For most of us, WWE can be a welcome break from the reality of the outside world. Yet, in the current circumstances, when we are reminded to stay inside and to adhere to social distancing, it becomes quite difficult to enjoy a show that isn’t following the same rules as everybody else. Pre-recorded or not, the longer this continues the more of a reminder it is that we are living in the same reality as WWE performers who are just as vulnerable as we all are. That being said, the blue brand has bravely/irresponsibly (delete as you see fit) continued to go on and delivered an enjoyable show in the circumstances. Welcome to the most must-see SteelChair review in history; welcome to… the SmackDown Review.
– Drew Gulak defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to allow Daniel Bryan to face Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship at
The Performance Center WrestleMania.
– Alexa Bliss defeated Asuka.
– The Usos vs The New Day ended in a no contest.
Bradley’s Best Bits:
The opening match of the night put Drew Gulak against Shinsuke Nakamura with the caveat that if Gulak could win, his new friend Daniel Bryan would take on Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania next weekend.
Gulak and Nakamura went one-on-one for the first time ever and it delivered a hard-hitting contest with both men looking as though they could win it, especially with the latter having the advantage of both Cesaro at ringside and Sami Zayn on commentary.
As the match drew to a close, it looked as though The King of Strong Style had the technical maestro finished as he charged for a Kinshasa, only for Bryan to pull him away and set up the Master of the PowerPoint Presentation for a jackknife cover to claim the win.
Two segments early into the show saw Otis confront Dolph Ziggler regarding his actions with Mandy Rose and another bore witness to King Corbin’s attempt to murder Elias.
The tension has been growing between Ziggler and Otis ever since that mystery text stopped the big man’s Valentine’s Day date with Mandy Rose. Finally catching up with the smarmy heel this week before being held back by backroom staff, Ziggler challenged the Heavy Machinery member to a match at WrestleMania which Otis was glad to accept. Yet, in a later segment between Rose and Ziggler, The Golden Goddess made him promise not to have her treated like a prize to be won and seemingly still has a soft spot for Otis. It remains to be seen whether this has any influence on a match between the two love rivals.
The more intense of the segments had King Corbin interrupt a musical performance from Elias – who, in fairness, was comparing the former Money in the Bank winner to a turd – but things became very serious when Corbin through the musician over the balcony that they were on and crashing below. This looked all the more dramatic because of how well it was shot by using different angles to look as though Elias had a rough landing with nothing to break his fall.
The second match on this week’s show featured an interesting matchup between Alexa Bliss and Asuka.
Whilst Asuka seems to have suffered a huge fall from grace since her undefeated streak, even losing this one to a DDT finisher from Bliss, the match itself was fun and served as a reminder that Bliss still has a ruthless edge to win matches. Asuka was able to look tough herself but looked prone to mistakes, underestimating what Bliss is actually capable of, which ultimately cost her the match and potentially set up a Women’s Tag Team title match between The Kabuki Warriors and Bliss & Cross at WrestleMania.
Also, a special mention for Cross who did her best to hysterically hype up Bliss whilst on commentary who bounced off Michael Cole pretty well in the circumstances.
The Firefly Fun House returned with Bray Wyatt issuing a special challenge for his WrestleMania opponent John Cena.
The usual characters were at hand to cleverly remind Wyatt (and us at home) of the former Universal Champion’s previous mistakes, with Ramblin’ Rabbit helping the deranged man to concoct a mixture of ingredients, such as “self-loathing” and “unnecessary opinions”, to help him defeat super Cena. The puppet was even thrown into the mix for good measure.
This clever critique and self-referencing promo of his former character were brought to a close when the host invited the Hollywood star into his home for a Firefly Fun House match. Cena will be on SmackDown next week to address the invitation before we get to see if this a recipe for success or disaster.
The final match of the evening had current SmackDown Tag Team Champions Miz and Morrison sit and watch on from commentary as The New Day took on The Usos.
A tried and tested formula, the two teams in the ring put on their usual high energy affair but it was brought to a no-contest after an attack from the onlooking champions. As the action spilt out of the ring, the Dirt Sheet Duo attacked both teams whilst they lay on the ground, they entered the ring to continue the assault and boast about being untouchable in the tag team division.
Michael Cole then took the opportunity to interrupt and announce that as a result of this, the titles would now be defended in a Triple Threat Ladder match between all three teams. This was when the babyface teams were able to recover and leave a receipt for the champions as the show came to a close.
For Fox Sake:
The opener to the show looked to hype up the Fatal 5 Way Elimination Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship whilst also sewing the seed of doubt between the friendship of Sasha Banks and current champion Bayley.
Bayley talked about their friendship and how nothing would get in the way of it. Just as Sasha looked concerned, her face implying should betray her best friend to win the championship, Lacey Evans interrupted as did Naomi to hype themselves up ahead of the title contest. This was then brought swiftly to a close when Tamina, a woman of few words, came out and laid out the babyfaces that were in the ring to which Bayley and Banks picked up the scraps before running off when bumping into Tamina.
Whilst this segment did cast some doubt of The Boss’ loyalties, it largely played out to make Tamina look like the biggest threat going into WrestleMania. She is an imposing figure but given her lack of on-screen time in months and inconsistency throughout her career in WWE, this has done very little to raise the excitement for a match that really does not need 5 people involved.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE