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WWE SmackDown review: The Fiend vs. John Cena changes, a ladder match at Mania

We review everything that went down on the penultimate SmackDown ahead of WrestleMania 36

Pictured: Mike The Miz Mizanin and Maryse Mizanin of Miz and Mrs. Photo by: Aaron Poole/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Despite the random inclusion of a Roman Reigns-Triple H match from WrestleMania 32 in the middle of the program, we still had a pretty eventful SmackDown on Friday night. Let’s take a look at the big storylines:

The women’s five-way eliminator

We’ve got Bayley, Sasha Banks, Lacey Evans, Naomi, and Tamina all fighting for the SmackDown women’s championship. Note that Dana Brooke was pulled from this match for non-Kayfabe reasons (read here), so we’re down to five but it seems this will be the crew we roll with here.

Tamina stood tall in the middle of the squared circle at the end of the exchange, and it looks like this might be a 2 vs. 2 vs. 1 matchup.

Drew Gulak def. Shinsuke Nakamura

Gulak getting the 1-2-3 over The Artist means Daniel Bryan will face Intercontinenal Champion Sami Zayn for the strap at WrestleMania 36. The premise of tonight’s match was the partners faced off on behalf of their stable-mates, and now we’ve got a good one between two of the best workers in WWE in Zayn and Bryan.

Sami Zayn has never had a real WrestleMania moment, but he’ll get a chance for one next Saturday or Sunday against the man that had one of the best in WWE history.

Baron Corbin throws Elias off a balcony onto a concrete floor

Actually he didn’t, but that’s thanks to some quality camera cutaways at the Performance Center. Elias was “taken to a local medical facility” (why can’t they just say hospital??) after one of his classic acoustic dittys about how much Corbin sucks. A good time had by all.

Alexa Bliss def. Asuka

Remember when the The Empress of Tomorrow didn’t lose for her first 2.5 years in NXT/WWE? Now she eats pins like they’re cookies. Little Miss Bliss took her out, with Nikki Cross providing quite the energetic commentary in her Scottish brogue the entire time. It sets up the odd couple of Alexa & Nikki against the Kabuki Warriors of Asuka and Kairi Sane*. But will that happen at Mania? It’s not official yet.

* The saddest thing about no WrestleMania is Kairi Sane not jumping off the pirate ship in Raymond James Stadium and landing the best flying elbow in WWE history. I will not listen to arguments here.

Goldberg vs Roman Reigns gets hyped up

Spoiler alert if you want to know what’s actually happening regarding that match here.

Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Funhouse challenges John Cena to stipulations

Inside the weirdest (and best??) thing WWE has done with The Fiend Bray Wyatt build, during the Firefly Fun House segment, Wyatt challenges Big Match Jon to a “Firefly Funhouse Match” and of course nobody knows what that is. It’s the second time this week there’s been a match announced and nobody knows what it is. When there’s no crowd, just pile on the stipulations I guess??

The New Day vs. The Uso’s - DQ because of Miz and Morrison interference

And to finish the show, while working commentary of the match between the two teams fighting for the right to face them at WrestleMania, Miz and Morrison ended up attacking both teams, and the ref called it a DQ. We never did find out who the winner was, but inside the quiet arena, Michael Cole said the scheduled fight at Mania is now a three-way ladder match. So we’ll have The Uso’s vs. The New Day vs. Miz and Morrison for the straps, hanging high above the ring. This one could be fun!