4/8 WWE SMACKDOWN TV RESULTS: McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on Reigns’ next step on the Island of Relevancy, Happy Talk, Wrestlemania fallout

By Alex McDonald, PWTorch Contributor


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

WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
APRIL 8, 2022
MILWAUKEE, WI AT FISERV FORUM
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee

[HOUR ONE]

-The show opened with a Wrestlemania recap video package. The package ended with a shot of Roman Reigns with the WWE and Universal Championships. Afterwards, Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcomed everyone to the show. They hyped a segment with Reigns where Reigns will reveal what his “next steps” are.

-Kayla Braxton was in the ring. She introduced Ronda Rousey. Rousey’s music hit and she made her entrance. McAfee pushed that Rousey had the match won at Wrestlemania. Rousey stood mid-ring with Kayla. Kayla said that Rousey proved to be a woman of her word and made Charlotte Flair tap out. Kayla threw to a video recap of Rousey forcing Charlotte to tap while the ref was down. After the package, Kayla said that Rousey did tap her out. Rousey said that unfortunately, the ref won’t always count it the first time. She said she beat Rousey twice, but not when it counted, so that’s on her. Kayla asked Rousey what her next steps are. Rousey said she wants a rematch. The crowd cheered. Rousey said she wants a match with no loopholes. She challenged Charlotte to an I Quit Match at Wrestlemania Backlash.

-Charlotte appeared on the big screen. She said that Rousey couldn’t beat her at checkers. She said that Rousey’s “baddest woman on the planet” moniker is a myth because she can’t win when it matters. Charlotte said “no” to Rousey’s challenge. She then told Rousey to get to the back of the line. Rousey said the fight is going to happen and Charlotte is going to scream “I quit” when she turns her elbow backward. McAfee said he hopes they get to see the match.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Yeah, I pretty much figured this is where we would end up. Rousey actually came off well here. Humility isn’t normally her strong suit, but they played that card, and she pulled it off. I like the idea of having Kayla interview wrestlers in the ring. It comes off as different and that’s a good thing. Obviously, despite Charlotte’s response, this match will happen. Since their match at Mania was better than expected, I have higher hopes for this one. Hopefully, their spot on the card is a little better so the match comes off better than their Mania encounter.)

-Cole threw to a video recap of the match with the New Day against Sheamus and Ridge Holland at Wrestlemania. The video focused on the beatdown after the match. They then showed a graphic for Xavier Woods against Butch. Cole hyped it as the debut of Butch. They then showed Sheamus and Ridge Holland in the back with Butch. They pumped him up and chanted “fight night”. In the arena, Sheamus’ music hit. Butch made his entrance flanked by Sheamus and Holland. Cole hyped the match as Butch posed. [c]

-They showed a graphic for Sasha Banks against Liv Morgan later tonight as Cole hyped the match. Back in the arena, Butch stood in the ring. The New Day’s music hit and they made their entrance. They stood at the top of the ramp. Kofi Kingston congratulated them on winning at Mania. Xavier Woods then took the mic and said he’s never won at Wrestlemania. Kingston said that when he won in 2019, he won too. The crowd cheered. Woods said that since Mania is the season finale, that means all records are reset tonight. Kingston said that means the records between them are zero and zero. Woods said he’s going to whip Butch’s “rabies infested ass”.

(1) XAVIER WOODS (w/ Kofi Kingston) vs. BUTCH (w/ Sheamus & Ridge Holland)

Butch dove at Woods who slid out of the way. Woods got a headlock, but Butch pushed Woods off and took him down with a big clothesline. Butch then mounted Woods and rained down punches. Woods recovered and sent Butch into the corner. Butch fought out with a forearm, then charged Woods who got a drop toehold on Butch into the turnbuckle. Butch recovered and hit a big kick, then Butch mounted Woods again and attacked Woods arm and hand. Woods countered with a jawbreaker, then got a Russian leg sweep followed by a basement dropkick. Butch dropped to the outside. Woods went for a dropkick through the ropes, but Butch moved. Butch then took Woods down with a big forearm. Butch celebrated with Sheamus and Holland. [c]

After the break, Butch was in the middle of the Ten Beats on Woods. Cole said he was paying homage to Sheamus. Butch mounted Woods and worked on his arms. Butch them stomped on Woods ribs, then hit a few forearms to the face. Butch covered Woods for a count of two. Butch went back to Woods arm and locked on an armbar. Woods fought up and punched at Butch. Woods and Butch bounced off the ropes and Woods hit a turn around forearm. Woods hit a modified suplex, then tried to attack through the ropes but Butch hit a big forearm. Butch then hit a big kick to the back of Woods’ head and got a near fall. Butch had blood on the bridge of his nose. Butch stomped at Woods as Sheamus and Holland cheered him on. Woods got a small package on Butch and got the win.

WINNER: XAVIER WOODS in 8:00

-McAfee said that was the “back Woods”. Cole and McAfee put over the win. Sheamus and Holland tried to console Butch, but Butch pushed Sheamus, then threw punches at Holland. Butch then sulked in the corner. Cole said he’s sulking like a child.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Why would we expect anything different? What do you do when you debut a guy with potential against a guy you’ve spent years defining down? Have the new guy lose via roll-up. This is the way. I don’t care for this. Butch should have destroyed Woods and Sheamus and Holland should have had to pull him off after the fact. That, or debut him against a jobber with the same finish. I’m curious if the little scuffle at the end will mean anything in a week’s time. I guess it’s possible that this is going to be Butch’s character. He loses a lot, then freaks out and beats up Holland.)

-Cole and McAfee threw to a recap of the Sami Zayn and Johnny Knoxville match from Wrestlemania. Cole said we will relive the classic after the break. Cole then hyped the WWE 2k22 video game and threw to a commercial. [c]

-Back from break, Cole and McAfee hyped the Roman Reigns segment later on. Cole then threw to a video package on the Zayn-Knoxville match from Mania. Afterwards, Zayn was in the back with Adam Pearce. He asked Pearce how he let that happen. Pearce said that Zayn asked for the match. Zayn said that he asked for anything goes, not “everyone is welcome”. Zayn said he’s become a joke. He said he wants his respect back. Zayn said the next person that walks through the door will be his opponent tonight so he can beat them and gain his respect back. Pearce said that’s fine. Drew McIntyre walked through the door and walked past. Zayn told Pearce he meant the guy after that. He said the next, next guy through the door. Pearce said the match is official and will happen tonight. Zayn said he’ll gain his respect back if he beats McIntyre. Zayn walked off. A random backstage worker walked up and handed Pearce a note. Pearce read the note and looked concerned. He told the worker to cancel his meeting.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I wonder if we’ll find out tonight what the note said or if they’ll drag it out and then forget about it in a week. On a positive note, Zayn is awesome. His entire delivery was great. Funny stuff.)

-Ludvig Kaiser was introduced. He introduced someone in English, then in German. Gunther’s music then hit and he made his entrance. Cole called Gunther one of the most decorated international competitors of the last decade. Cole said his debut is next. [c]

-Gunther stood in the ring. A jobber was waiting for him.

(2) GUNTHER (w/ Ludvig Kaiser) vs. JOE ALONZO

Gunther hit a big hip toss. Gunther hit a couple of chops. McAfee said he’s never seen Gunther smile. Gunther hit a loud chop that took Alonzo down. Gunther hit a forearm to the chest of Alonzo followed by a European uppercut. Gunther then hit a scoop slam. Gunther then hit a powerbomb for the win.

WINNER: GUNTHER in 2:00

-Kaiser and Gunther posed. They then cut to Kayla in the back. She welcomed Raquel Rodriguez. Rodriguez said the WWE has never seen anything like her. Los Lotharios appeared. They introduced themselves to Rodriguez. Angel Garza said they want to welcome her with a kiss. Rodriguez said not a chance in both Spanish and English. She then asked Kayla if those guys are always that annoying.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Good stuff. I like the new blood on Smackdown. I’m curious what they do with Gunther. Smackdown is in a weird position where they don’t have a ton of faces for him to wrestle. It’s possible Gunther gets involved with Ricochet and quickly wins the Intercontinental title. That seems the most logical. As far as Rodriguez goes, I really hope it works out, but recent history tells us that debuting as a member of the Women’s Division on Smackdown isn’t the best omen. See Toni Storm, Shotzi, Tegan Nox, and Xia Li for all the evidence you need.)

-Happy Corbin’s music hit and he made his entrance alongside Mad Cap Moss. Corbin did not look happy. Cole threw to a video recap of the match between Corbin and McIntyre at Mania. Moss laughed and celebrated near the Andre Battle Royal trophy. Cole then threw to a video recap of the Andre Battle Royal. Corbin and Moss were in the ring. Cole said this could be the least happy episode of Happy Talk ever. [c]

-Cole hyped the Roman Reigns segment again. Corbin and Moss were in the ring. Corbin took the mic. He said it was supposed to be the happiest Happy Talk ever. He said they’re supposed to be celebrating his win over McIntyre. Corbin said you find out what kind of man you are at these low points. Corbin said he’s been looking at himself and what type of man he is. He said he’s willing to admit there’s only one person to blame for his loss to McIntyre. He said the man to blame is Moss. Corbin said that Moss celebrated his win too much. Corbin said that Moss is getting too big for his suspenders and he forgot his place. Corbin said that Moss’ place is to tell him a joke. Moss then told a silly self-deprecating joke. Corbin said it was terrible, then asked for another joke. Moss told another bad joke, then Corbin told him it sucked. Corbin said he brought Moss to Smackdown to tell him jokes and make him laugh. He said he gave Moss an opportunity. Corbin then said he’s going to give Moss one last chance to tell a joke. He said Moss’ job depends on it. Moss then asked what you call a guy who treats his friends like crap and dresses like he’s going to a funeral for Tommy Bahama. He said Corbin. Moss stood up and the crowd cheered. Corbin then attacked Moss from behind. Moss recovered and fought back on Corbin. Corbin rolled out of the ring and Moss followed. Corbin threw Moss into the barricade. Moss recovered and slammed Corbin into the announce table repeatedly. Moss tossed Corbin back into the ring. Moss clotheslined Corbin over the top rope and to the floor. Moss then celebrated in the ring. He threw out the items from the Happy Talk set. Moss then stomped on Corbin’s hat.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, that was predictable, but it gives us another much needed face on Smackdown. I like that Moss got the upperhand clearly. That may be important going forward. I made a comment about WWE having high hopes for Moss about two months ago. I guessed it was because someone finally saw what he looked like under his shirt. Since then, he’s worn the suspenders and has been a bigger part of the roster. I don’t know if it will work, but I’m glad they’re going to try. Let’s hope they give him a real shot. Smackdown got a real shot in the arm tonight with some new talent and directions. Does Corbin’s losing streak become a thing now? Or will he beat Moss and end the push before it starts?)

[HOUR TWO]

-Jinder Mahal and Shanky were in the back. They argued with Pearce. Pearce told them it wasn’t personal. Mahal asked for an IC title match against Ricochet. Rousey appeared. Mahal said he wasn’t finished, then walked off. Rousey asked Pearce if she’s going to get her I Quit match. Pearce told her that he isn’t sure yet, but he should know for sure tomorrow. Rousey just repeated the word tomorrow.

-They showed a graphic for Banks against Morgan later on. Cole hyped the match.

-Drew McIntyre’s music hit and he made his entrance. They showed a graphic for McIntyre against Zayn. McAfee hyped the match. [c]

-A graphic stated that WWE surpassed one billion views over Wrestlemania weekend. Cole touted the attendance for the two night Wrestlemania. McAfee said that McIntyre had a fantastic Saturday.

-Sami Zayn’s music hit and he made his entrance. Cole and McAfee talked about the bad luck of Zayn. They discussed the previous segment with McIntyre being the person who walked through the door.

(3) SAMI ZAYN vs. DREW McINTYRE

Zayn ran to the outside and McIntyre followed him. McIntyre tossed Zayn into the barricade. Back in the ring, Zayn tried to come off the top rope but McIntyre caught him and hit a belly to belly. McIntyre then hit another belly to belly. Zayn rolled to the outside and McIntyre followed. McIntyre tossed Zayn into the announce table twice. McIntyre rolled Zayn back into the ring, but Zayn rolled out the opposite side. Zayn let the count get to five, then walked up the aisle. McIntyre followed, ran down the aisle and clotheslined Zayn. McIntyre then hoisted Zayn to his shoulders and carried him back to the ring. McIntyre counted down and went for a Claymore, but Zayn rolled to the outside. Zayn went into the crowd and headed towards the stairs. The ref counted him out. Zayn looked on as McIntyre celebrated with the sword.

WINNER: DREW McINTYRE in 4:00

(McDonald’s Analysis: I get they need to fill TV time, but what’s the point of doing matches like this? Couldn’t we have watched Sheamus beat Kingston for the hundredth time instead?)

-They showed small video of McAfee drinking beer with Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania. Cole said that McAfee got to live a dream, but that’s only part of the story. [c]

-They showed a graphic of Roman Reigns. McAfee said that Reigns will announce his next step later tonight. Cole then threw to a video recap of the match between Austin Theory and McAfee at Wrestlemania.

-Cole then threw to Lacey Evans in the back to “tell her story”. She said her father worked construction and her mom was a young mom of five. She said that her father dealt with addiction. She said that she was taken away before she started elementary school as her mother packed up herself and her siblings and ran away from her father. Evans got choked up at this point, but held back the tears. She said that after they left, her and her family jumped around from shelter to shelter and campground to campground. Evans said that she refuses to give up. They interspersed pictures of Lacey Evans in her personal life. She said that she didn’t have the same chance the other women did, but it’s ok because she works hard. She said she’s a U.S. Marine and a WWE Superstar. She said that doesn’t make her better than any of them, but they sure aren’t better than her.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Yet another return/debut on this show. I like the infusion of new talent. When I read about Evans’ return, I sure didn’t expect this. Promos like this will certainly endear her to the fan base (I really hope so, anyway), but it’s hard to tell where they’re going with this. WWE doesn’t normally do this so it’s really hard to gauge. Regardless, Cole said there will be a part two next week.)

-Sasha Banks’ music hit and she made her entrance with Naomi at her side. They showed a graphic for the match as Cole hyped it. [c]

-Naomi joined Cole on commentary. Cole threw to a recap of Raw. They showed Rhea Ripley walking out on Morgan, then telling Morgan that they have a Women’s Tag Team title match next week on Raw.

-Megan Morant walked up to Morgan in the back. She asked why Morgan is here on Smackdown. Morgan said she’s here to beat Banks. Morant asked if Ripley is with her. Morgan said no, but they are going to win the titles on Monday when she is there. Morgan’s music hit and she made her entrance. Cole congratulated Naomi on commentary.

(4) SASHA BANKS (w/ Naomi) vs. LIV MORGAN

Morgan rolled up Banks for a quick one count. Banks slapped Morgan, then hit a step up the ropes arm drag. Morgan fought back, then tossed Banks into the corner. Morgan hit a dropkick off the middle rope. Banks hit a Backstabber that knocked Morgan to the floor. [c]

Banks hit a suplex which Cole said was the end of Three Amigos. Banks went to the top and hit a Frog Splash for a near fall. Naomi said it was hard to hold the tears back at Mania. The feed showed Natalya and Shayna Baszler watching the match on a monitor in the back. Banks and Morgan traded roll-ups in the ring for multiple near falls as they both rolled through. Morgan went for a backslide, but Banks countered, then hit a big kick. Morgan recovered with double knees to the face and both women were down. Morgan went for a right, but Banks ducked then went for a Backstabber but Morgan elbowed her way out. Banks fought back, but Morgan took the advantage and hit a running knee into the corner. Banks recovered and hit a superplex, but Morgan rolled her up for the win.

