Bonafide Heat: The Fiend Attacks Alexa Bliss
WWE Smackdown Results and Review by Anthony DiSalvatore
It’s Friday night again, but nobody’s allowed to go anywhere because of the quarantine. What’s a boy to do? Read my review and results of Smackdown! On tonight’s episode of Smackdown (July 31st) we’ll get to see Big E return to singles action probably! Last week, the new tag team champions Cesaro & Nakamura couldn’t even get booked. How much longer will they have to wait before people finally get to recognize their greatness? What’s next for Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt? I don’t know!
The show begins with a parade of promos. I’ve been watching a lot of RAW episodes from around 1995 and I like this opening. It lets you know exactly what to expect on the show and it gives the guys a chance to promo. I’m all for it! Bray Wyatt shows up and he still can’t find Braun Strowman! He must be lost in the swamp still. I got nothing at this point. Bray tells us the Fiend is coming. I fully expect to see him by the end of the night.
Match #1: AJ Styles vs. Gran Metalik
If you missed the show last week, you may be slightly confused right now. Allow me to catch you up. Gran Metalik won a four way last week featuring Drew Gulak, Lince Dorado and Chad Gable, so now he gets a match against Styles. There’s really no more build than that, since Metalik and Lince Dorado were both put in that match out of nowhere. Seriously, those guys must have had pictures or something to be put in that spot. This match only serves to remind me how much I miss Daniel Bryan.
The match opens with the guys locking up, but neither man can get the upper hand. Metalik looks for a test of strength, but gets rejected by Styles. Great work by AJ. After all this is a title match, and Metalik has nothing if he can’t fly off the top rope. This match is all Styles now, but he better be careful. It wasn’t long ago that Drew Gulak beat him out of nowhere with a pinning combination. Metalik quickens the pace, but Styles goes for the knee to slow him down. I don’t like Styles, but he’s showing just how smart he is in this match. At least his ring IQ is high, but don’t get him started on that flat earth shit!
We come back from commercial to see both guys on the top rope. AJ takes a tumble and Metalik comes off with a sweet cross body! Not as good as Orton’s, but not bad at all. Styles is back to working the leg and Metalik is clearly in pain. Styles has turned up the aggression now. This match shouldn’t take much longer. Styles charges to knock Metalik’s block off, but he gets overzealous and Metalik almost beats him with the CRUSHING rollup! That was close, but now AJ’s really mad. He’s rattled after almost getting pinned though. Metalik isn’t hesitating at all and tries for every big move he knows, but Styles still kicks out. Styles goes for his flying forearm smash but he misses and now both guys are down. Metalik recovers first and goes for his corner dropkick a second time. Bad move! Styles sees it coming this time and clips the knee. Styles applies his weird leg hold and Metalik taps out. We all knew which way this was going, but it was still a decent match. After the match, Lince Dorado comes in to check on his friend and gets blindsided by Styles. What a dick!
For the next segment, I have no clue what’s being said because I muted the commentary and I can’t read lips. But we have Chad Gable, who is interrupted in whatever he’s doing by none other than Baron Corbin. I assume Corbin makes some more jokes about Gable’s height. Are we really back to this now? Corbin knows Gable could ruin him if he wanted to right? He was in the Olympics! And he doesn’t need all that extra height for no reason. We get a flashback to last week’s bar fight between Sheamus and Jeff Hardy. I was fine with this match, mostly since I can totally buy Sheamus getting into a bar fight, but I hated Jeff’s transformation sequence at the end.
Speaking of Jeff Hardy, here he comes to talk again. As you know, I muted this show so I have no idea what he said. Something about his family, being an alcoholic, and some other third thing. Nailed it! Baron Corbin interrupts to tell us he’s still a king and this is his program or something. Not sure what issue Corbin has with Jeff, but he and Sheamus would make a great tag team I think. They can bond over their mutual hatred for everyone else on the roster! Drew Gulak has heard enough, so he hits Corbin from behind, just in time for another commercial break!
Match #2: Drew Gulak vs. Baron Corbin
We come back to find this match already in progress. Gulak looks pissed! He’s working Corbin’s arm and Corbin can’t do anything about it for the time being. This is the classic case of a great technical wrestler vs. a power hitter. We all know about Corbin’s boxing background, but he can’t touch Gulak when it comes to technical wrestling. He powers Gulak down and tries for some submissions of his own, but he’s no good at this. Stick to throwing hands Corbin. Gulak applies the Lebell Lock, which makes way more sense than when Cody tries to use it in his matches. Both men are on their feet now and Gulak dropkicks Corbin multiple times. He nails a top rope clothesline, but it’s not enough for the win. Corbin does his spinning back suplex, and now Matt Riddle shows up. Corbin doesn’t let that distract him and gets the win over Gulak with the End of Days. Immediately after the match Riddle gets the jump on Corbin. What a hero. Chad Gable shows up and suplexes Matt Riddle into next week. Corbin looks impressed. Are these guys working together? Didn’t see that coming!
