Welcome to the TJR WWE Smackdown review. It’s a special edition of Smackdown where WWE is paying tribute to The Undertaker for about half of the show. The reason for that is because there were likely some superstars on Smackdown affected by the Coronavirus testing that WWE did over the last few days. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the wrestlers on Smackdown were positive for Coronavirus. It just means some guys may have chosen to go home to be with family instead of working this week while WWE tested everyone. For example, Daniel Bryan's wife Brie Bella is due to give birth to their second child in the next month or so and I believe he wasn't at Smackdown this week. It is smart to take precautions like that. Anyway, matches that they advertised last week like AJ Styles defending the Intercontinental Title against Drew Gulak didn’t happen and I didn't see Styles on the show at all. They ended up doing some other stuff instead.
I know there will be fans speculating about who wasn’t on Smackdown this week while trying to guess if they had Coronavirus. There could be other reasons related to family as well. I’d rather not spend my time guessing about things like that. It’s a personal matter for each of those individuals. I’m glad that WWE is finally testing everybody for Coronavirus because it is something they should have been doing for a few months now. I think WWE absolutely deserves some of the criticism it gets for how they have handled the process. I also think some wrestlers are happy that they can keep working, that they can continue to put on a show and keep earning a living to provide for their families. There are a lot of views on the Coronavirus with some people acting as if it is a death sentence while others will point out to a very high survival rate (over 99% in a lot of places). Where WWE tapes in Orlando is a hot spot for it because some people are irresponsible in terms of how they deal with a global pandemic. In other parts of the world like where I live in southern Ontario, Canada, we have handled it very well. I just feel like the negative aspect of everything gets pushed too much by society. When it comes to pro wrestling, I want to watch it and write about it for a few hours without thinking of all the depressing shit going on in the "real" world. Anyway, this past week is hopefully a wakeup call for WWE management and I hope things can improve from here. This post is about a wrestling show, so let’s get to it.
This was the original banner I was going to use that my graphics guy Melo Man made earlier in the week.
After watching Smackdown, I wanted to switch it to that Undertaker image that aired to end the show. Maybe we'll use that as the main image next week.
From the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, this is Smackdown for episode #1088. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present.
The show began with a video tribute for The Undertaker showing moments from the start of his WWE career in late 1990 and a lot of cool moments over the last thirty years. Great video as usual from WWE. They showed a clip from the end of The Last Ride documentary when Undertaker said, “this time the cowboy really rides away.” That may have been his official retirement, but not everybody believes that. Taker talked about his family at home, his family on the road and it doesn’t happen without them or the fans. He said: “Thank you.”
Analysis: Awesome video. They really did an excellent job here. The fifth and final chapter of The Last Ride documentary that focused on The Undertaker aired this past Sunday. During that final part, Undertaker said enough things that made it seem like he has retired as an active competitor. Whether you believe it or not is up to you. I think a lot of wrestling fans don’t believe it because they think his last match should be in front of a crowd. I tend to agree with that. However, he did seem content with the Boneyard Match at WrestleMania as his last match. He did say “never say never” among his final words as well.
The scene at the WWE Performance Center showed members of the Smackdown roster on the stage standing in line and chanting “Thank You Taker” for The Undertaker. There were Braun Strowman, Jeff Hardy, The Miz, John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, Big E, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Cesaro, Dana Brooke, Shinsuke Nakamura, Matt Riddle, Nikki Cross and more.
The announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves welcomed us to the show telling us that they are celebrating The Undertaker. Cole said later on tonight they will celebrate Undertaker’s final match at WrestleMania, so there you have it on WWE television saying it was the final match. Is it really? Up to you to decide that.
They showed highlights of Survivor Series 1990 when The Undertaker debuted. I’ll never forget when announcer Roddy Piper yelled: “Look at the size of that ham hock!” Classic. Read my Survivor Series 1990 review right here if you want my thoughts on it.
Up next is the Boneyard Match.
There was a video package about The Undertaker with John Cena and Roman Reigns talking about him. Both guys were featured in The Last Ride documentary, so they used interview clips from that. Cena spoke about Taker’s reliability and caring about the business so much that you put it above everything else. Reigns said you can’t do what he did and not love this. Reigns said it’s not just about getting to the top of the mountain, it’s staying there. Cena said as long as you believe then The Undertaker will be The Undertaker. Does that work for Santa Claus too? I guess so.
