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Smackdown 4/23/2021: Bryan/Cesaro vs. Rollins/Uso; Aleister Returns; Two Title Matches Next Week!



Here's what's on tap for tonight's Smackdown:

  • Who will step up to challenge Roman Reigns?

  • Apollo Crews will defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship

  • The fallout from Seth Rollins' attack on Cesaro

We're in the ThunderDome and kicking off the show with highlights of last week including Cesaro confronting Roman Reigns and Rollins attacking Cesaro to end the show.


CESARO is already in the ring. Before he can say anything, SETH ROLLINS INTERRUPTS!!! Rollins has a mic. Rollins tells us to give it up for Cesaro. Rollins says he's out to congratulate Cesaro on reaching this potential with his Mania win. Rollins says he fulfilled his potential because he was in the ring with Seth "Freaking" Rollins at Mania. Rollins says he's still the new Mr. WrestleMania. Rollins says he brought Cesaro to the promise land. Rollins wants to know where his thanks is. Rollins says he heard Cesaro has his sights set on the WWE Universal Championship. Rollins once again says it's not over between him and Cesaro. Rollins says the rain delay at Mania threw him off his game. Rollins says on his worst day and Cesaro's best, Cesaro couldn't beat him again. Cesaro is willing to prove he can beat Rollins again tonight. Rollins says maybe he should use tonight to teach Cesaro a lesson. JEY USO IS HERE TO ALSO INTERRUPT!! Uso says Cesaro challenged the Head of the Table but Cesaro doesn't deserve to be in the ring with Roman Reigns. Uso says Cesaro can't beat Reigns, Uso, or Rollins. Rollins tells Uso they should work together. They surround the ring. DANIEL BRYAN COMES OUT NOW! Bryan gets in the ring and grabs a mic. Bryan tells Rollins and Uso not to leave. Bryan says they didn't actually come out for the reasons they claimed. Bryan says Cesaro came out to challenge Reigns, Rollins came out because Cesaro embarrassed him, and Uso came out because Reigns told him too. Bryan says he came out to make sure Cesaro got what he deserves. Bryan claims he has an infinite amount of respect for Cesaro and his work ethic. Bryan says Cesaro hasn't gotten a break his whole career. Bryan asks what happens next? Do they want to fight? Will Reigns come to give Cesaro his match? Will Reigns come out and try a 3-on-2 beat down? HERE COMES ROMAN REIGNS AND PAUL HEYMAN!! Heyman gives Reigns a mic. Reigns says Bryan should be talking about the whooping he got at Mania. Reigns has a new shirt that says "Smash 'em, Stack 'em, Pin 'em". Reigns calls Bryan and Cesaro losers. Reigns chuckles and calls Bryan a WrestleMania main event loser and Cesaro is a casino bad luck loser. Reigns says Bryan is talking smack when he's surrounded by people who want to whoop his ass! We're getting some kind of match when we return from a commercial.



Daniel Bryan & Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins & Jey Uso

Back from a break, all four men are brawling! The match hasn't started yet. Charles Robinson separates them and the match starts with Bryan and Uso. Bryan with a quick near fall. Cesaro tags in and they both double team Uso with a slam for a near fall. Cesaro decks Rollins and hits Uso with a stalling vertical suplex. Near fall for Cesaro. Rollins makes a tag and Cesaro backs him into a corner. Cesaro sends him across the ring but Rollins avoids him and hits a Sling Blade for a near fall. Rollins goes on the attack and mounts him for some punches. Rollins takes Cesaro to the heel corner and tags Uso. Uso charges and gives Cesaro a hip to the face. They trade blows and Uso pulls Cesaro to the corner and tags Rollins. Rollins with a knee to the jaw and then a chin lock. Cesaro fights free and sends Rollins to the corner. Cesaro eats a boot but Rollins jumps into a tilt-a-whirl back breaker by Cesaro. Bryan tags in and hits Rollins with spring board drop kick. A shot to Uso and "Yes" kicks to Rollins. Bryan avoids a pele kick and locks in an ankle lock on Rollins and transitions to a German for a near fall. BRYAN TRIES THE RUNNING KNEE BUT ROLLINS COUNTERS WITH A BUCKLE BOMB!! USO TAGS IN AND HITS THE USO SPLASH!! 1...2...Cesaro breaks it up! Rollins and Uso take Cesaro to the outside and suplex him on the floor as we go to a break.


We're back with Rollins tying Bryan up in the ropes on the apron. Rollins with a stiff kick to the face of Bryan that gets a near fall. Rollins talks trash to Cesaro as he beats on Bryan. Rollins targets the neck of Bryan and gets another near fall. Uso tags in and super kicks Bryan in the ribs. Stomps by Uso followed by a big right hand. More stomps in the corner by Uso on Bryan. Uso distracts the ref allowing Rollins to attack. Bryan fights his way out of the corner but runs into a Samoan drop by Uso for a near fall. Rollins gets a tag and takes Bryan to a corner. The beat down continues as Bryan desperately needs to tag. Rollins sends Bryan to the corner but he flips over. Off the ropes they go and they collide. Both men are down. Cesaro and Uso tag in! Uppercut city by Cesaro!! Discus clothesline by Cesaro gets a near fall! Cesaro goes for the swing but Uso kicks him away. Enziguri by Uso but Cesaro hits a corkscrew uppercut!! 1...2...NO!! Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer but Uso blocks. Cesaro shoots Uso into the air and uppercuts him!! 1...2...Rollins saves it! Bryan back drops Rollins to the floor and then suicide dives out onto him! Uso throws Cesaro out of the ring. Uso goes for a suicide dive but eats an uppercut. Cesaro goes to the top but USO HITS A SUPER KICK!! We go to another commercial.


Back again with Cesaro and Rollins trading blows. Cesaro picks the legs but Rollins counters. Cesaro counters back and locks Rollins in the Sharpshooter!! Uso is in to super kick Cesaro. Rollins tags Uso. Uso goes to the top but Cesaro is up quickly to uppercut him. ROLLINS DECIDES TO BAIL AND LEAVE!! CESARO SUPLEXS USO FROM THE APRON BACK INTO THE RING WITH A SUPERPLEX!! Cesaro tags Bryan who HITS USO WITH THE RUNNING KNEE FOR THE WIN!! Great stuff and one of the best Smackdown matches in a while.

W: Daniel Bryan & Cesaro via pin @ 19:11


Bryan grabs a mic and says "Oh Roman". USO TRIES TO ATTACK AND CESARO SWINGS HIM!!! Bryan counts the swings and asks if Reigns is afraid. Uso gets back up only to get an uppercut! Bryan says Reigns won't come out because he is afraid of Cesaro. Cesaro has a mic now and says Reigns won't save his own cousin. Bryan says Reigns must not be a family man. Bryan tells Cesaro to swing Uso again to see if Reigns comes to help. CESARO SWINGS USO AGAIN!!! "Yes" chants from the crowd as Bryan taunts Reigns. It was a bunch of swings! Bryan says Reigns can't beat anyone without help and brings up himself, Edge, and Kevin Owens. Bryan says Reigns knows if he faces Cesaro one-on-one, Cesaro will be the new WWE Universal Champion. "Yes" chants from the crowd.



Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville talk backstage and Apollo Crews along with Commander Azeez interrupt. Crews is mad that he has to defend his WWE Intercontinental Championship. Crews assumes he's facing Big E until Pearce says he's not. Pearce says Big E will eventually get another shot against the champ but tonight Crews is facing Kevin Owens!


Nia Jax is facing Tamina after a commercial. Reginald is back!


Kayla Braxton is backstage with Jey Uso. Uso says he's about to throw up. He doesn't care that Seth Rollins walked out on him. All he cares about is paying back Cesaro!


Highlights of the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship match at WrestleMania are shown.


Nia Jax w/ Shayna Baszler (WWE Women's Tag Team Champions) & Reginald vs. Tamina w/ Natalya

Nia takes Tamina to the corner and buries shoulders to the gut of Tamina. To the opposite corner they go where Nia splashes Tamina. All Nia in the early going. Nia talks trash and Tamina fights back. Lou Thesz Press by Tamina and she delivers a series of punches. Tamina goes for a slam but can't do it. Shayna distracts and Tamina kicks Nia out of the ring. Tamina follows her out and sends Nia into the barricade. Tamina sends Nia head first into the barricade repeatedly. Tamina puts Nia back in the ring. Reginald gets on the apron and Tamina takes a swing. The distraction allows Nia to take advantage. Shayna gets into it on the outside with Reginald. TAMINA HITS NIA WITH A SUPER KICK AND THEN STACKS HER UP FOR THE WIN!! Not great but at least it was short. Post match, Nia, Shayna, and Reginald all argue.

