. He locks the head. Drew attacks the ut. Boot to Drew. Bryan is here via zoom. So we get a picture in picture. Drew with a rollup for 1..2.NO!!! AJ with a chop. Bryan gives a generic reply to a question that is supposed to help us believe he is currently watching this match.

AJ with a chinlock. He locks the head. Snap suplex into a cover for 1.2….NO! Bryan’s zoom call is back. AJ drops a knee to the face of Drew. He covers for 1..2…NO!!! Dragon Screw to the leg of Drew from AJ. AJ works the leg as Drew struggles on the mat. He DDT’s the ankle into the mat then drags his leg over to the bottom rope and steps on the back of the knee. Drew with a kick, AJ catches. Drew with some right hands. AJ bounces off the 2nd roe. He tries to roll the leg into the Calf Crusher. Drew holds the ropes. AJ gets it, Gulak stands out of the move, pulls the arm back and locks the chin with his other arm. AJ grabs the ropes. AJ rolls to the outside. Drew with a HUGE baseball slide to AJ on the outside! Damn, he kicked the shit outta AJ.

We are back and AJ sends Gulak into the post. He hits another snap suplex,hits a brainbuster, covers for 1…..2..NO!!! AJ with a chinlock from behind. Elbow drop to the head. AJ with a huge boot to the face. AJ with an STO into a backbreaker. AJ covers for 1..2…NO! Elbow from AJ but Drew locks the hip and rolls AJ into a pin. 1…2..nO!!! AJ rakes the eyes. Kicks in the corner to Drew. Drew escapes. He kicks AJ. AJ hangs Gulak up. Snapmare from AJ. Cravat from above. AJ grabs the legs. Snake eyes to AJ! Drew grabs the arm, whips AJ, hits a running dropkick. Another to AJ. A third to AJ, sending him rolling into the corner. ANOTHER DROPKICK!!! AJ still standing. Drew with a driver, focusing on the neck! Cover for 1..2…NO!!!! Drew sits AJ up in the corner. He hits a right hand, spreads the legs, hops up and grabs the head. He wants a Superplex, but AJ slides underneath and pulls Drew down, sending his jaw into the buckle. AJ with a missed splash. Drew runs , hops up on the shoulders.

AJ with a Powerbomb! STYLES CLASH! AJ lifts Drew and hangs him chest first onto the apron. AJ on the adjacent side. Springboard. PHENOMENAL FOREARM! Pin for 1…2…3!!!!

Winner: AJ Styles
Looks like Smackdown is going to focus heavily on the wrestling, and with a match like this and the previous one, I’m not mad.Bryan’s “Zoom” call did nothing for me, as you never got the impression he was actually watching the match. One thing I’ll say is that they need a little more work on Drew if we are to believe he was even remotely close to winning the IC because I didn’t get that feeling at all, here.
Total Rating: ***1/2
Match Time: 17:09

Bayley and Sasha are here to celebrate. The week they’ve had has been wild. We all should be callin them Sasha Three-Shows and Bayley Three-Brands. They’re on everything. They get no respect. They are working their tail off (I dunno Bayley…). No, there is someone that has respect for Sasha and Bayley, and the person who does is The Undertaker. Bayley calls him Taker. Taker called her last week and said “Bayley Dos Straps, I’m, quite frankly, embarrassed, at all the fuss at tribute that you guys paid to me last week when clearly you are the greatest champion in WWE History. At Extreme Rules, I can’t wait for you both to win your matches and hold all the gold in WWE.”

Bayley says Taker knows what’s up. He also, apparently, wants a tribute for them. And who are they to not grant his wish. Did you watch The Last Ride? She did, and finally…he’s out of here, and they can move on, but why wait for after Extreme Rules, let’s do the tribute tonight.

After the video package, they thank each other loudly and annoyingly until Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross’ music hits. Alexa claps her way down and says that was really inspirational. They are right; they did accomplish al of those things, but they have a list of accomplishments too.

Nikki is the Queen of Scotland.
Nikki is 325th in line to the throne in England.
Alexa is the epitome of a champion and made history as the first women to drive across Antarctica in a go-kart.
They crumble their face accolades up and enter the ring. They know how ridiculous how Bayley and Sasha sound, right?

Sasha says that many have tried, but no one has been able to touch bayley for the past year, and she’ll be damned if Nikki can do any different.

Nikki’s got this. She tells Bayley that her wins have brough her success, but her journey has been about heart, and if she puts her entire heart, she can take that title from Bayley.

Sasha calls this so heartfelt, then laughs it off. Bayley laughs as well, and Alexa slaps the shit out of her. Sasha says Bayley has no problem giving a preview of Extreme Rules right now.

Alexa says she’s down.

Match 3: Bayley vs Alexa Bliss

Bliss has Bayley hurting. She steps in the back of Bayley and stomps. Alexa sends Bayley into the corner. Aleax goes for her running slap, pokes the eye, then hits a slap. Cover for 1..2…NO!!!! I should mention that Bayley is wearing leggings and a sleeveless t-shirt. Bliss drops some knees, moonsault, cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Bayley sends Alexa to the apron, goes for a Twist of Fate but Bliss drops down and Bayley gest hung up. Bliss back in the ring and Bayley stomps the arm. She grabs the arm and slams it onto her shoulder hard. Bayley pulls back on the arm, sitting on it as well, pulling on the fingers. She covers for 1..2…NO!! Bayley with an arm bar from behind. She slams Alexa down hard. Alexa rolls up for 1..2..NO!!! Clothesline from Bayley. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Bayley splashes in the corner. Snapmare into a stomp from Bayley. She locks the fingers of the right arm, Alexa flips out, Bayley locks up from behind, Alexa with a hard punch. She sells the hand. Bayley rolls to the outside. She slams the hand into the apron, rolls in and covers for 1..2.NO!!! Nikki slams the announce table as Bayley mocks her and hits a splash in the corner, then a bulldog. Cover for 1..2…NO!!! Bayley steps on the hand of alexis, screaming for Nikki to come in. Sasha on the apron. Bayley throws alexa into her and Sasha hits a right.

Nikki runs around the ring to knock Sasha down. Bayley tells Nikki to stay out of her business. Nikki has had enough. She hits a right hand to Bayley, causing the DQ.

Winner: Bayley via DQ
An interesting twist in Sasha volunteering Bayley for the match, but Bayley still being game. I wasn’t a fan of the entire segment preceding the match, as it seemed relatively pointless and out of character for them to diss Taker, especially considering we already saw a heel do it just last week. Match was serviceable, but really a means to an end more than a technical contest.
Total Rating: **
Match Time: 5:28

Nikki goes wild. She attacks Bayley. She looks for a bulldog, but Sasha pulls Bayley out fo the ring, saving her.

Time for a history lesson on the swamp.

Braun’s promo is interspliced with some swamp footage and ends in laughter from both Bray and Braun.

The New Day is here. Big E…rolls down the ramp. Kofi is in action against Shinsuke next.

Match 4: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kofi Kingston

Kofi with a huge dropkick to start! He attacks in the corner. Another dropkick. Shin blocks a headbash and hits some knees to Kofi. He sends Kofi into the corner, Kofi hops onto the 2nd buckle and flies back into the center of the ring with a dropkick. Shinsuke on the apron. Another dropkick sends Shinsuke flying. Kofi wants to dive. He hits the ropes, Shinsuke moves, and Kofi stops. He exits the ring. Shinsuke kicks him. Kofi with right hands. Shinsuke hits a few of his own. Kofi sends Shinsuke into the plexiglass and Big E takes some time out of his day to laugh his ass off in the face of Shinuske. Kofi rolls him back into the ring. Kofi to the top rope. Cesaro distracts. Shinsuke with a kick to the face. Shinsuke lifts Kfoi and sends him into the corner, choking him up on the rope with a boot. Cesaro with a cheap shot. Big E is there to attack Cesaro! He chases him around the ring as Shinsuke chokes up Kofi. The ref yells at Big E. The ref watns big E and Cesaro both to head to the back.

Back from the break, and Kofi is shitting some knees to Shin. Shin snapmares him and drops a knee to the head. Pin for 1..2..NO!!! Shin with the knees in the corner. Whip to Kofi. Shin hits a splash in the corner. Nak kicks the back of Kofi. He rolls away, then slides under the ropes and grabs the hips then releases all at the same time. He rolls back in, pins but he’s too close to the ropes. Kofi with some rights. Kofi his a knee. He fights Shin into the center of the ring. Shinsuke tosses him to the ropes. Back elbow to Kofi. Kick to the back from Shin. He rolls to the outside, grabs the head of Kofi, lays him chest first on the apron, then hits the back. Shinsuke runs with a knee lift to Kofi. He rolls back in. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Cravat from behind. Kofi turns into the hold. Elbow and a right. Shin with one. Whip to the reops. Kofi with a right to the face. Kofi with a chop to the chest. Double hop. Dropkick to Shin. Kofi hits the ropes, hops over a move, gets hit with some rights. Kick out of the corner to Shinsuke. Kofi to the top rope. He dives off, Shinsuke hits a knee. Cover for 1..2..NO!!! Kofi reverses and gets a 1…2..NO!!! Kofi goes for Trouble in Paradise, Shinsuke reverses and hits a kick of his own. Pin for 1…2..NO!!! Shinsuke locks up from behin,d goes for a suplex, Kofi with an SOS instead. Pin fo 1..2…..NO!! Kofi wants another SOS, but Shinsuke blocks it. Kofi slides under. Stomps to Shin. Cover for 1..2…NO!!!

Kofi wants Trouble in Paradisse. Shinsuke tries for a sleeper. He escapes. Running knee from Shinsuke! Pin for 1…2…3!!!

A good outing from both guys, and a clean win that gives them an air of legitimacy that they sorely need. And of course, a table being brought out tells us exactly what we’ll be getting at Extreme Rules.
Total Rating: **
Match Time: 11:45

The ring has a bar with a bartender in it. The liquor selection is shitty; it’s all mixers and wine. Can’t even get that right.

Jeff comes out. Sheamus is on the tron. He has a drink in his hand and is at his home bar. Sheamus wanted to give him some space. How about last week, defending Taker’s honor. That must have been fantastic. Here’s the thing; the adrenaline that he felt, that’ll get him back to his old ways. Jeff is looking for the quick fix. He has a problem; not with drugs and alcohol, or the loss of respect from his loved ones. No, Jeff’s problem is facing reality. Ever since Sheamus beat him at Backlash, Jeff feels sorry for himself then sticks his nose in someone else’s business, looking for that quick pick me up. It’s sad and pathetic. Breaks Sheamus heart. But we’ve seen it all before. Truth is, Jeff is lying to himself, and Sheamus can’t see it anymore, but he has found a solution. The answer is in one of those bottles.

The bartender, who had his towel on his arm, has disappeared.

Sheamus makes a toast for Jeff, completely in rhymes. Cute.

Jeff says Sheamus has got to be the sickest person he’s ever met. Is this funny to Sheamus? To run his family’s noses in his business? Is it funny?

Sheamus says he’s not here to hurt, he’s here to help. He doesn’t have to live a lie anymore. Deep inside, there’s nothing Jeff would rather do than to jump right back into the gutter, which is why he sent his bartender to help.

In comes the bartender to hand Jeff a glass of champagne.

Sheamus tells him to take the drink. The bartender holds it eerily close to Jeff. Sheamus says he doesn’t have to pretend to be strong and just follow his instincts.

Jeff says he’s right what’s the worst that can happen. This is the Jeff Sheamus remembers.

Jeff looks to take a sip, looks over at the smirking bartender, then pours the drink over his head. Jeff then breaks a bottle over the head of the bartender, then goes to the top rope to hit a Swanton Bomb.

As a bartender, I’ve dealt with far worse.

End Show

The final score: review Good
The 411
The Jeff Hardy Redemption Story Part 5 continues to be a sore spot on the blue brand, as it levels on ridiculousness and eye-rolling delivery. It's just not good television. The first hour of Smackdown was great, with two incredible matches and a push forward towards something. The second half felt flat a little, but still had Sasha Banks killing it with yet another amazing outfit and showing some subtle moves towards the inevitable turn for either her or Bayley. It also moved the story forward of Bayley and Nikki. There isn't much you could do between now and Extreme Rules with regards to Braun, but it's still interesting to see how little he is on the show. Shinsuke got a very important win that is necessary if we are to believe that a) Shinsuke and Cesaro can win the tag team titles and b) that Shinsuke would even be interested in winning said titles. All in all, a good Smackdown with good wrestling that was hurt only by the weakest stories.

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WWE Smackdown, Tony Acero