Featuring the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale, this April 9th episode hosts a match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

Daniel Bryan starts off the show to talk about how excited he is about WrestleMania. He’s especially excited that there’ll be fans in person at WrestleMania. He says that all his career, he’s been told “no.” “No” to being good for business, to being in the main event of WrestleMania, etc. But if you ask Bryan, it’s a Yes to all of those things. The Universal Title match will be the biggest match of his career, because according to the Leader of the Yes! Movement, Edge and Roman Reigns are two of the most dangerous men in the WWE.

However, they’ll have a challenge as well, because they’re not going to fight the SmackDown GM version of Daniel Bryan, they’re going to fight the Daniel Bryan that made Roman Reigns tap out. He asks the fake crowd if he’s going to win the Universal Title this Sunday, and the WWE production crew responds with “yes!chant.mp3”.

Backstage, Kayla Braxton interviews the Street Profits. They say that they’re going to get back the SmackDown Tag Team Titles, but they’re interrupted by an attack from Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. The brawl spills onto the ramp, and the two other teams in the upcoming match, the Mysterios and the Alpha Academy, join the brawl as we go to commercial.

Street Profits VS The Mysterios VS The Alpha Academy VS SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships

The match starts during commercial, so the first we see of this Fatal Four Way match is Chad Gable wrestling Dominik to the ground. Dominik fights back with an arm drag, but Gable tags in Otis to deliver an ax handle/suplex combo. Ziggler tags himself in off Otis and pins Dominik for 2 before tagging in Roode, who delivers some kicks to the younger Mysterio. He hits a back elbow and pins Dominik for 2 before locking in a submission. The younger Mysterio fights out of it, but he gets hit with a blow to the back and a scoop slam.

Gable tags himself in off Roode and attacks the left arm of Dominik with holds. Dominik reverses a suplex and pins Gable for 1 before tagging in Rey, who goes crazy on Gable with a headscissors and a moonsault. Gable catches him off the moonsault, but Rey turns it into a DDT. Ziggler and Roode break up the pin and also deliver a cheap shot to the Street Profits, but the Mysterios shove them and Otis to the floor. They send Gable outside as well, and Rey and Dominik dive onto them as we go to commercial.

I gotta say, this match was a little crowded, but the fact that it was good despite that is impressive. Photo: WWE

When we come back, Roode is taking the fight to Ford, but Ford fights back with a dropkick for 2. Roode hits a punch to the gut and goes for a suplex, but Ford lands on his feet and delivers punches to Roode and Ziggler, before Roode catches him with a spinebuster. Otis tags himself in off Ziggler and hits a discus clothesline on Ford, forcing Rey to break up the following pin. Otis delivers a slam and an elbow drop before tagging in Gable for some assisted punches to the midsection of Ford. Gable delivers a Northern Lights Suplex for two before Ziggler tags himself in and locks in a chinlock on Ford.

Ford fights out of it and tries for a suplex, but Ziggler lands on his feet and delivers a dropkick. Ziggler goes for the Famouser but Ford reverses it into a powerbomb. Both competitors tag in their partners, and Dawkins goes crazy, taking Roode out with a series of clotheslines and a spinning splash. Rey tags himself in and hits a senton on Roode before tossing Dawkins to the outside. Rey sends Roode into Otis with a headscissors and then tags in Dominik. They set both Ziggler and Roode up and deliver a double 619, and Dominik delivers a Frog Splash to Roode, but Otis breaks it up with a splash of his own.

Otis tosses Rey to the outside, the Profits hit a double dropkick on Otis and Ford dives onto him on the outside, and Dawkins and Gable tag themselves in. Dawkins and Gable trade rollups before Gable hits Chaos Theory, but Ford tagged Dawkins as Gable was executing the move, and he delivers a Frog Splash with monstrous height. Roode tags himself in off Ford and Ziggler hits Ford with a superkick. Roode pins the still-prone Gable and the tag champs retain.

Winners via pinfall and STILL SmackDown Tag Team Champions: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler

Match Rating: 3/5

Kayla Braxton interviews Bianca Belair, who talks about how finally her hard work has paid off, because now everyone will see, on the grandest stage, how EST she really is. She’s not worried about how Banks has experience at WrestleMania, because Belair is just as dangerous, despite the lack of WrestleMania experience.

Big E delivers a promo from his hometown of Tampa, reminding Apollo that Big E used to play football at Raymond-James Stadium, so he has a little home-crowd advantage.

Nia Jax (w/ Shayna Baszler and Reginald) VS Tamina (w/ Natalya)

The two lock up, and Nia shoves Tamina to the ground. Tamina gets fired up and shoves Nia to the floor before beating the tag champ down. Reggie gets up on the apron, and the distraction allows Nia to strike, delivering an avalanche. Nia looks to spear Tamina in the corner, but Tamina moves, and Nia goes into the ringpost.

Tamina goes to the top rope, but Shayna grabs her foot. Natalya tries to take out Shayna, but gets slammed into the steel steps. Nia grabs Tamina off the top rope and goes for a Samoan Drop, but Tamina avoids it and delivers a superkick and a Samoan Drop of her own, but she can’t get the pin, as Shayna attacks her. 

Tamina delivers a Samoan Drop to Nia Jax. Photo: WWE

Winner via disqualification: Tamina

Match Rating: 2/5

Natalya and Tamina try to get their hands on Shayna, but she escapes to the outside. It seems pretty clear that Tamina and Natalya are going to be the ones facing the tag champs on Sunday.

