Cagesiders, SmackDown has continued to be a phenomenal show in 2021.
Seriously. Friday nights are an absolute delight. Why not Monday nights?
The people who run creative on this show are mostly the same as the ones on Raw. So how is it that Raw is complete garbage, and SmackDown is high quality entertainment? For the very first time, I can happily say that there was not one thing I disliked. I have never been able to say that about any WWE show in all my time recapping the main roster. This was the best SmackDown in a long time, and the bar is very high this year.
And this is even with Liv Morgan losing to Natalya on this show!
If they can do this on the blue brand, why the hell is the red brand such trash?
Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, maybe Kevin Owens, Sheamus, Keith Lee, and I guess if you wanna throw Brock Lesnar in there because it’s WrestleMania season, all could win the Royal Rumble. This is incredibly exciting.
Keep me guessing! Swerve me in a logical and surprising way. It’s been working out tremendously on SmackDown. Every week I want to know what’s going to happen next. Every week I watch Raw and I want to stab my eyes out with a fork.
Please, WWE, make Raw great aga… eh, let’s not do that.
Let’s talk about the main hits and misses (there were no misses) of this show. For a full rundown of SmackDown, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!
Card subject to change
Welcome to the Bloodline Show.
They did everything right throughout this show. I absolutely love the show long storyline progression they’ve been doing. The show started with Roman and Paul Heyman and Heyman assured Roman that he will handle the contract signing.
So Heyman walked to Adam Pearce with a contract that said the match at Royal Rumble is a No Disqualification match. He just signed it immediately, knowing what it meant. Interesting.
Heyman took the contract back to Roman, and Roman was hanging out with Apollo Crews! Interesting. Heyman let Reigns know the stipulation and he was very upset about it. No DQ? Nah. Last man standing. Take it back.
So Heyman went back to Pearce and said it’s last man standing now, and that Reigns wants him in the ring later. Hm. Pearce is taking this better than many.
The main event. Adam walked down to the ring and sat down. Then Roman decided he wanted the chair Adam sat in and Jey made him get up faster. Pearce signed the contract. Roman sat at the head of the table and signed the contract. Adam grabbed it and got up, saying “I’ve been waiting all night for you to do that.”
Confused faces all around, Pearce walked up the ramp and started limping and grabbing his knee.
IT WAS A SET UP ALL ALONG! Pearce announced that because he is an official he makes the matches and the card is subject to change. Out came Kevin Owens!
This was brilliant! All night I was asking myself why is it that Adam is just going along with all of this, and he got Roman to sign the contract without thinking Pearce would pull some funny business. And this story works because of what happened last week.
Last week I said that Pearce needs to boost his attitude. And boy did he do it! This was the first time that Roman has lost the upper hand, and he sold it wonderfully. Now I can’t say I’m not a little sad we aren’t getting Adam in a match, but this reveal was brilliant, and who knows? Maybe this may lead to something on SmackDown in the next few weeks leading up to the Royal Rumble.
Ding Dong! Hello!
So Bayley went and got herself a talk show.
Bayley came out in her best Morning Show wardrobe and made Bianca ring the doorbell and walk through the door set up in the ring. Gold.
Bayley said she had a special preview of Bianca’s WWE special but instead played the moment when she pinned Bianca last month. To get out of getting smacked in that moment she asked Bianca what the inspiration was for EST.
After going through her EST’s Bayley interrupted and said that she must now be the best because she beat Bianca. So she challenged Bianca for an obstacle course next week.
That should be really fun, and only because Bayley and Bianca are incredibly entertaining.
Carmella was interviewed with Reginald.
She said she told the truth about Sasha Banks and Banks can’t touch her. But Sasha hasn’t been sound for the past few weeks. She proved that she’s better in every way.
All of a sudden Sasha pushed Kayla Braxton out of the way and Reginald got between her and Carmella. Sasha said that if Carmella wants a title match, Reginald has to wrestle her first!
This was wonderful because one - we don’t see intergender matches in WWE often, and two - Reginald bout to get his ass beat. I’m sure that there will be some shenanigans but I’m not going to let that negativity rain on the parade of this week’s excellent show.
Please do not ruin it next week, WWE.
Cesaro defeated Daniel Bryan
What they showed before this match legitimately made me laugh out loud. An earlier meet up saw Cesaro walking up to Bryan and Otis hip thrusting on the floor. To taunt Bryan, Cesaro did a hip thrust and called it the Macarena. Hahahaha it was genuinely funny and I don’t know how either person didn’t bust out laughing.
Bryan had an excellent takedown transitioned into technical arm work. Both men tried to wear each other down and Bryan sent Cesaro into the ropes and he landed awkwardly on his head. Cesaro targeted Bryan’s left leg after kicking the ring post. They traded uppercuts and Bryan tried the Yes! Lock, but Cesaro got out of it and executed the Swing into the sharpshooter. Bryan rolled through and tried the Yes! Lock again but Kevin Dunn decided not to let us see Cesaro’s leg on the top rope.
Cesaro won with the Neutralizer and just go press play and watch this. These two are incredible together. Bryan is on the downside after the past few weeks. Smells like a Royal Rumble win to me… for now. You know how they like making wrestlers lose before they do something major with them. We’ll see! Go watch this now!
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Jey Uso
Jey’s promo was magnificent, and for it to end with Shinsuke’s old music playing was soooooo sweet, y’all. In just two weeks, Shinsuke Nakamura feels revitalized.
He and Jey started hot, with flurries of knees and punches. About two minutes in, Cesaro’s music played and he walked out as Shinsuke sent Jey to the announce table. Jey had Shin in the corner and then Shin got momentum and did another really awesome snap german suplex like last week for a near fall. Jey then hit a neckbreaker for a near fall.
The whole time Cesaro was putting both Shin and Jey over on commentary. Jey used the classic heel tactic using the ropes for the pin, and Charles Robinson caught him. Shin took advantage and gave him a Kinshasa for the win.
Apollo Crews defeated Sami Zayn
They showed Heyman’s excellent promo from Talking Smack last week where he got Apollo fired up. Big E was lounging on a white couch with a fruit cup. I love him. Apollo started off hot and with urgency. He hit a moonsault off the announce table, where E told Sami not to call him brother. Sami grabbed Apollo’s tights and the referee called him out. Then Apollo grabbed Sami’s tights away from the ref’s eyes and won. Conspiracy! Apollo showed off more of that new personality getting in E’s face. Loving this a lot.
Natalya defeated Liv Morgan
I know I’m supposed to be paying attention to the match so I tried hard here I promise. Billie Kay. My God. Mosh phishing. Natalya was very aggressive and hit a nice snap suplex. Liv stomped on Natty in the corner but Liv went for a near fall. Billie tried to get the referee’s attention to yell at him and got in Tamina’s face. To escape her, she ran into the ring and stunned Liv, and Natalya rolled her up. This is so great.
King Corbin defeated Rey Mysterio
Corbin dominated Rey for the start of the match until Rey hit a Bulldog. Corbin threw Rey out of the ring and started taunting Dominik on commentary. Rey went for the 619 and Corbin countered with a Deep Six for a near fall. Corbin went for a cheap shot on Dom and that got him riled up enough to try and get him back. Rey stopped him but Corbin pushed Rey into Dom and did the End of Days to get the victory. I hate Corbin but I love his moveset, honestly. The End of Days is very protected and I love that.
In the back, Rey had to tell Dom that he doesn’t pick a fight with a giant without a plan. Dom was hot about it and Rey said that he knows who to talk to if Dom wants Corbin. I like showing some aggression and personality from Dom here. He wants to fight and being a cruiserweight will help him in matches with guys like Corbin. Let’s see where this goes.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?