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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 10, 2021
NEW YORK CITY, NY AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-They opened with a video package in remembrance of the attacks on September 11, 2001. They cut to Madison Square Garden with the crowd chanting “USA”. Michael Cole and Pat McAfee introduced the show. (YES! McAfee’s back!) Roman Reigns music hit and he made his entrance to a loud mixed reaction. He was flanked by Paul Heyman and the Usos. Cole announced a crowd of over 14,000 fans. McAfee called Reigns “the best to ever do it.” They showed a graphic for Reigns and Finn Balor for the Universal Championship at Extreme Rules. McAfee said he can’t wait to watch what Reigns does to Balor. They showed a graphic for the Tag Team Championship match later between the Usos and the Street Profits as Cole and McAfee hyped the match. McAfee said “this is why championship contender’s matches are so important.” (They are?) The Bloodline stood mid-ring and the crowd booed loudly. There was a smattering of Roman chants. Reigns took the mic. Reigns asked Heyman if WWE runs New York City. Heyman said yes. Reigns asked Heyman who runs WWE. Heyman answered that Reigns does. Reigns said that he and the Bloodline run WWE, therefore, they run New York City and Madison Square Garden. He asked the crowd to acknowledge him. A loud Roman chant broke out as Reigns held up his hand in mid-ring. Brock Lesnar’s music hit to a big pop and he made his entrance. Cole said this is Lesnar’s first appearance on Smackdown in nearly two years. Lesnar entered the ring and stared down Reigns as Heyman and the Usos got in between them. Heyman asked Lesnar why he has to go after the Universal Championship instead of the other things they could go after together. Lesnar took the mic and asked Heyman why he didn’t tell Reigns that he was going to be at Summerslam. Reigns looked at Heyman angrily, snatched the Universal Championship from Heyman, and he exited the ring. The Usos followed him. Heyman took the mic and went into his old Brock Lesnar introduction schtick. Lesnar took the mic from Heyman and told him to give him his title shot against Reigns before Reigns fires Heyman. Lesnar told Heyman he had until a count of five. Lesnar lifted Heyman up into the F5 position. Reigns entered and saved Heyman with a Superman punch. Lesnar lifted Reigns into the F5 position and the Usos hit the ring to make the save. Lesnar took out both Usos as Reigns exited the ring. Lesnar stared at Reigns from the ring.
(McDonald’s Analysis: So…did Reigns use Heyman as a distraction, or is he not mad? I loved how Heyman went immediately into the old routine with Brock after Reigns left. Great way to show what a leech Heyman is. This was good. To the point for the most part. I really hope this match doesn’t happen at Blood Money. I wonder if Lesnar will be inserted into the match at Extreme Rules. I hope not, but it wouldn’t shock me. I can’t wait to see where this goes with Heyman and Reigns.)
-They cut to a shot in the back of the Smackdown mid-carders in a staredown of their own as a graphic overlay advertised a ten man tag team match. [c]
-They returned with a graphic touting TikTok followers. Reigns and the Usos were walking in the back. Reigns looked angry. Kayla Braxton tried to interview him and they walked off. Heyman was behind the Bloodline with the Universal Championship. Kayla asked about Reigns’ answer to the challenge of Lesnar. Heyman sounded shook. He said Reigns will answer when he’s ready.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Wow, I hope we get an explanation here. Is Heyman lying? Does Reigns forgive him? Was this all a set up? I love that for the first time, Reigns looks shaken.)
-In the ring, the heel time was in the ring as Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura made their entrance. Sami Zayn was in the ring wearing a New York Knicks jersey. He introduced Atlanta Hawk Trae Young. Young got huge boos. Zayn walked Young to ringside as Young taunted the crowd.
(1) SAMI ZAYN, OTIS, DOLPH ZIGGLER, ROBERT ROODE & APOLLO CREWS (w/ AZEEZ & CHAD GABLE & TRAE YOUNG) vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA, RICK BOOGS, REY MYSTERIO, DOMINIK MYSTERIO, & BIG E
Nakamura started against Ziggler. Nakamura took down Ziggler and Roode came in. Nakamura knocked him down with a kick, but Ziggler tagged Otis and Otis attacked Nakamura from behind. Otis took Nakamura down and shoved him to the outside where the heel team gathered around Nakamura. Otis hid a big corner splash on Nakamura. [c]
Back from break Rey Mysterio tagged in and took down Zayn who is now the legal man. Apollo Crews came in and broke up a pin from Mysterio. Dominik came in and took out Apollo. Big E hit the ring and took out Crews. Roode took out Big E. Mysterio went for a 619 on Roode, but Zayn broke it up. Mysterio had his head on the middle rope, Young choked him from the outside. The referee caught it and threw Young out. The Mysterios hit a double 619 on Zayn. Big E hit the Big Ending on Zayn for the win.
