This week in pro wrestling, the final road to WrestleMania begins. Edge seeks payback from Randy Orton. Drew McIntyre ends a character’s gimmick. Mysterio takes on Garza!
The path to AEW’s Blood and Guts ramp up. The Death Triangle debuts. The Inner Circle and The Elite’s feud heads to overdrive.
Keith Lee defends the North American title against Cameron Grimes. NXT Tag Team title rematch! The Queen responds to Rhea Ripley attack on Raw. Ciampa and Gargano go at it again.
Following the Elimination Chamber, Raw begins the final road to WrestleMania. McIntyre warms up for his Mania match with Brock Lesnar. AJ Styles challenges the Deadman. Edge seeks revenge on Randy Orton. Aleister Black and Seth Rollins ends up an Eight-Man tag match. Let’s get started to the road to WrestleMania right here!
The Man calls out Baszler. Future Hall Of Famer takes on a young lion. Rhea confronts The Queen.
Does Shayna Baszler have heat?
The Man and Raw Champion, Becky Lynch started the show off. Lynch put over Shayna before using some choice tear downs. Insults like how Shayna is a black hole of charisma. That had Vince’s finger prints all over it. Makes me wonder if Shayna is going to get the title at Mania, which she should. The crowd gave Becky a nice welcome by chanting her name. However, it is plain to see that Lynch is not the powerhouse draw she was last year. The fans may be tired of Lynch’s character by now and it is time for a new champ to run with it. But Vince cares about merchandise sells and Becky still sells plenty of them.
Rey Mysterio vs Angel Garza. Rey wins via 619 pin fall.
The best match of the night, in which was a show full of squashes and promos. However, do not let that misled you. These two put on a damn fine match. What worries me a bit is that Garza looses again. Angel can take a a loss to Rey, because it’s Rey Freakin Mysterio. However, WWE better be careful doling out losses to Garza, as it will hurt is stock and lower his ceiling.
A testament to the two’s work in the ring, was Zelina Vega being a non factor. There was no need for Vega’s antics during this match, as the duo carried the entire match with clean and crisp moves. Fun bout with Rey taking the 619 win.
Rhea confronts The Queen.
After a video package recapping their feud, Flair walks out to cut a promo. Rhea then interrupts, but Flair cuts her off verbally. Charlotte states that this is Raw, not NXT. Ripley clocks her with a big right hand. On paper this should’ve worked. However, whether if it was the delivery, the predictability, or us just getting tired over Flair’s spotlight, it fell a bit flat.
A trio of squashes.
Bobby Lashley vs Zack Ryder. Lashley wins via Dominator pin fall.
Are we surprised? Nah.. WWE keeps finding new ways to bury one their best minds. Mind you Ryder was never fully pushed, he got his following on Youtube. A technique many wrestlers use in the present. Add on that Zack is a former Intercontinental, United States, and Tag team champion makes witnessing this even more sad. Let’s go on to the next squash.
Drew McIntyre vs Erick Rowan. Drew wins via Claymore Kick pin fall.
What… you say? Drew easily took care of that monster of a man, Rowan? Yeah, but McIntyre went a step further.. he exterminated Erick’s pet spider. The Scottish Psychopath crushed Rowan’s cage with steel steps and hits a Claymore for the win. WWE is building up Drew to take on Brock, we get it. However, what I do not get is why destroy Rowan’s best gimmick that he ever had? Erick had a great six months in character building. Now it is erased in a squash (pun intended) for someone who didn’t need the extra push.
Kabuki Warriors vs Liv Morgan/Natalya. Asuka wins via Roundhouse Kick pin fall.
The big thing in this seemingly mash up match was seeing Liv Morgan growing as a performer. Morgan is nowhere near a top worker yet, but she is progressing along. The Kabuki Warriors got to cut a pre match promo in Japanese, please let do this more often.. even if this went on a tad too long. Ruby Riott and Sara Logan ended up in the ring fighting each other and Liv, furthering along this feud. The whole match had no consequences, but the Riott Squad feud may be intriguing, if WWE does it right… IF.
AJ sets a challenge. Another talent buried. Edge is hell bent.
