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WWE SmackDown live results: Apollo Crews' first IC title defense


The build to WrestleMania Backlash continues on tonight's SmackDown. 

Cesaro confronted Universal Champion Roman Reigns last week on the SmackDown after WrestleMania 37. Reigns bragged about beating Edge and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania. He claimed the rest of the roster was afraid to face him until Cesaro interrupted. Reigns disrespected Cesaro by leaving the ring.

Cesaro demanded a title shot against Reigns but had to face Jey Uso first. The match ended when Seth Rollins jumped Cesaro for the disqualification. 

Cesaro had defeated Rollins when they faced off at WrestleMania. On SmackDown last week, WWE showed footage of Cesaro giving Rollins the giant swing and UFO several times. 

The Street Profits threw new SmackDown Women's Champion Bianca Belair a victory party last week. In a backstage interview, former champion Sasha Banks was still upset about losing the title. In a separate interview, Bayley demanded a title shot against Belair.

WWE has announced that Belair will defend her title against Bayley at WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday, May 16.

Tonight's SmackDown will also feature Apollo Crews making his first Intercontinental title defense. Crews' challenger hasn't been announced.

At WrestleMania, Crews won the Intercontinental title by defeating Big E in a Nigerian Drum Fight. Crews won the match with help from Commander Azeez. Commander Azeez will be in Crews' corner tonight.

Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.


They recapped Cesaro confronting Universal Champion Roman Reigns and his match against Jey Uso. 

Cesaro Segment 

Cesaro was standing in the ring about to speak when Seth Rollins interrupted immediately. Rollins noted Cesaro reached his potential because he faced Rollins at WrestleMania 37.

Rollins was upset that Cesaro's moving on to challenge Roman Reigns. He promised that it's not over between them. Rollins discussed their WrestleMania match and claimed Cesaro couldn't beat him. Rollins blamed the weather and rain delay for his loss. 

Cesaro challenged Rollins to a match tonight. Rollins agreed to the match, but Jey Uso interrupted. Uso yelled at Cesaro that he couldn't beat Reigns, Uso, or Rollins. Uso challenged Cesaro to a match. 

Rollins stopped Uso, and they agreed to work together. They surrounded the ring and were about to jump Cesaro. 

Suddenly, Daniel Bryan's music hit, and he jumped in the ring. Bryan noted he came out to make sure that Cesaro gets what he deserves. He said that Cesaro worked harder than him, Rollins and Uso. Bryan even thinks Cesaro worked harder than Reigns and deserves a shot at the Universal title. 

Bryan wondered if Reigns is going to come out. He then realized that Reigns doesn't like to wrestle. Bryan figured it out and said that Reigns, Rollins, and Uso are going to jump them. 

Bryan is happy to fight alongside Cesaro. Reigns music hit, and he walked out with Paul Heyman. Reigns mocked Bryan and taunted him for beating him at WrestleMania. Reigns got a new t-shirt that shows him pinning Edge and Bryan. 

Reigns called Bryan and Cesaro losers. He promised that they'd beat them down. Reigns left, and Uso walked towards the ring. Rollins seemed confused that Reigns left. 

Daniel Bryan & Cesaro defeated Seth Rollins & Jey Uso 

This was a great match. All four worked hard in a fast-paced match that told a good story. 

Back from the break, all four guys were brawling in the ring. The referee restored order and officially started the match. The faces had the early advantage as Cesaro hit a suplex on Uso for a near fall. 

Rollins hit a sling blade on Cesaro to take over. The heels isolated Cesaro on their side of the ring. Rollins slowed the pace down with a chin lock, but Cesaro fought back. 

Rollins jumped off the second turnbuckle, but Cesaro caught him and hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Bryan got the hot tag and ran wild on Rollins. Rollins attempted a Pele kick, but Bryan caught him in an ankle lock. Bryan hit a German suplex for a near fall.

The heels regained control after Rollins hit a buckle bomb on Bryan. Uso followed up with the splash for a near fall. 

Back from the break, the heels were firmly in control. They isolated Bryan on their side of the ring and cut him off from his corner. Rollins hit Bryan in the back of the head for a series of near falls. 

Bryan made a brief comeback, but Uso hit a Samoan Drop for a near fall. Rollins whipped Bryan into the corner. Bryan ran up the corner and collided with Rollins in the middle of the ring.

Cesaro tagged in and rocked Uso with an uppercut. Uso avoided the giant swing but got caught with another uppercut.

Bryan sent Rollins to the floor and hit a suicide dive. 

Uso knocked Cesaro to the floor. He attempted a suicide dive, but Cesaro cut him off with an uppercut. Cesaro jumped in the ring, but Uso caught him with a superkick. 

Back from the break, Cesaro and Rollins traded shots back and forth. Cesaro attempted the giant swing, but Rollins rolled him up for a near fall. 

Cesaro recovered and locked on the sharpshooter on Rollins. Uso rocked Cesaro with a superkick to save Rollins from the sharpshooter. 

Uso climbed to the top, but Cesaro cut him off with an uppercut. Rollins walked away and left Uso on his own. 

Cesaro hit a superplex on Uso, and Bryan followed up with the running knee for the win. 

After the match, Bryan called out Reigns. Uso tried to jump Cesaro and Bryan. Cesaro caught Uso in the giant swing and knocked him out with an uppercut. Bryan sat on the turnbuckle and continued to mock Reigns and Uso as Cesaro did the giant swing. 

Bryan and Cesaro noted Reigns still didn't come out to save his cousin. Cesaro gave Uso the giant swing again as Bryan taunted Reigns to save his cousin. Bryan noted Uso always saves Reigns. 

Bryan wondered if Reigns is scared. He believes Reigns is afraid to face Cesaro because he knows Cesaro will be the new Universal Champion. 

In the back, Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville discussed the previous segment. Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez approached them, so Deville left. Crews were furious that he has to defend his title tonight. Pearce noted Big E gets a rematch when he returns, but tonight Crews defends against Kevin Owens. 

Kayla Braxton interviewed Jey Uso backstage. He was furious and yelled about Cesaro. 

Tamina (w/Natalya) defeated Nia Jax (w/Reginald & Shayna Baszler) 

This was okay and kept short, although it dragged at times.

Jax picked up Tamina and backed her into the corner. She followed up with a splash on the other side of the ring. Jax taunted Tamina, but that fired her up. Tamina fought back and knocked Jax down.

Tamina attempted to slam Jax, but Baszler interfered. Tamina knocked Jax to the floor and continued to beat her down. 

Back in the ring, Reginald jumped on the apron. Baszler saved him from Tamina but got knocked down. Baszler got in Reginald's face, and he fell over the steps.

Jax was distracted, and Tamina rocked her with a superkick. Tamina then rolled up Jax for the win. 

In the back, Kayla Braxton interviewed Kevin Owens. Owens discussed his title shot against Apollo Crews later. Big E interrupted and pointed out that Owens jumped the line.

Owens noted he's getting the title shot next. They both pretended to laugh and then abruptly stopped. 

In the back, Daniel Bryan approached Adam Pearce. Bryan asked if Cesaro's getting a title shot. Peace told him he's trying to make it happen. Bryan told him to try harder. 

Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews (w/Commander Azeez) defeated Kevin Owens to retain the title 

Owens and Crews had a good match, but the finish was a little weak. It was the same distraction finish with a roll-up as the last match. 

Owens had the early advantage with a side headlock. Crews tried to fight back, but Owens went right back to the headlock. Crews broke free, but Owens hit a standing dropkick to regain control.

Crews locked on a side headlock, but Owens broke free. He hit a back elbow and senton to take over. Owens sent Crews to the floor and went for a suicide dive, but Azeez stood in the way. 

Crews took advantage and regained control. He followed up with a suplex for a near fall. Crews tossed Owens to the floor. Crews attempted a moonsault off the apron, but Owens moved and hit a superkick.

Owens hit a Swanton Bomb for a near fall. Suddenly, Sami Zayn's music hit, and he walked towards the ring. Zayn joined Pat McAfee and Michael Cole on commentary. 

Back from the break, Crews and Owens fought on the top turnbuckle. Crews knocked Owens to the mat. Owens avoided Crews and hit a superkick for a near fall. Crews dropped Owens on the top rope. He followed up with a clothesline for a near fall. 

Crews hit the rolling German suplexes on Owens for another near fall. Crews missed a splash, and Owens hit a German suplex to take back over. Owens hit two cannonballs for a close near fall. 

