Roman Reigns and Goldberg made their WrestleMania match official with a contract signing on Friday … [+]
WWE Friday Night SmackDown aired from the WWE Performance for the second of what figures to be many weeks. This week’s empty-arena broadcast featured much more wrestling in addition to one re-air of the WrestleMania 30 clash between John Cena and Bray Wyatt.
The main event segment featured a brief, non-physical contract signing between Goldberg and Roman Reigns.
Last week’s broadcast of Friday Night SmackDown drew 2.588 million viewers, up from 2.456 million last week for an empty-arena broadcast that aired the WWE SmackDown Championship Tag Team Elimination Chamber.
WWE Friday Night SmackDown Viewership—Last Five Weeks:
- March 13, 2020—2.588 million viewers
- March 6, 2020—2.456 million viewers
- February 28, 2020—2.687 million viewers
- February 21, 2020—2.484 million viewers
- February 14, 2020—2.464 million viewers
WWE Friday Night SmackDown Key Competition:
- Coronavirus live news coverage
From the Forbes WWE Vault:
WWE Total YouTube Viewership for WWE Friday Night SmackDown Last Friday: 6,342,138 (Up from 3,376,269 views)
- Most-Viewed: Bray Wyatt Crashes John Cena’s Interview en route to WrestleMania (1,677683 views)
- Least-Viewed: Is Rob Gronkowski coming to WWE? (277,612 views)
- Median Viewership: 518,889
WWE Friday Night SmackDown Results: Friday, March 20, 2020
Opening Segment Featuring Mojo Rawley and Rob Gronkowski
When Gronk said he was a huge wrestling fan, I was just waiting for him to mispronounce a famous wrestler’s name. That was par for the course during the ill-fated celebrity guest host era, but Gronk fits in just fine.
Gronk hasn’t even wrestled his first match yet and Mojo Rawley may already have a Baron Corbin feud. The hype renaissance continues.
Rob Gronkowski and Mojo Rawley can be pro wrestling’s Bill and Ted.
Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak def. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
I loved how Sami Zayn called the referee “referee.”
With Daniel Bryan intending to wrestle part time, it feels like WWE is planning on doing a bait-and-switch with Drew Gulak. Is Drew Gulak going to inherit the “Yes” chant?
While hyping a re-airing of WrestleMania 30 on broadcast television, Michael Cole teasingly asked whether or not Daniel Bryan was able to complete his journey at WrestleMania all while Bryan was celebrating with the Universal Championship.
Paige Announces Six-Pack SmackDown Women’s Championship Match (Bayley vs. Naomi vs. Tamina vs. Lacey Evans vs. Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks
Tamina was added to a WrestleMania championship match because Bayley facetiously asked whether or not she still works here. What a build!
From the token profanity to the plot twist of Sasha Banks being added to a Six-Pack SmackDown Women’s Championship, this segment was a fish out of water without a crowd.
The Six-Pack matchup appears to be an alternative to the women’s WrestleMania Battle Royal, which absolutely should not happen during the ongoing global pandemic.
John Cena def. Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 30 (Re-Air)
The promo package that aired before this match showed John Cena from a recent episode of SmackDown saying WrestleMania should air without John Cena. Given the threat of the novel coronavirus, it might end up being the other way around.
Luke Harper was prominently featured throughout this match which I found hilarious.
The story of this match was the sea of people swaying back and forth while singing “he’s got the whole world in his hands.” It’s easy to forget how over Bray Wyatt was at his peak, which makes me nervous for his current iteration, especially after losing to Goldberg.
The Miz and Morrison def. Heavy Machinery by Disqualification
Prediction: When live wrestling returns, fans will be so happy to be able to go toe the show they’ll gleefully chant along with “Miz and Morrison, hey-hey! Ho-Ho!”
The Miz suggested they ask the (empty-arena) audience who they should face at WrestleMania, which is actually a better tactic than gifting a title shot to somebody simply because the champion asked whether they still worked there.
Dolph Ziggler calling Otis a “second-place loser” because he couldn’t get the girl should be a (kayfabe) warning sign to Mandy Rose that he considers her a prize.
Otis throwing a tantrum was very compelling television, but some of the intensity was lost when he comically cried in Tucker’s arms.
Goldberg and Roman Reigns Contract Signing for WrestleMania 36
This is WWE’s second contract signing in a five days. Maybe they feel if the Superstars sign a contract, there’s nothing a global pandemic can do to stop this event from happening.
Roman Reigns sent a tweet criticizing Goldberg in January and I guess it technically counts as long-term storytelling.
Goldberg defending head-butting a door was part of the build to this world championship dream match.
In addition to their spears, nobody does intensity like Goldberg and Roman Reigns. They haven’t said much to one another but it only heightens the novelty of seeing them in the ring together. I can’t wait to see them fight.