I haven’t even mentioned the little tech glitches that have happened on SmackDown over the past few months. They were fleeting, I reasoned, and the time would come to talk about them whenever the hell it actually went somewhere.
Well, it happened. And it went somewhere fun!
Tucker fought Dolph Ziggler on this show which was somewhat intriguing, but not enough to really catch my attention. Tucker was doing his best to get some payback for his tag team partner, and ol’ Ziggles was just being a colossal jerk. In fact, Ziggler hit a Zig Zag on the steps which forced a disqualification to the match.
The guy then went wayyyy too far by picking up the steps, heaving them over his head, and threatening to slam them down onto Tucker’s prone body still laying on the base of the steps. Mandy Rose rushed out at that moment to demand that Ziggler knock it off - which is extremely reasonable, right?! There was absolutely no reason for Ziggler to go as far as he wanted to go. Otis ran out next and Ziggler was well on his way to fleeing the arena when we got the glitches that we’ve seen for months again.
...But this time? It bled into a hooded person who has apparently been hacking the show for weeks. And they declared that the truth would be heard. And that truth...was actually, legitimately shocking.
WWE did a long story, guys! And it actually makes sense! Do you remember when Sonya Deville asked Rose months ago when Rose and Otis were still cool with each other if they could have Otis accompany them to the ring? Deville clearly wanted Otis to help them win a match, and that didn’t happen at all. Otis ended up costing them the match, and when that didn’t bother Rose, Deville apparently started plotting.
Unreleased footage played showing Deville and Ziggler conspiring to break up Otis and Rose. They hit all the big points with this thing, and it’s actually fun.
It’s actually fun. My god, I’m still shaken by the fact that this actually turned out to be fun.
Now I actually care who this hacker is, too! I don’t even want this dude to wrestle; I want him to keep revealing that people are doing horrible things behind the scenes! That would be awesome!
I bet you didn’t have Rose in your corner at WrestleMania anymore, eh Ziggler?
John Cena stares into the abyss
I feel like this is pretty damn obvious by this point, but if you’re still one of those people who say Cena’s not good at this wrestling thing, you need to stop it. You sound ridiculous, and he proved that with a promo to end the final SmackDown of WrestleMania.
He’s so good at providing a reason to invest in his words, and he did that by actually addressing the uncertainty by hinting at the ongoing pandemic - which is the closest WWE has gotten to actually talking about the virus and its global impact. According to Cena, the Fiend has succeeded in WWE by thriving off of chaos, fear, and panic. It’s similar to what we’re all dealing with in our daily lives right now, and - according to him - it’s why WrestleMania as a whole this year is so interesting. No one knows what’s going to happen. No one knows anything. We’re all staring into a void, standing on the precipice of some cliff that has no end.
From there, he turned it back to Wyatt. Despite all of that, Cena claimed that he will not panic and he has no fear of Wyatt, someone he claims isn’t even on the level below him. He ran Wyatt down with some of his signature insults, but they felt way more derogatory than Cena’s usual jabs. Way more disdainful...which is great! That’s the story they’re telling here. Cena hates this dude. He doesn’t understand Wyatt and dismisses him as a failure. There are a lot of underlying feelings and motives in this feud, too. I really love the nuance with this story; you can tell these guys care about the story they’re telling and have folks backstage who are allowing them the freedom to tell it.
Despite all of Cena’s words and unflappable nature, things got tense when the Firefly puppets made it to ringside. Rambling Rabbit offered a hearty message to start, saying he’s happy that Cena’s accepted the challenge because he’ll be able to play with them forever. The others joined in on the chorus until the Fiend revealed himself, staring Cena down from the balcony in the Performance Center. A crafty camera cut showed the side of Cena’s face and Wyatt leaning in behind him, urging Cena to let him in. Darkness, and then both Wyatt and the Fiend were gone.
And you know what, Cageside? Cena may stay calm. He may not panic. But he sure as hell looked tense, despite all his claims. This match could be really, really fun this weekend.
The New Day and the Usos need to get it together - This talking segment opened the show and featured the Miz saying some annoying stuff which led to a brawl. The champs came out on top when their opponents got too embroiled in their own history.
To that I say...Usos and New Day? I get that y’all have history and all that. But if you can’t call a truce and bludgeon the hell out of Miz and John Morrison at WrestleMania, you’ll deserve that loss.
Tamina def. Lacey Evans and Naomi - Okay so hear me out: Tamina ought to win at WrestleMania.
Why, you ask? Because when have you ever taken Tamina seriously? WWE does this with her every time she comes back from an injury or time off. Suddenly, she’s this monstrous presence that can’t be ignored...except we can totally ignore her because we know she’ll lose at the title match.
She destroyed Bayley and Sasha Banks on this show, which means absolutely nothing if this goes the way it usually goes. Surprise me, WWE. Have Tamina actually win.
Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair WrestleMania rewatch - You might ask what context this has for the current show. To that I say that Michaels was my favorite wrestler growing up so you can hush.
Daniel Bryan def. Shinsuke Nakamura via DQ - Really good segment. Sami Zayn was on commentary and did a great job selling his match against Bryan. You could hear him start plotting the longer this match went due to Bryan’s abilities. Once Nakamura and Bryan started sprawling near the end of the match, Zayn even sounded outraged that someone could be so good at wrestling.
Another match I’m quite looking forward to this weekend.
I actually really liked this episode. I mean the tag stuff at the beginning was utterly forgettable, but it featured good matches, Cena at his best, and a genuinely pleasant surprise with our man in the tech truck casting Zone of Truth. Not bad, WWE.