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WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
APRIL 16, 2021
TAMPA, FL. IN THE THUNDERDOME AT THE YUENGLING CENTER
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole and Pat McAfee
Match Results and Key Segments from Last Week and Exclusives
- Edge, Daniel Bryan, and Universal Champion Roman Reigns all cut promos ahead of their triple threat match for the title at WrestleMania.
- Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode defeated Dominik & Rey Mysterio, the Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford), and the Alpha Academy (Otis & Chad Gable) to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championship.
- Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks were interviewed ahead of their match at WrestleMania for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
- A video package with Big E was run ahead of his Intercontinental Championship defense against Apollo Crews.
- Tamina (w/Natalya) defeated Nia Jax (w/Shayna Baszler) via DQ.
- A video was run on Cesaro, which was paid for by “friends of Seth Rollins” and not Rollins himself.
- Jey Uso won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, eliminating Shinsuke Nakamura to seal the win.
WrestleMania Results Pertinent to Smackdown and Exclusives
- Cesaro defeated Seth Rollins.
- Bianca Belair defeated Sasha Banks to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
- Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn (w/Logan Paul).
- Apollo Crews defeated Big E for the Intercontinental Championship in a Nigerian Drum Fight with the help of Commander Azeez. Azeez is the former Dabbo-Kato who was part of Raw Underground and was drafted to Raw in October, but never appeared on TV. Commander Azeez is his current in-ring name according to Wikipedia.
- Roman Reigns, with the help of Jey Uso, defeated Edge and Daniel Bryan in a triple threat match to retain the Universal Championship.
Items Advertised by WWE
We come out of WrestleMania and head towards WrestleMania Backlash (which by the way, I’m only calling Backlash going forward) which take place on May 16. Aside from hyping what’s next for Universal Champion Roman Reigns and new Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, WWE has advertised two matches for tonight as well as debuting a new analyst.
- Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler to defend SmackDown Tag Team Titles against The Street Profits this Friday night.
- Rey Mysterio and Otis set for clash of styles on SmackDown.
- Pat McAfee joins Friday Night SmackDown announce team.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode (champs) vs. Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
As mentioned earlier, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode retained the Smackdown Tag Team Championship in a fatal four-way last week. Montez Ford hit Chad Gable with a Frog Splash, not realizing that Roode blind tagged himself in. Ziggler hit Ford with a superkick, allowing Roode to pin Gable for the win.
Because of this, I suppose, the Street Profits are getting another shot at tag team gold tonight as they challenge Roode & Ziggler for the championship. Roode & Ziggler defeated the Profits back in January on an episode of Smackdown. Here’s Ford on Twitter:
Friday Night we prove once again;
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS https://t.co/WK1zkadYyC
— Nic Nemeth (@HEELZiggler) April 16, 2021
Frank’s Analysis: I have a feeling the Profits are regaining the titles tonight. It’s hard to get excited or really provide any sound analysis when we just saw them challenge for the titles last week, even if it was a fatal four-way.
Rey Mysterio vs. Otis
Speaking of the tag team division, the Mysterios (Rey & Dominik) and the Alpha Academy (Otis & Chad Gable) have been involved with each other for several weeks lately. Aside from being involved in the fatal four-way championship match last week, they were on the losing end of an eight-man tag match involving the same teams (the Mysterios were aligned with the Street Profits).
Tonight, it’s singles action as Otis takes on Rey one-on-one. Back on March 19, Otis pinned Rey in an impromptu tag team match featuring the Mysterios against the Alpha Academy. This followed the Mysterios defeating the Street Profits. Here’s Otis on Twitter:
Frank’s Analysis: Rey is certainly in an interesting spot here. I still think there’s better use of him. Anything is better than taking pins to Otis who was booked to lose the Money in the Bank (which he won accidentally) to the Miz thanks to Tucker (who’s been released). This is the same guy that had his eye “gouged” by Seth Rollins. On the other hand, I’m into the pairing of Otis & Chad Gable, but not at the expense of Rey.
Pat McAfee New Analyst
Pat McAfee will replace Corey Graves as the analyst alongside Michael Cole. Graves will now appear on Raw alongside Byron Saxton and Adnan Virk. Pat had appeared mostly on NXT kickoff shows and most recently was involved in a feud with Adam Cole. Cole defeated McAfee one-on-one back in August at Takeover 30.
McAfee is a former punter for the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL. He is the host of the daily streaming sports show “The Pat McAfee Show” and the podcast “The Pat McAfee Show 2.0.”
Frank’s Analysis: I have a feeling McAfee will do well. He was portraying a heel mostly in NXT, so it’ll be interesting if he comes across as a heel commentator. WWE hasn’t truly had the “babyface announcer/heel commentator” dynamic in quite some time.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!