Universal Champion Roman Reigns Called Out Edge
Reigns is at the top of his game right now, but you don't need me to tell you that (especially since I say it every week). He did a great job of recapping his latest win over Kevin Owens at Royal Rumble and establishing that he feels he's the true main event of WrestleMania 37, which is why Edge has to choose to face him. The intensity he showed when Edge didn't come out when he demanded him to was also fantastic. He provided a hell of a hook by saying that Edge had to make a decision by the end of the evening.
Dominik Mysterio def. King Corbin
These two have had a handful of matches this past month, but I can't say I've been overly invested in their "rivalry." They've been trading victories back and forth and that's about it. It's cool that Dominik has been getting airtime, but if Rey had to help him win by cheating, does this victory really mean anything? As I've said before, I'd prefer the Mysterios in the tag team division, but I assume this program isn't over yet. It's the definition of filler at this point.
Cesaro def. Daniel Bryan
Cesaro beat Bryan a few weeks ago, so with Royal Rumble over and done with, I assumed this would be where Bryan got his win back. Well, I was wrong, but I was happy to have been wrong. Cesaro scoring a submission victory (and a clean win at that) over Bryan was huge for him. The real question is what the follow-up will be and if this was merely a case of Bryan wanting to elevate a talent he thinks highly of. Just because Bryan wants Cesaro to be pushed as a singles star doesn't mean he should be, but it was at least a little encouraging. The match itself was too short to be anything special, but it was fun while it lasted and the post-match handshake was a nice touch.
Bayley def. Ruby Riott
I don't think we've seen Bayley take on Riott one-on-one in a few years, so this felt fresh. It was also cool to see Riott shine in singles competition against a star of Bayley's caliber. This was a nice little match that should have gotten more time than it did. Unfortunately, the focus was largely on the shenanigans with Billie Kay and her inadvertently costing Riott the win than it was the matchup itself. Kay is playing her role well, but it shouldn't be the focal point of anything involving The Riott Squad. Why aren't they the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions already?
SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks and Carmella Confronted Bianca Belair
It was teased that Belair might make her decision on this show as to what champion she wants to face at WrestleMania, but you had to know that wasn't going to be the case. They can afford to wait a little longer before making it official. Then again, Banks vs. Belair has to be the WrestleMania match, so I wouldn't mind them setting it in stone on the sooner side. They had a solid verbal exchange here that served as a small taste of what we can (hopefully) expect heading into WrestleMania. Carmella was just sort of there, but I assume that's because we'll be getting Belair vs. Carmella eventually and not because Carmella will make it a Triple Threat.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode def. Otis and Chad Gable (Non-Title)
As much as I'm digging SmackDown on the whole at the moment, it couldn't be more apparent that the tag team division is on life support. Otis and Gable, while entertaining, aren't much of a tandem and had no chance of winning here. This was a fine win for Ziggler and Roode, but it was an afterthought due to The Street Profits' distracting commentary. The best thing I can say about this is that Ziggler and Roode finally have new tag team music. It isn't amazing, but it's an improvement over the song Ziggler has had for the last decade.
Intercontinental Champion Big E def. Apollo Crews and Sami Zayn in a Triple Threat Match
Big E, Crews and Zayn have kept the Intercontinental Championship picture interesting these past few weeks and this was a logical way of furthering the feud. They were given an ample amount of time to work with and made the most of it by producing a terrific Triple Threat with all three guys having strong showings. Big E pinned Crews to retain his title, and while I'm all for Crews continuing his heel turn, it's going to be hard to justify him getting another shot at the strap after this. I could see Big E vs. Zayn happening again since Zayn wasn't pinned and he actually almost won before Crews pulled him out of the ring.
Kevin Owens Attacked Roman Reigns Before Edge Could Reveal His WrestleMania Decision
Much like with Banks and Belair earlier in the evening, we got a preview here of what we could be getting from Edge and Reigns as opponents on the road to WrestleMania, and it was tremendous. I really do hope we get Edge vs. Reigns because I believe that story would be significantly stronger than Edge vs. McIntyre. I thought we might see an Edge and Christian reunion in this segment, but Owens emerged instead and laid out Reigns with a Stunner. It's possible we get Edge and Owens vs. Reigns and Uso out of this, but Owens vs. Reigns should be over after he's lost to Reigns on three separate occasions. I know he was screwed out of the title all three times, but it's obvious he isn't beating Reigns, so he needs to move on to something else. And that's coming from someone who has found their feud to be riveting. We'll see where this leads, but Reigns vs. Owens at Elimination Chamber isn't the answer.
SmackDown has been worthwhile more often than not these past six months, but I'm very curious to see if the show will go up even more in quality with WrestleMania season upon us. For example, this was an above-average episode in my opinion, even if not everything was amazing. Ziggler and Roode vs. Otis and Gable was a waste of time and Corbin vs. Mysterio was more of the same, but there was a ton of other great stuff to keep me invested. Between Edge possibly becoming a full-time member of the blue brand soon and Seth Rollins returning next week, SmackDown is about to get even more interesting in the weeks ahead.