The John Report: WWE Smackdown 04/02/21 Review

The John Report: WWE Smackdown 04/02/21 Review

Welcome to this week’s WWE Smackdown review. We are eight days away from the first night of WrestleMania. Most of the card is known, but there are still some things to figure out. There are also some WrestleMania style matches scheduled for next week’s Smackdown, which we’ll cover during this show.

From the WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida, this is Smackdown for episode #1128. 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.

They showed a video package from last week that also covered Fastlane. It showed us how the Universal Title match was set up for WrestleMania: Roman Reigns defending the title against Daniel Bryan and Edge, who is heelish now. Reigns and Edge didn’t want that, but Bryan was happy about it. Smackdown ended last week with Edge beating on Reigns and Bryan with chair shots with Edge standing tall.

The WWE Thunderdome was shown at Tropicana Field, which is a venue WWE is leaving soon because they are going to the Yuengling Center also in Tampa. Michael Cole and Corey Graves welcomed us to the show. That Reigns vs. Bryan vs. Edge match is on WrestleMania night two on Sunday, April 11.

Let’s Hear from Edge

Edge made his entrance in street clothes including a jacket and he was rocking a beard look. Edge was introduced as the 2021 Royal Rumble Match Winner. Cole said Edge was in panic mode and Graves claimed that Edge is obsessed with winning the Universal Title.

Edge said what happened at Fastlane and Smackdown, all of the chaos and destruction didn’t need to happen. Edge said maybe we needed this. Edge said maybe we needed a speed bump, then he called Bryan “roadkill” for weaseling his way into this match at WrestleMania. They piped in boos for that. Edge said that he was so focused on Reigns that he didn’t even see Bryan coming and that’s on him. Edge said if anybody should see a manipulator and opportunist coming then that’s him. Edge went over scenarios that were pitched last week, but then Adam Pearce decided last week that it was a triple threat and Edge realized he was outplayed. Edge said he has to thank Bryan because Edge looked in the mirror and he finally liked what he saw. Edge said he saw the guy that when he’s backed into the corner, he saw the guy that knows what he has to do and he finally saw the Rated R Superstar.

Edge commented on the Universal Championship graphic for WrestleMania. Edge said that was Adam Pearce’s validation for his paycheck. Edge said he didn’t think Reigns and Bryan understand the ramifications of what has been done. Edge admitted that he snapped. Edge: “I finally woke the hell up.” Edge said that he is a man that Roman and Daniel aspire to be. Edge fired up saying he’s a WWE Hall of Fame legend that is the ultimate opportunist and he is finally, once again, the Rated R Superstar. Edge said that when he felt the steel chair crash into their bodies, it felt so good. Edge said he was “this close” to do the Conchairto, but it will happen again and when it does, he won’t hesitate.

Analysis: That was a good heel promo from Edge, who is at his best in a heel role. I think before the decision was made to put Daniel Bryan in the match, WWE was obviously going to keep Edge face, but now that Bryan is a part of it, Edge has shown heel tendencies in the last few weeks. It’s for the best because Edge is one of the better heels of the last 20 years and I think the crowd is going to want Bryan to win anyway, so it’s smart to make Edge into a heel again. I liked the line “I finally woke the hell up” and saying that he was the Rated R Superstar again. That told the audience he is back to what he used to be as a heel.

Edge has awoken more dangerous than ever: SmackDown, April 2, 2021

Coming up later is Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso in a Street Fight.

(Commercial)

Edge was shown walking the hallways with Kayla Braxton there to interview him. Kayla mentioned that Daniel Bryan’s Street Fight with Jey Uso later in the show. Edge said he doesn’t feel bad that Bryan might get beaten senseless. Edge said he wouldn’t feel bad if Bryan ended up missing WrestleMania.

Analysis: More heelish comments by Edge again to try to tell the audience that he is a bad guy now.

Otis and Chad Gable were in the ring with Gable talking about how he has transformed Otis into a force of nature. Gable said he did it due to his enormous mental acumen while adding they are peaking at the right time. Gable said that next week on a WrestleMania edition of Smackdown, they’ll win the Smackdown Tag Team Championships for the Academy. They pointed to the sky.

Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode entered as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions. That Dirty Dawgs name is not official even though it’s on their merchandise. The father-son team of Rey and Dominik Mysterio were next. They were followed by their tag team partners The Street Profits. There were pre-tape promos from the teams.

The Smackdown Tag Team Titles will be on the line next week on Smackdown: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. Otis & Chad Gable vs. The Street Profits.

Analysis: I feel bad for the wrestlers not being on the WrestleMania card. They have two nights, so I would have liked to see every title on the line at WrestleMania. Just because you call an episode of Smackdown a WrestleMania-like show doesn’t mean it really is when it’s still at the ThunderDome (taped a week in advance) while WrestleMania has a crowd. They should be there at WrestleMania and I don’t blame any of the wrestlers for being mad about it if they are.

Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Chad Gable & Otis vs. Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins

Ziggler started with Dominik, who hit an impressive spinning DDT on Ziggler for two. The heels tried to get involved, but the faces cleared them out of the ring. Rey hit a dive on Roode on the floor, Dominik hit a dive onto Ziggler and Ford hit an impressive somersault dive over the top onto Gable/Otis on the floor. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

Dawkins was on fire for the faces with exploder suplexes on Ziggler and Gable along with a punch to Roode. Otis knocked down Dawkins with a clothesline while the referee wasn’t busy. Ziggler tagged in Otis, who hit a forearm to the chest of Dawkins. Otis sent Dawkins into the turnbuckle with a hard whip and elbow drop. Roode hit a suplex on Dawkins for two. Ziggler with a front headlock, he brought Dawkins into the heel corner and Otis slapped on a chinlock that looked weak. Dawkins with a jawbreaker, then they ran the ropes and did a double clothesline spot. Ford got the tag against Gable with a clothesline, a back body drop, then Ford hit dropkicks to Roode and Ziggler. Ford brought Gable into the ring with a side slam and then a standing moonsault got two with Ziggler breaking up the pin. Mysterio kicked Ziggler into the ropes, Roode tripped up Rey and then Rey sent Roode into the barricade. Dominik used his legs to flip Ziggler over the top to the floor. Ford with a rollup on Gable for two, then Ford hit a jumping kick to the head. Ford jumped off with the Frog Splash, Gable moved and Gable hit the rolling German Suplex. Otis got the tag and he hit the Superfly Splash off the middle ropes onto Ford for the pinfall win after about 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode Chad Gable & Otis

Analysis: *** This was a pretty good tag team match. We know the formula of these kinds of matches in WWE where everything breaks down towards the end leading to the big moves and an exciting finish. I like that Gable hit that rolling German Suplex on Ford leading to Otis looking dominant with the splash for the win. Rey and Dominik really weren’t in the ring that much in this match, but that’s okay because the spotlight was on the others.

Eight-Man Tag Team Match: SmackDown, April 2, 2021

Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville were in their office with Paul Heyman showing up to talk to them. Heyman talked about how he wanted a hold harmless agreement for tonight’s Street Fight between Daniel Bryan and Jey Uso because of what Jey might do to Bryan, so then Jey can’t be held responsible for what he does. Sonya thought that Paul had a very good point, Pearce didn’t really agree and Paul left.

Seth Rollins made his entrance in a ridiculous looking purple suit. They showed the clip of Cesaro giving Rollins the swing in the backstage area last week.

(Commercial)

Interview with Seth Rollins & Cesaro

Corey Graves was standing in the ring in between Seth Rollins and Cesaro with Graves noting this was Cesaro’s first singles match at WrestleMania. Cesaro said that this was the biggest match of his career and Seth has been very loud talking about his shortcomings. Cesaro said that he will not fail. Cesaro said that there’s something different, the swing is in the air and everywhere you look around. Rollins didn’t like the “swing” mention and wanted Corey to talk to him. Rollins said that you can’t shake him because when it comes to this time of year, just look at his track record going into WrestleMania. Rollins talked about great moments in WrestleMania history while mentioning his matches against Triple H, Brock Lesnar and his heist of the century (WrestleMania 31). Graves asked Cesaro if he thinks he can defeat Seth Rollins at WrestleMania. Cesaro said he knows he can beat Seth at WrestleMania and he knows he can embarrass him at WrestleMania. Rollins said that he is unshakable. Cesaro said that he may be unshakable, but he isn’t un-swingable.

Rollins yelled at Graves to get out of there. Rollins said that there are levels to this game while Cesaro is down there and Seth is up there. Rollins said that he will embarrass Cesaro so bad because he won’t live up to his potential and Cesaro will have to blame himself. Rollins warned Cesaro that he was going to end him right now. Cesaro: “Take a swing.” Rollins stared at Cesaro, but then he backed away like the cowardly heel that he is in this scenario. Cesaro smiled that he made Rollins back away and then they had a staredown.

Cesaro comes face-to-face with Seth Rollins ahead of WrestleMania: SmackDown, April 2, 2021

Analysis: I liked the promo exchange. They did a nice job of making the point that Rollins has that WrestleMania experience that Cesaro is lacking in terms of singles matches. Even though Cesaro hasn’t had the moments that Rollins has, Cesaro is going into the match with a lot of confidence because he has had the advantage over Rollins in recent weeks. Cesaro should be confident. I also liked Seth’s comments when he got serious at the end. I think they’ll have an awesome match at WrestleMania that will be one of the best matches of the weekend. I’m picking Cesaro to win.

Carmella was shown warming up backstage and she looked pretty good doing it. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler walked up with Reginald. Jax told Carmella that she didn’t treat her guy (Reginald) very well and Jax kept on walking with her friends.

A WrestleMania commercial aired for Randy Orton facing The Fiend on Night Two, which is on April 11.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for WrestleMania eight days away.

Shayna Baszler was in the ring for a match with Natalya entering as the opponent. Nia Jax was on commentary with Reginald by her side.

Shayna Baszler (w/Nia Jax & Reginald) vs. Natalya (w/Tamina)

It’s a matchup between two heels with Natalya going for a Sharpshooter early on, Baszler got out of it and they battled over an inside cradle. Natalya was able to hook Baszler and cradle her for the win after less than one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Natalya

Analysis: 1/4* This was rushed because the post match segment went a lot longer. They could have a good match, but they weren’t given a chance to do that.

After the match, Jax and Baszler beat up Natalya with Tamina. Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott got into the ring with Morgan hitting a dropkick and then a top rope move to take down Jax. That led to Dana Brooke and Naomi from Raw going down to take out the Riott Squad. They hit a double flapjack. Naomi and Lana from Raw ran down to the ring with cross body blocks and double sitout facebusters. Tamina was back in with Natalya doing a Hart Attack clothesline. Natalya stood tall in the ring with Tamina.

Analysis: There was a lot going on there to show that there are a lot of women’s teams that want a shot at the Women’s Tag Team Titles. I didn’t get all the moves that happened because it was a lot of stuff very quickly. The idea was that two women would do moves, then the others would bump to the floor and so on.

Carmella was shown watching it all happen on a TV backstage. Billie Kay walked up to her with a resume, Carmella blew her off and then Carmella looked at the resume.

Analysis: The idea here would be that Carmella realized that she needs a tag team partner to join the tag team madness that’s going on. Where’s Bayley? I don’t know.

Sami Zayn was shown earlier tonight checking out his red carpet in the back part of the stadium. Logan Paul showed up in a limo, Sami hugged him and Sami’s premiere is coming up next.

This Monday on Raw: Bobby Lashley vs. Cedric Alexander and Drew McIntyre faces King Corbin.

(Commercial)

Sami Zayn’s Red Carpet Premiere

Sami Zayn was wearing a ridiculous shiny suit rather than his usual look. Zayn’s hair was actually combed too, so that’s a different look for him. Zayn talked about how the film will show the attempts to undercut him and conspire against him. Zayn introduced writer, actor, podcaster, boxer and social media influencer (with 23 million subscribers on Youtube) Logan Paul. Sami was so happy to have Logan Paul there. I don’t know much about Logan Paul, which is probably something Vince McMahon could say as well. With that said, if the guy is popular with people then it makes sense to put him on a WWE show.

Zayn sat in the ring with Paul saying he appreciated Paul supporting Sami. Zayn said that this not a conspiracy theory and said that it’s true. Paul said that based on what Sami has told him, this could be one of the biggest conspiracies of the century. Zayn said that they are fast becoming friends and Sami invited Paul to be his guest at WrestleMania. Paul said “it would be a pleasure” and he would be there. Sami was thrilled about that. Sami said you can see what he will do to that backstabbing Kevin Owens.

Zayn cued up the trailer of his documentary. It is rated “T” for Truth and is a fact not fiction. They showed clips of Sami complaining about referees leading to a strange dislike for zebras. Zayn was called a “Visionary Director” and the Executive Producer of the documentary. They showed when Zayn beat up a camera guy in his crew. It also showed Sami’s Helluva kick on Owens and when referees conspired against him in Sami’s opinion. Zayn said there were countless injustices that were against him. It said that “Justice for Sami” (that’s the title of the documentary) is coming soon.

Zayn called it a gem and asked Logan what he thought about it. Logan said there was a lot to take in while adding that it was compelling, but when Zayn was in the locker room, Kevin Owens approached Paul saying he has known Sami for 15 years and there is no conspiracy theory. Logan claimed that Kevin said that Sami was a bit of a neurotic. Sami said that Logan was there as his guest. Sami said he didn’t care what Kevin Owens thinks and he didn’t want KO to poison Paul’s mind. Sami asked what does Logan Paul think? Logan said he can tell that Sami put a lot of effort into it, so Kevin Owens showed up behind him and Owens dropped Zayn with a Stunner. Owens told Sami that if Kevin can’t talk sense into him then he’ll beat some sense into him at WrestleMania. Owens shoved Logan a bit on the way out of the ring and Owens left up the aisle. Graves said that this was catastrophic.

Kevin Owens invades Sami Zayn’s Red Carpet Trailer Premiere: SmackDown, April 2, 2021

Analysis: I like Sami’s gimmick, so I enjoyed it enough although it wasn’t that thrilling overall. Logan Paul did a decent job with his promos and having a bit of doubt towards Sami’s claims of a conspiracy. Owens showing up made sense since it continues their story going into WrestleMania. I think at WrestleMania we’ll see Owens beat Zayn, then Zayn will blame Paul somehow and Paul will knock out Zayn with a punch.

Edge walked up to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville in their office. Edge said that last week, Pearce made the worst decision in WWE history, which says a lot (good line by Edge). Edge said he thought Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso in a Street Fight was a good idea with Edge noting that he was going to be on commentary.

Carmella made her entrance with Corey Graves getting excited to see her since Corey is dating her. Graves said “Oh my God” repeatedly. Good job by Corey reacting to that.

This Tuesday, April 6 on Peacock/WWE Network: WWE Hall of Fame ceremony for the 2020 and 2021 class.

(Commercial)

They showed a replay of Sami Zayn getting hit with a Stunner by Kevin Owens. They also showed Owens shoving Logan Paul.

Kevin Owens was interviewed by Alyse Ashton with KO saying he can hit the Stunner on anybody and then Sami Zayn attacked him with a forearm to the back. Zayn stomped on Owens a bit as KO was on the ground and Sami ran away.

They showed a Progressive Match Flo video promoting the Bianca Belair rivalry with Sasha Banks heading into WrestleMania.

Bianca Belair was interviewed by Kayla Braxton in the Gorilla Position by the entrance. Belair was wondering when she would see the real Sasha Banks and said that when Bianca slapped Banks, that’s the Boss she wanted to see. Bianca said that’s the Sasha Banks she wanted to see. Belair noted that first it’s Carmella, who is a former Women’s Champion, so she’s not looking past her, she’s just going through her. Bianca Belair made her entrance.

Belair was finishing her entrance with a dance on the apron, but Carmella knocked her off the apron to the floor. The match didn’t start yet. Carmella whipped Belair into the steel steps and that led to a break.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for The Miz vs. Bad Bunny at WrestleMania on night one.

Bianca Belair vs. Carmella

The match started during the break with Carmella in control with a chinlock. Carmella with a headscissors by the ropes, then Carmella with a hurricanrana takedown and Carmella with a Bronco Buster against the turnbuckle. Belair tied some of Bianca’s hair to the bottom rope and got in some kicks. Carmella charged right into a clothesline from Belair. There was a clothesline from Belair followed by a low dropkick to the waist. Belair with a kick followed by a forearm to the face. Belair went for a handspring splash, Carmella moved and Carmella hit a superkick for two. Carmella went for another kick, Belair avoided it and Belair hit the Kiss of Death (KOD) slam for the pinfall win after three minutes. The move didn’t look as smooth as when Belair does it properly.

Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair

Analysis: *1/2 A short match to put over Belair. I don’t know what happened with the finish, but it didn’t look like Belair lifted Carmella enough, so the landing was a bit rough. This is the kind of booking Belair has needed with wins over Natalya and Carmella to give Belair some momentum. Those tag team matches didn’t help Belair at all.

Post match, Sasha Banks showed up in the ring and was about to fight Belair, but Bianca pushed her back. Bianca told Banks to wait until WrestleMania, so Banks backed away.

Analysis: I haven’t really liked the build to Banks vs. Belair that much. It’s okay, but nothing special. I am optimistic about the match at WrestleMania because Banks usually delivers in long PPV matches and with weeks to practice the match, they should do a pretty good job.

Roman Reigns was shown talking to Jey Uso in their dressing room with Jey set to face Daniel Bryan in the main event.

(Commercial)

Next Friday on “WrestleMania” Smackdown:

* Smackdown Tag Team Titles Fatal 4-Way: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode (c) vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. Otis & Chad Gable vs. The Street Profits

* Andre the Giant Battle Royal. There is no women’s Battle Royal this year.

They showed highlights from Raw with Smackdown’s King Corbin attacking Drew McIntyre on this past Monday’s Raw. That will lead to McIntyre vs. Corbin on Raw.

King Corbin did a promo saying he was tired of the disrespect shown on Smackdown. Corbin said when he takes out Drew McIntyre, he’ll go on to beat Bobby Lashley himself.

Analysis: There is no chance Corbin is beating McIntyre on Raw. It’s just a guy for McIntyre to beat on the Raw before WrestleMania.

Apollo Crews did a backstage promo with his Nigerian accent. Crews said that they are going to have a Nigerian Drum Fight with no rules and no limitations. Crews made it clear he was challenging Big E to a Nigerian Drum Fight match at WrestleMania. Crews talked about how he would finally become the Intercontinental Champion.

Analysis: It makes sense for Big E and Crews to have a stipulation match based on the long build to the match. I’ve never heard of a Nigerian Drum Fight, but it sounds like a Street Fight style match, so that will be pretty good to watch.

Edge was standing in the backstage area with Paul Heyman going up to him saying it should have been Edge vs. Reigns at WrestleMania. Heyman complained about Daniel Bryan getting into the match. Heyman went on rambling, so Edge cut him off and told Paul he had to go for commentary for this match.

Edge made his entrance to join commentary for the main event. Edge stared at the WrestleMania sign. That main event is next.

(Commercial)

The guests on Talking Smack this week are Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins and Natalya & Tamina. It’s hosted by Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman.

Jey Uso made his entrance for the main event. Edge said that he was focused on getting the victory at WrestleMania. I’m surprised that they didn’t take a few moments to run down the WrestleMania lineup. Edge said that he knows what Jey Uso can do because he’s been in the ring with him and Edge thinks that Roman Reigns needs Jey Uso more than Jey needs Roman. Daniel Bryan made his entrance with the “YES” chants and Bryan ran down to the ring to start the match.

Street Fight: Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso

After Bryan’s initial charge, Jey hit an uppercut and tossed Bryan out of the ring. Bryan sent Jey into the barricade and then Jey sent Bryan into the barricade two times right by Edge was sitting. Jey had a steel chair on the apron, Bryan kicked him off the apron to the floor and then Jey used a chair to block a Bryan dive attempt. It was Jey hitting Bryan’s hands with the chair. Jey hit Bryan with two chair shots to the back. Jey put the chair on Bryan’s leg, Jey jumped off the top and Bryan moved. Bryan hit Jey with three chair shots that led to Jey rolling out of the ring. The Universal Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance with Paul Heyman wheeling out a leather chair. Reigns sat on the chair on the stage. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Bryan hitting a running corner dropkick and then Jey hit a superkick. The steel chair was wedged against the turnbuckle with Jey whipping Bryan into the chair and it looked like it was Bryan’s shoulder hit the chair. Jey Uso grabbed a toolbox from under the ring and brought in a steel chain. Jey knocked down Bryan with the chain. Jey put the chain around his fist and punched Bryan. Jey went up top and hit an Uso Splash for a two count. Edge said that should not be possible. Jey and Bryan were on the floor with Jey whipping Bryan into the steel steps. Jey rammed Bryan’s head into the bottom part of the steel steps. Edge continued to make the point that he worked ten years to get this back and now it’s taken away from him because it’s a triple threat at WrestleMania. Bryan blocked a suplex attempt and Bryan suplexed Jey on the floor. Bryan grabbed a steel chair, he stared at Edge and he hit Jey with repeated chair shots to the back. Bryan sent Jey into the hood of the announce table while staring at Edge. Back in the ring, Bryan went up top and hit a missile dropkick. Cole talked about how great Bryan is in pressure situations and Edge said he’s better than Bryan in pressure situations. Bryan worked over Jey with the Yes Kicks along with a roundhouse kick to the head. Bryan wrapped the steel chain around his arm and elbowed Jey repeatedly. Bryan slapped on the Yes Lock submission and Jey tapped out. Bryan got the win after 13 minutes.

Winner by submission: Daniel Bryan

Analysis: ***1/2 It was the usual very good match between these guys. I thought the spot where Jey put the chain around his fist and punched Bryan should have been done as a nearfall spot. Jey did the splash right after, but I think if they did the chain shot leading to Bryan barely getting out of it then that would have worked even better. Maybe Bryan could have got his foot on the rope or something to make the chain punch look even more devastating. They didn’t use a lot of weapons, but the steel chair and chain were effective while also using the steps for some spots. Once again it was a match with an obvious result since Bryan is main eventing WrestleMania, so of course he’s going to win here. I also thought Edge was really good on commentary to further his heel turn.

Post match, Bryan hit a running knee on Edge while at the announce table and that sent Edge into the barricade. Bryan rammed Edge’s head into the steel post repeatedly. Bryan went up the ramp, Reigns threw the leather chair at him, Bryan avoided it and Bryan hit the running knee on Reigns. Bryan took down Reigns in the Yes Lock submission with Bryan yelling at Reigns to tap out. Reigns did not tap. The submission was broken up by referees and WWE Officials. Reigns sold it like he was almost passed out. Bryan went back into the ring and celebrated with the “YES” chants joining in. Cole said it was a Good Friday (well played) and wondered if it will be a good Sunday at WrestleMania in nine nights. Bryan continued the celebration to end it.

Analysis: I liked that post match attack from Bryan getting revenge for what Edge did to him last week. They only had a few minutes, but they got it done. It was Edge’s turn to look dominant last week at the end of Smackdown then Bryan’s turn this week and probably Roman Reigns will beat up both guys next week. The Universal Title at WrestleMania will be very good. My current feeling is that Daniel Bryan wins the Universal Title although I may change my mind. It’s not easy to predict what is going to happen there, but I think since it’s the first show with fans in a year, it makes a lot of sense to end WrestleMania on a happy note with the babyface Daniel Bryan winning the Universal Title. That’s my feeling for now at least.

Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso - Street Fight: SmackDown, April 2, 2021

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Daniel Bryan
  2. Edge
  3. Sami Zayn/Jey Uso

 

The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7

2021 Average: 6.96

 

Final Thoughts

It was a usual good episode of Smackdown with a focus on building all of the WrestleMania matches including the Tag Team Titles on next week’s Smackdown. The focus was on the Universal Title match at WrestleMania with Edge getting a lot of promo time while Daniel Bryan was impressive in beating Jey Uso again. They really pushed the idea that Edge is a heel now based on his interview in the ring, backstage comments and commentary during Bryan’s match. Bryan also beat up Edge and Roman Reigns to end the show as some payback for Bryan after he took some beatings for a couple of weeks. I think the Universal Title situation has been interesting and I’m excited about their WrestleMania match.

The Sami Zayn “documentary” trailer was ridiculous, yet fitting for his heel persona. Zayn has some funny lines while doing his over the top, conspiracy victim gimmick. Logan Paul didn’t do that much, but he delivered his lines well. Kevin Owens giving Paul a light shove suggests maybe Paul will do something physical at WrestleMania.

Everything else was pretty solid. I liked the Cesaro/Rollins promo, the SD Tag Team Title situation led to a good eight-man tag team match and the women’s tag team title situation was more chaotic. Bianca Belair beating Carmella easily was the right way to book her. It was an easy Smackdown to get through. Everything had a purpose this week, which is to be expected with WrestleMania just over one week away.

Here’s what the WrestleMania 37 lineup looks like right now for Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11.

Saturday, April 10 – Night 1

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bianca Belair
WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
Steel Cage Match: Shane McMahon vs. Braun Strowman
Raw Tag Team Championships: The New Day’s Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods (c) vs. AJ Styles & Omos
Bad Bunny vs. The Miz

Sunday, April 11 – Night 2

Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Rhea Ripley
The Fiend vs. Randy Orton
Intercontinental Championship Nigerian Drum Fight: Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
United States Championship: Riddle (c) vs. Sheamus

The hosts of WrestleMania are Hulk Hogan and Titus O’Neil.

You can watch WrestleMania 37 on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11 on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.

Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors (brutal this year) and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton

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