BRM Reviews the 4/30/2021 Smackdown (BRYAN VS. ROMAN!)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 4/30/2021 Smackdown (BRYAN VS. ROMAN!)

Post by Big Red Machine » May 1st, '21, 23:56

OPENING SEGMENT- utter stupidity
Bianca Belair comes out to welcome us to the show. Isn’t she a star? Stars don’t host people in their own mediums. She’s wearing earrings that look like her title belt. That’s a heel move right there.
She was about to interrupt someone when she was interrupted by Bobby Roode & Dolph Ziggler. They were interrupted by the Street Profits, who were themselves then interrupted by Bailey. Bayley got into the ring and snatched the mic away from Bianca. Bayley then started to laugh in an annoying manner until Bianaca knocked her down with one slap. Bianca started to mock Bayley, so Bayley double-legged her and started stared punching her. The men also started fighting, because they’re already booked in a match. Cut to commercial.
This was SOOOO dumb. If there’s a match booked, just start with the f*cking match! Don’t have Bianca come out to play ring announcer to set up a segment where Bayley is made to look like a goof. This did nothing but waste five minutes of TV time (and no, it didn’t give the match a hot start, because said start was swallowed up by the commercial, and when we came back, everything was calmed down enough for the referee to start the match).

MIXED SIX-PERSON TAG TEAM MATCH: Bianca Belair & the Street Profits vs. Bayley, Bobby Roode, & Dolph Ziggler- 6/10
The match was good but the booking was bothersome. The Street Profits have lost a bunch of matches to Roode & Ziggler already, but now they win in a six-person tag to set up a title shot. If you wanted to set up a title shot, why not have the spend the past few weeks beating other people? And this certainly doesn’t do anything to make me think Bianca’s title is in any sort of jeopardy, as not only did her team lose, but Bianca dispatched her with relative ease.

KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS DANIEL BRYAN- not good
Bryan says that his first title defense will be against Cesaro. That was the only good part of this. I didn’t like the way he dismissed the idea that Roman made people earn their title defenses like it was a bad thing. What Roman does is bad, but it’s not the idea of earning a title shot that is the problem. It’s the bullsh*t way that Roman does it.
Bryan also claimed that tonight’s match would be a “fair fight,” but I see no reason to believe that Jey Uso won’t run in like he does in every title match.

SETH ROLLINS PROMO- meh
There was music playing in the background, making this hard to hear. That was weird. Rollins claimed that Cesaro would not get the first title shot if Bryan won because Cesaro wouldn’t make it past next week.

NATTIE& TAMINA JUMP THE TAG CHAMPS DURING THEIR INTERVIEW- That was heelish and uncalled for.

NATALYA & TAMINA vs. NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER- 4.75/10
This was excellent for less than five minutes.

BOOKER T GIVES HIS PREDICTION FOR THE MAIN EVENT- a fine way to make the main event feel big

Next week will be a “throwback edition” of Smackdown. Two issues here:
1. They seem to be throwing back to early nineties. Smackdown debuted in 1999.
2. Is that really the right tone for a show that will either be the beginning of a babyface’s world title reign or the show right after a beloved babyface is forced to leave the show?

SHINSUKE NAKAMUTA GIVES HIS PREDICTION FOR THE MAIN EVENT- He thinks Bryan will win, but plants some seeds for himself vs. Roman if Bryan doesn’t.

KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS THE MYSTERIOS- good
They want to make history by becoming the first pair of father-son tag champs in WWE.

ALEISTER BLACK PROMO- good if it actually winds up meaning any to his character in a demonstrable way.

MEGAN MORANT INTERVIEWS BIG E.- bad
He says that people are asking him how he will overcome Commander Azeez… and instead of telling us that he has some sort of plan, he just says “it doesn’t matter” and does comedy. That doesn’t make me think that the babyface has a chance of regaining the title.

WHO DOES XAVIER WOODS THINK WILL WIN THE MAIN EVENT?- Bryan, because Roman doesn’t understand what it’s like to have to fight for things.

WHO DOES KOFI KINGSTON THINK WILL WIN THE MAIN EVENT?- Roman, because Jey Uso will interfere.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: Apollo Crews(c) (w/Commander Azeez) vs. Big E.- 7.25/10
In their previous match, these two had a gimmick match. Since then we’ve had an interference finish and a backstage attack. Shouldn’t this be a cage match to keep Commander Azeez out? Why did we go down in violence level instead of up?
We all knew we weren’t getting a clean finish here. The only question was whether it was going to be Apollo retaining via cheating or via a bullsh*t DQ, and they opted for the latter, more frustrating option, spoiling a great match.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- fine
Kevin wens came out to fight Azeez but Apollo helped Azeez overcome him. Big E. evened the odds, but Sami Zayn ran in to give the heels the advantage. Sami wounded up picking up the IC Title, which angered Apollo. Sami gave he title back and raised by Apollo and Azeez’s hands, then Azeez hit Sami with the Nigerian Nail (it’s the Asiatic Spike).

WHO DOES THE MIZ THINK WILL WIN THE MAIN EVENT- Roman

WHO DOES CESARO THINK WILL WIN THE MAIN EVENT- Bryan… and then Cesaro says he will beat Bryan for the title at WrestleMania: Backlash. He also accepts Rollins’ challenge for a match next week.

Is that golden glove on Roman’s Superman Punching hand new? That’s a great little heelish detail.

KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS PAUL HEYMAN- great!

BARON CORBIN PROMO- He doesn’t care who wins the main event, but he’ll be happy to see Bryan go home. They aired his instead of Bryan’s entrance.

WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE MATCH IN WHICH IF DANIEL BRYAN LOSES, HE MUST LEAVE SMACKDOWN: Roman Reigns(c) (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Daniel Bryan- 8.75/10
Well sh*t. It was totally clean, with no Jey Uso in sight and not even a low blow from Roman.
Bryan worked the arm, Roman worked the head, and they did everything freakin’ great. They made every single move mean something. This was high drama.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- decent
Roman got some chairs and was going to attack Bryan with them but Cesaro came out to make the save and beat Roman up. Jey Uso ran out and saved Roman, then tied Cesaro up in the ropes and made Cesaro watch while Roman gave him a Con-Chair-Toe. This definitely felt like something that happened because the booker wanted a post-match angle rather than because Roman was actually frustrated (after all, he’s already gotten rid of Bryan), but the execution was very good.


This was a GREAT episode of Smackdown. It still had it’s frustrating moments, but it was the best episode of main roster TV in quite a while.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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