WINNER: LIV MORGAN in 7:00

(McDonald’s Analysis: This was solid for a TV match with a commercial thrown into it. It’s a shame these two are in such oddly different, yet the same places right now. A Women’s title feud between the two of them could be really fun. We’ve seen they have some chemistry in their limited interaction so I’m curious what they could with twelve to fifteen minutes without a commercial on a PLE.)

-Naomi shouted that it didn’t mean anything as Cole called it arguably the biggest win of Morgan’s career. Cole then threw to a video recap of the injury to Rick Boogs at Wrestlemania. Cole shared that Boogs had successful surgery, then they shared an optimistic tweet from Boogs. McAfee said he can’t wait to see Boogs back.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I don’t know why I didn’t think of this until just now, but where does Shinsuke Nakamura go from here? Is he a possible opponent for Gunther? Maybe for Butch or Sheamus or Holland? Any chance they make an effort to heat him up for a one-off with Reigns? Just kidding about that last part.)

-Roman Reigns’ music hit and he made his entrance with Paul Heyman and the Usos in tow. The crowd cheered as the Bloodline emerged from the curtain. Heyman handed Reigns the championships and he held them up as pyro went off behind him. Cole then threw to a video recap of the Brock Lesnar and Reigns match from Wrestlemania. Back in the ring, Reigns posed with the Usos and Heyman. Cole hyped the announcement of Reigns’ next step for after the break. [c]

-After the break, they showed a graphic for Zayn and McIntyre next week. They also showed a graphic for Ricochet against Jinder Mahal for the IC title next week. Cole and McAfee hyped both matches, then they threw back to Reigns in the ring.

-Reigns stood mid-ring. Heyman handed him the mic. He asked Milwaukee to acknowledge him. The crowd cheered huge. Reigns said he wanted to share something private that he and Heyman have discussed. He said that Smackdown and the Universal Championship weren’t enough, so he went to Wrestlemania and smashed Cowboy Brock and took Monday Night Raw and the WWE Championship. Reigns said he doesn’t think he can do much more because he’s already done it all. He said there is a lot for the Bloodline to do, however. He said he saw his two titles, but then he noticed that his cousins only had two titles. Reigns said he’s one man with two titles, but they’re two men with two titles and it’s not enough. Reigns reminded Jey that he was going to elevate him. Reigns then said the Usos need to unify the Tag Team Championships. He said he wants the Usos to go to Raw and take the Raw Tag Team titles. Reigns said the Bloodline is going to have all the gold soon. Shinsuke Nakamura’s music hit and he made his entrance.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Wow, did I just call this on accident? I swear I was kidding before.)

-The crowd sang Nakamura’s theme as he entered the ring. He stared down Reigns. Reigns told Nakamura he didn’t need to say anything. He said he understands how Nakamura feels. Reigns said that Nakamura lost his partner and he gets that. Reigns asked Jey if he understands, since they lost Jimmy for over a year. Reigns told Nakamura that he’s an understanding guy and the Island of Relevancy is a loving place. Reigns hugged Nakamura. As Reigns let him go, the Usos double superkicked Nakamura and took him down. Reigns smiled as the Usos yelled that they’re going to Detroit. Cole said that’s the site of Raw where the Usos will be to fulfill their marching orders to take on RK-Bro and win the Raw Tag Team titles. The Bloodline posed with all the gold. A replay was shown. Reigns posed with both titles.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Solid segment. I would assume a one-off is on the horizon for Nakamura and Reigns, which is fine. Line up the babyfaces for Reigns to destroy. As much as I love the Bloodline, this was a little underwhelming after the hype all night. Is this truly another step towards ending the brand split? Or are the Usos going to fail and start another chain of events?)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Lots of new additions to Smackdown tonight. It felt fresh in some ways, and same old same old in others. I will give WWE credit though. They are making an effort to give the show some fresh juice coming out of Mania. I’m looking forward to seeing how all of these new acts come together and who works out. And sadly, who doesn’t. Catch me on the Smackdown Post Show with Wade Keller tonight!

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