Welcome to The Smackdown Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We open with an In Memory Of Howard Finkel graphic before the usual Smackdown opening video.
We start off this week with the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, and A Moment of Bliss with the new Universal Champion, Braun Strowman. Strowman gives us a little trip down memory lane to recap his history with Bray Wyatt. The ending was predictable with the usual Wyatt mind games, leaving Braun’s old black sheep mask in a gift box. Let’s see where this goes.
Our opening match is Sasha Banks taking on Tamina with the stipulation of Tamina getting a Smackdown Woman’s Championship match when she wins. It was nice of them to get the botching done early, but the match really didn’t get going all that much. Since Tamina couldn’t win the crowd over, Lacey Evans was sent out to get the match over and Tamina gets the win. Interesting to note that Sasha was laughing when Bayley got wiped out by Lacey. More on that later. Charly Caruso was backstage doing interviews instead of Kayla Braxton and Lacey said she will rid us of Sasha Banks.
Sheamus demolished some guy from NXT and then got mad at Cole for moving on to the next segment on Jeff Hardy instead of talking about how great he was tonight. I expect a feud here in the coming weeks.
I missed last week’s Part One video on Jeff Hardy, but Part Two was pretty good talking about his demons and how they got the best of him. It was very well put together and it was good to see Jeff be so honest about his problems and all of the denials he did back then.
Before we get to our first Money in the Bank qualifier match, Cole informs us the MITB gimmick has changed. This year, the superstars get to climb the corporate ladder by starting on the first floor of the WWE HQ and finishing on the roof where the MITB briefcase will be. Given the current circumstances, this could work as long as they go the Boneyard Match route. I’m still on the fence about it for now.
Anyway, here’s Naomi taking on Dana Brooke in a decent action-filled match. I’m glad that Dana got to pick up the win here to give her a chance to shine in a meaningful match since she was pulled from the WrestleMania title match.
Up next is Sonya Deville explaining herself to Mandy Rose, who comes out and joins her in the ring. Sonya gives us this heartfelt promo about how the two of them were the closest of friends before she pulls a Mark Henry and cuts an amazing heel promo on why she (Sonya) was the overlooked one on Fire and Desire. Mandy was a selfish blonde Barbie doll centerfold while Sonya was the real fighter of the team. It is definitely the promo of Sonya’s life and simply amazing. It is a shame to hear that the person in Creative behind the story got let go in the Wednesday talent cuts. I hope this was written by her before she was let go. Dolph Ziggler showed up to try to win Mandy back, but she wanted nothing with it so Otis showed up to help her clear the ring. I’m sure Teddy Long is foaming at the mouth wanting to book the forthcoming mixed tag team match between the four.
We are then treated to an excellent tribute video to The Fink. Nobody anywhere can top the WWE with video packages and this one did not disappoint. It was very fitting for the iconic ring announcer.
Our other Money in the Bank qualifier is up next between Daniel Bryan and Cesaro. When we go to the first commercial break, The Truth Will Be Told graphics pop up and the hooded figure appears and played a video showing the majority of the Smackdown tag teams, including Bayley and Sasha Banks. I like these GTV style bits and I’m sure they will be used to break up Bayley and Sasha Banks. Anyway, back to the match at hand and we get a very good technical match we would expect from these two with the proper amount of time given to them. Cesaro shows his stuff off but eventually taps to the Yes Lock to advance to MITB. I’m not quite sure why Shinsuke Nakamura why trying to jump into the ring there at the end. The ref was right there and Cesaro would have still lost, just by DQ. Drew Gulak was at ringside to stop Nakamura. I might have gone with a Cesaro win here, but Bryan was the choice with the better storyline going.
For some reason, King Corbin wants to continue his feud with Elias despite stinking up the place with their awful WrestleMania match. I had very little interest at WrestleMania and have even less now.
Main event time with The Miz defending the Smackdown Tag Team Championships in a triple threat match against Big E and Jey Uso. There are less than ten minutes left so we aren’t going to get the great match that we had at WrestleMania. They were at least allowed to have another fast-paced match but it didn’t measure up to the WrestleMania match. Big E put Miz down with the Big Ending to capture the eighth tag title reign for The New Day. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods had cell phone celebration videos edited in. I nominate Big E for Universal Champion. I think he would do well in that role if Xaiver can stop getting injured.
Let’s look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The Cesaro/Daniel Bryan match was what you would have expected from those two and they were given the proper amount of time unlike the tag title match.
Sonya Deville’s promo was just amazing. She did fantastic and really showed off her promo skills. She might have a very good run in WWE if given the right push.
Why must the Elias/King Corbin feud continue? They had a terrible match at WrestleMania and Corbin hasn’t gotten any better to improve the quality of the next match.
During this crazy time, please stay safe and stay home.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.