AJ Styles calls out Mark.. I mean The Undertaker. In a promo where Styles uses the real life names of the Deadman and his wife, Michelle.. was as predictable as Vince loving blonde women. We all knew it was happening and this promo did nothing to surprise us. A very lackluster way to promote their match at Mania.
Riddick Moss vs Cedric Alexander for the 24/7 title. Moss wins via Neckbreaker pin fall.
The longest reigning 24/7 champion completely buries Cedric. Funny how a title that is supposed to be defended from anyone and at anytime, is becoming a traditional title now. I can see it as WWE trying to build towards the 24/7 title being a legitimate title. Alas, Moss may not be the man to make it so. Maybe Riddick is keeping it warm for Rob Gronkowski to take it over.
You think you know him.
Poor MVP… and well dumb MVP. Montel got the luxury of being caught in the crossfire of Edge and Orton, but he could’ve avoided it. Nope, the braggish star just ha to mention Edge’s wife, Beth Pheonix. The Rated R Superstar, Spears him out of his boots and Randy Orton crashes the party. This time Edge was ready and gave The Viper an RKO from outta nowhere! Orton escapes, so Edge gives two chair shots to MVP. Again, yes MVP shouldn’t have brought up Beth, but did he deserve two chair shots? This may be the most on par segment between Edge and Orton, while every single one before it rocked our minds. Let’s hope they get back on track.
Two main events?
Aleister Black vs Seth Rollins. Black wins via disqualification.
Earlier in the night, Seth attempted to recruit Black. However The Dutch Destroyer declined, setting him in the crosshair of The Monday Night Messiah. This was a solid match with the two forcing each other into a stalemate. Murphy then interjects himself and earned a DQ. Rollins calls out the rest of his following to attack Aleister. However, The Viking Raiders and Street Profits come in to make the save. This leads to another match.
Seth Rollins/Murphy/AOP vs Viking Raiders/Street Profits. Seth wins via Curb Stomp on Ford for pin fall.
With Black now getting into a feud with back to back former champions, the future looks bright. However, without Black being included in this match is a bit puzzling. The eight men went at as per usual, my only gripe is that Rollins and pals seem to go against the same people every week in the main event. Kevin Owens, Viking Raiders, and now Street Profits. The main draw is KO vs Rollins.. the others seems just to be there. The feud can be placed in the first or second hour and it can freshen up things a bit.
With the same match ups, you got the same results. It is just the matter of the Heels or Faces going over. This time it was the Heels, with not only Seth getting the pin fall, hitting KO with three Curb Stomps. I hope WWE do some tinkering to this feud before WrestleMania.–David G.
Will there be a WrestleMania?
That is IF THERE IS A WrestleMania. At the time of writing, the Tampa Sports Authority are holding a meeting on concerns of the COVID-19. The Sports Authority may cancel or postpone any big gathering events.. including WrestleMania.
This week on Dynamite, AEW sets it’s sights on Blood and Guts as the rules are announced. Cody takes on Ortiz, will Hangman appear? Jake The Snake’s client arrives! The debut of the Death Triangle. Jurassic Express takes on MJF/Butcher/Blade. Hangman Page has a match with Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara, with an unknown partner. Let’s dive in, because this is Dynamite!
The Inner Circle and Elite feuds escalates. Jake The Snake’s client debuts. Tag team action featuring top title contenders. Six-Man tag team action.
Cody vs Ortiz. Cody wins via Figure Four Leg Lock submission.
A great opening match that previews on what is in store at Blood and Guts. I’m actually digging Santana and Ortiz as singles workers. Now, I am sure this is just temporary, as they are bound at the hips as a tag team. During the match it is noticed that Cody is more aggressive is style now. Maybe due the loss to MJF and Jake the Snake calling him out. Speaking of The Snake, Jake arrives at ringside with his client. None other than Lance Archer from TNA and NJPW!
The newly formed duo sat at ringside scouting Cody, and at time Jake had to hold his client back. They never interfered, just seeding a future feud with Cody. The action was crisp, with Cody picking up the win with a Figure Four! Afterwards The American Nightmare is jumped by Santana and then Ortiz. Matt Jackson and Kenny Omega run in for the save. However, it was a ruse.. as Le Champion and Jake Hagar pop up on the screen. They showed a bloody Nick Jackson, crushed beneath a garage door. The Elite run back there but it was too late.
This feud keeps raising the bar, and it’s the great work of everyone that is involved. Will it climax at Blood and Guts or will it keep going in another fashion? My bet is this feud will always pop up in some form or another when AEW needs a draw.
Kris Statlander/Hikaru Shida vs Bea Priestley/Nyla Rose. Rose wins via Beast Bomb pin fall.
Really nice match! The bout did what it set out to do. Which was making Rose the ultimate final boss, while showing that Kris and Shida have work to do. Stalander and Hikaru do get some moments over The Native Beast, but Nyla is too powerful as of now. Bea showed some promise, as she was desperately in need of a win. With Rose now taking out the top contenders for her title clean in separate occasions, are they the top contenders? A shuffle of the rankings are in need. After the match, Priestly attacks Rose and looks at the title. Reaffirming that Rose has no friends and everyone is out for her title. Pretty solid match and story.
MJF/Butcher/Blade vs Jurassic Express. MJF wins via Salt of the Earth submission.
Another fun match that did what it needed to do. Highlight how over Jurassic Express is, showing that MJF has a stable of sorts, and making everyone hate MJF. In a formulaic fashion, MJF beats up smaller opponents and runs when the huge Luchasaurus arrives. Blade and Butcher are MJF’s muscle, leading to MJF to lock in the Salt of the Earth on smaller Marko Stunt. MJF’s hold is basically his version of an Armbar and it paves way for his winning ways. I said it before and I’ll say it again, if AEW makes a Trios Tag Team title.. Jurassic Express should be the first team to hold it.
The rules for Blood and Guts. Big Swole sets sights on Britt Baker. Death Triangle’s first opponents. The Main Event.
Blood and Guts PPV sound familiar.
The rules for a Blood and Guts match are as the following:
- Two men enter a steel cage to start for five minutes.
- After the five minutes are up, a participant enters
- The next time limit is two minutes.
- When all the participants are in the steel cage, Blood and Guts will begin.
- There are no pin falls or disqualifications. The winning team is determined by a submission or a surrender.
Umm, yeah. Sounds just like NXT’s Wargames, but to be fair WWE lifted it from WCW after they bought them. I actually do not care on who started it or has control of the gimmick. I just want to see great violent action and this will not disappoint.
She is married Britt.
Tony Schiavone again introduces Dr Britt Baker for an interview. Hey Tony, you think you would learn by know. Baker insults the crowd yet again, in which she is getting really good at. Big Swole interrupts, but Britt asks why is Swole out here. As the only person relevant to wrestling is Swole’s boyfriend, WWE’s Cedric Alexander. Big Swole corrects Baker in saying “I’m MARRIED! BAY! BAY!”, a direct call to Bakers boy friend, NXT chanpion Adam Cole. Baker throws a cup of hot coffee on Swole and hightails it out.
I admit, I was one the ones that cringed every time Baker was handed a mic. However, seeing the growth Britt has done over the weeks is impressive. The Dr seems to be more at ease in delivery and it is showing. By the way.. I would love to see Adam Cole/Britt Baker vs Cedric Alexander/Big Swole tear the roof off.
Death Triangle (Pac, Fenix, Pentagon Jr) vs Joey Janela/Private Party. Pac wins via Black Arrow pin fall.
Finally the debut of what in my mind, the scariest trio tag team. At the expense of Private Party and Joey Janela. When I saw this on the card, I thought.. Oh, jeez Joey/Private Party are getting buried. Nope, not in this promotion. This match had everyone looking strong, while giving the Death Triangle a needed win. The action was fast, vicious, and nice despite a couple of botches. Just as would have expected a pin fall by the Triangle, the faces kept popping out of the pin!
Every time I think to myself that the faces are actually pull this off, the Triangle return in vicious fashion. It was an exhilarating match and the best one of the night, that speaks volumes considering the talent that was on the card. One of my favorite spots was when Joey and Marq hit their version of the Gin and Juice, but with a Death Valley Driver. Gin and Juice Driver? Ok, I’ll stop.
