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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 4.16.21

April 16, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE Smackdown
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 4.16.21  

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for WWE Smackdown and of course yours truly relaying all the action. WrestleMania is in the rear view mirror and that means we need new direction. Universal champion Roman Reigns asserted his dominance once again at Mania, pinning body Edge and Daniel Bryan to retain the title and will be looking for some fresh faces. Or we’ll get some version of Edge and Bryan battling it out over the next title shot, and given what happened on RAW this week that seems rather likely. But if Edge and Bryan were to, hypothetically, feud with each other then Roman would be needing someone brand new. Someone like Cesaro, who beat Seth Rollins, or the former Intercontinental champion Big E assuming they don’t want to keep Big E and Apollo Crews going. Personally I’m quite over Big E and Crews, especially now that Crews has his own Diesel personal colossus Omos large minion who used to be Dabba Kato of RAW Underground infamy but might be getting a new name tonight. Bianca Belair also won the Smackdown women’s title and will be in need of some kind of program now that she’s the champion. There are a lot of direction things could go, so let’s see what’s in store for us tonight.

We get a recap of the Mania main event with the end of Roman’s excellent promo from last week superimposed over the ending. That sends us into the Thunderdome. Cole welcomes us to the show and his new broadcast partner, Pat McAfee. Roman’s music hits and here comes the head of the table with his usual retinue in tow. Heyman hands Roman a mic after yousuck.mp3 runs it’s course. I have to give Roman credit, he’s got the timing down for this stuff relative to the truck production. Roman says they brought a lot of eyes to Smackdown then tells Heyman to tell the world about who Roman beat at Mania. Heyman mentions Edge being a Hall of Famer and married to a Hall of Famer, Bryan being married to a Hall of Famer who will get into the Hall of Fame for sure after he retires. He puts over the careers of both men, and those two epic careers came together against Roman, it was more a handicap match than a triple threat. Roman says he called his shot just like Babe Ruth, and delivered. Then they acknowledged him. It’s embarrassing for them, and there’s no way he’ll be in a triple threat ever again after what he did because no one will sign for it. He smashed and stacked two Hall of Famers, who then had to acknowledge him. If he’s doing that to men like that, who’s gonna want it next? Nobody wants to step to him now, it’s not worth it. No one is on his level. They’ve fulfilled their obligation, so cut his check for showing up because it’s time for them to go. Cesaro’s music hits as they’re heading out and here comes a suit clad Swiss Superman. My feed stutters a bit, but the segment ended with Cesaro’s music and him staring at the title on Roman’s shoulder as Roman just left him standing there. I’m glad they’re trying out Cesaro in the main event scene. Roman and Heyman are as money as they’ve ever been.

In the back Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville talk. Cesaro is here, and wants to make it clear he wants a match with Roman tonight, non-title is fine with him. Sonya says she’ll talk to Roman and see what they can do.

Back to the ring, and here comes Otis for our first match.

Match #1: Otis w/ Chad Gable vs. Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio

Otis attacks right away and runs over Rey. Military press then he drops Rey down before tossing Rey out of the ring. Rey onto the apron and fights back, then hangs Otis up on the top rope. Rey up top, but Otis cuts him off and Rey is stuck in the tree of woe, which lets Otis tee off. Otis charges but Rey sits up to avoid it then hits a seated senton then a very ugly Shining Wizard for a 2 count. They hit the ropes, Otis catches a flying Rey and hits the World’s Strongest Slam. Otis wants the second rope splash, but Rey rolls away and Otis eats canvas. Rey with a drop kick, then a drop toe hold and hits the 619. Up top for Rey, hits a flying crucifix bomb and gets the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Rey Mysterio won

Rating: 2 stars

A few small rough spots aside this was solid, Otis is a great base for Rey and they both know their roles for this kind of match. I’d have rather Otis go over and we move on from this feud, but at the moment this feud must continue I guess. That sends us to break.

Back from break and Kayla is with Paul Heyman. Heyman mocks the notion of putting smiles on faces, then says Saturday’s Mania was delayed not by rain but by angel’s crying for what Roman was going to do the next night to Edge. Roman walked out of Mania as champion, while neither Bryan nor Edge walked out at all. He runs down Cesaro and says Seth Rollins wept because he had to wrestle Cesaro at Mania. He says Cesaro is physically capable but promotionally he’s a joke, so let’s end this joke tonight when Cesaro battles Jey Uso in the main event. Heyman did some glorious teasing of it actually being Roman, the man is great in his role.

Sami Zayn is here without his camera crew. He gets into the ring and says the headlines ignored how he was screwed yet again. WrestleMania was supposed to be vindicating for him, all the stars aligned and his guest of honor Logan Paul was there. But that’s not how it went down, because Logan Paul’s mind was poisoned by the WWE universe talking bad about him, Kevin Owens talking about him, Paul was poisoned before he ever got out here. Sami was distracted by Paul’s presence, and that’s the only reason Owens was able to beat him. He knows Owens is in the back, and Sami wont be denied his vindication and demands Owens show up and wrestle him again. There’s no celebrity at ringside, no toxic fans, nothing to distract him and no way for Owens to steal a win. Which is why he knows Owens wont show up, speak of the devil here’s Owens as we head to break.

Match #2: Sami “With The Reverse Vampires” Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

Sami runs out of the ring right at the bell. He plays keep away from Owens for a bit but gets caught on the outside with punches. Owens sends things back into the ring and starts laying into Sami. Sami eventually fights back but runs into a clothesline then eats a senton. A cannonball senton attempt leads to Sami rolling to the apron and dropping Owens over the top rope. Some mounted punches from Sami and he goes into his usual offensive routine. They start trading rights, Sami hits a jawbreaker but Owens levels him with a clothesline. Owens bounces Sami off the top rope and starts laying into him in the corner. They head up top, Sami with a sunset flip powerbomb for a 2 count. Sami argues with the ref over the count as we head to break.

We come back to Owens and Sami battling on the top rope. Sami misses a flying nothing and runs into a super kick for a 2 count. Owens up top, hits the swanton bomb for another near fall. Owens wants the pop up powerbomb but Sami heads out of the ring and starts crawling up the ramp. For some reason Owens follows him, and brings him back to the ring. Sami avoids a pop up powerbomb, tries the half and half suplex but Owens avoids it and hits the pump handle neckbreaker for another near fall. Sami keeps trying to run, Owens brings him back but Sami avoids a Stunner and is out of the ring again. Sami rakes the eyes but runs away from the ring and loses by countout.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Kevin Owens won via countout

Rating: 2.5 stars

These two can have this kind of match in their sleep, they know each other that well.

Owens drags Sami back to the ring and lays him out with a Stunner.

In the back Apollo Crews is with Commander Azeez, the former Dabba Kato. He says he’d give Big E a rematch but Big E isn’t here because of his new heavy Commander Azeez, a former member of the Nigerian elite guard. Anyone who wants a shot at his title will be taken out by the Nigerian Nail. OK then.

The Street Profits head to the ring, they’re hosting Bianca Belair’s celebration after the break and will get a shot at the tag team titles later tonight.

We come back and the Profits remind us that they’re taking back the title from the Dirty Dawgs tonight. But that’s not all they’re celebrating, they got some extra motivation from one match in particular. That being the match between Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair, on the off chance you don’t know Belair is married to Ford. We get a video package highlighting the match in question. The Profits says the party isn’t quite over yet, Ford says Saturday was a night he’ll hold very close to his heart for the rest of his life, then introduces Belair. That brings Belair out. Belair gets a mic from Ford, she talks about how elated she is to have won Saturday. Despite the setbacks and struggles she never gave up on this moment, thanks her family for all their inspiration. She says everyone has some EST inside themselves, and once you find that and work hard you shouldn’t apologize for it. Because if you can dream it, you can do it. But it’s not just about her, she then thanks Sasha Banks for the match because there’s no one she’d rather have been in that ring with on that stage. She does hope Sasha always remembers that match, in no small part because of that scar she left her with. She says this was for every little girl, live or at home watching that match. Mania was magic, but they’re just getting started creating history. The three of them share a group hug, then Belair tells Ford they only wear gold in their house so they better win the belts back. A “We’re up and want the smoke” follows to close the segment. That, eh, it wasn’t bad but Belair’s character right now feels very bland.

In the back Kayla has Sasha Banks. Banks shows off her scar while fuming about Belair, she doesn’t even get out a full sentence then storms off. Good on her actually being mad about losing.

We get our fourth of fifth replay of Cesaro’s UFO to Rollins from Mania, so now you can imagine Cesaro will be required to do it all the time.

In the back Bayley is with Kayla, she says Banks probably wants a rematch but is too angry to even speak. She mocks Belair a bit, especially for crying on her way to the ring. Bayley says you don’t want an arrogant champion like Belair, the title needs some dignity restored to it so the longest reigning Smackdown women’s champion is coming back for her belt.

The tag team title match will start up once the commercial break ends.

Match #3 – Smackdown Tag Team Title Match: (c) Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode vs. Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)

Ziggler and Dawkins get us going. Some mat wrestling early, then Ziggler hits a cheap elbow and a drop kick. Dawkins crushes Ziggler with a right and tags in Ford who hits a drop kick. Dawkins back in, they’re working over Ziggler and have started isolating the arm. A lot of tags from the Profits as they abuse Ziggler’s arm. Ziggler lands a kick to the body and pushes Ford into the corner, Roode tags in but the champs run into each other, Dawkins tags in and they hit double team flap jacks to both me. Ziggler gets tossed out, Dawkins with a bulldog and shoulder block to Roode. For some reason the Profits head out of the ring to yell into the camera rather than, you know, following up with actual wrestling, and we head to break.

When we come back Dawkins is working over Roode. Roode eats a shoulder block, Dawkins runs the ropes and hits him with a leaping elbow. Roode avoids a corner splash and hits a spinebuster for a near fall. Ziggler tags in and cheap shots Ford before hitting a neckbreaker. Roode back in and they resume working over Dawkins. Quick tags from the champions, isolating Dawkins. Ziggler mocks Dawkins but gets caught and eats a catapult into a corner. Both men down, and both men tag out. Ford runs wild on Roode and Ziggler, some drop kicks then a flying shoulder block to Roode and a clothesline for Ziggler. Roode wants a back suplex but Ford counters into one of his own then hits a standing moonsault for 2. That leads to Roode rolling out of the ring, Ford dives onto both men as Dawkins hits a blind tag. Dawkins with the Anointment, tags Ford back in and Ford with the From the Heavens frog splash but Ziggler is here to save the match. Things break down and Dawkins is sent out of the ring. Ford drops Ziggler and lays into Roode in the corner. Blind tag from Ziggler, Ford didn’t see it. Zig Zag from Ziggler and the champs retain.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Ziggler and Roode retained the tag team titles

Rating: 3 stars

These two teams have some good chemistry, but they’re horribly overexposed in terms of working against each other as there have been a ton of encounters between them. I’m not sure where the Profits go from here, but hopefully we can finally get some interest in the division going.

In the back Kayla interviews Cesaro. She asks about what Heyman said about him, he says Heyman was right about his slack jaw and buck teeth, and long arms making him look like a Neanderthal. But he’s wrong about Cesaro belonging, and he’ll prove it by beating Jey Uso tonight. We cut over to Roman’s locker room, he doesn’t get why Cesaro wants this, and reminds Jey he better win as we get another commercial break.

We come back to a match starting.

Match #4: Natalya w/ Tamina vs. Shanya Baszler w/ Nia Jax

Baszler takes control with strikes, but Natalya avoids a knee and looks for the sharpshooter and Jax pulls Baszler out of the ring. Tamina and Jax jaw at each other. Back in the ring Baszler and Natalya engage in some mat wrestling, trading arm wringers and escapes. Armbar attempt from Baszler but Natalya defends, and Tamina pulls Natalya out of harms way. Jax and Tamina resume yelling at each other, Natalya eats a knee strike on coming back into the ring. Natalya with a discus clothesline, she wants the Sharpshooter, Baszler counters into the Kurifuda Clutch but Natalya reverses, shoves Baszler at Jax on the ring apron then rolls her up to get the win.


Rating: DUD

Boy are they trying really hard to make people care about Tamina vs. Nia Jax. Can’t wait for those two dangerous botch machines to team up after this feud.

Post match Tamina kicks Jax in the face so she and Natalya stand tall.

In the back Jey talks to the camera, says Cesaro is the one move king and asks if he can do those spins without teeth. Now Cesaro has crossed the Chief and Right Hand Man, then promises to go git em. Roman looks into the camera to remind us we heard the man, and now he’s going to show us. The main event is next after this break.

Jey’s music hits as we come back from break. He’s out here all alone, per usual. His Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy is ringside, and he goes to pose with it. We replay highlights of that Battle Royal from last week. Cesaro heads out, and we’re reminded that he won the first Andre the Giant battle Royal.

Match #5: Cesaro vs. Jey Uso

Cesaro with a quick mat return and then catches a jumping Jey with a backbreaker. Jey rolls to the apron, he slams the arm of Cesaro into the buckles but Cesaro blocks a super kick then boots Jey off of the apron to the floor. Cesaro to the apron, tries a flying nothing and eats a super kick as we head to break.

We come back to Jey hitting a Samoan drop. Jey laying in strikes and working the arm. They’re working Cesaro’s right arm, an oddity as you usually work left, but they’re consistently doing it so it’s not an accident. Cesaro blocks a suplex attempt, then more or less deadlifts Jey up for a vertical suplex. I can’t believe he did that, that is incredibly difficult to do with something like body weight. Cesaro up top and hits a cross body for a near fall. Jey with a spinning arm throw then a seated super kick for a near fall. Looks like Jey wants the Uso Splash, he heads up but Cesaro hits him on the top with a drop kick. Cesaro up to the top with Jey, he wants a superplex, Jey fights him off but Cesaro lands an uppercut then hits a second rope gutwrench suplex for a near fall. Cesaro wants the Neutralizer, Jey slips free but Cesaro hits a corkscrew uppercut for a near fall. Some kicks from Jey to avoid a swing attempt, Jey with a back suplex into a neck breaker for a near fall. Jey is losing it, he lays in strikes but a slap seems to piss of Cesaro who returns fire. A flurry of strikes from Cesaro then a discus clothesline for another near fall. Cesaro calls for the swing, he gets it going but Seth Rollins jumps him.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Cesaro won via Disqualification

Rating: 3 stars

The ending cost that match at least half a star, though it should be no surprise that Jey and Cesaro put on a better than average match.

Rollins screams from the ramp that Cesaro got lucky one time, and this isn’t over until Rollins says so. Boy I hope they don’t waste Cesaro’s potential push on more Rollins. Rollins yells like a maniac, it sounds like he has new music, as the show ends.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Some solid wrestling tonight, both the tag team match and Jey vs. Cesaro were pretty good matches. Unfortunately the ending of Jey and Cesaro was a bit of a downer, they're still dedicating effort into this Tamina and Nia Jax thing that no one cares about, but there wasn't a whole lot of actively bad. Bianca Belair got a prolonged promo, and while that was the blandest of babyface promos she at least delivered it well enough. All in all a good episode.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree