SmackDown on Fox Episode #27
SmackDown Episode # 1,076
Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center
*Just a heads up this will be a more abbreviated version of the SD report as I will not be doing the usual play by play breakdown of the matches for this week due to the fact that I want to get this posted ASAP so that my thoughts and opinions aren’t outdated due to WrestleMania being two days.*
We open with the intro video and then it looks like we are going to get an episode of Miz TV, however, The Usos come out instead and say that they couldn’t wait to get invited to the Dirt Sheet after what happened last week. The New Day then comes out and they argue with The Usos over who is going to become the tag team champions. The Miz & John Morrison come out and say that they are used to being disrespected despite the fact that they are the tag team champions who beat the entire tag division in the Elimination Chamber. Miz says that they plan on watching New Day and The Usos destroy each other and then they will climb the ladder and retain their titles and then Miz and Morrison climb the ladders placed on the stage.
New Day and Usos run toward Miz & Morrison and beat them down until one of the Usos accidentally superkicks Kofi which leads to Big E clotheslining him and then throwing the other Uso over the barricade. Miz & Morrison send Big E into the steps and then take Kingston down with a ladder. Miz & Morrison pose on the top of the ladders as the segment comes to an end.
This was a fine segment to hype the ladder match this weekend as it was pretty much what you would expect for the go-home show for a match like this.
Michael Cole announces that we will be seeing the Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels match from WrestleMania XXIV tonight.
Naomi makes her way to the ring as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break and see that Sasha Banks & Bayley have joined commentary for the next match.
Match #1: Tamina Snuka def Naomi & Lacey Evans via Pinfall Match Rating: **¼
After the match, Bayley gets in the ring and tries to kiss Tamina’s ass but she isn’t buying it as she drops Bayley with a superkick. Sasha enters the ring and brings up their days as members of Team B.A.D. and wants a fist bump, but instead, she receives a back bump as Tamina lays her out with a Samoan drop.
They are really doing as much as they possibly can to try and convince people that Tamina has a shot at winning the title after shoehorning her into it due to Carmella being unavailable, unfortunately, we all know that she has no chance of winning it nor should she…I really hope that doesn’t come back to bite me and they put the title on her for no other reason than to be unpredictable. I thought Sasha and Bayley were great on commentary during the match and I love that the streak of people screwing around with Michael Cole is continuing by Lacey Evans placing her giant hat on Cole’s head.
After the break, we go to the back where Tucker and Mandy are chatting and then we get the glitch and it tells us that “The Truth Will Be Heard”
We then go to the “I’ve already seen this” match of the night.
Michael Cole lets us know that the match between Elias and King Corbin is still scheduled despite the fact that Elias isn’t cleared to compete.
I don’t think people care one way or another if this match happens or not as it will most likely be the pee break match of one of the two nights.
We are also told out of nowhere without any explanation that Braun Strowman is the one taking Roman’s place against Goldberg at WrestleMania, this was a bit surprising as all week Triple H had been saying in interviews that the reason they didn’t reveal Strowman as Goldberg’s opponent last week was that they didn’t want to spoil the unique way in which he gets put into the match, well this was definitely unique alright Why does WWE insist on being lazy and inconsiderate of their fans, I am just glad I’m a hardcore fan because if not I would probably be confused as hell as to why and how Reigns was removed from the match and replaced by Strowman. All they had to do was just tell the truth about Reigns pulling out of the match and then have Strowman cut a promo where he says that he has talked to Reigns and that there is so much respect between them after the battles they had a few years ago and because of this Reigns has gifted him the opportunity to challenge for the Universal Title in his place as he knows that Strowman has the best chance of taking the title off the old part-timer. Then have Goldberg cut a promo running down both Reigns and Strowman. It’s really not that hard to come up with something to explain how Strowman got into the match, but WWE doesn’t give a shit enough to do something that simple and that is quite sad and pathetic.
We cut to the back where Otis and Tucker are talking and Tucker says that Mandy was asking about him earlier, but he thinks she was just being nice. Otis suddenly gets a text and walks off all happy and excited.
Match #2: Tucker def Dolph Ziggler via DQ Match Rating: **½
After the match, Ziggler continues to beat down Tucker and looks to slam the steps on Tucker’s head, but Mandy runs out and yells for him to stop and then Otis runs out to make the save. We get the blue glitch once again and this time it cuts to a control room where a dark hooded figure appears and he proceeds to show security camera footage from back on Valentine’s Day. The footage shows Mandy talking about how sweet Otis is and then Sonya comes in and says she supports Mandy and then Mandy walks off to go on her date with Otis. Sonya picks up Mandy’s phone that she had left behind and finally we see that it was Sonya who sent the texts to Otis on that night. We then cut to footage of Sonya and Ziggler conspiring and this is enough to make Mandy walkout as Sonya begs to let her explain but Mandy ignores her pleas. Otis goes after Ziggler and tries to tackle him but Ziggler is able to escape as we go to commercial break.
We come back from commercial to see that Mandy is pissed as she continues to storm off with Sonya in tow begging for her to stop, but yet again her pleas are ignored.
I was right all along that it was Sonya who sent the text. During the post-match, I was in the middle of fixing food but I completely stopped what I was doing once I heard Mandy telling Ziggler to stop. I ran over to the TV to see what was going to happen next and that shows just how invested I am in this story because I usually don’t get distracted when it comes to food lol. Not only did we get the reveal of Sonya sending the text, but we also got what the blue glitch things had been leading up to. This could be a cool thing where this mysterious figure (who is most likely Ali) is able to hack into security cameras and other technologies in order to catch heels in the act, sort of like a one-man version of the real-life group of hackers called Anonymous. I find it odd that they did this reveal on the go-home show rather than on WrestleMania, but I guess WrestleMania is either where Mandy ends up with Otis or in the big Vince Russo twist she and Sonya end up together, either way, I look forward to seeing how all of this ends up as it has been the most interesting story on SmackDown and it’s kind of sad that it will finally come to an end.
Match #3: Daniel Bryan w/ Drew Gulak def Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Cesaro & Zayn via DQ Match Rating: ***
After the match, Gulak tackles Cesaro out of the ring and locks in a guillotine choke, but Cesaro uses his power to backdrop Gulak over the barricade. Cesaro then throws Bryan into the announce table and this gives Gulak time to recover but he is quickly double teamed by Cesaro and Nakamura and sent into the stairs. Cesaro, Nakamura, & Zayn triple-teamed Bryan and hit their finishers on him as the segment came to a close.
This Intercontinental Title match could be one of the best matches of the weekend if they let Zayn wrestle like we all know he can rather than having him running around being a chicken shit heel and constantly relying on Cesaro and Nakamura.
We go to our final break of the night.
We come back and see a replay of last week’s Firefly Funhouse.
John Cena comes out and talks about how WWE made the decision to continue running shows from the PC and he talks about how it has been a learning curve to perform in front of no fans and he thanks us for sticking with them. He says that it is the final moments of the final show before an unprecedented WrestleMania and he talks about how WrestleMania will be one of the most viewed and anticipated WrestleManias for the sole reason being that nobody knows exactly what is going to happen.
Cena talks about how he has been challenged to a Firefly Funhouse match but he doesn’t even know what that is and on top of that he doesn’t even think Wyatt knows what it is. He talks about how The Fiend thrives off uncertainty because uncertainty leads to fear and fear leads to panic and panic leads to collapse and those same traits are how The Fiend has dominated the WWE.
Cena says he will not panic and he will not be afraid and at Mania, he is going to finish what he started six years ago. He says that Wyatt isn’t even on the level below him and then calls him a bootleg Mr. Rogers. Cena says he was ready to step aside but The Fiend made the challenge and to make things worse The Fiend has tried to take every advantage he can and then Cena accepts Wyatt’s challenge to a Firefly Funhouse match.
Ramblin’ Rabbit pops up behind the barricade and says he is excited because after The Fiend is done with Cena he will be playing with them forever. The rest of the Firefly Funhouse puppets start popping up and start chanting forever before Ramblin’ Rabbit lets us know that The Fiend is here. The lights go out and when they come back on the PC has turned red and The Fiend is shown standing on the balcony, The Fiend and Cena stare each other down and then out of nowhere Wyatt pops up behind Cena and says to “Let Him In” and then the lights go back out and when they come back on Cena is standing alone in the ring as both Wyatt and The Fiend have vanished as the WrestleMania 36 go home episode comes to a close.
Finally, WWE decided to let someone somewhat address on TV how strange it is for them to be in the PC and how crazy and chaotic this WrestleMania lead up has been. It was interesting how a lot of what Cena said in terms of the fear and uncertainty surrounding The Fiend mirrors how everyone is feeling during these crazy times we are living in.
I’m glad to see that Ramblin’ Rabbit has recovered once again from being ground up in a blender. The ending moments of Cena staring down The Fiend felt like something you would expect to see in Lucha Underground as it had more of a cinematic feel to it rather than a sports entertainment feel and we even got a jump scare at the end which was nice. I look forward to seeing exactly what a Firefly Funhouse match is and the same goes for the Boneyard match.
With the exception of giving no explanation as to why Braun Strowman replaced Roman Reigns I thought this was a really good go-home show for SmackDown as their final hype for the Otis vs Ziggler match and the Cena vs Wyatt has me more excited to see what is going to happen at WrestleMania.
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone especially those living in the hot spot areas and a big thank you to all of the essential workers still having to go out and risk their lives to either save other lives or to provide the essential things we need in order to keep going. I hope everyone has a fun time watching WrestleMania and for the time that it is on you are able to mentally escape for 3-4 hours because right now we need that kind of escape more than ever and for that reason alone I am happy that WWE continued on with these shows.
SmackDown on Fox Episode #27