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Join 411’s Live WWE Smackdown Coverage

July 30, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE SmackDown

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Hello everyone, it’s Friday so here’s another episode of WWE Smackdown. Tonight the big rumor is that Sasha Banks will return, and presumably rekindle her feud with Bianca Belair. I’m not especially looking forward to that, the build to their WrestleMania match wasn’t exactly stellar, but the roster on the women’s side of Smackdown is still pretty thin (meanwhile over on RAW Poochie, I mean Charlotte, is keeping everyone down) so you do the best you can with what’s at your disposal I guess. Last week John Cena returned and challenged Roman Reigns for a match at Summerslam, but Roman declined citing Cena as a tired nostalgia act not worth his time and instead accepted a challenge from the recently returned Finn Balor. Balor defeated Roman back in 2016 on his way to becoming the first Universal champion so they have some history, and with Roman now carrying that particular title they might be able to play that up when they have their official contract signing tonight. One also wonders what role Cena will play in the proceedings. The tag team scene is still mostly a mess, with Montez Ford still not quite back from surgery, so Jimmy Uso will be taking on Rey Mysterio tonight to continue the feud between the two families over the tag team titles. Big E is still riding high after winning Money in the Bank but has yet to find his next feud, where he’ll lose because that’s historically what happens to every Money in the Bank winner. The Smackdown midcard is talented but sadly stagnant. Elsewhere Edge and Seth Rollins have begun their feud, and hard luck Baron Corbin has been shockingly engaging as a character so he’ll probably be around. Anyway, let’s get to the action.

We’re in Minneapolis, Minnesota tonight with a full crowd. And just like last week, here’s John Cena to get the show going. Sadly, no Paul Heyman singing his theme yet. OK, Cena wins by telling the camera “This doesn’t sound as good as the Paul Heyman remix, but it’ll do”. While Cena poses in the ring we get a recap of last week when Cena called out Roman and Roman equated Cena’s nostalgic act to repetitive sexual acts then told him to pound sand before accepting Finn Balor’s challenge. Back to live and Cena has a mic, he says if you can find someone who makes missionary position exciting for two decades to keep them in your life. He moves on to addressing the contract signing tonight, and puts over Balor as a worthy competitor but this proves that Roman absolutely sucks. Beyond all the passive aggressive false confidence Roman is just a scared little kid. Roman accepted Balor but rejected Cena, which Cena doesn’t object to because he’s used to rejection but calls into question the logic. He likens Roman asking him to change is like asking Stone Cold to come back as Sasquatch, or The Rock coming back as Dwayne “Too Small” Johnson. It’s ridiculous, because that’s not who those guys are, they allow you to do whatever you want and not beg for acknowledgement, and each time they try to earn the respect of the audience. Roman expected Cena to change because Roman has to change every 2 years because people stop caring about him, because you don’t believe in him because he doesn’t believe in himself, believe that. Roman is a lazy stooge named Joe who coasts by on every gimmick in the system, a weak product of the machine who’s afraid of failure. Cena wasn’t rejected because of how he looks, Roman rejected him because of how he’ll make Roman look. This brings out Baron Corbin of all people. Disheveled Corbin asks to talk to Cena, Cena says the crowd is chanting “you suck” but Cena doesn’t even know who he is. Oh, now Cena recognizes him and they both acknowledge Corbin looks horrible. Corbin knows he and Cena have never been close, but he’s desperate as his life is falling apart, he runs down his losses, the crowd has 0 sympathy. To top it off he took a groin shot last week and now he’s unable to perform. Because of that his wife left and took the kids with her. Corbin doesn’t know what to do, but he saw Cena the all time leader in granted wishes and hopes that Cena can help him out. Cena asks the crowd if they should help Corbin, pretty resounding No turns into almost 50/50 between yes and no. He hands Corbin the cash he’s got on him, Corbin objects since Cena is a star, and Corbin offers to work for Cena, put him in the Suicide Squad which allows Cena to get in a cheap plug. Corbin offers to be Cena’s stunt double in the sequel, Cena thinks that’s a reach. Corbin calls Cena a selfish, self absorbed tight wad with an ego the size of California, and calls him a Hollywood sell-out. Cena says this is a teachable moment, he’ll give Corbin something he desperately needs, and Attitude Adjustment. One Attitude Adjustment later and Cena heads out. Cena’s response promo to Roman was great, the Corbin stuff felt unnecessary.

We get a recap of the Usos and Mysterios matches from the last few weeks, then in the back we see Rey warming up. Dominik shows up and promises to keep an eye on Jey tonight. Rey’s proud of the competitor Dominik has become, but he’s got to step up if they want to regain the belts, then hints at having a few tricks still up his sleeve.

In the ring we get Jimmy making his way to the ring for the match with Rey. That will take place after this break.

Post break here’s Rey’s entrance.

Match #1: Jimmy Uso w/ Jey Uso vs. Dominik Mysterio w/ Rey Mysterio

They tie up, run the ropes and Jimmy lands a shoulder block. Another tie up, another rope sequence and Jimmy lands a super kick to the body of Rey. Rey with a tilt a whirl headscissors then a 10 punch in the corner and bulldog that connects. Jimmy hoists Rey onto his shoulders then drives him into the corner and starts working the neck area of Rey. Rey low bridges Jimmy, then misses his baseball slide to the floor and Jimmy lands a super kick to floor Rey and send us to break.

We come back to Rey fighting out of a side headlock. Rey rolls through a sunset flip attempt and lands a buzzsaw kick. Jimmy lands an enziguri as Rey was on the apron and both men are down now. They head up top for a superplex, but Rey is able to headbutt him off then hit a seated senton. Springboard crossbody from Rey gets 2. Jimmy avoids a corner splash and kicks Rey in the face, he tries a Samoan Drop but Rey counters into a 619 set up but Jey saves Jimmy. That sets up Rey for a corkscrew plancha onto the both of them then heads back into the ring. Another 619 attempt on the other side of the ring, Jey eats the 619 but the distraction allows Jimmy to try a Samoan Drop but Rey counters into a crucifix and Dominik with the added leverage to get the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Rey Mysterio won

Rating: 2.5 stars

Rey’s ability to keep going at his age and with his miles is nuts. This feud must continue for at least one more title match.

A recap of Belair’s title retention last week at Rolling Loud, which sets up Belair heading to the ring. Belair will address the fans post break.

Kayla is in the ring with Belair as we come back. Kayla asks Belair about defending her title and congratulates her on surpassing 100 days as champion. But what’s next? Belair says the last months have been amazing and runs down what she’s done during that time. She doesn’t know how she’ll top it, but she’s grateful, and here’s Carmella to interrupt things. Carmella disingenuously congratulates Belair, but if Belair wants to cement her legacy she should give one more shot to Carmella. This whole process is interrupted by Zelina Vega. Vega tells Carmella to slow her roll, insults her, then moves on to Belair. When it comes to Belair she thinks the fans want to see her against Vega. Vega, who hasn’t won a match since returning, calls herself the most deserving and challenges Belair. Belair accepts, Carmella with a cheap shot and they double team Belair for a bit. Sasha Banks is here, but misses her que just a bit. Anyway Banks cleans house with knees to Carmella and Vega, then pulls up Belair and hugs her. Sure, that’s a direction to take things I suppose. Belair’s promos are still a bit repetitive, and the revolving door style segment is tiring.

Up next a recap of Reginald getting dumped by Nia Jax but winning the 24/7 title. Reginald will defend the title against someone after this break.

We come back to the arena and Reginald in a suit is at gorilla. Kayla is here to interview him, apparently he’s going by Reggie now, he says he’d have done anything to get to WWE, helping any of the women he did included but now he saw a chance to take the 24/7 title and now he’s happy. Mostly he’s happy he’ll defend the belt in the ring, because he’s been getting a little paranoid. Whoever decides to challenge him should expect the unexpected, then he heads out.

Reggie’s opponent will be Chad Gable of the Alpha Academy,

Match #2 – 24/7 Title Match: (c) Reggie vs. Chad Gable w/ Otis

They don’t tell us if it’s Gable or Otis, or both. Otis is in the ring with a mic, he says it’s not me, it’s him. Otis then runs over Reggie with a shoulder block. Gable lays in strikes and hits a cross block to drop Reggie. Northern lights suplex from Gable gets 2. Reggie with a gymnastic routine then he goes all evasive before eating an Electric Chair drop then a Tiger suplex for another 2 count. They head up top, Reggie back flips out of a top rope German suplex then avoids a corner splash. Reggie with his front flip senton but Otis breaks up the pin to cause the DQ.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Reggie won via Disqualification

Rating: .5 stars

Reggie in the 24/7 scene works, Gable shouldn’t be wasting time with this.

In the back Sonya Deville tells us the main event tonight will be Carmella and Vega vs. Belair and Banks. Adam Pearce is double checking the contract between Roman and Balor, everything seems to be in order as we head to break.

Post break Sonya and Pearce are in the ring with a table for the contract signing. Sonya says we’ve all been waiting for this, yeah for all of one week. Pearce notes the history of contract signings, but they’ll get the deal inked. That brings out Finn Balor. Once Balor is in the ring they bring out Roman, who per usual takes his sweet time showing up. Eventually Roman and Heyman show up, Heyman carrying the belt. The usual series of Roman poses follow as he makes his way to the ring. When Roman finally makes it into the ring he sits at the head of the table because that’s where he belongs. Heyman making Pearce and Sonya move out of the way was wonderfully crappy. Pearce sets the contract down and invites both men to look it over one more time then sign. Heyman hands Roman a mic as the crowd chants for “Cena”. Roman says we’ve already seen Mr. Missionary tonight, then asks Balor if he saw the opening segment and recaps it for us. Cena thinks Balor is lesser than Cena based on what he said, and calls it a jerk thing to say. Roman however thinks Balor is worthy, worthy to challenge for the title and catch a beat down at Summerslam. He doesn’t think Balor is anything like Cena, he doesn’t have to reference other superstars who are a bit tired, Balor is hungry and Roman respects that. Because of that he warns Balor that if Balor signs this contract he’ll smash him and send him right back to NXT. Heyman drops the mic for Roman, which was another great moment. The fans chant “Roman sucks” as Roman signs the contract. Balor gets to talk, Roman thinks pretty highly of himself but it will be Balor’s privilege to return to NXT as Universal champion. Oh, here’s Baron Corbin from behind to jump Balor before Balor could sign. Corbin tosses Balor around, then takes the contract and goes to sign it while Roman just watches. Here’s Cena, because of course, Cena posts Corbin then signs the contract with a blue sharpie. Well that prolonged bait and switch later commentary is questioning the legality of that contract signing. Roman looks pissed, but mostly focuses on thinking through his new reality as we head to commercial. I object to the bait and switch nature of this, moving Balor into a feud with Corbin, and pretty much everything that wasn’t Roman and Heyman doing their usual character work.

In the back Heyman talks with Pearce and Sonya, asking what they’re going to do about Summerslam. He points out the questionable legality of this contract, Pearce sees the signatures of Roman and Cena and that’s good enough for him. Sonya ratifies it, she’s not a notary and can’t do that, and says Roman vs. Cena is official for Summerslam.

To the ring where we’ve got a 6 man match. Big E heads to the ring, they didn’t even give Cesaro an entrance, then Rick Boogs is here to intro and play on Nakamura.

Match #3 – Trios Match: Big E, Cesaro, and King Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, and Apollo Crews w/ Commander Azeez

The crowd singing Nakamura’s theme is still awesome. Big E and Crews start us off, Big E with a belly to belly suplex but Crews cuts off the spear between the ropes with a knee and tosses Big E out. On the floor Roode and Ziggler hit the Zig Zag and Spinebuster combination to send us to break.

We come back to Cesaro getting a hot tag and running wild on Ziggler and Roode. Cesaro wants a swing, he gets Ziggler and does in fact swing him while Dunn gives the audience vertigo/nausea with his cuts and zooms. Sharpshooter from Cesaro, Roode saves Ziggler but eats a punch for his effort. Nakamura tags in, double team knee to Ziggler for a near fall. Nakamura wants the Kinshasa but Ziggler counters into a Zig Zag/Sling Blade given the angle and both men are down. Crews tags in, hits a standing moonsault but Cesaro breaks up the pin. Spinebuster from Roode, and here’s the Parade of Finishers which concludes with Crews hitting a German suplex onto Nakamura for a near fall. Crews heads up top, but Boogs busts out a solo, Azeez attacks Boogs but Cesaro takes out Azeez, then eats a super kick. Nakamura avoids a splash, hits the Kinshasa and wins.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Cesaro, Big E, and Cesaro won

Rating: 1.5 stars

Well that was certainly a couple of segments, the layout killed any chance this had to be something worth watching. There’s talent in the midcard but boy is it stale and underused.

We get a recap of last week when Edge and Rollins brawled with Edge getting the better of things. Conveniently that leads into Edge heading to the ring. Edge is a good friend, he’s rocking a Rey and Dominik t-shirt, and he’ll be in the ring to talk after this break.

During the commercial break Rollins attacked Edge and now Rollins is the one in the ring with a mic. That beating culminated with Rollins whacking Edge with a TV camera. Rollins tells the crowd to shut up and listen to him. All Edge has done is take and take from him and he’s sick of it. What goes around comes around Edge, that’s why they call it a revolution and Rollins is a revolutionary. That leads to him setting up a video package highlighting Rollins getting passed over for the title shot and costing Edge the title at Money in the Bank. Back to live Rollins is not ashamed of anything he’s done, he’s proud of what he just saw and calls that the hard thing to do. A “We want Becky” chant breaks out. Rollins says if he can’t be Universal champion than neither will Edge. Not the strongest promo from Rollins, but he’s a consistent C+ or B- in that regard just rarely ever better.

We head to break, after this commercial we’ll get to the main event.

As we come back here’s a recap of how Cena heelishly got into the Summerslam main event. Seriously, Cena started the show talking about how Balor was deserving then just screwed him like that. Apparently next week Finn Balor and Baron Corbin will wrestle. Welcome back Balor I suppose.

In the ring Carmella and Zelina Vega are hanging out so the faces can get their full entrances. OK, what are the odds Banks turns on Belair to close the show?

Match #4 – Tag Team Match: Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks vs. Zelina Vega and Carmella

Carmella and Belair start us off. Belair with her low drop kick and tags in Banks, they double team Carmella with a shoulder block. Carmella avoids a scoop slam and yanks Banks down by the hair. Some back elbows from Carmella in the corner then tags in Vega. Belair in to save Banks from a double suplex, they hit a double drop kick then Banks with a running baseball slide. Belair then picks up Banks in a military press, and tosses Banks onto Carmella and Vega to send us to break.

We come back to Vega getting an Octopus Stretch on Belair. Carmella tags in and starts stomping down Belair. Belair fights back with a clothesline to Carmella, Vega tags in though and cuts off Belair from making a tag. Another Octopus Stretch from Vega, Belair fades, revives and hits a backbreaker to drop Vega. Banks gets the hot tag and runs wild, she wants the 3 Amigos on Vega and hits them then climbs up for the Frog Splash which she hits but Carmella breaks up the pin. Vega tags Carmella, Carmella with a tilt a whirl X-Factor but now Belair saves the match. Belair and Vega brawl on the outside, Banks counters an X-Factor into a Backstabber then the Bank Statement and Carmella taps out.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair won

Rating: 2 stars

Mediocre match, this almost felt more like an angle than a match. We’ve got enough time left on the broadcast for a Banks turn as Belair and Banks celebrate together. Yeah, there it is, Backstabber to Belair. Banks into full mount and unloads strikes, because we just needed another seizure inducing series of cuts from Dunn. Tornado DDT from Banks to Belair then a Bank Statement and Belair has to tap out giving Banks a visual win. Banks poses with the belt for a bit, then locks in another Bank Statement, I assume there have been a ton of timing errors this show because there have been a lot of very odd choices related to timing out the show. Anyway Banks is holding the Bank Statement as we end the show.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree