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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
APRIL 15, 2022
WORCESTER, MA AT THE DCU CENTER
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-The show opened with a video recap of Monday Night Raw that featured the Usos challenging RK-Bro and being interrupted by the Street Profits. They then showed highlights of the match between the Usos and the Street Profits. The end of the recap showed the Usos holding up the Raw and Smackdown Tag Team Championships.
-In the arena, Michael Cole welcomed us to the show as they showed a crowd shot. RK-Bro’s music hit and they made their entrance. Cole and Pat McAfee sat ringside. They hyped the appearance of RK-Bro. Randy Orton stood mid-ring and took the mic. The crowd chanted “Randy, Randy”. Orton posed in the corner for the crowd. Riddle took the mic and said he’s stoked to be back on Smackdown with his best friend Randy. Riddle said that worcestershire sauce wasn’t named after the city that they’re in, but for a city in England. Orton cut Riddle off and said that’s not why they’re here. Orton said they’re here because the Usos kicked him in the face and challenged them for the Raw Tag Team titles. He said they’re here to answer the Usos. Orton asked Riddle if he had anything to add. Riddle said nothing.
-The Usos’ music hit and they made their entrance to a solid pop. The Usos posed in the corner and got a mixed reaction, mostly boos this time. Jimmy took the mic and said that RK-Bro showed up in Bloodline territory. Jey said that they’re behind enemy lines. Jimmy said they showed up on Raw to make the challenge to unify the titles. Jimmy asked for the answer to the challenge. Jey said that Orton is the viper, the Legend Killer, they know all about him. Jey said they’re dealing with two twin brothers, the seven time Tag Team champions, and the longest reigning Smackdown Tag Team champions in history. Jimmy said RK-Bro should leave the titles and go back to Raw. The Usos said that RK-Bro are the twos, and they are the ones.
-Orton said he loves their whole family and remembers being a kid in the locker room with them, but the Usos are assholes. He said the big dog let the bitches off the leash. Orton said it’s his show and Riddle’s show. Orton said that he’s been setting records for twenty plus years. He said he needs to reintroduce himself and Riddle as the three most dangerous letters in sports entertainment, R, K, Bro. He then said they accept the challenge. The two teams stood face to face and held up their championships. The Usos left the ring and up the ramp. Orton and Riddle posed in the ring. The Usos ran back into the ring and took RK-Bro down. The Usos ran back up the ramp as RK-Bro stared after them from the ring.
(McDonald’s Analysis: This would be much more novel if we hadn’t seen this match at Survivor Series and again in some six man tags over the past month or so. This is another example of WWE not fully thinking ahead when it comes to things like this. Hence why the brands should truly be separate. Besides that, the segment was good. I loved the intensity of both teams. Despite the match not being as novel as it could have been, if they continue to build it this way it will feel big. They’ve yet to announce when it will be, but I would imagine Wrestlemania Backlash. We’ll probably get some singles matches between the four guys between now and then.)
-Naomi and Sasha Banks were in the back. Banks said the Boss and Glow run both shows. Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan appeared. Banks said that all Naomi has to do is be Naomi. Naomi said that’s right, because the glow always outshines the night.
-Back in the arena, Naomi’s music hit and she made her entrance with Banks at her side. They showed a graphic for Ripley against Naomi. Cole hyped their match and the Women’s Tag Team Championship match between the two teams on Raw next Monday. [c]
-Adam Pearce was in the back on his phone. Orton and Riddle appeared. Orton said they want the match. Riddle said he wants to unify the titles more than anything, but he wants Jimmy Uso tonight. Pearce said he can make that match official for tonight. Riddle said that will be a good warm up.
-Cole and McAfee sat ringside and McAfee said that five days before 4/20 Riddle gets to wrestle Jimmy. Rhea Ripley’s music hit and she made her entrance with Liv Morgan at her side. They showed a graphic for the Women’s Tag Team title match on Monday. Cole hyped the match.
(1) RHEA RIPLEY (w/ Liv Morgan) vs. NAOMI (w/ Sasha Banks)
Naomi and Ripley locked up. Ripley took Naomi to the corner. Naomi tried to fight out but Ripley caught her and placed Naomi on the top rope. Naomi jumped behind Ripley but Ripley landed a chop and took Naomi down. Ripley then hit shoulder blocks on Naomi in the corner. Ripley went for a big boot but Naomi ducked under then headscissored Ripley to the floor. Ripley climbed to the apron. Naomi tried to drive Ripley into the turnbuckles but Ripley shoved her off. Naomi hit a big kick on Ripley that stunned her. Naomi went for a baseball slide, but Ripley moved then hit a big clothesline on Naomi. [c]
Ripley was in control but Naomi fought up and hit a jawbreaker followed by a scissors kick. Naomi drove Ripley into the turnbuckle then hit a crossbody off the top rope for a near fall. Ripley fought back with a kick, but Naomi recovered and hit a variation facebuster for a near fall. Naomi went for a full nelson, but Ripley fought out and hit a headbutt followed by the Northern Lights Suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Ripley went to the top but Naomi ran up and punched at Ripley. Ripley tried to set up a Rip Tide on the ropes, but Naomi fought out and landed in the ring. Ripley then hit a big missile dropkick from the top and got a near fall. Naomi went for a roll up and got a near fall of her own. Naomi then hit a springboard knee to the face of Ripley. Naomi then hit a full nelson bomb and rolled through for yet another near fall. Ripley then hit the Rip Tide for the win.
WINNER: Rhea Ripley (w/ Liv Morgan) in 9:00
-They showed the graphic for the title match again and Cole hyped it. Morgan and Ripley celebrated in the ring.
(McDonald’s Analysis: That was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be. Naomi has been a lot better lately. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but her work has definitely improved. Just please keep her off commentary. Ripley is so much more comfortable now than she was when she was first called up a year ago. Solid win for her. I’m glad these two had a match with a clean finish. I would assume Ripley and Morgan will lose on Monday and Ripley will move into a program with Bianca Belair. That seems the most logical trajectory at this point.)
-The Usos were in the back with Kayla Braxton. She asked about Jimmy’s match with Riddle later. The Usos ignored her and entered a locker room door marked “Roman Reigns”.
-They showed a graphic of Mad Cap Moss and Happy Corbin’s break up last week. Cole hyped a segment between the two. [c]
-They showed a graphic for Jimmy Uso against Riddle later. McAfee hyped the match. Cole then threw to a video recap of Corbin and Moss’ break up last week.
-Megan Morant was in the back. She welcomed Happy Corbin. Corbin said that Moss was a hanger on or his minion, or lackey. He said Moss is really funny to laugh at, but he started to drag Corbin down. He said he dropped the dead weight, and is now reaching peak levels of happiness. Corbin wished Moss luck as he goes out on his own. Corbin said that Moss is going to fall flat on his face and be the laughing stock of Smackdown.
-Cole and McAfee threw to the auditioning Smackdown announcer Drew Gulak, who welcomed Mad Cap Moss. Gulak recapped Corbin’s comments and asked if it bothered Moss. Moss said that Corbin brought him to Smackdown, bought him suspenders, and taught him how to tell jokes. Moss said that’s why the jokes were bad. Gulak said that Moss is going to face Humberto Carrillo. Moss said that Carrillo is going to be tough and he’ll have Angel Garza watching his back. Moss said they can take the Kiss Cam and kiss him right there as he pointed to his rear end. The camera got a closeup, then the Kiss Cam graphic appeared around Moss’ rear end. Moss chuckled. His music then hit and he made his entrance in the arena. [c]
(McDonald’s Analysis: No character change for Moss. That’s really disappointing. So now we have two of these silly characters? But one is a face and one is a heel? That’s a shame. I was really hoping for more from Moss. My expectations just sank to a new low. He has next to no chance of getting over this way.)
-Los Lotharios made their entrance and did their Kiss Cam gimmick with yet another plant in the front row. (It’s amazing how many pretty women happen to get front row seats to WWE shows in every city.)
