SmackDown ended with a genuine horror movie cliffhanger this week as The Fiend sent a clear message to Braun Strowman
After tonight, they certainly achieved that!
At the top of the show, Bray Wyatt was in the Firefly Funhouse and explained he was still on the lookout for the Universal Champion, who left some of his soul in the Wyatt Compound at Extreme Rules.
He ominously said until he found Strowman, no one was safe – and oh how true that turned out to be.
Friday’s main event saw SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley defend her goal against Nikki Cross in a rematch from last month.
Saying the Role Model delivered isn’t a big declaration, but it’s worth noting the drama these two created by making it seem like the Scottish superstar might be able to overcome one of the hottest acts in the business right now.
These two put on a good clash which could’ve run longer with a bit more drama to the ending, but there can be no real complaints here.
However, the real story tonight came after the bell, with Nikki pushing Alexa way, clearly upset and saying she doesn’t want her best friend’s help right now.
With Little Miss Bliss left alone, the lights dropped and came back on with the familiar red glow, as she looked up to see The Fiend.
Looking like the perfect creepy horror movie stalker, Wyatt’s twisted alter ego dropped to his knees with his hand outstretched, gesturing up before slowly locking in the Mandible Claw and screaming to end the show.
After Alexa’s surprise appearance in the Swamp Fight brought up her history with Braun, this was a brilliant way to pay that off and add a new dynamic to a storyline already delivering fantastic continuity.
Best of the rest
The opening match of the night saw AJ Styles put the Intercontinental Title on the line against Gran Melalik after the masked superstar earned his shot last week.
This was always going to be a lot of fun, although the champion never really looked like losing the gold – and he even took out Lince Dorada after the bell for good measure.
Later in the night, Lucha House Party teased a tag team title feud with Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura, so their focuses could be staying in that division.
King Corbin taunted his old foe Shorty G backstage and promising more opportunities if he took the bounty on Matt Riddle’s head.
Jeff Hardy promised he was on the right path now after defeating Sheamus and putting his personal issues behind him, only to get mocked by Corbin, sparking a brawl as Drew Gulak led the charge.
He and the King put on a fine bout, although this could and should have been a lot more.
Matt Riddle attacked Corbin after his victory, but Shorty G turned on him as he hit a German Suplex and left with his King.
Elsewhere, Big E got his singles run off to a fine start as he clashed with familiar rival The Miz in one-on-one action with both his New Day teammates on the injury table.
It was great to see him get this spotlight, and winning with the stretch muffler was a minor touch to usher this new phase of his career.
We also saw Lacey Evans and Naomi come together, although their brief match seemed to be missing a little something.
That said, it was nice to see Naomi get the win as she hopefully builds momentum to a major push – she really does deserve better.
Backstage, Mandy Rose was getting ready for her hot date with Otis, who went to find his Heavy Machinery pal Tucker.
Suddenly, Sonya Deville attacked her former BFF, smearing her makeup and using a pair of scissors to cut God’s Greatest Creation’s hair as officials stopped her using the razor.
- IC Title: AJ Styles (c) made Gran Metalik tap out
- King Cobrin beat Drew Gulak
- Big E defeated The Miz by submission
- Naomi pinned Lacey Evans
- SmackDown Women’s Title: Bayley (c) beat Nikki Cross
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