Welcome back to Sports Obsessive and welcome to our weekly WWE Smackdown review.
This was the March 27th edition of Smackdown, and Wrestlemania 36 is on the horizon, so I expected one hell of a show this week.
Before we get to the review, why don’t we have a quick look at we could expect from the show, as reported on WWE.com
Bray Wyatt opens the door to the Firefly Fun House
Bray Wyatt has been very vocal as of late when it comes to the backstory for the Wrestlemania match between Wyatt’s demonic alter ego The Fiend and the 16-time World Champion, John Cena. Bray feels that at Wrestlemania 30, in which Wyatt did, in fact, take on John Cena, the loss that Bray suffered at the hands of Cena sent him into a downward spiral. The Fiend—Bray Wyatt will be out for redemption, at Wrestlemania 36.
Alexa Bliss vs Asuka
The Goddess—Alexa Bliss and the Empress of Tomorrow—Asuka were set to meet in singles competition. Asuka accepted a challenge from Bliss on the March 20th edition of Smackdown. How would this battle unfold?
The New Day and The Usos put their Wrestlemania opportunity on the line
It’s no secret that the New Day and The Usos are the epitomai of Tag-Team excellence. However, both of these Tag-Teams had been scratching and clawing, up until now to get back to the top of Smackdown’s Tag division’s mountain.
Who would earn the right the challenge The Miz and John Morrison for the Smackdown Tag-Team Championships? Would the Friday Night Lock-down reign supreme or would the Power of Positivity give the New Day the push toward the Tag-Team Championships.
Drew Gulak vs Shinsuke Nakamura in a match with major Wrestlemania implications
This match is quite an important one. Gulak has formed quite the bond recently with the former World Champion and leader of the Yes! Movement, Daniel Bryan.
Bryan is eyeing up the WWE Intercontinental Championship. However, the current Intercontinental champion, The Great Liberator – Sami Zayn, who spends his time hidden behind Nakamura and Cesaro, recently declared that if Bryan wanted a championship opportunity, he must put his fate in his newfound friend, Drew Gulak. If Gulak is victorious, Bryan will challenge Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship at The Show of Shows, Wrestlemania 36.
Now that we are all caught up let’s begin this week’s WWE Smackdown review
Smackdown began with a promo, starting with The Boss—Sasha Bank and her so-called buddy, the Smackdown Women’s Champion, Bayley. It is worth noting that at the time of this Smackdown taking place, Bayley had held the Smackdown Women’s Championship for 308 days. Bayley kicked off the arrogance in this promo by letting us all know once again that this year’s Wrestlemania is ‘too big for one night’ which is why the event is set to be held over the 4th and 5th of April. Although, Bayley stated that this year’s Wrestlemania is going to be a nightmare for her, and the reason, is former Smackdown General Manager, Paige, who now serves as an on-screen personality, hosting WWE Backstage on FS1. Paige still seems to have some pull though. Last week on Smackdown, Paige announced that at Wrestlemania Bayley would defend her Smackdown Women’s Championship in a Fatal-5-Way match, against her best-friend, Sasha Banks, who at first, tried to put across the fact that the friendship between the two will not be affected when there is a championship up for grabs. Let’s face it, Banks’ facial expression after Bayley looked to be reassured, really painted the picture as to what we may see go down at Wrestlemania next weekend.
Lacey Evans, who will be another competitor in the Fatal-5-Way Championship match, made her way to the ring, interrupting Sasha Banks and Bayley. Evans went on to say that Banks cannot even get a word out because Bayley is continuously running her mouth. Banks has run her mouth to Evans in the past, bringing up Evans’ young daughter. Evans vowed to break Banks’ jaw at Wrestlemania. Former Smackdown Women’s Champion, Naomi then entered the ring to remind us that she has just as much a chance in the upcoming Championship match.
