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Join 411’s Live WWE Smackdown Coverage

April 12, 2024 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE Smackdown 4-12-24 Image Credit: WWE

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Well everyone, WrestleMania is now in the rear view mirror for everyone. We’re now in an odd holding pattern where everything treads water until the patented WWE Draft at the end of the month when the rosters switch places so the feuds are all still the same stale interactions. OK, I kid I promise but let’s not pretend that hasn’t happened in the past. Tonight our brand new Undisputed WWE Universal champion Cody Rhodes will be in the house, let’s see if anyone from the Bloodline steps to our new UwU champion or if he’s left relatively unmolested. With the Draft coming up, can I just tell you guys I’m dreading Judgement Day coming to Smackdown? Cody’s the star, RAW is the priority, the writing is kind on the wall with that and I just don’t care about anything Judgement Day related. But there’s still a bit before that sword of Damocles falls, Bayley is the new women’s champion so one imagines more will happen between her and Damage Control, Logan Paul will be in need of a new challenger to the US title, Jade Cargill and Bron Breakker are both going to be sold as hot commodities in the draft so they’re likely to win some matches on TV to hype that up. LA Knight pinned AJ Styles at Mania but I have a hunch that feud will continue for a bit, Carlito is primed to turn on the LWO sine Rey Mysterio keeps overlooking him, Legado del Fantasma might need something else to do, Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits beat the Final Testament at Mania and that group showed up on NXT so it seems that’s where they’re headed. Oh, right, the tag team belts are separated again and two generic heels battling apathy won them. We’ll have to see just how long Austin Theory and Grayson Waller hold those belts, but I imagine nothing of note will come of this. As for matches we know of, there’s a little mini tournament to crown the next challenger for Cody, two triple threat matches tonight with the winners squaring off next week. So tonight it’s Kevin Owens vs. Rey Mysterio vs. AJ Styles in one and Santos Escobar vs. LA Knight vs. Bobby Lashley in the other. That’s kind of it for preamble, so let’s get to the action.

Oh, new Then, Now, Forever, graphic. WWE really is using post Mania as a page turning moment.

A recap of the end of Roman’s title run from Mania. Corey Graves and Wade Barrett welcome us to the show.

First out comes Cody Rhodes. Cody soaks in the chants for a bit then asks what we want to talk about. He brings up being interrupted by The Rock on Monday and then quotes his wife and apologizes for cursing. He’s not sure what got into him. Well when Rock handed him something on Monday it was a wartime overture, something he’d gifted to Rocky years ago, but he believes Rock when he said he was leaving but when he comes back he’s coming for Cody. When that day comes Cody wont be hard to find. But that’s in the past, in 3 weeks he’s headlining Backlash in France but needs a title challenger. He runs down his potential opponents, then plays a little bit with the crowd and quotes Omar from The Wire “if you come at the king you best not miss” then warns everyone on the blue brand that he’s once undesirable, become undeniable, and now undisputed champion.

We get some footage of different people arriving at the venue.

In the back Solo Sikoa, Paul Heyman, and the Tribal Clown Jannetty Uso walk and come across Cody’s personal locker room. Kevin Owens walks through them and tells them they’re not invited. Solo wants to take care of this, but Heyman calms him down. Losing has consequences, that’s the champions locker room and Cody is the champion now. If they want that back they need the title, per order fo the Tribal Chief.

LA Knight heads to the ring to a big ovation, we’ll get our first match of the evening after this break.

Post break Knight is pacing around the ring and out comes Bobby Lashley.

Match #1 – Triple Threat Match: LA Knight vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Santos Escobar

Bobby and Knight attack Escobar right away, so Escobar powders and Knight rolls up Bobby for 2. Knight gets tossed out of the ring, then Bobby tosses Escobar back in. Knight and Bobby start brawling on the floor so Escobar can hit a suicide dive and send us to break.

We come back to Bobby dragging Escobar back into the ring. Bobby with some corner work on Escobar, Knight is in the opposite corner as Bobby looks for a superplex on Escobar but Escobar fights him off only for Knight to run over and jump up there for the superplex but Bobby slips under and hits the old Tower of Doom spot. Knight dropkicks the knee of Bobby then hits a Crucifix Driver for a 2 count. Escobar with kicks to everyone then double knees to Bobby and a second pair for Knight. Knight avoids a Phantom Driver and hits a tilt a whirl powerslam then jumping elbow drop. Angel and Humberto then jump Knight to set up a triple team powerbomb to Knight. Bobby’s back though and fights all of them off for a bit, then Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins show up to neutralize Angel and Humberto. B-Fab even gets in on things with a pump kick to Elektra Lopez. With everyone dealt with Escobar gets caught with a lifting Flatliner from Bobby. Bobby wants a Spear, but Escobar dodges and Bobby posts himself, then Knight catches Escobar with Blunt Force Trauma to get the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: LA Knight won in 8:21

Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: Fine enough match, Legado switching to take on the Hurt Profits is a fine enough move for everyone involved.

