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WWE SmackDown recap & reactions (Feb. 25, 2022): Skid mark security

WWE has taken to selling the Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar title vs. title match at WrestleMania 38 as “The biggest WrestleMania match of all time.” We had a chat about as much in the Cageside offices during Friday Night SmackDown this week and I actually think they may have some claim to selling it as such.

What was bigger? Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant? Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior? Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock? John Cena vs. The Rock? I legitimately believe you could argue in good faith that these two, with the feud they’ve put together, and the stakes at play, at the venue they’re having the match in, could be called what they’re selling it as.

Feel free to tell me how full of shit I am, if you think I am.

A quick note on all this, by the way: both The Usos and Paul Heyman called it not just a title vs. title winner take all match but a title unification. Might we finally be moving away from a title for each brand and down the path of one major championship like it always should have been?

As for the contract signing they did here, I want to note just how much I love that Lesnar has shown this new side to himself, with the cowboy hat, the turtleneck, the jacket, the whole style of it and WWE has made sure they haven’t lost sight of the absolute monster that lies underneath all that.

It makes me think of the first John Wick movie. That movie was about revenge, sure, but it worked so well because while Wick was methodically breaking down everyone in his path to get that revenge, they made sure to do a lot of character building throughout, all designed to continuously remind you of one thing — this is a baaaaaaad dude right here.

That’s what they did with Lesnar in this segment.

Yeah, he’s out here smiling and yucking it up with fans and having a blast, sure. But he also cut a hell of a promo calling security guards skid marks (lol) and reminding Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman that nothing could stop him from jumping over that table and kicking their ass. He’s also a mammoth of a man who can pick up a big ass table and hurl it at three fully grown men like it didn’t weigh an ounce. This big sum bitch picked a chair up and threw it at a guy’s face, barely breaking a sweat in the process. He easily handled like nine guys rushing him and they did nothing to stop him because they could do nothing except take the ass whooping he was giving to them.

That’s how you build up a badass.

And that’s how you build to the biggest WrestleMania match of all time.

Reigns did his part too, perfectly playing the role of the arrogant boss who has lorded over everything and everyone on this show for nearly two years and believes himself above it all. We’ve seen him make good on his words time and time again. But he’s gotta deal with a whole different beast now.

WrestleMania can’t get here soon enough.

Hey, Johnny Knoxville is back!

You know, my bar for celebrities in pro wrestling is pretty low. You’re a success in my book as long as you take it seriously enough that you don’t make a mockery of it and/or you genuinely seem to be having a good time with it. This shit is supposed to be fun, after all.

Knoxville clears that bar easily.

Because he’s an absolute madman willing to hurt himself very badly for our entertainment one would think he’s perfect for this pro wrestling thing but I get a little worried for the guy when I see him get absolutely hammered in the face with this Helluva Kick here:


If they’re really planning on giving us Zayn vs. Knoxville at WrestleMania, I’m a little scared of where that might take us. He’s going to have to do something to make that match worthwhile in front of 100,000 people and he can barely take a bump.

Oh, this is going to be nuts, isn’t it?

All the rest
  • Michael Cole interviewed Ronda Rousey to kick off the show, and they went pretty heavy handed with trying to get her even more over as a babyface. They garnered sympathy with injuries and a pregnancy and her desire to return and be great again and tap out Charlotte Flair. And it worked well enough. When Flair herself showed up to say she would make Rousey tap for the first time, she was roundly booed and it was clear Ronda had the full support of the audience. Sonya Deville showed up to help Flair with a sneak attack and the fact that she’s pulling double duty like this has become the height of hilarity. Ronda fought her off and sold a knee injury. We quickly learned this was just to set up Rousey vs. Deville for next week. She’ll need matches like this to keep her strong en route to the big one.
  • Los Lotharios scored a win over The New Day and appeared poised for a push up the ladder. So this week Big E threatened to run Humberto over with his four wheeler in order to distract Angel enough get the victory. The match was really good for a TV tag.
  • We’re definitely getting a five-way tag title match at WrestleMania for The Usos’ straps, aren’t we?
  • Xia Li finally wrestled on this show, and the match was such that fans in the arena started chanting “Hershey’s chocolate.” Pat McAfee responded by saying “Pennsylvania is saying ‘Xia Li’s got it,’ and they’re 100-percent right.” She won the match, and those same fans cheered. It was fine in the end.
  • Sasha Banks is back! She scored a dominant win over Shotzi, smiling wide while submitting her with the Bank Statement. Naomi was out on commentary and revealed they are a team now and plan to win the women’s tag team titles.
  • I quite liked Drew McIntyre teasing another Alabama Slam on Madcap Moss and Moss freaking out in response, wildly grabbing at the ropes to save him from being dumped on his head again which, I will remind you, was entirely his fault. I love pro wrestling sometimes. I also love that WWE advertised McIntyre vs. Moss initially, then changed it to McIntyre vs. Corbin hours before the show, then during the show changed it back to McIntyre vs. Moss. Does that mean McIntyre vs. Corbin is being saved for WrestleMania? Do we feel good about it if so? Having said all that, this was great:

This wasn’t a particularly thrilling show until that absolute banger of a main event segment.

Grade: B-

Your turn.

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