Welcome to this week's edition of Best and Worst of SmackDown. We're only two weeks away from the biggest show of the year and WWE pulled out all the stops on SmackDown this week.
Several matches have been added to the WrestleMania 37 card and there are some exciting ones from SmackDown. Even without titles on the line, these matches could potentially steal the show on either night (or even both) of WrestleMania.
A special thanks to Riju Dasgupta, who allowed me to take over his "Best and Worst" series in his absence. He will resume the series starting from RAW this Monday.
Back to SmackDown, let's begin with an old feud that will take a new shape at WrestleMania 37:
#3. Best: The interesting Kevin Owens-Sami Zayn dynamic on SmackDown
While the WrestleMania 37 card was dubbed as "underwhelming" by some WWE fans, the perception is slowly changing. It's a card that doesn't have part-timers on it minus Edge and Shane McMahon. There are a lot of matches that can steal the show, and one of them could be Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn.
Owens vs. Zayn was made official on SmackDown this week after the former Universal Champion invited his old best friend and rival to The Kevin Owens Show. While Zayn was excited to announce that YouTube sensation Logan Paul will be appearing on SmackDown next week, Owens didn't seem to care. He backed Sami Zayn into a corner and challenged him to a match at WrestleMania 37 - and it's now official.
What was interesting was the fact that Owens came off as a heel in this segment whereas Zayn, for all his faults, seemed more like the babyface. Owens essentially bullied him into a match at WrestleMania, and it teased the possibility of a double turn.
It's been a few years now since we've seen Sami Zayn as a babyface. It's hard to believe that a longer portion of his WWE run has been as a heel. Either way, a double turn hasn't happened in a while, and it would be the perfect place to pull it off, despite how unlikeable Zayn seems to many with his conspiracy theories.
#2. Worst: Back-and-forth booking of Apollo Crews on SmackDown
We're not upset about Apollo Crews' spot on SmackDown. One could argue that this is even better than his resurgent run on RAW last year under Paul Heyman - where he won his first title in the form of the United States Championship.
This year, he finally gets a big moment at WrestleMania as he takes on Big E for the Intercontinental Championship.
The two men were on the opposite sides of the ring on SmackDown, with Big E teaming up with The Street Profits while Crews teamed up with The Alpha Academy. Apollo Crews got the pin over Big E. While it's normal for the Champion to get pinned in non-title matches, we couldn't help but notice a slight inconsistency in the way Crews is being handled.
He finally has a solid character foundation, and if WWE is planning to go all-out on building him as a future star, then more consistency might be required. Is Apollo Crews finally going to get one over Big E at WrestleMania 37?
#2. Best: The Seth Rollins-Cesaro feud on SmackDown
Seth Rollins faced and defeated Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown once again. It was a rematch from Fastlane, and while it wasn't as good as the pay-per-view match, it was still entertaining to watch.
The post-match assault led to Cesaro's return on SmackDown, and while he couldn't get the opportunity to swing him in the ring, he did so backstage. Seth Rollins vowed that he would never face a Cesaro swing again and challenged him at WrestleMania.
Less than a minute later, Seth Rollins received 11 swings and The Swiss Superman accepted his challenge. Cesaro has been in several big matches, but this ranks as one of the biggest of his WWE career.
This is going to be an exceptional match. It will take place on Night One of WrestleMania 37 and it could be the match that steals the show. The feud has been simple and straightforward, and fans will be expecting fireworks from the two SmackDown stars at WrestleMania.
Will Cesaro walk out of WrestleMania with the biggest win of his career?
#1. Worst: The lack of depth in the SmackDown Women's title feud
We will admit that there was a slight improvement this week on SmackDown. The Women's title feud between Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair was overcomplicated and tangled up with other rivalries and titles up until Fastlane. It didn't add any anticipation to the match at WrestleMania.
WWE chose to go a more direct route this week on SmackDown, but it didn't feel sufficient enough. It seems like Sasha Banks quietly turned heel while Bianca Belair is trying to pick up momentum as a babyface. She faced Natalya this week on SmackDown. During the match, Belair was sent out of the ring and she slapped Banks, who was at ringside. She won the match after hitting the KOD on Natalya.
Belair managed to make several power moves look effortless, including her finish of the WWE veteran on SmackDown. Post-match, the SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks attacked Bianca Belair to make a statement.
The confusion seems to have cooled down this rivalry, and we can only hope that it gets restored in the next two weeks on SmackDown. Is Bianca Belair's time going to begin two weeks from now at WrestleMania?
#1. Best: The main event feud on SmackDown and Daniel Bryan's involvement
Daniel Bryan opened SmackDown and demanded a rematch with Roman Reigns. Edge came out and bitterly expressed his resentment for Daniel Bryan trying to take away his moment.
It seems as though Edge's heel turn is now confirmed. He speared Bryan, but Adam Pearce had a big decision to make and was seen in different segments with the three men involved. It always seemed like he was on Bryan's side since the latter technically made Roman Reigns tap.
Edge, on the other hand, tried to threaten Pearce while also confronting Reigns in his locker room. In the final segment on SmackDown, Adam Pearce declared that it would be a Triple Threat match headlining Night Two of WrestleMania 37.
Edge ended up attacking Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, and Jey Uso and the show finished with him sitting on a chair looking furious. It's the true return of The Ultimate Opportunist and we couldn't be more excited about it. Will this be Daniel Bryan's final WrestleMania?