Smackdown – July 30, 2021

Smackdown
Date: July 30, 2021
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee

We’re less than a month away from Summerslam and things have been getting interesting around here again. Last week, John Cena challenged Roman Reigns for Summerslam. That was a no, but Finn Balor issued his own challenge and got a yes. There is no word on when that takes place, but it should be pretty soon. Let’s get to it.

Here is John Cena to get things going. We look at a recap of last week with Reigns, Cena and Balor, complete with Reigns’ missionary position line. Cena: “If you can find someone who can keep missionary position interesting for two decades, keep them in your life. It’s going to be worth it, I promise.” Cena talks about how he isn’t going to change anything and it wouldn’t make sense. Steve Austin wouldn’t come back as Sasquatch Steve Houston, or the Rock wouldn’t come back as Too Small Johnson.

Cena: “Roman Reigns has to change every two years because if he doesn’t, people stop caring about him.” Reigns is a guy named Joe, who gets by on every gimmick and is too scared to fail. He refused to fight Cena because of how Cena looks, but it’s really because of how Cena makes him look.

Cue Baron Corbin, but Cena doesn’t even recognize him. Cena: “DUDE! YOU LOOK….” Corbin: “Horrible, I know.” Corbin talks about everything that has gone wrong with him, and now he has had his identity stolen. On top of that, he has suffered an injury to a personal area and can’t perform. His wife took the kids and left, but maybe Cena can help him.

Cena asks the fans if he should help him, and Cena hands him some cash. Corbin: “THAT’S IT???” Corbin asks for a part in the Suicide Squad, but Cena says it’s already wrapped. Cena: “It come out next Friday. Make sure you go see it!” Corbin begs some more so Cena gives him the AA. Cena was feeling it here with the mixture of comedy and bombs on Reigns. The Corbin stuff is still great too, though how much more can happen to him?

We look at the Usos taking the Tag Team Titles from the Mysterios.

Dominik Mysterio tells Rey Mysterio he’ll have his back tonight. Rey says keep an eye on him and another eye on the Usos. They have to step it up to get the titles back.

Rey Mysterio vs. Jimmy Uso

Dominik and Jey Uso are here too. Rey sends him into the corner to start and hammers away, setting up the bulldog for two. Jimmy is sent outside but avoids the dive, setting up the superkick to drop Rey. We take a break and come back with Rey kicking Jimmy in the head for a breather. Rey gets sent to the apron and an enziguri drops him again. Back up and Jimmy is sent outside, setting up the slingshot corkscrew dive to take out both Usos. Rey tries the 619 but Jimmy catches him in the fireman’s carry. That’s reversed into a crucifix, with Dominik adding the assist for the pin at 7:58.

Rating: C-. Quick match here to get the Mysterios some momentum to get them ready for their next title match. It makes sense to have Dominik do something like that at the end too, as you can only have him doing the same stuff for so long. It wasn’t a great match or even close to one, but it did what it was supposed to do.

We look back at Bianca Belair retaining the Women’s Title over Carmella at the Rolling Loud festival last week. Even McAfee has to acknowledge how the fans didn’t care.

Here is Bianca Belair for a chat. She is so proud of her 111 day Women’s Title reign and now she is happy to be back in front of these people. Belair can’t wait to see what the next 100 days have….and here is Carmella to cut her off. Carmella thinks she should get another shot because the lighting at Rolling Loud was messing her up.

Cue Zelina Vega to say Carmella is too pretty to be a three time loser. Vega gets in Belair’s face to say the people want to see a rising star get a chance. Belair accepts the challenge but Carmella jumps her from behind. Cue the returning Sasha Banks (not for the first time since Wrestlemania McAfee) for the save and a big hug to Belair. That’s probably Summerslam.

Video on Reginald winning the 24/7 Title.

Reginald talks about doing whatever he needs to do to retain the title. He has been looking everywhere for someone coming after him, even getting a camera on his shopping cart. The title is on the line tonight and while he doesn’t know who is challenging him, they should expect the unexpected.

24/7 Title: Reginald vs. Chad Gable

Gable, with Otis, is challenging and Otis jumps Reginald before the bell. A bridging northern lights suplex gets two on Reginald but he bounces around to avoid the chops. Instead, Gable tiger suplexes him for two but Reginald flips out of a German superplex. Gable is set into the corner to set up the running flipping seated senton, drawing Otis in for the DQ at 1:38.

Post match Reginald is thrown outside but sticks the landing to escape.

Sonya Deville announces Carmella/Zelina Vega vs. Sasha Banks/Bianca Belair for tonight.

