Welcome back to our live play-by-play coverage of Friday Night SmackDown. Your host likes to live life on the edge and is working his birthday, his wife's, and their anniversary, Rajah's soon-to-be-murdered, Mike "Oops, I did it again" Hogan! Our official preview was slim pickin's tonight. We know Otis takes on Rey Mysterio, and the Dirty Dawgs Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode will defend their SmackDown Tag Team Championships against the Street Profits.
So with all that said, let's get things started! For those of you who want just the results and not the novella, click here!
WWE Friday Night SmackDown Live Results (4/16/2021) - ThunderDome III, Yuengling Center, Tampa, FL
Show Opening Video Package: WrestleMania 37
We open our program with stills and clips from the WrestleMania 37, Night Two main event that saw Edge and Daniel Bryan fail to capture the Universal Championship from the Head of the Table, Roman Reigns.
New Commentary Team
Michael Cole welcomes us to the ThunderDome and welcomes his new broadcast commentary partner, Pat McAfee! We waste no time in getting to the Head of the Table.
In the Ring: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman and Jey Uso
As the digital audience showers the Tribal Chief with a chorus of boos, Roman and company make their way out to the ring. After a rather lengthy intro, he makes it to the ring. The shower boos him as he looks around and gets on mic. The Tribal Chief is not impressed with the digital audience at the moment. Roman speaks after several false-starts in which the digital audience out-boos him. "We put a lot of eyes on SmackDown, Paul." "You did it, I'm in it for the ride," Paul adds. Roman asks Paul to run down the stats of his opponents that he just beat at WrestleMania. Paul Heyman points out that both men, Edge and Daniel Bryan, are married to Hall of Famers and will be Hall of Famers if they aren't already, and Heyman points out their multiple titles and accolades. Reigns then tells Heyman that he stole Heyman's spot ("not a prediction, a spoiler") and he beat them down and pinned them both. He feels they now have acknowledged him and he thinks WWE won't put him in anymore triple-threat matches as no one wants to face him. These were Hall of Famers and he smashed 'em, stacked 'em, and pinned 'em. He asks us to imagine if that's what he can do to two legends, just think what he can do to everyone else. Roman says that no one can step up to him. He then tells Paul that they've fulfilled their obligation and tells Paul to get the check, fire up the jet and get ready to go home. They're then interrupted by Cesaro. Cesaro and Roman stare face to face in the ring. Cesaro smiles and asks for a mic. As he gets the mic, Roman and company leave the ring immediately and walk up the ramp. Cesaro shakes his head and we cut back to our commentary team, who discuss WrestleMania for Cesaro and Roman Reigns.
Backstage: Sonya Deville, Adam Pierce, and Cesaro
Sonya and Adam are talking backstage when Cesaro walks up and shakes hands. They congratulate him on his WrestleMania win. Cesaro requests a match against Roman and doesn't even need the title on the line--he just wants a shot at Roman. Sonya says that she'll look into it.
Match: Otis w/ Chad Gable vs Rey Mysterio w/ Dominick Mysterio
We return to the ThunderDome where the Alpha Academy make their way out first. Rey Mysterio and Dominic Mysterio are out second, with Dom in street gear and Rey wearing blue ring attire. Otis starts by charging Rey and running the legend over. Otis picks Rey up in a long Gorilla Press, holding him above his head before dumping Rey behind him. Rey out to the apron; Otis charges him but catches a middle rope shoulder from Rey. Rey with another and runs up top, but Otis is too quick and catches Rey up top. Otis charges Rey in the corner. Otis backs off for a breather and Rey recovers fast, flying off the top and taking Otis to the mat. Rey with a two-count Rey tries to whip Otis but can't move the big man. Otis catches Rey as he springboards off the middle rope and then powerslams him down. Otis climbs the middle rope and dives, but Rey rolls out of the way to avoid the headbutt. Rey starts his offense, hitting a 619 on Otis off an attempted Gable distraction. Otis attempts a back drop on Rey, but Rey rolls Otis up in a picture-perfect crucifix pin and picks up the win!
Your Winner, Rey Mysterio!
