Here we are then. This episode has been in the making for a long, long time. After much hype and anticipation, SmackDown makes it’s move to Fox and it’s return to Friday nights in about an hour from the initial time of writing. I’m Jordan Huie of the Overtimer.com back to recap this historic night. Will this finally be the landmark show that turns SmackDown into a flagship brand all it’s own? Stay tuned for history, as I give the blow-by-blow right here on this very page!
Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon come out to open the show just to welcome us to Friday Night SmackDown. Intro plays and it would appear that Everyone is on this show. All the pyro in the world ushers back to the arena.
Becky Lynch makes her way to the ring. She talks about being bred on SmackDown, but is interrupted by King Corbin. He comes in and says he’s the only one who should be kicking off SmackDown, and asks if Becky really thinks she’s The Man. Becky threatens that if he comes in there, he’ll find out. Baron indeed enters the ring, just as the Rock’s music hits!
He makes his way onto the stage, tears off his shirt and for a moment actually throws it onto the camera lens, perfectly blacking it out. Rock into the ring for his pose on the corner. He gets on the mic and says many moons ago he uttered a phrase to some jabroni that changed the world. He told that jabroni that he would layeth the smack down. Ever since, it’s become a word, a show, an institution in front of the millions of the Rock’s fans around the world. He refers to Baron as a broke-ass Burger King on crack. We’re all live here on Fox and he gets his millions in again before saying that FINALLY, The Rock has come back… does he say home this time? Does he do it? Does he do it?! …He lowers the mic, letting it sit for days. Yep, he says ‘home’.
Baron cuts him off, to much heat. He says this isn’t his home anymore, he’s not the Great One. Baron says you’re looking at the most Electrifying King In Sports Entertainment! So know your role and shut your mouth. Rocky tells Baron just because he won KOTR, it doesn’t make him king and it doesn’t excuse him dressing like a 35-year-old virgin out of Comic Con. He says Becky might be The Man but she doesn’t walk around holding a pair of testicles. Becky says “But if I did, they’d be a lot bigger than yours.” Baron hollers that his testicles are perfectly adequate, and says that this city only has one king and it’s sure as hell not LeBron James. A chant for ‘Rocky’ breaks out.
The Rock asks, “”You think that you’re superior to the Rock and the Man, to the fans, and to my boy LeBron James?” Baron stupidly begins to answer before Becky shouts, “It doesn’t matter what you think!” Rock explains that Baron’s a badass, Becky calls him a Super Tough Dude. This parlays into Rock bringing on a chant of “STD”. Becky says she thinks it’ll stick with him for life. Rock says every arena they go to, they’ll be chanting STD, you’re welcome. Rocky says that’s what happens when you insult the Man and the people and that’s what happens when you insult the jabroni-beating, eyebrow raisin’, trailblazing, ect
He then threatens to have Becky kick his ass. Baron takes off his cape, but Becky and Rocky punch him back and forth. He gets taken down by Rocky, a legdrop from Becky and a People’s Elbow seals the deal. Combo of kicks from Becky on the way up leads him into the Rock Bottom! Baron rolls away as a huge chant of “Rocky” breaks out again. We get the IF YA SMELLLLLLLL to close us out.
Becky Lynch & Charlotte vs. Bayley & Sasha Banks
Bayley and Sasha quickly take advantage after a hair whip from Bayley, tag to Sasha who comes in with a meteora. Charlotte fights back with a multitude of chops. Sasha avoids her in the corner, Charlotte gets a big boot to take her off the apron though. Charlotte goes up top, Bayley tries to interfere, Becky runs across to knock her off the apron but then Becky’s useless because Bayley just pops back up to knock Charlotte to the floor anyway. Commercial break.
We come back to Charlotte fighting back, getting the knee up on an Idiot Charge. Hot tag to Becky who comes in with a running clothesline, spin kick in the corner to Bayley, running forearm takes her down. Bexploder! Idiot charge from Bayley meets a big boot, Becky to the middle rope for a legdrop! Bayley with a sudden roll-up, to get a tag, Charlotte in the ring with a Natural Selection, Sasha breaks up the pin. A brawl between them all breaks out from there. Charlotte with a Northern Lights, Becky sent to the apron but a WWE Headkick sets Sasha up for a Missile Dropkick. Sasha and Bayley both bail, Charlotte goes up top again, moonsault to the floor! Charlotte takes Bayley into the ring, locks in the Figure Four, swiftly turns it into the Figure Eight and there’s the quick tap out.
Winners: Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch
Pretty good match, better than the one they had on Raw with significantly less build I’d say. Afterwards, Sasha has a busted lip.
Wow, Erin Andrews is backstage, crazy. She introduces the New Day. Erin mentions that Kofi is an underdog in his match with Lesnar. Kofi says he’s always the underdog, it’s what he does! Brock Lesnar is no different, he’s the next mountain he has to come. He climbs mountains and overcomes the odds. Erin asks if his posse is coming along. Xavier says that Kofi has politely asked them to hang back because he wants to prove to the world that he deserves to be your WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Next up, champion vs. champion as Seth Rollins will be taking on Shinsuke Nakamura!
Seth makes his way out… but the Firefly Funhouse music hits. Bray stares contemptuously at the screen for a while before happily welcoming Seth to the Funhouse. Since we’re all being introduced to SmackDown’s new home, he thinks it’s fair to introduce everyone to his friends. All the puppets get a little intro, including Ramblin’ Rabbit who shows up wearing a Rollins cosplay. Rabbit says he’s a huge fan of Rollins, yells ‘BURN IT DOWN’ but then warns him not to get into the Cell with the Fiend. He tells him to just walk away! Bray intervenes and says rather than warn him about what’ll happen, we’ll just show him! He has a Mr. Kennedy like hanging mic and has Rabbit stuck in a red cage with Mercy the Buzzard. Mercy eats him as stuffing goes absolutely everywhere.
Bray pulls Rabbit out of the cage to find his head’s been pulled off. “Yowie-wowie! …Are you okay?” he asks, before bursting into laughter at his own question. Bray gets serious as he says history has a way of repeating itself. We’ve all hurt, for so long… now it’s your turn. See you in Hell!
During the commercial after Shinsuke comes out we see the back of Hulk Hogan as he goes to meet Flair in the crowd.
Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Non-title)
Bell rings, Shinsuke with the immediate cross-armbreaker, but Rollins hoists him up and hits the Buckle Bomb! Nakamura bails, suicide dive hits once, twice! Rollins throws Shinsuke into the ring as Sami slows him down. Shinsuke tries to get the advantage back, takes Seth to the apron, WWE Headkick leads to the Springboard Knee! Avada Kedavra barely touches Shinsuke but he sells it anyway. Rollins starts stomping his feet as the crowd chants ‘BURN IT DOWN’… and the lights go dark.
Lights flare as Rollins went all the way to the stage in the darkness. Shinsuke stands dramatically in the ring… Rollins gets attacked from behind by the Fiend! Mandible Claw… Fiend wears him down with it before throwing him off the stage! Lights go down, the laughter rises and the Fiend disappears.
Winner: Seth Rollins (by DQ)
Kinda neat to do the Funhouse segment immediately before just to make you think the Fiend wouldn’t show up. Even put Hogan and Flair in the crowd to make you think this match was related to that situation. But nope! Just a Fiend attack.
Seth continues to make it seem like he’s actively afraid of the Fiend by the way, in addition to being repeatedly taken down by him.
Ladder Match: Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens
Kevin runs out to clip him off during the intro. Takes him into the ring to brawl, bell rings, Shane is clotheslined over the top rope. Kevin gets a ladder and sets it up on the apron and barricade! Wow, just jumping right to setting that one up, huh? Owens doesn’t try to make use of this in the slightest, instead slamming Shane’s head into the apron before getting another ladder and setting it up in the ring. Shane comes in though, pulls Owens down. Tries to climb himself but is quickly grabbed too, eats a headbutt. Owens hoists up the ladder and tosses it Shane’s way, Shane ducks it and the ladder goes flying to the floor! Clothesline takes down Shane. Owens grabs the ladder, baseball slide takes the ladder right into Kevin’s face! Shane takes up the ladder, gently pokes Owen’s back with the side of it to take him down.
Shane strips down the announce table. Lays Owens out on it. Setting this up quick too. Shane brutally, ruthlessly smacks him with the thin cardboard table covering three times. What a monster. With Owens now knocked out by this plywood, Shane goes up top. Soars for the elbow drop, just barely touches Owens as the table entirely explodes. Commercial break! We come back to see Shane on the setup ladder, with Owens up top! Holy- Kevin hits the Frog Splash, the two go right through the ladder! What a thing to come back from commercial to.
Owens takes the ladder into the ring. Shane looks entirely dead. Owens sets it up… oh, no, in comes Shane with a chair! Takes the Chair to Owens’ legs and he falls to the mat, as the ladder collapses as well. Slams the chair to Owens’ back. Shane gets Owens into the corner, prods him with the chair in the gut before tossing it out of the ring. Shane sets the ladder up against Owens, who is sat in the corner. Shane goes up top… Coast to Coast sends the ladder hard into Owens! Kevin spills out of the ring. Shane sets the ladder up. But Owens cuts him off – powerbomb sends him off the ladder, into a rope-hung ladder that I didn’t even see get setup! Shane bounces off the steel on the impact as Owens ascends… and grabs the briefcase!
Winner: Kevin Owens
Welp! Shane’s done. End of a very long run, maybe Shane’s longest. Afterwards, Kevin gets on the mic. Pulls Shane up to tell him, “You’re fired!” and nail him with a stunner.
Interviewer Girl #2 stands with Paul Heyman. Heyman says he doesn’t care what Erin Andrews or Kofi Kingston has to say, and demands she show everyone the relevant footage. Highlights of Brock destroying the Mysterios. Heyman says he wants to make this so simple even someone like Dominik can understand. Rey got in Brock’s way, so Brock destroyed Rey. Tonight, Kofi Kingston is in Lesnar’s way. Usual spiel, heavyweight champion of the world, Brock Lesnar.
And here’s a sudden eight man tag.
Braun Strowman, The Miz & Heavy Machinery vs. AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler & Bobby Roode
Ziggler and Miz start us off. Zig Zag. I guess this is a transitional move now. Miz blocks a superkick, gets his snap DDT in. Tag to Braun who runs through Ziggler a couple times. Whip to the corner, crushing clothesline. Clubbering strike to the chest. Roode comes in to break up the ensuing pinfall, Miz gets him with a Skull Crushing Finale, in comes Orton with the RKO, Otis runs in to clothesline him, AJ hits the Phenomenal Forearm, Tucker runs in to hit a Cactus Clothesline taking them both to the floor. Cue Braun’s freight train around the ring spot to run through Orton, Roode and AJ. Braun then challenges Tyson Fury to a boxing match, happens to be at ringside. Ziggler with a tope to try and take advantage but Braun whips him into the post, throws him back into the barrier where Fury takes a bump. Ziggler gets a superkick in as Braun makes his way into the ring, sets up for another but eats the Powerslam.
Afterwards, Fury jumps the barrier, and as if security was somehow already aware this would occur they swarm in on him in great numbers in a split second. Fury is taken away as the crowd of course chants “Let them fight”.
I’m gonna assume this is a Crown Jewel match.
Anyway a Marshmallow won the 24/7 title earlier today. Carmella got it back afterwards. Here’s a lumberjack match.
Lumberjack match: Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan
Rowan takes the early advantage, clobbering him around the ring. Takes him to the floor where the heels stomp him and takes him to the ring. Roman ducks a clothesline and sends Rowan over the top, babyfaces try to get him back into the ring but Rowan just tosses them aside. Roman looks for a Drive By but gets caught and Rowan throws him right into the barrier. Every single lumberjack convenes to stomp him down, eventually gets him into the ring as we go to commercial.
We come back to see DOUBLE NOOGIE ACTION! Roman fights to his feet, uppercut. Idiot charge meets an elbow, Roman gets him with a series of corner clotheslines, eight of them… Rowan stumbles as he hesitates, for a running flying clothesline to make nine? Roman with zero ring sense but whatever, nearfall. Superman Punch, Rowan catches him. Big boot to the face, but Reigns no sells, bouncing off the ropes for a Superman Punch! They fall to the mat. Out comes Luke Harper, who runs through some lumberjacks. Bryan comes in to fend him off, but gets tossed. Roman hits the ropes, TAKER DIVE onto every single Lumberjack, taking them all down. Rowan takes up Ali and powerbombs him right into Reigns. Back in the ring, running crossbody gets a nearfall.
Roman fights back with another Superman Punch, in comes Harper to clip him with a Discus Clothesline, but Bryan runs in to get him with a Buisaku Knee! Roman gets the spear on Rowan and that’s it.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Afterwards, Bryan asks for a handshake to a YES chant. Roman accepts.
WWE title match up next.
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Brock Lesnar
Kofi runs, hops onto Lesnar’s shoulders, F-5.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Thanks for your service, Kofi, hope you enjoyed your time as a WWE champ.
Afterwards, Rey Mysterio’s music hits... and he comes out with Cain Velasquez. Lesnar looks stunned as Cain comes to the ring, notably with a red knee brace on. The two stare down in the ring, Velasquez with a double leg takedown! Pummels him, Lesnar bails out of the ring. Heyman gives Brock the WWE title and demands that he show him who he is. Brock just keeps backing up though. But then, he decides to stride down the ramp… only to stop short of entering the ring. Brock backs right back up, giving Cain a menacing finger point before making his leave once more. Or is he…? Wow, a culero chant starts. And indeed it seems Brock is bailing, to massive boos.
And the show is apparently just ending three minutes early now. ‘Kay.
Well. That was easily the third best wrestling show on prime time TV this week. So mission accomplished!
(Refresh the page for up to the minute updates!)