Tamina Snuka then made her presence known, and at this point, we had all five women who would be competing in the Fatal-5-Way match. Tamina simply said ‘actions speak louder than words’ then began to bring the fight to both Naomi and Lacey Evans. Shortly after, unsurprisingly the Smackdown Women’s Champion, Bayley and Sasha Banks quickly fled the ring in fear of Tamina.
Drew Gulak vs Shinsuke Nakamura (If Gulak wins, Bryan gets an Intercontinental Championship match at Wrestlemania 36!)
The first match of the night was Drew Gulak taking on Shinsuke Nakamura. The implications of this match were that Gulak had to win the match for Daniel Bryan to get an Intercontinental Championship match against Sami Zayn at Wrestlemania 36. The Intercontinental Champion, Sami Zayn, joined Michael Cole at the announcer’s table for the duration of this match. Zayn was not one bit concerned with the idea of Nakamura losing this match.
Zayn believes that ever since Nakamura aligned himself with Zayn, Nakamura’s career has gone from strength to strength. The match itself was a very good match, with two incredible performers. I felt that the match ended far too soon, and would have had the potential to be the match of the night. Regardless, Drew Gulak picked up the victory, Bryan will now be facing Zayn at Wrestlemania for the Intercontinental Championship, with credit to Gulak!
Winner: Drew Gulak
Backstage segment surrounding Otis, Dolph Ziggler and Mandy Rose
Ever since Valentines Day, the tension between Otis and Ziggler has been on the rise. On February 14th, Otis was set to go out on a date with Mandy Rose after weeks of awkward flirting between the pair. On that night, Otis received a text from Rose’s cell phone number stating that she would be late for the date. So, Otis waited a while before heading to the restaurant. The thing is, Mandy was not the one who sent the text, so Mandy was left sitting in the restaurant wondering where Otis was. We later saw that Dolph Ziggler was also at the restaurant, Ziggler approached the lone Mandy Rose and took what should have been Otis’ Valentine’s date.
Otis did, however, turn up with flowers in hand. Otis saw Ziggler sat across hit date, at a candle-lit Valentines date. Otis’ heart sank, and he walked away silently. Ever since, has been out to get Ziggler, due to Ziggler being brash and showing off the fact that he is now dating Mandy Rose. Ziggler even had photographs of he and Rose displayed on the big screen for Otis, and everyone to see, simply to humiliate Otis. This has become such a personal vendetta. Last week on Smackdown, Otis completely lost his cool due to being an emotional wreck and was ready to inflict pain upon Dolph Ziggler.
Backstage on Smackdown, we saw Ziggler face-timing, running down the lovable Otis. Calling Otis desperate and describing him as ‘a lost dog’ without Mandy. Otis and his Tag-Team partner, Tucker then looked to jump Ziggler in the backstage area. The pair were pulled back by WWE referees and backstage personnel and we heard Otis shout to Ziggler while being detained by many officials, that Ziggler does not deserve Mandy.
Ziggler continued to run his mouth, asking Otis does he have any idea how pathetic he looks. Otis was irate. The challenge for these two to end this sage was laid out by Ziggler. Ziggler challenged Otis to a one on one match at Wrestlemania. I cannot wait to see Otis bulldoze right through Ziggler at the show of shows, Wrestlemania 36.
Ladies and gentleman, Elias
Next up on Smackdown, We had Elias with his guitar in hand. Elias was performing from a raised podium in the performance centre. Elias tells us that he had written a song for King Corbin. This was great and reminded us that Smackdown is currently taking place with no live audience as Elias stares down the camera and encourages up to clap along at home. I really like Elias. Elias began playing the guitar and performed his song. Elias mentioned his upcoming match at Wrestlemania with King Corbin and mocked the medieval style of Corbin’s wrestling attire. Elias’ humour continued to be displayed during the song, Elias sang ‘I stocked up on toilet paper, in this time of distress, and I stamped your face on every roll, I must confess’.
Elias is a national treasure.
