Next week will be the penultimate episode of SmackDown to Fastlane 2021. We're just over a month away from WrestleMania 37, and there are a lot of questions about how things are shaping up.
This wasn't the strongest episode of SmackDown this year by any means, but as with every week, there are positives and negatives. Daniel Bryan's main event match against Jey Uso was the focal point, with a potential opportunity of headlining the final PPV before WrestleMania 37.
#3. Best: Apollo Crews' new character change on SmackDown
Apollo Crews has had an impressive run in WWE since his time post-WrestleMania 36. While he spent the first six months on RAW, he was drafted to SmackDown - where many fans felt that he would return to catering.
Thankfully, that wasn't the case. While Apollo Crews added a bit more to his character on RAW last April-May, he was still a babyface. The biggest criticism that he had received was his lack of character and promo ability. He ended up becoming one of the Superstars to benefit greatly from his lack of fans, and his promo on SmackDown was a reflection of that.
Last week, Apollo Crews not only cemented his heel turn but debuted a new character as well. This week, we got to see more of that side of Apollo Crews.
Now touting a Nigerian accent, Apollo Crews has embraced his past royal heritage - something that he said he was ashamed of before. Crews walked in wearing gear representing Nigeria while also holding a spear. Not just that, but he has two bodyguards as well.
Big E returns to SmackDown next week, and we imagine that Apollo Crews' demand for an Intercontinental Championship match will be agreed upon. It adds an edge to the feud between Big E and Apollo Crews - two bright, young, rising Superstars.
This heel turn could lead to a title change if WWE is planning to have Big E step up post-WrestleMania. While Big E could admittedly retain given his momentum, it seems like a win-win situation.
Ultimately, it all depends on how WWE chooses to handle Apollo Crews after the feud. Looking at it now, Crews would indeed have made a great addition to The Hurt Business had there not been a storyline in place where he actively refused MVP's offer.