More great spots featured Private Party launching themselves over Janela to take out the Lucha Bros. Then The Bad Boy hitting a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron to Pac. The match ended with the insane agility of Fenix.. hitting the Spiked Package Powerbomb on Jenala. Then Pentagon Jr drags Joey to a perfect spot for Pac’s Black Arrow.
That immediately shows on how well this team knows each other from wrestling in the indies. Joey and Private Party fought hard, but is was the Death Triangle’s time tonight. Additionally Best Friends and Orange Cassidy came out for the save from the Triangles’s impressive triple Brutalizer submission. Can we get a match with these three team and involve ladders and chairs please?
Adam Hangman Page/Dustin Rhodes vs Chris Jericho/Sammy Guevera. Page wins via Buckshot Lariat pin fall.
Dustin gave no choice to Page earlier as he set out to do some “Cowboy S–t” for what The Inner Circle did to Nick Jackson. The action was nice as the younger stars fought for the older ones, allowing them to hit signature spots. There even a spot where Le Champion grabbed a beer while beating down Page. Only to have Adam drop Jericho, grab the same beer and drink it. Love it guys.. just love it. The action flowed and looked well executed. In the closing moments, Dustin nails Sammy with a Canadian Destroyer and Page lands the Buckshot Lariat for the win.
Afterwards, the rest of The Inner Circle arrive to beat them down. The Elite arrives back from the hospital for the save. Matt Jackson runs to the ring, only to pause to flip Page the finger, nice touch there. Alas, it was not enough, as The Inner Circle stood tall after dismantling The Elite.
A great way to build up to the Blood and Guts PPV. The show provided intriguing story lines and great action. My ongoing complaint is that Sammy is still used for fodder. How can the “future of AEW” continue to afford these losses? The answer, he can’t.. AEW needs to find a way for Sammy to start winning on his own and have a few signature wins, ala’ MJF.-David G.
NXT takes a road trip to the WWE Performance Center this week, bringing us two title matches, more qualifying matches for the Women’s #1 Contender Ladder Match at Takeover, and the escalation of one of the greatest feuds in the brand’s history!
Big Bang. Qualifier #1. Mendoza gets kidnapped. The Queen Returns Home.
Keith Lee vs. Cameron Grimes – NXT North American Championship Match
Not surprisingly, this was a fantastic match from start to finish. I continue to praise the progress that Cameron Grimes has shown in the ring, whether it’s his mannerisms or his resilience. He stood face to face with the most over guy in all of WWE, and didn’t back down a bit. Keith Lee is, simply, Keith Lee. The man is a walking ATM, he’s money.
Lots of back and forth action throughout the match, with Grimes being “grimey” and Lee being the super-agile powerhouse that he is. In the end, Lee retained the title by dropping Grimes with the Big Bang Catastrophe. Quality start to NXT this week.
Winner and STILL NXT North American Champion – Keith Lee
After the match, the story with Damian Priest and Dominik Dijakovic continued to escalate, as Priest attacks Lee from behind with his nightstick. Dijakovic runs out to chase off Priest, and attempts to assist Lee to his feet, only for Lee to toss Dijakovic up and drop him with a devastating Spirit Bomb.
I really like the way this story is playing out. Dijakovic told Lee a few weeks ago that he couldn’t give up on chasing the North American title, and he wanted to go again with Lee. Priest has thrown his hat in the ring, having attacked Dijakovic a couple of weeks ago, and now targeting Lee. The Archer of Infamy takes what he wants!
Lee attacking Dijakovic was a shock to me, but it made sense. Lee didn’t see who attacked him, so when he comes to his senses, Dijakovic is the first man he sees, and Dominik is holding his championship title, so Lee immediately unleashes his rage on him. Great story being built here.
Mia Yim vs. Dakota Kai – Qualifier for the Women’s #1 Contender’s Ladder Match
After I lambasted Dakota for her interference two weeks ago that caused Mia to lose to Xia Li, we get the payoff for that here, in a qualifier for Takeover. The match itself was OK, but I hated the result. The story has been that Dakota is still targeting the people that wronged her before her heel turn at War Games. She’s had a series of matches against former best friend Tegan Nox, and she went after Mia Yim because she felt that Mia took the spot at War Games that was supposed to be hers. This should have been her moment to shine, but instead, she falls to Yim.
Winner – Mia Yim
Having Mia win this match makes Dakota look weak, and it kills any momentum she had going for her. The post match attack from Raquel Gonzalez was impressive, though. Gonzalez is starting to look like a legit “bodyguard” for Dakota. I can foresee a way for Gonzalez to help Kai get into the ladder match, whether it be Raquel taking out one of the other competitors, or winning a qualifier and giving her spot to Dakota.
Kushida vs. Raul Mendoza
Short match, but good for what it was. No story behind the match; just two guys out there to put on a competitive match. Kushida was more impressive in this match than I have seen from him since return from injury. Mendoza is a guy that is always reliable for putting on exciting matches, even though he’s not being pushed anywhere. Kushida wins with a flying cross armbar.
Winner – Kushida
Skipping a bit ahead, since it relates to Mendoza, there’s a segment in the parking lot showing Raul being kidnapped by two guys in luchadore masks. They throw him into their SUV and speed off. Is this a way to get Mendoza off TV for a repackaging? I certainly hope so, as he is a great athlete who has been treading water in NXT for quite some time. A rebranding of his character can do wonders for him.
Charlotte and Rhea Face Off…Again
Don’t get me wrong; I love the booking of this feud. What I don’t like about this segment is that it’s the same thing we’ve seen ever since Takeover: Portland. Rhea shows up on one show, calls out Charlotte, gets the last laugh, and then leaves. Flip the script, and it’s the same for Charlotte. At this point, the only thing left for this feud is to have the actual match. They can’t build it up any more than they have already done.
Qualifier #2, Broserweights Defending, All Hell Breaks Loose
Tegan Nox vs. Deonna Purrazzo – Qualifier for the Women’s #1 Contender’s Ladder Match
What’s wrong with Deonna Purrazzo? Ever since she has returned to action after the incident that sidelined Chelsea Green, she’s been totally buried. The Virtuosa definitely deserves so much better. She’s a solid talent that can mesh well with anyone she’s in the ring with.
On the flip side, Tegan Nox gets the spot that I thought Dakota Kai would be getting, earning a spot in the Takeover ladder match after defeating Purrazzo in a quick match.
Winner – Tegan Nox
Seeing this result, I can’t see any way that Dakota Kai doesn’t get inserted somehow into the ladder match, to continue this rivalry. If she doesn’t, it’s poor booking that makes zero sense.
Dream Sends a Message
Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish make their way out for their match, with their UE cohorts Adam Cole and Roderick Strong. Velveteen Dream interrupts, telling Roddy he doesn’t care about Roddy’s family, and not to take it so personally. They’re just tights! Dream tells Cole that we’re looking at the main event for Takeover: Tampa.
Cole tells Dream that he hasn’t earned anything. Next week, Cole will have a championship celebration for becoming the longest reigning NXT Champion of all time. Cole tells Dream that they can settle this now, to which Dream says, “Not tonight, ladies. It’s time for a wake up call.” Then he snaps his fingers and the Broserweights’ music hits.
Fun segment to play off of what we saw last week in the steel cage. Dream playing more mind games with both Strong and Cole, making it seem that this was the plan all along.
Broserweights vs. Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) – NXT Tag Team Championship Match
Any time these four are in the ring together, it’s magic. Everything they do works so well, the chain wrestling is sharp, and the transitions are smooth. Give me this match every day of the week.
Of course, as we’ve seen in recent weeks, Zack Gibson and James Drake run out to interject themselves into the conversation, as they are looking to prove that they are the World’s #1 tag team. The melee that ensues isn’t enough, as Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle manage to fight off the interference from both Undisputed Era and the Grizzled Young Veterans to retain the titles.
Winners and STILL NXT Tag Team Champions – The Broserweights
At this point, it’s time for GYV to get their shot at Dunne and Riddle. O’Reilly and Fish have lost their last two matches clean, so it would seem that their opportunities are over for the time being. Time for new contenders to step up, and those contenders are the GRRRRRRRRizzled Young Veterans!
