The John Report: WWE SmackDown 04/19/24 Review

WWE Smackdown April 19

This week’s WWE Smackdown featured Bayley defending the Women’s Title against Naomi, AJ Styles against LA Knight, and more.

On last week’s Smackdown, we also saw Solo SIkoa and a debuting Tama Tonga attack Jimmy Uso, who is Solo’s brother. Paul Heyman reacted to it like it wasn’t an order from Roman Reigns, so it was a big deal to see Solo acting on his own or taking orders from somebody else. I thought it was great. It will be interesting to see how they follow up on that.

From the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this is Smackdown for episode #1287. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

They showed some arrivals from earlier in the day including WWE Women’s Champion Bayley and Naomi.

It was Corey Graves and Wade Barrett on commentary. Graves is a Pittsburgh guy, so he was at home.

LA Knight entered first to a big pop. At the start of AJ Styles’ new theme song, he says “You don’t want none.” I miss the old song, but I get wanting to change it since he’s a heel.

AJ Styles vs. LA Knight

The winner of this match gets an Undisputed WWE Title match against Cody Rhodes at Backlash. Knight beat Styles at WrestleMania less than two weeks ago.

Knight was in control early with a punch and clothesline. Knight tossed Styles out of the ring. Knight rammed AJ’s head into the hood of the commentary table repeatedly so the crowd chanted “Yeah” every time. Back in the ring, Styles kicked Knight in the ribs since AJ was back in the ring first. Knight did a back body drop sending Styles out of the ring. Knight hit a running kick to send Styles into the side of the commentary table. That led to a break.


The match returned with both guys running the ropes leading to a double cross body block that knocked both guys down, so they were down on the mat selling. Styles and Knight exchanged punches until Styles did a thrust to the throat. Knight came back with a punch combo along with corner stomps. Knight hit a running knee smash on Styles against the turnbuckle. Knight set up Styles on the top and Knight jumped up with a superplex for a two count. Styles came back with moonsault into a reverse DDT off the middle rope for a two count. Styles got a rollup for two. Styles nailed a Pele Kick to the head. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Knight avoided it and Knight hit a powerslam along with an elbow drop. Knight went for BFT, but Styles slipped out of it and went to the turnbuckle. Styles did an eye poke that the referee didn’t see, Styles punched Knight and Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: AJ Styles

Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good and similar to the WrestleMania match they had. Styles gets the big victory thanks to the eye poke that the referee didn’t see and Styles followed up with the Phenomenal Forearm. Knight got the win at WrestleMania, but it makes more sense for Styles to win this match since he’s a heel going against the babyface WWE Champion Cody Rhodes. I expected a Styles win.

That win by AJ Styles means he’ll challenge Cody Rhodes at Backlash on May 4th.

Analysis: I think it’s a lock that Cody Rhodes will win. However, AJ Styles is obviously a great performer, so they should have an entertaining match.

A recap was shown of The Bloodline angle from last week’s show. Solo Sikoa & Tama Tonga destroyed Jimmy Uso while Paul Heyman didn’t realize it was going to happen.

Solo Sikoa arrived in a car. Solo had a jacket on and Paul Heyman was there saying nice threads by Solo. Tama Tonga was there, so Solo introduced him as the newest member of The Bloodline. Heyman tried to say something, but Solo asked if Kevin Owens was and Heyman said he thinks he was in the locker room. They walked into the building.

The WWE Draft is coming next Friday, April 26th on Smackdown and Monday, April 29th on Raw.


There were images and videos shown of the WWE Raw brand on tour in Europe this week.

They showed members of the Pittsburgh Steelers including Cam Heyward, Alex Highsmith and others.

New WWE Tag Team Championships Presentation

The Smackdown General Manager Nick Aldis was in the ring for a promo. He introduced WWE Hall of Famer, Chief Content Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque for the new championship presentation just like Triple H did on Raw. While Triple H was walking to the ring, there was some QR Code that appeared along with some sort of screen messing up. That’s a clue about the mysterious characters coming to WWE soon which could involve Bo Dallas, Rowan, and others. Anyway, Triple H got a huge ovation as usual.

Triple H was in the ring with Aldis along with a blue carpet. They also had a cover on top of something on a podium. Hunter talked about how they are sold out here in Pittsburgh with over 15,000 strong and welcomed the fans to Smackdown. Hunter said that he thinks Adam Pearce and Nick Aldis are doing an incredible job of leading their respective brands into the future. Hunter shook Nick’s hand. Hunter said when history is made, he wants to honor that history when it is made. Aldis introduced the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions – Austin Theory & Grayson Waller aka A-Town Down Under. They had the blue Smackdown Tag Team Titles with them.

Waller said on Monday they awarded the second place championships on Raw and now you get to present A-Town Down Under with their titles. Theory mentioned that R-Truth called Triple H a magician and Theory wondered how Triple H can make them look even better. Triple H announced that they will now be known as the WWE Tag Team Champions and the new titles were presented.

Triple H wanted to shake Theory/Waller’s hands, but Theory & Waller shook their own hands rather than shaking Triple H’s hands. Nick Aldis got in their faces about disrespecting Triple H and threatened them if they ever did that again. Aldis told the champions that the fatal four-way tag team match was coming up next.

Analysis: Those new titles look fantastic. I think they are certainly an upgrade over the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. We are back to having the World Tag Team Titles on Raw and the WWE Tag Team Titles on Smackdown, so that’s fine with me. Waller & Theory were obnoxious as usual, but that’s what I like about them as cocky heels. They were disrespectful to Triple H by not shaking his hand. I liked Aldis warning Waller & Theory not to do that sort of thing again too. It makes Aldis look like a strong authority figure. Anyway, I’m glad that the Tag Team Titles are split up again. I think that’s the right move.

The Street Profits made their entrances first with Bobby Lashley & B-Fab, who went to the back. Theory & Waller were at ringside with their Tag Team Titles. New Catch Republic were up next for this tag team match after a break.


Naomi was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Naomi said that she won’t let friendship get in the way of her championship match against Bayley. Naomi said that last week she made Tiffy Time feel the glow and she’s going to keep that momentum going. Naomi said she’ll go into next week’s WWE Draft as the new WWE Women’s Champion.

The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins vs. Legado Del Fantasma – Angel & Berto vs. New Catch Republic – Tyler Bate & Pete Dunne vs. Authors of Pain – Akam & Rezar

Theory and Waller are on commentary. Bate and Ford started the match with some athletic moves and counters. Berto tagged Bate to become legal and Berto held Ford on the apron leading to Angel hitting a running knee for two. Dawkins tagged in with a back elbow on Angel. There were more quick tags. Both AOP guys were in the ring with Rezar hitting a uranage slam on Ford as the show went to break.


Rezar was in control of Ford with a backbreaker submission. Ford got out of that to bring in Dunne and Bate went into the ring illegally. Dunne hit a German Suplex on Berto along with a dropkick. Bate and Dunne hit a double team clothesline/German Suplex on Angel. Bate punched Rezar and tried for a lift, but that didn’t work. The Profits hit jumping kicks on Rezar so Bate did an airplane spin on Rezar, but Legado stopped that. I lost track who was legal in this match. There was a tag by Berto so he’s legal. They did a Tower of Doom spot out of the corner and Legado launched Bate onto the pile of wrestlers. Angel and Berto did a missile dropkick/Powerbomb combo on Bate for two because Dunne broke up the pin. I thought Dunne was legal, but maybe it was Bate. Anyway, Bate applied an Ankle Lock on Berto, but Berto kicked him away and onto Dunne. All eight guys were down around the ring as the show went to break.


AOP was in control as Rezar hit Dawkins with a forearm smash. Rezar hit a Powerbomb on Dawkins and Akam gave Dunne a powerslam onto Dawkins, which led to a two count for Rezar on Dawkins. Dunne and Bate countered AOP leading to a collision on AOP. The other teams all kicked AOP out of the ring. There were strikes by everybody in the ring as Berto jumped off the ropes with a springboard kick on Dawkins for two. Dawkins did a Pounce to Berto and Ford got the tag. Ford jumped off the top for a top rope Blockbuster for two because Dunne broke up the pin. Dawkins sent Dunne to the apron leading to Dunne doing some finger snapping to Dawkins. Ford kicked Dunne out of the ring. Bate tagged in leading to a hurricanrana on Berto and Bate sent Angel out of the ring. Bate and Dunne hit double moonsaults onto guys on the floor while ford hit a somersault dive over the ring post onto the AOP guys on the floor! Wow. That was crazy. Bate and Berto were legal in the ring as Berto got an inside cradle for two. Berto nailed Bate with a clothesline. Berto launched Bate in the air leading to Angel kicking Bate in the ribs. Angel hit a top rope moonsault on Bate for two because Ford hit a Frog Splash to break up the pin. Dawkins tagged himself in leading to Street Profits hitting their Revelation (spinebuster/neckbreaker) combo move for the pinfall win after 18 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins

Analysis: ***1/2 A fun match that was full of action and chaos. With that said, this match was sloppy in the sense that they had illegal men in the ring throughout the match and for several minutes at a time. You don’t see that in WWE that often compared to other wrestling companies, so that did surprise me a bit. Getting back to what I liked, they did a nice job of having AOP dominate most of it, but then the other teams had their moments to shine as well. It really could have won by any of the four teams. I like the Profits winning since they haven’t been in the title picture for a long time and they make sense as babyface opponents for the heel champions.

After the match, The Street Profits had a staredown with Waller & Theory since that’s going to be a future match.

The Progressive Match Flo showed a clip from Raw featuring Rhea Ripley having to vacate the Women’s World Title due to a right shoulder injury. They didn’t show Liv Morgan’s interruption.

Bayley was interviewed by Byron Saxton backstage. Bayley said that she’s the only Women’s Champion in WWE right now. Bayley said she’s excited to face her friend Naomi, but what won’t change is that Bayley will still be the Women’s Champion.

Solo Sikoa was shown standing backstage with Paul Heyman. Heyman said he’s sorry that they can’t find Kevin Owens. Solo walked out toward the ring. Heyman said he’s not trying to piss him off. Heyman said that Solo is making decisions that are not his decisions to be made yet. Heyman said that these decisions can only be made by…so Solo stopped him and asked if he was done yet.

Solo Sikoa made his entrance with the “Wise Man” Paul Heyman for a promo. They went to break.

This Monday on Raw will feature a battle royal for the Women’s World Title. Plus, Awesome Truth will defend the World Tag Team Titles against #DIY as well.


Let’s Hear from Solo Sikoa with Paul Heyman

Paul Heyman started the promo talking about backstage politics within The Bloodline, which is the premier act in WWE history. The fans chanted “We Want Roman” at that point. Heyman tried to respond to that, but Solo took the microphone from Heyman.

Solo Sikoa said last week…and he was booed loudly while trying to talk. Solo said that last week he had to lose a brother in order for him to find a new one. Solo introduced his MFT…Tama Tonga.

Tama Tonga made his entrance by beating up Kevin Owens, who was on his knees and trying to fight back. Owens was bleeding from the left side of his head, but they never showed closeups of the blood. Tama Tonga went into the ring and raised his hand. Solo and Heyman did it too

Owens, who was a bloody mess, went toward the ring to try to fight, but Solo threw Owens into the steel steps. Owens did a double leg takedown on Tama followed by punches. Solo went into the ring and hit Owens with a Samoan Spike to the chest. Tama attacked Owens with punches while beating up security guys as well. Tama brought a steel chair into the ring, but SD GM Nick Aldis was there along with other WWE Officials. Solo got Tama to back off. The fans chanted “you suck” at Solo & Tama as they left. Meanwhile, a bloody Owens was helped at ringside. Solo, Tama & Heyman held their fingers up in the air for The Bloodline to end it. After that, Heyman put his hand on his face as if he was shocked by it all.

Analysis: They are doing a nice job of making Tama Tonga look like a crazy man because he’s been so aggressive since his debut. It sure seems like the story is that Solo is taking control of The Bloodline since Roman Reigns is away, so long term the story will likely have Reigns back as a babyface to try to reclaim the group. The fans chanting “We Want Roman” shows that when WWE pulls the trigger on Reigns as a face, the fans are going to be behind him. Owens bleeding heavily isn’t something you see that often in WWE, but it fits the story and will probably lead to an Owens match against Solo soon. Anyway, I’m intrigued by the story. I liked this segment just like last week.


There was a parking lot scene where we saw a car crash in the parking lot, so Tama Tonga did that to Kevin Owens. Nick Aldis told Paul Heyman that they can’t tolerate this kind of behavior especially with the WWE Draft being next week and top brass has their eyes on this show. Aldis told Heyman that losing isn’t the only thing that has consequences. Heyman acted like he was shocked by the whole thing.

Analysis: Heyman is doing a tremendous job in this angle because his facial expressions reacting to everything are perfect in terms of showing how shocked he is at everything that happens.

Carlito (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Santos Escobar (w/Elektra Lopez)

A pre-tape interview was shown with Legado Del Fantasma as Escobar made it clear they did not attack Dragon Lee.

Carito worked over Escobar with punches. Escobar hit a boot to the face, but Carlito came back with a spinebuster for two. Carlito hit a dropkick to knock Escobar out of the ring. Carlito did a slingshot dive over the top on Escobar on the floor.


Escobar was in control with a running double knee attack along with a jumping kick to the head. Escobar hit a hurricanrana off the turnbuckle for a two count. Carlito hit a couple of clotheslines, a back elbow and a knee lift. Carlito hit another clothesline for two. Carlito did a very slow climb to the turnbuckle. Lopez was on the apron, so Vega jumped on her and Lopez swung Vega into the barricade. Escobar kicked the ropes for a low blow while the referee was looking at the women on the floor. Escobar sent Carlito into the ring post followed by Escobar hitting a Phantom Driver for the pinfall win after. This match went about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Santos Escobar

Analysis: **1/2 Just an average match. The chaos caused by the women on the floor led to the low blow by Escobar using the ropes followed by his finisher right after that. Carlito really doesn’t win much and he’s there to put over the younger guys.

Damage CTRL’s Dakota Kai, IYO SKY, Asuka & Kairi Sane were in a skybox so Kayla Braxton interviewed them. Kai said that Damage CTRL was still the most dominant force in WWE. Kai said that Kabuki Warriors are still the Women’s Tag Team Champions and that is not going to change…but here’s an interruption.

Jade Cargill and Bianca Belair were in the skybox beside the Damage CTRL ladies. Those six ladies argued.

Naomi made her glow entrance for the main event. Graves said it’s been over two years since Naomi has challenged for a championship in WWE.


A replay was shown of AJ Styles beating LA Knight earlier in the night.

Cody Rhodes was shown backstage at The O2 in London doing a promo saying he is bringing the WWE Title everywhere he goes. Cody said that AJ Styles is the number one contender and he’s the modern-day Excellence of Execution. Cody said that at Lyon, France at Backlash, he looks forward to this match.

Next Friday on Smackdown:

* Cody Rhodes and AJ Styles contract signing.

* WWE Draft 2024 begins.

Bayley made her entrance as the WWE Women’s Champion. Mike Rome was in the ring for the championship introductions.

WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Naomi

Bayley was in control with two arm drags. Bayley got a shoulder tackle. Naomi did an inside cradle for two and they each got nearfalls a couple of times. Naomi charged leading to a double cross body block. Naomi hit a dropkick followed by a bulldog. Naomi hit her Rear View attack for a two count as the show went to break.


Naomi connected with a jawbreaker. Naomi hit a running forearm mash against the turnbuckle and Naomi sent Bayley into the turnbuckle. Naomi jumped off the top with a cross body block for two. Bayley caught a charging Naomi and sent her into the turnbuckle. Bayley hit a belly-to-back suplex for two. Bayley went up top, jumped off with an elbow drop and Naomi got her knees up to block. Naomi with a high kick followed by a facebuster for two. Naomi went for a split-legged moonsault off the top, but Bayley got the knees up. Bayley hit a running knee smash to the head. Bayley went up top and hit a top rope elbow drop for two. Naomi came back with a jumping kick to the head. Naomi countered Bayley leading to a sunset flip for two. Naomi applied a head/arm submission, but Bayley countered it for the pin for two. They exchanged forearms to the head. Naomi delivered a kick along with a knee smash on Bayley. Naomi did a slingshot dive over the top onto Bayley on the floor. Tiffany Stratton appeared at ringside to attack both women. It went about 11 minutes.

Match Result: Bayley wins by Disqualification/No Contest

Analysis: *** They had a good match with Naomi getting a lot of offense leading to plenty of nearfalls. Bayley did a nice job of making comebacks. I liked their aggressiveness near the end of the match. Stratton ruining it will piss off fans and get her some more heat.

After the match, Stratton sent Bayley into the steel steps and Stratton sent Naomi into the ring post. Stratton set up both women beside eachother and Stratton hit the triple jump Prettiest Moonsault Ever. Stratton celebrated her successful cheap attack. Stratton continued to celebrate. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: That makes me think they might do a triple threat match between Bayley, Naomi and Stratton just based on how this went. I know Naomi beat Stratton last week, but to advance the story it makes sense to do a triple threat match after this.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. AJ Styles
  2. The Street Profits
  3. Paul Heyman


The Scoreboard

7.5 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2024 Average: 7.35


Final Thoughts on WWE Smackdown

A good show just like last week was. They had the really long four-way tag team match that was fun to watch although maybe it was too chaotic. I’m happy The Street Profits won. The other matches were all solid and were given plenty of time. I also like the look of the new WWE Tag Team Titles for Theory and Waller. Big improvement.

The Bloodline story is taking a violent turn since Solo Sikoa seems to be leading the way while Tama Tonga drove a car into Kevin Owens in the parking lot to bloody KO. That led to Owens wanting to fight some more, but he was too hurt and got his ass kicked. They are putting over Tama as a crazy guy. Paul Heyman is so great in these Bloodline segments.

I’m glad that AJ Styles beat LA Knight in their match to set up Cody-AJ at Backlash. I liked that as the opener. The Bayley-Naomi match ended without a winner due to Tiffany Stratton’s interference, so maybe those ladies will have a triple threat match at some point soon.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is Backlash on May 4th. Here’s the lineup so far.

* Undisputed WWE Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs. AJ Styles


Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport