finally farewell to thunderdome
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Folks, this one is so much more than a regular SmackDown In A Nutshell. It is finally farewell to ThunderDome!

Or, at least, we hope it’s finally farewell to ThunderDome. I mean, let’s be honest…who knows if this craziness will cause shutdowns again.

Nope, not trying to jinx it…

So, in addition to saying farewell to ThunderDome…what’s on the agenda?

Well, if you forgot (and I don’t know how you could), next week gives us a couple big things.

One, it’s the first SmackDown in front of fans in nearly 500 days.

Second, a week from Sunday is Money In The Bank. And this SmackDown In A Nutshell is fixing to give us the final couple men’s match slots.

Surely there might be some other matches booked for Money In The Bank, too.

But, there is just one getting a massive amount of attention: Roman Reigns and Edge.

Finally, after being “cheated” out of a one on one shot at WrestleMania…we get those two, one on one, a week from Sunday.

The last couple weeks, Edge has gotten the better of Roman Reigns and his family. Will that continue on this week’s SmackDown In A Nutshell?

Anything is possible…and that is why we tune in.

So yes, it is finally farewell to ThunderDome. Which means…it’s time for…

SmackDown In A Nutshell: Finally Farewell To ThunderDome!

Let’s crack open this Nutshell and see what happens!

Best Match of the night:

Two options here. Actually, kind of three.

One, not quite the best but I very much enjoyed it: Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Knox debuting over the tag champs.


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Two, Cesaro and Seth Rollins. Once again, a great match from these two, and you wish both could be in the ladder match.

farewell to thunderdome

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Third, not a match but that main event segment had much more to it than I expected.

Worst match of the night:

Tonight, I am not ripping on a match.

I very much disliked the segment that replaced Bayley.

Look, I get it. She was injured at some point this week, so it’s not clear exactly how much notice WWE had.


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News broke earlier on Friday that Bayley would be out upwards of 9 months, thanks to a torn ACL.

With that, we knew we’d see a new challenger facing Bianca Belair, presumably at Money In The Bank.

WWE chose to continue doing whatever it is they are doing with Sonya Deville.

Just a couple weeks after randomly gifting a Money In The Bank slot to Carmella…Deville gives her the title opportunity.

Now, it gets a bit interesting…because that turned out to mean Carmella is out of MITB, and Liv Morgan-angry at Deville-got Carmella’s spot (honestly, I thought Morgan got one, either via beating Carmella or Zelina Vega).

More on all this later…

Crowd Chants of the Night:

Not yet…but hopefully next week is lit.

Star of the Night

OK, there was a lot to love, Edge, Usos, Reigns, Cesaro, Rollins and more.

So I am choosing…the ThunderDome fans.

Yes, sure, it’s “just” screens. But it’s (hopefully) the last time which the only SmackDown fans we have are screens.

So…a hat tip to those fans. And, to the IT folks who made it all work.

Spot of the Night:

The double 619?

The Cesaro suplex that spilled to the outside?

How about Edge, giving both Jimmy and Jey the chair-assisted cross-face?


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Jobber of the Night:

I’d go with Jimmy and Jey, taking all of the abuse at the end of the evening.


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Upset of the Night:

It was sold as such, so why not: Shotzi and Tegan beating Natalya and Tamina.

finally farewell to thunderdome

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In fairness, this outcome was kind of telegraphed. Once Nattie said it was a non-title match, it was too easy to guess that the debuting team was winning.

Still, it was a fun night, and it caps a crazy week for Tegan Nox, I dare say.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Lots to go for here.

With Bayley down, we have Carmella getting her spot…but the match shifts to Friday’s live return.

farewell to thunderdome

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Curious move, because it presumably means we have zero chance of a blue brand women’s cash-in next Sunday.

Jimmy Uso was actually on television on SmackDown. Considering his arrest earlier in the week, and his track record…that was most unexpected.

I did not honestly see the Mysterios returning tonight. When Jimmy and Jey said they felt like Reigns was walking into a trap, I had completely discounted a return by Rey and Dom to give Edge an assist.


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Toni Storm coming soon? Nice, but did not see that coming either.


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Botch of the night:

Tamina botched a line or two, or it just didn’t come out nicely.


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Beyond that…I think WWE really botched replacing Bayley.

I didn’t like Bianca insinuating that it was possibly faked-that part seemed weird. She recovered that when she said she looked forward to finishing things when Bayley returns, however.

Not a fan of Carmella just being given the shot.

farewell to thunderdome

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I know, or at least, I think, the Sonya moves with Carmella are part of a long play…which I can neither see, nor wrap my head around now.


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Liked Liv Morgan officially getting in the ladder match, but that was the minor saving grace.


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A #1 contender match or something would have been better. Heck, I’d have totally been fine with Toni Storm even showing up.

I will even admit, when Shotzi debuted without Ember Moon, I thought there was a shot at seeing Moon get it.

Especially when Deville said the match was now happening next week, in Houston, on SmackDown.

Missed opportunity.

LOL Moment of the night:

I think this picture says it all.


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Noteworthy Moment:

The Usos and Roman Reigns reunited. Unexpected after the week’s events.

finally farewell to thunderdome smackdown

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Rey and Dom are back.

ThunderDome is done. Hopefully forever.

Also…maybe some missed it, but I don’t expect Roman Reigns name drops Brock in the opening segment by accident. That just does not happen.

Overall lowlights:

How WWE replaced Bayley.

I feel like I have now beaten that horse enough.

Overall highlights:

I am so much more into the Edge/Reigns match for Money In The Bank than I expected.

WWE planting seeds for some other matches too-Edge and Rollins, anyone?


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A number of returns, debuts and teasers this week. It was a busy SmackDown In A Nutshell.

After the final bell:

Lots going on this week, but I think I’ve said plenty on it by now.

I leave you with this: this has been our final (hopefully) SmackDown from ThunderDome.

It may be just before a PPV, with a month before SummerSlam…but I have to think, now that we’ve finally said farewell to ThunderDome…that next week should be epic.

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