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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 9.10.21

September 10, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Finn Balor WWE Smackdown
8.1
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 9.10.21  

Hey there everyone, welcome to another episode of WWE Smackdown. The big story tonight is the return of Brock Lesnar as he’ll be in the building and will confront Universal champion Roman Reigns in some capacity. WWE also teased the return of Demon King for Balor last week after Balor lost his title match with Reigns, but we’ll have to wait and see how that plays out. We’ve also got a contract signing between Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair for Lynch’s title, and if Sasha Banks is going to make a return after her sudden absence this would be the time and place to do it. The big match for tonight should be the rematch between Seth Rollins and Edge, Rollins “injured” Cesaro last week to make sure he’s off TV for as long as possible because Vince hates the Swiss (I don’t know that, but I’m running out of reasons for Cesaro’s booking) and logically Rollins wins here to set up their rubber match in some gimmick match at Extreme Rules. Extreme Rules is coming up rather quickly too, so any other angles that need advancement better get into gear. I imagine the Street Profits and Usos in a tag team title match is a given at this point, though we’re still not sure what’s up with King Shinsuke Nakamra as he’s holding the Intercontinental belt, though last week Toni Storm showed back up and intimated she might join him and Rick Boogs in some capacity. Naomi might show up and ask for a match, and get shot down by management, and there’s a decent chance Nataly and Tamina remind us they exist. Well with that out of the way, let’s get to the action.

We open with a video package commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11. A surprisingly restrained bit of business here, WWE didn’t do the usual self congratulatory thing. That sends us to Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York to play host for this evening. Michael Cole is here, but Pat McAfee is back. We open with Roman Reigns, he’s accompanied by Paul Heyman and the Usos. Oh, commentary tells us that Finn Balor will get another Universal title match at Extreme Rules, because Brock only works big events. I’m not annoyed, Roman and Balor showed off some good chemistry last week so I’m curious what they can do together on PPV. We’re also getting a tag team title match tonight when the champion Usos defend against the Street Profits. Roman does get into the ring eventually and gets a mic from Heyman. The crowd is closer to 50/50 tonight in terms of positive reaction to Roman. Roman reminds everyone that WWE runs New York City, and since Roman runs WWE by extension he runs New York City (He’d probably be better than De Blasio) and demands that MSG acknowledge him. The crowd responds with a rather vocal “Roman” chant, but that’s cut off by the music of Brock Lesnar. And here comes Brock. Roman and Brock go face to face right away, then the Usos flank Roman and Heyman moves to talk with Brock. Heyman asks why of all the belts he could go after why the Universal. Brock takes the mic from Heyman, and instead asks Heyman why he didn’t tell Roman that Brock was going to be at Summerslam. Roman looks over at Heyamn and seems curious about that himself. Heyman pleads ignorance again, Roman takes his belt from Heyman’s arms, stares him down and just walks out of the ring. The Usos follow suit. Heyman tries to save this, saying he was the advocate for Brock Lesnar for years and going into his usual Brock introduction. This pleases Brock, but Brock just thanks him for that and tells him to accept his challenge for Roman before Roman fires Heyman. Brock wants a shot at the Universal title, Heyman tries to hem and haw, Brock gives him 5 seconds. Heyman doesn’t answer, and Brock sets to F5 Heyman but Roman is back and Superman punches Brock to save Heyman. The Usos in too, but they get a double clothesline from Brock, Brock the Germans both of the Usos and stands tall as Roman looks just a little scared for the first time in a long time. Heyman is leaving with Roman. Decent stuff here, the spark between Brock and Roman is real but the stuff about Heyman’s loyalty needs to be resolved rather quickly.

In the back Big E, Boogs, Nakamura, Rey and Dominik Mysterio run into Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez, Robert Roode, Dolph Ziggler, and I think Sami Zayn run into each other. There will be a 10 man tag team match after this break.

Post break the Bloodline run into Kayla in the back, and just walk away from her into Roman’s locker room. She asks Heyman about Brock’s challenge, Heyman talks circles for a bit, but says Roman will answer the challenge when Roman deems it appropriate to do so and not before.

Back to the ring, here’s Sami Zayn doing the talking for the heel group, he loves New York and has arranged for someone who knows how to win in MSG to be in their corner. Then he brings out member of the Atlanta Hawks Trae Young. The crowd hates this man, but he’ll be ringside as the match gets going.

Match #1: Big E, Rick Boogs, Shinsuke Nakamura, Rey Mysterio, and Dominik Mysterio vs. Apollo Crews, Otis, Robert Roode, Dolph Ziggler, and Sami Zayn w/ Chad Gable, Commander Azeez, and Trae Young

Things break down almost immediately, Nakamura winds up outside the ring laying in kicks but gets knocked off the apron by Otis. Nakamura gets back in the ring and Otis starts working him over. Avalanche from Otis in the corner, and that sends us to break.

We come back to Nakamura and Sami working in the ring. Nakamura lands some kicks, then tags in Rey. Rey runs wild and hits a Code Red on Sami but Crews breaks up the pin. Dominik in, and Boogs and it’s time for “Everyone to get their Shit in”. That all concludes with Sami tripping Rey and slowing things down. The ref sees Young choking Rey and ejects him from ringside. Dominik is able to hang up Sami, Dominik tags in and both Mysterio’s hit 619s, then Big E with the Big Ending to Sami and pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: The Good Guys won

Rating: 1.5 stars

Felt like a cheap excuse to get more people on the card, the match barely existed.

Big E in the ring with Kayla now and he’s interviewed. He plays with the crowd for a bit, then Kayla asks him about the briefcase and what’s next. He says this might not be the last time we see him out here tonight, Big E doesn’t care if it’s Bobby Lashley or Roman Reigns he’s coming for your neck if you have what he needs. Big E can do the fire and brimstone promo style quite well, he should bust that out more often and dial back the goofy stuff.

Bianca Belair is here, she skips to the ring for the contract signing which will be up after this break.

Belair is still dancing as we come back, she’s been joined by Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville and there’s a table as well. Belair takes a mic, and says she respects Becky Lynch as a competitor but she used to respect that Becky would never run from a fight but things have changed now. She thinks Becky brings up how short their match was because she knows if they had a real match it would be different, and she doesn’t respect Becky as much anymore. But at Extreme Rules Becky can win back some of that respect while Belair wins back her title. Belair signs, and here comes Becky Lynch. Becky sits, takes a mic, and calls herself the original WrestleMania main eventer. She knew she had Belair’s number at Summerslam when she saw Belair’s face, Belair was star struck, and you can either be a fan or be The Man. Given that Belair was literally in tears on the way to the ring at WrestleMania that’s a fair observation. Becky says maybe she would have beaten Belair in 20 seconds tonight, but now we’ll never know. She asks what’ll happen if she doesn’t sign the bout agreement. Everyone else in the ring tell her to do so, but no one actually has an answer about consequences. Belair does get a “Sign it” chant going. Becky objects to this, she was sitting at home listening to these people chant “We want Becky” she came back last minute to save everyone’s ass and is now treated like this? She left her baby girl at home for these people and they’re supporting a flash in the pan over her? Becky fumes for a minutes, then promises she’ll beat Belair the same way at Extreme Rules then signs the contract and heads out. Doing the ungrateful fan thing is a decent angle for Becky to take if she wants to try and do the heel thing.

We get a video highlight for Seth Rollins and Edge, then Edge heads to the ring. His match with Rollins will be up after the break.

Heyman is walking around the back on his phone. Shotzi and Nox roll up on their tank, offer him a ride, then drive off allowing Kayla to jump scare Heyman. She asks about Roman accepting Brock’s challenge, Heyman says Roman is focused on the Usos defending their titles and will address Brock at the end of the show. Whether that’s a yes or a no, well who doesn’t love a cliff hanger. Heyman turns around into Big E, who just holds up the briefcase then does the laughing thing.

Back to the ring, Edge is rocking pink and black gear that feels like a Hart homage. Here comes Rollins.

Match #2: Edge vs. Seth Rollins

Pretty loud “Edge” chant as they stare at each other. Edge goes after the arm of Rollins, but Rollins rolls through and yanks the arm of Edge. Another tie up, Edge gets a side headlock takeover and starts working the hold on the mat. Rollins escapes, they hit the ropes and Rollins with a drop kick to the knee of Edge. This seems to have Edge a little confused as he’s trying to figure out Rollins’ strategy. Edge with a school boy for 2 then lays in right hands. Edge avoids a Flatliner into the turnbuckles, then drop toe holds Rollins into the buckles. Rollins then gets posted and Edge is after his arm but they wind up on the floor fighting. Back into the ring but Edge snaps Rollins over the top rope then lays in kicks but runs into a knee from Rollins. Rollins heads up top, thinks better of that and just knees Edge out of the ring. Suicide dive from Rollins to the floor as we head to break.

We come back to Rollins tossing Edge into the barricades at ringside. Back into the ring, Rollins hits a springboard flying knee for a 2 count. Rollins goes after the arm of Edge again then hits a Dragon Screw leg whip. Now Rollins goes after the leg, the lack of focus might cost him. Edge fights off another leg whip attempt, but misses an enziguri and Rollins with a very awkward Glam Slam. Rollins decides to try it again, this one goes off well enough but only gets a 2 count. Rollins wants the Edge-ecution but they trade counters leading to Edge hitting the Pedigree for a near fall. The crowd bit on that near fall pretty hard. Edge heads up top as Rollins is on the floor, the crowd gives Edge a “You still got it” chant as Edge dives onto Rollins to send us to another commercial break.

Edge hits a full nelson slam as we come back but that only gets 2. Edge heads up top slowly, Rollins cuts him off with the superplex but Edge counters with a facebuster then locks in the Edge-ucation submission hold. Rollins scrambles and is able to get free, he tries the Crossface on Edge but Edge avoids it then gets one of his own. Edge cranks on the hold, switches to the Imanari choke then bounces Rollins off the mat a few times but Rollins has moved to the ropes and forces the break. Edge looks to have snapped, hits the Edge-ecution DDT and sets for the Spear. Rollins counters the Spear with a neckbreaker, Rollins wants the Stomp but Edge counters with a sit out powerbomb for a 2 count. The counter game from both men is strong in this one. Edge sets Rollins on the top rope and heads up there with him. Rollins slips free, gets Edge and hits a Buckle Bomb. Rollins wants the Stomp, but runs into a Spear though Edge takes too long to cover and only gets a 2 count. Both men on their knees, Edge lays in rights, the Rollins hits a kick as they stand. More strikes from Rollins, Edge counters a neckbreaker, the ref gets nearly bumped which means she doesn’t see the low blow from Rollins. Rollins with a few kicks, then a super kick. Another super kick from Rollins and Edge crumples to the mat. Rollins wants the Stomp again, but Edge sits up as Rollins screams at him and lands another super kick. Still Edge wont stay down, this time Rollins hits the Stomp and stands over the fallen Edge. A slow motion cover from Rollins but he pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Seth Rollins won

Rating: 4 stars

Not as good as their Summerslam match, but I’m OK giving it 4 even though I think it’s a big generous. They told a great story about counters from both men, combined with Edge ultimately being too tough for his own good. Post match the EMTs are here to see to the fallen Edge as we head to break.

We come back to Edge being stretchered into an ambulance. Back to commentary, Cole has his “this is serious” voice on to sell what just happened. A video recap of the ending of the match then we see Edge getting taken out of the ring. Pearce and Deville see Rollins, Rollins gets asked if he knows what he just did, he plays dumb. He doesn’t know how he’s supposed to feel, he just doesn’t know and maybe doesn’t feel anything at all.

Roman paces in his locker room, Jimmy and Jey are here. Roman gives them a pep talk, and tells them they’re not losing tonight. Jimmy and Jey will make the family proud. Roman tells Heyman he saved him, and asks why he kept him in the dark about Brock. Heyman has no answer as we head to break.

We come back to the Street Profits making their entrance.

Match #3 – Tag Team Title Match: (c) The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)

Ford and Jimmy start us off. Ford with a drop kick for a cover, then he cheap shots Jey but Jimmy knocks him off the apron and hits a suicide dive to send us to break. That’s a very odd decision layout wise.

We come back to Jimmy taking a shoulder block from Dawkins. Jimmy fights back with a right hand then Jey tags in and they start working to isolate Dawkins. Dawkins runs the ropes and hits a drop kick to Jey. Some arm work from Dawkins but he runs into a back elbow from Jey. Jimmy tags in and they hit a Wishbone splitter for a 2 count. Quick tags from the Usos now as they work over Dawkins. Dawkins avoids a leg drop and clotheslines Jey out of the ring, then Jimmy follows, Ford tags in and hits a dive onto both of them. That leads to Roman and Heyman heading down to the ringside area as we head to break again.

Roman is standing at the base of the entrance ramp as we come back. In the ring Dawkins avoids a Samoan drop with a double underhook neckbreaker. Both men tag out and Ford runs wild for a bit before losing a shoe kicking Jey. Jimmy eats a super kick then a running Blockbuster for a 2 count. They start trading rights, Dawkins tags in and they set for a Doomsday Blockbuster which they hit but Jimmy kicks out. Feels like Jey should have had to save there, that’s not really a thing you should kick out of. Dawkins eats a headbutt and Jey tags in. Jey lands a super kick for a 2 count. Jimmy tags in, Ford and Jey brawl on the floor but Jey is able to super kick Dawkins, Jimmy super kicks Dawkins then tags Jey who hits an Uso Splash for a 2 count. Everyone bit on that near fall. Roman is looking a little nervous now. Jey gets punched down, both men tag out and Jimmy tries to splash Dawkins but Dawkins gets his knees up and Ford is able to hit From the Heavens to Jimmy and Roman has to get involved to end the mathc.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Street Profits won via Disqualification

Rating: 3 stars

The commercial breaks really hurt the flow of the match, but the action itself was quite good and did a good job of teasing what these teams could do on a bigger stage.

Roman chokes out Ford as Jimmy and Jey abuse Dawkins on the outside. Roman gets a mic and says he ducks now man, if Brock Lesnar wants it he’s going to get it. As soon as Roman is done with Finn Balor he’ll deal with Brock. That leads to the Demon Balor music, with some really nice visuals. Yeah, here comes the Demon. Balor and Roman go face to face for a stare down as the episode ends.

8.1
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
This was easily the best episode of Smackdown in a long time. The opening bit between Roman and Brock was a very effective teaser, and the main event was a good match somewhat hampered by commercial breaks. The 10 man match was just an excuse to get bodies on the card, but the real show here was Edge vs. Seth Rollins. Rollins and Edge have some great chemistry, and while this wasn't quite as good as their Summerslam match it was the best match on free TV in a really long time. Hopefully this is an indicator of things to come and not an anomalous spike in quality.
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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree