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WWE SmackDown results, grades: Jimmy Uso returns, Cesaro stands tall

The Swiss Cyborg had a career-making night (Photo: WWE)

Cesaro set himself up for the biggest match of his WWE career during an eventful night on SmackDown.

The throwback edition kicked off with Roman Reigns, Jey Uso and Paul Heyman’s attempted eulogy for Daniel Bryan – who they replaced with the returning Jimmy Uso – coming to an abrupt end with the Swiss Superman coming to his friend’s defence.

Seth Rollins attack him from behind on the ramp before their highly anticipated WrestleMania rematch, which Teddy Long gave some added fire with Cesaro earning himself a Universal Title match at Backlash win a win.

That match kicked off the in-ring portion of the evening, with Roman and Heyman watching on backstage as the two opponents showed fantastic chemistry in a main event level match.

Despite the Usos’ best efforts, Cesaro was able to secure a massive with with a beautiful transition into a Neutraliser.

The family drama simmered throughout the night, with Roman trying to give his cousins a dressing down only for Jimmy to fire back and insisted he won’t be anyone’s ‘b***h’ as he referenced the way the Tribal Chief has treated Jey.

The twins got caught up in a row backstage as they had strong words for each other with Jimmy again trying to make Jey see how much the Head of the Table has manipulated him over the past few months.

Back to Roman, he ordered Heyman to fetch his cousin before giving him a pep talk about love and family, and headed to the ring promising to give Jimmy ‘the same opportunity’.

As the show came to an end, Jimmy wasn’t waiting around as he interrupted Roman, called out Jey out again, taking his brother back to the emotional Hell In A Cell I Quit match in October when Jey accepted the loss to save his sibling.

Reigns insisted Jimmy is stuck in the past while the family is moving forward, and he gave him a ‘simple’ choice of falling in line and acknowledging the Tribal Chief or ‘taking your ass home’.

Jimmy looked ready to turn his back on them and walk away, but as he paused on the ramp Roman sent Jey out to try and have a word in his ear.

With attention elsewhere, Cesaro used the distraction to attack Roman, and even beat down the right hand may as Jey made the save – but Jimmy then went to protect his brother from the Swiss Cyborg who ended his night with a Neutraliser on Jey and Roman to stand tall.

SmackDown fist returns on throwback episode as Bayley and Dominik Mysterio shine and Reginald faces Tamina

The throwback episode – complete with a CGI version of the beloved SmackDown fist – was well done as a whole, with a retro style presentation and classic clips from the show’s history airing throughout the night.

Backstage, Sami Zayn told Teddy Long about his conspiracy and asked for an IC Title shot, which the GM for the night turned into a joke about going one-on-one with The Undertaker.

Instead, he got booked to team with Apollo Crews, Otis, Chad Gable and King Corbin against Kevin Owens, Street Profits, Big E and Shinsuke Nakamura.

After a couple of fantastically old school backstage promos later in the night, the two teams did battle in the kind of multi-man clash SmackDown does so well, blending storylines and giving everyone a chance to shine.

Corbin was the one to get the big moment though, as he capitalised on a chaotic end and hit the End of Days on Nakamura.

Earlier on, the second match saw Ruby Riott – accompanied by Liv Morgan – take on Carmella in an entertaining sprint with the latter picking up the win.

Up next, Bayley – who is poised to face Bianca Belair for the Women’s Title at WrestleMania Backlash next weekend – made her way to the ring to ‘celebrate the women’s champions of WWE’, including the likes of Jacqueline, Lita, Trish Stratus, Ivory, Beth Phoenix and Molly Holly.

Eventually, Bayley made her way down the list to Bianca Belair and promised to beat her for the title, only for the EST of WWE to strut her way down the ring to offer a fantastically delivered rebuttal.

She even vowed to overtake her opponent as the longest reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion, which Bayley laughed off before she overcame Belair to stand tall after a brief brawl.

Back to in-ring action, Rey Mysterio – with his son Dominik by his side – came out to face Dolph Ziggler (with Robert Roode) just over a week from their tag team title match at WrestleMania Backlash, only to be replaced by his son after DZ mocked him before the bell.

They could have done with some more time, but Dominik looked great out there en route to a sudden win over Ziggler.

Over in the Women’s Tag Team Title division, Reginald hyped up Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler with some terrible (but brilliant) booze puns before taking on Tamina in a predictable match until the inevitable interference as the champs destroyed their challengers.



WWE SmackDown results and grades

  • Cesaro pinned Seth Rollins (A-)
  • Carmella beat Ruby Riott (C+)
  • Dominik Mysterio defeated Dolph Ziggler (C+)
  • Tamina beat Reginald via DQ (D+)
  • King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Apollo Crews, Otis and Chad Gable defeated Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, Big E and the Street Profits (B+)

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