Featuring a match for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles, this April 16th episode hosts a new member of the commentary team.
With Pat McAfee now on commentary with Michael Cole, Roman Reigns makes his entrance to start off the show. He takes such a long time to get to the ring as usual, but the worst part is that he kept getting “interrupted” by yousuck.mp3, and he takes even longer to start talking. He gives Paul the mic to talk him up a little before taking it back and talking himself up some more. He reminds us that he called exactly how he would win at WrestleMania. He says that nobody will want to face him after his WrestleMania victory, since they wouldn’t want to get beaten as badly as Edge and Daniel Bryan did.
He goes to leave, but he’s interrupted by Cesaro, which got an actual shout of happiness out of me. Cesaro grabs a mic, but Roman and his crew leave before Cesaro gets a chance to talk. I am so unbelievably ready for Cesaro to win the Universal Title.
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville chat backstage, and they’re approached by Cesaro. He’s livid that Roman gave him the cold shoulder. He says he doesn’t care about a title opportunity, he just wants a match with Roman tonight. Sonya says that she’ll talk to Roman about it.
Otis (w/ Chad Gable) VS Rey Mysterio (w/ Dominik Mysterio)
Otis uses his strength advantage immediately, predictably getting control in the early goings of the match. He tosses Rey to the outside, but Rey gets right back on the apron to hang Otis on the top rope. Rey climbs to the top rope, but Otis catches him and puts him in the tree of woe. Otis goes for a running attack, but Rey dodges and hits two flying sentons for 2.
Rey goes for a crossbody, which you think he’d know not to do at this point. Otis catches him and delivers a massive slam. Otis goes to the second rope and looks for a splash, but Rey moves, sets up and delivers the 619. Rey climbs to the ropes and delivers a flying crucifix pin to get the victory.
Winner via pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Match Rating: 2.5/5
Kayla Braxton interviews Paul Heyman about Cesaro’s challenge. Paul insults Cesaro, saying he’s physically impressive, but he’s not a star, he’s a joke. He says that Cesaro will get a match tonight, but not against Roman. He’s going to face Jey Uso, which means if Paul thinks Cesaro is a joke, this gives us some lovely insight into what Paul thinks of Jey.
Sami Zayn comes out and goes on an absolute rant. I mean a total tangent, I don’t think he breathed once during the whole promo. He blames his WrestleMania loss on everything from the fans to Logan Paul’s mind being poisoned by management. He says that Kevin Owens would never face him now, because Sami has nothing to distract him. Owens doesn’t even let him finish his sentence before making his entrance.
Sami Zayn VS Kevin Owens
Sami Zayn runs to the outside immediately, slipping back into the ring when Owens follows him. Owens tricks Sami to get him to the outside and gets his hands on him, bringing him back into the ring and beating him down. He delivers a clothesline and a senton, but when he goes for a cannonball, Sami moves to the apron and hangs Owens up on the top rope. He rains fists down on K.O. before choking him on the ropes.
Owens fights back with a chop and he looks to rally, but Sami hits a jawbreaker and a chop of his own. Owens strikes with a clothesline and a suplex onto the ropes before stacking Sami up on the top rope and delivering some stinging chops. Sami counters and delivers a sunset flip powerbomb for 2 as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Owens is trying for a superplex, but Sami shoves him away. Sami tries for a flying attack, but Owens dodges and delivers a superkick for 2. Owens climbs the ropes and delivers a Swanton Bomb for another close 2, but when he goes for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, Sami rolls to the outside. Owens follows him, slamming him into the barricade before bringing him back into the ring. Owens goes for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, which Sami reverses into a half-and-half suplex, which Owens reverses into a pumphandle ushi-goroshi that gets him a very close 2 count.
Sami runs to the outside, and Owens brings him back in. He goes for a Stunner, but Sami avoids it and goes back outside once more. Owens tries to go after him, but Sami rakes the eyes of K.O. and simply leaves the ring, losing by count out.
Winner via count out: Kevin Owens
Match Rating: 3.5/5
After the match, Owens goes after Sami, throwing some rights at him and bringing him back into the ring for a Stunner.
Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews and his massive bodyguard, whose name is Commander Azeez, gloat backstage. Apollo says that anyone that comes after his title will be hit with a Nigerian Nail, which is the name of the move that Azeez used on Big E at WrestleMania.
The Street Profits host a lovely celebration for Bianca Belair, with balloons and a nice blue carpet. Bianca Belair makes her entrance, and I gotta say, the title looks like it belongs on her waist. Belair delivers an emotional speech about finding your EST and achieving your dreams. She thanks Sasha for an incredible match, and says the match was for all the little girls that see themselves when they look at her.
The EST of WWE says she’s just getting started making history, and she and the Profits share a group hug. Belair tells the Profits to get focused on their title match tonight for the SmackDown Tag Team titles, because according to the SmackDown Women’s Champion, “we only wear gold in this house.”
Kayla Braxton interviews Sasha Banks backstage, and she is absolutely livid about the cut Belair gave her with her giant braid at WrestleMania. She storms away in rage, and Bayley comes in to talk to Braxton, saying that she’s officially challenging Belair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
The Street Profits VS SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Dawkins starts off against Ziggler, and Ziggler strikes with a dropkick to gain advantage, Dawkins fights back with a right hand and tags in Ford, who hits a dropkick of his own for 2. Ford tags in Dawkins, and they focus on the left arm of Ziggler with a double team attack.
Dawkins wrenches the arm of Ziggler and tags Ford right back in to punish the champ further. Ziggler strikes with a kick and tags in Roode, but Ford whips Ziggler into Roode before tagging in Dawkins to deliver a double flapjack to both of their opponents. Dawkins delivers with a bulldog and a shoulder tackle, and the Profits go to the outside to loudly verbalise their contentment with the current progression of the match as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Roode is fighting out of a headlock by Dawkins, but Dawkins hits him with a flying back elbow. Ziggler distracts Dawkins, allowing Roode to deliver a spinebuster for 2 and tag in Ziggler, who delivers a neckbreaker for another 2. Ziggler tags Roode back in, and the Glorious One delivers a suplex. Roode tags Ziggler back in once more, and the Show-Stopper makes the mistake of taunting Dawkins, who slingshots Ziggler into the turnbuckle.
Both men tag their partners in, and Ford catches both Ziggler and Roode with dropkicks. He delivers a suplex and a standing moonsault to Roode for 2. Roode rolls to the outside, and Ford dives into both of them with a Swanton. Dawkins tags himself in and delivers a spinebuster, and he tags Ford back in, who delivers the Frog Splash. Ziggler breaks up what undoubtedly would have been a 3 count before tossing Dawkins outside.
Ford takes out Ziggler and beats down Roode, but Ziggler tags himself in without Ford seeing it. Ford dodges an attack from Roode, but he gets caught from behind with a Zig-Zag from Ziggler, who gets the 3 count.
Winners via pinfall and STILL SmackDown Tag Team Champions: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler
Match Rating: 3/5
Kayla Braxton interviews Cesaro, who says that Paul Heyman’s derogatory comments about his appearance are entirely correct. However, he says that Paul was wrong about one thing, because Cesaro isn’t a joke. He does belong in the ring with Roman Reigns, and he’s going to prove it when he beats Jey Uso tonight.
Natalya (w/ Tamina) VS Shayna Baszler (w/ Nia Jax)
Natalya starts off the match by controlling Shayna with a waistlock, and Shayna responds with some punches. Natalya goes for the Sharpshooter, but Nia Jax pulls Shayna to safety. Shayna gets back in the ring, and Natalya continues to use some intelligent mat wrestling techniques to control Shayna.
Shayna attempts to fight back with some holds of her own, but when Natalya outmatches her in that area, Shayna goes back to old faithful: stomping the arm of Natalya. Before she can, Tamina pulls Natalya to safety, and Natalya hangs Shayna up on the top rope. Shayna delivers a wicked knee when Natalya re-enters the ring and pins her for 2, but Natalya fights back with a discus clothesline.
Natalya goes for the Sharpshooter, but Nia distracts the ref. Natalya nearly shoves Shayna into Nia, but Shayna stops herself before getting rolled up by Natalya from behind for the 3 count.
Winner via pinfall: Natalya
Match Rating: 2.5/5
After the match, Nia looks to attack Natalya, but she gets stopped cold by a superkick from Tamina.
Cesaro VS Jey Uso
Cesaro wastes no time overpowering Jey, catching him off a leapfrog and hitting a backbreaker for 1. Cesaro rains down punches onto Jey in the corner, but Jey grabs Cesaro’s right arm and slams it into the ringpost. He focuses more on the arm, but Cesaro catches him with a boot that sends him to the outside. The Swiss Cyborg tries for a flying attack off the apron, but Jey hits him with a superkick as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Jey is delivering a Samoan Drop to Cesaro for 2 before continuing to assault the right arm of the Swiss Cyborg. Jey looks for a suplex, but Cesaro counters by deadlifting Jey using pure core strength to drop him with a suplex. Cesaro climbs the ropes and delivers a flying crossbody for 2. Jey delivers another superkick for 2 before delivering a hip attack in the corner for close 2.
Jey climbs the ropes and looks for the Uso Splash, but Cesaro delivers a dropkick to Jey at the top. Cesaro climbs up to the top and delivers an avalanche gutwrench suplex, but he still only gets a 2 count.
Cesaro hits a springboard corkscrew uppercut and he looks for the Swing, but Jey kicks his way out of it. Jey catches Cesaro with a lifting neckbreaker, but when he only gets a 2 count, the frustration starts to show on Main Event Jey Uso’s face. Jey taunts Cesaro, which is an objective mistake, as the Swiss Cyborg fights back with a series of strikes and a discus clothesline for 2. Cesaro grabs Jey and gives him a few Swings, but he is interrupted by Seth Rollins, who attacks him and ends the match. The show ends with Seth Rollins screaming “You aren’t done with me!”
Winner via disqualification: Cesaro
Match Rating: 3.5/5
SmackDown April 16
Pretty good show, I really enjoyed McAfee on commentary. He’s quite funny, and he seems genuinely excited to be there. Only thing I have against the show was how many rivalries carried over from WrestleMania. Mania is supposed to be the big show where rivalries come to a climax, but Owens/Zayn, Tamina & Natalya/Jax & Shayna, and Rollins/Cesaro have spilled over, and it seems redundant at this point. I’ll be even more annoyed if Cesaro’s continuing rivalry with Rollins keeps the Swiss Cyborg out of the title picture for an unnecessary amount of time. But then again, he should’ve been WWE Champion a long time ago, so we’re well past an “unnecessary amount of time.”