Is King of the Ring Returning? Cesaro vs. Jimmy Uso, More WWE SmackDown Fallout

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2021

Is King of the Ring Returning? Cesaro vs. Jimmy Uso, More WWE SmackDown Fallout

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    Friday's SmackDown was the go-home show before Sunday's WrestleMania Backlash pay-per-view, so almost every segment was devoted to pushing a match on the card.

    Jimmy Uso continued to have issues with his brother, Jey, and Roman Reigns. Despite his hesitancy to acknowledge his cousin as The Head of the Tabe, he ended up facing Cesaro in the main event.

    Tamina and Natalya defeated Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler for the Women's Tag Team Championship, giving Jimmy Snuka's daughter her first major title since debuting almost 11 years ago.

    Rey Mysterio met Dolph Ziggler for a match, and the conclusion of Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin might indicate the return of a fan-favorite event.

    Let's take a look at the biggest moments from Friday's SmackDown.

Family Feud, WWE Edition

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    SmackDown opened with some Anoa'i family drama. Jey gave a brief speech before he brought out Reigns to deal with this as The Head of the Table.

    The Tribal Chief talked for a moment about Cesaro before Jimmy made his way to the ring. He ragged on Jey for continuing to follow Reigns' lead and said he will probably lose to Cesaro on Sunday.

    Jimmy pretended to challenge Cesaro to a match as a way to taunt his brother and cousin, but The Swiss Superman came out and accepting his challenge, giving Jimmy his first official opponent since returning.

    Cesaro welcomed back Uce with a dropkick to the face during their first lockup. The Usos may be twin brothers, but this felt completely different than Cesaro's recent encounter with Jey. The lack of animosity between the opponents changed the dynamic.

    Reigns ended the match prematurely by attacking Cesaro, which upset Jimmy. He argued with The Tribal Chief until The Swiss Superman fought back. Jimmy reluctantly got on the apron, only to take a hit to the face from Cesaro. Reigns watched as his opponent for Sunday took out Jey with a Neutralizer while daring the champ to stop him.

    Even if Cesaro loses Sunday, he will come out of this feud looking like a top star. He has stepped up every time he has been given the opportunity to do so, but it's hard to imagine The Tribal Chief losing at Backlash.

Tamina and Natalya Win Gold

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    Natalya and Tamina earned another shot at the Women's Tag Team Championship, and they were looking to make the most out of the opportunity by taking control right away.

    Reginald distracted the referee but ended up being ejected for his efforts. During the confusion, Jax took out Tamina with a Samoan drop into the barricade.

    After a hard-fought battle, Tamina was able to hit the Superfly Splash to pin Jax and win her first major championship in WWE since she debuted in May 2010.

    The multi-generational Superstars celebrated their victory with a promo and some fireworks. This was one of those feel-good moments you almost wish WWE would have saved for a live crowd.

    While the women's tag team division is thin, having new champions will create a few interesting storylines. They could feud with Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose, The Riott Squad, Naomi and Lana or a fresh pairing.

    Regardless of what happens, this was a nice moment for two women who have been overlooked far too often, especially since The Four Horsewomen arrived on the scene.

The Mysterios Gain More Momentum Heading into the PPV

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    For the second week in a row, Ziggler and a Mysterio faced off in singles competition. For the second week in a row, a Mysterio scored the win.

    The previous week, Dominick was the one to put down The Showoff. On Friday, his father accomplished the same feat, which gives the father-son duo the perceived advantage heading into their tag title match at WrestleMania Backlash.

    While this may seem to indicate the Mysterios are the favorites, history tells a different story. WWE often books someone to look strong before a pay-per-view so that the outcome is more surprising when the other person or team wins.

    However, WWE has been milking this story of Rey and Dom potentially being the first father-son team to win the tag titles. Knowing how much WWE loves to tout first-time events, the Mysterios will probably leave the PPV with the titles.

    As great as Ziggler and Robert Roode are, they have run their course as champions. It's time for a new team to hold the belts.

Are We Getting a New King of the Ring?

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    Nakamura and Corbin met for a rematch on Friday, and just like in their previous encounter, The King scored what many would consider an upset win.

    After the match, he made a big show out of putting on his crown. Nakamura knocked it off his head with a Kinshasa and proceeded to take the headwear for himself.

    As all of this happened, Michael Cole and Pat McAfee mentioned the term "King of the Ring" no fewer than a dozen times. Management doesn't do something like this without a reason.

    It looks like WWE may be planting the seeds for a new KOTR tournament to take place. If it does, it will be the first time since Corbin won in September 2019.

    Despite being one of WWE's former annual pay-per-views, the King of the Ring tournament has been treated as a novelty. Only five kings have been crowned since WWE stopped holding the event every year in 2002.

    With the number of amazing women on the roster, it wouldn't be surprising if this was coupled with an inaugural Queen of the Ring tournament.

    This could either take place at a special PPV or on themed episodes of Raw and SmackDown. Either way, it will be interesting to see whether this goes anywhere.


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