SmackDown Winners And Losers: Usos Get Their Shot At Tag Team Gold Next Week
This week’s SmackDown Live kicked off with a big tag match that featured two of the brand’s best. The Usos were looking to reclaim their spot as the top duo on Fridays, while The Street Profits contended they ran the tag division now.
In other action, Natalya and Tamina took on The Riott Squad, Kevin Owens was attacked by Commander Azeez, Carmella took on Bianca Belair, Chad Gable lost to Shinsuke Nakamura and Dominik had to defend the titles alone.
Here are your winners and losers for SmackDown, May 28, 2021:
Winner: Street Profits Vs. The Usos
WWE gave these two teams the opening promo of the night and the first match. The idea seemed to be that this was an important contest, which it was. These are two of WWE’s best tag teams and if there’s going to be meaning behind the SmackDown Tag Titles, these two duos will be at the center of any future storylines.
It would be easy to say The Usos were the winners here because they picked up a big win, but this match was excellent, so the fans won. Jimmy Uso showed no ring rust and the brothers seemed to pick up right where they left off. Their chemistry with The Street Profits was excellent, despite this being Jimmy’s second match in over a year. Jey worked more of a heel style while Jimmy stayed fairly neutral and the WWE announce team didn’t let that fact slide. Roman Reigns watched on from his private dressing room and it will be interesting to see if Jey’s wrestling style had anything to do with that.
Winner/Loser: Riott Squad Vs. Tamina And Natalya
This match was a mix of good and bad. The good was that The Riott Squad got some much-need television time. Their strategy was strong as they focused on taking out Tamina early and working on Nattie. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off as Tamina came in and dominated the moment she got the tag.
The bad was that this match was far too short and Natalya looked like the much weaker member of the tag team champions. She struggled against the Riott Squad while Tamina handled Ruby and Liv Morgan with ease.
SmackDown’s first hour was dedicated to tag team action. The first match got 3/4 of the time slot, but it’s good to see the blue brand is actually focused on making the respective set of championships mean something.
Winner: Bianca Belair
Belair vs. Carmella was another strong match that was given some decent time to build up steam. Most likely would have predicted Belair to be the winner here because she’s working a program with Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, and that’s what happened. That said, Carmella showed well and looked dominant at times versus the best female athlete in WWE.
The biggest loser here was Michael Cole who called Belair “Belanca” and Cole continues to struggle getting the words out when it comes to names and finishers. Bayley did well to pick up on it as use it, adding a little more flare to her heel tendencies.
N/A: Seth Rollins Promo
In one of the weirdest promos WWE and Seth Rollins have offered up in a while, the birthday boy got a few laughs but it’s not entirely clear what the point of his speech was. He jumped around from cracking jokes about the audio from a hospital room to Rollins blaming Cesaro for his own situation and saying the Swiss Superman may never step foot in a WWE ring again. Rollins blamed the WWE Universe for making Cesaro feel like it was ok to disrespect him.
Rollins is annoyingly good at his promos so it’s hard to be too critical even when he’s not working with the best material. It’s clear he’s delusional and we’re psyched for it. I wrote a column last week about where Rollins might be headed with his character. I might not be that far off.
Loser: Owens Vs. Crews
Kevin Owens sold the snot out of the Nigerian Nail delivered by Commander Azeez. That was about the best thing in his match with Apollo Crews because there wasn’t much else to judge this segment on. One has to wonder if this was creative setting the stage for an Owens vs. Crews feud. If so, we can get on board with that.
Should that be the case, we might have to come back to this one and call it a winner. Sometimes you go with something quick to get things kicked off and maybe this is Chapter 1 in a multi-chapter story. It had a bit of a Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage crushed larynx feel to it. One can only hope these two have a final match like Steamboat and the Macho Man did.
Loser: Gable Vs. Nakamura
The best thing about this very quick match between Chad Gable and Shinsuke Nakamura was the glimpse fans got of what these two could do in the ring if they were given ample time to put on a real match. This was far too short a contest that was really only done to work the continued angle between Corbin and Nakamura, while also focusing a ton of attention on Rick Boogs.
Boogs has a ton of charisma but this was not as good a showing as last week. He missed a lot of the notes while playing Nakamura’s riff and while I may be nitpicking, that’s tough on the ears and really takes away from the appeal of doing Nakamura’s entrances and exits that way.
Winner: Dominik Mysterio
Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler tried again to put the Mysterios on tilt. Last week, they focused on Dominik but realized they enraged Rey Mysterio and their plan to attack Dom before the match backfired. This week, they attacked Rey backstage thinking Dom wouldn’t show up to fight. They were wrong.
Dominik held his own and was able to actually pull out the win when Rey’s music hit and he started to limp his way down the ramp. The distraction was enough to help Dominik retain. That brought out the Usos, who ended the show in a stare-down with the champs. Reigns was shown and he wasn’t happy.
Could WWE pull the trigger on a title change already? Could the Usos win next week and create real friction between Roman and the Usos? Or, will creative play this out for a while and have Reigns cost his cousins their shot?