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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JUNE 11, 2021
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA IN “THUNDERDOME”
AIRED ON FOX BROADCAST NETWORK
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
-A video recap aired of last week’s two Smackdown Tag Team Title matches with the Usos challenging the Mysterios, with Roman Reigns interfering at the end and attacking Rey Mysterio, including Jimmy Uso expressing disagreement with Reigns vicious tactics after the match. They cut backstage to Paul Heyman standing behind a sitting Reigns, with Jey sitting next to him. As usual, Jey looked nervous. Reigns told him he owes him. He told him there is only one thing he cannot stand for. Jey said he knows that’s embarrassing the family. Reigns said he knows Jey understands that, but does his brother.
-Jimmy Uso’s music played. Reigns looked up at the TV screen as Jimmy made his way to the ring. Cole called it a contentious start to Smackdown. Jimmy entered the ring and psyched himself up to talk. He said last night was supposed to be a celebration, but they got robbed. He said he’s not out there to make excuses. He said the referee blew the call. He said everybody in the ThunderDome could see he kicked out before three. He said they got a second chance later to redeem themselves. He said they were doing what the Usos do when the Head of the Table “stuck his nose in our business.” He said Reigns couldn’t stay out of it. He said he thinks Reigns got them disqualified on purpose.
Jimmy asked what the point of that attack was. He said he thought about it and he knows what his issue is. He said Reigns is jealous he is back and wants his brother back. “You’re jealous that we want to represent the family again and hold the gold, just like you,” he said. They showed Reigns shooting Jey a condemning look, wondering what he thought of his brother. Jey stared downward. Jimmy said Roman is trying to tear his brother away from him. He said he is his brother’s keeper, not Roman. He said tonight, he promised to do something he won’t regret. Jimmy left the ring to his music.
-They went backstage to Reigns, Jey, and Heyman. Reigns said Jimmy isn’t his twin and nobody is going to confuse him with him. Jey got up and said he’d take care of it.
-Cole said it feels like it’s going to blow up bad.
-Kevin Owens made his entrance. Then Big E made his ring entrance, letting out a silly yell as he slid into the ring on his belly. He then gyrated his hips. Cole hyped the tag match up next. [c]
-A commercial aired for NXT Takeover “In Your House.”
-Backstage Jey confronted Jimmy. Jimmy asked if he thinks they could have won the tag titles. Jey said yes. Jimmy said then he was upset. Jimmy said it can’t be like this anymore. He told Jey he needed him and he froze. He said he’s his twin. Jey rubbed his temples. Jimmy told him if he wants to talk about family disgrace, Roman is disgracing their family. Jey yelled that he is stuck in the middle and he doesn’t know how to get out of it. He said Jimmy was gone for a year and his loyalty is to the Tribal Chief. Jey asked what he should do. Jimmy told Jey that if Reigns wants to see him, he’ll be in his locker room.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nothing unexpected here, but a good next chapter in the tug-o-war for Jey’s loyalty. Jimmy is doing a good job seeming like he has a moral compass and the leadership skills to stand up to someone of Roman’s stature.)
(1) KEVIN OWENS & BIG E vs. SAMI ZAYN & APOLLO CREWS (w/Commander Azeez)
Owens knocked Sami off the ring apron before going after Crews in the ring. He then leaped to the floor and went aggressively after Sami again. Back in the ring, he landed a quick senton on Crews, then he went back after Sami. Cole called him relentless. Crews finally took control by stomping away at Owens when he re-entered the ring. Big E hot-tagged in and rallied against Crews. KO sold on the floor for a few minutes. Crews side-stepped a Big E spear, and Big E flew through the ropes to the floor. [c]
Big E was taking a beating in the corner as KO stood in his corner and continued to sell the extended beating he took earlier in the match. KO and Sami both tagged in at once; KO took it to Sami, including a flip dive off the ring apron onto Sami followed by a senton. KO landed a corner cannonball and then a top rope swanton for a near fall. A minute later Sami managed to tag in Crews, but KO gave him a Pop-up Powerbomb for a near fall, broken up by Sami. Sami landed a chicken wing suplex that sent KO over his head followed by a Blue Thunder Bomb. Big E broke up the cover. Big E clotheslined Crews over the top rope, then followed up and landed on him. KO then caught Sami with a Pop-up Powerbomb for the win.
WINNERS: Owens & Big E in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really fun tag match. KO was the star, both when he was in the ring and also his selling on the ring apron.)
-Afterward, as KO and Big E left, Crews asked from the ring why they are celebrating. He said they didn’t beat him. He said the only reason they won the tag match was because he had to team with that idiot Sami Zayn. He suggested a tag match next week, but with Azeez as his partner. KO and Big E talked it over and agreed to it. McAfee was excited. Sami stood up at ringside and asked who he is calling an idiot. He said they set him up. He said he is working with KO to keep him away from his IC Title. Azeez gave Sami a Nigerian Nail to the throat. Crews bent down and asked how he feels.
-Backstage an animated Rey Mysterio was emphatically talking to WWE official Adam Pearce. [c]
-They advertised upcoming WWE live event dates. Cole said tickets are available in every one of the 25 cities right now.
