Welcome to this week’s WWE Smackdown review. The WWE Fastlane PPV is set to take place in a little over one week on March 21. After that, it's WrestleMania time on April 10 and April 11.
From the WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida, this is Smackdown for episode #1125. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s get to it.
There was a replay of last week’s Smackdown when Daniel Bryan beat Jey Uso in a Steel Cage match to earn a Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns at Fastlane. That show is on March 21.
The ThunderDome crowd at Tropicana Field was ready to go. The announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves welcomed us to the show.
Let’s Hear from Edge
On this day I see clearly because Edge is here to appear for promo time. Edge won the 2021 Royal Rumble and has chosen to challenge Universal Champion Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. A graphic let us know it could be Reigns or it could be Daniel Bryan.
Edge said there’s a big contract signing between Reigns and Bryan, but there are things he needs to address. Edge mentioned Reigns saying that a man like Edge shouldn’t face a man like Reigns. Edge said that Reigns and Paul Heyman are great spin doctors. For weeks they have wanted Edge to acknowledge them as the main event of WrestleMania, so Edge made his choice…Roman. Edge said that Reigns felt what Edge still brings to the table. Edge told Reigns that he got played by Daniel Bryan.
Edge mentioned that Bryan said he deserved to be in the main event of WrestleMania more than Edge because he loves this and that Bryan has wrestled more than Edge in the last three months. Edge said that there were times when he was wrestling five, six, seven times a week while listing names going from The Undertaker, John Cena, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Terry Funk (he mentioned others too) and over four decades. Edge reminded Bryan that he loves this too. Edge said like everyone else, he has to wait and see what happens at Fastlane to see who he faces at WrestleMania.
Analysis: A strong promo from Edge as usual. What he said made sense from his perspective just like Daniel Bryan’s promos in recent weeks.
Daniel Bryan made his entrance in street clothes to join Edge in the ring. The “yes” chants accompanied Bryan, of course. Bryan said that you talk about Roman Reigns getting sucked in by Bryan, but now Edge has been sucked in and Bryan said that wasn’t his intention. Bryan said he thought Edge would respect Bryan for “going into business for myself.” Bryan told Edge he has an infinite amount of respect for everything he has accomplished. Bryan said he’s seen how hard Edge has worked at this, how hard Edge loves this and how hard Edge fought to get back because he loves this so much. Bryan said when he wanted to challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship, it wasn’t about Edge. Bryan said that when he saw Edge point at the WrestleMania sign, Bryan was demoralized, but not because Edge wrestled in a few matches. Bryan said it might be his last WrestleMania and he didn’t want to be on the backburner. Bryan said if it was going to be his last one then he wanted to give it a shot to be in the main event of WrestleMania. Bryan said that Edge has his spot in the main event of WrestleMania. Bryan said this isn’t anything against Edge. Bryan said that he has to go to Fastlane to beat Roman Reigns and win the Universal Championship, so that’s why he went into business for himself.
Edge said that Reigns has already beaten Bryan at Elimination Chamber and he understands the circumstances (after Bryan wrestled for 30 minutes), but he did it. Edge reminded Bryan that he won the Royal Rumble by lasting 60 minutes and Bryan was in that match. Edge said he liked Bryan, but he didn’t respect how he did this and said that Bryan is not better than Edge. That led to Edge leaving the ring while Bryan stared at him.
Analysis: Daniel Bryan saying this might be his last WrestleMania is a bit of a stretch considering he’s not that old since he’ll turn 40 years old later this year. Bryan will likely have many more WrestleManias unless he leaves the company when his next contract is up. Even if Bryan is a part-time wrestler after that, he’ll still be on WrestleMania cards. Anyway, it’s a way for Bryan to try to put over the importance of the match with Reigns at Fastlane. I liked the promo from Bryan as he tried to explain his line of thinking to Edge, who should be more understanding because what Bryan said made a lot of sense. It would be cool to see a match between Edge and Bryan sometime later this year whether it’s face/face or if one of them is a heel. I hope that match happens down the road.
Still to come: Kevin Owens hosting the KO Show with Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair. Plus, Big E is back after missing the last two weeks after a cheap attack by Apollo Crews.
The first match is an eight-man tag team match with The Street Profits out first. They were joined by the red solo cups on the stage followed by Rey & Dominik Mysterio up next as the babyface tag team partners. While the faces were going down to the ring, the heel challengers attacked them from behind. That led to Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Otis and Chad Gable going into the ring. That match is next.
There was a plug for WrestleMania tickets on sale this coming Tuesday for two night WM on April 10 and April 11.
Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford vs. Otis, Chad Gable, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Dawkins with a bulldog and dropkick on Roode followed by a dropkick on Gable. Ford tagged in with a dropkick on Roode and then Dominik with a leg drop on Roode. Gable was in for the heel team, headscissors by Dominik and Otis was in with a punch to Dominik’s ribs. Dominik punched Otis to send him back, Dominik jumped off the top and Otis hit him in the ribs with a double axehandle smash. Gable back in with a double underhook suplex on Dominik. Roode was back in working on the left leg of Dominik. When Roode tried a suplex, Dominik blocked that and hit a Tornado DDT that spiked Roode on his head. Ziggler was in for the first time against Dawkins with Dawkins hitting a jumping elbow and an overhead suplex on Ziggler. Dawkins ran into a back elbow by Ziggler, then Dawkins hit a spinebuster and Ford tagged in. Ford was up top, Gable distracted the referee and Roode shoved Ford off the turnbuckle and then Ford went crashing onto the top rope. Ford bumped to the floor as the show went to break.
The heels were in control with Ziggler grounding Ford with a headlock. Ford with punches, but Ziggler stopped the momentum with a dropkick. Ford missed a jumping kick when Ziggler moved, so Ziggler slapped on a sleeper. Ford tagged Dawkins, but Roode distracted the referee and that led to no tag. Roode with a backbreaker. Otis whipped Ford into the turnbuckle, Otis charged, Ford moved and Otis hit the turnbuckle. Ford landed his feet after a German Suplex, Ford jumped over Gable and Rey got the tag with a headscissors takedown on Gable. Rey hit an incredible twisting DDT on Gable for two as Otis broke up the pin. Otis picked up Rey, then Rey got out of it, Dominik jumped into the arms of Otis and Rey hit a cross body block on Otis. Roode tagged in after Rey sent Gable into the ropes. Roode with a spinebuster on Rey for two. Ziggler with a superkick on Ford, Dawkins with a neckbreaker on Ziggler and Roode sent Dawkins out of the ring. Rey dropkicked Roode, so Rey & Dominik hit the double 619 kicks. Dominik springboard dive onto Gable on the floor, Rey dove onto Otis on the floor and Ford got the tag. Ford hit a Frog Splash where he twisted in the air to land on Roode for the pinfall win after 13 minutes. That was so cool. Ford's an incredible athlete.
Winners by pinfall: Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford
The announcers made the obvious point that Ford pinned one half of the SD Tag Team Champions in Roode, so that could lead to the Street Profits getting a title shot.
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a fun tag team match with a lot of action leading to an exciting finishing sequence. That finishing formula is something WWE does all the time where people hit big moves leading to the finish. It just seemed like it was even better than usual here. I liked seeing the Mysterios booked in a strong manner finally while the Street Profits did a great job as well. Ford pining Roode could mean a SD Tag Team Title match soon although I’m not sure if that will be Fastlane or WrestleMania.
They showed a clip from WWE’s The Bump morning show on Wednesday. It was Shane Helms informing Molly Holly that she will be a part of the 2021 Hall of Fame class. Molly was shocked by it and thrilled about it. They showed some tweets from WWE stars past and present congratulating Molly on her WWE HOF induction this year.
Jey Uso was shown walking up to Paul Heyman outside of Roman Reigns’ office. Heyman didn’t seem to want Jey into the room since Jey lost last week, so Jey said he would go and handle some other business. Heyman said that was cool, so Jey left.
Seth Rollins was interviewed by Kayla Braxton, who noted that Cesaro was a thorn in his side. That led to a video from two weeks ago when Cesaro gave Seth the Cesaro Swing in the ring. Rollins said he was there to help Cesaro. Rollins said Cesaro has had success, not as much as Rollins, but Cesaro has never been a leading man before. Rollins claimed that he is done with Cesaro and claimed he was the biggest waste of potential. Braxton noted that Cesaro was impressive over Murphy last week and they have a rematch this week as well. Rollins simply said “rematch?” and left as if to tell us he will be watching.
A video aired from last week when Carmella fired Reginald and Sasha Banks also made it clear to Reginald he didn’t want him bothering Banks anymore. Bianca Belair also beat Shayna Baszler. Meanwhile, Nia Jax thought that Reginald was kinda cute.
