Welcome to this week’s WWE Smackdown review. It’s the last Smackdown episode before Saturday night’s Wrestlemania night one. This episode was taped last week although no spoilers came out for it. It’s also the last WWE ThunderDome event at Tropicana Field because they are moving to Yuengling Center in Tampa for Monday’s Raw.
Earlier on Friday, I posted the official TJRWrestling WrestleMania 37 Preview that I wrote with two of our writers, Alex and Lance. It’s a big one with 14 matches over two nights. I will write live reviews of WrestleMania on Saturday and Sunday night on TJRWrestling.
From the WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida, this is Smackdown for episode #1129. 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.
The show began with a video package from last week when Daniel Bryan beat Jey Uso in a Street Fight. After that victory, Bryan attacked Edge and Roman Reigns to send a message before WrestleMania.
There was a shot of the ThunderDome setup with Michael Cole welcoming us to WrestleMania Smackdown on this WrestleMania weekend. Cole was there to call the action with Corey Graves as usual.
Let’s Hear from Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan made his entrance in street clothes for a promo. Bryan will be part of the Universal Championship match on Sunday night at WrestleMania when he faces champion Roman Reigns and Edge, who is also a challenger in the match.
Daniel Bryan said that we are so close to the biggest event of the year – WrestleMania. Bryan said that he’s excited about everything, to see the set, to smell the pyro and feel the human air in Raymond James Stadium. Bryan said he’s excited to hear the roar of the WWE Universe in person. Bryan said he loved the ThunderDome and thought it was amazing, but there is absolutely nothing like wrestling in front of a live audience at WrestleMania. Bryan said that there was nothing like Universal Championship in the main event of WrestleMania. Bryan talked about how there was absolutely nothing like hearing 25,000 people chanting “yes” to support him. Bryan said most of his career has been about constantly being told no. Bryan went over the things that people said about him in his career like he was not best for business, he can’t be the face of WWE and he doesn’t deserve to be in the main event of WrestleMania if you were to ask Batista, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns or Edge. Bryan said deep down he believed in himself and that was how he came to say “yes.” Bryan said every time life told him no, he said yes. Bryan went over people saying no about things like him coming back and being WWE Champion again, but Bryan said yes and he did it. Bryan also mentioned how he tapped out Roman Reigns when people said no. Bryan said at first, Adam Pearce said no to Daniel Bryan main eventing WrestleMania and then Pearce said yes.
Bryan said this Sunday at WrestleMania, this is by far the biggest match of his career. Bryan talked about how Edge is furious because he thinks Bryan stole his spotlight and Bryan mentioned Roman Reigns tapping out to Bryan in the past, so if he does that again he will lose the Universal Title. Bryan said that Edge and Reigns are two of the most dangerous men in WWE. Bryan said that they won’t be facing General Manager Daniel Bryan or family man Daniel Bryan. They’re getting the most dangerous Daniel Bryan, he’s the guy that made Roman Reigns tap out and he’s willing to kick Edge in the head. Bryan said he’s willing to do anything. Bryan: “Can Daniel Bryan walk out of the main event of WrestleMania as the Universal Champion? Yes, yes, yes, yes.” And so on. Bryan did the “YES” chant to end it.
Analysis: I thought that was a strong promo from Bryan as he spoke with confidence and conviction. Bryan continues to remind us that he made Roman Reigns tap out while also mentioning how Edge is furious that Bryan is now a part of the match. It will be interesting to see what happens at WrestleMania. The reason I’m going with Bryan is that I think WWE wants to end WrestleMania with a babyface celebrating, so that means a win for Bryan because Reigns is a heel and Edge has been heelish too. I think it just makes sense since this whole weekend is about the fans being back at WrestleMania, so they might as well end it on a happy note. Bryan’s presence will also make the match better. I’m looking forward to it.
The Street Profits were backstage in the Gorilla Position with Kayla Braxton there for an interview. Montez Ford said that Daniel Bryan is going to win and they’re going to win back the Smackdown Tag Team Titles tonight. Angelo Dawkins said something, but then they were attacked by SD Tag Team Champions Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. The teams went out onto the stage and then the two other teams (Rey and Dominik Mysterio along with Otis and Chad Gable) joined for a brawl. All eight guys were brawling around the stage and ramp area as the show went to break.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: Dolph Ziggler & Bobby Roode vs. Chad Gable & Otis vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
The first fall wins this match. Two wrestlers are in the ring while the other six guys are on the apron.
