WWE SmackDown (23/4/2021) – Review

So after what has been a news worthy week for WWE away from the ring (a future WWE Hall of Famer getting sent a trash bag, Charlotte Flair being told my Dave Meltzer that she’s conscious of her looks, and one third of the Mania main event saying he felt a disconnect with it), we finally arrive here at Friday Night SmackDown.

You will have to excuse the formatting for a short while til I can sort it as my unreliable laptop is being unreliable again, but anyway let’s get onto the show. The only thing as I write this I know has been advertised is Apollo Crews will be defending his Intercontinental title. Who against remains a mystery but could be anyone… I would LOVE for it to be Roderick Strong after he “resigned” from NXT last week but that’s a bit of a pipe dream. Aleister Black again would be a dream choice… but let’s see… we also have the fallout from last week where it seemed as if Cesaro was being set up as the next challenger to The Head of The Table, before he was jumped by his Wrestlemania foe Seth Rollins… but let’s see what they do then. Here is my review of SmackDown from April 23rd 2021.


The new “Then Now Forever” intro video now ends with “Together” which is a nice touch.

They recapped all the Cesaro stuff from last week. Including showing us the UFO AGAIN (FIVE times we saw it during last weeks show and it took them less than 1 minute to show it again this week…). Was fun to be fair to have a show long story around 1 guy, and given it was Cesaro it was extra cool.

Cesaro opened the show this week too standing in the ring. Before he could speak Seth Rollins made his way out. Rollins mocked Cesaro and said he came out to congratulate him for ‘finally reaching and fulfilling his potential’. But he said he only did so because he was in the ring with him at Wrestlemania. He called himself the new Mr Wrestlemania. He asked where his thanks was, and said he had heard he planned on moving on but repeated what he said last week about it not being over until he said it was over. He then blamed the RAIN DELAY for losing to Cesaro, and said on his worst day and Cesaro’s best he couldn’t beat him again.

Cesaro then made the challenge to Rollins again for tonight. Rollins accepted. Before Jey Uso’s music played… Uso said Roman brushed him right off because he can’t beat Roman, him or Seth again. He said he’d show him again tonight. Rollins reasoned with Uso to work together to get Cesaro. The two surrounded the ring… until the music of Daniel Bryan played and out he came! He got into the ring and Rollins and Jey Uso backed away.

Bryan asked where they were going? And called them out for not coming out for the reasons they said they did. He said Rollins was embarrassed and that’s why he came out, Uso came out cause Roman told him so, and he said He came out to make sure Cesaro finally gets what he deserves. He said he hadn’t done it for those two because he has an infinite amount of respect for Cesaro and said he’d worked harder than anyone. Bryan seriously put over Cesaro and it really felt like a shoot from him. Bryan mocked Roman too, and said anyone who wants to fight (them both) to come on out…

Out came Roman then with Heyman. Pat McAfee said he was “one of the most impressive human’s he’d ever seen”… Ok Pat…

Roman said Bryan should be talking about Mania and said he told the whole world what was going to happen. He then promoted his ‘smash em, stack em, pin em’ shirt and pointed out it was Bryan on the bottom.

He called Bryan a loser and said Cesaro was a loser too. He said to everyone else they weren’t but to him they were losers, and main event losers. He called Bryan a stupid loser. And said how stupid it was they were talking like that surrounded by people who wanna whoop their ass. He then made his way to then back.

Looked like we have a tag match on our hands at least!

