The Smackdown Rundown
Reverse Hipster What Did Matter
1.Champions At Last
The most significant development on Smackdown was Natalya and Tamina finally capturing the tag team titles. This is Tamina's first-ever title in the company. Also, many thought Natalya was washed but the two of them band together and proved it is never too late. Tamina and Natalya formed a dominant team with a common goal, and as you already know, I have been a fan of the team since they debuted on Smackdown. This honestly should have main evented Smackdown. Also, I do not understand why they did not win at Wrestlemania if this was the plan. Still, I am glad Natalya and Tamina are champions, and I think they will continue to scratch and claw make sure these belts are considered prestigious just like they scratched and clawed to get them. This is a massive win for the woman division as a whole because every woman on the roster just got a longer career runway. After all, Tamina and Natalya did it, so you can too.
2. Jimmy vs Cesaro
I loved this match from a storyline perspective. Roman is tired of Jimmy challenging him, so he gives him the chance to walk in his shoes because he thinks Jimmy cannot handle it. However, Roman is pissed when Jimmy actually accepts his challenge to take on Cesaro. Also, I think they played the match perfectly because neither guy could afford a loss in this situation. Cesaro would have looked weak before Backlash, and Jimmy would look like he could not fill Roman's shoes. However, Roman interfering and causing a DQ was perfect. Jimmy competed with Cesaro, and now it looks like Roman did not want to give Jimmy the chance to surpass him. Also, Cesaro looked unstoppable, beating up the entire bloodline by himself. Also, he helped further the family feud by taunting Roman to help Jey as he punished him with two neutralizers, but Roman just watched. This feud continues to be the best story in WWE.
3. Aleister Black
Black is really catching on. I love the animation style in his vignette. I feel like each promo is better than the last one. His character is coming through; clearly, he is a vicious fighter who has always been an outcast, but he takes pride in being an outcast. He feels like everyone else is wrong, and he could help us, but he won't. I also love the mystery he has with the father. It adds intrigue to his character and origins. Unlike when he first debuted, I do not feel like he just rambling and visual storytelling is doing wonders.
4. Intercontinental Chaos
I loved the mid-card brawl. I just love seeing four talented superstars laying waste to each other, all in honor of the intercontinental championship. I am disappointed they will not get to have this match on Backlash, but that just means more ratings for Smackdown. I also thought the Nigerian ceremony was a nice touch, and the commander deserved it as he has been saving Apollo's butt.
5. Bayley and Bianca
I called it in last week, Rundown. The storyline between these two is that Bayley sees Bianca as the old Bayley who had to change to be great. In her mind, she will be the one who teaches the naive Bianca a lesson and wins the belt. In Bianca's mind, she is right, and she will show Bayley that you can reach the highest heights with integrity. At Backlash, we will see who is right. I love fights where it is about more than a belt. It is about philosophical differences your way vs. mine.
6. Dolph vs Rey
Dolph and Rey just went out there and tore the house down. They have such great chemistry together and watching them trade counters was awesome. Both Rey and Dominik have beat Dolph, and based on what they could do in singles action, I cannot wait to see what happens in a tag team match. I have been saying it for weeks; the Smackdown tag scene is on fire.
7. Nakamaura and Corbin
I liked both of these guys, but they have been watered down and made boring over time. I like how they were used this week. They had a competitive match that King Corbin won with skill and power, and cleverness. Nakamura then beat up Corbin after the match and stole the crown. Now, these two have a story that I am always a fan of. I think both guys looked good, and I look forward to what happens next week. How will Corbin react?
8. Adam vs Sonya
I am pretty sure the tension between Adam and Sonya is going to lead to Adam being in charge of Smackdown and Sonya being in charge of Raw and drafting against each other. Because Sonya seems to be calling the shots on Raw, and Adam seems to be calling the shots on Smackdown. I hope this happens because competition between the brands will make both shows better.
Rob’s What mattered
1. The bloodline storyline continues
This is an amazing, intricate storyline with family ties and main event implications between the Usos and Roman Reigns. They have done an incredible job telling this story dating back to last year. I love that Jimmy Uso is back now too. Everyone’s character motives make sense. As bad as everyone wants to see the Usos get back together, Reigns needs Jey, Jey has had a great singles run without his brother, and Jimmy absolutely doesn’t want to be a henchman (see: his shirt this week). Everything Reigns has done since becoming champion is compelling, but I think this might be some of the finest work we’ve seen out of the Usos too.
In the main event storyline, I loved Paul Heyman pointing out that Cesaro has had 0 championship matches compared to Reigns’s 39. It was the perfect way to display how Reigns and Heyman think about Cesaro. Cesaro had a quality main event match with Jimmy Uso, which was the best use of both storylines going into WrestleMania Backlash. Undoubtedly, I still think the main storyline is figuring out how the Usos allegiance will affect Reigns vs. Cesaro on Sunday.
2. It’s over, isn’t it?
Natalya and Tamina finally got their championship match and won over champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. It was a cool moment to see Tamina win her first championship in WWE, and the match was good. Hopefully, this means we won’t be seeing variations of these superstars facing off every week. Jax and Baszler can have a cool program in their split and add more options for the women’s singles division. Natalya and Tamina should get a chance to develop their team and have a run with the titles, hopefully building other teams in the process.
3. Nakamura takes the crown
The match was just okay, but the conclusion saw Shinsuke Nakamura take the King of the Ring crown from King Corbin. This could be a good feud for both singles mid-card stars, who are kind of directionless at the moment. Maybe it’s Reverse Hipster’s list fresh in my head, but I think it would be a cool way to transition to a vacant King of the Ring tournament this summer. Corbin hasn’t done much with the gimmick lately, and WWE even put out a teaser on social media asking who you would like to see win if they did the tournament again.
Reverse Hipster what didn't matter
Everything mattered this week it was a great show.
Rob’s What didn’t matter
1. Go-home SmackDown for WrestleMania Backlash
This didn’t feel like the last weekly show before a PPV. It felt like WWE was trying to hold all the storylines for the show. Even the great main event storyline didn’t have much development from last week. Bayley and Bianca Belair had another promo segment where they didn’t say much more than they did the last couple weeks. Rey Mysterio and Dolph Ziggler faced off again to promote what should be a great tag match on Sunday. Even though they have great chemistry, it was a straight-up rematch. They had the women’s tag match on this show instead of WrestleMania Backlash, and they announced in-my-opinion the most-anticipated in-ring fatal four way match for next week’s SmackDown instead of WrestleMania Backlash. As go-home shows go, this was actually kind of a weak SmackDown. Nothing was bad, but nothing was great either. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I’d actually give the week to Raw.