There was an elbow shot by Otis on Dominik, then Ziggler tagged himself in and got a two count. Roode tagged in with a chinlock on Dominik. Roode with a body slam, Gable tagged himself in and Gable did knee drops to the left arm of Dominik. Gable went for a suplex, Dominik countered and kicked Gable down. Rey tagged in with a headscissors on Gable. Rey with a back elbow, then a moonsault, Gable caught him and Rey hit a twisting DDT for a two count. The Mysterios were in the ring with Gable and Dominik did a back body drop on Gable onto Otis on the floor. Rey hit a suicide dive onto Gable and Otis on the floor. Dominik hit a springboard cross body block on Gable on the floor. Rey and Dominik were standing tall in the ring as the show went to break.
The match reset with Ford hitting a dropkick on Roode as the two legal men in the match. Ford punched Ziggler off the apron and then Roode hit a big spinebuster on Ford. Otis tagged Roode and Otis hit a spinning clothesline for two. Otis with a body slam along with an elbow drop. Gable was back in with a Northern Lights Suplex on Ford for a two count. Ziggler tagged in to become the legal man as he hit a dropkick on Ford. Ziggler charged at Ford, who caught Dolph and Ford hit a spinning Powerbomb. Dawkins got the tag against Roode with Dawkins hit a flying elbow and Dawkins with a suplex on Gable. Dawkins with a spinning splash on Roode and a bulldog on Roode, but then Rey tagged himself in. Rey sent Dawkins out of the ring and a headscissors on Roode. The Mysterios set up the champs for a double 619 kick on Roode and Ziggler. Dominik was the legal man and he jumped off the top with a Frog Splash on Roode, but Otis broke up the pin. Otis sent Rey out of the ring. The Street Profits dropkicked Otis out of the ring. Dawkins tagged himself in against Gable as they exchanged two counts. Gable went for a backslide pin, Dawkins was not down and Ford made a blind tag. Ford hit a Frog Splash off the top onto Gable in the ring with Roode tagging Ford to make Roode the legal man. Ziggler superkicked Ford out of the ring and then Roode pinned Gable for the win after 13 minutes. That means Roode got the win after Ford’s Frog Splash on Gable.
Winners by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good tag team match with a lot of things going on due to there being eight guys in the match. I like how it was booked with the Street Profits and Mysterios getting a lot of momentum, but the craftiness of the veteran heel champions got the job done. I like how the finish was set up with Ford hitting the Frog Splash, Roode tagged himself in and pinned Gable after Ziggler took out Ford with a superkick. They timed it all really well too. I thought there might a title change, but not yet.
Bianca Belair was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Bianca said she was excited about WrestleMania. Bianca talked about how her father taught her being nervous means that you care, so it’s okay to be nervous just as long as you are not scared. Bianca said that her dad taught her not to be scared of anything. Bianca said that this is an opportunity of a lifetime. Bianca said that she has been working so hard even when nobody was watching. Belair did her “EST” routine saying she has all the tools to win, so that makes her dangerous rather than Banks. Belair said when she beats Banks to become the Smackdown Women’s Champion, it will be the greatest night of her life.
Analysis: That was solid by Belair. I think Belair is very likable as a babyface, the fans respect her as an athlete, she did so well as the Royal Rumble and she’s easy to root for.
The announcers plugged Peacock (for those of you in the US) and said we’ll revisit the Randy Orton/Fiend story after the break.
PLUG TIME: Here’s my WWE NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver Review for Night 1 and Night 2 combined in one post. It was another outstanding Takeover event with ten matches over two nights and a lot of enjoyable matches. My two favorite matches were WALTER vs. Tommaso Ciampa from Night 1 and Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole in the main event on Night 2. I’m looking forward to NXT moving to Tuesday nights next week. The reviews every week will be on TJRWrestling as always.
They showed Big E at the barbershop saying that he’s in his hometown of Tampa for WrestleMania and he introduced us to Jay the Barber. Big E was shown at different places in Tampa talking about his high school and where he played his high school football stadium in Raymond James Stadium where WrestleMania will take place. Big E told Apollo Crews that this stadium is where his Intercontinental Title dreams come to die.
Analysis: Great intensity shown by Big E there. That was a nice way to show us more about Big E and tell us about how he’s motivated to win in his hometown in the IC Title match. I think Big E will retain the IC Title since Crews has had the advantage in multiple attacks of late.
It was mentioned that rapper Wale will be performing Big E’s theme song “Feel The Power” at WrestleMania. That’s cool.
There was a video package about Randy Orton facing The Fiend at WrestleMania on Sunday.
Nia Jax made her entrance with her fellow Women’s Tag Team Champion Shayna Baszler along with Reginald. Tamina entered as the opponent with Natalya by her side.
Tamina (w/Natalya) vs. Nia Jax (w/Shayna Baszler & Reginald)
Tamina and Jax are distant cousins that have been allies in their careers. Jax shoved Tamina down and then Tamina shoved Jax down. Jax was shocked by that. They exchanged strikes with Tamina hitting a backhand to the face. Reginald was on the apron, Tamina grabbed him, so did Baszler and Jax ran over Tamina. Jax hit a running splash against the turnbuckle. Jax sent Tamina into the turnbuckle, Jax charged, Tamina moved and Jax went shoulder first into the ring post. Baszler was on the apron, Natalya pulled Shayna down and Baszler sent Natalya into the steps. Tamina was on the top rope, Jax grabbed her, Tamina was back on her feet and Tamina hit a superkick. Tamina hit a Samoan Drop on Jax for two as Baszler hit Tamina to break it up for the DQ after four minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Tamina
Analysis: * It wasn’t an interesting match based on the performers, but I thought Tamina put in a good effort here. They teased Tamina possibly beating Jax until Baszler went in there for the predictable DQ finish.
Post match, Natalya saved Tamina from a double team attack. Baszler was sent into the ropes, then she held on and left with Jax. They played Tamina’s music as she stood tall in the ring with Natalya.
The Riott Squad were interviewed by Kayla Braxton and then Billie Kay & Carmella were standing together. Ruby Riott said that they learned from their losses. Carmella said that those tag team titles are theirs because Mella is Money and Kay tried to join in. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke joined in for the promo along with Lana and Naomi. That led to all eight women getting into a brawl in the backstage area with Natalya and Tamina coming into the picture with Natalya beating up Brooke while Tamina sent Morgan into an equipment case. Natalya sent Brooke into an equipment case. Most of the women were down on the ground as Natalya and Tamina looking proud of themselves.
Analysis: It was similar to other segments with the women tag teams where they end up bickering about what’s going to happen at WrestleMania. Carmella and Billie Kay are in the match now, but I don’t see them winning. It will probably be one of the babyface teams as the winners since the champions are heels, so Naomi/Lana, Dana/Mandy, or Riott Squad. Then the winners of that match get the title shot against Jax/Baszler on night two. I think whoever wins will beat Jax/Baszler on night two as well. My pick is Naomi/Lana, but I mean like Dana/Mandy the most as a team. I just think Naomi/Lana winning would get a bigger ovation from the crowd.
There was a creative commercial by Seth Rollins criticizing Cesaro. It said it was paid for by friends of Seth Rollins, but not Seth himself even though it was Seth that was saying it. Cesaro vs. Rollins is on WrestleMania Night 1. It will be great.
Edge made his entrance with a steel chair in hand. They showed a replay of last week’s Smackdown when Daniel Bryan attacked Edge and sent Edge into the ring post. Edge gets promo time at the top of hour two.
Let’s Hear from Edge
Edge was seated in the ring with a spotlight on him. Edge was facing the hard camera, so they had the camera tight on his face and used some different angles to shoot this promo. Edge talked about attending WrestleMania 6, he saw Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior and he had dreams of becoming a WWE Superstar. Edge said that he did it, but he did not end his career on his terms. Edge spoke about how he fought back after his career was taken away nine years ago. Edge made it clear that this is all that he wanted to do. Edge said he didn’t come back for some greatest hits tour, he came back to steal the show and main event WrestleMania. “I missed nine of them” referring to WrestleMania and said he won’t apologize for that.
Edge said that Daniel Bryan has said that this could be his last WrestleMania. Edge said that a month in Bryan’s career is like a year in Edge’s career and he yelled: “What do you think it is for me?” Edge said that Bryan used sympathy as a factor to weasel his way into the match. Edge went over the scenarios that existed and said that now this is a triple threat where Bryan could pin Reigns and Edge could have nothing to do that. Edge said, “instead of a one on one match that’s a clash of the titans between two titans, now we have some indy bookstore troll sticking his nose in our business.”
