WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Solo Sikoa starts takeover of The Bloodline, Rhodes vs. Styles set (2024)

Solo Sikoa is ready to rule WWE SmackDown with an iron fist. Once The Bloodline's enforcer, Sikoa further accelerated his rise to "Tribal Chief" in spite of Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman.

Sikoa formally introduced Heyman to Tama Tonga, the latest member of The Bloodline. Sikoa continued to take matters into his own hands with a level of violence more extreme than what WWE's ruling family has exhibited in the past. With Heyman clearly distressed, it seems the group is heading to a power struggle between Reigns and Sikoa.

SmackDown also hosted a No. 1 contenders match for Cody Rhodes' undisputed WWE universal championship. AJ Styles avenged his WrestleMania 40 loss to LA Knight and punched his ticket to the main event of Backlash on May 4.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Sikoa goes full mob boss on The Bloodline, Rhodes vs. Style set

Sikoa arrived at the arena riding solo in a luxury limousine. The Bloodline's enforcer wore a slick suit more appropriate for a leader than a lackey. Sikoa introduced a jarred Heyman to Tama Tonga, describing him as "my MFT." The Internet and this writer were confused about the acronym. Sikoa demanded that Heyman take him to see Kevin Owens, who treated The Bloodline disrespectfully during a brief interaction last week.

Heyman later informed Sikoa that he could not find Owens. It spurred Sikoa to make his way to the ring. Heyman implored Sikoa to mind his place. He promised Sikoa the decision-making power of "Tribal Chief" would one day belong to Sikoa. Today, that power belongs to Reigns. Sikoa essentially told Heyman to hold his tongue as he made his entrance.

Sikoa snatched the microphone from Heyman as the wise man tried to explain the political state of The Bloodline. Sikoa cut through a chorus of boos and chants of "We want Roman!" to make his address. Sikoa said he had to lose one brother -- Jimmy Uso, whom he and Tonga brutally attacked last week -- to find another in Tonga. Sikoa then introduced Tonga, who arrived on the stage with a bloody and wounded Owens. Tonga and Sikoa tried to deliver a finishing blow with a steel chair but were cut off by SmackDown general manager Nick Aldis and WWE officials.

Backstage, Aldis alerted Heyman to two T-boned rental cars, one belonging to Tonga and the other to Owens. Aldis told Heyman that matters are settled in the ring on SmackDown and that he must reel in The Bloodline before next week's WWE draft.

AJ Styles def. LA Knight via pinfall after hitting a Phenomenal Forearm. Knight and Styles met in the finals of a mini-tournament to crown Rhodes' first title challenger. Knight had the psychological edge after beating Styles at WrestleMania. It was an evenly contested contest down to the buzzer. Knight appeared to have the match won but Styles ducked the BFT and feined an injury. Styles used the cover provided by the concerned referee to poke Knight in the eye and land a Phenomenal Forearm. Styles will challenge Rhodes for the undisputed WWE universal title at Backlash.

Later in a pre-taped promo from London, Rhodes compared Styles to a modern-day Bret Hart ahead of their first one-on-one match. A contract signing will take place on SmackDown next week.

The Bloodline's ability to stay relevant and intriguing for so long is fascinating. Sikoa continued to strike out solo, likely leading to a power struggle with Reigns. Sikoa has been presented as a forceful, hands-on leader. His iron fist style is a natural development for the group's enforcer. It's also a wonderful contrast to Reigns' more mindful, measured approach as Tribal Chief. WWE also deserves credit for immediately presenting Tonga as a ruthless and effective cleaner. The build to Rhodes vs. Styles is rather straightforward. Still, it's a good sign that Rhodes pointed out the first-time nature of their encounter. Expect the feud to be built on their reputation as top workers, subtle nods to their respective efforts with Bullet Club and the "dream match" potential. Grade: A

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • A-Town Down Under was presented with new WWE tag team championships by Paul "Triple H" Levesque, replacing the SmackDown tag team titles.
  • Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) def. Legado del Fantasma (Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo), New Catch Republic (Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate) and Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) via pinfall to become No. 1 contenders for the WWE tag team titles.
  • Santos Escobar def. Carlito via pinfall after hitting a Phantom Driver.
  • Jade Cargill and Bianca Belair got into a verbal altercation with Damage CTRL in a sky box.
  • WWE championship -- Bayley (c) vs. Naomi ends in a no-contest after Tiffany Straton attacked both superstars.
  • The WWE draft will begin next week on SmackDown.
WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Solo Sikoa starts takeover of The Bloodline, Rhodes vs. Styles set (2024)
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