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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 3, 2021
JACKSONVILLE, FL. AT VYSTAR VETERANS MEMORIAL ARENA
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
-They opened with a recap of last week’s Smackdown. This merged into an advertisement for tonight’s Universal Championship match between Roman Reigns and Finn Balor. Back in the arena pyro went off and Michael Cole introduced the show. Cole was with Corey Graves. Cole said Pat McAfee will be back next week at Madison Square Garden.
-The Usos made their entrance. They showed a graphic for a “championship contenders” match between the Usos and the Street Profits. They showed Reigns and Paul Heyman watching on a monitor backstage. Jey Uso took a mic in midring. Jey said the Bloodline is now in your city. Jimmy asked why the Street Profits would stick their noses in family business. Jey said they disrespected the head of the table and they disrespected the Bloodline. Jey said they need to prove themselves to the Usos. Jimmy said “because we are the ones”. The Street Profits made their entrance to a decent pop. They had mics at the top of the ramp. Angelo Dawkins asked what they were doing in the ring without permission slips. Montez Ford said they are the ones..the ones about to get their ass whooped. They both said the Street Profits are up, and we want the smoke. The crowd said it along, rather loudly.
(1) THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY) vs. STREET PROFITS (ANGELO DAWKINS & MONTEZ FORD) – Non-Title
Jimmy and Dawkins started the match. Jimmy threw Dawkins down after the lockup. Jimmy and Jey celebrated. Dawkins recovered and took Jimmy down. Dawkins hit the spin around splash in the corner then tagged in Ford. Dawkins whipped Jimmy into the ropes, then ducked down. Jimmy went to jump over him and Ford hit a nice high dropkick. Jimmy rolled out to the floor. Jey joined him at ringside. Ford went to dive onto them, but the Usos caught him and threw him against the barricade as they cut to break. [c]
Back from break Jey had Ford in a headlock. The crowd cheered as Ford reached for Dawkins. Jey hit him with a forearm smash to take him down. Ford took Jey down. Jey tagged Jimmy and Jimmy knocked Dawkins off the apron before Ford could tag him. Jimmy went after Ford, but Ford reversed and threw Jimmy into the post shoulder first. Ford tagged in Dawkins as Jimmy tagged in Jey. Dawkins went after Jey but Jey reversed and took Dawkins down for a near fall. Jey took Dawkins to the corner and tagged in Jimmy. They put Dawkins on the top turnbuckle but Dawkins fought back. Jimmy kicked Dawkins but Dawkins fell backward into a tag to Ford. Dawkins took down Jimmy and Ford went to the top rope. Ford hit his From the Heavens splash, turning in midair. He went for a cover but Jey broke it up. Jey threw Ford into the post and the Usos attacked Dawkins. The referee called for the bell.
WINNERS: NO CONTEST at 8:00
(McDonald’s Analysis: Lame finish. I’m glad they didn’t have the Street Profits win for the sake of winning, but this wasn’t any better. Can’t they just book both teams against other people?)
-The teams brawled at ringside. The Usos celebrated after taking down Dawkins. Ford sailed high over the top rope and took out both men. The Street Profits celebrated as their music played.
-Reigns was shown backstage, not happy. He told Heyman to “get me my cousins”. Heyman left the office and was stopped by Kayla Braxton. Heyman had his cell phone with him. Kayla tried to ask about everything going on tonight, but Heyman’s phone rang. Brock Lesnar’s entrance music was his ringtone. He ignored it. The phone rang again. Still Lesnar’s music. Heyman seemed very perplexed and nervous on the phone. He said he didn’t have a lot of privacy. He hung up. Kayla said she was enjoying this. Heyman turned to a “custodian” and asked him to clean up the trash and get rid of Kayla. The “custodian” looked up, took off his hat, and revealed himself to be Big E. Big E laughed maniacally and held up the Money in the Bank briefcase as they faded away.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Ugh. Big E. Just, no. The ringtone was funny. I liked that. I assume it’s Brock calling, so I wonder what he wants to talk about. I doubt we’ll see him tonight, but I like the set up here. I want to see the phone ring in front of Reigns and see how Reigns and Heyman react to that.)
-Back in the arena, Becky Lynch’s music hit and she made her entrance to a big pop. They cut to a replay of last week’s Lynch promo and her interaction with Bianca Belair. They showed Lynch in the ring and cut to break. [c]
-Lynch was standing midring as the crowd chanted “Becky”. She said the man has come around to Jacksonville. Lynch said last week she walked down to the ring. She said she didn’t get any “you deserve it” chants last week. The crowd chanted it now. Lynch said everyone wants to rub elbows with “Big Time Becks”. She said Belair is the only other woman to win the main event of Wrestlemania. She said she wanted to go toe-to-toe with Belair. Lynch said she saved “Esther’s” match at Summerslam. She said WWE called the biggest star they could find. She said Belair can’t cry for Lynch beating her quickly. Lynch said Belair calling herself the EST is a lie. She said Belair can fake it with flips but she can’t fake the experience. Lynch said it only took one flip of her fist to take Belair out. Belair’s music played and she made her entrance. Belair took a mic and the crowd chanted “EST”. Belair said the championship was more to her than just a title. It etched her in the history books. She said the moment from Summerslam keeps replaying in her mind. Belair said everything she worked for was over in 26 seconds. She said she was embarrassed. Belair said she won’t bring another woman down and she won’t make excuses for herself. Belair said Lynch doesn’t know her. Belair said she will bounce back and take the title back. Then she will be known as the greatest. Belair said she earned her championship match. Belair said Lynch should defend the championship tonight like Reigns is. The crowd chanted “yes”. Lynch picked up the mic and the crowd chanted “EST”. Lynch said she doesn’t give a damn what Reigns does, and she said no to the challenge. Lynch held the title high at the top of the ramp.
(McDonald’s Analysis: If it wasn’t clear last week, it’s clear now. Becky is a heel. There’s no tweener stuff here. I don’t really care for this. I would rather Becky be herself instead of this forced heel act. Also, does WWE just not have major babyfaces anymore? Belair came off well here. I assume this match will happen at Extreme Rules.)
-Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode were backstage. Ziggler told Roode to go ahead. Ziggler bumped into Toni Storm. Ziggler called her the new kid. Toni Storm said Ziggler is great, but she’s rooting for Rick Boogs. Ziggler said “I think we all kind of are”.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Hey! Toni Storm IS alive!)
-Back in the arena, Rick Boogs was on guitar. He introduced Shinsuke Nakamura and played him to the ring. They walked down the ramp as the show went to break. [c]
-Ziggler and Roode made their entrance while Boogs was in the ring. Cole said this is Boogs’ first singles match in WWE.
(2) RICK BOOGS (w/ SHINSUKE NAKAMURA) vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/ ROBERT ROODE)
Ziggler took Boogs down and went for a sleeper. Boogs muscled him up into a press slam. He threw Ziggler down as Nakamura cheered on the outside. Boogs went for the pump handle slam but Ziggler reversed and took Boogs down for a near fall. Ziggler went for a Superkick. Boogs reversed into a pump handle slam for the win.
WINNER: RICK BOOGS in 2:00
-Graves asked if Ziggler took a ride on the “Boogs’ cruise”. Cole said he liked it. Boogs and Nakamura celebrated in the ring.
-Lynch was shown walking backstage. She bumped into Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. They said the match between her and Belair will happen at Extreme Rules. Pearce told her the contract signing is next week. Lynch made a face and walked off.
-Cesaro made his entrance and they showed a graphic for Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins, next. [c]
-They returned with a graphic for Balor vs. Reigns later. Cole said it’s rare that the title is defended on Smackdown. Seth Rollins was in the back with Kayla. Kayla asked him why he asked for the match with Cesaro. Rollins said he has been watching the match with Edge over and over. He said he’s watched all of Edge’s matches and he knows why he lost. He said he is going to have a new beginning tonight and he will show the world why he is Seth freaking Rollins. Back in the arena, Rollins music hit and he made his entrance. Cole recapped the recent feud between Rollins and Cesaro. The crowd booed Rollins.
(3) SETH ROLLINS vs. CESARO
Rollins and Cesaro tied up. Rollins had a headlock on but Cesaro threw him off into the ropes. Cesaro hit a big backbreaker and Rollins rolled to the outside. Cesaro went after Rollins and threw him into the barricade. Cesaro tossed Rollins back into the ring and went after him but Rollins recovered and hit a dropkick. Cesaro recovered and hit a dropkick of his own. He went for the swing but Rollins battled back. Back on their feet, Rollins hit a DDT for a near fall as they went to break. [c]
Cesaro was going after Rollins as we came back. Rollins reversed in the corner and went to the top. Cesaro recovered and went for a superplex but Rollins rolled through, set up Cesaro and hit a bucklebomb. Rollins went for a neckbreaker but Cesaro reversed into a uppercut. Rollins recovered and hit an Edge-o-matic for a near fall. Cole said Rollins learned from Edge. Rollins went for a stomp and Cesaro reversed. Cesaro attacked Rollins with uppercuts then hit a big one in the corner followed by a clothesline for a near fall. Cesaro pointed to the crowd and the crowd cheered as Cesaro signaled for the swing. Cesaro went for it, but Rollins reversed into a cradle for a near fall. Cesaro recovered, took down Rollins, and hit the swing this time. Cesaro then applied the sharpshooter. Rollins got to the ropes almost immediately. Cesaro went after Rollins, but Rollins held onto the ropes. Rollins went for a kick, but Cesaro threw him over the top rope to the floor. Cesaro exited the ring and went to chase down Rollins. Rollins had a chair and hit Cesaro for the DQ.
WINNER: CESARO by DQ in 10:00
-Rollins attacked Cesaro, then took the bar piece off the chair. He then threw Cesaro into the ring and used the bar to put Cesaro in the crossface mimicking Edge. Rollins then hit the Stomp. Rollins took another chair and brought it into the ring. Cole said Rollins is like a cover band for Edge’s greatest hits. He put Cesaro’s head on it and went for a con-chair-to, but Edge’s music hit. Edge ran down the ramp and Rollins exited the ring. Edge stood center ring after checking on Cesaro. He stared Rollins down as the crowd chanted “Edge”.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I loved this feud last month, so I’m all for more of it. I don’t need to see Rollins and Cesaro again for a long time. I really wish they would stop with that. Rollins “learning” from Edge and pulling his moves out on Cesaro was really cool. The finish was lame, but the attack after was good and accomplished what it needed to. Edge made a surprise appearance, he got a good pop. I didn’t expect him on the show tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing what stipulation they have at Extreme Rules.)
-Reigns was in the back talking to the Usos. He said they need to stick to the gameplan and run it back. Heyman told Reigns that they have a problem. Reigns said there is no problem because he’s going to smash Balor. Heyman said the problem is with Brock Lesnar. Reigns said he doesn’t have a problem with Lesnar, Heyman does, because he’s going to smash Lesnar too. Heyman said Lesnar called him for the first time in a year and said he will be at Smackdown next week. Reigns asked if Lesnar is watching the show. Heyman said Fox is big in Saskatchewan. Reigns asked how he knew where Lesnar was. Reigns said Lesnar could show up tonight. Heyman looked like he hadn’t thought of that and Reigns stared off.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Interesting. I didn’t expect Heyman to tell Reigns that Lesnar called. Well, not right away, anyway. If Lesnar is going to be in Madison Square Garden next week, it makes sense. That’s a big show for WWE and they’ll want all hands on deck. I’m looking forward to seeing them face to face. I can’t wait to see how Heyman reacts to all this. It’s gotta be like his kids fighting, right?)
-Happy Baron Corbin pulled into the parking lot and told the blonde interviewer not to scratch his new baby. Kevin Owens made his entrance and Cole announced that Happy Baron Corbin is going to join Kevin Owens on the K.O. Show, next. [c]
-Edge was walking backstage and Kayla stopped him. She said she thought Edge was done with Rollins. Edge said that him and Rollins are similar and he understands why Rollins won’t let it go. Edge challenged Rollins for next week. He said he burned Rollins down once and he’ll do it again. Edge said this doesn’t end well.
-Owens said you know its the Kevin Owens Show because he’s wearing a tie. Owens introduced Happy Corbin. Corbin’s new music played and he made his entrance. Corbin danced down the aisle. Corbin said this is amazing, and he is excited to be on the K.O. Show. Corbin said he wouldn’t be where he was without Owens. He rattled off what his clothes cost and how he’s eating wagyu beef. Corbin said he left his wallet in the Rolls Royce. Corbin introduced his “special guest”, Logan Paul. Logan Paul made his entrance and ran down the ring. He took a mic and got huge boos. He thanked Owens for having him on the show. Owens said he didn’t invite him. Corbin said him and Paul have a lot in common. Corbin said he won money on Paul’s brother’s fight. Owens said that sounded awful. Paul offered Owens $100. He said Owens could use it more than him. Owens told Paul to get out of the ring and not show up in WWE again. Paul pushed Owens, Owens pushed back. Paul and Owens were face to face, but Corbin took out Owens. Corbin then hit a chokeslam. Paul said “you’re not that guy, pal, you’re not that guy.” Corbin and Paul left the ring.
-They showed a graphic for Dominik Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn, next. Graves said Dominik will try to right the ship after last week. [c]
-They returned with a Carmella promo. Carmella was backstage “modeling”. Liv Morgan was watching over her shoulder. She said, “seriously?” and the camera faded back to the ring. Sami Zayn made his entrance. Dominik Mysterio made his entrance with different entrance music. His own? Rey Mysterio stayed at the top of the ramp and didn’t follow Dominik.
(4) DOMINIK MYSTERIO vs. SAMI ZAYN
Zayn went after Dominik, but Dominik reversed him in the corner. Dominik went after Zayn’s arm and took him down. Zayn recovered and threw Dominik down. They locked hands and Zayn tried to pin Dominik a couple of times. Dominik went to the top while locking hands with Zayn and rolled through, but Zayn took him down with a clothesline. Dominik set Zayn up and went for a 619, but Zayn rolled out of the ring. Zayn tried to walk up the ramp but Rey forced Zayn back. Dominik went over the top and took Zayn out. Rey told Dominik to get Zayn in the ring. Dominik rolled Zayn in. Dominik got in the ring and Zayn hit him with a Helluva kick for the win.
WINNER: SAMI ZAYN in 2:00
-Rey entered the ring and tried to help Dominik up. The two exited together.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Ok, I can’t be the only one seeing how annoying Rey is in all this. Just leave the kid alone. I wonder how long this is going to go before one of them (Dominik) snaps. I liked this as a new match last week, but this story would have more weight if this happened with different opponents each week for Dominik.)
-Sonya Deville was backstage on the phone. Naomi came up to her and asked about her match that she asked for last week. Deville said she doesn’t know and to ask again next week. The camera cut away and Cole hyped Reigns and Balor, next. [c]
(McDonald’s Analysis: I wonder if Naomi is going to take out Deville and then say “acknowledge me”.)
-They showed graphics for Smackdown next week from Madison Square Garden. The graphics advertised Brock Lesnar, Edge vs. Seth Rollins, and the Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair contract signing.
-Finn Balor was in the back with Kayla. Balor said everyone has been asking what would have happened if he didn’t get hurt in 2016. He said tonight he answers the question. Finn Balor made his entrance to a decent pop. Cole tells the story of Balor winning the Universal title and being the first champion, then giving it up the next day due to injury. Cole said Reigns has a lot on his mind. Graves said Reigns can’t look past Balor. As Balor entered the ring and posed on the turnbuckles the Usos attacked him. Jey used the steps on Balor. They tossed Balor into the ring and Jimmy was on the top rope, but the Street Profits came out and chased the Usos off. Roman Reigns made his entrance to boos. Reigns stared at Balor down in the ring and smirked. Reigns held the title high as they showed a graphic for the championship match. Cole said “Reigns-Balor, scheduled match, next.” [c]
-Back from break Reigns held up the championship as his pyro went off. Balor was being checked on by medical personnel. They then did traditional ring entrances.
(5) ROMAN REIGNS (w/ PAUL HEYMAN) vs. FINN BALOR – WWE Universal Championship Match
Reigns backed Balor into the corner and threw him into the other corner with a modified hip toss. Reigns took Balor into another corner and hit multiple clotheslines as the crowd counted along. Reigns ran at Balor but Balor low dropkicked Reigns on the knee. Balor hit Reigns with kicks. Reigns recovered with a right hand and took Balor down. Balor reversed into a slingblade, but Reigns took him down again with a big right hand. Reigns went for a cover for his forearm in Balor’s face for a near fall as they cut to break. [c]
Back from break Reigns went for a Superman punch but Balor ducked. Reigns looked irritated and took Balor down. Reigns hit a right hand as Balor hit an overhead kick at the same time. Both men got back up and Reigns went after Balor. Balor reversed and double legged Reigns. He hit a standing double stomp. Balor pushed Reigns to the corner and hit a series of shoulder blocks. Reigns recovered and dumped Balor to the outside. Reigns went to follow him, but Balor trapped Reigns in the ring apron. Balor had a flurry of offense then hit a plancha on Reigns. Balor rolled Reigns in the ring and climbed to the top, looking for the Coup de Grace. Reigns moved and hit a Superman punch for a near fall. The crowd chanted Balor. Reigns talked trash to the crowd, taunted, then went for a spear. Balor countered with a big knee and got a near fall. Balor hit a dropkick on Reigns into the corner. Balor hit a Coup de Grace for a CLOSE near fall. Reigns low-blowed Balor on the kickout. Cole said it may be unintentional, but Reigns has a history of doing that. Reigns mounted Balor and hit a series of forearms. Reigns put on the guillotine choke and choked out Balor for the win.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS in 12:00 to retain the WWE Universal Championship
-Reigns exited the ring as Heyman held the championship high behind him. Cole said the Beast is lingering in New York next week as the show went off the air.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I won’t lie, I got sucked in for a second there. I thought that maybe, Balor was going to beat Reigns and I was going to smash my computer to bits. Then I woke up and everything was fine. Really though, I did think we were going to get swerved for a second. I liked this match. The story was good and Balor came out looking great, even in the loss. He is credible moving forward, which is huge. I want to see what they do with Balor from here. Maybe he gets a “fair” rematch at Extreme Rules? Maybe in a cage to keep the Usos out? Reigns recovering at the end and hitting the forearms and the guillotine is perfect. Balor puts up a fight, but it’s just not enough when Reigns is serious.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a solid show, but nothing huge happened. Lynch is the hot topic right now, and I don’t think tonight will change any of that as she’s clearly a heel and they are leaning on that. I wonder if they’re going to go with a stipulation at Extreme Rules, or if they’re just going to have a match. The match will be good, so I’m looking forward to that, but, I don’t like the story here. If Belair loses, I don’t know where she goes from there, and I don’t think WWE is going to have Lynch drop the title back so quickly. Edge and Rollins next week is interesting. I love the feud and I’m glad it’s continuing, but I’d rather we got a stipulation match (with blood) at the PPV instead of next week. I don’t think a regular match is enough if they’re playing up the fact that both men are “going there” to take each other out. Yet again, Big E is doing nothing. Except laughing like a goofball. I’m glad WWE gave him MITB so he can get that big push we’ve all been waiting for. Wait…nevermind. Boogs is on his way up. Nakamura will be an afterthought in no time. Reigns is awesome, Heyman is awesome, Balor looked solid, and Brock enters the fray next week. I can’t wait to watch Heyman’s reaction to the two men in the same ring at the same time.