WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Cesaro attacked by Seth Rollins during main event, Pat McAfee debuts
Friday’s edition of SmackDown marked the first installment of the show since WrestleMania 37 produced several title changes. However, the universal championship was one title that didn’t change hands at the year’s top pay-per-view.
During Friday’s installment of SmackDown, Roman Reigns gloated about retaining the universal championship in a triple-threat match against Daniel Bryan and Edge at WrestleMania. Cesaro, who was fresh off of his huge win over Seth Rollins at WrestleMania, came out to the ring and looked to approach Reigns. Reigns completely blew off Cesaro and seemed unimpressed by the “Swiss Superman.” Despite wanting to face Reigns in a non-title match on SmackDown, Cesaro ended up facing Jey Uso in Friday’s main event.
CBS Sports was with you all night, bringing you recaps and highlights of all the action from the new ThunderDome inside the Yuengling Center.
Cesaro attacked by Rollins in main event
SmackDown began with Reigns’ counsel, Paul Heyman, boasting about Reigns’ triumph at WrestleMania and how Reigns pinned both Bryan and Edge in what he called dominant fashion. Reigns added that nobody in the SmackDown locker room actually wants to face him at all, and as he was set to leave the ring, Cesaro’s music hit and he came out to confront Reigns. Reigns, Heyman, and Uso departed the ring before Cesaro could even grab a microphone. Just moments later, Cesaro spoke with WWE official Adam Pearce and asked for a match against Reigns later in the night.
Heyman was then interviewed backstage a short time later regarding Cesaro’s proposal for a match against Reigns. Heyman called Cesaro a “joke,” and revealed that Uso would face Cesaro in the main event. Cesaro later said that he belongs in the ring with Reigns and he’d prove it by beating Uso.
Cesaro def. Jey Uso via disqualification. Cesaro and Uso traded shots throughout what turned out to be a very physical matchup. As Cesaro had Uso in the Cesaro Swing. Seth Rollins attacked Cesaro and screamed that Cesaro got “lucky” in their match at WrestleMania. Rollins also said that their feud wasn’t over until he decided that it was as SmackDown went off the air.
After Cesaro got one of the more high-profile wins of his career, we did get a tease of Cesaro potentially being involved in the universal championship picture at some point. Now it looks like Cesaro will rekindle his feud with Rollins for the time being. Good booking for all involved parties. Grade: B+
Pat McAfee debuts as SmackDown commentator
Following WrestleMania, the WWE shuffled their commentary teams for both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown. The SmackDown commentary team previously consisted of Michael Cole and Corey Graves. However, Graves now joins new lead announcer Adnan Virk and Byron Saxton on Raw. When SmackDown began, Cole revealed that former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee would be his broadcast partner on Friday nights.
McAfee has a history in the WWE prior to joining the SmackDown commentary desk. The two-time Pro Bowlers served as an analyst on NXT TakeOver events in the past. McAfee was also involved in a feud with NXT star Adam Cole last summer. The two wrestled at NXT TakeOver XXX in August in a match that Cole ended up winning. McAfee also aligned himself with Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch, and Pete Dunne and the four men faced the Undisputed Era in a WarGames match, which the Undisputed Era won.
What else happened on WWE SmackDown?
Rey Mysterio def. Otis via pinfall. Mysterio connected on a 619 and went to the top rope to finish off the sequence. Mysterio was attempting to hit a move off the top rope, but he ended up maneuvering his way to roll up Otis for the pin.
Kevin Owens def. Sami Zayn via count-out. Zayn was knocked out of the ring, and chose not to return to the ring. After the match ended, Owens attacked Zayn and threw him back into the ring where he hit Zayn with a stunner. Prior to the match, Zayn cut an in-ring promo in which he said that was “screwed” yet again in his match against Owens at WrestleMania.
Bianca Belair celebrated her SmackDown women’s championship win at WrestleMania. The Street Profits introduced Belair for the celebration and Belair said that he persevered through adversity in her road to become SmackDown women’s champion. Belair praised Sasha Banks for helping her make history and that she is just getting started. Following Belair’s celebration, Banks was interviewed backstage and was absolutely speechless. Bayley was also interviewed backstage and revealed that she wants the SmackDown women’s championship back after holding it through the bulk of 2020.
Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler def. Street Profits via pinfall to retain the SmackDown tag team titles. Montez Ford took out Ziggler and Roode on the outside with a huge flip later in the match.. Ford then connected on a frog splash on Roode, but Ziggler was able to break up the pin. Moments later, when Roode was sitting in the corner, Ziggler made a blind tag and Ford had no idea. Ziggler connected on the Zig Zag when Ford’s attention was diverted and got the pin to retain.
Natalya def. Shayna Baszler via pinfall after she rolled up Baszler. Following the pinfall, Nia Jax grabbed Natalya, but Tamina superkicked Jax to make the save.