Well, here we are, my first Raw since WrestleMania, because I’ve been gallivanting around being terribly ill, and then cuddling pretty UK wrestlers at Fight Club: Pro on Friday! So we’re off to a good start, with a recap of Braun Strowman murdering Roman Reigns last week, overturning an ambulance and everything to make sure the Big Dog was well and truly buried. But it’s okay, because, due to beating The Undertaker at WrestleMania, Roman has his gimmick now, and therefore can’t die. It’s perfect.
Well, it’s been a LONG weekend for some of us here at Rasslin Rehash, but we’re finally going to get to the superstar shake-up! Some of this is going to be honest, some of it is going to be sarcastic, and some of it is going to be downright irreverent. Enjoy!
Well, bugger me, it’s WrestleMania! And this year, neither of our recappers is in hospital! Hooray! So, for this, Jess will be taking the SmackDown matches, Steph has the Raw matches, and we’ve tossed a coin for the battle royal, which Jess lost. Hah.
We’re doing minimal recap of the pre-show, because Jerry Lawler is on it, and if we have to recap two hours of Jerry Lawler, someone’s going to die. So we’ll cover the matches, but otherwise, we’ll leave it alone.
Hello and welcome to SmackDown Live again! We open with a recap of Bray Wyatt winning the Championship, then defending against AJ Styles and John Cena last week. Orton went down on one knee, and the filter they put on his voice for this replay makes him sound like Bray’s robot servant. Still, there’s a battle royal coming up tonight to determine a new contender to face Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania.
Hello and welcome to Elimination Chamber! It’s the last SmackDown Live PPV before WrestleMania, as Renee Young reminds us, so it’s an important show. When we cut to the panel, I’m immediately confused; we’ve got Renee, Booker T, Sam Roberts and Carmella. It’s an interesting and unexpected combination of experts, but we cut almost immediately to the social media lounge with Dasha Fuentes, so I have little time to wonder too much about it. Now, instead, I’m pleasantly surprised that they actually lead with her name, so I don’t have to fret that I’m getting it wrong.
Kicking off the SmackDown-exclusive year, it’s a gimmick we haven’t seen for a little while. Oh yes, WWE World Champion John Cena is defending against five other superstars in the elimination chamber, with a fairly stacked card to back it up. So without further ado, let’s see what we’re looking at this year!
Welcome to SmackDown Live! Coming to you from Seattle, Washington, we open the show with a video package about the long-lived Randy Orton/John Cena story. I’m still hopeful that they’re giving us this match tonight because we’re not getting it come WrestleMania, but I have to wait for Elimination Chamber for that.
Welcome to SmackDown Live! Coming to you from Corpus Christi, Texas, we open with a retrospective on Sunday Night’s Royal Rumble. We’re officially on the road to WrestleMania now, folks. It was a big night for SmackDown superstars, with Randy Orton taking the Rumble and Cena becoming a 16 time champion in a great match against AJ Styles.
It’s a tag team tonight! Jess and Steph, back as a team for another dual-brand PPV! This means the six+ hours of wrestling we’re about to endure – sorry, I mean enjoy – won’t be done alone by one of us who wishes desperately that they were asleep or drunk. Jess will take the SmackDown specific matches, Steph the Raw specific ones, and as Jess did the hour long Survivor Series match, it’s Steph’s turn to suffer, so she’s got the Rumble. Let’s do this.
Welcome to SmackDown Live! Following TLC, we open on a video recapping the events that led to AJ Styles retaining his championship – James Ellsworth’s interference costing Dean his shot. AJ makes his way to the ring when we start things off for real, wearing a walking boot over his jeans. Is it bad taste to say that I hope this time he’s also wearing underwear? Probably.