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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
JULY 30, 2021
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. AT TARGET CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON FOX REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-They opened with Cole introducing the show with a graphic. John Cena’s music hit. He came out to a big pop. Cena said “This doesn’t sound as good as the Paul Heyman remix.” He also said, “welcome to Smackdown, let’s go to work.” Michael Cole said the greatest of all time is here. They showed a video package of Cena’s promo from last week. The video than cut to Roman Reigns’ promo from last week when he rejected Cena’s challenge and Finn Balor challenged Reigns. They cut back to Cena. Cena said if you find someone who makes missionary position interesting for two decades keep them around. He said that tonight Reigns will sign a contract to face Balor at Summerslam. Cena said that this proves Reigns sucks.
Cena said he has no problem with rejection. He said the reason he was rejected was stupid. He mentioned Steve Austin and The Rock coming back as different characters with different catchphrases. He said it’s not who they are. He said they don’t beg for you to acknowledge them. He said they don’t allow the fans to do what they please. He said Reigns expected Cena to change because Reigns has to. He said Reigns has to change every two years because the people don’t care about him. He said Reigns is afraid to fail. Cena said Reigns rejected him because Reigns knows Cena will beat him at Summerslam and make him look bad.
Baron Corbin walked down the aisle. The crowd chanted “you suck” at Corbin. Cena said he didn’t know who he was. Cena then “recognized” him, and they agreed Corbin looks horrible. Corbin said his life is falling apart. Corbin said he sustained an injury to a sensitive part of his body last week. Corbin said he cannot “perform”, so his wife left and took the kids. Corbin said if anyone can help him, it’s Cena. Cena asked the crowd if he should help Corbin. The crowd chanted no, with some yes. Cena asked again, same response. Cena handed him cash, Corbin said “this is it?” and asked for a movie role. He said he could be Cena’s stunt double. Corbin called Cena a self-absorbed tight wad and a Hollywood sell-out. Cena said it is a teachable moment and he will help. Cena gave Corbin the AA. Cena picked his money up and left.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Good Cena style promo. I like when he is less corny and to the point. Corbin coming out was an odd choice. I assume it was just to give Cena someone to beat up.)
-They showed a video recap of the Usos-Mysterios matches over the last couple of weeks.
-Rey Mysterio and Dominik were in the back. Dominik said he has Rey’s back tonight. Rey said Dominik has improved, but needs to watch and learn so they can regain the championships.
-Jimmy and Jey Uso made their entrance. A graphic showed for Jimmy Uso vs. Rey Mysterio, next. [c]
-Rey Mysterio made his entrance with Dominik.
(1) REY MYSTERIO vs. JIMMY USO
Jimmy and Mysterio tied up. Mysterio shot Jimmy off the ropes and Jimmy took Mysterio down. Mysterio recovered and took Jimmy down. Mysterio then hit the counting punches in the corner before he took Jimmy down again. Jimmy recovered and drove Mysterio into the turnbuckles. Mysterio knocked Jimmy to the outside. Mysterio slid under the bottom rope and Jimmy got out of the way. Mysterio rolled through and got to his feet. Jimmy hit him with a superkick as they cut to commercial. [c]
Jimmy was in control in the ring. Mysterio counted a sunset flip and hit Jimmy with a kick to the face. Jimmy knocked Mysterio to the apron, and hit an enzuiguri. Jimmy set Mysterio up for a superplex. Mysterio headbutted Jimmy to the mat. Rey hit a dive and then a springboard for a near fall. Mysterio countered a Samoan Drop and went for a 619. Jey pulled Jimmy out of the way, then Mysterio went over the top onto both Usos. Mysterio was distracted by Jey. Mysterio then tried a 619 on Jimmy, Jimmy blocked. Mysterio countered into a roll-up. Dominik put his feet on Mysterio’s back to help with leverage for the win.
