The main event of this week’s SmackDown saw Roman Reigns defend his WWE Universal Championship against Daniel Bryan.
The match was billed as a last chance for Bryan to take the title as the stipulation to the bout meant that if Bryan lost he was banished from SmackDown.
As many would expect, the two put on an epic 27-minute match which was one of the greatest main events in SmackDown’s 22 year history. The stage was set for the bout by Roman Reigns debuting majestic new theme music before the bout. Also, throughout the show, WWE aired short vignettes from various superstars giving their picks for who would win, adding to the anticipation. What made these particularly effective was that it wasn’t simply babyfaces backing Bryan and heels backing Reigns, it was mixed up. For instance, Kofi Kingston picked the champion to win whilst Seth Rollins opted for the challenger to be victorious.
The match itself was possibly the best of their encounters so far and ended with a clean, intense finish. Firstly, Bryan cinched in the Yes Lock, dragging Reigns back into the centre of the ring when The Head Of The Table tried to reach the ropes. Sadly for Bryan, his advantage was short lived. Reigns powered out of the hold before brutalising Bryan with blows to the back of the head, hitting him with a stunning powerbomb and locking in the guillotine choke for the pass out victory.
The finish was simply dominant and furthered Reigns’ amazing character of a heel who does his best to politic his way into advantages in his matches but once in the ring, demonstrating that he does not need those shortcuts as he is the single most dominant in-ring force in WWE.
After the match, Reigns set up a Con-Chair-To on an already prone Bryan. Cesaro tried to interfere before he was taken out by Jey Uso before being tied into the ropes and forced to watch Reigns deliver the double-chair assisted final blow to his friend.
This simply must be setting up Cesaro vs. Reigns at WrestleMania Backlash. We fully expect that match to become official during next week’s ‘Throwback’ SmackDown.