-Cole threw to a sponsored video package on the Alpha Academy-Street Profits angle last week.
-Chad Gable approached The Street Profits and said there is egg on his face. He apologized for what Otis did last week. He said Otis thought he wanted an apology, but he didn’t. He said he can be overly protective but to make up for it, he said he got their tag match cancelled. Montez Ford said they can control Otis if he can’t, and if he gets in their faces again, he’ll send him to the Jurassic Period. Gable said they just talked their way back into a match. He asked who is going to bring the smoke against him. Angelo Dawkins wanted it. Ford insisted he wrestle. Gable said he’ll wrestle without Otis as long as Dawkins isn’t with Ford. Ford agreed. Before leaving, Gable said, “Oh guys, Otis is still angry.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Gable is so enjoyable.)
-Reigns asked Jey where Jimmy is. Jey said he told him to tell Roman that if he wants to see him, he has to visit “our locker room.” Reigns chuckled. Reigns asked Jey why he’s making Jey the bad guy. Reigns joked about saying it’s “their locker room.” He acted amused, then put his hand on Jey’s shoulder and said he’s going to visit it.
-The ring announcer introduced Carmella as the most beautiful woman in WWE. Carmella made her ring entrance. [c]
(2) CARMELLA vs. LIV MORGAN
Cole said Liv has to start winning to get the opportunities she wants. Liv went after Carmella right away and stomped away at her in the opening seconds. Carmella took over at ringside and threw her hard into the ringside barricade. Carmella leaned on the announce desk and asked Cole to call her beautiful. Cole said she is the self-proclaimed most beautiful woman in WWE. McAfee touted Liv’s “explosivity.” Cole asked if he just said “explosivity.” McAfee doubled down on it being an actual word. After fast-paced intense back and forth action, Liv won after her Oblivion finisher. Cole called it a huge win for her. Carmella asked the ring announcer to again proclaim her the most beautiful woman in WWE. That seemed to make her happy despite losing.
WINNER: Morgan in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: More 50/50 booking, but in this case it did feel like a semi-newsworthy and meaningful upset within the WWE women’s ranks.)
-They showed Bayley preparing with her producer another episode of “Ding Dong, Hello!” Cole said Seth Rollins would be her guest. [c]
-Bayley introduced her talk show from mid-ring. She, of course, came through the door set up mid-ring. She touted her new posters of career highlights on easels set up in the ring. She then introduced Seth, who walked out in a shiny light lavender suit. Seth rang the door bell (causing dogs to bark everywhere). She told him to come in, and Seth walked through the door. Seth praised her new set and said she’ll mop the floor with Bianca Belair at Hell in a Cell.
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Seth threw to a clip of Bayley cackling on the big screen at Belair last week on Smackdown, and then her face taking over the screens. Back live in the ring, Bayley and Seth broke into laughter. They went on and on laughing together for a while before trying to gather themselves. Seth said it felt great to laugh. Bayley said laughter is the best medicine. She threw to the big screen showing Seth attacking Cesaro three weeks ago. They pretended to be disturbed by the Stomp that Seth gave Cesaro before breaking into laughter again after about five seconds. Seth extended his leg and shook it. Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Seth asked if they ordered food. Bayley asked who it was. Seth offered to “be the gentleman and get the door.” He opened the door and it was Cesaro. Cesaro gave Seth a backfist to the face and then destroyed Bayley’s new set. He tore off Seth pants, stripping him to black bikini briefs. Seth fled as Cesaro began throwing parts of the set at him. Bayley stood at ringside, hands on hips, as Cesaro’s music played. Cole called it payback. Bayley re-entered the ring and tried to rebuild the set as Cesaro looked on.
Belair’s music then played and she danced onto the stage, twirling her hair, mic in hand. She then broke into laughter. Bayley acted humiliated.
-They went to the announcers at ringside who hyped Hell in a Cell. Cole then threw a video recap of the Usos-Mysterios.
-Megan Morant interviewed Rey Mysterio in the backstage ring set. She asked for an update on Dominik’s condition. He said he’s in rough shape. He said if you go after his son, he’s going after you. He said it was the worst kind of torture watching his son go through that pain. He said he vowed from the day he was born to protect him. He said last week he failed. He said his injuries weren’t a freak accident. He said his injuries were caused by a man who claims to be all about family yet he won’t even think twice about destroying his own. He said Roman can do what he wants about his family, but he can’t come after his. He said Dominik is his reason for being. He said he’s calling out Roman later. He said if he dares to come out, he’ll show him what a family is supposed to look like.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good promo work here from Rey. One of his best promos, probably.)
-Angelo Dawkins joined Ford on the stage before returning to the back as Ford made his way to the ring. [c]
(3) MONTEZ FORD vs. CHAD GABLE
After a few minutes of back and forth action, Gable went for an ankle lock after pulling Ford out of mid-air. Cole said Gable is so fun to watch. Ford bridged back to get a leverage two count on Gable. He then tossed Gable to the floor. Gable pulled Ford to the ring apron. Ford flip dove onto him. Both landed hard. [c]
A few minutes later, Ford landed a top rope frog splash for a near fall. Otis ran in and attacked Ford. It appeared Otis might have been late for the save as the ref even hesitated counting waiting for him, but he was still late. Fortunately, Gable just kicked out. The ref DQ’d Gable for Otis’s interference.
