This has the potential to be quite the show. Pre announced are two huge title matches with Big E getting his rematch from WrestleMania for the IC title against Apollo Crews… but also we have a match that we may not know just how big it is for a while…
So last week we had Cesaro trying all show (with his hype man Daniel Bryan backing him all the way) trying to entice Roman Reigns into accepting his challenge for the Universal Championship. Instead Reigns turned his attention to Bryan and offered him a title shot, with the stipulation that he never wanted to see Bryan on his show again if he lost (he specifically said he didn’t want him on SmackDown again if he lost). So here we are with Title vs Career… whatever that means for Daniel Bryan remains to be seen. There has been reports recently that Bryan turned down a new contract offer with his deal up soon… he’s spoken for some time now about wanting to drift away from a full time schedule… and also since the original brand split in 2016 he hasn’t been a Raw guy once… so there’s lots of stuff that COULD happen, but with Daniel Bryan’s future very much in the air, what the consequences of a Roman Reigns win here will mean I guess we will all have to wait and find out… I would like to point out Bryan recently praised the work of a guy called Kenny Omega in an interview…
They opened with a video previewing the Universal title match tonight. They are calling it the biggest main event in smackdown history.
After the opening SmackDown video with the ACDC song, we had a big fireworks display in the Thunderdome.
We open though with our SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. She is simply a superstar, and it gives me SO much joy being able to say that. They played a cool video putting her over as she came to the ring. It seems to me they’re doing the sort of things tonight they do on big TV shows like this where they think non-regular viewers will be tuning in. Bianca took the mic and welcomed us to the show. She was about to welcome out the Street Profits it seemed, but then the tag champions Roode and Ziggler interrupted. They said they’d take it from here, before Ford and Dawkins then followed them out. We have a 6 person tag match coming out apparently. Ford seemed to take exception to the dirty dogs interrupting Bianca, Bayley then followed them… Bayley said it was her show as she snatched the mic from the champion and laughed hysterically. Bianca slapped Bayley to the ground and the two fought before the tag teams went at it also. We cut to an ad break and I presume when we get back we’ll have a match… Fun line up mind you so should be good.
When we came back they advertised for next week a throwback edition of smackdown next week. They even had the OG smackdown logo too. So that should be fun.
SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair & Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) defeated Bayley & SmackDown Tag Team Champions Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler
Bayley and Bianca fought first off, Belair getting a nearfall as Ford hyped her up from the apron. Bayley got back into it with a dropkick, Bianca though hit a dropkick of her own not long after so Bayley tagged out to Ziggler. Dawkins came in with a shoulder tackle before tagging Ford and the Profits went on the double team rampage. Ford hit a crazy good dive to the outside onto the tag champions, as Bayley sent Belair into the steps. Dolph hit a big superkick but Ford rolled to the outside. Ziggler tagged in Roode and the heels got the heat, Roode getting a nearfall after planting Ford. Bayley got in a cheap shot to Ford as the ref’s back was turned and Roode continued on offence before tagging Ziggler. Dolph was really mocking Ford but got caught with a big kick as he set for the superkick, both made tags after as Angelo Dawkins ran wild. He hit a great variation of a neckbreaker to get a nearfall on Roode that Ziggler broke up. Bianca even lifted Ziggler up before hitting the KOD to Bayley, as Roode tried to roll up Dawkins using the tights, Bianca came in and whipped Roode with the hair (which credit to Roode he sold great), Dawkins hit the big spinebuster, Ford tagged in and hit the big splash and got the win. A really great finishing sequence to end a super fun opener. Good stuff all round from everyone involved here.
Kayla spoke to Daniel Bryan. He said he was at peace with his decision and that he was excited, and she should ask Roman Reigns how he was feeling. He said he’d tap Roman out again and that when he wins his first title defence will be against Cesaro.
Seth Rollins spoke backstage and laughed at the idea of Bryan winning, he said his prediction was pretty simple… He said he does have a lot of history with Roman Reigns but paused as he said his prediction was that Daniel Bryan wins in one of the biggest upsets of all time. He added Cesaro wouldn’t get his shot as he wouldn’t make it past next week, and he made a challenge asking if he was ‘ready to take another swing’.
After the break we had just what we all needed… a recap of Nia Jax vs Tamina from last week…
Nia and Shayna made their way to the ring backstage… with Reginald… the interviewer asked about last week, Shayna said they were about to go show Nattie and Tamina the difference between singles and tag team. Nia was about to talk about the disrespect they were being shown on Raw when Natalya and Tamina jumped them both from behind.
Natalya & Tamina defeated WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (with Reginald)
Tamina went on the offensive early but after a frog splash met Jax’s knees the heels took over. Shayna came in and got a nearfall after a knee to the head. Jax came in and got her own nearfall, Tamina hit big punches and tried to catch Jax off the ropes but couldn’t hold her and Jax got another nearfall. Baszler tagged in and soon was in an arm hold but then powered Shayna up for a slam. Both women went to their corner for a tag but as Natalya was their waiting for Tamina, Jax was nowhere to be seen as she was still down near the announce table being seen to by Reginald. Natalya outwrestled Shayna and got a discuss clothesline for a nearfall, and after another nearfall with a german suplex. Shayna hit a series of punches and came off the ropes with a knee, but Jax slapped her back for the tag as she did so. She ran right in with a standing elbow for a nearfall. Tamina tagged in and went up high again, Reginald was kicked away and Natalya tried to put Reginald in the sharpshooter, but Baszler came from behind and put Natalya in her hold before launching her over the announce table upon seeing where Tamina was. Shayna got on the apron, and distracted Tamina enough for Jax to get at her… Baszler tagged in and went up top and tried for the superplex, Tamina blocked and headbutted Shayna down before hitting the splash. I did wonder where Jax was but after the pin the camera panned round to show Natalya holding Jax back…
Next to give their prediction for the Universal title match was 2x WWE Hall of Famer Booker T. He was backing Reigns.
We had another advert for the throwback smackdown for next week.
Shinsuke Nakamura backed Bryan to win saying there was too much on the line to lose. He said he wanted Roman if he won.
Kayla Braxton spoke with Rey and Dominik Mysterio. She asked about a potential future tag title shot, Dominik said fighting aside his dad was like being in a comic book, Rey said their chance to be the first father-son tag team champions would be legendary.
Next we had this week’s Aleister Black video…
COOL. AS. FUCK.
Next up is the ic title match. Before we got a recap video of their WrestleMania match.
Big E was asked backstage about his strategy. He told Megan (I can’t recall her surname) that tonight he’d get his baby back, he was very passionate and hyped.
Azeez and Crews hyped eachother backstage.
Xavier Woods thought Bryan would win given he has fought to the top. Kofi went with Roman.
Big E defeated Apollo Crews (C) (with Commander Azeez) by DQ in a match for the Intercontinental Championship
It seemed they were trying to one up eachother early, with E getting the better of it. E got a nearfall after an elbow to the nose, and later hit a standing splash to Crews on the apron, again getting a nearfall. Crews bounced Big E off the ropes and got a clothesline after, he then took E to the outside and hit a suplex to the floor. After the break Crews was laying in punches back in the ring, until he was caught coming off the top with a big overhead throw, before Big E threw him again and was sent onto the apron when Crews hit an enziguiri followed by a moonsualt off the apron. Crews went off the top, Big E moved and hit a belly to belly followed by a splash for a 2 count off the pin. Crews hit a kick to the face for a 2 count, he followed with more punches on the ground, and had E in the corner hitting the stinger splash, and tried it in the other corner but the challenger hit a urinagi for another nearfall. Big E tried to spear Crews off the apron but got hit with a knee and then dropped neck first on the apron, Crews hit a big splash off the top rope, but E kicked out. Crews followed up right away but E got a roll up nearfall… he then did hit the Big Ending… but of course Azeez pulled him under the ropes… he then threw him into the post for the DQ. Kevin Owens ran out and attacked Azeez, before Crews took Owens down. Crews ordered Azeez to stack him up, but Big E made the save and took Crews out the ring before the two babyfaces went at Azeez… Sami Zayn then ran in and hit a Helluva kick to Owens just as it seemed they might be overcoming Azeez. Crews came back in and barked at Azeez to get Big E out the ring, meanwhile in the corner Sami Zayn lifted up the Intercontinental title, Zayn calmed things as Crews wanted it back, Zayn gave it and said no problem and he lifted Crews arm up and then Azeez’s, Azeez then gave Zayn the Nigerian Nail. I will not complain at all if this leads to a 4 way at the PPV for the IC title.
The Miz picked Roman to win.
Kayla was outside Reign’s locker room and Paul Heyman stepped out. We will hear from him next.
For the Raw advert they promoted how the WWE title match for the PPV is now a 3 way, and asked how the Charlotte Flair return led by Sonya Deville could lead to a Raw Women’s Championship pursuit…
After a retro smackdown ad, Cesaro accepted Rollins’ challenge, and then said Bryan would win and then he would win the universal championship from Bryan at WrestleMania Backlash.
A shot of Roman looking very relaxed was seen from his locker room.
They recapped again the stuff from last week.
Kayla asked about how close Bryan was to winning at WrestleMania. Heyman said he was sick of hearing Bryan’s name, he asked a series of questions and answered them all with YES YES YES. He half mocked and half praised Bryan’s achievements in his career, he said Bryan would not be on SmackDown again… NO NO NO. This was great stuff as always.
We have over 40 minutes in total of the show left as Bryan makes his entrance. They recapped WrestleMania THIRTY as Bryan made his way to the ring, I guess the idea is to remind us Bryan is the ultimate underdog. It was SEVEN years ago though…
Next week we will have Cesaro vs Rollins officially.
Corbin wanted Roman to win so Bryan packs his bags and goes home for good.
ROMAN HAS NEW MUSIC! It has almost an operatic intro before going into the song. It’s ok to be fair but his old shield theme is iconic so it’ll take some adjusting to for sure.
Roman Reigns (C) (with Paul Heyman) defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the Universal Championship
Bryan ran out the blocks with a dropkick and yes kicks, Reigns hit the big punch after. It was very fast paced early on as Reigns scrambled to the outside as Bryan tried the yes lock, Bryan drove reigns into the barricade and hit a running knee off the apron as we went to a break.
Bryan was in control after, going at the left arm of Reigns. Bryan hit the running dropkicks to the corner, until Reigns ran out the corner and hit a huge clothesline. Reigns got a cover but Bryan kicked out, before the tribal chief beat away on Bryan. Reigns hit a vertical suplex for a nearfall. Reigns had a neckhold on Bryan, but the challenger powered up and hit punches until Reigns kneed him in the mouth… Reigns hit clubbing blows to the corner, and Bryan did the kip up over Reigns off the turnbuckle but eventually ran into a Reigns elbow off the ropes. Roman got another nearfall as a result. Roman stalked Bryan and hit him with hard punches, Bryan cameback with uppercuts and a droptoe-hold that sent Reigns into the second turnbuckle, Bryan hit kicks to Roman in the corner, and with both on the top rope he tried a hurricanrana but Reigns held him up and hit a huge powerbomb off the second rope, but Bryan kicked out at 2.
Coming back from break we had Reigns smashing Bryan with punches on the outside. He sent him into the barricade, and got a nearfall after. Reigns started to look annoyed. Reigns hit a knee to the head of Bryan, and knees in the corner, He placed Bryan on the top and looked for a superplex… but Bryan ducked underneath and pushed Ronan into the post… He then hit a back suplex off the top which was a heck of a bump. Bryan crawled over for the cover… but Roman powered out at 2. Bryan hit an uppercut and yes kicks, but Roman got a samoan drop… only for Bryan to kick out again. Reigns set for the Superman punch but Bryan hit a kick, and then a running kick to his arm again, Bryan snapped at the arm again, but Roman hit a huge punch away before Bryan sent him over the ropes and went for a dive, but Reigns caught him and hit an overhead belly to bely. Roman set for the Spear but Bryan moved and he went right into the barricade.
Bryan was on the top when we cameback and he hit a diving headbutt for a nearfall. He did the yes chants after but Roman hit a superman punch as he went for the knee, but Bryan kicked out. Roman went for a spear but Bryan rolled him into a cradle for a nearfall, and after he did hit the running knee but Roman got his foot on the bottom rope. Bryan hit stomps to Reigns, and he pulled him over looking for the Yes lock… he got a crossface and eventually Reigns countered into a nearfall… and then hit a Spear right after but Bryan kicked out at 2! This is a really good match so far… Reigns got the guillotine in but not quite… and Bryan slipped out into an armbar, and then the Yes Lock… Bryan countered again as Reigns tried for the ropes, and he had the Yes Lock really in tight… Reigns powered out and then hit a series of punches to Bryan on the ground, He lifted him up and hit a big powerbomb, Reigns again went for the ground and pound punches… he was really clubbing away at Bryan before another powerbomb. He went for Bryan and tried again for the Guillotine, but Bryan tried to go at the arm of Reigns again, only for Roman to switch arms and get the submission in… Bryan eventually faded and that was the match. Roman retains in a great match, and Bryan is BARRED from SmackDown. Finally Roman wins a match all by himself. There was very much a sense of finality about that finish. What that means for Bryan’s future remains to be seen…
Reigns then went to go and get two chairs… he brought them into the ring… He looked to be setting up for the big move but Cesaro ran out for the save. He hit an uppercut in the ring and the on the outside before really going at Reigns with strikes. Jey Uso came out to go after Cesaro and hit him with a superkick. This meant Reigns could indeed hit Bryan with the con-chair-toe… as Jey trapped Cesaro in the ropes so that Roman could hit Bryan with the con-chair-toe. And that was how the show ended…
I just watched a VERY good SmackDown. And I may have just watched the last Daniel Bryan match… for a while at least…