SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
JULY 23, 2021
CLEVELAND, OH. IN THE ROCKET MORTGAGE FIELDHOUSE
MIAMI, FL. IN THE ROLLING LOUD FESTIVAL
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole and Pat McAfee
Match Results, Key Segments and Exclusives from Last Week
- Universal Champion Roman Reigns and the Usos (Jimmy & Jey) defeated Edge and the then-Smackdown Tag Team Champions Rey & Dominik Mysterio.
- Finn Balor returned to Smackdown and interrupted a Sami Zayn promo where he was demanding justice for the conspiracy, he’s claimed that’s been against him for the past year.
- Shotzi & Nox defeated WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Natalya & Tamina in a non-title match.
- Bianca Belair defeated Carmella to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
- Cesaro defeated Otis of the Alpha Academy via DQ when Chad Gable interrupted and gave Cesaro a German suplex.
- Baron Corbin made a request that people contribute to the Corbin fund. Kevin Owens came out and Baron asked him for money but got a stunner for his troubles.
- Seth Rollins defeated Big E, Kevin Owens, and Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Rick Boogs) in a Fatal Four-Way match featuring the Smackdown participants in the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match.
Money in the Bank Results Pertinent to Smackdown
- Big E won the Money in the Bank ladder match.
- Roman Reigns defeated Edge to retain the Universal Championship. John Cena returned to WWE and went face to face with Roman after the match.
This week’s edition of Smackdown will emanate from two locations. One will be the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, OH., which last played host to the WWE in October 2019 for Raw and Smackdown back in August of 2017. It is the home of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. The other location will be the Rolling Loud Festival as part of the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, FL.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (champ) vs. Carmella
In a rematch from last week, Bianca Belair will defend the Smackdown Women’s Championship against former champion Carmella. Bianca won the match clean with a KOD but used her long hair to whip Carmella in the match. Carmella took to Twitter to air her grievance, and Bianca responded. It was addressed on Talking Smack:
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) July 17, 2021
Jason Powell from prowrestling.net wrote that Sasha Banks was advertised on the live events page for tonight’s Smackdown, and for next week in a title match against Bianca Belair which is likely a dark match. That said, the rematch between Bianca and Carmella takes place tonight in the Rolling Loud Festival.
Frank’s Analysis: I wouldn’t be surprised if Sasha shows up in Miami. Ideally, Bianca beats Carmella clean (again) and Sasha comes out after to issue a challenge for SummerSlam. As far as the match between Bianca and Carmella it’s a rematch, which we see way too much in WWE. It’s hard to say too much about it to be honest.
John Cena Appears
As I mentioned earlier, John Cena returned to WWE at Money in the Bank after Roman Reigns defeated Edge. He then appeared on Raw and said he would be coming to Smackdown tonight. That said, he let the cat out of the bag when he said he was back for Roman Reigns, the Universal Championship, and would like to challenge Roman at SummerSlam which takes place on Saturday August 21 in Las Vegas, NV. in Allegiant Stadium.
WWE is advertising the “Summer of Cena”:
— John Cena (@JohnCena) July 20, 2021
John will appear on the Cleveland side of Smackdown tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: WWE is advertising the “Summer of Cena” they say. 10 years ago, we had the “Summer of Punk,” and all of a sudden news breaks that CM Punk is in talks with AEW. I’d say it’s interesting on a level. It’s crazy that after a year of Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns carrying this company, WWE makes it all about Cena. I get it to a point, but I’d feel a little slighted if I were Drew, at the very least.
Toni Storm Debut
During last week’s show, WWE advertised that Toni Storm would make her debut tonight. Toni comes over from NXT where she spent time since October of 2020. She was mostly in NXT UK in her WWE career, and is a former NXT UK Women’s Champion having beaten Rhea Ripley for the title at Takeover: Blackpool in January of 2019. Toni participated in both Mae Young Classics and won the 2018 offering.
Her debut is not on WWE’s website, so it’s possible it’s not happening. We’ll see if it’s in their preview when it gets posted and if not, if she shows up anyway.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!