10 Things you may have missed from WWE SmackDown - Reigns vs Corbin, Fury main event, no Wyatt or Bryan
I also sent the day of the 8th and the day before interviewing WWE talent and working press in the same hotel as the wrestlers and production staff. Here are a few things you may have missed from the event itself and the build-up to it.
1. Before the show began, it was hard to tell who was the most over. The arena was filled with many Woos but Bray Wyatt’s merchandise was by far the most represented. Several people were wearing WWE replica titles but were unwilling to defend them when I challenged them under 24/7 rules. As you might expect, this soured the whole evening.
2. The very top level was half tarped off and there were scattered empty seats but by and large, it was a very good turnout for both shows.
3. There was some technical confusion over when Survivor Series was. The screens below the main screen said a week from Sunday during the first promo but that was quickly replaced and eventually came back during RAW when it was technically accurate. Corbin and Rollins both mentioned how many weeks it would be.
4. An audible groan could be heard in the arena when Corbin had his Chihuahua moment but by the end of the segment that was probably the highlight.
5. WWE2K20 commercials ran twice during the event. Both times they were heavily booed. There was a 2K20 event earlier in the day at the hotel featuring Drew McIntyre and Big E. I can’t imagine the staff in attendance were very happy with the reception.
6. Imperium, and later Shayna Baszler, came through a special 'NXT curtain' near the hard cam. They were not at the hotel earlier in the day, though I didn’t see everybody. For one thing, despite walking past a throng of fans both outside and inside the hotel lobby, nobody popped for Daniel Bryan when he arrived earlier in the day.
7. There was a lot of love for Nikki Cross. This shouldn’t surprise anyone given where the show was. Having met Nikki now, I will also be popping hard next time I see her in action; she is absolutely lovely. Fire and Desire also got a very strong pop. I was personally enjoying bits when Deville was in action.
8. Nobody in the arena saw The Fiend and Daniel Bryan segment, which was filmed in an area close to the arena. We know this because the bright red light was very visible but nothing else was.
9. The main event segment between Roman and Corbin really felt like a main event. The crowd was hot and, once the segment had finished, Roman received a huge standing ovation from practically everyone in the crowd. The audience had no idea why Roode and Ziggler came out at all. I’m guessing there was a segment we just didn’t get to see.
10. Of course, this wasn’t actually the main event on the night. Tyson Fury would come out after the Reigns vs Corbin match and hype up the crowd. Everything that followed, including the team up and the B Team beat down, came in what was for us in the arena the main event segment.
All in all, SmackDown was a solid show, featuring multiple women’s matches and a packed card. The surprises from Imperium and Baszler, who we did not see at the hotel earlier in the day, added a lot to the overall hype level of the crowd. There was also a serenade for Bayley, which is basically just UK tradition at this point. A thoroughly enjoyable show.