Match #3: Big E vs. The Miz
Without further ado, here’s Big E’s first singles match since 2015 or so. He rolled all the way down the ramp for his entrance. Reminds me of Patrick Star. Miz couldn’t win this match with a shotgun and a head start. Big E’s overpowering him with ease. Miz tries for the old test of strength fake out move we just saw AJ Styles use. It works for a cup of coffee, but Miz is on borrowed time. Big E shitcans Miz all over the ringside area until Johnny does a flippity flop out of nowhere to knock him down. That was ridiculous! Miz has the upper hand now, but it doesn’t last very long. Big E sets up for his apron splash but he misses and we go to commercial once again. Too many of these things anymore. We come back and Miz is in control, but he gets cocky and Big E hulks up on him. He goes for the Big Ending, but it gets blocked.
Miz steals Daniel Bryan’s kicks, then starts working the leg. He goes for his old corner clothesline, but Big E blocks it. Miz distracts the referee and Johnny kicks E in the face from the apron. Miz tries for the Skull Crushing Finale and gets two. He applies the Figure 4 (the move Cody invented), but Big E gets the rope break. Johnny tries to help out again and gets ejected. Bummer! Big E goes for the rollup but Miz kicks out, so Big E applies the stretch muffler submission for a tap out victory! Wow, I haven’t seen that move since Brock Lesnar used it briefly during his first run. It would have looked more impressive if he did it to a smaller guy.
Backstage we see my guys The CONspiracy Victims drinking wine. Cesaro looks like Jason Statham. The luchadors come out and try and pick a fight, but they get shooed away. If you guys want a shot at the champs, you gotta EARN IT! Have your people get in touch with my people and we’ll work something out.
Match #4: Lacy Evans vs. Naomi
This is what we’ve all been waiting for! More of the continuing saga of these two girls who are pissed off at each other over the result of some karaoke contest nobody cares about. For those of you keeping score, Lacy won last week when she fisted Naomi. Lacy comes out for a promo and I’ve never been happier that my TV is muted, but thankfully it doesn’t last long. Lacy tries for a powerbomb, but almost breaks Naomi’s neck when she drops her. Don’t do shit you don’t know how to do! Lacy tries to tie Naomi’s hair up in the ropes just like last week, but when she goes to fist her this time she loses thanks to a backslide. Does anybody care about this? Only half an hour of show time left and the CONspiracy Victims still can’t get booked, even though they’re the tag team champions now. Does anybody see what I mean yet?
Main Event: Nikki Cross vs. Bayley
Seems like a questionable booking decision to have the last hour of the show be nothing but girls matches, but at least Sasha looks incredible. Nikki is determined to win this thing, since she just beat Bayley last week but I can’t see Bayley losing on free tv after this long reign she’s had. Nonetheless, Nikki looks really good in the beginning. The only way I can see Nikki winning is if Bliss stabs her in the back and steals it immediately afterward. Bayley gets thrown into the ring post and it looks as if she’s really hurt herself. They really need to stop doing that move!
Bayley takes a reverse DDT on the apron. She’s making Nikki look like a million dollars here, even though she’s clearly the better of the two. Bayley takes a break to dance on the announce table for some reason. Nikki goes for a cross body and almost gets the pin! After a quick exchange of near falls, Bayley gets the win with her new terrible facebuster! Get ready for one of the AEW girls to steal that one! Bliss tries to comfort Nikki but she’s not having it. I don’t blame her, she was really close. She just needs some space right now.
Alexa’s sitting there confused and THE FIEND SHOWS UP. He’s here to convert Bliss! He gives her the mandible claw and the show fades to black!
My Final Thoughts on Smackdown
This was largely a paint by numbers show, complete with Cesaro and Nakamura not getting booked, but what happened with that ending? It would appear that Bliss & Cross are finally done and Alexa may end up running with Bray Wyatt for the time being. I can’t see this being a long term thing, he’ll just use her for leverage in his rivalry with Braun Strowman. Not much else to talk about on this show, so I’ll be tagging out for the weekend until RAW on Monday! .