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Csonka’s WWE Smackdown Review 3.20.20

March 20, 2020 | Posted by Larry Csonka
WWE Smackdown 32020
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Csonka’s WWE Smackdown Review 3.20.20  

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Csonka’s WWE Friday Night Smackdown Review 3.20.20

– Daniel Bryan & Drew Gulak defeated Cesaro & Nakamura @ 10:00 via pin [***]
From WrestleMania XXX: John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt @ 22:25 via pin [***]
Non-Title Match: Champions Miz & Morrison defeated Heavy Machinery @ 14:41 via DQ [**]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– From the WWE PC with Michael Cole welcoming us to the show. He tells us about Mania being two nights and the host, Rob Gronkowski. Mojo joins the show and he’s hyped. He then announces Gronk. Gronk is a big fan and has been since he’s a kid, and he watched at the FCW arena to support Mojo. He’s hyped and ready for anything. Mojo is here to watch his back, and Gronk chops Mojo as King Corbin arrives. Corbin says he’s set up for failure with Mojo, while he’s a king. He expects Gronk to bow to him, Gronk refuses and Corbin says he’s bigger and stronger so Gronk better fall in line. Elias arrives and sings a song. Gronk loves it and Corbin stops it. Gronk and Mojo trip up Corbin and laugh at him and Elias dumps him. Gronk then says he wants to book Elias and Corbin at Mania. That sounds like a horrible idea.

– Sami, Nak, & Cesaro walk.

Daniel Bryan & Drew Gulak vs. Cesaro & Nakamura: Sami is at ringside. Bryan and Nak begin as Sami joins commentary. They work into counters, and Gulak tags in, taking control of Nak’s arm until Cesaro tags in. He grounds things and Bryan tags in. Cesaro fights him off and tags in Nak. Bryan follows with uppercuts, dumps him and follows with a suicide dive. Cesaro catches the high cross and follows with a backbreaker. Post break and the heels have the heat on Bryan, with Nak controlling and covering for 2. Cesaro tags in and takes control, follows with suplexes an covers for 2. He keeps Bryan grounded, and then follows with uppercuts until they work into a double down. Tags to Gulak & Nak, Gulak controls and hits a German for 2. Nak counters the Gu-lock into a triangle, follows with a spin kick and Cesaro joins in as double teams follow. The Cesaro uppercut gets 2 as Bryan makes the save. He gets dumped as Cesaro works over Gulak. Nak then follows with kicks and a suplex, until Gulak hits a lariat. Cesaro cuts him off, follows with uppercuts until Gulak fires back and tags in Bryan and the sunset flip finishes it. Daniel Bryan & Drew Gulak defeated Cesaro & Nakamura @ 10:00 via pin [***] This was good, I love Bryan & Gulak together and their stuff with Cesaro really carried this one.

– Cole continues to hype Mania and how past Manias will air on ESPN on Sundays.

– Gulak & Bryan talk and stretch backstage as Sami arrives to call them mediocre. He wants Bryan to join him and calls Gulak a nobody. Bryan mocks Sami and challenges him to a match for the IC Title at Mania. Sami says fine, if Gulak can beat Nak next week, it’s on.

– Paige is here via Skype, as Bayley arrives and runs her down for no showing. Banks is here and they banter. Paige says it’s all about Bayley and Bayley agrees. Paige then says that they should know better and puts over the courage of the women’s roster that Bayley & Banks lack. Bayley says no one can beat her and mocks Paige for not being able to do anything about it. Paige says her career is over and her heart is broken. She wouldn’t with it on anyone, and announces that Bayley will defend at Mania against Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, Tamina, and, Naomi. Banks calls Paige a bitch and Paige says that Banks will also challenge in the match.

From WrestleMania XXX: John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt: I enjoyed the build for the match for the most part. They got away from goofy Cena and did some good stuff and had some great video packages to set the stage. I loved Bray playing mind games at the bell, telling Cena he could end it by letting the monster out. It plays into the story that Wyatt has mind-fucked Cena, and that Cena may be losing it. Bryan also does so many little things with his character so well, things that make it feel real, and that is why people love it. Great move by Cena as he went up top at one point, and then dove to the floor onto Harper and Rowan. It’s something you didn’t so much expect, and also plays into the mind games and him being distracted. That also played into the point where Cena couldn’t use the steps on Wyatt, because he “doesn’t want to be the Monster”. I liked the physiological work they are trying to do here, but we’ve seen Cena use the steps and such before, so it maybe didn’t mean as much as it should. Wyatt got the kick out of the AA, we got some interference from Harper and Rowan, leading to Cena spearing Harper through the barricade. There was another great tease when Cena was given the chair by Wyatt, but didn’t use it on him. The finish saw Cena reverse Sister Abigail into a second AA to win. John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt @ 22:25 via pin [***] From an in ring “work” standpoint, it is nothing great, but they tried to tell a really good story and a lot of the match was something not in Cena’s comfort zone. The ending was sloppy as hell, and really just ended up being the same old John Cena match finish (counter, AA, pin out of nowhere) which is unfortunate. I thought that the announcing for the match actually took away from the match. While telling the story, Cole kept going on and on and on to the point that he was taking away from the story instead of adding to it. This was a good gentleman’s three, but not what I felt it needed to be. If Wyatt was going to lose, this needed to be a great effort, and it simply wasn’t. I will add though that the way Bray worked the crowd was some tremendous stuff at times. In terms of airing this tonight, it worked to advance the narrative and feud for this year’s Mania.

