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WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
JULY 9, 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
- Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Rick Boogs) & Big E defeated Baron Corbin & Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews (w/Commander Azeez).
- Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair challenged Bayley to an “I Quit” match at Money in the Bank, which has been set.
- Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn in a Last Man Standing match to earn a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match.
- Sonya Deville anointed the returning Zelina Vega into the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. Liv Morgan, who defeated Carmella in previous weeks, took issue considering she’s not in the match. She went on to defeat Zelina in an impromptu match.
- Otis (w/Chad Gable) defeated Angelo Dawkins.
- Jimmy Uso called out Edge, who will challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at Money in the Bank. Edge came out and ultimately put Jimmy in an STF, with a bar from one of the chairs. Edge opened the show with a promo talking about the time he took off after WrestleMania after not winning the title which should have been the culmination of his comeback.
We move closer to Money in the Bank with another edition of Smackdown, which will be the final one in the Thunderdome. Next week, they go “back on the road” when they arrive in the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. There are two Money in the Bank Qualifying matches announced for tonight so far.
News broke that certainly affects the Roman Reigns story. As was reported here at the Torch and multiple wrestling media outlets, Jimmy Uso (real name Jonathan Fatu) was arrested for DUI. With what took place in the closing segment last week (Edge putting Jimmy in the STF with a portion of a metal chair), it’ll be interesting to see how they move forward. I could see them having Roman say something along the lines of Jimmy showed me has no worth and bring Jey back into the picture. We’ll see what happens, but I hope they don’t glorify it somehow or make light of it. Jonathan needs help and I hope he admits he has a problem.
Money in the Bank Qualifier: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
Shinsuke Nakamura and Baron Corbin will go one-on-one, again, only this time for the right to participate in the Money in the Bank ladder match in less than two weeks. Corbin won the 2017 men’s edition in which Shinsuke participated. Corbin was unsuccessful cashing in his contract on, of all people, Jinder Mahal who was the WWE Champion at the time.
Shinsuke and Corbin have been in a feud for weeks over the crown which Corbin earned by winning the King of the Rin tournament two years ago. Corbin has fallen on hard times since losing the crown to Shinsuke. He has admitted to losing money on investments and last week, his car was towed during last week’s tag match (go figure, right?). Rick Boogs, Shinsuke’s sidekick, ran into Corbin backstage and made a bunch of annoying king jokes. Tonight, Corbin attempts to “rebound” and score a spot in Money in the Bank.
Frank’s Analysis: Maybe Corbin should be depressed that he failed against JINDER MAHAL?! Anyway, I don’t mind multiple-match series between wrestlers, but this has been over the crown and some of the matches were two-three minutes with distractions. I don’t care. I’m sure we’re in for more distractions and shenanigans with Rick Boogs involved. By the way do me a favor cameraman, will you. Do NOT focus on Pat McAfee if he decides to do that annoying air guitar bit on Michael Cole’s back. OK? I would appreciate it, thank you very much. What an obnoxious blithering buffoon, excuse me for saying so.
Money in the Bank Qualifier: Seth Rollins vs. Zazzaro … I mean Cesaro
In another match that will round out the Money in the Bank ladder match, Seth Rollins will take on recent rival Cesaro. They’ve had numerous matches including at WrestleMania, which saw Cesaro defeat Rollins. Rollins defeated Cesaro at Hell in a Cell, and they were involved in a mixed tag match a few weeks ago where Rollins & Bayley defeated Cesaro and Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. For all intents and purposes that served to set up the “I Quit” match.
Last week, Rollins took issue with Edge being given the Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns. Adam Pearce said Edge got the shot because he won the Royal Rumble and didn’t get a one-on-one match for the title. Sonya Deville said his chance will come if he can defeat Cesaro and get into the Money in the Bank ladder match. Rollins won the 2014 edition and cashed in at WrestleMania on Brock Lesnar, making his match with Roman Reigns a triple threat in what is known as the “Heist of the Century.”
Frank’s Analysis: So many wrestlers have won the Royal Rumble and been put in triple threat or even fatal four-way matches at WrestleMania. I guess Batista got short-changed never getting his one-on-one after winning the 2014 Rumble. Becky Lynch won the 2019 women’s Rumble, got pulled from the match, and reinstated after going through carnivals of hoops only to find herself in a triple threat match. Need I go on? Oh yeah Cesaro vs. Rollins is happening again. There’s not much to say, but I expect a good match so there’s that.
WWE announced in the afternoon on Friday that Bayley would miss nine months of action due to an injury suffered while training. This will force her out of the scheduled “I Quit” match against Bianca Belair at Money in the Bank. WWE confirmed that that Bayley’s replacement would be revealed on tonight’s episode of Smackdown.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!