SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
JUNE 11, 2021
TAMPA, FLA. AT YUENGLING CENTER (THE “THUNDERDOME”)
AIRED ON FOX BROADCAST NETWORK
REPORT BY BRUCE LEE HAZELWOOD (@B_Lee253), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
Backstage Correspondent: Megan Morant
Tonight after the show, join Wade Keller and guest co-host Mike Meyers to break down the show with live callers and emails.
•STREAM LIVE HERE ABOUT 5 MINUTES AFTER THE SHOW CONCLUDES
•CALL: (347) 215-8558
•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: email@example.com
•IF YOU DON’T LISTEN LIVE, SEARCH “WADE KELLER” ON YOUR PODCAST APP TO SUBSCRIBE AND THEN DOWNLOAD OR STREAM THE FULL SHOW AN HOUR OR SO AFTER RAW
(I’m filling in for Nate Lindberg tonight, so if you’re used to my Monday reports, expect much of the same here.)
-They began with a recap video of last week’s events between the Usos, the Mysterios, and Roman Reigns, which resulted in Reigns interfering in the second Tag Team Championship match of the night and laying waste to both Mysterios, particularly the younger.
-They cut to the back where Reigns was sitting in his room, Jey beside him, watching the replay. He looked annoyed, and said to Jey he saved they last week and they ow him. He said what’s the one thing that he won’t stand for? Jey reluctantly responded with never embarrass the family, uce. Reigns said you understand that, but does Jimmy? The Usos music hit as Jimmy made his way sans Jey.
Michael Cole said it was a contentious start to the show. Jimmy took a mic and said last week was supposed to be a celebration. Tonight, they were supposed to be in the ring as seven-time Tag Team Champion, but they were robbed. He said he’s not making excuses, he’s spitting facts. He said the ref messed up, but it was cool since they had round two.
He said they were in there doing what they do, but then here “he come, the Head of the Table,” and he just had to make it about him. He said if you ask him, he thinks Reigns had them DQd on purpose. They showed Reigns & Jey watching from the back with Heyman on the side. Jimmy asked what the point was after he beat up Rey & Dominick.
He said he knows what it is, he sat back and thought about it: Reigns is jealous, jealous of Jimmy that he’s back and he wants his brother with him. He said Reigns is jealous because they want to represent the family, too. He said he sees right through Reigns, trying to tear his brother away with his mind games, but, “I’m my brother’s keeper, not you!”
He said tonight, he promised that he’ll do something he won’t regret. He dropped the mic and left the ring. In the back, Reigns said that’s not his brother, he doesn’t look like me, no one’s going to confuse me with him. He told Jey to take care of this. Jey slowly stood and left.
-Owens made his entrance first, followed by his partner. They cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: I liked that opening segment. Reigns looked utterly annoyed and perplexed as to why Jimmy just hasn’t come around yet, and his delivery is just perfect. Jey did well in looking concerned, uncomfortable, yet wanting to please Reigns all at once. Jimmy showed fire, and I’ve said for years I always thought he had more singles potential in him than his brother, but his brother is now “Main Event” Jey Uso, so who knows.)
-They returned with Jimmy pacing in the back as Jey approached. Jimmy asked if Jey really thinks if they could have won last week. Jey slowly nodded as Jimmy said yeah, you were upset when we were DQd. Jimmy said it can’t be like this no more. He said when I asked you to go with me, you froze. He said you’re my family, you’re my brother, you’re my twin. Jey looked seriously uncomfortable.
Jimmy said Reigns is disgracing the family right now and Jey yelled what do you want him to do? Jimmy was out for a year and now Jey’s stuck in the middle of this. Jimmy patted his brother and said if Reigns wants to see him it’ll be in our locker room.
(1) KEVIN OWENS & BIG E vs. APOLLO CREWS (w/Commander Azeez) & SAMI ZAYN
Crews was making his entrance. The match started with Owens knocking off Zayn from the apron, then taking out Crews. He went outside and threw Zayn into the barricade, reentered and hit a clothesline and senton to Crews. Zany tried interfering, but Owens took him out and threw him into the barricade again. Crews was able to gain control by stomping on Owens as he rolled into the ring.
Zayn demanded a tag with Owens in their corner and began pummeling Owens with punches. He then stood on him with both feet using the full count of the ref before tagging in Crews. Owens tried fighting out, but took a body kick from Crews and a snap suplex for a one-count. Zayn tagged in, but Owens fought out of their corner briefly before Zayn shoved him back and tagged in Crews.
