5/7 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of the throwback edition featuring Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro, and Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,133)
Live from Tampa, Florida at Yuengling Center
Aired May 7, 2021 on Fox

[Hour One] An old school style WWE graphic was shown and the clip of Vince McMahon saying “the recognized symbol of excellence in sports entertainment” played… A montage aired that included The Rock along with some classic crowd shots and Hulk Hogan posing in a ring were shown…

Pyro shot off on the stage where the old school style WWE logo was on display. The broadcast team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee checked in. Cole was wearing a denim shirt, and McAfee was wearing WWE logo sport coat. Throwback graphics displayed their names… Highlights aired of Triple H beating The Rock on August 26, 1999 with help from Shawn Michaels…

Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman, and Jey Uso made their entrance. Reigns wore an “Acknowledge Me” t-shirt, while Uso wore a “Right Hand Man” t-shirt. Cole set up footage from last week’s main event that saw Reigns beat Daniel Bryan in a title vs. Smackdown career match.

Heyman said Reigns asked him to eulogize the career of “his victim Daniel Bryan.” Heyman called for a ten bell salute. Heyman told the timekeeper that they didn’t need help, they would do it themselves. Reigns, Uso, and Heyman put their heads down. Heyman said “ding” ten times while Reigns smiled a couple times. Production piped in “you suck” chants.

Reigns said that he’s a man of his word, unlike Bryan. Reigns said he put everything on his back and carried it. Reigns said that he should be acknowledged, celebrated, and thanked. “I always give you what you want,” Reigns said. He said he gives Fox and Smackdown what they want, and he even gave Bryan what he wanted.

“I smashed him, I pinned him, and I got rid of him,” Reigns said. He added that Bryan could have stayed had he just acknowledged him. Reigns said they’ve even replaced Bryan with someone who would almost certainly acknowledge him.

Jimmy Uso made his entrance. Cole noted that Jimmy had been sidelined with a knee injury. Once in the ring, Jimmy and Jey hugged while Reigns smiled. Jimmy shook hands and hugged Reigns, then shook the hand of Heyman.

Cesaro’s entrance theme interrupted the in-ring love fest. Cesaro asked if they really said they had replaced Bryan. Cesaro said you can never replace Bryan. He said he didn’t have time for Reigns because he had his match with Seth Rollins to focus on.

Seth Rollins attacked Cesaro from behind and then fought with him until several referees, who were dressed in throwback blue shirts, separated them. Teddy Long made his entrance and said that with the power that had been granted to him by Adam Pearce, he was announcing that if Cesaro beat Rollins, he would get a WWE Universal Championship match at WrestleMania Backlash.

Rollins asked what he would get if he won. Meanwhile, Reigns hit Cesaro from behind with a cheap shot. Rollins picked up Cesaro and rolled him inside the ring. Rollins put the boots to Cesaro. Cole said Cesaro vs. Rollins was coming up next while vintage graphics listed the match… [C]

Powell’s POV: A really good opening segment with the return of Jimmy Uso, good mic work from the heels, a brawl, and the surprise appearance of Teddy Long, who announced the stipulation for Cesaro vs. Rollins. It will be interesting to see if the Usos reenter the tag team division. It doesn’t seem set up for them to win the titles presently with fellow heels Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode holding the belts, but they could easily work around that by holding a multi-team match if the creative team wants to get the straps on them.

The old “promotional considerations paid for by the following” line was delivered by the late Lord Alfred Hayes, and then a very brief IcoPro ad was shown…

1. Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins (Cesaro gets a WWE Universal Championship shot with a win). Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso remained at ringside during the match, while Reigns and Heyman watched the match from backstage. Rollins was the early aggressor while Cesaro sold the pre-match attack.

Cesaro fought back and went up top for a move, but he was distracted by Jey. Rollins performed a superplex and a falcon arrow for a near fall. [C] Rollins fought off Cesaro’s crossface attempt and then hit Cesaro from behind. Rollins set up for a Stomp, but Cesaro scooped him up and dropped him over the top turnbuckle.

