Event: WWE SmackDown
Date: February 28, 2020
Location: Boston, MA
WWE SmackDown took place from Boston, Massachusetts this week, with the impending return of John Cena to WWE, as well as the fall-out from Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia.
WWE SmackDown Results and Highlights
Roman Reigns is Next: The show opened with the new Universal Champion Bill Goldberg, who made his way out to a mixed response. Goldberg was greeted with huge boos once his music stopped and he talked about ‘who’s next’. The music hit and Roman Reigns entered the ring, much to the crowd’s pleasure and announced that he is next.
Naomi def. Bayley by DQ: Naomi and Bayley faced off in a non-title rematch from last night, as Bayley introduced future Grammy-winning artist Sasha Banks, making her return. Banks got involved in the match-up leading to a DQ finish. Lacey Evans made the save for Naomi, as the referees tried to break them apart.
Naomi and Lacey Evans def. Bayley and Sasha Banks: The faces teamed up to take on the champion and the returning hometown star.
Robert Roode def. Kofi Kingston: Kingston, who grew up in the area, was greeted with huge applause from the crowd. Roode tricked the referee into sending off Big E from ringside. Dolph Ziggler and his constant interruptions helped his team-mate, Roode, to win the match against Kingston.
Meanwhile, Tucker helped his good buddy Otis to get over the disappointment of Mandy Rose and Dolph Ziggler. Tucker said that Otis will come back in front of the WWE Universe next week.
Contract Signing: Renee Young officiated the contract signing for the Intercontinental Championship match at Elimination Chamber between Braun Strowman and Shinsuke Nakamura. Sami Zayn complained about the unjust treatment and was interrupted by Strowman, who expressed his willingness to fight all the three at the same time. Zayn proposed a 3-on-1 Handicap Match at the Chamber, which was accepted by the Monster Among Men.
Strowman took the matter in his own hands and started an attack on Nakamura and Cesaro. After a low-blow from Zayn, Strowman was overpowered by the three superstars, and Zayn hit a Helluva Kick to end the segment.
Daniel Bryan def. Curtis Axel: Daniel Bryan took on the second generational superstar as Drew Gulak watched on from commentary with his pointers. Gulak tried to rally Axel with advice and taunted Bryan throughout the match, but Bryan ended up winning with the Labelle Lock.
The Usos def. John Morrison and The Miz: Morrison and Miz made their entrances with the SmackDown Tag Team Championships and demanded a “You Deserve It” chant from the audience, only to receive boos in return. Greg Hamilton announced their first defense of the titles, which will take place at Elimination Chamber against New Day, Usos, Heavy Machinery, Lucha House Party and Ziggler-Roode.
After throwing a fit over the Elimination Chamber match, things went from bad to worse for the champions as the Usos reigned supreme in this non-title matchup. The Usos hit a combination of a Super Detroyer and the trademark Uso Splash for the win.
The Fiend confronts a returning John Cena: John Cena made his much-awaited return to WWE, and was greeted with tremendous cheers from his hometown crowd. Cena talked about returning for WrestleMania 36 season, but he had an important announcement to make. Cena said he respects the fans and doesn’t want to take a WrestleMania spot from younger superstars; hence, Cena would be staying off the card this year, but it isn’t goodbye forever.
Cena made his exit but the familiar sound of The Fiend hits. Cena turned back to see The Fiend standing on the ramp. The former Universal Champion pointed at WrestleMania sign suggesting a match-up between the two. The fans went wild with “YES” chants and Cena nodded his head, tipping his hat to The Fiend.
WWE SmackDown Takeaways
1. The Battle of Spears
Goldberg won the Universal Championship match at Super ShowDown, much to the dissent of the wrestling community, and he has already received his next challenger, in Roman Reigns. Reigns will main-event WrestleMania for the fifth time in the last six years, and it is a shame that it will be against a part-timer 53-year-old and not against Bray Wyatt, who had arguably been the best character WWE has seen in recent years.
Goldberg and Reigns competing is surely a dream match come true, but Goldberg’s recent abysmal performances are a clear indication that he must be kept away from the ring as far as possible, but instead, we will once again be greeted to a subpar match.
The fans could very well turn on Reigns once again if he wins a terrible match against Goldberg, as they will feel robbed off an actual WrestleMania worthy match between Reigns and Wyatt.
2. A Return Worth The Wait
John Cena returned to WWE programming after more than a year, and immediately joined the WrestleMania season party. Although he clearly mentioned he won’t be taking part at the Grandest Stage of Them All, an invitation from Fiend was enough to convince him to put on his wrestling gear.
Cena and Wyatt share a long history together, and it will be interesting to see how this feud plays out in the next five weeks. One of the best things about Wyatt’s latest run has been the callbacks to previous feuds (Bryan, Balor,) and how he has changed the personalities of every single person who has crossed his path.
Wyatt should be the winner in this matchup, but after a three-minute squash against a superstar who’s prime was two decades ago, nothing can be told for sure.
3. Champions, Or Not?
The notorious WWE booking of treating their champions as absolute garbage has returned, with Bayley and Miz-Morrison, both eating pin in non-title matchups this week. WWE often uses this as a tool to bring in new challengers, but it continues to remain one of the best ways to undermine your own talents.
Miz-Morrison won the title twenty-four hours ago but immediately ate a pin against the Usos, which hurts their credibility. This doesn’t paint a pretty picture, and WWE must stop doing this as soon as possible.