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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 3.12.21

March 12, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 3.12.21  

Another Friday, another episode of WWE Smackdown. I’m Robert Winfree here to keep you all updated. Last week Daniel Bryan earned a shot at Roman Reigns for the Universal title at Fastlane, to the displeasure of both Reigns and presumably Edge so I’m sure we’ll get fallout from that event. Dominik Mysterio and his old man Rey got a modicum of revenge on Otis and Chad Gable, but that doesn’t feel like a feud that they’ll be ending any time soon. The Street Profits split matches with King Corbin and Zayn, so we might get another iteration of that group tonight. Intercontinental champion Big E will return after getting sidelined by Apollo Crews a few weeks ago, and Crews now has goons for Big E to toss around so that feud might pick up some more steam. Seth Rollins and Cesaro are on a collision course so we’ll have to keep an eye on them as well.

We open with a video recap of Bryan earning his title shot last week, the commentary does the usual intro.

Edge comes out to start the episode proper. Mic time for Edge, he reminds us of the contract signing tonight between Bryan and Roman but he’s got a few things to address. He starts with Roman, and says that he doesn’t agree with Roman’s assessment of him not wanting to fight a man like him. Edge says he did make his choice to meet Roman Reigns, but Roman felt what Edge brings and brings up that Edge helped build this place. He notes Roman was the one who backtracked, tried to take the avenue towards Daniel Bryan. That leads to Daniel Bryan, he brings up Bryan’s claims from last week about activity and decides to remind everyone who the hell he is. Edge brings up his history, especially during the hectic earlier days of WWE and mentions he’s been doing this across four decades and now he’s here because he loves this too. So now he’s just stuck waiting for Fastlane to figure out who he’s meeting at Mania. Before he can continue here’s Daniel Bryan. Bryan has a mic, he notes that Edge got sucked into what Bryan said last week and that wasn’t even his intention and thinks Edge should have respected Bryan “going into business for himself”. He then says he respects Edge, all the years and legends, and he knows how hard Edge has worked and how much he loves this. But to be completely honest nothing Bryan is doing is about Edge, his epiphany wasn’t because of Edge but because he allowed himself to go into what might be his last Wrestlemania on the back burner. He can’t live with that, if this is his last one he’s going to give it everything he’s got to be in the main event. Edge has his spot, so this isn’t about Edge, for Bryan this is all about him having to go into Mania as champion. Edge responds now, he says Roman has already beaten Bryan and no matter the circumstances a win is a win. Edge notes that he won the Rumble, including beating Bryan to do it, but he also respects and likes Bryan but he just doesn’t like how Bryan did this. He says Bryan is better than this, but not better than Edge, and then heads out. Solid stuff from both men, sowing the seeds for how they might play off of each other in the incredibly improbable outcome that Bryan beats Roman.

Commentary runs down the rest of the card, then the Street Profits head out to the ring for the next match. They’re joined by Rey and Dominik Mysterio, but the heels jump them on the way to the ring. The heels mock the downed faces in the ring as we head to break.

We come back to the match about to start.

Match #1 – 8 Man Tag Team Match: Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford), Dominik Mysterio, and Rey Mysterio vs. Otis, Chad Gable, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode

Dawkins and Roode get us going. Dawkins avoids Roode and cheap shots Ziggler then we get brawling. They run the ropes, Dawkins then plants Roode with a bulldog then a drop kick. Ford tags in and drop kicks Roode, tags Dominik and they hit an assisted leg drop for a 2 count. Roode has had enough of that, cuts off Dominik and tags in Gable. Gable gets hit with a hurricanrana, then Otis tags in and starts laying into Dominik. Dominick tries to jump at Otis but eats a Polish hammer to the chest. Gable tagged in, they start isolating Dominik and working him over. Bridging butterfly suplex from Gable, that gets 2 then he tags in Roode. Roode starts working the leg of Dominik. Roode wants a suplex. Dominik with knees then a tornado DDT to counter. That was a rough looking landing from Roode, kudos for the sell job. Dawkins and Ziggler tag in and Dawkins runs wild. Exploder suplex from Dawkins, then he takes out Otis. Ziggler with an elbow but walks into a spinebuster. Ford tags in, looks for the frog splash but Roode from the apron knocks him down as we head to another break.

