This was the WrestleMania Homecoming episode of Friday Night SmackDown, dubbed “WrestleMania SmackDown,” and neither WWE Champion Brock Lesnar nor Universal Champion Roman Reigns appeared directly and in person.
Instead, we got a file video packwhich was admittedly good (Metallica’s “All Nightmare Long” was a great musical choice, shout-out to Triple H), but the lack of a strong angle to go home in favor of Happy Corbin’s clip with Drew McIntyre’s sword in the main event of that show felt strange to the Less appreciate.
It was totally strange.
I suppose the idea was to make it clear how important they still hold to McIntyre, and what the future likely holds for him, but I can’t see any real justification for not closing this show off with the big names or even the hell of having them show up at all.
Charlotte Flair was given solo promotional time to sell her SmackDown Women’s Title defense against Ronda Rousey on this show, and she didn’t say much about anything different than what we were getting. It was good enough, and she came across like a big star, with the crowd responding to her like that.
Flair calls herself “awesome” and how “awesome” every woman wants to be and every man wants to be with. She would take Rousey to school for it and as much as everyone else feels, “I got beaten up there too, bitch.”
Rousey did not appear live, instead getting a short video from “earlier today” in which she was briefly interviewed while “getting extra training”. She tells Flair again to click or pry her arm and take it to Rousey’s house to become a souvenir for the family they love.
What’s really worth highlighting is this hype video they put together for the match and it aired right after Rousey’s interview and before Flair’s promo:
How good is that?!?
It almost makes the rest of the runner worth it just so they can pick out the bits and pieces they need to make this video. Never miss a WWE production team with these video packs.
It’s finally time guys.
all the rest
- Andre the Giant Memorial Royal’s fight has felt like something of a belated thought for years now, especially seeing it when I took it to SmackDown before WrestleMania instead of wearing it WrestleMania Itself. Having said that, this year’s edition was a fun fast-paced battle royale that managed to hit multiple stories in about 10 minutes. Madcap Moss’ victory with his latest elimination over the US Champion was a surprise, but it seems clear that they have future plans for Moss and I’m starting to see more and more reasons why this is the case all the time. It really annoys me, sure, but it’s supposed to. Famous last words received: Let’s see where they go from here…
- Ricochet vs Angel vs Humberto has always been about whether or not the last two teams, who are the tag team, can collaborate enough to see who wins. Sure, they could do all the damage they wanted together, and Ricochet would be too much, but then who would win? That was the story of this match, and they eventually nearly turned on each other before Ricochet exploited the feud to retain his Intercontinental Championship. Even knowing that this is how it would end up, all the parties involved made it entertaining and drew audiences to it. It was fun!
- Continuing their streak of building into the Fatal 4-Way Women’s Tag Team Championship match simply by engaging teams in fun wrestling matches, Sasha Banks and Naomi defeated champions, Queen Zelina Vega & Carmella, without all that difficulty. Maybe a sign of things to come? The crowd certainly looked behind it, but the messages here weren’t very accurate – Liv Morgan & Rhea Ripley and Shayna Baszler & Natalya were watching him go down, their presence looming.
- This grumpy little shit Austin Theory went and committed the cardinal sin – Pat McAfee interrupted him dancing at the table while Rick Boggs was playing Shinsuke Nakamura on the ring. Then he ran to Vince McMahon to save him from McAfee screaming in his ass, hiding behind him like a punk kid! I hate him! (Oh man, this whole thing is really cool, isn’t it? It’s a basic story, and a simple hook, but they sure as hell got me into it. What’s more, Vince himself had his face inside and threatened the McAfee fire. The bonus is here, McAfee who finally beats On this troll, it’s going to be a lot of fun.)
- Theory trolling interrupted a one-on-one match between Jimmy Uso and Rick Boggs, and after Finn Balor decided to show up and put shoes on Theory, they staged an impromptu match of six. McAfee was great at commenting on cheering hard every bit of Theory’s misery, at one point yelling at him in an apron “You punk, dude! Everyone hates you!” Surprisingly, or perhaps not, they had a Theory pin Balor in said Six Man and it was Michael Cole should support McAfee. Fans responded by chanting a cheer for Cole, which was actually pretty cool. Once again, a great upgrade to the game.
This was a good stand-alone show, but it was missing a few things like the Homecoming Show.
“Award-winning web junkie. Amateur pop culture scholar. Freelance internet fanatic. Incurable beer advocate. Problem solver.”