WINNER: BIG E, SHINSUKE NAKAMURA, RICK BOOGS, REY MYSTERIO, & DOMINIK MYSTERIO in 10:00
-Kayla interviewed Big E in the ring. Big E said he had a heck of a team, like the New York Knicks. Kayla asked Big E what’s next for him after winning Money in the Bank. Big E said they all know what’s next. He held up the briefcase. He said he could be coming after Bobby Lashley or Roman Reigns. He alluded to possibly showing up on Raw on Monday. Big E ended with “if you have what I need, you’re gunna feel my power.”
(McDonald’s Analysis: That match was a mess. There was absolutely no need for that. The inclusion of Trae Young was interesting and somewhat well done. I thought Rick Boogs would get the pin here, but Big E would have been my second guess. I thought his promo was ok. I liked that he was serious. Foreshadowing the Lashley cash-in makes sense, it’s the logical way to go. The biggest downside of this was Big E’s catchphrase at the end. That was lame.)
-They showed a graphic for Edge and Seth Rollins later on. Bianca Belair’s music hit and she made her entrance to a good response. They showed a graphic for the contract signing between Becky Lynch and Belair. Cole said it’s coming up next. [c]
-They returned with another video package remembering 9/11.
-Back in the ring, Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville were with Belair. He asked Belair to sign the contract. Belair took the mic. She said she respected Lynch and looked up to her. She said Lynch wasn’t afraid of a fight, but something changed. Belair said she respects Lynch less now. Belair said Lynch can regain her respect at Extreme Rules, while Belair regains her championship. Belair signed the contract. Becky Lynch’s music hit and she made her entrance to a loud reaction. Lynch was wearing large sunglasses and a fur coat. Lynch sat at the table and took the mic. Lynch said she’s the original Wrestlemania main eventer. Lynch said Belair was star struck at Summerslam. Lynch said you can be a fan, or the man. Lynch said she could have given Belair the shot when she wanted, maybe beat her in twenty seconds. Lynch said she could have given Belair the shot tonight, but not now. Lynch asked Pearce and Deville what happens if she doesn’t sign the contract. They asked her to sign it. Belair told Lynch to sign it and egged the crowd on to cheer “sign it”. Lynch got up and said she was sitting at home while the crowd chanted “we want Becky”. She said she came back on short notice to “save all your asses”. Lynch said the fans are now supporting some “flash in the pan” instead of her. She said fine, and signed the contract. She threw the contract at Belair who caught it. Lynch and Belair locked eyes as Lynch exited the ring and held the title up high.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I really liked this. Lynch is really leaning into the heel character and it’s working. The coat and glasses were a nice touch and a good idea. It’s cheap heat, but it works. Belair was confident, not cocky, and determined. Both played their part very well. I can’t wait to see them have an actual match.)
-They showed a recap of the Edge and Seth Rollins feud and the events of last week’s Smackdown involving Rollins and Cesaro. Back in the arena, Edge’s music hit and he made his entrance to a great pop. He wore awesome pink and black gear. They showed a tweet from Edge from earlier today, hyping the match. [c]
-Paul Heyman was in the back on the phone. Shotzi and Tegan Nox were on their tank, they asked Heyman if he needs a ride. Kayla showed up and asked for an update on Lesnar’s challenge. Heyman said Kayla nags too much. Heyman said Reigns is going to watch the Usos defend their titles, then he’ll answer Lesnar’s challenge. Heyman turned to leave, but ran into Big E. Big E held up the briefcase and laughed in Heyman’s face.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Why couldn’t they just leave the Big E thing alone after earlier? Why was that necessary?)
-Back in the arena, Seth Rollins made his entrance. Edge watched Rollins intently.