W: Tamina via pin @ 2:34


Kayla Braxton is backstage with Kevin Owens. Owens had been waiting for this opportunity for a year. Owens wasn't expecting this opportunity but he isn't turning it down. BIG E IS HERE! Big E says Owens knows this should be Big E's match and Big E claims the Intercontinental Championship is his. Owens says Big E should get a rematch but not tonight. Owens says he's going to go win it and then the title will be his. They trade sarcastic laughs. Owens vs. Crews is next!


It's announced that Drew McIntyre & Braun Strowman will face T-Bar & Mace in a rematch this coming Monday on Raw. Also, WWE Champion Bobby Lashley will be live.


Adam Pearce is checking his phone when Daniel Bryan approaches him. Bryan asks if Pearce will make Cesaro vs. Reigns official. Pearce says it's not that easy but he'll try. Bryan tells him to do more than try and walks off.


WWE Intercontinental Championship Match

Kevin Owens vs. Apollo Crews (champ) w/ Commander Azeez

McAfee calls Azeez the largest human he has ever seen. Alright Pat. They lock up and Owens backs Crews to the corner. Clean break. Owens with a single leg takedown and goes to a side head lock. Owens talks trash and Crews fights back to his feet. Owens takes him back to the mat with a side head lock take down. Crews transitions to a pin but Owens escapes and goes back to the head lock. Crews shoots Owens into the ropes and they collide. Standing drop kick by Owens and Owens lights up Crews with chops in the corner. Crews turns the tide and goes to his own side head lock. Off the ropes they go and Owens hits Crews with an elbow followed by a senton. Owens sends Crews to the outside. Owens thinks about a dive but Commander Azeez steps in the way. This allows Crews to take over. Snap suplex by Crews and he rakes the face of Owens. An aggressive Crews stomps Owens in the corner. Crews sends Owens to the outside and follows. Crews tries a moonsault by no one there. Owens hits a super kick! Back in the ring, OWENS HITS A SWANTON FROM THE TOP!! 1...2...NO!! HERE COMES SAMI ZAYN!! We go to a commercial.


We're back with both men trading blows in the corner. Sami has joined commentary. Crews blocks a superplex and head butts Owens off the top. Owens gets back to his feet and Crews leap frogs him. SUPER KICK BY OWENS!! 1...2...NO!! Crews stun guns Owens across the top rope and hits Owens with a clothesline for a near fall. Crews tries a German but Owens blocks with elbows. Step up enziguri by Crews follows by a German! Another German! A third one! 1...2...NO!! Crews complains about the count. Crews misses a splash in the corner and Owens hits him with a release German! CANNON BALL BY OWENS!! Another one!! 1...2...NO!! McAfee wants #CANCELCOLE when Sami's documentary comes out. Crews avoids a stunner. OWENS HITS CREWS WITH THE POP UP POWER BOMB!!! 1....2....NO!!! Owens goes to the top turnbuckle and Crews rolls out of the ring. OWENS SPLASHES HIM ON THE FLOOR!! Owens throws Crews back in the ring. COMMANDER AZEEZ DISTRACTS OWENS AND CREWS ROLLS HIM UP FOR THE WIN!!! Good win for Crews and Owens is alright with the distracted loss.

W: Apollo Crews via pin @ 13:40



Post match, OWENS STUNS CREWS!! Crews sold it well!! AZEEZ HITS OWENS WITH THE NIGERIAN NAIL!!! Sami gets in the ring to dance and make fun of Owens.



Kayla Braxton is backstage with Paul Heyman. She asks if Reigns is going to accept Cesaro's challenge. Heyman says he likes Cesaro. He really does. He admires and respects him. He even loves Cesaro in a professional way. Heyman says Cesaro is Heyman's favorite Cesaro in the whole world. Heyman offers everyone a prediction.....no how about a spoiler? Heyman promises an answer by the end of the night directly from Reigns!


Morgan Morant is with Apollo Crews backstage. Crews puts over his win against Owens. Crews says to let that be a lesson for whoever comes for his championship. BIG E IS HERE TO ATTACK AND BEAT THE HELL OUT OF CREWS!! Officials pull Big E away and Commander Azeez shows up too late.


A new vignette airs to HYPE THE RETURN OF ALEISTER BLACK!!! He says most people aren't honest but he'll be honest with us. He reads from a book called "Tales of the Dark Father". He talks about life, death, lies, and deceit. I'm interested to see where this goes but happy to see Aleister at all!



