5 Things WWE subtly told us on SmackDown: Main event push for underrated star, Former Champion not a babyface anymore?

Welcome to this week’s edition of things WWE subtly told us on SmackDown. A lot of the show on SmackDown was centered around the build to the Elimination Chamber match – one that has a slight twist. Here’s what WWE subtly told us this week on SmackDown:


#5. Seth Rollins welcoming back feud on SmackDown

Where does he fit in?
Where does he fit in?

Seth Rollins’ hadn’t been on SmackDown since pre-Survivor Series 2020. When Rollins was drafted to SmackDown for the first time in four years, it was a big deal.

However, at Survivor Series, he “sacrificed” himself and was eliminated right at the beginning. It was a way to write him off SmackDown programming as he went on a paternity leave.

Seth Rollins’ original return to SmackDown was delayed by a month, and when it finally happened, a good chunk of the Blue brand roster came out to welcome back one of the most accomplished Superstars in WWE today. Seth Rollins even brought back his old music.

Seth Rollins took the center stage, seemingly humbled by the reception from the SmackDown roster. He began to talk about how his daughter changed his life in ways he couldn’t even imagine, before proceeding to reveal that he actually hadn’t changed at all.

In Seth Rollins’ mind, he probably did, but the whole SmackDown locker room could see that he didn’t. After making a declaration that SmackDown needs a great leader, the locker room left him at ringside.

Seth Rollins was so engrossed in his own speech that he didn’t realize that everyone had left and returned backstage. There was one Superstar who hadn’t left – Cesaro.

Assuming that Cesaro was the only one who agreed with him, Rollins seemed ready to embrace him, only for The Swiss Superman to reveal that he wasn’t on his side either.

Rollins attacked Cesaro from behind before his Elimination Chamber qualifying match. In the main event, Cesaro teamed up with Daniel Bryan to face the SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode.

It was a great match, and Cesaro made Ziggler tap out to the Sharpshooter in the end. Cesaro is red hot right now, and the SmackDown commentators acknowledged that there isn’t any star in WWE hotter than The Swiss Superman at the moment.

A qualification spot confirmed for the Elimination Chamber, a feud with Seth Rollins on SmackDown, and multiple big victories. It seems as though WWE’s main event push of Cesaro might finally be coming to fruition.

#4. Apollo Crews’ character status on SmackDown

Apollo Crews played the spoilsport
Apollo Crews played the spoilsport

Big E came out on SmackDown, seemingly ready to make an open challenge for the Intercontinental title. He specifically said “Now that I’m done with Apollo Crews”, but it was none other than the former United States Champion who made his presence known.

As you may know, Big E’s last title defense on SmackDown saw him pick up a win over Sami Zayn and Apollo Crews by pinning the latter. Apollo Crews once again made the challenge on SmackDown, and Big E said he wanted to face anyone but him.

They had a tense verbal back-and-forth, and Shinsuke Nakamura ultimately stepped up to the challenge.

While it was a good match on SmackDown, Apollo Crews played the spoilsport and attacked the Champion, causing a DQ. Apollo Crews didn’t seem like a heel, but a man desperate to get the gold at all cost.

What it did seem to indicate, however, is that Apollo Crews isn’t a babyface either. He has lost his babyface status and is now a “tweener” as they’re called. He might be Big E’s primary challenger next, presumably at Elimination Chamber.

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