Welcome to the Smackdown Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Minneapolis. As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth report here.
We kick off the night with Promo Time with John Cena. Cena pushed the narrative that Roman was afraid to face him in the ring. Cena didn’t have to change because the consistency is what got him where he is. Roman had to change because the fans rejected him. Baron Corbin interrupted to continue his new gimmick. Cena offered to help but Corbin called Cena a Hollywood sellout, which was the line they wanted to get in and the whole point of this. Cena offers a teachable moment to Corbin with an Attitude Adjustment to end the segment. It was a good opener with Cena to set the tone for the evening.
The first match of the evening has Rey Mysterio taking on Jimmy Uso. We get a good match between the two. Rey still does amazing things for his age. The match was pretty back and forth before Rey hooked Jimmy in a crucifix pin. Dominik took a page out of the Uso’s playbook and used his feet to help Rey get leverage and pick up the three count, a la how the Usos won the tag titles. It was a nice payback win and pencil in a tag title rematch at SummerSlam.
Promo Time with Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair is next. We are celebrating her 100+ days as champion (it was at 110 on Friday). Carmella showed up and demanded another rematch so she can have the trifecta of losses. Her Tron says Mella is Money, but I want to know what exchange rate we are using. Zelina Vega shows up wanting a title match as well. Bianca wants new competition so Carmella attacks and Vega joins in. At this point, all of the cameramen go into epileptic seizures all at the same time and this is really hard to watch. Thank God Sasha Banks returns to save the cameramen and Bianca. Hey, did we forget about Liv Morgan? Teddy Long approved the tag match for the main event.
Reginald/Reggie gets lost and appears to defend his 24/7 title against anyone. Alpha Academy shows up and Chad Gable is the opponent instead of Otis. Good choice too as Gable was keeping up with Reggie bouncing around like Tigger. Otis attacks Reggie and we get our first 24/7 title match ending in a DQ. I never knew this was a thing. Anyway, since Fox has higher standards, Reggie gets to leave without being attacked by the 24/7 Job Squad. Please stay on Raw.
The SummerSlam contract signing is up next between Roman Reigns and Finn Balor. Roman denies dodging Cena before signing the contract. Balor said he was ready to go back to NXT as Universal Champion when Baron Corbin randomly attacks Balor. Corbin tosses Balor aside and gets ready to sign the contract when John Cena returns to take him out. Cena signs the contact and hands it to Adam Pierce before leaving. Pierce said that there are two signed names so we have an official match for SummerSlam. Well, that was a different way to get to the Cena/Roman title match. I just feel bad for Balor having to help the Corbin gimmick along as a consolation prize for right now. I’m sure the Balor/Roman feud is planned for the fall because who else is there?
Fox makes up for cheating us out of the six-man tag last week with King Nakamura, Big E, and Cesaro taking on Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, and Apollo Crews. The match was pretty good but suffered from a lack of time since it was under ten minutes. Nakamura pinned Crews to pick up the win so that right there is our next IC title feud, maybe for SummerSlam. It’s possible we get a title change as well.
Promo Time with Edge is next after the break but Seth Rollins is in the ring instead of Edge when we come back from break. A replay shows us that Rollins took Edge out to move their SummerSlam feud along. The crowd chanted “We want Becky!” Don’t we all, maybe at SummerSlam. Someday soon.
Main event time with Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks teaming up to take on Carmella and Zelina Vega. The match was pretty much paint by numbers here just to put Sasha over in her first match back since WrestleMania. Banks made Carmella tap out to the Banks Statement. Since there was still plenty of time left before the hard stop, Banks pulls off the heel turn tonight to shock Belair and most of the fans in attendance. Belair taps to the Banks Statement as the show goes off the air to make the SummerSlam match all but official.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
Great to see Sasha Banks back in the ring. The WrestleMania rematch at SummerSlam should be as good as their WrestleMania match. Could we see a title change? I’m not sure. Smackdown is really lacking on the face side for a heel Sasha. Bianca and Liv are the only faces that come to mind unless they pull Shotzi and Nox out of the tag division while Natalya is out.
The six-man tag match was good, but should have been given more time. Push Cesaro.
Can we make the 24/7 title Raw exclusive? Smackdown has less time to insert stupid filler like that than Raw does.
Poor Finn Balor has to fight Baron Corbin now instead of Roman Reigns.
That’s all I’ve got, until next time.