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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
APRIL 16, 2021
ATTHE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA IN “THUNDERDOME”
AIRED ON FOX BROADCAST NETWORK
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
Ring Announcers: Greg Hamilton
-The WWE Now, Then, Forever jingle played.
-They went to a video package on the WrestleMania main event for the Universal Title. They showed a mix of video and freeze-frames of the action along with fan reactions. They closed with Roman Reigns celebrating, but they didn’t show the double-cover.
-They went to Cole and new color commentator Pat McAfee at ringside in the ThunderDome. Cole called it a new era of Smackdown. He touted his punting accolades from the NFL. McAfee said people are talking about him, but tonight it’s about Reigns.
-Roman Reigns walked onto the stage with Paul Heyman and Jey Uso. Uso was introduced as the Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner. McAfee said Reigns had a dominant performance did what he said he was going to do at WrestleMania. Reigns asked Heyman to let viewers know what he did. Heyman talked up Edge and Bryan as being married to Hall of Famers or being current and future Hall of Famers, yet Reigns pinned them both – at once.
Reigns said they will probably never put him in a triple threat again after what he did. He said he smacked them, stacked them, and pinned them 1-2-3. He said then those Hall of Famers acknowledged him. He said nobody is at his level. He said they’ve fulfilled their obligation, so he told Heyman to fire up the jet because it was time to go.
Cesaro stepped onto the stage to his music. He walked to the ring in a suit. McAfee said people have been talking for a long time about Cesaro’s potential. He said it takes a lot of nerve to interrupt Reigns like this. Cesaro stepped up to Reigns’s face. He asked for the mic as Reigns, Heyman, and Uso stepped out of the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: Heels gloating after a big win is a wrestling tradition, and Reigns and Heyman are very good at it. Very glad to see Cesaro elevated to this level. He had just the right gravitas there.)
-Cole touted up next would be the most impressive moment in WrestleMania history. [c]
-Highlights aired of WrestleMania.
-Backstage, Cesaro walked up to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. They congratulated him on his WrestleMania win. He called Reigns a son of a bitch. He said nobody will stand up to him, but he is willing to do so. He said the title doesn’t even have to be on the line. As Pearce seemed okay with it, Deville interrupted and said she’d check with Reigns. Pearce looked a little thrown off but didn’t push it.
-Cole and McAfee talked about Cesaro putting Seth Rollins on his shoulders for the UFO (Unidentified Flying Opponent), his hands-free airplane spin. Cole referred to it as the most impressive moment in WrestleMania history.
(Keller’s Analysis: The cool move is now becoming like Pipe Bomb Throwing Superstar. Once Cole christens it with that corporate speak overpush, it really unravels the coolness of it.)
(1) OTIS (w/Chad Gable) vs. REY MYSTERIO
They did a Take of the Tape for both wrestlers and noted the huge weight difference between them. Otis overpowered Rey early. Rey came back and climbed to the top rope, but Otis knocked him off balance and upside down in the corner. Mysterio made a comeback, but Otis cut him off. When Otis went for a top rope splash, Rey moved. Rey set up a 619. McAfee said he’s never seen the 619 in person and popped for it. Otis countered a springboard move by Rey, but Rey countered into a leverage pin for the three count.
WINNER: Mysterio in 3:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s good to see Rey redeemed a little after a rough stretch, but this also defines down Otis losing in such a short match even if it was just a roll-up type move as it seems they’ve been building up Otis lately. [c]
-Kayla Braxton asked Heyman if Reigns accepts Cesaro’s challenge. Heyman said around there in WWE they put smiles on the faces of Neanderthals like Cesaro. He asked if she has any idea of the star power of Reigns and its impact on WWE. He said the rain delay was actually tears from the angels descending upon Tampa over the beating Reigns was going to give Edge and Daniel Bryan. He said Reigns walked out of WrestleMania as champion and Bryan and Edge didn’t walk out of WrestleMania at all. He said Cesaro has a billion dollar body and a ten cent brain. He said Cesaro is physically capable of being a worthy champion, but he is a joke, so they’re going to put an end to the joke tonight and stop the train before it leaves the station. He said they’d give Cesaro what he wants – a match one-on-one against “in the main event against thee main event, Jey Uso.”
-They went to Cole and McAfee. Cole said Heyman and Reigns are going to have Jey fight his battles. McAfee said this is an opportunity for Cesaro to prove he belongs.
-Sami ranted in the ring about how Logan Paul’s mind was poisoned by Kevin Owens and management and Michael Cole, “that corporate mouthpiece.” He said they got in his head the moment he walked out. He said when he hugged Logan, he could feel him pulling back. He said therefore he was distracted because he wondered what was Logan was thinking. He said that is the only reason Owens was able to squeak out a victory against him. He said he’ll redeem himself next. [c]
(2) SAMI ZAYN vs. KEVIN OWENS
A few minutes in, after rapid-fire back and forth action, Sami landed a sunset powerbomb off the top rope for a two count. McAfee said, “That might be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.” Sami complained to the ref that it wasn’t a three count. [c]
Sami raked Owens’ eyes and then retreated up the ramp to get intentionally counted out. Cole said Sami wanted nothing to do with KO and “some people would call that cowardly.”
