Welcome to The Smackdown Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We start off with a recap of the Universal Title match at WrestleMania before Roman Reigns kicks off promo time with Paul Heyman and Jey Uso in tow. Roman talks about how he beat two men with the credentials of Edge and Daniel Bryan. There’s nobody left to beat so Cesaro comes out. Cesaro enters the ring and asks for a mic. Roman and company leave before Cesaro can say anything. Here’s our next challenger for the Universal Championship. Cesaro and Roman for the title at WrestleMania Backlash will be a great match but Cesaro won’t pick up the win there. I think Cesaro will topple Roman in front of live fans at SummerSlam.
Cesaro is backstage with Not WWE Commissioner Adam Pierce and Not Smackdown Assistant GM Sonya Deville. Cesaro wants Roman non-title tonight and Sonya said she’d ask. Um, aren’t the two of you supposed to be in charge to book matches? We do get a replay of the great UFO spot at WrestleMania.
Our opening bout has Otis of the Alpha Academy take on Rey Mysterio. Since Otis is almost double Rey’s weight, Otis does the toss-around routine until Rey caught him with a surprise crucifix to score the win. It was short and served its purpose. Pat McAfee was all excited to see a 619 live in person and I’m sure he’d be willing to eat one too.
Paul Heyman is backstage with Kayla Braxton to officially announce Cesaro versus “Main Event” Jey Uso as tonight’s main event to the surprise of nobody. We get another replay of the UFO spot.
Sami Zayn was out to complain about his WrestleMania loss before Kevin Owens comes out and we get a match. We get another great match from the two friends as we would expect. This rematch was not as good as their WrestleMania match. This time Sami Zayn left up the ramp to take a countout loss. Owens wasn’t satisfied with the match outcome, so he tossed Sami into the ring to hit him with a stunner. I hope Sami drops the whole conspiracy gimmick soon. It’s played out and Sami deserves something better.
The new Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews introduces us to the former Dabba Kato now going by Commander Azeez of the Nigerian Elite Guard. Sure wished that match was Last Man Standing with a clean ending. Perhaps WrestleMania Backlash?
The Street Profits hosted a Championship Celebration for Bianca Belair ahead of their tag team title match. It was a really great feel-good moment. You could tell how proud The Street Profits were for Bianca. Bianca gave this really inspiring speech and seemed humbled by the moment. Let’s hope that she carries the title all the way until next year’s WrestleMania.
Sasha Banks and Bayley were asked for their opinions and it looks like Bayley is up next for Bianca. That could be a nice little feud right there. Why did we get another replay of the Cesaro UFO spot?
The Street Profits finally kick off their Smackdown Tag Team Title match with Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. The match was really good and seemed like the Street Profits were going to recapture the titles. It was for naught and the tag champs retained after a blind tag. At least Ziggler won with the Zig Zag (when was the last time that happened?) instead of the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! I think Smackdown needs a couple more tag teams. Who’s sitting in catering looking for some TV time?
Look out! It’s the most protected move in all of sports entertainment, the ROLLUP OF DEATH~!, with Natalya deploying it against Shayna Baszler in less than three minutes. Remember when Shayna was that badass chewing through the NXT Women’s Division? Free Shayna.
Why are we beating the UFO spot into the ground tonight?
Main event time for Jey Uso and Cesaro. We got a good match with a so-so ending. Cesaro started swinging Uso around and Seth Rollins intervened for the DQ ending. That’s why the UFO spot was so heavily promoted. It was penance to Fox for not featuring it in tonight’s match. So, the Rollins feud isn’t quite over, but there’s time to finish that and beat Jey Uso before WrestleMania Backlash.
Before we take a look at tonight’s highs and lows, I wanted to mention that Pat McAfee did a really great job tonight in his commentary debut. I think his transition was smoother than Adnan Virk’s on Raw.
It was great to see Cesaro stepping up to the plate against Roman tonight. A WrestleMania Backlash title change is not likely but perhaps by SummerSlam. I’m glad that the WWE is finally giving him the long overdue push he deserves.
New Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair’s speech tonight was likely the highlight of the night. If you missed it, go seek it out.
Why did we have to beat Cesaro’s UFO move into the ground tonight? It’s a cool move that nobody else does but the constant replays and hype around it was unnecessary.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.