There was a shopping spree scene at a store with Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler with Reginald. Jax told Reginald he can get whatever he wants. That led to Reginald trying on different outfits. They are not wearing masks. It’s Florida, so we know they don’t seem to care about that sort of thing. Anyway, Jax was excited about Reginald in different outfits while Baszler was bored and looking at her phone. Jax kept complimenting Reginald on his outfits. Reginald spoke in French a bit and asked her what she can do to repay him. Jax smiled as some romantic music played.
Analysis: This was boring and dumb. I should point out here that Jax and Baszler are Women’s Tag Team Champions that are on Raw regularly, but I guess being the champions means they can have shopping sprees on Smackdown? Apparently so. We saw Jax, Baszler and Reginald on Raw, so keep it on Raw instead of wasting Smackdown time. I guess this could lead to Jax becoming a couple with Reginald, which could lead to Reginald helping Jax win matches. I can’t say I’m excited about it. Nia Jax matches don’t interest me.
The announcers were shown on camera with Graves saying he was interested in seeing how this develops. Cole didn’t know what to say.
Cesaro made his entrance for a match.
Cesaro was in the ring with Murphy for their match. That led to Seth Rollins entering with a steel chair that led to Rollins sitting on the ramp to watch the match.
Cesaro vs. Murphy
Cesaro was aggressive against Murphy with an uppercut and he sent Murphy into the turnbuckle. Murphy came back with a kick, but then Cesaro hit a jumping kick to the head. Murphy left the ring, Cesaro charged at him on the floor and Murphy hit a jumping knee to the face. Back in the ring, Murphy up top, but Cesaro stopped him with a dropkick. Cesaro with the superplex while Murphy was standing on the apron. Cesaro with a spinning uppercut two times in a row, Murphy with a kick and then Murphy jumped off the ropes with Cesaro catching him. Cesaro did the Cesaro Swing on Murphy, but there was Seth Rollins with the cheap attack to end the match after about three minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Cesaro
Analysis: *1/2 A quick match that was solid while it lasted, but it wasn’t a big surprise to have Rollins interfere.
Rollins beat on Cesaro with punches and kicks to keep him down. Rollins bounced off the ropes with The Stomp to send Cesaro into the mat. Rollins trashed Cesaro telling Cesaro is not on Seth’s level. Rollins kicked Cesaro in the leg to knock him down to one knee and Rollins hit The Stomp for the second time. Rollins told Cesaro he will never be on Seth’s level. Rollins grabbed a steel chair and he put Cesaro’s head in between the chair. Rollins charged at Rollins, but that led to officials like Jamie Noble and referees breaking it up. Cesaro tried to get back up, but he was selling it like he was knocked out. Rollins left on his own while Cesaro was getting checked on in the ring.
Analysis: It was a classic heel cheap attack to get some heat on Rollins for his actions. They have done a nice job of slowly building up to a match between Cesaro and Rollins. I assume they will have matches at Fastlane and WrestleMania, but I'm not sure what the plan is. I’m glad about that because it’s a fresh feud.
When Rollins got backstage in the Gorilla position, he had a staredown with Shinsuke Nakamura, who is Cesaro’s friend. Rollins stared at Nakamura and left.
Kevin Owens was backstage with his cue cards for his talk show. Sami Zayn walked up to him with the documentary crew. Zayn said he wanted Owens to be a part of the documentary. Owens said he’s got the KO Show tonight. Zayn told Owens he’s going to want to be a part of this because it’s going to be huge. Zayn said that this documentary will do massive numbers on Youtube like Logan Paul numbers. Owens told Zayn he’ll think about it, Owens handed Zayn a card and left.
Analysis: I’m all for Owens and Zayn working together as allies or adversaries. They have a lot of chemistry any time they are on screen together.
This week on Raw, Bobby Lashley continues his dominance as the WWE Champion. Plus, Alexander/Benjamin defend the Raw Tag Team Titles vs. New Day and Riddle defends the US Title against Mustafa Ali. Two title matches sound good to me.
Jey Uso was shown walking backstage with Edge walking up to him. Edge said he has known Jey for a long time since he was like 10 years old and his dad (Rikishi) would bring him to the shows. Edge wondered why Jey was doing this. Edge said a few years ago, Jey and his brother were a part of a match that made Edge love this again. Edge wondered what Jey’s dad thought about this Edge said that Jey is walking around with his head down playing lapdog to the Big Dog. Jey told Edge that Jey’s family is running the show, so Edge needs to fall in line and Edge should go enjoy his own family. Jey told Edge when Roman gets him at WrestleMania, Edge won’t be able to enjoy anything. Edge said something about how he tried to talk some sense into him, but then he left.