They aired the full Boneyard Match from WrestleMania 36 in full. During The Last Ride documentary, The Undertaker revealed that one of his older brothers died of a heart attack the day before they filmed this match. That’s really tough to deal with, but Taker got through it. Here’s my review.
Boneyard Match: The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles
Styles trash talked Undertaker by calling him an old man and asking if Michelle McCool let Undertaker out this late. Undertaker whipped Styles into the back of the hearse and the casket. This was filmed in a cinematic way like a TV show or movie. Undertaker tried an attack by the car, but Styles moved and Undertaker hit his arm against the car window, so there was a cut on Undertaker’s arm. Undertaker tossed Styles onto the glass of the hearse. They brawled on the hearse with Undertaker beating him down with punches while telling Styles not to talk about Taker’s wife again. Styles got some momentum going with punches followed by a kick to the groin. Styles worked over Undertaker with punches by a grave that had a hole, but Undertaker came back with a punch of his own. Undertaker with a punch that led to Styles falling into a grave. That’s when Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson showed up to help Styles, so Undertaker walked over towards them. There were six guys dressed like druids that were there to support Gallows and Anderson as well, so Undertaker was outnumbered in a big way. Undertaker beat on those guys with punches and kicks, but Gallows/Anderson beat on Taker with punches and kicks. Undertaker managed to fight back with punches to take down Gallows and Anderson. Taker used a shovel handle to hit Anderson and he also hit Gallows. Styles showed up with some object that he used to hit Undertaker from behind to knock him down. Styles told Taker that Michelle never should have let him out. Styles worked on Taker with punches. Styles told him to give up or retire already. Styles charged at Taker and he tackled him through a wooden fence that was where they were. Undertaker was down groaning and selling the attack. Undertaker gave Styles the middle finger with Taker sounding like he was out of breath. Styles said he thought Taker was an American Badass, but now he looks like a broken down old bitch. Taker was groaning a lot as Styles got a shovel in his hands. Styles hit Undertaker in the back with a shovel and Undertaker fell into a grave. Styles: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” Styles got into a tractor and he was about to dump something on him, but then there was The Undertaker standing behind him. The power of pre-tapes strikes again.
Undertaker chased after Styles, who climbed up a ladder to get onto the roof of some building at the cemetery. Taker lifted up his arms and there was fire behind Styles. When Styles charged at him, Taker decked him with a kick. Gallows and Anderson were back up so Undertaker punched them to knock them down. Taker threw Gallows off the roof onto the ground. Undertaker gave Anderson a Tombstone piledriver on top of the house. Styles wondered how he was coming back, Styles with punches that Undertaker didn’t sell and Undertaker gave Styles a Chokeslam off the roof onto some wooden pallet material below. Undertaker asked Styles what’s his wife’s name? Styles didn’t speak. Taker asked how old he is and asked Styles if he knows how old Taker is. Taker told him that they’re not done yet, they’re just getting started. Taker put Styles on his shoulders while saying that Styles is a lot tougher than he gave him credit for. Styles said he was sorry, so Taker asked what he was sorry for. Styles told him not to bury him. Taker told him to go out like a man. Taker told him he put up a hell of a fight and he gave Styles credit for fighting his ass off. Taker hugged him saying there’s a lot of people who can’t give him that fight. Taker looked like he was about to leave, but he turned back around and kicked Styles into the grave. Taker got into the tractor or whatever it is and he dumped the dirt onto Styles in the grave. Undertaker removed a cover on the headstone that said “AJ Styles 1977-2020” on it. They showed Styles in the grave with a glove on. This whole thing went about 19 minutes.
Winner: The Undertaker
Analysis: I don’t think I can rate this like a regular match. If I did maybe it would be around **** or so, but it's hard to rate like that. There was a lot to that Boneyard match. It was shot like a movie scene and you can't compare it to a regular match. I thought it looked pretty cool. The story saw Styles dominate some of it, Undertaker looked like he was done, then due to the magic of editing he was there to keep attacking Styles. That led to Taker beating up Gallows and Anderson as well. It was different than anything WWE has really done in the past and I don’t know if every WWE fan is going to like it. I liked it for the most part. It was creative, but it worked in terms of the story they were trying to tell. I just can’t sit here and say three stars or whatever because it’s unlike any pro wrestling “match” I’ve ever seen before. What I could criticize is that the world is dealing with a health crisis right now and a lot of deaths are being reported on a daily basis, so it’s not easy to watch a match where the idea is to bury somebody. It’s pro wrestling, though, so I’m not going to get too worked up about it. I really liked the presentation of this as a different kind of match.
