Welcome back to our live play-by-play results coverage of Friday Night SmackDown! WWE's coming to you live from the Yuengling Center on the campus of the University of South Florida. Your host is the most concussed and cussed name in sports entertainment live results today, Rajah's smack-talking jabroni, Mike "Going Full Potato" Hogan! Our official preview was full of speculation and expectations. We do know to expect an Intercontinental Championship match!
Let's not waste any more time speculating over our expectations. Let's get to it, shall we? 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 (4/23/2021) - ThunderDome III (Yuengling Center), Tampa, FL
Previously on SmackDown...
We open with a video package from last week, when Roman showed up only because he was obligated and claimed there was no one left to fight. Cesaro came out and got a mic but Reigns disrespected him by walking off. We see the fakest surprise face outside of adult content as Adam Pierce is absolutely flabbergasted as Cesaro calls Roman Reigns a "sonuvabitch" and wanted a match. Heyman pulled strings, setting up an Uso vs Cesaro match later in the evening. Cesaro was ambushed by Seth Rollins, screaming "this ain't over! This ain't over!"
In the Ring Promo: Cesaro and Seth Rollins
Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcome us to SmackDown, and Cesaro is already in ring wear and stands, ready to speak in the middle of the ring, when Seth Rollins immediately comes out. Cesaro hasn't said a single word yet as Rollins takes credit for helping Cesaro to look so great at WrestleMania that his UFO Spin made the list for memorable WrestleMania moments. Seth continues to babble on, wondering where his "thank you" from Cesaro was expected. Seth reiterates his words from last week, telling Cesaro that it's not over until Seth says its over. Rollins continues, saying that on his worst day and Cesaro's best, Cesaro couldn't beat him again. Cesaro tells Rollins that he's ready to fight him and beat him again, tonight, now. Jey Uso makes his way to the ring, and Seth ends up circling the ring with Jey, vultures stalking their prey. To make the save is Daniel Bryan, who slides into the ring with Cesaro. DB pisses off Seth by reminding him that Cesaro beat Seth at WrestleMania. He begins to address why everyone is out. DB knows Cesaro is out there for a deserved Universal Title championship. He adds that he knows Jey Uso is only out here "because Roman (sent you)." Jey gives a small nod. Daniel Bryan escalates it, reminding them that Cesaro's never had a Universal Championship opportunity and is worthy of one. DB yells for them to come fight, then Roman, saying there's no one else he'd rather fight at his side than Cesaro. Roman Reigns with Paul Heyman enter the verbal fray. Roman's wearing his new "Smash 'Em. Stack 'Em. Pin 'Em." He reminds Daniel Bryan that that's exactly what he did and shows the print on the front of his shirt, of Roman pinning Edge on top of Daniel Bryan. He tells Bryan that he's the "loser" on the bottom. FYI: This is the first time that Seth and Roman have shared a stage in quite some time. Roman can't be bothered with either men, and it looks like we've got a tag match coming up after this break!
Tag Team Match: Jey Uso & Seth Rollins vs Cesaro & Daniel Bryan
When we return, this match is under way with Lil' Naitch, Charles Robinson, on as ref. Jey takes an early control of Cesaro and tags in Seth. Stalling suplex. Multiple stomps after a failed pin attempt. Rollins shoves CEearo into the corner and tags in Jey. Both men briefly work Cesaro over, seated in their corner. Uso with a running knee followed by a clubbing crossface. Cesaro tries to fight free but Uso uses stomps and fists to keep Cesaro grounded. Uso holds Cesaro's foot and tags in Rollins. Rollins with a kick to the gut. Seth whips Cesaro into the corner and charges in. Cesaro dodges. Rollins dives off the top but Cesaro catches him and converts it into a backbreaker on Rollins. Cesaro tags in DB, then rolls to the floor to recover. Seth tries to get the jump on Bryan but Bryan beats him back with Yes Kicks. Seth finally counters one and hoists DB up in Powerbomb position. Jey tags him and they do a great double team maneuver with Seth hitting the buckle bomb and Uso nearly immediately crashing into Bryan! We go to break with our heroes, Rollins and Uso, firmly in control over the colonial invaders who dare threaten our heroic and brave Tribal Chief.
When we return we're informed that it's been nothing Rollins and Uso dominating DB during the break. Both men continue to work over DB in the ring, using a generic offense of suplex, strikes, and working holds to keep him grounded. Rollins, on a turn in, takes DB to the corner and presses his knee into DB's neck, forcing Bryan's face against the turnbuckle. Cesaro starts a Daniel Bryan chant, trying to rally his long time co-worker. Rollins tags in Uso and DB makes the hot tag to Cesaro. Cesaro hits a beautiful discuss punch because it's Friday. You know what that means. Cesaro fires up, with a big Powerbomb and a springboard twisting forearm. Cesaro looks for the Neutralizer but Uso escapes to the ropes. On the rebound, Cesaro catches Uso and drops him hard with his European Upper-cut. Cesaro goes for the cover but Rollins breaks it up. DB fights Rollins to the outside then hits a Suicide Dive on Rollins! Cesaro takes a superkick from Uso and we head to our second break.
When we return Cesaro and Rollins are still going at it with Uso and Bryan down on the ringside floor. Cesaro looks for a King of Swing (old name, habit) but Rollins squirms out. Cesaro rolls up Rollins but Uso recovers in time to superkick Cesaro in the back of the head. Rollins tags in Uso. Rollins hops off the apron and walks up the ramp, yelling that he doesn't need this, he's "Seth Freakin' Rollins!" Cesaro uses the distraction to attack Uso, then tag in Daniel Bryan. Bryan wastes no time picking up the victory over Jey Uso.
Your Winners, Cesaro & Daniel Bryan!
In the Ring: Daniel Bryan & Cesaro
Bryan gets on the mic and tries to taunt Roman into coming out. Uso attempts to attack him from behind but Cesaro picks the legs and starts the Swing. Bryan sits on the top turnbuckle, counting as Cesaro swings Jey. He adds "and you said I'm stupid?" in response to Uso attempting to ambush two men. Daniel and Cesaro both get on mic, and continue to taunt Roman to come out. Cesaro asks "Won't Roman come out to save his own cousin?" Cesaro and Bryan agree that Roman isn't exactly a family man. DB tells CEsaro they should test if Roman's a family man, and he tells Cesaro to swing Uso again! Uso tries to crawl away but Cesaro catches him and starts the Swing as Bryan sits there, yelling on the mic and looking up the ramp, begging Roman to come save his family. Cesaro spins Uso nearly two dozen times before just letting him fall free. Bryan continues, telling Roman that he knows Roman couldn't beat DB without Edge's help, and he couldn't beat Edge because of Uso. Bryan speculates that he expects Roman realizes that he can't beat Cesaro. DB gives up on Roman coming out, hypes Cesaro and tells Roman that once Cesaro does get his hands on Roman, he'll be the new champ.
Backstage: Adam Pearce & Sonya Deville
I think Sonya and Adam are talking table placement, hard to make them out. Apollo Crews storms in with Dabbo Kato (however Babatunde was billed earlier), now known as Commander Azeez and in full uniform. He's upset that he has to defend his title tonight. Pearce reminds Apollo that Big E will get his rematch when he returns but tonight he should, instead, worry about his opponent Kevin Owens. We go to break.
Backstage: Kayla Braxton with Jey Uso
Kayla Braxton comes across a limping, hurting Uso and ask him how he feels. He gets snippy, tells her that he feels like throwing up, and Cesaro will get his for trying to step up to the table.
Match: Nia Jax w/ Shayna Baszler & Reginald vs Tamina w/ Natalya
First things first: that "suit" Reginald wearing needs to be burned immediately after the show. Jax and Tamina clash, the two giant cousins going at it hard. Nia controls early on, tossing Tamina aside. Tamina fires back fast, suplexing Nia! Tamina backs Nia to the ropes and looks to do another suplex but Shayna grabs Jax's feet, blocking it. The ref suspects and yells at Shayna. Tamina again attempts a suplex with the same result. Tamina tosses Jax aside and takes a kick at Shayna. Cole comments that Nia may be injured and questions if her nose is broken (if so, there's no blood and it doesn't look like it). Tamina never loses control despite Shayna's attempted interference, and Reginald, and puts Jax away in part due to them. After the match, Jax holds her jaw as Shayna and Reginald check on her as she looks in shock.
Your Winner, Tamina Snuka!
Backstage Promo: Kayla Braxton and Kevin Owens
Braxton asks Owens about his championship opportunity. Unexpectedly just after he talks, Big E walks up! Both men teasingly joke about this being E's match and E's title, and Owens claims it won't be when KO wins it tonight. Their playful banter gets a bit of an edge. KO slaps Big E on the shoulder, heading off to ready for the championship match--which is up next!
Backstage: Daniel Bryan with Adam Pearce
When we return, DB is confronting Pearce regarding Cesaro getting a Universal Championship opportunity. Pearce says he's trying, and Bryan tells him there is no try, only do (paraphrasing).
Intercontinental Championship Match: Apollo Crews(c) w/ Commander Azeez vs Kevin Owens
Out first is the challenger, Kevin Owens. Apollo Crews comes out wearing his scarf and new garb, and has a large ceremonial stave in hand. They make their way to the ring and we ready up after Commander Azeez exits. Pat McAfee says that Azeez may be the largest competitor he's ever seen. Cole points out that the Intercontinental title is prestigious, dating back to inaugural champ Pat Patterson winning the title in 1979 when it was created. The bell rings and we get to it. Owens takes Crews down with a side headlock takedown, yelling something unintelligible to the ref. Crews makes it to a vertical base but once again, Owens with the side headlock takedown. He works on the neck, and Crews is in a precarious position--lay back to take pressure off and be pinned, or lean into it. Eventually Crews does escape and once again, KO with the side headlock takedown. KO changes tactics, using fists and feet to battle Crews into the corner. It's Crews' turn to do a side headlock. Owens is whipped into the ropes and runs over Crews, then hits a senton. Both men back up and battling. Crews to the outside. KO runs off the opposite ropes and streaks back, looking for a Suicide Dive when Azeez takes a page out of Omos' playbook and positions himself between his leader and the challenger. Owens gets on the apron and is distracted by Azeez, allowing Crews to take the lead. Crews with a whip. A big right. Crews with a few more moves before KO takes control back just moments later. KO drops Crews and covers for two...and out comes Sami Zayn because there's nothing quite like using WrestleMania to start feuds, not end them. Owens looks up the ramp wearily as we go to break.
Back from the break and Sami Zayn is now on commentary, denigrating his WrestleMania opponent. Crews and Owens battle back and forth. Crews comes off the top and Owen avoids it, striking Crews. Owens with a chop against the ropes. Crews fires back with a big clothesline, covering for a two. Zayn tells us he's still trying to get his documentary shopped around town. He's very upset and blames Kevin Owens for his issues getting his documentary out there. Meanwhile in the ring, Crews continues to control. Step-up Enziguri followed by Suplex City from Crews, covering Owens for two. Crews is frustrated, and yells at the ref "that's three!" Crews looks for a kick but KO catches Crews with a release German Suplex that sends Crews flying into the corner. KO hits the Cannonball twice. After using the ropes to get to his feet, KO tells Crews to get up. KO kicks Crews in the midsection and goes for the Stunner but Crews shoves him off. Arm drag followed by a second Stunner attempt with the same result. A third attempt and Owens gives up, just popping up Crews for the Pop-up Sit-out Powerbomb. KO springboards into the ring, crashing down on Crews. Crews rolls outside. KO goes outside and brings him in. Commander Azeez distracts KO, and Crews rolls KO up while holding his shoulders down to pick up the win.
Your Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion, Apollo Crews!
After the Match
After the match, KO finally connects with a very-slow-mo Stunner. Azeez enters the ring and delivers a massive right to the throat/jaw of Owens, leaving him spitting up on the mat as Azeez escorts Crews to the back. Zayn enters the ring and spends about a minute dancing over Owens after having said he deserved what he got.
Backstage: Kayla Braxton with Paul Heyman
Braxton asks Heyman if Reigns will accept Cesaro's challenge. Heyman tells Kayla she's as probing as beautiful. Language! Heyman then spends two minutes to praise Cesaro and pull his best Dave Meltzer, talking circles around the topic. Heyman then says he wants to give a prediction--no, a spoiler!--that later tonight, everyone in the Tribe will hear frm their Tribal Chief and will answer Cesaro's challenge himself. Heyman tells Braxton "you did good, kid, I'm proud of you" in recognition that an interview attempt actually happened for once. We go to break.
Backstage: Megan with Apollo Crews
New SmackDown-exclusive interviewer Megan talks to Crews about his championship retention. He's fired up about his big win until Big E strikes from nowhere, beating the tar out of him before officials separate them.
Video Promo: Aleister Black Returns
After months of absence, we have the return of Aleister Black. He has a gothic storybook, reading a story from the book "Takes of the Dark Father.: The story is animated in a unique fashion. Black refers to a Priest as "father" then promptly turns heel, telling the viewer that we are the worst of humanity, we should be destroyed, our farm lands burned, our cows stolen, and other insults and threats.
Backstage: Kayla Braxton with the Dirty Dawgs
Kayla welcomes the SmackDown tag team champions, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode--both of whom are wearing "Dirty Dawgs" tees. They discuss beating the Mysterios. Ziggler praises Rey, slightly, then Kayla asks who's next? The Street Profits come up and both teams get in their faces. Bayley interjects herself, separating the two teams. Bayley hijacks the interview, and informs us that she'll face SmackDown Women's Champion Bianca Belair at WrestleMania Backlash. She insults the champ, claiming shes not worthy, and says she has Bianca's number. Bayley tells Kayla to tell that message to Bianca. Montez Ford, Belair's husband, walks up checking his phone. Bayley tells him to tell his wife the message instead. He then reveals that he's on speakerphone, and asks if she (Bianca) heard her (Bayley). She laughs. He tells her that Bayley claims to have Bianca's number. Belair tells Montez "(okay,) I'll be right there." Bayley says she'll remain where she's at, in the backstage fake mini ring/interview area as we go to break.
Backstage: SmackDown Women's Champion Bianca Belair and Bayley
Belair shows up and Bayley changes tune, telling Belair that she really does respect her and wanted to congratulate her on her big win over Sasha Banks. She praises Belair's carying Banks over the stairs and states she's fought Banks many, many times and was impressed. She then states it'll be an honor to face her at WrestleMania Backlash. She walks off and Belair tells Braxton that's not what she expected. Bayley then comes up, laughing her rump off in Belair's face and walks off.
Tag Team Main Event Match: the Mysterios vs the Alpha Academy
Rey and Dom come out first. We're treated to a Progressive Match Flo that showed Mysterio defeating Otis last week, using the big man's momentum against him. Out next are Otis and Chad Gable" to the old Heavy Machinery theme with "Blue Collar Solid" on the banner and screen. Cole points out we've never had a father/son tag team championship team, which has no bearing on this match. Dominick starts with Chad but Otis immediately demands to go in first. Gable whispers something to Otis and tags him in. Otis tosses Dom aside. Otis with a slam. Otis looks for a standing belly flop after a clothesline lays out Dom. Otis takes control and picks Dom up perpendicular, perhaps looking for a Fall-away Slam but turns it into a big powerslam/splash combo. Otis and Gable take control as they take out the Mysterios at ringside and we go to break.
Upon returning, we find Alpha Academy still in control as Gable repeatedly drops a knee on Dominick's left shoulder. Gable whips Dom; on the rebound, Dom dodges and strikes Otis. Gable rolls up Dom but Otis' attempt to come in to strike back at Dom blows up in their face as it distracts the ref. Note: Rey has not been in this match yet. Alpha Academy use a series of tags to keep fresh and wear down Dom. Otis runs over Dom, delivers another clothesline, and a scoop slam. Otis tags in Gable, who throws shoulders into Dom's gut in the corner. Otis is tagged in. Gable holds Dom and Otis runs him over. Otis tags in Gable. Gable works Dom's left arm but the digital audience starts a large clap fire-up. Dom gets to his feet but Gable hits a pair of suplexes. Dom reaches for his father but Gable with a release rear suplex. Dom manages to escape and tags in his father. Rey hits the ring fresh and hot. Rey with a headscissors take down, a springboard back elbow, a Hurricanrana roll-up for a close two. Gable gets his second wind and charges Rey, but Rey moves and Gable collides with the ring post. Rey heads up top but Gable intercepts. Rey converts it into a top-rope Hurricanrana release toss. The Mysterios use a set of tags to beat down Gable. Gable's sent to the middle rope as Otis rallies outside. Dom charges and connects with a springboard dive onto Otis outside, who catches him. Rey uses this opportunity to hit the 6-1-9 and roll up Gable for the big win!
Your Winners, the Mysterios!
In the Ring: Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Roman Reigns & Friends
As the Mysterios head up the ramp, Cesaro's music plays and out he comes with Daniel Bryan. They congratulate the duo on their win and head to the ring. Roman will be out next, after this break! When we return, Cesaro and Daniel Bryan await Roman's choice. He fails to come out. Cesaro tells Roman to come out and give his answer, or they'll come back there and get it. Out comes Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman & Jey Uso. Roman actually makes the walk to the ring in under five minutes! Roman and crew climb in the ring as Cole recaps everything we already know--that Cesaro demands an answer. Roman gets in Cesaro's face and on the mic. Roman angrily tells Cesaro that he doesn't deserve a match and his answer is no--and always will be a no--because Cesaro isn't on the same level as Roman. Roman says around here, it's the Universal Champion who issues challenges. He turns to Daniel Bryan and tells him that Daniel Bryan is the challenger. He offers a title match against Daniel Bryan because he's sick of DB and wants him out of his life. DB hesitates as he was advocating for Cesaro. Cesaro tells Bryan, "You have to take it!" DB begrudgingly accepts with a caveat from Roman--
if when Roman defeats Bryan, he doesn't ever want to see DB around here (SmackDown?) again. Bryan tells Roman he accepts. The digital crowd and ThunderDome give a loud "yes" chant and hand gestures. Roman holds up his belt and Bryan stares at it. Our announcers confirm the stipulation--if Bryan loses, he's banished from SmackDown. We fade to black.
And that wraps up our show for tonight! I think it's safe to say that, once again, NXT put on the best show with the better matches this week. I wish you all a happy weekend as spring turns into yuck season. Stay cool, stay frosty, and stay safe out there. See you all Monday!
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