Tonight's first match on SmackDown was the anticipated matchup between the blue brand's newest sensation Matt Riddle and the Celtic Warrior Sheamus, and early on both stars showcased their raw power and technical wrestling skills. Riddle aimed to keep Sheamus at bay with ranged kicks, but Sheamus was able to eventually close the gap, which allowed him to hit Riddle with brutal kicks and punches. After a hard-hitting affair, only one could be left standing, and it was NAME who came out the winner of this battle.
Sheamus wore down Riddle a bit by locking in some submission holds, but it was Riddle that put Sheamus through some pain with several submission holds that targeted Sheamus' arms, fingers, and legs.
Riddle did some damage to Sheamus' arm, but Sheamus was still able to lift Riddle and dish out a powerbomb even in his weakened state. Riddle managed to get Sheamus over the ropes, but he countered with those vicious hits to Riddle's chest, sending a message loud and clear.
Sheamus went for a move off the ropes but Riddle managed to counter, sending Sheamus outside of the ring where he landed hard on the floor.
After that it was all Riddle, who soared across the ring and bounced off the ropes for several big hits and then a senton. That wasn't enough for the pin, so he went for a move off the top rope but missed, clearing the way for Sheamus to hit White Noise and almost pin Riddle, but he kicked out right before the count.
Sheamus then went for a Brogue Kick, but missed, clearing the way for a German Suplex from Riddle. Riddle then went for a move but Sheamus evaded, but Riddle kicked out. Then Sheamus went for a charge and Riddle avoided it, sending Sheamus into the post. Riddle went after Sheamus outside the ring and peppered him with kicks. to the chest, but Sheamus returned the favor.
Riddle then was making his way back to the ring when he was ambushed by Shorty G, who sent him into the ring apron. Riddle wasn't having it though, and took out his aggression on Shorty G, bashing his head into the announce desk several times and then sending him into the steel steps, followed by a kick to his chest.
Shorty G's interruption brought the bell and the win by disqualification for Riddle, and Sheamus was pissed. He brought Shorty G into the ring and hit him with a Brogue Kick. He then grabbed a mic and taunted Shorty G for trying to collect Corbin's bounty. He then waited for G to get up and hit him with another Brogue Kick, laying him out for good.
Here's the official description for tonight's episode of WWE SmackDown.
"Bray Wyatt returns to The Firefly Funhouse, Sonya Deville joins "The Dirt Sheet," Matt Riddle battles Sheamus, Jeff Hardy takes on King Corbin and more as SmackDown airs on FOX at 8/7 C."
Here's what's on deck:
Bray Wyatt Firefly Fun House
Matt Riddle vs Sheamus
Jeff Hardy vs King Corbin0comments
Sonya Deville Appears on The Dirt Sheet
What do you think of SmackDown so far? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things WWE with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!