WINNER: Ford via DQ in 10:00.
-Otis, with a more sinister appearance including a shaved beard, attacked Ford at ringside and then powerslammed him in the ring. Then he landed a leaping splash. Gable looked up, smiling. When Dawkins ran in for the save, Otis threw him out of the ring. Then he landed a swing splash out of the corner. Dawkins ran back in for the save as referees and officials ordered Otis and Gable out of the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m not sure how I feel about Otis’s new look. I miss old Otis, and there was something about the affable happy-go-lucky looking character being a heel. I get the desire to transition him to a new look, though, and if it means giving him a more sustained serious push, then I’m for it because he’s good.) [c]
(4) KING CORBIN vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (w/Rick Boogs)
Corbin was distracted by Boogs’s electric guitar playing at ringside early. Nakamura scored an early near fall. Corbin eventually took over. McAfee said Corbin has had enough of Shinsuke and Boogs in recent weeks. “He says he earned that crown,” McAfee said. Nakamura surprised Corbin with a roll-up win.
WINNER: Nakamura in 2:00.
-Corbin attacked Boogs at ringside as Boogs ran toward the crown on the announce desk. Corbin grabbed the crown, but Nakamura snatched it away. Boogs then threw Corbin into the announce desk. Nakamura put the crown back on and Boogs joined him in gloating in the ring as his music played.
(Keller’s Analysis: This is one of the most juvenile angles WWE’s ever done, and I wish Cole would stress that Nakamura is doing this because he enjoys how much it gets under the skin of Corbin, and Corbin is such a good foil because he takes that silly crown overly seriously. Instead, it seems like Nakamura genuinely wants the crown and is willing to steal what’s not his.)
-Reigns smirked and told Jey they’re going to “his locker room.” [c]
-Corbin interrupted a convo with Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. He asked when they’re going to do something about Nakamura stealing his crown. He ordered him to demand Nakamura return his crown. Pearce and Deville laughed. Corbin asked if this is a joke to them. Deville suggesting they put the crown on the line. Pearce said they can settle it next week in a “Battle for the Crown.” Corbin stared down Pearce for five seconds, but didn’t say anything.
-Jimmy was pacing when in walked Reigns. Reigns said his locker room is quaint. Heyman handed Reigns his Universal Title belt. Reigns told Heyman he’ll need a minute. Heyman left. Jimmy pointed at the belt and said he doesn’t care about that belt. He said he cares about his brother and his family. He told Roman he’s been doing this his whole life. He said he doesn’t want to take his place. He said one day he’ll be in the Hall of Fame, but he’ll be inducted as a “spoiled bitch.”
Reigns looked at Jey and asked if he sees what he’s doing. As Jimmy yelled, Jey told them it’s enough. He said he’s tired of both of them. He said he’s out and he stormed out.
Jimmy asked Roman if he realizes what he’s done. Jimmy said he doesn’t care anymore, he’s ready to throw down. Reigns asked Jimmy incredulously if he really wants to fight him. Reigns said they aren’t little kids anymore. He said this is family business and their livelihoods. He said they make their decisions with their hearts, based on how to best represent their family. He said they’re twins, “but who came out first?” He said if he’s the older one, he shouldn’t have to depend on Jey to reign him in. He said it’s not about either of them, it’s about all of them. He said they have to continue to be themselves and be the best. “Why would you do that to him,” he said to Jimmy, his voice quivering. The guilt trip continued. He said he elevated himself for a full year and now look what he’s done to him. “That’s your brother,” he said. “Don’t do that to your brother. Make this right with us. This is our family.” Jimmy seemed to feel guilty and he turned and left. Reigns picked up his belt and heard Rey’s music play.
-Rey Mysterio made his ring entrance. [c]
-Rey stood in the ring and called Reigns to the ring. He said he disrespected his family, so he’s waiting. Reigns walked out and circled the ring as his music played. A “Roman sucks!” chant blared over the speakers in ThunderDome. Rey said, “This is what you wanted to hear? I acknowledge you, Roman … for the rat bastard that you are.” He was bleeped. Rey challenged him to a match at Hell in a Cell. He asked Reigns to acknowledge him and his challenge. Reigns said he acknowledges him as a father. Rey attacked Reigns with a kendo stick, which was mysteriously slid into the ring near Rey’s feet. McAfee wondered where the stick came from.
Reigns fought back and lifted Rey, but Rey pounded away at him with a kendo stick. Reigns threw Rey out of the ring. When Rey returned, Reigns gave him a Superman Punch. Dominik then attacked Reigns, but Reigns picked him up and lawn darted him out of the ring over the ringside camera. Cole and McAfee gasped. They cut to Dominik writhing in pain at ringside. Rey hit Reigns with a kendo stick and then tended to Dominik. Reigns kicked Rey in the ring. McAfee said Rey’s love for his son has put Rey in this position as the show ended