Date: April 15, 2022
Location: DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
Commentators: Pat McAfee, Michael Cole
We’re back to the blue guys and now the build seems to be on for Wrestlemania Backlash. Last week saw Shinsuke Nakamura come after Roman Reigns to suggest that he is the next challenger while Charlotte vs. Ronda Rousey in an I Quit match is officially set. Hopefully we get some built towards those matches this week so let’s get to it.
We open with a long recap of Roman Reigns sending the Usos after the Raw Tag Team Titles, setting up a pair of matches on Raw.
Here are Raw Tag Team Champions Rated RKBro for a chat. We get a lot of posing before Riddle talks about how stoked he is to be back on Smackdown, especially with his best friend Randy. After going on about Worcester being the name for Worcestershire sauce, but it’s named after the one in England, not this one. He learned that off of a Snapple lid, but Orton cuts him off to get serious. Orton wants the Usos out here right now so here they are for the showdown.
The Usos go on a rant about how this is their place and they’re ready for RKBro because they’re twin brothers who are ready to face anyone. Orton says he loves the family but the two of them are a******. Orton says the Big Dog left the b****** off the leash and “frick that” (his words). We hear about Orton’s career in a more fired up way than usual and the challenge is accepted. The Usos go to leave but come back in to pull Riddle off the ropes for a cheap shot, which Cole calls a hit and run.
Sasha Banks/Naomi talk trash to Rhea Ripley/Liv Morgan about Naomi vs. Ripley tonight.
RKBro asks Adam Pearce about the Tag Team Title match but they can only get Riddle vs. Jey tonight, because THAT’S ALL THEY DO FOR TAG TEAM FEUDS.
Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley
Sasha Banks and Liv Morgan are here too because we can’t just have the freaking Tag Team Title match already and have to do a bunch of singles matches first. Ripley powers her into the corner to start and then runs Naomi down with a shoulder for a bonus. A knee sends Ripley to the apron and a big boot knocks her down. Naomi follows her out but gets blasted with a clothesline as we take a break.
Back with Naomi fighting up and hitting an ax kick, followed by a bulldog into the corner. A high crossbody gives Naomi two and she faceplants Rhea for two more. Naomi grabs a full nelson of all things but gets powered into a northern lights suplex. The missile dropkick sends Naomi flying for two but she’s back with a Bubba Bomb (that explains the full nelson) into a cradle for two of her own. Ripley isn’t having that though and grabs the Riptide for the pin at 8:44. Banks looking stunned that a monster like Ripley won a match is kind of funny.
Rating: C+. It’s always nice to see Ripley getting a win like this, even if it keeps Naomi looking as middle of the road as possible. That is about all she does most of the time and the Women’s Tag Team Titles isn’t exactly some huge upgrade for her. Odds are the titles are retained on Raw though, allowing us to have Ripley and Morgan split after….a whole six weeks or so as a team?
The Usos don’t answer any questions and head into Roman Reigns’ locker room.
We look back at Happy Corbin turning on Madcap Moss.
Corbin doesn’t like Moss being called his former associate because Moss was more of a hanger on or a gopher. He blames Moss for losing his undefeated streak and now the loss of dead weight is increasing his happiness levels. Just wait until Moss becomes the laughingstock of Smackdown.
Drew Gulak, auditioning to become part of the broadcast team, asks Moss about what Corbin says. Moss says Corbin bought him his suspenders and taught him how to tell his jokes. That’s why the jokes were bad, because having an audience of bald men with a bad sense of humor will kill anyone. He isn’t worried about facing Humberto either and tells them where the Kiss Cam can go. McAfee explains the joke in case the visual didn’t explain it.
Madcap Moss vs. Humberto
Humberto knocks him into the corner so Angel can get in a cheap shot, allowing Humberto to mock the kissing deal. The chinlock doesn’t last long as Moss fights up and hits an elbow to the face. Moss pulls him out of the air for a fall away slam but the running shoulder in the corner hits Angel. Humberto takes one of his own and the Punch Line finishes for Moss at 2:28. Smart to give him a pretty decisive win, but a grudge match against Corbin isn’t exactly enthralling stuff.
Angel yells at Humberto for losing to a joke.
Charlotte comes in to see Adam Pearce but Drew Gulak interrupts to ask about how he did. Charlotte says Gulak can interview her in the middle of the ring and don’t be nervous.
Usos vs. RKBro is set for Wrestlemania Backlash.
Drew Gulak is in the ring to interview Charlotte. Gulak asks if she is ready for a hard hitting interview but is told to just hold the mic. Charlotte talks about how she turned down the I Quit match with Ronda Rousey because she wanted to keep Rousey safe. Gulak mentions that Charlotte tapped at Wrestlemania but Charlotte INSISTS that she was fixing her bra. That’s not good enough for Gulak, who thinks that had the referee been in place, Rousey would be champion.
Charlotte thinks that is out of line and asks if Drew stopped wrestling so he could hold a microphone and ask stupid questions. She thinks everyone here has quit something, but that is nothing she would ever do. Charlotte tells Gulak to get out of her ring but attacks him before he can. The Figure Eight makes Gulak tap (McAfee: “Charlotte Flair even taps out interviewers!”) and shout that he quits until referees break it up.
We recap Sami Zayn running from Drew McIntyre last week.
Ludwig Kaiser narrates a video about the awesomeness of Gunther.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sami Zayn
Sami says he’s going to prove himself here and then runs to the floor to start. McIntyre follows him out and hits Sami in the face (after avoiding punching McAfee by mistake) before taking him back inside. The Glasgow Kiss looks to set up the Claymore but Zayn runs again, this time taking the countout at 2:29.
Drew isn’t happy post match.
Ricochet is ready to defend his Intercontinental Title.
Sami Zayn runs into Adam Pearce, who makes Sami vs. McIntyre III in a lumberjack match next week.
Intercontinental Title: Ricochet vs. Jinder Mahal
Ricochet is defending and Shanky is here with Mahal. They start fast with Mahal pulling Ricochet away from the ropes for a crash to the mat. Ricochet fights back up and counters the Khallas into a rollup for two. The Recoil sets up the 630 but Shanky pulls Mahal to the floor. That’s fine with Ricochet who dives onto both of them for the big crash. Back in and the shooting star press retains the title at 2:59. Not quite a squash, but Ricochet needed any kind of a win to get him back on track after the Los Lotharios stuff.
Sheamus isn’t happy with Butch losing last week but the solution is that Butch needs to channel his aggression. They try to convince him that New Day is the enemy…but Butch slips away, because he’s treated like a child for whatever reason.
Post break, Butch, Sheamus and Ridge Holland attack New Day, making me wonder why they bothered with the “lost” deal for all of four minutes.
It’s time for part two of the Lacey Evans story. She talks about how her father caught up with her and her mother and had all kinds of anger and mental health issues. He would yell a lot and throw a bunch of things until he was eventually on the run from an assault charge. That helped her learn how to fight from a young age and she knows how to be at rock bottom. No one can phase her because she has been through worse. This continues to be a good bit too serious for a wrestling angle.
Natalya and Shayna Baszler don’t like Lacey Evans treating them like this because Lacey doesn’t respect legends. Lacey is trying to take over the locker room but here is Raquel Rodriguez to say how happy she is to meet Natalya.
Jimmy Uso vs. Riddle
Jey Uso and Randy Orton are here too. An early RKO attempt is blocked and Riddle gets sent hard into the corner. The early chinlock goes on but Riddle fights up and they go to the floor. A superkick rocks Riddle again and we take a break. Back with Riddle firing off a kick and a knee to stagger Jimmy. The Bro To Sleep into a German suplex gets two but Jimmy is back with a pop up Samoan drop. Randy and Jey get into it on the floor to distract Riddle, allowing Jimmy to kick him down. The Superfly Splash misses though and a pop up RKO finishes Jimmy at 9:02.
Rating: C+. Here we have another example of a pretty good match that meant absolutely nothing. Odds are we get every combination of these four until we get to the pay per view and while the big match will be good, it is going to have been so watered down by all of these singles matches that it will lose a bunch of impact. I would love to see WWE change up their formula a bit, but that just isn’t going to happen.
Overall Rating: D+. This was as ho hum of a regular Smackdown as I can remember in a long time. The wrestling was adequate enough but it felt like a night where they just said “oh throw whatever out there”. Mahal gets a title shot, two tag matches are built up with singles matches, Sheamus N Pals vs. New Day continues, Charlotte beats up an interviewer and a Madcap Moss feature match. No Reigns, no Rousey, no Nakamura after the end of last week’s show. It felt like they took a week off here (and they may have due to the holiday), but you can’t get a pre-taped promo in from someone that matters?
Rhea Ripley b. Naomi – Riptide
Madcap Moss b. Humberto – Punch Line
Drew McIntyre b. Sami Zayn via countout
Ricochet b. Jinder Mahal – Shooting star press
Riddle b. Jimmy Uso – RKO
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