(2) EDGE vs. SETH ROLLINS
They stared each other down across the ring and the crowd chanted “Edge”. McAfee called this a Sunday fight on a Friday. Rollins went after Edge’s arm. Edge pushed him off. They went back and forth and Rollins dominated most of the match, attacking Edge’s knee. Rollins took Edge out with a suicide dive on the outside. [c]
Rollins through Edge into the barricade at ringside. Rollins hit a couple of Glam Slams, the second one for a near fall. The pair traded Impaler DDT attempts, then Rollins attempted a pedigree. Edge reversed and the two rolled into the ropes. Edge recovered and hit a pedigree of his own for a near fall. [c]
Back from break, Edge hit a full nelson slam for a near fall. Both men were down mid-ring. Edge got to his feet slowly. He went to the top rope as Rollins stirred on the mat. Rollins ran to the top rope and went for a superplex. Edge reversed and threw Rollins down face first. Edge jumped down and locked Rollins in the Edgecator. Rollins got to the ropes. Rollins recovered and went for a crossface, but Edge recovered into a near fall. Edge then locked on a crossface of his own. Rollins tried to get to the ropes, but Edge pulled him to the center of the ring. Edge smashed Rollins’ head into the mat, but Rollins got to the ropes to break the hold. Edge picked up Rollins and hit an Impaler DDT. Edge went for a spear but Rollins countered into a neckbreaker. Rollins attempted a stomp, but Edge reversed into a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Edge picked Rollins up and placed him on the top rope. Rollins recovered and gave Edge the buckle bomb. Rollins set up for the stomp, but Edge recovered and hit the spear for a very close near fall. Rollins got a low blow as Edge pushed him into the corner. Rollins hit a low superkick on Edge. Edge sat up on his knees and Rollins hit another superkick. Rollins said “why won’t you die?!” then hit another superkick. Edge got up again and Rollins hit the stomp. Rollins stared off and then slowly crawled on top of Edge for the win.
WINNER: SETH ROLLINS in 24:00
-The referee checked on Edge and paramedics ran down to the ring to attend to Edge while Rollins stared off.
(McDonald’s Analysis: First off, I apologize for the beginning of this match report being short and choppy, I had it all typed out, and accidentally deleted it. I had to do the rest from memory. Sorry about that. With that out of the way, this match was great. The call-back moves, the pacing, the drama, Rollins snapping, all good stuff. It’s no secret that I’ve loved this feud. This had the right finish and showed a vicious side of Rollins we needed to see. I actually liked this better than their Summerslam match. Edge fought hard, but Rollins got the small opening by cheating, and that’s all she wrote. Good stuff. I wonder if they’re going to do this one more time with a stipulation at Extreme Rules. I really hope they wait longer than that to sell the severity of Edge’s injury. Oh wait, they’re going to do this at Blood Money too, aren’t they?)
-Edge was being loaded into an ambulance. Cole spoke softly and said that since Edge’s return, this is the moment we’ve all feared. They showed a replay of the end of the match, after the low blow on Edge. Rollins was backstage being interviewed. Rollins said he doesn’t know how he feels. He said his arm hurts. He said he doesn’t know how he’s supposed to feel. Rollins said “maybe he doesn’t feel anything at all.”
(McDonald’s Analysis: I don’t know what that was with Rollins, but I liked it. It’s almost as if he scared himself. That’s a cool touch.)
-Reigns was in the back with the Usos. He gave them a pep talk. He said being the Bloodline means others want what they have. Jey said they’re going to make Reigns proud. The Usos left as they showed a graphic for the Tag Team Championship match, next. Reigns turned to Heyman. Heyman said “yes, my tribal chief?” Reigns said he saved Heyman. He asked why Heyman didn’t tell him Brock was at Summerslam. Heyman looked concerned and didn’t answer. Reigns stared at him as they cut to break. [c]
(McDonald’s Analysis: Why won’t Heyman answer this question? I love how Reigns pumps up the Usos and is completely confident, then the minute they leave the room, he becomes more vulnerable and needs answers from Heyman. It’s so subtle and perfect. Reigns is killing it tonight and the intrigue with Heyman is real.)
-Back from break, they showed another 9/11 video package. Back in the arena, the Street Profits made their entrance to a decent response. They showed a graphic for Extreme Rules. The Usos’ music hit and they made their entrance to a great pop. Cole said “the Bloodline is here to represent.”
(3) THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY) (c) vs. STREET PROFITS (ANGELO DAWKINS & MONTEZ FORD) – Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match
Ford attacked Jimmy right away and took him down with a drop kick. Jey moved down the apron to distract Ford. Jimmy recovered and knocked Ford to the outside. Jimmy hit a suicide dive as they cut to break. [c]
Back from break Dawkins and Ford double teamed Jimmy for a near fall. Jimmy recovered and rocked Dawkins with a right hand. Jimmy tagged in Jey who hit a running splash in the corner on Dawkins as Jimmy held him there. Dawkins recovered and took Jey down with a drop kick. He got a couple arm wrenches on Jey. Jey recovered and took Dawkins down. Jey tagged in Jimmy and they hit a stump puller for a near fall. Jimmy tagged Jey back in and they stomped Dawkins. Jey went for a standing leg drop, but Dawkins moved and knocked Jey over the top rope. Jimmy went to attack Dawkins, but Dawkins caught him and sent him over the top rope too. Dawkins tagged in Ford and Ford hit a big dive over the top rope to the floor on both Usos. The Street Profits stood tall in the ring as Roman Reigns walked down the aisle, staring them down. [c]
Dawkins hit his version of the spinning neckbreaker and Dawkins and Jey were down. Both got up and made tags. Ford hit a splash for a near fall. Jey came in to attack Ford, but Ford reversed. He went into a flurry against Jimmy. Ford lost a shoe during this, which McAfee found very interesting. Ford hit a standing blockbuster for a near fall. Dawkins then tagged in and he hoisted Jimmy up. Dawkins hit a Doomsday Device like blockbuster for a near fall. Jimmy recovered and tagged Jey. Jey and Jimmy took down Dawkins for a near fall. Jimmy hit a superkick, Jey hit a flying splash for a close near fall. Reigns looked concerned at ringside. Dawkins fought back and tagged in Ford. Jey tagged in Jimmy. Jimmy went for a splash on a down Dawkins, but Dawkins got his knees up. Meanwhile, Ford was on the other corner. He hit a From the Heavens splash on Jimmy. Ford went for the cover, but Reigns hit the ring and locked Ford in the guillotine.
WINNER: DQ at 17:00
-Reigns took the mic and said he doesn’t back down from any man and he accepts Lesnar’s challenge. He said he will smash Lesnar after he smashes Finn Balor. The lights went out. Then a red light and a moon? appeared. Finn Balor appeared in full demon gear and made his entrance. Balor removed the headdress and entered the ring. Reigns and Demon Balor stared each other down as the show went off the air.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I knew we couldn’t have a night of clean finishes, even if it was only three matches. With that said, this finish actually made sense. If they didn’t do screwy finishes like this so often, it would have a greater impact when they did it and got it right. This match was really solid, I liked it. I want to see them have a match as good as this with a real finish. I wouldn’t mind a ladder match or something with these two teams at Extreme Rules. They have really good chemistry.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Oh, you guys thought I forgot about Demon Balor? No, no, no. Well, I did expect it, but it was still cool. The entrance was well done and it got a good reaction. I LOVE the dual storylines with Reigns. He should have multiple people after him. He’s a big enough deal that it’s logical. Seeing the pressure mount will only make this story better. Speaking of pressure, when is Heyman going to answer Reigns’ question? Reigns is either more forgiving than we thought, he’s stringing Heyman along, or this is all a master plan. Any of those could work, depending on where they go from here. Brock is back and looks like a real threat to Reigns. Brock is coming off as intelligent and cunning, rather than just a killer, which is cool and new. This was a GREAT episode. The only thing I didn’t like was the nonsensical ten man tag. I wish they had used that time to shine up one or two of the ten people in that match. The crowd was awesome here. New York crowds are usually good, but this seemed almost PPV hot. Edge and Rollins is a great story and I’m very interested in where Rollins goes from here after his reaction to his actions tonight. Lynch and Belair was set up nicely, I’m glad they didn’t do the stereotypical brawl after the contract signing. This is much better. I hope they don’t touch each other until the PPV, because this match could be very good, and the anticipation factor should help. Smackdown is getting better the past few weeks and is leaving Raw far behind in its dust. I really hope they don’t screw that up with the draft. Until next week wrestling fans…