Just like RAW the night before it, the SmackDown Live after WrestleMania is usually a time for shock returns or debuts. Instead, what we got last night was largely a repeat of the events that took place just 24 hours prior on Monday Night RAW. Aside from this, there was rightly much pomp and circumstance surrounding the career of Kofi Kingston as his New Day brothers congratulated him on his long overdue crowning as WWE Champion. Welcome to the most must-see VultureHound review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Live Review.
Mustafa Ali, Aleister Black and Ricochet defeated Andrade Cien Almas, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura in a six-man tag match.
– The IIconics retained the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships against local jobbers, the Brooklyn Belles.
– The Hardy Boyz beat The Usos to become the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
– The New Day saw off the team of Drew McIntyre and The Bar in the main event.
It’s a YES from me:
The New Day held an emotional celebration that highlighted how important this was for them and WWE as a whole. There was a perfect balance of heartfelt joy and goofy antics as Woods revealed Kofi to be his idol when first joining WWE and Big E showed us all that he can do the splits again! This was put on hold as the Bar felt the need to interrupt the celebrations. While their interference on RAW the night before was confusing, this put to use Sheamus and Cesaro’s longterm rivalry with the New Day by explaining they didn’t want Kofi to lose the shows main championship to Rollins. At least there was some logic behind their attack after all. They challenged the New Day to a six-man tag team match and announced Drew McIntyre as their third man. A much more likely trio than the RAW grouping of Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley and McIntyre. The match itself wasn’t perfect but it served its purpose in setting up further stories going into next weeks Shake Up.
The best match of the night saw the babyface team of Ali, Aleister Black and Ricochet defeat Andrade, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura. Black and Ricochet showcased what is so special about NXT while Ali had a standout moment when he hit Andrade with a reverse DDT and a 450 Splash to pick up the win for his team. The match was followed up with an RKO outta nowhere on Ali and Kevin Owens hitting Rusev with a stunner. A fun segment of the show!
A short segment saw Carmella and R-Truth celebrate her winning the
Piston Cup Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania. They were interrupted by the United States Champion, Samoa Joe who immediately put Truth to sleep with a Coquina Clutch. Daring anyone from the back to step up to him, Joe was confronted by Braun Strowman as they brawled before Joe eventually escaped. These are two monsters that have been built up on separate brands over the last year so it will be interesting to see if they eventually come to blows on the same brand.
A change of titles saw The Hardy Boyz claim their ninth tag belts in WWE by beating the Usos. Jeff rolled out the way of the Double Uce which set up a Twist of Fate for Matt and a Swanton Bomb from Jeff for the win. The Usos have been fantastic on SmackDown over the last 2 years and this could ideally free them up to move to RAW next week. Lars Sulivan continued in his legend killer ways by setting upon the Hardyz and delivering them both Freak Accidents.
Ah hell no:
The IIconics decided to start their new tag team titles reign by defending the belts against undefeated local competitors The Brooklyn Belles. While taking on jobbers as “fighting champions” does feed into the IIconics heel gimmick, it ultimately felt a bit flat as it wasn’t followed up by anything significant that you would expect on a show following WrestleMania. Instead, there was an announcement from Paige that she will be bringing in a new women’s tag team next week as part of the Shake Up. I wonder if it will be Io Shirai and Kairi Sane?
“The BEST in the woooooor”. “No, stop. Do it again.” Is a back and forth we essentially got a thousand times between Shane McMahon and Greg Hamilton before Shane eventually strolled out to the back. I get it, he’s a McMahon through and through but this segment didn’t really accomplish much other than creating a little bit of tension between Shane and Hamilton. We’ll have to wait another day to see The Miz exact his revenge.
Becky Lynch repeated her speech from the night before, dubbing herself “Becky two belts” in the process and promised to pull double duty on RAW and SmackDown Live as she looks to defend the titles. She was once again attacked by Lacey Evans who will be looking to use The Man to help elevate her career once she is officially drafted to the main roster at next weeks Superstar Shake Up. The fact they boringly repeated this spot amongst others shows there’s a lack of creativity in the back and it’s very disappointing to see this happen on what is supposed to be the most exciting SmackDown Live of the calendar.