Welcome to the Smackdown Reaction, where I offer up my thoughts on this week’s show in San Jose. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth review here.
We kick off the show this week with the contract signing for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Crown Jewel. Bianca Belair was in the ring, Becky Lynch was on the stage with her own table, and Sasha Banks was standing on the announce table. All three had their turn to cut promos on the recent events. After the promos, the obligatory fight breaks out between the three women. Belair briefly picked up both Banks and Lynch for a double KOD but Banks slid free and got kicked onto the table. Belair hit KOD on Lynch through both Banks and the table to end the segment. While the contract did not get signed, that was an impressive visual of Belair hoisting up Banks and Lynch at the same time.
In ring action starts with the opening match of the 2021 King of the Ring tournament. The Smackdown bracket is Sami Zayn/Rey Mysterio and Cesaro/Finn Balor. The Raw bracket is Jinder Mahal/Kofi Kingston and Xaiver Woods/Ricochet. The finals will be held at Crown Jewel. The opening match is Zayn/Mysterio.
The match was really good as you would expect between these two veterans. It also continued the Rey/Dominik story that’s been building for the past couple of weeks. The ending had Sami remove the top turnbuckle cover and toss it aside. Dominik went to put it back on and had Rey yell at him to get down. Zayn hits the dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to advance in the tournament we know he isn’t going to win.
Seth Rollins was backstage to recap what happened last week and that he’ll ask Edge for his answer tonight.
Up next is the opening match in the 2021 Queen’s Crown tournament, with the finals also held at Crown Jewel. The Smackdown bracket is Toni Storm/Zelina Vega and Liv Morgan/Carmella. The Raw bracket is Doudrop/Natalya and Shayna Baszler/Dana Brooke. We kicked off with Storm/Vega.
This match should be really good and then it was over. Besides them only getting two minutes, the most puzzling thing was Vega winning. I figured Storm would get the win to build her up for the Smackdown audience.
Promo Time with The Bloodline is next. Reigns wanted Heyman to explain his association currently with Lesnar and Heyman cut his usual Lesnar hype promo, only inserting Reigns for Lesnar. It accomplished what it was supposed to do, but it was mostly repetitive from what’s been said the past couple of weeks. There was nothing new added, beyond proving that Heyman can indeed sell snow to Eskimos by the truckload in the middle of a blizzard.
The other Queen’s Crown match is up next with Liv Morgan taking on Carmella (again). Carmella put on that stupid-looking mask and channeled the 50/50 booking Gods to beat Morgan in ANOTHER two-minute match. I really thought this was going to the vehicle used to push Morgan up the card, but alas, she was the wrong blonde. Next week will be Zelina Vega taking on Carmella in the semifinals in a match nobody wanted to see.
Boring Talk, err, Happy Talk is up next with The Street Profits as the scheduled guests. Instead, Kevin Owens comes out to get beat up again. No sign of the Street Profits to lend a helping hand, so I guess they weren’t there this week. What are we being punished for that we have to be subjected to this?
Backstage, Naomi wanted to get traded back to Raw to do nothing but Deville offered Naomi a match with her next week. At least we aren’t going to drag this pointless GM feud out too long.
The match last of the night was the King of the Ring match between Cesaro and Finn Balor. Balor was showing no effects from The Demon match here. They got enough time to put in a really good match. Both guys are experienced veterans and it showed how well they can work with the time given. Balor would pick up the win to advance to the match with Sami Zayn next week. Both guys had a good showing here and hopefully move on to better utilization in the future.
Supposedly, Belair and Banks signed the contract from the opening of the show backstage off camera and Lynch signed it backstage on camera. At least they remembered to wrap that up.
We close out the show with Promo Time with Seth Rollins. With Edge not there, Rollins went on that Edge accepted that Rollins was the better man than him until Edge showed up. The brawl breaks out and Rollins gets hung up in Pat McAfee’s headset wiring and Edge flings both in different directions. That was a funny visual. Rollins retreats and Edge gives Rollins the answer he so desperately wanted as we go off the air: “You. Me. Hell in a Cell.” That’s all fine and dandy but someone needs to tell Edge that pay per view already took place. It was announced after Smackdown that the Hell in a Cell match will take place at Crown Jewel.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
Bianca Belair hoisting up Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch simultaneously was a pretty impressive visual. It helped Bianca get her strength over, even if it was just for a couple of seconds. I expect great things for Belair on the red brand.
Are we actually going to use a Hell in a Cell match as a feud-ending match like it used to be and not some random gimmick match? Color me shocked. I thought they’d drag it out to TLC but the Crown Prince must want a Hell in a Cell match this year.
Neither tournament has any real excitement to it so far. We all know Sami Zayn is not going to be making the trip to Saudi Arabia and the other two women would have been far more deserving to advance in the tournament. At least Charlotte Flair isn’t involved in it.
Why must the women be relegated to just two-minute matches again? We really didn’t need that Happy Talk segment this week so that could have given them more time. At this point, we might as well put Shayna Baszler and Doudrop together (yes, I know they are feuding on Raw) and call them Two Minute Warning. Once the women’s matches hit two minutes, they come out and start wrecking people a la Three Minute Warning. At least it would be slightly more entertaining and make some sense. Apparently, they didn’t learn anything from #GiveDivasAChance.
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That’s all I’ve got, until next time.