After a week break for the last SmackDown, due to me being… a little busy…, since then we’ve had WrestleMania Backlash… where indeed Roman Reigns did beat Cesaro in a great match where Cesaro just came up short, but it was pretty much a clean win with no Uso interference… the interesting thing for me at least, which hopefully is talked more about at some point, was after the match… as Roman was once again being recognised as THE Tribal Chief following another big win, Seth Rollins came out… the two engaged in a brief stare down, before Rollins then attacked his long-term rival Cesaro… now… that could’ve been just a “thing”… but… what if it wasn’t…
The other major headline this week from WWE came yesterday with a return to touring announced for July. The Friday Night SmackDown before Money In The Bank looks to be the first WWE show with a proper audience (aside from the small number at NXT shows and of course each night of WrestleMania) since March last year. I for one cannot wait!!!
Oh and maybe a blessing I missed last weeks SmackDown… in that it meant I didn’t have to talk about Tamina (T A M I N A) and Natalya (Zzzzzzzzzzzz) win the women’s tag titles… All the joys in the most boring feud in recent WWE history…
Anyway… on that happy note… here’s my thoughts as I now watch this week’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown!!!
We opened from the Thunderdome with a parade of champions on the entrance stage: NEW tag champions Rey and Dominik Mysterio, SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, IC Champion Apollo Crews with Commander Azeez alongside him, and the aforementioned Women’s Tag champions Natalya and Tamina… they also advertised the IC title 4 way tonight with Crews defending against Zayn, Owens and Big E.
Sonya Deville was in the ring… she spoke about the news that broke today of WWE leaving the Thunderdome in July and said they would return back to where they belong, to YOU! She then congratulated the parade of champions one by one on the stage. Seems a very feel good episode of SmackDown this, I bet you can’t imagine how happy they are to be going back on the road again.
After Azeez got the music stopped, Crews cut a promo saying that tonight he would be retaining his title, and said the odds were against him as he doesn’t have to be pinned. He added he would unleash total annihilation. Deville then carried on as she was going…
Finally… Deville introduced our Tribal Chief… who used his OLD music???????? Heyman then came out… He mocked the parade of champions saying it was a parade of title holders. He said Roman Reigns was a champion, not just a champion but the champion. He said he was THE champion of WWE and all sports entertainment. He said Reigns wasn’t one of his many, but there would be a parade of Champion later, at Roman Reigns’ leisure. Deville then got another round of applause.
Bayley then got into the ring and wanted acknowledgment… she bugged herself up and said she should be thanked for putting this company in her back. She then slagged off the Mysterios and Tamina and Natalya, she showed respect to Apollo and Azeez, and called Bianca a cheater. (Belair used her hair to pin Bayley in their match at the PPV). Bayley called her a criminal… Belair took exception and went to the ring, Bianca told her to just take the title if she wanted it, Bayley said she’d do so on her time, and as Bayley went to leave Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax attacked Belair from behind… and of course Natalya and Tamina tried to save but Tamina was double teamed by the former champions. And we just cut to the ad break… so we getting a 6 women’s tag then… (I’m so absurdly OVER this Natalya/Tamina vs Nia/Shayna feud PLEASE end it!!! I still don’t get why it didn’t end after the heels won CLEAN to start the feud at Mania… Can’t be based on a few cheers they got at Mania surely…).
Yes we can back from break to the 6 woman’s tag…
Bayley and Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated Bianca Belair and Tamina & Natalya
So… fuck sake… I forgot that Tamina and Natalya won the rematch on Raw… WHY IS THIS FEUD STILL GOING??? Oh I know… it’s because the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships have been consistently the worst booked titles in WWE history. Often neglected, an afterthought, with dead feuds almost since it’s inception. Look how fun the titles were when Sasha and Bayley had the belts on all THREE shows against different teams all the time? Kairi and Asuka the same… yet we’ve the SAME FUCKING FEUD for WEEKS now… bore off…
Anyway this match… it was so so until Belair came in and looked like a star… she took down everyone and then hit a big flip dive to the outside, but she seemed to hurt her knee as we went into an ad break. When we came back Bayley was in the ring working at the left leg of Belair. Bianca tried to fight up and did get Bayley out the ring, but Bayley came back in to stop the tag and she hit Natalya off the apron. A forward roll past Bayley allowed for Bianca to tag in Tamina… Tamina battered Bayley and then took down Nia and Shayna. Tamina hit a power slam and tagged in Natalya, who soon hit a German and tagged out again. Tamina got a super kick but Bayley held the bottom rope to stop the pin. Natalya came back in, but Bayley tagged to Baszler. Natalya seemed not to realise the tag was made and Shayna hit a knee to Natalya… Tamina broke up the pin and hit a headbutt, before Natalya tried for a sharpshooter on Baszler… but she fought our, Bayley tried a Bayley-to-Belly but Natalya hit a discuss clothesline, Jax then took her down, Tamina came in and kicked Nia, Shayna took out Tamina, Bianca took down Shayna, Bayley pulled Belair out and hit a Bayley-to-Belly on the floor… and after Natalya hit out at Bayley it was Shayna who came from behind and locked in the Kirifuda Clutch, and Natalya tapped out… BECAUSE THIS FEUD MUST NEVER FUCKING END… AAAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!
Kayla Braxton spoke backstage with Big E. He said tonight he stood in the ring with dogs, men who doggedly pursued their craft. But he said he was happy as this was what he wanted to prove he was the very best. He said tonight he’d walk out the arena in no doubt he was the rightful Intercontinental Champion. He seemed very positive!
They again used Roman’s old music during an advert… WTF is this all about!?!?
They promoted the news being reported about WWE going on the road again.
IT’S ALEISTER BLACK TIME!!!
I LOVE THIS SHIT SO MUCH!!! Cannot wait already for him to whup somebody’s ASS!!!
We returned for King Corbin… he was without his crown after Nakamura took it last week… Michael Cole said he didn’t realise Corbin was that bald… my god… so after Corbin beat him last week, Nakamura gave him a Kinshasa and took the crown, hence the match. Corbin cut a promo and said he was going to let his actions do the talking, but then he saw that (referring to the social media post they showed on the Titantron of Nakamura taking the crown everywhere with him since pretty much). Corbin talked and looked (briefly) right into the camera (a odd rarity in WWE but one I like), he said it was the most disrespectful thing he’s ever seen, he said Nakamura may call himself the king of strong style but he’s no king. He also said in his promo that a real king (after listing all the other things a “real king” does) owns dogs of war, not a shabby tabby cat (has Corbin always had THE MOST awful trash talk? Well yes, aside from NXT Corbin and the one time he told Seth Rollins “what are you gonna do you piece of shit?” After he hit the End of Days to Becky Lynch… yeah King Corbin is such a waste of this guy…)… anyway… after Corbin finished this boring promo about a fucking crown, Nakamura finally came out… or not…
An electric guitar was played by the former Eric bugenhagen of NXT at the top of the ramp … this might be the most random main roster call up of all time… Corbin asked who he was and he said he was Rick Boogs… He spoke into a mic on a stand, and he said he came to rock with the real king of SmackDown, Shinsuke Nakamura… he then played his theme on his electric guitar… which to be fair sounded cool as fuck as a crown-sporting Nakamura came out after. We even had Cole and Pat do awful air guitar!!! Boogs was awesome at this guitar to be fair… I was sceptical when I saw him but if he can play Nakamura’s theme on his electric guitar every week I’d be very happy. This was very cool. In a full arena of fans they’d of gone ape shit for that.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated King Corbin
Boogs was at ringside hyping Nakamura during the match. Corbin began with hard offence to Shinsuke, Nakamura came back with hard kicks until he was caught with a powerbomb, but Shin kicked out at 2. Corbin again laid a beating in the corner, included mockingly doing Nakamura’s good vibrations move. Nakamura powered out a rest hold but soon was took down with a high elbow. Corbin continued on the attack, but Nakamura hit a spinning kick and then a backstabber, then a running knee, and got a nearfall after another move. Nakamura went to the corner, and looked for the Kinshasa but Corbin got out the way then hit a suplex, for another nearfall. Corbin tried for a chokeslam but Nakamura kneed him away, but then Shinsuke ran into a Deep 6… but Corbin only got a 2 count. Boogs then got on top of the announce table and played the chorus chords of Nakamura’s theme song on his guitar, Corbin was briefly distracted and went for the End of Days, but Nakamura rolled through then got a small package and the pin! Boogs played guitar again, Nakamura still has the crown.
I want to hate it, but Boogs playing guitar and Nakamura winning is a combo I never knew I needed but I really do!
Sonya Deville was on the phone, when she was met by Jimmy Uso backstage. He said the best tag team in SmackDown history were back together and ready to run up on some fools. Deville was surprised and asked if he’d checked with his brother Jey, as last she checked he was still with Roman. Jimmy said he wouldn’t be here if he didn’t know he had his back. He said they were ready and they wanted the smoke, Street Profits. Deville said a match of that calibre needed to be advertised and built and so made the match for next week. Jimmy was pleased and said Ok giving Deville a fist bump. OK!!!
Roman Reigns came out next, with his NEW PROPER music THANK GOD! So is his old theme just for Heyman now that’d be jokes… Anyway, our Head of the Table came to the ring with Heyman and Jey Uso. I never thought I’d see the day Roman Reigns had my favourite act in WWE, but here we are… Never has a champion looked like a bigger star and came across as such than this guy right now. And his matches consistently have been CLASS! Total package for sure. When they got in the ring, the Universal Champion got his own Parade of champion.
After an ad break THE LORD (I’ll never forget or be thankful enough for what he did at Wrestlemania) Kevin Owens cut a promo from backstage. He spoke about how in his first two years he was called the prizefighter as he won so many titles. He said he’d get back to being that guy tonight. It was such a good promo. Fired up KO is the best.
Back to the ring after that, and after we had a replay of what happened at Wrestlemania Backlash (Roman beat Cesaro in an epic back and forth match, before Jey’s recognition of Roman and then Rollins beating Cesaro down) Roman said he believes himself to be a humble man, and says he tries to teach his sons about humility. He said he’d take this opportunity to allow his social counsel to celebrate him. Heyman smiled as he said it was a unique surprise, he then spoke about how he (Roman) was undefeated since his return to WWE, how he scared The Fiend over to Monday Night Raw (hmm, I’ll let you have that one Paul as it was a fun line, but not totally true…), he spoke also how he beat Strowman, how he baptised his cousin back into the championship bloodline, KO’d Kevin Owens, scored the most dominant pinfall in the history of Wrestlemania main events, he caved in Edge’s face and we may never see Edge again, Banised Daniel Bryan, and then took on the most talented grappler in Cesaro on his own with nobody’s help at Cesaro’s own game (Roman made Cesaro pass out with the Guillotine). Heyman said it was a career highlight for him tonight to not only celebrate but acknowledge THE pre-eminent champion in all of WWE and sports entertainment, Roman Reigns. He asked what else Roman wanted him to do for him, and Roman looked puzzled and asked for his cousin. He asked for Jimmy Uso’s music to be played, but Cesaro then came out with an arm in a sling. Roman said to cut this bum’s music. Cesaro said he wasn’t in the mood but he couldn’t find Seth Rollins in the back, but what he could hear was this annoying yapping in his ear. Roman asked what he was gonna do, Cesaro said they should do it one more time at Hell in a Cell. Roman laughed at the idea, and then Rollins attacked Cesaro from behind. Rollins really beat him down as officials ran out to stop him. Rollins screamed “when are you gonna learn”? Rollins ran back out and again attacked Cesaro, ending with a stomp. He focused on the arm. Reigns and co had exited the ring by this point. Rollins was led away from Cesaro, but again jumped the barricade and hit yet another stomp. A stretcher then came out for Cesaro as we went to an ad break.
I’m going to predict Cesaro doesn’t face Roman, but instead Rollins at and INSIDE Hell In A Cell!
We were shown replays of Rollins attack on Cesaro when we came back from the break. Backstage Rollins was interviewed and asked why he did that? Rollins said he didn’t know what happened and he blacked out, as Cesaro went by on the stretcher Rollins went over to him and grabbed him saying “why do you do this to me… why do you make me this person”? … Is Rollins going crazy? Might be nothing but could be something in this… let’s see…
The NEW tag team champions Rey and Dominik Mysterio came out next. I’m yet another sponsored replay we saw how they beat Dolph and Roode for the titles at the PPV, even after Dominik was attacked on the kick off show and then even being injured eventually joined his Dad in the match and ended up getting the win for the family. Dolph and Roode came out after, Roode cut a promo saying he hoped that big win on Sunday didn’t go to Dominik’s head.
Dominik Mysterio (with Rey Mysterio) defeated Robert Roode (with Dolph Ziggler)
Roode took most the early part of the match with strikes and suplexes. With both on the top rope Dominik pushed Roode off and got a nearfall after a crossbody. Dominik tried a tornado DST but was pushed away, Dominik set for a 619 but Ziggler distracted him… until Rey made him pay. Dominik got a nearfall after reversing a pin, Roode ran into the ring post, got hit with a 619… Dominik got the frog splash and the win. Short but decent stuff. Repeat of the PPV finish, this feud has to be done now I don’t see why it would carry on…
Jey Uso found Jimmy backstage. Jimmy was trying to put over how happy he was about their match next week, Jey wasn’t happy he didn’t ask him first. Jimmy again tried to say it wasn’t about Roman but about us. Jey said he still had to tell Roman about the tag match…
They again told us all via different media reports that WWE was going back on the road in July.
Roman was in his room. Jey tried to put across it wasn’t him that made the match, Roman spoke very softly but basically it was him saying he and Jey and all that was the family stuff. And that his tag match with Jimmy wasn’t important. Jey seemed puzzled.
Street Profits cut a promo on The Uso’s. It was typical stuff from them, but that’s absolutely not a bad thing.
Sami Zayn was interviewed by Kayla. Sami was his erratic, paranoid self. Good stuff. I hope they properly release his documentary at some point. Zayn then made his entrance for the match.
I really just want to watch this match, so I’ll see it through and then give you my thoughts after.
(For Raw they advertised yet ANOTHER women’s tag title match… OF COURSE THEY DID)
Apollo Crews (C) (with Commander Azeez) defeated Big E, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a Fatal 4 Way match to retain the Intercontinental Championship
Really fun match. It must have gone over 20 minutes (not sure we needed 2 ad breaks during the match with both coming right after big spots… but meh…), and given it was the TV main event maybe it was better in this spot than being forgotten in the middle of a PPV. All 4 guys really put on a good showing. Azeez took E out when he looked to have the win, but E reversed and sent Azeez into the ringpost… then the lights all went out and a bright light filled the screen… and out from the fog -and mist emerged ALEISTER BLACK!!! He went face to face with Big E and hit a Black Mass, and then left the ring. This allowed Crews to get the pin. Black vs Big E… SIGN ME UP!
A good SmackDown, building blocks towards HIAC… and the road BACK to normality begins!!!