SmackDown starts off with SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon coming out to remind us we’re in Kansas City this week. He summons SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan so he can repeat the same script he’s been reading for the past two months. Shane still doesn’t understand why Daniel’s still giving Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn another opportunity for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, despite it being perfectly clear to 99.99% of the world.
And this is why Stephanie McMahon and Triple H will be running WWE when Vince steps down.
Seriously what doesn’t Shane understand? KO & SZ were screwed out of their match at Royal Rumble by a bad referee decision, so Daniel arranges a match between the two for a shot at the title. As we saw from last week’s episode, the friendship between Kevin and Sami went very rocky very quick and now the two want to beat the crap outta each other.
Something you’d think Shane would like, right?
Yes. This is exactly what Daniel tells Shane. Shane, however, thinks this is a dumb idea. I’m going to assume leaping off of things with an average height of 50 feet for the past 20 years would mess with your brain.
Again, this is why Steph and Trips will be running WWE.
Shane tries to summon crocodile tears and tells Daniel he thinks he’s trying to live through Owens and Zayn. For those who don’t know, Daniel Bryan was a very good wrestler (solid B+ at best) who had to retire right at his prime due to injuries.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion and executive director of SmackDown construction, AJ Styles, comes out and tells both men to stop crying and get on with it. I agree.
After a commercial AJ Styles bumps into Shinsuke Nakamura. The Rockstar Artist of Strong Style tells AJ he’s gonna beat him at WrestleMania. Everyone around the world continues frothing at the mouth in anticipation.
Throughout the whole night WWE fans could ask The New Day questions via Twitter. Remember back in the 90’s when doing this over the phone would cost you $5.99 for the first minute, then $12.99 for every additional minute? Anyway, New Day continue to do what they’ve been doing for the past 5 years, thus proving WWE are capable of watering down things more than Capcom.
Match 1: Charlotte Flair def. Liv Morgan via submission. Ok match only because Queen Charlotte is wrestling goddess (sorry Alexa) capable of making everyone look good. Ruby Riott’s Riotttt Squad get involved but are ejected by the referee. I noticed the crowd are now shouting along with the referee when he tells them to get to the back. In two weeks WWE will inform their referees to quietly ask wrestlers to leave so the crowd involvement stops.
Charlotte informs us she’s going to be taking out another member of the Riott Squad. 1 down, 2 to go.
Renee Young interviews Kevin Owens and asks about his friendship with Sami Zayn being on the line. Owens says he’s going to beat Sami.
Match 2: The Bludgeon Brothers annihilate Jobber Tag Team. I really wish Harper and Rowan were doing this stuff during their run with the Wyatt Family. It would’ve been amazing. In a moment mirroring last week, the SmackDown WWE Tag Team Champions, The Usos, head to the ring as Harper & Rowan are heading to the back.
The Usos are out to tell us what the meaning of “lockdown” means. It has to do with them getting into the heads of their opponents. I assumed it was related to those cheesy, bad prison cell door graphics they were using on last week’s episode.
Those have been applied to Jimmy’s teeth now, or was it Jey?
The Usos continue to talk about how they used to be all painted up and were babyfaces years ago but now they’re correctional officers of their imaginary penitentiary. Either way, good promo. I love seeing these guys on the microphone when they’re not trying to be act like cool thugs.
Ok. Now let’s time for one most stupid, pointless segments in SmackDown history.
The SmackDown Top 10 Superstars List…
So last week Daniel Bryan makes an announcement that the SmackDown roster would be voting on their favourite superstars to help recognise talent deserving of future opportunities. In theory, this is good. Maybe WWE management can use this to reward people deserving of the spotlight.
Yeah sounds great! So what did the list look like?
It started off ok with some SmackDown favourites like Tye Dillinger and Becky Lynch in the bottom half of the list…
Oh surely there must be better people at the top of the list, right?
Yes, and no. Your Top 5 are:
5) Bobby Roode… He’s the US champion…
4) Naomi… I guess people like a good rave?
3) Shinsuke Nakamura… He IS awesome, but isn’t he already in the main event at WrestleMania?
2) Charlotte Flair… She’s the SmackDown Women’s Champion…
Well, surely, number one would go to someone deserving of headlining the next SmackDown show. Someone who’ll be in future WrestleMania main events but right now anre’t getting much of a chance to shine.
Tell us who number one is…
1) AJ Styles… The current WWE World Heavyweight Champion…
What is the point of this list?! How’s this meant to be helping anyone?! You announce last week the point of the list was for WWE management to get an idea of who should be given more opportunities based on their talent and likability. Basing the vote on talent will always feature your champions at the top of the list every week.
Naomi isn’t a champion though. She’s just A-May-May-May…
NO! She isn’t A-MAY-MAY-MAY-ZING! She’s one of the worst female wrestlers on the main roster. She’d be number one worst female wrestler had it not been for Liv Morgan. This list should’ve been something good. It should’ve been used to start pushing underutilised talent. Instead, they screwed up their very first list. Let’s see if things change next week because right now, I really hope they quietly drop this stupid concept.
There’s only one thing that can make us happy again…
Aiden English cuts a Rusev Day promo while the Bulgarian Brute, Rusev, is working out like the beast that he is. Rusev’s gonna machka Roode.