Daniel Bryan & Cesaro defeated Jey Uso & Seth Rollins

We came back to all 4 guys brawling in the ring. Eventually we got underway with Bryan and Jey Uso in the ring. Rollins wasn’t happy that nobody told him he was in a match tonight… Cesaro in the ring his a really impressive delayed duplex for a nearfall. Rollins tagged in and Cesaro put a beating on him until a slingblade by Rollins. Rollins tagged in Uso as the heels really targeted Cesaro now. Frequent tags and really good teamwork by Uso and Rollins, Cesaro caught Rollins off the 2nd rope for a tilt the world backbreaker and then Bryan was tagged in at last! Bryan hit the yes kicks to Rollins, Bryan then caught Rollins’ leg as he tried a Pele Kick and hit a German with a bridge for a nearfall. Bryan went for the running knee, but Rollins caught him and hit a buckle bomb, Uso tagged in and hit a big splash but Cesaro made the save after the pin attempt. Uso and Rollins then hit a double suplex to Cesaro on the outside. After the ad break Bryan was being wrenched against the ropes by Rollins, he then hit a running kick to Bryan for a nearfall. They talked up the effect the buckle bomb had on Bryan and related it to the Con-Chair-Toe he suffered from Reigns at Mania and the after effects still being felt from that. The heels again worked well together on Bryan. Uso came in and stomped at Bryan. Bryan fought back and took Rollins down but ran into a Samoan drop by Jey Uso for a 2 count. Cesaro tried to get the yes chants going, Rollins continued to beat down Bryan, eventually Bryan came back and ran into Rollins taking both guys down. And both made tags, Cesaro with a series of uppercuts to Uso, and then a clothesline for a nearfall. Cesaro tried for the swing but Uso fought out, eventually hitting an inziguiri, Cesaro soon hit a springboard uppercut for a nearfall. After he tried a Neautralizer, eventually a big uppercut for Rollins broke the pin. Bryan then sent Rollins out the ring after and hit him with a suicide dive. Uso tried a dive to Cesaro who caught him with an uppercut, Cesaro soon after came off the top rope but fell right into a superkick by Jey as we went to another ad break :/ … When we returned Rollins and Cesaro were in the ring, they went back and forth until Cesaro tried the swing but Rollins counters for a nearfall. Cesaro after got the sharpshooter, until Uso came in and hit a superkick to Cesaro. Rollins made the tag, Uso went to the top but Cesaro hit him with an uppercut, it appeared after Rollins was leaving to the back, at which point Cesaro hit a superplex, then made the tag to Bryan who hit the running knee for the 1,2,3 and the win. Rollins walks out saying he had enough and that allowed the babyfaces to get the win.

Bryan called Roman out after and said he thought someone was coming to get them? Uso tried to jump Bryan but Cesaro hit the swing and Bryan continues to mock the heels on the mic, counting the swings and asking if that was what Roman was afraid of. Bryan commentating on Cesaro beating up Uso was so funny. Cesaro hit an uppercut to Uso that Bryan did the call for. Cesaro took the mic also and joined in the verbal mocking of Roman. He said Roman not coming out said it showed what kind of family man he was. Cesaro and Bryan said he should swing Jey Uso again and see if this brings Roman out, as Bryan again on the mic said Roman should come out and make the save, as Uso did over and over for Roman… but as Cesaro continued to swing and Bryan mocked Roman again on the mic… no sign of Reigns… Bryan again asked if Roman was afraid and pointed out how he couldn’t beat Owens without Jey Uso, Bryan without Edge, Edge without Jey, and he said he thinks Roman knows he can’t beat Cesaro. This was a super strong promo by Bryan putting over Cesaro. He said if they faced one on one Cesaro would be the new Universal Champion. We can all dream I guess Daniel…

As Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce were talking backstage about what has just happened, Apollo and Commander Azeez approached. Crews ushered away Deville, and asked what this nonsense was? He wasn’t happy at all about having to defend his title tonight. Pearce said Big E will get his shot again when he is ready, against him or his opponent tonight… Kevin Owens! (Just an FYI but the “Nigerian Man” I thought Crews was saying last week was actually Nigerian Nail, which is what they’re calling Azeez version of the Samoan Spike finisher made famous by Umaga).

Nia Jax was out next with fellow tag team champion Shayna Baszler. She’s apparently facing Tamina… Nia ushered for someone to come out after… and it was Reginald…

At this point if I wasn’t writing a review of the show I’d very very likely skip past all of this shite. I’m so over all of this; of Nia and Shayna as the champions, of neither being singles stars, I’m sick of Reginald and I don’t know why I should care about him as a character, I’m sick of Tamina and Natalya still being the challengers to the tag champions despite losing at Wrestlemania, and I can’t think of much worse than the idea of Nia Jax VS Tamina… when they were a tag team a couple years a back now that (two colossal forces just smashing women up), I can get behind that. All of this? NOPE.

anyway…

Tamina (with Natalya) defeated Nia Jax (with Shayna Baszler and Reginald)

They recapped PART of the Mania tag title match and said Tamina looked good and people were chanted her name… and then we came back and she didn’t even get a tv entrance. And they wonder why they can’t get many babyfaces over… they also didn’t show the finish of that match where the heel champions won… OK…

Yeah I don’t care sorry. I must talk about how they claimed on commentary that everyone was talking about the women’s tag title match at Wrestlemania (they weren’t) and that 25,000 people were screaming Tamina’s name (they didn’t). The finish was Tamina rolling Nia up after Jax was distracted by a mix-up between Reginald and Baszler on the outside.

