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The John Report: WWE Smackdown 04/29/22 Review

wwe smackdown april 29

This week’s WWE Smackdown featured Drew McIntyre facing Sami Zayn in a Steel Cage Match, Charlotte Flair-Ronda Rousey competing in Beat the Clock and yet another contract signing.

This show was taped in Albany last week following the live show before it. The reason for that is because the Smackdown brand is on tour in Europe right now as you can see from Drew McIntyre in this clip. It’s back to a live Smackdown episode next week. Anyway, this has been our best month ever in terms of website traffic on TJRWrestling, so I thank you for your support as we continue to grow and get bigger in the future.

From the MVP Arena in Albany, New York, this is Smackdown for episode #1184. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The commentary team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcomed us to the show to promote what’s coming up. The steel cage surrounded the ring for the opening match.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance for a match against Sami Zayn for the fourth week in a row. Sami Zayn made his entrance. They showed clips of the previous three matches with Sami running away twice, then in a Lumberjack Match last week, Sami ran away again. Now it’s a Steel Cage Match to prevent Sami from running away.

Steel Cage Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Sami Zayn

The rules for WWE steel cage matches are that you can win by pinfall, submission, climbing out the cage or going out through the door.

Zayn was hesitant to go in the ring, Drew tossed him and shut the door. Drew Gulak was on hand as the timekeeper. Drew sent Zayn into the corner for some kicks, punches and chops. Drew whipped Zayn into the steel cage. You could tell there was some fake crowd noise going on, but there were fans chanting “one more time” so Drew tossed Sami into the cage again. Zayn broke free, he tried climbing the cage, Drew got his foot and Sami kicked Drew away. Zayn sent Drew’s face into the cage a few times and Zayn hit a Sunset Flip Powerbomb off the top rope. Good spot leading to a break.

(Commercial)

Zayn was in control as he had Drew grounded on the apron with Sami sending Drew’s head into the cage a few times. After Zayn shouted that he’s not scared, Drew fought back and slammed Zayn’s head into the cage. Zayn avoided a charging Drew leading to Drew hitting the cage. Zayn with a running Helluva Kick while Drew was near the cage. Sami climbed up the cage, he had his legs on the outside, but Drew grabbed him by the head and bounced Zayn off the steel. That led to Zayn bouncing back into the ring. Drew whipped Zayn into the cage three times followed by a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. Drew hit a neckbreaker. Drew counted down for a Claymore Kick, so Zayn climbed the turnbuckle to try to leave the cage, but Drew stopped him again. Zayn kicked Drew repeatedly to crotch him on the top rope. Zayn climbed to the top of the cage again, Zayn had his full body on the outside, but Drew grabbed him by the hair. Drew was standing on the top rope and he superplexed Zayn into the ring. That was impressive since Zayn’s body was at the top of the cage. Drew did the 3-2-1 countdown for the Claymore Kick for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good cage match. Drew finally got the pinfall win after wrestling Zayn four times in a month. I like how Zayn had two different moments in the match where he nearly climbed out for the win, but Drew was able to bring him back. At least there was some drama there. We knew Drew was going to win obviously. However, it is good to see Zayn not booked like a total loser. That was likely the end of this TV feud and Drew should be on to bigger things.

They replayed the Ronda Rousey-Charlotte Flair contract signing from last week.

Charlotte Flair, the Smackdown Women’s Champion, was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Flair claimed she was adored, worshipped by all and Ronda won’t show her face again after Flair beats her at WrestleMania Backlash. Flair said she’ll prove she’s better than Rousey at everything and Ronda may even quit before WrestleMania Backlash.

Happy Corbin made his entrance to host his talk show that still exists for some reason.

(Commercial)

Happy Talk

Happy Corbin was in the ring with some chairs, red carpet and drinks. Corbin said that it’s the new and improved Happy Talk since we don’t have to deal with his lackey, the insufferable Madcap Moss. Corbin said that nothing dragged this show down more than Madcap’s awful jokes that Corbin never found funny. Corbin thinks it’s funny that Madcap believes he can beat Corbin at WrestleMania Backlash. Corbin said that Madcap owes his battle royal victory to Corbin because he molded and shaped Madcap into the man that he is today. Corbin said just like he made Madcap Moss, he’s going to destroy Moss. Corbin talked about how he was going to destroy the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal trophy. Corbin introduced the Andre trophy, which was carried down to the ring. A Progressive Match Flo showed how Corbin stole the trophy last week.

It was revealed that Moss was dressed in disguise in a blue outfit and Moss beat up Corbin with punches. Moss hit a shoulder tackle followed by Moss sending Corbin into the ring post. The fake crowd noise was cheering this. Moss held the Andrea trophy in his hands.

Analysis: A typical heel promo from Corbin that tried to get heat with some cheap shots about Moss. Having Moss interrupt was obviously going to happen since they have a match at WrestleMania Backlash. I think Moss should win their Backlash match, but I’m not sure if he will. The heavy dose of fake crowd noise shows that the fans really didn’t care about this much. Neither did I.

A replay was shown of last week when Ricochet agreed to defend the Intercontinental Title against the big man Shanky.

Ricochet made his entrance for his Intercontinental Title defense.

(Commercial)

They showed photos and a tweet of Titus O’Neil joining the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning when they visited the White House last week. Titus lives in Tampa and is active in the community.

Intercontinental Championship: Ricochet vs. Shanky (w/Jinder Mahal)

I don’t remember if Shanky has won a match on Smackdown. I don’t think so. The seven-footer Shanky hit a forearm to the back followed by chops and an elbow to the head. Shanky with a chinlock and an elbow drop. Ricochet with a jumping kick to the head, then when Ricochet was on the middle turnbuckle, Shanky tossed him across the ring. Shanky with a punch leading to Shanky going to a chinlock again. Shanky missed an elbow drop when Ricochet moved, Ricochet jumped off the ropes and hit a springboard cross body block. Ricochet with a shoulder tackle, a kick to the head and the referee was looking at Shanky, so Jinder tripped up Ricochet on the top rope. Shanky went for a slam off the ropes, but Ricochet countered with a sunset flip pin for the pinfall win after about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ricochet

Analysis: *1/2 The match was all about Ricochet selling for most of the match with Shanky looking dominant. That’s the logical way to tell the story for a match between those guys due to the size difference. All it took was Ricochet to counter a move off the shoulders to get the pinfall win.

After the match, Jinder Mahal was yelling at Shanky about losing. Shanky yelled and told him “enough” before walking away. Shanky left on his own while Mahal made angry faces in the ring.

Analysis: I don’t think it would be a smart move to put Shanky on his own. Shanky is very limited in what he can do, so being with Mahal is probably the best role for him.

Raquel Rodriguez was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Raquel said when you look this good, you’re used to having all eyes on you. Raquel said she likes being the center of attention, so she’s going to put on a show and make an impact no one will ever forget.

Raquel Rodriguez made her entrance for her debut match on Smackdown.

(Commercial)

Raquel Rodriguez vs. Cat Cardoza

Cat with a jumping knee attack before the bell. When the bell rang, Raquel hit a running clothesline. More smiling from Raquel, who followed with a wristlock while lifting Cat into the air. Raquel whipped Cat into the corner. Raquel hit a fallaway slam two times in a row. Raquel jumped off the middle rope with a spinning splash. Cat snapped the throat of Raquel against the top rope along with some choking across the top rope. Cat wanted a kick, Raquel caught her and Raquel hit a Chingona Bomb for the pinfall win after just under three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Raquel Rodriguez

Analysis: 1/2* A squash match to put over Raquel in her debut match on Smackdown. She should keep up racking up the wins in the week ahead before they put her in a meaningful win.

Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser were backstage somewhere for a promo as highlights were thrown of Gunther beating people up. Ludwig talked about how great Gunther was. Gunther said that respect will be taken by the “ring general.”

Analysis: Great. More of Gunther on the show, please.

RK-Bro, the Raw Tag Team Champions, made their entrance for the contract signing.

(Commercial)

They showed a Make-A-Wish kid named Giovanna sitting ringside. She got to meet Drew McIntyre, so that’s cool.

The Usos made their entrance as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions with Cole noting they have been champions for 284 days.

Contract Signing for Tag Team Title Unification Match at WrestleMania Backlash

Adam Pearce, the WWE Official, was in the ring with the table, the four titles and a contract. The four wrestlers stood up instead of sitting down. The Usos let their opponents know that they are “The Ones.” Jimmy said that after WrestleMania Backlash, they’ll need bigger luggage and RK-Bro will do a whole lot of acknowledging. Riddle said that he can’t tell The Usos apart (I can). Riddle wanted Pearce to get The Usos some nametags. Orton spoke up asking Riddle that he can’t tell The Usos apart and Orton said he’s never had a problem telling these gentlemen apart. Orton said that Jey was the right hand man and Jimmy is nothing but a little bitch. That started the fight!

The four wrestlers brawled in the ring as the cameras were shaking way too much for my liking. Orton and Riddle looked like they were in control when the music of Roman Reigns hit as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion made his way down to the ring. Orton and Riddle were looking at Reigns, so The Usos attacked RK-Bro from behind. The Usos hit a double superkick to Orton. The Usos hit the 1D (known as 3D in the past) on Riddle. Reigns ripped up the contract, he shoved it in Riddle’s mouth and Reigns punched Riddle a few times.

Drew McIntyre made his entrance to confront The Bloodline. Jey left the ring, so Drew hit him with a clothesline and Drew punched Jimmy to knock him down on the floor. Drew slowly got into the ring with Reigns. The crowd was getting loud in what was likely real noise rather than the fake stuff. Drew and Reigns got into a slugfest in the middle of the ring. Drew gave Roman a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. Drew said he’s been waiting for a long time and then said “this is it” repeatedly. Drew stood tall with Orton and Riddle while The Bloodline backed away.

Analysis: Drew said “this is it” referring to finally having a feud with Reigns. They have been kept apart since last October when Drew was drafted to Smackdown, so now we are in the post-WrestleMania season and it’s time to focus on Drew going after Roman’s titles. Considering there are some stadium shows coming this summer at Money in the Bank, SummerSlam and Clash at the Castle in September, it makes sense to not rush Reigns-McIntyre while trying to save it for the summer months. Anyway, the contracts were never signed in this segment.

(Commercial)

It’s official for WrestleMania Backlash: Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton & Riddle vs. Roman Reigns & The Usos. No more tag team title unification match.

Analysis: I assume they go back to a tag team title unification match in the future, but maybe not. They could have changed their mind on that.

The New Day duo of Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston made their entrance ripping on Sheamus for having a lot of partners in his career and even mentioned the League of Nations. They kept on ripping Sheamus leading to a “shake it Sheamus” chant. Anyway, they continued to taunt Sheamus with the fans enjoying it.

Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. Ridge Holland (w/Sheamus)

Holland with a clothesline to knock down Woods followed by some uppercuts. Holland charged at Woods in the corner, Woods moved and Holland went shoulder first into the ring post. Woods jumped off the apron with a DDT on the floor on Holland. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Holland in control with a shoulder tackle into the knee. Woods went for a sunset flip, Holland avoided being pinned and Holland went for a knee drop, but Woods moved. Holland with a headbutt followed by a chinlock. Woods with a jawbreaker to break free, Woods ran the ropes and Holland planted him with a spinebuster for two. Holland went for a lifting move, Woods countered it and Woods got the Backwoods (inside cradle) for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Xavier Woods

Analysis: **1/2 A solid match with Holland on offense for most of it until Woods slapped on his dreaded Backwoods cradle for a pinfall win. It’s similar to Woods wrestling Butch, but that was a better match.

Sheamus did a promo saying he was tired of seeing this happen. He asked Ridge about it with Ridge saying sorry and Sheamus said he was sick of hearing that. Sheamus called on Kofi to have a match right now, so Kofi agreed to it. That’s up next.

(Commercial)

Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus

Kofi sent Sheamus out of the ring, Kofi climbed to the top turnbuckle and he jumped on Sheamus with a Trust Fall attack on the floor. Sheamus set up Kofi on the apron for the forearms, but Kofi prevented that and got a two count. Sheamus charged, Kofi moved and Sheamus hit the turnbuckle. Kofi went up top and jumped off with a spinning punch to the head. Sheamus hit a backbreaker three times in a row. Sheamus pulled Kofi’s face as Kofi tried to fight back, but Sheamus hit a powerslam. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick, Kofi avoided it and Kofi hit the SOS slam for the two count. Kofi went up top, headbutt to Sheamus and Kofi jumped off the top with Sheamus hitting a rising knee. Sheamus bounced off the ropes with a Brogue Kick on Kofi for the pinfall win after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Sheamus

Analysis: ** A short match to give Sheamus a much-needed win since his group has been losing quite a bit of late. I liked the finish setup with Sheamus countering a leaping Kofi with a knee followed by the Brogue Kick for the win. Kofi sold it so well.

Post match, Holland attacked Woods and sent him into the barricade. Sheamus set up a table after he got it from under the ring. Holland gave Woods a Powerbomb through a table while on the floor.

Analysis: The heels stood tall. The feud has been going on for a long time, so hopefully it ends soon. They announced a Tag Team Tables Match for next week with New Day against Sheamus & Ridge.

Lacey Evans did a backstage promo for Chapter Four of her life story. Evans talked about joining the military at the age of 19 and talked about being at the top of her class. Evans said that on graduation day, others were celebrating while she found out that her father was not there. Evans said that it gets to the point that you find a different driving force. Evans tried to show her family that there were options in life. Evans said that she wasn’t blessed by pats on the back, she never had it and doesn’t need it. Evans talked about coming out of the trailer park straight to WWE. Evans said that she’s a confident mother, sister, wife, daughter, US marine and WWE superstar. Evans said she’s no better than the other superstars, but they damn sure know better than her.

Analysis: Lacey has been doing a nice job of telling her story. It should help her get the fans to support her.

Ronda Rousey made her entrance for a match.

This Monday on Raw: Roman Reigns & The Usos are coming to Raw. That’s all they advertised.

(Commercial)

Charlotte Flair, the Smackdown Women’s Champion, entered to watch Ronda’s match before Charlotte had a match.

Beat The Clock Challenge: Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi

Shotzi ran away from Rousey to start the match. Rousey got a hold of Shotzi on the apron. Shotzi was near the ropes, so Rousey suplexed Shotzi across the ring. Rousey with another suplex across the ring. Rousey slapped on the Ankle Lock on Shotzi, referee Charles Robinson asked if she quit and Shotzi screamed “I quit” so that was it at 1:41.

Winner by submission: Ronda Rousey

Analysis: 1/2* A squash win by Rousey as you would expect here.

Charlotte Flair told Ronda Rousey that it was her last win for a long time. Flair told Rousey to get out of the ring while calling out Aliyah for their match.

Beat The Clock Challenge: Charlotte Flair vs. Aliyah

They locked up with Flair sending Aliyah down to the mat. Aliyah with a step-up enziguri and Aliyah hit an impressive bulldog counter. Aliyah went up top, she jumped off with a cross body block, Flair moved and Flair gave Aliyah a boot to the face. Flair wanted a Figure Eight submission, Aliyah kicked her out of the ring and Flair went back in with the Figure Eight submission. The clock ran down to zero while Aliyah was in the submission hold, so Rousey was the winner since this went past 1:40.

Match Result: The clock wasn’t beaten.

Analysis: 1/2* Flair is bad at realizing that she must win fast I guess. She ran out of time like poor Nacho on Better Call Saul this week.

Ronda Rousey celebrated her victory in this Beat the Clock challenge. Flair was angry in the ring. Rousey went to the back. Flair went over to ringside where she noticed Drew Gulak was the guest timekeeper. Flair asked Drew if he was stupid, so then Flair kicked Drew. Flair yelled at Drew to “bring the bell” while Cole said that Drew did nothing wrong. Flair brought the ruing bell in the ring and hit Drew in the back. Flair: “How hard is his job?” Flair’s music played to end it.

Analysis: Congrats to Drew Gulak for main eventing Smackdown. That’s how I saw it anyway. A simple way for Charlotte to get more heat after a loss. As McAfee pointed out, Drew keeps getting beat up while doing different jobs in WWE.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Drew McIntyre
  2. Sami Zayn
  3. The Usos/Roman Reigns

 

The Scoreboard

6 out of 10

Last week: 6

 

Final Thoughts

It felt like yet another average Smackdown. I liked a lot of what Drew McIntyre did on the show. That segment with Drew and Reigns should have main evented the show instead of the boring Charlotte-Ronda feud.

A lot of short matches this week. They were fine for the most part. I did enjoy Drew and Sami’s cage match at least. The Charlotte Flair-Ronda Rousey feud hasn’t really been that interesting and “Beat The Clock” to see who would win faster didn’t really mean much. Congrats to Drew Gulak for “main eventing” at least.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is called WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday, May 8th. Here’s what we know so far:

wwe backlash drew mcintyre rkbro roman usos

* Cody Rhodes vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

* Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso vs. Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton & Riddle

* Smackdown Women’s Championship – I Quit Match: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ronda Rousey

* Edge vs. AJ Styles

* Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss

* Bobby Lashley vs. Omos

You can watch WrestleMania Backlash streaming live on Sunday, May 8, at 8 ET/5 PT on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.

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Thanks for reading. Please check out my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport