WWE SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (July 17, 2020) with a show at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. There won’t be any real fans in attendance, but we will see AJ Styles defend the Intercontinental championship against Matt Riddle. The return of Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Fun House is also advertised, as well as A Moment of Bliss with a mystery guest.
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.)
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JULY 17
Counting the seconds, I could see myself and it shook me right out of my mind. Staring right back at me, freezing the frame, I felt like a hostage in time, caught somewhere between the spark and crash and liveblogging this pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with the intro video, forcing me once again to inform Brian Johnson that I am not now, nor will I ever be ready for a good time.
AJ Styles cuts a promo backstage where he talks some trash and says he’s gonna beat Matt Riddle tonight.
Conversely, Matt Riddle gets an equal and opposite promo.
Daniel Bryan chimes in and says he thinks we’re getting a new champion.
Alexa Bliss has a mystery guest on Moment of Bliss.
Miz and Morrison get a promo where John claims he fought and beat Jean-Claude Van Damme on a boat, but he’s freakin’ terrified about wrestling Braun tonight.
Braun Strowman says the Horror Show might start tonight and he just hopes Bray Wyatt is watching.
The promo cavalcade concludes with the Artist Collective and New Day both claiming they’re going to win tonight.
Big E vs. Cesaro
E hot out the gates, putting Cesaro on the defensive and dumping him to the floor. On the floor, the Swiss Superman turns the tables with uppercuts only to get rammed into some steel steps. Big follows it up with a spear against the steel, back inside, Cesaro dropkicks him to the floor! Following after, putting E back inside, off the top, diving double axehandle keeps Big off his balance but it’s only good for a one count!
Forearm to the back, follow it up with a rear chinlock, E fights out with elbows, off the ropes but Cesaro catches him with a powerslam for two! Back up top goes the Swiss Superman, perching, but E catches him on the dive and hits the trifecta of belly-to-belly suplexes! Big with the hip swivel, off the ropes, big splash, clapping, but Cesaro blocks the Cobra Twist with an elbow!
Back body drop to the apron, E rams him face-first into the ringpost and drags him out on the apron for clubbing blows! BIG SPLASH ON THE APRON SENDS US TO BREAK!
Back from commercial, Cesaro hammering E with turnbuckles in the corner but he gets hit with the Rock Bottom! Fire back with an uppercut, drawing Big up for another one, Neutralizer denied... STRETCH MUFFLER! CESARO FLOATS OVER AND REVERSES INTO THE SWING! Sharpshooter locked on at the end of it, E’s got nowhere to go but Kofi Kingston cheers him on!
Big posts to his feet and Cesaro shifts into a crossface before he can get out of it! Nakamura drops Kingston on the floor! Hossing Cesaro up, but he gets the ropes! Referee Jessika Carr has to duck under him, Shinsuke with a cheap shot from the apron...
Cesaro wins by pinfall with the Neutralizer, earning his team the right to pick the stipulation for their match at Extreme Rules.
Post-match, the heels go to pull a table out from under the ring but Kofi dives on them! He sets the table up himself as Big E stirs, he puts Cesaro on it, but the Artist Collective gets away.
King Baron Corbin is interviewed backstage.
He complains that Matt Riddle started things by attacking him, and he puts AJ Styles over, predicting a quick and decisive victory for him and saying that the Bro is just a little boy.
Commentary hypes up Moment of Bliss and we go to break.
Back from commercial, the Artist Collective cut a promo.
They talk about getting the respect they deserve at long last and they run down the possibilities of each stipulation before settling on a tables match!
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross are in the ring for A Moment of Bliss.
Alexa says she’s feeling a bit clairvoyant, and Nikki drops an anecdote about her aunt Claire, which is excellent. Bliss makes some predictions, including Matt Riddle winning the Intercontinental Championship, Braun Strowman winning the SWAMP FIGHT, and that her special mystery guest is going to tear the roof off this place on Sunday.
Nikki thinks her special guest is... her, but Alexa has to gently talk her down and asks her how many nitro brews she had today. She apologizes and Cross is sad but takes it well.
Enter Bayley and Sasha Banks.