Rollins fought back and performed a Buckle Bomb, but Cesaro came out of the corner and dropped him with a clothesline. Rollins dumped Cesaro to ringside and told Jey to stay out of his business. Rollins ended up shoving Jey to the ground. Jimmy superkicked Rollins. Cesaro dove onto Rollins, then rolled him inside the ring and gave him a Neutralizer that led to the pin…

Cesaro defeated Seth Rollins in 12:40 to earn a WWE Universal Championship match at WrestleMania Backlash.

Powell’s POV: I guess we’ll never know what they would have done for a WWE Universal Championship match at WrestleMania Backlash had Cesaro lost this match. Kidding aside, this was a good match and it sets up an appealing match for the pay-per-view. Jimmy superkicking Rollins is an interesting development, as it won’t sit well with the Reigns character. It came off like a heat of the moment move by Jimmy, but I suppose it’s possible that his character would be secretly working against Reigns.

The WWE vaccination PSA aired… Cole hyped Reigns vs. Cesaro for the WWE Universal Championship for WrestleMania Backlash, then recapped the finish of the opening match…

Backstage, Rollins complained to Reigns that his cousin cost him the match. Reigns said he understood where Rollins is coming from, and now Rollins needed to understand where he’s coming from. Reigns said he would handle Cesaro and his own family. Rollins told him to handle his family or he would do it for him…

Footage aired from December 13, 2001 of the Steve Austin and Booker T supermarket brawl…

Powell’s POV: This all could have been avoided if InstaCart had been a thing back then.

Backstage, Sonya Deville told Teddy Long that she thought she would be running the show solo since Adam Pearce wasn’t available, but she said she would have Long’s back. Sami Zayn showed up and said that since Long is an unbiased official, he hoped he would give him an Intercontinental Title shot.

Long said he would do him one better by booking him in a match against Undertaker. Long pulled back on the match and booked Zayn, Apollo Crews, Otis, Chad Gable, and King Booker against Big E, Kevin Owens, The Street Profits, and Shinsuke Nakamura. Deville corrected him and said it was actually King Corbin. Teddy had Zayn and Deville dance with him…

The Usos returned to the Reigns’ dressing room. Roman said he put the spotlight on Jimmy and asked him what happened. Reigns said he had to treat Jimmy like a baby and clean up his mess. Reigns said he and Jey had a good thing going. He asked if Jimmy understood. Jimmy told Reigns that he wouldn’t talk to him the way he talks to Jey. “I ain’t nobody’s bitch,” Jimmy said before leaving the room. Jey called out for his brother… [C]

Powell’s POV: Good stuff. There are plenty of directions they could go with this. I mentioned the possibility of Jimmy working against Reigns, but this could also be a swerve that results in Jimmy helping Reigns beat Cesaro at the pay-per-view.

2. Carmella vs. Ruby Riott (w/Liv Morgan). The Riott Squad entrance was not televised. Carmella went for a pin and tried to use the ropes for leverage, but Morgan snitched. Carmella kicked her. After a series of back and forth pin attempts, Carmella caught Riott in her Code of Silence finisher and got the submission win.

Carmella beat Ruby Riott in 2:15.

Powell’s POV: Riott really made the submission with her facial expressions and by acting like she was choking afterward. Riott is really good in the ring and it’s a shame the company hasn’t done more with her. Meanwhile, Carmella continues to do good work since overhauling her gimmick.

Footage aired of Edge and Hulk Hogan teaming up to win the tag titles on July 4, 2002…

Bayley made her entrance. Cole said she was there to celebrate the women’s champions of WWE… [C] Footage aired from June 12, 2003 of Brock Lesnar superplexing Big Show and the ring collapsing…

Bayley stood in the ring and said that you have to be a superstar to be in a WWE ring, but just because you’re a superstar doesn’t make you a great champion like she has been. Bayley said she wanted to celebrate great women’s champions. Bayley pointed to the big screen where shots of Alundra Blayze, Jacqueline, Lita, Ivory, and Beth Phoenix were shown. Bayley sang their praises while also adding that she was better.

[Hour Two] Molly Holly was shown on the screen. Bayley said Bianca Belair was last but not least. She said Belair is naive and not on her level. Bayley said she hoped Belair wouldn’t take it the wrong way because she’s looking out for her, but when she looks into her eyes she sees insecurity.

Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance and joined Bayley inside the ring. Belair said Bayley just can’t let her be champion. Belair said she’s living her best life and it’s only going to get better at WrestleMania Backlash.

Belair shot down Bayley’s claim that she’s insecure and said Bayley should worry about herself. Belair said she’s on her way to becoming the longest reigning Smackdown Women’s Champion. Bayley laughed at Belair and then went for a takedown.

Belair stuffed the takedown and worked over Bayley in the corner and then tossed her across the ring. Belair threw a dropkick. Bayley caught Belair with a kick and then grabbed by her earring. Bayley stood on Belair’s braid and then let her up and put her right back down with her finisher. Bayley left the ring and then turned and laughed at Belair…

Powell’s POV: A basic, yet solid angle to put some heat on Bayley heading into the Smackdown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania Backlash.

Jey Uso approached Jimmy Uso and asked if he really thought he was Roman’s bitch. Jimmy stood his ground. Jey said what’s best for Roman is best for the family. Jimmy said Jey was the one fighting all of Roman’s battles. Jimmy said that if Jey asked Roman if he needed him, he’d probably say no. Jimmy said he needed Jey. Jimmy said Reigns was the Universal Champion and they could be tag champions, which would be representing the family…

Rey Mysterio made his entrance with Dominik Mysterio for Rey’s match against Dolph Ziggler… An ad for Raw hyped WWE Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre in a non-title match while questioning how Braun Strowman would retaliate… [C]

Footage aired from June 27, 2002 of John Cena’s “ruthless aggression” debut against Kurt Angle, followed by Undertaker shaking Cena’s hand in the backstage area… Cole hyped Throwback Week for a NASCAR race on FS1…

Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode made their entrance to their tag team theme (rather than Ziggler’s shitty entrance theme). Ziggler came out with a mic in hand and said there’s nothing more throwback than the Dirty Dawgs tag team. Once in the ring, Ziggler told Dom that he doesn’t belong in the industry and he’s nothing more than Rey’s little kid. Dom volunteered to replace his father in the match, which Rey agreed to…

3. Dominik Mysterio (w/Rey Mysterio) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Robert Roode). Ziggler taunted Dom, who shoved him and they cut the audio to censor someone. They went to ringside and cut the audio again for a moment while Ziggler worked over Dom. Back inside the ring, Ziggler performed a neckbreaker and the posed while putting his foot over Dom for a one count. Ziggler went for a suplex, but Dom countered into a pin for the three count…

Dominik Mysterio defeated Dolph Ziggler in 2:15.

Powell’s POV: A brief match meant to push Rey and Dom challenging Ziggler and Roode for the Smackdown Tag Titles at the pay-per-view.

A video package aired on Tamina both in the ring and delivering a fired up promo on Talking Smack…

Kayla Braxton interviewed Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, and Reginald on the Gorilla Position set. Reginald said Jax and Baszler are the best tag team in the world and added that they would break Natalya and Tamina at the pay-per-view. Reginald said they would drink spirits after he breaks Tamina’s spirit. The trio made their entrance while Cole hyped the intergender match for after the break… [C]

A classic Hacksaw Duggan ad for WWE Ice Cream bars aired… Footage aired from November 11, 1999 of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s appearance, which included him beating up Triple H and having a beer with Steve Austin…

Backstage, Roman Reigns told Paul Heyman to bring him his cousin. When Heyman asked which one, Reigns simply turned his head. “I understand,” Heyman said…

Tamina and Natalya made their entrance. Cole said the WWE Women’s Tag Title match would actually take place on next week’s Smackdown rather than at the pay-per-view…

4. Tamina (w/Natalya) vs. Reginald (w/Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler). Reginald used his athleticism to avoid Tamina during the opening minute. She eventually grabbed him and tossed him into the corner. Reginald climbed to the top rope and then stood on top of the ring post. When Tamina approached him, Reginald flipped over her into the ring. Tamina superkicked Reginald, then went up top for her finisher, but Baszler tossed her off for the DQ.