Crews whipped Owens into the ropes, but Owens rolled through and tagged in E. E hit a belly-to-belly, knocked off Zayn, hit another on Crews, then a last one before hitting his running splash. However, Crews lifted his knees. He went for an Olympic slam, but E slipped out and slammed Crews with a corner uranage for a two-count. He clapped, signaling for The Big Ending.
Crews slipped out and hit an enziguri before hitting a delayed release German suplex for a two-count. Azeez looked on, standing pretty stoically. E sent Crews to the apron, but Crews sidestepped E as he went for his spear. E crashed to the outside as they cut to break. [c]
They returned with Crews stomping away on E in the corner, then tagging in Zayn, who hit a flurry of punches. Crews tagged back in and hit some more measured shots, then preened for the camera. E fought out, but Crews hit a single leg to prevent a tag. He dragged E to his corner and tagged in Zayn, who hit a leaping elbow to the back of E.
Zayn hit a few crossfaces before cinching in a rear chinlock. E struggled to his feet, threw off Zayn, but was taken down with a drop toehold mere inches from Owens. Zayn dragged E back to their corner and tagged in Crews. Crews kicked E in the back and hit a running frogsplash for a two-count. He then hit a running corner splash, but missed a second rope frogsplash crossbody as E just moved to the side.
E slowly crawled to the corner and tagged in Owens as Zayn tagged in. Owens hit a double leg and a bevy of punches, then stomped a mudhole in Zayn in the corner. Zayn rolled outside, but Owens hit a rolling senton off of the apron and a senton on the floor. He threw Zany back in, hit a corner clothesline, then the corner cannonball. He climbed to the top rope and hit the Swanton for a two-count.
He took Zayn to their corner, lifted him to a seated position on the top rope, and climbed only for Zayn to fight him off. Zayn leaped through, tagged in Crews, but Crews ran into a superkick and then a popup powerbomb that was broken up just before three by a Zayn basement dropkick to the head.
E was still absent from the apron as Zayn tagged in. He went for a half-and-half suplex, but Owens blocked, hit a few elbows, but Zayn brought him back and hit the suplex for a two-count. Zayn, frustrated, hit the Blue Thunder Bomb that was broken up by a reemerging E. Crews reentered only for E to send both he and Crews over the top with a clothesline. Zayn tried hitting the Helluva Kick on the distraction, but Owens sidestepped and hit the Stunner for the victory.
WINNER: Kevin Owens & Big E at 12:49 (Stunner)
-After the match, Crews grabbed his title and a mic and said to stop the music. He & Azeez entered the ring, and Crews asked why they’re celebrating since he wasn’t defeated. He sid they only reason they won is because he was paired with “that idiot Sami Zayn.” He sid if they think they can beat him, do it again next week against “me………………and my commander, Azeez!.” Cole exclaimed it would be Azeez’s first action.
Zayn yelled out who you calling an idiot and called Crews a fraud, that he set Zayn up. He told Crews he owed him an apology, so Azeez hit The Nigerian Nail to Zayn’s throat. Crews yelled at him, asking how his throat felt. Crews’ music hit as they left the ring with Zayn writhing on the mat.
-They showed Rey Mysterio visibly enraged as he was talking to Adam Pearce. They cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: A decent match, and everyone played their roles well. It was all a good setup for Azeez’s first match since the Raw Underground days, and first official wrestling match on WWE TV unless I’m forgetting something from NXT. Is the appeal of Azeez enough? Is he better, worse, or similar in skill to Omos? I guess we’ll see next week.)
-They returned with headlines about their “25-city summer tour” including San Antonio, Phoenix, Chicago, Tampa, and others; tickets available now. Cole then shifted to the “Progressive Match Flo” recapping last week’s events between The Street Profits and Alpha Academy. They showed The Street Profits in the back as Chad Gable approached and wanted to apologize on behalf of Otis’ actions last week. He said Otis is a bit overprotective, so as a grand gesture, he got their tag match canceled.
Montez Ford was upset and said while you can’t control Otis, we can, and if he doesn’t watch out we’ll send him back to the jurassic age (Ford badly hummed the Jurassic Park theme). Gable said see, that’s what they did wrong: they joke about everything. Gable said he won’t have Otis at ringside if Ford doesn’t have Angelo Dawkins.
-They showed Reigns sitting as Jey approached. Reigns looked around, then asked where was Jimmy. Jey said, yeah, he’s angry and I don’t know what he’s talking about right now. Jey said well, he said if you want to see him, you have to go to our locker room. Reigns chuckled, said really, then chuckled some more. He asked Jey’s brother is doing this to him, putting Jey in the middle and making him the bad guy. He chuckled again, said, “Your locker room. You sure you don’t mean Roman Reigns’ cousins’ locker room?” He told him to tell Jimmy he’s coming, then said, “My locker room,” as he walked away.
-Hamilton then welcomed “the most beautiful woman in all of WWE, Carmella!” She did her entrance for her match with Liv Morgan. Pat McAfee called Carmella one of the most accomplished women in all of WWE, and Cole went over her accolades. They cut to break. [c]
-They returned with an ad about SummerSlam tickets going on sale next Friday, which takes place from Las Vegas.
(2) CARMELLA vs. LIV MORGAN
Carmella was waiting in the ring, then Morgan made her entrance. Cole shifted to a replay of last week’s match where Morgan started off well, but succumbed to Carmella’s Code of Silence. Carmella was laughing as they cut back to the ring.
Morgan immediately landed a haymaker as the bell rung, then stomped away on Carmella in the corner. She stood on her foe, then stomped with the other on the head. Carmella countered Morgan, sent her outside, then threw Morgan into the barricade. She leaned against the announce table and told Cole to tell everyone how beautiful she is. Cole said she’s “self-proclaimed.”
They went back in the ring, and Carmella trapped Morgan in the corner to hit a series of back elbows, then a final one. Morgan tried fighting back with body shots, but Carmella dropped her and mounted her with more strikes. She pinned her for a two-count. Carmella then whipped Morgan into the corner, but Morgan hit the reverse leg catapult or whatever she hit last week that sent Carmella face-first into the turnbuckle.
Carmella regained the advantage by flooring a rushing Morgan with a kick, then took her time before mounting Morgan again and landing punches. She taunted Morgan, but Morgan avoided a superkick that hung up Carmella in the ropes. Morgan then hit the Oblivion, her second-rope assisted flatliner, for the victory.
WINNER: Liv Morgan at 3:00 (Oblivion)
-After the match, Carmella, instructed Greg Hamilton to announce, “But still the most beautiful woman in all of WWE, Carmella!” They then shifted to Bayley in the back, preparing for her “Ding Dong, Hello!” segment with Seth Rollins. They cut to break hyping the segment. [c]
“DING DONG, HELLO!” w/Seth Rollins
They returned with the theme music for the talk show as Bayley opened her door and entered through it looking like a mom from the 1970s. She welcomed everyone to the hottest talk show in TV today. She said she upgraded by showing a bunch of pictures of her as Women’s Champion and besting Bianca Belair (nice touch). She then introduced “The Drip God, Seth Freaking Rollins!” McAfee called Rollins’ pyro “electrifying.” Rollins pressed the doorbell and entered through the door.
Bayley said he was right on time. Rollins was wearing a baby blue and lilac suit with no socks, of course. He complimented her on the upgrade to the set, and she said if he needs a drink to just let Cole now. She thanked him for ringing the doorbell, and he said, “That’s what it’s there for, silly!” He then said he’s a huge fan of Bayley, and said as of late, she’s been on fire. She leaned in looking very interested.
He said what she’s done by putting Belair in her place time and time again has been great, then lamented the “kids and their lack of respect these days.” He then said Bayley will mop the floor with “Belanca.” He then said there’s a clip he wants to watch because it was a masterclass in mind games and he needed to know her tricks. They then showed a recap of last week’s segment between Bayley and Belair with the maniacal laughing of Bayley that is, um, annoyingly disturbing?
She looked smug, then both started cackling maniacally. Bayley nearly fell off of her stool she was laughing so hard. They continued laughing for a good 30 seconds, and Rollins said it feels good to laugh, with Bayley saying it’s the best medicine. Bayley said that was funny, but wait until you see this, then shifted to a video of Rollins attacking an injured Cesaro from three weeks ago.
They cut back to Rollins, who had a straight face. Bayley removed her glasses, looking concerned, then they both laughed maniacally again, with Rollins even lifting a leg and jerking it. Suddenly, the doorbell rang, and Rollins asked if they got some food or something. Rollins said it’s her show, so he’ll be the gentleman and get the door.