Daddy Wants Answers
Tommaso Ciampa storms the ring, calling out Johnny Gargano, saying that we’re here waiting, wanting to know why Johnny has repeatedly attacked Ciampa. Gargano appears on the big screen, telling Ciampa that he knows exactly why, that the guy everyone loves (Ciampa) isn’t the hero he’s made out to be. Johnny tells Tommaso that they’ll do things his way.
Ciampa has heard enough, and leaves the ring area to hunt down Gargano, and once he finds him, the brawl is on! These two tear each other apart throughout the Performance Center, destroying walls, plate glass windows, mirrors, and barricades.
Making their way to ringside, Gargano tries to retreat to the top of the stage perch above the commentator’s desk. After a few teases of someone going flying, Ciampa gets the upper hand, hoists Gargano onto his shoulders, and drops him with an Air Raid Crash through the table below! NXT goes off the air with both guys laid out, trying to recover.
I wondered how they would get me to buy this rivalry again, and get it to the white-hot story that it was over a year ago, but man did they do it! I’m so ready for this to blow up at Takeover…if we can get there.
Everything that NXT has done since Takeover: Portland has been to build towards Wrestlemania weekend, and things have really started to heat up on all fronts. My biggest concern is everything that’s going on in the real world, with the COVID-19 virus putting so many things in jeopardy, that we won’t get the payoff that we deserve for these stories. Only time will tell…
Finn Balor makes his way overseas to the United Kingdom, Kay Lee Ray sends a message to the women’s division, and the young stars of NXT UK are highlighted on this week’s episode!
Balor Targets Walter
Finn got his passport out, and came to the United Kingdom to come after Walter…if Walter has the balls! Imperium makes their way out to surround Balor, only for Finn to fight off attacks from Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner, and Alexander Wolfe. Balor dodges a chop from Walter and escapes the ring, sending the message to the NXT UK Champion that you better not miss when you come at the Prince.
Piper Niven talks backstage about what happened last week in the I Quit Match featuring her best friend Toni Storm. Niven says that she wanted to help Storm, but didn’t want to throw in the towel for her. She talks about how evil Kay Lee Ray is, and that someone needs to do something about it.
Big Strong Boi Tyler Bate is featured in a video package. No need for them to remind us how good Bate is; like we could ever forget!
Pretty Deadly (Sam Stoker & Lewis Howley) vs. Dan Moloney & Dereiss Gordon
Pretty Deadly is definitely over with Nigel McGuinness, who raves about their agility and beauty throughout the match. Moloney and Gordon put up a decent fight, getting in some good offense, before falling to the Pretty Deadly boys.
Winners – Pretty Deadly
NXT UK GM Johnny Saint and Sid Scala are talking in the hallway, before being confronted by Alexander Wolfe. The Hatchet Man demands a match with The Prince tonight, to which Saint obliges. NXT Cruiserweight Champion Jordan Devlin makes his way through, and is informed by Scala that he will defend his title in two weeks against Travis Banks. Devlin looks unimpressed, having beaten Banks before.
Bomber Dave Mastiff is hanging out with Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster at the UK PC, when they’re confronted by Gallus. Insults are exchanged, and Mastiff says we can do this right now. Joe Coffey interjects, saying we’ll do this next week in front of the NXT UK Universe. This one should be fun.
Noam Dar vs. Ligero
Dar’s arrogance almost gets the best of him, as it’s clear that he underestimated Ligero from the get go. Ligero gives it everything he has in an impressive showing, before the Scottish Supernova puts him away with the Nova Roller.
Winner – Noam Dar
Travis Banks is interviewed to talk about his opportunity at the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Banks says he’s going to be the first Kiwi Champion. Simple promo to put over the match.
Dani Luna vs. Amale
Not much to talk about here as far as the match goes. It’s thrown out after a blindside attack from Kay Lee Ray on both women. KLR says that no matter how long you’ve been here, the divison belongs to her. The champ then drops Luna with a Gory Bomb, repeats her statement, and leaves. Kay Lee Ray really is evil!
Video package for Aoife Valkyrie plays, talking about how every feather she wears represents a battle she has fought. Solid video for the newcomer.
Finn Balor vs. Alexander Wolfe
In the main event, Balor and Wolfe went at each other in a great match, showing both guy’s talents. Balor’s quickness and agility matched up well with Wolfe’s strength and viciousness. The rest of Imperium interject into the match, and are ultimately tossed out by the referee.
The pace picks up with Balor downing Wolfe with a reverse DDT, followed by the Coup de Gras and the 1916 to finish off Wolfe and get the win.
Winner – Finn Balor
Balor’s pursuit of Walter continues as he takes out the first roadblock in Imperium. What’s next for the Prince?
Friday Night SmackDown:
For the first time ever, WWE will host a live televised show without an audience. The cause of such a momentous occasion is due to the pandemic of the COVID-19. Which lead to Detroit to cancel SmackDown and other large scale events. In a surreal environment, WWE chose that the show must go on. Bray Wyatt, not The Fiend… confronts John Cena! Jeff Hardy makes a statement against King Corbin. Daniel Bryan has a new protege! Let’s dive into this historic showing of SmackDown!
Intriguing opening. BFFs vs BFFs. Promo and a replay.
HHH opens the show.
In typical fashion, HHH starts this show squarely on his mug. The Game goes on how this is no other WWE show you have ever seen before. Let WWE put a smile on your face and enjoy a show. The camera then cuts away from HHH and shows an empty arena. This was really effective, even if the show wasn’t. The premise again showed that WWE will go through great lengths to air a show.
Sasha Banks/Bayley vs Alexis Bliss/Nikki Cross. Sasha wins via Bank Statement submission.
In a match where the audience has a role to play, the heels end up victorious. Not to say this was a bad match, but having audience interaction plays a big part in it. Asuka ran in and interfered in the match. Which allowed Sasha to lock in the Bank Statement for the win. Kudos to Bayley and Banks to mock Paige in not arriving due to “travel issues”. Alas, this match was just sub par.
Roman gets his promo.
Michael Cole brings out Roman Reigns and it is not the same without a polarizing crowd. Reigns states that as well, a short promo about “Spear vs Spear” ensues and was boring. So WWE decides to show the Elimination Chamber tag team match. In which, if did not subscribe to WWE Network for the low price of $9.99 a month. This was a treat, if you are subscribed and saw it.. you left the room.
Daniel Bryan has a new friend. Jeff Hardy returns! John Cena is met with Bray Wyatt.
Daniel Bryan vs Cesaro. Bryan wins via Small Package pin fall.
This was confusing.. why? Because a minute into the match, WWE went to commercial. In what could’ve been a classic match without an audience, became fodder. After D-Bry won with a Small Package, Sami and Shinsuke arrive to beat Bryan down. Only to have Drew Gulak run in for the save. I would LOVE a Daniel and Drew tag team!! Let’s hope this is not a one off.
Jeff Hardy vs King Corbin. Hardy wins via Swanton Bomb pin fall.
Ok.. I feel that Jeff Hardy’s return was planned to be in front a raging crowd. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closing date for WrestleMania, WWE seemed to pull its trigger tonight. That is a shame, I can’t imagine the pop a crowd would’ve given Jeff if he just appeared. Alas, we are given a throw away match in which Jeff won. Not the best return.
Highlight of the night.
John Cena really does arrive! Not surprisingly, because he lives about two hours away from the Performance Center. Cena is interviewed about Wyatt’s loss at Mania. John goes on how people blame him about being buried (which is a story for a later time). Bray interrupts and begins a promo that is fantastic. The Eater of Worlds barks out from the empty seats and claims that “John Cena cares about John Cena”. The keeper of The Fiend states that Cena only cares about the fame. Sound familiar? It’s the same statement Cena used against The Rock years ago. However, it still fees fresh when Bray does it. Wyatt ends the segment with ” At WrestleMania, it’s going be a slaughter”.
Fantastic end to s show that probably was thrown together at the last minute. With the announcement of next week’s Raw being the same format, I am curious on how WWE is going to fill 3hrs of content, without a crowd and build to WrestleMania.-David G
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