SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
AUGUST 20, 2021
PHOENIX, AZ. IN THE FOOTPRINT 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
- John Cena and Universal Champion Roman Reigns had a long face-to-face to open the show. Cena talked about Roman being a failure and how he was the one that would shut him up. He claimed Roman nearly ruined Seth Rollins, ran Dean Ambrose out of WWE, and was protected for years by the “system.”
- Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Rick Boogs) defeated Apollo Crews (w/Commander Azeez) to win the Intercontinental Championship for the second time in his career.
- The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) defeated the Alpha Academy (Otis & Chad Gable).
- Seth Rollins cut a promo talking about his upcoming SummerSlam match with Edge.
- Rey & Dominik Mysterio defeated Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode.
- Baron Corbin pleaded with everyone to give him $1,000 and went so far as to bring a credit card scanner. Kevin Owens came out and challenged him to a match, with the stipulation of if Corbin wins, he gets the $1,000. If he loses, he can’t ask for money anymore. Owens won the match, but Corbin would steal the Money in the Bank contract from Big E.
- Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks signed the contract for their SummerSlam match. Sasha had backup in Carmella and Zelina Vega. Bianca went after Sasha after signing, but the other women got involved. Sasha put Bianca in the Bank Statement using Bianca’s braid against her.
Smackdown returns to the Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ. The arena, formerly known by many names including the America West Arena and US Airways Center (the name changed after US Airways merged with America West, opened in 1992 and is home to recent NBA Championship finalists the Phoenix Suns. It was recently the Talking Stick Arena. Smackdown last emanated from here in January of 2019. Here’s the hype video put out by WWE ahead of tonight:
While there is a preview up, there aren’t a ton of talking points to what’s advertised.
John Cena & Roman Reigns Final Words Before SummerSlam
John Cena challenges Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. Last week, we got a long promo between both men to open the show as I talked about in the recap. John knows he going to get his ass kicked by Roman, but all he needs is “one…two…three” to defeat him and Roman becomes the answer to a trivia question.
Tonight, both men will have “final words” ahead of their match at SummerSlam.
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) August 19, 2021
Frank’s Analysis: I talked about this with Jon Mezzera on WWE Then and Now this week when we previewed SummerSlam and looked back on the 2011 edition. For me, I thought the promo was a little too cute and didn’t ring true. The “system” protected John Cena for years, and they have the nerve to script him to say the system protected Roman? Roman has been protected, but not at a Cena level. In addition, Roman did not almost ruin Seth Rollins and he did not run Dean Ambrose out of WWE. If you’re going to break the fourth wall, then speak the truth.
Edge Returns Ahead of SummerSlam Match with Rollins
Last week, Seth Rollins cut a promo ahead of his match with Edge at SummerSlam. He sarcastically brought up being called “Edge-lite.” He referenced 2014 when he nearly took out Edge (although the story hasn’t been clearly explained) and said he wouldn’t hesitate to “stomp his neck into the mat” even if it ends Edge’s career for good.
Tonight, Edge returns for the final hype of this match. If they don’t want to explain 2014, then I will. Christian is in the video, so that’s why they probably haven’t wanted to show it:
Frank’s Analysis: Promos, talking, how much can you do before a match? I’d be fine if they just showed backstage interviews with both men separately, and video package with highlights of their career. They have to fill time and they fired a million people over the past year, so, I expect another face-to-face.
Rey Mysterio vs. Jey Uso
At SummerSlam, Rey & Dominik Mysterio take on the Usos (Jimmy & Jey) for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship. Tonight, Rey takes on Jey in a one-on-one match.
Frank’s Analysis: Haven’t these guys wrestled recently? It feels like we either get Rey vs. Jey or Rey vs. Jimmy or Dominik vs. either Uso. At least we got the Mysterios one-on-one with Ziggler and Roode last week, so that shook things up. It’s not worth predicting how this will go tonight because it doesn’t matter. I wrote more about this match than what I thought of it.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!