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WWE SmackDown recap & reactions (April 29, 2022): Subject to change

Drew McIntyre finally got to have a straight up match with Sami Zayn, the poetic finale to their little feud coming in a steel cage match that ended up being a microcosm of the feud itself. Zayn spent the entire match trying to escape, and McIntyre beat em up each time he kept him in the cage. Eventually, he hit the Claymore and scored the pinfall.

It was entertaining for what it was, a way to heat up McIntyre while utilizing Zayn in ways he’s most effective.

It turns out, McIntyre needed heating up because later in this very show, he was going to come to the rescue of RK-Bro, who needed an assist because The Bloodline had them outnumbered and were putting the boots to them. Roman Reigns acted shocked McIntyre confronted him, but as Drew himself screamed to him, “this has been a long time coming.”

It’s an interesting choice, all things considered.

McIntyre has clearly been pretty well protected for a while now, quite obviously in anticipation of his shooting back up to the main event to square off with Reigns. Doing it now would seem to indicate they aren’t as high on McIntyre as they once were.

In a strange twist, they changed the tag team title unification match by having Paul Heyman intimidate Adam Pearce into making it a six-man tag team match. It would seem the unification is off the table now, and McIntyre won’t be getting a title shot either. That could change before WrestleMania Backlash, but for now, the announcement did not include anything about any titles being on the line.

Weird!

And maybe indicative of McIntyre not quite being ready for this yet? Or, and this is entirely possible and maybe even likely, an issue related to WWE’s lack of long term planning.


All the rest
  • They tried to make a big deal of Happy Corbin using a sledgehammer to smash Madcap Moss’s Andre Battle Royal trophy. This would work better if said trophy meant a whole lot more than it does. Moss disguised himself and snuck in to stop Corbin anyway, sending him packing after a short beatdown. Then he laughed at Corbin.
  • Ricochet beat Shanky in an Intercontinental championship match. There wasn’t much to it, which is tough considering Ricochet always has fun matches, no matter the opponent. It turned out to be a way to put strain on the relationship between Shanky and Jinder Mahal. We’ll see where that goes.
  • Raquel Rodriguez won a glorified squash match for her debut bout on the blue brand. It was a taped show, so difficult to gauge how well she did here, but she certainly didn’t bomb.
  • Shayna Baszler & Natalya, who are getting another tag team title match because there are no other teams, never did anything to earn that position beyond existing. Here, they had Naomi beat Baszler clean, then had the rule breakers beat down the babyfaces, with Shayna doing the arm breaker routine. I guess that’s one way to go about it!
  • Kofi Kingston said “get up in them guts” on this show, word to Jason Mewes.
  • Xavier Woods beat Ridge Holland while Sheamus beat Kingston in singles matches, putting Woods through a table on the outside afterward. Far more important in all this? WHERE’S BUTCH?!?
  • A “Beat The Clock I Quit” Challenge was booked for this show, with Ronda Rousey beating Shotzi in 1:41 and Charlotte Flair being unable to match that time against Aliyah. She blamed the timekeeper who was, surprise, Drew Gulak trying out something else. He got roughed up and treated like crap again. Poor fella. I wonder what he’ll get into next week!

This was a taped show that didn’t actually feel like a taped show, which is to its credit.

Grade: C+

Your turn.