Once again, WWE SmackDown on Friday night emanated from the WWE Performance Center with no fans in attendance, which has become the new normal for WWE as the coronavirus pandemic has led large gatherings to be canceled across the world. The show focused on the continued build to WrestleMania -- also to be held in the empty Performance Center -- with new challenges and matches as well as a contract signing for one of the world championship main events.
The show closed with Goldberg and Roman Reigns putting pen to paper to make their match at WrestleMania 36 for Goldberg's universal championship official. But along the way, SmackDown women's champion Bayley found out she would have not one but five challengers for her title at WrestleMania, and 'Mania host Rob Gronkowski "advocated" for a match between King Corbin and Elias at the biggest show of the year.
Below you can have a look at everything that went down on SmackDown this week from the Performance Center as we continued down the Road to WrestleMania 36.
Rob Gronkowski cut an in-ring promo with Mojo Rawley after his longtime friend gave him a "hype" introduction. Gronkowski danced his way to the ring before discussing his history as a fan of pro wrestling. Rawley said he's there to watch Gronkowski's back before the two chopped each other and celebrated. At that point, King Corbin interrupted and told Gronkowski to get on his knees before laying out a threat. This, in turn, brought out Elias to perform a song about Corbin. Corbin then cut him off and got in Gronkowski's face for laughing. Elias eventually tossed Corbin from the ring and Gronkowski "advocated" for an Elias vs. Corbin match at WrestleMania. This may be as good as you can get from Gronkowski, surrounding him with a degree of chaos to hide any larger issues with his specific "brand" of charisma. Grade: C-
Daniel Bryan & Drew Gulak def. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall after Bryan pinned Cesaro with a sunset flip. Sami Zayn was on commentary for this entertaining match between four top-notch wrestlers. Cesaro had Gulak in a waist lock when Bryan dove from the top rope for the sunset flip pinfall. Bryan and Gulak were backstage "breathing deep and stretching deep" after their win when they were interrupted by "The Artist Collective." Zayn asked when Bryan would start listening to him instead of Gulak. Bryan challenged Zayn to a WrestleMania match for the intercontinental title, and Zayn said that if Gulak can beat Nakamura next week in a singles match, then he'll wrestle Bryan at WrestleMania. This is the best storyline on SmackDown currently. Grade: B
Paige was interviewed via satellite when Bayley and Sasha Banks interrupted. Paige called the two a couple of bullies before Bayley pointed out that Paige's career was over. Paige agreed, before saying that, as it's WrestleMania season, she can't wait to see who would take her title and would now announce Bayley's WrestleMania match. Paige revealed Bayley would defend against Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke ... and Tamina ... and Naomi. As Bayley and Banks continued to antagonize Paige, she announced the final opponent for Bayley at WrestleMania would be Banks, who ended the segment looking suddenly very interested in the prospect of taking the title from her friend in a nice twist. Grade: B-
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were interviewed backstage. After Asuka got involved in their tag match last week, Bliss challenged Asuka to a singles match next week.
The Miz & John Morrison (c) def. Heavy Machinery via disqualification in a non-title match. Miz and Morrison held a Dirt Sheet segment prior to the bout. After saying they lacked challengers for WrestleMania, they then impersonated New Day, The Usos and Heavy Machinery before suggesting they take the night off. Heavy Machinery then interrupted to initiate the match. As Tucker was about to make a hot tag to Otis, Dolph Ziggler's music hit and he made his way to the ring on commentary as a distraction. Ziggler eventually took the mic and had Otis look at photos of him and Mandy Rose on the big screen, leading a distracted Otis to attack him before snapping and unloading on Miz and Morrison. Otis drove the tag champs through the ringside barricade before ignoring Tucker and hitting Miz and Morrison with a chair to cause the disqualification. Otis broke down in tears after the match. Grade: B
Goldberg and Roman Reigns took part in a WrestleMania contract signing. Michael Cole asked Goldberg who he thought would answer his challenge and the universal champ said he hoped for Reigns, but didn't think he "had the balls" to accept. Reigns promised Goldberg would be like the other legends he'd beaten in the past. Reigns said Goldberg was a "little b---h bulldog sitting in my yard, holding a title he never earned." After signing the contract, Goldberg threw the table between them out of the way and the two had a face-to-face staredown to end the show. Grade: C+