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LINDBERG’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
APRIL 30, 2021
AT “THUNDERDOME”, UNIVERSITY OF S. FLORIDA
AIRED ON FOX BROADCAST NETWORK
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
Ring Announcers: Greg Hamilton
-The show kicked off with a look back at the Daniel Bryan/Reigns feud and tonight’s stipulation where if Bryan loses, he leaves Smackdown. Cole and McAfee welcomed the audience.
-Bianca Belair made her way to the ring. They showed a video about Belair being the “EST” of WWE and her road to the championship. She stood in the center of the ring with a mic and welcomed the audience to the hot-est, dope-est show around, Smackdown. She was about to introduce someone else when Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode, the Smackdown Tag Champs interrupted. They said they wanted to kick things off right and to allow them to take things from here. The Street Profits came out next to lambaste the Tag Champs for interrupting the Women’s champ.
-Bayley’s music hit, and she made a bee-line for the Women’s Champion. She swiped the mic from Belair and laughed maniacally until Belair slapped her down. Bayley took her down, and then all six wrestlers started brawling before a commercial break.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Lemme guess. Six person tag after the break? I wish they would let Belair stand on her own. When the Profits came out tonight, it almost came across like Belair’s husband taking care of her business for her.)
(1) STREET PROFITS & BIANCA BELAIR vs. ROBERT ROODE, DOLPH ZIGGLER & BAYLEY
-Back from break, a six person tag was underway with the women as the legal competitors. Bayley tagged Ziggler in, meaning one of the Profits needed to come in. The action spilled outside the ring with Ford launching himself over the top rope to take out the tag champions. Bayley threw Belair into the steps, leaving all six laying outside for the ref’s count. They all made it back to the ring and Roode tagged in and landed a powerslam for two.
Roode was in control of Ford and tagged Ziggler in for a double suplex for a two count. Ziggler locked in a sleeper, and Ford eventually got to his feet. Ziggler gave him a corner splash and went for a second before Ford retaliated with a superkick.
Ford made the hot tag to Dawkins, taking out Ziggler and Roode with a series of suplexes and a running bulldog for two when Ziggler broke up the pin. Roode rolled Dawkins up but that was broken up by Belair whipping him with her hair. Ford made the tag in, and hit a springboard splash on Roode for the win.
(Winners: Profits & Belair in approx 6:30)
(Lindberg’s Analysis: I stand by my earlier statement of separating Ford and Belair, I want to see the women’s champ stand on her own two feet.
-Kayla Braxton interviewed Daniel Bryan about his match tonight. Bryan was confident and said that he would tap Reigns out once again and if he wins, his first defence will be against Cesaro.
-Seth Rollins appeared on screen and laughed at Bryan for thinking he was going to beat Reigns and laughed harder at the thought of him giving Cesaro a shot. He then said that his prediction tonight is that Bryan wins in the biggest upset of all time. Rollin’s said he wanted Cesaro next week for that number one contender spot if Bryan wins.
-After a commercial, they showed a recap of Jax vs. Tamina last week.
-Tamina and Natalya attacked Nia Jax, Reginald and Shayna backstage while they were being interviewed.
(2) TAMINA & NATALYA vs. NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER (w/ Reginald)
-Tamina and Jax kicked things off with the veteran Tamina taking her younger cousin out handily. She went to the top for the Snuka Splash within seconds and Jax got the knees up. She tagged in Baszler and they double teamed her for a two count. Shayna beat Tamina with a series of forearms and backed her into the corner. Jax tagged herself in and splashed Tamina in the corner for a two count.
Jax was in control of the match until Tamina picked Jax up for a powerslam. Unfortunately, she couldn’t lift Jax and Jax fell on top of her, covering her for a two count. Jax tagged Shayna in who put Tamina in a standing arm lock. She was able to escape and tag Nattie in for the hot tag. Nattie dodged the Kirafuta clutch and hit a discus clothesline for two. She tried applying the Sharpshooter, but Shayna escaped and tagged in Jax. Jax hit her with a clothesline and an elbow for two.
Jax went for a corner spear and hit the post. Tamina went to the top for another splash but was thwarted by Reginald allowing Jax to get to her feet and tag Shayna in, all while Tamina was on the top rope. Tamina blocked the superplex attempt and headbutted Baszler (never headbutt a Samoan), hit the Superfly Splash for the win.
Winners: Natalya & Tamina in 5:30
(Lindberg’s Analysis: I never thought it would happen. But it happened. For the first time ever, Tamina was able to get me invested in one of her matches. I really dug how she came across here, like a seasoned veteran rather than a seasoned jobber. While her father may have had a questionable past, and admittedly I don’t know much about Tamina outside the ring, but I hate to see her punished for her father’s wrongdoings. It’s great to see someone with her tenure and perpetual spot on the card get a push like this so late in their career.)
-Booker T zoomed in to give his prediction for Reigns vs. Bryan, choosing Reigns without any explanation.
-Nakamura was asked who he thought would win, and he said Bryan because has too much to lose. He also said that if Roman can beat Daniel, that he’d be waiting for him.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Wow, what a contrast to this week’s RAW. While the rest of the show this far has been okay, the build to the main event and beyond has been spectacular for WWE. If Reigns wins, we get him vs. Nakamura. If Bryan wins, we get him vs. Rollins. They are giving us a branching story. Now, whether it actually branches off or we wind up with a fatal four way… that’s the real question.
-Braxton invited Rey and Dominik Mysterio and asked them about their chances at the tag team titles. Dominik said fighting alongside his dad is like being in a comicbook. Rey said that nothing compares to being a tag team with his son and he would love to be the first ever father/son tag champions.
-McAfee and Cole introduced another Aleister Black vignette, animated exactly as it was last week.
-Megan Morant asked Big E about his strategy tonight against Apollo Crews in his rematch for the IC title. Big E said that they’ve been going around for awhile and it all comes to an end because tonight he gets his baby back. He assured us, in his energetic Big E way, that he’d be a 3 time IC champion.
(3) INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP – BIG E vs. APOLLO CREWS (w/ Aziz)
-The two locked up to start the match with Big E swaying his hips before a hip toss. Be shot Crews off the ropes, drop down, leap frog into an abdominal stretch. He shot Crews off the ropes again and hit him with a spinning elbow for a two count. Big E dragged Crews to the apron and got outside. He beat Apollo’s chest with a series of forearms and then delivered a splash to Crews on the apron for two.
Crews gave Big E a Stun Gun off the top rope, and the action spilled outside. Crews gave E a vertical suplex to the concrete as they cut to commercial.
-Back from break, Big E hit a big belly to belly suplex and standing splash for a two count. Apollo nailed a Big Boot on Big E for a two count. He mounted Big E and hit punched him over and over in the head. E retreated to the corner and hit Crews with an Uranage for two. The action spilled to the apron and Crews managed to hit a death valley driver on Big E followed by a frog splash for two. Big E hit the big ending and would have won, but Aziz interfered.
Winner: Big E by DQ in 10:08
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Not a bad match, but I feel like these two could have done better. I don’t have a specific nitpick per se, but I just found the majority of the match somewhat dull. The predictable finish did not help.)
-After the match, Kevin Owens attacked Aziz from behind. Apollo got involved, but so did Big E. The faces tried to take Aziz out, but Sami Zayn came out of nowhere with a Helluva Kick. He commanded Aziz to attack KO and Big E. He then took Apollo’s championship and longingly looked at it before handing it over. Sami raised Apollo’s hand, and then Aziz’s hand. Aziz hit the Nigerian Nail on Sami Zayn to end the segment.
-The Miz weighed in and picked Reigns to win.
-Next week will be a throwback edition of Smackdown.
-Cesaro accepted Rollin’s challenge for next week and predicted that Bryan will win tonight and that he’ll beat Bryan at Backlash. (I refuse to call it WrestleMania Backlash if I can help it… The only dumber name may have been Great Balls of Fire. )
-A recap of Bryan vs. Reigns aired.
-Kayla Braxton interviewed Paul Heyman about Daniel Bryan. Paul said he is so sick of Daniel Bryan and that he should have never broken into the business. He listed all of Bryan’s accolades over the years including his comeback. He cut a super impassioned promo repeating “Yes!” over and over until finally getting to the question of whether Bryan will win. His entire attitude shifted to cold and callused as he chanted, softly “No! No! No!”
(4) UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP – DANIEL BRYAN vs. ROMAN REIGNS (w/ Jey Uso & Paul Heyman)
-Bryan entered the arena first, before a commercial.
-Baron Corbin, in an Hawaiian shirt and black fedora said something about his choice, but I was far too distracted by his poor fashion sense to listen nor care. (He chose Reigns, obviously)
-Debuting NEW MUSIC! The Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns made his way to the ring.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: This might be my new theme in WWE 2K22… Most new tracks in WWE lately are generic and horrible. The slow melodic beats fit Reigns so well, and finally gets completely away from the Shield theme. I could see this being an iconic tune in a few years down the line.)
-The bell rang and Bryan exploded across the ring and cornered Reigns. He hit the Yes! kicks, but was almost immediately taken down by Reigns. Reigns got some offense in before Bryan went for the Yes Lock, Roman rolled outside the ring. Bryan hit him with a flying knee as they cut to commerical.
-Back from commercial, Reigns hit Bryan with a stiff clothesline for a two count. He picked Bryan up and headbutt then suplexed him for another two. Reigns locked in a sleeper but Bryan made it to his feet and tried to rally. But Reigns knocked the underdog down and backed him into the corner. He shot him into the other corner but Bryan backflipped over Reigns. Reigns quickly got the upperhand with a back elbow for another near fall.
Bryan hit a drop toe hold on Reigns into the middle turnbuckle and then hit some Yes kicks before hoisting Reigns to the top. He went for a hurricanrana but Reigns blocked it into a top rope powerbomb. It looked like that might be it, but Bryan kicked out before they cut to commercial. Back from break, Reigns was still in control and delivered a series of knees to Bryan in the corner.
Bryan hit a top rope back suplex but took awhile to cover Reigns, who kicked at two and a half. Reigns rallied and hit a Samoan drop for two. He went for a Superman punch but Bryan kicked his arm away. He continued to work that right arm with a series of shoulderbreakers and then threw him over the top rope with that arm. Reigns basically no-sold it and suplexed Bryan on the outside. He went to spear Bryan, who moved sending Reigns flying through the barricade as they faded to commercial.
-Back from break, Reigns hit a Superman punch for a near fall. Reigns waited for Bryan to get to his feet and went for a spear, but Bryan hit a small package for a two count. He then hit a running knee but Reigns hooked the bottom rope with his foot for the ropebreak.
Bryan stomped on Reigns and then hooked in the Yes Lock in the middle of the ring. Reigns flipped Bryan over, still in the Yes Lock, pinning his shoulders to the mat. The ref counted two, forcing Bryan to release the Yes Lock or be pinned. Reigns then hit the Spear out of nowhere, but Bryan actually kicked out at the very last second.
Reigns, taking a page out of Bryan’s book locked in a guillotine, but Bryan slipped right out of it and locked the Yes Lock in once again, this time close enough to the bottom rope for the easy ropebreak. Instead, Bryan rolled Reigns back to the center of the ring and locked it in again. Reigns managed to escape, mounted Bryan and pummeled him with a series of forearms. He picked Bryan up into a powerbomb and went right back to delivering those ground and pound forearms. He gave him yet another powerbomb and locked the guillotine in with the left arm, dead center of the ring. Bryan passed out.
Winner: Roman Reigns via submission in 28:00
Reigns continued his assault on Bryan after the match, but Cesaro sprinted to the ring, saving Bryan from further torture. Uso interfered and took Cesaro out, tying him up between the top and middle ropes, forcing him to watch as they hit Bryan with a chair.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Bryan to NXT Please? Please? He’ll no longer be on Smackdown after this loss, but whether he shows up on the Red or Black/Yellow brand is yet to be seen. Likely RAW, but a man can dream, can’t I? This was one of the best TV matches that I’ve seen on Smackdown in quite some time, really showing how valuable both these talents are. Reigns is on fire as a heel, easily the best heel that they’ve produced in recent memory.)