Welcome to this week’s WWE Smackdown review. The two main matches they announced going into the show is a first-time ever tag team match with The Usos facing The Street Profits. Also, Rey & Dominik Mysterio will defend the Smackdown Tag Team Titles against former champions Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode. The next pay-per-view is Hell in a Cell on Sunday, June 20.
From the WWE ThunderDome at the Yuengling Center in Tampa Bay, Florida, this is Smackdown for episode #1136. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past (including my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order) and present. Let’s get to it.
The Usos were shown in their family dressing room saying they can’t wait for their tag team match tonight. Roman Reigns walked up to them with Paul Heyman about to speak, but then he backed away to let the family talk. Reigns asked if they felt good and if they were ready. Reigns wanted to know their intention and game plan. Jimmy Uso said that the intention is to go out there and to get the win. Jimmy said he can’t wait. Roman told them don’t let him down, he’s happy for them and wished them good luck. Jimmy left excitedly. Jey was left to think about it, Roman asked what’s the matter and Jey thought about it. Jey said even though he’s with Jimmy tonight, Roman knows that Jey is with him. Roman: “Maybe you should tell him.” Jey left.
There was a shot of the WWE Thunderdome welcoming us to Smackdown, sponsored by Progressive as usual. The announce team was Michael Cole and Pat McAfee, who was in a leopard shirt.
The Street Profits made their entrance first as they were greeted by solo cups as usual. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins did a pre-match promo. Ford said tonight is a Clash of the Titans because it’s The Street Profits going against The Usos. Ford said that they had some fun at The Usos expense last week. Ford said that they were flattered that The Usos challenged them. They reminisced about how The Usos had an entrance with the face paint and the chanting. Ford said that it has been over a calendar year since The Usos have teamed up since Jimmy was out with his injury, Ford said that Roman was in Jey’s head and Dawkins said that Roman wanted to get in Jimmy’s head too. That led to The Usos up first.
The Usos got into the ring with Jimmy saying these guys got jokes, but it doesn’t matter if he’s been out for a year or ten years because the best tag team in the business is back. Jimmy and Jey reminded us they were six-time Tag Team Champions, back to back Tag Team of the Year. Jey warned them if they say another word about Roman he will drop them where they stand. Jey said that The Street Profits said that this is a dream match and Jey said: “Welcome to the nightmare.” Jey said after they win, they are one step closer to the Tag Team Titles. Dawkins said that they run the tag team division now. The Usos delivered their catchphrase: “Welcome to the Uso penitentiary.” The teams faced off as the show went to break.
Analysis: Good promo work from The Street Profits and The Usos before the match. I don’t know if it was necessary, but it was fine. I guess it’s just a case of WWE wanting to build it up a bit more even though the match was already set up last week.
There was a commercial for the A&E Biography about Mick Foley this Sunday night. It should be great.
The announcers talked about some WWE Smackdown and Raw TV events coming in July with tickets on sale soon.
The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)
Jimmy is wearing a knee brace on his surgically repaired knee. Dawkins with a shoulder tackle, Ford tagged in and Dawkins slammed Ford onto Jimmy for a two count. Jey tagged in wearing his “Right Hand Man” shirt. Ford avoided a charging Jey leading to an armbar. Dawkins was back in for a double team belly to back suplex for two. Jimmy tagged in with a running forearm and a headbutt to the shoulder. Dawkins with an armdrag on Jimmy leading to Jimmy driving Dawkins to the Usos corner. Jey tagged in with some stomps, Jimmy back in with Dawkins hitting and armdrag. Ford tagged in with a great dropkick and Dawkins hit a dropkick too. The Profits sent both Usos over the top to the floor with clotheslines. The Profits sent Jey into the barricade and then they tossed Jimmy over the announce table. That led to a break.
The match continued with The Usos in control after Jey made a blind tag, brought Ford out of the ring and whipped him into the barricade. Jey broke the referee’s count and then sent Ford into the barricade again. Back in the ring, Jey hit a belly to back suplex. Jimmy tagged back in and jumped off with a double axehandle. Reigns and Heyman were shown watching on a big screen in the dressing room. Jimmy with a chinlock followed by a snap suplex. Jey was back in, Ford with punches and Jey hit him in the back to knock him down. Jey slid into a chinlock, so that was unique. Jey with an uppercut punch. Ford fought out of the heel corner with punches and an enziguri kick to knock Jey out of the ring. Ford avoided Jimmy’s attack and hit an enziguri kick on him. When Ford was about to tag out to Dawkins, Jey pulled Dawkins off the apron. Jimmy lifted up Ford into a Samoan Drop for two as they headed to commercial again.
