SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
MAY 14, 2021
TAMPA, FL. IN THE THUNDERDOME AT THE YUENGLING CENTER
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole and Pat McAfee
Match Results and Exclusives from Last Week
- Cesaro defeated Seth Rollins to earn the right to challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania Backlash.
- Carmella defeated Ruby Riott (w/Liv Morgan).
- Dominik Mysterio (w/Rey) defeated Smackdown Tag Team Championship co-holder Dolph Ziggler (w/Robert Roode).
- Tamina (w/Natalya) defeated Reginald (w/Women’s Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax).
- King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews (w/Commander Azeez) and Otis & Chad Gable defeated Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens and the Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins.
- During the opening segment, Universal Champion Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman and Jey Uso) was giving his “eulogy” to Daniel Bryan whom he defeated in the main event of the previous week’s episode. Jey’s brother Jimmy returned to television. He appeared aligned with “the family” but then super-kicked Seth Rollins during his match with Cesaro. Later he told Roman “I ain’t nobody’s bitch” and he’s not going to talk to him they way he talked to Jey. He reluctantly assisted Roman and Jey to close out the show when they were under attack by Cesaro.
- Roman Reigns expressed frustration that Seth Rollins could not defeat Cesaro, and now “he has to deal with him.” Seth told Roman if he didn’t deal with Cesaro, he’d deal with it himself.
- Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair and Bayley hyped their match for the title at WrestleMania Backlash and ended with Bayley getting the better of Bianca.
Items Advertised by WWE
Tonight’s edition of Smackdown will be the last before WrestleMania Backlash, which comes to us this Sunday on the Peacock Network. Five title matches will take place including three from Smackdown. It was announced that the Mysterios (Rey & Dominik) will challenge Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship. As of this article being posted, WWE does not have their preview available. They’ve advertised that Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Cesaro will make “one last stand” before their match at WrestleMania Backlash for the Universal Championship. In addition, according to WWE.com, there will be a match tonight for the Women’s Tag Team Championship. Here’s the hype video that has aired on TV:
One Last Stand: Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Cesaro
It’s unclear what WWE is going to do at the moment, as we head into the final show before these two men have their match for the Universal Championship. Historically we’ve seen “face-to-face” segments or a contract signing, or a variation of the match. There are numerous players involved including both Usos now with the return of Jimmy, as well as Seth Rollins. Shinsuke Nakamura is on the outskirts as he came close to facing Roman at the Royal Rumble and hinted at facing him again a few weeks ago when Roman was getting ready to face Daniel Bryan. Here’s a (I think) “cryptic” tweet from Cesaro:
— Cesaro (@WWECesaro) May 13, 2021
It goes without saying we’ll find out tonight how they do the final build towards WrestleMania Backlash.
Women’s Tag Team Championship: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax (champs) vs. Tamina & Natalya
Tonight, Tamina & Natalya challenge Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax for the Women’s Tag Team Championship. Two weeks ago, Tamina & Natalya defeated Shayna & Nia in a non-title match. They challenged for the titles at WrestleMania after winning a fatal four-way match but came up short on night two.
Frank’s Analysis: Soak, wash, rinse, spin, repeat. How many times do I have to see this match? I have no interest in match involving challengers of whom one in a preliminary jobber and the other has more heel/babyface turns that Randy Orton, Big Show, and Kane combined. For all intents and purposes Shayna is now a preliminary talent and Nia Jax, no offense to her, is not a good wrestler.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!