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WWE SmackDown preview (Sept. 25, 2020): Backsies

WWE SmackDown returns tonight (Sept. 25) from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. This is the go home show for Clash of Champions this Sunday.

The Headliner

Otis likely doesn’t have Universal championship gold in his near future.

Despite holding the Money in the Bank briefcase, or lunchbox, Blue Collar Solid’s prospects for actually winning the title are probably some of the worst in Money in the Bank history.

The contract says he has to challenge the Universal champion. (Meaning he can’t turn that into a tag team championship contract or head to Raw with his lady friend Mandy to try his luck there, not that it’d be much better.) And given who’s held the Universal championship this year, his prospects are not at all good.

Otis was likely not going to defeat Braun Strowman, the man who was champion when the case fell into his hands on top of Titan Tower. He had even less of a chance to defeat the Fiend Bray Wyatt. His chances of defeating a more villainous Roman Reigns who’s aligned with Paul Heyman are even worse. And given that Roman could hold the title for a long time, it’s not looking good for our favorite meaty Minnesotan.

This leaves WWE with two options:

  • They can let Otis cash in the briefcase and lose.
  • Or they can have him lose or relinquish the contract, like he may have to do tonight.

I think they should go with the first option. If he’s not going to win, why not have a match that could help elevate him in the process? Plus he’s a likable babyface, which would work in their goal to get heat on the Big Dog.

But it’s possible they never thought past him winning the briefcase. Money in the Bank was rather early in WWE’s pandemic programming. They were trying anything that would work. Maybe that included giving the briefcase to a charismatic, silly big man without any plan to do anything with it. However, now that they’re in the ThunderDome and the product has started to look more like it did prior to COVID-19, maybe they want to go with someone more traditional.

Tonight, legal action will force Otis to decide between getting sued by the Miz after beating him up (something that happens all the time in WWE but only becomes a legal issue when they want it to) or give up the briefcase.

Now I don’t think he’s going to give up the briefcase. But I can see this leading to a match with Miz (and maybe John Morrison as well) where he loses the contract.

Again, that’s not the best way to go. That would leave one of two heels having to cash on Roman. But Miz is the type of guy who Roman Reigns can beat the hell out of it, and it wouldn’t hurt him. So maybe they have that in mind as their plan.

Tonight’s segment will give us a good idea of the future of the briefcase and the man who holds it.

The title scene:

Universal Champion Roman Reigns gave his cousin, and opponent on Sunday, Jey Uso a big, long hug after they won a tag match together. But his face soon became angry and we’re starting to suspect that the Big Dog doesn’t care about his family like he used to. (Maybe an angle that could lead to a match with anther more famous family member?) Roman is going to beat the living hell out of Jey at one point. The question is does that happen tonight or Sunday?

Bayley seems way more focused on brutalizing her former best friend Sasha Banks than she is on Nikki Cross, who she’s set to defend her SmackDown Women’s title against at Clash. This is the third time Nikki has gotten this match so I expect Sunday to have a major angle attached with it, involving Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, or both.

The best match this Sunday could be the Intercontinental title match between the real champion Jeff Hardy, the self-proclaimed champion Sami Zayn, and AJ Styles. Tonight, Jeff Hardy will face Sami Zayn non-title ahead of Sunday’s bout.

Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura will have to defend their SmackDown tag team championships against the Lucha House Party on Sunday. I’ll be shocked if it’s not a Kickoff match.

The Women’s tag team champions are in a Raw feud right now so we won’t be seeing them.

Other things to keep and eye on:

- Big E is back and he’s angry (but still funny). He’s going to throw down with Sheamus at one point. Do they try to cram that into an already nine match pay-per-view or run it as a featured match on TV in a couple of weeks?

- Alexa Bliss goes into a trance anytime she hears the word “Fiend,” which is kind of simplistic for my tastes. I really dig the angle in general, but just responding to a word seems a bit lame instead of a random trance. We’ll see if someone says it in the middle of her match with Lacey Evans tonight.

- Where’s Joseph Park? Was that only a couple week thing?

What will you be looking for when SmackDown returns tonight at 8 PM ET on Fox?

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