Date: September 10, 2021
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Commentators: Pat McAfee, Michael Cole
This is going to be a special one as WWE is not only back in the Garden but it is twenty years since the September 11 attacks minus one day. They have a stacked show too with the return of Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins vs. Edge and more. I’m curious to see how this goes so let’s get to it.
We open with a video on the September 11 attacks, including how everyone has tried to rebuild. This includes some clips from the September 13, 2001 Smackdown, though thankfully some other stuff is included.
Here is the Bloodline to get things going. Roman says WWE runs sports entertainment in New York. He runs WWE, so therefore, he runs New York City and Madison Square Garden. Therefore, MSG should acknowledge him. That leads to quite the cheering….and here is Brock Lesnar to interrupt. The Usos immediately get between Reigns and Lesnar, as Paul Heyman asks why Lesnar needs to go after the Universal Title. He could do….and then Lesnar grabs the mic.
Lesnar asks why Heyman didn’t tell Reigns he would be at Summerslam and the crowd’s YOU F’D UP chant has to be censored. Reigns glares at Heyman, takes the title and leaves with the Usos. Lesnar does his bouncing dance and Heyman does the old Lesnar introduction. Lesnar says that was great, but wants Heyman to accept his challenge to Reigns before Lesnar kills him.
That would be the challenge for the Universal Title, and Lesnar gives him five seconds. The F5 is loaded up but Reigns makes the save with the Superman Punch. Superkicks from the Usos don’t do much good and the Usos are destroyed as Reigns leaves with Heyman. This was another amazing segment and I was eating up every second of it.
Post break, the Bloodline goes into Reigns’ dressing room but Heyman is cut off and asked about Lesnar’s challenge. Heyman doesn’t like the question at this time and says Reigns will answer the challenge when he deems fit.
King Nakamura/Rick Boogs/Big E./Rey Mysterio/Dominick Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn/Apollo Crews/Bobby Roode/Dolph Ziggler/Otis
Before the match, Sami Zayn, in a New York Knicks jersey, brings out someone who actually knows how to win in Madison Square Garden: Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks (who is NOT popular around here). Nakamura clears the ring to start and nearly goes after Young as Otis runs over Nakamura inside. The corner splash crushes Nakamura and we take a break. Back with the parade of secondary finishers until Young gets in some choking on Rey from the floor. That’s enough for an ejection and it’s a double 619 to Zayn. The Big Ending finishes Zayn at 7:24.
Rating: C-. It was energetic while it lasted but we barely got to see half of it due to the break. That being said, this was about getting a bunch of people on the show at once and there is nothing wrong with that plan. Young was a great bonus heel moment and the whole thing was entertaining while it lasted.
Post match Big E. talks about how great the team was, just like the New York Knicks. You know what is next for him, and he holds up the briefcase. It doesn’t matter who it is, because if you have what he needs, he’s coming for your neck. It might be tonight or it might be when he shows up on Raw next week. You’ll feel his power. This was serious Big E. and that’s a good thing.
Some charities who have helped with the fallout of September 11 are here.
It’s time for a contract signing for Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch (not here yet) at Extreme Rules. Belair looks at the contract, but first talks about how she can’t believe she is here. She respects Lynch for being a new mom and a champion but she can’t believe Lynch ran from a fight. Lynch keeps talking about that 26 seconds at Summerslam because Lynch knows what happens when they’re in the ring in a real match. We’ll find that out at Extreme Rules and Belair signs.
Cue Becky, in a big red coat and sunglasses to amp up the heel look. Becky says she knew she had Esther’s number at Summerslam when she saw Belair’s face as her music hit. Belair can be the Man or she can be a fan and there is nothing wrong with sitting out there with the regular people. She’s going to give Belair a rematch and maybe she would have beaten her in twenty seconds here in MSG. So what if she doesn’t sign the contract. Adam Pearce: “What do you mean if you don’t sign it?” Belair: “SIGN THE D*** CONTRACT!”
The fans chant SIGN IT and Becky is confused. She sat at home and heard them chant WE WANT BECKY and she came back at the last second but this is how you treat her? She left her baby girl at home and now they’re picking a flash in the pan over her? Well if you can’t join them, beat them, and there’s the signing. Becky throws the contract at Belair and leaves. Becky is getting the heel stuff to work, but the “Belair gets a fair match” stuff isn’t exactly accurate. She had one at Summerslam and lost. Stop acting like she was some kind of a victim.
Video on Edge vs. Seth Rollins.
Paul Heyman is on the phone with someone when he passes Shotzi and Nox, who offer him a ride on the tank. They leave and Kayla Braxton pops up (Heyman: “WHAT???”) to ask if there is an update on Brock Lesnar’s challenge. Reigns will watch the Usos vs. the Street Profits and then answer the challenge. Heyman goes to leave and bumps into Big E. with the briefcase. Heyman and Braxton are gold together.
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
McAfee gets in a good line by saying “this is a Sunday fight on a Friday.” Edge headlocks him over to start but Rollins is back up with a dropkick to the knee. That makes Edge think twice about things but he’s fine enough to block the Downward Spiral into the corner. Rollins sends him into the post though and then snaps the throat across the top to send Edge outside. A big flip dive connects for Rollins as we take a break.
Back with Rollins punching Edge against the barricade and taking him back inside to work on the knee again. Rollins busts out the Glam Slam and then does it again for two. That’s not enough so Rollins tries the Edgecution but Edge slips out. The Pedigree is blocked as well so Edge hits Rollins with it instead. Edge sends him outside and hits a dive to take us to a break. Back with Edge getting two off a full nelson slam and going up top.
Rollins runs the corner but the superplex is countered with a shove back down. The Edgecator goes on but Rollins rolls him into the corner for the break. Rollins pulls him into a Crossface attempt but Edge reverses into one of his own. The smashing of the head into the mat (how he won at Summerslam) sends Rollins to the rope and Edge is getting frustrated.
The spear is countered into a swinging neckbreaker but Rollins’ Stomp is countered into a sitout powerbomb for two. Rollins is back up with a buckle bomb but Edge hits a desperation spear for a very close two. Edge takes him into the corner, allowing Rollins to in a low blow. A superkick puts Edge down on his knees and a basement superkick knocks him sillier. Rollins asks why Edge won’t die and then hits another superkick, setting up the Stomp for the pin at 24:32.
Rating: B+. This was definitely the big match feel and the way to write Edge off of TV, likely for the rest of the year. Rollins getting his win back is a good thing and I’m glad they didn’t wait for months to let it happen. They had some great drama here as I don’t think Edge was expected to win again. That left the question of how do you get to Rollins’ win and it worked out well. I rather liked this and it felt like it belonged on an important stage.
Post match Edge is taken out on a stretcher and after a break, we see him taken to the ambulance with Rey Mysterio walking next to him. Commentary talks about what just happened and how serious the neck injury is until we see the ambulance leave. Rollins is standing nearby but doesn’t know how he feels. His arm hurts, but other than that is is very stoic and doesn’t really answer anything.
Roman Reigns gives the Usos a pep talk before they go out to defend their titles. Reigns tells Paul Heyman that he saved him and wants to know how Heyman didn’t tell him about Brock Lesnar at Summerslam.
Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Street Profits
The Usos are defending and they start fast by sending the Profits outside. The big dive drops Dawkins and we take a very early break. Back with Dawkins shouldering Jimmy down for two but getting hit in the face. Jimmy knocks Dawkins down for two more but misses a jumping legdrop. That’s enough to bring Ford back in for a huge no hands dive onto both Usos. Cue Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman to watch as we take another break.
Back again with Dawkins grabbing a swinging neckbreaker and handing it back to Ford for the house cleaning. Ford loses a shoe and throws it out but hits a one shoed running Blockbuster for two. A Doomsday Blockbuster gets two and Dawkins is stunned at the kickout. Back up and Dawkins’ running leapfrog over Jey lands in a superkick from Jimmy. Ford pulls Jey outside, leaving Jimmy to get rolled up for two. The kickout sends Dawkins into a superkick though and the Superfly Splash connects for two more. Dawkins is back up to plant Jimmy and Ford adds the twisting frog splash, which draws in Reigns for the DQ at 15:20.
Rating: B-. This was another high energy match but the two commercials didn’t exactly make this much better. What we got was good enough though, even with the screwy ending. Reigns getting so frustrated that he comes in for the save worked out well enough, as he has a lot going on. I’m just not sure who else is around to challenge the Usos at the moment and that’s a problem.
Post match Reigns says he’ll take Brock Lesnar on once he gets done with Finn Balor. Cue Balor….meaning the Demon. Thankfully Michael Cole is right there to walk us through the idea of the Demon because it’s that complicated to understand. The Demon stares Reigns down to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. I love it when WWE is in the Garden because the arena itself becomes a huge part of the show. You can tell that they are trying for something special in this building and it worked out again here. Edge vs. Rollins was great, the Heyman stuff was greater, and they threw in a surprise (kind of) at the end it the Demon’s appearance. Extreme Rules is shaping up nicely, assuming you don’t mind a lack of anything extreme so far. Good show this week, as Smackdown tends to be most of the time.
King Nakamura/Big E./Rick Boogs/Rey Mysterio/Dominick Mysterio b. Otis/Bobby Roode/Dolph Ziggler/Sami Zayn/Apollo Crews – Big Ending to Zayn
Seth Rollins b. Edge – Stomp
Street Profits b. Usos via DQ when Roman Reigns interfered
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