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WWE SmackDown results, live blog (May 22, 2020): Champion vs. Champion

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WWE SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (May 22, 2020) with a show at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. There won’t be any fans in attendance, but we will see Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair in a Champion vs. Champion match. We’ll also see two more matches in the Intercontinental championship tournament, a mixed tag team match pitting Otis & Mandy vs. Dolph & Sonya, and more!

Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on Fox. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)


Fight spawn of the damned, bring down the heavens, smash in the gates, burn ‘em down. You must accept the fate that you’ve chosen, you will obey your destiny, but me? I’m here to liveblog this pro wrestling show for these folks.

The show opens with a Memorial Day video package.

Thence to the intro video.

Commentary hypes up tonight’s show.

The Miz & John Morrison welcome us to a new edition of the Dirt Sheet.

They mock Otis and complain about Braun Strowman before introducing their own set of puppet pals ala Firefly Fun House, including a sock puppet named Shiloh, one... sigh... Dookie the Diaper Boy, and Mandyquin Rose—


Enter Braun Strowman.

He tells them they’re kinda funny and he hates to admit it but the show’s not half bad and he’s happy to be their guest. They say he’s not actually their guest, and then Strowman says he wants to talk about Money in the Bank. He and Morrison go back and forth, John overhypes his pal Miz and we end up with a match.

But first, a commercial break, as per usual.

Braun Strowman vs. the Miz

Circling, Miz ducks a lariat, fires off a right hand and follows it up with a go-behind into more jabs! Strowman backs him into the corner, heavy body blow doubles the A-Lister over and he follows it up by clubbing him to the mat! Smashing his face into the turnbuckles, whip into the corner, Braun dominant but Miz low-bridges him and knocks him to the floor with a knee!

Morrison with a springboard roundhouse off the barricade, Strowman staggered but still able to shove Miz away! The A-Lister puts him into the post, back inside, springboard... CAUGHT INTO A GOOZLE! Up on his shoulders, Miz rakes his eyes, boot to the face in the corner, basement dropkick takes the monster’s leg out from under him!

Basement DDT blocked, Strowman hosses him up and into the corner before bieling him across the ring! Stinger Splash, a right hand for Morrison up on the apron, and Braun hits a release suplex on Miz! Scoop lift...

Braun Strowman wins by pinfall with the running powerslam.

Post-match, John Morrison calls Strowman out. He says he’s won a tag match and a singles, but they’re gonna challenge Braun to a handicap match at Backlash. Strowman accepts!

Commentary talks about the Intercontinental Championship tournament.

AJ Styles makes his entrance to send us to break.

AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament First Round Match)

Collar and elbow, Styles backs him into the corner and referee Jessika Carr demands a break. Clean break, circling, Nakamura with probing kicks, AJ grabs a side headlock, into the ropes, reversed, taking him down, mat grappling, hammerlock, Styles gets the headlock again. Back and forth, AJ lands a kick and smashes his face into the turnbuckles!

Trading forearms, float over a suplex, Shinsuke traps him in the ropes and hits the sliding German suplex to send us to break.

Back from commercial, Nakamura backs Styles in the ropes with kicks, disdainful stomps to the back of the head, but AJ rises up and catches a kick. Elbow to the knee, trading forearms, Styles Rush dodged and Shinsuke hits a heel kick! Pele Kick in return and both men are down and out! Back on their feet, AJ with a series of lariats, dropping Nakamura!

Fireman’s carry, Ushigoroshi lands true... NOPE! In the corner, roll through into the Calf Killer! Nakamura gets the ropes! Leg pick, Shinsuke with an enzuigiri to block, slide, AJ catches him with a short forearm for a tight two! Drawing him up, Landslide counters... STILL NO! Reverse exploder blocked with elbows, Nakamura with a roundhouse from the corner and a diving Kinshasa!

Charging in, Kinshasa... STYLES KICKS OUT! Charging in for a second, AJ with a folding press and Shinsuke counters to a triangle choke! AJ REVERSES TO A STYLES CLASH BUT NAKAMURA KICKS OUT! Both men slowly rising to their feet in opposite corners, back body drop puts Styles on the apron and Nakamura cuts him off with a kick!

Sidestep the knee, nail Nakamura with a kick, springboard...

AJ Styles wins by pinfall with the Phenomenal Forearm.

We get a recap of last week’s segment that set up tonight’s champion vs. champion match between Bayley and Charlotte Flair.

Bayley and Sasha Banks are backstage and the champ asks Banks to not be in her corner tonight because people think she can’t win alone.

The match will begin after the break.

Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair

Circling, collar and elbow, Flair with a knee lift, throwing her into the turnbuckles, jawing at her, laying chops in, and into the turnbuckles again. Bayley sidesteps the charge, mat slam for one, and the ex-Hugger struts mockingly. Back to the lockup, Charlotte with a go-behind, soon enough both women are trading cheaty pins with their feet in the ropes to no avail.

Kick to the leg, whip reversed, Flair Flip, sidestep the charge and a knee sends Bayley to the floor. She trips Flair up, off the ropes, baseball slide but the Queen rolls out of the ring too fast and drops her on the floor! Circling around the ringside area, Charlotte comes back in the ring and calls Sasha Banks out to send us to break.

Back from commercial, Flair is in control with a reverse chinlock. Whip to the corner, drop Bayley with a chop, drag her into the corner, headed up top but the SmackDown champ cuts her off! Charlotte lands gingerly on her knee, but cuts Bayley off with a knee strike. Low bridge sends her to the floor, Flair with a big forearm that sets up a scoop but Bayley slips out and puts her into the barricade and then the apron!

