Smackdown – March 26, 2021

Smackdown
Date: March 26, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

It is time to start the real final push to Wrestlemania because we are finally done with Fastlane. There is a really strong possibility that Daniel Bryan is added to the Wrestlemania main event and after the pay per view, that is the best thing that they could do. Other than that, there is a good chance that we are going to be able to see something else added to the show, as we have three Smackdowns left. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the Fastlane main event, with Edge costing Daniel Bryan the Universal Title. Roman Reigns tapping to Bryan did feel like a huge deal.

Here is Daniel Bryan with a chair to get things going (now complete with an info graphic saying “actually made Roman Reigns tap out at Fastlane”). Bryan talks about how everyone saw Reigns tap at Fastlane, even though Reigns said he would rather die than tap. Then Edge hit him in the back with a steel chair because Edge thinks everyone should let us see the Edge vs. Roman Reigns dream match.

Bryan is tired of everyone having a dream match but him, so he is willing to earn everything again. He wants Roman Reigns for the Universal Title tonight and is sitting right here until he gets his shot. Post break, Bryan is still sitting in the ring and after a recap of what he said before the break, here is Adam Pearce to say the referee’s decision is final. Reigns is still the Universal Champion and his next title defense will be against Edge at WrestleMania.

Bryan understands and says he can face the winner immediately after Reigns vs. Edge is over. Pearce says no and Bryan calls him out for the double standard. How about this: Edge vs. Reigns on the first night and Bryan vs. the winner on second night? Cue Edge to say every match he wrestles could be his last one and he is sick of hearing from Bryan after Bryan last twice. The fight is on and Edge hits a quick spear before unloading with the chair. Edge stares a lot and egads don’t go to a closeup of him these days.

Roman Reigns tells Jey Uso to deal with this and use force if he has to.

Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Fastlane rematch. Nakamura starts fast and gets Good Vibrations in the corner. A knee to the back on the apron rocks Rollins and we take a break. Back with Rollins getting in some crossface shots to slow Nakamura down. Nakamura fights up and hits a running knee, followed by the sliding German suplex. Nakamura’s running knee hits the buckle though and Rollins connects with the springboard knee to the head. A Falcon Arrow gets two but Nakamura is right back with a spinning kick to the head. The reverse exploder sets up the Landslide as the camera goes into a much closer angle. Rollins gets caught in the cross armbreaker but he powerbombs his way to freedom. The Stomp finishes Nakamura at 9:11.

Rating: C+. It was a fairly hard hitting match but the point here was to keep Rollins looking strong. Now you would think that they could fine a way to do that other than just doing the same thing that they did on Sunday, but that’s not how WWE works. Cesaro vs. Rollins is all but a lock for Wrestlemania and this was a good way to set that up. Just not a way we needed to see twice.

Post match Rollins stays on him but here’s the returning Cesaro to suplex Rollins down. The Swing is loaded up but Rollins bails in a hurry.

Jey Uso brings Adam Pearce in to see Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns. Heyman introduces Pearce to Reigns, who seems to have this himself. Reigns does not want Pearce to make the wrong decision but Pearce will have a decision made by the end of the night. This does not please Reigns.

Rollins has a fit over the idea that Cesaro tried to Swing him and challenges him to Wrestlemania. Cesaro will NEVER Swing him again, but here’s Cesaro to Swing him again and accept the challenge.

Big E./Street Profits vs. Apollo Crews/Alpha Academy

Crews vs. Big E. for the Intercontinental Title is set for the second night of WrestleMania. Dawkins dropkicks Otis to start and hands it off to Ford, who is planted with a powerslam. Back up and Ford tries a sunset flip but Gable reverses it into a northern lights suplex (that was sweet) for two. Crews’ delayed vertical suplex is countered though and it’s back to Big E. to start cleaning house.

Gable countered the Big Ending into an armbar but the Rock Bottom out of the corner plants Gable again. Everything breaks down and a discus lariat sends Dawkins into a German suplex from Gable. Ford lands on the floor and flips back in, setting up the huge running flip dive to drop the Academy. Crews comes in off a blind tag though and the Angle Slam finishes Big E. at 4:05.

Rating: C+. This was certainly energetic and I’m still impressed by what Otis has been doing as of late. He has gone from a goofy face to a pretty solid monster and that is more than I would have bet from him. Then there is Crews though and I can’t bring myself to get interested in him again after Big E. has beaten him multiple times. He almost has to win the title, but I can’t quite picture that happening. Just find someone else for Big E. to face already.

We look at Sami Zayn attacking Kevin Owens last week.

Edge isn’t happy and complains to Adam Pearce, who says his responsibilities are to WWE. He’ll make his decision at the end of the night, so Edge makes some not too veiled threats about how Pearce better make the right decision.

It’s time for the Kevin Owens Show. Owens talks about how he has a history with Sami Zayn and will always have his back, even if Sami is a little insane. Cue Sami to say that of course he is sorry but above all else, he wants Owens at this red carpet premiere for the trailer for his documentary. Sami has even been in contact with Logan Paul, as in the Youtube sensation with 23 million subscribers and he’s going to be here next week! Owens doesn’t care about any of that and challenges Sami for the one on one match at Wrestlemania. Sami reluctantly agrees so Owens beats him up anyway.

Daniel Bryan tells Adam Pearce to make the right decision.

We look at Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks failing to win the Women’s Tag Team Titles at Fastlane.

Bianca Belair isn’t happy with Banks but knows she is good enough to win the SmackDown Women’s Title. As for tonight, she is going to teach Natalya a lesson.

Natalya vs. Bianca Belair

Tamina is here with Natalya. Belair shoulders Natalya outside in a hurry and the chase goes badly in a hurry. Back in and Belair avoids the basement dropkick and plants Natalya. Cue Sasha Banks for a distraction and Tamina gets in a superkick to send us to a break. Back with Banks on commentary and Belair putting on a surfboard. Natalya is right back up with a shot to the face but the tornado DDT is countered into a suplex.

Banks does not seem to think much of Belair’s Royal Rumble performance and NO she is not worried about her spot on Smackdown. Belair elbows Natalya in the face and hits a spinebuster for two. The Lionsault is supposed to miss but lands on Natalya’s back anyway. A small package gives Belair two more and Natalya is right back with the discus lariat for two more. They head outside with Belair whipping Natalya into Banks for a big crash. Back in and the KOD finishes Natalya at 9:47.

Rating: C. It’s not a good sign when you have to be worried about Natalya stealing a win here or there because WWE likes to add her into thinks so often. I’m still expecting her and Tamina to be added into the Women’s Tag Team Title match (whatever that is going to be) but for now at least Belair beat her. Banks vs. Belair is a fine feud on its own and they really don’t need anyone else being added into the thing.

Post match Banks comes in for a Backstabber to Belair.

Edge comes in to Roman Reigns and doesn’t like Daniel Bryan trying to take their spotlight. Reigns knows what that is like (with Edge saying it took place in 2014 and only being a year off) so they should take care of him.

Wrestlemania rundown.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rey Mysterio

Before the match, Rey and Dominik Mysterio talk about wanting to win the Tag Team Titles. Rey avoids a charge to start but Ziggler picks up the leg. That earns him a hurricanrana to the floor but another one is countered with a powerbomb over the barricade for a huge crash. Ziggler superkicks Dominik and we take a break.

Back with Rey still in trouble but he manages to roll away and kick Ziggler in the head for two. The Fameasser gives Ziggler the same but Rey is right back with a 619 attempt. That draws in Bobby Roode which draws in Dominik, who gets dropped to the floor. Rey loads up a springboard but Ziggler pulls him down with a Zig Zag for a close two. Back up and Rey counters what appears to be a powerbomb into another 619 though and the frog splash is good for the pin at 8:19.

Rating: C. I don’t have the vocabulary to explain how little I care about seeing the Mysterios vs. Roode/Ziggler in a title match at Wrestlemania. It is hard enough to make myself focus on anything those people are doing when they are in the ring and the idea of seeing them in a Wrestlemania title match makes my head hurt. The wrestling is fine but egads there is just nothing to get interested in there.

Great Khali and Kane are going into the Hall of Fame.

Here’s Adam Pearce for the big decision. Roman Reigns, Edge and Daniel Bryan join him and Pearce gets to the point: Reigns will defend the title once at Wrestlemania and it will be in a triple threat match. Then we cut to an ad for the FOX 10pm news and come back with Edge down and Reigns hammering on Bryan.

Jey Uso throws in a chair but Edge spears him down and beats up the other two. Edge lays them out with the chair and drops the agents for trying to break up the Conchairto. The distraction lets Bryan escape so Edge has a seat in the middle of the ring to end the show. That was the only way to go after Fastlane and thankfully they didn’t waste time.

Overall Rating: C+. The wrestling wasn’t the point here as they did exactly what Raw did on Monday: ramped up a lot of things for Wrestlemania and built up the Smackdown side of the card in one night. It wasn’t a great show on its own, but it accomplished a lot of things and made me want to see the pay per view a little bit more. That’s what they needed to do and it worked out well, with three matches added and the main event adjusted. Wrestlemania still doesn’t look great, but at least there is something to look at.

Results

Seth Rollins b. Shinsuke Nakamura – Stomp

Apollo Crews/Alpha Academy b. Big E./Street Profits – Angle Slam to Big E.

Bianca Belair b. Natalya – KOD

Rey Mysterio b. Dolph Ziggler – Frog splash

 

 

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