SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
SEPTEMBER 10, 2021
NEW YORK, NY AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole and Pat McAfee
I apologize to all PWTorch.com readers that you haven’t seen the primers for the last few weeks. My family and I have been through a rather serious situation that precluded me from allotting time to write the reports. WWE Then and Now has also been “on hold,” but I’m getting ready to restart that soon. Thank you all for your patience and understanding.
Match Results, Key Segments and Exclusives from Last Week
- The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) defeated Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) via DQ in a non-title match.
- Rick Boogs (w/Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura) defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/Robert Roode).
- Cesaro defeated Seth Rollins via DQ.
- Sami Zayn defeated Dominik Mysterio.
- Roman Reigns defeated Finn Balor to retain the Universal Championship.
What better arena to hold a WWE event than the “mecca” in Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. “MSG” as it’s typically called is home to the NHL’s New York Rangers and the NBA’s New York Knicks (two of my beloved teams) and has hosted WWE events for decades. WWE Hall of Famer and multi-time champion Bruno Sammartino routinely sold out the building in the 1970s. The first WrestleMania and SummerSlam events emanated from the building. I can still here the late Gorilla Monsoon frequently saying, “history has been made here in the garden!” Numerous historic WWE moments have occurred here. There are too many to list and I don’t want to leave anything out. That said, here’s the hype video put out by WWE for tonight’s show:
Advertised Matches & Segments
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
As I mentioned earlier, Cesaro defeated long-time rival Seth Rollins via DQ. Cesaro was charging at Seth on the outside when Seth hit him with a chair, causing the disqualification. He continued with a post-match attack which featured him breaking a piece of a chair and giving Cesaro an STF (like what Edge was doing to the Usos over the summer). Speaking of Edge, he came out for the save and Seth retreated to the back. Later, he challenged Seth to a match which was made official and announced prior to the main event last week.
Brock Lesnar returns to Madison Square Garden
Paul Heyman was making his way from Universal Champion Roman Reigns’ dressing room to get the Usos when he was intercepted by Kayla Braxton. As Kayla was talking to Paul, his phone rang with Brock Lesnar’s ringtone playing. He nervously ignored the call, but the phone rang again. He answered it, nervously, and said he didn’t have a lot of privacy but would “deliver the message.” He attempted to continue talking, but the person hung out. Later, Paul revealed to Roman that Brock had called to inform him that he would be at Madison Square Garden tonight. Roman was “calm and collected” but questioned how Paul knew Brock’s exact whereabouts, perhaps indicating that he was worried.
After retaining the Universal Championship over Finn Balor, Paul & Roman were making their way to the back when a brief beat of a different song interrupted Roman’s theme. It sounded like a cut from the intro to the “Demon” version of Finn’s theme. It was announced that Finn would get another shot at the title at Extreme Rules. He was attacked by the Usos prior to the match with Roman last week, but still competed are nearly regained the title first held by him in 2016.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair Contract Signing
Becky Lynch came out to discuss her victory over Bianca Belair at SummerSlam. She alluded to her being portrayed as the “bad guy” and said it was too bad that Bianca wasn’t ready when it was announced that Sasha Banks couldn’t compete. Bianca interrupted and said she wasn’t going to make excuses. When she was denied a rematch by Becky during the previous week, she went out and earned a championship match (by winning a fatal four-way elimination match). She attempted to goad Becky into defending the title like how Roman Reigns was defending the Universal Championship against Finn Balor. Becky again denied Bianca and walked away.
Later, Becky was walking backstage when she was informed by Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce that Bianca would get her match for the title at Extreme Rules, and they would sign the contract for the match tonight. Here’s Becky on Twitter. She put up many tweets, as she does when she’s in a feud with someone. It’s always fun to view her account:
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) September 10, 2021
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (champs) vs. Street Profits
After earning a no-DQ win last week, and intervening when the Usos were attacking Finn Balor prior to his match with Roman Reigns, the Street Profits will get a Smackdown Tag Team Championship match tonight.
Technically the Profits were the Raw Tag Team Champions when they did a “title switch” with Smackdown Champions New Day during the October draft. They were drafted to Smackdown while New Day were drafted to Raw. They lost the titles to Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode back in January. Prior to last week, the Usos faced the Profits in their return match as a team back in May:
Frank’s Analysis: I expect a hot show given WWE’s return to Madison Square Garden as we continue to (hopefully) come out of the pandemic. I would say AEW having an amazing PPV on Sunday with All Out and a great follow-up with Dynamite are factors in what WWE is going to do tonight, but I’m not sure they care about that stuff. They should since Dynamite beat Raw in the key 18-49 demographic. Edge vs. Seth is a smart match to have, but with Extreme Rules around the corner, I can’t rule out a screwy finish leading to an Extreme Rules match at the PPV. None of the title programs or personal feuds happening around WWE feel like they’re at that level, unless Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair do something along those lines, but that’s about it.
As far as Brock Lesnar’s appearance, it should get a huge pop from the New York crowd. The dynamics between he, Paul Heyman, and Roman Reigns should make for big drama. It’s too bad I feel like that match is ticketed for Saudi Arabia. It deserves a better setting. It’s interesting that Finn Balor is getting another shot at the Universal Championship at Extreme Rules. Since a cut of his “Demon” theme played as Paul and Roman were making their way to the back after their match last week, I wonder if the Demon character will challenge Roman. The Demon is undefeated, and I don’t see Roman losing the title, so how do they handle that? DQ or count-out win? (No thanks).
Lastly there’s not much to say about the contract signing. WWE has done a million of these this year. The dynamic between Bianca and Becky is good, and dare I say they’re doing a decent job making Becky a heel. It’s still a dumb idea given her popularity, but if it’s successful it could make a future babyface run feel fresh.
The tag team title match should be fun, but it’s the second week in a row these teams are facing each other. It’s the formula for WWE, so it is what it is, but it’s still hard to get overly excited and spend time trying to figure out what they’ll do.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!