In the back Kayla interviews the LWO, Rey knows karma will always bite you when you’re a jerk. Everyone laughs off Escobar denying that they attacked Dragon Lee, Rey promises the truth always resurfaces. Rey is focused on his match tonight, he’s done a lot in his career but he feels he’s got one more run as champion in him.

Back to the ring, Solo Sikoa heads to the ring accompanied by Paul Heyman and the anchor around this whole story. They’ll be talking after this break.

Post break another minor Mania recap.

Back to the ring and Paul Heyman has a mic. Heyman introduces himself, and tonight by orders of the Tribal Chief the Bloodline will make no excuses. They don’t blame John Cena, the Undertaker, or even Jey Uso. Accountability is a very important thing and Roman Reigns has ordered that everyone accept it. At Mania Roman entered the ring as prepared as possible but Cody flipped the script from Mania 39. Seth Rollins promised to be Cody’s shield at Mania, the one piece of unfinished business for Roman and when Roman had a chair at Mania and could have crushed Cody legally, he didn’t because he’d rather revisit a decade of revenge on Rollins, and was distracted for just a second and lost everything. Your new undisputed champion is Cody Rhodes. Buy like a phoenix rising from the ashes- Solo cuts this off by staring at Heyman. Solo says losing and winning matters, right? So there’s consequences to losing, right? Heyman agrees. So consequences mean change. Solo pushes Heyman aside and stares down Jimmy. Jimmy gets pissy but Solo hugs him, tells him he loves his brother, then walks away as someone new jumps Jimmy. Tama Tonga reveals himself and stomps down Jimmy then headbutts him into the ground. Solo stops Tonga and makes him hold up Jimmy, Heyman screams “no” but Solo then wipes out Jimmy a series of Spikes. Heyman looks horrified but Solo brings him back to hold up the one to the sky, but when he goes to call Roman Solo takes his cell phone and stomps it out. Tonga gets a chair now, and sets up Solo for the chair assisted hip attack in the corner, Solo tells Jimmy again that he loves him before crushing him in the corner with the hip attack. Solo and Tonga leave, and a terrified Heyman goes with them. Well that opens up the question about who Jacob Fatu sides with when he shows up. That sends us to break.

Post break we get a recap of what just happened.

In the ring is Cameron Grimes, but out comes Bron Breakker.

Match #2: Cameron Grimes vs. Bron Breakker

Bron with a quick series of mat returns, Grimes tries a side headlock but can’t get motion going. Bron hits the ropes and turns Grimes inside out with a clothesline. Corner work from Bron then Grimes fights back with kicks but he’s caught with a falling powerslam. Bron then ends this with a Spear.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Bron Breakker won in 1:20

Rating: Delicata SQUASH
Thoughts: Delicious squash, pity that Grimes hasn’t been given much to do on Smackdown.

Next, another Mania recap.

We see Bayley walk in the back, apparently she’ll talk after this break.

In the back AJ Styles talks, tonight he fixes what went wrong at Mania. He’s going straight for the title, and will demolish everything in his way. This isn’t personal, it’s necessary. He’ll step over both of their bodies to get what he wants, and the damage tonight is just a taste of what he’s got for Knight next week.

To the ring and out comes Bayley. Bayley gets the usual cheers then thanks the crowd. She’s proud to be women’s champion and while this isn’t her first title but it’s special because she’s part of a new era, part of an incredible locker room, but mostly it’s special because of the fans. For 11 years the fans have been there through everything, and they motivated her every step of the way. She’s excited to start this journey, and she wants to give out a new opportunity. That brings out Tiffany Stratton. Tiffany is annoyed that she wasn’t given a shot at Mania, and if Bayley is building towards an open challenge than Tiffany accepts because it’s Tiffy Time. Bayley says this is embarrassing, she was not offering an open challenge, she had someone in mind. Someone who made a big return at the Rumble, and wants Naomi. Tiffany says Naomi couldn’t win a title if it glowed in the dark. That brings out Naomi who looks pissed, and given what just happened earlier to her husband I can understand that. Tiffany brings up having already beaten Naomi, Naomi warns Tiffany that this is the wrong night to test her. Naomi has earned everything she’s gotten and wont stop now, so she can’t accept Bayley’s challenge until she beats Tiffany right now. That sends us to break.

Post break Kayla is outside the trainers room and then Heyman wanders out and isn’t scared by Kayla. Heyman says Jimmy isn’t OK, but Tama Tonga walks up and just says “by orders of the tribal chief” and Solo is there as well. Solo smiles menacingly at Heyman and the two of them leave. So Solo is making his play for Tribal Chief, OK then.

Match #3: Tiffany Stratton vs. Naomi

Match joined in progress as Naomi hits a bulldog. Some kicks from Naomi then a leg drop for a 2 count. Naomi starts working the arm of Tiffany. Tiffany fights back with some corner work then stomps. Naomi fights back with a knee strike then Tiffany drops her into the ropes and hits a hip attack. Naomi fights back with a dropkick then a kick from the apron. Tiffany runs Naomi into the ring post and we head to break.

We come back to Naomi hitting a jawbreaker to start her comeback. Back elbow from Naomi then another kick to the head. Crossbody from Naomi, then another one before she hits a kick out of the corner. Basement dropkick from Naomi then she hits a second rope guillotine leg drop for a 2 count. Tiffany blocks an O’Connor Roll and hits a double stomp for a 2 count of her own. Naomi avoids a Finlay Roll but Tiffany is able to catch her with an Alabama Slam. Tiffany for the Pretties Moonsault Ever but Naomi avoids and Tiffany lands on her feet but Naomi catches her with a jackknife pin to get the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Naomi won in 9:14 shown

Rating: 2 stars
Thoughts: Picked up down the stretch but that opening bit was slow and uninteresting.

Video for Austin Theory and Grayson Waller winning the tag team titles. I’m sure something was said there but I dozed off.

We see New Catch Republic and the Street Profits with Nick Aldis, Aldis promises they’ll find challengers for the titles next week.

In the back Rey Mysterio warms up for the main event as we head to break.

Post break the WWE puts over all their recent success, then we get another Mania recap.

Logan Paul video, he puts over his win at Mania then calls himself the real legend killer. Every event he’s been part of has been the biggest thing WWE has done, he’s responsible for 200 million of the total social media impressions from Mania weekend. It’s the Logan Paul era.

To the ring and here’s Chelsea Green along with Piper Niven. They’re hoping to get drafted to Smackdown. Their opponents are Jade Cargill, who would probably beat them in a handicap match but after Jade hits the ring Bianca Belair skips to the ring.

Match #4 – Tag Team Match: Chelsea Green and Piper Niven vs. Jade Cargill and Bianca Belair

Belair and Green start, and Belair spikes Green with a spinebuster. Piper tags in, and wants Jade but when Belair goes to tag out Niven catches her from behind and hits a Michinoku Driver then a cannonball senton in the corner. Piper up top for a Vader Bomb but she misses. Green tags in, as does Jade. Jade spikes Green then superkicks her and hits a Jaded to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Jade Cargill and Bianca Belair won in 1:24

Rating: Spaghetti SQUASH
Thoughts: Delicious squash yet again.

In the back Kevin Owens talks with Byron Saxton, he asks for the camera to follow him as he walks to the ring for one of those cool new camera shots. Owens then walks by some merch and knocks over CM Punk t-shirts. He wants the WWE title and really hopes AJ is still suffering from PTSD and notes that he and Rey both have sons taller than they are but his son is awesome while Dominik sucks. Ultimately he wants the title and will beat both of them down to get there. For the record Owens did get his tracking shot.

Owens heads to the ring, our main event will be up after this break.

Post break we get news that next week will be Bayley vs. Naomi for the belt, a fatal 4-way tag team match for a shot at the tag team belts, and the final match to determine who meets Cody Rhodes at Backlash.

Back to the ring and Owens waits for his opponents. AJ Styles has new music.

Match #5 – Triple Threat Match: Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles vs. Rey Mysterio

AJ attacks both men but Rey and Owens eventually send him out of the ring. Rey and Owens square up, but Owens sends Rey onto AJ’s shoulders on the floor then AJ slams him onto the barricade. On the floor now AJ gets dropped on the barricade but Owens then hits a cannonball senton into the barricade but Rey then flies in with a seated senton to drop Owens and send us to break.

We come back to everyone trading strikes in the ring. AJ kicks Owens out of the ring but Rey boots AJ then gets sent on Owens for a tornado DDT, then he catches AJ with one as well for a 2 count. Owens heads out of the ring and Rey sets AJ for a 619 but AJ catches the kick and drops Rey with a backbreaker. Back suplex into a facebuster on Owens gets a 2 count. AJ and Owens fight on the top rope, Owens shoves AJ down then Rey heads up there but you can’t superplex Owens and Owens drills Rey with an avalanche Fisherman’s Buster for a 2 count. AJ and Owens square up, Owens lands a superkick but but AJ avoids a pop up powerbomb with a Pele kick. Rey catches AJ with a cross body to block a potential Styles Clash, then we get a double German suplex with Owens tossing AJ who tossed Rey and everyone’s down. Rey gets Monkey Flipped into AJ but he sends AJ into the ropes, then low bridges Owens and hits a 619 on AJ. Owens catches Rey on the apron with a Stunner, then heads up top but when he tries a Swanton Bomb AJ gets the knees up to block. AJ pulls Owens into position and heads up top but Rey fights with him there. Rey tries a hurricanrana but AJ catches him and hits an avalanche Styles Clash dropping Rey onto Owens then pinning Rey to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: AJ Styles won in 9:15

Rating: 3.5 stars
Thoughts: Fun sprint, all three men went through the gears pretty quickly and Rey still doing this stuff at his age with his mileage is a miracle. AJ and Owens both are great too and this one gelled quite nicely.

AJ celebrates but LA Knight is in the ring now too. They go face to face and trash talk each other as the episode ends.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree