25th May2020

Friday Night Smackdown – May 22nd 2020: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s Friday Night SmackDown review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and both Shad Gaspard and Larry Csonka have GoFundMe campaigns available here and here. I look like Sinead O’Connor if she got hit by a train and this is CNN.

Match #1: Braun Strowman def. The Miz

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

John Morrison threw The Miz into the hands of The Monster Among Men after the night’s edition of “The Dirt Sheet” went awry with Braun Strowman’s cameo. MC Miz was in a groove early, but the Universal Champion quickly turned the tables and a Running Powerslam pulled the plug on the match. The outspoken tandem was only silenced for moments as Morrison challenged the Universal Champion to a Handicap Title Match at WWE Backlash that Strowman quickly accepted.

My Opinion: 2.6 out of 5 – Braun and The Miz did a squash match that…SQUASH?! I HATE THE F—— SQUASH MATCHES!!!!!!!! That being said, this was good…for a squash…A G—DAMN F——- SQUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASH!!!!!!!!!!!

Match #2: AJ Styles def. Shinsuke Nakamura – Intercontinental Championship Tournament

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

AJ Styles return to SmackDown did not disappoint, as two of WWE’s most skilled competitors were on display with The Phenomenal One and The King of Strong Style battling it out in the Intercontinental Championship Tournament. In a back and forth affair, Shinsuke Nakamura almost a trip to the semifinals secured, but Styles would not be denied in his return to the blue brand.

My Opinion: 4 out of 5 – Last week, we had the great Daniel Bryan/Drew Gulak fight and this week we got AJ and Shinsuke, who had just as strong a bout. As well-executed as the moves were, the thing that really got this fight over the top was the small details that made the New Japan matches between these two so great. I wanted this thing to go even longer than it did, but the bout put out exactly what it should have, which is a work-rate match that can be geeked-out over. This Intercontinental Tournament is actually delivering quality matches. Why can’t the Cruiserweight Tournament do that?!

Match #3: Bayley def. Charlotte Flair – Champion vs. Champion Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The Queen was out to steal the show on SmackDown, but Bayley was determined to prove she’s the one who runs the blue brand. The SmackDown Women’s Champion asked her good friend Sasha Banks to remain on the sidelines, as Bayley wanted to prove she could do it alone against Charlotte Flair. The NXT Women’s Champion looked ready to make her pay for that decision, but the role model used the ropes to steal a win from her longtime rival.

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – This got going real well at the end, but every-thing before hand was pretty damn good as well. Me use same four words every time to talk good. Bayley took charge of this bout and was as convincing a champion as she’s been in some time. The heel turn still isn’t working, but she has gotten better at performing it. Charlotte has the wrestling talent, but she just doesn’t have much of a personality in the ring. I guess this is one of those matches you likely won’t remember in the long run, but it was worth watching any-way.

Match #4: Dolph Ziggler & Sonya Deville def. Otis & Mandy Rose

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Sonya Deville had promised to ruin her former best friend’s life, but tonight, she ruined Mandy Rose’s first Mixed Tag Team Match with Otis. The happy couple shined in moments during the match, but an opportunistic tag from Deville and Ziggler’s efforts to neutralize Otis set up the spiteful Superstar to defeat her former Fire & Desire teammate.

My Opinion: 3 out of 5 – This was a fun little mash-up of styles and the angle between these four added something for a change, rather than taking something away. Otis and Dolph even managed to shoot for a few seconds, which I really dug to the bottom of the well. Sonya has really turned a corner. Holy Moly. Mandy is still not a great wrestler, but she has found her niche for now and stays out of the way of the better people so they can do the heavy lifting. Everybody did something here to hold this together and keep the momentum that this angle has going. I’m surprised that Otis wouldn’t win here to keep him seen as a contender to a World Title (he is Mr. Money In The Bank), but Dolph winning works for me.

Match #5: (Main Event) Jeff Hardy def. Sheamus – Intercontinental Championship Tournament

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Sheamus had made it his mission to crush Jeff Hardy’s comeback dreams, but The Charismatic Enigma proved once again that his determination is able to overcome even the stiffest challenges. The Celtic Warrior bludgeoned Hardy throughout the early stages of the match, as the iconic Superstar’s absence from the ring seemed to hamper his momentum. Sheamus appeared headed for a definitive Brogue Kick, but Hardy dodged the attack and rolled up The Celtic Warrior for a crafty win.

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – I liked this. Jeff and Sheamus match-up well together and fill in each other’s cracks, just like when Jeff would wrestle Ken Anderson/Mr. Kennedy. Jeff performed as well as you’d hope for and Sheamus played the role of potential spoiler quite well. As far as action goes, Jeff was the highlight reel come to life, which has always been his hook. All in all, this was worth watching and, while not the best match on the show, was not in any way lame or lousy.

News Of The Night:

  1. AJ Styles has been traded to SmackDown in return for one or more wrestlers not specified yet.
  2. Braun Strowman will defend the Universal Title against The Miz and John Morrison in a Handicap Match at Backlash.

Final Verdict: 3.8/5

Overall, this show was a lot of fun, because it actually stuck to wrestling.


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