Kayla Braxton is with WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. Kayla asks them who will win tonight between the Mysterios vs. Alpha Academy. They say it doesn't matter. The Street Profits are here and they want another shot. Ziggler says they go to the back of the line. BAYLEY INTERRUPTS! Bayley says she's the ultimate role model but she wants to talk about her match against Bianca Belair at WrestleMania Backlash. Bayley takes credit for Belair' success on Smackdown and says she never got a thank you. Bayley says she will take her title back at WrestleMania Backlash. Bayley tells Kayla to go to Bianca but Montez Ford hung around and he has Belair on speaker phone. Belair says she will be right there.


After a break, Belair confronts Bayley. Belair tells Bayley to says whatever she said to her face. Bayley plays it off and congratulates Belair on her win at Mania. Bayley says it'll be an honor to face Belair at WrestleMania Backlash. Bayley leaves and Belair tells Kayla that wasn't what she was expecting. Bayley comes back and laughs in Belair's face before walking off again,



Dominik & Rey Mysterio vs. Alpha Academy

Dominik and Chad Gable start. Otis tells Gable that he wants Dominik so Gable tags him in. Otis with a big shoulder tackle to Dominik. Otis misses a splash and Dominik with right hands until Otis runs him over with a clothesline. Otis slams Dominik and talks trash to Rey. Otis sets up Dominik and goes up to the second rope. Rey pulls Dominik out of the ring. Otis flattens them both on the outside with a clothesline and Gable hits Rey with a gut buster. Otis throws Dominik back in the ring as we go to a commercial.


Back from the break, Gable gets near fall on Dominik. Dominik is able to hit Otis on the barricade. Gable hits Dominik with a butterfly suplex for a near fall. Gable knocks Rey off the apron. Otis gets a tag and deliver shots to the midsection of Dominik. Otis with a hard knock down to Dominik followed by a scoop slam. Otis sends Dominik to the corner and buries his shoulder into Dominik's midsection. Otis with a splash in the corner. Gable tags in and gets a near fall. Gable works on the left arm of Dominik. Dominik fights to his feet but Gable with a belly to belly throw! Another one! Gable tries a German but Dominik lands on his feet. Dominik hangs Gable on the top rope and tags Rey! Rey picks up the pace and takes down Gable with a head scissors. Code Red by Rey gets a near fall on Gable. Gable charges in the corner and Rey moves so Gable goes shoulder first into the ring post. They battle in the corner where Rey hits a rana from the top. Dominik tags back in and back drops Gable to the apron. Rey pulls Gable to the outside and DOMINIK HITS GABLE WITH A SLIDING SUNSET BOMB TO SEND GABLE INTO THE BARRICADE!! Dominik avoids Otis on the outside and sends him into the announce table. Meanwhile, IN THE RING REY HITS GABLE WITH A 619 AND A SPLASH TO WIN!!

W: Dominik & Rey Mysterio via pin @ 10:30



Cesaro and Daniel Bryan make their way to the ring to hear what Roman Reigns has to say next!


Commentary tells us that next week Big E will get his rematch against Apollo Crews for the WWE Intercontinental Championship.


Cesaro and Bryan are in the ring waiting for Reigns. Reigns doesn't come out and Cesaro is getting impatient. Cesaro threatens to come to the back to get his answer if Reigns doesn't want to come out. HERE COMES REIGNS!!! Heyman and Uso accompany Reigns. Reigns holds the Universal Championship in the face of Cesaro and Bryan. Reigns gets a mic and tells Cesaro that he wants to challenge Reigns? Reigns tells Cesaro he doesn't deserve it nor did he earn it. Reigns says he's the Tribal Chief. Reigns says he issues the challenges around here. Reigns looks at Bryan and says the challenge goes to him. Reigns says he's never liked Bryan and never will but he'll give Bryan one more opportunity. REIGNS SAYS HE'LL GIVE BRYAN ONE MORE SHOT NEXT WEEK ON SMACKDOWN!! Cesaro gives Bryan the mic and tells Bryan he has to take the opportunity. Reigns tells Bryan if and when he loses, REIGNS NEVER WANTS TO SEE BRYAN ON SMACKDOWN AGAIN!! BRYAN ACCEPTS!!! "Yes" chants from the crowd. Reigns tells Bryan the championship will always be his and they have a stare down to end the show!



Next Week:

  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E vs. Apollo Crews (champ)

  • WWE Universal Championship Match - Bryan Must Leave Smackdown if he Loses: Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns (champ)

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