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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 17, 2021
KNOXVILLE, TN AT THOMSON-BOLING ARENA
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-They started the show with a recap of the Seth Rollins-Edge angle from last week. Michael Cole spoke over the video and welcomed everyone to Smackdown and said we would find out the ramifications of Rollins’ actions tonight.
-Back in the arena, Roman Reigns’ music hit and he made his entrance. Pat McAfee said “this is how you start the best show in sports entertainment. The Usos and Paul Heyman were flanking Reigns. They were all wearing the white Bloodline shirt this week. They showed a recap of Brock Lesnar’s challenge from last week. They went back to Reigns, then cut to another video package. This package showed Reigns’ accepting Lesnar’s challenge, and the appearance of the Demon Finn Balor. McAfee said the “demented Finn Balor, the demon is back.” They then showed a graphic for Lesnar-Reigns at Blood Money in Saudi Arabia. Cole said it’s scheduled to be a Universal Championship match, but that could change in the coming weeks. They then showed a graphic for Reigns-Balor at Extreme Rules. Cole asked if Reigns was overlooking Balor for Lesnar. Reigns took the mic and asked Knoxville to acknowledge him. Big boos. Reigns told Heyman to educate the people. Heyman took the mic. He said he has acknowledged Reigns’ greatness since Reigns was a little boy. He said Reigns takes no sabbath and ducks no challenger. He said he defends his seat at the head of the table whenever possible. Heyman said Reigns defends his position of being the “your” tribal chief. He said Reigns fears no man, no beast, and no demon, but they all fear Reigns. Heyman told the fans not to boo him, they know it’s true. Heyman said if Balor didn’t fear Reigns, he wouldn’t have to become the Demon. Heyman said Lesnar fears Reigns. He said he’s never seen fear in Lesnar’s eyes. Heyman said he saw fear in Lesnar’s eyes last week. Big E’s music interrupted and he made his entrance to a good pop.
-Big E jumped on the announce table and celebrated with the WWE Championship. Big E is wearing “Godfather” inspired New Day gear. Subtle jab at the Bloodline? The crowd chanted “you deserve it” at Big E. Finn Balor’s music hit and he made his entrance to a good reaction. Cole asked what was next as they cut to break. [c]
(McDonald’s Analysis: I just want to point out that the booking of Big E’s title win on Raw was awful. He cashed in like a heel, and took out an injured champion, like a heel. It was cheap and a terrible way for a babyface to win the title. If they wanted to do it on Raw, he should have made it a triple threat. If they could have waited, he should have cashed in for a fair match at a set date, like RVD did against Cena. The whole thing made Big E look like a jerk and like he couldn’t beat Lashley for real. I would expect that type of cash-in from Seth Rollins or Miz, but not Big E. Sorry, rant over.)
-They returned from break with Balor’s music still playing. Adam Pearce made a tag match between the Usos and Big E and Finn Balor during the break.
(1) THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY) vs. BIG E & FINN BALOR
Balor started against Jimmy. Balor reversed in the corner and hit Jimmy with shoulder strikes. Jimmy recovered and hit a low kick then a chop. Balor recovered and hit a basement dropkick for a near fall. He climbed on Jimmy and pummeled him with punches before tagging in Big E. Jimmy was able to tag in Jey and Big E took him down with a big elbow. Big E set up Jey on the apron and hit him with a running splash. He pushed Jey back in and covered him for a near fall. Jey recovered and forced Big E into the corner as Jey tagged in Jimmy and they doubleteamed Big E. Jimmy tagged Jey back in and they hit a double suplex for a near fall. The crowd chanted “Big E” as Big E tried to rally. Jey forced him into the corner and tagged Jimmy back in who hit Big E with a big chop. Jimmy went for a splash in the corner but Big E moved and tagged in Balor. Balor went after Jimmy and hit a couple of chops. Jey made a blind tag in and took Balor to the floor. Jimmy dived through the ropes and hit Balor as they cut to break. [c]
Back from break Balor reversed Jimmy in the corner. Jimmy lifted Balor on his shoulders and Balor fought back but Jimmy dropped him head first on the top turnbuckle. Jimmy put on a headlock but Balor reversed with a jawbreaker. Jimmy recovered and tried to drag Balor to Jey’s corner. Balor hit a Pele kick and made the tag to Big E. Big E cleaned house with a couple belly to belly suplexes. Big E went for a splash but Jey came out of nowhere into a Samoan drop. Big E recovered and hit the splash on Jimmy then threw him out of the ring. Big E charged Jey on the apron, but Jey hit a superkick. Jey then hit another big superkick for a close near fall. Jey tagged Jimmy back in but Balor entered the ring and sent Jimmy into the post and hit a slingblade on Jey. Big E hit a Big Ending on Jimmy while Balor hit a Coup de Gras on Jey. Big E pinned Jimmy for the win.
WINNER: BIG E & FINN BALOR in 12:00
-They cut to the back where Reigns was watching on a monitor with Heyman. Reigns asked Heyman if there was something he wanted to tell him. Heyman said no, and Reigns asked if Heyman was sure. Heyman again said no. Reigns said to pretend he does know something, and Heyman can tell him again. Heyman said he sees what Reigns is getting at. Heyman said he didn’t know Lesnar would be at Summerslam. He said Lesnar fears Reigns and that’s why Lesnar said Heyman knew. He said Lesnar is using it as a cover. Heyman said that’s how he knows Lesnar fears Reigns. Reigns asked if Lesnar would be at Extreme Rules. Heyman said no. Reigns asked Heyman how he knows. Heyman said if Lesnar fears Reigns, then he won’t show up. Reigns said he doesn’t pay Heyman to be under the impression, he pays him to know ahead of time.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Good match between the two teams. A little random, and I don’t know why it’s ok for Big E to be on Smackdown when becoming WWE champion should make him a member of the Raw roster now, but whatever. The match was solid and had good action throughout. No surprises with Jimmy eating the fall. Reigns and Heyman in the back is gold. That was awesome. I love the paranoia of Reigns asking Heyman how he’s sure, and letting Heyman know he’s paid to know for sure. This was just fantastic. I still can’t tell if Heyman is lying or not, and that’s a good thing. I now know how ECW employees felt.)
-Rick Boogs was in the arena playing his guitar. He played and Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance. They showed a graphic for Bianca Belair’s homecoming later tonight. They then showed a graphic for Seth Rollins and “answering for his heinous” act, tonight. Rick Boogs and Robert Roode, next. [c]
(2) RICK BOOGS (w/ SHINSUKE NAKAMURA) vs. ROBERT ROODE (w/ DOLPH ZIGGLER)
Ziggler distracted Boogs and Roode went after him right away. Roode hit Boogs with chops and took him down in the corner. Boogs reversed an irish whip, but Roode got the boot up and hit a blockbuster on Boogs for a near fall. Roode went for a DDT, but Boogs reversed into a Samoan drop. Boogs hit a couple t-bone suplexes, then hit a bulldog. Boogs then nailed the pumphandle slam, now named the Boogs Cruise, for the win.
WINNER: RICK BOOGS in 2:00
-Boogs and Nakamura went over to the announce table to celebrate with McAfee. Out of nowhere, Azeez took out Boogs and Nakamura. Apollo Crews showed up as Azeez was tossing around Boogs. Crews lift slammed Nakamura on the announce table. Crews took the Intercontinental Championship and threw it at Nakamura. Crews took the mic in mid-ring and challenged Nakamura to a rematch for the IC title.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, I guess they didn’t give up/forget about Crews. That’s good. Boogs has a cool move-set, but there’s a reason he only does four spots. I hope he improves and we can see more from him. Also, why is he playing Nakamura to the ring when he’s the one wrestling? The line about him wearing denim because it represents strength was gold. Really good stuff. Boogs is liked backstage, clearly.)
-Happy Baron Corbin was walking in the back whistling as they showed a graphic for Corbin vs Kevin Owens after the break. [c]
(McDonald’s Analysis: Owens and Corbin again?!?!)
-Back from break they showed a recap of the Kevin Owens show segment with Happy Corbin and Logan Paul. Kevin Owens was in the back and he said he’s not happy, he’s mad. He’s furious. He said Corbin came on his show and invited his idiot friend and cheap shotted him. Owens said he tried to help Corbin. Owens said that was a mistake. Owens said he’s going to beat up Corbin and turn his frown upside down. Owens tried to figure out what rhymes with smile as he wants to turn Corbin’s smile upside down. He said after this match, we’ll have Happy Kevin. Back in the arena, Kevin Owens’ music hit and he made his entrance. He got down the ramp and Corbin attacked him from behind. Corbin threw Owens into the side of the ring, and the screen flickered and went out. Owens tried to fight back, but Corbin chokeslammed Owens on the apron of the ring. McAfee said Happy Corbin pulls the same tricks “bum ass” Corbin did.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, at least we didn’t have to see the match again, but something tells me we’ll see it at Extreme Rules. Or maybe in Saudi Arabia. Or both. I’d rather they did Logan Paul vs Kevin Owens with Corbin in Paul’s corner. Then Owens can destroy Paul and we can all move on from this. No wonder K.O. wants out.)
-Cole said the match won’t happen now, and he cut to footage of Rollins’ attack on Edge last week. Seth Rollins made his entrance to a good amount of boos. Rollins is wearing a silver suit that makes him look like a gum wrapper. Rollins danced his way to the ring. Rollins posed in mid-ring as the crowd booed. Cole said Rollins will answer for his “heinous act” next. [c]
-They returned with footage of Belair competing for University of Tennessee. Paul Heyman was walking in the back and Kayla Braxton stopped him. Kayla asked Heyman about rumors regarding Lesnar and being drafted to Raw. Heyman said he’s not with Lesnar and he isn’t a source. Heyman screamed at Kayla to leave him alone. Heyman turned and bumped into Big E. Big E smiled at Heyman and made noises. Heyman said congratulations and he said Big E made a good choice since he wouldn’t have been able to beat Reigns. Big E said we’ll see when he faces Heyman’s boy at Survivor Series. Big E asked if Heyman’s boy will be Reigns, Lesnar, or will Balor ruin all of Heyman’s plans. The Usos showed up and beat down Big E. They threw Big E into an equipment crate and continued to beat him down. Reigns showed up behind the Usos, looked, then walked off. Big E gasped for air on the floor as they cut back to Rollins in the arena.
-Rollins said someone should have helped Big E there. He said on to more important things. Rollins said he had one of the biggest matches of his career with Edge last week. He said what happened to Edge was unsettling and scary. He said he heard a pop when his boot hit Edge’s neck. He said he felt a crunch. He said he doesn’t know how to describe it. Rollins said it’s like stepping on a cockroach. The crowd chanted “you are stupid”. Rollins said he can’t do it justice, so he called for the footage from last week, which they then showed. Rollins said its difficult to watch and he understands why the crowd is booing. He said he has a question. He asked what the crowd thought was going to happen. He asked for an answer. He said it was one of the greatest wins of his career and he couldn’t enjoy it because everyone was asking, why Seth, and calling him a monster. He said his own employer said he went too far. Rollins asked the crowd. Rollins said he won with a legal move in a legal match. He said Edge went too far because he knew the risks and knew the consequences and still got in the ring with Rollins. He told the crowd they were the ones to blame for what happened to Edge. He said the crowd goaded Edge into goading Rollins. He said the crowd cheered when Edge called Rollins Edge-lite, and they cheered after the “black gunk”, and they cheered when Edge beat Rollins at Summerslam. Rollins said he’s not the one to blame. The blame is on Edge and every fan. Rollins said he’s not done with Edge. Rollins said on NXT, Beth Phoenix said Edge was recuperating at home. Rollins asked Edge, who’s “watching at home”, if he’s capable of getting back in the ring. Mentally or physically. Rollins said he saw Edge’s eyes on the gurney, and he saw fear. Rollins said he felt sorry for Edge for a second and it’s been eating him alive. Rollins said he cannot live with himself feeling sorry for someone like Edge. Rollins said he can’t move on until he finishes this. He said he’ll either go to Edge’s cabin, or meet him in the ring one last time. Rollins said for his sanity he needs to finish Edge once and for all.
