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WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
MAY 21, 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 Key Segments from Last Week
- Natalya & Tamina defeated Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler to win the Women’s Tag Team Championship.
- Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews presented Commander Azeez a Nigerian Medal of Honor. He was interrupted by former champion Sami Zayn followed by Kevin Owens and then Big E.
- Rey Mysterio defeated Dolph Ziggler.
- Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair and Bayley hyped their match at WrestleMania Backlash. Bianca said, “when you shine like I shine, you get a whole lot of hate.” Bayley laughed and cackled.
- King Corbin defeated Shinsuke Nakamura. Shinsuke later took Corbin’s crown and wore it.
- Another Aleister Black vignette aired.
- Cesaro defeated Jimmy Uso via DQ when Roman Reigns attacked Jimmy at ringside. Jimmy, his brother Jey, Roman, and Cesaro were weaved throughout the show starting with the opening promo where they set up the match between Jimmy and Cesaro and multiple backstage segments and interviews.
WrestleMania Backlash Results Pertinent to Smackdown
- Rey & Dominik Mysterio defeated Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler to win the Smackdown Tag Team Championship. They become the first father-son combination to win a WWE tag team title. Dominik was injured by Roode & Ziggler prior to the match. Rey went it alone to start, but Dominik made his way out as the match progressed to join his father.
- Bianca Belair defeated Bayley to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
- Roman Reigns defeated Cesaro to retain the Universal Championship. After the match Jey Uso attacked Cesaro, followed by Seth Rollins, whom Cesaro defeated to earn the right to face Roman for the championship.
WWE announced a return to live touring with fans starting this July. The first event will be Smackdown in the Toyota Center in Houston, TX on July 16. Two other shows were announced including Money in the Bank on July 18 in Forth Worth, TX and Raw the next night in the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, TX. This was announced on their website and on Twitter:
— WWE (@WWE) May 21, 2021
They announced a “25-city tour” through Labor Day, with further details coming.
Items Advertised by WWE
We move past WrestleMania Backlash and head towards Hell in a Cell, which was announced by WWE as taking place on June 20 (Father’s Day). We’ll continue with the fallout as we did on Raw, especially as it relates to what’s next for the current champions including the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions (the Mysterios). Last week we learned about a fatal four-way for the Intercontinental Championship. WWE has not advertised any other matches or segments for tonight’s show.
Intercontinental Championship Fatal Four-Way: Apollo Crews (champ) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens vs. Big E
After last week’s segment where Commander Azeez was being presented with a Nigerian Medal of Honor, Apollo Crews will now have to defend his Intercontinental Championship against three former champions. Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and Big E will vie for the title Apollo won at WrestleMania from Big E in a Nigerian Drum Fight.
Sami held the championship late last year after defeating Jeff Hardy and A.J. Styles in a ladder match. Kevin Owens held the title multiple times back in 2015-’16. He once defeated Ryback for the title and won it again in a fatal five-way involving, believe it or not, Cody Rhodes (as Stardust). Big E held the title in late 2013-’14 and defeated Sami Zayn in a Lumberjack match that aired on the Christmas Day edition of Smackdown. Here’s some Twitter talk:
I may not be the people’s champion, but I will always be champion of the people.
This Friday, I win back my Intercontinental Championship and regain my status as a champion and a representative for the people on every continent. pic.twitter.com/TePzZlFeMx
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) May 20, 2021
— Ettore “Big E” Ewen (@WWEBigE) May 20, 2021
Frank’s Analysis: I don’t see Apollo giving up the title just yet, although you never know when it comes to the Intercontinental title. It’ll be interesting to see the interaction of the characters considering babyface Big E gave babyface Kevin Owens a Big Ending last week. In addition, Sami Zayn claiming the title is his to heel Apollo has also been interesting to watch. There was a time I couldn’t imagine Sami being a heel and now, it’s hard to imagine him being a babyface. All that said, I’m interested to see how things move forward as I feel like there’s a reason that they’re doing this fatal four-way.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!