WWE Smackdown (THUNDERDOME) 8/21/20 Match Ratings From Sean Ross Sapp!

THUNDERDOME

  • I really thought WWE would use a darkened background for everyone on Thunderdome. They didn't, and that'll take some getting used to.
  • The Fiend interrupts Vince McMahon, and then Braun Strowman interrupts him.
  • Fiend and Braun Strowman are face-to-face and Retribution come out and surround them.
  • Fiend waves goodbye, and he disappears.
  • Retribution jumps Braun Strowman, and the Smackdown locker room empties out to help him. I like this. This makes sense. Why wouldn't they? This is about more than Braun Strowman and The Fiend.
  • Braun attacks Drew Gulak and leaves the ring.
  • Some appearance for Vince.
Renee Paquette Compares Herself To Kelly Ripa, Wants To Prove She Can Be Versatile On A Big Show

Big E defeated Sheamus
6/10

  • Everyone stays out to protect the ring while Big E and Sheamus work this next match.
  • Big E and Sheamus SLAPPIN' MEAT. A good Sirloin Beef Sunsabitches division match.
  • This match is really great.
  • They're beating the crap out of each other. Big E tackles Sheamus into the stairs.
  • Big E's apron splash and suplexes hit hard. Sheamus has a great bicycle knee.
  • It wouldn't be Friday without a distraction finish. What a lame ass ending to a really good match.
  • Big E got a roll up pin when Sheamus was worried about Corbin attacking Riddle.
  • Sometimes I just want to watch a guy like Big E destroy people. This was still worth watching.

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships
Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura (c) defeated Lucha House Party (w/ Kalisto) to retain the title
5.25/10

  • Cesaro and Nakamura attack Lucha House Party backstage. Kalisto is yolked.
  • I really appreciate how Cesaro changes his offense based on the opponent he's facing. It's not cookie cutter. He does a nice stidown power bomb.
  • There's a bit of a botch.
  • When you have a bunch of bright backgrounds and nondescript faces, the bright background is what stands out on these video feeds. Couple that with no real audio, and this is WOMP worthy.
  • Cesaro counters a huracanrana with a sunset flip and pins Lince.
  • Kalisto isn't happy, and he's arguing with Dorado as Metalik tries to keep them apart.

Fire and Desire

  • Mandy Rose says it's been a tough week, and she believes there's good in this world. She speaks directly to Sonya. She thinks the Sonya she was friends with is still out there. She wants to put all this behind her and get back to being friends.
  • Sonya smacks Dana Brooke for checking on her after what she went through this week.
  • Sonya comes out and says Mandy is second guessing her own challenge.
  • Sonya says everyone knows she doesn't care if she's bald or not. Instead, they're going to do a No DQ match, but the loser leaves WWE.
  • Another bad ass promo from Sonya.

Beat The Clock Challenge, Loser Defends Their Title First At Summerslam
Sasha Banks (w/ Bayley) defeated Naomi in 3:39

  • Sasha Banks and Bayley cut a pretty standard heel promo for them, as Corey Graves interviews them.
  • Naomi comes out and challenge Bayley and Sasha, and Corey Graves encourages them to do a Beat The Clock challenge.
  • Sasha is up first. Naomi has some really good offense. A Bubba Bomb, springboard armdrag and a rolling pin.
  • Banks and Naomi roll through each other's pins.
  • Some of Naomi's head kicks look really slow, but her Disaster Kick is always awesome.
  • Banks taps out Naomi with the Banks Statement.

Naomi defeated Bayley (w/ Sasha Banks) in 1:44
4.5/10

  • Bayley attacks, but it doesn't much matter.
  • The Smackdown champ getting pinned in 1:44 via an ass to the FACE.
  • This was predictably unpredictable.
  • Please stop writing these lazy promos. I'm going to win because (insert catchphrase here). That's what Asuka does when she comes out and attacks Sasha Banks.

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Jeff Hardy defeated AJ Styles (c) to win the title
5.75/10

  • Jeff Hardy is being checked on in the trainer's room, we see that AJ Styles attacked Jeff's knee during the Retribution angle.
  • I'd love if we could get one Jeff Hardy match without them reminding us that he's an addict.
  • Styles works over the leg of Hardy really well.
  • Hardy fights back. He avoids the Styles Clash and hits Styles with a knee brace.
  • Jeff Hardy wins with a Swanton Bomb.
  • Hardy's acceptance speech got cut off.
  • Styles goes off on Joseph Park backstage.

Firefly Funhouse

  • Nikki Cross is backstage saying that the Alexa we've seen isn't the one she knows.
  • Firefly Funhouse has become nonsensical and drawn out a year into it. I like the concept, but it's hard to keep fresh.
  • Braun attacks Bray and says HE'S NOT FINISHED WITH BRAY.
  • The fight goes all the way through the commercial. They're fighting backstage.
  • It is hilarious that WWE turned Braun Strowman heel and then had him beat people up mercilessly, thinking people will hate him accordingly.
  • Bray Wyatt is stretchered and ambulanced off.
  • Sonjay Dutt, Jamie Noble, Adam Pearce and others try to send the ambulance away, but it stops. The Fiend emerges from the ambulance.
  • I am howling with laughter over how terrible the final shot is.

Rating Guide
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor

Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5. The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones that may change upon a second viewing, or sitting on the match for a period of time. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!

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