-Cole said Edge will crawl back.
(McDonald’s Analysis: That was pretty good. I really like this feud, so I’m glad it’s not over. But, I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t go somewhere with the odd reaction Rollins had last week. Saying that he’s disgusted with himself for feeling badly was a silly cop-out. There was so much potential. With that said, their match at Summerslam was good, the match last week was better, a third that’s better than both will be a great thing. I hope we get a good stipulation.)
-Kayla was in the back and welcomed Becky Lynch. Becky said momentum is a tricky thing because it keeps going until it meets an unmovable force. She said Belair had alot of momentum before Summerslam, when she stopped it. She said the same thing will happen at Extreme Rules. Lynch said she’s never been to a homecoming, maybe she’ll check this one out.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Simple, but super effective. I really liked this Becky promo. She’s so confident, and now, slightly arrogant. The line about checking out the homecoming makes her come off as “too cool for school” in a good way.)
-Back in the arena, Carmella and Zelina Vega made their ring entrance. Cole said they face Liv Morgan and Toni Storm after the break. [c]
(3) TONI STORM & LIV MORGAN vs. CARMELLA & ZELINA VEGA
Toni Storm started with Carmella. Carmella knocked Morgan off the apron. Carmella tagged in Vega. Vega slapped Storm and Storm took Vega down. Carmella distracted Storm and Vega took her down. Vega put on a choke and Storm reversed into a suplex. Vega and Storm tagged out. Morgan forced Carmella face first into the top turnbuckle. Carmella screamed about her nose, channeling her inner Marcia Brady. During this she was counted out.
WINNER: TONI STORM & LIV MORGAN in 2:00
-Morgan took the mic and asked Carmella if she broke her nose. Morgan said she’s not sorry. She said Carmella runs her mouth and runs away. Morgan challenged Carmella for Extreme Rules. Morgan said if Carmella accepts she will make Carmella as ugly on the outside as she is inside.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Ugh. That’s what we’re using Storm for huh? They care about Storm and Morgan so much they got their entrance during the commercial. Why did WWE call up Storm, Shotzi, and Nox if they’re not going to use them to build depth for the women’s division? I actually like that they’re going to have a match at the PPV that’s not for the title, but I would have picked two different women. This is a small win though.)
-The Street Profits were in the back. Montez Ford talked about Belair being home. Ford said Shotzi and Tegan Nox are bringing the tank. Angelo Dawkins said they’re coming for the gold. Ford said the Usos are distracted and the Usos are about to lose their titles. The Street Profits ended with their catchphrase.
-Cole said Balor will explain the Demon, next. [c]
-Back from break, Carmella’s nose isn’t broken, and according to Vega she’s “as beautiful as ever”. Carmella accepted the challenge, even though Morgan’s jealousy is no reason to hurt her face.
-Balor was in the dark. He said he wasn’t born into wrestling like Reigns. He said he was born into railroad workers. He said he fought to get here. He said the Demon represents everyone who held him down and told him no. Balor said he doesn’t summon the Demon, the Demon summons him. Balor said the fires that burn inside of him burn brighter than the fires around him. He said you’re looking at the face of Finn Balor, the challenger. At Extreme Rules, you’ll see the face of the Demon, the Universal Champion. The screen went into an effect and turned Balor into the Demon. Pretty cool.
(McDonald’s Analysis: This was well done. Again, short, and to the point. The graphic at the end was really cool. I was expecting a longer explanation, but this was fine.)
-Dominik Mysterio made his entrance to a solid pop. He got halfway down the apron, and the music changed and Rey Mysterio made his entrance. Rey is going to join commentary. The graphic showed Dominik and Sami Zayn, next. [c]
-Sonya Deville was on the phone and Naomi interrupted her. Deville said there’s no time on the show. Naomi said she’s been here longer than Deville and one way or another she’s going to get her match.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I’m really glad they brought this back. I want them to give Naomi a match and just let her destroy someone. Bringing out her aggression here was a nice touch. I’m glad that she’s fed up. It’s realistic.)