Owens attempted the stunner, but Crews avoided it. Owens rocked Crews with a superkick and pop-up powerbomb for two-count. Owens climbed to the top, but Crews rolled to the floor.

Owens hit a splash off the apron. Owens threw Crews back in the ring, but Azeez jumped on the apron. Crews took advantage of the distraction and rolled up Owens for the win. 

After the match, Owens gave Crews the stunner, but Azeez attacked Owens and hit the Nigerian Nail. 

Zayn then jumped in the ring and danced around Owens's fallen body. Zayn's dancing is always great.

In the back, Kayla Braxton interviewed Paul Heyman and asked if Roman Reigns would accept Cesaro's challenge. Heyman praised Cesaro. He promised that Reigns is going to answer everyone's questions later. 

Back from the break, Megan Morant interviewed Apollo Crews. Crews bragged about retaining the title and being the champion. Crews noted he left Azeez in the locker room. 

Suddenly, Big E jumped Crews and beat him down.

Michael Cole introduced the next segment and said it's a new vision from the twisted mind of Aleister Black. Black sat on a chair in a room surrounded by candles. He said most people are not honest. He read from a book, The Tales Of The Dark Father. 

Black read Chapter 1 The Dragon and narrated a cool animated video.

Black told the story of a boy. His father took him to rituals to face life and death. The boy's father became colder and distant.

The boy didn't learn to slay the dragon. Instead, he learned to be the dragon. Black then mocked and ranted about the people watching. 

Kayla Braxton interviewed SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode. They picked Alpha Academy to win against Rey & Dominik Mysterio later. 

The Street Profits interrupted and had a brief staredown with the champions.

Bayley showed up and took over the interview. She promised to defeat Bianca Belair at WrestleMania Backlash. Bayley mocked Belair when Montez Ford walked back. He had Belair on the phone and told her what Bayley was saying. Belair said she's on her way. 

Back from the break, Belair and Bayley were face-to-face. Bayley was suddenly nice to Belair and praised her. She's excited to be Belair's first title defense. Bayley left but came back and laughed at Belair. 

Rey & Dominik Mysterio defeated Chad Gable & Otis 

This was a fine match but dragged a bit. 

They recapped Rey defeating Otis last week.

Otis beat down Dominik to gain the early advantage. He slammed Dominik down and started climbing up the corner.

Rey pulled out Dominik to the floor. Otis then ran around ringside and wiped them out with a double clothesline. 

Back from the break, the heels were firmly in control. They isolated Dominik on their side of the ring and cut him off from Rey. Otis hit a splash in the corner for a near fall. Gable slowed the pace down and worked over Dominik's arm.

Gable attempted a German suplex, but Dominik landed on his feet. Rey got the hot tag and ran wild. Rey gave Gable a hurricanrana off the top for a near fall. Rey knocked Gable off the apron, and Dominik hit a sliding sunset powerbomb into the barricade.

Dominik sent Otis into the announce table at ringside. Rey then hit the 619 and frog splash on Gable for the win.

Cesaro and Daniel Bryan made their way to the ring and congratulated The Mysterios on their win.

Cesaro, Daniel Bryan And Roman Reigns Segment 

Cesaro and Bryan called out Universal Champion Roman Reigns for an answer. Cesaro threatened to go to the back and find Reigns. 

Reigns, Jey Uso and Paul Heyman, walked to the ring. Reigns got in Cesaro's face. He was furious that Cesaro's demanding a title shot. Reigns turned down Cesaro and said it's always going to be no.

Reigns noted the champion makes the challenges. Reigns turned his attention to Bryan and said he's the challenger. He's tired of Bryan. Reigns wants to face Bryan next week and offered him the title shot.

Bryan was conflicted, but Cesaro told him to take the match. Reigns noted if Bryan takes the match and loses, then he never wants to see Bryan again. Bryan accepted the challenge. 

Reigns and Bryan had a brief staredown with Cesaro watching in the background. 

On commentary, Michael Cole and Pat McAfee stressed that Bryan's career is on the line next week. McAfee noted if Bryan loses his banished from SmackDown. 

Next Week: Universal Champion Roman Reigns defends against Daniel Bryan. Plus, Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews defends against Big E.