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    Sunday, April 18, 2021

    The SmackDown BreakDown (4/16/21): The Age of Swiss

    As much as I love Cesaro, I didn't need to see the newest move in his arsenal, the Unidentified Flying Opponent, FIVE times throughout the episode. Way to market Cesaro as a one-trick-pony. I'm Ricky Publico and this is the SmackDown BreakDown.

    Seriously, the repetitive UFO snippet from WrestleMania annoyed the hell out of me. I appreciate the fact that they really wanted to hype Cesaro up, but they didn't have to occupy that amount of time to do so. We didn't even get to see the move in the end! But if they really wanted to hammer the point fully, why not show his other feats of strength from previous years? Or better yet, just show it twice and use all that extra time to give Apollo Crews a proper title celebration instead of an uninspired by-the-way promo.


    Okay, wow. That was a weird tangent in an otherwise good episode. I always love how SmackDown can start the show on a high note and tie it all up together with a nice bow in the end. If you're like me who thought Creative won't follow up on Cesaro's big WrestleMania win, we can rest easy after this week's episode centered around our favorite Swiss Superman. I can't believe I just wrote that sentence unironically. And weirdly enough, it started with a banger opening promo featuring the Head of the Table.

    I've never been this happy to see Roman Reigns. After his career-defining win at WrestleMania, there's no doubt that he's the biggest, most credible star in WWE right now. I was really worried about Adam Pearce questioning the win because Edge was the one on top of Daniel Bryan, but I'm glad they didn't go that route and instead let the Tribal Chief enjoy all the glory. It also helps that neither challengers didn't appear this week to highlight just how impressive Roman's victory was. Then Cesaro arrived and sparks flew. 


    Nothing drastic happened. In fact, when Cesaro asked for a mic, Roman Reigns just left. Genius! Of course in Roman's eyes, why would he waste his time with a punk who got a pity win at WrestleMania? It's such a bold statement for such a small gesture. It's also the first reality check for Cesaro's first foray into the main event scene. And if the disrespect wasn't loud enough, Paul Heyman had a few words to say against him. You could argue it ruined the subtlety of it all, but it's a Heyman promo so it's all good.

    Man, it's really awesome to see all the love Cesaro is receiving this week. He even headlined the show against Main Even Jey Uso and I didn't roll my eyes one bit. For some reason, they had great chemistry together and if it wasn't for the Seth Rollins run-in, Cesaro would've easily swung Jey for a solid 15 times. They should've just given Cesaro the win and have Seth spoil the victory just to make that main event efficient. But hey, I still enjoyed this week's episode, which was basically a Cesaro Appreciation Night. 


    You know who had a great appreciation night? The brand new SmackDown Women's Champion, Bianca Belair. After making history at WrestleMania, Bianca took center stage to cut a rather inspiring promo fit for the occasion. It's just a wholesome segment overall and it's really cute that she got to share that moment with her husband. It was also a great transition to the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match featuring the Dirty Dawgs vs. Street Profits, a match I really enjoyed for some reason.

    I just didn't appreciate Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode as a tag team right until now. I guess Pat McAfee hyping them up as great champions helped a lot because it made me realize how impressive their recent victories were. They survived three other teams at WrestleMania SmackDown and this week, they expertly retained their titles without resorting to any form of cheating. They were just the better-oiled machine operating ten steps ahead of the plucky challengers. Just check out how smooth the finish is!

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: Repetitive UFO sighting aside, this episode was a good one. I don't know if #SmackDownAfterMania is a thing, but this week's show didn't feel as disappointing as this week's RAW. They also thankfully didn't call up anyone from NXT and I can finally rest easy. It's just good ol' SmackDown with their great characters and engaging storylines. You love to see it.

    Show Grade: B

    BreakDown Thoughts That Also Want to Get Swinged by Cesaro

    • It probably counts as a call-up, but Pat McAfee was a great addition to the SmackDown commentary team. His energy is palpable and his enthusiasm is infectious. He even stands during an exciting match! Corey Graves is too cool to do such a horrible thing. Here's an example of his brilliance: I was unconvinced about Rey Mysterio's supposed victory over the bulldozing Otis, but when McAfee explained it with all the eagerness in the world, I was like, "Yeah, that's actually an impressive victory." That's how you add color to a match.
    • I'm not even surprised WWE fired a bunch of talents over made-up budget cuts. I'm just surprised about the names they did fire considering there are other untalented and unlikable wrestlers still employed in the company. You know what, scratch that. I'm not surprised they fired excellent talents like Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Mickie James, and Samoa Joe. Of course they will. What was I thinking? I really hope they continue shining brightly in their new homes anytime soon.
    • Aside from this week's main event, the rematch between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn would've benefited from a decisive win. If they were going to have Sami stunned by the end of the segment, why not give KO the win or give Sami the win via shenanigans? What a half-assed way to advance an organic storyline. Still love to see it continue, though. They haven't released the full-length documentary yet!
    • Isn't the new Apollo Crews supposed to be royalty? Why doesn't he had his own locker room or a special interview set backstage to make it look like he is royalty? He already won the Intercontinental Championship and was even given his own generic tall henchman yet they still treat him like the old Apollo. It's so confusing. Do they want us to take him seriously or what?
    • Ey yo, Shayna Baszler is a Chump Check! This week, she eats another painful rollup win against Natalya, just days after successfully defending the Women's Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania. How low can Shayna Baszler's stock sink? Find out on the next edition of Shayna Baszler is a Chump Check!
    • I know I said I don't enjoy storylines involving authority figures, but I enjoyed the seeds of insubordination slowly growing between Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. Is it because Adam is my favorite authority figure? Is it because Sonya fits the bill of a powerful authority figure like a snug glove? I have yet to find out, but I'm definitely enjoying all of it.

    Header image taken from WWE.com

    *****

    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's seasoned veteran and resident main roster reviewer. He's a sucker for well-written 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. His potential haunts him. 

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    Item Reviewed: The SmackDown BreakDown (4/16/21): The Age of Swiss Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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