The SmarK Rant for WWE Friday Night Smackdown – 02.28.20
Live from Boston, MA
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Corey Graves
Goldberg joins us to start and gets booed out of Boston right away. Perhaps they may have miscalculated here. But apparently he got 850,000 likes on Instagram, so EVERYTHING IS FINE. And then Roman interrupts and we get a staredown as the camera cuts EIGHT MILLION GODDAMN TIMES. They’re just standing there! We don’t need rapid fire cuts! And of course he does his whole entrance and takes 10 minutes to get to the ring while the crowd heckles both guys. Although oddly Roman gets more cheers. Let me summarize: Goldberg asks “Who’s next?” and Roman replies “I’m next”. TWENTY NINE WRITERS. This is going to fall so flat its face that it’s not even funny.
OK, it’s a little funny.
And then Michael Cole calls it a “blockbuster Goldberg & Roman Reigns confrontation”, as apparently these two guys standing there in the ring and getting heckled while the director frantically switches camera angles like an ADHD teenager on Red Bull is already a legendary moment on WWE TV.
Meanwhile, John Cena debuts in 2002 and loses to Kurt Angle. Yeah, we’ve all seen the documentary.
Bayley v. Naomi
I believe this is a non-title match for a future championship opportunity, but Bayley complains that she shouldn’t even have to be here tonight, and then brings out Sasha Banks instead. But then Bayley attacks anyway as Cole confirms that Naomi could be in the hunt for another championship opportunity should she win. And then she hits She Calls It The Rear View right away and Sasha runs in for the DQ at, say, 0:20. This brings out Lacey Evans to continue the feud that just will not die and everyone brawls and WE GONNA HAVE A TAG TEAM MATCH, PLAYA. What a shocking development. Did we REALLY need the thirty second “match” to set this up?
Bayley & Sasha Banks v. Lacey Evans & Naomi
So we take a break right away and return with Naomi as booty-in-peril as the mean girls work her over in the corner. Sasha works a surfboard, but Naomi gets a spinkick. Sasha chokes away in the corner and Bayley gets an elbow for two. Hot tag Lacey and she kicks people in various ways, setting up a Naomi bodypress on Bayley for two. Sasha gets the backstabber on her, but Lacey sends Sasha into the railing and Naomi rolls up Bayley for the pin at 8:54. OH MY GOSH SHE COULD BE IN THE HUNT FOR A FUTURE CHAMPIONSHIP OPPORTUNITY NOW, GUYS! This was fine. It was a match. Whatever. I mean, I am pretty impressed that they managed to hit both tropes of “Superstar loses in her hometown” and of course good old “Champion loses a non-title match to set up a future title shot”. TWICE. IN THE SAME MATCH. **
Meanwhile, the New Day bump into Roode & Ziggler.
Meanwhile, John Cena wins his first World title at Wrestlemania 21.
Robert Roode v. Kofi Kingston
Kofi works a hammerlock and takes Roode down for two, but Roode slugs away in the corner and follows with a monkey flip. Kofi lands in a dropkick for two off that. Roode with a headlock but Kofi chases him out of the ring with an elbow. So we get a cute spot where Roode pretends to have been thrown into the stairs and knocked out, and the ref expels Big E from ringside as a result. This is why everyone says referees are subhuman morons. Well, not Aubrey, she’s pretty awesome. We take a break and return with Roode holding a headlock on the mat, but Kofi sends him to the apron to escape, and Ziggler provides some distraction as Roode gets a cheapshot for two. Roode with a suplex and he goes up, but misses a flying knee and Kofi comes back with clotheslines. Boom Drop and crossbody get two. Roode gets a full nelson slam for two. They fight to the top, but Roode dodges him and gets a spinebuster for two. Glorious DDT is reversed to the SOS, but Dolph puts the foot on the ropes at two. And then Roode gets a cheap rollup for the pin at 12:35. This was good, just a couple of midcard fellas having a midcard match. ***
Meanwhile, Otis just doesn’t like Ziggler going out with Mandy Rose, while Tucker explains to him how life and love can be so very unfair.
Meanwhile, the Rock and John Cena have a once in a lifetime match. Twice. Although I can’t hate on this because my daughter saw it and she was SHOCKED that her favorite wrestler, John Cena, and her other favorite guy who used to be a wrestler, The Rock, HAD A MATCH. WUT? THIS IS A THING THAT HAPPENED? SHE CAN’T EVEN! Also, she can sing the Cena song. It’s pretty cute.
