5 things WWE subtly told us on SmackDown: New Intercontinental Champion, Braun Strowman unleashes again, New championship opportunity? (August 22nd, 2020)

WWE SmackDown: We have a new Intercontinental Championship in this latest episode of SmackDown Live. However, on another segment Braun Strowman made a huge statement on Bray Wyatt ahead of SummerSlam.

Naomi after a while got a chance to knockdown SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley in this WWE ThunderDome segment. Will this also lead her to a championship opportunity?

Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura successfully defended their Tag Team titles against Lucha House Party. After the match we saw Lucha House Party erupted into a big brawl and further it suggested that Lucha House Party will end their Tag Team run?

And many more flabbergasting segments happened in this week’s inaugurated WWE ThunderDome. However, let us check out some cunning move from this week’s blue brand.

# 5). Lucha House Party done for WWE?

Miz and John Morrison were shown backstage, cutting a promo and making fun of both teams. The in-ring action was, as expected, very solid, with Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik, Nakamura and Cesaro all being outstanding wrestlers. The end came when Cesaro added an extra flip with a block of a Dorado rana to score the jackknife pin to retain the titles. An angry Kalisto hit the ring after the match and got into a shouting match with Dorado over the loss. Ultimately, a short match that was still a bit of a treat and a bit of a confusing post-match angle.

# 4). Sonya Deville makes the stakes much higher for SummerSlam on SmackDown

Rose said she still doesn’t know how she’s doing after the past few weeks. She then said she wants to still believe there is still good in this world before speaking “directly” to Deville, telling the camera that they have been through so much good and beautiful things in their past that she is choosing to believe that her friend still is in there. Rose then asked to put their issues behind them, choosing to see the good in her former friend ahead of their planned hair vs. hair match for Summerslam.

Deville said she heard Rose and understands that she’s second guessing her own challenge. Deville said that instead of backing down, she wanted to raise the stakes and make the match no disqualification, with the loser leaving WWE, saying hair or no hair, she was sick of looking at Rose’s face.

# 3). Big E stands tall against Sheamus

Things got rough in a hurry, with Big E taking Sheamus to the outside and using a shoulder tackle to knock him into the ring steps. During the match, the locker room continued to surround the ring, with The Miz, who had gotten to the battle with Retribution late, seeming especially nervous as he guarded the entrance ramp. The lights began to flicker during the match as the show cut to commercial. The hard-hitting match continued until a brawl broke out at ringside between King Corbin and Matt Riddle, a distraction that allowed Big E to score a roll-up for the win. This was exactly the right kind of TV match, a classic Big E “big men slapping meat” battle and a pairing I want to see a lot more of.

# 2). Jeff Hardy’s Intercontinental Championship win on SmackDown – what does it mean for the future?

During the earlier battle with Retribution, Styles stomped Hardy’s knee from behind, injuring him heading into the match. Hardy, limping badly through the match, gook advantage of every early opportunity before tossing Styles over the top rope where the champion slipped to the floor. Styles then drove Hardy’s knee into the apron to take back over. Hardy continued fighting back, but when he tried to leap to the top rope, he stumbled and fell to the mat because of the bad knee. Styles tried to take advantage with a Phenomenal Forearm, but Hardy countered with a punch to the gut. Styles was able to lock up a calf crusher moments later, but Hardy reached the bottom rope. Hardy countered a Styles Clash with a kick that actually struck Styles with a knee brace.

A Twist of Fate and a Swanton Bomb later, Hardy won the championship. The wrestling and storytelling here were great, with Hardy battling against the odds and picking up the controversial win to keep the issues between the two going. The in-ring work through the whole show stayed at a high level from the opening match between Big E and Sheamus through this title change.

# 1). Breaking down the Braun Strowman-Fiend segments on SmackDown:

McMahon was in the ring to open the show, attempting to welcome fans to the ThunderDome when the lights went out, came back red and The Fiend made his way to the ring. As McMahon took a step backward, The Fiend took his own forward, and again with a sidestep. But Braun Strowman’s music hit and The Monster made his way to the ring. The lights briefly flickered, and Retribution surrounded the ring. Strowman and The Fiend nodded before the lights went out, The Fiend disappeared and Strowman was left alone in the ring surrounded by Retribution. After putting a beating on Strowman, the SmackDown locker room emptied and ran the group off. A furious Strowman then attacked Drew Gulak and Jey Uso before storming to the back.

This was probably the best presentation of the battle between the roster and Retribution, with the roster not being overwhelmed when it came to a head-on confrontation. There was a moment where it seemed Strowman and Wyatt were about to end Retribution right then and there, but The Fiend disappearing was a solid way to show that he’s still ahead of Strowman, even as Strowman descends into being The Monster.

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