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WWE SmackDown results, live blog (Aug. 21, 2020): ThunderDome

WWE SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Aug. 21, 2020) with a show at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. There will be virtual fans in attendance via the debut of WWE ThunderDome. Tonight’s lineup includes Jeff Hardy challenging AJ Styles for the Intercontinental championship, Lucha House Party challenging Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura for the tag titles, Big E vs. Sheamus, a message from Braun Strowman, 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.)


Locked up in the classroom waiting for the fight, down to the schoolyard knocking the gate. Into the alley, meet up with the boys, waiting for the weekend to make a little noise. Thunder is strong, lightning is death, and I’m here to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.

The show opens with the theme song and an overview of the ThunderDome setup.

ThunderDome is, as my girlfriend puts it, “a Stygian nightmare, the 12th circle of hell,” and Vincent Kennedy McMahon is in the ring to welcome us to the action.

The lights go down stepwise.

The Fiend makes his entrance.

He gets in the ring with Mr. McMahon and stares him down, bathed in the red light. Vince takes a step back and Bray advances, side to side and Wyatt matches his movements likewise. The normal house lights come up suddenly—


Enter Braun Strowman.

He gets in the ring and confronts Wyatt, and a bunch of masked Retribution goons surround the ring! A smile plays across Braun’s face, but the Fiend calls for the lights to go down and when they come back up, he’s gone! Retribution attack but the SmackDown men’s locker room empties and makes the save!

They stand tall as Retribution retreats, but an angry Strowman knocks Drew Gulak out and leaves to send us to break.

Back from commercial, the men of SmackDown are milling around the ringside area and tensions are starting to mount between babyfaces and heels.

Big E vs. Sheamus

Collar and elbow, two big men hossing each other around the ring, Sheamus targets the arm in the corner but E breaks away. Side headlock, Big wrenching it in, shot off, shoulder block, knee lift, clubbing overhand strikes from the Celtic Warrior. Action to the floor, E shoulder blocks him hard into the steel steps!

Rolling Sheamus in, break the count, Big with clubbing overhand blows to set up the Big Splash on the apron! Back inside, Sheamus turns the tide with a lariat, stepping on Big under the ropes, E firing body bloews back but he runs right into the Irish Curse for two! The lights flicker and we go to break.

Back from commercial, E gets the trifect of belly-to-belly suplexes, he’s fired up! Big Splash, scoop lift, Sheamus floats out, boot up in the corner! Charging in, E ducks under the Brogue Kick but eats a big knee lift for a tight two! Trading strikes, Big floats out of a White Noise attempt and gets the corner Rock Bottom for two!

Sheamus to the apron, Big off the ropes but he gets cut off with a knee! Hoisting him up, Beats of the Bodhran start but E blocks and lifts him up for the Big Ending! The Celtic Warrior slips out, sidesteps the charge, Big hits the post hard... WHITE NOISE! Baron Corbin attacks Matt Riddle at ringside, Riddle fights back, and E takes advantage of the chaos...

Big E wins by pinfall with a schoolboy pin.

Commentary throws to the trainer’s room where Jeff Hardy is grimacing in pain as a medic checks his leg.

Jeff says somebody fell on his leg from behind and he needs a brace to make his title match against AJ Styles tonight.

Lucha House Party are walking backstage when the Artist Collective attack them from behind!

Their title match will be after the break.

Artist Collective (Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura) (c) vs. Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)

Metalik and Nakamura to start, Shinsuke quickly taking advantage and taking him to the corner for tags. Gran using his speed and lucha acumen to try and get away from Cesaro but he catches a Frankensteiner and turns it into a huge powerbomb! Miz and Morrison cut in with a promo from backstage, mocking Lucha House Party.

Gran getting worked over at length, he ends up jockeying for position in the turnbuckles with Cesaro... AVALANCHE FRANKENSTEINER! Tags all around, Dorado comes in a house afire! Body blows in the corner, an enzuigiri, whip reversed, up and over, handspring away, duck a roundhouse, crescent kick connects and he goes for the Super Crazy moonsaults!

One, two, up top for the last one... BUT CESARO MAKES THE SAVE! Gutwrench, Cesaro to the floor, Gran dives... SUICIDE FRANKENSTEINER TO THE FLOOR! Shinsuke with the inverted exploder suplex, he heads to the floor to put a few boots to Metalik to boot, comes back in, fired up... LINCE REVERSES KINSHASA TO A SCHOOLBOY FOR TWO!

Springboard Stunner, Cesaro with the blind tag, thinking Giant Swing but Dorado gets a sunset flip for two! Off the ropes, pop up to a Frankensteiner, Cesaro rolls through...

