WWE SmackDown took place on August 28, 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 go-home show to WWE PayBack 2020 seemed promising. The review for this episode was as follows:
On tonight’s episode of WWE SmackDown, there were no scheduled matches: but there were two scheduled segments: (1) Universal Championship contract signing took place amongst Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, and Roman Reigns, and (2) Big E was a guest on Miz TV.
With WWE PayBack 2020 only two days away, there were quite a few rivalries to build towards. 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 Jeff Hardy’s open challenge.
Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura [Intercontinental Championship]
Result: Jeff Hardy (via pinfall)
Grade: A+, Pinch me. I must be dreaming. While Jeff Hardy and Shinsuke Nakamura’s championship match was splendid, the bigger news was that SAMI ZAYN RETURNED! The real Intercontinental Champion is BACK! The mid card on SmackDown is inZayn once again. It felt too good to be true.
Before this match, AJ Styles cut a promo about how he was cheated in his Intercontinental Championship match with Jeff Hardy last week after Hardy kicked him in the face with his knee brace. AJ Styles decided to be on commentary for Jeff Hardy’s first open challenge as Intercontinental Champion.
In what was an Extreme Rules 2019 rematch, Jeff Hardy’s first challenger was one half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura took control early on in the match, but Jef Hardy rallied back with the Whisper in the Wind. Nakamura attempted the Kinshasa but Hardy countered with the Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb to retain the championship.
Hardy celebrated while walking up the ramp as AJ Styles gazed in anger from the ring. As soon as Hardy was on the ramp, Sami Zayn’s theme song hit. Sami Zayn, the real Intercontinental Champion, came back to reclaim his throne after booting Hardy in the face. It seemed that a triple threat IC Title feud could be in the midst: Sami Zayn vs. Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles. Let’s hope!
Matt Riddle vs. Shorty G [Grudge Match]
Result: Matt Riddle (via pinfall)
Grade: C-, Nothing special, ‘bro.’ This was merely a momentum builder for Riddle.
Matt Riddle called out King Corbin but ended up battling Shorty G instead. Riddle made quick work of Shorty G with the Bro Derick. Shorty G barely got any offense in, but this was merely a means of building Riddle’s momentum for King Corbin. After this match, King Corbin challenged Matt Riddle to a match at WWE Payback 2020.
Bayley and Sasha Banks Promo: Moo-ving On
Result: Bayley and Sasha Banks promoted their upcoming match against Baszler and Jax.
Grade: A-, Bayley and Sasha Banks’ subtle jokes and signs of further dissension were fun to watch tonight. Bayley’s jabs at Banks’ failure to retain the Raw Women’s Championship and the looks that Banks gave to Bayley hinted at a possible turn at PayBack, which could play a key role in the result of their Women’s Tag Team Championship match against Baszler and Jax.
Big E and Heavy Machinery vs. Sheamus and Miz and Morrison was announced for later tonight. Big E and Heavy Machinery were backstage, getting ready for this upcoming match by eating steaks. Bayley and Sasha Banks appeared to make fun of Big E and Heavy Machinery for being a couple of clowns who are playing with their meat (that was a clever, subtle joke).
Bayley and Sasha Banks cut a promo on Banks’ Raw Women’s Championship loss to Asuka as well as their aspirations for their upcoming Women’s Tag Team Championship match against Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax at WWE PayBack 2020. Bayley made fun of Banks for never retaining the Raw Women’s Championship but decided that they should moo-ve on (another clever, subtle joke).
Bayley decided to make a cow joke since Banks had an outfit in patches of black and white. It’s a good thing didn’t ‘milk’ it. Banks agreed that they should move on and focus on keeping the Women’s Tag Team Championships. Baszler and Jax interrupted the promo to tell Bayley and Banks that they don’t like each other but will do anything it takes to win those belts.
After this segment, Sami Zayn reunited with Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura backstage. However, Cesaro and Nakamura were upset that Zayn left them hanging for four months. Cesaro and Nakamura coldly dismissed Zayn to have their own champions’ lounge meeting. This could be a sign of an inevitable fallout for the Artist Collective unfortunately.
Braun Strowman vs. Drew Gulak [Grudge Match]
Result: Braun Strowman (via pinfall)
Grade: C-, Light work for Strowman. This match was unnecessary but it made sense based on last week’s events. This was merely a momentum builder for the Monster Among Men.
Drew Gulak was upset that Braun Strowman attacked him on last week’s SmackDown, so he grabbed a steel chair and whacked him with it in the backstage area. This interaction elicited a match between them, in which Strowman squashed easily with a Running PowerSlam. Braun Strowman signed the contract after defeating Drew Gulak.
Cesaro vs. Kalisto [Grudge Match]
Result: Cesaro (via pinfall)
Grade: C-, Short match, but fun while it lasted. More importantly, Artist Collective was not the only faction teasing a breakup because Lucha House Party continued to do that, especially after Dorado and Metalik failed to follow Kalisto’s request.
Kalisto told Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik to stay backstage during his match with Cesaro. Kalisto had control of this match until Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik disobeyed his request. They were apparently upset that Cesaro and Nakamura attacked them backstage before this match. Cesaro rolled up Kalisto for the win after Lucha House Party ran in to fend off Shinsuke Nakamura.
After the match, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross reunited backstage after Bliss’ long, eerie journey with The Fiend. Nikki Cross was happy to see Bliss but she was uneasy about Bliss’ hairstyle since it reminded her of the Fiend. Bliss felt offended, took Cross’ mug, and hurled it to the ground as it shattered into pieces.
Big E and Heavy Machinery vs. Sheamus, Miz, and Morrison [6-Man Tag]
Result: Big E and Heavy Machinery (via pinfall)
Grade: A-, Good match for Big E. More importantly, Roman Reigns becoming a Paul Heyman Guy was GENIUS! A tremendous way to close SmackDown.
Before this match, John Morrison had a nonsensical plan to assure that Big E, Otis, and Tucker do not get tagged into this match. Sheamus was befuddled by that plan and decided that they should follow his lead. Sheamus, Miz, and Morrison had full control over Tucker for the duration of this match until Sheamus was frustrated with Miz and Morrison and left.
Big E capitalized by delivering two Belly to Belly Suplexes and a Big Splash to John Morrison. He delivered a Uranage Slam to The Miz. Otis delivered the Caterpillar to both Miz and Morrison. The Miz delivered the Skull Crushing Finale to Otis. Big E delivered the Big Ending to The Miz for the pinfall and the victory, getting payback for what The Miz said on Talking Smack.
Roman Reigns didn’t sign the contract because he is officially a Paul Heyman Guy. His journey to winning back the Universal Championship he never lost is not a prediction. It’s a spoiler. What an ending to WWE SmackDown. WOW!
August 28th SmackDown Results
- Jeff Hardy retained the Intercontinental Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura.
- Sami Zayn, the real Intercontinental Champion, returned.
- Bray Wyatt signed the contract in the FireFly Funhouse.
- Matt Riddle defeated Shorty G via pinfall.
- King Corbin challenged Matt Riddle to a match at WWE Payback 2020.
- Bayley and Sasha Banks promoted their upcoming match against Baszler and Jax.
- Artist Collective showed signs of breaking up.
- Braun Strowman signed the contract after defeating Drew Gulak via pinfall.
- Cesaro defeated Kalisto via pinfall.
- Lucha House Party showed signs of breaking up.
- Alexa Bliss broke Nikki Cross’ mug.
- Big E and Heavy Machinery defeated Sheamus, Miz, and Morrison.
- Roman Reigns became a Paul Heyman Guy.