SmackDown on Fox Episode #26
SmackDown Episode # 1,075
Orlando, FL – WWE Performance Center
Hello to all of the readers of the SmackDown Report before I get into this week’s episode I just want to say that my heart goes out to everyone during these trying times especially those living in the hardest-hit areas. On behalf of everyone at the Place to Be Nation, I hope that all of the content that we produce can provide you with a temporary distraction from all the negativity and sadness that is going on because we all need to find some way to keep sane during these insane times we are living in.
Now onto this week’s episode….
We get our intro video and then Michael Cole hypes up everything that will be on the show tonight.
Bayley and Sasha Banks make their way to the ring for a promo.
Bayley says that WrestleMania is supposed to be magical but this year her WrestleMania has become a nightmare and it’s all because Paige is jealous of her. Bayley goes on to say that not only did Paige put her in a five-way elimination match, but she made her best friend Sasha Banks one of the participants. Bayley asks Paige if she thinks she is slick by trying to cause dissension between her and Sasha. Bayley wants Sasha to agree that they are like peanut butter and jelly, but Sasha hesitates and before she can answer Lacey Evans comes to the ring.
Lacey says that Bayley’s mouth is as big as her hat and that Sasha can’t even get a word in. Bayley calls Lacey a loser and Sasha tells her to go preach to someone who cares like her bratty daughter. Lacey says that WrestleMania will indeed be a nightmare for both of them as she intends on shutting Sasha up by breaking her jaw with the Woman’s Right and then she will teach Bayley some manners by taking her title.
Naomi comes out next and says that she agrees with Lacey. Naomi says that she and Bayley have unfinished business after what Bayley pulled at Super Showdown and then she says that she can’t wait to snatch that blue wig off Sasha’s head. This leads to an argument between the women before Tamina makes her entrance.
Tamina says that actions speak louder than words and then she headbutts Naomi and superkicks Lacey which Bayley and Sasha use as an opening to beat down both women. Tamina stands behind Bayley and Sasha and when they turn around they panic and bail from the ring as Tamina stares them down.
This was pretty much a paint by numbers way to hype the match at WrestleMania and I don’t really have anything else to say about it other than Sasha was looking pretty hachi machi during this segment.
Michael Cole hypes up the Drew Gulak vs Shinsuke Nakamura match that will be happening after the break and he reminds us that if Gulak wins the match Sami Zayn must defend his Intercontinental title against Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania.
We come back from break and get a video package highlighting what happened last week with Bryan, Gulak, Zayn and his boys.
Match #1: Drew Gulak w/ Daniel Bryan vs Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Cesaro & Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn is on commentary with Michael Cole during this match.
They feel each other out for a second and then Nakamura connects with a knee to the gut and takes Gulak down to the mat with a front face lock and then drives his knees into the shoulder and neck region of Gulak before coming down with a knee drop. Nakamura picks Gulak up and backs him into the corner where he delivers a kick to the mid-section and then whips him into the opposite corner but when he charges toward Gulak he is met with a big dropkick as Gulak explodes out of the corner. Gulak beats Nakamura down next to the ropes and this gives Cesaro the chance to pull Nakamura out of the ring for a breather. Gulak steps out onto the apron as he plans to go after Nakamura but instead Nakamura kicks his leg out from under him sending Gulak crashing down on the edge of the “hardest part of the ring”. Nakamura lands a knee and a couple of kicks on Gulak while on the outside and then he throws Gulak back into the ring.
Nakamura takes his time getting back in the ring and it ends up costing him as Gulak grabs his leg and hits two dragon screws. Gulak works over the injured leg and a second and then charges toward Nakamura only for Nakamura to sidestep him sending Gulak into the corner and this allows Nakamura to hit a kick to the back of Gulak and then Nakamura comes off the middle rope with a diving Kinshasa, but that is only enough to get a 2 count.
Nakamura locks Gulak in another front face lock and pulls Gulak to his feet for a minute and then Gulak drops back down to one knee as the front face lock is weakening him. Nakamura once again drives a knee into the neck and shoulder region of Gulak and then goes right back to the front face lock but Gulak eventually fights back only to be hit with the forearm flurry. Nakamura hits the gourdbuster and then sets up for the Kinshasa but right when he is fixing to hit it Gulak is pulled out of the way by Bryan which causes Nakamura to get caught in the ropes momentarily and Gulak uses this as an opportunity to roll Nakamura up in a bridging jackknife pin and that is enough to get the job done.