Tamina beat Reginald by DQ in 2:10.

After the match, Jax and Baszler roughed up Tamina and Natalya. The duo tossed Natalya to ringside, then Baszler stomped on the arm of Tamina. Jax hoisted up Tamina on her shoulders at ringside and then gave her a Samoan Drop into the ringside barricade…

Powell’s POV: Thank goodness they protected Reginald by not having him take a clean pin! Kidding aside, it was fine in that they put heat on the heel champions heading into next week’s tag title match.

Backstage, Apollo Crews, stood with Commander Azeez, King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Chad Gable, and Otis. Creed said that they are vulnerable separately, but together they are unbreakable…

In another part of the backstage area, Big E, The Street Profits, Kevin Owens, and Shinsuke Nakamura joked around. Nakamura delivered the “we want the smoke” line… Cole hyped the ten-man tag main event… [C]

5. Big E, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura, and “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Apollo Crews (w/Commander Azeez), King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Chad Gable, and Otis. The entrances were not televised for either team.

A brawl broke out early heading into a break. [C] In the end, Nakamura blasted Zayn with a kick, but Corbin just made a blind tag and took out Nakamura with End of Days for the win…

Apollo Crews, King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Chad Gable, and Otis beat Big E, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura, and The Street Profits in 10:35.

Powell’s POV: There was plenty of rapid fire action coming out of the commercial break. It felt inconsequential, but I guess they got a lot of people on the show and filled a little time.

Backstage, Reigns spoke to Jey about all the responsibility he’s given him. Reigns asked why they do it, then said they do it for family. He said he loves Jey and his brother, but he needs to know where Jimmy stands. Reigns said he was about to find out… [C]

Footage aired from July 22, 2004 of Eddie Guerrero giving Vince McMahon a ride in his lowrider… Cole hyped Reigns vs. Cesaro for the WWE Universal Championship for WrestleMania Backlash…

Reigns stood inside the ring with Jey Uso and Paul Heyman and said this isn’t how he envisioned the night going. Jimmy Uso’s entrance music interrupted Reigns. Jimmy entered the ring and asked his brother where he stands. Jimmy recalled covering Jey to save him from Reigns following their Hell in a Cell match. Footage aired of the match, which led to Afa and Sika crowning Reigns as the tribal chief.

Reigns asked if Jimmy was stuck in the past. He said it’s simple, Jimmy needed to fall in line and stand with them, and acknowledge him. Reigns said that if Jimmy couldn’t do that, he could take his ass home. Reigns said Jimmy would have to explain to his kids why he was sitting with them rather than being in the ring with the Tribal Chief and Jey Uso.

Jimmy left the ring and then stopped at ringside. Jey came out told Jimmy to just acknowledge Reigns so they could get back to doing their thing. Cesaro attacked Reigns inside the ring. Jey ran in to help, but Cesaro got the better of him.

Jimmy looked conflicted, but then he ran in to help his brother. Cesaro gave Jimmy a Popup Uppercut. Cesaro followed up with a Neutralizer on Jey. Cesaro grabbed Reigns and gave him a Neutralizer. Cesaro left the ring while Reigns and the Usos were still down…

Powell’s POV: A strong show closing angle. I like that they made us wait to find out where Jimmy’s allegiances lie. My guess is that it’s a swerve because the alternative would be a little too similar to what Reigns already did with Jey. Either way, it’s good to see Jimmy back and I am looking forward to seeing where this leads.

Overall, the show was entertaining, but it had little to do with the throwback theme. The production team had some throwback graphics and highlights, but it felt like the company really went through the motions with their latest retro show. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review of Smackdown for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below. Have a great weekend.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. I like how Bailey’s hairstyle has progressed from Joan Jett to Robert Smith

  2. Jason I was thinking that Jimmy being stubborn might lead to a match between him and Jey. I seem to remember they’ve been talking about wanting to do it, and maybe in storyline making that the test for both of them if Jey sways towards his brother if you see where I’m going. As you said in the report it could go several different ways.

    Then again maybe I’m being sensible……

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