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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 2.26.21

February 26, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE Smackdown
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 2.26.21  

Alright everyone, Winfree back again on this Friday evening for another episode of WWE Smackdown. On the heels of the Elimination Chamber PPV we’ve got a bit of clarity around the WWE landscape. We know that Edge will challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal championship at Mania, or whoever holds that belt at Mania but let’s not mince words as we all know Roman’s not dropping the belt. Edge did get to whisper something to Roman at the PPV, so they’ve traded the traditional sweet nothings ahead of their title match. Last week Apollo Crews went full heel when he dumped some ring steps onto Intercontinental champion Big E, so that feud must continue. There’s a stunning lack of interest in the tag team scene, especially after Otis went heel last week at the behest of Chad Gable to leave the face tag teams on the blue brand as the Street Profits and. . . the Street Profits. Kevin Owens was eliminated by Jey Uso at the Chamber event, so we might see that feud reignite though at the rate Smackdown has been going he’ll just turn heel tonight. We should get some direction for Cesaro and Daniel Bryan, but there’s a lot of directions the roster could take here. Anyway that’s enough intro, onto the action.

Roman Reigns and company are here to open the show. There’s a quick video recap of the Chamber match and immediate fallout from Sunday as they’re heading to the ring. When that ends all three men are in the ring and Heyman hands Roman a mic. Roman says it’s no secret that Smackdown needs him, just like the last PPV needed him so he answered the call and showed up to save this place and defended his title. And what happened? He smashed Daniel Bryan, because that’s who he is. Anyone else in his spot would have had a huge celebration thrown tonight after that, but not him as he’s above that. The PPV wasn’t perfect though, it wasn’t perfect because of Edge. Edge got one over on him, then pointed on the sign to make things official for WrestleMania. He’s warning Edge that Edge doesn’t want or need that in his life, he’s giving Edge a chance to back out and go back to his beautiful family. Roman doesn’t want to hurt a father and husband, and appreciates what Edge stands for, but a man like Edge just doesn’t stand a chance against a man like Roman. The music of Daniel Bryan hits, so that will be our sacrificial lamb for Fast Lane. Bryan has a mic, he stays on the entrance ramp and takes umbrage with Roman describing his title defense at the PPV as nearly perfect. Bryan makes his way to the ring, and says he agrees completely with Roman. He gets really sarcastic running down Roman’s magnanimous nature, but he’s heard rumblings from people who feel differently. Some people think him taking that kind of match right after a Chamber match was cowardly. But that’s not Bryan, he doesn’t come out here to complain, he’s just a messenger. He was a little baffled by Roman defending his title in the second match on that PPV, shouldn’t Roman want the main event or would that have given Bryan too much time to recover? Bryan says he was here for Roman’s first match in WWE and he knows how good Roman is, he gives Roman a chance to make it right and leave no doubt about comparing the two of them. Bryan wants a match for the belt at Fast Lane, no gimmicks, just the two of them one on one. Jey grabs the mic and wants to know what Bryan is doing out here making excuses for losing. He says he’ll get Bryan tonight if Bryan isn’t careful. Bryan asks Roman if Jey speaks for him, Roman wants to make sure Bryan really wants to get hurt again after Sunday. Jey jumps Bryan and tosses him out of the ring and over the barricade. Roman’s music hits and they start heading back up the ramp. Roman and Bryan played off of each other very well, Roman’s strong promo and character work continue.

Apparently we’ll get Bianca Belair’s challenge tonight, and the Street Profits will battle Sami Zayn and King Corbin.

Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville talk in the back, Edge comes in to ask about Bryan getting a title shot and they decide to talk that over as we got to commercial break.

In the back Jey apologizes for jumping the gun in the ring. Roman says there’s nothing to apologize for. . . as long as you get the job done.

Edge wants to know what’s up with Fast Lane, he heard the plan was him and Bryan teaming against Roman and Jey for that event. Pearce says Bryan and Jey will wrestle and if Bryan wins he’ll get a shot at the belt at Fast Lane and Edge knows that a Universal title at the PPV is just a bigger deal. No disrespect. Edge walks off.

Rey and Dominik Mysterio are here for their match. Otis and Gable are here, Gable with a video package reminding us all of the pointless Otis heel turn last week.

Match #1 – Tag Team Match: Rey and Dominik Mysterio vs. Otis and Chad Gable

Otis and Rey start us off. Rey runs into a body block and he’s down. Otis with a running elbow drop, then lifts and tosses Rey across the ring. Shoulder strikes in the corner, and Gable has to call Otis off to avoid a DQ. Gable tags in, and hits a high gut buster onto Rey. Rey with a kick to fight back, he avoids Gable then lands an enziguri and tags in Dominik. Dominik runs wild on Gable, tosses him into the corner then hits a second rope tornado DDT for 2. Rey tags in, they take out Otis then double team Gable. Double 619, then Rey frog splashes Gable but Otis is in to break up the pin. Otis with a Polish hammer to Dominik, then tags in. Otis catches a flying Rey with a worlds strongest slam, then the second rope splash to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Otis and Chad Gable won

Rating: 2 stars

Generic match, but they gave Rey and Dominik too much for me to call it a squash.

Bryan vs. Jey is made official, and Bryan will get a title shot at Fast Lane if he wins.

Apollo Crews is warming up as we head to break.

Back from break and here comes Crews. We also get a video recap of what happened last week between him and Big E. He’s got a scarf like thing decked out in the colors of the Nigerian flag. Crews gets a mic, and says a lot of people want to know what’s going on with him. He says no one knows anything about him, he’s been nice, humble, and respectful for too long without getting any of the same in return. Given who he is and where he comes from that’s unacceptable. He’s from Nigeria, a real African American and this is who he is. His ancestors are Nigerian royalty, they ruled rich lands and he represents them. The green and white are what he stands for, wealth, dominance, and power. Big E found out first hand last week, Big E told him to go back to catering but instead he went to his roots and now he can warn you in the words of his ancestors. He goes into an African accent rather than actually speaking something like Igbo to warn Big E, but the music of Shinsuke Nakamura cuts him off. Crews jumps Nakamura in the ring, and threatens him with the steel steps but the ref intervenes as we head head to break.

Match #2: Apollo Crews vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

We join the match in progress and Crews is beating down Nakamura. Snap suplex from Crews then he gets a head lock. Nakamura fights out with elbows, then Crews with a German suplex but Nakamura was supposed to land on his feet but didn’t, then hits a jumping kick. It looks like Nakamura is legit shaken up, looks like Crews didn’t leg go on the backflip from Nakamura at the right time. Kicks from Nakamura, then the an ax kick while Crews is on the top rope. Modified shining wizard from Nakamura for a 2 count. Crews fights back now, and hits the German suplex this time but holds on and hits a total of 3 then covers for a near fall. Spinning kick from Nakamura, then the sliding German under the ropes. Nakamura sets for the Kinsasha but Crews rolls out of the ring. Crews walking around the ring, then intercepts Nakamura and tosses him into the steps. Back in the ring Crews tries a military press but Nakamura slips free and goes for a sleeper. Crews uses his scarf as leverage to break the hold, hits an enziguri then an Angle slam to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Apollo Crews won

Rating: 2.5 stars

Rock solid match between those two, shame that Nakamura is back to being cannon fodder though.

In the back Roman Reigns talks with Heyman. Heyman informs Roman that if Bryan wins tonight he’ll get the title match at Fast Lane. Roman wants to confirm that their proposed tag team match is scrapped, Heyman says IF Bryan wins tonight. It’s not looking good for Bryan as we head to break.

Match #3: Tamina w/ Natalya vs. Liv Morgan w/ Ruby Riott

We come back to Liv Morgan and Tamina wrestling. Tamina over powers Morgan early, Morgan fights back with a head scissors move but Tamina has had enough of that and hits a super kick. More rights from Tamina, she abuses Morgan for a bit. Morgan tries to fight back but runs into a back elbow and is floored again. Tamina with a suplex for another near fall. Morgan tries to fight back again but Tamina face plants her. Morgan tries a back slide, Tamina powers out but Morgan hits an enziguri. Tamina charges but misses in the corner, Morgan with a drop kick and lands more strikes then a second rope drop kick for a 1 count. Natalya calls for the finish, Tamina avoids a charge in the corner, hits the Samoan drop and could win but decides to hit the Catatonic to end things.


Rating: Hubbard. . . SQUASH

In the back Bianca Belair walks, she’ll make her choice for Mania after this commercial break.

Pearce and Deville are in the ring, they hype up Belair and her subsequent choice. That brings out Belair. Production cobbled together an EST chant to add in. Belair mentions exactly how long it’s been since she won the Rumble match, then Deville asks who she’s facing and sets up a little hype package for Asuka. That’s the most time WWE has invested into Asuka in several months. Another video package follows, this one for Sasha Banks. Belair says everyone’s been waiting for her decision, she’s been seriously considering this choice as it’s a defining one. Before she can actually answer we get Reginald, who’s got his own entrance music. Reginald says this choice will define her future in WWE, and puts over Banks but says Belair’s journey has been inspiring. He’s in awe of her living her dream, but he knows that if she chooses Banks at Mania the dream will dissolve into a nightmare. Banks comes out now as well, because revolving promos are just so entertaining. She takes the mic from Reginald, then reminds him to never speak for her and shoves him out of frame. Banks says she’s more than a champion, she’s the standard. If Belair wants to make history she’ll choose her. She disagrees with Belair being the EST, she’s the best which makes Belair second best. Belair says she’ll make Banks eat her words at WrestleMania when she takes her title on the grandest stage of them all. Some dueling poses but no physicality yet.

Commentary remind us about the rest of the card. In the back Corbin warms up, and Zayn shows up with his documentary crew. He asks Corbin about the conspiracy against him, Corbin tells them to figure out the mystery of why they’re partners tonight. Zayn says that’s on him, but even though they don’t get along they work well together and he could use a big win right about now after being robbed lately. He thinks they can become tag team champions if they work together, his strategy along with Corbin’s brawn they could take over everything. Corbin stops him, their talents could lead to dominancy but he warns Zayn to never tell him what to do and then implores Zayn to be a professional before walking off.

The Street Profits are here on their way to the ring for that tag team match which is next.

We come back for the heel’s entrance and we’re getting the match.

Match #4 – Tag Team Match: Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. Sami “Who keeps Atlantis off the map?” Zayn and King Corbin

Ford and Zayn start us off. They tie up and Ford pushes Zayn into the corner then breaks clean. Kick from Zayn and he starts working strikes and chops. Ford with a hand spring then an arm drag. In the back Ziggler and Roode watch television at an odd angle. Corbin and Dawkins both tag in. They tie up, Dawkins gets a side head lock then tries a shoulder block but Corbin bounces off the ropes and drops him with one. They run the ropes then Dawkins hits a drop kick. Dawkins after the arm, Corbin fights free, but the camera crew of Zayn get in his way and disrupt his flow. Ford with a drop kick off of Dawkins to drop Corbin to the outside. The heels try to regroup as we head to break.

We come back to Corbin working elbow strikes to Ford. Zayn tags in, works some offense then tags out. Corbin abuses Ford but runs into a kick then eats an enziguri. Zayn tags in, tries to isolate Ford but Ford tags and Dawkins gets to run wild on Zayn. Usual flurry of offense from Dawkins culminates with a bulldog and he gets a near fall. Corbin back in, eats a drop kick and is tossed out but that let’s Zayn hit Dawkins with a DDT for a near fall. Corbin lays into the documentary crew, Zayn takes issue with that, then Ford flies from the heavens over Zayn and onto Corbin. Dawkins hits Zayn with a double underhook neck breaker, tags Ford and Ford hits the From the Heavens frog splash to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: The Street Profits won

Rating: 2 stars

Typical Profits match, for better or worse. I do appreciate the acrimony between Zayn and Corbin, it’s refreshing that heels don’t get along just because they’re both heels.

Corbin and Zayn argue as we head to the back where Kayla has Daniel Bryan. Bryan says Mania is still a long ways off, he’s got Jey now and potentially Roman at Fast Lane but he likes his chances and feels he might have a better shot at beating Roman than Edge. He puts over Edge and talks about his respect for him, but he isn’t sure Edge has what it takes right now to beat Roman. Edge shows up, he heard what Bryan said and they go back and forth a bit. Edge notes that if Bryan beats Roman he’d fight him at Mania, and asks Bryan who he thinks wins that match. Bryan says he’ll keep that answer to himself for now, because nothing matters if he can’t beat Jey Uso tonight.

Back to the ring where Seth Rollins is making his way out. He’ll have promo time after the break.

Rollins is in the ring with his one black glove to share incredible news. He says the complaint we sent in to WWE management got a huge response, he’s clearly doing a Trump impression with some of his pronunciation. Cesaro cuts him off immediately and comes out taking his shirt off. Rollins tries to talk him down, Cesaro pauses and Rollins asks for a chance to make it right after 2 weeks ago. He says he didn’t call Cesaro a loser last week, that was blown out of proportion by Twitter, and he wants to make it right. He wants Cesaro to stand in the center of the ring like the star that he is. Rollins asks who says Cesaro can’t take the brass ring or crack the glass ceiling. He’s going hard putting Cesaro over, and asks Cesaro friend to friend why is it that Cesaro always seems to come up short despite all that ability. Rollins says Cesaro is missing killing instinct, something Rollins has and can give to him. He came back to lead Smackdown and he’ll start with Cesaro if Cesaro will let him. Rollins has broken the barriers that have held Cesaro back, and now he wants to give that to him. Just imagine the power he and Cesaro would have if they worked together. In fact if he’d listened 2 weeks ago he’d have won the Chamber then beaten Roman and would be champion right now. But Cesaro turned him down. But it’s never too late to start again, all he has to do is embrace the vision. Let Rollins lead him. Cesaro ponders, Rollins says he doesn’t have to answer now, take your time and think it over. Cesaro grabs the legs, and Rollins is going for a big swing. Oh so many swings for Rollins, then Cesaro dumps him onto the mat. Rollins staggers up, and eats an uppercut. Cesaro stands tall, then heads out. Daniel Bryan’s music hits and he heads down, he and Cesaro share a fist bump as we head to break with out main event coming next.

Bryan is in the ring as we come back from break, and here comes Jey Uso.

Match #5: Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso

They run the ropes early, then Jey with a shoulder block. Bryan with an arm drag then goes after the arm of Jey. Kicks to the arm from Bryan. Bryan with uppercuts, then back to the arm. Bryan back flips out of the corner and takes down Jey with a clothesline but he’s selling the knee after that landing. Jey up in the corner, and Bryan with a running drop kick. More kicks from Bryan, then he sets Jey on the top rope. Top rope hurricanrana from Bryan gets a 2 count. Jey rolls out of the ring, Bryan tries to dive but runs into a super kick. Jey drops the left knee of Bryan onto the announce table. Now the knee sent into the ring post, Bryan writhes in agony as we head to break.

We come back to Jey working the leg of Bryan. Samoan drop from Jey but that only gets 2. Jey sets for the splash but Bryan rolls away and he eats the mat. Bryan lands the Yes kicks, and stomps Jey down. Jey fights back with a right, but Bryan dumps him over the top rope. Running baseball slide from Bryan, then a running knee from the apron to the floor. Back into the ring, Bryan up top but misses the flying nothing and Jey posts him then drop kicks the bad knee. Jey into the half crab, Bryan crawls to the ropes but Jey drags him back though the motion lets Bryan roll through and try to kick out but Jey sits into the half crab again. Bryan will not quit though, he rolls under and this time kicks Jey off of him. Bryan avoids a move that we miss, then lands a buzzsaw kick for a near fall. Bryan sets for the running knee, but runs into a chop block to the knee. Jey with a super kick for a near fall. Jey wants the splash again, Bryan crotches him on the top rope. They set on the top rope, Bryan with a tiger suplex off the top then into the Yes lock. Jey scrambles to the ropes and forces the break then heads out of the ring to recover. Bryan right after him, but Jey sends him into the ring steps. Jey drives the knee into the steps as the ref hits the 10 count.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Double count out

Rating: 2.5 stars

Pity about the finish, which knocks off about half a star for me but they gave Bryan enough time to actually wrestle and he’ll never disappoint under those conditions.

Back in the ring after the match, Bryan grabs the Yes lock and cranks it but Roman is here to save Jey. Roman tosses Bryan around, Bryan gets him in the Yes lock, but Jey with a super kick to break it. Spear from Roman to Bryan then the guillotine choke. Roman chokes him unconscious then stands tall with the belt as the show ends.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Solid stuff all show this week, with Crews showing off his new personality along with Otis and Gable doing a bit of the same. The last face team on the roster likely set up their rematch with Ziggler and Roode for the tag team belts, the protracted saga of who will Bianca Belair choose reached the inevitable conclusion, Cesaro and Rollins could be a really fun feud through Mania but if they don't pull the trigger on Cesaro now I don't think they ever will. And of course Roman continues to be the best thing WWE has going, he plays off of both Bryan in the interim and Edge at Mania very well.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree