The Smackdown Rundown


  1. I like it too

Edge says he looks in the mirror, and he finally likes what he see's because now he is the Rated R SUUUUperstar! I like it too. This is the Edge that this program needed. Edge is a legendary heel, and as a heel, I believe he will do whatever it takes to walk away as the champion. This heel turn makes the already exciting triple threat infinitely more exciting. Also, Edge is a more compelling character. His promos are more interesting, and he has a valid point he won the right to face Roman, and he beat Daniel to do it. I love complex narratives. This triple threat has all the pieces to be great.


2. Ko tries to cover up the truth

I think it is a little suspicious that Ko shows up right before Logan Paul can give an outside perspective. Why is he so hellbent on stoping Sami? Is Sami getting closer to blowing the lid off this conspiracy?

Seriously, Sami deserves an Emmy. He is playing this crazed conspiracy character masterfully. It is actually uncomfortable to watch him interact with people because he is so good at it, like he could lose it at any moment, and he is losing his grip on reality. Last week I put this program in the what did not matter section because Sami was so good at his role that it looked like Kevin was bullying an insane person. I think they fixed that this week. I definitely see the animosity on both sides now, and now that Ko has ruined Sami's premier, I feel like there is real heat between the two, and with their history, this rivalry could go nuclear real quick. I cannot wait to see how they pay this off on Wrestlemania.


3.Daniel Bryan

Daniel went insane. They kept him away all night until his street fight with Jey Uso. Uso did things to Bryan that take any normal man out for weeks. Unfortanley for Jey, Daniel Bryan is not a normal man. After Daniel Bryan was done with Jey, he destroyed Edge like bashed his brains against the steel ring post. It looked like he took Edge out. Daniel was not done, though. He then came at Roman, took him out with a knee, and then snapped the yes lock on him until he was pulled off. This is the most dominant Daniel has looked in a long time.


4. Cesaro vs Seth

This rivalry is heating up. Seth wants to embarrass Cesaro and prove that he cannot hang with him and that he is not as good as he thinks. Cesaro wants to prove he has always been more than good enough. I cannot wait to see these two collide. I hope they go for thirty minutes and pull out some moves I have never seen before. Most importantly, I hope Cesaro wins.


5.Women have a moment sorta

I struggled with what to do with the woman's segment. It felt rushed and like they were all thrown in and given very little time to hype a possible tag rumble. However, I was more excited about the Riot Squad, who looked incredible. I was happy to Carmella and Billie will be working together. I was happy to see Natalya get a massive win over Shayna, and I was happy for Dana and Mandy getting tv time. I was happy to see Lana and Naomi. I was also happy to see the directive Natalya and Tamina stand tall. There were many talented women in this segment that could be contributing a lot every week. After weeks of calling for this specific woman to be used and for more women, in general, to be represented, I was delighted to see this. This is a step in the right direction.


6.Stipulation

Apollo announced that he and Big E would be having a special match. A Nigerian drum fight, I have no idea what that is. I'm intrigued, though, and I am excited to see it. I feel like the announcement could have been bigger, but the way they did it was ok.


7. 8 man tag match

I like this match. It was fast-paced and exciting. The Smackdown tag division, in general, has been putting on great matches consistently. However, the announcement that the Smackdown tag titles will be decided on Smackdown instead of Wrestlemania is a huge bummer. This fatal four-way could quickly end up being a top 5 match on the Wrestlemania card . I do not know why they are doing it on tv. However, just like Sheamus and Riddle, I can only reward or penalize them for what they did this week, so this ends up on the what mattered section because the match was good.


8.Bianca vs Carmella

I'm glad to see Carmella back in action even though she lost at least she got to wrestle this week.



Rob’s What mattered

1. Edge’s promo

Edge delivered a fire promo to open the show, reminding us why he is one of the best in modern wrestling. He showcased his unhinged persona and connected it to his history as the ultimate opportunist and rated r superstar. He made sense of his past actions with his current character. As the ultimate opportunist, he should have seen what Daniel Bryan was doing and how he weaseled his way into the main event. For Edge, this story is a long time in the making. A lot of people say Edge has gone fully heel now, but I disagree. In my opinion, it’s impossible to be completely heel when you are a legend the status of Edge beloved by hardcore wrestling fans. To me, Edge is just himself, a mad man tweener who is caught in a shades of gray story with a cocky heel champion, ultimate baby face underdog, and his own ten-year journey to return to the ring. Is Edge completely in the wrong for wanting his return to be one where he was the triumphant babyface? He won the Royal Rumble at number one, and he was hoping to regain a world championship at WrestleMania from the biggest star on SmackDown. I absolutely love this story, and I think all three wrestlers personas have contributed positively to the triple threat feud.


2. Sami Zayn’s Documentary Premiere

Ironically, two of the most successful indy guys on WWE’s roster have spent the last year proving they can excel in a sports entertainment environment. Sami Zayn has been an absolute bright spot of the COVID era. After proving his talent as a generational babyface, Zayn has gone all in on a wacky conspiratorial heel character. Zayn’s slow burn has led to the point of being absolutely delusional and harmful to everyone around him. Kevin Owens has gotten himself over as a blue collar babyface character akin to Stone Cold and not just because of the stunner. Both of them have proven they can have entertaining spectacle matches and pure wrestling matches with everyone on the roster. They have unbelievable chemistry in ring and in stories, and I love how they have approached this feud different from their past feuds. Zayn’s documentary was the story this whole time. It shows how he is convinced that the world is against him and completely unwilling to listen to anyone. Who better to snap him out of this then his former best friend? And if he won’t listen, who better to beat the sense into him?

I don’t care that much about Logan Paul personally, but I know he is HUGE on YouTube. WWE did a good job booking relevant celebrity guests for WrestleMania this year. He didn’t add that much to this segment, other than to serve as a third party to contrast Zayn’s complete insanity, but he did his job. The fact that Paul is engaged in the Zayn/Owens feud just goes to show my initial point. Those guys have gone from being underground wrestlers to mainstream superstars that WWE trusts to carry a promo segment with their new-to-the-business celebrity guest. It’s pretty cool that this feud is both a symbol of that progression and the result of all the work leading up to it.


3. Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso

These two have had great matches in the last few months, so it should come as no surprise they had a worthy main event. In my opinion, Jey Uso should win the Andre the Giant Battle Royal as a reward for his work over the last year. More important than the in-ring work, though, this reaffirmed everyone’s role going into the triple threat match. Daniel Bryan continued to be the ultimate underdog, fighting in a no DQ match against one of Roman Reign’s guys just a week before one of the biggest matches of his career. On commentary, Edge continued to push his aggravated narrative that Bryan weaseled his way into this match. Reigns spent most of the match on the outside, relishing in Bryan getting dinged up. Still, Bryan emerged victorious and took it to Edge and Reigns, foreshadowing that he was more than capable of holding his own at WrestleMania. Interestingly enough, this match also highlighted that Reigns has Uso and Paul Heyman in his corner, while Bryan and Edge don’t have anybody. In a triple threat match, there are no disqualification too. It makes you wonder all the possibilities. Will there be violent spots like we saw tonight, maybe using some of the same weapons or the chair spots that Edge has made famous in his career? Will there be outside interference on Reigns behalf, and if so, will it force Edge and Bryan to work together? Could they work together or is that exactly what would cost them? There’s no doubt in my mind this is the main event of all of WrestleMania. These are three of the greatest wrestlers of our time who have worked hard to craft personas and narratives that make this feud. They are more than capable of having the best match of the night in the ring too.


Rob’s What didn’t matter

1. Give women a chance

Reverse Hipster and I have been signaling this on and off for weeks, but it’s finally time to go all in on give women a chance again. Natalya and Shayna Baszler had a blink and you missed it match that was clearly meant to just focus on the segment after the match. Multiple women’s tag teams rushed in to a convoluted brawl between Natalya/Tamina and Baszler/Nia Jax, implying that this would be a multi-team match for WrestleMania. Even though the in-ring action in the brawl was good, it was such a cheap and not creative way to book the women’s tag team championships that should be a feature of the women’s division. Otherwise, women were largely absent on this show. There wasn’t a huge spotlight or development on the Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair feud, as Belair had a short placeholder match with Carmella, who has been mostly missing since her feud with Banks. One of my favorites, Bayley, has been missing for weeks, and Reverse Hipster has also pointed out that Billie Kay has been missing just as she was getting her gimmick over. The WWE needs to give massive consideration toward why the women don’t get equal booking opportunities. When given a chance, time to wrestle, and creative feuds, the women have shown they can put on main event level programs.


2. SmackDown Tag Teams won’t be at WrestleMania

After months of somewhat obviously building toward a fatal four way tag at WrestleMania, WWE announced the match would be on the SmackDown before WrestleMania instead. On SmackDown, there was a rematch of a four-man tag with all the teams represented split by heel/babyface lines, even though none of them should get along. In my opinion, booking of this feud has been convoluted and not creative in the slightest. Personally, I think WWE booked themselves into a corner with this one. There was no real story driving the SmackDown tag team division, and it simply wasn’t strong enough to be on the main card. I think all the wrestlers are talented, but this is the best result for fans. We won’t have to watch pre-show matches, as we’ll be watching almost three hours of wrestling every night regardless. Still, it’s disappointing that WWE hasn’t put in the effort to book the tag team division and the talented superstars have suffered as a result.


3. Nigerian Drum Match

In a promo segment, Apollo Crews challenged Big E at WrestleMania to a Nigerian drum match. I don’t have an issue with adding a stipulation to this match; I actually think an extreme stipulation will add to the match as the rivalry is immensely personal. I just have an issue with WWE creative making up stipulations, giving it a gimmicky name, and not giving us any details about the format of the match. In kayfabe, Big E would absolutely not accept this challenge because why would you ever defend your title in a match you don’t know the rules to? The Nigerian drum match could just as easily be something Crews made up with rules that benefit him to more easily win the title. I hope the rules are explained before WrestleMania, and it allows for a creative hardcore match to make up for their first match.


Reverse Hipster's what didn't matter


1.Sasha vs Bianca

I feel like they took a step back this week, plain and simple. Sasha beat Bianca up at Fastlane. Bianca slapped the crap out of Sasha, and Sasha beat her up again. So why are you saving it for Wrestlemania? Punches have been thrown on both sides. Why save it? I have said it before, and I will say it again I would rather see a pull-apart brawl instead of saving it for Wrestlemania and pointing at the sign.


Fan section

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