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Acero’s WWE Smackdown Review 7.31.20

July 31, 2020 | Posted by Tony Acero
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Acero’s WWE Smackdown Review 7.31.20  

So last week, some people took umbrage towards my dislike for Grand Metalik getting a shot at the IC Title, and to that, I say that I am thoroughly expecting the match to blow my mind, and for me to now know half of the moves that GM makes, but as usual, my issues lie within the story – and simply that there isn’t one, nor will there be one after. In other news, I just found out that Jimmy Johns sells its bread by itself, and I am no longer on a quest to lose weight…


We get that new thing they’re doing where someone cuts a promo to start the show. Sasha and Bayley start, then Alexa and Nikki have a little something to say. Nikki can’t wait to knock Bayley off her high horse.

Big E also gets a little promo time, saying Kofi and Woods are on his heart and mind. He promises Miz that he will feel the power.

Miz and Morrison laugh off Big E’s singles career, calling it a MadTV spinoff. Miz says he doesn’t have what it takes.

Lacey Evans gets one, too, saying she will give Naomi HASHTAG what she deserves.

Naomi says what she deserves is to beat Lacey senseless.

Grand Metalik with a promo saying he’s gonna tap that ass.

Finally, AJ calls him impressive, but says it doesn’t compare to phenomenal.

Bray Wyatt gets some promo time saying that The Fiend is awake and wants something Braun has, and until he gets what he wants, none of us are safe. LET ME IN.


Match 1: Intercontinental Championship Title Match
AJ Styles vs Grand Metalik

Lockup to start. Lince is ringside, fyi. AJ backs GM into the corner and the ref breaks it up. Lockup again and GM backs AJ into the corner. Ref back GM up. They split up and meet in the middle of the ring for a test of strength, but AJ with a sneak kick. He kicks again, stomps GM down on the mat, then kicks him in the back. AJ sends him into the top buckle head first. AJ lifts GM and sends him to the corner. Chop to the chest. AJ with a backbreaker. AJ locks the head and goes for a suplex, stalling for good measure. Cover for 1…NO!!! AJ lifts GM by the chin and backs him into the corner, then hits some shoulders. Kick to the inner thigh. AJ whips GM to the corner hard. AJ locks the head up, calling for Styles Clash. GM backs out of it. He tries to fight back, but AJ with a throat thrust. Toss to the ropes, Metalik hops over, he rolls backwards, AJ grabs the legs, turns him and drops an elbow, but GM rolls out of the way. He’s up, spins with a hurricanrana, sending AJ to the outside! GM flies, lands on the apron as AJ rolls into the ring. He kicks the leg of GM out from under him and GM falls down to the floor. AJ flies, lands on his apron, and GM clotheslines his leg down. Metalik on the apron. He runs and hits a rana!

We are back from a break, and AJ trips Metalik up on the top rope. GM backs an elbow into the face of AJ and turns to fly with a cross body. Cover for 1..2…NO!!! GM with a right hand. Another. He beats AJ down in the corner. GM goes for a monkey flip, but AJ holds onto the ropes and GM falls back on his head AJ with a kick. Another kick. A third one, all to the chest. GM goes to kick, but AJ hits a knee underneath GM’s knee. Another knee. He locks the leg up on the bottom rope, and the ref counts him. AJ with a DDT to the leg. He then drops a knee to the leg. AJ drops onto the knee, pulling on the ankle. GM rolls into a pin, but AJ sits on his back with a half crab. GM reaches the bottom rope. The ref breaks the hold. AJ grabs the leg, GM fights back with eright hands, a surprise rollup gets him 1…2..NO!!! Fireamns from AJ, GM drops down, tries to lock the head with the legs, AJ lifts him up, and GM hits a DDT! Cover for 1..2..NO!!!! Metalik runs the ropes and dives off with a dropkick. Cover for 1..2..NO!!!! AJ attacks the knee, hits a right, left, right, kick, right, and a clothesline! AJ to the apron! He wants the forearm. He springboards, rolls through, catches a kick. ENZIGURI from Metalik!

