SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
AUGUST 13, 2021
TULSA, OK. IN THE BOK 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, Key Segments and Exclusives from Last Week
- Sasha Banks opened the show explaining her attack on Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, whom she will challenge for the title at SummerSlam. This led to Bianca coming out, followed by Zelina Vega, whom would later face Bianca but come up short in a non-title match.
- Smackdown Tag Team Championship co-holder Jey Uso (w/brother Jimmy) defeated Dominik Mysterio (w/father Rey).
- Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Rick Boogs) defeated Intercontinental Champion Apollo Crews via DQ when Commander Azeez pulled Apollo out of the ring.
- Tegan Nox (w/Shotzi) defeated Women’s Tag Team Championship co-holder Tamina.
- Edge and Seth Rollins (via satellite) went back and forth discussing their history including a reference to Seth’s attack on him in 2014 and Edge eliminating him from both the 2020 and 2021 Royal Rumbles. Edge challenged Seth to a match at SummerSlam, which he didn’t accept initially, but finally did when Edge called him “Edge Light.”
- The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) defeated Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode.
- Finn Balor defeated Baron Corbin. After the match he addressed not signing the contract for a match with Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. He said he wanted the match and would go through John Cena to make that happen. Roman came out with Paul Heyman, and Paul said Reigns tried to give him the opportunity for the match. This led to Balor going after Roman, but he would be thwarted by the Usos. The three men beat down Balor to close out the show.
Here’s a clip from Talking Smack, which is covered here at PWTorch.com by contributor and frequent caller (and my NY Giants fan friend) Nick Morgan:
Smackdown returns to the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK. For the first time since January 31, 2020. That night is personal to me because it was the first time I joined Wade Keller as a cohost on the post show. I couldn’t believe how nervous I was, but once Wade called me on Skype and got rolling, it felt good. There was a gaffe as my headsets decided to disconnect from Bluetooth on my computer, but that’s another story! That said, the BOK Center opened in 2008 and has played host to various WWE events including one of the final tapings of their version of ECW.
One match, a confrontation, and a contract signing have been advertised in WWE’s preview for tonight’s show.
John Cena to Confront Roman Reigns
For the first time since 2012, John Cena enters SummerSlam as a challenge for a world title as he will face Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. This was made “official” two weeks ago when Cena signed the contract that was “meant” for Finn Balor. Three weeks ago, Balor challenged Roman when Roman rejected Cena’s challenge. As Balor was going to sign the contract, he was attacked by Baron Corbin, who was stopped by Cena who then signed the contract.
Cena was not on last week’s show but was mentioned by Balor who said he had a bone to pick with Cena. Balor said that three years ago, he would just “smile”, but that Balor is dead. Cena returns tonight to confront Reigns, but I’m sure Balor and perhaps Corbin will be lurking.
Frank’s Analysis: Balor’s involvement is interesting. If it’s just to have a match with Cena so that Cena can beat him and move on to Reigns, I don’t like that use of Balor. If they want a Cena vs. Reigns match just build to that and get Balor involved later where he can challenge whomever the Universal Champion will be (I expect it to be Reigns, but a Cena 17th reign isn’t out of the question.
Intercontinental Championship: Apollo Crews (champ) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
After what took place last week between Apollo Crews and Shinsuke Nakamura, apparently Nakamura has earned an Intercontinental Championship match against Apollo. As I said earlier, Nakamura defeated Apollo via DQ when Commander Azeez intervened in the match.
Nakamura defeated Finn Balor for the same title back in July of 2019 on the Extreme Rules kickoff show and held it until, ironically, Smackdown was last in the BOK Center on January 31, 2020, when he dropped it to the recently released Braun Strowman. Apollo has been the champion since WrestleMania when he defeated Big E in a Nigerian Drum Fight.
Frank’s Analysis: I don’t have a ton to say when a distraction finish leads to a title match on TV with relatively no build. It’s why the title doesn’t feel important and there’s not much to be excited about in terms of the match. With SummerSlam around the corner why shouldn’t we expect a garbage finish leading to match probably on the kickoff show which maybe a fraction of the people watching SummerSlam will see.
Contract Signing: Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks to Sign for SummerSlam Match
At SummerSlam, Bianca Belair will defend the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Sasha Banks, the woman whom she defeated at WrestleMania for the same title. Bianca has defended successfully since over the likes of Bayley and Carmella, both former champions in their own right. Sasha returned to WWE recently and initially aligned with Bianca before turning on her after they defeated Carmella and Zelina Vega. Last week, Sasha claimed that Bianca has shown no respect for her in light of their great performance at WrestleMania which won them an ESPY.
Tonight, they sign the contract for their match.
Frank’s Analysis: It’s hard to come up with new things to say about a contract signing, something we’ve seen numerous times over the years. The setup was good last week from both women, so I’m intrigued to see what they have to say to each other tonight. I’m more intrigued to see what happens at SummerSlam. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the title go back on Sasha, but I’m not steadfast in that prediction.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!