Smackdown Live from the ThunderDome in Orlando, Florida opens up with official, Adam Pierce, talking with members from the security that they need to keep Retribution away from the show tonight since Mr. McMahon is there. Pierce then enters Mr. McMahon’s office and is given the task of getting The Fiend’s, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman’s signature for their match on Sunday at Payback. Pierce also receives a new piece of wardrobe to help get him into the Firefly Funhouse.
The first person to the ring is the newly crowded Intercontinental Champion, Jeff Hardy. He comes out to drop a promo and starts to offer an open challenge to the locker room but is interrupted by AJ Styles. Styles states that Hardy cheated using his knee brace and shouldn’t be champion. Hardy snaps back with stating that he was offering an open challenge to anyone in the locker room but Styles. Shinsuke Nakamura accepts the challenge and they put on a phenomenal match. They production cuts away from the match to show Cesaro upset that Nakamura ran out for the chance at the Intercontinental Championship without telling him. Styles was on commentary and still going on about the knee brace as an illegal weapon. The ending of the match had a great sequence of the Kinshasa into the Twist of Fate and then the exclamation point put on by Hardy with the Swanton Bomb to retain the title. Hardy celebrates up the ramp when you hear the Underdog from the Underground, Sami Zayn’s, music play. He comes dancing out and is carrying the original Intercontinental Championship that he never lost. He then kicks Hardy in the face.
Backstage Zayn is pleading his case for why he is the real Intercontinental Champion. Before Zayn left WWE TV, he was paired up with Nakamura and Cesaro now that Zayn is back he wants to get the band back together! Cesaro and Nakamura are not too interested in joining back up him since he left for 4 months without a phone call and now they are Smackdown Tag Team Champions without him around. Poor Zayn is the odd man out and I honestly can’t wait to see this story unfold for who is the real Intercontinental Champion and whether the band will get back together. Cesaro later in the night has a match against Kalisto of Lucha House Party, Cesaro pulls out the win after some high flying and crazy maneuvers. The loss causes more dissension for the Lucha House Party and I don’t want them to break apart because the tag teams on the roster are so depleted already that breaking up this team wouldn’t help any of the guys individually.
Matt Riddle heads to the ring to call out Baron Corbin. Corbin shows up but sends Shorty G to fight his battle for him from behind. Riddle makes light work of Shorty G but is then attacked by Corbin from behind. Backstage later in the night Corbin accepts to face Riddle at Payback. This will be a great match; both men have great fighting backgrounds and could be the match of the night!
Bayley and Sasha Banks chirp Big E and Otis about how they can’t be real champions, don’t know where that came from. The ladies head out to the ring and Bayley says that she shouldn’t have let Banks challenge Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship. Ouch, I hope Banks has burn cream for that because wow Bayley just roasted her hard. Bayley was the reason Banks had to face Asuka so how could you have prevented it Bayley oh that’s right you could have won the match. The cracks are popping out more and more for these ladies and hopefully it doesn’t implode at Payback against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. Also this whole the enemy of my enemy is my friend business between Jax and Baszler is gag worthy. These ladies should not be pairing together Baszler should be feuding against Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship right now but instead we have her in a ridiculous tag match on Sunday.
Backstage we see Nikki Cross talking to Tamina about Alexa Bliss. Tamina seems concerned and wants to know how Bliss is doing. Cross is holding the very first gift that Bliss gave her and says that she still seems different. Bliss skips into the conversation and gives both ladies a hug but she looks different! Her hair is up in pigtails again, she has darker makeup and in one of her pigtails there is a dreadlock. Cross right away says that she doesn’t like the dread and that it reminds her of The Fiend, Bliss immediately zones out at the mention of him and her demeanor changes. She then grabs the coffee mug from Cross and smashes it on the ground. Holy crow this change of Bliss is phenomenal, she is so good at everything she does. I don’t know when the full heel turn will happen but I am in for the roller coaster ride.
Here comes a phenomenal episode of the Firefly Funhouse with Bray Wyatt holding up the Universal Championship again. All of a sudden there is a knock at the door, it is Pierce dressed as your friendly neighbourhood mailman. Pierce asks if Wyatt can sign the contract for The Fiend. Wyatt agrees so that’s 1 signature down! On the continuation of getting signatures, Pierce knocks on Reigns dressing room to no answer a couple times. Later on Drew Gulak is looking for Strowman, why I have no clue? Gulak grabs a chair and smacks Strowman in the back and throws the chair to Pierce. Strowman turns around and immediately wants to remove Pierce’s head but Pierce redirects and gives Strowman a squash match against Gulak in order for him to sign the contract. Pierce tries to return to Mr. McMahon with only 2 of the 3 signatures and that went over like a wet blanket. Let’s be serious here he didn’t finish his task and thought that the boss would be all right with that. Wow, just wow Pierce you should know better, this is Vincent Kennedy McMahon here you can’t come to him with a half completed assignment and have him say well I guess you did your best. Pierce is sent back out and told that he might need to use his brute strength to get through to Reigns. Pierce goes back to Reigns’ locker room and knocks to no answer again, this time he breaks down the door. Reigns was in there the whole time sitting on the couch. He finally signs the contract but not before dropping the juiciest line ever! He quotes Paul Heyman while looking at someone beside him, from there the camera pans over and we see Heyman quote back Reigns! Believe that Reigns is a Heyman guy!
Wow is all I have to say about this partnership because the sky is the limit for this and I can picture so many different stories that could branch out of this. Pierce pulls through to get all 3 signatures and the main event of Payback on Sunday is complete! For more wrestling takes please follow me @ms_wiper and for great interviews and wrestling talk please follow @puttinguover.