He answered, froze, and Cesaro attacked, his first time on the show since said attack three weeks ago. Rollins’ pants tore off, and Cesaro then threw him into the door in just his button-up and black briefs. Rollins retreated into the crowd as Cesaro was tossing items from the ring at him.
Bayley gingerly entered the ring, tried to stand the door back up, and retrieve some of her set pieces. Belair’s music then hit as Cesaro stepped out of the ring. She strutted to the entrance with a mic (what a nice fit!) and just laughed maniacally.
-Cole & McAfee then shifted to another recap of Usos/Mysterios from last week and Regin’s interference and brutal beatdown of both Mysterios. They shifted to the back to Megan Morant, who asked Rey for an update on his son. Rey said Reigns hurt his son viciously, like he was some sort of prey. Mysterio said he doesn’t care how big or strong you are, if you come for his son, he’s coming for you. He said seeing his son in so much pain is like the worst kind of torture, and discussed his vow to protect Dominick that he made at his son’s birth.
He said his son’s injuries weren’t a freak accident, but caused by a man who claims to be all about family, but won’t hesitate to destroy his own. He said Reigns could do what he wants with his own family, but now he’s coming for Rey’s. He said he’s going to that ring and he’s calling out Reigns. He said if Reigns comes out, he’ll show him what a family is supposed to look like.
-The Street Profits made their entrance for Ford’s match against Gable. Dawkins entered with Ford, but dapped him up and retreated to the back as per the stipulation agreed to earlier in the night. They cut to break. [c]
(Hazelwood’s Take: That “Ding Dong, Hello!” segment was…painful to watch. That Mysterio promo was decidedly not, and I loved the fire Rey showed. He tapped into something many, many people can relate to, and that only enhanced his words.)
(3) MONTEZ FORD vs. CHAD GABLE
Gable was upset Ford’s music was playing since he was the last one to enter (good point!). They began with a lockup, Gable rolled through, then posed. They locked up again, Ford did the same to Gable, and posed as well. Gable hit a go-behind, then tripped Ford to the mat. Gable and Ford traded standing switches several times, then Ford grabbed an arm wringer.
Gable flipped and spun out, hitting a takedown then locking in a modified armbar from the back. They showed Dawkins watching from the back. Ford fought to his feet, then hit a headlock takedown. Gable countered into a head scissors and Ford kipped up. They traded the same moves, with Gable kipping up only for Ford to lock in another arm wringer.
Gable fought out with punches, but had his Irish whip reversed. Ford took him down with an arm drag, then caught Gable in pin for a two-count. Ford went for a leapfrog, but Gable picked the left leg in mid-air and grapevined the leg for the ankle lock, but Ford stood up and bridged back into a pin for a two-count. Gable rolled outside, and Ford hit a rolling senton off of the apron to the floor, landing hard on Gable (and the floor) as they cut to break. [c]
They returned with Gable hitting a belly-to-back suplex with Cole saying Gable had been putting on a clinic. McAfee said Gable was picking body parts and working them during the break. Ford was on the apron and tried to hit a sunset flip, but Gable turned it into a Northern Lights for a two-count. Ford rolled out of a belly-to-back, then both men hit crossbodies at the same time.
Dawkins was cheering in the back only for Otis (of course) to attack and toss Dawkins into several cases of equipment several times. Ford and Gable traded strikes in the ring, but Ford got the better. He hit a big spinebuster, then kipped up and hit a standing moonsault for a two-count. Ford climbed to the top rope and hit From the Heavens. Gable kicked out at two as Otis suddenly appeared and caused a DQ; looked like he was late so Gable kicked out.
Otis tossed Ford outside, then into the barricade, over the announce table, and face-first into the steel steps. He tossed Ford back in the ring and hit his variation of the World’s Strongest Slam. He then climbed the second rope and hit a big splash on Ford. Gable was smiling and laughing the whole time. Dawking slowly made his way to the ring holding shoulder, but Otis just tossed him back outside.
Otis went back to Ford and hit a Vader Splash. Dawkins slid in and covered Ford with his own body as officials and referees entered to stop the fracas. They cut to break. [c]
WINNER: Montez Ford at 9:54 by DQ
(4) KING CORBIN vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (w/Rick Boogz)
They returned with Corbin and Nakamura already in the ring as they quickly recapped a video sponsored by Pizza Hut on the rivalry. Boogz immediately began playing, DISTRACTING Corbin, so Nakamura rushed him and hit Good Vibrations in the corner. He then hit an enziguri to Corbin, climbed the second rope, and hit a flying knee for a two-count.
