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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
PHILADELPHIA, PA AT WELLS FARGO CENTER
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-They started the show with a wide crowd shot and Cole welcomed the audience to the show. Becky Lynch’s music hit and she made her entrance to a decent pop. McAfee said “Big Time Becks is in Philadelphia.” Cole mentioned a tweet from Lynch regarding Bianca Belair’s homecoming last week. Lynch said she had fun. Cole then sent us to a video package recapping last week’s events between Belair and Lynch. Back from the package, Lynch was in the ring smirking. They then showed a graphic for the Belair-Lynch title match at Extreme Rules Sunday. Lynch took the mic and said Belair’s hometown threw her a celebration for making it out of there and making something of herself. Lynch said she came back at Summerslam on a moments notice and won the title in record time, but no one threw her a party. Lynch said she did the right thing and went to congratulate Belair. She said Belair wouldn’t let go of her hand, so she had no choice but to act. Lynch said she didn’t want to embarrass Belair, but she didn’t have a choice. Lynch said she’s the better man, and she wanted to give Belair time to gather herself. Lynch said to remember this, but Belair’s music played and cut Lynch off. Belair made her entrance to a solid pop. Belair took the mic and the crowd chanted “EST”. Another part of the crowd chanted “Becky”. Belair told Lynch not to talk about her parents. Belair said Lynch did beat her at Summerslam, and did embarrass her in her hometown, but that won’t happen Sunday. Belair said she didn’t know she was facing Lynch at Summerslam. Lynch said Belair knew she had a match. She said if she’s the EST she should be ready for anything. Lynch called herself the greatest to ever hold the title. Belair pointed out her accomplishments, including the ESPY, and she said she did it in a quarter of the time. Lynch said Belair is only good, because Lynch showed the world how to be great. Belair said she will beat Lynch at Extreme Rules and be the new Smackdown Women’s Champion. Belair held out her hand for a handshake, but Lynch reared back and slapped Belair. Lynch held up the title and said she’s the “greatest to ever hold this”. Belair attacked Lynch and hit her with the K.O.D. Belair left with Lynch laid out in the ring. Lynch got to her knees at the ropes and stared after Belair.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I’m glad Belair got the upper hand this week. The promo between them was solid and there was alot of truth in what they both said. Belair came off a little heelish with the comment about her accomplishments, and Lynch may have been a little too real, but this was a good segment overall. Unfortunately, this signaled what alot of us have been predicting. Belair is going to lose on Sunday, and then probably head to Raw. I think this segment confirmed that.)
-They showed Shinsuke Nakamura, Rick Boogs, and Toni Storm rocking out backstage. Underneath was a graphic for the Intercontinental Championship match between Nakamura and Apollo Crews, tonight. [c]
-Back from break, Rick Boogs was on the stage. He introduced Nakamura. Boogs is super over. Nakamura’s music played and he made his entrance. McAfee danced on the desk as always. Apollo Crews made his entrance with Azeez. There were new CGI golden lions with a new graphic on the screen. This was really cool. Maybe they didn’t stop caring about Crews after all.
(1) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (w/ RICK BOOGS) (c) vs. APOLLO CREWS (w/ COMMANDER AZEEZ) – Intercontinental Championship Match
Crews and Nakamura locked up and Crews took Nakamura down. Nakamura recovered and hit a kick to take down Crews. Nakamura set Crews up on the top rope. Nakamura went for a knee, but Apollo moved and took down Nakamura. Crews tossed Nakamura over the top rope and they cut to break. [c]
Back from break, Boogs played guitar on the outside while Crews held down Nakamura. Nakamura recovered and hit a series of kicks, ending with one to the head to take down Crews. Nakamura got a near fall, then went to the middle rope. Crews recovered and hit a dropkick as Nakamura came off the ropes. Crews went after Nakamura and knocked him into the corner, but Nakamura battled back with kicks. Nakamura hit a knee from the middle rope and got a near fall. Nakamura went for a Kinshasha but Crews countered. Crews hit a modified Samoan Drop for a near fall. Nakamura recovered again and kicked at Crews, taking him down. Nakamura set up for a Kinshasa but Crews rolled to the apron. Azeez tried to get involved, but Boogs came around the corner and hit Azeez with a huge suplex on the outside. Back in the ring, Nakamura rolled Crews up for the win.
WINNER: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA in 8:00 to retain the Intercontinental Championship
(McDonald’s Analysis: I didn’t like the roll-up finish but the match was fine. I thought they would have this match at the PPV, but this worked for what it was. I stand by what I’ve said though. Limited moveset aside, Boogs is the star, not Nakamura. I wish Toni Storm had come out with them. Her and Boogs as a “couple” would be interesting.)
-McAfee danced on the table as Cole sent us to a video package recapping Roman Reigns’ participation on Raw on Monday night.
-Montez Ford was in the back with Kayla. Ford said he isn’t concerned for his match on Sunday. Ford said the Street Profits will win on Sunday and regain the Tag Team Championship. Kayla asked where Angelo Dawkins was. Ford said Dawkins is at a wedding, but he will be back. Ford said Reigns treats the Usos like bitches, not like part of his bloodline. Ford dropped the Street Profits catchphrase and walked off.
(McDonald’s Analysis: This is a glimpse into what Montez Ford could be and why I am so high on his potential. I want to see more of this.)
-Roman Reigns was in the back with Paul Heyman. Reigns asked Heyman what Ford just said. Heyman said Ford called “the greatest tag team of all time” the Usos, Bloodline bitches. Reigns said he wants a match with Ford tonight. Heyman reminded Reigns that he is defending in 48 hours against the “undefeated” Demon. Reigns didn’t seem impressed. Heyman said he would make it happen. Reigns cut him off and asked the “wise man” why he was still there. Heyman walked off as Reigns stared. [c]
-Back from break they showed pictures of Philadelphia. Heyman walked up to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville backstage. Pearce said he won’t tell Heyman where Lesnar will be drafted, again. Heyman asked for the match between Reigns and Ford. Pearce said they can make that happen. Heyman said that after the match, they can talk about the draft. Heyman walked off as Pearce questioned what he was talking about.
(McDonald’s Analysis: This is getting good. I like that Pearce said again, like Heyman has been badgering him.)
-Cole said Reigns doesn’t wrestle on Smackdown often, but we get to see him in action tonight. He then threw to a video package of Seth Rollins’ speech from last week.
-Rollins was in the back. He said he’s a patient man, but he’s waited seven days and hasn’t received a response from Edge. Rollins said the sound of Edge’s silence is deafening and tells him Edge is hurt, and hurt bad. He said Edge is afraid to admit that Rollins is the reason he won’t compete again. Rollins said that isn’t good enough. He said he wants an answer. Rollins said that next week Edge needs to come to Smackdown and tell everyone Rollins is not Edge-lite and that Rollins is better than Edge, and Rollins ended Edge’s career. Rollins said if Edge doesn’t he will find where he sleeps and beat the words out of him in front of his wife and children. Rollins snickered as they cut away.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Another strong promo from Rollins. The only downside to all this is that the payoff is likely going to happen at the Saudi show. I can’t think of another logical place to have the match if Edge isn’t showing up until next week. That’s really unfortunate.)
-Liv Morgan made her entrance to a solid pop. They showed a graphic for Carmella and Liv Morgan at Extreme Rules on Sunday. They then showed a graphic for Morgan vs. Zelina Vega, next. [c]
*Another draft commercial aired. I’m very excited for this. There are alot of wrestlers that have risen since the last draft. It will be interesting to see how WWE sl0ts them, and who they care about more than we know. And who they care about less for that matter.*
-Zelina Vega’s music hit and she made her entrance. Cole cut to a recap of the women’s tag team match from last week including the Carmella/Marcia Brady angle.
(2) LIV MORGAN vs. ZELINA VEGA
Morgan hit a huge drop kick on Vega and took her down. Carmella was sitting on the announce desk doing commentary. Morgan went after Vega in the corner but Vega recovered. Cole asked Carmella about Morgan’s following on social media. Vega was in control in the ring, but Morgan recovered and drove Vega into the middle turnbuckle. Carmella distracted Morgan, and Vega hit a big kick. Vega then hit a sunset bomb for the win.
WINNER: ZELINA VEGA in 3:00
(McDonald’s Analysis: That was garbage. The camera spent more time on Carmella at ringside than on the match in the ring. I like that we’re getting a Women’s Division feud that isn’t about the title, but this wasn’t really what I had in mind.)
-They cut to a “digital exclusive” of Happy Baron Corbin getting fitted for suits. Corbin said we should see what he brings to Happy Talk tonight on Smackdown. Corbin’s music hit in the arena and he made his entrance. Cole said Happy Talk with Happy Corbin is next on Smackdown. [c]
-Back from break they showed a graphic for Ford vs Reigns, tonight. Corbin was standing mid-ring with a hat rack, security ropes and plush chairs. Corbin said even the name of the show makes him happy. He said he’s so happy he wants to whistle a tune, which he did, poorly. Corbin said it’s different than every other talk show. He said it’s not like the Kevin Owens show where he breaks people down. He said this show makes everyone feel good. He said he wanted a guest who embodies happiness. He introduced his first guest, himself. Corbin ran down how rich he is and what he had for dinner after the chef found out he was coming. Corbin showed off his rolex and his new suit. The crowd chanted “we don’t care”. Corbin threw to a video of him attacking Kevin Owens last week. McAfee called Corbin a scumbag. Corbin said Owens is a former Universal champion and one of the toughest guys on the roster, and he took him out with ease. He said it brings him joy. Owens’ music hit and he made his entrance. As Owens came down the ramp, a man in a hoodie took him out. Hoodie guy laughed and punched at Owens as Owens tried to fight back. Corbin joined in and whipped Owens into the steps. The pair then double chokeslammed Owens on the steps. Corbin and the unknown man laughed at the downed Owens.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I’ll be honest, I don’t know who the guy with Corbin is. I also didn’t hear the announcers mention who he was, so maybe we’re not supposed to know? Anyway, this was fine. Owens will end up getting after Corbin and beating him. I would assume one of these guys is going to Raw and this is to kill time in between. With that said, you would think they would find something better to do with Owens with all of his buddies jumping ship.)
-Kayla was in the back with Ford. Kayla asked what Ford called the Usos and Ford sang Bloodline bitches. Kayla asked if he regretted saying it since he has to face to Reigns tonight. Ford said no, and he’s going to do what Ford does. He said he’s tired of hearing about the Bloodline and he’s going to show what he can do. He only wishes Dawkins was here to see it. Ford modified the tag line to “I want the smoke”.
-Back in the arena Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley made their entrance. I couldn’t tell if anyone cared about Nikki or not. Ripley seemed to get a decent reaction. [c]
-Back from break, Cole said there is breaking news. They showed a graphic of Edge with a tweet. They announced that Edge will be at Smackdown next week to confront Seth Rollins.
-Tamina and Natalya made their entrance.
(3) NIKKI A.S.H. (w/ RHEA RIPLEY) vs. NATALYA (w/ TAMINA)
Nikki took down Natalya down. Natalya battled back and whipped Nikki into the ropes, Nikki reversed and hit a low dropkick. Natalya recovered and went after Nikki. She drove Nikki into the corner and hit stomps to the stomach. She then hit a suplex for a near fall. Natalya put Nikki on the top rope but Nikki reversed, she looked to hook in a tornado DDT but Tamina jumped on the apron. Ripley came over and pulled Tamina down. In the ring, Natalya rolled up Nikki, but Nikki reversed it for the win.
WINNER: NIKKI A.S.H. in 2:00
(McDonald’s Analysis: So, I don’t get it. Are Shotzi and Nox heels here? Nevermind, they don’t know either. I wish I didn’t have to see Nikki on both shows, but oh well. This match was nothing, and didn’t matter.)
-Shotzi and Tegan Nox made their entrance on the tank and shot a “missile” at Ripley and Nikki who were in the ring celebrating.
