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WWE’s “SmackDown” is trading the Cylons and ghost hunters of Syfy for a new tag-team partner, the USA Network.

The only pro wrestling show named after a catchphrase, “SmackDown” moves to USA after a five-year run on Syfy and stints on three other networks since its inception in April 1999.

USA has long served as the home of WWE’s flagship show, “Raw,” live every Monday night since 1993.

Now, USA has solidified its spot as the one-stop basic cable network for all WWE programming. “SmackDown,” which is taped each Tuesday, moves to its new home at 8 p.m. Thursday.

All that’s missing is the Ovaltron and giant fist from the show’s original set.

Before he was blockbuster movie star Dwayne Johnson, the man known as The Rock inspired the show’s title with his famous “Lay the smackdown” trash talking and often boasted “SmackDown” was his show.

The Rock’s show could now belong to Roman Reigns, his real-life cousin who stands tall as the WWE World Heavyweight champion.

“I wish I could say (USA) makes a huge difference and it’s a super positive move and everyone’s so pumped about it,” Reigns said. “But as a competitor, all I need is the ropes and hopefully people show up in the arena. From a wrestling standpoint, not too much has changed for us.”

What could change, what needs to change as WWE inches closer to WrestleMania season, is “SmackDown’s spot as the promotion’s B show that lags behind “Raw” in both ratings and can’t-miss storylines.

WWE stalwart John Cena rarely appeared on the show, and neither did the McMahon family over recent years, sending the message that “Smackdown” could be easily skipped and fans could quickly catch up with video recaps on “Raw.”

“I don’t look at it as any less of a show, it’s pretty much the same talent,” Reigns said.

WWE needs a dose of star power and a second primetime spot could help showcase the young talent the promotion is desperately scrambling to push as injuries have taken out Cena and former champion Seth Rollins for WrestleMania on April 3 in Dallas.

Does anyone have Goldberg’s number? How about Batista?

But instead of relying on veterans, WWE could use the show to build the company around Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn or a healthy Antonio Cesaro. Owens can cut a biting promo as well as any heel or fan favorite in sports entertainment and has the size and in-ring ability necessary that should make him WWE’s next true franchise superstar.

WWE had mixed success in its bid to keep separate rosters on “Raw” and “SmackDown” that tried to create perception there were two distinct brands. The dream matches that should have been built never really developed and the brand split was abandoned in 2011.

“It’s been seen and proven that a split brand, it can work. It can create really cool storylines,” Reigns said.

Just not in 2016.

With more than 800 original episodes, “SmackDown” is one of the longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. television history, and has aired in seven countries including Iraq, Japan, Italy and Mexico.

WWE has revamped the broadcast booth, as well, making veteran sports announcer Mauro Ranallo the new voice of “Smackdown.” Ranallo, who called the international feed for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, joins Byron Saxton and Jerry “The King” Lawler in the booth.

Link To Interview

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Raw

Stephanie is here live, and gets cut off in record time by Roman Reigns. Reigns grins at being so defiant.

The crowd is firmly behind Reigns. He tells Steph that we don’t need her out here. He says he’s doing what Vince did last week and calling him out. Reigns stares down the ramp. Steph gets in front of him and says to get used to disappointment. Vince isn’t here yet, but he’ll be here in time to be a ref. Reigns must face the truth, the odds are not in Reigns favor.

Reigns gets serious, says this is his life. He says if he doesn’t have a job, he can’t provide for his family, so as far as he is concerned – this is his life. This is his family. No one is going to take that away from him.

Steph wonders if we actually believe Roman will beat Sheamus tonight. Steph destroys dreams of 2016 by saying we hope things will be different, but it’s not. Last week, Reigns had a nice little moment – laughing in Vince’s face, but tonight we’ll see who laughs last. Steph calls Reigns the help. Steph will not fire him, though. After Reigns loses the title – and never gets another shot for the title – she will simply use Reigns. He will fight every night, every week, every year, until his body breaks down and he simply can’t go anymore. Then, these people who he thinks cares about him, they forget about him and will go on to cheer the next arrogant superstar who thinks they can stand in her ring. She will do what Vince did to his father.

Reigns says not to worry about his father, but to worry about hers. If anyone screws him tonight, Steph won’t be picking up her daddy from jail; she’ll be picking him up from the hospital.

