WWE NXT Stars Serve As Apollo Crews’ Elite Guards On SmackDown, Big E’s Return Announced

WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E is set to return to SmackDown on FOX during next week's episode.

Big E has been kept off TV for the past few weeks to sell the recent steel stairs attack by Apollo Crews. Tonight's SmackDown featured video packages to hype Big E's return for next week.

Crews came to the ring on tonight's SmackDown, with a new theme song, for another promo to keep his new Nigerian-themed gimmick up. Crews was accompanied to the ring by two men in combat boots and fatigues, who he referred to as Nigerian elite guards.

The guards were played by WWE NXT Superstars Desmond Troy (Denzel Dejournette) and Trick Belton. Troy has a background in amateur wrestling and was signed back in July 2018. He worked several RAW, SmackDown and NXT TV matches in 2020. Trick (Matrick Belton) was just signed in the WWE Performance Center class that was announced in late February with Parker Boudreaux and others. He played college football and attended a NFL training camp for the Philadelphia Eagles. He previously wrestled for CZW and other indies.

Crews, who carried a spear to the ring and wore his Nigerian flag-themed scarf that he first brought out last week, cut a promo on how everyone is saying they don't like the new Apollo Crews, but that this is not the new Apollo, it's the real Apollo. Crews added that this is who he is, and this is show he talks, a reference to the accent he's using. Crews went on and repeated his talking points from last week, about how he is a descendant of Nigerian royalty and a real African American.

Crews addressed Big E and said he's happy the champ will be returning next week because he is no longer the man Big E once knew, and once dismissed. He then demanded a rematch for the WWE Intercontinental Title. Crews went on and said Big E will fall before his feet and he will leave Big E a broken man for the rest of his life, also leaving him haunted by Crews' complete and total victory.

WWE has not announced the next Crews vs. Big E title match, but it could be confirmed when Big E returns next week. Crews has demanded the match for next Friday night but the WWE Fastlane pay-per-view on March 21 seems more likely.

Stay tuned for more on the Crews vs. Big E feud. Below is one of the promos for Big E's return, plus video from tonight's segment with Crews and his elite guards, along with a few related tweets: