On a night where SmackDown paid tribute to The Undertaker, the biggest story coming out of the show surrounds another pair of characters straight out of a horror story. After Bray Wyatt broke out his old persona of Wyatt Family leader last week in an attempt to get into the mind of Braun Strowman, the universal champion fired back with an unusual challenge.
Strowman addressed Wyatt’s mind games by talking about his time in the Wyatt Family, saying Wyatt was the first man to ever make him feel true fear and telling the story of Bray being bitten by a snake when they were sitting on the edge of the swamp. He then laid down a challenge for a title match at the upcoming Extreme Rules: The Horror Show pay-per-view, asking Wyatt to return to the swamp to face him.
You can check out full results and highlights from the show below, including a main event born out of King Corbin’s disrespect for The Undertaker on his tribute night.
WWE SmackDown recap, grades
No. 1 Contender Match — Nikki Cross def. Lacey Evans (via pinfall), Alexa Bliss and Dana Brooke: Bliss and Cross briefly worked together initially, as expected, before Cross made a move on her partner. The two agreed that it was nothing personal and all about a shot at the title as the match went back to its normal flow. Brooke got her knees up to block a Twisted Bliss attempt from Bliss, and moments later, she went for a back handspring but ate a Woman’s Right from Evans. Evans then got caught in a roll-up by Cross for the pinfall, making Cross the challenger for Bayley’s SmackDown women’s title at Extreme Rules. Decently paced four-way and an interesting setup for the upcoming pay-per-view. Grade: B
Lucha House Party & The New Day def. The Miz, John Morrison, Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall: After Cesaro and Nakamura got a pin on New Day weeks ago, they were looking to make a point with a second victory in tag action. Kingston remained isolated for a good part of the match, battling to make the hot tag but getting cut off repeatedly. A Kingston leaping double-stomp on Nakamura allowed him to make the tag to Metalik, who came in and took out Morrison, Miz and Cesaro. Dorado was tagged in and hit a top-rope Shooting Star Press on Morrison for a near fall before a brawl broke out between New Day and Cesaro & Nakamura. The two teams brawled to the back, leaving Miz and Morrison against Lucha House Party. Dorado took out Morrison with a rana from the top rope to the outside and Metalik hit Miz with a rope-walk elbow drop for the win. This was a very fun tag match with some really fun stretches including Cesaro and Dorado showing some fun chemistry. Grade: B
Braun Strowman challenged Bray Wyatt to return to the swamp: Strowman talked about the first time he met Wyatt, saying that it was the first time in his life he had ever felt true fear. Strowman said they were sitting on the edge of the swamp and a snake crawled toward Wyatt’s lantern, but before he could kill it, Wyatt said no. Wyatt got face-to-face with the snake and was bitten on the face multiple times as Wyatt laughed. Strowman said Wyatt is “the devil himself,” he spent time doing “the devil’s work” and that he loved every second of it. Strowman then suggested they go back to the swamp. Strowman said he’d break Wyatt’s body apart before dragging him into the swamp to let the alligators finish him off. As Wyatt’s laughter echoed through the building, Strowman laughed along. Shortly after SmackDown went off the air, the Wyatt Swamp Fight between the two — without the universal title on the line — was made official for Extreme Rules. Better than normal promo work from Strowman, and the prospect of another cinematic match involving Wyatt is certainly appealing. Grade: B-
Jeff Hardy def. King Corbin via pinfall: Throughout the first hour of the show, The Undertaker’s WrestleMania 36 clash with AJ Styles in a Boneyard Match was spaced out with legends such as Edge, John Cena, Bret Hart and Ric Flair talking about the things that made Undertaker special. Corbin then paid tribute in the only way he knows how: cutting an in-ring promo on The Undertaker before ending it by saying, “you suck,” which brought Jeff Hardy to the ring to deliver a quick beating and set up the match.
Corbin mocked The Undertaker mid-match, kneeling and striking Taker’s familiar pose. That brought the face locker room out to surround the ring and cheer on Hardy. Corbin established firm control of the match for a lengthy stretch after the locker room emptied, but Hardy eventually made the expected short comeback before the action went outside and Corbin rammed himself into the ring steps. That set Corbin up for the finish with Hardy hitting a Swanton Bomb for the pinfall victory. Corbin attacked Hardy after the match, then took out Kofi Kingston when he tried to make the save, but Big E took Corbin out with a Big Ending. Strowman then entered the ring and hit Corbin with a powerslam. Hardy called Riddle into the ring to hit a Floating Bro before the show went off the air with the locker room again chanting, “Thank you, Taker.” This was a decent, though far from spectacular main event as Corbin has become the go-to heel for situations like this and Hardy is on a bit of a run now. Grade: C+