Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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Winners & Losers: SmackDown 04.02.21

WrestleMania is only eight days away and tonight was the second to last SmackDown before the two-night event. Tonight’s SmackDown’s booking was thrown together which we are going to just end up having until after the biggest event of the year. So let’s just get into it.

Let me first start off by saying this before anything else — If they do not take the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles off Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax by the end of WrestleMania — then what’s going on in here on this day?

Now that that has been said, tonight’s show was as I said, thrown together. What I did appreciate was Carmella back in the ring but this could have happened weeks ago. Her being out of the ring for two months made zero sense but I digress. Before we get to her match against Bianca Belair, let’s talk about the tag team division.

So the first match we get, if you want to call it that, lasted about the same length of time that Paige & Emma vs. The Bella Twins did in 2015 to start the #GiveDivasAChance movement. Do we need a new hashtag? The “match” was Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya.

Natalya defeated WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Shayna Baszler

So I looked away for three seconds to grab my drink and this match was over. Natalya and Baszler traded a few back and forth roll up’s which ended up with Baszler’s shoulders on the mat for a three count. As Nattie was trying to celebrate her three second victory, in came Jax to run through her which prompted Baszler to get involved. Then Tamina jumped in to try and help out her tag team partner.

This then led to The Riott Squad emerging to get in on the fight. Followed in suit by RAW’s Mandy Rose/Dana Brooke and Lana/Naomi.

Now, as much as I am okay with the proposed option of having a number one contenders match on Night One of Mania and the winners facing the champions on Night Two…it is just going to be a hot mess in these last three shows.

None of this made any sense. Now, if they built on this throughout the night then that would have been nice. Say for instance they just had Adam Pearce come out and make these two matches official for WrestleMania weekend. If this started tonight’s show and then every 15 to 20 minutes or so they would show the teams brawling around the backstage area then maybe it would get some hype in for WrestleMania. Or, just MAYBE if they did this weeks ago we would be far more invested. But, no…they have been putting the tag champs up against Bianca/Sasha and now Rhea/Asuka which makes zero sense.

Right after the tag team debacle, Billie Kay was backstage seen handing her resume to Carmella who seemed very interested. Could we actually be seeing this pairing coming soon?

Next, we finally see Carmella in a ring for the first time since the Royal Rumble. She took on Bianca Belair.

Bianca Belair defeated Carmella

Before the bell rang, Carmella went after Bianca and eventually drove her in the steel steps. Strong start for Carmella coming out of the gate and not wasting any time to attack the EST.

After the break, the match was officially started. Carmella was still looking strong all the way up to tying up Bianca on the bottom rope by her braid. Once Belair got herself untied she exploded out of the corner and was in control of the match. After rolling out of the way, Carmella capitalized with a kick and got a near fall. Carmella getting a little too cocky and yelling at the Royal Rumble winner didn’t do her justice as she found herself a victim of the KOD. Belair picked up the pin for the much-needed win with WrestleMania being only eight days away.

Belair couldn’t celebrate for long as the SmackDown Women’s Champion came from behind and perhaps was looking to deliver a backstabber. Bianca backed away and pointed at the WrestleMania sign saying that this won’t happen now but will at WrestleMania. Banks nodded in agreement and left the ring raising her title high.

Again if they started the build up between Belair and Banks more than just two week’s ago and did more than just pointing to the sign, people would be more invested. I just know how good the actual match will be and that’s that on that.

Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week:

WINNER: Bianca Belair

She needed this win, if she loses anymore leading up to WrestleMania it just will continue to be even more ridiculous. She has taken way too many losses by being put with Sasha instead of building up the feud against her. There are ways to build a match while still keeping it out of the ring. The tag division needs to fully stop interacting with the singles division as of yesterday.

WINNERS: Natalya & Tamina

I guess they were the winners out of that melee of randomness? They seem to be a clear push towards the titles over the past number of weeks. The only other team I could see maybe getting the titles are Naomi & Lana. Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke I don’t think are even close to getting them right now and The Riott Squad haven’t been seen since February.

LOSER: Shayna Baszler

Just why. This is why she needs to drop the tag titles. She has taken way too many losses as a champion and has been taking the pins way more than Nia. Her character has totally been watered down and it is not pleasant. She needs to go back to being a singles competitor immediately.

SmackDown certainly wasn’t much better this week. It’s still all over the place and that ridiculous short match was certainly disconcerting. The main roster needs to really start understanding what NXT does. NXT does a swell job at highlighting a lot of their roster and giving two to three women’s matches a week. I am not sure why I am holding out hope but after WrestleMania maybe things will get better (as I said after the past two pay-per-views).

We don’t have time for more than a 30-second match for the women but let’s take time for Logan Paul…..

What did you think of this week’s SmackDown? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts below!!

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