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WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
JUNE 18, 2021
TAMPA, FL. IN THE THUNDERDOME AT THE YUENGLING CENTER
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole and Pat McAfee
Match Results and Key Segments from Last Week
- Jimmy Uso opened the show saying his cousin, Universal Champion Roman Reigns, was jealous of he and his brother Jey potentially winning the Smackdown Tag Team Championship a week earlier. He said he was his brother’s keeper and not Roman. This all happened with Roman, Jey, and Paul Heyman looking on from the back. The bickering weaved throughout the show with Jey ultimately walking out on Roman and Jimmy going back and forth. Roman questioned Jimmy as to why he could let things get to this point and allow Jey to walk out. Jimmy seemed to feel guilty.
- Kevin Owens & Big E defeated Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews & Sami Zayn.
- Liv Morgan defeated Carmella. Liv believes she’s a future Smackdown Women’s Champion:
- Seth Rollins was a guest of Bayley on “Ding Dong, Hello.” They laughed and cackled a lot until Cesaro showed up, attacked Rollins, and exposed his black draws. He then destroyed the set. Smackdown Women’s Champion. Bianca Belair then came out and laughed a lot at Bayley.
- Montez Ford of the Street Profits defeated Chad Gable via DQ when Otis attacked Ford in the match. When Ford’s partner Angelo Dawkins came out to assist, Otis threw him out of the ring and landed a swing splash.
- Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Rick Boogs) defeated King Corbin and kept the crown.
- Rey Mysterio challenged Roman Reigns to a Hell in a Cell match at the titular PPV. Rey then attacked Roman with a kendo stick. As they were going at it, Rey’s son Dominik came out but got lawn darted for his troubles. Paul Heyman accepted Rey’s challenge on Roman’s behalf on Talking Smack. Here’s a tweet from Roman following last week’s happenings:
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) June 13, 2021
Tonight’s edition of Smackdown will be the final show before Hell in a Cell which takes place this Sunday. From the Raw side they announced Alexa Bliss vs. Shayna Baszler in a one-on-one match, and I mentioned earlier about Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio although now that match will take place tonight. As far as tonight goes we knew of two matches from last week. WWE announced another on Wednesday, as was reported here at PWTorch.com. Here’s the hype video put out by WWE:
Hell in a Cell for the Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (champ) vs. Rey Mysterio
After what took place last week, and after a little Twitter exchange between Rey Mysterio and Universal Champion Roman Reigns, the match originally slated for Hell in a Cell will take place tonight:
Sunday. Friday. Any day.
Makes no difference to me.
It'll be my pleasure to disgrace what's left of your family name tomorrow night inside Hell in a Cell!
My Special Counsel @HeymanHustle will handle the paperwork.
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) June 18, 2021
You can see the original tweet from Rey that was quote-tweeted by Roman (you must follow your enemies on social media ya know). This was previously reported here at PWTorch.com.
Frank’s Analysis: I would call this a ratings grab, but I don’t think that’s the case. There may be logistics involved. My guess is this is setting up another match between the two on Sunday, perhaps a match with Dominik instead, or they attack Rey tonight and Dominik takes his place while Rey still wrestles Roman on Sunday. I don’t know. It hurts to try and figure out what they do these days.
Kevin Owens & Big E vs. Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez
I mentioned earlier about Owens & Big E defeating Apollo and Sami Zayn. After the match, Apollo claimed he only lost because he had that “idiot” Sami as his partner. Sami balked at Apollo’s comments and claimed he was conspiring with Owens to keep the Intercontinental Championship from him. He got a Nigerian Nail from Commander Azeez for his troubles. Owens and Big E accepted the challenge.
This will be Azeez’s first in-ring action since assisting Apollo in winning the IC title at WrestleMania from Big E in a Nigerian Drum Fight. Of course, he was Dabbo-Kato in Raw Underground last year and lost to Braun Strowman in the final showing of Underground. Owens is also a former Intercontinental Champion who challenged Apollo two weeks ago but came up short. He was attacked by Azeez before the match. Here are Owens and Big E in a WWE exclusive:
Frank’s Analysis: It’s going to be interesting to see Azeez in the ring. We’ve already got a dose of a big man starting out with Omos on Raw. He’s alongside a smaller A.J. Styles the way Azeez is paired but the smaller Apollo. Azeez was drafted to Raw in October in his Dabbo-Kato character, but never appeared on the show.
Otis vs. Angelo Dawkins
Prior to Montez Ford (Street Profits) defeating Chad Gable via DQ, Chad approached the Profits. He said he had “egg on his face” because of Otis attacking the Street Profits a week earlier. He got their scheduled and advertised tag team match canceled. Afterwards Ford said he and his partner, Angelo Dawkins, would send Otis back to the Jurassic Period (which on a personal level was really cool to hear because I finally watched the original trilogy recently). Anyway, now that you know that useless piece of information, Chad proposed a one-on-one match which Ford accepted. Neither of the team’s partners were allowed to be at ring side. I mentioned the results of that earlier.
Tonight, Otis goes one-on-one with Dawkins.
Frank’s Analysis: This is straightforward and a way to further the feud. You still hate to see a garbage finish last week after cancelling the advertised match. It wouldn’t bother me so much if they didn’t do it so often. I feel guilty even saying this wasn’t so bad, because I don’t want to give them a pass. I anticipate more chicanery tonight leading to a match at Hell in a Cell.
Battle for the Crown: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. King Corbin
After losing to Shinsuke Nakamura and getting the crown taken away, King Corbin approached Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. He demanded they have Shinsuke return the crown. Instead, they made a match for tonight where the crown will be on the line. Tonight, Corbin will go one-on-one with Shinsuke in a “Battle for the Crown.”
Frank’s Analysis: Look, last year we had an “Eye for an Eye” match, so I guess this is progress?
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!