If you watched all of Smackdown, you’re probably excited for Wrestlemania. This show was mainly used to preview the matches for Sunday, but that doesn’t mean the wrestling portion of the show was bad. With the small amount of time, they actually impressed me.
Fatal Four Match (Cesaro vs Big E vs Jimmy Uso vs Fernando)
I thought this was a creative way to get the crowd excited for Smackdown. Keep in mind that this show was taped directly after Raw, so the crowd was probably exhausted. Jimmy and Fernando stuck out the most in this contest, but that was probably because they worked the larger spots. Cesaro squaring off with Big E always feels like a treat because they’re both such amazing powerhouse workers. Langston’s triple german suplex was easily the spot of this bout. I was happy with whoever won this match, and I didn’t mind that Jimmy was the one that picked it up. Overall this was a fun match, and a great way to get the fans excited for the fatal four way tag match at the Mania pre show.
AJ cut a solid promo here, and it made me think that she should get more mic time. Paige’s reasoning to hold a grudge felt childish. I thought they would have put their differences aside by now. I thought Nikki did an awesome job at working her promo. Brie should have kept the mic away from herself, because it was cutting into her sister’s good job. There’s no doubt that Nikki stole this segment, her intensity was unmatched, and she was just so great with playing her heel diva character.
John Cena, Mark Henry, Daniel Bryan, & Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, Kane, & Big Show
Roman did not come out to a warm reception in this match, and I believe it was worse than the reaction he got on Raw. I don’t understand why they didn’t include Rusev in this match, it would have made much more sense. Reigns’ clothesline spot against the turnbuckle works very well with that turnbuckle camera, and I’m glad they’ve continued to use it. Even doubters of Roman must admit, he looked pretty impressive in the first part of this match. While I wasn’t too excited for Henry and Show wrestling, I laughed when Show referred to Henry as sexual chocolate. I‘m not sure if they were trying to keep the main eventers fresh in this match, but I couldn’t stand how this became all about the battle royal contestants for a long period of time. The match at this point really slowed down from how it started. Everything eventually picked up when Rollins and Cena got a chance to exchange moves. The tag spot from John was pretty exciting, they truly executed the use of the hot tag properly. Bryan definitely stole the show once he was tagged in, and it was because his crisp moves were refreshing from the back and forth pace that was set in this match. I was fine with Roman cleaning house at the end, but he shouldn’t have speared Wyatt because it doesn’t exactly make him look strong heading into a match with the Undertaker. That’s probably why Wyatt didn’t belong in this match. Overall, this match was a good way to close out the show, much better than how they closed out Raw.
I’ll just say I’m happy I decided to watch this directly after it aired, because it gave me a chance to skip most of the Wrestlemania preview filler. The Rene Young and Byron Saxton panel wasn’t bad though, and they did a great job at previewing the different feuds. They managed to put together some amazing video packages. Smackdown as a show in the Staples Center was pretty good. They had a limited time to work with and I felt that the wrestlers made the most out of the segments. Overall I give this show a 7.8/10.