SmackDown Winners And Losers: Rick Boogs Rocks Alongside King Nakamura

This week’s SmackDown featured a parade of champions, a King vs. King battle, a debut, a return, and a Fatal-Four Way for the Intercontinental Championship as a main event bout. There were certainly misses to start the show, but some great in-ring work at the end that made up for some of the earlier gaffes.

Sonya Deville wanted to celebrate WWE’s announcement about live touring, but Bayley interrupted the opening celebration. From there, Jimmy Uso got he and his brother a tag match for next week, Corbin battled Nakamura, Roode lost, and Aleister Black made his return to live action as he set his sights on Big E, for god knows what reason.

A mixed bag of good and bad, here are your winners and losers for SmackDown, May 21, 2021:

Loser: Champions Parade

This was an incredibly boring segment to open the show. While the idea behind parading out all the champions was meant to be a way to highlight the fact WWE is going back out on the road and performing live events starting in July, there was nothing memorable about the first 15 minutes of the show.

It was a mundane mess that finally led to a six-woman tag team match that was better than the promo, but still nothing special. At best, this was filler to get a handful of the women on the show who have running feuds with each other. If the idea was to feature heat between Bianca Belair and Bayley, why not have the match end with one of these two competitors getting an edge over the other? With so many women in the ring, there was plenty of opportunity for Bayley to steal one, which would have had a much bigger impact than Shayna Baszler forcing Natalya to submit.

Related:AEW Rampage Has No Chance Of Being Their Version Of WWE Smackdown

Winner: Rick Boogs Debuts

We predicted last week that WWE was working towards a King vs. King storyline. Not assuming we’d get there so quickly, WWE offered up Shinsuke Nakamura vs. King Corbin one week after the friction between the two men started. In an unexpected twist, Nakamura also had a friend accompany him to the ring, as Rick Boogs made his SmackDown debut.

It’s not clear what the connection between Boogs and Nakamura is — other than that Boogs seems able to play Nakamura’s entrance guitar riff. Hopefully there’s more to it than that, because on the surface, it feels a bit forced with no backstory.

That said, Boogs was extremely entertaining and fans are going to take a liking to him right away. He had a ton of energy and charisma.

One of the real winners here was Pat McAfee. First, he was grinding air guitar style up against Michael Cole during the intro. It seriously felt like Cole was going to burst out laughing while trying to do his job. Then, when McAfee asked, “What kind of name is Boogs?”, Cole said, “That’s his last name!” McAfee said, “oh, ok, sorry Momma and Pappa Boogs. It’s a great name…”

Winner: Rollins Attacks Cesaro, Reigns Expects Loyalty

WWE is making it seem like Cesaro will have another shot at Roman Reigns, but Seth Rollins certainly seems eager to get in the way of that. Another attack by Rollins on an injured Cesaro hammers home the fact that The Swiss Superman and the man with a vision are about to officially collide at Hell in a Cell. This is great for Reigns who really doesn’t want to go another round with Cesaro.

The downside here is that there wasn’t much offered in the way of a development between the Usos and their cousin beyond a bit of foreshadowing. Reigns did have a conversation with Jey backstage and it appears he’s expecting his Right Hand Man to walk away from his tag match vs. The Street Profits. It was left hanging as to whether or not Jey would listen to the Head of the Table or take the opportunity to do something for himself.

Loser: Robert Roode

Understandably, Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler were upset about losing their tag team championships last week. As such, Roode wanted to get a bit of revenge on the younger of the two Mysterios. It didn’t work as Dominik beat Roode in a singles match to pour salt in the wounds.

So far, the Dirty Dawgs are winless when it comes to singles matches with the new champions. These string of losses is starting to look bad on the former tag champions and this time, it really didn’t help that Roode lost clean to a 6-1-9 and a frog splash.

The reality is, these two teams need to move onto other opponents and it shouldn’t be the Street Profits, who have had enough run-ins with Roode and Ziggler to last the rest of the year. The Usos getting involved here can’t come quickly enough. Or, WWE needs to bring in another team to work their way up the tag ranks.

RELATED: WWE Announces Return To Touring, Seemingly Without Telling Its Superstars

Winner: Fatal-Four Way Match

As one would expect with talent the caliber of Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Big E and Apollo Crews in the ring, the main event match for the Intercontinental Championship was excellent. The in-ring action was tremendous and the surprise return of Black was not at all expected, especially considering he had another vignette earlier in the show.

Black appeared out of the white fog and set his sights on Big E. There will certainly be questions about why, but keeping the title around the waist of Apollo Crews was the right decision. Crews will now need another challenger for the IC Title if Big E is otherwise occupied.

Black’s promos suggest he should be elevated higher than the mid-card, so hopefully this stopover with Big E is just an intro to bigger things. The downside here is that someone will probably have to lose and it feels a bit too early to book Big E to put another star over already.

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