The Undertaker put his bandana back on, he got back to his motorcycle and he left as the winner. Undertaker held his right hand up as some fire went off along with the Undertaker symbol. A Metallica song played as he drove away.
When it was shown on Smackdown, there were two commercial breaks in there as well.
During one of the breaks in the Boneyard Match, Cole and Graves set up another video package. Cole once again said the Boneyard Match was The Undertaker's final match.
There was a video with Kane talking about how Taker was the best character in the history of the company and he was mythical, legendary and amazing. Kane said that there was never a guy that was that big that was that athletic. Ric Flair talked about how Undertaker was 6'10" and 280 pounds while diving over the top rope while saying guys that size don't usually do that. Kane said that Undertaker was the only character that was able to maintain that character and add to it. Flair called Undertaker the "greatest character in the history of the business" as far as he's concerned. Kane called him a unique package as a performer while Flair said he thought Undertaker was the biggest star in the history of the business.
Let's Hear from King Corbin
King Corbin was in the ring doing a promo saying that it was The Undertaker’s final match about thirty years after his first match (in WWE). Corbin said it was a Boneyard Match because Undertaker was a bag of bones of what he used to be. Corbin claimed The Undertaker kissed the ass of a certain family and he said that Undertaker was the founding member of the “Kiss My Ass” Club. Corbin said nobody does a 30-year career unless you’re protected by the owners for 30 years. Corbin said that Taker has been stealing money from this company for the last 20 years and he called him a selfish son of a bitch that has been holding superior athletes like himself down. Now Corbin has to hear legends pay respect to Undertaker. Corbin said all these fools chant “Thank You Taker” and Corbin said he didn’t thank him while the wrestlers in the crowd in the chant. Corbin said he had one final thought for Mark Calaway: “You suck.”
Jeff Hardy showed up behind Corbin and punched him in the back repeatedly. Hardy hit a running dropkick while Corbin was on the floor.
Analysis: It’s a simple way to set up a match. I liked the heel promo from Corbin. It might have pissed some people off to have Corbin show disrespect, but having a heel character get heat in a moment like that is clever in terms of setting up a match for later in the show. I’m not a huge fan of Corbin matches or when he gets pushed heavily. However, in terms of promos he’s one of the few true heels in the company and I think he does a good job when given a chance.
There were more comments from legends talking about The Undertaker. There were comments from Steve Austin and Kurt Angle with Angle saying Undertaker was like a Superman in this business. Austin praised Undertaker for doing what he’s done for 30 years and having one of the best careers in the history of the business.
Jeff Hardy was shown backstage with Sarah Schreiber there to interview him. Hardy said that Undertaker has been a mentor to him and so many others while adding that Mount Rushmore should be Undertaker’s face four times. Hardy challenged King Corbin to a match. Hardy said he had a diploma from Deadman University and he’s going to unleash all of the knowledge that it took a lifetime to acquire.
Analysis: There is such weird dialogue in these Undertaker promos. As if a 42-year-old man like Jeff Hardy is going to say he got "a diploma with a Deadman University" during a regular interview. Odd WWE scriptwriting as usual.
It’s time for a match with Bayley and Sasha Banks joining the commentary team. Bayley is the Smackdown Women’s Champion and they are both the Women’s Tag Team Champions.
The entrances took place for a Fatal 4-Way with the winner facing Bayley at Extreme Rules: Horror Show for the Smackdown Women’s Title.
Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Cross vs. Dana Brooke vs. Lacey Evans
Cross and Bliss each hit running corner splashes and punches to the face. Cross hugged Bliss followed by a rollup for a two count. Bliss ran the ropes, Evans grabbed her on the floor and Evans whipped Bayley into the barricade. Brooke slammed down Cross and did a cartwheel into a pin for two as Evans broke up the pin. Brooke and Evans worked over Cross for a bit together, but then Brooke knocked down Evans. Brooke with a springboard elbow on Bliss/Cross and then Evens with a clothesline on Brooke. Evans with a corner dropkick on Bliss and Cross. Brooke with a handspring into a back elbow. Brooke with a body slam. Brooke went up top and hit a Senton Bomb on Evans for a two count as Cross broke up the pin. Bayley with a body slam on Cross and Bliss with an STO trip on Brooke. Bliss went up top and went for Twisted Bliss splash, but Brooke got her knees up to block. Cross with a dropkick to send Brooke out of the ring. Evans took control by knocking Bliss out of the ring and hitting an elbow on Cross. Brooke bounced off the ropes right into a Woman’s Right by Evans and Cross hit the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Evans for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nikki Cross
Analysis: **1/2 This was okay with all four women looking like they might win at different points until Cross went with the deadly ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to find a way to get the win. I thought it was booked well for the time given with Dana getting plenty of offense, then Evans used her power to knock Brooke out, but Cross was there to capitalize on that to get the win. I’m glad that Bliss didn’t win because she’s been in the title picture enough in her career.
