03rd Apr2019

WWE Smackdown – April 2nd 2019: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

smackdown-2018-logo

Welcome to this week’s Smackdown Live review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have the final Smackdown Live before Wrestlemania, so let’s see If Vince gave the WWE World Title Match some extra time to get you excited about it for the big card.

Match #1: The Usos & Aleister Black & Ricochet def. The Bar & Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Four of the best tag teams on SmackDown LIVE paired off and squared off as SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos teamed up with Aleister Black & Ricochet to take on The Bar & Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev. The team of The Bar, The King of Strong Style & Bulgarian Brute looked to wear down Jey Uso, but Jey eventually tagged his brother Jimmy for a noticeable tone shift in the contest. Soon, fisticuffs broke out all over the ring, with all eight Superstars getting in on the action. The Usos had Rusev on dream street and put The Super Athlete away with a massive double superkick for the win. Jimmy & Jey began to celebrate, but they were interrupted by WrestleMania 35 Host Alexa Bliss, who had a major announcement: The Usos, after their forfeiting stunt against The New Day in the Tag Team Gauntlet Match last week, would now have to defend their titles against all three teams they just shared the ring with on The Grandest Stage of Them All. This monumental news clearly threw all four teams into a tizzy, as a massive brawl broke out, and Black & Ricochet stood tall when the dust settled. Was that a sign of things to come this Sunday?

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a lot of fun, as it kept the suspense going for the whole duration, despite not being one of the more memorable bouts. The action was consistent from bell to bell and really something worth the time given to it. I wish these matches would be allotted a bit more time, so as to give the whole thing a reason to exist beyond the function of the moment. I always have that complaint, don’t I? Anyway, this was a good start for the card.

Match #2: The Miz def. SAnitY in a 1-on-3 Falls Count Anywhere Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The Miz hit the scene on SmackDown LIVE and let the WWE Universe know that he was ready to fight for retribution this Sunday against Shane McMahon in their Falls Count Anywhere Match … but, as for tonight, The Miz would have to fight for survival, as Shane set Miz up in a 1-on-3 Handicap Match against SAnitY. Before the match could begin, Shane arrived, asked for his typical “Best in the World” introduction and then stationed himself on the rampway so he could have an up-close view of this one. With Shane clearly hoping that SAnitY would wear down The Miz prior to The Show of Shows, Miz fought valiantly despite the massive numbers disadvantage. The Miz was potentially closing in on victory, but Shane changed course, making this match a Falls Count Anywhere, just like their scrap on Sunday. Adding fuel to the fire, Shane showed the picture of him assaulting Miz’s father on the Tron, but it’s possible that tactic backfired, as Miz began to unload on all three members of SAnitY throughout the arena. In the clutch, Miz isolated Eric Young in the parking lot, annihilating the SAnitY leader with an equipment cart for an astonishing victory. Shane McMahon threw everything he had at The Miz prior to WrestleMania, and The Miz proved he was more than ready.

My Take: 2 out of 5 – As stipulation matches go, this was pretty dull and a bit too messy for its own good. I wish The Miz was a more complete performer, because that’s what he needed to be to make this match work. It’s bizarre to see The Miz being positioned as a hero, despite the fact that he comes across as so false the whole way through these face promos. You’d think they would want to put Daniel Bryan/AJ Styles/etc. in this position instead, but The Miz got the wheel to spin around to him this year. Make no mistake, these Handicap Match are not easy, but when they are random to anyone watching them, how can you expect anything to sink in for a spectator, regardless of difficulty to perform. It was nice having a little pepper on the potato that comes with the steak called Wrestlemania, but it would have been nice to have let the potato boil a little longer, as well.

Match #3: The Hardys, Heavy Machinery, Asuka, Carmella, R-Truth, Naomi and Nikki Cross versus Andrade, EC3, The Good Brothers, Lana, Shelton Benjamin, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville and Zelina Vega

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

In an explosive preview of Sunday’s Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal, 18 Superstars from both matches took sides and squared off in an 18-Person Mixed Tag Team Match on the blue brand. The two loaded squads threw caution to the wind, and a wild mid-match melee saw bodies flying all over the place and odd interactions between the likes of Mandy Rose and Otis and Nikki Cross and Shelton Benjamin. Jeff Hardy and Asuka remained in the ring after The Charismatic Enigma took out EC3. Hardy and The Empress hugged it out, but then Asuka hurled Jeff Hardy over the top rope, setting the perfect metaphor for both Battle Royals this Sunday: Every Superstar for themselves.

My Take: 1.5 out of 5 – The action was all over the place, but it was fun in certain spots. I wish this would have been given room to breathe, but that’s the way Vince books. Overall, this was not very good, but it did get everyone on television.

Match #4: (Main Event) Samoa Joe def. Ali

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

United States Champion Samoa Joe looked to pick up steam ahead of WrestleMania in a bout against Ali on SmackDown LIVE. Ali brought the fight to Joe, pushing the pace against the United States Champion, but when a critical mishap saw Ali eat canvas on a 450 Splash, Joe capitalized by locking in the Coquina Clutch and proving that beyond a shadow of a doubt, he was ready for The Show of Shows.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – For a match so short, this was fun and succinct, if a bit too stunted by the booking itself.

News Of The Night:

  1. Kevin Owens hosted another “The Kevin Owens Show” with AJ Styles and Randy Orton as the guests who brawled with each other after an excellent promo between the two.
  2. Alexa Bliss booked the Usos to fight The Bar, Rusev/Nakamura and Black/Ricochet for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles at Wrestlemania.
  3. The IIconics promised to win the Women’s Tag Titles at Wrestlemania.
  4. Becky Lynch cut a strong promo on winning at Wrestlemania.
  5. Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston had a fantastic promo, in the form of a contract signing, that really showed just how excited people are for the WWE World Title Match.

Final Verdict: 2.5/5

This was not one of the great episodes of Smackdown Live, but it had enough proper build for Wrestlemania to it, so it at least performed its function.

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