WWE Friday Night SmackDown featured The New Day’s farewell, Seth Rollins’ debut on the blue brand and Lars Sullivan taking on Jeff Hardy in the season premiere.
Goldberg announced he’d be joining the WWE ThunderDome—which he did virtually—as an interested spectator in Roman Reigns’ Universal Championship title defense against Braun Strowman in the night’s main event.
Last week’s broadcast of Friday Night SmackDown was up or the WWE Draft with an average viewership of 2.178 million.
- October 9, 2020—2.178 million viewers
- October 2, 2020—2.155 million viewers
- September 25, 2020—2.032 million viewers
- September 18, 2020—2.037 million viewers
- September 11, 2020—2.261 million viewers
WWE Friday Night SmackDown—Key Competition
- MLB Playoff Slate
Pro Wrestling Bits—25 Questions for WWE Following TERRIBLE Draft
WWE SmackDown Total YouTube Viewership this Past Friday
9,077,410 views (Up from 7,613,174)
- Most-Viewed: The New Day Split Between Raw and SmackDown on the WWE Draft (1,995,469 views)
- Least-Viewed: AJ Styles Fuming After Being Passed up as Top Pick (170,288 views)
- Median Viewership: 742,295
WWE Friday Night SmackDown Results—Friday, October 14, 2020
Opening Segment Featuring Triple H and Stephanie McMahon
When I saw the opening segment feature the SmackDown locker room standing at attention with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H playing the role of Principal and Vice Principal, I rolled my eyes so hard.
This was such a tepid return spot for Daniel Bryan, who deserved a segment unto himself.
Lars Sullivan did not have to stand at attention along with the rest of the assembly line of talent to open this show, which means WWE does not view him as a faceless toy soldier the way they view the rest of this SmackDown roster. A good sign for the polarizing star.
Lars Sullian def. Jeff Hardy
WWE is booking Lars Sullivan like he’s Vince McMahon’s new favorite toy, which means he’ll have, not three, but four whole weeks to get over.
Jeff Hardy did a good job putting over Lars Sullivan in this one. Now onto his next task of putting over Elias.
The New Day Wins Farewell Match vs. Sheamus, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
WWE was shrewd to break up The New Day during a pandemic to avoid the “B.S.” chants that would have reigned down.
The New Day was so great in capturing the emotion of this moment both before and after this segment.
The New Day’s farewell was such a big deal, it overshadowed the unheralded reunion of The Bar.
Seth Rollins Confronts Daniel Bryan
Seth Rollins’ outfit was updated for millennial tendencies with capri pants and shoes without socks.
Daniel Bryan was rendered afterthought for the second time in just over an hour, this time in his own segment.
It wasn’t clear whether or not Murphy was extending an olive branch to the Mysterios or asking for Aalyah’s hand in marriage.
The Street Profits def. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler by Disqualification
I want to ask why Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler are getting a Tag Team
Championship opportunity on SmackDown after losing a tag title match on Raw just six days ago, but WWE has no clue what it’s doing. That’s why.
Ric Flair was the third celebrity sighting in the ThunderDome along with Brie Bella and Birdie.
Sasha Banks and Bayley Contract Signing
This was one of the better promos of Sasha Banks’ career, but it included the line “my name is bigger than your title,” which takes the shine off what these two are ultimately fighting for.
This segment surprisingly didn’t devolve into physicality, which is good news for the perennially helpless Adam Pearce.
Roman Reigns def. Braun Strowman—WWE Universal Championship
It appears as if Goldberg’s tease to enter the ThunderDome was in reference to a virtual appearance. Reigns beating Goldberg would be a great win for The Big Dog, but WWE is getting a tad too comfortable running Goldberg’s Hall of Fame-caliber mystique into the ground.
It looks like heel Roman Reigns suddenly has been studying up on his submissions.
This was such a unique match between two big men and one of the best Braun Strowman matches I’ve ever seen. After the post-match beatdown with the chair, however, WWE has a lot of work to do in rehabbing the former Universal champion on Raw.