Bengaluru, April 1: The biggest weekend in sports entertainment will kick off via tonight’s Friday Night Smackdown which has now been rebranded as Wrestlemania Smackdown.
Apart from giving the final touch-ups for top rivalries, WWE will host the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal to set the tone for the Showcase of Immortals.
Also, two tag team partners will be gunning for the Intercontinental Championship in a Triple Threat Match as a special Smackdown awaits from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns are being locally advertised to be the headliners for Wrestlemania SmackDown, but as of this writing, WWE hasn’t officially booked them for a segment.
The two top superstars were present on Wrestlemania Raw, trading promos at each other. Hence, chances are less that they will be engaging in either verbal or physical showdown before their encounter.
Rather, Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey were absent from Raw who might make one last appearance, tonight before locking horns in the potential main-event match for Wrestlemania 38 Night One.
As per confirmations received from WWE, the 8th annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will take center stage of this week’s Smackdown. A multitude of Superstars from red and blue brand will step into the squared circle to claim the coveted trophy and become a breakout star, down the line.
WWE has announced 17 participants for the melee and the names are given below:
• Apollo Crews
• Commander Azeez
• Erik and Ivar of the Viking Raiders
• Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin of The Hurt Business
• United States Champion Finn Balor
• Damian Priest
• Robert Roode
• Jinder Mahal
• Madcap Moss
• Drew Gulak
• Akira Tozawa
Interestingly, one of the top Raw Superstars, United States Champion Finn Balor has been added to the fray. Original plans for him at Wrestlemania 38 called for a title defense against his current rival Damian Priest.
Since both these superstars will appear in the over-the-top-rope battle royal, WWE may just conduct an angle, leading to the singles match. But as of now, this stands as just speculation.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal was introduced at WrestleMania 30 as a tradition for the spectacle in honor of the late WWE Hall of Famer Andre the Giant. But for the second year in a row, this match will go down on the WrestleMania edition of SmackDown.
Previous winners for Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal include Cesaro in 2014, Big Show in 2015, Happy Baron Corbin in 2016, Mojo Rawley in 2017, Matt Hardy in 2018, Braun Strowman in 2019, and one-half of SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Jey Uso in 2021. In 2020, the match was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.
Real-life cousins, Humberto and Angel used their mean mind-games to secure back-to-back wins against the mid-card champion on Smackdown and now they have been granted a title match opportunity.
As confirmed by WWE, this week’s blue brand show will feature a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Intercontinental Title with the champion Ricochet defending against Angel and Humberto also known as Los Lotharios.
Last week, Angel defeated Ricochet in a Championship Contender’s match, thanks to outside interferences by Humberto. An irate Ricochet then called out Humberto for a match. This time, Angel helped his cousin to get a victory in that Championship Contender’s match via count-out.
The titleholder then personally asked WWE Official Adam Pearce to give both Angel and Humberto a championship opportunity against him in a Triple Threat Match to set up this match.
Will one of the Los Lotharios be able to upset the high-flying champion at the very beginning of the biggest weekend of the year? We’ll find out when Wrestlemania Smackdown airs on FOX.