Metalik hits the ropes, runs them, flies off, but AJ clips the knee, and GM flips forward and eats the mat. AJ flips GM by the leg and locks in the Calf Crusher! Grand Metalik taps!

Winner: AJ Styles
This match was everything you expected it to be, but not much more than that. Of course, the win was never in question, and AJ didn’t ever truly feel bested. Not that this was necessary, but the reality is that this is why the “surprise” match doesn’t always work. For years, Metalik and Lince have been jobber/fodder, so even if the quality of wrestling is high, there will forever be something missing (few exceptions here, as a match that just blows the mind of the audience can really make a wrestler become larger than life).
Total Rating: ***
Match Time: 14:26

As Lince checks on Metalik, AJ kicks him then hits the Styles Clash.

Backstage, Gable is wathing what’s going on. Corbin is behind him, and tells ihm that Gable should stop watching backstage, and if he was friends with Corbin, they’d be great. Corbin says they have always been friends. Gable realizes this is all to help Corbin fight Riddle. Corbin says yes, the King’s Ransom is on the table, and he should think about it.

Gable….thinks about it.

Recap of Jeff Hardy winning last week, then we go live and he’s being congratulated and hugged by everyone in the back.

Joy.

BACK FROM THE BREAK, and Jeff Hardy makes his way to the ring. He’s all smiles as the rookies dance to his entrance music.

He’s got to admit that he hasn’t felt this good in a while. He says the last few months have been tough (ain’t that the truth). He wants to remind himself of how ad it can be. Sobriety is a challenge he’s gotta face daily. He is on the right path, though. He’s an alcoholic. He’s so much more than that, though. He’s a father, a WWE Superstar, and he gets to perform for all of us, and he loves it. He is so grateful that the love of his fam and friends have gotten him to this point right now, and it makes him never want to let us down again. The struggle is real.

Out comes Corbin, who says this is enough. His head will explode if he’s gotta hear about this any more. Jeff is the Charismatic Enigma, known for taking things to the extreme, and now he’s in the ring whining and crying about recovery. He gets it, Jeff’s life sucks, but shut up and deal with it. It’s bad enough he’s gotta hear this, but he’s also gotta deal with Matt Riddle, and tonight he’s got a match with the idiotic Drew Gulak. Smackdown – his kingdom – is turning into an insane asylum.

Jeff says the real problem is Jeff.

Corbin wants to be honest; he’s disappointed in Jeff. One would think Jeff would have wanted to stay in his good graces. He would offer him the King’s Ransom, but Jeff wouldn’t take it. Jeff would rather sit in a circle and talk about the 12 steps, and collecting coins.

From behind, Drew Gulak attacks Corbin.


Match 2: Drew Gulak vs Baron Corbin

WE start with Gulak goin buck wild on Corbin, attacking Corbin in the corner. Corbin eventually clotheslines Gulak down hard then gets a 1 count pin. He drops an elbow to the shoulder of Drew a few times then tries to grab a chinlock. Corbin locks in a half Boston Crab to Drew. Drew is able to turn this into the Lebelle Lock!!! Corbin reaches the ropes, and the ref breaks the hold. Drew eats an elbow! Drew hits a dropkick, ducks under a cltohelsine, hits another one, Corbin bounces, and Drew hits a third dropkick! Drew to the top rope! He flies with a battering ram of a shoulder and pins for 1…2..NO!!!! Drew locks the head, Corbin turns it, looks to body slam, Drew escapes, hits the ropes, DEEP SIX!!

Matt Riddle’s music hits! Riddle comes to the top of the ramp to watch. Corbin goes to grab Drew, Drew rolls him up for 1..2…NO!!!! Corbin! End of Days! Cover! 1….2….3!!!

Winner: Baron Corbin
Drew is a solid hand, but this did nothing for him. Corin continues to be a good big man for the smaller foes, even if he is a horribly annoying character, and for all of the wrong reasons.
Total Rating: **
Match Time: 4:53
As soon as the bell rings, Matt Riddle attacks Corbin from behind, making this the second person to do so. Riddle with the kicks. He lifts Corbin up slowly, looking to end it. Gable, from out of nowhere, runs in and attacks Riddle! GERMAN SIUPLEX to Riddle! He looks to Corbin with a smile. Gable calls for money as Riddle lays defeated. Gable and Corbin back up the ramp.

Match 3: Big E vs The Miz

Lockup to start. Big E backs Miz into the corner. Miz comes out with another lockup. Ref breaks them again. Big E slaps the titty. Big E gyrates slowly to the tune of NEW-DAYROCKS. Waistlock from Miz. Big E breaks it and tosses Miz over his shoulder into a drop. Big E shakes some more. He works the fingers in a test of strength, but Miz goes all AJ on him and kicks with a cheap shot. Right hands beat Big E down until he hits the ropes and Big E leap frogs. Abdominal stretch from Big E, and he taps that ass. He shoves Miz then hits a back elbow and a cover for 1….NO!!! Miz with ahard slap to the face of Big E. Big E’s smile is gone. He sends Miz to the outside. Big E rolls to the outside and grabs Miz. He sends Miz face first into the table then the ringpost. He tells Miz not to EVA slap him. Big E sends Miz into the barricade. Big E sends Miz into the ring. Morrison decides to run up the steps and spin with a kick to Big E. Miz flies through the ropes and kicks Big E. Miz flies off the top rope, covers for a 1..2..NO!!! Chin lock from behind. Elbow from Big E. Another. He sends Miz to the apron, hits a hard clothesline to Miz. Big E heads outside. He drags Miz to the center and clubs the chest hard. Big E goes for his splash, but Miz rolls into the ring and Big E crashes.

We are back, and Miz is on the back of Big E with a sleeper. E rolls Miz forward, so Miz kicks him in the face and covers for 1..2..N!O!!! Miz mounts and hits some right hands. Miz kicks Big E in the face. Again. E blocks, Miz hits, E blocks. Miz rakes the eyes, hits a neckbreaker, Big E shoves Miz, BELLY TO BELLY! Another. A third sends Big E down hard. Big E hits the ropes. He hits a splash to Miz. Miz hits the ropes after escaping a move. Miz goes for the Skull Crushing Finale, he can’t lock the arms. Miz rakes the yes, again! DDT to Big E! Miz sends Big E into the corner and kicks his leg a few times. Miz hits hr corner. High knee to the face. Miz goes for another, then runs for a clothtesine, but Big E with a Uranage out of the corner! Pin for 1..2….!!! Miz argues with the ref. Morrison on the apron. High kick to the face of Big E. SKULL CRUSHING FINALE! Pin for 1..2…NO!!!

FIGURE FOUR FROM MIZ!!! Big E gets to the ropes. Ref counts to 4. Miz breaks the hold. Morrison on the apron, he wants to kick Big E once again. Robinson sees this and kicks Morrison to the back. Miz begs him not to as Morrison makes it up the ramp. Big E with a rollup for 1..2…NO!!!!! STRETCH MUFFLER!!! Miz taps.

Winner: Big E
I don’t like that a) they are acting as if Big E has zero idea how to wrestle simply because he was in a tag team or trio. Saying shit like this is his first foray, and he isn’t prepared for this is just…dumb. b) The Miz is the test that Big E has to prove himself with. It’s The MIz. A typical tag team guy in his own right, so why would he be a possible person to best him? The match itself was really good, to be honest. I loved it, but the way the commentary treated this as some sort of novice trying to prove himself is annoying. Then again, at least it wasn’t a squash.
Total Rating: ***
Match Time: 14:01

Cesaro and Shinsuke are cheering each other backstage. They are happy for becoming tag champs. In come Lince Dorado and Grand Metalik. Cesaro says they are not happy to see them. GM and Lince do the LUCHA finger thing and Cesaro says this is a champions only section. Cesaro had a chance earlier, but he blew it.

Sheamus is wearin his Irish gangster gear, and I love it. He talks about the bar being Jeff’s home turf, and that was Sheamus’ first mistake. He was in that bar with a greater power. Even though not a drop of booze touched his lips, he knew Jeff was fueled by alcohol. It was practically a handicap match. Sheamus drops his straps and says he’s not here to make excuses and complain immediately after making excuses and complaining.

Sheamus says that Jeff Hardy is not his problem anymore, and that’s bad news for the Smackdown locker room, because now, he’s their problem.

Lacey wants to talk about beating Naomi at karaoke, and beating her after that. We all want to feel sorry for her, so she’ll make us feel sorry for her tonight.


Match 4: Naomi vs Lacey Evans

Lacey backs Naomi into the corner and slaps her at the count of four. Naomi kicks her out of the corner hard then runs with an hop up, but Lacey catches her and hits a powerbomb. Lacet kicks Naomi then grabs her hair and brings her to the center of the ring. She goes for a…weird face plant then gator rolls Naomi towards the corner. She drags Naomi into the corner and pulls her back into the post, then kicks Naomi a few times to the neck. Naomi rolls to the outside and kicks Lacey. Lacey kicks her back and sends Naomi into the post face first. Lacey rolls back into the ring. Lacey traps Naomi’s hair under the steps and I swear to god, if she gets counted out because of that…

She doesn’t, thankfully, and rolls back into the ring. Naomi on the apron. Lacey reaches through, gets kicked, Naomi drops an axe kick. Naomi hits the ropes and dives out of the ring. She looks for a Destroyer, but doesn’t quite catch all of it. She rolls Lacey into the ring and covers for 1..2..NO!!!! Naomi grabs the hair and goes for what looks like a bulldog, but Lacey shoves her and sends her into the conrer. Lacey tries to tie the hair of Naomi onto the ropes again.

Woman’s Right attempt, but Naomi turns it into a backslide and a pin for 1….2…3!!!

Winner: Naomi
It’s hard to ask for more when they are both a) acknowledging that Naomi deserves better and b) seemingly listening to the fans, but it just feels like they’re beating both of these into the ground, thereby stealing some of the “glow” of her push.
Total Rating: *1/2
Match Time: 3:15

Backstage, Mandy says that she reserved a table at his favorite bbq spot. Mandy wants to surprise him with some peach sundae covered in whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate. Otis creams himself. Mandy wants him to meet back…stage, I suppose.

Sonya sneaks into frame, breathing heavily.

WE RETURN to Mandy putting on some lip-liner. Sonya is right behind her. She attacks Mandy, smashes her head int othe table, then grabs some lipstick and writes it all over her face. Sonya slaps her again, asks her if she’s afraid to be ugly. What does Mandy have left? What does she have now? Sonya mounts her, Mandy tries to elbow her, but Sonya shoves her face into the cement. Sonya grabs a pair of scissors and looks to cut Mandyo’s hair. She cuts her hair, screams at Mandy that she ruined her life, and she told Mandy that she would run hers. Sonya kicks the side of Mandy’s head, knocking her out. Sonya isn’t done. She tosses some stuff off the table, asking what else she can do to Mandy Rose. Sonya has an electric razor. Lucky for us, the baldest man on the staff runs up to stop the madness. He ain’t afraid of no razor. Sonya yells that she got what she wanted, grabs the locks of hair she cut off, and leaves as Mandy pours out of her top.

Kayla is quick to the scene to report it like it’s a car crash. In comes Miz and Morrison, asking where the adults are in the room. Morrison calls her Mini-Van Mandy. They do some hair puns. They range from cringe to chuckle-worthy. Tucker takes offense. He brushes them off as they leave.


Match 5: WWE Smackdown’s Women’s Championship Match
Bayley vs Nikki Cross

Nikki starts off all kinds of crazy, beating Bayley into the corner and punching her a bunch of times. Dropkick to Bayley sends her into the corner hard. Monkey flip from Nikki. She locks the head and goes for a swinging neckbreaker, Bayley escapes, THESZ PRESS from Nikki! Right hands Over and over .Bayley with a kick off the ropes. She slides to the outside. They get a staredown. Nikki rolls to the outside. Bayley with a right, but Nikki blocks .She sends Bayley into the apron. Again. Sends her into the ring. Dropkick to Bayley. Bayley trips Nikki then kicks the knee. She hits a leg drop off the draping Nikki. Cover for 1..2…NO!!! Bayley with some stomps in the corner. Nikki hits a kick then sends Bayley into the ring post ribs first. Crossbody from Nikki off the apron. Nikki stands on the table and screams.