The match returned about 20 minutes into it with Jey going for a superplex on Ford, who was still the face in peril. Ford fought him off, so Jey hit an uppercut. Ford with a jumping kick. Ford jumped over Jey, then he ran the ropes and they did a double clothesline spot. Dawkins got the tag, flapjack to Jey, Jimmy was legal and Dawkins hit a corkscrew elbow and a faceplant into the mat for two. Dawkins ran right into a jumping kick by Jimmy, but then Dawkins nailed him with a punch to the face. Ford jumped over the turnbuckle onto Jey on the floor! That was incredible. It was a somersault over the ring post onto Jey on the floor. Jimmy hit a superkick on Dawkins for a two count. Nice nearfall. Dawkins hit a running shoulder tackle and then a double underhook neckbreaker for a two count. Another great nearfall with Dawkins looking shocked about that. Dawkins ducked a kick, spinebuster and Ford got the tag. Ford jumped off the top with a Frog Splash, but Jey pulled Jimmy out of the way. Dawkins got back into it with a shoulder tackle on Jey. Ford was selling the Frog Splash miss and Jimmy hit a superkick on Ford for the pinfall win after 23 minutes. Cole said upset win, but I don’t know about that.
Winners by pinfall: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)
Analysis: ***3/4 This was a great match. I don’t remember many tag team matches going over 20 minutes on Raw or Smackdown in recent times, so it was cool to see them get a lot of time. I thought it could go either way and a win for The Street Profits could have worked as a way to show The Usos aren’t back on track, but I think giving The Usos the win is a smart way to book them as a strong team that’s back in action. I liked a lot of the nearfalls. That spot that Ford did where he hit a somersault dive running across the ring and hitting the dive on the floor was so impressive. It came out of nowhere too, so that made it stand out even more. The finish was done well with Jey saving Jimmy from the Frog Splash, then Ford sold that bump well and Jimmy got the big win with the superkick. Great work by both teams. Bring on a rematch later in the year. Don’t do it too soon.
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode were interviewed by Megan Morant. It was a typical heel promo from Ziggler and Roode. They said tonight will go different from what happened at WrestleMania Backlash and they will once again become Smackdown Tag Team Champions.
Natalya and Tamina made their entrance as Women’s Tag Team Champions. They are in a match up next.
The match was already in progress.
Natalya & Tamina vs. Riott Squad (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan)
Morgan hit a dropkick on Natalya against the ropes followed by a running hip attack. Riott was back in with a shoulder tackle to the ribs. Morgan kicked Riott towards Riott and then Riott drove Natalya’s face into the turnbuckle. Tamina was apparently attacked before the match, so she was not on the apron. Riott hit a running back elbow on Natalya for two. Natalya avoided a kick from Morgan, then Natalya went for a double Sharpshooter, but that didn’t work. Tamina got back into it and shoved Morgan onto a pin attempt by Riott on Natalya. Tamina overpowered Riott with a hard forearm that sent Riott to the ropes. Natalya took out Morgan on the apron. Tamina headbutted Riott off the turnbuckle. Morgan hit a double knee attack on Natalya on the floor. Tamina jumped off the top and hit a Superfly Splash on Natalya for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Natalya & Tamina
Analysis: *3/4 The champs win this non-title match. The Riott Squad looked like they were more heelish here although they didn’t do anything that really made them stand out as heels. I’m just saying that they acted with a bit more of an attitude.
The Usos were in the office of WWE Official Adam Pearce. The Usos said that they showed that they didn’t miss a step. Jimmy said he can see themselves as 7-time Tag Team Champions. Jimmy said whoever wins the Tag Team Title match tonight, he wants The Usos to face them next week. Pearce said he can do that. Jimmy was excited and left while Jey was left to think about it.
Analysis: The story is that Jimmy is so focused on getting The Usos the titles again while Jey supports his brother, but doesn’t want to upset Roman Reigns. There’s a conflict there.
Bianca Belair made her entrance as Smackdown Women’s Champion in a match against Carmella up next.
Carmella was interviewed in the backstage area by Kayla Braxton. Carmella said she would end Bianca Belair right now. Carmella made her entrance. She wrestles in a “money” outfit because “Mella is money” of course.
