SmackDown Winners and Losers: Reigns Gets New Theme, Proves He’s The Head Of The Table

This week’s SmackDown featured a huge main event with a massive stipulation that had the means to change the look and feel of Friday nights forever. If Daniel Bryan won, he was the new Universal Champion. If Roman Reigns won, he’d become, undoubtedly, the Head of the Table, have all the bragging rights in the world and the blue brand would move forward without one of its biggest stars.

Yes, there was some other stuff happening in the first hour of the show, but it was underscored, often a waste of television time and really not important in the grand scheme of the rest of the evening.

Here are your winners and losers for SmackDown, April 30, 2021:

Loser: Bianca Belair Opening
In a promo and segment that felt like a complete afterthought, Bianca Belair tried to introduce the show and The Street Profits, only to be interrupted by SmackDown tag team champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. That brought out Bayley who incessantly laughed until she got knocked on her butt. Whatever the point of this segment was, it’s WWE both pressing replay on a tag match we’ve seen many times before, while the Bayley and Belair interaction felt uninspired.

The six-person tag match that followed was ok for what it was, but again, this match didn’t really move forward the feuds between all the parties involved.

Loser: Tamina And Natalya Beat Jax And Baszler
Again, these four women have seen a lot of the same ring in the past month and it doesn’t feel like a lot of progress is being made in this storyline. Much of that can be attributed to the fact that WWE is throwing in multiple layers like Reginald, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke, but there needs to be a real plan here.

Tamina and Natalya picking up the big win is hopefully the sign that the next step is a title bout and a undisputed winner will come out of the battle.

Winner/Loser: Crews Vs. Big E
The fact that there was an Intercontinental Championship Match on this show got somewhat lost in the shuffle of the Bryan and Reigns build up, but Big E and Crews did their best to steal some of the attention back to themselves. They had a good match that wasn’t helped by a screwy finish.

 

This bout was really about setting up how dominant Commander Azeez is and the involvement of both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn suggests we could see a Fatal Four-Way at WrestleMania Backlash. It should be a great match, so that’s the really good news coming out of this segment.

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Winner: Aleister Black Promo
Black was back with another story and this one was as interesting as the first one fans witnessed last week. This week, Black talked about how he lives in the reality of the real world and how everyone else doesn’t understand that they are all living lies. “Imagine thinking any of that is real,” he said. He noted that his father taught him there was something horribly wrong with the people who fall for it.

Black said he could give those same people the keys to escape their fake reality, but he won’t.

Who knows what he means by that, but this is a far better use of his abilities than what WWE had him doing in the past and it seems obvious there are complexities to this story they are trying to tell, which should be fun to watch unfold.

Winner: Roman Reigns Vs. Daniel Bryan
This was perhaps the match of 2021 and SmackDown really went out of its way to make it feel like it was. Not only was this a fantastic in-ring contest that had a “big fight feel”, the pomp and circumstance that built up to the two acting fighting was as big as we’ve ever seen on a weekly program for WWE in some time.

This was a contest that had big repercussions and the results would change the landscape of Friday nights. The blue brand made us realize it before these two ever locked up. And, by the way, Reigns’ new entrance theme is excellent.

From there, the wrestling was incredible and the best part was, it ended in a rare clean victory for Reigns. That was a nice surprise.

WWE saved the chaos for after the bell and for when Daniel Bryan’s fate had already been determined. Cesaro trying to make the save suggests he’ll work his way through Rollins again and The Swiss Superman will be next up to challenge Reigns.

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