Match 8: Sheamus vs Roman Reigns
(W/ Special Guest Referee: Vince McMahon)

Sheamus is quick on the attack. He hits some uppecuts and a body slam. Cover for 1. NO! Sheamus with a short clothesline out of the corner. Pin for 1..2.NO! Sheamus sends Reigns int he corner. Right hands to the gut. Knee. Sheamus goes up top. He hits a few rights to the head. Reigns pulls the leg out from under Sheamus then hits a few kicks of his own in the corner. Reigns whips Sheamus, its reversed. Sheamus covers for 1..2.NO! Sheamus with a right hand, but Reigns gives him a hard slap. Sheamus with kicks. Reigns dodges a clothesline and hits one of his own off the ropes. Reigns up for a possible Samoan, but Sheamus drops. Reigns with a right hand. Reigns in the corner hitting the clotheslines. He hits 9, hits the ropes, ducks a clothelsine, and sends Sheamus to the outside. Reigns falls out alongside Sheamus. McMahon doesn’t hit a countout. Reigns is about to attack, but Sheamus sends Reigns in the steps. Sheamus tells Vince something. Vince looks away from Reigns nad Sheamus. Sheamus grabs the steps, and just throws them at Reigns. Vince turns around, acting oblivious.

Back to the show, and Reigns is attacking the midsection of Sheamus. He hits a knee to the running Reigns. Sheamus sends Reigns through the ropes then holds onto him, and we’re looking for the beatdown on the chest. Sheamus drives a few elbows to the back, instead. Sheamus pulls Reigns back in the ring, then goes for a rolling senton. Cover for 1…2..NO! Sheamus is able to lock in a Sleeper, but Reigns quickly hits a back suplex to break the hold. Both men down. Vince, again, refuses to do the double countout. Both men get up on their knees. They exchange blows. Back to their feet now, and Reigns gets the upperhand unti Sheamus grabs the head. Reigns sends him into the ropes then hits a clothesline. ANother. Reigns whips, reversed. A third clothesline from Reigs. Reigns rushes into the corner, gets lifted over the apron, but Reigns holds the head and drops down! Reigns with the Drive By! Samoan Drop in the ring! Cover for 1……………2…………NO!

Reigns is pissed. He stands and stares down Vince. Apparently, he’s forgiving. He stands behind Sheamus and locks in a chinlock. Sheanus holds him up then gets on the apron hits a running knee. Sheamus in the middle. Goes for White Noise, but Reigns reverses and lifts up Sheamus just to slam him down with a modified sitout powerbomb. Pin for 1..2..>NO! Vince has something in his eye! He calls for some eyedrops. Reigns can’t believe this. He stands up, heads to Vince. Sheamus grabs the tights. ROLLUP. 1.2..NO! Superman Punch! Pin for………..for……..Vince doesn’t count! Reigns stops the pin stands up slowly and turns towards Vince. Reigns is about to do some damage to Vince. He sees Sheamus, tells Vince to watch this. Reigns rushes forward, side steps! SUPERMAN PUNCH TO VINCE MCMAHON!!!! Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick! Reigns sidesteps! SPEAR! Pin! Why would you pin, dummy….

Crowd counts to three. Reigns calls for a ref.

Sheamus slinks out of the ring. Reigns heads out, too. Another drive by. Reigns uses the steps to hit an elevated Superman Punch!!! Reigns sends Sheamus over the announce table. Vince McMahon is awake. Guess those Superman Punches aren’t all that strong. Reigns sees Vince and heads back inside the ring. Vince tries to escape, but Reigns tosses him in the middle of the ring. Vince begs for mercy. Reigns lifts him by the ref shirt. Reigns is about to tattack, but Stephanie is here to rush down the ramp. She signals that this is enough. She gets on the apron and yells to Reigns to stop. Vince is up, slowly. Reigns sends Vicne into the ropes, causing Stephanie to flip over and land on her ass. It looked pretty sloppy. Reigns stalks Stephanie, smirking. He corners Steph, but she slides out of the ring. Reigns sees Vince. He calls for the spear. Vince stands. BROGUE KICK to the side of the head! Another Brogue Kick! Cover! Vince struggles to turn around, seemingly out of it. Another ref is here! It’s Armstrong!! Pin for 1..2…NO!!!

Sheamus is pissed. Sheamus tells Armstrong to lift Reigns. He holds Reigns up. Brogue…NO! Superman Punch to Sheamus! Superman Punch to Armstrong! Spear to Sheamus! Cover for 1..2….3!!!
Official Result: Roman Reigns

The ref tries to plead with Vince McMahon, so McMahon gives him a right hand.

Vince cuts the music, says that as Chairman and CEO, it is his duty to inform us that the next time Reigns defends that title will be at the Royal Rumble. One vs All? Ok. It’ll be Reigns vs 29 other men….in a Royal Rumble match!

