WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 9
The landscape of WWE changed on Sunday with WrestleMania 35, as new champions were crowned and fresh stars emerged. SmackDown Live was certainly affected, especially after Kofi Kingston achieved his dream at the expense of Daniel Bryan.
The new WWE champion promised a title celebration alongside The New Day, with the veteran getting a chance to enjoy a moment in the spotlight as the top guy in the company for the first time.
Another huge fan favorite, Becky Lynch, captured the SmackDown and Raw Women's Championships by defeating Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair, making The Man the top woman in WWE as well as a target for everyone chasing championship gold.
On a night of so many happy moments, though, The Miz was unable to get revenge for himself and his dad, falling just short against Shane McMahon. Both were expected to appear on the blue brand. The IIconics were also certain to gloat over their WWE Women's Tag Team Championships victory.
While excitement and moments were certain on this SmackDown-after-'Mania show, only one match was announced, as The Usos were set to do battle with The Hardy Boyz for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
This night promised to be shocking, exciting and memorable with so much fallout expected from The Show of Shows.
The New Day Celebrate Kofi Kingston's WWE Championship Victory
Xavier Woods and Big E celebrated Kingston's title victory by talking up how important it was to see their hero and friend as WWE champion.
They were enjoying the moment until Sheamus and Cesaro arrived and challenged New Day to a six-man tag match with their new friend, Drew McIntyre, for the main event.
This was a great celebration that got to the heart of how emotional this whole moment was for New Day. The members got to speak their mind and have fun with it, striking the right balance of genuine excitement and goofy joy.
While The Bar's interference on Raw was disappointing, this was a far better use of the team's long-running rivalry with New Day.
McIntyre is a perfect partner for Sheamus and Cesaro and would benefit much more from this pairing than his awkward teaming with Baron Corbin and Bobby Lashley.
Aleister Black, Ricochet and Ali vs. Rusev, Shinsuke Nakamura and Andrade
The babyface team looked poised and focused in its first performance together. While Aleister Black and Ricochet looked good as usual, Ali was the one to stand out after catching Andrade with a reverse DDT and 450 splash for the win.
Afterward, Randy Orton hit an RKO on Ali, which allowed Rusev to stand over the former 205 Live Superstar and taunt him until Kevin Owens hit The Bulgarian Brute with a stunner.
Ali, Black and Ricochet def. Andrade, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura by pinfall
This was a fun TV match that showcased a ton of talent in a short time. It was important mostly because it finally allowed Ali to start rebuilding momentum. He is still one of the best on either roster and hopefully will be a major factor on either brand.
The appearances of Orton and KO were mainly to tease the idea that everyone wants to stand out before the Superstar Shake-up next week. Both men had limited roles over these past few months and could benefit from a fresh start.
Samoa Joe Challenges the Roster to Step Up, and Braun Strowman Answers
R-Truth and Carmella came out to celebrate The Princess of Staten Island's Battle Royal victory at WrestleMania before Samoa Joe stormed into the ring and knocked out Truth with a Coquina Clutch.
He promised he could knock out anyone in less time than it took him to put down Rey Mysterio at 'Mania. This brought out Braun Strowman and started a brawl, but The Samoan Submission Specialist escaped the grip of The Monster Among Men.
This segment had a lot of moving parts, but it ultimately amounted to a tease of Joe vs. Strowman, which could be fantastic. It is rare WWE has two legitimate monsters who have been built separately from each other over the years.
While Strowman and Joe have had bumps along the road in establishing their dominance, they are clearly major stars who can take out anyone. This should be a fantastic rivalry as long as the two are on the same brand by the end of next week.
Women's Tag Team Champions The IIconics vs. The Brooklyn Belles
The IIconics decided to start their new tag team titles reign by defending the belts against undefeated local competitors The Brooklyn Belles.
While Kristin and Karissa attempted to make a statement, they were quickly put away thanks to a dominant performance from Peyton Royce and Billie Kay.
Paige was shown watching backstage and was asked after the match why she was on SmackDown. She made clear she was bringing a new tag team to WWE next week as part of the Superstar Shake-up.
IIconics def. Brooklyn Belles by pinfall to retain the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships
Squash matches rarely make much of an impact, but this was a good way to sell The IIconics as champions. They feigned the idea they would follow the same ideals that ruled Sasha Banks and Bayley's title reign, but they decided instead to fight easy competition.
It was great to have Paige return to WWE, seemingly in a managerial role. It will be interesting to see which tag team—likely from NXT—she will be bringing up.
Shane McMahon Gloats over WrestleMania Victory
Shane McMahon stated that WrestleMania 35 sold out because everyone came to see him defeat The Miz.
He gloated about pulling that off, as well as what he did to Miz's dad, George, which made sure The A-Lister was not on the blue brand this week.
As he continued to boast, he forced Greg Hamilton to announce his greatness as The Best in the World, dragging the announcer by his tie up the ramp until he pleased him with his delivery.
This segment was perfectly fine, though it felt like it did not accomplish anything. It was the same routine as usual, and it mostly felt like stalling for when Miz returns to get his revenge.
This would have been a great moment to take a chance on this first SmackDown after 'Mania, but instead it was just a tease for whenever McMahon snaps and attacks Hamilton.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. The Hardy Boyz
In a battle of brothers, The Hardy Boyz seemed far more focused in this title match than The Usos.
A splash was not enough for the champions to put this away, and then Jeff Hardy ducked the Double Uce, setting up a Twist of Fate from Matt Hardy and a Swanton Bomb from The Charismatic Enigma to give The Hardys a big title win.
Afterward, as Matt and Jeff looked to celebrate their victory, Lars Sullivan arrived and laid out both men with Freak Accidents.
The Hardy Boyz def. The Usos by pinfall to become the new SmackDown tag team champions
While the match was not as exciting as it would have been five years ago, it was still a nice moment to see two great teams clash for the first time.
The Usos losing felt wrong, but it does free them up to work on Raw for the first time since the brand split come next week.
Sullivan continues to look impressive in short bursts, but it is odd that he is only targeting legends so far. Perhaps it is leading somewhere that is not immediately clear.
Becky Lynch Promises to Pull Double Duty and Take on Every Challenger
Becky Lynch came out focused and confident with both her championships, stating she was unfazed by the attack of Lacey Evans on Raw.
The Man also stated she would be ready for all challengers and would work both brands as champion.
As she headed to the back, Evans caught her with another right hand and sent Lynch hard onto the stage.
Monday night's surprise attack by Evans was far more effective than this repeat, but it was still a fine segment as a whole. Lynch knows how to work a crowd and is clearly loving this spotlight.
Whatever comes next, it will be up to The Man to help elevate The Lady of WWE to feel like a legitimate challenge. Hopefully, others will also step up as Lynch vs. Evans alone is not going to feel like a true headliner for the entire women's division.
The New Day vs. The Bar and Drew McIntyre
Despite Drew McIntyre looking unstoppable when in the ring, no one was stopping Kofi Kingston on the top of his game.
The WWE champion managed to survive the best shots of Sheamus and connect with Trouble in Paradise to take the win.
Kingston then celebrated with his whole family in the ring.
The New Day def. McIntyre, Cesaro and Sheamus by pinfall
This was a far better way to celebrate Kingston's championship victory than Monday's tag match, but it was consistently sloppy, which is surprising given the talent involved. The New Day got to win as a team and continue to enjoy the spotlight, while The Bar were mostly punching bags.
This match was simply typical of WWE's booking of these post-WrestleMania shows this year. While it hinted at some interesting stories for the future, it was mostly forgettable. Next week will likely be far more chaotic and exciting.