Smackdown Review: The Show Must Go On

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It was an odd night on Smackdown due to COVID-19 concerns. Friday Night Smackdown was relocated from Detroit to the WWE Performance Center in Florida. For the first time ever, no live audience was in attendance.

WWE feeds off crowd reactions, but the crew did a great job of making the show as entertaining as possible for those at home, given the circumstances. 

A Surprise on Commentary

A lot of buzz has been surrounding who was on commentary last night. The Game, Triple H, sat next to Michael Cole and had social media in a frenzy. 

Hunter began the show with a message to the WWE Universe and then proceeded to call the Bayley/Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross tag team match to kick off the show. Social media was so happy to see The Game behind the desk that they were begging for more. That led to Triple H being on commentary for the rest of the show.

From burying Michael Cole, to hyping up Cole with Mojo Rawley to being a camera man, Triple H on commentary was a huge win for WWE.

The Big Dog’s Message

Roman Reigns sat down for an interview with Michael Cole to discuss his year and his upcoming matchup against Goldberg at WrestleMania for the Universal Championship. The Big Dog also talked about the ongoing criticism that he puts himself in the main event. 

Reigns isn’t backing down from the critics, saying “Nobody has the level of commitment that I have. When it comes down to it, I literally came back as fast as I could in order to do what I love. Now that I’m here, I’m not bowing down to anybody, I’m taking what’s mine and I’ve done everything to deserve what I get.”

The Big Dog says that he has a lot of respect for Goldberg, but WWE doesn’t have any more time for part-timers. Reigns responded to the comment that Goldberg believes his spear is more superior than his. He said, “This isn’t about one move. I have mastered the nuances of performance.”

Goldberg and Reigns will make it official next week on Smackdown.

Mojo Rawley Makes An Announcement

Mojo Rawley put the rumors to bed. Rawley announced that Rob Gronkowski would be making an appearance next week on Friday Night Smackdown.

The three-time Super Bowl Champion signed a contract with WWE this past week. Gronkowski last appeared in a WWE ring at WrestleMania 33, when he helped Rawley win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Rawley also said that he would be with Gronk in the ring next week.

Jeff Hardy Returns

Jeff Hardy made his return after being out with an injury since late April of last year. 

Hardy was doing an interview with Kayla Braxton when King Corbin interrupted. Hardy and Corbin then battled in the ring with Hardy coming out victorious.

It was great to see the charismatic enigma back in action. We’ll see what storylines WWE has in store for the former World Champion.

Cena and Wyatt Go Face-To-Face

John Cena returned to talk about his WrestleMania match against “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. 

Wyatt blamed Cena for turning his life into a downward spiral after Cena beat him at WrestleMania 30. This is not new to Cena.

Cena talked about how multiple times people have said that he is the reason that superstars of the future have been buried, but he reminded everyone that he has been buried before. Whether it was losing to the Miz and the Rock at WrestleMania or getting destroyed by Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, Cena has been through major setbacks in his career.

The 16-time world champion said the difference between him and other superstars is that he puts the blame on only himself for his failures and never gives up. Other superstars say they’ve wanted to do this their entire life, but “when the demand gets too great, when the work gets too heavy, they get lazy and they blame everybody else but themselves,” according to Cena. He compared this type of superstar to Bray Wyatt, calling him the “most over-hyped, over-valued, and over-privileged WWE superstar in existence.” 

Wyatt interrupted Cena in the stands and questioned whether Cena really cares about the future of WWE. He says “The Fiend” helped put him “back together” after Wyatt’s loss to Cena six years ago. “At WrestleMania, it’s going to be a slaughter, you just don’t know it yet,” Wyatt said about their upcoming match. 

Cena wants to rid the WWE Universe of Bray Wyatt and wants to invest more in the future of the company. He believes Wyatt is not the future.

Grade: B+

Follow me on Twitter at @JLiepper and follow us @OT_Heroics for more great content! 

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