Backstage with Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman
Despite Michael Cole announcing the match as coming up next, we cut to the back after a commercial break. Kayla asks Paul Heyman if they've given thought to Cesaro's challenge and if they'll accept it. Heyman accepts and once again points out that Roman Reigns walked out of WrestleMania 37 still the Universal Champion while Edge and Daniel Bryan couldn't walk out. He then goes on to insult Cesaro, even mocking his buck teeth. He says tonight Cesaro will go one-on-one in the main event against the "Main Event" Jey Uso. So it appears that Roman Reigns has substituted Jey Uso into his place for the match tonight.
In the Ring: Sami Zayn
Sami comes out to the ring and rambles on about a conspiracy involving Logan Paul, the corporation, the ref, toxic fans in the stands, etc. He claims Kevin Owens eked out a victory against him, barely, and then challenges Owens to come down. Zayn says he knows KO won't come out but lo and behold, Kevin Owens makes his way out as we go to commercial!
Match: Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn
We return from break and this match is now underway. Owens takes it hot to Zayn, controlling things early. Both men take it physical, and Zayn fires back with stinging chops and stiff kicks. Owens takes Zayn into the corner, pummeling his former best friend with rights. Both men brawl around the ring with neither man taking control for long. Again, Owens hammers Zayn into the corner. Owens sets Zayn up on the top rope, but Zayn counters by reversing it into a Sunset Flip Powerbomb, getting a close two! We go to break!
When we return both men are still going at it in the ring. Owens dives off the top rope, hitting a beautiful senton on Zayn. Owens pulls Zayn up but Zayn escapes out of the ring. Zayn tries to crawl and run up the ramp but Owens chases him and beats him down the ramp and into the ring. Owens looks to lock up but Zayn with a rear lock of his own. Owens converts it into a slam. Zayn and Owens go back and forth a bit more in the ring. Owens takes control and Zayn's had enough, exiting the ring. This time Owens doesn't pursue him and takes the win by count-out. After the match, however, Owens beats Zayn back down and into the ring and nails the Stunner, leaving Zayn down.
Your Winner by Count-Out, Kevin Owens!
Backstage Promo: Apollo Crews with Dabba Kato
We get a short promo backstage with the new IC champ, Apollo Crews, gloating over his win against Big E thanks to the big man, Dabba Kato, who now wears a military-style uniform.
In the Ring: Bianca Belair's Victory Party with the Street Profits
The Street Profits make their way out as technicians quickly decorate the ring, covering the mat with blue carpeting and placing blue-and-white balloons around. We're told that up next, we'll have a victory party for Bianca Belair featuring her husband Montez Ford and co.! When we return, Dawkins and Ford are on the mic. Dawkins mocks Ziggler & Roode, saying that they look like they came out of a movie from 1986. Ford tells us tonight that they're raising their solo cups for a different reason tonight. WrestleMania was a story for the ages but there's one match story he's going great-grandkids about and that was the glass-ceiling-breaking, history-making battle between Ford's wife Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks. We get clips from the historic match and return to the ring. The digital audience is all cheers and Dawkins has the feels, fam. Ford tells us the party isn't quite over and the champagne isn't going to stop now. He tells us that Saturday, he shared a great moment and tonight he wants to share that with the WWE Universe. So he introduces the strongest, greatest part of his life and the new SmackDown Women's Champion, the E-S-T of the W-W-E, Bianca Belair! The women's champion makes her way out, dancing and all smiles. Her husband hands her the mic, smiling smoothly as the crowd chants "E-S-T!" over and over. Bianca gets on the mic and thanks her family and fans. She's still overwhelmed by how incredible WrestleMania was for her. She tells us that everyone has some EST in themselves and when someone knows they're talented, they should never apologize for looking somebody in the face and telling them "I am the B-E-S-T." "Because if you can dream it, you can do it. Because I went to WrestleMania and (I) showed up" and defeated Sasha Banks. She thanks Sasha for pushing her harder than anybody else, Sasha is the one Belair would choose to share the limelight, and together they made history. But if Sasha ever forgets, Bianca left her something to remember her by. (No clue). She then goes on to say that this title win is for all the little girls who looked at her and saw themselves, this is for all the fans, and this is the start of creating history. The trio hug and Montez tells his wife to strap the belt on. Belair tells them its time to drop the cups and get back to work, because they've got a tag title match. They tell us they want the smoke and Bianca's music plays them out. Cole and McAfee tell us this is the Bianca Belair era (the Bel-era?").
Backstage Interview: Kayla Braxton with Sasha Banks
Kayla asks about Banks' thoughts on what happened with Belair. Banks is frustrated and can't seem to form the words she wants, and walks off.
Backstage Interview: Kayla Braxton with Bayley
We then get a backstage interview with Bayley. Bayley mocks Belair's tears, and asks if that's the kind of champion we want. Bayley says there's only one way to fix things and restore dignity to the title. So she--Bayley, the longest-reigning SmackDown Women's Champion in history--is challenging Belair.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: the Dirty Dawgs(c) vs the Street Profits
We return to the ThunderDome as the tag champs make their way to the ring and we head to a commercial. When we return, both teams are set up in the ring. Starting things off are Dolph Ziggler and Angelo Dawkins. Both men circle each other before Ziggler nails a right to Dawkins. Dawkins retaliates with a right of his own then tags in Ford. Ford springs into the ring and follows up with a side dropkick, dropping Ziggler and covering for a two. Ford uses an arm wrench to pull Zigger to the Profits corner. Tag's made, and Dawkins goes up top to hit Ziggler with a middle rope Axe Handle Smash. Dawkins holds an arm wrench on Ziggler and Ford tags in, leaping in to attack Ziggler. Ziggler tags in Roode. The Dirty Dawgs run off opposite ropes, looking to pancake Ford. Ford dodges and Ziggler collides into Roode. Dawkins enters the fray and the Street Profits clear the ring, exiting and screaming excitedly into the camera as we go to another break
Back from the break and Dawkins is on fire, running off the ropes and taking Roode down with a corkscrew elbow. Dawkins sees Ziggler on the apron and tosses a back elbow; the distraction allows Roode to catch Dawkins with a big sidewalk slam for a close two. Ziggler's tagged in. Ziggler with a neck breaker and a two count. Ziggler tags in Roode, who kicks Dawkins in the gut. Roode with a beautiful suplex and a close two. Ziggler tagged back in and Roode restrains Dawkins on the mat, allowing Ziggler to strike. Ziggler mocks Dawkins, yelling for him to get up. Dawkins does and rips Ziggler's legs out from beneath him, then catapults Ziggler into the catapult. Both men are down. After a few suspenseful moments, both men make tags. Ford yanks ZIggler over the ropes and into the ring, then turns to nail Roode with a dropkick. Ford with a big clothesline on ZIggler. Roode looks for a backdrop on Ford but Ford counters into a backsuplex and a standing Moonsault for a very close two! Roode and Zayn roll out. Montez Ford charges the ropes and Dawkins tags Ford as he hits a suicide dive through the ropes and onto the Dawgs outside! Roode is sent into the ring where Dawkins slams him, then tags Ford back in immediately. Ford drives Roode into the mat and covers for a two; Ziggler had to dive in to make the save. Ford pounds on Roode in the corner as the ref warns him. When Ford looks to the ref, Ziggler reaches over the ropes and tags himself in. Ford didn't see it, however, and Ziggler hits a Zig-Zag from behind, covering for the win to retain in an exciting match.
Your Winners and STILL SmackDown Tag Team Champions, the Dirty Dawgs!
Video Package: Cesaro & the "UFO Spin"
third time tonight--literally, hence this recap--we get video from WrestleMania 37, where Cesaro not only picked up his first WrestleMania win but did so in fashion by hitting a "UFO Spin" on his opponent, spinning at times hands-free in an incredibly impressive display of agility. Update 9:38pm--amended to acknowledge the fourth video package that aired 5 minutes after the third.
Backstage Interview: Kayla Braxton with Cesaro
Kayla asks Cesaro about his thoughts, regarding the match with Uso and Roman's refusal to face him. Cesaro addresses Heyman's earlier remarks that claimed Cesaro didn't deserve to be in the ring. Cesaro says he has every right to be in the ring and we head to break, with our main event up
next! later tonight!
Match: Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax vs Natalya w/ Tamina
We return from break with this match under way. Natalya and Shayna jockey for control as both who off their technical skills for a bit. Natalya uses a suplex to drop Shayna. Jax attempts to interfere, and instead distracts her own partner. Natalya quickly rolls up Shayna to end a short match.
Backstage Promo: Jey Uso with Roman Reigns & Paul Heyman
We see the trio backstage. Uso cuts a quick promo on Cesaro and what he plans on doing to him. Roman simply says "You heard the man." We head to break.
Main Event Match: Jey Uso vs Cesaro
Out first, wearing a "Right Hand Man" is the winner of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal 2021, Jey Uso. Uce poses next to the Andre trophy as Pizza Hut is proud to present a quick video package of the battle royal. Also, indigestion. Out next is the Swiss Cyborg, Cesaro. We're reminded that Cesaro was the Inaugural winner of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The bell rings and we start off with Cesaro slamming Jey into the mat. Jey whips off the rings, bouncing rope to rope and dives at Cesaro. Cesaro easily counters it into a slam. Jey rolls to the apron and Cesaro locks up. Jey slams the right arm/hand into the turnbuckle. Uso attempts a kick but Cesaro counters. Uso is sent down to the floor. Cesaro runs along the apron and dives out and right into a superkick as we go to break!
Back from the break and Jey has Cesaro in a right arm lock. Cesaro throws lefts to Jey's gut to gain some separation. Cesaro runs off the ropes and Jey reverses it into a Samoan Drop and a pin attempt. Jey works Cesaro over with big right strikes. Again, Uso uses the ropes to wrench the upper right arm as the ref warns him. Cole and McAfee compliment Uso's strategy. Uso attempts a suplex in the ring, but Cesaro reverses it into a long suplex of his own despite the hurt arm! Cesaro rubs and shakes his arm, attempting to get some feeling in it as Jey rises in the corner. Cesaro charges Jey, who flips Cesaro over the ropes. Cesaro lands on the ropes and dives in, crashing into Uso. Pin attempt for a close two. Both men struggle and Uso kicks Cesaro's injured arm, then nails him with a superkick and covers for two. Cesaro crawls to the corner as Uso readies up. Uso with a running knee to a seated Cesaro in the corner. Uso covers for two.
Jey climbs out onto the apron and up the to the top turnbuckle. Out of nowhere, Cesaro charges and nails a beautiful dropkick that sends Uso off the top! CEsaro climbs the ropes and drags Uso up to the top turnbuckle again. Uso throws a few fists, knocking Cesaro off. Cesaro replies with a big European Uppercut and climbs back up. Cesaro hits a Gut-Wrench Superplex off the middle rope! Cesaro covers for a close two. Cesaro looks for the neutralizer but Uso escapes. Cesaro evades Uso with an impressive cartwheel followed by a springboard corkscrew uppercut! Cesaro covers for two. Cesaro looks for the Swing but Jey kicks out of it. Cesaro with an uppercut and Jey with a desperation neck breaker, covering for only a two.
Uso is visibly frustrated. Jey rises first and yells at Cesaro to get up. Uso punches Cesaro, then slaps him disrespectfully a few times, asking Cesaro "what you gonna do?" Cesaro gets pissed and slaps Uso, then rises and pummels Uso with fists and slaps into the corner. Cesaro runs off the ropes and hits a discus clothesline. Cesaro calls for the Swing. Cesaro sidewalk slams Uso down, grabs the legs and begins the Swing! Cesaro, who spun Rollins 23 times at WrestleMania, gets to Swing number six or so when Seth Rollins attacks! The ref calls for the bell.
Your Winner by Disqualification, Cesaro!
After the Match
Rollins heads up the ramp and yells to Cesaro that "you got lucky one time!" Cesaro tells him this isn't over and says "nothing is over until I say it's over!" We get replays of Rollins' surprise attack, and Rollins yells "I am the end-all, be-all of this industry. And the sooner you figure it out, the better it's gonna be!" We fade to black.
That does it for our first SmackDown post-WrestleMania! No long post-word for this birthday boy, as I've family who've just arrived from back home. Say your vitamins, take your prayers, and stay safe out there, y'all. See you Monday for Raw. Have a great weekend everyone!
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