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Raw

We go right to the ring and out comes Vince McMahon to a big pop.

Vince says he came to settle a score tonight. He would have done it last week but he had to undergo dental surgery. Vince says he should have done this weeks ago. He calls WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns out to the ring. Vince says don’t make me… the music hits and out comes Reigns through the crowd to mostly cheers.

We get a look back at last week’s steel cage match and Stephanie McMahon assaulting Tom Phillips. Vince mocks Reigns and hopes he’s not expecting a congratulations on being champion because Vince can’t find it in his heart, especially after what he did to his son-in-law Triple H. Vince says Triple H will get revenge one day and when he does, Reigns probably won’t even see it coming. Fans chant “we can’t hear you” at Vince and Reigns tells him to speak up, old man. Vince goes on and gets the “what?” treatment for a minute. Vince brings up Stephanie and tells Reigns nobody crosses a McMahon. Vince talks about what Reigns did to him two weeks ago and says Reigns doesn’t get it. Vince owns this ring and the title, it’s his. Vince says Reigns will soon see that he also owns Reigns. It may take him a while, but he will realize it. Reigns says this is the problem with rich snobs like Vince – they think they own everything. Vince says he’s not a rich snob, he’s a freaking billionaire. Vince says there’s a big difference. Reigns says he’s still a jerk. Reigns says Vince doesn’t own him and doesn’t own the title. He says “we” meaning him and his fans own the title. Vince asks the fans if they really think they own the title and a “yes!” chant starts up.

Vince asks Reigns how long he thinks he will be champion. Vince says Reigns should really wonder that. Reigns asks if Vince is threatening him. Fans chant for Daniel Bryan and Vince yells at them to shut up. The chants continue and Reigns says Vince has riled the fans up now. Reigns wonders what Vince has in store for him. Fans chant for CM Punk but Vince doesn’t respond. Vince brings up The Wild Samoans and reminds Reigns that he’s just one generation away from a bone through his nose. Vince talks about putting uncle Afa through hell and says he enjoyed it. Vince brings up Reigns’ dad Sika and says he used Sika up, lined his pockets with his money and then paid him peanuts. Vince goes down to the mat and acts like he has a neck injury. “My neck, my neck…” he says. Stephanie McMahon’s music hits and out she comes concerned. She puts on a show and tells police offers to arrest Reigns. He looks on confused. Stephanie enters the ring and Vince is back on his feet. She has two detectives with her. She tells them to arrest Reigns but they say no, they weren’t brought to be Stephanie’s personal police department. They were brought here to do security and that’s it. Stephanie says they just witnessed Reigns put his hands on her 70 year old geriatric father but they still won’t arrest him. Stephanie yells in the detectrive’s face and he threatens to take her to jail. Fans pop.

Vince gets into it with the police, telling them he knows their boss and they can’t threaten his daughter because he’s Vince McMahon. Reigns grabs one of the cops by his collar and he’s told to back up. Vince apologizes and says he didn’t mean to do that. The cop tells other police officers to arrest Vince and they grab him. Stephanie pleads with them. They put Vince in handcuffs, read him his rights and take him away as Reigns looks on laughing. Stephanie follows and tells Vince she loves him. Reigns raises the title in the ring as Vince is taken away through the back by police. We go to commercial.

Later On After The Main Event

The League of Nations attack Cena in the corner. Sheamus in the ring now. He orders Cena to be lifted. Sheamus looks for the boot, but The Usos are here! They rush down the ring. Rusev sends Jimmy to the outside. Sheamus hits a knee to Jey. Another knee. Rusev with a kick to the back of Jey. Sheamus heads to the outside and grabs a chair. He is about to head in. The crowd pops. Reigns is here!! He runs down the ramp. Rusev is at t he end. BAD ASS SPEAR TO RUSEV!!! Superman Punch to Del Rio! Reigns hops on the apron. Sheamus is on the opposite side with a chair. Reigns enters the ring. Sheamus enters as well. He goes for a chair shot, but Reigns hits a Superman Punch!!! Reigns grabs the chair. He hits Sheamus once, sending him to t he outside.

Reigns screams in victory, but Vince McMahon is here! He points towards Reigns. He says if he could, he would sue each of us. McMahon wondered earlier just how long Reigns would be champion, and now he has the answer because next week, Reigns defends the WWE Championship against Sheamus. There’s gonna be a guest referee, too. It’ll be Vince.

Related Links
1. RAW Digitals
2. RAW Screencaptures

Video Links
1. Dailymotion
2. Vidme

File under: Digitals/Screencaptures Raw Results Television Recap