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LINDBERG’S ALT PERSPECTIVE WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
April 2, 2021
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. AT TROPICANA FIELD (“THUNDERDOME”)
AIRED ON FOX BROADCAST NETWORK
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
Ring Announcers: Greg Hamilton
-The show opened with a recap of the main event angle from last week, including Edge snapping at the end with the chair.
-Michael Cole welcomed the audience to the show before he and Corey Graves hyped the triple threat main event for WrestleMania.
-Edge’s music hit, and he made his way to the ring complete with pyro and augmented reality logo. He got in the ring and said that the chaos that happened last week at Smackdown and at Fastlane didn’t need to happen. Or maybe it did. Maybe this was all inevitable that he wouldn’t get to WrestleMania without hitting any roadkill like Daniel Bryan who weaseled his way into the main event. He said that the original main event was exciting for him, but it wasn’t exciting enough for Bryan.
He said that Bryan outplayed him, but he has to thank him at the same time. He said he looked at himself in the mirror and he finally liked what he saw. He saw a guy who does whatever he has to do, the Rated R Superstar. He asked the triple threat graphic to be shown on the screen and ran down Adam Pierce for the decision to make this match. He said that he did snap last week, he did snap at Fastlane. He said that he’s a Hall of Fame Legend, and once again the Rated R Superstar. He relished in beating both men with chairs last week, and he said the next time he gets either one of them in a spot for a con-chairto, he won’t hesitate. His music hit, and he left the ring.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: This is exactly what I was hoping for with Edge, personally. I think that this iteration of Edge will resonate with the audience much better than the babyface Edge we’ve come to know this past year. I think that with his drive, motivation and passion for the business coupled with what he’s learned from Hollywood will serve him well. Not everyone is on board with Edge on top again, but I’m not giving up just yet. I think Edge’s best work of this run is yet to come.)
-They showed a split screen of Daniel Bryan and Jey Uso, set to fight later in a street fight.
-Back from commerical, Kayla Braxton asked Edge why he didn’t address the Street fight and if Jey is just there to take Bryan out. Edge said he doesn’t feel bad about it and that he would be overjoyed if Bryan couldn’t make it to WrestleMania.
(1) STREET PROFITS REY & DOMINIK MYSTERIO vs. ALPHA ACADEMY, ROBERT ROODE & DOLPH ZIGGLER
-Alpha Academy, Otis & Chad Gable, were standing in the ring. Gable said that he turned Otis into a monster with his enormous mental acumen. Tonight, they aim to outshine the current tag team champions, win the titles next week and do it all for the academy. Bobby Roode & Dolph Ziggler made their way to the ring next, with a pre-recorded promo of the two of them hyping the fatal four way Tag Title match next week. Rey & Dominik, and the Street Profits also had those same short pre-recorded promos play as they walked to the ring. Nothing special, both just hyping why they should be the new champions.
Ziggler and Dominik started in the ring with Dominik hitting a top rope DDT off the bat for a two count. This caused a bit of a breakdown with Ford, and both Mysterio’s flying over the top rope to take out all four heels before cutting to commercial.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Not a fan of how they started this match. It was incredibly chaotic, hard to follow and it came across as contrived and choreographed just so Ford, Rey & Dominik could fly.)
Ziggler and Rey were in the ring with Rey tagging Ford in quickly. Dawkins tagged in and suplexed Ziggler across the ring. Gable came in to make a save, but suffered the same fate. Otis got involved and clubbed Dawkins to the mat before tagging himself in. Otis shot Dawkins off the ropes and hit him with an axe handle for two. He shot Dawkins into the corner, and Dawkins fell down in pain. Otis tagged Roode in who delivered a vertical suplex before tagging Ziggler back in. Ziggler locked in a front face lock and tagged Otis back in. Otis hit a snapmare into a neck wrench and Dawkins reversed with a chinbreaker. Both men went for clotheslines and collided allowing for Ford to get the hot tag. Gable tagged in too, and Ford took out all four heels. He hit a standing moonsault and went for a cover, but Ziggler broke it up. Ford went to the top to try and finish off Gable but Gable got out of the way and made it to Otis. Otis hit the Flying bulldozer on Ford for the win.
Winners: Alpha Academy, Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler in 9:29
(Lindberg’s Analysis: The rest of the match was a bit more cohesive, but not much. Unfortunately, this is the nature of an 8 man tag match with less than 10 minutes of time. Factor in the four minute commercial break, and it’s even less. Chaotic and hard to follow, which is not a hopeful sign for next week’s match for me.)
-Adam Pierce & Sonya Deville were backstage discussing the main event angle when Paul Heyman walked in and said that Reigns asked him to come to them. He said that the match tonight will not just put Daniel Bryan’s career in jeopardy, but the WrestleMania main event as well. He wanted a hold harmless agreement added to the match stipulation, freeing Uso from any liability for the outcome of tonight’s street fight. Deville and Pierce said they understood and agreed.
-Back from break with Rollin’s music playing, they hyped Sayn’s documentary premiere and the Logan Paul appearance.
-Corey Graves, Seth Rollins and Cesaro stood in the ring and Graves asked if this one on one WrestleMania match will be his breakthrough moment. Cesaro said that he can’t fail, there’s something in the air. Swing, swing is in the air and he burst into a song. Corey tried asking Rollins a question when Rollins shut him down. He said he’s Mr. WrestleMania and when this time of year rolls around, he’s in his game. He rattled off a plethora of iconic WrestleMania matches like Hogan vs. Andre, Rock vs. Austin and of course his heist of the century. Grave said that nobody is questioning his abilities, and he asked Cesaro if he thinks he could beat Rollins at WrestleMania. Cesaro said he knows he can beat him, and he’ll embarrass him.
Rollins shot back that he’s unshakable. Cesaro said, maybe unshakable but not unswingable. Rollins told Graves to get out of the ring before cutting a promo on Cesaro. He said that Cesaro “down there” while he is “up here”, possibly referring to their spots on the roster. He said he wasn’t waiting for WrestleMania and wanted to fight tronight. Cesaro said to take a swing. Rollins cowardly backed down and walked up the ramp.
-Cole & Graves plugged Peacock and Wrestlemania.
-Carmella was approached by Womens Tag Champions, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. Jax glared at Carmella and said “You sure didn’t treat my man good” and walked away before cutting to commerical.
(2) SHAYNA BASZLER vs. NATALYA
Reginald & Nia Jax were sitting on commentary for this match. Natalya entered with her partner, Tamina. Natalya backed Baszler into the corner, but Nattie tried reversing into a Sharpshooter. Shayna rolled Nattie up, the ref counted to two. Nattie shifted their weight so she was pinning Shayna, the ref counted to two. Shayna shifted her weight again, the ref counted again. Nattie shifted her weight one more time, and got the three count.
Winner: Natalya in 30 seconds.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: What a strange finish. This was clearly just to set up all of the women getting in the ring afterwards. But I can’t think of a less exciting finish to a 30 second contest.)
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler laid Natalya and Tamina out, but the Riott Squad came to their aid. Just as it looked like Shayna and Jax were about to overcome the Squad, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke from Raw ran down the ramp and joined the fray. Naomi & Lana then joined in and took out any remaining women who were on their feet. Tamina got into the ring and took out Lana and Naomi before she and Nattie hit a Heart Attack on Lana, standing strong to end the segment.
-Billie Kay gave Carmella a picture of herself and walked away backstage.
-Sami Zayn waited backstage for Logan Paul to show up, and surprisingly he actually did.
-After commercial, Sayn made his way to the ring wearing a purple and gold sequin suit jacket and slicked back hair. He grabbed a mic and said that this is a night he’s been waiting for. The release of the trailer of his documentary, revealing the conspiracy against him. He then introduced Logan Paul to the ring after listing all of his accolades. Logan Paul entered the arena and he made his way to the ring.
The two of them sat in the ring and Sami thanked him for being there and standing up for injustice. That this will show that everything is a conspiracy and it will show all his followers the truth. Logan Paul looked a little weirded out by Zayn, and said he was just happy to be there and wanted to see this evidence. Sami then invited him to be his guest at WrestleMania, to which Paul agreed to.
Sami called for a drumroll and introduced the trailer. The trailer was rated T for Truth and clips of Sami Zayn talking about conspiracies and how “they” are out to get him. The trailer didn’t expose anything we didn’t already know. It was well produced, but nothing revealed. After it played, he asked Paul what he thought. Paul said that “It’s a lot to take in and compelling. But he said that Kevin Owens approached him backstage. He said that KO said that Sami is living in a delusional world sending Zayn into a frenzied promo saying that he’s on edge and now KO is trying to poison Pauls mind. He said he wanted to know what Paul thinks, not what KO thinks. Paul said “Well, I can tell you put alot of effort into it” when KO came out of nowhere and stunned Zayn. KO said to Sami that if he keeps this stuff up, this is what will keep happening to him. If he doesn’t quit, he’ll beat him at WrestleMania. Logan Paul stood there not knowing what to do as the segment ended.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: For how hyped this segment was, I was expecting something a little more out of it. I think maybe a small piece of evidence that makes us start thinking Sami might be right would have been nice. They can scrap it next week and explain it away with logic, but it would have invested me more. Logan Paul is not a celebrity that I follow, so his involvement isn’t meaningful for me. I don’t think it will to the general audience either.)
-Edge approched Pierce and Deville backstage. He said that last week he made the worst decision in the history of the WWE by making the WrestleMania main event, but he thought the match tonight was a good idea and he would be out there on commentary.
-Kevin Owens was asked backstage why he did what he did. He said that he was trying to send a message to Sami and anyone in the WWE. He can stun anyone at any time. Sami attacked from behind screaming that he ruined everything and that he’ll see KO at WrestleMania.
-Bianca Belair was asked backstage if she was worried about going out in a match tonight, 8 days before WrestleMania. Belair cut a promo on Sasha, saying that she’s been waiting for The Boss to show up, and is glad that Sasha has brought her backbone back. She tore into Carmella next, and said that she’s not worried about Carmella tonight, she’s going to go through her and put the EST in WrestleMania.
(3) CARMELLA vs. BIANCA BELAIR
Before the match started, the two women began brawling outside the ring with Carmella whipping Belair into the steps. Belair sold them like death as they cut to commercial break.
After the break, the match was underway in the ring. Carmella hit a head scissors and bronco buster on Belair for two. Capitalizing on her injury from before the break, she took Belair’s ponytail and tied it around the ropes so Belair couldn’t move. She stomped away at Carmella and taunted her, giving Belair enough time to get up and clothesline Carmella. Belair got the upper hand on Carmella and went for the springboard splash, but Carmella dodged and Superkicked for a two count. Carmella jawed off at Belair, screaming that she was the best. Belair picked Carmella up and gave Carmella the KOD for the win.
(Winner: Bianca Belair in 2:30 televised)
After the match, Sasha went to attack but stopped when she noticed that Belair saw her sneak intot he ring. Belair said “No. Not today.” and Sasha backed down.
-Jey Uso and Roman Reigns were shown backstage, prepping for the main event.
-The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal was announced to take place next week on Smackdown.
-Highlights of Raw’s McIntyre vs. Corbin feud played, and Baron Corbin appeared backstage. He cut a promo on Bobby Lashley saying that Lashley will be forced to bow down to King Corbin.
-Apollo Crews cut a promo saying that he was disrespected by Big E at Fastlane and that this will be a Nigerian Drum Fight at Wrestlemania. No rules, no limitations. Just beatings so loud that they sound like a drum and that all of his family and ancestors will witness him become Intercontinental Champion.
-Paul Heyman approached Edge backstage. He said that they both agree it should have been Edge vs. Reigns at WrestleMania. Edge stopped him mid spiel and walked through Gorilla for the main event.
-Edge’s music hit as he walked over to commentary to join Cole and Graves for the main event before cutting to commerical.
(4) STREET FIGHT – DANIEL BRYAN vs. JEY USO
-Jey made his way to the ring first, followed by Daniel Bryan. Bryan ran down the ramp, into the ring and attacked Uso, signaling for the match to start. The two traded strikes until Uso threw Bryan out of the ring. Bryan got the upper hand and threw Uso into the barricade. Bryan tried jawing off at Edge, allowing for Uso to throw Bryan into the barricade and then back itno the ring. Bryan tried to do a suicide dive on Uso, but Uso hit him with a chair to stop the momentum. Uso then attacked Bryan with the chair a few times before sliding it over his leg. Uso climbed up top and tried jumping onto the chair to crush Bryan’s leg.
Bryan rolled out of the way, and used the chair to knock Uso down. Reign’s music hit as he and Heyman made their way to the ring with a rolling desk chair. Reigns sat on the ramp to watch the match as they cut to commerical.
Bryan was in control doing the Yes kicks in the corner. Uso reversed with a super kick and then wedged the chair in the ropes. He threw Ryan into the chair, which Cole referred to as stairs, and made a cover for two. Uso rolled out of the ring, lifted the apron and looked through a toolbox. He pulled out a chain and attacked Bryan with it. He wrapped it around his fist and attacked Bryan again. Uso climbed up top and hit the frog splash for a nearfall.
Uso rolled Bryan out of the ring, and knocked his head off of the apron before throwing him into the steps. Uso separated the two halves of the steps, and spiked Bryan’s face into the bottom half. Meanwhile, Edge was cutting a promo on Uso with Uso overhearing. The two exchanged words, allowing Bryan to recover just enough to deliver a vertical suplex to Uso on the floor. Bryan grabbed a chair, stared at Edge and beat Uso with it, showing Edge that he wished it was him and not Uso eating metal.
Bryan threw Uso into the ring and hit a top rope missile dropkick. He hit the kneeling Yes kicks on Jey, and then grabbed the chain that Uso used against him moments earlier. He wrapped the chain around his forearm and then unloaded forearms on Uso’s forehead. He then locked in the Yes lock, forcing Uso to tap.
Winner: Daniel Bryan in 14:08
As soon as the match was over, Bryan sprinted towards Edge and threw him into the apron. He bashed Edge’s head off of the ringpost three times in a row before marching towards the Tribal Chief. Reigns threw the big computer chair at Reigns and Bryan ducked. Bryan dropkicked Reigns and then locked in the Yes lock. Reigns was screaming in pain, but never tapped out before officials made it out there to break the hold. Bryan marched to the ring and stood on the turnbuckle doing his Yes chants to end the show.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: While I wish that this was still a singles match, the inclusion of Daniel Bryan has admittedly added an interesting and, after tonight, entertaining angle. I’ll want to see what happens next week at “WrestleMania Smackdown”, but I think my money is still on Reigns to retain. His run is still strong, his character is still in it’s prime and he feels like as big of a star as ever. Now is not the time to take the belt off of him unless they had something incredibly saucy planned in his place.)