Winner: Drew Gulak via Pinfall Match Rating: **¼
After the match, Zayn is standing on the announce table and is in a frenzy as Bryan somewhat cheated to help Gulak pick up the win, but regardless of how he did it Gulak just earned his new trainee Daniel Bryan a shot at Zayn’s Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania.
This was fine, but I feel Gulak and Nakamura have the potential to really have a great match if they had more time, honestly if it were me I would’ve done this match on the first night of WrestleMania and have the title match on the second night that way these two could get more time. I’m not sure how I feel about the babyfaces using cheap tricks to get the win. I am looking forward to Zayn vs Bryan at WrestleMania as it has the potential to be the sleeper match of the night, that is if they let Zayn wrestle the match and not have him running around and doing the whole chicken shit heel schtick.
Michael Cole hypes up tonight’s episode of Firefly Funhouse as we go to break.
We come back from commercial to see a recap of what just happened.
We then go to a video package highlighting the whole Ziggler vs Otis feud.
We cut to the back to see Ziggler talking on the phone about what happened last week with Otis and while this is happening we get one of the blue glitch things. Otis walks up with Tucker, referees, and agents holding him back as he wants a piece of Ziggler. Ziggler trash talks Otis before challenging him to a match at WrestleMania when all the world will be watching and he will have Mandy in his corner. Otis accepts Ziggler’s challenge.
We go back into the arena where Elias is up on the perch and he sings a song that is disparaging toward King Corbin. When Elias finishes the song Corbin attacks him from behind and forces him over the railing and just as Elias pulls himself back up Corbin hits him with the scepter which causes Elias to fall off the perch to the floor of the PC much like when Scar made Mufasa fall off the cliff in The Lion King. The referees and Adam Pearce run over to Elias and check on him as we go to commercial.
This was not a great segment and the camera cuts during Elias’s fall made it even worse.
We come back from the break to a replay of what just happened and then Michael Cole speaks to us in the sad Owen Hart tragedy voice to tell us that Elias has been taken to the hospital.
Match #2: Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross vs Asuka
Nikki Cross is on commentary during this match.
Asuka is talking in Japanese to Alexa and Alexa is telling her to calm down and then Alexa ducks a lockup attempt and does the sweet little innocent angel pose. Asuka charges in but Alexa ducks and grabs a rear waist lock that Asuka easily escapes but then she is hit by a forearm from Alexa. Asuka tells her to keep laying it in and Alexa obliges as she hits her with several forearm shots. Alexa then runs to the ropes and Asuka follows and tries for a clothesline but Alexa ducks and hits Asuka with a dropkick that gets a 2 count. Alexa grabs a side headlock but is shot off into the ropes and taken down with a shoulder block.
Asuka taunts Nikki by dancing around in the ring while facing her. Alexa reverses a whip into the corner, but Asuka is able to hop up to the middle rope but is suddenly hit with a right hand that causes her to fall back off the turnbuckle and onto the floor. Alexa then mocks Asuka by dancing like her which pisses off Asuka so she hops back up to the apron and starts trash talking Alexa in Japanese and Alexa is acting as if she understands what she is saying before kicking her in the arm causing Asuka to fall back down to the floor. Nikki is now standing on the announce table doing the Asuka dance as well. Alexa goes for a baseball side, but Asuka side steps and pulls Alexa out of the ring and then sends her into the steel steps and this sends us to a commercial break.
We come back from the break with Asuka in control as she has Alexa grounded with an armbar, Alexa attempts to make a comeback but receives a kick to the back of her leg for her troubles. Asuka has Alexa up against the ropes and delivers some open palm strikes and then a spinning kick to the mid-section which sends Alexa through the ropes and onto the apron. Alexa is able to avoid the running hip attack and then kicks Asuka in the back. Both women are on the apron and are trading strikes until Asuka hits another spinning kick to the mid-section which doubles over Alexa. Asuka looks like she wants to do some major damage with either a DDT or a suplex on the apron, but she takes too much time and Alexa is able to grab Asuka’s arm and spin out of the hold with an arm wringer which sends Asuka crashing face-first into the apron and also does damage to her arm as well.
Both women are back in the ring and Alexa goes for a cover but can’t hook a leg due to the pain in her arm from the armbar from earlier and because of this Alexa gets a 2 count. Both women are working with a hurt arm and shoulder and Alexa capitalizes on this as she hits another arm wringer on Asuka. Alexa can’t even get to her feet due to the pain her arm is in so Asuka charges at her, but Alexa was ready for her as she kicked her in the arm. Alexa sidesteps a charging Asuka once again and then hits a clothesline followed by her slap and right-hand combo followed by a seated dropkick. Alexa continues to sell the bad arm as she looks to hit Insult to Injury but Asuka is able to move out of the way from the moonsault knee drop part of the move.
Asuka rolls outside for a breather but Alexa goes after her and when Asuka gets up on the apron Alexa yanks her down sending Asuka chin first into the apron and then Alexa sends her back first into the ring apron. Alexa throws Asuka back into the ring and goes for a cover but once again she only gets a 2 count. Alexa is looking to finish Asuka off with the DDT, but Asuka counters it into the Asuka Lock, but Alexa is able to back Asuka up into the corner to get her to break the hold and then Alexa has a nice roll-through snapmare that she uses to get Asuka in position and then she hits the DDT which is enough to finish off the Empress.
Winner: Alexa Bliss via Pinfall Match Rating: ***
I know most people are going to think that I have this match a quarter to a half a star too high, but I really liked this match both for what was happening in the ring as well as what was happening on commentary with Nikki Cross. From an in-ring standpoint this is one of the better matches that Alexa has had in the last couple of months. I thought she did a good job selling the arm even though it didn’t play into the finish of the match. I really liked the finish of the match with Asuka countering the DDT with an Asuka Lock attempt and then Alexa using a different way to get into position in order to hit the DDT.
As good as this match was, the star of this entire episode of SmackDown was Nikki Cross on commentary. Nikki starts out by giving Cole a big hug and he has to remind her about social distancing. This is followed by her deciding to sit on the desk instead of in the chair. The entire match she was all over herself and was pounding on the table and almost lost her headset at one point and then at one point she starts clapping her hands trying to get the non-existent crowd into the match and when Cole asks her about it she mentions something about a poltergeist. She starts chanting for Lexi and gets Cole to chant along with her and then at one point Cole corpses. Nikki starts hitting Cole and then he tries to get her to relax and then she gives Cole one last hug before leaving the announce table. The back and forth between Cole and Nikki was great just like the back and forth between Cole and Triple H was great a couple of weeks ago. So, between the action in the ring and the hilarious commentary, this match is definitely deserving of being three stars.
We cut to the back where The Usos cut a promo about how it wouldn’t be WrestleMania season without The Usos and The New Day battling it out and tonight it’s on lockdown where they have beef or not and they will let the New Day know that The Uce got the Juice.
We then go to a commercial.
When we come back from break we get some hype for the Roman Reigns vs Goldberg match that we now know isn’t happening due to the fact that Roman Reigns has pulled out of WrestleMania due to the concern of performing during the CoronaVirus due to the fact that his immune system is suppressed because of his battles with Leukemia.
We then get our replay match of the night and this time it’s Triple H vs Roman Reigns from WrestleMania 32.
After the match, Michael Cole interviews Triple H who has faced both Roman Reigns and Goldberg and he is asked what it’s like to face both men, but it really doesn’t matter what he says because the match is not happening.
You would think that since they know the match isn’t happening they would cut all of this out and it gets even worse as they announce that both Goldberg and Reigns will be on the show next week which is false advertisement to try and gain viewers for next week’s show and that’s gonna suck for casual viewers who aren’t in the know and are expecting to see the two goliaths meet face to face next week, so in this case, I have to say shame on you WWE.
We cut to a promo from The New Day how tonight is special because they have a shot at facing the champions at WrestleMania. They say it’s always a battle when they go up against The Usos, but they intend on becoming tag team champions once again.
A new episode of Firefly Funhouse is coming up after the break.
We cut to the back where Ziggler is talking to Sonya Deville when Mandy walks up and wants to talk to Ziggler alone. Mandy asks why Ziggler is doing this to Otis and Ziggler admits that maybe he went too far last week by showing Otis the pictures of him and Mandy together. Mandy says she doesn’t care if they have a match, but they are not going to fight over her like she is an object. Ziggler says that when he wins he will take her back to the hotel for some champagne and they walk off together.
I never would’ve thought that a one on one match between Dolph Ziggler and Otis would be one of the matches I am most looking forward to but it is and I can’t wait to see how this story ends. Will Otis end up with Mandy, will Ziggler end up with Mandy, or perhaps Mandy blows them both off and ends up with Sonya I for sure can’t wait to find out.
It’s now time for Firefly Funhouse.
The episode starts out with Wyatt facing away from the camera and then he turns around and says that he is going to teach us about… before he can finish his sentence we hear weird noises that are meant to be coming from his severed head lantern and Wyatt yells for it to shut up and says that it had its turn against Cena and failed. Abbey the Doll says that Wyatt is delusional and asks if he all of a sudden has the recipe to beat Cena and Wyatt says that he does.
We then get what is supposed to be like a cooking show segment where Wyatt adds the ingredients to beat Cena into a blender and those ingredients are disappointment, self-loathing, some hot sauce (for the flavor of course), and a heaping amount of rage and resentment. Ramblin’ Rabbit pops up and offers Wyatt a carrot to put into the blender so that Wyatt can see Cena, but Wyatt says he needs some irrelevant and unnecessary opinions instead and grabs Ramblin’ Rabbit and puts him into the blender and then he blends everything together.
Wyatt takes a drink from the pitcher and says that it went straight to his head and gave him an idea, Wyatt says that a big star like Cena deserves more than just a normal match and he says that The Fiend wants Cena to step into their world which consists of madness and mayhem and the fun never ends, so he challenges Cena to a Firefly Funhouse match. Wyatt says the drink tastes great, but it causes one nasty side effect and this leads to The Fiend flashing up on the screen as the segment ends.
So first we had a boneyard match for WrestleMania and now we are going to get a Firefly Funhouse match and while both matches could end up being total disasters and worst match of the year contenders I am definitely interested to see exactly how they will work, I mean could this Firefly Funhouse match be any worse than the House of Horrors match? As for this episode of Firefly Funhouse, I thought it was fine and I liked the whole recipe part of the episode.
The SmackDown Tag Champions make their way to the ring as they will be on commentary for the main event of the night which is coming up after the break.
When we come back from commercial Michael Cole tells about the false advertisement segment between Goldberg and Roman Reigns that I mentioned earlier and in addition to that Cena will be there to respond to Wyatt’s challenge to a Firefly Funhouse match.
Match #3: The Usos vs The New Day
Kingston and Jimmy start the match and Jimmy takes Kingston to the mat with a headlock takeover and then he pulls Kingston to his feet only to be shot into the ropes by Kingston but Jimmy comes back with a shoulder block. Kingston does his drop-down and leapfrog spot and then goes to hit the flying back elbow, but Jimmy catches him and goes for a back suplex but Kingston lands on his feet and backs into the corner, Jimmy hits a monkey flip on Kingston but Kingston lands on his feet and goes to hit a dropkick only for Jimmy to catch his leg and catapults Kingston toward the corner but Kingston lands on the middle rope and comes off with a dropkick on Jimmy. Jimmy rolls outside for a breather as Miz and Morrison mock him from the announce table, Jimmy rolls back in the ring and then tags in Jey and Kingston makes a tag as well to Big E.
We get a lock up and Jey goes behind Big E, but Big E breaks the grip of Jey and then backdrops him over his shoulder. Jey gets back up to his feet and we get another lock up and this time Jey tries to whip Big E into the corner, but Big E won’t budge and he whips Jey toward the corner but Jey is able to stop himself before he hits the corner and then hits a big uppercut on Big E. Jey runs off the ropes and runs right into a back elbow from Big E. Big E tags in Kingston and then Kingston leapfrogs over Big E and comes down with a senton to the midsection of Jey which gets a 2 count.
Kingston hits a back kick to the midsection of Jey and then Jimmy makes a blind tag to make himself the legal man, Jey reverses a whip into the ropes and flapjacks Kingston throat first across the top rope. Jimmy goes for a pin but Kingston is able to kick out. Jimmy delivers a couple of big chops and then tags Jey back in and he goes for a kick to Kingston’s midsection but Kingston catches the leg and this allows Jey to go for an enziguri but Kingston ducks and this allows Kingston to make a big leap toward his corner to tag in Big E. Big E hits a couple of overhead belly to belly suplexes on Jey and then drags him over toward the ropes where half of his body is on the apron and then he delivers several clubbing blows to Jey’s chest. Big E then hits the big apron splash on Jey and hits him so hard that it sends Big E flying backward into the barricade and this sends us to our final commercial break of the night.