Kayla Braxton interviews the Riott Squad, and they say that they’ve learned from their losses. Billie Kay and Carmella interrupt them, and Naomi, Lana, Mandy Rose, and Dana Brooke show up, and the interview devolves into a brawl. Tamina and Natalya show up as well, and they toss everyone into the equipment crates.

Edge comes out in a nice white shirt, holding a steel chair. He takes a seat and talks about WrestleMania 6, Hulk Hogan Vs the Ultimate Warrior. He says that match inspired him to become a wrestler. He says he’s the type of person who has a built-in drive to manifest his dreams. He says he did everything, except retiring, when he wanted. He says that he didn’t come back to be a shell of his former self, he’s here to main event and win.

Edge dislikes Bryan saying that this could be “his last WrestleMania,” because every match could be Edge’s last. He also says he doesn’t owe Roman Reigns everything, in fact Roman owes him. He calls Roman “Samoan Edge,” but he makes sure to state the Roman is good. Edge’s upset that Roman VS Edge has been ripped away from everyone, and he feels he deserves more respect. He says the same thing about coming back from injury to win the Rumble, just angrier. He says he’s going to take the respect he deserves, because he is the Rated-R Superstar, and he is the next Universal Champion.

Backstage, Sonya Deville makes it clear to Adam Pearce that she disagrees with the Triple Threat at WrestleMania.

Kayla Braxton interviews Sasha Banks, who asks her about Bianca’s comments earlier tonight. She says she doesn’t care what the EST said, because at the end of the day. Bianca will tap at WrestleMania.

In some Network exclusive footage, Sami Zayn visits Logan Paul during Logan’s sparring session with his brother Jake to tell him that the trailer was a huge success. Sami tells Logan to wait right there while Sami gets his gear, so they can spar. Poor Sami gets locked out of the gym, and Sami gets mad at Michael Cole for showing that footage, but Kevin Owens attacks him as he complains. Sami escapes, and K.O. yells “See you at WrestleMania!”


Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale

I have no idea how I’m meant to do a play-by-play for this, but I’ll try. The entrants who actually got entrances were Shinsuke Nakamura, Jey Uso, and King Corbin, and some other notable competitors are Drew Gulak, Mustafa Ali, and Ricochet. The bell rings, and pandemonium immediately ensues. Akira Tozawa is tossed out by Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander, who seem to remain a team despite being ousted from the Hurt Business. Tucker, who is looking very slimed-down and very sad, is also tossed out by Shelton and Cedric. The two rejoin the chaos, and they are quickly tossed out of the ring.

Nothing like a good Battle Royale. Photo: WWE

We go to commercial, and when we come back, Elias and Jackson Ryker team up to toss out Erik. T-Bar and Mace eliminate Drew Gulak and Humberto Carillo, demonstrating that staying a team despite turning on a member is sort of a theme as of late. Elias and Ryker take out Slapjack, and they turn and attack Mace and T-Bar. This was a mistake for the two of them, as they get goozled and thrown out of the ring. Mustafa Ali comes up from behind and eliminates Mace, but T-Bar goozles him too. Ali hurricanranas T-Bar out of the ring, but he gets caught by a knee from Murphy. Lucha House Party seem to team up once more, but Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik team up to take out Kalisto. However, Gran Metalik turns on Dorado and eliminates him, so perhaps I was wrong about the theme of the night.

King Corbin tosses Metalik to the outside to eliminate him as we go to commercial. When we come back, Angel Garza and Murphy fight on the apron, where I assume they got to from over the top rope. Murphy hits Garza with a kick, but King Corbin shoves Murphy to elimination before he can capitalize. Nakamura eliminates Garza with a knee, leaving Nakamura, Jey Uso, Ricochet, Corbin, and Ali. Ricochet and Ali go over the top rope onto the apron, and Ricochet headscissors Ali to the floor, before he himself gets eliminated by a superkick by Jey Uso.

I thought Nakamura was going to win, so I suppose they pulled the ol’ switcheroo. Photo: WWE

The heels focus on Nakamura, as they do when a face is present, but Jey superkicks Corbin and sends him to the apron. Nakamura sends Jey to the apron and eliminates Corbin with a running knee, and he delivers a series of strikes and an Everything is Evil to Jey. He looks for the Kinshasa, but Jey superkicks him. Nakamura takes it like a champ, hits the Kinshasa, and goes to eliminate Jey, but Jey reverses it and eliminates Nakamura to win the Battle Royale.

Winner: Jey Uso

Match Rating: 3/5

Roman Reigns makes his entrance with Paul Heyman, and I don’t think it’s to congratulate Jey Uso.

Heyo, I’m right, he doesn’t even acknowledge Jey, he just complains about having to face two opponents at WrestleMania. He says he’s going to show up and win, because he’s been saving SmackDown and giving the Universal Title relevancy since SummerSlam. He says he hates “dreamers” like Edge and Daniel Bryan, and that WrestleMania will be where the comeback story ends, because Edge and Bryan are simply jumping pads to even greater things. He spouts some more catchphrases and threats, and predictably, out of the three in the Triple Threat, Roman’s promo was the most boring and forgettable.



SmackDown March 9

Very good go-home show. Got me excited for Tamina and Natalya to hopefully take the tag titles on Sunday, and Roman having the worst promo of the three tonight made me really excited to see him lose on Sunday.