After an exciting and hilarious special guest appearance on RSH yesterday, I’m here once again with another Smackdown review! This week, we’ll see another round of the Intercontinental title tournament! I’m calling it now: Daniel Bryan’s gonna win this whole thing. BUT WAIT! Before this show even opens, we stumble across a fender bender in the parking lot. Jeff Hardy’s got something to do with it. Looks like he’s been drinking heavily. SHOCKER! Elias is the victim here. He just can’t catch a break. I guess both of these guys are out of the tournament. Let’s see what happens now!
We get an immediate follow-up to this. That same mysterious bald man I’ve seen several times now is addressing what’s left of the roster in this pandemic. Look everybody, Drew Gulak is here! Some of the guys here got super pissed off by his purported release, but it looks like that was a bunch of nonsense! Bryan and Styles are supposed to get a bye since one of their opponents is in the hospital and the other got arrested, but Bryan doesn’t want the bye. Everyone deserves a chance, and Bryan can beat them all anyway. Styles rejects this idea and takes the bye. Smart! Several faces who weren’t in the original tournament are here, trying to get involved for a title match. I can’t blame them! Eventually they all decide to have a battle royal, and the winner gets to lose to Daniel Bryan later. We have our first match of the night!
Match #1: Battle Royal!
I sure hope this doesn’t end like the last battle royal I watched! Drew Gulak is in this match, as well as Ziggler, Cesaro, and Sheamus. This is the first time they’ve been in the ring together since their tag team days! Not much to say about this match itself, since nobody can do much in the battle royal in the end. Cesaro goes for the Gorilla Dunk on Ziggler, but he hangs on like a spider monkey. He’s pretty resilient for a guy who hasn’t won a match in about seven years now.
Corbin’s in this match too and he’s killing it! He takes out four people including Gulak, Kalisto’s friends, and Dolph, The Uso who isn’t injured dumps him out from behind! Shocker! Sheamus is still hanging in there.
It’s time Sheamus got his due! After a brief commercial, this match has boiled down to Cesaro and Sheamus (who are once again working as a team), Chad Gable, Uso, and Nakamura. It’s good to see Sheamus and Cesaro are still friends after all this. Chad goes to dump out Nakamura, but Cesaro makes the save. He’s so torn! Chad gives Cesaro a side headlock takedown over the ropes to the floor and he’s gone! Great technique! He throws Nakamura out too with a suplex. Cesaro and Nakamura are pissed, so they gang up on the outside to take out Gable. All that’s left is Sheamus and Uso. Universe Mode booking in this thing! Uso clotheslines Sheamus over the ropes, but he doesn’t go all the way to the floor. That was close. Both men are fighting on the apron and Sheamus goes for the eye. He gives Uso the Brogue Kick and it’s over. Sheamus has earned his way back into the tournament fair and square. He’ll have a match against Daniel Bryan to advance in the tournament. How exciting, these guys are great together.
Match #2: Lacy Evans vs. Sonya Deville
I guess Sonya said some stuff on Twitter, so now we have this match. I don’t care about Twitter rivalries, so it’ll be hard to get into this thing. The announcers say Sonya resents Lacy because she has blond hair. Sort of a weird reason to attack a girl. They’re exchanging catty comments with each other during this match, but I’m not interested in that. This match ends in a double countout, so it was all for nothing anyway.
A Moment of Bliss featuring New Day!
My ears were already ringing when I first heard about this thing. The whole point is they’re both tag team champions, even though the women’s tag team division is super weak and New Day doesn’t need to be champions again. They give each other gifts for some reason, then Bayley shows up to stop this nonsense. Sasha Banks is here too and she’s dressed to kill! Bliss tries to drive a wedge between Sasha and Bayley, much like Charlotte did last week. Actually, exactly the same way. Bayley’s promo is really good. She has a ton of attitude, but these other bitches all sound like whiny high school cheerleaders.