Artist Collective win by pinfall with a rolling sunset flip from Cesaro on Gran Metalik to retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship.

Post-match, Kalisto and Lince Dorado get into a shoving match as Gran Metalik tries to keep the peace!

Backstage, AJ Styles is interviewed over Jeff Hardy’s injury after we’re shown footage that he attacked Hardy.

AJ says he was just being zealous in fighting off Retribution and it’ll be a shame if Jeff can’t compete tonight, but it fits his career, which has been a waste the entire time.

He runs into Bayley and Sasha Banks as he leaves and they clink belts together all smug.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, we get a hype reel of press reactions to ThunderDome.

Mandy Rose is interviewed backstage.

She says it’s been a rough week and she only knows how she feels about SummerSlam, and that’s that she needs to believe there’s still good in this world, so she wants to speak directly to Sonya Deville. She turns to face the camera and says they’ve been through a lot of good and beautiful things together as best friends.

So she’s choosing to believe that the woman she was inseparable with for five years is still out there, and the way she’s feeling, she wants to put everything behind them and get back to where they were.

Bayley and Sasha Banks make their entrance.

Corey Graves is in the ring, microphone in hand, and they join him.

He introduces them and welcomes them to ThunderDome, before asking directly if they’re splitting up. The answer is a unanimous “no”, and begins a question about Asuka winning both titles but he gets cut off by Bayley, who claims they’re the only ones in the company capable of holding two titles at once.

They snipe back and forth, and Bayley doubles down, saying that there’s nobody in that locker room that can beat both of them in one night, not on Raw, not on—

Enter Naomi.

She says she thinks she can help them handle this situation by wrestling both of them tonight. They’re game, and Naomi asks who wants her first. Corey suggests a Beat the Clock Challenge, and Naomi likes it enough to dropkick both women before they can decide who’s first!

We go to break before it can begin.

Naomi vs. Sasha Banks (Beat the Clock Challenge)

Sasha right in with strikes, taking her down for a quick cover. Naomi piefaces her, side headlock, springboard sunset flip for two of her own! Full nelson bomb into a pin, again just a nearfall, rolling her around in the cradle to disorient her before slapping her across the back of the head!

Splits under a forearm, handstand headscissors sends the Boss to the floor, Naomi with a plancha to follow it up! Back inside, Sasha hangs her up in the ropes, double knees, another nearfall. Rear chinlock applied, Naomi with a corkscrew jawbreaker after she escapes it, kick from the apron, diving crossbody...NOPE! Roll through, suplex hangs Banks up on the ropes, Naomi with a springboard roundhouse kick for a tight two!

Sasha with a schoolboy for two, go-behind, O’Connor roll reversed but she gets an armbar takedown into the crossface! Wrenching it in....

Sasha Banks wins by submission with the Bank Statement crossface at 3:39 on the clock.

Post-match, Bayley attacks Naomi!

Referee Drake Wuertz backs her off and checks on Naomi before calling for the bell.

Bayley vs. Naomi (Beat the Clock Challenge)

Hammering Naomi with forearms, grounded punches, snap suplex into a cover for two! Putting boots to Naomi, whip across, snapmare into a nearfall. Off the ropes, sliding lariat, still just two! Charging lariat, another two count, Naomi blocks a knee strike...

Naomi wins by pinfall with the Rear View, meaning Sasha Banks wins the Beat the Clock Challenge and will go on second at SummerSlam.

Post-match, Asuka makes her entrance and cuts a promo, sasying that she’ll be the Empress of Every Title, because no one is ready for Asuka.

She hits the ring and runs the heels off.

We see Jeff Hardy trying out his knee brace backstage.

The trainer says he looks stable enough, so as long as he can handle the pain, he’s cleared to go.

Jeff says he’s a one-legged man in an asskicking contest, but tonight, this one-legged man is going to become Intercontinental Champion.

Backstage, Sonya Deville (in a purple suit, bestill my lesbian heart) is interviewed, but she declines to make a statement.

Dana Brooke rolls up to offer her some help but Sonya slaps her across the face and says it’s nothing she can’t handle.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, Sonya Deville makes her entrance.

She calls for her music to be cut and says she gets it, Mandy is second-guessing her own challenge, and correct her if she’s wrong, that’s exactly what she said was going to happen. But what she doesn’t understand is what exactly is it that Mandy wants? They’re gonna fight one way or the other, but since she’s unbothered by getting her hair cut and everybody knows Sonya doesn’t give a damn about being bald or not.

So she ups the ante— no disqualification, loser leaves WWE! She’s realized that, hair or no hair, she’s sick of looking at Mandy’s face, so she better bring her A game.

