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WWE SmackDown preview (May 1, 2020): Missing the Big Dog

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WWE SmackDown returns tonight (May 1) from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. They are building towards Money in the Bank, which is on May 10.

The Headliner

Roman Reigns has been absent from WWE for a month now. Word has it he won’t be back until things are safer. That’s totally understandable and the right call for the man and his family.

SmackDown is worse off for it.

Love him, hate him, or in-between him, Roman Reigns has been presented as a star. He’s probably WWE’s top male star, at last full-time star. Anyone who could come close to touching his status, like Seth Rollins, is on Raw. Meaning SmackDown is missing some star power on the men’s side.

Bray Wyatt is the closest they have to that level. The way they presented him for years, losing tons of big matches, doesn’t put him in that Reigns tier. But his new Fiend persona has done wonders for his character, earning him consideration for the top star on Fridays.

The man who holds the Universal title, Braun Strowman, is an imposing figure. But unfortunately, he hasn’t been consistently booked as such. The fact that the only reason he’s holding the top title is that Roman couldn’t doesn’t help him feel like any more of a big deal.

It all comes down to booking and Roman Reigns is one of the few men in the company who has been booked like a star from the beginning. Braun Strowman sure hasn’t and therefore, the show seems to be missing star power.

WWE will need to start presenting men like Bray and/or Braun like they used to present Reigns because SmackDown can use someone as the their big star. And it’ll probably be a long while until the Big Dog is back to fill that role.

The title scene:

Bayley needs to watch herself or otherwise Tamina is going to superkick her head off before challenging the former Hugger for the SmackDown Women’s title at Money in the Bank. Don’t hate on Tamina though. She’s just misunderstood.

The Forgotten Sons have charged onto the scene and an attack against current SmackDown tag team champions the New Day earned the Sons a non-title match. And you know how it goes in WWE. Beat the champs to get a title shot. Though it’s possible teams like Miz & Morrison and the Lucha House Party aren’t willing to see this match have a finish.

Sami Zayn hasn’t been on TV lately, but he’s still your Intercontinental champion.

Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross successfully defended their Women’s tag team titles against Carmella & Dana Brooke last week, partially due to some miscommunications from the challengers. We’ll see if they get new challengers soon or if the titles will be forgotten like they often are.

Other things to keep an eye on:

- Daniel Bryan will face King Corbin this week. This is an interesting one. Bryan is still rather protected but they love Corbin. Is this the week Elias gets his revenge?

- Two lovers are in MITB qualifying matches tonight. Otis will face Dolph Ziggler in a WrestleMania rematch. Meanwhile, Mandy Rose is facing Carmella.

- Is the mysterious hacker Mustafa Ali? Shorty G? Xavier Woods? Or does “The Truth will be Revealed” mean it’s R-Truth, which is my top choice. Because that’d be awesome.

One week till Monday in the Bank! What will you be looking for when SmackDown comes your way tonight at 8 PM ET on Fox?