Date: April 22, 2022
Location: MVP Arena, Albany, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
We are less than two weeks away from Wrestlemania Backlash and it is time to start adding some things to the card. Roman Reigns still doesn’t have anything to do, though there is still the chance that they pick up whatever they stared with Shinsuke Nakamura two weeks ago. Let’s get to it.
We open with the contract signing between Charlotte and Ronda Rousey with Adam Pearce in charge. After a recap video of their issues together….there is no contract. Drew Gulak brings it out and has even made a special PowerPoint presentation (it was his thing when he was on 205 Live) about the rules of an I Quit match but Charlotte tells him to shut up. She has been looking forward to this match for a long time and lists off some of the ways she can make Rousey submit.
Charlotte signs and says she beat Rousey at Wrestlemania. Rousey explains the idea, allowing Charlotte to say she won at Wrestlemania. After a few more times saying the same thing, Charlotte turns the table over and pulls out a kendo stick to beat on Rousey (because putting a lead pipe under there would be too simple). That doesn’t work for Rousey, who takes it away and knocks Charlotte to the floor. Rousey grabs Gulak’s arm for the armbar before demanding the contract and a pen. The contract is signed with the armbar still on before Rousey cranks on it a bit more.
We look back at Sheamus/Ridge Holland losing the slightly unhinged Butch, allowing him to beat up New Day.
Xavier Woods vs. Butch
Kofi Kingston, Sheamus and Ridge Holland are at ringside too. Butch knocks him down to start and drops a knee on the arm before twisting away at the wrist. Back up and Butch rips at his face before being knocked outside. A dropkick through the ropes nearly has everyone else getting in a brawl as we take a break. Back with Butch working on the arm again but Woods fights up again. That earns him a kick to the head and the X Plex gives Butch two. Not that it matters as Woods grabs a DDT and Backwoods gives him the pin at 8:54.
Rating: C. Yep, they really are jobbing Butch in back to back matches to get a small package over for the least important singles wrestler in New Day. Somehow that’s their priority when Butch is in the ring rather than getting lost outside of the ring every week. Every time I think they can’t overthink thinks and miss what should be obvious even more, they do something like this.
Post match Butch beats up a security guard and walks off through the crowd.
Aliyah recaps Ricochet’s wins as champion and asks him what’s next. Jinder Mahal and Shanky come up and Shanky gets a title shot, which didn’t seem to be Mahal’s plan.
Teddy Goodz vs. Gunther
Gunther takes him down by the arm to start and avoids a dropkick. The big boot drops Goodz again as Ludwig Kaiser seems very pleased at ringside. Some chops in the corner rock Goodz and it’s the sleeper into the powerbomb to finish for Gunther at 2:10. That’s the kind of dominance it should continue to be.
We recap RKBro vs. the Usos.
Riddle is ready for Jey Uso tonight when Drew McIntyre comes in to say he’s happy with Randy Orton standing up to the Bloodline. Orton says he and McIntyre are good. Everyone leaves but Sami Zayn pops up behind them and seems rather pleased.
Video on Xia Li, as they remember she exists.
Riddle vs. Jey Uso
Their partners are here too. They strike it out to start with Uso getting the better of things with a kick to the face to put him down. Jey stomps on the ribs as commentary recaps the history between Riddle and Orton. They head outside with Riddle being dropped onto the announcers’ table as we take a break.
Back with Jey hitting an enziguri but Riddle fights up anyway and strikes away. The jumping knee sets up the Floating Bro for two, followed by the hanging DDT. Orton beats up Jimmy on the floor and drops him onto the announcers’ table. Jey grabs a pop up neckbreaker for two, with Riddle kicking out in a weird way. Back up and Riddle hits a jumping knee but Jey superkicks him down. The Superfly Splash hits raised knees though and a small package gives Riddle the pin (second small package win in three matches) at 12:21.
Rating: C+. Pretty good match here, with Riddle getting to shine on his own a bit. As annoying as it is to have these singles matches to set up the Tag Team Title match, it isn’t like there are any other teams to beat. That makes the unification that much better, though it still seems like there should be ANY other way to set up the showdown.
Here are Naomi and Sasha Banks to brag about how great and close they are. They have no competition so here are Shayna Baszler and Natalya to interrupt. Banks and Naomi didn’t beat them at Wrestlemania, but Naomi calls Natalya a crazy cat lady. The match seems all but official.
Happy Corbin comes up to Madcap Moss and is willing to forgive him, but Moss being his sidekick again has the same odds as Corbin growing a full head of hair.
Video on Raquel Rodriguez.
Madcap Moss vs. Angel
Moss hammers away to start and knocks Angel off of the apron and onto Humberto. On the way back in, Humberto grabs the leg though and Angel gets in a kick to the head. That doesn’t last long as Moss fights up for a quick comeback and grabs the Punchline for the pin at 2:18. Could have been worse.
Post match Happy Corbin comes in and lays Moss out before stealing the Andre the Giant Battle Royal trophy.
Sami Zayn knocks on Roman Reigns’ door.
Post break, Reigns is yelling at the Usos when Zayn comes in. Zayn overheard what Drew McIntyre was saying about the Bloodline and thinks he could be a valuable ally to the team. He acknowledges Reigns but needs Reigns to recognize him. Reigns doesn’t say anything until Zayn leaves, when he tells the Usos to take his name out of McIntyre’s mouth. Leave it to WWE to wait almost a month
It’s time for chapter three of the Lacey Evans story, as she talks about how much worse things got for her drug addicted father. She had to get ready for the prom herself while also being a good amateur wrestler. Then she walked home in the rain and found her dad asleep on the couch with a lit cigarette falling out of his mouth. It made her want something better and drove her to become something better, which she is today.
Here’s the problem with this idea: these stories are sad and it does make you feel for Evans. She went through a nightmare growing up and worked hard to get where she is. Then you realize that she’s a very good looking blonde with an amazing backstory and a military career to go with an athletic background. WWE would break down the door to her house to sign her up as fast as they could. It was a very hard road to get there, but it’s also a bit difficult to but that she had to put in that much effort to get her name on a WWE deal once she started in wrestling. Telling the story is a good idea, but they needed to get the ending right.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sami Zayn
Lumberjack match, with the Usos getting their own entrance. Sami tries to run outside at the bell but gets thrown back inside so Drew can unload in the corner. McIntyre is sent outside for a beating from the lumberjacks, setting up the big staredown. We take a break and come back with the Glasgow Kiss dropping Sami. McIntyre fights up and beats on Zayn as the lumberjacks get in a brawl. Zayn tries to escape but gets thrown back in as everyone else brawls on the floor. McIntyre finally hits the big running flip dive onto the pile but Zayn uses the distraction to run into the crowd for the countout at 8:10.
Rating: C. This was a weird one as it was more about setting up another rematch, which will hopefully be the conclusive match for a change. Zayn continuing to be a weasel works, though as usual, a lumberjack match is kind of hard to get into as they almost all follow the same formula. Just get to the blowoff next week and let both guys move on.
Post match Adam Pearce comes out to say Zayn isn’t getting away with this and makes McIntyre vs. Zayn IV in a cage match next week. Jinder Mahal and Shanky jump McIntyre but he fights up and Claymore Mahal. McIntyre poses on the announcers’ table to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. As it has been for the last couple of weeks, Smackdown continues to feel like it has no direction. The show comes and goes without much happening, as it always feels like “wait until next week” but next week never gets here. This show featured Butch losing again, the same ending we’ve seen to McIntyre vs. Zayn twice before, Moss beating the other half of the same team and a contract signing. It’s like they’re playing the hits if the best they could do was reach the top 2000. Another show that didn’t feel important in the slightest this week, which is far too long of a trend these days.
Xavier Woods b. Butch – Backwoods
Gunther b. Teddy Goodz – Powerbomb
Riddle b. Jey Uso – Small package
Madcap Moss b. Angel – Punchline
Drew McIntyre b. Sami Zayn via countout
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