Bianca Belair vs. Carmella
Bayley joined commentary for this match. Belair with a shoulder tackle on Carmella against the turnbuckle. Carmella came back with a headscissors with Belair bumping under the bottom rope to the floor. Bayley called Belair a cheater for using her “stupid hair” to beat Bayley. Belair with a shoulder tackle on Carmella on the floor. Belair press slammed Carmella into the ring. The referee Jessika Carr held Belair back as Carmella was in the ropes, so Carmella got a cheap shot and Carmella hit a facebuster into the ring apron (hardest part of the ring) for a two count. Carmella with repeated back elbows to Belair. Bayley was complaining about how she hasn’t had her rematch. Carmella slapped on a chinlock. Belair came back with elbows leading to a backbreaker. Belair with a running shoulder tackle, then she sent Carmella into the turnbuckles and Carmella with elbows to the chest. Carmella with a cross body block off the top, Belair caught Carmella and hit a fallaway slam. Belair with a standing moonsault that didn’t connect that well for a two count. Belair charged, Carmella moved and Belair hit the turnbuckle. Carmella with a leg scissors around the throat by the ropes. Carmella with slaps and then a superkick for a two count. Carmella tried the Code of Silence, Belair got out of that and Belair hit a KOD slam. Cole said “Belanca” so Bayley yelled at Cole for getting it wrong. That was funny. It went about six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bianca Belair
Analysis: ** Just a simple match to get Belair the win. They had a bit of a sloppy finish as they tried to counter eachother and they slipped a bit, but they got through it. Carmella hasn’t had much to do since the pre-WrestleMania feud with Sasha Banks. Cole getting Belair’s name wrong at the end was funny with Bayley calling him out for it.
Post match, Bayley stood on the announce table and laughed at Belair saying “you ain’t nothing.” Belair just stared at Bayley with her title.
The Mysterios were interviewed by Megan Morant. Rey said that they had a game plan too. Rey said any time Dominik gets hurt, he feels hurt too and Dom feels the same way. Dominik said when they won the Tag Team Titles, it was euphoria, there’s no way they will lose tonight and there’s no tag team in the world that can top this. They embraced.
Seth Rollins the birthday boy made his entrance for a promo while wearing one of his ridiculous suits. I’m still getting used to the new theme song. Seth turned 35 years old today.
There was a commercial for SummerSlam on Saturday, August 21. No location was announced.
Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins was in the ring doing a promo saying he wasn’t there to talk, he was there to fight. Rollins called out Cesaro. There was no Cesaro, so Rollins laughed about it and said that Cesaro wasn’t there to ruin the greatest day of the year, Seth’s birthday. Seth said he knows Cesaro is celebrating Seth’s birthday somewhere. Rollins cued up the footage from last week when Rollins attacked Cesaro by attacking Cesaro’s injured right arm and then delivered The Stomp on the bottom of the ramp. Cesaro sold it really well.
Rollins said that his team has exclusive audio direct from Cesaro’s hospital room. Rollins claimed this was our little secret. There was an audio sound of a man groaning and Seth laughed about it. Pat loved it. Rollins said in all seriousness, what happened to Cesaro last week was unfortunate, but Cesaro pushed him to the point where Seth’s frustration got the better of him. Seth said he was blaming Cesaro for what happened and while that’s entirely fair, life’s not black and white. Seth said he is a man of integrity, responsibility and the truth is that you’ve got to place some of the blame…on you (the fans). Seth said you have to blame the WWE Universe because you are the ones who brainwashed Cesaro that it was okay to disrespect Rollins and think that Cesaro can look right through Seth. Rollins said that Cesaro did not earn the opportunities he was given. Rollins said if Cesaro doesn’t step in the ring ever again then the blame is on Cesaro and the WWE Universe because Seth’s hands are clean. Rollins sang “Happy birthday to me” to himself to end the promo.
Analysis: It was a fine heel promo from Rollins. I think Rollins is really good as a heel. I know some people that don’t agree with me and think he’s better as a face, but I enjoy his heel promos a lot more than when he was a face. Anyway, he did the typical heel thing of saying that what happened is the fault of the fans for believing in Cesaro and that means when Cesaro came back, he’ll kick Seth’s ass “for the fans.” It’s classic wrestling booking that WWE loves doing because they know it works.
Kevin Owens was shown walking backstage because he’s in a match up next.
Kevin Owens was in the ring for his match. Cole kept calling him the “Relentless” Kevin Owens so they are trying to push that word for Owens. The word fits, but I wouldn’t call it an official nickname.
Apollo Crews entered as the Intercontinental Champion with Commander Azeez. This is not a title match.
Apollo Crews (w/Commander Azeez) vs. Kevin Owens
Owens with a running clothesline followed by a cannonball splash against the turnbuckle. Owens jumped off the top with a senton bomb for a two count. Crews blocked a suplex attempt, Crews drove KO’s throat into the top rope and Crews jumped off the top, but Owens moved. Owens with a superkick. Owens with a Stunner for two, but Azeez hit Owens with the Nigerian Nail (thumb to the throat) for the DQ after two minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Kevin Owens
Analysis: * That was quick. Any time Azeez is out there, you can expect a DQ ending in Crews matches. It sucks that it was so short, but Owens had a lot of energy for the two minutes they were given.
Post match, Owens was selling the Nigerian Nail by coughing a lot and looking like he had trouble breathing. That led to WWE Officials and referees checking on Owens.
Analysis: That was a hard sell for a thumb to the throat.
Roman Reigns was in the dressing room and Paul Heyman said at your behest, here is your Right Hand Man. Jey Uso sat down beside Reigns, who asked Jey if he wanted the Tag Team Title match next week. Jey didn’t really say anything. Roman wondered “what happened to we?” Roman talked about what they’ve done all these months, then said that all he has ever wanted is the best for Jey. Roman said that you’re “Main Event” Jey Uso now. Roman told Jey that when you follow Roman’s plan, you close Smackdown and as soon as Jey is back, you are relegated to the opening match. Roman said he didn’t want Jey to go back to a place where people look at you and say: “Which one are you again?” Jey said he never thought about it like that. Roman said maybe you should think about it like that because your brother (Jimmy) is not thinking like that. That was it.
Analysis: That was really good. I like all of the segments between Roman and The Usos. Roman made sense as usual and told Jey he didn’t want him to have to deal with people that ask: “Which one are you again?” That was a key line in Roman’s story with Jey last year.
Rick Boogs was on the stage with the electric guitar letting us know his name. Rick said he was there to rock with the King of Strong Style…Shinsuke Nakamura. That led to Nakamura’s entrance with the king’s crown on his head. McAfee loves Boogs and this entrance. Nakamura is in action up next.
Otis gave Nakamura a front slam before the match began. Nakamura said he was okay to start the match.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Chad Gable (w/Otis)
Gable was aggressive with two belly to belly suplexes. Nakamura came back with kicks. Gable followed up with an armbar into a slam into the turnbuckle. Nakamura avoided a moonsault off the ropes and then hit a spin kick on Gable. King Corbin showed up at ringside to take his crown back. Gable went for a rolling German Suplex, but Nakamura countered to a two count. Nakamura hit a Kinshasa running knee on Gable for the pinfall win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Shinsuke Nakamura
Analysis: *3/4 A very short match to give Nakamura a win to continue his momentum. Gable is a guy that should be doing a lot more, but sadly there’s nothing for him right now.
After the match, Nakamura pointed at Corbin with the crown. Corbin told Nakamura he was the king and it’s his crown. That led to Boogs hitting Corbin in the back, so the crown was down. Nakamura picked up the crown and posed with Boogs, who was playing the theme song.
Analysis: I like Boogs being paired with Nakamura. We see a lot of heels with guys at ringside, but having a babyface Nakamura with Boogs is working well so far.
They replayed the Kevin Owens situation showing Commander Azeez attacking him during KO’s match with Apollo Crews.
Kevin Owens was shown getting treated on a trainer’s table. Adam Pearce, the WWE Official, was there. Owens was coughing and wanted an Intercontinental Title match against Crews with Azeez banned from ringside. Pearce gave it to him, so KO gets an IC Title shot against Crews with no Azeez at ringside.
Rey Mysterio was shown backstage praying prior to his title match. Dominik told his dad that it was time for their match.
A commercial aired about WWE going on tour in July into August and so on. “WWE is coming home” is the phrase they are using to say they are going on the road.
The show returned and Rey was grabbing the right side of his ribs, so there was a mystery attack during the break. Dominik was checking on him along with referees and a doctor. Rey had a tough time standing up.
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode were already in the ring. Ziggler and Roode said that they had nothing to do with what happened to Rey Mysterio. Ziggler and Roode said that they should be awarded the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. Adam Pearce was shown backstage checking on Rey and Dominik said that Rey fought for him, so Dominik is going to fight for his father. Ziggler ripped on Dominik as Dominik made his entrance. That led to a break.
Analysis: This is a similar story to their WrestleMania Backlash match where the heels attacked Dominik and Rey fought on his own until Dominik made it to ringside to help his team get the win.
This week on Raw: Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre. The winner challenges Bobby Lashley at Hell in a Cell for the WWE Title. Plus, The Miz returns to Raw for Miz TV with Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair. That’s interesting about The Miz being there since he has a torn ACL, so we’ll see how he’s doing.
The bell rang with about ten minutes left until the top of the hour.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Dominik was in this match alone. Ziggler with a dropkick on Dominik. Roode tagged in with a suplex. Ziggler was back in, Dominik with a punch and then Ziggler kicked the left knee of Dominik for a two count. Ziggler drove his foot into Dominik’s face while taunting Dominik to tag out even though there was no Rey in the corner. Roode was back in with a hard chop to the chest. Dominik tried to fight back with a kick, but Roode was there with a back elbow. Roode missed a knee drop when Dominik moved out of the way. Ziggler was back in with a running elbow and Ziggler mocked the tag possibility. Ziggler raked Dominik’s eyes against the rope, but you could tell his head wasn’t near the rope. Ziggler hit a neckbreaker. Dominik fought back out of the heel corner, Dominik dropkicked Roode and Dominik hit a back body drop over the top on Ziggler to the floor. Ziggler hit a dive onto both heels on the floor. Dominik sent Ziggler back in the ring. Dominik jumped off the top, Ziggler moved, Dominik set up Ziggler against the ropes. Dominik kicked Roode away, then Dominik sent Ziggler to the ropes again, but Ziggler avoided a 619 kick and Ziggler hit a Fameasser for a two count. Roode was back in as the challengers hit a double team Powerbomb/Neckbreaker for a two count. Roode lifted up Dominik on his shoulders, Rey slowly made his way onto the ramp as his music played and Dominik rolled through and got a pin on Roode for the win. Ziggler was distracted by Rey’s appearance. It went about seven minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Rey & Dominik Mysterio
Analysis: ** It was a handicap match essentially with Dominik as the face in peril and he got a bit of offense. Rey’s music distracted Ziggler enough that he lost his focus, so then Dominik was able to get the pin and win to keep the titles. Having Rey and Dominik lose the titles after they won the titles would have been foolish, so I’m glad the Mysterios are still the champions.
After the match, The Usos made their entrance. They faced off with Rey & Dominik in the ring since that’s the title match next week. Jey looked a bit conflicted about it. Roman Reigns was shown watching backstage with Paul Heyman by his side. The camera focused on Reigns with Heyman staring at him and that was the end of the show.
Analysis: Good job of ending the show with the Reigns/Uso family as the focus. It could lead to Reigns costing The Usos the match because he doesn’t want them to be a team since he needs Jey to focus on helping him since Reigns is all about himself no matter what he says. Anyway, it should be an awesome tag team match next week.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Usos
- The Street Profits
- Bayley for mocking Cole for saying “Belanca.” I’m easy to please when it comes to mocking Cole!
7 out of 10
Last week: 7.25
2021 Average: 7
It was a solid episode of Smackdown with one excellent match between The Usos and The Street Profits in a long opening match. I thought The Usos and The Street Profits worked very well together in a 20+ minute match. That’s definitely a rivalry that WWE can go back to later in the year because they had instant chemistry with eachother. Getting a lot of time helps too. I don’t recall many tag team matches going that long on Smackdown or Raw, so it was cool to see that. I also enjoyed The Usos in backstage segments with Roman Reigns as well because it furthers that storyline.
The rest of the show had mostly shorter matches. Some obvious results to those short matches. There wasn’t that much talking other than the show opening promo and Seth Rollins did an interview with no interruption since Cesaro was selling the attack from last week.
They did a nice job of building to next week with two title matches: Rey & Dominik Mysterio defend the SD Tag Team Titles vs. The Usos and Apollo Crews defends the Intercontinental Title vs. Kevin Owens with Commander Azeez banned from ringside. There’s nothing on the Smackdown side for Hell in a Cell yet, but they still have three weeks until that show.
The next WWE pay-per-view on Peacock/WWE Network is Hell in a Cell on Sunday, June 20. Here’s what we know so far.
WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Drew McIntyre or Kofi Kingston
Raw Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.