On Friday Night SmackDown, there were several returns to the program along with additional matches added to the WWE Payback event this Sunday night.
In the main angle of the show, Adam Pearce attempted to get all three participants of the Universal title match at Payback to sign the contract. After getting the signatures of Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman, the final segment featured Roman Reigns ensuring Pearce he would be at Payback and he was going to take his title back. He added “that’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler” revealing Paul Heyman sitting next to him.
Heyman was removed as Executive Director of Raw back in June after less than one year in the position and had not been seen on television since then. Heyman’s on-screen role had been as the advocate for Brock Lesnar, who has not appeared on WWE programming since WrestleMania when he lost the WWE title to Drew McIntyre in March.
Sami Zayn made his first appearance on WWE programming since WrestleMania following Jeff Hardy’s Intercontinental title defense against Shinsuke Nakamura. Zayn walked out carrying his own version of the title, which he never lost in storyline with a tournament created to find a new champion. The segment ended with Zayn attacking Hardy on the stage.
Zayn last appeared on the first night of WrestleMania 36 where he defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the Intercontinental title and has not appeared on WWE programming since March.
A match between King Corbin and Matt Riddle has been added to this Sunday’s pay-per-view. Riddle challenged Corbin on SmackDown but was attacked by Shorty G leading to a quick match where Riddle won with the Bro Derek. Afterward, Riddle attacked Corbin and led to Corbin accepting the match at Payback.
They also announced that Seth Rollins will take on Rey Mysterio this Monday on Raw. Earlier in the day, it was revealed that Rollins & Murphy will face Rey & Dominik Mysterio this Sunday at WWE Payback in a rematch from this past Monday’s episode.