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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
MARCH 12, 2021
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. AT TROPICANA FIELD (“THUNDERDOME”)
AIRED ON FOX BROADCAST NETWORK
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
Ring Announcers: Greg Hamilton
-They aired a video recap of Daniel Bryan beating Jey Uso in a cage match last week.
-Cole introduced the show as a camera panned ThunderDome. He said they are on the Road to WrestleMania.
-Edge made his ring entrance as pyro blasted. Cole said he’s looking to become a 12 time World Champion at WrestleMania. He said he could be facing Roman Reigns or Daniel Bryan. Edge said it’s a big contract signing tonight between Bryan and Reigns, but he wants to address something. He said some people “have had my name falling out of their faces.” He addressed Reigns first. He said he picked up on something that seemed to fly over people’s heads because Reigns and Paul Heyman are great spin doctors. He said they want him to acknowledge him as the head of the table. He said Reigns got played.
He said that brings him to Bryan, who said last week he deserves the WrestleMania main event more than him. He said Bryan said he wrestled more often in recent months and he loves what he does more than Edge. He said he wanted to remind him of who he is. He said when Bryan was spending years wrestling once a week while he was working many nights a week. He listed big name WWE wrestlers he faced over the decades. He said he is back not because he has to be but because he loves it. He said he now has to wait to see what happens at Fastlane to see who he’ll face at WrestleMania. Bryan’s music then played.
Bryan came out to the ring doing the “Yes” chant. Bryan said, “You talk about Roman Reigns getting sucked in. I think you got sucked in.” He said he would have thought as the ultimate opportunist, he would have appreciated him going into business for himself. He said he wanted to set the record straight. He said he has an infinite amount of respect for all he has accomplished. He said he sees how hard he has worked at it and how much he loves it. He said when he wanted to challenge Reigns for the WWE Title, it wasn’t about Edge. He said he decided he was going to give everything he’s got in case this turns out to be his last WrestleMania. He told Edge, “You’ve got your spot in the main event of WrestleMania, so this isn’t about you.” He said he went into business for himself last week because he has to win at Fastlane to get to WM.
Edge took a dig at Bryan’s air quotes. He said he won the Royal Rumble, whereas Bryan lost against Reigns. He acknowledged the circumstances weren’t great, but he said a win is a win. He said he respects Bryan, but he is disappointed with how he has handled it. He said he is better than this, but he’s not better than him. He dropped the mic and walked out.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m not really sure I understand what Edge is upset with Bryan about. But overall, it gave off the vibe of high stakes at Fastlane and laid out especially what is on the line for Bryan.)
-Cole plugged The KO Show with Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair.
-The Street Profits made their ring entrance. Then Rey and Dominic Mysterio came out to Rey’s music. Rey got a piggy-pack ride from his son. Chad Gable & Otis and Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode charged at them from behind on the ramp. [c]
(1) DOLPH ZIGGLER & ROBERT ROODE & CHAD GABLE & OTIS vs. DOMINIC & REY MYSTERIO & THE STREET PROFITS (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford)
A few minutes in Dawkins was on a flurry, then he tagged Ford. Ford climbed to the top rope. Roode shoved him off the top rope to the floor; Ford hit his head on the ring apron the way down. Rey told the ref what happened. [c]
Back from the break, Ziggler landed a crisp standing high dropkick to Ford. Ziggler applied a sleeper from behind. Ford dropped to the mat, but then powered up. As he tagged in Dawkins, Roode distracted the ref, so the ref didn’t recognize the tag. Ziggler dragged Ford back to the corner. Graves said it was a classic tag team strategy executed perfectly. Ford avoided a charging Otis. Gable tagged in and went for a suplex, but Ford flipped out of it and then dove over Gable to get a hot tag to Rey. Rey rallied and scored a near fall on Gable after an Around the World DDT, broken up by Otis. When Otis picked up Dominic, Rey broke it up with a flying senton. Roode tagged in and surprised Rey with a spinebuster. Ford broke up the cover. Chaos broke out. Rey and Dom hit a double-619. Rey springboard dove onto Otis at ringside as Ford landed a top rope frogsplash on Roode for the win.
WINNERS: Street Profits & Mysterios in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good action.)
-Cole and Graves threw to Hurricane Helms on “The Bump” telling Molly Holly that she is being inducted into the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame. She teared up. They showed tweets from colleagues congratulating Molly.
-Backstage Jey Uso sauntered up to Heyman. He wanted to talk to Reigns. Heyman nervously asked if Jey has talked to him lately. Heyman brought up that he tapped out last week. Jey said he had other things to do, so he’d go do them, then come back. Heyman said maybe he’d be happy to see him by then. [c]
-Kayla Braxton interviewed Seth Rollins in the backstage ring. First, a clip aired of Cesaro giving Seth the Giant Swing. Seth asked why they were still talking about this. He said he wanted to help Cesaro who has great potential but hasn’t achieved what he has achieved. He said he’s been mocked all week on social media, so he’s done with Cesaro. He said Cesaro is the biggest waste of potential. Braxton informed Seth that Murphy had a rematch tonight against Cesaro. It was news to Seth, but he indicated he liked it.
-A sponsored clip aired of the Nia Jax-Reginald budding relationship.
-A skit aired of Jax taking Reginald on a shopping spree. Baszler was standing behind them rolling her eyes at them. Jax told him he can have whatever he wants in this clothing store. Reginald showed off his new clothes as Baszler acted like a bored teenager sitting and looking at her phone. Jax checked out his ass in some new pants and slapped him. She said, “Come to mama.” He backflipped into her lap. Romantic music played and Reginald asked, “What could I possibly do to repay you?” Jax got a look that said she had an idea in mind.
-They went back to Cole and Graves who reacted, then pivoted to plugging the Banks & Belair on The KO Show later.
-Cesaro made his ring entrance as Cole and Graves plugged WrestleMania tickets going on sale next week. [c]
(2) CESARO vs. MURPHY
Murphy was in the ring after the break. Seth came out to his music. After some action at ringside, Cesaro began his swing. Seth broke it up.
WINNER: Cesaro via DQ in 3:00.
-Seth attacked Cesaro. Cole said seeing the swing again set off Seth. Seth yelled at Cesaro, “You think you’re at my level? Stand up, you coward!” Cesaro stood and then Seth kicked him down and delivered a Stomp. Seth told him he will never be at his level. He grabbed a chair and said he embarrassed him twice. He wedged his head in the chair and yelled, “You’re not at my level; you never will be. I’ll make sure of it.” Three referees covered up Cesaro as Jamie Noble blocked Seth from another stomp. Seth retreated up the stage as referees tended to Cesaro.
-Backstage, Seth ran into Shinsuke Nakamura who gave him an intense stare. Seth then walked away.
-Elsewhere, Sami Zayn approached Kevin Owens and said he is just the man he was looking for. Sami told KO he knows what he’s been going through, so he wanted him to be part of the documentary. Seth said it’ll be huge and they’ll blow the lid on everything. He said it’ll do massive numbers on YouTube. Owens said he’ll think about. Sami seemed happy with Owens saying he’s open to it. [c]
-Backstage Edge approached Jey and said he just wanted to talk to him. He said he’s known him and his entire family for a long time. He said he wanted to talk to him man to man, “not like some second-class citizen in his own family.” Edge said in 2015 he and his brother woke him back up and helped him. He said he doesn’t recognize him walking around with his shoulders slouched and his head down, playing lap dog to the Big Dog. Jey told Edge not to talk to him that way. He said Edge should spend as much time with his family now when he can. He said he won’t enjoy anything after Reigns gets his hands on him. Edge was disappointed in how Jey responded. Jey reacted like he said what he had to say, but he wasn’t thrilled at what he had become. Edge basically held a mirror up to him.
-The KO Show: Owens said it’s great to be back. He said he’s been away a few weeks, and it’s been a difficult stretch for him where he’s been close to being back on top only to fall short. He shifted to introducing Bianca Belair first. Then Sasha Banks. They sat on chairs on each side of KO. Owens said he only knows of one other instance of two wrestlers facing each other at WrestleMania while being tag team champions – Shawn Michaels and John Cena. He said if they do that, it will go a long way to cementing their legacies. He said they have to beat Jax & Baszler first, though, and they came up short a few weeks ago at Elimination Chamber. He said they both respect each other a lot, but they have some underlying tension. He said they both want to be recognized as the best. He brought up Reginald and Sasha. Sasha said she can’t help it she looks as good as she does and that Reginald has a crush on her. Belair said she’s led him on and that’s why he’s going to be a problem for them. Sasha said she’s the Michael Jordan of the Women’s Division, and maybe one day Belair can be Lebron James. She said the EST couldn’t have accomplished so much if it weren’t for the BEST paving the way.
Belair stood and said she respects her accomplishments. She said that’s why she chose her to be her opponent at WrestleMania. Sasha said if she was in the Rumble match, she would have stopped her. Belair said, “That’s what you think.” Sasha said she knows so. Sasha said she will be Two Belts Banks walking into WrestleMania “when I beat Nia and Shayna.” Belair said she might be walking on the road she paved, but she’s in her own lane. Jax and Baszler interrupted, accompanied by Reginald. Natalya and Tamina then walked out to their music, with new gear that sorta matched. [c]
(3) SASHA BANKS & BIANCA BELAIR vs. NATALYA & TAMINA
Jax, Baszler, and Reginald were at ringside with the announcers. Sasha shot Reginald a look at ringside. Jax said Banks is jealous of how well-dressed he is now. Reginald stood on the announce desk and showed off his new suit. Jax said, “Nothing but the best for my bay.” Reginald stood on the announce desk again. Sasha met him up there. Reginald leaped into the ring. Sasha chased him into the ring. Natalya hit Sasha from behind. Belair then hit Natalya. Tamina then rolled up Belair for a three count.
WINNERS: Natalya & Tamina in 4:00.
-Belair chewed out Sasha afterward. “I don’t lose,” she said. “It’s your fault.” She said it’s on her because the games she’s playing with Reginald. Cole said Sasha and Belair better patch things up before Fastlane. Reginald, from the ring, taunted Sasha as Jax smiled behind him.
-They replayed Apollo Crews throwing the stairs at Big E at ringside a few weeks ago. [c]
-Sasha and Belair argued backstage about how they handled the Reginald situation. Sasha called Belair, “Rookie!” Then she left. Belair looked as if that was a terrible insult.
-Big E walked out in a neck immobilizer and taped up and a boot cast. He ripped them all off and entered the ring, full of vigor. Cole said he’s back and fired up. Big E said he hopes Apollo knows what he did. He said he crossed the Rubicon and opened Pandora’s Box and there’s no coming back. He said there’s no way to fix this. He said he’s got to go Old Testament on him now. He said it’s eye for an eye. “You come here to hurt me?” he said. “I come here to maim you.” He said he stepped on his lawn, so he has to bulldoze his house. (I don’t think Big E gets what eye-for-an-eye means!) He said he’s ready to give him exactly what he deserves. He said there’s no reason to wait, so come on out and get what he deserves. He yelled for him to come out. Crews didn’t show up. Big E said he’s not surprised at all. He said he got all dressed up to defend his championship, and that’s what he intends on doing. He said if Crews won’t take him up, he’ll issue an open challenge to anyone. King Corbin’s music played.
Corbin walked out in a suit. He said he’s not dressed to fight, but he’ll tear up his ten thousand dollar suit if needed. Sami Zayn ran out, yelling, “I accept!” Corbin said he is there to accept the challenge. Sami said they have it all recorded, he hasn’t accepted it yet. He said this would be the perfect ending for his documentary. “You snooze, you lose,” he said. “That’s how it works.” Big E said they are fools. He said whoever gets in the ring first gets the match. Sami ran into the ring and then gloated at Corbin. Big E went after him with a belly-to-belly. Sami rolled to the floor. [c]
(4) BIG E vs. SAMI ZAYN – Intercontinental Title match
A few minutes in, Big E leaped at Sami on the ring apron, but Sami moved. Big E crashed and they cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Sami landed a top rope sunset flip for a near fall. Sami told the ref it was three. Big E made a comeback after Sami slapped him a few times. He hit a quick Big Ending for the three count.
WINNER: Big E in 8:00 to retain the Intercontinental Title.
-Crews’s entrance music played. Crews attacked Big E from behind. He gave him two fallaway slams and did some trash-talking afterward. Crews picked up the top of the steps and threw them into the ring. When Big E stood, Crews charged at him and knocked him down and out of the ring with the steps. Crews stood proudly mid-ring as Big E writhed in pain at ringside.
-Braxton approached Jax and Reginald who were all flirty with each other as they celebrated what happened earlier. Jax laughed at the idea of Sasha entering WM as double champion. Reginald told Jax that maybe she should face Sasha next week for the title so she has a chance to become a double-champion before WrestleMania.
-Reigns, Jey, and Heyman walked onto the stage. [c]
-The announcers said Sasha vs. Jax was now official next week, with the title on the line.
(Keller’s Analysis: So WrestleMania could end up being Jax defending against Belair? Probably not of course, but Fastlane is being marketed as an event that could totally shake up the presumed top WrestleMania matches.)
-Adam Pearce presided over the contract signing. Reigns stared at him and then Pearce rolled a chair over to him at the head of the table. Reigns told Bryan he doesn’t deserve it. Bryan said regardless, he’s going to sign it. “Who would have thought Roman Reigns isn’t a man of his word,” he said. Bryan said for years, a lot of people thought he was better than Reigns. “I thought I was better than you,” he said. He said he proved something last week, though, that Reigns couldn’t. “I made Jey Uso quit,” he said. “Does that make you doubt yourself?” Bryan yelled he is the new self-proclaimed Head of the Table. He went on and on, upsetting Reigns. Reigns angrily signed the contract and vowed to smash him. Bryan delighted in his psychological game working.
Bryan told Reigns he’s going to tap him out just like he tapped out Jey Uso. Jey threw the contract table over the top rope out of the ring. Jey told Bryan he’s disrespecting him. He said this match needs a special guest enforcer, “and that person is me!” Bryan looked shocked. Edge walked out and said that sounds like a great idea. He proposed a match next week against Jey, and the winner gets to be guest enforcer at Fastlane. Pearce liked it. Edge entered the ring. A brawl broke out with the four wrestlers as Heyman bailed out to ringside. Edge threw Bryan away. Bryan landed a running knee. “Tempers flaring!” exclaimed Cole. He said the stage is set for next week with Edge and Uso battling it out to become guest enforcer at Fastlane.
(Keller’s Analysis: A good twist at the end to provide a hook for next week’s show, and put into play an “interested party” either way in the Reigns-Bryan match.)