WWE SmackDown Results, Grades: Asuka Convincingly Shocked The World

WWE, Asuka (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
WWE, Asuka (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

WWE SmackDown took place on August 14, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on FOX.

Are you ready? Are you ready for a good time? The blue brand was stacked tonight with PPV-worthy matches and suspenseful segments. The build-up to WWE SummerSlam 2020 seemed promising. The review for this episode was as follows:

On tonight’s episode of WWE SmackDown, there were two scheduled matches: (1) Triple Brand Battle Royal that determined who will battle Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WWE SummerSlam 2020, and (2) Big E vs. John Morrison.

There were also two scheduled segments: (1) Universal Champion Braun Strowman fulfilled his promise to confront The Fiend, and (2) Alexa Bliss had an interview where she reflected on her interactions with The Fiend in the past two weeks.

With WWE SummerSlam 2020 approaching, there were many rivalries to build. With that being said, it’s now time to bleed blue and recap what happened on this week’s episode of WWE SmackDown, starting with the scheduled match between Big E and John Morrison.

Big E Vs. John Morrison [Grudge Match]

Result: No Contest

Grade: B-, That was a hot and surprising start to SmackDown with that RETRIBUTION attack. At least Big E vs. John Morrison will happen later, but RETRIBUTION’s attacks truly come outta nowhere and can happen at any point in the show: beginning, middle, or end.

Before the bell rang for Big E and John Morrison to start their scheduled match, RETRIBUTION ambushed both men. The match never began because of this ambush, but Big E promised the locker room that he is still going out to the ring to battle John Morrison later tonight.

While he orated his aspirations, two future rivalries were teased with Big E: (1) King Corbin and (2) Sheamus. Both superstars, who are top heels on the blue brand, seemed primed and ready to chomp at the bit with Big E in the near future.

Triple Brand Battle Royal [Free-For-All]

Result: Asuka won the Triple Brand Battle Royal after last eliminating Shayna Baszler

Grade: A-, Wow, Asuka will fight both Bayley and Sasha at SummerSlam for all the gold. That is an ‘interesting’ booking decision since she is already the number one contender to the Raw Women’s Championship. However, she did defeat Bayley on Raw and she is the superstar who makes the most storyline sense with Bayley and Banks, so this decision was still sensible.

Before the Triple Brand Battle Royal began, Bayley and Sasha Banks cut a promo to convey their recent dominance and defiance against authority (a.k.a. Stephanie McMahon). Bayley amusingly announced the rules of the battle royal as well as the participants.

In response to Bayley’s announcement, all of the participants made their entrances until Asuka, the number one contender to Sasha Banks’ Raw Women’s Championship, made a surprise entrance to SmackDown to enter this triple brand battle royal.

IIconics eliminated Ruby Riott. Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart eliminated Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. After they got eliminated, IIconics eliminated Liv Morgan from outside the ring. It seemed that the feud between IIconics and Riott Squad just got hotter.

Tamina eliminated Nikki Cross but was neutralized by Bianca Belair, who utilized her incredible strength to eliminate Tamina. Lacey Evans eliminated Naomi with a Women’s Right. Shotzi Blackheart eliminated Lacey Evans. Shayna Baszler eliminated Shotzi Blackheart.

Tegan Nox eliminated Bianca Belair. Dana Brooke, who was never eliminated, eliminated Tegan Nox from outside the ring. Shayna Baszler eliminated Dana Brooke. Shayna Baszler and Asuka were the final two.

Shayna Baszler almost eliminated Asuka, but Asuka made a neat save by standing on Bayley and Sasha ‘s neck. Asuka used this momentum to eliminate Shayna Baszler, win the battle royal, and become the number one contender for Bayley’s SmackDown Women’s Championship.

After the match, Bayley told Sasha Banks that she did lose to Asuka on Raw but she won’t let it happen again because she will actually be fighting for something important: her SmackDown Women’s Championship.

Does that mean Sasha Banks’ Raw Women’s Championship match against Asuka wasn’t important? This was another teased tension in Bayley and Sasha’s friendship as Bayley continued to show that she cares about her own self-interest more than her friendship with Banks.

On a further note, Mandy Rose challenged Sonya Deville to a Hair vs. Hair match at WWE SummerSlam 2020. This will be the perfect moment for Rose to get her babyface comeuppance from when Deville cut her hair in a vindictive attack two weeks ago.

Sheamus vs. Shorty G [Grudge Match]

Result: Sheamus (via pinfall)

Grade: B-, A heel vs. heel match rarely happens on WWE television, but this booking decision made sense since Sheamus still wanted revenge against Shorty G for interrupting his match against Matt Riddle on last week’s SmackDown. This was a solid outing from both men and was merely a means to give Sheamus more momentum on the road to SummerSlam.

Sheamus gained early control in the match, using his size and strength to his advantage. Shorty G attempted to rally back with an ankle lock, but Sheamus remained resilient with a White Noise and Brogue Kick to win the match via pinfall.


AJ Styles Promo: Scott Steiner Statistics

Result: Jeff Hardy challenged AJ Styles for the Intercontinental Championship next week. 

Grade: A-, It was fun to watch AJ Styles use Scott Steiner Statistics on a billboard to convey how no one deserves to be next in line for his Intercontinental Championship. This idea was creative and added some amusement to his title reign. As for Jeff Hardy, he definitely deserved a title opportunity and a title match with AJ Styles will be must-see on next week’s SmackDown. 

AJ Styles used Scott Steiner Statistics to convey that no one is credible enough to battle him for the Intercontinental Championship. However, Jeff Hardy interrupted the promo to respectfully challenge him for the Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam.

Jeff Hardy reminded everyone that the Intercontinental Championship was the first title he won in the WWE and he was robbed of his opportunity to win that title in the recent, fraudulent Intercontinental Championship tournament due to unforeseen shenanigans with Sheamus.

While Hardy did make a solid case, Styles declined Hardy’s offer to convey that Hardy did not earn a title shot and he’s not going to hand out any opportunities or give Hardy a ‘pity party.’ Hardy sucker punched Styles and wrote his name on the billboard to symbolize his number one contendership for Styles’ Intercontinental Championship.

After this promo, while Lucha House Party stole the SmackDown Tag Team Championships from Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura in the backstage area, Styles was asked whether he accepted Jeff Hardy’s challenge. Instead, he attempted to erase Hardy’s name from the board but he failed to do so because he used a permanent marker.

Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Cesaro) vs. Gran Metalik (w/Lince Dorado) [Grudge Match]

Result: Gran Metalik (via pinfall)

Grade: B-, Fun match and solid 50:50 booking. Since Cesaro defeated Lince Dorado last week, it made sense for Gran Metalik to get a win back against Nakamura this week. However, it was executed quite well with a surprising Kalisto return.

Gran Metalik gained early control in the match with Headscissors Takedowns and Hurricanranas. Nakamura gained back control with an Imploder Suplex. He was on the verge of winning this match with the Kinshasa, but Kalisto returned to distract Nakamura and help his Lucha House Party tag partner, Gran Metalik, to pick up the win with an elbow drop.

After this match, there was a backstage interview with Matt Riddle, where Shorty G attempted to apologize to Riddle for his recent actions. However, while his apology seemed sincere, it was apparently bait for Corbin to attack Riddle from behind. What is going on with Shorty G’s role on Friday Night SmackDown? Also, Sonya Deville accepted Mandy Rose’s aforementioned challenge.

Alexa Bliss Interview

Result: Alexa Bliss cared about Braun Strowman

Grade: B+, Sounds like there is unrequited love in the air when pertaining to Bliss and Strowman. The ambiguities behind this storyline enhances its suspenseful aspects, and it will be interesting see everything unfold, come WWE SummerSlam 2020.

Alexa Bliss talked about her history with Braun Strowman in MMC. She explained how a relationship was possible with Braun and how that may have been the reason The Fiend Bray Wyatt kidnapped her for an entire week.

Wyatt was merely playing with Strowman’s emotions to get a Universal Championship at WWE SummerSlam 2020, and it worked. As for Strowman’s comments about his friendship with Bliss not being important, Bliss remained silent.

Big E vs. John Morrison [Grudge Match]

Result: Big E (via submission)

Grade: B+, Great match between Big E and John Morrison. Albeit it did not receive as much time as Big E’s match with The Miz two weeks ago, these superstars still delivered. Big E’s next feud with Sheamus will be hard hitting and fun to watch as well. Big E’s singles push is running smoothly thus far.

While Big E and John Morrison were wrestling, the lights were flickering on and off, like was the case with the Spongebob scene involving the Hash Slinging Slasher. Superstars were called upon as Lumber Jacks to prevent RETRIBUTION from interrupting this match again.

While this match went on and the superstars were already at ringside, RETRIBUTION decided to cause chaos in the backstage area instead with grafitti and abrupt attacks. In the ring, John Morrison delivered a Flying Chuck to Big E for the nearfall.

However, Morrison’s capitalized offense was not enough because Big E rallied back with the ‘E’ Lock, winning the match by forcing Morrison to tap out. After the match, Sheamus Brogue Kicked Big E to set up the next feud.

Braun Strowman Promo: He Played The Fiend

Result: Braun Strowman played The Fiend ‘Bray Wyatt’

Grade: A-, BALD! BALD! BALD! Braun Strowman is BALD! Ok, enough with the Spongebob jokes. Nice look for Strowman, and his promo was good. Nice to see that he played mind games with The Fiend in retaliation from last week’s events. 

Braun Strowman called out The Fiend, but Alexa Bliss showed up instead. Bliss tried to remind Strowman of their friendship and attempted to snap him out of it by slapping him. Instead of snapping out of it, Strowman lifted Bliss up in a Gorilla Press until The Fiend showed up.

Once The Fiend showed up, Strowman disappeared and appeared on the titantron. Strowman and The Fiend demonically laughed at each other to close this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown.

August 14th SmackDown Results

  • RETRIBUTION sparked a chaotic start to SmackDown, delaying Big E vs. John Morrison.
  • Asuka won the Triple Brand Battle Royal after last eliminating Shayna Baszler.
  • Mandy Rose challenged Sonya Deville to a Hair vs. Hair Match at SummerSlam.
  • Sheamus defeated Shorty G via pinfall.
  • Jeff Hardy challenged AJ Styles for the Intercontinental Championship next week.
  • Gran Metalik defeated Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall.
  • Alexa Bliss cared about Braun Strowman.
  • Big E defeated John Morrison via submission.
  • Braun Strowman played the Fiend.