Date: April 8, 2022
Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
It’s the first Smackdown after Wrestlemania and maybe something can go a bit better than this week’s Raw. If nothing else, there is always the chance to see who might show up from NXT or elsewhere and that can make for some exciting times. If nothing else, the fans have now had a chance to rest a bit and aren’t likely to get burned out an hour into the show. Let’s get to it.
We open with the long recap of Wrestlemania.
Kayla Braxton brings out Ronda Rousey for a chat. We look at Charlotte tapping out at Wrestlemania but winning anyway thanks to a downed referee. Rousey says that her mom taught her that things won’t always work out, but she had Charlotte beaten. Now Rousey wants a rematch, but with no way out. Instead, she wants it in an I Quit match. Charlotte pops up on screen to laugh and say Charlie Sheen’s WINNING. She thinks the Baddest Woman On The Planet deal is a myth so the match….isn’t on. Rousey says the match is taking place and Charlotte is going to scream. That is the logical next step for the feud.
We recap New Day losing to Ridge Holland and Sheamus at Wrestlemania in a minute and forty seconds (on an eight hour, two night event).
Sheamus and Holland tells Butch to take Xavier Woods apart like a chew toy.
Butch vs. Xavier Woods
Ridge Holland, Sheamus and Kofi Kingston are here too. Before the match, Kofi mocks the trio in the ring and says that since Wrestlemania is over, all records reset, so their feud is even again. Woods says that he hit the weights this morning and then called Butch’s mom, who wants him to give her rabies infused nephew.
Woods charges in and gets pounded down but comes back with some chops. Butch starts going after the arm and they head outside, where Woods gets X Plexed onto the apron. We take a break and come back with Woods fighting off the mat and hammering away on the apron. Butch cuts him off with a forearm but Woods grabs a small package for the pin at 8:35.
Rating: C-. So he debuts as a new gimmick, then becomes something of a feral man child, then he loses his debut. Are we sure that moving up to the main roster is a good thing at this point? This is the latest time that WWE has what should be a can’t miss prospect and not only do they manage to start badly, but then they run in the other direction with the thing. Well done, as always.
We recap Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville N Pals at Wrestlemania.
Sami Zayn goes on a rant to Adam Pearce about being treated like a loser after his match with Knoxville. He has even been sent cheese because of the mousetrap. Zayn wants a match with the next person to walk out of the men’s locker room, so here’s Drew McIntyre. Sami: “Ok the NEXT person to walk out of that locker room!” Pearce makes the match with McIntyre for tonight. Zayn needs some time to think about this and leaves. A stagehand comes in to hand Pearce a note, with Pearce saying to tell the sender that he can’t meet with her right now.
Ludvig Kaiser (Marcel Barthel) introduces the debuting Gunther.
Gunther vs. Joe Alonzo
Gunther chops him into the corner and then stands on his throat. The big boot sets up the chops and the powerbomb finishes for Gunther at 2:03. That’s a good way to debut a new monster.
Raquel Rodriguez (Gonzalez, also from NXT) says you haven’t seen anyone like her. Los Lotharios come up to hit on her but she says not a chance. Kayla Braxton agrees that the two of them are always annoying. There was no reason to keep her in NXT any longer so the move makes sense.
It’s time for Happy Talk with Happy Corbin and Madcap Poss but Corbin isn’t happy. The fact that some of the balloons are messed up and they appear to say CO RATS makes it even worse. Corbin had an honest conversation with himself on his yacht this week and he has come to a realization: it’s all Moss’ fault.
Moss is really sorry but Corbin doesn’t want to hear about Moss’ feelings. Somehow Moss made Wrestlemania Weekend all about himself with the battle royal win. Corbin thinks Moss has forgotten his place, which is tell him a joke. Moss asks what you call him when he costs Corbin a match? Madcap LOSS! Corbin: “That’s terrible. Tell me another one.” The second one bombs too, which doesn’t have Moss looking very happy.
Corbin gives him one more chance to tell a joke like Moss’ job depends on it. Moss asks what you call a guy who treats his friend like garbage and dressed like he’s going to a funeral for Tommy Bahama? You call him Happy Corbin! That’s enough to start the fight, with Moss getting the better of things and knocking Corbin to the floor. Moss even stomps on the hat!
Jinder Mahal rants to Adam Pearce about wanting a title shot when Ronda Rousey comes in to ask about her I Quit match. She’ll get an answer by tomorrow.
Sami Zayn vs. Drew McIntyre
Sami stalls a lot to start but Drew finally grabs him for a ram into the barricade. Back in and McIntyre sends him flying with a suplex, followed by some drops onto the announcers’ table. Zayn teases walking out but gets taken down from behind. The Claymore is loaded up but Sami runs outside again and takes the countout at 3:32.
Rating: C-. I’m not sure what to say about something like this, but Sami continuing to be a weasel is still entertaining. The good thing also here is it gave McIntyre a night off, as he was just doing his big moves and standing around while Sami bumped a bit. Odds are we’ll see this again next week and that could be interesting too.
We look back at Pat McAfee/Austin Theory/Vince McMahon/Steve Austin at Wrestlemania.
We get the first chapter of the Lacey Evans Story, talking about how her dad was abusive and ran her mom and her off. Then they lived in campgrounds all their life and worked to get here. She’s a mom, a sister and a United States Marine. It doesn’t make her better than anyone, but they’re not better than her either.
Sasha Banks vs. Liv Morgan
Naomi is on commentary but Morgan explains that she’s on her own. Morgan grabs a rollup for a fast two and then kicks Banks face first into the corner. A middle rope missile dropkick sets up a missed Oblivion, allowing Banks to kick her to the floor. We take a break and come back with Sasha hitting a top rope splash for two but the Codebreaker is blocked.
They go into the pinfall reversal sequence until Banks knees her in the face. Liv is right back with the Codebreaker for the double knockdown. Banks catches her with a knee on top and hits a superplex but throws her legs up so Morgan can grab the small package for the pin at 7:08.
Rating: D+. Most of that is for the ending, as Banks hit the superplex, laid there for a second, and then threw her legs up so Morgan could get the pin. That looked as scripted as you could get and it drives me nuts to see them make it look that bad. Throw in CHALLENGER PINS TAG CHAMPION TO SET UP THE TITLE MATCH and it’s even worse.
We look at Roman Reigns unifying the World Titles at Wrestlemania.
Here is the Bloodline for a chat. Reigns talks about winning the WWE Title from Raw and that doesn’t leave him much to do. There is a lot for the Bloodline to do though, which is why he wants the Usos to go to Raw and bring him the Raw Tag Team Titles so they can be unified too. Cue Shinsuke Nakamura to interrupt but Reigns puts his hand on the microphone. Reigns gets that Nakamura needs something after losing his partner so he’ll show some Bloodline love. That means a hug to Nakamura….and a double superkick from the Usos to end the show. Nakamura vs. Reigns for Backlash works.
Overall Rating: C+. Much like Raw, this show had stuff going on, but it didn’t feel like anything that needed to be seen. This one is a bit higher though, as they announced/at least implied some things going forward. Unifying the Tag Team Titles is a LONG overdue idea and Nakamura vs. Reigns should work out just fine. I like some of the callups too (Gonzalez/Gunther work well) and there is a bit more interest around here. Throw in this being an hour shorter and it was a lot more fun than Raw. Not exactly a classic, but I’m intrigued enough.
Xavier Woods b. Butch – Small package
Gunther b. Joe Alonzo – Powerbomb
Drew McIntyre b. Sami Zayn via countout
Liv Morgan b. Sasha Banks – Small package
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