We get a video package recapping all the Wyatt/Strowman stuff.

Nikki Cross gets a serious promo where she talks about how Alexa Bliss seems off after her recent encounters with the Fiend and Braun Strowman. The Alexa she knows is warm and caring and funny, and the person she spoke to scares her, because she’s got a feeling that something terrible is about to happen.

Daniel Bryan gets an inset promo during AJ Styles’ entrance wherein he calls AJ a coward and says he hopes by the end of the first night in the THUNDERDOME, Jeff Hardy is champion, and we go to break.

Back from commercial, we get a pile of tweets from WWE Superstars about how great ThunderDome is.

AJ Styles (c) vs. Jeff Hardy (WWE Intercontinental Championship)

Circling, Styles with a leg pick on the bad knee but Hardy manages to fight him off. Kick to the midsection, whip across, back body drop but Jeff can’t come off the ropes to capitalize and AJ rams him into the corner. Boots up in the corner, Styles trips Hardy up and he ends up writhing in agony! Putting boots to the Charismatic Enigma, exposing the knee brace to better target it with stomps!

Jeff gets a back body drop that puts AJ over the ropes and to the floor! Back on his feet, hobbling for a slingshot dropkick but Styles catches him and smashes his leg into the apron to send us to break!

Back from commercial, Styles is in control with a shoulder kneebar applied. Hardy kicks him away and gets back to his feet, kick caught but he feeds the other leg and hits the solebutt! Double leg drop to the basement leg drop, big splash, only two! Sitout gourdbuster, cover for two, kick to the gut, Twist of Fate blocked, Pele Kick connects!

Both men down and out, referee Ryan Tran issues the standing ten count. Both men up around five, Hardy stumbling bad and he goes to climb up top for Whisper in the Wind but his legs give out and he takes a wicked bump! Styles lying in wait, but Jeff is able to counter the Phenomenal Forearm with a body blow!

AJ rolls through the aftermath, Calf Killer applied but Hardy is able to get the ropes and force the break! Thinking Styles Clash but Jeff clocks him in the face with the knee brace! Kick to the gut, Twist of Fate, the Charismatic Enigma hobbles his way up top...

Jeff Hardy wins by pinfall with the Swanton Bomb to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

Post-match, Hardy is interviewed.

He says if you told him a year ago he’d be Intercontinental Champion again, he’d have told you you were crazy, he was in such a bad place. But now he stands here with a painful knee and the hope for a better future for everybody that’s in a tough spot.

And so we go to break.

Back from commercial, AJ Styles is yelling at Joseph Park when an interview rolls up.

He screams about the algorithm proving he was supposed to beat Jeff Hardy and complains about what the knee brace did to his face before he goes back to berating Park.

Commentary hypes up tomorrow morning’s edition of Talking Smack.

Firefly Fun House begins.

Bray talks ThunderDome up and asks us to come closer so he can tell us something— he loves us! Don’t be fooled, Fireflies, love can be a terrible thing. A way to trick you into emotional and financial burden that makes the most glorious angel crash down with broken wings. Too much love can turn a beautiful filed of sunflowers into a wasteland!

Wyatt gets a call on his hand and chats inaudibly for a moment before tossing us to Firefly Theatre Presents Braun & Alexa.

Rambling Rabbit plays Alexa Bliss while Huskus the Pig plays Braun Strowman in a mocking recreation of their promo segment from last week until Bray slides in to order the cut. He asks what the freakin’ heck is going on, saying that’s not at all how it went down. Huskus claims he’s a method actor and Rabbit says he got lost in the moment, but Wyatt tells them to get lost.

He says love only leads to pain and suffering, and all we can do is be more like Him, a being built on rage and fueled by anger. Braun Strowman blindsides him and beats him down to send us to break.

Back from commercial, commentary talks about what just happened.

The feed cuts to Braun and Bray, still brawling, in the bowels of the arena now... Strowman has him goozled... AND HE CHOKESLAMS HIM AN UNCLEAR BUT HIGH HEIGHT OFF A LEDGE AND INTO THE LOADING DOCKS! Referees and road agents, including Sonjay Dutt and five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce, swarm to assist Wyatt as an ambulance backs up.

Bray is loaded onto a stretcher and put in the ambulance, but when it goes to slowly drive off, the garage door refuses to open. The ambulance backs up more, Pearce screams at it that it’s going the wrong way, but eventually it stops and the doors open. The Fiend climbs out, smoke and red light pouring out of the ambulance bay.

He sticks his tongue out at the camera and laughs.

That’s the show, folks.

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