-Sami Zayn made his entrance back in the arena.
(4) SAMI ZAYN vs. DOMINIK MYSTERIO (w/ REY MYSTERIO)
Zayn rolled out of the ring and yelled at Rey. Dominik followed but Zayn ran back into the ring and attacked Dominik when he tried to come back in. Rey said that’s what we need to work on. Dominik recovered and hit the springboard arm drag. He ran at Zayn in the corner but Zayn got a boot up. Zayn went for a springboard arm drag of his own, but Dominik crotched him. Dominik knocked Zayn to the floor and Dominik hit a splash over the top. Rey got up and cheered Dominik on as they went to break. [c]
Back from break, Zayn was on top of Dominik. Dominik fought back and countered a blue thunder bomb into a headscissor. Rey said they worked on that. Dominik hit a tornado DDT for a near fall. Dominik hit an enzuiguiri and set up Zayn for a 619. Dominik went to the top as Rey yelled “faster”. Dominik went for the splash and Zayn got his knees up, then rolled Dominik up for the win.
WINNER: SAMI ZAYN in 7:00
-Zayn rolled out of the ring and told Rey Dominik is 0-3 and not on Zayn’s level. Rey got in the ring and consoled Dominik.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, it only took four weeks for this to feel like a tired match-up. I maintain what I said that the story would be better if Dominik lost to someone different every week instead of the same guy. Rey undercut every positive move by Dominik by mentioning “they worked on it”. I couldn’t tell if this was on purpose or not. If it is, then Rey is really coming off as the heel here. Also, during the match they announced that Naomi has been fined for insubordination, that’s a cool touch.)
-They cut to a video package of Belair at her high school and around Tennessee.
-Mayor Kane made his entrance to a huge pop. They showed a graphic for Belair’s homecoming, next.
-They showed a commercial for the draft. (Obviously, I’m interested to see who Smackdown picks up. I hope we turn out better than Heydorn’s Raw. Wouldn’t mind having a mock draft with him myself.)
-Kane took the mic after hitting his pyro. He said that never gets old. Kane welcomed Bianca Belair and Belair made her entrance to a huge pop. The crowd chanted “EST”. Belair took the mic, clearly choked up. Kane asked her what it’s like to be back in Knoxville. Belair said it’s awesome and thanked all her family and friends for coming. She said Knoxville made her the EST. She said her “daddy” told her to finish things if someone starts them with her. She said she’s going to take her Smackdown Women’s Championship back at Extreme Rules. Kane said after she wins the title she has to come back for a huge celebration. Kane presented Belair with the key to the county. McAfee said it’s a huge key that opens every door. He said you can use it on all the big doors. Belair said she’s proud to be Knoxville made. Belair wants to celebrate Knoxville and invited the crowd to sing Rocky Top. She sang it and the crowd sang along. Becky Lynch made her entrance and sang Rocky Top poorly. Lynch said Kane lied, because she won’t be champion. Lynch pointed at all the pictures of Belair. She said she’s never been to a homecoming. Lynch said Belair has a key but she has the championship on lock. Belair said Becky “doesn’t even go here.” The crowd chanted “you don’t go here” at Lynch. Lynch said this is Belair’s night and Lynch is here to shake her hand. She stuck her hand out and Belair shook it. Lynch went to pull away, but Belair resisted. Belair went for a K.O.D. but Lynch recovered, and hit the Rock Bottom. Lynch rolled out and stood at the top of the ramp, holding the title and staring down Belair.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Wow. Lynch gets the upper hand again. I really liked this exchange besides the you don’t go here thing. Becky is great in this new role and spoiling the homecoming after Belair tried to take her out was awesome. I’m surprised they went that route, but that’s not a bad thing.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a fast-paced show with alot of stuff packed in but it was really good. Rollins is a great heel and I’m looking forward to the rest of the Edge-Rollins feud. Becky and Belair is heating up big time and is going to be a good match. Reigns and Heyman run the show and they had another banner night. Catch me on the post show with Wade tonight. Excited to share the rest of my thoughts there.