– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. The show was moved from the Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit, Michigan due to the coronavirus pandemic.
We immediately see Triple H, who has a mic and talks to the camera. Triple H introduces himself as “The Game, Triple H” and welcomes viewers to the WWE Performance Center. He goes on and talks about the state of the art facility, as we see clips from training and other sessions in the background. He talks about how many of the top WWE Superstars have gone through the Performance Center, and tonight they return, not to train, but to do what they do better than anyone else in the world – entertain.
Triple H says this will be different than anything we’ve seen before tonight. He says to sit back and relax, try to forget about the world around you if you can, and let WWE do what they do best – let them put a smile on our faces. Triple H welcomes us to Friday Night SmackDown on FOX as the music hits and the camera shows us the empty chairs, along with the SmackDown ring and the blue lasers going around the venue. Michael Cole welcomes us and hypes up tonight’s show. Cole is joined by Triple H instead of Corey Graves tonight at the ringside announce table.
– The music hits and out comes Sasha Banks with SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley to start the show. They look ready to talk trash to the crowd but there is no crowd. They laugh some as they walk down the ramp and take the mics. They stop in front of Cole and Triple H at the announce table. They talk about how they decided to kick off the show and it doesn’t matter how big the crowd is because it’s still their house.
Bayley asks Triple H where Paige is. Cole says Paige is having travel issues. Banks and Bayley can’t believe it. Triple H jokes about being sick of excuses. Banks and Bayley go on about Paige being jealous, just like every other woman in WWE. The music interrupts and out comes Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross.
Bliss and Cross talk about how they’ve been looking for WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Asuka and Kairi Sane, and might have to go to RAW, but they’re also tired of Banks and Bayley. They go on and are ready for a match if Banks and Bayley are. The two sides have words. Bayley calls Cross a “little idiot” and calls for a referee.
Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
The bell rings as Nikki Cross starts off with Bayley, going back and forth. Bayley gets double teamed early on. Alexa Bliss goes to the top after dropping Bayley in the corner with a slap.
Sasha Banks runs over on the outside and pulls Bayley to safety. Cross runs over and nails a crossbody off the steel ring steps, taking Banks down on the floor in front of Cole and Triple H. Bliss kicks Bayley from the ring, sending her face-first into the announce table. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Bliss gets double teamed in the corner. Cole and Triple H joke around on commentary and explain to the viewers again about the Performance Center. Bliss gets rolled up but fights back. Bliss counters a side slam and takes Banks down. Banks sends Bliss face-first into the turnbuckles and then delivers the running knees for a 2 count. Bayley ends up coming in and taking over on Bliss, beating her around the ring. Banks connects with a cheap shot at one point from the apron as Bayley distracts the referee. Cross tries to rally from the apron.
Another tag between Banks and Bayley as Bliss tries to fight back and rolls Bayley up. Triple H jokes about Cross rallying for an empty arena again. Banks comes back in and shuts Bliss down. Banks with a suplex in the middle of the ring. Banks grounds Bliss again now as Triple H and Cole continue to joke around, this time about Mauro Ranallo.
Bliss continues to get double teamed for a few more minutes. She finally mounts some offense and makes a hot tag to Cross. Cross unloads on Banks and nails a bulldog. Cross and Banks trade counters and pin attempts now. Cross with a backslide for another 2 count. All four get involved now. Bliss returns to the apron after leaving Banks and Bayley laying.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Asuka suddenly appears at ringside and takes Bliss down on the floor. This leads to Banks applying the Banks Statement on Cross for the submission win.
Winners: Sasha Banks and Bayley
– After the match, Asuka taunts Bliss and Cross from the ramp. Triple H jokes about Asuka running in through the crowd. Banks’ music hits as she heads to the corner to pose for the crowd that isn’t there.
– Cole thanks Triple H for joining him and it looks like Triple H is headed back to the back to work.
– Still to come, a Roman Reigns interview. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Michael Cole is in the ring with another empty chair next to him. He introduces his guest and out comes Roman Reigns.
