WWE SmackDown April 26 Results, Grades, and Analysis

WWE presented the April 26th SmackDown from Heritage Bank Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The main highlight of the show for the WWE Draft 2024 is to shake up superstars between Raw, SmackDown, and NXT. The show featured a contract signing between Cody Rhodes and AJ Styles. The Bloodline story further proceeded. Let’s review everything that happened on the show.

Roman Reigns Withdraws From the WWE Draft

Backstage, Paul Heyman announced that Roman Reigns has withdrawn from the Draft. The reason is that Reigns won’t be returning anytime soon.

Hence, being the first pick will be stealing the spotlight. It was a pretty much baby-face statement from Heyman by the orders of the Tribal Chief.

Contract Signing

The kickoff segment was the contract signing between AJ Styles and Cody Rhodes for their Undisputed WWE Universal Title match in France on the upcoming WWE PLE, Backlash.

Corey Graves was conducting this in the ring, and he introduced both superstars. Before signing, Styles said that he did the LA Knight what he deserved.

Styles said he respects Cody because they have been on the same road and proved themselves outside the WWE.

AJ remembered how Dusty Rhodes gave him advice on being yourself. Styles said that he learned a lot from Dusty. AJ signed the contract after that.

Cody praised Styles and said everybody respects the Phenomenal One in the locker room. But he said that it was a must-win for him at Backlash.

Cody signed the contract. Styles claimed that it would be shameful that Rhodes’ reign would end at Backlash. They both shook hands. 

Grades: B-

Analysis: It was a decent segment to kick off the Friday Night SmackDown. There was no chaos, as expected from a contract signing in WWE. 

Draft Round 1 Picks:

Triple H announced the Round 1 picks for WWE Draft 2024. Cody joined him, too, on the ramp. 

SmackDown: Bianca Belair

Raw: Jey Uso

SmackDown: Carmelo Hayes 

Raw: Seth Rollins 

Carmelo Hayes came out and challenged Cody to a one-on-one match. Cody accepted. 

Tag Team Match

LWO vs. Legado Del Fantasma 

Rey Mysterio and Dragon Lee teamed up against Humberto Carillo and Angel Garza.

Dragon landed a splash on Humberto to the outside, followed by a crossbody in the ring. Rey Mysterio delivered a seated senton to Garza.

Rey reversed a double under-hook suplex into a 619. Lee followed it up with a Project Dragon on Garza for the win.

Santos Escobar and Elektra Lopez came out after the match. Escobar said he was not lying when he said he hadn’t attacked Dragon before WrestleMania XL. 

Ge showed a video of Carlito attacking Lee. Carlito pushed Rey down and escaped after an attack on Dragon Lee. 

Winners: LWO

Grades: B

Analysis: The post-match angle has been obvious over the past few weeks. Carlito wanted to be at WrestleMania. It was Dragon Lee first, and then Andrade took the spot. Mysterio has been betrayed once again.

Singles Match

Bron Breakker vs. Cedric Alexander 

It was a squash match, and Cedric escaped Breakker for a bit. Eventually, Bron landed a Spear for the victory. 

Winner: Bron Breakker 

Grades: C

Analysis: We still have to wait until Bron gets a proper singles feud on the main roster. 

Backstage: Tiffany wanted her shot against Bayley. Aldis told her that she would face Naomi tonight, and the winner would face Bayley at Backlash.

Draft Round 2 Picks

Michelle McCool and Torrie Wilson announced the Round 2 picks.

SmackDown: Randy Orton 

Raw: Bron Breakker 

SmackDown: Nia Jax 

Raw: Liv Morgan 

Backstage: Paul Heyman opened the door of a Black SUV for Solo Sikoa and Tama Tonga. Solo wanted an update about Draft. Heyman told him that they hadn’t been drafted yet and that Reigns had withdrawn from the draft. Kevin Owens attacked Tonga from behind. 

– On the ramp, Kayla Braxton introduced Bianca Belair and congratulated her on being the first draft pick. Bianca and Jade Cargill will challenge The Kabuki Warriors for the Women’s Tag Team Championships at Backlash. All four women came face-to-face. 

– Kevin Owens and Tama Tonga fought on the entrance ramp toward the ring. Solo joined in, and they attacked KO. WWE Officials tried to break it up, but Tonga attacked them. Randy Orton made the save for Owens, and the Officials separated them. 

Draft Round 3 Picks

The Dudley Boyz announced the Round 3 Picks in the WWE Draft 2024.

SmackDown: LA Knight 

Raw: Ricochet 

SmackDown: Solo Sikoa, Tama Tonga, and Paul Heyman

Raw: Sheamus

No. 1 Contendership Match

Tiffany Stratton vs. Naomi 

The winner will face Bayley for the WWE Women’s Title at Backlash. Bayley joined commentary for this one.

Naomi chased Tiffany to the outside and slammed her on the apron. Stratton replied with a hip attack.

Out of nowhere, Nia Jax attacked Bayley at ringside. Naomi went for the save, but Jax slammed her into the ring post.

Tiffany put Bayley and Naomi in the ring and landed the Prettiest Moonsault Ever. 

Winner: No Contest

Grades: B

Analysis: Keeping the eyeballs on the Women’s World Championship was a decent move. Jax is involved in the mix, too, as she’s a SmackDown superstar moving forward. 

Draft Round 4 Picks

JBL and Teddy Long announced the Round 4 Picks in the WWE Draft 2024. 

SmackDown: AJ Styles 

Raw: The Alpha Academy (Chad Gable, Otis, Akira Tozawa, Maxxine Dupri)

SmackDown: Andrade 

Raw: Kiana James 

New Matches Official 

Two new matches were made official for the upcoming Backlash PLE. Nick Aldis announced a Triple threat match for the WWE Women’s Championship between Bayley, Naomi, and Tiffany. Teddy Long announced that Tama Tonga and Solo Sikoa would face Randy Orton and Kevin Owens. 

Non Title Match

Cody Rhodes vs. Carmelo Hayes

After exchanging their right hands, Cody laid out Hayes with a clothesline. Carmelo landed a few chops to the chest.

Rhodes replied with a backdrop. Hayes hit a face-buster and a DDT for a two-count.

Cody fought back with a Disaster kick and a running power slam for a near fall. Rhodes soon followed it up with a Cody Cutter for another near fall.

Hayes escaped Cross Rhodes and delivered the First 48 to Cody. Both men missed each other during springboards.

Cody hit Cross Rhodes for the victory. After the match, Cody and Styles came face-to-face as SmackDown went off the air. 

Winner: Cody Rhodes 

Grades: B+

Analysis: Cody was the obvious winner, but it was a great moment for Carmelo Hayes to shine. It was a great night for him as a whole, as he was picked in the Round 1 of the Draft earlier. 

Overall, it is a balanced SmackDown show with a decent build toward Backlash. The main highlight of the show was the Draft. But there was no surprise pick in the Draft. It was disappointing to see the WWE Draft unfolding this way.



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