Post match, Bliss hugged her buddy Cross, who gets to face Bayley for the SD Women’s Title at Extreme Rules: Horror Show. Bayley and Banks trash talked Cross in the ring.
Analysis: I don’t expect Cross to win the title, but it should be a solid match.
There was a backstage scene with four tag teams bickering because they are in an eight-man tag team match after a break.
A commercial aired for Broken Skull Sessions hosted by Steve Austin with Mark Henry as the guest. That airs Sunday on WWE Network.
There were more comments about The Undertaker with Triple H and Shawn Michaels speaking about their friend Mark aka The Undertaker. Hunter talked about Undertaker’s loyalty and Shawn spoke about the longevity. Hunter mentioned Taker was a constant and the legacy is that there will never be another wrestler like him.
The New Day entered as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions. Lucha House Party are their partners for this tag team match. Last week on Smackdown, New Day and LHP had a good match, but then Cesaro and Nakamura attacked after the match was over. The heel side entered with Cesaro joined by Shinsuke Nakamura and their partners, The Miz and John Morrison.
The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) and Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) vs. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura and The Miz & John Morrison
Big E was in control of The Miz early on as Big E hit a running splash on Miz on the apron. Dorado tagged in with a splash on Miz. Cesaro caught Dorado to block an attempted hurricanrana and then Dorado managed to get an inside cradle. Dorado with a headscissors takedown. Metalik tagged in with a splash off his partner’s shoulders onto Cesaro. Metalik with a bulldog on Nakamura, then Kingston tagged in and Morrison was in next for his team. Kingston with a dropkick off the middle ropes onto Morrison. Kingston was on the apron and Morrison kicked him off the apron to take control. Nakamura sent Kingston into the plexiglass barricade. Cesaro in with a forearm for Kofi, Cesaro tossed Kingston towards Nakamura, who kicked Kingston in the chest. All eight guys faced off in the ring. That led to a break.
Miz and Morrison with a double team slam onto their knees followed by kicks to the chest. Kingston created some space with a DDT on Miz and then Nakamura tagged in to prevent Kofi from tagging out. Nakamura with a baseball slide to take out Big E at ringside. Nakamura with a front suplex on Kofi, then Nakamura charged and Kofi hit a double foot stomp to the chest. Metalik tagged in against Morrison with a cross body block off the top. Metalik showed off his athleticism and hit a springboard hurricanrana. Metalik with dropkicks for Miz and Cesaro. Morrison with a kick, but Metalik came back with a sunset flip into a Powerbomb for two. Metalik with a moonsault, Dorado tagged in and hit a Shooting Star Press for two as Cesaro broke up the pin. That led to a brawl in the ring with Big E taking out Cesaro on the floor while Kofi and Nakamura went brawling up to the back. That led to New Day and Nakamura/Cesaro going backstage. Dorado with a springboard Stunner on Miz and then Dorado hit a hurricanrana off the top onto Morrison on the floor. Metalik was legal, he kicked Miz down and Metalik walked the ropes, then he hit an elbow drop off the top onto Miz for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) and Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado)
Analysis: *** Good stuff here with the Lucha House Party getting some big moments towards the end of the match leading to a meaningful victory for them. That result wasn’t what I expected because I went into this thinking that one of the LHP guys would be pinned. Cesaro and Nakamura beat New Day a few weeks ago non-title, so it would have made sense for either of those guys to be part of the pin, but they went with Metalik beating Miz. They all worked well together and it’s nice to see a different team get a chance to be in the spotlight. I figure that Extreme Rules will just be New Day vs. Cesaro/Nakamura, but they could opt to go with a multi-team match again since they have done it before.
Post match, The New Day went back to ringside to celebrate the win with their partners.
