Smackdown – July 9, 2021

Smackdown
Date: July 9, 2021
Location: Yuengling Center, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee

It’s the final Smackdown at the ThunderDome and that is a long time in the making. The big story coming into this week is Bayley blowing out her knee at the Performance Center, meaning she will be lucky to make it back to Wrestlemania. Other than that, it is time to see who else is in the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Roman Reigns vs. Edge.

Jimmy Uso tries to go into Reigns’ locker room but Paul Heyman stops him like one of Tampa’s finest. Reigns has something special planned for Jimmy for later.

Opening sequence.

Here are Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns for a chat. After a long canned ROMAN SUCKS chant, Reigns talks about how he does not like Edge suggesting that he is in Reigns’ head. Reigns might have been a bit scared at Wrestlemania when he was in the crossface but then he stacked them and pinned them. They even printed a shirt up about it! Two weeks ago, Edge got to Reigns because he wasn’t focused. Reigns has some family stuff going on so let’s deal with that right now.

Cue Jimmy Uso, to say he tried to take care of Edge last week when Reigns was on vacation. Reigns asks when Jimmy got to make some decisions for them, but last week wasn’t a vacation. This brings out Jey Uso, to say Reigns needs to keep his head up while the brothers win the Tag Team Titles again. Reigns says Jey hears what he wants to hear it but Reigns wants all three of them to succeed. They need to do it together though and everyone hugs.

Baron Corbin talks about how he needs to win tonight because he has lost everything, from his crown to his car and maybe even his house. He has won Money in the Bank before and he can do it again.

Long video on Corbin losing everything to Nakamura.

Earlier today, Nakamura and Rick Boogs arrived in Corbin’s old Mercedes, which they bought at an auction.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: King Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin

Big E. (in a Bayley shirt) is on commentary, with his feet soaking of course. Corbin can’t handle Nakamura’s entrance and jumps him in the aisle as we take a break before the match. Joined in progress with Corbin hammering away but Nakamura sends him into the corner for the running knee to the ribs. The sliding knee gives Nakamura two but Corbin is right back with a half crab.

That’s broken up and they head outside, with Corbin dropping him onto the announcers’ table as we take a break. Back with Corbin grabbing Deep Six for two but Nakamura grabs a triangle choke. Corbin reaches the rope for the break but Kinshasa is cut off with a hard clothesline. Back up and Nakamura kicks him down, setting up Kinshasa for the pin at 10:59.

Rating: C-. Now just stop it with these matches already. They have proven their point and there is no reason to see them fight again for a VERY long time. This is something like their sixth or seventh match in less than three months. How much more do you need to prove between these two? Corbin can continue his downward spiral with someone else, but this is done.

The Usos make amends.

Here are Natalya and Tamina to answer a challenge from some new team in a non-title match.

Tegan Nox/Shotzi Blackheart vs. Natalya/Tamina

Non-title and it might be Shotzi/Nox (in the tank of course), because the name shortening might have already started. Nox takes Natalya down to start and it’s off to Shotzi for an assisted cannonball. Tamina comes in to kick Shotzi down and knocks Nox off the apron. Nox comes in sans tag as everything breaks down. Tamina is sent outside but Natalya drops Nox as well. Shotzi hits a running clothesline to Natalya, setting up the Ball Pit for the pin at 3:18.

Rating: D+. Well that happened. The team debuted, they beat the boring champions, and now we are likely getting a rematch next week. Maybe they will actually switch the titles, but for some reason WWE likes having Natalya and Tamina hold onto the things as the interest continues to sink further and further. Let us have a spark for a change, but I’m not sure I can imagine that happening.

Edge is ready to call out Roman Reigns later tonight.

Here is Sonya Deville to announce Bayley’s replacement at Money in the Bank. First though, we see a clip from the injured Bayley, blaming the fans for everything that happened and saying whoever replaces her isn’t as good. Deville says that Bianca Belair will not be defending the Women’s Title at Money in the Bank, but rather next week in Houston. Her opponent will be……Carmella, who comes out to brag about how gorgeous she is.

