Smackdown After mania Rundown
Reverse Hipster what mattered
1.Cesaro Vs Jey Uso
I love this match-up. I like that they are using Cesaro being the inaugural Andre the giant winner and Jey being the current one as a built-in story; which winner was better? I thought this match made the Andre the giant trophy seem more prestigious, and it was enough to hook me into this match up. However, that was not all. They also had this match as a teaser for Roman vs. Cesaro, which I am very excited to see. The match itself was great. Both guys are underrated in the ring, and former tag team greats who had had battles before. They worked well in singles as well.
2. Dawn of a New Era
Bianca's celebration speech was so inspirational. It was great to see a black woman whom just main evented Wrestlemania telling all girls but especially black little girls; they can do it too because she did. It was also lovely to have her husband's team of the Street Profits hype her up. They did a phenomenal job with that. It is a great story, too Bianca debuted in the main roster to hype up the street profits after mania. A year later, they are hyping her as champion. I also respected the fact that they didn't interrupt Bianca because it was too important. It's rare that a champion has a successful celebration, so when it happens, it means something.
3.Natayla gets revenge
I am rating this favorably because I really like Natalya, and I am assuming it is a one-off. I think this match was a nice way to capitalize on Shayna busting up Natalya at Wrestlemania. I am glad Natalya won, and it was an entertaining match. I also liked the way Natalya used Nia to distract her partner. Also, Tamina coming in and protecting Natalya, in the end, was excellent. I think this restored some credibility after a hard-fought loss at Wrestlemania, and I am looking forward to the rematch at WrestleMania backlash between these two teams.
4. Otis vs Rey/ The street profits vs. The dirty Dogs
I was not excited to see this match because I feel like we already have a million times. That being said, the match was excellent. The tag division has some great superstars, and they keep delivering in the ring. The Street profit vs. the dirt dawgs was a similar story. Great match. You know these guys will deliver in the ring, but the story was not on par, but I will get to that later. The highlight of this match was the finish. Dolph hitting the zigzag out of nowhere was just objectively awesome even though I was rooting for the Street Profits. However, I will say WWE needs to figure out what they are doing with this division because good ring work will not save this division forever. They need a story.
Rob’s What mattered
1. Celebrating Bianca Belair’s win
When two of the greatest wrestlers on the roster have the best match at WrestleMania weekend, SmackDown has to take notice. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair didn’t get that much time headed toward WrestleMania, but Belair got a whole segment celebrating her win tonight. It felt like SmackDown was acknowledging the history made. Belair shined in a genuine promo with her husband Montez Ford. Banks seems to have a developing character, as she stormed away from an interview. Bayley could be the newest challenger on the horizon for Belair, which sounds like a great matchup for all involved.
2. Figuring out the Universal Title picture
Roman Reigns opened the show with an amazing heel promo, saying he dominated two hall of famers and completely ignoring the help he got from Jey Uso. It was exactly how Reign’s character should carry himself after one of the biggest title defenses of his career. Reigns is turning into the final boss of SmackDown, and I’m excited to see who will challenge him. Cesaro seemed to challenge Reigns, but was ignored by Reigns and had a good main event match with Uso as a payoff until it was interrupted by Seth Rollins. I was surprised Edge and Daniel Bryan weren’t on the show either. I’m not sure who will challenge Reigns, but based on the last main event feud, I’m willing to trust SmackDown creative and just enjoy the ride they give us.
3. The Dirty Dogs vs. the Street Profits
These two teams had a PPV-quality match. They have great in-ring chemistry, and I was stunned that the Street Profits didn’t win. On one side, it’s upsetting that the least exciting team in the division are champions, but it’s also exactly what a good heel should be. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode still have great matches, but we are actively rooting for them to lose. It should be a big moment when they lose to one of the other great teams in the division.
4. Another new commentary team
Just like Monday Night Raw, SmackDown switched up its commentary team. Still anchoring the new premiere brand is Michael Cole being joined by Pat McAfee. I share concerns about WWE having outsiders join as commentators, but I like that WWE is trying to bring outside sports personalities to bring validity to WWE. It’s weird that neither of the commentators are ex-wrestlers, but Cole has been calling wrestling for nearly thirty years now, McAfee paid his dues in his WarGames appearance, and both of them have a natural enthusiasm for the product that should shine behind the desk.
Rob’s What didn’t matter
1. SmackDown replays Cesaro’s UFO
I think SmackDown was trying to highlight how good Cesaro is, but anyone who watches the product regularly already knows that. The UFO spin was incredible, but it lost its novelty watching them replay it more than three times. They could have used this time to build him in a different way: the UFO spin wasn’t the only incredible move he hit at WrestleMania, and he has a lot of other insane athletic highlights throughout his career.
2. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
I love both of these guys, so it pains me to put them here. Simply put, this rematch had no reason to exist. These guys have had a lot of matches, and they weren’t going to top past matches on weekly TV. The match was solid in-ring, but it did nothing to advance the feud. If we are going to continue seeing Owens and Zayn lock up, SmackDown needs to put forth a compelling reason for the feud to continue.
3. Natalya vs. Shayna Baszler
This was another non-event segment for the women’s tag teams. It was too short to develop the story at all. The fluke rollup did nothing to build credibility for Natalya and Tamina, who already lost at WrestleMania.
Reverse Hipster What Didn't matter
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
A big part of this feud for me was the documentary. I was so excited to see it. I do not know if I am in the minority or not on this one, so tell me in the comments, but the fact that they have forgotten the doc kills the feud, in my opinion. I wanted to see if they would have a surprising doc where we just see a film crew who has been filming Sami grow more and more unhinged. Alternatively, would Sami actually make a funny documentary proving the conspiracy against him? We got neither.
I do not particularly appreciate that they are continuing the feud because it is not as hot. Ko beat Sami, and as hard as Sami tries to convince me he was distracted, it does not make me want to see it again. Also, let's say I did buy it. Sami running away and getting counted out killed his claim for a rematch.
2. Cesaro vs Seth
I saw this match already, and they made the right choice by letting Cesaro win. I would rather Cesaro moved on now. Because if he beats Seth again, it would confirm what we already know. If he loses to Seth, it will undermine all the progress we have made. Also, Seth ruined a good match.
3. The Dirty dawgs win Tag match
I do not understand this match from a story perspective. The dirt dawgs all beat the street profits at Wrestlemania Smackdown. Why do the Street Profits get another match? Especially after they had to fight and fight just to get their rematch. Also, why do they specifically lose on a night when they were hyping Bianca. I'd rather they pick another team to lose to the dirty dawgs on this night. Within the context of the show, it just did not make sense.
4. Too much Fluff
They had way too many replays on this weeks smackdown. I don’t know what happened behind the scenes but they were clearly stalling for time in promos and with replays. They played cesaro’s ufo move 6 times!
Do you agree with Rob or Reverse Hipster on the Natalya match?
What were your thoughts on Smackdown?