-They cut to a recap of Dominik Mysterio and Sami Zayn from last week. Dominik and Rey Mysterio were in the back and Rey was showing Dominik a video on his phone. Dominik said Rey is suffocating him. Dominik told Rey that he nitpicks him too much. Dominik said Rey wants him to fly alone, but he’s always there. Dominik said he would have beat Zayn if Rey wasn’t there. Zayn showed up and told Dominik he has been improving. Zayn told Dominik to listen to his instincts and not to his Dad, Rey.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, I’m glad that Dominik stood up for himself, but I was hoping that wasn’t where this was going. The inclusion of Zayn at the end giving Dominik advice is a cool wrinkle though.)
-Back in the arena, Naomi made her entrance to a great reaction. They showed a recap of Naomi talking to Deville last week and dressing her down. Cole said “they” say Naomi isn’t scheduled to compete tonight, but she looks ready for action. Naomi entered the ring as they cut to break. [c]
-Naomi was in the ring with a mic. She said she came to Smackdown to compete, but Deville won’t put her in a match. She said she’s been disrespected and ignored and fined. Naomi said she’s had enough and she’s going to have a match tonight. Deville came out and said no, it’s not happening. Deville said she makes the matches, not Naomi. Naomi asked Deville to make a match between the two of them. Deville said she would slap the glow off of Naomi, but she’s no longer a competitor, she’s Naomi’s boss and a WWE official. Naomi said she isn’t a good one. Naomi asked her to make the match and the crowd chanted “make the match” along with her. Deville told someone to cut the mic and the crowd continued to chant. Deville told Naomi she has had countless chances and always lets everyone down. Deville called for security to escort Naomi out of the arena and she can “tik tok dance” out of here. Security escorted Naomi up the ramp, past Deville, and to the back.
(McDonald’s Analysis: This is VERY interesting. I can’t tell if they’re building to Deville returning to the ring or not. Either way, I really like this. I just hope that Reigns and the Bloodline interject themselves and remind Deville who really runs the show, and they should show Naomi respect, as she is a part of the Bloodline herself. One can only dream, but that’s the best possible way this can go in my book.)
-Reigns came out of his locker room in the back, with Heyman and the Usos in tow. The Usos bumped into Otis and Chad Gable. The two teams stared at each other and Jey Uso held up the tag title. They went back to the arena and Ford made his entrance to a solid pop. They showed the graphic for Reigns and Ford, next. [c]
-They showed a recap of Belair and Lynch from earlier. Afterwards, Lynch was in the back. She said Belair is the dumbest. Lynch said she’s been champion every active day she’s been in WWE since Wrestlemania 35. She said she’s not afraid of someone she beat in 26 seconds. Lynch said that she’s going to not only beat Belair, but break her.
-Ford was in the ring, he asked for Reigns. Then Roman Reigns’ music hit and he made his entrance. Reigns stood at the top of the ramp as Heyman handed him the Universal Championship. Reigns held it up for his pyro to go off. Ford was in the ring clapping. Reigns stared down Ford as he walked down to the ring. They ran down the card for Extreme Rules. Reigns stared down Ford in mid-ring and held up the championship.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I’m really excited that this match is kicking off at 9:37 PM. I really hope they use this time to see/show what Ford can do. Also, Cole mentioning that Reigns could go to Raw makes my stomach turn a little bit. I really don’t want that to happen.)
(4) ROMAN REIGNS (w/ PAUL HEYMAN) vs. MONTEZ FORD
Ford and Reigns locked up and Ford got a headlock. Reigns reversed into a headlock of his own. Ford sent Reigns into the ropes and Reigns shoulderblocked him down. Reigns went off the ropes and Ford hit his over and down spot before hitting Reigns with a dropkick. Reigns was rocked against the ropes and came at Ford, who hit another dropkick that sent Reigns to the floor as they cut to break. [c]
Back from break Reigns was in control of Ford. Reigns choked Ford with the middle rope. Reigns stalked Ford and sent him into the top turnbuckle head first. Reigns mounted him in the corner and hit a series of punches. Reigns then hit a running clothesline to take Ford down. Reigns raised the number one finger to boos. Reigns smothered Ford with a headlock. The crowd chanted “tribal chief”. Reigns picked up Ford and hit him with a series of clotheslines in the corner as they crowd counted along. Ford fought back and hit chops on Reigns. Reigns went for a kick to the gut but Reigns caught it. Ford hit an enzuiguiri and sent Reigns to the floor. Ford followed him out and went after Reigns. They made their way around the corner. Ford tried to jump off the announce table, but it crumpled beneath him. He improvised, and jumped off the steps to launch himself at Reigns. Back in the ring, Reigns recovered and took down Ford with a big lift. Ford rolled to the floor as they cut to break. [c]
Reigns was choking Ford with the top rope. Ford fought back and hit a big kick. He went to the top and hit a crossbody for a near fall. Ford kept after Reigns but missed a kick. Reigns watched Ford somersault, then Ford hit a standing blockbuster for a near fall. Ford went to the top and went for a splash. Reigns rolled out of the way, as Ford rolled on his landing. Reigns hit a standing Rock Bottom and got a near fall. Reigns stalked Ford and set him up for a Superman punch. Ford reversed into a DDT for a close near fall. Ford picked up Reigns but Reigns recovered and hit a big punch that rocked Ford. Ford sent Reigns into the ringpost and to the floor. Ford leaped over the top rope and hit a kick from the apron. He threw Reigns into the steps than back into the ring. Ford went to the top for the From the Heavens but Reigns got his knees up, locked in the guillotine and got the win.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS in 16:00
-Heyman entered the ring and told Reigns that wasn’t enough for Ford’s sins. Heyman told Reigns to show the Demon and Lesnar what happens when Reigns takes it to the extreme. Heyman asked the timekeeper to play the Usos music. The Usos made their entrance and entered the ring. Reigns directed the Usos to the outside and they handed Reigns a chair. Reigns attacked Ford with the chair repeatedly. Reigns hit the standing Rock Bottom on Ford through the table. The lights went out in the arena. Cole asked what was going on. A red light came on and smoke was billowing from the corner of the ring where Balor was already perched on the top. Balor jumped off on Reigns and the Usos taking them out. Balor went nuts and attacked Reigns. The show went off the air with Balor standing tall at the bottom of the ramp, bathed in the red light.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, I’m glad that Ford got to shine a little bit there. I still see the potential in him and even though he lost, he didn’t look like a goof, or get squashed here. That’s a good thing for his future and in turn, the future of WWE. The less people they ruin, the better chance there is of using them later. The match was pretty good. Nothing special, but above average for a TV main event. Balor coming out during the attack on Ford was expected, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Balor looked really strong here and I’m actually excited for this match, even though the outcome is very obvious. I think Cole mentioned that it will be an Extreme Rules match. I can’t believe they mention that in passing as opposed to hyping it. Considering when he said it, I can’t tell if he meant Reigns-Balor, Usos-Street Profits, or both.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: That was a solid show that did it’s job to build to the PPV on Sunday. This is clearly a lower-level PPV, but yet again, the Smackdown side of things looks very strong. Raw has next to no presence on this show and the top three matches are clearly from the Smackdown brand. Ford getting the rub tonight, along with the fact that they foreshadowed a Gable/Otis-Usos feud, makes me wonder if they’re going to split up the Street Profits in the draft. Maybe not, but it wouldn’t shock me. It’s hard to see a lot of the main stars of Smackdown going anywhere in the draft based on how this show went. Unless they move entire feuds (Edge-Rollins). This may be one of those drafts that has a lot of movement in the Women’s Divisions and mid-card, but not much in the main event scene. Boogs is the part of the Nakamura act that’s over. I wonder how much longer until they break up so they can go with Boogs. The inclusion of Toni Storm backstage was interesting. At least she’s on the show. Becky and Belair is going to be a great match at the PPV. That may end up being the best match on the show, which would go a long way in making up for last month. I assume Morgan will handle Carmella pretty easily, setting her up as the next challenger for Becky. Next week’s show will be a lot more newsworthy due to the draft, but this show accomplished what it needed to.