SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
JUNE 25, 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 from Last Week
- Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez defeated Kevin Owens & Big E.
- Shinsuke Nakamura defeated King Corbin to win the “crown.”
- A match between Otis and Angelo Dawkins never got started after Dawkins was double-teamed by Otis and Chad Gable.
- Roman Reigns defeated Rey Mysterio in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the Universal Championship.
Hell in a Cell Results Pertinent to Smackdown
- Bianca Belair defeated Bayley inside Hell in a Cell to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
- Seth Rollins defeated Cesaro.
- Sami Zayn defeated Kevin Owens.
We’re past Hell in a Cell and on our way to Money in the Bank which comes to us on Sunday July 18 and will be the first PPV since WrestleMania with fans in attendance. Ricochet, John Morrison, and Riddle all qualified for the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match this past Monday on Raw. Asuka, Naomi, Alexa Bliss, and Nikki Cross all qualified for the women’s match. Tonight’s Smackdown features two matches thus far and a victory celebration.
Roman Reigns Victory Celebration
After defeating Rey Mysterio inside Hell in a Cell last week, Universal Champion Roman Reigns will hold a championship celebration. The match was to take place at the Hell in a Cell PPV, however at the behest of Rey (on Twitter) the match was moved to Smackdown. At the end of the match, Roman’s cousin Jimmy Uso raised his hand in victory.
With Money in the Bank looming, it’ll be interesting to see if a new challenger is lined up. Cesaro and Big E spoke in WWE exclusives:
Frank’s Analysis: I don’t care about the championship celebration. I’m curious to see who is lined up as Roman’s next challenger. I wonder if the exclusive interviews are trying to suggest either Cesaro or Big E could be one of those challengers. No logical reason would have Cesaro in that spot, considering he lost to Roman at WrestleMania Backlash and to Seth Rollins this past Sunday. Big E could be slotted in, but when was the last time he won a match? None of these things matter in WWE, so it’s anybody’s guess as to what they will do.
Mixed Tag Match: Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair & Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins & Bayley
Tonight, we get a “combination” of feuds so to speak as Bianca Belair will team with Cesaro to face Seth Rollins & Bayley in a mixed tag team match. Prior to what took place this past Sunday, Rollins was a guest of Bayley’s on Ding Dong, Hello. They laughed and cackled and were annoying as sin. That said, this fostered the return of Cesaro who appeared at the “door” and attacked Rollins. That set up the match at Hell in a Cell. They have been in a feud since before WrestleMania, where Cesaro defeated Rollins. Prior to their match at Hell in a Cell, Rollins walked in on a Cesaro interview with Kayla Braxton which became physical. Bianca and Bayley have been in a feud since before WrestleMania Backlash, where they had a match and Bianca retained her championship.
Frank’s Analysis: This is something that has been done before, where they “combine” feuds. The only issue for me here is it feels like these feuds have run their course, so why would I want to see this match? It’s either just something to do to fill time on a show, something happens to justify continuing one or both feuds (please no), or an outsider gets involved either on the men or women’s side to set up the next feud.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews vs. Big E
Apollo Crews takes on Big E in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. Ricochet, Riddle, and John Morrison from Raw have qualified as I mentioned earlier. Crews and Big E have been in a feud since before WrestleMania, where Crews took the Intercontinental Championship in a Nigerian Drum Fight. That match fostered the debut of Commander Azeez. Big E has been unsuccessful in his attempt to regain the title, including a fatal four-way which featured Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Last week, Azeez and Apollo defeated Owens and Big E in a tag team match. Two weeks ago, Owens and Big E defeated Apollo and Sami Zayn.
Frank’s Analysis: Apollo is the champion, so since this match isn’t for the title and it’s on TV my money is on Big E winning. I consider him a candidate to win, but I must see whom else gets into the match.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!