Cue Liv Morgan to snap about how Deville is playing favorites with the choice, but Deville says Morgan is getting Carmella’s spot in Money in the Bank. That’s enough for Morgan so here is Bianca Belair to replace her. Belair isn’t sure if Bayley is telling the truth about her injury but Belair will be waiting to finish this when Bayley gets back. As for Carmella, she better be ready for next week.

Paul Heyman tells Roman Reigns what Edge said, including that Edge questioned Reigns’ manhood. Reigns is not pleased.

Toni Storm is coming. Dang they are raiding the NXT women’s division.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins

Kevin Owens is on commentary. Cesaro suplexes him down to start and then takes it to the mat with ease. A high crossbody gets two on Rollins but the threat of the Neutralizer sends him outside for a bit of a fit. Rollins wrecks most of the announcers’ table to a deadpan reply from Owens.

We take a break and come back with Cesaro in trouble as Owens continues to not be impressed. Rollins sends him hard into the steps and takes it back inside to drop a knee for two. We hit the chinlock to stay on the neck, followed by a kick to the back of the head for two. Cesaro fights up again and hits the reverse Angle Slam for two before going up top. Rollins catches him on top and tries the superplex into the Falcon Arrow but Cesaro reverses into a crash down to the floor.

We take another break and come back with Cesaro not being able to get the Sharpshooter but pulling Rollins out of the corner instead (with the turnbuckle pad coming off in the process). The Neutralizer is countered into a hurricanrana into the exposed buckle for two, followed by a rollup with a grab of the rope for the same.

Rollins blasts him with a shot to the back of the head for two more and Cesaro is busted open. Cesaro is sent outside with Rollins ramming him into various things. That isn’t enough for the countout so Rollins hits a DDT onto the ramp for nine with Cesaro diving in to beat the count. The Stomp is countered into a rollup for two but Rollins kicks him in the face. The uppercut staggers Rollins, who is right back with the Stomp for the pin at 18:20.

Rating: B. I can’t say I’m not disappointed by Cesaro coming up short again but I also can’t say I’m a bit surprised. Cesaro got his big moment at Wrestlemania but that’s about as far as he is going to go. Rollins being reheated makes sense as he has a history with Reigns for a big match down the line so that all makes sense. It is still a bit deflating, but you have to expect that with anything involving Cesaro.

The Usos go a-Edge hunting but don’t knock on his dressing room door so they can catch him by surprise. Post break, Jimmy goes through the door like a stop sign but there is no Edge.

Seth Rollins is VERY excited about beating Zazzaro but isn’t surprised because he is on another level. Rollins talks about his history with Reigns and promises to win, but Edge pops up behind him. Edge promises to call out Reigns right now and sneers at Rollins.

Chad Gable brags about Otis being a human wrecking ball. Otis, in a normal voice, promises to destroy anyone.

Here is Edge to promise to destroy anyone who gets in his way. We see Edge crossfacing Roman Reigns and Jimmy Uso, and now he wants Reigns out here right now. In the locker room, Reigns says he has this covered and wants the Usos to stay here (hopefully leaving the keys with Paul Heyman). Reigns comes to the ring but the Usos follow him out. That isn’t happening though as Reigns says he has this before slowly getting in the ring.

The fight is on but here are the returning Mysterios to jump the Usos. Edge loads up the spear but Jey grabs his leg. Rey breaks that up and the Mysterios hit a double 619 to the Usos. The spear drops Jey as Roman leaves like he should be doing. Edge breaks off a piece of chair to crossface Jey and then does the same to Jimmy, holding his arm in place for at least the second time this week. Jey gets it again as Reigns walks off to end the show. This Edge feud continues to not be good, but that is kind of the case with everything Edge does outside of the ring these days.

Overall Rating: C. This was all about shaking things up a bit before we REALLY get back to normal next week. There were debuts, a tease of another debut, a pair of returns to end the show and a long main event level match as well. It’s no classic as a lot of the action wasn’t great, but they did enough to keep me interested for the future. Jimmy Uso still being around is weird, but maybe they’ll do something about him sooner rather than later. At least I hope they do.

Results
King Nakamura b. Baron Corbin – Kinshasa
Tegan Nox/Shotzi Blackheart b. Natalya/Tamina – Ball Pit to Natalya
Seth Rollins b. Cesaro – Stomp

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