The go-home episode of WWE SmackDown to Elimination Chamber 2021 had quite a few surprises for the fans that will affect the upcoming pay-per-view as well as WrestleMania 37.
In the opening segment, Royal Rumble 2021 winner Edge praised Universal Champion Roman Reigns for not choosing to defend his title inside the Elimination Chamber as it can prove to be risky. The Tribal Chief, accompanied by Jey Uso and Paul Heyman, showed up and asked The Rated-R Superstar to accept him as his WrestleMania 37 opponent.
Just when things were getting heated between the two, Sami Zayn came out and warned the two to think about what would happen if he walks out as the Universal Champion on the weekend. Unsurprisingly enough, Zayn wasn't taken seriously and was struck by a Superkick from Jey Uso. The segment ended with Reigns speaking something inaudible in the ears of Edge.
Next on SmackDown, Shinsuke Nakamura squared off against Apollo Crews after the latter interfered in his IC title match against Big E on the previous week's episode. The bout ended with The King of Strong Style rolling-up Crews for the victory. Post-match, a visibly frustrated Crews, started attacking Nakamura but was stopped by Big E, who asked him to go back. At this moment, the former US Champion fully embraced the dark side and laid down the champion by repeatedly attacking him with steel steps.
Edge teased a series of dream matches between him and the likes of Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, and Kevin Owens in backstage segments that has created a lot of buzz among fans. While these bouts or may or not come true, such fun interactions are always welcome.
Next on SmackDown, Seth Rollins addressed his last week's return and said all those who walked out when he was speaking were losers, with Cesaro being the biggest loser of all. As great as Cesaro has been in recent weeks, he's definitely not walking out as Universal Champion this Sunday. A feud with Rollins promises to deliver some spectacular matches in the coming weeks, possibly culminating in a blow-off match at WrestleMania 37.
Tamina and Natalya defeated The Riott Squad on SmackDown in a nothing match that saw Billie Kay on the former duo's side this time. While her character has been funny, it has to lead to something concrete otherwise, these segments are skippable at best.
In a strange six-person tag team match on SmackDown, Carmella's sommelier Reginald teamed up with SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair to take on WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, and Bayley. The bout had a baffling ending where Reginald scored a pinfall over Jax. Later, in the show, it was announced that Banks and Bianca will challenge Jax and Baszler for the tag team titles at Elimination Chamber.
Otis and Chad Gable also turned heel on this week's SmackDown and they decimated Rey Mysterio after their tag team match against the Mysterios. Just like Crews, Gable and Otis can benefit from this heel turn if the creative team has a proper plan in place for them.
Roman Reigns closed this week's SmackDown by laying down Edge with a brutal Spear
The six-man tag team match on SmackDown was a typically fun affair that saw the trio of babyfaces go over after Daniel Bryan executed a jaw-dropping Suplex and instantly turning it into a Yes Lock on Sami Zayn. Post-match, we got a little preview of Elimination Chamber as all the Superstars laid out each other. Edge, who was on commentary during the match, hit a Spear on Jey Uso but quickly became victim to a Spear from Roman Reigns, who appeared out of thin air.
Despite building up suspense about Edge not revealing his WrestleMania 37, it's a foregone conclusion that he would challenge Reigns for the Universal Championship. As for the upcoming pay-per-view, no matter who wins the Elimination Chamber match, they are bound to lose to Reigns later in the night.
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