Cole asks Reigns how weird that was making that entrance to the ring. Reigns talks about this being a business of reactions but it was weird and cool, and he’s glad to be back in the Performance Center. Reigns talks about his past year and how he’s been blessed. Now he’s back in familiar territory and it’s good to be back in the main event. Cole asks about WWE Universal Champion Bill Goldberg and their WrestleMania 36 match. Reigns goes on about having great respect for Goldberg, calling him an icon. However, Goldberg is a part-time and Reigns doesn’t think we have time for that in WWE. Reigns goes on about all he thinks of, 24/7 and 365, is WWE. He’s eaten from the WWE table his whole life and he’s groomed for this, and Goldberg isn’t ready for him.
Reigns says he’s busted his ass and mastered his craft, and it shows. Reigns says when it comes to the main event of WrestleMania 36, he will whoop Goldberg’s ass and take back his title, and then set this place right. Cole thanks Reigns and they end the interview as Cole hypes the big “Spear vs. Spear” match at WrestleMania.
– Kayla Braxton is backstage with Cesaro. He introduces new WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn and in he comes with Shinsuke Nakamura. Kayla says they’re not scheduled for this segment. Sami disagrees. Kayla says they’ve been bumped from the segment. Sami and his crew leave to continue their celebration. Kayla introduces her real guest and out comes Jeff Hardy to make his return to TV.
Jeff says he’s as healthy and hungry as he’s ever been. He’s done a lot of soul searching over the past few months and found a lot of important things, and one of those things is that he has a lot more to do in WWE. King Baron Corbin interrupts and mocks Hardy. Corbin says not everyone is happy that Hardy is back. Corbin says things have changed around here. Corbin says SmackDown is now run by a benevolent king who keeps peasants like Hardy in a place. Corbin jokes about Hardy having trouble with alcohol and his DUI charges. Hardy says actually he has a big match tonight and he’s surprised Corbin hasn’t heard. Corbin asks against who. It’s against Corbin. Hardy storms off. We hear Elias’ guitar playing real quick as he walks up. They have some words and Corbin isn’t happy. Elias goes to perform his latest song but Corbin storms off and doesn’t want to listen to what may have been a warning. Elias says Corbin has no idea what’s coming.
– Still to come, a look at the recent Elimination Chamber match for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Triple H has re-joined Cole at the announce table. Triple H jokes that he’s the only guy who can receive a promotion and a demotion in one, a reference to our report from Thursday night. Triple H also mentions that the internet was complaining about Cole’s commentary after just one segment on his own, so Triple H was sent back out. Cole looks at Daniel Bryan’s win over Drew Gulak from last Sunday’s WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Triple H gives praise to Gulak.
– We see Daniel Bryan in the back now. He walks up on Drew Gulak. Bryan says he’s been looking for Gulak. Gulak doesn’t believe him and goes to leave but Bryan stops him. Bryan gives Gulak praise for his performance at Elimination Chamber. Bryan says he’s willing to learn if Gulak is still willing to teach. Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura walk up. Sami laughs and brings up how Bryan turned down his invite to join their group a while back. Sami goes on and says Bryan has now been reduced to asking for tips from a nobody. Bryan steps to Sami but Cesaro gets in the way. Bryan says his issue is with Sami, not Cesaro. Cesaro says if Bryan has an issue wit Sami, he has one with Cesaro as well. Bryan asks if that’s a challenge and Sami says it is. They have more words and Bryan tells them to meet him in the ring. Bryan walks off. Gulak steps up and has a few words for Sami, then walks off. Sami indicates that Cesaro and Nakamura will be wrestling Gulak and Bryan.
– We go back to Cole and Triple H. Cole sends us to a replay of the Elimination Chamber match from Sunday that saw John Morrison and The Miz retain the SmackDown Tag Team Titles over The New Day, The Usos, Lucha House Party, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, and Heavy Machinery. We don’t see the entire match but most of it.
Back from a commercial break and the Chamber match is still going on. We see more of the match before taking another break. We come back and Triple H is joking with Cole on commentary again, about how bad he is. Cole says despite no crowd tonight, the world is watching as SmackDown is the #1 trend on Twitter tonight. We go back to the Chamber match replay. We get another commercial break before coming back to the last part of the Chamber replay.
– We go back to the empty arena and we see the SmackDown Tag Team Champions in the ring, John Morrison and The Miz. Miz brags about the Elimination Chamber win and how they’re still winning titles 13 years later. Morrison and Miz both issue challenges for anyone to speak now if they don’t believe these are the best two at what they do. They also joke about some of their bad movie projects actually being good. Miz says there will be no booing and no “you suck!” chants tonight. Miz knocks Orlando even with no crowd to get heat from. They go on bragging about being champions and pose together, raising the titles in the air and telling everyone to be jealous. They chant a tune about being champions as the segment ends.
– Cole says later tonight we will address the rumors on Rob Gronkowski and WWE.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro
We go back to the ring and out comes Daniel Bryan with Drew Gulak. Triple H starts speaking as Greg Hamilton does the introductions but Cole cuts him off and jokes about not speaking over the ring announcer. Bryan comes down the ramp with Gulak and tries to lead a “yes!” chant to an empty arena. Cole confirms Bryan vs. Cesaro instead of the tag team match indicated earlier. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and Cole is at the announce table while Bryan and Drew Gulak wait in the ring with the referee. Triple H is filming him, joking about filling in as a cameraman. Cole shows us this week’s WWE Backstage segment that said former NFL player Rob Gronkowski was in talks with WWE. We go back to Cole and he confirms that Gronk is coming to WWE as a Superstar. Gronk’s good friend Mojo Rawley joins the announce table. Mojo said he talked to Gronk earlier today and the rumors are true – the former New England Patriot is coming to WWE. Mojo says nothing has been signed yet, but Gronk will be here next week. Mojo, who is a RAW Superstar, will also be here next week. Mojo tries to get Cole hyped up as he leaves the announce table. We go back to the ring and out comes Cesaro with Shinsuke Nakamura and new WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn.
Nakamura watches from ringside while Sami joins Cole and Triple H on commentary. Back and forth to start the match. Cesaro ends up turning it around and unloading on Bryan as Gulak also looks on from ringside. Cesaro unloads in the corner and beats Bryan down with forearms and uppercuts. We go to commercial with Cesaro in control.
Back from the break and Cesaro dominates Bryan. Bryan fights back and we go back and forth for a few minutes. They go to the mat and trade more counters and pin attempts. Bryan rolls Cesaro up out of nowhere for the win.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
– After the match, Cesaro is shocked as Bryan’s music hits. Nakamura immediately hits the ring and starts pounding on Bryan. Gulak makes the save but the numbers game catches up as Sami also joins in. Gulak gets launched into the steel ring steps. Bryan does a suicide dive to Nakamura but barely connects, sending him into the ring post. This is a bad watch as we hear the referee echoing as she yells at them. It’s really been like this all night, a strange look. Cole mentions how he’s not sure if we have enough referees here tonight to break things up. Things finally settle down at ringside as Bryan’s music starts back up.
– Still to come, John Cena is here. Also, Jeff Hardy vs. King Corbin. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and announced for next week is an appearance by Rob Gronkowski, plus the WrestleMania 36 contract signing between Roman Reigns and WWE Universal Champion Bill Goldberg.
Jeff Hardy vs. King Baron Corbin
We go to the ring for tonight’s main event match and out first comes King Baron Corbin. Elias is on commentary with Triple H and Cole. Jeff Hardy is out next, making his long-awaited return from the 2019 leg injury.
Corbin attacks Hardy before the bell and dominates, taking control and taking Hardy to the floor. Corbin beats Hardy up and goes back to the ring, telling Hardy to get up. Hardy rolls in and the referee checks on him. Hardy says he’s ready to go. The bell rings and they go at it.
Hardy takes control early on and hits several of his signature moves for a close 2 count. Corbin counters a finisher and sends Hardy to the corner. Hardy fights Corbin off but Corbin catches him in a Deep Six for a close 2 count in the middle of the ring. Corbin and the referee argue. Corbin talks trash to Elias from the ring now.