Intercontinental title contract signing:
Apparently Nakamura is getting a rematch at Elimination Chamber and we need a contract signing for it. I should also point out that we’re an hour into this episode and this is the very first mention of the PPV happening NEXT SUNDAY. Sami starts to do a promo and Braun tells him to shut up so he can sign the damn contract, even if it means fighting all three heels. So Sami goes “Aha!” and amends the contract into a 3-on-1 handicap match. I would have to question the legality on that. So Braun goes to attack them and it turns into a 3-on-1 beatdown. I mean, I can’t really feel bad for Braun, since he agreed to the match and then tried to attack all three guys at once.
Daniel Bryan v. Curtis Axel
Axel attacks in the corner and gets a necksnap for two, as Drew Gulak joins us on commentary. Really? We’re going into Wrestlemania and Daniel Bryan gets to feud with DREW GULAK?! Axel stops to mock Bryan for a bit, but Bryan comes back with kicks before Axel tosses him. Axel runs him into the post, but Bryan comes back in the ring with the Yes kicks. Axel gets a rollup for two and manages to reverse out of the Yes lock, then hits a clothesline to the back. Why is Bryan going 50/50 with this doofus? He tries a Perfectplex but Bryan taps him out at 4:05. Why are they wasting Bryan on this shit?
The Miz & Morrison are here to party like it’s 2009. Remember two months ago when Miz was a family man fighting for his daughter against the monster invading his home? That was quite the babyface run for him. So they cut their celebratory promo and that appears to be the entire segment. However, the ring announcer suddenly cuts in and tells them that they’re defending against a bunch of other tag team geeks at Elimination Chamber and they freak out as we take a break.
Miz & Morrison v. The Usos
We get a mysterious glitch as the Usos double-team Miz in their corner, but Miz slingshots Jimmy into the turnbuckle for two. JoMo comes in and chokes him out on the ropes, and Miz does some dancing before going to the chinlock. So apparently they’re selling Elimination Chamber on the RAW Women’s match with a completely obvious finish and a match for the Smackdown tag team titles? Good luck there. Jimmy gets beat up more and we take a break. Back with Jey having received the hot tag at some point during the commercial, but the champs double-team him with a neckbreaker in the corner for two. Morrison takes a double kick in the Uso corner and Jimmy takes out Miz, but Morrison blocks a Jey splash for two. This sets up Starship Pain, but Jimmy breaks it up and the Usos finish with a Canadian Destroyer into a flying splash at 9:29. They’ve been champions for ONE DAY and they’re already doing jobs like a couple of goofs. ONE. DAY. Morrison is looking completely uninspired already, too. What happened to the guy ripping up Lucha Underground? *1/2
John Cena is here for something to do at Wrestlemania, and he’s going to do the right thing and step aside so that someone else can have their moment. So this year, there’s no Cena at Wrestlemania. But then the lights go out while he’s saluting the fans and the Fiend appears and POINTS TO SIGN. So Cena gives him a knowing nod and tips his cap, having drastically changed his mind about the direction of his career because some other pointed at a sign. AND THAT IS THE WRESTLEMANIA BUILDUP FOR THIS MEGA-MATCH. TWENTY NINE WRITERS.
Oh and there’s a PPV next week, with, like, two matches announced. Maybe Undertaker will beat AJ Styles in 7 seconds again and actually take his hat off this time to really heat up that feud. Drew Gulak and Daniel Bryan can exchange Powerpoint presentations about recycling and deforestation. THAT’S GOOD SHIT, PAL.
I will say, at the very least they’re not attempting to insult my intelligence by pretending Roman needs to win a Chamber match to get the title shot. I will give them that if nothing else. And believe me, there’s almost nothing else. Five weeks to Wrestlemania! Gonna be a long five weeks. Lots of staredowns, I bet. Lots and lots of staredowns.
THIS SHOW ISN’T GONNA BREAK ME. I’M GONNA RISE UP LIKE JOHN CENA. I EAT SHITTY SHOWS LIKE THIS ONE FOR BREAKFAST AND CRAP OUT GOLD. The 2019 Doomie Award winning poster…um, whatever his name is, has inspired me to press on and win the 2020 award for myself. THE CHAMP IS HERE.