WHO GIVES A SHIT…

Kayla Braxton interviewed THE LORD Kevin Owens. (Yes I’m keeping that a thing for as long as I do these SmackDown blogs. You stun Logan Paul at WrestleMania you’re a LORD to me). Owens said it had been years since his last match for the Intercontinental title and said he was delighted and surprised. He said he wouldn’t turn it down, and said he’d gladly be the one to knock Crews off his royal perch. Big E came in and said he’d jumped the line. He said they both knew it was his match and his title. Owens laughed along and said he was right, but he said not tonight and tonight it was his opportunity. He said he would win it and have fun and then it’d be his title. They both laughed. The match is next.

They showed an advert for Raw. Corey Graves on commentary legitimately said “this is the first time we’ve got a clean look at the faces of T-Bar and Mace”… I’m not even going to explain how and why that statement is SO STUPID… but anyway let’s just be happy they look to be ridded of those god awful masks and they’re doing something with a talent like Drew McIntyre. We’re again getting Braun and Drew vs T-Bar and Mace in a tag match. Lashley returns also was advertised.

We came back to Adam Pearce with Daniel Bryan backstage. Bryan asked about Cesaro getting his match with Roman Reigns. Pearce said he was doing what he could and he was gonna try. Bryan told him to do more than try.

THE LORD Kevin Owens was out for our next match. Surprised they are doing this now but ok…

Apollo Crews (C) with Commander Azeez defeated Kevin Owens to retain the Intercontinental Championship

Owens mat wrestled Crews early on, with Commander Azeez in the background looking on. You just know how the match is going to conclude don’t you… Anyway Owens continued to control the match with a side headlock, Crews forces the break and went right back to the side headlock… URGHHHHH STOPPPP… Owens hit a standing drop kick and then a couple of chops, before punches in the corner. Crews got a headlock of his own, but soon got his with a running elbow, and a senton before Owens sent Crews to the outside. KO went for a dive but saw Azeez was stood in his way. Crews then yanked Owens’ leg and he crashed onto the apron, Crews back in the ring hit a suplex and after the nearfall that followed continued to take control. Apollo hit stomps in the corner… soon after on the outside Crews tried a moonsault off the apron but Owens moved and hit a superkick. He tossed Apollo back into the ring, and went to the top and hit a Swanton, only for Crews to kick out at 2. That was when Sami Zayn’s music played… and out he strolled… Owens looked across the ramp way as he skipped out, and we went to the ad break so I’m going to take an educated guess and say when we come back Zayn is going to of joined commentary. (He did by the way). Crews and Owens were on the top, and after they fought from there Crews ran into a superkick again for another KO nearfall. Owens hit a chop but Crews threw Owens onto the ropes before hitting a clothesline for a nearfall. Commentary talked to Zayn about his issues he was having with getting his documentary out there (I really hope they actually release it properly). Crews hit a series of German suplexes for a nearfall. Crews tried to run at Owens in the corner but he moved and hit a great release German after. KO follows with a couple of Cannonballs but only got a 2 count. Owens went for the stunner but Owens wrestled out, and again but AGAIN a superkick, he tried the pop up power bomb and GOT IT… but Crews kicked out! KO went up high, but noticed Crews had rolled to the outside so just hit a frog splash to him on the outside instead. He put the champion in the ring, when Commander Azeez got up on the apron to talk at him, and this stopped Owens momentarily… but long enough for Crews to get the roll up and the pin. Right after Owens hit the stunner to Crews, but Azeez hit KO with the Nigerian Nail! Commander Azeez helped Crews out the ring after, still the Intercontinental Champion. Zayn got in the ring after and danced over Owens.

Kayla was backstage where this time she had with her Paul Heyman. She asked if Roman would accept the challenge tonight? Heyman said he likes Cesaro, and said how could you not love Cesaro. He said customer satisfaction was the number 1 priority on the island of relevancy. He gave a spoiler that by the end of SmackDown Roman would give his answer.

Megan Morant (another new WWE backstage interviewer) was outside the men’s locker room when we came back from break. Apollo Crews came out very happy he had retained, he gloated about crushing Owens’ hope. Big E then came in and attacked Crews a load of refs and officials led him away, and then Azeez came out… he looked furious… I wonder if Azeez is gonna face Big E soon???

