WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER 4/9: WrestleMania Edition of Smackdown, Andre the Giant Battle Royal Returns, Fatal Four-Way Smackdown Tag Team Championship, Universal Championship Triple Threat Participants Speak

BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR

PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
APRIL 9, 2021
TAMPA, FL. IN THE THUNDERDOME AT TROPICANA FIELD
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR

** I would like to publicly thank “Doc” Bruce Hazelwood for tagging in for me last week to cover the Smackdown primer and allow me to spend some quality time with my family. Check out Bruce’s Raw Alt Perspective report every Monday covering Raw in real time, as well as articles covering current events in the world of wrestling. **

Announcers: Michael Cole and Corey Graves

Match Results and Key Segments from Last Week

  • Edge opened the show explaining his recent actions.
  • Smackdown Tag Team Champions Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler and the Alpha Academy (Otis & Chad Gable) defeated the Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) and Rey & Dominik Mysterio.
  • Corey Graves interviewed Cesaro and Seth Rollins ahead of their WrestleMania match.
  • Natalya defeated Shayna Baszler (of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions) in about a minute.
  • Sami Zayn, alongside YouTube and podcast star Logan Paul, showed the trailer for his conspiracy movie. Kevin Owens showed up and gave Sami a stunner. Logan Paul said he was coming to WrestleMania in a WWE exclusive. In another exclusive, Sami interrupted a sparring session between Logan and his brother Jake:

  • Bianca Belair defeated Carmella. She said she was ready for Sasha Banks at WrestleMania in a WWE exclusive:

  • Apollo Crews challenged Big E to a Nigerian Drum Fight at WrestleMania for the Intercontinental Championship.
  • Daniel Bryan defeated Jey Uso in a Street Fight with Edge on commentary and Roman Reigns looking on.

Items Advertised by WWE

Tonight’s edition of Smackdown will be the final show before WrestleMania. Night one comes to us on the Peacock Network tomorrow night starting at 8:00 p.m. Tonight’s show was already filmed and is being billed as a “WrestleMania” edition of Smackdown. Here’s what’s advertised in WWE’s preview:

  • Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, and Edge to address the WWE Universe.
  • SmackDown Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Championship Match.
  • The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal to be featured on a special WrestleMania Smackdown.

Roman Reigns, Edge, and Daniel Bryan

Two weeks ago, we learned that Daniel Bryan would be added to the Universal Championship match at WrestleMania making it a triple threat between he, Royal Rumble winner Edge, and champion Roman Reigns. This is the second time such a situation has happened for Bryan. In 2014, Batista returned to WWE and won the Royal Rumble and earned the right to face Randy Orton at that year’s WrestleMania for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Bryan defeated Triple H in the opening match to earn his way in and won the title.

Last week, Edge said that while Bryan was an inspiration for his comeback, he was so focused on Roman Reigns that he didn’t see Bryan coming. At Fastlane, he snapped and became the “Rated-R Superstar” again when he bashed Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns with a chair during their Universal Championship match. Edge said it felt like the “Con-chair-to,” which was made famous by he and Christian about twenty years ago during their tag team run. Last week, after a street fight between Bryan and Roman’s cousin Jey Uso, Bryan gave Edge (guest commentary) a running knee and then put the Yes Lock on Roman.

Tonight, WWE has advertised we will hear from all three men ahead of their match.

Frank’s Analysis: Pro Wrestling Torch columnist Greg Parks joined me on the latest edition of WWE Then and Now where we discussed the upcoming WrestleMania. We laid out scenarios for the match with one of them being Roman potentially losing, setting up a scenario where he could be angry and “stew” after losing the title. We’ve only seen this character as a champion, so it’ll be interesting to see what he does after losing, whether it’s in this scenario or down the line.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Since 2014, WWE has held an Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania with the exception being last year. This year, it will take place on tonight’s edition of Smackdown which (as I mentioned earlier) is being billed as a “WrestleMania edition.” Previous winners King Corbin (2016) and Braun Strowman (2019) will take part in this match. Here is a list of the other participants:

Akira Tozawa
Angel Garza
Cedric Alexander
Drew Gulak
Elias
Erik
Gran Metalik
Humberto Carrillo
Jaxson Ryker
Jey Uso
Kalisto
Lince Dorado
Mace
Murphy
Mustafa Ali
Ricochet
Shelton Benjamin
Shinsuke Nakamura
Slapjack
T-Bar
Tucker

Frank’s Analysis: Shinsuke Nakamura won the 2018 Royal Rumble and challenged A.J. Styles for the WWE Championship at that year’s WrestleMania. We can discuss his potential “cruise control” approach to his work in WWE since, but it’s still crazy to see him taking part in this match. It’s also interesting to see former Hurt Business members Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin involved with this. These are guys involved with one of the cooler stables in recent memory, and now they’re relegated to this. I’m curious how the Retribution guys interact with former leader Mustafa Ali and how they’re presented. I fully expect them in their stupid and ugly masks and ring gear.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Fatal Four-Way: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler (champs) vs. Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. The Alpha Academy (Otis & Chad Gable)

On the heels of last week’s eight-man tag team match mentioned earlier, Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler will defend their Smackdown Tag Team Championship in a fatal four-way match against the aforementioned tag teams.

You have to go back to 2005 to see when Rey Mysterio held the WWE Tag Team Championship with Batista. He held same title previously with Eddie Guerrero, Rob Van Dam, and Edge. All those men are in the WWE Hall of Fame (except for Batista who declined to accept his induction this year because of his schedule and desire to accept it in front of fans). The Street Profits recently held the Raw Tag Team Championship and eventually the Smackdown titles when they were drafted from Raw. Chad Gable has held all three current tag team championships (Raw, Smackdown, and NXT). Ironically, he held the Raw titles with Robert Roode a few years ago. The Smackdown and NXT titles were both held with former American Alpha tag team partner Jason Jordan. Here’s Otis & Chad Gable in a WWE exclusive, saying they’re ready for the gold:

Frank’s Analysis: I forgot about Gable holding the Raw titles with Roode. I don’t have strong feelings about this match, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they go with Alpha Academy. Otis & Gable would be fun to watch as champions. We’ve been there, done that with the Profits. I suppose the Mysterios winning would be cool, but I just can’t get excited about Dominik.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!

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