Featuring a Fatal Four-Way to decide Roman Reigns’ opponent at Clash of Champions, this August 28th edition of SmackDown will reveal who I’m cheering for in the Universal Championship match at Clash of Champions.
We start the show with a recap of the simply awful Universal title match from Payback, and Roman Reigns wastes no time coming out with Paul Heyman.
They’re piping in boos for him, because it’s convenient for them now. Paul doesn’t want people to get mad at him for turning Roman heel, saying that Roman saved him from being tossed away. He says that the Fiend isn’t born to rule, and Roman is.
He announces a Fatal Four Way in the main event tonight to earn a shot at Roman’s title at Clash of Champions. This match features Big E, Sheamus, King Corbin, and Matt Riddle. Finally, he does the whole “Ladies and Gentlemen” thing, but he calls him the “Reignsing” champion, which is just so dumb. Roman talks a little bit at the end, but not much, so that’s a plus. Last thing I need is another emotionless and conviction-less Roman Reigns promo on top of the fact that his manager just called the most innovative and awe-inspiring character in recent memory unworthy of a title.
Backstage, Jey Uso finds Roman and congratulates him on his win at Payback. He’s very skeptical about Roman’s involvement with Paul Heyman, but Roman tells him he’s got it all under control. Jey grudgingly accepts this, and Roman heads off to who knows where. Probably the Champions Lounge, because who could pass up drinks with Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura?
Heavy Machinery VS The Miz and John Morrison
I think everyone needs to take some time out of their day every once in a while to remember that John Morrison’s slo-mo entrance is one of the coolest entrances in WWE history. Otis and The Miz start off against each other, with Otis tossing The Miz around easily. He folds The Miz inside out with a shoulder tackle, and he tags in Tucker.
They execute a double shoulder tackle for 2, and The Miz runs over and tags in Morrison. Tucker shows off his amateur wrestling skills, as well as his power with a massive hip toss. Otis is tagged in and they hit an avalanche-clothesline combo. The Miz runs in to help, but Otis picks him up and sandwiches him into Morrison, who Tucker had picked up. They clothesline their opponents out of the ring as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Tucker is in trouble, trying to get to his corner. He jumps over his opponents and tags in Otis, who runs over both of the Dirt Sheet hosts. Otis misses an avalanche, and Miz and Morrison capitalize with a Total Destruction type combo. The Miz tags Morrison in and they hit a shining wizard-kick combo for 2. Morrison tags his partner in, but Otis avoids their move attempt. He tries to tag in Tucker, but Morrison pulls him off the apron and hits him with Moonlight Drive on the outside.
The Miz tries to kick Mr.Money in the Bank around, but the strikes don’t faze Otis, who tosses both opponents with suplexes and avalanches them both in the corner. Otis hits the Caterpillar on The Miz, and follows it up with a Vader Bomb for the win.
Winners via pinfall: Heavy Machinery
Match Rating: 3.5/5
After the match, John Morrison steals the MITB contract and runs off giggling like a little kid, enraging Otis.
Backstage, Big E plans a party for Xavier Woods, who’s returning tonight to host Talking Smack. It’s also Woods’ birthday, so it’s a big occasion for him as well as Big E, who plans to win the Fatal Four Way later in the night for a shot at the Universal title.
A security official calls Big E out to the parking lot where Woods apparently has arrived, but all he finds is Sheamus who brutally attacks him. He blasts him with a Brogue Kick, and then picks him up and drives him through the windshield of a car with White Noise. Big E gets loaded on to a stretcher, apparently gravely injured. Sheamus says that he was just defending himself, and it’s tragic that Big E won’t be able to compete in the biggest match of his life.
Bayley and Sasha Banks get interviewed, and they seem very confident that they’re going to win the tag titles back. They seem very friendly with each other, it seems they’ve put their recent frustrations aside to focus on the match.
Backstage, Kayla Braxton interviews Adam Pearce about the condition of Big E. He says Big E will not compete tonight, but the match will still be a Fatal-Four Way, and they’re still looking for a fourth competitor. Before he can say more, Paul Heyman pulls him aside for a private chat.
Bayley and Sasha Banks VS Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Nia Jax tags herself in instantly, and the champs argue about who’s to start, allowing Bayley to tag in Sasha and attack them. They send them to the outside and attempt tandem baseball slides, but the champs catch them and swing them into the barricade repeatedly as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Baszler is controlling the SmackDown Women’s champion. She tags Nia in and they hit a double team move for 2. Nia delivers a clean Rocky Maivia-style shoulderbreaker and gets another 2 count.
Nia tosses Bayley around easily, and she locks in a submission. Bayley fights out of it, but Nia simply throws her into a corner and pins her for 2. Nia tags in Baszler, who locks in a deep hammerlock submission, and then delivers a stump puller to the left arm of Bayley. Baszler tags Nia back in, and she goes for a slam. Banks distracts her, and Bayley escapes and delivers a chop block. Bayley finally tags in Banks, who unleashes a flurry of offensive maneuvers, including a headscissors and some knee strikes. She delivers a meteora for 2, and starts to get frustrated.
Banks looks for a sleeper hold, but that never works, and Nia tags in Baszler. Banks takes out Baszler with a knee, and the Golden Role Models deliver a brutal rope stunner-powerbomb combo on Nia that takes her out as well. Baszler looks for the Kirifuda Clutch, but Bayley counters with a back suplex Bayley tags in Banks, who hits a shining wizard for a 2 count. Banks is getting really frustrated at this point, executing a Unicorn Stomp on the Queen of Spades.
Banks tags in Bayley and they look for a double powerbomb, but Baszler fights out of it. She locks in the Clutch on Bayley, but Banks hits her with a backstabber. Bayley looks for her top-rope elbow, but there’s a miscommunication as Banks pins Baszler instead, only getting a 2 count. Banks tags in Bayley, who delivers the elbow, but she still only gets a 2 count. Bayley tags in Banks, who delivers a dropkick. She looks for a double knees against the ringpost, but Baszler rolls out of the way, and Banks crashes knees first into the post. Ridiculously hard.
Banks unwisely looks for a double knees on Baszler in the corner, instead receiving a series of brutal attacks to the legs from the Queen of Spades. Baszler focuses on the leg from thereon out, just straight up stomping on it. She locks in the Muta Lock, and looks to get Bayley in the Kirifuda Clutch like last Sunday at Payback, but Bayley counters with a Bayley-to-Belly suplex. Banks pins Baszler for 2 and then locks in the Bank Statement, but Nia takes out Bayley and then breaks up the submission.
Baszler tags in Nia, who looks for the Stretch Muffler, but Banks reverses it into a pin for 2. Nia looks for a Samoan Drop from the second rope, but Bayley pulls her partner away. Baszler runs in to attack the challengers, but is met instead with a double powerbomb. Nia takes advantage of still being on the middle rope and flattens both Banks and Bayley with a flying crossbody for the win.
Winners via pinfall and still Women’s Tag Team Champions: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler
Match Rating: 4/5
Medical officials come out to help with Sasha’s injured knee, but Bayley finally turns on her partner. She slams her into the barricade and the stairs, stomping her leg into the steel steps. She grabs a chair and tries to stomp Banks’ leg between it, but Banks fights back. She’s met with a brutal running knee, and Bayley’s faceplant maneuver. Bayley takes it one step further. Putting Banks’ head in the chair and stomping down on it from the top rope. Banks is rushed out in an ambulance, making this the second medical evac tonight.
Sami Zayn makes his entrance, but when he isn’t introduced as Intercontinental Champion, he gets really mad, yelling at everyone from the announcer to the production crew. Jeff Hardy comes out to confront him, but before they can really say anything, AJ Styles makes his entrance as well. He says he’s the rightful champion as well, and he and Sami attack Hardy. Styles attacks Zayn, setting him up for the Styles Clash. He instead receives a Twist of Fate from Hardy, and Sami delivers a Helluva Kick to Hardy. He grabs his title and gets away unscathed.
We receive the news of the fourth competitor in the Fatal Four Way for a shot at Roman Reigns’ title at Clash of Champions: it’s Jey Uso! There’s also a short clip of someone in high heels holding a fur coat just walking? I don’t know what that’s about, I assume a teaser for a new superstar?
