Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon, chief brand officer and chief marketing officer of WWE, open the show running through the match card of the season premiere of Friday Night SmackDown! They addressed the entire ThunderDome crowd as well as the SmackDown roster who all stood outside the ring. While Triple H and McMahon were announcing what was slated for when they got to the Street Profits defending their SmackDown Tag Titles, they were attacked by their challengers Roode and Ziggler. The entire roster then started fighting until Lars Sullivan came out and started massacring everyone. He then entered the ring with Apollo Crews, Shorty G and Sami Zayn. Zayn ran away but Crews and Shorty G were not so lucky! Sullivan crushed both and then roared toward the camera right before Jeff Hardy, attacked him from behind.
Official matches then begun after the chaos when Sullivan faced Hardy in an official match to kick of the show in which would most likely be Hardy’s last SmackDown match for a while since he was drafted to RAW. Hardy gave a great effort but when he performed the Twist of Fate to set up a Swanton Bomb and Sullivan instantly got to his feet after the Twist of Fate it was all but over because then Sullivan grabbed Hardy by the neck off the top turnbuckle and performed the Freak Accident and pinned Hardy securing a win in his first match back from his long absence.
The New Day then addressed the fans and it was sad hearing them run through their experiences in the New Day since last nights SmackDown was the last time all of New Day would be on the same brand for quite a while since Big E was drafted to SmackDown and Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods to RAW. Sheamus, Cesaro, and Shinsuke Nakamura then were interviewed about being the New Day trios’ final opponents and they promised to embarrass and beat the New Day then they all entered the ring to face the New Day. In their farewell match New Day got the win and then embraced in a hug celebrating the last time all three of them would be in the same ring together for a while. I promised myself I would not cry, and I failed.
Sami Zayn then interrupted an interview by Kayla Braxton of Otis backstage and Zayn kept insulting and questioning the Money in the Bank contract holder. Sami Zayn is always smarter than everyone else around him but a title holder provoking a man who can cash in an opportunity to take any title on his brand is not a smart thing to do. I am a big Otis fan but I am also a big Zayn fan so I do not know how I would react to Otis cashing in his contract on Zayn to challenge for the Intercontinental Championship.
Daniel Bryan has been absent from WWE programming for a couple months now and he left before the introduction of the Thunderdome so last night was his first introduction to it. He came out and addressed the fans on the screens including his wife Brie Bella and his daughter Birdie. Bryan then talked about his excitement to face all the new SmackDown talent until he was interrupted by a new SmackDown talent he did not mention, the former Monday Night Messiah Seth Rollins. Rollins did not go out to challenge Bryan though but to invite Bryan to join him to save SmackDown. Bryan did not give Rollins the response he wanted and even called Rollins ideas dumb. This response infuriated Rollins causing him to strike Bryan and take him down but that did not last long because Bryan got to his feet and fought back causing Rollins to retreat from the ring. Rollins could not ask a butt kicking though when Rey and Dominik Mysterio entered forcing Rollins back into the ring. Rollins tried to have Bryan help him face the Mysterios but Bryan refused and left. Then Murphy entered and seemed to be there to help Rollins at first then Murphy attacked Rollins causing Rollins to leave. Murphy tried to shake the hands of the Mysterios but they refused and left the ring. I for one am excited to finally see Murphy heavily featured as a singles star and I think that is where we are headed.
The Street Profits then defended their tag titles against Roode and Ziggler and it did not last long. The match ended in disqualification with Roode and Ziggler not listening to the five count for the non-legal man to go to the apron. They continued to attack after the bell, but the Profits were able to turn the tables and stand tall at the end of the encounter. It seems like this feud is far from over and I think when it ends it will end with Ziggler and Roode as the SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
Boss Time then began as the one and only Sasha Banks entered the ring ahead of a contract signing with Bayley to sign their match contract for their clash at Hell in a Cell. The two exchanged harsh words in a great promo battle further proving that these two together is great but together as rivals is absolute magic! Banks reminded Bayley her long reign was thanks to her and how she was already a bigger name than Bayley and at Hell in a Cell she would solidify it. Bayley took a chair to seemingly attack banks but instead left the ring without signing the contract. Banks continued the trash talk and the contract remained unsigned by Bayley.
The main event then began with Braun Strowman facing off against the Universal Champion Roman Reigns while Jey Uso watched from backstage. Throughout the night legends and current wrestlers were shown on the Thunderdome screens. During the main event Mark Henry, Goldberg and Keith Lee were all seen watching this battle of the titans in a title match to closeout the SmackDown season premiere. Reigns started off controlling the match but Strowman stayed in it and even took control for a bit but momentum would return to Reigns when Strowman pinned Reigns and while kicking out he punched Strowman in the crotch, the same way he did on Jey Uso at Clash of Champions. Reigns won the match by submitting Strowman but after he won his Hell in a Cell challenger, Jey Uso entered pacing back and forth near the ramp. The two stared menacingly at each until Strowman got up and Reigns delivered a spear. Reigns then summoned Jey to the ring as we heard the gasping of air by Strowman in the background. Reigns then got a chair from Heyman and Reigns offered Jey a chance to quit their match and then he delivered a few chair shots to Strowman. Officials then came out to stop Reigns and for some reason all left the ring to allow him to hit Strowman a few more times. Jey then entered the ring while officials surrounded it still admonishing Reigns. Reigns then turned his back to Jey offering a free chair shot but Jey refused but only until Reigns turned to face him. When Reigns finally faced him Jey punched him a few times and brought Reigns down then hit Reigns with the chair a few times. The officials restrained Jey but that only made it easier for Reigns to get up and deliver a superman punch on Jey. Reigns then exited with his title over his shoulder to close out the show.
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