WINNER: Owens via countout in 8:00.
-Owens caught up with Sami and threw him back into the ring. He gave Sami a stunner.
-Backstage Apollo Crews gloated about still being the Intercontinental Champion thanks to Commander Aziz. He said he is the former commander of the Elite Guard. He said if anyone comes after his title, they will be annihilated by the Nigerian Nail.
-The Street Profits made their ring entrance. Cole declared, “It’s party time on Friday Night Smackdown!” Cole said everyone wants to celebrate with Bianca Belair next. [c]
-They showed scenes of WrestleMania including the set and the NWO pointing at Hulk Hogan coming out with the title belt with “NWO” spray painted on it.
-Street Profits stood mid-ring and talked about being ready to clean up the tag team division. Angelo Dawkins said he wants to send Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler back to 1986. They said there was one match in particular he’ll be telling his grand kids about. They went to highlights of Belair beating Shasha Banks to win the Smackdown Title. They showed headlines about her victory.
Belair made her entrance as an “EST! EST! EST!” chant blared into the ThunderDome. She said she feels she has been floating since Saturday night. She said she feels so blessed. She said if a year ago you asked her if she’d be standing there as champion, she’d probably have said yes. She said that’s not cockiness, that’s just belief in herself. She said you shouldn’t be ashamed to look someone in the face and say you are the B-E-S-T “because if you can dream it, you can do it.” She said it’s not just about her, though. She said she and Sasha Banks both made history together, but she did leave her with a little something to remember her by. She said they are just getting started creating history. Her husband Montez Ford gave her a hug. They said they want the smoke.
-Kayla interviewed Banks backstage about her loss. Banks looked down at the welt on her ribs and couldn’t even speak. She was upset and stormed off.
-McAfee said this is Belair’s era now.
-Braxton interviewed Bayley backstage. Bayley said Belair was crying before the match because she didn’t think she could actually win. She said now she’s out there showboating. She said to trust her, you don’t want an arrogant champion like that. She said there’s only one way to fix this and restore dignity to the title. She said that means she, the longest-running Smackdown Champion in history, will take her title back.
-The Profits remained in the ring watching Roode & Ziggler make their ring entrance. [c]
(3) DOLPH ZIGGLER & ROBERT ROODE vs. THE STREET PROFITS – Smackdown Tag Team Title match
They cut to an early break. [c]
Back and forth rapid-fire action led to Ford firing up and landing a running flip dive over the top rope onto Roode and Ziggler at ringside. Dawkins tagged in powerslammed Roode. Ford landed a Frog Splash, but Ziggler “broke up the cover” at two. (Roode’s shoulders were still down and Ford was still on top. Ziggler did dive between the ref and Ford, though, disrupting the ref’s count.) Ford amped up against Roode, but Ziggler was legal and he gave Ford a Zig Zag from behind for the win.
WINNERS: Roode & Ziggler in 10:00.
-McAfee said he can’t believe he got to witness a match that good. He said it should have been a pay-per-view main event.
(Keller’s Analysis: It was a nice match, sure, but even heel color commentators whose shtick is to be obnoxious can’t sound like a a hype machine for WWE like that.)
-After another clip aired of Cesaro’s UFO, Braxton interviewed Cesaro and said Heyman was right about a lot of things he said about him, but he was wrong about one thing – that he doesn’t belong in the ring with Reigns. He said he will prove it against Jey.
-They showed Reigns and Heyman talking backstage, with Jey pacing in the background. [c]
-More clips and images from WrestleMania were shown.
(4) NATALYA (w/Tamina) vs. SHAYNA BASZLER (w/Nia Jax)
Jax and Tamina mouthed off at each other from ringside. When Baszler had to stop short when Natalya shoved her toward Jax on the ring apron, Natalya rolled her up from behind for a leverage three count.
WINNER: Natalya in 3:00.
-After the match, Tamina gave a running boot to Jax when she entered the ring and grabbed Natalya’s hair.
-They replayed the Cesaro UFO again and Cole said to listen to Seth’s noises as he was spun around.
-They went back to Reigns, Heyman, and Uso. Uso called Cesaro the “one-hit move.” He asked if he can do that with no teeth. He said he’s going show him why they call him Main Event Jey. Reigns leaned into the camera and said he’s going to show him. [c]
-They showed highlights of Jey’s Andre Battle Royal victory.
(5) JEY USO vs. CESARO
Cesaro caught Jey’s leg when he tried an early kick. He leaped off the ring apron at Jey, but Jey caught him in the chin with a kick. They cut to a break. [c]
Jey eventually climbed to the top rope. Cesaro dropkicked him off balance, although it barely grazed him. He gave him a European Uppercut while Jey was sitting on the top turnbuckle. He landed a corkscrew uppercut a minute later for a near fall. They replayed it in slo-mo. Cesaro eventually got Jey in the Cesaro Swing, but on the fifth revolution, Seth charged in and attacked Cesaro.
WINNER: Cesaro in 10:00 via DQ.
-A fuming mad Seth yelled that he is the end all, be all of this industry, and the sooner you figure that out, the better it’s going to be. And then the show ended.