Edge moved on to talking about Universal Champion Roman Reigns, who walks around acting like he created this. Edge said that Reigns owes him. Edge said that Reigns came into WWE in a three-man group, made an entrance through the crowd, and used a Spear as a finisher. Edge called him “Samoan Edge.” That was funny as he smiled. Edge said that he came back to swing for the fences and Roman is the Green Monster. Nice baseball reference there.
Edge said somewhere in all of this, it’s a match taking place ten years to the day from when Edge was forced to retire. Edge noted it’s not mentioned, no video packages or touchy videos and claimed if that was Daniel Bryan then that narrative would be driven into the ground. Edge said that since he has been back, he has not received the respect that he deserves. Edge talked about winning the Royal Rumble from #1 after coming back from a torn triceps. Edge said he came back from something nobody else in sports has come from, much less sports entertainment. Edge yelled about how he came back from a triple fusion in his neck and said we had no idea about the pain that he has gone through to get this back. Edge said if you want to call him some part-timer, he is not going to phone this in and he’s doing hurricanranas off the top rope. Edge said that he is competing at a level that nobody has ever done from this type of injury and that is a slap in the face to him and his worth ethic. Edge said he will take and demand the respect that he deserves. Edge told them to put respect on his name. Edge said he is the Rated R Superstar. Edge said he is the next Universal Champion because he’s dreamt it and now he will manifest it. Edge sat there stoically as his music played to end it.
Analysis: Tremendous promo. Edge was a very good talker for most of his career, but since he came back to WWE last year he got even better. Part of it is because he did acting in TV shows and movies, so he studied the craft a lot more when he wasn’t wrestling. This was so great because he was talking about his journey, then you could tell how much he hated that Daniel Bryan is now part of what he believes is his match that he earned, and I liked the line about how Roman is “Samoan Edge” in his career. Good point there.
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville were in their office talking about WrestleMania being awesome. Sonya said she didn’t think it was right that Ziggler/Roode had to defend their titles against three other tag teams. Pearce wondered what that had to do with WrestleMania. Sonya said it doesn’t. Sonya said speaking of WrestleMania, she thought Daniel Bryan deserved a championship match but at WrestleMania, she thought it should be Roman Reigns vs. Edge in a singles match.
Analysis: They keep teasing issues here. It seems like they are setting up to make Sonya into a heel GM type of character on Smackdown, but there’s a slow build to it. I wonder if she’ll get back into the ring post WrestleMania.
Sasha Banks was shown standing backstage with Kayla Braxton for an interview up next.
Sasha Banks was with her Smackdown Women’s Title on the interview set with Kayla Braxton. Banks looked way taller even though they are similar height because sometimes women wear heels to look tall and we know WWE wants shorter interview people to make the wrestlers look bigger. Banks said she didn’t care about what Bianca has to say. Banks said that everybody wants to hear what Sasha wants to say. Banks reminded us that she’s the best, she always has been and she always will be. Banks said that whatever Bianca gives her, Banks will give it back to her, Boss Style. Banks said that she is the B-E-S-T and still the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Banks did her cocky laugh to end it.
Analysis: It was the usual Sasha Banks promo showing confidence about how great she is. This made Sasha sound heelish a bit, but I don’t think she has turned heel. It’s more about WWE wanting to focus on Bianca Belair as the clear babyface in the match that the fans should root for. With that said, Sasha has a lot of fans and when she turned face in the Bayley feud last year, it made Banks as popular as ever.
A video package aired promoting Raw’s WWE Championship match at WrestleMania with Bobby Lashley defending the title against former champion Drew McIntyre.
Analysis: It wasn’t mentioned here because Smackdown was taped last week, but on Friday night WWE announced that Banks vs. Belair will main event WrestleMania on night one on Saturday. The Lashley vs. McIntyre match will go on first, so they will be the first match in front of fans in over one year because there’s no Kickoff Show match. Drew has talked about wanting that spot if he can’t be in the main event because it would mean a lot to be the first guy out there in front of the fans.
There was a Progressive Match Flo replay video showing the Sami Zayn conspiracy video trailer with Logan Paul joining him last week. Kevin Owens showed up to attack Zayn and Owens gently pushed Paul too.
Sami Zayn was shown earlier in the week with a video camera saying he was in Miami to talk to Logan Paul, who is sort of his friend now. Logan Paul was in a boxing ring with his brother Jake Paul. Zayn suggested that the three of them can spar together. Zayn left out of a back door, then the door shut and he tried to get back in. A guy told Sami that they were closed. Poor Sami.
Sami Zayn showed up at ringside to complain that they showed that and told Michael Cole it was a media bias to show selective images from that footage. Zayn claimed that they had breakfast together and lunch right after that. Zayn said that everything was fine between him and Logan Paul. Zayn said that his documentary is coming out soon. Some of the wrestlers walked out for the battle royal. Kevin Owens showed up at ringside and he beat up Sami Zayn. Owens went for the Stunner, but Zayn shoved him off and Sami escaped through the crowd.
Analysis: I like all the Sami Zayn stuff. I think he’s one of the more entertaining characters in the company as the guy that believes in the crazy conspiracies. Owens will probably win at WrestleMania and Sami will get knocked out by Logan Paul, but I could be wrong. A cheap win for Sami is possible too.
The ring was filling up for the Andre the Giant Battle Royal because that is next.
The end of Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance was shown as the show returned from break. King Corbin’s entrance was shown. They also did a full rundown of the WrestleMania lineup on night one on Saturday. The Andre the Giant trophy was at ringside for this match. Jey Uso’s entrance was shown and then there was a rundown of Sunday’s lineup for WrestleMania. The full WrestleMania lineup is below and our TJRWrestling WrestleMania preview is here.
Andre the Giant Battle Royal
The ring was full of Raw and Smackdown wrestlers. The duo of Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander worked together to toss Akira Tozawa over the top to the floor. Alexander had an “X” through the Hurt Business part of his tights. Shelton and Cedric tossed Tucker out of the ring to eliminate him. Poor Tucker, who turned on Otis last year and they did nothing with him after that. Then Otis turned heel this year with a repackage with Chad Gable. The Tucker/Otis team ended up being nothing after all. Anyway, the wrestlers worked together to eliminate Benjamin and Alexander back to back.
The match continued with Elias tossing out Erik of the Viking Raiders after Jaxson Ryder pulled the top rope down to help Elias. Mace and T-Bar formerly of Retribution tossed out Drew Gulak together. Mace and T-Bar tossed Humberto Carrillo over the top onto Gulak on the floor so it was like doing a top rope dive onto the guy on the floor. Elias eliminated Slapjack with a jumping knee. Elias and Ryker faced off with T-Bar and Mace, which led to T-Bar and Mace grabbing them by the throat and shoving Elias/Ryker over the top to the floor. Mustafa Ali flipped Mace over the top to the floor to eliminate his former Retribution ally. T-Bar tried to eliminate Ali, Murphy walked over there, T-Bar shoved Murphy and Ali used his legs to flip T-Bar over the top to the floor. Murphy hit a jumping knee on Ali and Kalisto wit ha rolling kick on Murphy. Gran Metalik hit a splash off Dorado’s shoulders onto Murphy. Kalisto tried to reunite with Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik, but they didn’t want that, so Dorado eliminated Kalisto with a kick after Metalik set up Kalisto on the turnbuckle. Metalik also eliminated Dorado, so he got rid of his own partner. King Corbin did a back body drop on Metalik over the top rope to eliminate him.
There were seven guys left in the match with Angel Garza battling Murphy on the apron, plus King Corbin, Ricochet, Shinsuke Nakamura, Mustafa Ali and Jey Uso. Garza worked over Murphy with back elbows, Murphy took off the Garza pants to reveal the trunks and Murphy went to the turnbuckle, but Corbin shoved Murphy off the turnbuckle to the floor. Nakamura sent Garza to the top rope, knee to the ribs and Nakamura hit a knee strike to knock Garza out of the ring. The final five men stared at eachother for a moment. Ricochet and Ali battled on the apron with Ricochet doing a headscissors on Ali to eliminate him. Corbin stunned Ricochet on the turnbuckle and Jey superkicked Ricochet over the top to the floor.
The final three were Smackdown guys: Shinsuke Nakamura, King Corbin and Jey Uso. Corbin shoved Jey away, so Jey hit Corbin with a superkick. Corbin managed to avoid elimination. Nakamura nearly eliminated Jey and then Nakamura hit a running knee on Corbin on the apron to eliminate Corbin.
Jey Uso was left with Shinsuke Nakamura, who hit a spinning kick to the head. Nakamura with an STO trip on Jey. Jey came back with a superkick, but then Nakamura hit the Kinshasa knee strike. Nakamura nearly eliminated Jey, but then Jey turned it around and Jey sent Nakamura over the top to the floor. It’s a win for “Main Event” Jey Uso after about 15 minutes.
Winner of the 2021 Andre the Giant Battle Royal: Jey Uso
Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid battle royal. These are hard to rate because they are always so similar. I would have preferred a Nakamura to give it a babyface ending, but I certainly have no problem with Jey Uso, who is a very good performer. Jey has also lost a lot of matches to put over Roman's opponents, so I understand why he got the win. They should have done a bit more of a struggle after the Kinshasa because Jey recovered from it so quickly that it made the Kinshasa look a bit weak. There were some cool moments in the match too. What I don’t like is the guys willingly jumping over the top to the apron where they exchange moves. It just makes them look dumb because why would you want to fight on the apron when you can get eliminated so easily? I guess we shouldn’t apply logic. I also feel bad for these wrestlers not getting this match at WrestleMania. I'm sure it's frustrating to be placed in the battle royal and then to have it on Smackdown instead of being in the ring at WrestleMania is likely a downer for them.
Jey Uso went over to the Andre The Giant trophy at ringside to point out the previous winners’ names on the trophy and let us know his name will be on there too. Graves said that is proof that Jey is the main event, he’s the right-hand man and the Andre The Giant Battle Royal winner.
Analysis: They call him “Main Event” Jey Uso all the time and that’s great because I like Jey, but he’s also not on a WrestleMania card with 14 matches on it. Anyway, Jimmy Uso should be back in action every time after tearing his ACL and having a major injury after last year’s WrestleMania. Jimmy got hurt during the triple threat ladder match. I look forward to Jimmy coming back and The Usos being a major force as a heel tag team again.
That led to Universal Champion Roman Reigns making his way with his Special Counsel Paul Heyman for Roman’s turn to deliver a promo going into WrestleMania. They showed a clip of Daniel Bryan putting Reigns in the Yes Lock last week. Reigns got in the ring and shook Jey Uso’s hand about Jey’s win in the battle royal. The announcers plugged the Peacock streaming service. Roman Reigns gets promo time next.
Let’s Hear from Roman Reigns
The Universal Champion Roman Reigns was in the ring with his title on his left shoulder. Reigns was joined in the ring by Special Counsel Paul Heyman and cousin Jey Uso. Reigns was wearing a shirt that said “Acknowledge Me” on it. There were piped in “you suck” chants from the crowd.
Reigns said that he was annoyed that he had to be there. Reigns said he is not a politician, he is not The President and he doesn’t have to sell himself to us. Reigns said he has things to think about like how he can lose a match where he doesn’t have to be pinned. Reigns said that he is going to show up and win. Reigns said that “show day” is the easy day. Reigns mentioned the phrase “show up and win” and saying that when he shows up, WWE is winning. Reigns said that last week Daniel Bryan was a real tough guy and the week before, Edge was a badass. Reigns said that since he returned at August 23 at SummerSlam, he’s been doing it week after week for 30 weeks in a row. Reigns said that the numbers don’t lie. Reigns said that he changed the ratings for this show and he made that title relevant.
Reigns talked about his counterparts, the dreamers. Reigns said that this is what Daniel Bryan wants. Reigns didn’t like that Bryan was telling everybody that Bryan made Reigns tap out, so “you tapped out” chants were piped in. Reigns didn’t like that. Reigns told “DB” he’s holding on by a thread and if he made Reigns tap out then he would be champion. Reigns said that Bryan will never be champion because on Sunday, Bryan can’t make Reigns tap out.
Reigns talked about how Edge wants to complete the comeback and said it’s garbage for Edge to think nobody took it from him. Reigns said that he took it from Edge along with everybody else. Reigns called them “dreamers.” Reigns said that this is where the comeback ends and Reigns said that their story will end while Roman’s story begins. Reigns said if you think what he has done this year is special, wait until you see what happens next. Reigns said that he is not a dreamer that is selfish. Reigns said that everything he touches has a purpose. Reigns said that he saves careers, Paul told him that, and Reigns asked Jey who gave him the greatest year of his career while pointing out the gold trophy that Jey just won and Jey nodded at him.
Reigns said that he is not going to make Edge or Bryan’s dreams come true. Reigns said he will crush their dreams. Reigns said that this isn’t a prediction, it’s a spoiler. Reigns said that he is going to wreck everybody, he’s going to smash you, stack you and pin you and the referee will count to three. Reigns said that he is going to hold up the Universal Title above them and they’ll see a man that’s greater than them that is lightyears ahead of them. Reigns said that you’ll hear a million dollars of pyro go off and you’re going to hear the whole world…acknowledge me. Roman’s music played to end the promo.
Analysis: Another great promo on this show. A lot of what Reigns said made sense. He has a right to be cocky because as he said in that promo, he has been dominant since he came back at SummerSlam and hasn’t lost a match by pinfall or submission in 30 weeks. Edge hasn’t lost a match since he came back at Royal Rumble either, but in Roman’s case it’s a lot longer and as a heel champion, Reigns should be cocky about that. I liked the line about how at the end of the night, Reigns is going to hold that title over their heads and millions of dollars worth of pyro is going to off and that’s what it is going to acknowledge Reigns as the top guy. It was a fitting way to end. Great line.
There was one final push by the announcers for the WrestleMania 37 main event on Sunday with Reigns defending the Universal Title against Bryan and Edge. Reigns left the ring with his crew. That was the end of Smackdown.
Three Stars of the Show
- Daniel Bryan/Roman Reigns
- Jey Uso/Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
7 out of 10
Last week: 7.25
2021 Average: 6.97
The three main event promos were the highlight of this week’s Smackdown. Daniel Bryan started it off to open the show, Edge delivered his promo message in the middle part of the show and then Roman Reigns got to main event. All three promos were excellent. I think of the three, Edge probably did the best job because I like that he’s kind of the tweener in the story where you want to see him live his dream of becoming champion again, but he has been a jerk about the Daniel Bryan addition to the match. When it comes to Bryan, he’s the noble, veteran babyface that is so likable. Then there’s Reigns talking about how he has dominated since SummerSlam and he’s speaking the truth when he says that. They have built up that match so well.
There were only three matches with the Smackdown Tag Team Title Fatal 4-Way delivering a pretty good match. I thought maybe the champions Ziggler and Roode would lose, but they found a way to keep the titles. I liked the finish of the match and how it was booked. The battle royal was okay with Jey Uso getting the win. I would have rather liked to see Shinsuke Nakamura win, but it doesn’t matter that much. It made sense for Jey to win after what Roman said in his promo too. The other match was Tamina vs. Nia Jax, which probably doesn’t excite most fans, but I thought Tamina put in a good showing at least.
This week’s Smackdown was like a WrestleMania Kickoff Show with a focus on the Smackdown brand, but there were also video packages about Raw matches at WrestleMania too. I thought it was an effective use of two hours to get us ready for WrestleMania.
The WrestleMania lineup for Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11 looks like this.
Saturday, April 10 – Night 1
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bianca Belair - MAIN EVENT
WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre - OPENING MATCH
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon
Raw Tag Team Championships: The New Day’s Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods (c) vs. AJ Styles & Omos
Damian Priest & Bad Bunny vs. The Miz & John Morrison
Tag Team Turmoil Match: Naomi & Lana vs. Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke vs. Riott Squad (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan) vs. Natalya & Tamina vs. Carmella & Billie Kay – The winners will challenge for the Women’s Tag Team Titles on Night 2. (More teams may be added to the match.)
Sunday, April 11 – Night 2
Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan - MAIN EVENT
The Fiend (w/Alexa Bliss) vs. Randy Orton
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Rhea Ripley
Nigerian Drum Fight for the Intercontinental Championship: Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Sami Zayn (w/Logan Paul) vs. Kevin Owens
United States Championship: Riddle (c) vs. Sheamus
Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Winners of Tag Team Turmoil Match
The hosts of WrestleMania are Hulk Hogan & Titus O’Neil.
CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL TJRWRESTLING WRESTLEMANIA 37 PREVIEW RIGHT HERE.
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