Match #3: Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss
Two ladies matches in a row is never a good thing. This show needs more variety. I can’t focus on this match because Nikki Cross is screaming on commentary the entire time. She was supposed to be unhinged and wild during her NXT days, but now she’s extremely annoying. On the bright side, I like Sasha’s new ring pants! Nikki’s trying to start a chant and I’m ready to throw something. Somebody cut her microphone! She’s all over the place and it’s very distracting, both to the wrestlers in the ring and the people at home. This is not good, but it’s still better than the Street Prophets from a couple weeks ago. Nikki tries to involved, but it backfires and Sasha wins with a sunset flip.
Match #4: Chad Gable vs. Cesaro
This match should be a banger! These guys are both super talented and super pissed off at each other after Cesaro made some more short jokes backstage and Gable bowed up and knocked him on his ass! Gable starts this match going low. Good strategy. Without his vertical base and leverage, Cesaro can’t use his functional strength to overpower his opponent! He still has enough in him to bust out a side suplex though. He’s a freak of nature. Gable continues to work the knee, but Cesaro answers with a gorilla dunk powerbomb! That was brutal! Cesaro is every bit of 6’5, so Gable had to be like eight feet in the air for that move and he came down hard. Cesaro goes for a back suplex off the top rope, but Gable lands on his feet and applies the ankle lock. It doesn’t work, but that was some impressive athleticism! Both these guys deserve better. After an exchange of quick near falls, Gable wins with a sunset flip. I liked this match, but that finish was weak. They can do better than that!
Main Event: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
With roughly twenty minutes of show time left, we have what I expect to be the match of the week! Sheamus and Bryan have wrestled many times before, and it’s always hard-hitting and intense. Both these guys always want to show the other how tough they are. I know I said Bryan would win at the start of the night, but I don’t know about this. He doesn’t exactly have a sterling record against Sheamus. I have to play the percentages here. Just remember Bryan, you could have said no to this match.
This is a textbook example of ground wrestling and technique vs. brute strength, moose power, and a thirst for blood. Bryan’s out to prove something in the early going. He can hit hard, and he’s not afraid to hit back. If you like a serious competitive wrestling match instead of all these pretentious “wrestling artists” trying to reinvent the wheel, this is the match for you. There’s no need to fix what isn’t broken! We come back from commercial and Bryan’s still trying to use his wrestling ability, until Sheamus clubs him like a baby seal. Bryan gets shitcanned to the outside, where Sheamus intimidates Michael Cole into doing a yes chant.
During this match Sheamus reminds us all that it was HE who was most directly responsible for creating the Yes Movement! Nice bit of continuity there. He knocked Bryan into next week at Wrestlemania 28! Bryan and Sheamus both go to the top rope. Sheamus almost falls off, but he goes for a superplex and Bryan fights him off. Missile dropkick! Nailed it! I like that move. Bryan’s found his second wind, but it only lasts so long before Sheamus slams him again.
Both these guys are worse for wear now, but neither of them will surrender. Bryan goes for his corner dropkick, but Sheamus moose handles him. Brogue Kick time, but Jeff Hardy shows up and Bryan wins with the knee to the face. Jeff comes in and tries to fight Sheamus. I guess he just escaped police custody? Are we just ignoring that? Apparently we’re just ignoring that. Damn you Jeff Hardy, Sheamus had this thing!
My Final Thoughts on Smackdown (5/29/2020)
This was a pretty entertaining show overall, although I could have done perfectly fine without the New Day segment and Cross on commentary. Having said that, all the actual matches were passable to good. The battle royal was a true toss up, and the main event was fantastic, as I expected. I just wish Jeff Hardy hadn’t interfered. Not every match needs a distraction or some kind of outside interference. It’s gonna be hard for any show this week to top that. Even with no crowd, that main event was fun to watch. Top that, other shows. Even if they give MJF his own talking segment starting Wednesday, there’s no guarantee it could top that main event. If you liked this review, join me this Monday when I cover RAW!