Welcome to The Nerd Hub and our weekly smack talking about WWE SmackDown Live. The WWE Back to the Future Week continued as Goldberg headlined the show from Laredo, Texas. The 52-year-old former Universal Champion appeared in the main event segment. In his first SmackDown visit, he addressed the comments from the 54-year-old Undertaker on Monday Night Raw. The two will square off Friday at WWE Super ShowDown in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. No word on whether they will use Doc Brown’s DeLorean to time travel back to their primes for the match.
HEADLINE NEWS: GOLDBERG CONFRONTS UNDERTAKER
Goldberg brought a message for The Undertaker to SmackDown Live. Come Friday, Family Man Goldberg stays at home. Butt-kicking Goldberg will take out The Deadman in the desert. Laugh all you want about the timing of this match, but seeing the two in the ring together provides a cool visual. Even Goldberg admitted he’s wanted this match for 20 years.
We expected to see all of this.
WWE threw in the swerve, though, once The Undertaker’s trademark gong sounded. Then, the lights went out. By the time the lights came on, The Deadman had materialized in the ring behind Goldberg. The two legends stared each other down in the middle of the ring. Then, the lights went out again. When they turned back on, the Deadman had vanished.
Whether you buy WWE’s hype that Super ShowDown will equal or surpass WrestleMania, Goldberg and Undertaker delivered what they could this week to set up the WWE Network pay-per-view that starts 2 p.m. ET.
BEST OF THE REST: ALEXA BLISS WINS CONTENDER MATCH
Welcome to the wacky WWE Wild Card era. This week, SmackDown Live held a No. 1 Contender match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. So, naturally the winner of the match comes from the RAW roster?
You read that correctly. Alexa Bliss visited SmackDown Live to host SmackDown Women’s Champ Bayley for a “Moment of Bliss.” Things got heated, and eventually Bayley knocked Bliss’ coffee out of her hands. Soon after that exchange, Carmella and Charlotte Flair provided the inevitable interruptions that always plague “Moment of Bliss” segments. As a result, WWE announced a match between the three would determine who faces Bayley at Stomping Grounds on June 23.
This seemed like the perfect time to re-introduce Carmella into the main event scene. However, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville thought otherwise. Rose and Deville distracted the Princess of Staten Island throughout the match. They even prevented her from pressing her advantage after a superkick felled Flair. Eventually, the distracted Carmella fell victim to a Bliss DDT.
So, The Goddess faces Bayley for the SmackDown title.
Obviously, WWE would pick the least logical booking option because that’s WWE.
BIG WINNER: R-TRUTH
R-Truth’s next video may feature The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” as its soundtrack. Like the careers of Goldberg and Undertaker, R-Truth’s reign with the 24/7 Championship will not die.
Heel Shane McMahon initiated a match for his lackey Elias. He called R-Truth on Carmella’s phone and informed him of troubling news. The champ would defend his title against The Drifter in a lumberjack match. The Living Truth quickly took out R-Truth with a high knee for his second reign with the title. However, this caused a wild scene with the lumberjacks scrambling to get a shot at Elias.
Unfortunately for the new champ, he snuck out of the ring only to come face-to-face with R-Truth. The former champ caught him under the ring for another quick pinfall to start his fourth title reign with the belt. He lost and then won the belt over the weekend against Jinder Mahal on a golf course.
BIG LOSER: ROMAN REIGNS
Heel Shane McMahon promised to “neuter” The Big Dog at Super ShowDown. Then, Shane O’Mac laid out Reigns with a spear, thanks to Drew McIntyre and The Revival.
Though Undertaker versus Goldberg excites some, I think it’s fairly universal that no one cares about Shane-Roman. Shane appearing twice a week as many other actual wrestlers with the company remain off TV mystifies me. Let’s hope Friday brings a conclusion to the monster heel push for Shane.
Reigns managed to rock Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder on his way to interrupt the McMahon promo. However, McIntyre dropped The Big Dog with a Claymore. As a result, the Scottish Psychopath held up Reigns for the McMahon spear.
When you consider Aleister Black, Buddy Murphy, Liv Morgan and several other Superstars who came to SmackDown during the Superstar Shake-Up have yet to get in the ring on Tuesdays, this feud becomes all the more frustrating.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston – The champ’s booking remains among the strongest in all of the WWE. The show opened with him and Xavier Woods showing a video of his trip to his native Ghana. He brimmed with pride in representing his country as champ. His Super ShowDown opponent, Dolph Ziggler, then presented a video of his career. Kingston and Woods then defeated Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens in a rushed tag match before Ziggler laid out The New Day. This feud exists as the most anti-climactic one on the card Friday. No one believes Ziggler will dethrone Kofi.
Alexa Bliss – Most expected The Goddess to get back in the main event scene against RAW Women’s Champ Becky Lynch. However, Bliss will revisit the feud that led to her longest title reign on RAW by taking on Bayley. The Goddess punked The Hugger at the 2017 Payback show in her hometown of San Jose. As a result, it took Bayley two years to get another serious run with the title by cashing in at Money in the Bank.
Lars Sullivan – The Freak actually acquitted himself fairly well in his first interview segment with Kayla Braxton. He explained he destroyed people because he’d accepted that’s his role. He said he’s supposed to assume the role of a monster to be feared. However, it’s fair to question whether he gets any fans to get back on his hype train after his past racist comments.
Elias – The Living Truth continues to crack the TV lineup on a weekly basis. Therefore, he remains relevant in WWE’s plans. Since the Wild Card continues to limit opportunities for a majority of Superstars on the roster, that’s a serious feather in the cap of Elias. Fans of his must hope he can ascend from the 24/7 Championship storylines to something bigger.
Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville – They had a small role this week, but it showed they also hold some prominence within WWE. Rose seems like a good bet to win her first title belt this year. As a result, we’ll get the inevitable Rose-Deville confrontation everyone wants as the payoff.
Intercontinental Champ Finn Balor-Andrade – Unlike Shane-Roman, fans actually want to see more great stuff from Andrade and the champ. So, naturally WWE put that feud on the backburner for weeks ahead of their match at Super ShowDown. This week, Andrade took out Apollo Crews before they could wrestle their announced match. As a result, Balor raced out to make the save, but Andrade leveled him with a Hammerlock DDT. The whole segment got the rush treatment of a midcard feud WWE could care less to promote.
Aleister Black – The Promo King of SmackDown Live continues in promo appearances only. He explained this week that he’s not surprised no one answered his open challenge last week. Unfortunately, nobody else seems surprised by this either. That’s because everyone has figured out Vince continues to do his level best to kill any fan interest in our occult friend.
Dolph Ziggler – The first time The Showoff appeared and read Kofi the riot act for taking his opportunity and winning gold made an impression. However, Heel Ziggler continues to deliver the exact same promo in mail-in fashion show after show. It’s as if we all know he’s booked as a one-off loss to Kingston at Super ShowDown.
Shane McMahon – You get it. I don’t care for the uber push Shane receives as a heel. Just to reiterate, it makes no sense he gets so much air time while guys who actually wrestle for a living don’t.
SmackDown Women’s Division – Booking Alexa Bliss to get a crack at Bayley amounts to nothing less than a slap to the face of SmackDown’s women’s division. The Superstar Shake-Up sent a majority of the best women’s talent in WWE to SmackDown. However, you’d never know that with the Wild Card rule. Bayley, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Mandy Rose and Alexa Bliss get top billing. Almost everyone else fights for the scraps.