With the Super ShowDown event in Saudi Arabia a mere two weeks away, WWE isn't yet fully focused on The Road To WrestleMania. Last week's SmackDown saw Bill Goldberg throw down a challenge to universal champion "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, and this week Wyatt interacted with yet another legend of the squared circle.
In the main event of Friday night's offering, Roman Reigns pulled a big name from the locker room as a mystery partner as he faced down John Morrison and The Miz with King Corbin seemingly out of the picture for a week. Also, Bayley put her SmackDown women's title on the line against Carmella in a match that ultimately left us with more questions than answers on the champ's future.
Let's take a look at what went down when SmackDown took place from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Bray Wyatt interrupts Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan appeared in a satellite interview, much as Bill Goldberg had last week. After initially talking about the nWo being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame during the upcoming WrestleMania weekend festivities, Hogan was asked about Goldberg challenging "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt at Super ShowDown. Hogan said he had felt the power of both men, but that Fiend would have to survive Goldberg. The legend was then cut off by an nWo-style intro to Firefly Funhouse. After playing his title belt like a guitar in the style of nWo-era Hogan, Wyatt said he has been following the former WWE and WCW champ's advice to say his prayers and taking his vitamins, and it led him to the universal championship. Hogan wished Wyatt luck against Goldberg, but Wyatt said he didn't need luck because he has a Fiend. Wyatt then revealed a photo of Hogan with his eyes crossed out and moved to hang it on the Funhouse wall when Hogan ended the interview abruptly.
This segment was all-around weirdness. Goldberg vs. Wyatt is already an odd situation with an aging, ultra-serious competitor having to interact with "The Fiend." But when you add in Hogan, there are strong Hogan vs. Dungeon of Doom in WCW vibes. There's not much time left to build to Goldberg vs. Wyatt, but given that WWE shows in Saudi Arabia feel barely canonical and the point of the show is to please the host country's government, building to the match doesn't carry the same amount of weight as a typical WWE pay-per-view. Wyatt's nWo intro to the Funhouse does raise the grade a little, though. Grade: C-
Roman Reigns chooses Daniel Bryan
The Miz and John Morrison cut an in-ring promo before their scheduled main event match with Roman Reigns and a mystery partner. The team took shots at their Super ShowDown opponents The Usos for not being in attendance just a month after returning to action. Before they could make further points, Reigns' music hit and "The Big Dog" made his way to the ring. Once Reigns was staring down Miz and Morrison, Daniel Bryan's music hit and the founder of "The Yes Movement" was announced as Reigns' partner. King Corbin -- who was earlier announced as barred from competing on the show as a result of attacking a production member last week -- showed up in the crowd, holding a ticket and making his way to a ringside seat.
Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan def. The Miz & John Morrison via pinfall after Reigns hit Miz with a spear. The main event went fairly predictably, with a decent tag match concluding after Reigns finally managed to hit Miz with the big shot for the victory. Unsurprisingly, before Bryan and Reigns could celebrate their victory, Corbin slid into the ring and laid out "The Big Dog" with his scepter. Corbin immediately bailed from the ring and made his way to the top of the ramp where his throne was waiting as the show went off the air.
There's not much point to continuing to bang the drum of how tired the rivalry between Reigns and Corbin has become at this point. Hopefully their steel cage match at Super ShowDown will truly be the end of the issues between the two and they can move along to their respective WrestleMania programs. That said, if Corbin was already banned from competing and showed up as "a fan" for the event, why was he allowed to enter the ring at all? Why was his throne waiting for him at the top of the ramp? Sometimes things benefit from making the slightest bit of sense. Grade: C
What else happened on SmackDown?
- SmackDown Women's Championship -- Bayley (c) def. Carmella via pinfall with a roll-up using the ropes. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross opened the show for a Moment of Bliss segment with Carmella. Carmella said her past friendship with Bayley deteriorated due to Sasha Banks and the way she changed the women's champ. Bayley interrupted and Carmella opted to kick off her championship opportunity that moment. After a fairly lengthy match, Bayley countered a second Code of Silence submission attempt into a pinfall, using the ropes for leverage to score the pin. After the match, Naomi ran in to confront Bayley, leading to Naomi and Carmella briefly putting a beating on the champ. Bayley later said she wouldn't grant a Carmella a rematch because she had clearly won their match and confirmed she would next defend her title at Super ShowDown. Carmella later countered by saying she "was not asking for a handout" but was demanding a rematch. Naomi also spoke later in the show, saying she is the woman who deserves a shot at the title. It was later confirmed in the show that Naomi and Carmella will clash next week to determine who challenges Bayley in Riyadh.
- Sheamus def. Shorty G & Apollo Crews via pinfall after a Brogue Kick on Crews in a handicap match. After Crews and Shorty G got an early flurry of offense, Sheamus was able to take out Crews with his signature kick for a victory.
- Elias interrupted a "protest concert" by Sami Zayn and Cesaro. Zayn and Cesaro were out to sing about the injustice and inaction from officials after recent weeks of setbacks by Elias and Braun Strowman. Elias said his interruption was a "counter protest." Zayn and Cesaro, holding a ukulele and cowbell, respectively, invited Elias to the ring before trying to continue their song. Elias eventually attacked the duo but was taken down. Strowman made the save, taking out Zayn's security and chasing the pair to the back.
- Dolph Ziggler hijacked Otis' date with Mandy Rose. Earlier in the night, Otis was shown backstage with Tucker, preparing for his date with Rose. Otis asked "Tucky" if Rose could actually "like" him, and received words of encouragement from his tag partner. Later in the night, as Otis arrived at the restaurant, Ziggler showed up and said hi to Rose, sitting down at the table as Otis walked in. Otis dropped the flowers he had brought on the floor and left without a word.