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LINDBERG’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
MAY 7, 2021
AT “THUNDERDOME”, UNIVERSITY OF S. FLORIDA
AIRED ON FOX BROADCAST NETWORK
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
Ring Announcers: Greg Hamilton
-The show opened with a retro intro in place of the opening WWE intro that showcases all of the talent, straight into The Rock talking about Smackdown over the years. The intro showed footage about a decade older than when Smackdown actually debuted.
The Smackdown Fist was not part of the set proper, yet they did use Augmented Reality to display it which was probably much easier to do in the Thunderdome.
-Pat McAfee and Michael Cole were dressed like they were out of 1980 and 1990 respectively.
-Roman Reigns made his way to the ring with Jey Uso and Paul Heyman in tow. Cole & McAfee reminded the crowd of his win over Daniel Bryan last week, exiling him from Smackdown with a video package recapping the match.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Potentially out of the WWE for good as it’s been reported that Bryan’s contract has indeed expired and it is up in the air if he will sign with the company.)
Reigns stood in the center of the ring as Paul Heyman said that our Tribal Chief has asked him to give a eulogy to Daniel Bryan’s career, and he began with a 10-bell salute. Rather than have the time keeper ring the bell, Paul said “Ding!” 10 times, mocking Bryan. Reigns said that he did exactly what he said he was going to do, put Daniel Bryan away. He should be celebrated, he gives everybody what they want. Even Daniel Bryan, who didn’t want to be here anymore. If he wanted to be here, he would acknowledge Reigns so they’ve replaced him with someone who will acknowledge him.
Jimmy Uso made his return to Smackdown to stand with his brother and cousin. Cesaro came out immediately after and said that there is no replacing Daniel Bryan, and he doesn’t have time for this, as he has his match with Rollins. Who immediately attacked him from behind.
Teddy Long came out “Hold on a minute, Playa!” He said that Adam Pierce has given him the authority to declare that if Cesaro beats Seth, he’ll get Roman at Wrestlemania Backlash.
-Rollins rolled Cesaro in the ring and began pummeling him as they went to commercial.
(1) SETH ROLLINS vs. CESARO – IF CESARO WINS, HE FACE’S ROMAN AT BACKLASH
-Before the bell, a parody ICOPRO commercial aired.
-Seth Rollins exploded out of the gate as the bell rang with a series of strikes and a slingblade for a near fall. He climbed to the top rope and looked for a knee, connected with Cesaro’s face for another two count. The fight spilled out of the ring, and Seth bounced Cesaro off the barricade a few times before rolling him back into the ring, covering for another two count.
Cesaro hit an uppercut to shift the momentum, and gorilla pressed Seth over his head. Seth escaped and kicked out Cesaro’s knee to regain the advantage. He locked in a face lock on Cesaro and then looked for a suplex or a Falcon Arrow, but Cesaro fought through it and delivered a suplex of his own.
He delivered uppercuts and then whipped Seth into the corner followed by two uppercuts and a clothesline for a near fall. Cesaro looked for a Neutralizer, but Seth rolled through for a two count. Cesaro climbed to the top when Jey Uso distracted the ref and Cesaro, allowing Seth to get a Superplex and Falcon Arrow on Cesaro for a very near fall as they cut to a commercial break.
Back from break, Cesaro was trying to wrangle Seth into a Sharpshooter and finally locked it in, middle of the ring. Seth went to grab the rope but Cesaro turned it into a crossface. Seth escaped, step-up enziguri to Cesaro for a two count. Cesaro rallied and got Seth to the top turnbuckle. He went for a top rope gutwrench but Seth reversed it into a bucklebomb. As Cesaro rebounded from the bucklebomb, he gave Seth a massive lariat.
Both men traded punches until Cesaro got launched over the top rope. Jey tried to interfere and he got yelled at by Seth “I’m not Roman!” and shoved Jey. Jimmy superkicked Seth, allowing Cesaro to get the pin.
Winner: Cesaro in 12:44
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Charles Robinson, kayfabe, is the worst ref in the world. How did he miss that Superkick? Regardless, Cesaro is about to challenge for the Universal title, that is the most important thing. Cesaro is more than deserving of this spot and I would love to see him win. We won’t. But I can dream.)
-Back from commercial, they recapped Cesaro’s win.
-Seth stormed into Reign’s locker room, upset that his cousin’s interfered. Roman was upset that Seth lost and now his title was at stake. Seth said that Roman needs to handle Cesaro, or he will and stormed off.
-McAfee and Cole threw back to another Classic Smackdown moment, Booker T and Stone Cold in the grocery store.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Price check on a Jackass! Man, that was probably one of my all time favorite segments.)
-Teddy Long thanked Sonya Deville for inviting him. Deville said that Pierce wasn’t able to be there tonight so it was perfect that he could be there. Zayn came in, looking to explain the conspiracy against him. Long just said that instead, tonight he’s going to go One on One with the Undertaker! Zayn said that he was retired. Instead, he made a 10-Man tag with Sami, King Corbin, Apollo Crews, Otis & Gable vs. Kevin Owens, The Street Profits, Big E and Shinsuke Nakamura. He then danced with Deville to end the segment.
-Reigns says to Jimmy “One hour. You were here one hour and you screwed this up!” He ran Jimmy down for his interference tonight like he’s done to Jey so many times in the past. Jimmy stood up for himself and said nobody talks to him like that, he’s nobody’s bitch and stormed off. Jey followed him “Yo, Uce!” as they cut to commercial.
(2) RUBY RIOTT (w/ Liv Morgan) vs. CARMELLA
-Ruby Riott was already in the ring as they cut back from commercial, Carmella getting a full entrance.
The bell rang and the two tied up, Ruby backing Carmella up into the corner. Carmella ducked away and moonwalked. Ruby shoulder tackled Carmella and then kicked her in the stomach. She went for a suplex, but Carmella reversed and slammed Ruby to the mat with a few clubbing forearms to the back. Ruby rallied and knocked Carmella into the corner, legsweep takedown for a near fall.
Ruby went to the top but Carmella got up and superkicked her off. She pinned her but used the ropes. The ref noticed, the two traded pins until Carmella locked in the Cone of Silence for the win.
Winner: Carmella in 3:16
(Lindberg’s Analysis: While I am not nearly as down on Carmella as Kelly Wells may be and I see the appeal as to why they are pushing her, she feels too “Diva” for my liking. Too many characters are toeing that line lately, and while there is a place for sex in wrestling, I just don’t want to see them fall back to their old ways. Ruby Riott is a superior talent in a lot of ways and I would love to see her breach that glass ceiling.
-They cut to another throwback moment, when Edge and Hulk Hogan won the tag team titles on July 4th 2002.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Actually, it was July 2, 2002. How do I know that? I was there. It was awesome.)
-Bayley made her way to the ring next, screaming “Ding Dong! Look at me Michael Cole!”
-They showed the first time the ring imploded when Brock Lesnar superplexed The Big Sh… I mean, a very large unnamed wrestler.
-Bayley gloated about being the longest reigning Smackdown champion before saying she was there to pay tribute to former women’s champions. She showed a picture of Alundra Blayze, Jacqueline, Lita, Trish Stratus, Ivory, Beth Phoenix and Molly Holly with some witty backhanded compliment while introducing each. Last but certainly not least, the latest champion Bianca Belair. She said Belair isn’t on Bayley’s level and that she sees insecurity when looking into Belair’s eyes. At WrestleMania Backlash she’ll beat Belair and show that everyone was wrong about her.
Belair made her way to the ring. She said she’s living her best life and it’s going to get better at WrestleMania Backlash. She’s not insecure and it’s her confidence that bothers Bayley and maybe she’s the one who’s insecure. Belair said she was going to win and Bayley just laughed in her face before trying to double-leg takedown Belair. Belair didn’t go down and beat down her challenger with a dropkick. Bayley grabbed Belair’s earring, gaining the upperhand, causing Belair to go to the Mat. Bayley stood on Belair’s hair and stomped on her before slamming her face in the mat and walking away.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: Holy Moly Bayley! That was one of the best promo’s I’ve seen her deliver. She sounded sincere while talking about all of the legends before switching into heel mode and cutting down Belair. Impressive, impressive stuff. Belair is also coming along incredibly well. Her promo skills are almost as solid and she seems as comfortable as ever as champion. Confidence like no other.)
-Jey asked Jimmy if he thought he was Roman’s bitch. Jimmy said yeah, he did. He pointed out all the reasons why Jey has been taken advantage of by Reigns over this past year. He said “You wanna talk family, Uce? You and me, Tag Team Champions. That’s representing the family.”
-They showed John Cena’s debut against Kurt Angle from 2002 and his backstage run-in with Undertaker.
(3) REY MYSTERIO (w/Dominik) vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/ Robert Roode)
-Dolph cut a promo on Dominik essentially calling him out for his age. Dominik said that he wanted to take on Ziggler instead, so the match was changed.
The bell rang and the match was official. Dominik and Ziggler jawed off at one another before Dominik slapped Ziggler. Ziggler shoved him and screamed that he doesn’t belong here. Dominik gave him a dropkick, Ziggler rolled out of the ring. Dominik went to the apron and was knocked off by Ziggler who then threw him back into the ring.
Ziggler backed him into the corner and delivered a series of strikes and a neckbreaker. He covered Dominik with one foot for a two count. Dominik continued to get a beatdown with his father looking on for another few moments before unexpectedly rolling up Ziggler for the win.
Winner: Dominik Mysterio in 2:20
(Lindberg’s Analysis: The bait and switch followed by the classic roll-up finish. Man, how many WWE tropes can you fit into one segment?)
-They replayed Tamina & Natalya vs. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler from last week.
-Kayla Braxton interviewed Reginald and asked why he requested a match with Tamina tonight. He said he’s going to break her spirit and then drink spirits.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: I… I don’t get it either. I’d like to see Reginald get sent to RAW where the ratings are already suffering.)
