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    Sunday, February 28, 2021

    The SmackDown BreakDown (2/26/21): Prepare for Trouble, Make it Triple

    Call me Nostradamus because I pretty much predicted the Blue Brand's WrestleMania main event and trust me, it will main event one of the nights. I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the SmackDown BreakDown.

    Okay, it's not technically set yet, but the signs all point to the blockbuster Mania match of Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan. I can just feel it. For some reason, the Reigns vs. Edge matchup seems flat to me. How will you build it up properly if Edge can't work a match for the next few weeks? It's not like promos alone can carry this angle for a whole month, no matter how well-written and well-executed they are. This match should have more meat to it, and that meat is Daniel Bryan.

    I already pointed this out last week, and this week's happenings made my predictions more plausible. Aside from the dynamic of the two miraculous returnees outshining the man-baby champ, we now have Edge and Daniel Bryan competing for who still has "it." Now we can expect fresh segments every week because Edge can go against Bryan, Bryan can go against Reigns, and Reigns can either go bitch about having two contenders to Adam Pearce or sit back and watch Edge and Bryan go at it.   

    And I know we still have Fastlane to worry about, but I just don't see Daniel Bryan's title chase ending there. You can't just treat Bryan as a pitstop when his name is still worth placing in every PPV main event, let alone the Grandest Stage of Them All. I can see Edge spoiling Bryan's match against Reigns, perfectly setting up a WrestleMania dream match for the ages. Framing it as a past vs. present vs. future sounds a bit of a stretch, but it's SmackDown so of course they can pull it off with ease. 

    Speaking of Roman Reigns, his influence has now produced the best version of Apollo Crews and it's glorious. After last week's vicious attack on Big E, Crews followed it up with a fantastic heel turn and a more royal getup. Who knew that random backstage segment between him and Reigns could lead to this? I love everything about the new Apollo Crews. From the way he looks to the way he speaks his mind, his new presentation felt like a satisfying outcome after years of staying in midcard limbo. 

    And for all his troubles, the new Apollo Crews was rewarded with a royal victory over Shinsuke Nakamura. Creative is firing on all cylinders with Crews and I'm confident they will be able to distinguish this gimmick to what Roman Reigns currently has. And while I'm glad Crews is now enjoying his newfound glory, let's hope this isn't the end of Nakamura's own career resurgence. They should at least add him to the Intercontinental Title mix, perhaps in a triple threat at Fastlane.

    Since we're already talking about career resurgence, how about Cesaro enjoying a major ride of his own? Wait, scratch that. It was Seth Rollins who enjoyed a Cesaro Swing ride this week and it was hilarious. Rollins rambled for far too long for my liking, but the payoff was worth it. If you thought the Seth Rollins laugh was hilariously bad, wait until you hear the Seth Rollins screams of agony. Michael Cole even described it perfectly as the best swing ever. Now that's a great finisher name. 

    If there's a non-title match I'm excited to see at WrestleMania 37, it's between these two wrestling machines. They honestly don't need a storyline for a technical masterpiece like this, but you know me, I'm a stickler for great stories. Of course I'll always appreciate the effort. Cesaro rejecting Seth Rollins' mentorship is a bit meh, but again, who cares? Just give them twenty minutes to work their magic and I'm sold. Can Rollins convert a Cesaro Swing into a Curb Stomp? The possibilities are endless!

    Perhaps the only dent in this episode was the eye-rollingly predictable Bianca Belair segment. They even had hype packages for each of the women champions, which begs the question: If they were going to do exactly that, why was Io Shirai not included? Even Edge had the decency to come down to NXT to spook out NXT Champion Finn Balor. Put some respect in Io Shirai's name. But fine, let's see who Bianca Belair will pick after this drag of a segment. It's Sasha Banks? Pretendstobeshocked.gif

    And while I support character arcs for even the lowest of NPCs, I pray that they don't stain this headliner with Reginald's creepy infatuation with Sasha Banks. Whatever his motivation is, his storyline should end at Fastlane no matter what. Leave Sasha and Bianca alone! I know it's tempting to add more twists and wrinkles to this rivalry, but this is one of those storylines that can survive on its star power alone. Just let hem bicker and outperform each other week after week and we're good. 

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: What else can you expect from SmackDown other than a solid show? Aside from the annoying Bianca Belair decision segment, it's a great episode with lots of Fastlane and WrestleMania implications. SmackDown can do nothing wrong at this point and at this point, I'm just hyped to see whether my predictions will come true in the coming weeks. 

    Show Grade: A-

    BreakDown Thoughts That Believe in the Vision

    • Alpha Academy picked up their first official victory as heels and it's awesome. Otis was less conflicted this time, which probably means the brainwashing was a complete success. I can't wait for them to conquer the tag team division anytime soon. 

    • Speaking of impressive wins, Tamina once again looked golden this week after sending Liv Morgan to the canvas with a Black Hole Slam. No Billie Kay this week, though. That's a shame.

    • I love how even commentary pointed out how it's weird the Street Profits are working their way up to a SmackDown Tag Team Championship rematch when they are already entitled to one. That means Sonya Deville and Dolph Ziggler are really up to something since this is Sonya's directive. Color me intrigued. 

    • Am I the only one who hates Sasha Banks' fake laugh? It's so jarring. Who laughs like that, anyway? 

    Header image taken from WWE.com


    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's resident main roster reviewer...  for better or worse. A known lover of tournaments, he's a sucker for well-executed promos and fast-paced matches. While he enjoys nitpicking shows, he now prefers enjoying wrestling for what it is instead of stressing himself over things he can't control. He's anxious about the future, now more than ever. LET HIM IN. 

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    Item Reviewed: The SmackDown BreakDown (2/26/21): Prepare for Trouble, Make it Triple Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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