Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair Celebrates and More WWE SmackDown Fallout
After WWE put on a solid WrestleMania this past weekend, the company failed to build on the momentum on Raw. Management was looking to right the ship with Friday's SmackDown.
Things started strong with a promo from Roman Reigns to celebrate his win over Edge and Daniel Bryan on Sunday. Cesaro ended up issuing a challenge to The Tribal Chief, but he had to settle for facing Jey Uso in the main event.
Natalya and Tamina still have their sights set on the women's tag titles, so The Queen of Harts took on Shayna Baszler in singles competition in an effort to regain some of the steam her team lost by coming up short at WrestleMania.
We also saw Bianca Belair celebrate winning the SmackDown Women's Championship from Sasha Banks. The EST was hoping her husband, Montez Ford, would bring more gold to the family by winning the SmackDown tag titles with Angelo Dawkins later in the show.
Let's take a look at some of the segments from the SmackDown after WrestleMania and see where things might go from here.
Bianca Belair Celebrates Making History at WrestleMania
Belair had a special segment dedicated to her victory in the main event on Night 1 of WrestleMania 37. Ford and Dawkins were there to be her hype men and introduce her.
The new champion came out smiling from ear to ear as she strutted to the ring with the title around her waist. She gave a nice speech about believing in yourself and never giving up.
Surprisingly, WWE refrained from having anyone come out to confront or challenge her for the championship. This was all about celebrating her win, which is exactly what it needed to be.
Banks tried to give an interview backstage but she stormed off before she could say anything. It's clear she still has her eye on the SmackDown Women's Championship and getting revenge against Belair for ruining what she thought should have been her WrestleMania moment.
Keeping this feud going is smart. The Boss can help strengthen Belair's title reign and legitimize her in the eyes of casual fans who did not follow The EST's run in NXT.
Bayley also had some comments about the situation, so she might end up being integrated into this storyline over the next few weeks.
The Dirty Dawgs Retain Their Titles for 2nd Successive Week
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode successfully retained the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The Street Profits, Alpha Academy and the Mysterios on the go-home show before WrestleMania. If they thought they would get a week off, they were sadly mistaken.
Ford and Dawkins were given another shot to win the belts Friday without having to worry about two other teams being in the mix.
The Showoff wore a fake braid to mock Belair's hairdo, but Ford did not seem fazed by the mind games.
Despite a valiant effort from The Street Profits, Ziggler and Roode were able to retain the titles. The Dirty Dawgs continue to lead the blue brand's tag team division, but with a few duos all looking to make their mark, the champions need to grow eyes in the back of their heads.
We should expect to see Alpha Academy, the Mysterios and Street Profits all continue to be in the tag title hunt because SmackDown only has those four teams until Jimmy Uso reunites with Jey.
Natalya and Tamina Still Chasing the Women's Tag Titles
After coming up short in the women's tag title bout at WrestleMania, Natalya and Tamina were looking to get back on track Friday.
The Queen of Harts took on Baszler in singles action, while Jax and Tamina supported their partners from the ringside area.
A few shenanigans at ringside led to Natalya rolling up Baszler for the win. Next week will likely feature a showdown between Tamina and Jax to continue the feud and build off of the big slam from 'Mania.
The women's tag team division still isn't a priority for management judging from the way it is booked, but there are a few teams who can make it interesting. Natalya and Tamina are veterans with pedigree who feel they have been overlooked. There is something interesting to mine from that story.
Is Cesaro Going to Challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Title?
SmackDown opened with a triumphant Reigns giving a promo about his victory at WrestleMania against Bryan and Edge. The Tribal Chief was more confident in his abilities than ever.
Reigns declared that everybody is afraid of him after what he did to The Yes Man and Rated-R Superstar, two men he called legends in their own right. What he didn't expect was somebody to call him on his bluff.
Cesaro came down and stared into the eyes of the universal champion. He didn't say a word. He didn't have to. The look in his eyes said everything.
After defeating Rollins at The Show of Shows, The Swiss Cyborg wants to capitalize on his momentum. Going after the universal title is a big step toward Cesaro becoming a main eventer in WWE.
This pairing would be perfect for SmackDown because they have never had a long-term feud. They have fought before but not enough for anyone to be tired of the combination.
During a backstage encounter with Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville, Cesaro threw down the challenge for a non-title match against The Big Dog. Instead, he got Uso in the main event.
Seth Rollins ended up attacking Cesaro during the match, which could indicate The Swiss Cyborg will have two feuds going at once to set up a potential Triple Threat match for the Universal Championship.
WrestleMania Backlash is set to take place May 16, so WWE has plenty of time to build toward that match if that is indeed the plan.