Smack The Review: SmackDown Review (February 28)

OKAY! Where do I need to start? SuperShowDown a.k.a In your House: Blood Money IV was a bunch of bullocks wasn’t it??. However, since I didn’t watch and only read and watched reviews of it online, I feel less angry than some fans who had enough indifference in them to actually see the show. Enough with all that, though, as Smackdown returns with an episode that promises a lot headlined by John Cena returning for the first time in nearly two years to the blue brand. Even the fact that Goldberg won the Universal title makes it intriguing to see what happens next.

Let’s get to business…

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOLDBERG!!!

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Well! They did it didn’t they?. For a start, I’m not angry at Goldberg but I’m angry at WWE for making such a short-sighted decision. As Goldberg strolled to the ring and cut his promo there was an air of inevitability, and when Roman Reigns came out, the damage is already done. The commentators instantly set this as the Mania match, even going out of their way to completely make up a non-existent trait in Reigns’ character as Cole said: “Roman Reigns likes to play psychological games with his potential opponents”. Since when did that become a thing? When was Roman Reigns known for his mind games?.

Well, what you need to know is that the entrances in this confrontation were longer than the promos which is positive by the way to keep things intense and dramatic. Basically, Goldberg said “who’s next?” so Roman said, “I’m next”.Then, what’s going to be the need for an Elimination Chamber match when clearly WWE is setting Reigns vs Goldberg even before that PPV takes place ONE WEEK from Sunday (yes I know you are shocked). The boos for Roman started to creep again even chants of “You both suck” did the same which is a worrying sign for WWE that this match is not going to be received well, especially for Reigns after a year of rebuilding his connection with the fans. Hopefully, WWE will build it right at least.

  • Promo package for Cena’s debut in 2002 as we are going to see a lot of those in the night in preparation for his return.

Bayley/Sasha Banks vs Naomi/Lacey Evans

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It started off as a rematch between Bayley and Naomi for the title.

This rematch came out of nowhere. However, their match in Saudi Arabia was good by all accounts so why not. Seconds into the match, Bayley decided to cut a promo and Introduce Sasha Banks back in her hometown of Boston, Massachusettes which is something I forgot. As for the match, it didn’t last long before Sasha Banks attacked Naomi and caused a DQ. After that, as Bayley and Banks were beating up Naomi Lacey Evans came out for the save setting up a tag team match.

The match started with a flurry from the faces but after the commercial Banks and Bayley were taking full control of Naomi in the ring. It was classic heelwork to prevent the tag from Naomi to Lacey. Eventually, Naomi made a comeback fighting her way to the corner tagging a fired up Lacey Evans who ran wild on both of them as the crowd cheered her and booed their own Sasha Banks. Those two took it to the outside as Naomi rolled up Bayley for the surprise win. Overall, it was a decent tag match but the result isn’t what Sasha Banks would want in her return in her hometown. Where this match leaves the Smackdown women’s title is unknown but we will see.

  • Backstage: New Day confront Roode and Ziggler.
  • A video package for John Cena’s WWE title win at WM21 against JBL.

Robert Roode vs Kofi Kingston

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The New Day are no longer tag-team champions after losing the titles in Saudi Arabia. It is the right decision in my opinion, as it might open new options. Anyway, the match started with some classic face locks and feeling out process. From then on, the match started to work in the standard formula of the heel working over the babyface with the crowd firmly behind Kofi. Mid-match, Robert Roode faked being attacked on the steps by Big E to get him rejected out of the ring, giving him and Ziggler on the outside the advantage. On a different note, Mandy Rose was watching.

Back in the ring, Kofi was trying to find a way in the match as Roode kept dominating him with his power game. Kingston found an opening from a missed top rope knee drop by Roode, allowing the New Day man to control the match and take advantage. The match kept speeding up as near falls galore ran wild from both wrestlers. Kofi Kingston almost got Roode with an SOS, only for Ziggler to put his foot on the rope and save him, distracting the referee enough for Roode to roll up Kingston for the win. This is the second roll up in a row on the same show.

  • Backstage: Tucker is consolidating Otis after his heartbreak with Mandy Rose.
  • A video recap of Cena’s WM29 title win over The Rock.

IC Title Match Contract Signing

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This kind of segments can be very lame but Sami Zayn is there, so everything is good. By the way, the title does not look particularly good around Strowman’s waist (aesthetically). The short story is that Sami Zayn “tricked” Strowman into a 3-on-1 handicap match at Elimination Chamber, which can be really interesting if done right. Hopefully, we will see Sami wrestle again. After that, Nakamura, Zayn, and Cesaro all attacked Strowman and put him through the table. This can be good.

  • A recap of the opening segment (why???!!!) with the confirmation of Roman Reigns/Goldberg match taking place at WM. Clearly, there is no Elimination chamber match.
  • A recap of Undertaker’s return at Blood Money IV and his squash of AJ Styles.

Daniel Bryan vs Curtis Axel (??)

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Here is someone from WWE’s talent Cemetary, a.k.a the undercard. Drew Gulak is on commentary, which is good. Curtis Axel got a lot of offence on D-Bry with the advice of Drew Gulak. This match is surprisingly competitive for Curtis Axel who got quite the shine. Though, it seems that the real feud is Daniel Bryan vs Drew Gulak which should be great.

  • A video recap of Cena’s 16th world title win at the 2017 Royal Rumble.

Miz and Morrison Promo time

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The new tag team champions cut a typically entertaining promo leading the crowd to boo them and chant “You Suck” at them. They certainly threw some jabs at the New Day and the rest of the division. Midway, It was announced that they will defend their title against New Day, Heavy Machinery, Roode and Ziggler, Lucha House Party, and The Usos the Elimination Chamber. As for the night…

Miz and Morrison vs The Usos

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As a preview for the chamber match, the new tag champions got to sharpen their iron by facing the Usos who are one of the best tag teams. They controlled the match early on, cutting the ring in half before the Usos eventually turned it around. After the commercial, tags were made and Jey Uso ran wild on the heels getting a close two. John Morrison got a near fall as well. From there, it was a wild sequence of double team moves, suicide dives and counters.

As Morrison headed for a starship pain, Jimmy Uso countered that by hitting a Canadian Destroyer which Corey Graves rightfully called it “Samoan Destroyer” followed by a splash for the win. Now, why WWE would do that one week before the Elimination Chamber is unknown, but we will see what happens.

John Cena’s return

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Here is the Piece de la resistance they have been building to throughout the episode. He was his usual fired up, and he is in his hometown so that will be doubled. The crowd were in classic Cena form with duelling chants and mixed feelings. He got straight into the point, looking for a WM match and talking about how important this is for him and for the fans. For a bit, it looked like Cena has lost his mic skills as he was away from WWE for a while. He said that this year’s Mania should go without him which is a tease so we will see where it goes. He was very emotional, connecting with the crowd and all before leaving the arena only to be confronted by “The Fiend” who pointed at the sign challenging Cena to a match at WM. Obviously, this is a great choice and the story will be amazing. However, his loss to Goldberg still tastes sour so we need to be cautious about this. That was the end for Smackdown.

This week’s episode was really good, though not very frantic or fast-paced. It did what it needed to do which is trying to sell Elimination Chamber PPV in one week’s time as well as building to WrestleMania of course.

Final rating: 7.5/10

This was only one man’s opinion after all. You can reach out to me on Twitter @austin316tn or tell me in the comments below. Till next week!

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