We come back to Ziggler working a chinlock on Ford. Ford fights to his feet and punches free but eats a drop kick. Another bit of offense from Ford, he fights out of the corner but misses an enziguri then Ziggler grabs a sleeper hold. Ford staggers towards his corner, he slumps towards the mat but fires up and then tags Dawkins but Roode had the ref distracted so the ref didn’t see it. Ziggler drags Ford back into the enemy corner and they lay into him. Roode tags in and hits a backbreaker for 2. Otis tags in and launches Ford into the corner but Ford avoids an avalanche. Gable tags in, but Ford flips out of a German suplex and tags in Rey. Rey flies around Gable, then attacks the heels for good measure. Around the world DDT from Rey but Otis breaks up the pin attempt. Dominik flies at Otis but Otis catches him, then Rey onto Otis with a seated senton. Gable in position for the 619 but Roode tags in and intercepts Rey with a spinebuster. The usual parade of finishers follows, Roode eventually eats the stero 619’s from the Mysterios, Ford tags in as the faces take out the heels and Ford From the Heavens to Roode and the faces win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, and the Street Profits won

Rating: 2.5 stars

Any match with this many participants is a struggle to really lay out, this was very predictable in that respect but the action was mostly crisp outside of a few slips.

We recap the announcement that Molly Holly will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

In the back Jey Uso walks up to the Roman locker room, Paul Heyman intercepts him. Jey wants to see Roman, Paul dissuades him and says Roman is a little busy, so Jey mentions having a few other things to handle first anyway and Paul is sure Roman will be happy to see him after that. That little interaction sends us to break.

In the back Kayla has Seth Rollins and a nice plaid suit with a black turtleneck. She shows him footage from a couple of weeks ago when Cesaro put Rollins into the human centrifuge. Rollins doesn’t appreciate that and wants to know why we’re still talking about this. He went out there to help Cesaro, Cesaro has all the potential in the world and he wanted to help him graduate to leading man. In exchange he was embarrassed and disrespected. He’s done with Cesaro, Cesaro is the biggest waste of potential in the WWE’s history so he’s done with him. Kayla mentions Cesaro’s rematch tonight with Murphy, Rollins seems mildly intrigued by that. I sense shenanigans incoming.

We get reminded that last week Reginald, the actual focus of the women’s division, wound up being adopted by Nia Jax. Oh, they went shopping with Reginald and we’ve got a comedy skit. Joy. . . no wait, the other thing, despair. Jax offers him anything he wants in a men’s clothing store. He models outfits for her, Shanya Baszler’s utter disinterest is all of us. After entirely too long they settle on an outfit, Reginald sits in Jax’s lap and asks how he can repay her for all the kindness. She just smiles suggestively as bad porn music starts playing.

Back to the arena, and here comes Cesaro. His rematch with Murphy where Seth Rollins totally wont get involved will be up after this break.

Murphy didn’t get a jobber entrance, but he’s in the ring as we come back with Cesaro’s music still playing. Oh, and here comes Seth Rollins with a steel chair. I’m sure he’ll just be sitting on that at the top of the ramp.

Match #2: Cesaro vs. Not-Your-Buddy-Pal Murphy

Cesaro avoids Murphy and lays in punches. Murphy charges into the corner and tries to lay in stomps, Cesaro fights back with European uppercuts. They trade kicks, Cesaro gets the better of that and knocks Murphy to the apron. Murphy all the way down now to try and compose himself. Cesaro after him on the floor but runs into a flying knee, with a lot of thigh slap. Back into the ring, Cesaro drop kicks Murphy as Murphy was on the ropes. Cesaro onto the second rope and suplexes Murphy all the way back into the ring. Running European uppercuts from Cesaro now, Murphy fights back with a kick but when he goes for the flying nothing he’s caught in the Big Swing. Here’s Rollins to interfere and end the match.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Cesaro won via disqualification

Rating: DUD

Too short to be anything.

Rollins lays into Cesaro, then hits the Blackout stomp. He yells at Cesaro about Cesaro not being on his level and implores him to stand. Cesaro eventually climbs to his feet, but just eats another stomp for his effort. Rollins tells Cesaro he’ll never be on his level. Rollins retrieves his chair, and looks to Pillmanize the neck of Cesaro, but a few officials come out and halt that at the last second. That seems to dissuade Rollins and he heads to the back still trash talking Cesaro. Rollins runs into Nakamura at the gorilla position, Nakamura gives him the stink eye.

Also walking around is Kevin Owens. Sami Zayn finds him along with his documentary crew. Zayn says no one knows more about the conspiracy against him than Owens, Owens says he’s got the KO Show tonight. They bicker, Zayn trying to sell his documentary as a big expose that will do “Logan Paul numbers” and Owens says he’ll think about it as we head to break.

In the back Jey wanders and runs into Edge. Edge says he’s known their family for a long time and first met Jey when Jey was 10 years old. He says man to man he wants to know what Jey is doing. In 2015 when Edge was mourning his career he saw an Usos match that helped get his fire back. Now Jey’s walking around with his head down like a subordinate, and he wants to know what Jey’s dad thinks about this. Jey says his family is running the show, so don’t talk about them. Edge should enjoy his family, because after Mania he wont be enjoying anything.

Back to the ring where Kevin Owens has his KO Show set up to interview Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks. Owens welcomes us to the show, notes his absence lately and says the last few months have been rough for him especially after getting close to the top but not reaching it. So now he’s going to keep fighting, but tonight is about his guests, opponents at Mania who will team at Fastlane to try and win the Women’s Tag Team titles. He brings out Belair first, and welcomes here before introducing Banks. Both women are wearing their ring gear. Owens thanks the boss for all the paychecks. He brings up their tag team title match and he can only think of one other pair of tag champs to battle for the big belt at Mania, John Cena and Shawn Michaels. He eventually asks about them teaming against Jax and Baszler, despite them losing when they had a shot at Elimination Chamber. Owens keeps talking, eventually Banks interrupts and says it’s not her fault she looks good and that Reginald has a crush on her. Belair says Reginald is just a problem for their match and doesn’t want him around. Banks says not to worry about it, she’s like the Michael Jordan of the women’s division and maybe one day Belair can be the Lebron James. Belair says she respects Banks, but her accomplishments are her own and Banks had nothing to do with it. Banks says if she’d been in the Rumble she’d have won not Belair, and she’s going to walk into Mania as 2 Belt Banks and will leave the same way. Belair is glad she’s got her eyes on the prize, this is interrupted by Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler along with Reginald. Owens insists he didn’t invite them. The champs will be on commentary while our match happens, right after this break.

The match is ready to begin as we come back.

Match #3 – Tag Team Match: Tamina and Natalya vs. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair

Banks and Tamina start us off. They tie up, Tamina tosses Banks into her corner, tags in Natalya then Natalya and Banks run the ropes which ends with a slap form Banks to Natalya. Natalya heads out of the ring, eats a baseball slide. Back in the ring and Natalya lands a clothesline. Tamina tags in and they lay into Banks for a bit before tagging Natalya back in. Snap suplex from Natalya. Baszler and Jax bicker a bit, Banks fights back, kicks away from a sharpshooter and tags in Belair. Belair runs wild and hits a spinebuster. Reginald on the apron to distract the ref. Belair is annoyed, Natalya hits a discus clothesline and Natalya tags out. Banks gets into it with Reginald, they run through the ring and Natalya lays out Banks. Belair takes her down with a right but Tamina rolls Belair up for the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Natalya and Tamina won

Rating: 1.5 stars

Very nearly a DUD, disjointed and incredibly meaningless as there’s never been anything but tension between Belair and Banks so the old “sowing discontent” isn’t actually applicable.

Belair and Banks argue again about Reginald being around and distracting them. Belair is annoyed that she lost because of Reginald, and says this is on Banks. Reginald blows a kiss to Banks as all the heels pose in the ring. So we’ve made Reginald the Poochy of the women’s division, everyone has to be asking about him all the time.

Another reminder of Big E getting a beat down from Apollo Crews a few weeks ago. Big E will return to Smackdown after this break.

In the back Belair and Banks bicker about Reginald and his influence in their match. Banks isn’t going to take the blame for the rookie Belair taking the L in that match, and walks off.

Back to the ring where Big E comes out, tears off some medical gear while coming down the ramp and looks fresh as a daisy when he gets to the ring. Mic time for Big E, he says that when he was laid up in a medical facility because of Apollo he had lots of time to think and now hopes Apollo knows what he did. He crossed the Rubicon, opened Pandora’s box, there is no putting this genie back in the bottle. Crews made him go Biblical, now Big E has to go Old Testament on Crews, and it’s eye for an eye, I was hoping to not see another of those matches. Big E is here for uneven retribution, you step on his lawn and he’ll bulldoze your house. Pinning Crews isn’t enough, now he’s got to end him. Crews wants what Big E worked for, and fine and good because now he’s ready to give him what he deserves. They don’t need to wait, not at all because right now Crews can bring his behind to Big E and get the opportunity he’s been waiting for. He implores Crews to come down and get it. No sign of Crews, and Big E isn’t surprised. But Big E got all dressed up to defend his belt tonight, so if Crews wont come down he’ll extend an open challenge to whoever wants it. King Corbin comes out in a suit, he says if there’s an open challenge he might not be dressed to fight but he’ll tear up the ten thousand dollar suit, but here comes Sami Zayn to accept while Corbin is talking. Corbin tries to talk out of this, Zayn says he’s had this rematch coming for months and winning the title back will be the perfect ending to his documentary. They argue back and forth, Big E cuts them off. He says whoever gets in the ring first gets the match. Zayn slides in, but Big E attacks him and sends him out of the ring as we head to break.

We come back to the match getting ready to begin.

Match #4 – Intercontinental Title Match: (c) Big E vs. Sami “Who holds back the electric car?” Zayn

Big E overpowers Zayn early, working knees to the body. Zayn with a few kicks to the body and grabs a side headlock. Big E tosses him off, they run the ropes then Zayn runs into a back elbow. Zayn launched into the corner with extreme velocity. Big E charges and Zayn gets some knees up then a clothesline to the back of the head. Zayn to the second rope, and a jumping elbow to the head. Zayn tries it a second time but is caught in a series of belly to belly suplexes, then he heads out of the ring but Big E is after him. Big E throws Zayn back into the ring, sets him on the apron but Zayn avoids the apron splash and that sends us to another break.

We come back to Zayn and Big E fighting on the top rope, Zayn gets a sunset flip powerbomb for a near fall. Zayn yells at the ref about the count, then slaps Big E while yelling at him to give him back what’s his. Big E then runs over Zayn with a clothesline and hits the Big Ending to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Big E retained the Intercontinental title

Rating: 2 stars

The commercial break hurt this, as did the very obvious ending.

The music for Apollo Crews hits, and Crews comes from under the ring to jump Big E from behind. Crews with the Angle slam to lay out Big E. He drags him up and hits it again. Crews with some smack talk to Big E then heads out to get the steel steps. The steps get tossed into the ring, Crews menaces Big E with them. Big E to his feet and Crews knocks him out of the ring with steps. Crews stands on the steps in the ring to pose.

In the back Nia Jax and Reginald are hanging out when Kayla heads up to them. Jax mocks Banks for thinking she’ll be a double champ, Reginald thinks Reginald should get a title shot against Banks next week and Jax likes how he thinks, then shoos Kayla away.

Back in the arena here comes Roman Reigns and his entourage. They start heading to the ring, and with Roman’s usual pace that means they’ll be in the ring about the time this commercial break ends.

We come back and confirm that next week Nia Jax gets a title shot against Sasha Banks. In the ring Bryan is on the ropes playing to the “crowd” for the contract signing. Adam Pearce will oversee the signing. Roman stares down Pearce, then makes him take the chair around to the head of the table, saying Pearce knows where his chair goes. Both men sit, Roman speaking first. He says Bryan doesn’t want to do this, he gets it that Bryan has done everything he’s supposed to do and a few weeks ago he went along with this but this week he doesn’t think Bryan deserves it and wont sign. Bryan takes a pen and signs, saying he’s surprised Roman isn’t a man of his word who’s afraid of someone like him. I mean after last week, a lot of people thought he was better than Roman but last week he proved he’s better when he made Jey tap, something Roman could never do. Roman’s face change at that is great. Bryan would like to proclaim himself head of the table, ruler of the island, he did something Roman couldn’t and he keeps talking, which pisses Roman off. Roman signs the contract and hands it to Pearce. Bryan says now he’s got a message, he’s gonna tap out Roman just like he did Jey. Jey freaks out and tosses the table out of the ring, then says he’d like to be the special guest enforcer for their title match, and he’d like to volunteer for it. Edge’s music hits, he says that’s a great idea but next week he’ll have his first TV match in 11 years and he’ll battle Jey for the right to be the special enforcer at Fastlane. We get a brawl now, Edge tosses Bryan away from Roman, Bryan takes exception to that and hits Edge with the knee plus. That odd little bit of interplay, Roman looking on somewhat interested from the outside, closes the show. Solid little closing segment.

The final score: review Average
The 411
This was an odd episode to figure out, it felt kind of breezy but that's also because almost nothing of consequence happened. Bryan getting under Roman's skin was a nice wrinkle, and Roman sold it quite well, plus we've got some interplay between Bryan and Edge added to the mixture as well going forward. Outside of that though this was a very sparse episode, the 8 man tag match was just every multi man match you've seen for the last few years, WWE has turned their women's division in the Reginald/Poochy show for reasons I couldn't possibly understand, and while Big E and Apollo played off of each other well the whole thing felt odd due to the Zayn match as well as some general pacing issues.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree