Who Can We Add to the Championship Match This Week? – Smackdown and 205 Live – 2/27/2018

The Blue Brand went Hollywood last night in our ongoing tour towards the first ever Fatal Fifteen Elimination Match at Fastlane!  I kid of course, but it does seem like a weekly expectation that we will more and more competitors to the inevitably successful title defense of AJ Styles en route to Styles-Nakamura as the main event of Wrestlemania (the match before you all turn the show off because %&$* Brock Lesnar).  Let’s see who joins the fray this evening.

Time is Inevitable

John Cena, by his own admission, has been living a dream for fifteen plus years now.  You can make a number of claims against this comment, but John Cena is easily in the argument with two or three other guys as the greatest of all time, at least in WWF/WWE.  He has literally given us his all for half of his lifetime, not counting the years before that built the physical specimen that got him to this place.  He’s a world class human being and just seems like a genuinely good, respectful, hard working individual.  And yes, I’m a John Cena mark, and that’s completely ok.

When John Cena delivered what felt like an existential crisis unfolding on camera during the post Elimination Chamber Raw Talk episode, you could see it.  John Cena is dealing with the internal struggle we will all go through if we haven’t already, that time is inevitable and for someone who has to put his body through superhuman trials on a daily basis, time doesn’t just creep up so much as it starts fighting back.  How much longer can he perform at a level he’s committed to?  How much more does he have in the tank?  Can he muster it one more time, does Big Match John have it in him to win #17 if he even finds a way to get the opportunity?

Well, opportunity is never hard to come by for John Cena, and he’s earned that.  Smackdown has been garbage for a while now that has been limping by on the hope that Daniel Bryan will be cleared to perform again, The New Day being The New Day, just how damn good The Usos have become, and AJ Styles’ ability to wrestle inanimate objects and pull four-to-five star matches out of them.  It’s ok, I can say that because reports indicate that creative at Smackdown have acknowledged it isn’t good lately.  But tonight, the Land of Opportunity will give one to Mr. Cena in the form of a qualifying match against AJ Styles to join the fatal five way match at Roadblock, making it a Fatal Six Way Match.

The match itself was in line with everything we’ve been given by the pairing of the GOAT and the “once in a generation performer”, and while I don’t necessarily like the fact that we’ve now got six guys in the Title match, watching Cena and Nakamura stare each other down while pointing at the Wrestlemania logo and seeing John roll out of a Calf Crusher to land a reverse AA were absolutely worth it.  John Cena has now been added to the Championship Match at Fastlane, defeating AJ Styles via pinfall.

The Rest of the Show

  • 2 Down, 1 to Go:  In case you had any doubt, we’re headed to Fastlane with both Charlotte and Ruby Riott holding wins over their opponent’s two besties.  Ruby tied it up at 2-2 with a pinfall victory over Naomi.  Can we just move past this so they have two weeks to set up the championship match I actually want:  The Empress of Tomorrow vs The Queen of WWE at Wrestlemania.
  • Baron Corbin defeated Sami Zayn because booking.  Kevin Owens on commentary was great, as was what appeared to be a completely unexpected Superkick as Dolph Ziggler came flying out of the crowd to take out KO, then laid in wait to hit a Zig-Zag on Corbin during his victory celebration.
  • The New Day cut a lengthy promo about getting another chance at The Usos, The Usos were out to counter.  This exchange was pretty damn good once New Day turned off the colorful antics and Big E amped up the intensity.  The Usos were great.  They’re getting better and better with these promos.  I think early they were having trouble keeping up the character because they seem like nice dudes, or at least I’ve heard, it isn’t like I watch Total Divas or anything.  The Bludgeon Brothers came to the ring and ran off the other five competitors.
  • The Fashion Police got a few minutes of TV time, meeting that guy that was married to Fergie for the shameless plug of the new USA series about the Tupac and Biggie murders.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Aiden English.  Rusev was on hand, but is seemingly being protected in spite of being one of the most popular guys on the roster right now.  It’s not a bad idea, I’d much rather they capitalize on it with well conceived planning rather than serving him up to Nakamura or letting him continue to eat RKOs for no reason.

Yeah, Smackdown isn’t good, but I don’t want to stop watching and have them think it’s the roster’s fault, because it isn’t.  Anyway, on to the good stuff we get on Tuesday night’s.



205 Live – Semifinals

We’re working on the left hand side of the bracket this evening, as we are treated to two fantastic matches (not that any of them to date haven’t been).  I also need to say it because it can’t be said enough, I love Drake Maverick, and the combination of Nigel and Vic Joseph on commentary have hit their stride and they are absolutely killing it.

Cedric Alexander vs TJP

This is a match we’ve seen a time or two, and it never fails to impress.  In a pre-match promo, TJP feels like he’s unfairly being subjected to this tournament.  As the first ever Cruiserweight Champion he should have a pass and just be in the match at Wrestlemania.  His confidence carries him a ways, but it wouldn’t matter as the Alexander Chiropractic Institute was fully operational, hitting a Lumbar Check Outta Nowhere to pick up the wins.  Cedric Alexander moves to the Quarter Finals via pinfall.

Roderick Strong vs Kalisto

While I was worried they’d be motivated to push Kalisto on through so that he could continue to do Lucha things, this was a pretty good damn match.  Roderick Strong took a fairly bad bump on a top rope hurricanrana, seemingly landing right on an already tender shoulder.  So we will have to see if that comes into play against Alexander, but The Messiah of the Backbreaker gets the job done as Roderick Strong moves to the Quarter Finals via pinfall.