Nakamura and Cesaro Want Gold, Karaoke and More WWE SmackDown Fallout
Saying Friday's episode of SmackDown was a mixed bag would be a kind assessment. By most accounts on social media, this was one of the worst shows in recent memory.
It wasn't all bad, though. The Miz and John Morrison are always entertaining on MizTV, especially when they have a guest like Jeff Hardy.
In a bit of randomness, WWE booked a karaoke segment with Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans, Naomi and Tamina. Needless to say, it ended in fisticuffs.
We also saw The New Day defend the SmackDown tag titles against Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura in the main event, and WWE played Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman from Money in the Bank to fill some time.
Let's look at some of the biggest segments from Friday's show and what they mean for the future.
WWE Is Putting Jeff Hardy in a Bar Brawl
The show opened with The Miz and Morrison welcoming Hardy to MizTV. They had some fun at their guest's expense before showing a replay of Hardy's match against Sheamus at Backlash.
The Charismatic Enigma grew angry as The A-Lister and Friday Night Delight poked and prodded at him. The Miz told him he was his daughter's favorite wrestler but said his destructive lifestyle sets a bad example for young fans like her.
The jokes stopped, and The Miz got a couple of serious answers out of Hardy. They talked about his demons, Sheamus and his loss at Backlash. The high-flyer said he wants to put his past behind him and that starts with beating The Celtic Warrior.
The hosts suggested Hardy face Sheamus in a bar fight because it would be symbolic, but they just wanted to mock him. Hardy saw through their fake concern but said he would face Sheamus in a bar fight if that is what it takes to move on from this.
The storyline with Hardy has been controversial. Many fans feel like it is in bad taste for WWE to use the Superstar's real struggles as part of a feud, but this segment was a lot less offensive than what we have seen in the past few weeks.
Hardy sounded sincere and gave a real message about wanting to inspire other people who suffer from addiction by providing hope. The storyline may not be the best idea, but Hardy's promise to never let down his fans again seemed genuine.
As far as the bar fight is concerned, this will probably be another cinematic match that is filmed in a different way than normal matches. It will likely have a lot of dialogue and stunts that make good use of the setting.
This is going to be another controversial decision, but this will most likely be the final showdown in this feud, so at least The Charismatic Enigma can move on soon.
Karaoke Night Gets Violent
For some reason, WWE decided to book four women in a karaoke contest with Jey Uso serving as the host. Each person took a turn singing a different legend's theme song.
Lacey Evans sang "With My Baby Tonight" by Road Dogg, Dana Brooke did her best Honky Tonk Man impression, Tamina was cut short while singing Triple H's music and Naomi gave us a rendition of Dusty Rhodes' theme, which won her the contest.
An irate Evans attacked her, and it led to an impromptu match. Brooke and Tamina stuck around, and it ended in a no-contest.
The contest that took place was short, but the karaoke segment was more entertaining than expected because all four Superstars performed their hearts out. Brooke may have been into the whole thing more than everybody else.
Even if it was not your cup of tea, it was good to see WWE finding a way to get four women on television who aren't Banks, Bayley, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. That quartet have dominated storylines recently, so it was great to see someone else being given some screen time.
If this evolves into a feud that leads to a Fatal 4-Way in the near future, the winner will almost certainly become the next No. 1 contender for the SmackDown Women's Championship.
WWE Replays Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman from Money in the Bank
When WWE first began holding shows without fans at the Performance Center, it used matches from past pay-per-views for several weeks to fill up time.
This practice has been phased out, but Friday saw it return when WWE replayed Wyatt vs. Strowman from Money in the Bank in its entirety.
With WWE reportedly having more than 30 employees test positive for COVID-19, it is becoming clear there are more talents who are missing shows either because of having the virus or choosing to stay home as a precaution.
The company was already dealing with a limited roster before these people were diagnosed, so losing more staff members temporarily is going to cause issues with storylines and title feuds.
The coming weeks will almost certainly feature more replays of past matches to fill up the time that would have been allocated to the talents who are staying home.
The New Day Have Clear Challengers for Extreme Rules
While nothing has been made official, the final segment of Friday's SmackDown gives us a clear idea of what the SmackDown tag title match at Extreme Rules will be.
The New Day defended the belts against Cesaro and Nakamura, but the match ended in a disqualification and the champions being put through a table.
Whenever WWE has a specific weapon involved in a segment before a PPV like Extreme Rules or Tables, Ladders & Chairs, it means that will be a focal point in the combatants' next match against each other.
The New Day have been in just about every kind of gimmick bout imaginable, so having a different set of rules is not a hurdle they will have trouble getting over.
However, Big E and Kofi Kingston have been the blue brand's tag champs since the April 17 episode of SmackDown. WWE may want to book a few title changes to make the PPV more exciting, which puts New Day's reign in danger.
We should expect an announcement regarding a Tables match for the titles before or during the next episode of SmackDown ahead of Extreme Rules on July 19.