Elias stands on the announce table and starts playing his guitar. Hardy takes advantage of the distraction and hits the Twist of Fury, not the Twist of Fate? Hardy goes back to the top and hits the Swanton on Corbin for the pin to win.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
– After the match, Hardy makes his exit as the music hits and we go to replays.
– Still to come, John Cena. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and Triple H is in the same spot he was for his opening speech. He says he hopes we have enjoyed this historic edition of SmackDown. He goes on and says we are missing what makes the show important, the fans, and while they’re not here physically, they are here. He mentions the Superstars performing like they would for the fans, and says WWE has truly earned the right to say what they say in the top of their shows – Then. Now. Forever.
– We go back to the ring and Michael Cole has a mic. He introduces John Cena and out he quickly comes. Cena is all business and tells Cole to let’s get to it. Cena thanks the fans watching at home on FOX and shouts them out. Cole brings up “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, and how Wyatt said Cena’s previous WrestleMania 30 win over Wyatt led to the birth of The Fiend.
Cena isn’t sure how to respond to someone who blames their failure on him. Cena says a lot of people have said to him how he is the reason for their failure, and now we can add Wyatt to that long list. Cena says Wyatt got lazy after the WrestleMania loss. Cena says Wyatt is his own biggest enemy. Cena goes on and dismisses the idea that he never loses and just buries others. Cena gets a little heated when he talks about people wanting to be on top but then getting lazy. So how does he respond to someone who blames him for their failures? He gives them an attitude adjustment.
Cole shows us Cena’s recent SmackDown return in Boston and his promo on WrestleMania 36 going on without him because those WrestleMania spots are earned, not given. Cole asks why Cena would antagonize Wyatt after saying what he did. Cena says he didn’t antagonize, he accepted a challenge from Wyatt. Cena goes on about how WWE needs to invest in its future, and he does not feel like Wyatt is a part of that future. Cena says guys like Drew McIntyre, WWE NXT Tag Team Champion Matt Riddle, Tommaso Ciampa, NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley, and The Velveteen Dream are the future. Cena says WWE should invest in those talents, and asks why we continue to give 5th and 6th chances to people who ask what about me when times get hard. Cena wants WWE to invest in people who deserve it every day.
Cena says he accepted Wyatt’s challenge so he can take Wyatt out of the equation. Cena says their WrestleMania 36 match won’t be a match to steal the show. It will be brutal, gruesome and uncomfortable to watch. Cena says he will do what should’ve been accomplished 6 years ago – he will end the hype of the most over-hyped and over-privileged Superstar in existence. We hear Wyatt laughing from the empty seats now. Wyatt has a mic and he hops over the barrier. Wyatt is glad Cena is here, even though he’s saying mean and hateful stuff about Wyatt.
Wyatt enters the ring now and says it’s good to see Cena. Look at Cena, he’s doing great now, a big movie star in Hollywood, and still has big muscles, a great girlfriend. Wyatt says most can’t imagine what it would be like to be Cena for one day. Wyatt says Cena has him all wrong. Wyatt says he’s not sick, Cena is. He knows why Cena came here and he knows Cena doesn’t really give a damn about the future. Wyatt says Cena doesn’t care who he has to squash or bury on his way, he just wants the spotlight. Wyatt says Cena is addicted to the spotlight. Wyatt says 6 years ago Cena took something from him. He thought about it so much it drove him crazy.
Wyatt says the voices in his head never stopped and then something magical happened. He stopped fighting the voices one day and then started listening to them. They took his crooked little world and turned it into a majestic Fun House. Wyatt says Cena broke him and The Fiend put him back together, and at WrestleMania 36 it’s going to be a slaughter, Cena just doesn’t know it yet. Wyatt is in Cena’s face now. Let me in, John. The screen flashes with The Fiend’s presence as Wyatt lets out a quick laugh. The screen goes black now as the familiar Wyatt echoes out over the arena. The first-ever SmackDown on FOX from the WWE Performance Center goes off the air.