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WWE loads up SmackDown for head-to-head battle with NFL Draft

Pro wrestling spends most of the spring and summer months as the only nationally televised live sports entertainment product. Sure, they’ll occasionally land on the same night as a big NBA Playoff game (or the even more rare NHL one), but it’s pretty much smooth sailing until the big bad NFL returns in the fall.

Football’s usually only a problem for WWE on Monday nights, too. But the NFL peppers its off-season schedule with big events, and the next one runs over three days - one of which will be head-to-head with SmackDown.

Night two of the NFL Draft starts Fri. April 30 at 7 p.m. and airs on ABC, ESPN & NFL Network. To help their partners at FOX keep up with the second and third rounds of pro football’s team-building exercise, WWE’s loaded up next week’s SmackDown with two title matches.

One we already told you about. Roman Reigns is giving Daniel Bryan another shot at the Universal title, with the stipulation that if he retains, DB has to leave SmackDown. That means that in addition to being a title match between future Hall of Famers with great chemistry, this one will also deepen the mystery of Bryan’s future plans.

The other is also a WrestleMania rematch. After Intercontinental champion Apollo Crews’s Commander Azeez & Sami Zayn-assisted win over Kevin Owens, he was attacked by Big E. Crews took the belt from E at ‘Mania (with help from Azeez) in a Nigerian Drum Fight. Now he’ll have a chance to take it back.

No special stipulation here, so no reason to think Apollo’s Commander won’t help him steal another win. But don’t worry, E. There’s always WrestleMania Backlash.

How will these big matches fare against 64 college football players getting hugs from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell? We’ll find out next weekend!