The first WWE SmackDown to notch a .500 Ups-to-Downs score since 2 October 2018 (!) over-delivered on big WrestleMania 35 announcements, but it was a rough, uneven show from WWE's most consistent main roster brand, though your mileage may vary when it comes to some of the choices made.
Kofi Kingston is heading to 'Mania. His New Day partners Big E and Xavier Woods were ordered to face a cluster of SmackDown's finest tag teams in the headlining gauntlet matches, producing two underdog performances reminiscent of those that have made their buddy WWE's hottest male star over the past few weeks. Their effort is appreciated, and while this gauntlet wasn't as strong as Kingston's recent iron man showings, it reached the right destination.
Elsewhere, we have a new SmackDown Women's Champion in Charlotte Flair, who defeated Asuka early on, negating the need for the pre-advertised Carmella vs. Naomi vs. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville contendership bout. Kurt Angle's last SmackDown match fell to pieces, The Miz inherited Shane McMahon's mantle as the hardest man alive, and Dominick Mysterio was by his father's side once again.
An odd show, though other viewers may come away more impressed by what went down in the women's division in particular. Let's hope next week's go-home episode isn't as weird...
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