Backstage, we see that Otis has outsmarted John Morrison. Otis doesn’t keep the MITB contract in his briefcase, he keeps it in his lunch pale. Morrison finds a ham sandwich that in the briefcase he stole from Otis, and he’s tempted to eat it,but The Miz keeps him from making that mistake.
We also see Jey Uso thanking Roman for the opportunity in the Fatal Four Way. Roman tells him that it was Heyman who got him into that match, and very passive-aggressively cheering him on, saying “let’s see if you can get one on your own this time.”
King Corbin enters after Matt Riddle, complaining about the nepotism present in Jey getting in the match. Riddle doesn’t have time for this, and runs out and attacks Corbin. Sheamus joins the brawl, and Jey as well soon after. The chaos continues as we go to commercial.
When we come back, it’s not the main event, it’s the Firefly Funhouse, once again demonstrating that they need to stop trying to pack so much into this 2 hour show. Bray Wyatt says that next week there’s gonna be a new friend in the Funhouse. Coincidentally, we go backstage and find Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss. Alexa, now sporting even more braids, apologies for her actions last week. Cross forgives her, but before she can say anything else, Bliss gives her a hug and runs off. If you look closely, you can see a familiar rabbit in the background…
Matt Riddle VS Sheamus VS King Corbin VS Jey Uso (Fatal Four Way for a shot at Roman Reigns’ Universal Championship at Clash of Champions)
We get back to the match, and all the chaos has died down. The bell rings, and the match officially starts. Jey takes out King Corbin with a superkick, and he also takes out Sheamus. Riddle rolls him up from behind for 2, and then prevents Sheamus from getting back in with a knee. Jey uses a rollup of his own for a 2 count for his own, and Riddle tosses him with a German suplex. Jey lands on his feet and goes to the ropes, only to be pulled out of the ring by Corbin and slammed into the barricade.
Sheamus slams Riddle with a backbreaker for 2, and he and Corbin double team Riddle, because, you know, heels. Riddle fights back with a kick to Corbin. The Original Bro sends Sheamus to the outside, but gets caught with a massive spinebuster by Corbin, with Jey breaking up the pin. Corbin takes Jey out with a clothesline for 2, and he and Sheamus work on Jey.
Corbin goes for his ringpost clothesline thing (is there a name for it?) but gets caught with a head kick by Riddle. Jey fights back against Sheamus, and he and Riddle take out the two heels with kicks. The two look to deliver forearms in the corner, but Corbin hits Deep Six on Jey and Sheamus delivers an Irish Curse to Riddle. They both go for pins, and they both get 2. Sheamus finally turns on Corbin, taking him out with an ax handle as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Sheamus is tossing Jey with a suplex. Sheamus delivers a dropkick, sending Corbin to the floor. He delivers the 10 Beats of the Bodhran to Jey, and looks for White Noise, but Riddle takes him out. He delivers a Final Flash to Corbin and a series of strikes and a Bro-Ton to Sheamus. Riddle slams Sheamus with a German Suplex for 2. Riddle locks in a triangle hold on the Celtic Warrior, but he’s too strong, picking him up for a powerbomb for 2. Sheamus locks in the Cloverleaf in the middle of the ring, but Jey breaks it up.
Corbin goes for a chokeslam on Jey, but Jey lays him and everyone else out with a superkick. Jey looks for a suicide dive but is stopped by Corbin. Riddle and Sheamus work together to take out Corbin, but they feel the wrath of Jey, as he flies over the top rope and onto them. Corbin strikes back with something that should have been done a long time ago: he sends Jey crashing into the virtual ThunderDome crowd.
The King looks to put Riddle down with the End of Days, but instead is met with a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. Riddle takes out Sheamus with a Bro to Sleep, and delivers a Floating Bro to Corbin. Out of nowhere, Jey lands an Uso Splash on Riddle for the win. I’m loving the trend of big tag wrestlers getting their singles chances. Kofi Kingston, Big E a little bit, and now Jey. Just hope that Xavier and Jimmy won’t be left out of this.
Winner via pinfall: Jey Uso
Match Rating: 4/5
SmackDown September 4
It’s almost perfect, I’ll be honest, but there’s just something not right. There were only three matches, but the show still felt crowded. There’s an imbalance between matches to story line segments that doesn’t ruin the show, it just makes it feel a little off.