Kevin Owens Show
Kevin Owens said that it’s great to be back after not being around for the last few weeks. Owens said that the last few months were tough for him physically and mentally. Owens said he was near the top, but now he’s back on the bottom. Owens said he’s going to keep fighting until he has nothing left. Owens introduced his guests that will face eachother at WrestleMania, but also team up at Fastlane to challenge the Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler.
Bianca Belair made her entrance as the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble winner. Belair was in her wrestling gear because she has an advertised match with Banks.
Sasha Banks made her entrance as the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Banks entered wearing her title, then it looked like it fell off her waist, but Banks held onto the title before it hit the ground. Banks did her apron posing leading to fireworks going off.
Banks and Belair were seated on leather chairs in the ring with Kevin Owens seated in between them. Owens said he can only think of two people that faced eachother at WrestleMania while they were tag team champions, which were John Cena and Shawn Michaels. That was the WrestleMania 23 main event. Owens said winning the Women’s Tag Team Titles could help to cement their legacy. Owens pointed out that Banks and Belair failed against Baszler & Jax at Elimination Chamber. Owens said that there was probably tension, but they are proud women.
Banks said that she can’t help it that she looks this good and that Reginald has a crush on her. Belair said that Reginald has been a problem. Banks said that she is like the Michael Jordan of the women’s division and then said that maybe Belair can be the LeBron James of the division. Belair said that she respected all of Sasha’s accomplishments, then said that Belair’s accomplishments are going to be in her own. Banks said that if she was in the Royal Rumble then she would have stopped Belair. Banks said she’ll be walking out of WrestleMania as Two Belts Banks when she beats Shayna and Nia. Belair said it’s good that Banks has her eyes on the prize at Fastlane. Belair wanted to say more, but was interrupted.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, who are the Women’s Tag Team Champions, made their entrance with Reginald. Owens made it clear that he did not invite them.
Natalya made her entrance with Tamina for their scheduled match against Banks and Belair. Jax and Belair were going to be on commentary for a lot.
Analysis: There was a lot of talking without saying that much. I can understand giving time to Banks and Belair to make their points, but it’s the same thing they have been saying for several weeks now.
There was a commercial featuring WWE superstars like Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Bianca Belair and Montez Ford talking about how we should get back to our lives by getting vaccinated to fight back against COVID-19. Go to GetVaccineAnswers.org for more info.
Analysis: I like that. I will get my vaccine shot here in Canada whenever we can get it. We are behind the US a bit in terms of vaccines, but it should be soon.
Natalya and Tamina vs. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair
Tamina overpowered Banks towards the turnbuckle. Natalya rolled through against Banks, hard slap by Banks and then Banks did an armdrag that sent Natalya out of the ring. Banks with a sliding dropkick on Natalya on the floor. Banks sent Natalya back in the ring with Natalya hitting a clothesline. Reginald modeled his clothes on the announce table. Natalya stomped on Banks followed by a snap suplex. Banks with a jawbreaker on Natalya, then she broke free and Belair tagged in. Belair with two dropkicks on Natalya and Belair hit a spinebuster. Reginald got on the apron to distract the referee Charles Robinson from counting the pin. Natalya with a boot to the face followed by a discus clothesline. Reginald was on the announce table, Banks went after him there and Bianca was trying to pin Tamina, but the referee was looking at the chaos. Natalya decked Banks with a forearm to the back and Belair with a forearm to Natalya. Tamina with a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Belair for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Natalya and Tamina
Analysis: *3/4 It was decent for a short match. That’s a result that surprised me a bit, but it was also a reminder that the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! is so deadly. Natalya had some good moments in the match. Tamina didn’t do much, which is fine. The booking of Banks and Belair has been strange of late. They lost at Elimination Chamber in a title match, it wasn’t even a cheap loss and then they lose again here. It’s not really a good way to build up title contenders. The problem is that WWE books these shows thinking that fans forget these losses.
Post match, Belair told Banks that was her fault. Banks didn’t say it was her fault. Belair said that they lost because of him (Reginald) and told Banks that’s on you. Belair left angrily while Banks was sad at ringside. Reginald blew Banks a kiss and then Banks walked away.
Analysis: They need to move past this Reginald guy being a part of the Banks/Belair story. It's not helping.
A replay aired of the cheap attack by Apollo Crews on Big E three weeks ago. Big E missed the next two weeks of Smackdown and now he’s back.
Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair were standing backstage with Belair telling Sasha that she was sick of Reginald being out there. They kept on arguing with Banks telling Belair she’s not going to take the blame because Belair took the L (loss)….rookie.
Analysis: Two babyfaces that bicker a lot. And despite the repeated losses, they still get a title shot.
Let’s Hear from Big E
Big E made his entrance with the Intercontinental Championship. Big E had a neckbrace on and braces on his body parts to try to show that he was hurt, but then he took all the braces off to show that he was fine after all. Big E entered the ring for a promo.
Big E said he has had plenty of time to think and he hopes and prays that Apollo Crews knows what he did. Big E said that Crews crossed the rubicon, opened pandora’s box and there is no coming back. Big E said there was no “sorry” to fix this. Big E said you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Big E said Apollo made Big E go old testament on him. Big E claimed that it’s “eye for an eye” now with Apollo trying to hurt him while Big E will maim him. Big E told Crews now that he tries to step on his lawn, Big E will bulldoze his house. Big E said that pinning Crews now…that’s not enough. Big E said now he has to end Crews and repeated that he has to end Crews. Big E said that Crews wants what Big E has worked for, which is fine, so now he is ready to give Crews what he deserves. Big E said that they didn’t need to wait at all and he called out Crews to come out there right now to get the opportunity he’s been waiting for. Big E was shouting for Crews to come get it now. There was no sign of Crews. Big E said he got all dressed up to defend the Intercontinental Title, so if Apollo isn’t going to show up then he’ll issue an open challenge to whoever wants it.
Analysis: Big E was very intense there. I was impressed by that promo. Big E is known for the funny, laid-back attitude, so this was different for him and I think he needs to do this more often to get to that next level as a main eventer. Some of the dialogue was a bit strange, but the point is that Big E was pissed off with Crews for the cheap attack and he was going to kick his ass whenever he sees him again.
King Corbin walked out there in dress clothes. Corbin said that he is not dressed to fight, but he has no problem tearing up this $10,000 suit. Sami Zayn walked out there saying “I accept” and he had his documentary crew with him. Zayn told Corbin he didn’t accept because Zayn said it first. Zayn said this will be the perfect ending to his documentary. Big E said whoever gets in the ring first gets the match. Zayn went into the ring, Big E gave him a belly-to-belly slam and Zayn left the ring. The match is after a break.
This week on Talking Smack the guests are Big E, Sami Zayn, Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax. It’s hosted by Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman, who is tremendous on that show.
Intercontinental Championship: Big E vs. Sami Zayn
Big E beat the IC Title on Christmas Day in a Lumberjack Match. Graves made the point that Big E wasn’t 100% as Zayn kicked the knee of Big E, but Big E showed he was fine with a leapfrog followed by a back elbow. Big E with a hard whip into the turnbuckle with Zayn taking a big bump. Big E charged, but Zayn got the knees up to block. Zayn used his knees against the back against Big E against the ropes. Zayn jumped off the middle ropes with an elbow to the face. Zayn went for it again, but Big E caught him with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Big E with a belly to belly suplex again. Zayn left the ring, so Big E brought him back to the apron. Big E with forearms, then Big E went for a running splash on the apron, Zayn moved and Big E’s splash hit the apron. Ouch.
They were battling on the turnbuckle, Big E was working over Zayn with punches, but then Zayn came back with a sunset flip Powerbomb for a two count. Big move that was only good for a two count. Zayn taunted and slapped Big E, then Big E ran through a clothesline and hit a clothesline of his own. Big E hit the Big Ending for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Big E
Analysis: **1/2 An impressive win by Big E. I thought the match would be even shorter than that and that Zayn would get even less offense, but they managed to have a solid match here. I liked that spot near the end where Big E ran through the clothesline attempt leading to the Big Ending finish. Well done.
Big E celebrated with the Intercontinental Title as the music of Apollo Crews started up. While Big E was waiting in the ring, Crews emerged from under the ring and punched Big E in the back. Crews lifted up Big E into an Olympic Slam. Crews hit the Olympic Slam again. Crews trash-talked Big E in his accent as he let Big E know the only thing he’ll do is continue to take these beatings. Crews threw the top half of the steel steps into the ring. When Big E got back up, Crews ran into him with the steel steps to knock him out of the ring. Crews stood on the steel steps to stand tall once again.
Analysis: It was another successful cheap attack by Crews on Big E as Crews appears to build momentum. After the show, it was announced that Big E will defend the IC Title against Crews at Fastlane. That should be an intense match that will be very good.
Nia Jax was backstage with Reginald with Kayla Braxton showing up for an interview. Reginald suggested that Jax should challenge Banks for her Smackdown Women’s Title next week and then Jax can walk into WrestleMania as a double champion. Jax said that was a great idea and told Braxton to leave.
Roman Reigns entered as the Universal Champion with Special Counsel Paul Heyman and cousin Jey Uso by his side as usual.
Next week on Smackdown: Sasha Banks defends the Smackdown Women’s Title vs. Nia Jax.
Universal Championship Match Fastlane Contract Signing
Daniel Bryan joined the festivities in the ring leading the “yes” chants while Reigns stared at him. There was a table in the ring along with WWE Official Adam Pearce holding the contract for the match at Fastlane. Reigns intimidated Adam Pearce, who had to move the chair to the head of the table. Reigns was wearing a “Head of the Table” shirt.
Reigns told Bryan he didn’t want to do this. Reigns said that he agreed to it a couple of weeks ago, but this week he’s not feeling it. Reigns said it’s a no, he’s not signing this. Bryan grabbed the contract, he took a pen and signed it because he was excited about it. Bryan said he wouldn’t think that the “Head of the Table” would be afraid to fight a guy like Bryan. Bryan said for years, a lot of people thought that Bryan was better than him, but last week he did something that Roman could never do – he made Jey Uso quit. Bryan wondered if Reigns was afraid and Bryan said that maybe he was the Head of the Table that was the ruler of the island. This made Reigns angry, so Reigns told Bryan he would smash him and Reigns signed the contract to make the match official. Bryan told Reigns he would tap him out just like he tapped out Jey Uso.
Jey threw the table out of the ring. Jey said that this match needs a special enforcer to make sure it’s fair and square and that person is him.
Edge made his entrance to let Jey know that sounds like a great idea. Edge said for the first time in 11 years on Smackdown, he should have a match with Jey Uso. Edge suggested that the winner of his match with Jey Uso will become the Special Enforcer in the Universal Title match at Fastlane.
That led to a brawl in the ring with Edge going after Reigns while Bryan managed to send Jey out of the ring. Bryan went over to punch Reigns, Edge shoved Bryan away and Edge punched Reigns out of the ring. When Edge turned around, Bryan hit Edge with a running knee to knock Edge down. Bryan celebrated with the “YES” chants while Reigns looked on from ringside. Bryan continued to celebrate to end the show. It was the second straight week of Bryan celebrating to end Smackdown.
Analysis: This was good as a show ending angle since all of them are very good talkers. Bryan was correct in pointing out that he did make Jey Uso tap out and if you remember the Roman Reigns matches with Jey, they didn’t end with a tapout the way Bryan’s match with Jey ended. That is part of the reason why Reigns agreed to the match since Bryan made valid points.
They set up a big match next week with Edge wrestling on Smackdown for the first time in 11 years. That should be a win for Edge over Jey Uso, which sets up Edge as the Special Enforcer for the Reigns/Bryan match. All of that is fine with me.
Three Stars of the Show
- Big E
- Street Profits, Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio
- Daniel Bryan
6.25 out of 10
Last week: 6.5
2021 Average: 6.91
This was a mixed bag kind of show. Smackdown is at its best with more in-ring action than what we got here. There was just a lot of talking this week. When there’s a long promo to open, a long promo in the middle (that bored me) and more talking in the main event, it just felt like the in-ring action didn’t matter that much. I understand that they want to try to get the stories over, but it just felt like it was too much talking.
I don’t really like the booking of the Banks/Belair rivalry. They bicker about the same thing every week and this week they lost a tag team match via ROLLUP OF DEATH~!, yet I’m supposed to buy into them getting another Women’s Tag Team Title shot after they already lost the last time they got a title shot? That Reginald dude is on too much as well. That Jax/Reginald shopping segment was lame. You're telling me this company has no use for guys like Andrade or Aleister Black, yet there's time for this? Come on, WWE.
I do really like the build to Reigns vs. Bryan at Fastlane even though it is obvious that Reigns will win. At least there is a bit of doubt about it while some tension was built between Bryan/Edge as well. Big E stood out this week with an impressive promo as well as his victory in the ring. Apollo Crews attacked Big E again, which sets up their Fastlane match. I like the Rollins/Cesaro feud a lot too with Seth getting the advantage this week.
There is still a lot to like. I just felt like it was more of an average Smackdown this week.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Fastlane on Sunday, March 21. Here’s what we know so far.
WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Intercontinental Championship: Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair
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