King Corbin was shown backstage putting his crown on as Sarah Schreiber interviewed him. Corbin trashed Hardy saying he’s been in and out of jail, in and out of rehab and said that Hardy should hang it up just like The Undertaker. Corbin laughed about it as he said Hardy should rest in peace.
Braun Strowman, the Universal Champion, was shown walking backstage as they showed some images of Bray Wyatt as well. Strowman is next.
They showed highlights from last week when Wyatt told Strowman that their story was just getting started. That led to a promo from Wyatt wearing his original Wyatt Family gear.
Let’s Hear from Braun Strowman
The Universal Champion Braun Strowman made his entrance in the ring. They have certainly added a lot of train sound effects and smoke for his entrance. Strowman’s hairline is really moving backwards every time I see him. It might be time to go with the shaved head look.
Strowman said when he first met Bray Wyatt he felt fear for the first time in his life. Strowman said he felt the type of fear that makes a grown man tremble. Strowman said that one night they were sitting on the edge of that disgusting swamp, Bray’s listening in the dark and he saw a water moccasin slithering towards the lantern. Bray stopped Braun from killing that snake and Bray said that the snake was his friend. Braun said that Bray got face to face with the snake and the snake bit Bray right in the face. All Bray did was laugh about it. Braun said that Bray repeatedly laughed as the snake bit him over and over. Braun said that Bray didn’t get poisoned, he didn’t bleed and he didn’t even flinch – all he did was laugh. Strowman said that was the moment when he realized Bray was the devil himself. Braun said that he couldn’t help it, so he started doing the devil’s work. Braun said that the bad part of it all is that he loved every second of it.
Strowman said that parts of him still love what Wyatt had him do. Strowman said he thought he locked that side of him away, but it calls for him and he can’t go on living like this. Strowman suggested they go back to the swamp, to that eerie miserable hell that Bray calls a home. Strowman said there are two ways that this is going to turn out – Braun will either come out of this as the most evil son of a bitch that the Earth has ever seen or the satisfaction that he stomped the devil and let the alligators finish Bray. Braun wondered if Bray wanted to go to the place of his creation while adding that he is ready to turn it into the place of Bray’s destruction. Braun wanted to go home.
The Bray Wyatt laugh was played in the arena. Strowman responded with maniacal laughter of his own.
Analysis: There’s the challenge for the cinematic match at the “Extreme Rules: The Horror Show” pay-per-view that’s coming in July. I thought Braun’s promo was decent with some interesting dialogue that a normal person would never say, but it’s all about trying to get the story over. After Smackdown, we found out they will have "Swamp Fight" at Extreme Rules: The Horror Show.
There was another tribute video about The Undertaker with Batista and Mick Foley talking about their history with The Undertaker. Both men wrestled him a lot with so many memorable moments for each. Foley said that when he tells people he wrestled The Undertaker, their eyes like up as if he was somebody now. Foley said that the enormity for what Undertaker did for his career can’t be understated. Foley: “I can’t even imagine what my life would be like without him.” Batista said that Taker is one of the best guys to ever step foot in the ring and we’re lucky to have seen him perform. Foley said he’ll forever think of Undertaker as one of the greatest stars in all of entertainment.
Analysis: All of the comments they aired during the show were great. Some of them were in The Last Ride documentary. I agree with a lot of what the wrestlers said. I think in Foley’s case, for sure Undertaker was huge for him and Foley was a big part of Undertaker’s career too. I loved their rivalry from the beginning in 1996 through the years that followed. The Undertaker/Batista matches in 2007 are awesome as well.
Jeff Hardy made his entrance for the main event. I should mention that some of the developmental wrestlers in the crowd were wearing masks. If it were me, I would have a mask on too. It was announced that Sheamus presents a “A Toast to Jeff Hardy” next week on Smackdown. That was originally planned for this week, but they pushed it back one week. King Corbin was up next with Cole trashing him for his despicable, verbal assault towards The Undertaker.
Analysis: Next week’s Smackdown episode will be taped today (Saturday) in case you’re wondering. Taping plans have changed a lot in recent weeks, though.
They replayed some of Corbin’s promo earlier with Hardy attacking Corbin to set up this match.