– Cole talks about the match and how Bray said the match created the Fiend, and we get highlights from his promo last week.

– We get highlights of Asuka costing Bliss & Cross a match last week. Bliss & Cross arrive and they are pissed. Bliss says she can play the game and will do what ever she can to get her title shot. She challenges Asuka to a match for next week.

– Miz & Morrison arrive for the Dirt Sheet. They introduce themselves and do their wacky chant. They beat everyone and have no challengers. The poll the crowd to see who they should defend against and we get pre-recorded cuts of them dressed as New Day, the Usos, Heavy Machinery, looking for title shots. It’s painfully bad. Miz & Morrison continue to joke about having no challengers and want the night off. Heavy Machinery arrive.

Non-Title Match: Heavy Machinery vs. Champions Miz & Morrison: JIP as Miz and Otis are in, and Otis takes control. Morrison tags in and attacks, Otis gyrates and shakes him off until Morrison follows with a flurry of kicks. Otis cuts him off and does the hand of suplex spot with Tucker for 2. Miz tags in, Tucker controls and Otis tags in for double teams. They work over Miz, take out Morrison and double team him as they clear the ring as Tucker follows with a cannonball to the floor. They cut off Tucker and take control with double teams. The Morrison knee strike follows for 2. He grounds things until Tucker battles back and Dolph arrives for the distraction as the champions control. Dolph joins commentary. Post break and Morrison is in control, delivering kicks and covering for 2. Miz tags in and Tucker fights them both off. Otis tags in, runs wild and tosses bodies around. The caterpillar follows until Dolph distracts him by talking about Mandy and showing him pics on the tron. Dolph mocks him and Otis goes after him and attacks until Miz & Morrison attack Otis. Otis fights them off and Dolph runs away. Otis kicks their asses and posts them both. He then crashes them through the barricades and Tucker calls him off until Otis follows with chair shots for the DQ. Champions Miz & Morrison defeated Heavy Machinery @ 14:41 via DQ [**] It was ok, but was never about the match, instead was all about Otis vs. Dolph, which if we’re getting that match, that’s fine.

Next Week: Gulak vs. Nak, Bliss vs. Asuka, New day vs. Usos, & Firefly Funhouse.

Goldberg & Reigns Contract Signing: Cole hosts the signing and hypes the two-night Mania event. Reigns and Goldberg arrive and toss the chairs out. Cole hypes the match asks Goldberg about the match, and he says he hoped Reigns would accept his challenge, but didn’t think he had the balls. Reigns says he’s been fortunate, all the greats wanted him and all lost, just like Goldberg will. Cole talks about Reigns mocking Goldberg on Twitter and Reigns says that he took the shot because why not, he calls Goldberg a bitch holding his title that he never earned. He signs and Goldberg calls him a punk and says he’s been destroying doors across the world with a head butt and reigns will be his next victim. They stare down to end the show.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 99. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka is joined by Steve Cook, Jerome Cusson, & Kevin Pantoja to talk the big news of the week, review the latest episodes of NXT & AEW TV, & do a retro review of WCW Uncensored 2000. The show is approximately 201-minutes long.

* Intro
* News Roundup (Coronavirus based cancellations, Mania to the PC, Gronk to WWE, Alberto Returning or Just Bullshitting?, More): 6:45
* AEW & NXT Reviews (3.18.20): 39:35
* Jerome Cusson talks ROH looking to rebound in 2020, the possible damaging effect on Mania week event cancellations due to Coronovirus, & more: 1:23:07
* Retro WCW Uncensored 2000 Review with Kevin Pantoja: 2:17:06

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The final score: review Average
The 411
This week’s episode of WWE Smackdown was a focused effort to build Mania, it set up Elias vs. Corbin (ugh), Bryan vs. Sami, the Smackdown women’s title match, and continued the builds for Cena vs. The Fiend & Reigns vs. Goldberg. It felt tiresome and flat by the end, but I will say they certainly accomplished things so I’ll give them that.