Seriously, let that sink in: it is SmackDown In A Nutshell: Blue Brand Is Ready To Rumble!
It’s an exciting weekend in professional wrestling, no matter who you prefer.
The Royal Rumble is the first of WWE’s famed “Big 4” PPVs. It serves as the kickoff on the Road To WrestleMania.
I could sit here and say there’s a bunch of matches to hype up for Sunday-and there are a few.
The big, non-Rumble match: Roman Reigns defends against Kevin Owens, in a Last Man Standing clash.
But, let’s be honest. There are two major matches on Sunday, and they both involve 30 Superstars trying to punch their tickets to a WrestleMania title shot.
So, it’s SmackDown In A Nutshell, and the blue brand is ready to Rumble!
Let’s crack open this Nutshell and find out!
Best Match of the night:
I have two options, one more traditional than the other.
First, I have to give credit to Bianca Belair and Bayley. Strong match at the top of the show.
And then we got the chaotic main event, which was a mash-up of a couple matches and ended up as a 9 (and then, ultimately, 10) man tag match.
Both were good on their own, and for their own reasons.
Worst match of the night:
Dom Mysterio looked a bit rough this time around. He and King Corbin didn’t manage a good match, so this one lands here.
It happens…sometimes as good as Dom has been, we overlook that he’s still relatively green.
Star of the Night
No single star tonight. Instead, I will say…the blue brand looked pretty good.
From Belair and Bayley, to Owens and Reigns delivering the final hype, through the craziness of the chaotic main event-SmackDown had a good show to send them home.
Spot of the Night:
Not a signature spot in my eyes. But we did get the frequently used main event spot-fest, where everyone in the multi-man main event hits their finisher.
Then, the cherry on top was Braun coming in, uninvited, and hitting his on anyone he wanted.
Jobber of the Night:
I could go with all the heels in the main event, particularly guys like Sami Zayn, Miz and Morrison.
Because they got to eat the Strowman offense.
Upset of the Night:
None, not this time.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
I think we had a couple, and the blue brand used them to prove they were ready to Rumble.
Option 1? Sheamus made a cameo over from the red brand, becoming the fifth member of the main event babyface tag team.
He won the match for his squad.
But, as the post-match fun devolved into chaos (as was to be expected), we got the return of Braun Strowman.
Botch of the night:
Feels weird to say this, but Daniel Bryan’s opening promo was not his best. Far from it…
I am inclined to call Strowman’s appearance a botch, but with a caveat.
I think having Strowman appear on SmackDown was a mistake, but I understand why, too.
Similar to why WWE went and had Edge declare he was in the Rumble on RAW. In the end, there’s no live audience to pop on Sunday…so while we can still hope for some surprise entrants…I’d temper those hopes.
LOL Moment of the night:
Sami Zayn, playing the unhinged conspiracy guy that he plays, just makes me laugh. That is all…
This week’s show, more than RAW, felt like the overall go-home effort from WWE. We had representation from both RAW and SmackDown, plus a big return.
Might just be me and my one viewpoint, but I didn’t get a great go-home feel from RAW…and I absolutely did from SmackDown this week.
I think my lowlight would be the Corbin-Mysterio match. Most other points of the show really worked.
The vast majority of SmackDown. Honestly, maybe not the best show ever, but I know when I turned it off this week, I enjoyed the show.
That’s good enough for me.
After the final bell:
Well, coming in, we expected final hype for the Royal Rumble, and we were not disappointed.
Now, we know for sure: the blue brand is ready to Rumble.