Friday Night SmackDown! started with the phenomenal AJ Styles entering the ring followed by Sami Zayn with his Intercontinental title in tow, and finally the official champion Jeff Hardy entered the ring with his Intercontinental title with him. Three ladders stood in the ring and a few surrounded the ring all hyping up the three men’s Clash of Champions Ladder title match that will occur on Sunday September 27. Corey Graves also joined all three men in the ring and started the dialogue introducing an Intercontinental Championship ceremony to happen right on SmackDown right then and there to start the show, and Zayn and Hardy put their belts on the hanger and it was raised above the ring in preparation for Clash of Champions. Graves discussed how the match at Clash of Champions would work with both belts hanging above the ring. Then the competitors got down to the trash talk with Zayn and Styles talking about how dumb it was they had to compete in this match and a lot of the usual talk that was heard in this feud. Hardy then chimed in with how he was sick of all these shenanigans between the three of them and how he just wants to wrestle and consistently defend the belt. Zayn then drove a ladder into his opponents and jumped on top of Hardy punching several times, then left. Adam Pierce then came up and added Styles to the Hardy and Zayn match to happen next on same SmackDown. Styles and Hardy then started brawling in the ring before a commercial break and after the break the official match would begin.
This match to tease the action we would see on Sunday seemed unnecessary but was quite a match with nonstop action and all three men getting their chances to control the match. Hardy and Styles have been on a roll in matches on SmackDown but to see the Zayn of old show up in the ring these last two weeks has been a true treat. The momentum kept changing and all three men would use their signature moves at the end until Styles would land a phenomenal forearm on Hardy after Zayn rolled out of the way and as he was about to go for the pin and defeat the man who took his cherished title away Zayn came in threw Styles to the outside and pinned Hardy in true heel-like fashion. Styles was not happy about this and took out both men with a ladder then climbs a different ladder to grab the two titles and display them to the virtual crowd in the Thunderdome.
Otis and tucker are then shown probably discussing how to handle the legal situation and ultimatum brought forth last week by the Miz. Kayla then after a commercial and recap, interviews Otis asking him his decision about whether he would forfeit his Money in the Bank contract or fight Miz and Morrison in court over the contract. Otis then goes on with some classic Otis comedy rambling but is interrupted by Miz and John Morrison and Miz tells him he needs to forfeit the contract or be in debt for years because of the lawsuit. Otis is fired up and had to be held back a few times in this exchange by Tucker. Tucker then exposes that only Miz is named is in the lawsuit, Morrison questions this but is then attacked by Otis. The situation ends quickly when they are quickly broken up by the peacemaker Pierce and a few other officials. Looks like the potential Miz and Morrison breakup has been hinted at yet again.
Then the glorious champion Bayley then enters the ring with a mic, chair in tow and her title around her waist. She sits down on her chair on the entrance ramp instead of the ring with back to entrance which was risky just asking to be attacked and starts another promo directed at Banks instead of her opponent Cross. Then she does turn her attention to Cross in the promo. She then stands looks at her chair and implies she will brutalize Cross with the chair after she wins their SmackDown Women’s title match on Sunday and then ended it with a quip to Sasha Banks. It will be quite surprising if Sasha does not do something to Bayley at Clash of Champions.
Lucha House Party then entered the ring and then Shinsuke Nakamura entered with Cesaro by his side ahead of a Nakamura versus Gran Metalik singles match. Decent match that ended with a Kinshasa by Nakamura leading to the winning pin. Dorado is suplexed by Cesaro after and Nakamura and Cesaro leave but when Kalisto tried to help Dorado up Dorado shoved him to the ground. Nakamura and Cesaro seem to have all the momentum ahead of their SmackDown tag title match against Lucha House Party on Sunday.
Jey Uso then was shown walking down the halls and then stops to bang on Roman Reigns door to get him to talk to him about the menacing look Reigns gave him after their Samoan Street fight tag team match last week. A tribute to Road Warrior Animal occurred too with tweets from legends being shown, the show then continued with a promo package for the Universal title match with pictures from Jey and Reigns youth and was accompanied by Sika and Rikishi talking about their sons and about how the two always had a friendly rivalry. After this stirring promo Jey enters the ring and Heyman and Roman are shown in a nice private room watching Jey on the tv. Jey then confronts Roman about the look Roman gave him last week. Jey waits for Reigns to come out and answer him but instead Heyman leaves Reigns room and says Reigns will answer Jey not on Jeys schedule but on Reigns schedule. Heyman then guaranteed the two having an in-ring discussion that very night. Jey continued and ended with his catch phrase “Welcome to the Uso penitentiary!”
King Corbin then starts a promo declaring his disgust over Riddles bro explanation vignette from last week. After that Riddle enters the ring ahead of a Payback rematch between two. Riddle promo appears while riddle is ending his intro in the ring. Corbin ends the match putting his knees up countering the floating bro then finishing up a out of breath Riddle with the End of Days and a pin ensuring this feud continues. Kayla then enters interviewing a frustrated King of Bros who says he will continue to work until Smackdown is his,then a concert of bros was pumped in to the Thunderdome starts as Riddle nods along. The show cuts to the mystery women from the past few weeks of promos having another promo afront of a mirror that has Untouchable written in red lipstick on it with music playing in the background and it seems pretty clear it is Carmella.
Alexa Bliss and Lacey Evans are up next, and it opens with Bliss entering and while she enters a prerecorded promo plays. Evans then enters and the match begins with a few quick rollups and at this point in her career you would think a veteran like Bliss would weaken her opponent before going for pins but obviously not. During the match Bliss was attacking Evans in the corner and Bray Wyatts laugh plays causing Bliss to change yet again. After a beautiful but avoided moonsault by Evans the Fiend music plays with red lights with it and this gives Bliss more power causing her to go crazy on Evans leading to Bliss being disqualified. The official end of the match would not stop Bliss because she would continue her attack and finish Evans outside the ring with a Sister Abigail. The Fiend then appears on screen and says Let Me In then disappears. Alexas’ music starts to play but is interrupted by Reigns and Heyman entering but as the pair walk past her, she stops and turns her head staring at Reigns and his Universal Championship until she finally decides to leave.
As Heyman start to talk Usos music interrupts and Jey enters the ring with a serious demeanor. Reigns starts to explain his actions but Instead he explains how Jey could not handle being Universal champion and how he is a great tag team wrestler and should stay in his lane and how he has always depended on Jimmy Uso. It seems like Jey has no response and Heyman and Reigns leave but as they are hallway gone Jey speaks. He says what if you are wrong Jey then fires back and says after Sunday he will no long be known as one of the Uso twins but as Jey Uso the man who beat Roman Reigns. Reigns apparently leaves but as Uso is about to leave Reigns returns with a superman punch to Jey and takes a knee to say some parting words about how Jey has no chance of winning their Universal Championship match at Clash of Champions.