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WWE SmackDown preview (Apr. 3, 2020): The big dog in the room

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WWE SmackDown returns tonight (Apr. 3) from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. It is building towards WrestleMania 36, which actually starts tomorrow if you can believe it.

The Headliner

WWE is lying to you.

As of writing this, WWE.com’s preview for WrestleMania still has Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg front and center. If you’re reading a site like this, you know that’s not true. You know he bowed out due to concerns about his health during this coronavirus pandemic. You may know who replaces him. And you know that Roman Reigns confirmed this himself.

Now to someone like you and me, who reads sites like this, still advertising this match is confusing but it’s more whatever. But there are plenty of fans out there who don’t read sites like this or follow wrestling on Twitter. Those people still think Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg for the Universal title is a marquee WrestleMania match.

The instinct could be to ask: Who cares? But when someone can buy WrestleMania on their cable provider because they want to see Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg while WWE has known for over a week that match isn’t happen, that’s when it feels dirty.

WrestleMania was taped prior to SmackDown last Friday. Meaning they could have taped something to edit into last week’s episode in order to address the change. So fans would know what they’re potentially paying for. Instead, it was business as usual and they continued to promote a match, even with Triple H giving a video breaking the whole thing down.

One has to wonder if they’ll even bother to address it tonight. Or if they’ll air the Roman Reigns/Goldberg segment they taped days prior to learning Roman was going to be out of the equation. They could feasibly make the switch at WrestleMania.

Triple H has said they have a unique way of writing him off. And on my end, I don’t care how they do it. They don’t have to be honest about his increased risk due to his past fight with leukemia, though they surely could. (They probably won’t since the company has been averse in mentioning the coronavirus, instead wanting to pretend WrestleMania is too big for one night like it’s some epic show and not going to be a weird show taped in an empty building.) It’s perfectly appropriate to come up with a storyline reason that gives them the opening to run this match later.

Whatever they decide, they should have done it last week.

The title scene:

Bayley will defend her SmackDown Women’s championship in a 5-way elimination match at WrestleMania. A gauntlet match is going to be a tougher sell than a regular match in front of an empty house, but we’ll see how they play it.

The Usos and the New Day will be on Miz TV tonight ahead of their triple threat SmackDown tag team title match at WrestleMania. If that happens. There was word Miz was sick the day of WrestleMania. But this segment should be fun with all the personality in the ring.

Daniel Bryan and Sami Zayn will face each other at WrestleMania for Zayn’s Intercontinental championship. They’ve been entertaining with Bryan and Drew Gulak standing against Zayn, Cesaro, & Shinsuke Nakamura. We’ll probably get one more interaction with that.

Asuka & Kairi Sane will defend the Women’s tag team championships against Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross tomorrow or Sunday. Up to now, the build on the Kabuki Warriors’ end has only been Asuka since Kairi was stuck in Japan but apparently made it back for the WrestleMania match.

Other things to keep an eye on:

- John Cena will answer Bray Wyatt’s challenge for a Firefly Fun House match. Also, maybe we’ll learn what a Firefly Fun House match is.

- The real big question is whether or not Elias can compete at WrestleMania. The rest is whatever.


One day until WrestleMania! What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?