Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles battled for the WWE Intercontinental Championship on Friday Night … [+]
WWE Friday Night SmackDown featured a brutal opening segment as Jeff Hardy was made to take a urine test, while AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan wrestled their finals matchup for the Intercontinental Championship.
The two top stars worked a magnificent back-and-forth, submission and strong-style-based match. Spanning through three commercial breaks, the Intercontinental Championship final was stylized like a New Japan Pro Wrestling match.
Last week’s broadcast of Friday Night SmackDown garnered 1.84 million viewers, the second-lowest viewership number of the FOX FOXA era as mainstream news coverage of the George Floyd protests dominated the night.
- June 5, 2020—1.984 million viewers
- May 29, 2020—2.170 million viewers
- May 22, 2020—2.044 million viewers
- May 15, 2020—2.042 million viewers
- May 8, 2020—2.025 million viewers
Pro Wrestling Bits
WWE Friday Night SmackDown Key Competition
- George Floyd Protests—Mainstream News Coverage
- COVID-19—Mainstream News Coverage
WWE Total YouTube Viewership for WWE Friday Night SmackDown
8,677,245 views (Down from 8,965,824)
- Most-Viewed: Braun Strowman Flips Over Van with Miz and Morrison Inside (2,864,955 views)
- Least-Viewed: Otis Dons the King’s Crown and Enrages Corbin (269,932 views)
- Median Viewership: 537,759
WWE Friday Night SmackDown Results: Friday, June 12, 2020
Opening Segment Featuring Sheamus and Jeff Hardy
I’m guessing this segment will result in more effusive praise from Matt Hardy to Tony Khan in an attempt to send a message to WWE.
WWE could air an entire playlist of segments with pee. It would be viewed millions of times and Vince McMahon would account for at least half of them.
That “pissed off/pissed on” line that WWE loves using during segments like these has to be retired.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro def. The New Day
If Sami Zayn is somehow revealed as the man with the red hair and red beard who framed Jeff Hardy, it’ll be good news for Cesaro and Sheamus who feel like they’ve been running in place ever since his departure.
It can be argued that no one man works with every member of The New Day better than Cesaro.
It was so weird to see Shinsuke Nakamura score a pinfall victory, and it was even weirder to see it happen against former WWE champion Kofi Kingston.
AJ Styles def. Daniel Bryan—Intercontinental Championship
Pre-Match Thoughts: I’ll be very surprised if AJ Styles loses this match after taking a bye two weeks ago and losing to upstart Drew Gulak last week.
WWE really committed to the otherwise absurd idea that the Intercontinental Championship still carries value.
Daniel Bryan worked this entire match like he thought Zack Sabre Jr. was on his way to SmackDown.
Michael Cole referred to this match as “even” no less than 126 times.
This match went through three commercial breaks and earned every one of them.
Following this match, Corey Graves stated “For the first time, the Intercontinental Championship is Phenomenal.” It was a play on words, but based on this match alone this really does feel like the first time in a long time that title has been phenomenal.
Bayley and Sasha Banks Championship Celebration
A friendly reminder that if WWE ever feels like quietly sweeping a potential Bayley-Sasha Banks split under the rug, I wouldn’t tell anybody about it.
Did WWE quietly retire the “Boss and Hug Connection” name?
As soon as I heard Bayley say she was going to recite a poem, I got so excited. Then Alexa Bliss’ music played before they could even get going.
Braun Strowman and Heavy Machinery def. Dolph Ziggler, The Miz and John Morrison
I literally forgot all about poor Tucker until this match. I had just assumed he had been released with the rest of WWE’s Black Friday victims.
Otis ditched Tucker in a moment’s notice to tend to Mandy Rose, and as a result, Tucker was mugged for the next several minutes. Then Otis swooped in and stole the victory, got all the glory and the girl. If and when Tucker turns on Otis down the line, I completely get it.