This week's episode of SmackDown comes from Houston, Texas on the USA Network on April 7, 2016. This is the fallout show from Smarkamania, the RAW after WrestleMania 32.
For full results and the live blog, click here.
To be the Guy . . . .
The NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns, started the show. He spoke about beating the Authority at WrestleMania and taking back HIS championship. When you are champion, everyone wants it, so that makes it one versus all. Fans can love him or hate him because he's not a bad guy or a good guy, he's THE GUY. And he is going to do what he has to do to beat AJ Styles.
The last comment brought out the Phenomenal One, the new number one contender for Reigns' championship. Styles congratulated Reigns on winning the title at 'Mania and offers his hand. Reigns shook his hand. Then Styles goes on to say that he is coming after the WWE World Heavyweight title. Styles says he has been around the World and beaten the best so if he has to beat THE GUY, then so be it
Roman reminded Styles that he has never beat him and he never will. He drops the mic and gives Styles a little pat on the shoulder before leaving the scene.
Meanwhile, on the Road to KOMania 2 . . .
The announced main event involved the four combatants from Monday's number one contender match, with Styles teaming with Cesaro to take on Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho in tag team action.
Styles and Jericho started the match and Styles got Jericho down first, giving the tag in to Cesaro, who saw his first in ring action on the blue brand in 2016. Styles and Cesaro looked to work over Jericho but he took a powder outside of the ring to regroup with Owens, who displayed his frustration by knocking over the ring steps. This did not really help as Cesaro and Styles gelled well together in the early part of the match.
Jericho was able to cut Cesaro off and get a quick tag to KO. Cesaro braved through the double team attempt on the Canadians to deliver running corner uppercuts to both men. Cesaro was then sent out of the ring in the melee and KO threw him into the announce table face first, which gives Jericho the opening to take over the match. KO and Y2J worked together to keep Cesaro in their corner, each taking turns beating and wearing down the Swiss Superman.
Cesaro nearly got a tag to AJ once before Jericho pulled Styles down from the apron. Eventually, though, Cesaro was able to elude offense and get the tag to Styles. AJ came in and went to work, flying all over the face. KO was able to turn the momentum after Styles ate the mat on a springboard attempt. KO thought he had control but Styles slipped out of his grasp and hit a Pele kick. Styles went for a springboard forearm but Jericho interfered. Two pinfall attempts later, the match breaks down completely and Cesaro takes Jericho out in the timekeeper's booth.
As KO went for the win, Sami Zayn came running from the back, clearly injured. Officials could not hold him back. Distracted, KO was rolled up in a school boy pin by Styles, losing the match.
Almost immediately, KO went after Zayn and the two began to trade blows, much to the crowd's delight. Officials attempted to maintain order and separated the two. Owens could be heard yelling, "I hate you!" as the show went off the air.
Zack Ryder versus the Miz
Zack Ryder took on the new Intercontinental Champion, the Miz, in a rematch from the champion's win on RAW this past Monday. Before the match, former Diva's Champion, Maryse (and the Miz's real life wife), introduced the champion, saying that she is proof that behind every great man there is a great woman. The Miz was a perfect jerk during his introduction, making sure to touch his wife's butt before getting into the ring.
The match started with Ryder coming at Miz with urgency, trying to get a quick win. Miz cut Ryder off after a pin attempt but Ryder takes control again and gets Miz down outside the ring. Another pin attempt results in a two count. Miz took control over the match and grinded Ryder down with submissions and hard impact moves. Ryder survived several near falls until Ryder hit a neckbreaker out of nowhere to take Miz down. Ryder began his comeback but Miz was able to counter a middle rope attack into a sit out powerbomb. That did not put Ryder away and he continued to bring the fight to the champion.
Miz hit a DDT on Ryder but only got another two count. Miz went for his Finale but Ryder fought out of it and almost got a pin on a sling blade type maneuver. Ryder set up for the Broski Boot but Miz moved out of the way. Ryder took Miz down outside and delivered his boot to Miz near the barricade. He put Miz back into the ring and went to the top rope and hit a flying elbow but only got a two count.
Ryder began to attack Miz in the far cornwe as Maryse distracted first Ryder and then the referee by removing a turnbuckle from the opposite side of the ring. Miz was able to recover enough to hit the Skull Crushing Finale and retain his title. Twice now, the IC Champion's wife has decided the end of his matches. There's a new power couple in town.
- Lucha Dragons versus the Vaudevillians: This was the main roster debut of the Vaudevillians, former NXT Tag Team Champions. Vaudevillians put the Dragons away in a decent first match from the duo.
- Summer Rae versus Natalya: Charlotte was at commentary for this match, which saw Nattie pick up the win with the Sharpshooter. After the match, a confrontation between Natalya and Charlotte was teased but nothing physical happened.
- Curtis Axel versus Apollo Crews: Social Outcasts played "Rock, Paper, Scissors" in order to figure out who got to face the NXT call up. Before the match started, the Outcasts did their trademark victory lap. Probably because they knew Crews would win, which he did after a dominating match. It's just too easy for him.
- Baron Corbin backstage interview: The 2016 Andre the Giant Memoral Battleroyal winner told the WWE roster that the End of Days isn't coming, it's already here.
- Becky Lynch backstage interview: The Lass Kicker sported a wicked black eye discussing the triple threat match for the WWE Women's Championship. She will never lose her passion and that is what the championship is about. Emma showed up and said that Becky deserved her black eye but not all the opportunities she's been given. Fiery stuff from the back and forth with these ladies. This one could be great.
- Dean Ambrose versus Tyler Breeze: The former Intercontinental Champion beat Breeze quickly and decisively. After the match, Ambrose was making his exit when Chris Jericho interrupted his time to make his entrance early. Ambrose stared at Jericho as the two crossed paths on the ramp but Jericho acted as if Dean was not there. I would like to point out that Dean Ambrose actually did something similar to this to Kevin Owens once last summer.
- Golden Truth segment: Is this ever going to lead somewhere?
Outside of the main event and Intercontinental title match, this was a night of squash matches . . . and that's a really good thing. WWE needs to establish who is clearly better than who in the hierarchy around this place. One thing is certain, though, no matter where anyone else ranks, the WWE WHC is THE GUY!
I am enjoying Reigns' attitude. I hope I get to see this side of him more often. But the best part of the show is the last segment proves that Owens versus Zayn could potentially be as hot as it has ever been on the main roster. No one needs a history lesson to understand and realize that the kind of hate those two have for each other only comes once, maybe twice, in a lifetime.
Also, all the hotness that could be Becky Lynch versus Emma is exciting.
Also, The Miz and Maryse are going to be soooooooo annoying. Can't wait to see it!
I actually dubbed this show Markamania before watching but it is quite accurate for how I felt. Things in the WWE feel different. As a hardcore fan of the product, this is exactly what I wanted to see after sitting through seven hours of whatever that was Sunday. I was looking for one thing-even if just a little thing-to keep me invested. WWE gave me several potentially big things.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
That is all for this week, Cagesiders. What did you think of the show? Let your voice be heard in the comment section that listens to its fans.