Back inside, happy to take the count but Charlotte slides back in. Clubbing blows, choking Flair in the ropes, but the NXT champ comes back in with a folding press for two. Side headlock applied, body blows to escape, Charlotte catches the crossbody and turns it into a fallaway slam! Bayley with shoulder thrusts in the corner, but Flair catches a lariat and hits the STO backbreaker / reverse STO into the turnbuckles combo!

Charlotte up top, moonsault, nobody home but she lands on her feet, big boot... NOPE! Wrenching Bayley’s leg over the ropes but she fights back with upkicks, Stunner over the middle rope, taking her into the corner and squaring up for a running knee to the side of her head! Bayley heading up top this time, diving elbow... THE KNEES ARE UP!

Flair with a leg pick, into a torture crab, counter into a pin for two! Putting Charlotte into the turnbuckles, she heads up top, diving elbow lands true this time... BUT THE QUEEN KICKS OUT! Firing chops off at her, Charlotte just wants more! Bayley goes for the figure four, Flair with right hands, chops into the corner!

Jockeying for position over pins, Bayley has the ropes...

Bayley wins by pinfall with a victory roll pin and leverage from the ropes.

Post-match, Charlotte is jovial about her loss in a “uh-huh, I get it” kinda way.

Bayley jaws at her from the ramp and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Sasha Banks celebrates Bayley’s win with her.

Dolph Ziggler & Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose & Otis (Mixed Tag Team Match)

The men start, Otis with a scoop into a spinning slam, tag to the women. Deville with shoulder thrusts, Ziggler puts Dozer into the steps and Rose goes to check on him and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Deville has a bodyscissors sleeper locked on Rose. Mandy counters to a pin for two, Sonya drops her with a boot, disdainful kicks, knee lifts, throwing her into the corner for heavy forearms! Rose fires back with rights of her own, schoolboy for one, Deville with chest kicks, jawing at Otis.

Off the ropes, Mandy clobbers her with a running knee! Sonya kicks her away, tags to the men! Dozer with a pop-up drop, corner forearm, ramming him into the corner, Stinger splash! Ziggler makes the tag, Rose with a forearm while Otis takes it to Dolph on the floor, corner knee connects, off the ropes, yet another knee... SO CLOSE!

Trading shots, Sonya takes charge...

Dolph Ziggler & Sonya Deville win by pinfall with a running knee to the back of Mandy Rose’s head.

Post-match, Ziggler lays Otis out with a superkick while he was checking on Mandy!

Jeff Hardy cuts a promo backstage where he talks about how all the positive vibrations he’s sent out have lead him to the Intercontinental Championship tournament, a title near and dear to his heart. It’s the first title he won on his own, and if he won it again it’d bring things full circle.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, we get a memorial graphic for Shad Gaspard.

Forgotten Sons get a promo backstage and talk about how our blood is on their hands and it’s only fair for our blood to be on their hands.

We get a recap of our opening segment because the universe wants to make my night feel even longer, I guess.

Backstage, Miz and John Morrison bicker about the events of said opening segment when Renee Young rolls up with an interview. They lay out a number of points to explain why they’re going to win at Backlash.

Main event entrances begin and we go to break.

Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus (WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament First Round Match)

Circling, collar and elbow, Sheamus backs Hardy into the corner post-haste but breaks clean at referee Danilo Anfibio’s command. Into the opposite corner, side headlock from Hardy, into the takeover, back to their feet, shot off, Sheamus traps him in the ropes for knees. Uppercuts, whip across, Jeff with a front kick, a forearm, but the Celtic Warrior takes him off his feet with an elbow!

Trapping him over the ropes, neck crank gets a Stunner and Hardy back body drops him to the floor! Dropkick through the ropes, off the apron with a crossbody but Sheamus catches him and puts him into the ringpost! Fireman’s carry drop into the announce table! He yells at Michael Cole and we go to break.

Back from commercial, Sheamus is in control with a reverse chinlock, wrenching it in with vigor and dropping him with a mat slam. Knee drops, stalking after Hardy, Jeff lighting him up with right hands but he gets cut off by a knee and the Celtic Warrior postures some more. Drawing him up, duck the short-arm lariat on the first pass but the second drops the Charismatic Enigma!

Body blows from Hardy set up punches to the face, leg-feed mule kick gets him in the corner, elbow up on a charge... WHISPER IN THE WIND! Sheamus hits the Irish Curse in return, another one, and a third! Dumping Jeff to the apron, drawing him up for the Beats of the Bodhran! Sheamus fired up and bouncing, he goes for a back suplex but Hardy lands on his feet!

Firing strikes off, he gets passed to the corner but sidesteps the charge and the Celtic Warrior goes hard into the post! Off the ropes, charging forearm, Manhattan Drop to the double leg drop to the basement dropkick, cover for two! Action spills to the floor, Hardy posts him again, up on the barricade... DIVING LARIAT OFF THE BARRICADE!

Back inside, Hardy up top... KNEES UP ON THE SWANTON BOMB! SHEAMUS ROLLS HIM UP FOR TWO! Knee strike lays the Charismatic Enigma out again but the cover’s only good for two! Calling for it, Hardy ducks the Brogue Kick, jockeying for position...

Jeff Hardy wins by pinfall with a folding press.

Sheamus is mad.

Jeff Hardy celebrates.

That’s the show, folks.