We come back from the break and see that Big E is going to hit the suicide spear on one of the Usos but before he can they jump in the ring and hit him with a double spinebuster for a 2 count. Big E rolls himself into the corner and Jey hits him with the running hip attack. Jey tags in Jimmy who tries for a hip attack of his own, but Big E catches him and slams him to the mat with an STO out of the corner and now both men are down. We get a tag on both sides and Kingston takes Jimmy down with a springboard chop and then Kingston unleashes on Jimmy with chops and a dropkick. Kingston hits the Boom Drop and then sets up for the Trouble in Paradise but Jimmy ducks and then lands a kick. Jimmy sends Kingston into the corner, but he springs off the top rope with a hurricanrana.
Kingston charges at Jimmy and attempts the mushroom stomp, but Jimmy sidesteps and slams Kingston into the mat by his leg and then locks in a half crab. Kingston is close to reaching the ropes but Jimmy pulls him toward the center of the ring so Kingston rolls through and kicks Jimmy away and then hits the S.O.S. but Jimmy kicks out at 2. By this point, Miz and Morrison are doing the fight forever chanting on commentary. Kingston goes over to Jimmy who lifts him up in a fireman’s carry position but Kingston slides out the back and then makes the tag to Big E. New Day goes for a powerbomb and double stomp double team move, but Jimmy leans back which causes Kingston to miss him on the double stomp and he walks right into Jey who sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Big E is still tied up with Jimmy and this allows Jey to hit Big E with two superkicks, but he still has some life left in him as he kicks out a 2.
Jey tags in Jimmy and they lift Big E up to the top turnbuckle and then join him up there but he fights them off momentarily only for Jimmy to jump up and hit Big E with an enziguri that sends Big E down to the floor. The Usos are looking for Uso crazy, but Kingston grabs the leg of Jey and this leads to The Usos grabbing Kingston and pulling him into the ring and then look to send him over the top on the opposite side of the ring, but Kingston is able to hold on to the ropes and then pulls down the top rope as The Usos charge toward him and this sends them to the outside. Kingston hits the trust fall dive and takes out one of the Usos. Miz and Morrison are standing on the announce table mocking both teams and finally Kingston has had enough of this and he trips up Morrison sending him crashing down on the announce table and this leads to Miz getting in Kingston’s face and then Jey takes them both down with a dive to the outside. Big E hits the suicide spear on Jimmy and all six men are down on the outside. Miz and Morrison get back to their feet and attack Big E from behind and the referee calls for the bell.
Winners: No Contest Match Rating: ***¼
After the match, Miz and Morrison beat up both teams.
Michael Cole stands up and in a flashback, to the anonymous General Manager days he has an important breaking news announcement to make, he goes on to say that due to the outcome of this match Miz and Morrison will defend their SmackDown Tag Titles against both The New Day and The Usos at WrestleMania in a triple threat ladder match.
The Usos and The New Day have both gotten back to their feet and The Usos lay Morrison out with a double superkick and The New Day layout Miz with a Midnight Hour and that is how the show ends.
This was as good as you would imagine a New Day vs Usos match being and I look forward to the ladder match at WrestleMania.
I felt like this episode was a bit lacking compared to last week, this week felt like a holdover just to get to the go-home show next week. I enjoyed both the Alexa vs Asuka match and the New Day vs Asuka match but found everything else to be mediocre at best. The Elias and Corbin segment is bad, but the fact that they still promoted the Goldberg vs Roman Reigns match knowing that the match isn’t happening is even worse.
I will say that with WrestleMania less than a week away I am getting more interested and excited about the show despite the crazy circumstances surrounding the show. The reason for my increased interest other than the fact that I feel the matches themselves will deliver more than a normal WrestleMania seeing as the pomp and circumstance that usually comes with WrestleMania won’t be a thing this year so the in-ring work will have to make up for it. The other reason I am interested in it is because of the uncertainty of the show as we already know that Reigns has pulled out so as of now we have a mystery opponent for Goldberg and there has been news circulating that others weren’t able or didn’t want to be apart of the show and one of those people is a current champion. It will be interesting to see how they change around the card and who they use as replacements in these matches.
I also like how WWE is just going balls to the wall and throwing everything out there and are making crazy stipulations to matches (like a boneyard match and a firefly funhouse match) because this WrestleMania is already bizarre so why not just throw out every crazy idea they have and put it on the show. One thing is for sure, the 24 episode that comes out next year covering this show could be the most-watched episode of 24 they have ever had because it will be amazing to watch how they planned this show during a pandemic and then once they have it somewhat planned out they are faced with making changes once again when their top guy along with others start pulling out of the show.
That’s it for this week I’ll be back next week for the WrestleMania go-home show as this long winding road finally comes to an end after many roadblocks and detours along the way.
SmackDown on Fox Episode #26