Match 3: Bobby Roode def. Rusev via pinfall to retain the US Title. Really solid match from both men. The crowd was behind both Rusev Day and Glorious Day. Corey Graves busts out some funny lines about what is going to happen when Rusev wins, the best being Bobby Roode is going to change his name to “Roode-sev”. Byron Saxton demanded to know where Corey’s imaginary sources were coming from.
After the match, Randy Orton comes out and hits a bunch of RKOs outta nowhere. Why? Because he’s Randy Orton.
Backstage Chad “Should’ve Been Kurt Angle’s Son” Gable & Shelton Benjamin (say it like the Usos) talk about bringing back prestige to the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Division, which is the same gimmick The Revival are using on Raw. As they’re on different shows there’s no copyright infringement so the gimmick is acceptable.
Match 4: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin def. The Ascension via pinfall. Nothing fancy or special here. American Alpha 2.0 pick up a win.
Renee Young interviews Sami Zayn and asks about his upcoming match. This was a good promo from Zayn who talked about stepping out from Kevin’s shadow. He mentions how Kevin’s won tons of titles since coming to the WWE. Now, it’s Sami’s turn… After AJ and Shinsuke have their 7 star match at WrestleMania of course.
Come to think of it, it would still be awesome if Sami and Shinsuke headlined WrestleMania. Their match at NXT Takeover: Dallas was fantastic. More of that please!
Match 5: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn ends in a no contest. Match of the night was going to go to Roode & Rusev, but these two put on an awesome match like they always do. The end comes when Sami gets in AJ Styles’s face, who is at ringside doing commentary, and spins his chair around. AJ reacts to this by attacking both Zayn and Owens causing the ref to throw the match out.
This leads to Daniel Bryan coming out to make a very logic decision: since both men technically won the match, they’re both going to face AJ Styles at the next SmackDown PPV, Fastlane, for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
SmackDown ends with Byron Saxton’s head exploding due to his brain being incapable to process logic.
NXT is meant to start off with Kyle O’Reiley and Bobby Fish of the Undisputed Era defending their NXT Tag Team Titles against Sanity, but both factions end up brawling. This leads to NXT security coming out. They’re getting a bit better this time as only two of them got the crap beat out of them (of course by Killian Dain).
NXT GM and the next King of England William Regal comes out and sets up a 6-Man Tornado Tag Team Match for the main event. I’m totally cool with this.
Match 1: Heavy Machinery def. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss via pinfall. Ok match with Heavy Machinery looking better in the ring. Otis is starting to come off as a drunk dwarf.
Now if only Tucker & Otis would stop pretending to be fat…
The crowd hates Tino Sabbatelli – a LOT. They chant “Tino Sucks” 3 or 4 times. I’m guessing it’s due to Tino’s stupidly perfect body. Tino and Riddick suddenly don’t like each other. We know this because they slap each other into the ring when they tag out. Moss walks out on Tino after the match and the crowd approves.
Johnny Gargano AKA Johnny Wrestling talks about his awesome match against NXT Champion Andres “Cien” Almas. He cuts the typical “winning your respect means more to me than winning the title” promo, then calls out his former friend turned enemy, Tommaso Ciampa.
Instead, NXT Champion Andres “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega appear. Vega tells Johnny to stop complaining about the loss (he wasn’t) and to stop blaming Ciampa for his loss (again, he wasn’t). The crowd chants for Johnny’s wife, Candice La Rae. This reminds Johnny of how Candice beat the crap out of Vega at NXT Takeover: Philly. Candice appears Cien and Vega retreat.
Vega says she’s sick of Johnny and wants him gone from NXT.
Funny, I was just thinking the same about Shayna Baszler.
Johnny asks for one more shot at the NXT Championship. Vega agrees on behalf of Cien, only if Johnny promises to quit NXT if he loses. Johnny agrees to this, and Candice is very concerned about what her husband has agreed to.
Don’t worry Candice. Johnny will just go to 205 Live. It’s now in much better hands.
Good segment in general though a little bit clichéd. I really like Johnny’s passion and Candice’s reaction to her husband. Vega and Cien continue to work well together.
Too bad this was followed up by a boring Shayna Baszler interview. She says there’ll be no more NXT Women’s Title shoots for her because NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon is too scared of her. Well if it means not seeing you on TV, good.
Match 2: Bianca Belair def. Jessix Hill via pinfall. Bianca destroys her opponent so fast she doesn’t get to use her hair whip. That makes me sad.
We get a nice little package of Kairi Sane. Let’s hope we see her around in NXT more moving forward. More Kairi. Less Shayna.
Match 3: Sanity def. Undisputed Era via pinfall. Great match from start to finish. These six guys work so well together. There was plenty of brawling and cool spots, including Killian Dain hurling Bobby Fish from the stage into the other four wrestlers near the ring.
After a series of nice, smooth pinfall breaks and sweet near falls, Dain picks up the win for his team. I’m really looking forward to seeing Undisputed Era defend their NXT Tag Team Titles against Sanity. It should lead to another solid match that’ll be entertaining as hell.
That’s all for the first WRR! Let me know when you thought of this week’s shows. Feedback is welcome too! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!