MICHAEL COLE SAID WE ARE NOW GETTING A NEW VISION FROM THE TWISTED MIND OF ALEISTER BLACK!!!! PAT MCAFEE WAS AS EXCITED AS I WAS BY THIS… AAAAAAAAARRRGGHHHHHH!!!

Let me watch this then and comment after…

It was really dark stuff. Black read from a book which was called “tales of the dark father”. Chapter 1 was “The Dragon”.

https://youtu.be/0WS_ZgyWGHU

MY GOD IM SO SO HAPPY!!!!!

Kayla was backstage after with Roode and Ziggler. She asked them for their prediction on The mysterios vs Alpha Academy later. And who was next for them? That’s when the street profits came in. They asked for next. Ziggler told them to take their asses to the back. Bayley came in the middle to break it up, and she took over the interview. She told Kayla how good she was and just came out saying she was here to talk about her opponent at WrestleMania Backlash Bianca Belair… so unless that was announced before the show when I was asleep… when was that announced exactly????? I’m not mad just surprised… Anyway Bayley said that she graciously gave Bianca the opportunity to work with her when she first came to SmackDown, but that she didn’t get a thank you. She said she was going to take back what was hers, and that Kayla should go tell Bianca that… that was when Montez Ford came back into shot… he appeared to be on the phone to Bianca… and Bianca said “who?” And that she’d be right there. That was really funny.

Zayn, Bayley and Cesaro are on talking smack this week.

Bianca and Bayley were now face to face. Bianca challenged Bayley to repeat what she said. Bayley appeared not as confident now funny enough… she said she’d be honoured to be Belair’s first challenger. She then left… Belair told Kayla that wasn’t what she expected. Bayley came back and laughed hysterically and then left again.

Rey Mysterio & Dominik defeated Otis & Chad Gable

Fun match. Only went a few minutes but was good whilst it lasted. Otis and Gable are wearing match gear now. Was really what you’d expect with all 4 great talents showing off their own unique style. Otis powered over Dominik early on, Gable took out Rey on the outside as Otis remained in control of Dominik. Back from break we had Gable dominating Dominik. He did though though get a nearfall at one point but soon after Gable got a nearfall of his own after a butterfly suplex. Otis back in hit a series of rights to Dominik, and clubbed him down not long after. The way this match is going I’m guessing this is set for the hot tag to Rey and then they win? Let’s see… Alpha Academy isolated the junior mysterio, Dominik came off the ropes and ran into a belly to belly suplex, and again… but Dominik hung Gable on the ropes and was able to tag in father Rey. Rey hit a great Canadian destroyer to

Gable for a nearfall. And later Gable went shoulder first into the post, but went to the top with Rey, who turned it around with a hurricanrana of sorts off the middle rope for a nearfall. Dominik was tagged in and they teamed up on Gable to take him down. Rey tagged in and took Otis down, Gable was set for the 619 as Dominik went over the ropes, but Otis just caught him, he tried to run at him after but collided with the announce table after Dominik moved. Rey hit the 619 at last then a splash for the win.

Immediately after the bell we got Cesaro’s music. Are we stuck for time? He came out with Bryan and the four faces shook each others hand.

Next week on SmackDown we have Big E vs Crews for the IC title.

Cesaro and Bryan in the ring. Cesaro told Roman we were all waiting to hear his answer… Cesaro said he could either come out here or they could go back there and get the answer… Eventually Roman’s music played… out he, Heyman and Jey Uso came… They all made their way to the ring… Roman eventually questioned who Cesaro was to step in the ring with him and that he didn’t deserve nor hadn’t earnt it. He said Cesaro had never been on his level, he said the champion issues the challenge round here , and the challenge… He looked at Bryan and said the challenge goes to you… He said he didn’t like Bryan, but he said he’d give him one more shot at this… he said next week on SmackDown Bryan gets one more shot at the Universal Championship. Cesaro gave Bryan the mic and told him he had to take it, Bryan was about to speak when Roman said if/when he loses he doesn’t wanna see him again and he wants him to vanish and never be on SmackDown ever again. Bryan accepted.

So WOW. A blockbuster match set for next week. Where I’m guessing this is when they write Bryan off tv for a while. Intriguing given his recent comments and that his contract is up soon too apparently. What a way to end the show!!!

Josh.

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