SmackDown In A Nutshell: No Joke, But WrestleMania Is Here!

no joke but wrestlemania
source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

It’s not just any SmackDown In A Nutshell. Nope, no joke, but WrestleMania is here!

We (well, not we, but WWE) are in Dallas. It’s WrestleMania Eve…or WrestleMania SmackDown…or Hall of Fame night.

Or, all of the above really.

Fans get an interesting show. I almost hesitate to call it a go-home show, because…well…we are here.

It’s Dallas. There is no travel left, short of getting in a taxi between hotel and AT&T Stadium.

And, it’s almost like an extra night of WrestleMania, since we have the Andre The Giant Battle Royal and an Intercontinental Championship triple threat match.

So, it’s going to be a busy show, go-home or not. Yes fans, it’s no joke…WrestleMania is here!

And just like that, it is time for…

SmackDown In A Nutshell: No Joke, But WrestleMania Is Here!

no joke but wrestlemania

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Let’s crack open this Nutshell and see what happens!

Best Match of the night:

Honestly, this was almost by default…but the Intercontinental triple threat title match.

Why by default? Because this show was a lot more about hype and packages than matches.

We had some…but it felt very light.

Worst match of the night:

The Andre battle royal.

When you have 2 nights, and what, 6 hours? That match belongs on WrestleMania.

Even if it’s like, the pre-show, or opens the show…I think it belongs on WrestleMania, or not at all.

And while we are saying hey, no joke, but WrestleMania is here? Well…some of the show was a joke.

Star of the Night

He landed a 630 INTO a Recoil to beat not one, but both members of Los Lotharios in order to retain his Intercontinental Championship.

In my mind, this was Ricochet’s award.

I think he should have gotten a spot on Saturday or Sunday, but having a strong match on Friday is, I suppose, a consolation prize.

Spot of the Night:

How about Ricochet, transitioning from the top rope splash and then right into the winning Recoil.

Jobber of the Night:

No one in particular. But, a lot of the Superstars in the battle royal fit this bill.

Sad that you knew most wouldn’t last too long, in there just to be an elimination. Like Tozawa and Reggie.

Upset of the Night:

Well…Pat McAfee was upset for sure.

Attacked by Austin Theory, he ran back and chased him into Mr. McMahon’s office…and when he kicked the door in, Vince wasn’t happy.

Surely, Pat was upset that he had to not kick Theory’s butt…but there will be time for that on Sunday.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Maybe not holy sh@@, but I was mildly surprised, with all the crossover, and with Ziggler and Ciampa in the match, that WWE didn’t take a moment to have Bron Breakker cause Dolph to lose.

Like, have him cause the elimination, use the time to hype up Saturday’s Stand & Deliver.

It’s not like Breakker isn’t there. We know he will be, because his dad and uncle are WWE Hall of Famers as of later Friday.

Also, sure, not on the show proper, but this is as much pre-WrestleMania as it is SmackDown…and KO is gonna be in trouble Saturday night…

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Botch of the night:

Corbin called Angela his “luckle” sword. At least, that’s what I heard.

But the botches got worse…and involved Angela.

Clearly the red carpet over the mat was hiding a trigger of some fashion.

As the show was heading to close, Drew was to channel his inner Berzerker and plunge his sword into and through the ring.

Except, either he missed…or it didn’t quite go as planned the first time. You could see him go for it, and meet resistance and the sword buckled or flexed.

Second time was the charm…

LOL Moment of the night:

Apparently, chair beats sword. And angry Scot destroys Happy Talk set.

With that sword, no less. Man, someone really rigged that table…

Noteworthy Moment:

Madcap Moss won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Somewhat surprising, except this match just continues to lose whatever luster it had.

WWE tried to say it’s been used to kickstart careers…mentioning Uso last year and Baron Corbin earlier.

Except…Uso was already a lock for a future WWE Hall of Fame entry when he won…and Corbin was a Money In The Bank winner.

The Andre winners list is not like, say, the early WWE King of the Ring winners…

Overall lowlights:

The downside of having a 2 night WrestleMania, along with a major weekly Friday show?

Blurred lines.

Also, a lack of the good old NXT TakeOver, and a night purely for the WWE Hall of Fame.

Remember when Friday was the Hall of Fame? And then TakeOver was Saturday and ‘Mania was Sunday?

no joke but wrestlemania

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Look, the mid-40’s guy in me who doesn’t always stay up into the wee hours? I love the 2 night ‘Mania because it helps us avoid the night wrapping up at like 1AM.

But…I miss those “old” WrestleMania weekends. 2 nights is bad enough, but seeing what used to be ‘Mania matches now on SmackDown? That seems odd…it’s not like between two nights, they don’t have enough time now.

Overall highlights:

As much as I was down on having Ricochet defend the Intercontinental Championship against Los Lotharios and “only” on SmackDown…it was a nice win for him.

While I get why they are doing it, I hate the “Theory can attack Pat, but Pat cannot respond” stuff. So it was satisfying to have Finn Balor answer that bell.

Especially since Balor did owe Theory.

After the final bell:

I called it last week, that due to the timing and proximity and all, this week’s SmackDown was likely to be less a go-home show. More likely that last week’s SmackDown was the go-home show, just a week early.

And, that was mostly right-at least so far as match content was concerned.

Sure, the show had matches. But it also had a lot more video packages and talking segments.

Not a bad approach really, as the goal was to make sure the biggest names in the biggest matches don’t tangle until Saturday or Sunday.

Don’t give anything away, for one. And, I suppose for another, it ensures no one suffers a freak injury immediately before the biggest weekend of the WWE year.

And, while I dig me some Drew McIntyre…and getting his sword back…was that not one of the worst endings for a SmackDown ever?

Especially considering it was the last segment before WrestleMania. Though, we did get the closure with Cole and McAfee hyping the lineup for the weekend.

Well, it’s no joke…WrestleMania is here.

Introduced to professional wrestling in the 1980’s thanks to Superstars and Saturday Night’s Main Event, John’s passion for the... More about John Deegan

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