thunderdome is heating up
source: custom, WWE website screenshot

It’s another Friday, and thus another SmackDown In A Nutshell. With the month of May winding down, ThunderDome is heating up.

Yes, we are very nearly officially into the Summer months, so of course things are heating up.

We are not quite talking about SummerSlam…but WWE did, earlier on, announce a July return to the road.

No, that’s not a mis-print. Live WWE touring begins in mid-July, with the blue brand trading in ThunderDome for Houston.

Considering how long it’s been since WWE truly left the state of Florida…that’s a good reason for ThunderDome to be heating up.

I mean, sure, they were in Stamford for Money In The Bank…but that PPV was forgettable, was it not?

Enough about the reminiscing about the interesting things we endured in 2020 though.

With the announcement, there is less than two months left in the friendly confines of ThunderDome as we know it.

Hell In A Cell is a month away, we’ve got a Fatal Four Way for the Intercontinental Championship as our main event…yes, it’s a loaded SmackDown In A Nutshell tonight.

Like we said, ThunderDome is heating up.

Might as well cut to the chase and get to it! Its…

SmackDown In A Nutshell: ThunderDome Is Heating Up

Let’s crack open this Nutshell and enjoy!

Best Match of the night:

I could go with 1a and 1b here.

smackdown in a nutshell

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Honestly, that women’s tag match to open the show? It exceeded expectations.

Were my expectations low? Probably…but it was a good match.

That was book-ended nicely by the Fatal Four Way at the main event slot.

Would have liked a clean finish to build up Apollo more…but knowing what stipulation we were working with…interference was likely from all angles.

Worst match of the night:

Not a match. The opening segment, the Parade of Champions.

smackdown in a nutshell

source: custom, WWE twitter screenshot

It just felt way too forced and pointless, to be honest.

Star of the Night

Not sure where to go with this one.

Reigns was good. That’s normal now.

Beyond that…no one performance stood out to me.

Spot of the Night:

Oh, how I have missed Black Mass.

Jobber of the Night:

This is tough…

Do I go with Robert Roode, losing to Dom? Maybe…

Or, do I go with Big E, taking the shot from the returning Aleister Black and losing the Fatal Four Way?

Upset of the Night:

No upsets tonight.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

That would be the return of Aleister Black.

aleister black thunderdome

source: custom, WWE twitter screenshot

We knew it was coming…even if there were reports earlier in the week that suspected WWE might move Black over to Mondays.

He did not switch brands, and instead finally showed up tonight.

Things in ThunderDome are heating up, as Black returned to take out Big E.

Curious to see where that goes.

Botch of the night:

Not tonight, per se.

Imagine if WWE had not been airing return vignettes, and instead had just had Black return?

Sometimes, by announcing someone is coming back soon, WWE botches things. This was one, I think.

LOL Moment of the night:

The guitarist for Nakamura made me laugh…but I don’t know if I want him always around.

I like the special entrances for big events…not sure it needs to be regularly happening in ThunderDome though.

Noteworthy Moment:

For the first time in like a year, Jimmy and Jey Uso will be tagging next week.

thunderdome is heating up

source: custom, WWE twitter screenshot

Jey did not seem too happy about that…so we have to wonder if that sets up a match for say, Hell In A Cell?

Tune in to our next SmackDown In A Nutshell to find out!

Also, we did see more Rollins beating up Cesaro. Right after Cesaro was challenging Reigns for a match at Hell In A Cell no less.

smackdown thunderdome

source: custom, WWE website screenshot

My gut tells me the attack is designed to take Cesaro out of the mix, perhaps off the card entirely, giving someone else a crack at Reigns.

Or, it gives WWE a reason to really have Cesaro and Reigns in the Cell, allegedly to keep Rollins out.

Overall lowlights:

That opening segment. That was my biggest complaint, and I think it was just wasted time.

It’s already the shorter show, and even though it’s two hours long…time is precious.

Overall highlights:

The six woman tag match, usually not awesome, was really good this week.

smackdown thunderdome heating up

source: custom, WWE website screenshot

The main event delivered nicely. It leaves me wondering where WWE goes next with Apollo, and it seems certain that for a bit, Aleister Black and Big E will be tangling.

With Summer right around the corner, ThunderDome is heating up as promised.

After the final bell:

Honestly…this show almost couldn’t live up to things. The big news of the day is the reason.

WWE announced it is returning to the road, and the first SmackDown in front of live fans will be July 16 from Houston.

That is massive, and after what feels like an eternity (but is just about 16 months or so?), it will be exciting to see WWE Superstars perform in arenas with fans, not screens.

And, I am sure I will not be the only one that says this or thinks this…

It’s WWE’s live return, for each major show, as things are heating up. By then, SummerSlam will be fast approaching…

You can’t help but wonder…will WWE have some Lesnar-sized surprises in store for those big returns to live touring?