WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction, Highlights from May 28

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2021

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction, Highlights from May 28

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Jey Uso again found himself at the center of brother Jimmy and cousin Roman Reigns' power struggle Friday night on SmackDown, teaming with Jimmy for the first time in well over a year to battle The Street Profits in a blockbuster tag team main event.

    The match headlined a show that continued WWE's road to Hell in a Cell, wrote the latest chapter in the intensifying rivalry between Cesaro and Seth Rollins, and provided an explanation for Aleister Black's attack on Big E that cost him the Intercontinental Championship a week ago.

Already Announced

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    Booked for Friday's show:


    • The Street Profits vs. The Usos


    Coverage begins at 8 PM.

The Street Profits vs. The Usos

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Backstage, an exuberant Jimmy Uso talked to Roman Reigns about his and Jey's match with The Street Profits later in the show. He said they would go on, win the tag titles, put it next to The Tribal Chief's Universal Championship and rule SmackDown.

    Reigns said he was happy for him, but when Jimmy left, he planted seeds of doubt in Jey's head, asking him if he was going to let his brother talk for him. Jey swore he was with Reigns, no matter how well tonight went.

    The Street Profits hit the ring and cut a promo about their match with the Usos, putting it over as a dream match before suggesting both Jimmy and Jey are about to have Reigns living in their heads rent-free. This brought the twins to the ring. Verbal sparring gave way to the much-anticipated match, but not before a commercial break. 

    The Street Profits dominated the opening minutes of the match, sending the brothers into the announce table and timekeeper position ahead of another timeout. Back from the break, Jimmy tripped Montez Ford up, turning the tide in the favor of the heels. Together, they isolated Ford and worked him over, preventing him from tagging Angelo Dawkins into the bout. 

    Ford finally created separation with a big boot to Jimmy and a double clothesline spot with Jey. He tagged Dawkins in and the big man unloaded on the opposition. With Dawkins and Jimmy on the top rope, Ford launched himself from the ring, over the ring post, and on to Jey on the floor. 

    Jimmy rocked Dawkins with a superkick but could not put him down for the count. Dawkins answered with a shoulder tackle and a twisting neckbreaker for a two-count of his own. Dawkins flattened Jimmy with a spinebuster, and Ford tried for a frog splash, but Jey moved him out of the way.

    Jimmy rocked Ford with a superkick and earned the win for his team.



    The Usos defeated The Street Profits






    This was a damn good opener and one that would have been even better in a pay-per-view setting, without commercial breaks to derail the momentum.

    Jimmy rocking Usos gear in the hope that his team with his brother will one day reign supreme, while Jey remained loyal to Roman Reigns with his Right Hand Man, was a great touch to the overarching storyline.

    The two teams exhibited the in-ring chemistry one would hope for, and the match felt appropriately epic. That so much time was devoted to it only helped matters.

    The right team went over as The Street Profits are pretty bulletproof from a credibility perspective at this point. The potential is there for more matches between the two, but it will be imperative not to overexpose the bout and subject it to criticism, especially when this felt as special as it did.

Riott Squad vs. Natalya and Tamina

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    Credit: WWE

    The Riott Squad's Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan had the opportunity to earn themselves championship consideration as they battled WWE women's tag team champions Natalya and Tamina in non-title action, and they looked to capitalize by attacking Tamina prior to the bell.

    The tandem isolated Natalya, forcing The Queen of Harts to go it alone. She fought back and finally made the tag to her partner, who exploded into the match and unleashed fury on the competition.

    Despite a suplex by Morgan to Natalya on the floor, Tamina was able to deliver a headbutt that grounded Riott and put her away with the Superfly Splash for the win.



    Tamina and Natalya defeated The Riott Squad






    It is disappointing to see The Riott Squad relegated to an afterthought of sorts in the tag division. They were not granted an entrance, and there was never really any suspicion that they would win the match. Riott and Morgan are a talented team with more charisma than so many that have been pushed ahead of them. They should be more than they are, though through no fault of their own.

    Natalya and Tamina's Cinderella story continued this week with a dominant victory. This was a great showcase for them, highlighting what each does so well while allowing them to build momentum as champs. No harm, no foul on that front.

Bianca Belair vs. Carmella

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Prior to her match with the SmackDown women's champion, Carmella lent credibility to Bayley's insistence that Bianca Belair cheated to win at WrestleMania Backlash.

    She followed up her accusations by dominating her match with The EST, working her over while Bayley appeared at the commentary table with Michael Cole and Pat McAfee.

    After weathering everything thrown at her by the Princess of Staten Island, Belair was able to deliver the KOD (Kiss of Death) for the pinfall victory.

    At ringside, Bayley yelled at the champion, saying she "ain't nothing," while Belair celebrated her victory.



    Belair defeated Carmella






    There wasn't much to this one beyond Belair picking up a tough win and Bayley continuing to egg her on ahead of their inevitable rematch.

    It didn't really advance the storyline, nor did it make the audience want to see said rematch any more or less.

    It was a segment that just was, and in many regards, those are the worst.

    Kudos to Carmella for a solid performance, even as frustration over a lack of story and direction mounts. 

Seth Rollins Addresses the WWE Universe

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    Credit: WWE

    The drip was strong as Seth Rollins made his way to the ring—on the same day he turned 35 years old—to address Cesaro and the WWE Universe.

    What started as a light-hearted promo, complete with a fake check-in from Cesaro's hospital bed after last week's brutal attack, soon turned serious and twisted.

    Rollins blamed both Cesaro and the WWE fans for the fate endured by The Swiss Superman a week earlier. His hands, he said, were clean.

    He sang "Happy Birthday" to himself and paraded around the ring to end the segment.






    Rollins is, has been, and will continue to be delusional. It is a consistency with his character, dating back to his heel turn in 2019, and one that he continues to embrace two years later.

    Blaming fans and Cesaro for the latter's misfortunes is exactly what you would expect from Rollins, but the manner in which he transitioned from over-the-top jokey to menacing was new. It was something this incarnation of the character needs in order to return to the main event scene. 

    More of the seriousness, less of the obnoxious, and Rollins may be poised to break back into the Universal title picture.

Kevin Owens vs. Apollo Crews; Roman Reigns Summons Jey Uso

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    Credit: WWE

    Intercontinental champion Apollo Crews, one week after successfully defending his title in a Fatal 4-Way Match, battled Kevin Owens in a non-title match.

    KO pummeled Crews early, driving the air out of him with a corner cannonball and flattening him with a frog splash. Crews kicked out and seized control of the bout momentarily, only to eat a stunner from Owens.

    Commander Azeez broke up the pin with the Nigerian Nail, drawing the disqualification.

    After the match, cameras caught up with Roman Reigns and Jey Uso backstage, moments after Adam Pearce granted Jimmy's request for a tag team match on next week's show. The Head of the Table asked Jey why he would want that match when Reigns wants the best for him. He reiterated that he doesn't want Jey to go back to having fans ask which one he is again, not when he has been "Main Event Jey Uso" while partnered with him.



    Owens defeated Crews via DQ






    What a waste of time Crews vs. Owens was.

    Both are too talented to be thrown out on TV with a minute or two to work with, asked to rush through their "match" before a cheap finish like that. It was a major disappointment, and if the match was intended to set up a pay-per-view meeting, that easily could have been achieved in any number of ways besides a throw-away, meaningless couple of minutes.

    The backstage back-and-forth was the typical excellence we have seen out of Reigns and Uso for months now. The eventual moment in which Jey either betrays Jimmy or attacks Reigns will draw a huge ovation from fans if for no other reason than the level of storytelling that has gone into their program.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Chad Gable

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    Credit: WWE

    Rick Boogs played Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring for his match with Alpha Academy's Chad Gable, with Otis accompanying the former Olympian.

    Nakamura withstood a game Gable to pick up the win with Kinshasa.

    Afterward, King Corbin berated Nakamura from the entrance ramp and claimed the crown as his again, saying it was never anyone's but his.

    Boogs came from out of nowhere, rocked Corbin, and Nakamura retrieved the crown before standing tall.



    Nakamura defeated Gable






    Well, at least the Corbin feud is giving Nakamura something to do.

    It may not be the most inspired program, but it has introduced Boogs to the fans and sets up a potential new tournament to crown the next King of the Ring.

    All things considered, it could be worse.

    One would assume a tag team match pitting Nakamura and Boogs against Alpha Academy may be on the horizon based on what went down this week. 

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Mysterios vs. Roode and Ziggler

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    Credit: WWE

    Prior to the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match, Rey Mysterio was jumped and left writhing in pain, apparently unable to compete. Dominik, just as his father did for him at WrestleMania Backlash, vowed to go to the ring and fight for the team against challengers Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode.

    It went about as well as one would imagine.

    The young star found himself on the defensive almost immediately, beaten down and in search of a partner that was not there for him. Ziggler and Roode talked trash, abused and punished the rookie competitor before Mysterio used their hybris against them.

    He flew over the top rope and wiped the heels out at ringside as commentator Pat McAfee surmised there was zero chance he could retain the titles for his team.

    Mysterio set up for the 619, but Roode tripped him up. Dominik ripped him out, tried for another 619 but ate a fameasser from Ziggler. The heels leveled Mysterio, and Roode picked up a two-count. Rey appeared just in time, still nursing his injuries, but provided a distraction that allowed Dominik to pick up the win.

    After the match, the Usos hit the ring and talked trash to the victorious champions...all while Roman Reigns watched backstage, unhappy with the developments unfolding before him.



    The Mysterios defeated Roode and Ziggler






    Would it really hurt WWE Creative to let the Mysterios, Roode, and Ziggler have a straight match for the tag titles?

    The reliance on the handicap formula aside, this was a rather uninteresting main event that played out exactly as WrestleMania Backlash, with an even cheaper finish in Rey popping up to provide the distraction and bring about the finish.

    The arrival of The Usos was great, as were Reigns’ facial expressions. That story makes this whole thing passable.