The humour continued as Elias went on to thank the capacity crowd, at the obviously empty arena. Immediately after this, Elias was blind-sighted by King Corbin, who brought the attack to Elias. Corbin was clearly embarrassed by the remarks from Elias and continued the attack until Elias was left leaning almost lifeless against the barrier of the raised podium that the pair were brawling on. Corbin took this too far with kicks to the face over Elias, throwing Elias over the barrier.
Elias was left holding on by his fingertips, dangling from the podium above the concrete floor below. Corbin delivered one last kick to the face of Elias, driving Elias from the podium, crashing down onto the concrete floor. What did we just witness!
Alexa Bliss vs Asuka
In this match, we had one half of the Women’s Tag-Team Champions taking on a former Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss. Nikki Cross, who is Alexa Bliss’ best-friend and Tag-Team partner accompanied Bliss to the ring and joined Michael Cole of commentary for the duration of this match.
Cross was really entertaining on commentary. Her overly passionate and overly supportive traits were visible to see at the energetic Scottish Superstar provided us with incredible play by play material. The in-ring action commenced with Asuka dominating the beginning portion on the match. Alexa did begin to get the upper hand, targeting the arm of Asuka and working on the vulnerability of Asuka’s injured arm throughout the match.
There were multiple pinfall attempts in this match. An exciting match overall. We did not see Alexa’s top-rope signature move, the twisted bliss, instead, Bliss delivered a devastating DDT to Asuka to pick up the victory!
Winner: Alexa Bliss
The Uso’s reiterated the importance of their Tag-Team match vs The New Day
Jimmy and Jey Uso came to us with a short yet chilling backstage promo in which they vowed to earn the right to challenge The Miz and John Morrison for the Smackdown Tag-Team Championships.
The Dolph Ziggler/ Mandy Rose/ Otis drama continued
WWE cameras cut to the backstage area where we caught the tail end of a conversation between Sonya Deville and Dolph Ziggler, once again running down Otis. Mandy Rose entered the frame and asked Deville for some privacy to have a word with Ziggler. Mandy asked Ziggler why was he treating Otis in the way he has been.
Mandy manages to get an apology from Ziggler, with Dolph admitting that he may have taken things a little to far. Mandy said if Ziggler and Otis must have a Wrestlemania match, she will support that. Mandy did, however, refuse to be the focal point of the match, and refused to be fought over like some kind of prize. Ziggler went on to promise victory at Wrestlemania and to put all of this drama behind them.
Bray Wyatt opens the door to the Firefly Fun House
Bray Wyatt once again welcomed the WWE Universe into his Firefly Fun House. Bray began to tell us what the topic of discussion would be in the week’s segment. Bray is soon distracted by the whispers of voices in his head—these voices come from his demonic alter ego, The Fiend. The voices seemed to be projected from Bray’s lantern (Bray Wyatt keeps a lantern, which has a realistic lifelike version of his head—a version of himself from many years ago before he began to show us his alter ego, The Fiend.) Bryan began to speak to his lantern (If you have recently become a wrestling fan, please bear with me, I understand this sounds ridiculous, but the character is worth getting to know).
Bray started responding to these voices, telling them to shut up. Bryan then forced a smile and continued. Wyatt spoke back to the voices saying “you had your chance, remember? you failed against John Cena, but ‘he’ won’t.” When Wyatt says ‘he’ this is a reference Wyatt’s evil alter ego, The Fiend. Wyatt’s friend and puppet, Abby the Witch, entered the discussion, telling Wyatt that he was delusional then (in his Wrestlemania 30 match vs John Cena) and that he is more delusional now. Wyatt went on to explain that he now has the recipe for defeating Cena.
The recipe is as follows; 1 scoop of disappointment, a little self-loathing, some hot-sauce (for flavour) and one heaping, helping of rage and resentment. If you are unfamiliar with Wyatt, this should give you some insight into the depth of this comedic yet troubled character. Another friend of Wyatt, who dwells inside of the Firefly Fun House is Rambling Rabbit who added some of their humour to this segment by offering to add a carrot to Wyatt’s recipe to help him see John Cena. Terrible joke, but it made me chuckle. Wyatt had a better idea. Wyatt through Rambling Rabbit into his blender labelling Rambling Rabbit as having unnecessary and irrelevant opinions.
After all of this, Wyatt humorously blended up the perfect concoction for The Fiend to defeat John Cena with at Wrestlemania. The tone of the Firefly Fun House suddenly changed as Wyatt declared that the upcoming match at wrestling would not be anything ordinary. In fact, Cena will step into Wyatt’s world of madness and mayhem, where the fun never ends, in a Firefly Fun House match against his dangerously demonic alter ego; The Fiend.
The New Day vs The Usos
Lastly, the main event of Friday Night Smackdown came to us in the form of The Uso’s battling it out with The New Day. There were Wrestlemania implications in this block-buster Tag-Team match as the winner would go on to Wrestlemania to take on The Miz and John Morrison for the Smackdown Tag-Team Championships. We started with the Tag-Team Champions, The Miz and John Morrison joining Michael Cole on commentary.
This match was entertaining before it even got started. The New Day made their trademark pancake throwing entrance in front of nobody! This was very entertaining. The match itself was expected to be exceptional—the Uso’s and the New Day are two of the best Tag-Teams in wrestling history, in my opinion. Jey Uso’s athleticism was on show against New Day member Big-E. Although Big-E’s power in the match was undeniable. The Miz and John Morrison continue to run their mouths and run down both teams that were competing in the ring despite the New Day being 7-time Tag-Team Champions and The Uso’s being 6-time Tag-Team Champions. The champions provided quality entertainment as guests on the announce team. At one point in the match, Jimmy and Jey Uso performed a double-team elevated slam to their opponent Big-E and that could have been enough to claim victory and go on to Wrestlemania to challenge to the Smackdown Tag Team Championship, but somehow Big-E kicked out! The Uso’s looked to be in complete control of this match. Big-E then performed a Uranage, which is essentially a side suplex (pictured below)
This seemed to give The New Day they upper hand they needed. Big-E desperately needed to tag in his partner Kofi Kingston, which he did! Kofi sped up the momentum of the match and it began to look like we would see The New Day at Wrestlemania. Jey Uso would soon deliver not one but two superkicks to the face of Big-E who had quickly been tagged back in. The back and forth nature of this match was exhilarating! Big-E kicked out of the pinfall attempt once again because he is not human. Big-E is just amazing. Big-E ended up on the outside of the ring and The Uso looked as if they were about to perform their double-team suicide dive to the outside (diving through the middle rope of the ring) Kofi Kingston saw that coming and saved his teammate from that attack.
Kofi managed to through both Uso’s to the outside of the ring and Kofi delivered a diving cross-body jump over the top ring rope, onto both of his opponent on this outside, landing next to the announce desk. Kofi sacrificed his body, for the chance for his team The New Day to go to Wrestlemania to challenge for the Smackdown Tag-Team Championships. The Miz and John Morrison jumped onto the announce desk and began to taunt Kofi, Kofi out of frustration, pulled both Miz and John Morrison off of the announce desk. At that point, The Uso’s had made their way back into the ring; Jimmy Uso launched himself over the top rope onto the Smackdown Tag-Team Champions. Then, back in the ring, Big-E speared Jey Uso through the ring ropes to the outside. There were bodies everywhere. Miz and Morrison then got involved in the match, causing a disqualification finish.
A brawl ensued by all involved, up until WWE announcer Michael Cole grabbed a microphone. Cole stated that he had a crucial piece of information fed to him by WWE officials. Michael Cole announced that due to the interruption, the Smackdown Tag-Team Champions, Miz and John Morrison would not be facing either The Uso or The New Day at Wrestlemania. However, there will now be a Triple-Threat Tag-Team Ladder match being The Miz and John Morrison vs The New Day vs The Uso’s for the Smackdown Tag-Team Championships at Wrestlemania!
Wrestlemania is next weekend, and with the addition of this Triple-Threat Tag-Team Ladder match, this event is shaping up to be an incredible event.