WWE Friday Night SmackDown continues. Braun Strowman is warming up backstage but he says he’s still chewing over the offer from Otis – this is just how he thinks. We see a ‘Viewer discretion is advised’ warning talking about how the opinions expressed by the Forgotten Sons do not reflect those of the WWE. That’s kind cool. We then of course see a promo from the Forgotten Sons backstage. Jaxson Ryker talks about how honor, faith, heroes, it all turned out to be bullsh*t. They chose to sacrifice and fight for their country but when they came back, they weren’t hailed as heroes. They were shunned, told they were mentally unstable. Says they weren’t welcomed back with open arms so now they’re coming in with closed fists. Quick but pretty nice little promo. Elsewhere, Miz and Morrison are asked about Braun Strowman potentially teaming with Otis. They say he’s pretty dumb but even he isn’t stupid enough to want to team with Otis. Cue the ‘hey hey, ho ho’. Now out comes Daniel Bryan for his Intercontinental Title tournament match with Drew Gulak.
Daniel Bryan vs. Drew Gulak
Top wristlocks exchanged, match goes to the mat quickly, grappling for supremacy. Bryan rolls to the apron to escape. Back into the ring they lock up, Bryan with a side headlock. Hammerlock, trip, wrenching the wrist. Gulak rolls him up for a 2 count. Back into the hold, Bryan transitions into the Yes Lock! Gulak rolls his leg over to the bottom rope to break it up! They start grappling again, Gulak trips him up and there’s the Gulock! Bryan scrambles his own legs to the ropes and forces the break! They nod from a distance, both having early scares there, pretty neat. Bryan hooks the arms, big Butterfly Suplex with a bridge that’s rare, kickout but Bryan keeps the arms hooked, another Butterfly Suplex into a cross-armbreaker but Gulak rolls over for a cover, count of 1, Bryan reverses but it’s into the ropes which forces another break!
Bryan with a greco-roman knuckle lock, they trade standing switches, Gulak back suplexes Bryan over the top rope right to the floor and he lands face-first on the apron! Commercial break. As we come back, in the ring again, Gulak has a full nelson, turns it into a Belly To Back Suplex for a 2 count. Full nelson back in. Into a headlock takeover. Bryan fights to his feet, kneebreaker hit but Gulak still keeps the hold on! Another one but he still has it cinched in even as his leg is giving out! Finally the third one breaks the hold, into a Dragon Screw Legwhip! And a second one! Picks the leg, third one and now he has an ankle lock! Gulak pulls himself to the ropes for the break but Bryan turns this into a big German Suplex for the bridge, nearfall! And keeps the waistlock cinched even after the kickout! Gulak escapes though and hits a Michinoku Driver for a nearfall!
They wrestle their way up, start hitting the ropes, Bryan bounces him off the ropes for a big Release German Suplex just sending him across the ring! Buisaku Knee ducked, Gulak with a sunset flip for a nearfall, Gulak with a stiff powerbomb! Has to tend to the leg for a moment, Jacknife Cover for a nearfall, Bryan reverses for another one! Gulock cinched in but Bryan rolls through, tries for the Yes Lock but Gulak stacks him with an Oklahoma Roll but the shoulders aren’t down… another VICIOUS Dragonscrew Leg Whip, wicked! Heel hook is cinched in, grapevined! Gulak is trying to roll but Bryan is rolling him right back and Gulak has no choice but to tap!
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Helluva match, just beautiful stuff. Commentary was woefully unprepared for it for the most part, it needed much more attentive commentary than WWE’s style allows, pretty much the only gripe I have.
Daniel Bryan in a post-match promo says he wants the Intercontinental Championship to represent the greatest wrestler in the WWE and he thinks that’s him. Afterwards, Gulak and Bryan share a handshake.
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