5/7 WWE SMACKDOWN TV RESULTS: Keller’s report on Throwback Edition, Cesaro vs. Seth, Backlash developments

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


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

KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
MAY 7, 2021
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA IN “THUNDERDOME”
AIRED ON FOX BROADCAST NETWORK

Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee

Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton

Backstage Correspondent: Megan Morant


[HOUR ONE]

-The brand stamp jingle was the original from decades ago.

-They opened with The Rock introducing the first Smackdown and then some old music from WWE Superstars, the syndicated show that pre-dated Raw as the flagship.

-Cole and McAfee introduced the show standing in front of the ring (they should go back to that!). Cole explained they were dressed like they were as part of the Fox Network retro theme this week. They showed a clip of The Rock vs. Triple H from the original Smackdown on Aug. 26, 1999. Back at ringside, Cole said Smackdown is now the second-longest running weekly episodic show in history.

-Roman Reigns, with Paul Heyman and Jey Uso, made his way to the ring to a remix of his new entrance theme, but still a takeoff on the opening theme of the recent HBO series “Succession” (based on a powerful family with a Head of the Table dealing with unpredictable children and their spouses who often let him down and make the family look bad). They aired a lengthy sponsored clip of Daniel Bryan challenging Reigns last week. “Some would say confident, others would say arrogant – Roman Reigns,” said Cole.

Heyman said the Tribal Chief has asked him to “eulogize the career of his victim, Daniel Bryan.” He said they’d do so with a ten-bell salute. They hung their heads as Heyman made ten bell noises while trying to stop himself from breaking into laughter, it appeared. A “You suck!” chant filled ThunderDome. Reigns said: “I’m a man of my word. I did what I said I was going to do. I put everything on my back and I carried it. And because of this, you should acknowledge me, you should celebrate me, you should thank me, because I always give you what you want.” He said he gave Smackdown, Fox, and even Bryan what they wanted.  He said all he had to do was acknowledge him, but he wouldn’t, so they replaced him. He said they replaced him with someone who will acknowledge him. Suddenly the Uso theme played.

Jimmy Uso came out. Cole said they hadn’t seen much of him over the last year as he’s been out with a knee injury. McAfee said it’s a massive thing for his family and for Smackdown. Reigns smiled as Jey and Jimmy hugged. (Don’t they see each other unless they’re live on Smackdown on Fox?) He then gave Reigns a quick hug; Reigns hugged back. He shook hands with Heyman who seemed to recoil a bit at direct human body contact.

Cesaro’s music played and he walked out and asked if he just heard them right that he just replaced Bryan. Cesaro said he speaks for everyone that you can never replace Bryan. He said he doesn’t have time for Roman tonight because he has a match with Seth Rollins. Seth jumped Cesaro from behind. McAfee said some would say he deserves that for interrupting Reigns. Teddy Long’s music played and he strutted out. Cole reminded viewers this is the Throwback Smackdown edition.

Long proclaimed that, with the power bestowed upon him by Adam Pearce, if Cesaro beats Seth, he will get a championship match against Reigns at Backlash. Seth was upset with that and yelled, “What about me?” Seth attacked Cesaro again and then threw him into the ring. Cole said he hasn’t gotten over losing to Cesaro at WrestleMania. He said this is the biggest match of Cesaro’s career given the stakes, and it’s next.

(Keller’s Analysis: Jimmy seemed all-in with Reigns. I think we were all wondering if he’d be disruptive to family harmony when he returned to TV. It’s a new dynamic, though, and certainly I expect some developments unless they’re going to stick the Usos into the tag division long-term together as part of the Reigns & Heyman faction.) [c]

-Lord Alfred Hayes threw to a promo for ICOPRO narrated by Vince McMahon. (That was a bodybuilding supplement the WWF pushed in the early 1990s as an alternative to steroids.)


PWTORCH READER SURVEY

If you watch WWE Smackdown, but you don’t watch AEW, let me know why. Email kellerwade@gmail.com and explain your reasoning in a paragraph or two, which will be considered for publication here at PWTorch.com in coming days. Is it habit? Because you like certain WWE wrestlers better? Because you don’t have cable? Because you’re brand loyal? Because AEW doesn’t appeal to you for certain reasons (elaborate)? Or otherwise? Put “Reader Survey” in the subject line. Thanks!


(1) CESARO vs. SETH ROLLINS – Cesaro earns Universal Title match at Backlash if he wins

Cole talked about the excuses Seth made for losing to Cesaro at WrestleMania, such as the rain delay. McAfee so those weren’t excuses, they were real reasons. They cut to Reigns and Heyman watching intently backstage. Seth backdropped out of a Neutralizer attempt at 3:00. Jey DISTRACTED Cesaro when he climbed to the top rope. Seth then quickly superplexed him and rolled through into a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. [c]

Back from the break, Cesaro applied some submission holds, countering Seth’s attempts to escape. Seth finally hit Cesaro with a forearm to the back of his neck. Seth landed a back hook kick for a near fall after leapfrogging a kneeling Cesaro. Seth backdropped Cesaro over the top rope to the floor a minute later. Seth rolled to the floor and told Jey, as he approached Cesaro, that he’s not Roman and he doesn’t need his help. He shoved Jey to the ground and asked if he knows who he is. Jimmy superkicked Seth in retaliation as the ref was pushing Cesaro away from the ropes. Cesaro then launched himself over the top rope onto Jimmy. Then he threw Seth into the ring and hit a Neutralizer for the win. Cole called it the biggest win of Cesaro’s career.

WINNER: Cesaro in 13:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: So the Jimmy superkick helped Cesaso win and get a Universal Title shot against Reigns. Will that spark immediate tension between Reigns and Jimmy, with Jey caught in the middle?) [c]

-After the break, the announcers recapped Cesaro’s win over Seth.

-Backstage, Seth yelled at Reigns and said that son of a bitch Jimmy cost him the match. “Should I be pissed at him or should I pissed at you?” he said. Reigns looked irked and snarled at Seth and said while he understands where he is coming from, he needs him to understand where he is coming from. He said Jimmy screwed Seth over, but also Seth losing screwed him over, and now he has to deal with Cesaro. “And I will, because that’s what I do. And as for my family, I’ll handle that too.” Seth told Reigns if he doesn’t, he will deal with it.

-They went to a retro clip of Steve Austin attacking Booker T in a convenience store on the Dec. 31, 2001 episode of Smackdown.

-Teddy thanked Sonya Deville for having him there tonight. He told her that her idea was genius for a special stipulation for the Cesaro-Seth match. Sonya said when she heard Adam Pearce wouldn’t be available tonight, she thought she’d be working alone, but when she heard she’d be working alongside him, she was thrilled. Sami Zayn walked in and told Long it’s so great to see him there. He said it’s great to see someone with power who isn’t part of the establishment. He explained to Teddy there is a conspiracy against him, and he knows Teddy isn’t part of it.

Teddy announced to Sami that tonight he’s going one-on-one with the Undertaker. He proclaimed it with enthusiasm. Sami nodded at Long like he’s crazy, then asked him to be real. Long said he’ll be in a tag team match with Apollo Crews. Sami said he doesn’t want that because he’s and his sidekick hurt him last week. Long said he’ll be against Kevin Owens, Big E, The Street Profits, and Shinsuke Nakamura. Long said that’s a ten-man tag match. Sami asked who else is on his team. Teddy said Otis, Chad Gable, and King Booker were his partners. Sonya said King Corbin, not King Booker. Long and Sonya danced and tried to teach Sami. He left disgruntled.

-They cut to Reigns who stood when Jimmy and Jey walked up to him. Reigns said Jimmy was around for one hour and he put the spotlight on him and he screwed it up. He said he had a lot time to get it right, but he’s screwing up already. Reigns said took time off and came back and changed the whole game. He said now he has to clean up his mess and treat him like a baby. “Me and your brother had a good operation going on, but now you’re making mistakes I don’t want to have to clean up,” said Reigns. Jimmy replied, “First of all, you won’t talk to me like you talk to my brother Jey. And second of all, I ain’t nobody’s bitch.” Reigns said something to Jey, who then called out for his brother to talk with him.

(Keller’s Analysis: That did not take long. Jimmy already comes across much more like a leader than Jey, who always seemed like a follower.) [c]

(2) CARMELLA vs. RUBY RIOTT (w/Liv Morgan)

McAfee said he talked to Carmella earlier and she told him she is getting ready to get back into title contention. Cole said all of the women in the locker room are looking to earn a future title opportunity. When Carmella went for an early pin, Morgan pointed out to the ref she had her feet on the ropes. Nonetheless, Carmella countered Riott and applied her Code of Silence leglock submission for the tapout win.

WINNER: Carmella via tapout in 2:00.

-A clip aired from July 4, 2002 of Edge & Hulk Hogan teaming together to win the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles from Billy & Chuck.

-Bayley came out next to her entrance theme and her new hairstyle. [c]

-They replayed the June 12, 2003 superplex that collapsed the ring during the Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show match.

[HOUR TWO]

-Bayley stood mid-ring and said the “sheep” won’t understand that being a Superstar doesn’t necessarily make you a great champion. She bragged about her record title length, but then said she isn’t there to talk about herself. She said she is there to pay tribute to the women who put their bodies on the line for them. She saluted Alundra Blayze, Jacqueline, Lita, Trish Stratus, Ivory, Beth Phoenix, Molly Holly, and Bianca Belair. She interjected that her title reigns were longer than all of them. “Would you look at that smile?” she said. She explained she’s naive to the world around here and has no idea what’s in store for her. She said she’ll end up like all those other women – not on her level. She said she’s actually looking out for her. She said when she looks into her eyes, she sees insecurity. She said she’ll be Belair’s last challenger and she’ll beat Belair and show the WWE Universe she was right about her all along.

Belair’s music played and she walked out to her music, twirling her hair as she skipped out. Belair said she just can’t let her be Smackdown Champion, but like it or not, she’s living her best life, and it’s about to get better at Backlash. “Insecure?” she said. “Girl, eh eh. Bayley, you wish I was insecure. It’s my confidence that bothers you, because it’s my confidence that empowers myself and my fans and everyone who sees themselves in me, so thank you for your concern, but maybe you should be concerned for yourself.” She said she’s on her way to becoming the longest reigning Smackdown Champion. Bayley broke into cackling laughter. She tried to surprise Belair with a tackle, but Belair blocked it and kicked away at Bayley in the corner. Bayley got the better of her and smashed her face into the mat, then left. She laughed at ringside as Belair regained her senses.

-Jey approached Jimmy and asked if he meant those things. He asked if he really thinks he’s Roman’s bitch. Jimmy said he does see it that way. He said they used to rule the tag team division. Jey said he’s there for the family, and whatever helps Roman helps all of them. Jimmy said whatever Jey does benefits Roman, and that’s it. Jimmy said Jey has been fighting all his battles, and he’s why he’s WWE Champion. Jey said when Roman is champion, it makes all of them strong. Jimmy told Jey to go ask Roman if he needs him, and Roman will say no. He said they, however, need each other and will say so. Jimmy said they can become WWE Tag Team Champions together, and that is representing the family. Jey looked pensive.

-Cole said that was food for thought for Jey from Jimmy.

-Rey and Dominik Mysterio made their ring entrance.

-They replayed clips of the June 27, 2002 match between John Cena and Kurt Angle, and Undertaker telling him “nice job” backstage afterward.

(3) DOMINIK MYSTERIO (w/Rey Mysterio) vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Robert Roode)

The announcers plugged the Mysterios challenging Ziggler & Roode at Backlash. When Ziggler came out, he called himself and Roode “The Dirty Dogs” again. He told Dominik he doesn’t belong in the ring or this industry. He said he’s nothing more than Rey’s little kid. “Now get the hell out of my ring so the men can handle business.” Ziggler asked if Dominik was going to cry. Instead, Dominik asked to wrestle in place of Rey, who was originally scheduled. Ziggler slapped Dominik. Dominik slapped him back and landed a dropkick.

Ziggler tripped Dominik on the ring apron, then slammed him on the floor. He threw him back into the ring. McAfee said Ziggler worked his ass off to get to WWE, whereas he feels Dominik was handed a spot. Cole said Dominik worked very hard with his dad to earn his place on Smackdown. The screen noted Smackdown was the no. 1 trend on Twitter in the United States. Dominik caught Ziggler with a surprise small package for the win. Dominik celebrated with his dad at ringside as Ziggler shook his head in disbelief in the ring.

WINNER: Dominik in 2:00.

-A video package aired on Tamina including match highlights and a segment on Talking Smack. She was passionately, almost ragefully, yelling about Nia Jax.

-Kayla Braxton said she hadn’t seen that passion from Tamina before. She interviewed Reginald, Nia Jax, and Shayna Baszler. Reginald said he has a sour taste in his mouth after the way they were disrespected last week. He said next week, Jax & Baszler will break the bodies of Tamina & Natalya, but first he’s going to break Tamina’s spirit. Jax seemed turned on by Reginald’s words and put her arms on him and giggled. The three of them then made their ring entrance for Reginald’s match against Tamina. [c]

-A clip aired from the Nov. 11, 1999 Smackdown of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steve Austin together in the ring.

-Reigns asked Heyman to get his cousin. Heyman asked, “Which one?” Reigns shot him an irritated look, as if to say he shouldn’t have to answer that. Heyman nervously said he understands and left.

(4) REGINALD (w/Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler) vs. TAMINA (w/Natalya)

Reginald flipped out of the ring and smiled at ringside. Reginald continued to avoid Tamina’s offense until she grabbed his hair and flipped him over. He landed on his feet and tried to slide under Tamina. She grabbed him and threw him hard into the corner. Reginald climbed onto the ringpost. He then flipped over Tamina to the mat and laughed some more. He danced a little. She superkicked him to the mat. They cut to a worried looking Baszler and Jax at ringside. Tamina climbed to the top rope, but Baszler shoved him off. The ref DQ’d Reginald.

WINNER: Tamina in 2:00.

-Afterward, Baszler and Jax beat up Natalya. Tamina tried to make the save, but they swarmed her. Jax rammed her into the barricade at ringside. Cole hyped that the tag title match occurs next Friday night on Smackdown.

-Backstage Apollo Crews spoke along with his teammates in the main event. He said he will lead his men into battle. He touted everyone other than Sami. He wasn’t sure what good to say about him.

-Elsewhere, Big E said they’re putting their differences aside to go to battle together. The Street Profits, Kevin Owens, and Shinsuke Nakamura joined in getting amped up. [c]


PWTORCH READER SURVEY

If you watch WWE Smackdown, but you don’t watch AEW, let me know why. Email kellerwade@gmail.com and explain your reasoning in a paragraph or two, which will be considered for publication here at PWTorch.com in coming days. Is it habit? Because you like certain WWE wrestlers better? Because you don’t have cable? Because you’re brand loyal? Because AEW doesn’t appeal to you for certain reasons (elaborate)? Or otherwise? Put “Reader Survey” in the subject line. Thanks!


(5) KING CORBIN & SAMI ZAYN & APOLLO CREWS & OTIS & CHAD GABLE (w/Commander Aziz) vs. BIG E & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA & THE STREET PROFITS & KEVIN OWENS

They cut to a break after a few minutes of action. [c]

More rapid-fire action with lots of tags before Corbin surprised Nakamura with an End of Days for the win.

WINNERS: Corbin & Zayn & Crews & Otis & Gable in 11:00.

-Reigns told Jey he needs to know where Jimmy stands, and they’re about to find out. [c]

-A clip aired from the July 22, 2004 episode of Eddie Guerrero driving Vince McMahon to the ring.

-Reigns stood in the ring with Jey and Heyman. He said this wasn’t how he envisioned the night. He was interrupted by Jimmy’s music. Jimmy smiled as he made his way to the ring. Jey looked tense. Jimmy asked Jey where he stands. He said when he fought Reigns, it was the hardest thing to watch. He said Jey wouldn’t say “I quit” until Reigns choked him out in front of him. He said then he quit. “For me,” Jimmy said. “Because you love me. You didn’t want to see me hurt.” He threw to a replay.

Back live, Jimmy told Jey that he’d have never said “I quit” to Reigns no matter what. Reigns asked, “That’s what this is about? You’re still stuck on the past?” He said he and Jey have moved forward since then. He said he’s not going to go back and forth with him. He said it’s simple. He should fall in line and stand with them “and acknowledge me.” He added, “Or you can take your ass home.”

He said when he turns on the TV, he’ll have to explain to his kids why he’s sitting there with them watching “the Tribal Chief and thee Uso.” Jimmy jumped out of the ring and began to leave. McAfee said, “I’m not so sure what this means?” Jey followed Jimmy and told him it’ll be easy if he just acknowledges him. Before that could play out, Cesaro attacked Reigns while he was standing alone in the ring. Cole said Cesaro attacked Reigns just like Reigns did to him earlier tonight. Jey ran into the ring to make the save, but Cesaro beat him up too. Jimmy was torn, but decided to run into the ring and make the save. Cesaro gave him a European Uppercut and a Neutralizer. Cesaro then gave Jey one, also. Cole said if he does that against Reigns, he’s got a real shot to become Universal Champion. The show ended there.

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