SmackDown Winners And Losers: New Champs, Plus Jimmy, Jey, Roman Troubles Continue
This week’s SmackDown was the go-home show to WrestleMania Backlash. and it was s strong go-home show at that.
Roman Reigns had some family business to take care of and he and his cousins aired their dirty laundry to open the show. It was followed by a Women’s Tag Team Title match and a massive title change. We saw WWE set the stage for a King vs. King showdown, Apollo Crews tried to reward his Commander and Dolph Ziggler loses… again.
Here are your winners and losers for SmackDown, May 14, 2021:
Winner/Loser: Opening Segment
A promo that took a while to get going turned into a strong segment that set up the program’s main event for later in the night. Jey Uso brought out Roman Reigns and WWE then cut to a flashback, really killing the momentum to start the show. Then it seemed like the men in the ring were winging their promos — which is fine, but there were a number of lengthy, somewhat awkward pauses. But, when Jimmy came out, things started to roll.
Reigns got frustrated with the idea that Jimmy thought he could do what Roman is doing, which is represent The Family, put food on the table and be the man when the lights shined the brightest. Reigns almost lost his cool, but then tested Jimmy’s willingness to put his money where his mouth is and challenge Cesaro. Of course, Cesaro accepted.
Reigns did a good job showcasing his emotional range, but ultimately getting what he wanted which is Jimmy in a match with his opponent for Sunday.
Winner: Natalya And Tamina Win Tag Team Titles
In a historic moment that represents Tamina’s first run with a major WWE championship, WWE decided to switch things up and put the Women’s Tag Titles around the waist of another team. Natalya and Tamina won the championships when Tamina nailed Nia Jax with a top-rope splash.
The team was interviewed after the match and both were emotional. WWE followed it up with pyro, suggesting this was a huge moment that we as fans were supposed to remember. Congratulations to Tamina who absolutely deserved to hold a title at some point in her WWE career.
A number of fans are going to be happy to see the titles moved and Baszler and Jax can potentially move on to other things. That Natalya and Tamina get them after chasing them for a while, fans will also be happy.
Winner: Crews Tries To Award Azeez
If WWE is going to give us a similar segment that includes the same competitors week after week, doing what they did with Commander Azeez’s medal of honor ceremony at least brings some creativity and freshness to the promo. It was a ceremony that was meant to show how important Azeez is going to be to Crews’ run as Intercontinental Champion. It also showcased a strong crop of stars that want a shot at the IC Title.
Big E interrupted the ceremony, Sami Zayn came out to add his two cents and Kevin Owens appeared. All feel they have a rightful shot at the current champion and the group proves that SmackDown is really trying to work a nice mix of the companies biggest personalities and in-ring talent into the title scene.
It was a chaotic fight that really didn’t hint at anyone having the decided advantage. A Fatal Four Way is now set for next week’s show and our not-so bold prediction is that Azeez will likely play a large role in helping Crews retain.
Winner/Loser: Dolph Ziggler
This isn’t being graded a loser because the match wasn’t good. On the contrary, this was an excellent match between Dolph Ziggler and Rey Mysterio. The two have obvious chemistry and both are among WWE’s best.
Instead, we’re rating this a loser because Dolph takes two pins to his challenger two weeks in a row and we’ve got a hunch he’s going to take another pin on Sunday.
Ultimately, losing here doesn’t hurt Ziggler. That said, it might have been nice to split the losing up and not make it seem like he’s the member of the Dirty Dawgs that’s always going to take the three count.
Really, this is just nitpicking. As WWE wrote on Twitter, “Momentum MYSTERIOS.”
Winner: King Nakamura?
The match wasn’t much to write home about because it was far too short to really tell a story, but the announce crew did a good job of selling the idea that it was King vs. King on Friday as Corbin took on Nakamura.
The two had issues dating back to last week and while two straight wins over Nakamura isn’t ideal– not that long ago was running the gauntlet in an elimination match and looked to be headed toward the main event scene — it was necessary to get to the payoff. The idea here is to tease that Nakamura is the true King as the King of Strong Style and he’s going to take the crown and declare himself the rightful holder of it. Nakamura was seen backstage looking at himself in the mirror with it on.
It’s actually somewhat surprising it took WWE so long to run with a King vs. King storyline. It could be an interesting angle if done right. Of course, it also begs the question, what happens if Corbin loses? Could we see a stipulation match coming that would crown only one king?
Winner: Cesaro Walks Into Backlash With Momentum
The main event and close of this week’s show was excellent on a number of levels. First, it showed that Jimmy Uso hasn’t lost a step, even after more than a year away. For months we’ve been saying Jey has main event potential, but Jimmy just proved he’s no slouch either. Second, Reigns got in the way and insulted Jimmy by saying these “exhibition matches” don’t matter. It’s the first time a WWE Superstar has ever really referred to a television match that way, even though we know each week builds up to a pay-per-view showdown. Finally, Cesaro got another week of dominating his challengers.
WWE has done a very good job making Cesaro look like a credible challenger, all while setting the stage for an interesting storyline that will eventually take place between Jimmy, Jey and Roman.