Nakamura, with decidedly more energy as he’s had the past few weeks than in the past few years, ran right into Deep Six for a two-count. Corbin then threw him into the post and pounded on him. He hit a German suplex for a two-count. Boogz was pacing nervously outside. Corbin went for a bodyslam, Nakamura slipped out, then rolled up Corbin for the win.
Corbin attacked immediately, stared at Boogs, then both ran for the crown. Corbin slammed Boogz’s head into the announce desk, grabbed the crown, but then had it stolen from his head with Nakamura from the ring. Boogz then threw Corbin over the desk. Nakamura & Boogz posed in the ring, the latter air guitaring.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura at 1:50 (rollup)
-Reigns was in the back with Jimmy sitting nervously. Reigns smiled, then said, “Let’s go to your locker room.” They cut to break. [c]
-My internet decided to cut out, so I missed at least five minutes and only caught up during a commercial. I’m sorry for the mishap, and please refer to Wade Keller’s report to catch up on what I missed.
-Mysterio called out Reigns as they returned. He said Reigns disrespected his family, and he’s waiting. He shook his head as Reigns didn’t enter, then yelled for Reigns to “come on out.” Reigns’ music hit as he entered with Heyman. Reigns looked relaxed yet annoyed, then took the Universal Championship from Heyman, who looked thankful just to be in Reigns’ presence.
Reigns handed the title back to Heyman, who carried it above his head behind Reigns as they walked to the ring, with Heyman watching Reigns the whole time. Reigns sauntered up the steps and into the ring with that arrogant, “Is this guy serious?” look. Reigns lifted the title, and Heyman’s eyes were glued to it.
Mysterio glared at Reigns, then said this is what you wanted to hear: “I acknowledge you, Roman.” Reigns nodded. Mysterio added, “I acknowledge you for the rat bastard that you are. I also acknowledge you as a rat bastard that put his hands on my son. I acknowledge you as a man I’m willing to fight even if I lose the fight. And I also acknowledge you as a man I want to fight inside Hell in a Cell.”
Reigns just chuckled inwardly as Mysterio said now that he’s laid out his challenge, it’s time for Reigns to acknowledge. He dropped the mic, then Reigns asked for a mic from Heyman, who produced one from his pocket. Reigns smiled and said he acknowledged Mysterio, as a father, but Mysterio grabbed a kendo stick and hit Reigns several times before Reigns blocked it and dropped Mysterio.
McAfee wondered where the weapon came from. Reigns lifted Mysterio into a powerbomb, but Mysterio swung away with the kendo stick before ultimately heading outside. Reigns brought Mysterio back in and set for the spear, but after he did his pose, Dominick appeared on the apron and hit Reigns with a kendo stick a couple of times; now we know where the kendo stick for Rey came from.
Reigns countered, then powerbombed Dominick over the top rope and to the outside, launching him. Rey then hit Reigns in the back with a kendo stick before heading outside to tend to his son, but Reigns booted him as officials and referees finally made their way to ringside. The show ended with Reigns looking on, nodding, and holding his chest.
(Hazelwood’s Take: Again, apologies for my internet crapping out on me like that as I seemed to have missed a pivotal moment between Reigns, Jey, and Jimmy. Mysterio showed aggression and even said he wanted to fight Reigns knowing he would probably lose. Reigns took somewhere between 20 and 30 kendo stick shots that were HARD and again waylaid both Mysterios, the powerbomb over the top rope being the exclamation point. However, he also did show some vulnerability while standing tall, clutching his chest from the shots. A good ending segment in my opinion.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Compared to Raw, Friday nights just seem to zoom by much more quickly. There seems to be less downtime and a more rapid pace to the two-hour show rather than the three-hour show (who would have thought?). The good news is lots of stories were furthered, history was remembered, and we now (presumably) have the Smackdown main event for Hell in a Cell between Reigns and Mysterio. There’s a chance it’s NOT for the Universal Championship as tonight’s promos were all based around family and for Mysterio in particular, the audacity of Reigns to physically harm his son Dominick (he is an adult and a trained professional wrestler, though…?). There’s enough there that it doesn’t need the added boost of a title shot, but they very well may make it a title match just to check all the boxes.