It’s time for the contract signing between Roman Reigns and Finn Balor for Summerslam. Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce are in charge, with Pearce saying he knows the fighting is coming. Balor and Reigns, with Heyman, come out, with Reigns insisting on sitting at the head of the table. Pearce asks Reigns to sign, but Reign gets cut off by the CENA chants. Reigns: “We’ve already seen Mr. Missionary tonight.” Reigns asks if Balor heard Cena’s opening promo tonight, because Reigns thought it was Cena saying he was better than Balor. Cena has to use old material while Balor is fresh and new.

Reigns signs, but promises to send Balor back to NXT. Balor says he can’t wait to go back to NXT as Universal Champion again. Balor goes to sign but here is Baron Corbin to jump him from behind. The beating is on and Balor is left laying. Corbin grabs the contract but here is Cena to take Corbin out before he can sign. Cena signs the contract with a blue Sharpie (McAfee: “THAT SIGNATURE IS AWESOME!”). Cole and McAfee question the legality of signing a contract like this as Reigns seethes.

Post break, Paul Heyman asks what Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville are going to do about Summerslam because that contract situation doesn’t work. They look at the contract, which says Summerslam and has Reigns and Cena’s signatures. That’s good enough for them, so the match is on.

Big E./Shinsuke Nakamura/Cesaro vs. Apollo Crews/Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode

Commander Azeez is here with the villains. Rick Boogs handles the intro and McAfee dances as usual. Crews sends Big E. outside in a hurry and it’s a spinebuster/Zig Zag combination to send us to an early break. Back with Big E. getting over for the hot tag to Cesaro, who Swings Ziggler in a hurry. The Sharpshooter is broken up so Nakamura comes in to kick Ziggler down for two.

Kinshasa is countered with a Sling Blade but Ziggler can’t cover. He can however bring in Crews for a standing moonsault to Nakamura. Everything breaks down and we hit the parade of secondary finishers. Azeez tries to interfere but Boogs distracts him with the guitar. The distraction is enough for Nakamura to Kinshasa Crwes for the pin at 6:45.

Rating: C. This was a bunch of people not getting a ton of time, but it probably sets up (at least one of) Crews’ next challenger for the title. A big multiman match of some sort wouldn’t surprise me, and at least in this case they have set part of it up. At least they got to the point here without wasting a lot of time, so this could have been a lot worse.

We look at Edge brawling with Seth Rollins last week.

Here is Edge for a chat….but it’s Rollins in the ring when we come back from a break. Rollins attacked Edge during the break, including a camera shot to the face. Rollins rants about how he had to do that and throws us to a video on his history with Edge. He should be the Universal Champion, but if he can’t be, neither can Edge.

We recap the contract signing.

Next week: Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin.

Sasha Banks/Bianca Belair vs. Carmella/Zelina Vega

Belair and Carmella start fast by running Carmella over. Carmella gets in a few shots on Banks in the corner as everything breaks down. They all head outside with Belair gorilla pressing Banks, climbing onto the steps, and then throwing her onto the other two. We take a break and come back with Belair fighting out of a full nelson but getting slammed down anyway.

Carmella stomps away in the corner and Vega cuts off another hot tag attempt. Vega’s Black Widow is broken up in a hurry and the hot tag brings in Banks. House is cleaned, including Three Amigos to Vega. The frog splash gets two with Carmella making the save. Carmella’s X Factor is countered into the Bank Statement for the tap at 8:42.

Rating: C. Just a quick match to get Banks back in the ring with a win. I’m not sure I buy the idea that Banks is going to be Belair’s new best friend, but that is one of the two default stories for women in WWE these days. Hopefully this gets rid of Carmella from the title picture for the time being, as that has been done for a while now.

Belair and Banks celebrate after the match….until Banks jumps her. The beating is on and the Bank Statement makes Belair tap. Banks picks up the title and then puts the Bank Statement on again to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. The wrestling was ok for the most part but the angles were what mattered here. You have Cena vs. Reigns made official, Edge vs. Rollins all but official, and Banks returning to set up her rematch. This was the heavy lifting show that Summerslam has been needing and now we should have most of the Smackdown half set. The matches look good too, so hopefully they can live up to the hype.

Results
Rey Mysterio b. Jimmy Uso – Crucifix with assist from Dominik Mysterio
Reginald b. Chad Gable via DQ when Otis interfered
Big E./Shinsuke Nakamura/Cesaro b. Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode/Apollo Crews – Kinshasa to Crews
Sasha Banks/Bianca Belair b. Carmella/Zelina Vega – Bank Statement to Carmella

 

 

 

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