Date: August 6, 2021
Location: Amale Arena, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
With just over two weeks to go before Summerslam, things are starting to come together. The big story last week was the return of Sasha Banks, who teamed with and then attacked Bianca Belair in the span of about an hour. There are still a lot of things to cover for the pay per view and odds are we’ll get some of that this week. Let’s get to it.
Here is Sasha Banks to get things going. She talks about how she attacked Bianca Belair last week and we see a video about the return and beatdown. Banks says that Belair wouldn’t exist without her because she is the best of all time. Cue Belair to say Banks is one of the greatest every but she isn’t the reason Belair if here. If Banks wants the title at Summerslam, come get it. Cue Zelina Vega with a challenge of her own, meaning Banks can mock Belair a bit from the announcers’ table. That’s fine with Belair, who will fight Vega tonight and Banks at Summerslam.
Rey Mysterio tells Dominik Mysterio to keep calm with the aggression because they have their title shot. Dominik is cool with that.
Jey Uso vs. Dominik Mysterio
The other Uso and Mysterio are here too. Dominik slugs away in the corner to start and adds a dropkick. The springboard wristdrag takes Jey down but he’s back up to hit Dominik in the face. Dominik gets knocked outside but manages to jump back in for a dropkick through the ropes. The sliding sunset bomb sends Jey into the barricade and we take a break. Back with Dominik fighting back, including a dropkick to send him face first into the corner. The 619 connects and Rey takes out Jimmy, only to have Jey come back with the superkick. The Superfly Splash finishes Dominik off at 8:29.
Rating: C-. Nothing much to this one but the Usos taking the Mysterios down again isn’t that much of a stretch. They have their upcoming match at Summerslam but I don’t know if there is much doubt about who is leaving with the titles. It’s kind of nice to have them not build up false drama and it’s fun to see Dominik get kicked in the face.
We recap Seth Rollins attacking Edge last week because Edge got the Universal Title shot.
Edge is asked about what Rollins did last week. Edge: “Seth Rollins. What a rotten selfish b******.” He’s ready to meet Rollins tonight to show what a rotten selfish b****** he can be.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Apollo Crews
Non-title with Rick Boogs and Commander Azeez at ringside. Crews shoulders him down to start so Nakamura kicks him in the face. A jumping knee gives Nakamura two so Crews slams him for the same. That doesn’t do much to Nakamura, who hits a running knee to the ribs in the corner for two. Something like a GTS sets up another kick to Crews’ head but Azeez breaks up the cover for the DQ at 2:10.
Nakamura kicks Azeez to the floor.
Long recap of last week’s Finn Balor/Roman Reigns contract signing, with Baron Corbin trying to steal the title shot but getting taken out by John Cena….who stole the contract instead, because that’s how contracts work.
Paul Heyman (Heyman: “WHAT??? WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT DO YOU WANT???”) is asked about the contract signing last week. He talks about how John Cena is living off of Roman Reigns’ fame and asks what would happen if he jumped Tom Brady and signed his Tampa Bay “Schmucaneers” contract. That wouldn’t get Heyman $75 million because that’s not how contracts work. Heyman isn’t in the mood to talk about this but here’s a very laughing Big E. with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Heyman leaves, looking rather concerned.
Nox vs. Tamina
Tamina has both Tag Team Title belts here and Shotzi is in Nox’s corner. Nox hammers away in the corner to start but Tamina knocks her straight back down. The Samoan drop is loaded up but Shotzi fires the tank for a distraction, allowing Nox to grab a rollup pin at 1:43.
Zelina Vega is told that her Women’s Title match has been downgraded to a Contender’s Match so she can earn the title shot. That’s fine with Vega because she knows she can beat both Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks.
Here is Edge for a chat. Edge is glad that Seth Rollins isn’t here because he doesn’t want to get arrested. To be fair though, Edge probably would have hit him in the face with a camera just like Rollins did because they’re very similar. Edge will show him that when he gets the chance and this will be finished. Rollins pops up on screen to say that they are alike and everyone should have a Plan B. Edge has a Plan B and throws out the Summerslam challenge. That gets a laugh from Rollins, who wants to know what happens when he stomps on a neck that has been fixed three times.
How can Edge take care of his family when that happens? Edge freaks out over that, calling Rollins a cross between Russell Brand, a televangelist and Colonel Sanders (Rollins: “Hallelujah!”). Edge talks about how Rollins should have finished the job in 2014 (they might want to show that a time or two if they are going to keep referencing it). Rollins wants to follow in his footsteps but can’t fill Edge’s boots. That’s too far for Rollins, who accepts the challenge. They were going to get there somehow and this worked as well as anything else.
A ticked off Finn Balor isn’t happy with Baron Corbin costing him a Summerslam Universal Title shot. Corbin can be dealt with tonight, but then Balor has a bone to pick with John Cena.
Street Profits vs. Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler
Montez Ford snapmares Roode down to start but has to bail out of a standing moonsault. The standing dropkick has Roode in trouble but Ford goes after Ziggler, allowing Roode to snap off a spinebuster. Ziggler comes in with a running kick to the face into Roode’s Russian legsweep for two on Ford. A shot to the face lets Ford get over for the tag to Angelo Dawkins but Ziggler Fameassers him down for two. Dawkins is right back with the Anointment though and the Cash Out finishes for Ford at 3:40.
Rating: C. Just a welcome back match for the Street Profits and that was fine. It isn’t like Roode and Ziggler are going to be hurt by a loss so letting the Street Profits get some momentum back makes sense. The Street Profits vs. the Usos would be fine for a fall title program and getting the team reheated is a good way to start.
Bianca Belair vs. Zelina Vega
Non-title. Belair goes right after her to start but gets rolled up for a fast two. Vega gets sent to the apron but grabs Belair by the hair to take over. That doesn’t seem to bother Belair, who gorilla presses Vega but here is Sasha Banks for a distraction. Vega slips out and takes Belair down as we take a break.
Back with Belair fighting out of a chinlock but Vega sends her hard into the corner. The choke goes on so Belair drives her into the corner as well for a break. Belair suplexes her down but a delayed suplex is countered into a DDT. With Belair on the floor, Vega tries a hurricanrana from the apron, only to get pulled out of the air and swung into the apron. Back in and the KOD finishes Vega at 9:50.
Rating: C. Vega got in some offense here but ultimately this was never going to be in a ton of doubt. I’m curious to see how Banks vs. Belair goes and that is the right kind of feeling as we come into a match like this. If they can live up to the hype, things are going to go rather well. Vega worked hard here but was in over her head. The problem is I’m not sure how that can change, but a lot of the skill is there.
Roman Reigns says he is interested in Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin.
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
Corbin has lost his music but hold on though as he has something to say. He offers Balor an apology for last week but gets punched in the face as Balor DOES NOT accept. Corbin knocks him into the corner and punches at the ribs but gets taken down again in a hurry. There’s the Sling Blade to drop Corbin and the shotgun dropkick puts him into the corner. The Coup de Grace gives Balor the pin at 2:46.
Post match Balor says he wants the Universal Title match with Roman Reigns and if he has to go through John Cena to get there, name the place and the time. Cue Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman to interrupt though and, after a break, they get in the ring for a chat. Reigns talks about how he was trying to give Balor an opportunity, so keep the Head of the Table’s name out of your mouth.
Reigns drops the mic and goes to leave but gets shoved out to the floor. The fight is teased (with the fans chanting for Cena) but here are the Usos to jump Balor from behind. The Superfly Splash misses though and Balor fights back, drawing Reigns back in for the brawl. Balor takes Reigns down but the Usos lay him out. Reigns guillotines Balor for the tap to end the show. Odds are Balor, perhaps as the Demon, is the fall challenger and there is time to rehab him on the way there.
Overall Rating: B-. All in all, this was a solid show with matches being made for Summerslam, good talking and nothing bad. That last part is what often sets Smackdown apart, as they are a pretty steady two hours most weeks. That’s a pretty good place to be and it makes Friday such an easy night of wrestling. It’s not a great show, but it was good enough and I’ll certainly take it at this point.
Jey Uso b. Dominik Mysterio – Superfly Splash
Shinsuke Nakamura b. Apollo Crews via DQ when Commander Azeez interfered
Nox b. Tamina – Rollup
Street Profits b. Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler – Cash Out to Ziggler
Bianca Belair b. Zelina Vega – KOD
Finn Balor b. Baron Corbin – Coup de Grace
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