-They showed one of the first Smackdown’s where Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the commentary team for the main event.
-Roman Reigns was approached by Heyman. Reigns told him to bring him his cousin. “Which One?” asked Heyman. Reigns glared at him. “I understand.” said Paul as he walked away.
(4) REGINALD (w/ Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler) vs. TAMINA (w/Natalya)
-The bell rang and Reginald flipped out of the way of a superkick. He kept stalling outside the ring for a few moments, and dodged every clothesline that she threw. Eventually, she grabbed him by the hair and flipped him into the corner. He tried to baseball slide through her legs to escape but she caught him and threw him into the opposite corner.
He climbed to the top to get away from her, and then flipped over Tamina to the middle of the ring. He showboated his flip and was met by a superkick. She went for the superfly splash when the Women’s Champions interfered, fighting off Natalya and Tamina. Baszler and Jax beat Tamina down with a vicious attack on her arm and a samoan drop to the outside.
Winner: Tamina by DQ in 1:58
(Lindberg’s Analysis: I can think of 1000 better ways to go about this feud that didn’t involve Reginald. This match was such a waste of time.)
-Apollo, Aziz, Otis, Gable, Sami and King Corbin appeared backstage with Apollo saying that he will lead these men into battle.
-Big E, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke and The Street Profits were next backstage, with Big E preaching that tonight they are throwing down. They made reference to Kevin Owen’s birthday and then Shinsuke screamed that they all want the smoke.
(5) 10 MAN TAG – BIG E, KEVIN OWENS, SHINSUKE NAKAMURA & THE STREET PROFITS vs. APOLLO CREWS, SAMI ZAYN, KING CORBIN & ALPHA ACADEMY (w/ Commander Aziz)
-The match began immediately back from commercial, no entrances for anyone.
Dawkins and Gable started off with the two chain wrestling for position before Dawkins got a Flapjack off on Gable and tagged in Ford. Ford hit a dropkick and covered for 1 and a half. Ford was knocked down by Gable who tagged in Crews. Crews scoop slammed Ford and tagged in Sami Zayn. Zayn beat down Ford and kept him isolated from his partners. Ford reversed into a dropkick and tagged in Big E. Zayn looked terrifed and tagged in Corbin. Corbin and E locked up and jockeyed for position. Corbin took E out with a clothesline. E retaliated with a big elbow for two.
Corbin backed E into the heel corner, causing all 10 men to brawl outside. Kevin Owens splashed Zayn onto the floor from the apron as they cut to commerical.
Back from commerical, Otis and Owens were in the ring with Otis in control. Otis tagged in Crews who picked Owens up and Owens reversed. Apollo blocked the stunner but was hit with an enziguri.
Sami and Nakamura tagged in, and another brawl broke out momentarily. When it cleared, Nakamura slammed Zayn to the mat and hit him with the Kinshasa but Corbin broke up the pin attempt. The heels and faces traded off big moves until KO hit the stunner and was dragged out of the ring by Otis. Gable grabbed KO and german suplexed him on the outside. Ford flew over the ropes and took out the heels. Corbin tagged in without Shinsuke realizing it and hit the End Of Days for the win.
Winners: Crews, Zayn, Corbin & Alpha Academy in 10:45
(Lindberg’s Analysis: This… was a cluster. Overbooked, hard to follow and just 10 men for the sake of 10 men.)
-Reigns asked Jey if he was with him. He said he loved his cousins and that’s why he wants to give them opportunities to rise up to the occasion. He needs to know where Jimmy stands, and they walked out of the room, cutting to commercial.
-Reigns, Heyman and Jey were in the ring after the break and Reigns called out Jimmy saying that he didn’t envision the night going this way. Jimmy interrupted and made his way to the ring. Jimmy asked Jey where he stood. He said that he had to watch his brother get pummeled by Reigns in an I Quit Match until Reigns beat Jimmy so bad that Jey had to quit to stop the assault, reminding him of what happened so many months ago.
They replayed the Hell in a Cell, the last time we saw Jimmy.
Jimmy said to Jey, if it was him, he would never have quit and he would have let his brother suffer. Roman said that was in the past and that he and Jey have moved forward. Reigns said he isn’t going to go back and forth with Jimmy and that he needed to fall in line. Acknowledge him or take his ass home. Jimmy dropped his mic and backed off, walking up the ramp. He stopped, and Jey caught up to him. Jey said that it would be easier to just acknowledge him.
Cesaro attacked Roman from behind, leaving the Uso’s to decide what to do, help Roman or not. Jimmy tried to hold Jey back, but Jey went in and got flattened. Jimmy reluctantly went to help his brother and was knocked out with an uppercut for his troubles. Cesaro hit a Neutralizer on Jey and then Roman to end the show.
(Lindberg’s Analysis: On Wrestling Night in America this past week, I talked with Greg Parks about Jimmy returning and possibly being a foil for Roman and Jey. While Jimmy didn’t side with his family, his insistence on helping them in times of desperation makes me think that ultimately, Jimmy will be joining them sooner rather than later.)