WWE SmackDown results, recap, notes: The Fiend unleashes a surprising attack, Champions retain titles


While this week’s edition of SmackDown featured a pair of title matches, it was a singular moment to close the show that will dominate the conversation. After Alexa Bliss was left alone in the ring by a frustrated Nikki Cross, Bliss became the target of The Fiend as he delivered a brutal blow to Universal Champion Braun Strowman by attacking his former Mixed Match Challenge partner.Bray Wyatt kicked off the show with an episode of “Firefly Fun House,” sending Strowman a warning that The Fiend was now awake and no one was safe until he got what he wanted. Bliss, who had been in ringside for Cross’s loss to Bayley in their SmackDown Women’s Championship match, would find out the truth of this statement the hard way. After Cross pushed Bliss to the ground and stormed out of the ring, the lights went out, only to return and reveal that Bliss was now trapped in the ring with The Fiend. Wyatt’s alter-ego slowly brought his hand to the face of a terrified Bliss before locking the mandibular claw as the show stopped streaming.

Read on for this week’s full recap of SmackDown, including ratings for much of the night’s action.

WWE SmackDown Recap, Notes

Intercontinental Championship – AJ Styles (c) def. Gran Metalik via submission to keep the title: Styles opened up with his standard mid-streak, bringing him to Metalik with nasty strikes and cutting off return attempts with cheap punches. Metalik hit a big rana on the outside to punctuate his initial comeback in the direction of an ad. After the break, Styles stepped up his attack on Metalik’s leg, attempting to bring down the High Thief and strip him of his most effective weapons. Metalik exploded with a big lucha-style attack, but he eventually collapsed when his leg gave him away, allowing Styles to explode with a flurry of strikes before preparing for the phenomenal forearm that Metalik was able to avoid before eating a medium. -Air chop block by Styles who set up the calf crusher for the win. After the match, Styles blinded Lince Dorado and hit a clash of styles. When given the time, Styles is still one of the best wrestlers on the planet, and it was certainly good to see Metalik give himself the time to put on a good star match. Quality: B +

King Corbin won. Drew Gulak via pinfall: The match began after Gulak attacked Corbin from behind after Corbin interrupted a promo cut by Jeff Hardy. Corbin went hard on Gulak as the match began after a commercial break after the brawl. Gulak tried to use Corbin’s little mistakes to use his best fight on the mat, catching Corbin in a deep cross face and landing some big hits and a series of dropkicks to get started. A clothesline flying off the top rope scored a count of two for Gulak, but he encountered a Deep Six. Before Corbin could capitalize, Matt Riddle’s music hit and Gulak almost managed to use the distraction for a stealth spit, but Corbin sent off and punched End of Days for the win. Riddle immediately hit the ring and attacked Corbin, who had told Shorty G that he had put a “King’s Ransom” bounty on Riddle’s head earlier that night. Shorty G then ran away and took out Riddle, leaving with Corbin after introducing The Original Bro. It was a twist segment that started with a Hardy promo and ended with Shorty G’s heel spinning and lining up with Corbin, but you can’t say it wasn’t interesting. Category B-

Big E def. The Miz via submission: Big E started out strong and played into some of his New Day tendencies to maybe have a little too much fun, but a disrespectful shot from Miz brought out the bigger man’s more violent side, which threw Miz in. the ring barricade several times. John Morrison slipped in and exposed Big E on the outside while the ref was distracted, allowing Miz to take over. Big E also had a brief comeback when he missed a splash on the ring apron before a commercial break. Big E blew back with a streak of three German suplexes and a big splash. Miz countered a Big Ending in a Skull-Crushing Finale attempt, which was then countered in a Big Ending attempt before Miz raked his eyes to escape. Later, Morrison again took advantage of a distracted referee to kick Big E in the head, allowing Miz to hit a Skull-Crushing Finale, but Big E sent off at two and managed to use the ropes to escape a tracking figure. four attempts. A third interference attempt from Morrison was intercepted by the referee and he was kicked out of the ring, leading to Big E locking Miz into the extendable muffler for submission. It was a great introduction to Big E’s singles race as he not only had to do it himself, but also do it while on the wrong side of the numbers game. Quality: B +

Sheamus did a backstage promo: Sheamus said he effectively fought Jeff Hardy in a handicap match facing him in a bar last week, knowing Hardy was in his natural surroundings. He then ended the feud, claiming that Hardy was no longer his problem and that nature would eventually take its course. He could now focus on the entire SmackDown locker room.

Naomi déf. Lacey Evans via pinfall: Evans mocked the hashtag #NaomiDeservesBetter ahead of the game, with the Twitter movement now part of Naomi’s story. An aggressive Evans picked up the fight against Naomi from the jump, eventually taking her outside and slamming her into the ring post before trapping Naomi’s hair in the ring steps in an effort to secure a scoring victory . Naomi eventually returned with an awkward-looking sliding destroyer on the outside, but things were reversed again before Evans tried to tie her hair to the top rope. Naomi escaped, dodged a woman’s right and scored a roll-up for the win. Naomi would have done well to have been offended a little more if they tried to tackle the hashtag, but it was good to see her take a win over Evans to get one back. Grade: C

Sonya Deville brutally attacked Mandy Rose: Rose and Otis were preparing for a date when Rose told Otis she was going to get ready. Deville was seen stalking them in the background. While Rose was putting on makeup, Deville attacked her, smearing makeup on her face and cutting off chunks of her hair with scissors before grabbing a clipper and trying to shave her head. Before she could get there, WWE officials stepped in and Deville said she already had what she wanted, taking a piece of Rose’s hair with her.

SmackDown Women’s Championship – Bayley (c) def. Nikki Cross via pinfall to keep the title: Cross was pulled from the jump, attacking Bayley in the corners before hitting a Thesz press to inflict some more punishment on the champion. Cross also scored with a big crossbody from the ring apron to the ground, keeping Bayley almost completely on the defensive. Bayley finally took matters into his own hands by attacking Cross’s “cracked rib”, the injury suffered at Extreme Rules. In return, Cross began attacking Bayley’s shores before hitting a DDT tornado. Banks again attempted to cede the Boss ring to Bayley for the cheap victory, a callback to Extreme Rules as well. Cross hit another crossbody, setting up a series of bowling knockdowns before Bayley managed to slam Cross face first to score the pin and retain their championship. It was a decent game, although Bayley and Cross didn’t quite click on the same level as some of the bigger couples of the past few months and weeks. Another good deed throughout. Category B

The Fiend attacked Alexa Bliss: Earlier that night, Bray Wyatt hosted a “Firefly Fun House” to open the show. Wyatt warned Braun Strowman that The Fiend was now awake and no one would be safe until he got what they wanted, which turned out to be a warning on the end of the series.

After Cross’s loss to Bayley, Alexa Bliss tried to console her, but a frustrated Cross pushed her to the mat and burst out of the ring. As Bliss sat in the ring, the lights went out, only to come back on with the familiar red lighting and The Fiend himself in the ring. A terrified Bliss remained still as The Fiend slowly brought his hand to his face before locking the mandible claw as the show ceased. This was a very effective way to end the series, with Wyatt targeting Strowman’s former mixed partner, as all limits are now off with the return of the Fiend. On top of all this, WWE made the subtle gesture of having the show’s end logo appear only so that The Fiend’s actions would occur after the show’s usual signifier ended. A little move that shows The Fiend exists outside of the standard boundaries of how shows work. Quality: A-


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