We are back and Bayley hits a back suplex and covers for 1..2..NO!!! Bayley with shoulders. Bayley hits a right. Runs for a hit, but Nikki moves and Bayley hurts her ribs some more. Throat thrust. Nikki shoves Bayley away, antoher throat thrust then a push to the gut.Dropkick. Nikki hits the ropes. Crossbody. Pin for 1..2..NO!!! Nikki with a splash. She hits an elbow out fo the corner. Tornado DDT. Cover for 1..2…NO!!!! Bayley rolls to the outside. Sasha hands her the knucks! Nikki on the apron, runs off and Bayley rolls bak in. Bayley misses a clothesline. Go behind, rip cord and neckbreaker and a cover from Nikki. 1..2…NO!!! Nikki sees that the brass rings are in the hands of Bayley. She tosses the BOSS ring at Sasha then drops Bayley and covers. 1..2..N!O!!! Bayley hangs Nikki up on the ropes. She then goes to the announce table to mock Nikki. Nikki there to trip her up then splash her against the barricade. Ref hits eight and Nikki rolls back into the ring. Sasha on the apron.Bliss pulls her feet out and Sasha eats the apron. Nikki dropkicks her.

Nikki to the top rope. She dives off, hits a crossbody, Bayley rolls through, rollup for 1..2..NO!!! Reversal! 1….2….NO!!! Rollup from Nikki for 1..2..NO!!! Backslide for 1..2….NO!!! Bayley sends Nikki face first into the knee! Cover for 1…2….3!!!

Winner: Bayley
Solid effort and a great amount of energy from Nikki. The girl pressed the on button and did not turn it off the entire match. This resulted in a fun match that did, for a second, make you think they just might pull it. They didn’t, though, and that’s ok too. Sasha’s scowl at the enf of the match made me feel things.
Total Rating: ***1/2
Match Time: 10:31

Sasha and Bayley head to the backstage area as Alexa checks on Nikki. Nikki pushes Alexa away. She says she doesn’t get it. She doesn’t want Alexa’s help. She stands up, stressed, and shoves Bliss down, then leaves the ring. Nikki walks to the back, upset. Alexa is left alone in the ring, and the lights go out.

They come back on, but they are red. Bliss turns and looks up to see The Fiend.

He circles Alexa, who looks frightened. He drops to his knees and gets close to Bliss’s face, smelling her fear, tasting it, and reaches forward with his hand outstretched. He gestures towards the sky, then turns his hand and slowly inches it towards Alexa, who shakes her head no. The Fiend with the Mandible Claw to Alexa!!! She chokes on his fingers as he screams.

End Show

7.8
The final score: review Good
The 411
Smackdown this week was a bit of a mixed bag, but that's saying more than most weeks. Unfortunately for Gran Metalik, his match was an elongated squash, and his recovery of said loss lasted all of 34 minutes. Some could argue that all you need is good wrestling, but tonight proved that even good wrestling has to be great if we are to believe in a character. Truly, none of us really know who Gran Metalik is or why how he would react to such a loss, and we never will considering his reaction was to completely forget about it. Big E's single run will be fun, but I do not need the commentary team to act as if he has never been a wrestler without a tag team, as it minimizes his efforts. Putting him against The Miz makes little sense, too, as The Miz is also a tag team guy more than a singles guy at the moment. Still, the match that resulted in this was really good. Similarly with Naomi, while I love that she's getting the push, I don't need commentary TELLING me that's what's happening. It's pandering and diminishes the feel I think they're going for with Naomi. They've stripped the excitement out of it, almost as if they're doing US a favor. Still, tonight's episode was good, in my opinion. I may not fully understand why Sonya is psycho, but a lipstick covered Mandy looked all kinds of crazy.
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WWE Smackdown, Tony Acero