They talk some trash, telling Nikki it’ll be back into Alexa’s shadow after Extreme Rules. They talk about being the architects of the women’s revolution and the first ever tag champs, and enter the ring. In the ring, Bayley offers a little prediction of her own— on Sunday, she’s gonna beat Nikki Cross, Sasha is gonna beat Asuka, and they’ll hold all the titles.
Alexa says they never let her talk about who her mystery guest was—
We got a brawl! And it turns into a match... after the break!
Back from commercial, we get a little Catch Point reunion as Matt Riddle works on his striking with Drew Gulak’s help.
Daniel Bryan gets a promo where he talks about AJ Styles being forced to be a fighting champion, and says he has a chance to be the greatest ever if he just embraces it. He then puts Riddle over.
Asuka & Nikki Cross vs. Boss and Hug Connection (Bayley & Sasha Banks)
Cross and Bayley to start, Nikki on her, beating her down, putting her into the turnbuckles, back body drop to the apron, Banks tags in but referee Charles Robinson doesn’t like the tag. Tag made for real, working Cross over with quick tags to keep her isolated. Asuka eventually gets the tag and comes in hot, hip attacks ahoy!
Duck a lariat, hip attack blasts Bayley off the apron but Banks gets a tijeras! Baseball slide, Asuka catches her in the apron and beats her down! Back inside, tag Cross in, she picks right up where the Empress left off, fired up! Trapping Bayley in the apron too, beating her down, sliding knee from Asuka!
Nikki with a crossbody off the apron, she and her tag partner dance on the announce table and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Asuka on the back foot as Banks works her over. Momentum shift, backslide pin, no dice, elbow drop, taking the Empress to their corner to work her over. Asuka fires up, schoolboy pin on the SmackDown champ, Alarm Clock follows it up... tags made! Cross with a monkey flip, Stinger Splash, running bulldog!
Diving crossbody, nobody home and Sasha hits a basement dropkick for two! Bayley tags in and dumps Nikki to the floor, whereupon Cross hits a tornado DDT! Back inside, Bayley crawling for the tag, Asuka runs interference and lays the Boss out with a roundhouse kick! Tornado DDT denied, Bayley with a folding press and feet on the ropes...
Boss and Hug Connection win by pinfall with a folding press and her feet on the ropes from Bayley on Nikki Cross.
We go backstage with John Morrison and the Miz.
Miz is trying to talk Morrison into not being so scared of Braun, pointing out that in horror movies, the hero comes out ahead in the end, slaying the monster and becoming a legend. John points out that there’s always a best friend who fights the monster first, but the A-Lister claims ignorance and tells his pal he’s gonna do great.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, we get a new episode of Firefly Fun House.
But we’re not in the funhouse with the puppet pals, we’re in the swamp with Bray Wyatt. He offers us some wisdom from Sister Abigail and tells us a parable that is clearly about Braun Strowman and how he never really left the swamp and he still needs Bray’s help to manage his gifts.
Braun gets on the mic during his entrance and says a man has to grow up and face his fears, and he’s ready and willing to walk through the gates of hell and slap the devil himself in the face on Sunday. The last thing he wants is for Wyatt to turn into the Fiend, because the Fiend is everything evil he’s ever done in his life, brought to existence.
Braun Strowman vs. John Morrison
Strowman throwing Morrison around, lariats, clubbing him down, roaring with every breath as he takes a giant step. Stepping on John’s face, clubbing overhead blows and he follows it up with a wild deadlift chokeslam! The monster laughs before closing the distance and locking the arm triangle on Morrison! Hoisting him up on his shoulders...
Braun Strowman wins by pinfall with the running powerslam.
Post-match, Braun glares into the camera and gets a mic. He tells Bray that he hopes he was watching, because he’s coming home.
Miz checks on Morrison, calling EMTs to the ring to stretcher him out, but he ends up leaving on his own power with Miz’s help.
Lacey Evans makes her entrance to send us to break.
Back from commercial, Lacey Evans cuts a short promo, saying Naomi’s glow will be reduced to a sparkle.
Lacey Evans vs. Naomi
Naomi blocks a drop toehold and takes control of the match until she puts Evans onto the apron. Legsweep, slingshot elbow drop for two. Putting boots to her, moonsault off the second but Naomi gets the boots up! Splits leg drop for two, looking for the Speedball kicks, ducking the Woman’s Right, off the ropes, headscissors takeover!
Roundhouse kick nails Lacey on the apron but Evans grabs Naomi’s hair and ties her to the second rope with it! By the time she’s untangled herself, Lacey is ready...
Lacey Evans wins by pinfall with the Woman’s Right.
Backstage, Jeff Hardy is interviewed.
He says fighting a bully like Sheamus is kind of like fighting addiction. You can’t run from it or hide from it or wish it away, you just have to fight it every day.
He gets blasted out of nowhere with a Brogue Kick! Sheamus tells him he’s right, but he’s here to cleanse Jeff of his demons, and he’ll see him on SmackDown next week.
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Bayley and Sasha Banks are interviewed.
They talk about how they have all the momentum going into Extreme Rules, and they have the physics to back it up.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross are shown chatting backstage, Nikki feeling insecure about her match on Sunday, when Cross realizes that Bayley and Sasha are being interviewed right next to them and she attacks! Alexa manages to pull her pal away.
We get the same promos we got at the top of the show, because SmackDown is... two... hours long?
And so we go to break.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Matt Riddle (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Riddle ducks a right hand, collar and elbow, backing Styles into the corner. Clean break at referee Dan Engler’s behest, go-behind, looking for a German suplex but AJ backs him into the corner and breaks dirty with an elbow and shoulder thrusts! Engler ordering him to back off, right hands, whip blocked, Karelin lift from Matt!
Another Karelin lift, Styles to the floor and Riddle hammers him with a springboard knee strike! AJ frustrated and hammering the announce table, Matt follows him to mock him and decks him with a roundhouse kick that lays the champ out and sends us to break.
Back from commercial, Riddle’s in control and laying ribs to the knees in. Fujiwara armbar applied, but he can’t get full extension and he shifts to a waistlock takedown into overhead elbows. Styles turtles up and gets the ropes to force the break! Punching away, fisherman suplex into a bridge, only one!
AJ with the back suplex facebuster, he doesn’t capitalize on it directly but takes a moment to recover. Putting Matt into the corner, hammering him with forearms but he fires back with strikes of his own! Kicks in the ropes, Styles catches one and hits the dragon screw! Leg kicks follow, trying to soften him up for the Calf Killer!
Riddle to the floor, back inside, AJ drops a knee on his leg but Matt blocks a second dragon screw! Reverse chinlock applied, trying to grind the King of Bros down, but he posts to his feet. Styles with an overhead elbow, fireman’s carry, Riddle floats out and puts him in the corner for the charging forearm, the exploder suplex, standing moonsault, land on his feet, high jump senton into the Penalty Kick!
BRO 2 SLEEP! Into the powerbomb / knee combo... NOPE! And so we go to break.
Back from commercial, Riddle is in control with knees in the corner. Whip across, Styles explodes on him with a lariat out of the corner! Rising to his feet, sliding lariat to follow it up, drawing his challenger up and they trade forearms and chops. Leg kick from AJ staggers him, Matt goes behind for a German suplex to keep things even!
Backing the champ into the corner with strikes but a kick to the jaw takes Riddle out! Whip blocked, leaping lariat in the corner, thinking Styles Clash but Matt drops low to block. Floats over a suplex, ripcord knee strike lands true! Headed up top, corkscrew moonsault but nobody’s home! Styles lifts him up for the Clash, Riddle pulls himself to the apron and AJ hits a sheerdrop brainbuster... NOT ENOUGH!
Fireman’s carry, Ushigoroshi, only two! Styles goes for a springboard, Matt catches him but he can’t hit the Tombstone and settles for a senton! Both men slow to rise, Riddle with palm strikes on palm strikes, AJ ducks a kick and hits the Styles Rush! Pele kick from Matt countered, Calf Killer on in the middle of the ring!
Riddle crawling, desperate, rolling over but AJ gets back in control! Matt reverses, the Bromission is on! Styles trying to roll over and cover up, he can’t quite manages that but he pivots...
AJ Styles wins by pinfall with a victory roll pin to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
Post-match, Riddle goes to shake Styles’ hand but Baron Corbin attacks from behind and beats him down!
That’s the show, folks.