(2) MAD CAP MOSS vs. HUMBERTO CARRILLO (w/ Angel Garza)
Garza distracted Moss and Carrillo beat down Moss from behind. Carrillo forced Moss to the corner and choked him with his foot. The ref pulled Carrillo away and Garza choked Moss while the ref’s back was turned. Carrillo took Moss down and hit a few punches. Moss got back up and backed into the corner. Carrillo took Moss down with a headlock. Moss bounced off the ropes a few times and hit a big shoulder tackle on Carrillo, followed by a second. Carrillo went for a crossbody off the middle rope, but Moss caught him and delivered a fallaway slam. Garza jumped on the apron and Moss speared him off. Carrillo tried a rollup but Moss kicked out. Moss hit a shoulder block on Carrillo followed by the Punch Line for the win.
WINNER: Mad Cap Moss in 2:00
-Adam Pearce was in the back on his phone. Charlotte Flair appeared. She asked who accepted the I Quit match between her and Ronda Rousey. Gulak appeared and asked Pearce how he did. Charlotte interrupted him and told him not to interrupt her. Charlotte said she’ll evaluate Gulak’s performance after he interviews her in the ring. McAfee hyped what a great opportunity it was for Gulak. [c]
(McDonald’s Analysis: It’s dumb, but I like the idea of Gulak auditioning to be a Smackdown announcer. Does that make him the new Funaki?)
-Cole announced “breaking news”. He said that the Tag Team Championship Unification match has been made official for Wrestlemania Backlash. They showed a graphic for the match as Cole and McAfee hyped it.
-Gulak stood in the ring and introduced Charlotte. Her music hit and she made her entrance. Cole said that Gulak needs to make sure he listens to his producer as that is the most important aspect of being a Smackdown announcer. They showed a graphic for the I Quit match between Rousey and Charlotte at Wrestlemania Backlash. Cole hyped the match. He said the winner will make the loser say the “embarrassing” words, I quit. Gulak held the ropes open for Charlotte. He introduced himself and asked Charlotte if she was ready for a “hard-hitting interview”. He asked if Charlotte is ready for Rousey’s submission game. Charlotte said she didn’t refuse the match and she was trying to do Rousey a favor and tell her to go to the back of the line. Charlotte said that Rousey was upset after losing at Mania and she’ll be humiliated after losing an I Quit match to Charlotte. Gulak said he watched the match at Mania and said that Charlotte tapped out. The crowd chanted “you tapped out”. Charlotte said that’s ridiculous. She claimed to be fixing her bra. She told the crowd that none of them would understand. Gulak said if the ref was in position, Rousey would be champion right now. Charlotte told Gulak that he’s out of line. Charlotte said she’s the champion, and she didn’t tap out. The crowd chanted “you tapped out” and Charlotte responded with mock “what” chants. Charlotte asked Gulak if he quit being a wrestler so he can stand there and ask stupid questions. Charlotte said that people like Gulak and all the people in the crowd are used to quitting. She said that she’s not a quitter, it’s not in her DNA. Charlotte said that winning is in her DNA. Charlotte called herself a submission master and she’s been submitting opponents for a decade. She told Gulak to get out of her ring.
As Gulak turned to leave Charlotte attacked him from behind. Charlotte then locked Gulak in the Figure Four, then followed with the Figure Eight. Gulak screamed that he quit as refs appeared to break it up. Charlotte posed with the title.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Charlotte gets a lot of flack, but I really liked that promo. It’s not groundbreaking or anything, but it’s solid heel work. I’m actually more excited to see these two in an I Quit match than their Mania match. I assume this will be the main event of Backlash.)
-McAfee and Cole were at ringside, Cole said that Charlotte wants to embarrass Rousey at Backlash. Cole threw to a video recap of Sami Zayn’s interactions with Pearce last week, followed by his countout loss to Drew McIntyre. After the video, McIntyre’s music hit and he made his entrance. [c]
-They showed a set of video graphics that touted Wrestlemania’s social media interactions. Cole said it was higher than the Super Bowl in every metric. The package ended with a comparison graphic.
-Gunther was with Ludwig. Ludwig narrated as footage of Gunther destroying opponents was shown.
-McIntyre posed in the ring. Sami Zayn’s music hit and he made his entrance. Zayn stopped at the top of the ramp. He said that he didn’t run away last week. He said everything he does is calculated and it’s all part of a master plan. Zayn said that tonight, he won’t run or hide. He said he’s going to beat McIntyre and regain the respect of the fans.
(3) DREW McINTYRE vs. SAMI ZAYN
McIntyre followed Zayn to the outside and slammed Zayn into the apron and the barricade then tossed him back into the ring. Zayn rolled to the opposite side and crawled over the announce table, then shielded himself behind McAfee. McIntyre got ahold of Zayn, then rolled him back in the ring where Zayn rolled to the opposite side again. McIntyre reached after Zayn and Zayn raked the eyes of McIntyre. Zayn took over on offense, but McIntyre quickly recovered and hit a belly to belly throw. Zayn punched McIntyre, but McIntyre smiled and hit a Glasgow’s Kiss. McIntyre set up for a Claymore, but Zayn escaped. Zayn attacked McIntyre and McIntyre countered and went for another Claymore, but Zayn rolled out of the ring and escaped through the crowd and was counted out.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre in 2:00
-McIntyre went into the crowd himself and chased Zayn. Zayn disappeared backstage.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Anybody else see that coming? Yeah, that’s what I thought. I love Zayn and he’s great at everything he does, especially this heel bit. However, what are they doing with McIntyre? I think he’s suffered the most from a lack of serious second tier heels on Smackdown. He’s done literally nothing of importance since coming to Smackdown. I wish they had another somewhat serious heel on the show. Imagine what it would be like if McIntyre could work with Seth Rollins or Kevin Owens.)
-Kayla was backstage, she welcomed Ricochet. Ricochet said that Jinder Mahal is imposing, but he can’t match his abilities in the ring. Ricochet said Mahal is another tree he can chop down. Ricochet said the title isn’t going anywhere tonight. Ricochet’s music hit and he made his entrance. They showed a graphic for Mahal against Ricochet. Cole hyped the match and said it’s up next. [c]
-Zayn was running in the back. He bumped into Pearce. Pearce said that Zayn and McIntyre will have a rematch next week and it will be a Lumberjack match so Zayn can’t run away. Back at ringside, Cole explained a Lumberjack match. Jinder Mahal’s music hit and he made his entrance with Shanky in tow.
(4) RICOCHET vs. JINDER MAHAL (w/ Shanky) – Intercontinental Championship Match
Mahal and Ricochet locked up and Mahal slammed Ricochet then put him in a headlock. Mahal then hit some crossface shots on the face of Ricochet. Mahal hit a knee to the gut and covered Ricochet for a near fall. Mahal put on a neck vise, then drove Ricochet into the corner and hit some strikes. Ricochet fought back with a kick, then a springboard crossbody followed by a standing moonsault for a near fall.Mahal went for a Khallas, but Ricochet rolled through then hit a Recoil. Ricochet went to the top rope, but Shanky pulled Mahal to the outside. Ricochet came off the top and took out both Mahal and Shanky on the outside. Ricochet rolled Mahal back into the ring then hit a Shooting Star Press for the win.
WINNER: Ricochet in 3:00
(McDonald’s Analysis: What’s with all the three minute matches tonight? Why did they set this up last week if this is all we were going to get? Despite all that, I like Ricochet defending the title often. Short matches like this don’t make the title feel important, but it’s a step in the right direction.)
-Megan Morant was in the back. She welcomed Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch. They threw to a video package of Butch’s loss to Xavier Woods last week. The package highlighted Butch’s outburst against Sheamus and Holland. Sheamus laughed off the footage. He said they have bigger fights over who gets the remote at home. He said that they’ve all agreed that Butch needs to harness his aggression. Sheamus said that Butch knows his brothers aren’t his enemies. The New Day appeared, then Butch screamed New Day. Sheamus continued talking to Megan as Butch walked off and Holland tapped Sheamus on the shoulder. Holland informed Sheamus that they lost Butch. Sheamus said that Butch isn’t a set of car keys, so how did they lose him. Sheamus and Holland looked around puzzled. [c]
-The New Day were at a table with some shirts. Butch appeared and attacked both of them. A melee broke out and officials along with Sheamus and Holland broke up the fight and held Butch back.
-Cole recapped Lacey Evans’ promo from last week then threw to chapter two of her story.
-Evans said that her father found them in Texas. She said the way she taught them scarred her and her siblings for life. She said her father made them sit in chicken coops for hours. She said that eventually, her father was wanted for assault and again, her family was on the run. Evans said she learned young how to fight and survive. She said that law enforcement and child services were involved in her life, but neither saved her. Evans said that she’s been able to find the positives in so many negatives and that’s how she’s survived. She said she’s comfortable at rock bottom and none of the female Superstars can do anything to shake her. She said none of that makes her better than the other Superstars, but they aren’t better than her.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I still don’t really know what to make of this. I’ll wait to see how this character translates in the arena in front of fans before I pass judgment. This might be Evans’ last shot at making this thing work.)
-Natalya and Shayna Baszler were in the back. Natalya told Evans to cry her a river. She said the “new girl” messed up their locker room. The camera panned out and Raquel Rodriguez was sitting behind them. Rodriguez introduced herself to Natalya. Natalya turned to Baszler and told her it’s time to go as they walked off.
-Back in the arena, RK-Bro made their entrance. They showed a graphic for Jimmy against Riddle and Cole hyped the match. [c]
-They showed a graphic for Moss and Angel Garza, followed by another graphic for McIntyre and Zayn in a Lumberjack match. Cole and McAfee hyped both matches for next week’s Smackdown.
-The Usos’ music hit and they made their entrance. They showed the graphic for the Tag Team Championship Unification match at Wrestlemania Backlash and Cole hyped the match.
(5) JIMMY USO (w/ Jey Uso) vs. RIDDLE (w/ Randy Orton)
Riddle went behind Jimmy and took him down with a waistlock takedown. Jimmy rolled to the outside. Jimmy took over inside the ring and mounted Riddle with punches. Jimmy took Riddle to the corner then hard Irish whipped him into the opposite side. Jimmy then put Riddle in a headlock. The crowd cheered for Riddle. Riddle fought out but Jimmy sent him off the ropes then took Riddle down with an elbow. Jimmy took Riddle to the corner and chopped him, then set him to the other corner. Jimmy followed him in but Riddle floated over, then hit a kick on Jimmy followed by a suplex throw. Jimmy rolled to the outside and Riddle went for a kick from the apron, but Jimmy caught his foot and pulled Riddle down. Jimmy took Riddle down on the outside and was in firm control as they cut to break. [c]
Riddle landed punches on Jimmy but Jimmy recovered with a big kick. Jimmy covered Riddle for a near fall. Jimmy went for a back suplex, but Riddle landed on his feet then landed a kick. Riddle then got a fisherman suplex, followed by a senton, then a running knee. Riddle lifted Jimmy on his shoulders and hit the Bro To Sleep, then a suplex with a bridge for a near fall. Orton cheered Riddle on. Riddle climbed to the top rope and went for the Floating Bro, but Jimmy got his knees up to Riddle’s back. Jimmy then hit a pop up Samoan Drop for a near fall. Jey cheered Jimmy on from the outside. Jey distracted Orton on the outside and Jimmy kicked Orton. This distracted Jimmy long enough for Riddle to hit a kick. Riddle went to the top but Jey shoved him off with the ref distracted. Jimmy hit a big kick on Riddle then went to the top. Orton distracted Jimmy and Riddle recovered. Jimmy went for another pop up Samoan Drop, but Riddle countered into an RKO out of nowhere for the win.
WINNER: Riddle (w/ Randy Orton) in 10:00
-Cole hype the Tag Team Championship Unification Match one more time, then hyped the Lumberjack match between Zayn and McIntyre next week. The show went off the air with Riddle and Orton celebrating in the ring.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Pretty good and the finish was well done. I could have done without all of the distractions at the end, but that was to be expected. Both guys worked hard and this was a worthy TV main event.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: They really leaned into the Tag Title Unification which was fine, but any episode of Smackdown without Reigns feels lesser than. Nothing else of note really happened. All of the new acts we saw last week were hardly present and everything they hyped for this show played out in less than ten minutes of actual TV time. The biggest thing I was waiting for on this show was Mad Cap Moss. Frustratingly, he’s the exact same character. WWE didn’t bother to take the opportunity to change up his character and move him in a more serious direction. I fear he’s dead in the water at this point. Other than those items, Charlotte did a nice job moving the feud with Rousey forward. She cut an effective heel promo and had an impactful moment with the new Smackdown announcer Drew Gulak. Overall, not a lot to see here, folks. Hopefully we have some more news next week.