SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
APRIL 2, 2021
TAMPA, FL. AT THUNDERDOME IN TROPICANA FIELD
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY BRUCE LEE HAZELWOOD (@B_Lee253), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe (possibly M.V.P. instead)
Hi everyone! I’m filling in for Frank today with his primer; I hope it lives up to the standard you’ve come to expect! I cover Raw for the Torch with my alt-perspective live reports. Check in Monday nights if you’re interested! This is actually my second consecutive week subbing in on Friday as I wrote the alt-perspective live report for Smackdown last week. With that, let’s get to the primer!
Match Results from Last Week
- Seth Rollins defeated Shinsuke Nakamura with the Stomp at 9:10. After the match, Cesaro attacked Rollins to save Nakamura. Cesaro later gave Rollins a Cesaro Swing in the back right after Rollins swore he would “never be swung again.”
- Apollo Crews & Alpha Academy (Otis & Chad Gable) defeated Big E & The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) at 3:54 after Crews hit the Olympic Slam on E for the victory.
- Bianca Belair defeated Natalya (w/Tamina) at 9:57 with the K.O.D. Sasha Banks was on commentary, and hit Belair with a backstabber immediately after the match.
- Rey Mysterio (w/Dominik Mysterio) defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/Robert Roode) at 9: 17 after a 619 and a springboard splash.
Non-Match Segments of Import from Last Week
- Daniel Bryan opened the show demanding a rematch against Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. This was a show-long angle that culminated with Adam Pearce announcing the WrestleMania match between Reigns and Edge would now be a triple threat match with the inclusion of Bryan.
- Sami Zayn appeared on the “K.O. Show” at Kevin Owens’ request after Zayn delivered a Helluva Kick to Owens the week before. Owens eventually asked (yelled) for Zayn to accept a match at WrestleMania. Zayn relented, accepted the match, and was given a Stunner for his troubles.
Items Advertised by WWE
About six and a half hours before the show, WWE has not posted any preview for the show nor announced any matches. There also haven’t been any tweets to signal otherwise. The only tweet asked what the fallout would be from Edge’s actions last week. Let’s move to the only thing that has been advertised, and a week in advance at that.
Logan Paul to appear in support of Zayn and his documentary “world premiere”
- Last week, Zayn dropped a “bombshell” when he told Owens that the documentary his crew has been filming about the conspiracy against him by WWE will air its world premiere on tonight’s episode. Not only that, he announced that YouTube star Logan Paul would be appearing. According to a Paul tweet, WWE booked him a private jet to the show, which Zayn took mild chagrin to while also welcoming his guest to the show.
Took @WWE six years to stop booking me in middle seats in coach, but I’m glad you’re being taken care of.
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) April 2, 2021
(Hazelwood’s Analysis: After multiple announcements since yesterday which included a special edition of Smackdown for next week and Chris Jericho appearing on Steve Austin’s “Broken Skull Sessions,” they look to keep the buzz going tonight with the appearance of Paul. He has a HUGE following, though I’m not a fan of Paul or his brother, Jake. Jake Paul is also in the headlines as he is set to face mixed martial arts veteran Ben Askren in a boxing match April 17. Heading into WrestleMania next week, generating this much discussion and fanfare should bode well for WWE. For tonight, I expect Paul to eat a powerbomb or Stunner from Owens.)
Other Expectations and Additional Thoughts
After the ending of Raw, which saw King Corbin attack Drew McIntyre as a hired hitman by WWE Champion Bobby Lashley & M.V.P., I expect we’ll see McIntyre make an appearance tonight, possibly having a match with Corbin. McIntyre’s character, particularly with how he went searching for anyone who might take up Lashley’s bounty, is one that shouldn’t wait until next Monday and instead seek out Corbin on his home turf. Everyone hates Corbin (well, maybe except Wade Keller), so it’ll be a great way for McIntyre to regain some credibility after he was left prone at the end of Raw.
This also allows McIntyre to reassert to Reigns that they still have unfinished business, regardless of if Reigns retains at WrestleMania. Maybe after McIntyre defeats Corbin, he’s walking in the back and comes across Reigns’ personal locker room. Maybe he enters, unwelcomed and unprompted, and gives one of his gravelly promos about how he hasn’t forgotten what transpired at Survivor Series. This could set McIntyre to win the Money in the Bank briefcase and cash-in on Reigns or for McIntyre to be traded/drafted to Smackdown.
I’m interested to see what they do next to build this Rollins-Cesaro match. If it was me, and purely for entertainment, I would have Rollins suffer a Cesaro Swing at least once both tonight and next week. After beating Nakamura last week, I don’t think there are any other proxies left for Cesaro, though maybe Cesaro takes on someone with a relationship to Rollins like Murphy? With WWE, this also would allow for Rollins to regain some heat by attacking Cesaro before or after the match (or both).
After eating a backstabber last week and having Banks stand tall over her, how will Belair respond? I’m expecting a fiery backstage promo, possibly in Gorilla before she enters for a match (if one is scheduled). Since she beat Natalya last week, she could wrestle Tamina this week and presumably notch another singles victory before her match with Banks. Banks, dastardly heel that she is right now, could launch another sneak attack.
Also, don’t be surprised to see an eight-man tag team match pitting the four tag teams involved in next week’s Tag Team Championship match with and against each other. The Street Profits & The Mysterios will probably face Alpha Academy and the Tag Team Champion, Ziggler & Roode.
Follow Bruce on Twitter @B_Lee253. Thanks for reading, and Frank will be right back doing his primers next week!