SmackDown is the home of the big stars in the WWE.
Nine out of ten feel very important and it’s so great to see. Yes there are small things going on that don’t make much sense, like Natalya and Tamina getting pushed over Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan, or meaningless nothing with the Mysterios, but a LOT of stuff feels super important.
And this is for all aspects of the show, up and down the card. Daniel Bryan is back on top, Cesaro is at upper mid card, Apollo Crews is a legitimate Intercontinental championship contender, Nakamura’s been built up, Street Profits are back, Bianca and Sasha are a WrestleMania main event y’all, like… there’s so much good going on.
All of these people and even some more feel like they belong and are in the right position. It’s a huge contrast to whatever the hell is happening on the other brand, besides the greatness that is Bobby Lashley.
This is how you make stars. Please let’s have some of this on Raw!
Let’s get to the main hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of SmackDown, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!
Roman Reigns kicked off the show and said that SmackDown needs him and he saves the WWE time and time again.
Anybody else would boast and brag, but he’s above that. But the Elimination Chamber wasn’t perfect because of Edge. But disregarding that, he’ll give Edge one opportunity to go home and save himself. He’s a father and a husband, and Reigns doesn’t want to hurt him. A man like him doesn’t stand a chance against a man like Roman.
Then Bryan came out and said he that he’s been hearing rumors that Reigns is a coward. But he doesn’t agree. He thought that the Head of the Table deserved a main event spot so it was weird that he demanded to face the winner immediately. Jey Uso said if he wants to get to Reigns, he has to go through him first, and then Uso blindsided Bryan and beat him down.
Cowardly, Reigns, after bragging and saying WrestleMania needed him to be the main event, tried to get Edge to back out. He tried to get Edge to back out conveniently after he got a taste of what’s in his future because Edge picked him for WrestleMania.
He tried being real sly about that.
But when Bryan came out, that was the end of cowardly Reigns and out came overconfident and “no one is a threat to me” Reigns. WWE has been calling Edge the ultimate opportunist, but that’s not Edge, that’s Roman.
Jey blindsiding Bryan and taking him out got him a gold star this time, when usually he’d have been talked down to for interfering in Tribal Chief business. He treats Jey positively if the person isn’t a threat where he needs to look like the dominant and aggressive intimidator.
In the main event, we ended up getting a surprise count out instead of a decisive victory. Reigns came out and attacked Bryan and the show ended without the big babyface save. That was an interesting decision, especially since Bryan and Edge had just talked previously.
I also appreciated Edge earlier in the show going up to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville saying that he didn’t understand Bryan getting a shot at what he’s deserved after Royal Rumble. Smort!
I liked the finish and it makes me interested to see what happens next week.
Okay, wow, Apollo Crews is incredible.
His ancestors are of Nigerian royalty. His great grandfather controlled some of the richest lands in Nigeria and had five wives! His green and white represent wealth, dominance, and power.
I absolutely loved this. Honestly I want them to go full on with this and change his name back to Uhaa Nation. Embrace all of his Nigerian ancestry. He looked and sounded great. Even switching to an accent when he said what his grandfather would have said to Big E. While sounding like his grandfather! This would be the proper way to do it, unlike that stuff with Kofi Kingston. “Didn’t you used to be Jamaican” was so corny.
Commentary put over the new Apollo while he suplexed Nakamura right onto his head. He was fine though as he really started dominating Crews. He did the sliding snap german I’ve really been enjoying. Nakamura had a sleeper hold on Crews and Crews used his scarf on the turnbuckle to pull Nakamura into it face first and that caused Crews to pick up the victory.
So did I say I absolutely loved this already? Because I absolutely loved this. It’s unfortunate that so many people get booked as subpar babyfaces for years and then have amazing heel turns. The babyface style in WWE isn’t the greatest. We’ve known that for a while, and it’s something they really need to fix. It seems like SmackDown is trying to fix it!
I shouldn’t want to root for nearly every single heel in this company. They’re just booked better, specifically when they’re allowed to open up more and be themselves.
“The choices you make define who you are.”
Bianca Belair was about to choose who her WrestleMania opponent would be, and then Reginald came out to interrupt and continue to push the “Sasha is actually better than everyone even though I am Carmella’s sommelier” thing. That led Sasha to come out and push him to the side.
Banks said that Belair is no EST because she is number one which makes Belair second best. Belair chose to silence Banks and picked the SmackDown women’s champion for the grandest stage.
This is an incredible moment. Never have two African American women faced off for a top title at WrestleMania before! Both of them are deserving and I really want to see Bianca Belair get that win. Sasha was definitely acting her most tweener self here and that’s where I’ve been seeing her for a while. Bianca is clearly the true babyface.
Still not feeling Reginald continuing to butt in where he doesn’t belong, though. I don’t get where we’re going with this, and I would rather just have Sasha and Bianca by themselves.
Cesaro swung, and swung, and swung…
Seth Rollins came out to talk and I was nearly about to hit mute, but then Cesaro came out.
He saved the whole thing, because instead of droning and boring Seth Rollins, we got scared Rollins trying to get out of a beat down and convert Cesaro to #EmbraceTheVision.
He tried his hardest, but Cesaro didn’t buy in. Cesaro swung the holy hell out of Rollins, so much so that Rollins lost his jacket.
Cesaro is a full-fledged babyface it’s a great thing to see. This will be a fun program.
The Street Profits defeated King Corbin and Sami Zayn
Ford and Zayn were fun for the first minute of the match, but then Corbin and Dawkins got into it and I was really enjoying the match. Corbin went to do his slide out of and into the ring for the clothesline and Zayn’s documentary crew prevented him from getting back in and he yelled at them. Dawkins knocked him to his knees on the apron and Ford drop kicked him to the barricade. The doc crew again got in the way and Corbin shoved one of them, but Ford took advantage and dove over Zayn to take him out. Dawkins took Zayn out and Ford did the frog splash from the heavens to win.
I friggin loved all of this and I cannot believe I’m about to say this, but y’all, I loved Corbin here. I know! I can’t believe it either. Corbin did great in the pre-match promo, I loved his sprint in the match and getting in the doc crew’s faces. Sami as usual was being Sami and that’s wonderful too. Everyone felt important, which was the biggest takeaway from this episode like I mentioned in my opening remarks.
Chad Gable and Otis defeated The Mysterios
Otis came out with a much more aggressive demeanor than we’ve been used to with him to add to his new heel persona. He dominated Rey to the point that Gable had to calm him down. Gable didn’t have the strength of Otis and Rey started getting momentum, and Dom tagged in and hit a great tornado DDT. Otis broke up the pin and when Rey was back, Otis did the splash from the middle rope again and got the win. I’m… liking this so far. I was concerned they’d still have Otis doing the Caterpillar but that’s way too much of a babyface move for him.
Tamina defeated Liv Morgan
Tamina rag dolled Morgan around the ring and dominated for the first few minutes, and then Morgan gained some momentum with some drop kicks. Tamina recovered and hit a Samoan Drop and picked up the win. I’m so used to Billie Kay being around that this was a genuine surprise. Not too happy about the treatment of Liv and Ruby still however.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?