WINNER: Mysterio in 8:00
(McDonald’s Analysis: I didn’t like that finish the first time we saw it, I didn’t like it the second time, and now I really don’t like it the third time. I get what they’re going for with the “turnabout is fair play” but how many times can they do this? At least get creative with these “leverage” roll-ups. WWE does them so much, they’ve lost their effectiveness. Besides that, interesting how Rey was talking to Dominik before the match. Are they planting the seeds for something? I hope so, but I honestly doubt it.)
-They showed a video package of Rolling Loud from last week. Bianca Belair then made her entrance. Cole said she has been champion over 100 days now. Cole said she plans to have another 100 days as champion. [c]
-Kayla Braxton was in the ring interviewing Belair. She said Belair has been champion for 110 days. She asked how Belair sees the next 110 days play out. The fans chanted “EST”. Belair said her year keeps getting better and better after winning an ESPY, main eventing Wrestlemania and working at Rolling Loud. Carmella’s music hit. She said that Belair should give her another title match to “cement her legacy” as Carmella was champion for 130 days. Carmella got in the ring and made excuses about the light being in her eyes at Rolling Loud. Zelina Vega’s music played. She told Carmella to “slow her roll, chica.” Zelina also got in the ring. Vega said the WWE Universe wants to see Belair challenge a “rising star” like her. Belair accepted Vega’s challenge. Carmella and Vega attacked Belair. Sasha Banks’ music hit! Banks ran down the ramp to a good pop. Banks hit a knee to Carmella and took out Vega and Carmella. Banks picked up Belair and they hugged. Belair looked relieved and they hugged again as they raised their arms. Banks pumped up the crowd to cheers.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I really hated that until Sasha came back. I’m glad to see her. I doubt this partnership will be long for this WWE Universe though. I feel a Sasha heel turn coming. Or even better, a Bianca heel turn.)
-They showed a video package of Reginald winning the 24/7 Championship. Cole said Reginald defends against a mystery opponent, next. [c]
-They showed a video hyping the announcer contest on TikTok. Kayla interviewed Reginald in the back. Reginald said he wanted to help Carmella, Sasha or Nia, but he saw an opportunity, so he took it. He said he has to be ready for anything. He has been looking everywhere, he even has a mirror on his shopping cart. He said whoever challenges him should expect the unexpected. Reginald made his entrance. He did a bunch of back-flips on his way to the ring. The announcer called him “Reggie”. Chad Gable and Otis made their entrance. They had awesome new ring gear. McAfee said the 24/7 title can change at any time and the Alpha Academy isn’t above attacking outside the ring. Otis said “it’s not me, it’s him.” and attacked Reginald.
(2) REGINALD vs CHAD GABLE – 24/7 Championship
Chad Gable took down Reginald. He then hit a northern lights suplex. Reginald flipped away from Gable. He did a matrix like move to avoid a chop from Gable. Gable hit another suplex for a near fall. Gable went for a german suplex from the top. Reginald reversed and landed on his feet. Otis interfered and hit Reginald from behind causing the DQ.
WINNER: Reggie in 3:00 to retain the TV Title.
-They showed Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville in the back. Deville announced Banks and Belair vs. Carmella and Vega tonight. [c]
-Sonya Deville was in the ring with Adam Pearce. They said the contract signing has been anticipated since last week. Pearce said they are there to make sure the contract is signed and the match is official. Finn Balor made his entrance. Cole said you have to admire how he stood up to Reigns last week. Roman Reigns made his entrance to loud boos. Cole and McAfee recapped Cena’s promo against Reigns from earlier in the night. Reigns looked at two fans dressed as Cena and smirked. Reigns took his time and held the championship high as pyro exploded. There was a smattering of “Roman” chants. Paul Heyman wiped off the chair at the “head of the table” for Reigns to sit at. Pearce asked Balor and Reigns to look over the contracts and sign on the “proverbial dotted line”. Loud Cena chants broke out. Reigns said “we’ve already seen Mr. Missionary tonight.”
