Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls welcome to AwesomeMania’s first ever SmackDown recap, and this one is a good one to start with as for the first time ever SmackDown takes place from the WWE Performance Center and you know what…
So let’s have fun with this one everyone!
We kick off SmackDown with “The Game” Triple H as he introduces the audience to the WWE Performance Center, and I have to say that was a great way to start the show. Educating the casual viewers to the PC on it’s history, and the purpose it serves, and well now also that it’s the home for RAW, SmackDown, and NXT for the near future.
For our opening matchup we would get SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley and her best friend Sasha Banks to come out for tag team action as they take on the team of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. Now originally Paige was scheduled to confront Bayley, but obviously with COVID-19 it created some travel issues, plus WWE is working with a limited crew of talent and production people so some things have to be pushed off for a little bit. Though massive props to all four women as they owned it not just in the ring, but on the mic too. Sasha and Bayley really worked up the “crowd” and were really impressive at doing that because let’s be honest. In a business that is based off of fan interactions, to do that in an empty venue is very challenging and both women did that very well.
Then with the match itself, you just have to love Nikki Cross so much. She is just an amazing character, and she’s so damn entertaining. Then you add Alexa Bliss, it’s spectacular. Seeing Nikki stomping on the steps to get the “crowd” behind Alexa was hilarious to see, and also showed that despite the current situation, they were having fun with the show they were putting on for us.
For the end of the match WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Asuka would attack Alexa to cause Bayley and Sasha to get the victory in this fun match.
Next up we’d get an in ring interview between Michael Cole and Roman Reigns to help promote the WrestleMania match against Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship. It was a good interview, and it was very interesting to actually be able to listen to the interviews without all of the background noise. Also with the self awareness that they are in an empty venue makes it feel more looser and relaxed. Plus yes Roman, we all are thinking this too…
Next up we’d see Kayla Braxton in the back to do an interview which then sees Cesaro, Shinske Nakamura, and the new WWE Intercontinental champion Sami Zayn, but they aren’t the interview guest, but the returning Jeff Hardy is.
King (Baron) Corbin would interject into Hardy’s interview only to be disappointed to find out that he is Jeff’s first opponent since being injured early last year. Elias would show up to continue the build for his eventual match with Corbin at WrestleMania.
We then see Daniel Bryan approaching Drew Gulak to talk about their match this past Sunday at Elimination Chamber, and that match was straight fire!!, and wants Gulak to teach him. However, the IC champ and his crew show up and now we get Cesaro versus Daniel Bryan. Um.. Yes please!
Next up we would be treated to the full Elimination Chamber match for the SmackDown Tag Team championships from this past Sunday. Kinda cool that they did this because again, limited crew, so the full roster is not going to be on hand for this episode, so getting a PPV match for free is a nice treat. Plus it gives us a match with an audience reacting which is nice too.
After the match we would see the tag champs in the ring as The Miz and John Morrison talk about their victory and mock the teams they defeated to retain the titles. They worked the no crowd factor so well too. It was cool seeing these two just feeding off of each other.
Next up we would see Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak to come out for Bryan’s match against Cesaro, and hey man… gotta work that crowd!
We would be treated to an excellent match between two men who could wrestle for hours in an empty arena and still put on a clinic. Cesaro and Bryan are simply fantastic and tonight shows just a sample of their greatness. Also the fact that Gulak is involved in this storyline with Zayn and Nakamura is also great. Gulak is an amazing technical wrestler, and being put into this story with four top tier talents will let his greatness break out and I can’t wait.
Next up we’d get our final match as Jeff Hardy would take on King Corbin. This would be a short match that would see Elias at ringside and play the distraction to give Hardy the victory. Good to see Jeff back, but man… I think he needs to save the Swanton Bomb for special occasions now because you can tell the move is taking more of a toll each time he does it.
Then finally we get our last segment as John Cena returns to address why he is taking on “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania, and as always Cena delivers with his promo. Plus the fact that he gives a shoutout to Drew McIntyre, Tommaso Ciampa, Rhea Ripley, Velveteen Dream, and Matt Riddle is awesome. Those individuals are the future and it’s amazing seeing a legend like Cena making that known to the world. However, Bray Wyatt would come in through the crowd, and oh man that promo. So, so good. Wyatt is someone who has been getting better and better, and his mic skills are amazing. Just how he tells stories is hands down one of the best in the business. Don’t believe me. Check it out below.
Overall this was a really fun show to watch. Going in I was worried about how no audience would affect the WWE Superstars, but they were all game and they owned it from start to finish. Definitely the most fun watching SmackDown since the NXT invasion late last year due to the international travel issues that happened the day before SmackDown.
Also we have to talk to one of the real MVP’s of the night, and that’s Triple H. He was on fire and was very entertaining throughout the night. He made commentary with Michael Cole a lot of fun, and this is something I hope continues for a bit while WWE does their shows from the PC. Here are some great Triple H moments from SmackDown.
And he mentioned his “demotion” LOL!!
Amazing Trips… Amazing!!