WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 21

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 21

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 21

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Women’s Tag Team Championship was at stake Friday night on SmackDown as Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez defended against Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville, one of two title clashes on the Fox broadcast.

    Were the champions, still early in their reign, able to hold off their challengers, or did the company crown new titleholders for the second time in as many weeks?

    Find out with this recap of a show that also saw Gunther defend his Intercontinental Championship against Xavier Woods.

Match Card

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    Announced in advance for Friday’s show:

  • Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez (c) vs. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville
  • Intercontinental Championship Match: Xavier Woods vs. Gunther (c)
  • Ricochet and Braun Strowman vs. The Viking Raiders
  • Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar vs. Finn Bálor and Damian Priest
  • No Disqualification Match: Matt Riddle vs. Solo Sikoa  

Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar vs. The Judgment Day

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Ahead of Bad Bunny’s return on Monday’s Raw, The Judgment Day scored a key victory over the LWO as Damian Priest and Finn Bálor knocked off Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar in the night’s opening contest.

    A competitive, energetic match, it was a great way to kick off the show and highlight two of the top acts in WWE right now. Considering they were part of the wild and chaotic conclusion to Raw, it made sense to start Friday’s show with them and pick up where things left off.

    It would be nice to see Escobar score a big win on WWE TV at some point, but he is, apparently, more expendable at this point than Mysterio as the company builds to what will likely be a massive tag team match involving the aforementioned Bunny.

    Judgment Day scored a rare clean victory, Priest looked imposing, and now, Mysterio will look toward the biggest musician in the world for support in his quest to end the differences that exist between him and the heel faction.


    Result

    Judgment Day defeated Mysterio and Escobar


    Grade

    B


    Top Moments

  • Mysterio delivered a bulldog to create separation and allow him to make the hot tag to Escobar.
  • Escobar teased a dive, but Bálor exploded from out of nowhere with a clothesline.
  • Priest rocked Escobar with a big superkick to halt his momentum and retain control of the match.
  • Escobar delivered a splash to Balor, but the former Universal champion was not the legal man. Priest entered, delivered South of Heaven and scored the win. 

Braun Strowman and Ricochet vs. The Viking Raiders

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Following a backstage assault at the hands of The Viking Raiders a week ago, Braun Strowman and Ricochet gained a measure of revenge with a hard-fought victory over Erik and Ivar Friday night.

    Despite the furious offensive arsenal of the heels, and interference from Valhalla, Ricochet took to the air off the shoulders of his monstrous partner and earned the win for his team.

    The commentary team of Wade Barrett and Michael Cole put over the idea of the winners being in line for a shot at the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championship following next week’s WrestleMania main event rematch between The Usos and Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

    With the WWE draft on the horizon, there are worse options available than booking Strowman and Ricochet against either of those teams. The styles mesh well and would provide a damn good match if nothing else.


    Result

    Ricochet and Strowman defeated The Viking Raiders


    Grade

    B


    Top Moments

  • Backstage, Zelina Vega caught up with Adam Pearce and laid down the challenge for a SmackDown Women’s Championship match against Rhea Ripley at Backlash, citing her status as the only Puerto Rican woman on the WWE roster and unfinished business with “Mami.”
  • A vignette put over Shinsuke Nakamura’s combat background in an attempt to re-establish the King of Strong Style persona. Karrion Kross appeared in a second video and ran down all that he has taken from WWE Superstars since returning, before issuing words of warning for Nakamura.
  • Ricochet delivered a cartwheel plancha to the outside, wiping both opponents out.

  • Valhalla distracted Ricochet during the break, allowing the heels to seize control.
  • Ivar delivered a big splash to Strowman, but The Monster Among Monsters kicked out at two. 
  • Ricochet delivered a Swanton Bomb off of Strowman’s shoulders for the win. 

Women’s Tag Team Championship Match

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez successfully retained their Women’s Tag Team Championship Friday night by using Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville’s tricks against them.

    First, Morgan poured water on Green just four days after being disrespected in a similar fashion on Raw. Then, Rodriguez added leverage to her partner’s rollup to the Hot Mess, returning the favor after repeated attempts at cheating by the heels throughout the title match.

    More important than turnabout being fair play was the fact that the match got a decent amount of time, featured solid character work from those involved and the crowd seemed relatively into it.

    When there is a story at play and elements of characters that fans can get behind, the result is typically positive. That was the case here. Kudos to Triple H for giving the women time to have their match and tell their story, something he has not done consistently for a women’s tag team division that has been underserved regardless of the regime in power.


    Result

    Morgan and Rodriguez defeated Green and Deville to retain


    Grade

    B-


    Top Moments

  • “How can we expect these normies to understand what it’s like to wake up every single morning winning?!” Green asked prior to the match.
  • Morgan delivered a shotgun dropkick at the opening bell, eager to avenge the disrespect dealt her by the heels Monday on Raw.
  • Morgan doused Green in water, and Rodriguez added leverage to a rollup for the win and successful title defense.   

Intercontinental Championship Match: Xavier Woods vs. Gunther

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    Credit: WWE.com

    On paper, Xavier Woods challenging Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship had all the makings of a banger.

    In execution, it lived up to the expectations as one of the best matches on TV this week.

    Gunther retained his title but Woods tested The Ring General, embracing the role of the underdog and fighting from underneath until a spirited run late in the match. Ultimately, Gunther used a traditional sleeper to put Woods down, but Woods proved he is worthy of singles championship opportunities.

    Long an afterthought of sorts in the New Day, he has shown through his work in the 2021 King of the Ring tournament and this latest outing against one of the best wrestlers in the world that he is capable of thriving on his own.

    It will be interesting to see if the star of Up Up, Down Down has the opportunity to do more of it with the WWE draft coming up or if he will slide back into tag team action upon the return of Kofi Kingston and/or Big E.


    Result

    Gunther defeated Woods to retain


    Grade

    A


    Top Moments

  • This was Woods’ first match for a singles championship in his entire WWE run.
  • Woods answered the punishing chops of his opponent with stiff forearms. He once rocked The Ring General, taking him off his feet. 
  • The challenger delivered a leg drop for a two-count that had fans biting on the finish.
  • Gunther ultimately put Woods to sleep for the successful title defense. 

No Disqualification Match: Matt Riddle vs. Solo Sikoa

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The best way to get back on the good side of The Tribal Chief is to take care of problems, and since the night after WrestleMania, there have been few problems more persistent or troublesome to The Bloodline than Matt Riddle.

    Friday night, Solo Sikoa made it two in a row against The Original Bro thanks to some well-timed interference from The Usos, this time in a No Disqualification Match. To make matters better, The Enforcer joined his brothers in leaving Riddle lying after driving him through a table.

    The image of a dominant Bloodline standing tall to close out the show was needed after the success others have had against the faction since WrestleMania and also gives The Usos a bit of a reprieve amid mounting pressure to impress Roman Reigns.

    A so-so match elevated by the presence of Jimmy and Jey and the exclamation point at the end of the show helped make this a success.


    Result

    Sikoa pinned Riddle


    Grade

    B


    Top Moments

  • The Usos cut a banger of a pre-match promo hyping their WrestleMania rematch against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens for the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championship on next week’s show.
  • Riddle wiped out his opponent with the Broton entering the commercial break.
  • Riddle countered Sikoa charging at him with a steel chair to the face. He added several body shots with a kendo stick and a chair-assisted knee to the face.
  • Sikoa sent Riddle over the announce table and tried to bury him underneath it, like last week, but The Original Bro put up a fight.
  • Riddle delivered the Floating Bro from the middle rope, wiping out the interfering Usos.
  • Sikoa recovered, flipped over the announce table and raged on Riddle, ultimately delivering the Samoan Spike for the pinfall victory.
  • The heels drove Riddle through a table to close out the win.

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