Reigns asked Balor if he heard Cena’s promo. Reigns said Cena thinks Balor is a lesser man than him. Reigns said he thinks Balor is worthy of challenging for the Universal Championship. He also said that Balor is worthy to “catch this beatdown.” Reigns said Balor is hungry, and he digs that about him. Reigns said if Balor signs, he will smash him and send him back to NXT. Balor just stared at Reigns as loud “Roman sucks” chants broke out. Reigns signed the contract and handed his pen back to Heyman. Balor took the microphone. He said that Reigns thinks highly of himself. Balor said it will be “his pleasure to return to NXT…Universal Champion.” Balor went to sign the contract, but Baron Corbin attacked him from behind. Corbin attempted to sign the contract. John Cena arrived. He attacked Corbin and took the contract. Cena signed it.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Ok, that was a weird way to get there, but I’m glad we got there. Few things though. First, can anyone just sign these contracts? Wouldn’t a real one have the competitor’s names printed on it? Not just lines for anyone to sign? Second, what does this mean for Balor? He was just cast aside for no apparent reason. If the payoff for Balor is a feud with Corbin, than this worked out horribly for him. Third, I’m glad that McAfee pointed out the ridiculous way Cena signed the contract.)
-They showed a graphic for Banks/Belair vs. Carmella/Vega. [c]
-Pearce and Deville walked up to Heyman in the back. Heyman pointed out that the contract says Finn Balor so it shouldn’t count. Pearce said he sees two signatures, one for Cena and one for Reigns and it is good enough for him. Deville said Cena vs Reigns at Summerslam.
-Big E made his entrance with the MITB briefcase. Cole said that Big E could factor into the match at Summerslam with his MITB contract. Cesaro was near the ring waiting for Big E. Rick Boogs came out and played Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring. Apollo Crews, Dolph Ziggler, Azeez and Robert Roode were on the other side of the ring.
(3) BIG E & CESARO & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. APOLLO CREWS & DOLPH ZIGGLER & ROBERT ROODE
A brawl ensued leading to Big E being taken down on the outside as they went to commercial. [c]
They came back with Cesaro cleaning house. Cesaro gave Ziggler the Swing and then locked on the sharpshooter. Roode pulled Ziggler to the ropes. Nakamura was tagged in and he and Cesaro took down Ziggler. Nakamura ran at Ziggler who countered with a zig zag. Ziggler tagged in Crews who hit a standing splash for a near fall. Big E came in and hit a Big Ending on Roode. Ziggler hit a fameasser on Big E. Crews hit Nakamura with a big kick. Crews was on the attack, but Boogs distracted him with the guitar. Azeez attacked Boogs on the outside. Nakamura hit the Kinshasa for the win.
WINNER: Big E & Cesaro & Nakamura in 7:00
(McDonald’s Analysis: That was a mess. That was literally six guys getting their spots in. Good win for Nakamura I guess? I really hope this Intercontinental Championship Division goes somewhere. All of these guys are talented (besides Azeez), let’s get them paired off instead of this random face vs heel thing. Either Nakamura or Cesaro would be great for Apollo moving forward. Whichever one is left over can feud with Otis.)
-They showed a video package of Edge and Seth Rollins last week. Edge made his entrance to a loud pop. Edge was telling the crowd to “give it to him”. Cole said the Rated R Superstar is here, next.
-Rollins was in the ring as the break ended. They showed a video of Rollins attacking Edge during the commercial. He beat him down from behind and hit him with a video camera. Cole said Edge has been taken out of the arena. Rollins said he is a visionary. He then threw to a video package recapping the last four weeks of Rollins and Edge. Rollins said he is proud of what he has done to Edge. A loud “we want Becky” chant broke out. Rollins said he is the rightful heir to the Universal Championship. Rollins said if he “can’t be Universal Champion, neither can Edge.” [c]
(McDonald’s Analysis: I think I’ve made it very clear how much I love this feud. That Rollins attack was awesome. I like that it occurred during the break. Coming back and seeing a different guy in the ring was a “wait, what?” moment that made me pay attention. On a side note, my girlfriend and I say the same thing every week when Seth comes out and it’s “what is he wearing?” This feud is getting better each week. Its simple, it makes sense, and the matches are going to be good. This is part of the reason Smackdown is so much better than Raw on a week to week basis.)
-They came back with a video recap of Cena and Reigns from the contract signing. They showed the graphic for Summerslam. Cole said it’s Reigns “the greatest of his time” against Cena “the greatest of all time”. They showed a graphic for Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin next week. (Ugh)
-Carmella and Vega were already in the ring. Bianca made her ring entrance. They showed a recap of the brawl among the women earlier. Sasha made her return to a good pop, little less than earlier.
(McDonald’s Analysis: No offense to Wade’s hometown, but did they waste Sasha’s return here?)
(4) SASHA BANKS & BIANCA BELAIR vs. CARMELLA & ZELINA VEGA
Belair took down Carmella. She tagged in Banks and they took Carmella down with a double shoulder block. Carmella recovered and took Banks down into the corner. Carmella tagged in Vega. They went for a double suplex on Banks. Belair came into the ring and broke it up. Banks and Belair hit a double drop kick on Vega and Carmella, knocking them out of the ring. Banks hit a double baseball slide on both women. Belair came out of the ring and press-slammed Banks into Vega and Carmella as they cut to break. [c]
They came back with Vega in control of Belair. She put on a really nice arm bar while draped over Belair. Vega tagged in Carmella, who taunted. Belair recovered and took Carmella down. Vega tagged back in and stopped Belair from making the tag. She put the cool armbar back on. Belair recovered with a backbreaker and made the hot tag to Banks. Banks cleaned house with dropkicks and a three amigos. The crowd popped huge for this. Banks hit a frog splash and got a near fall as Carmella broke it up. Carmella hit a faceplant for the near fall as Belair saved. Banks hit the backstabber and the Bank Statement for the win.
WINNER: Banks & Belair in 9:00
-Belair and Banks celebrated. They danced together. Banks hit Belair with the backstabber. Banks went after Belair and locked in the Bank Statement. Banks stopped to pick up the championship. She then put the Bank Statement back on as Cole said “the boss is back”. They went off the air with Belair trapped in the Bank Statement.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I hate to say I saw that coming, but. It was well done regardless. I almost wish they had swerved us with Belair attacking Banks, but Banks is better as a heel anyway. This needed to happen one way or another. Their roles being clearly defined will make this match even better than the one at Mania. I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait to see the promos starting next week. With all that said, the actual match here was fine. I don’t understand why Vega got in some much offense after basically being squashed by Toni Storm last week. That’s a puzzling decision.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: That was yet another very good episode of Smackdown. They are rolling lately while Raw treads water. Crazy that these two shows are the same company. Anyway, having Sasha back is big. I hope they continue to use the other women and build depth instead of only focusing on Banks and Belair for the next 3-4 weeks. That would be a major mistake. Also, calling it now, Banks is going to win the title at Summerslam. They leaned into the 100+ days thing a little too much tonight. Reigns and Cena is coming and it should be really good. The little digs at each other continue to escalate and could get really interesting as the weeks go on. Cena needs to stay serious. Tonight was good, more of that. Less pandering and little kid jokes. Reigns is gold. Tonight was no exception. Rollins and Edge continued to escalate in a good way. They just might steal the show at Summerslam. The biggest disappointment from this show is the mid-card. Why are Otis and Gable bothering with Reginald? Also, why is he on Smackdown? The new Otis character is interesting, but he needs a feud. Balor has to work with Corbin now? What a demotion. And Big E? What is he doing? Nothing. The IC Title picture is nonexistent at this point as Crews doesn’t have a challenger. It feels like they’re going to have all of these guys in a ladder match or something, which would be fine if we didn’t just have Money in the Bank 2 weeks ago. I think the mid-card is going to look drastically different after the draft and that’s why everyone is treading water.
Great show. I’ll be back next week. I can’t wait to hear from the after show how the event was for Wade, who attended in person tonight.