King Corbin vs. Jeff Hardy
Hardy ran right into a shoulder tackle from the bigger man Corbin. There was a running back elbow from Corbin followed by Corbin stepping on Hardy’s head. Corbin worked over Hardy with punches to the kidneys. When Hardy got some momentum by knocking Corbin out of the ring, Corbin met him with a punch to the head. Hardy ended up tossing Corbin over the announce table and Hardy jumped off the apron with a double axehandle to the head of Corbin. Back in the ring, Hardy went up top, he went for the Whisper in the Wind attack, Corbin moved and Hardy hit the mat. Corbin whipped Hardy shoulder first into the ring post. Corbin did an Undertaker kneel down pose to mock Taker.
As the match continued, there were members of the Smackdown locker room that made their way down to ringside to support Hardy. They were the male and female babyface wrestlers like Braun Strowman, New Day, Matt Riddle, Drew Gulak, Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, Jey Uso and more. Corbin did a head whip that sent Hardy into the mat. Corbin punched Hardy followed by Corbin mocking New Day with some clapping and Corbin with another punch. The wrestlers were chanting “Corbin sucks” to rile up Corbin some more. Hardy avoided a corner attack, but then Corbin did his "slide out of the ring and go back in the ring" spot for a clothesline. Corbin sent Hardy into the barricade on the floor. Back in the ring, Corbin slapped on a chinlock as the wrestlers around ringside hit the mat to support Corbin. Hardy hit two jawbreakers to break free. Corbin sent Hardy into the ropes with Hardy hitting a forearm to the head, then an atomic drop, a double leg drop and a basement dropkick. Hardy went up top, Corbin went after him, Hardy ran the ropes and Corbin hit the Deep Six slam for a two count. They left the ring, Corbin charged, Hardy moved and Corbin hit the ring steps. Hardy sent Corbin back in the ring, Hardy went up top and hit the Swanton Bomb for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jeff Hardy
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match to put over the babyface Hardy to end this tribute show in a positive way. Corbin’s style of wrestling is very old school and boring to watch at times. Hardy did a nice job on the comeback although I would have liked to see more before the finish. The Swanton Bomb is still a cool looking finisher even after 20+ years of seeing it.
Jeff Hardy celebrated the win as the wrestlers around the ring danced for the Hardy song. Corbin got back up and hit Hardy in the back with a forearm. Kingston went in the ring, so Corbin punched him. Big E picked up Corbin and hit the Big Ending on him. Hardy called for Strowman to get into the ring and Strowman hit Corbin with the Powerslam. Hardy called for Riddle to go into the ring. Riddle went up top and hit the Floating Bro splash on Corbin, who bailed to the floor.
Analysis: The rumor is that Riddle is feuding with Corbin, so perhaps they are going to go that soon with Corbin doing a promo about Riddle joining in on the attack. This felt like a house show moment where a bunch of babyfaces beat up a heel to send the fans home happy.
The wrestlers celebrated in the ring as an image of The Undertaker was shown doing his kneel down pose with his hand out and his tongue out. Jeff Hardy did the pose in the ring while the other wrestlers celebrated. Cole said it was proper send-off for the most intriguing character in WWE history and then they signed off shortly after that.
Analysis: That was a really cool way to end it. Well done.
We also found out after Smackdown that Braun Strowman will face Bray Wyatt in a non-title Swamp Fight that will be a cinematic match.
Three Stars of the Show
1. The Undertaker – He wasn’t there, but the show was focused on him a lot, so I’ll make him the only star of the night. I’m nice like that.
6 out of 10
Last week: 7.25
2020 Average: 6.27
There were three new matches and they were all solid, but nothing that is going to blow you away in terms of action. The Hardy/Corbin match was like a house show main event. The women’s match was fine for the time given and I’m cool with Nikki Cross getting the next title shot. I don’t expect her to win the title. The 8-man tag team match featuring the tag team division was the best of the night. Lots of action there.
The Undertaker tribute content was cool. I thought the opening video about Undertaker's career was incredible. They aired the whole Boneyard Match from WrestleMania, so that took up a lot of time and I’m sure a lot of the audience has already seen it. I liked the tribute at the end of the show, which is what I used as the main image for this review. I doubt WWE would have aired as much as they did if they had the full roster on hand because as I mentioned in the review, they didn’t do some of the things that were advertised last week.
They did build to Extreme Rules: The Horror Show a bit with Strowman challenging Wyatt and we found out after Smackdown that it will be a non-title Swamp Fight. It’s another WWE cinematic match that is hopefully interesting to watch.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Extreme Rules: The Horror Show on July 19.
Swamp Fight (Non-Title): Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Sasha Banks
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross