• Jayden Becker

WWE Smackdown Review 6/26/20



It's official. In the last episode of The Last Ride on WWE Network that documented the last years of the Undertaker’s career, Mark Callaway announced his retirement from the WWE. This ends a 30-year career that will go down as one of the greatest runs in the history of professional wrestling.


Jeff Hardy and King Corbin battle for the honor of the Undertaker. Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke battle in a fatal four-way for the opportunity to face Bayley at Extreme Rules for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. The action doesn’t stop there as The New Day team up with Lucha House Party to face Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura along with Miz & Morrison.


Here is this week’s episode of Smackdown.


Thank You Taker


To start the show, a video package was played highlighting some of the best moments in the career of the Undertaker. A show of respect to the Undertaker saw most of the Smackdown roster on the entrance ramp chanting “Thank You, Taker.” The Wrestlemania 36 classic between AJ Styles and the Undertaker was played in full highlighting the final match of the Phenom’s career.


King Corbin doesn’t take lightly to this as he makes his disdain known. Corbin insults the Undertaker in all facets, telling how the Undertaker was a kiss-ass and has done nothing but hold young talent like himself down. Directly into the camera, Corbin tells the Undertaker “You Suck!”


Jeff Hardy comes from behind and attacks the evil King Corbin. A match is set for the main event between the two.


Takeaways:


I write this article with a heavy heart. Although we all knew this time would come, Undertaker’s retirement has hit the WWE Universe and myself with sadness in the fact that we have officially reached the end of an era. 30 years working any job is impressive, but to work 30 years in the WWE and be the cornerstone of the company is unheard of.


On a personal note, I first got into professional Wrestling at Wrestlemania 23 when I was 6-years-old. Although I was very young, I will never forget the match between Batista and the Undertaker. Everyone remembers the Undertaker differently. Whether it is as the Leader of the Ministry of Darkness or as the American Badass, every professional wrestling fan holds a place in their heart for the Phenom. The least we can do is pay our respects and say thank you for a great 30 years.


Much like how emotion is felt when you hear the name Undertaker, a much different emotion is felt when you hear the name, King Corbin. A scathing promo from the King although disrespectful in some eyes just builds him up as a bigger heel. You may not like it but, honestly, you’re not supposed to like it. Heel heat can be interpreted in two ways, “real heel heat” and “get off my screen heat”. Corbin walks that line and has almost all of his career. Although I argue that “get off my screen heat” doesn’t exist, I can understand your emotions.


Alexa Bliss vs Nikki Cross vs Lacey Evans vs Dana Brooke - Winner Faces Bayley at Extreme Rules


Before this match starts, Bayley and Sasha Banks join Michael Cole and Corey Graves on commentary. Early on in the match Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross work together to subdue Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke. Cross and Bliss hug in the center of the ring. Cross, however, takes advantage of Bliss by rolling her up for a two count.


Brooke takes control but is beaten down by Bliss. Bliss attempts Twisted Bliss but is thwarted by Brooke lifting her knees. Evans strikes Brooke with the Women’s Right leaving her knocked unconscious. Cross from behind, however, rolls up an unsuspecting Evans, 1… 2… 3.


Nikki Cross goes on to Extreme Rules to face Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.


Takeaways:


Good for Nikki Cross. She has never been thought of being the title picture but this push is very sobering. I highly doubt that she wins this match but having her go against the champion legitimizes her as a threat going forward. Once thought to be sidekick, now the mainstay in the Women’s division.


Also, I think it’s time for Cross to get some new ring gear that doesn’t look like street/workout clothes.


The New Day and Lucha House Party vs Miz & Morrison and Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura - 8-Man Tag Team Match


The last we saw Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura, attacked The New Day after the champions were victorious against Lucha House Party. Nakamura and Cesaro describe their attack as a show of anger after being overlooked in the Tag Team division.


The team of the New Day and Lucha House Party dominates early by making quick tags in and out. This comes to an end when Kofi Kingston of The New Day is pitched outside and attacked by Nakamura while the official is occupied. Gran Metalik enters on a hot tag and dominates all four of his opponents to regain control.


Chaos ensues with action in and out of the ring. The New Day brawl with Cesaro and Nakamura up the entrance ramp and towards the backstage area. With Lucha House Party left with Miz & Morrison, Lince Dorado takes advantage by launching Morrison out the ring with a nasty hurricanrana. Gran Metalik connects with a top rope elbow and pins The Miz, 1… 2… 3.


Lucha House Party and The New Day beat Miz & Morrison and Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura


Takeaways:


Pretty surprising that Cesaro and Nakamura didn’t have a bigger involvement in this match towards the end. The tug of war these two have been playing with creative has been nauseating. Hopefully, Sami Zayn returns soon from his self-quarantine to get them back on track with the front-office. Even that is in question given the issues Zayn has caused by deciding to not show up at tapings. Cesaro and Nakamura are two of the top in-ring performers in the company and deserved to be recognized as such.


Braun Strowman Wants to Go Back to the Swamp


After last week’s encounter with Bray Wyatt, Strowman was reminded of his past in the Wyatt Family. Strowman describes the fear he felt when he first met Bray Wyatt. He tells a story about his time at the Wyatt Compound when Bray was bitten by a snake. Instead of reacting normally, Wyatt laughed in the face of the snake.


Strowman at that time in his career started doing the devil's work and loved it. He still has feelings to go back to that evil but pushes it away. Strowman wants to go back to the swamp to face Bray Wyatt. This segment ends with Strowman laughing demonically into the microphone.


It is announced later on twitter that the two will have a match as Extreme Rules: The Horror Show. This match will be a non-title Wyatt Swamp Fight.


Takeaways:


This promo was Strowman’s best by far. I can hear the Bray Wyatt ideas and writing come out of Strowman. I couldn’t be more proud of Storwman and how far he has come on the microphone. At one point it sounded like he was reading the script off his hand. I was taken back by the Universal Champion and he deserves much praise.


Bray Wyatt is turning into a Mick Foley/Matt Hardy type of character with multiple faces. If anyone on the main roster can pull it off, it’s him. I couldn’t be more glad to see him back. I am a little disappointed that this is a non-title match but that could mean we seen the feen face Strowman at Summerslam. This tells a full story with Strowman facing all the “faces” of Bray Wyatt.


Jeff Hardy vs King Corbin


After the altercation in the opening of the show, these two will face off in the main event. King Corbin takes advantage of Jeff Hardy as he jumps the bell. Action falls outside with Corbin being tossed over the announce table. As Corbin regains his bearings in the ring, he takes time to taunt the Undertaker by kneeling with his hand raised in classic Undertaker fashion.


Smackdown superstars make their way to ringside to support Jeff Hardy in his battle against King Corbin. Hardy works his way to the top rope but is caught into a Deep 6. As the action falls outside again, Hardy regains the advantage by throwing Crobin into the steps. A Swanton Bomb from Hardy connects and he pins, 1… 2… 3.


Jeff Hardy beats King Corbin and preserves the honor of the Undertaker in the process.


Corbin, however, attacks Jeff Hardy from behind. Superstars around the ring don’t take lightly to this as Big-E plants Corbin with the Big Ending. Punishment doesn’t end there as a power slam from Braun Strowman and Floating Bro from Matt Riddle leave Corbin wasted.


Jeff Hardy salutes the Undertaker as the show fades to black.


Takeaways:


This match was going to go in Hardy’s way but imagine the uproar if Corbin went over. Thinking about it a Corbin victory in front of fans would’ve been insane to take in. Seeing Matt Riddle involved was shocking given the allegations against him through the #SpeakingOut movement. WWE has investigated the allegations and hasn’t reported their findings since the initial allegations were reported.


Sheamus was originally supposed to raise a glass to Jeff Hardy, that has been pushed to next week given this week's time constraints.


Wrap-Up:


It’s a sad day for many of us in the professional wrestling community. The Undertaker will live in the hearts of all wrestling fans as he moves on to a life of family and retirement. This week’s episode of Smackdown was shorter due to the Undertaker tribute although a good amount of content was packed into a smaller amount of time.


Thank You, Taker.


Pros:

  • Thank You Taker

  • Alexa Bliss vs Nikki Cross vs Lacey Evans vs Dana Brooke - Winner Faces Bayley at Extreme Rules

  • Braun Strowman Wants to Go Back to the Swamp

  • Jeff Hardy vs King Corbin


Cons:

  • The New Day and Lucha House Party vs Miz & Morrison and Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura - 8-Man Tag Team Match


Final Grade: C+

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