By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,137)
Live from Tampa, Florida at Yuengling Center
Aired June 4, 2021 on Fox
[Hour One] WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman made their entrance. The broadcast team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee checked in on commentary. Reigns said he wasn’t happy last week about Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso going for the tag titles.
Reigns said he had a week to think about it and he’s changed his mind. Reigns said everything revolves around him and he’s a giver. Reigns said he wanted to be clear. He told Jimmy that if he says he’s going to win, he better win. Reigns said he didn’t want to waste more time because he has a lot on his plate. Reigns called for his cousins, which led to Heyman barking at production people.
Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso made their entrance. Jey acknowledged Reigns as the tribal chief. Reigns told Jimmy that it was his turn to acknowledge him. Jimmy said he thought he did when Reigns choked out him and his cousin at Hell in a Cell. Jimmy said they would get the tag titles and Jey agreed with his brother.
“Well, good luck,” Reigns said. “You called the shot. I get that. I do that. But then I get the job done, so if you say you’re going to win, make sure you win. And remember, you know this, our whole family is watching. Get the job done and bring me the titles when it’s over.”
Jimmy said the seven-time champions were coming soon. Reigns and Heyman left the ring. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance. Cole hyped the Smackdown Tag Title match for after the break… A SummerSlam ad aired… [C]
Powell’s POV: No pressure, Jimmy. This was a good table setting segment to open the show. The fallout from the Usos winning or losing the match is compelling.
1. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso for the Smackdown Tag Titles. Cole acknowledged that 50 years and one day ago, Crazy Luke Graham and Tarzan Tyler became the first ever WWWF Tag Team Champions. He also said this was the first time that the Usos had been in a match against Rey Mysterio.
Dom powerbombed Rey onto Jimmy, which led to an early two count. Reigns and Heyman were shown watching the match from Roman’s dressing room. The match spilled to ringside where Jey dropped Rey on the barricade, then rolled him back inside the ring and tagged in his brother. Rey rallied and performed slide under the bottom rope, but Jey caught him and performed a Samoan Drop onto the broadcast table, which did not break. [C]
Late in the match, Dom set up for a 619, but Jimmy cut him off with a superkick. Jimmy went up top and went for a splash, but Dom put his knees up. Dom hooked Jimmy into a pin and got the three count.
Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio defeated Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso in 14:25 to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.
Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso immediately protested to the referee because Jimmy got a shoulder up. The broadcast team watched the highlights and agreed that it was a bad call, but the referee was shielded from seeing Jimmy get his shoulder up.
Roman Reigns was shown seething backstage while watching the match. “Bring them to me now,” Reigns told Heyman, who rushed out of the room to follow through with his marching orders. Meanwhile, the Usos were still upset in the ring…
A shot aired of Kayla Braxton and Seth Rollins setting up for an interview. Footage aired of Rollins delivering a Stomp to Cesaro two weeks ago… [C]
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match with a finish that protects the Usos from everything other than the wrath of Reigns.
Backstage, Jimmy and Jey were in Reigns’ dressing room. Jimmy tried to explain that the referee made a bad call. Reigns told him that he didn’t want to hear it. Reigns said he called his shot and lost to a child. Reigns said he wanted the mistake fixed tonight.
Reigns said he wanted the Usos to understand his position. He said they are six-time tag team champions who made the WrestleMania show only once. Reigns said that in less than a year with him, Jey was able to close the show and walk out with his head held high.
Reigns looked at Jey and asked, “Do you understand my position, Jimmy?” Jey called Reigns on the mistake. Reigns laughed and asked if it really matters given the way that things are going…
Powell’s POV: More great heel antics from Reigns directed at his cousins.
Footage aired of Rollins attacking Cesaro and then Braxton interviewed Rollins. Seth said he doesn’t owe her or the fans anything, including answers to her leading questions. Braxton said everyone knows that Cesaro refuses to give up or back down. She asked what would happen once he returns. Rollins removed his microphone and tossed it at Braxton and then laughed…
Backstage, “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins were talking when Chad Gable interrupted them. Gable said he’s been analyzing their careers and profits were down. He said they need his professional management and pointed to what he’s done for Otis. The Profits passed and laughed at Gable, who got upset…
Carmella made her entrance for a match against Liv Morgan. A pre-taped promo aired with Carmella labeling herself the most beautiful woman in all of WWE… [C] The broadcast team touted Ozzy Osbourne’s “Straight To Hell” as the official theme of the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view…
Backstage, the Usos brought their complaint about the match finish to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. The authority figures said they would discuss the situation. Jimmy wanted assurance that they would get a ruling tonight…
Liv Morgan made her entrance. A pre-taped promo aired. Morgan said Carmella thinks she’s a ten, but she sees her as a seven. She said she would give her a makeover with a boot to her face…
2. Liv Morgan vs. Carmella. Morgan ran Carmella into the barricade a couple of times during the first minute of the match. Morgan slammed Carmella’s face onto the apron multiple times and then rolled her back inside the ring. Carmella kicked Morgan’s knee and took offensive control.
Morgan pulled Carmella’s back onto her boots, then kicked her so that she went face first into the corner. Carmella caught back applied her Code of Silence finisher and got the submission win.
Carmella defeated Liv Morgan in 2:30.
After the match, Carmella called over ring announcer Greg Hamilton, who then introduced her as the winner and the most beautiful woman in WWE…
Powell’s POV: I thought this might be the coming out party for Morgan as a singles wrestler now that WWE released her tag team partner Ruby Riott. Instead, it turned out to be a showcase for Carmella. If nothing else, at least there was a little mystery regarding out the outcome.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair was shown walking backstage. A graphic listed that Belair would challenge Bayley… An ad for Raw hyped Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre signing a contract for the WWE Championship match at Hell in a Cell, plus Shayna Baszler on Alexa Bliss’s playground… [C]
Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio were about to leave the venue when Pearce and Deville stopped them. Pearce and Deville said they reviewed the footage multiple times and the referee made a mistake. Pearce informed them that they would have to defend the tag titles again later in the show. The Mysterios simply agreed without protest…
Powell’s POV: While I like that we’re getting the match tonight, remember this the next fifty times when they book a bad finish and do the rematch a week later (see Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston on last week’s Raw as the most recent example).
Cole and McAfee recapped the footage of the match finish to show that Jimmy’s shoulder was up…
[Hour Two] Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance for an in-ring promo. Belair said she thought Bayley would have realized that the fans were laughing at her rather than with her. Belair admitted that Bayley’s laugh was getting to her.
Belair said Bayley isn’t the first person to try her. She said people have been trying to keep her down since she was three feet fall. She said some told her that she was a showoff or called her mannish because she was muscular and athletic. She said she left all those people in the dust when she won trophy after trophy and championship after championship.
Belair said she’s been through a lot, but she’s never had anyone laugh in her face. She said it’s disrespect and she’s not standing for it. Belair challenged Bayley to a match at Hell in a Cell and said she would be the one laughing.
Bayley laughed and appeared on the big screen from what she called her sanctuary (a room with a couch and a bunch of Bayley photos on the wall). Bayley accepted the challenge and said she wouldn’t be the only one laughing. Bayley laughed obnoxiously and her image replaced the fans on the ThunderDome walls…
The Street Profits were standing backstage when Otis paced in front of them. Otis said Chad Gable tried to help them and they mocked him. Otis said they need to apologize. Montez Ford said they don’t owe anyone an apology. He added that Gable was holding back Otis. Ford and Dawkins suggested that he check out of The Academy. Otis attacked the Profits and left them lying… [C]
Cole hyped the Smackdown Tag Title rematch for later in the show…
King Corbin was in the ring… A video package recapped Corbin’s feud with Shinsuke Nakamura… Rick Boogs came out with his guitar, introduced Nakamura, and played him to the ring…
3. Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Rick Boogs) vs. King Corbin. McAfee was standing on his desk freaking out over Nakamura and Boogs when the bell rang to start the match. Nakamura went for an armbar, but Corbin broke it by reaching the ropes.
Corbin rolled to the floor and clotheslined Boogs. Back inside the ring, Nakamura performed a slam for a two count. Corbin ducked a kick and then pulled Nakamura down and held his belt while getting the pin.
King Corbin beat Shinsuke Nakamura in 1:55.
After the match, Corbin took the crown back, but Boogs tripped him. Nakamura kicked Corbin, then picked up the crown and put it back on his head. Boogs played Nakamura to the back…
Powell’s POV: This is fine for a mid-card feud, but they need to put some real heat on Corbin soon.
McAfee played air guitar, then sat down while Cole set up a video package on Apollo Crews and Kevin Owens…
Kevin Owens was shown walking backstage. Commander Azeez attacked Owens and ran a production crate into him. Azeez set up for the Nigerian Nail, but several producers and referees stepped in. Apollo Crews showed up and laughed… [C]
4. Apollo Crews vs. Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship. Commander Azeez was banned from ringside. Crews was dominant to start while Owens sold the Azeez beatdown from earlier. Crews performed a suplex on the floor heading into a break. [C]
Owens battled back and performed a Swanton, but Crews put his knees up. Crews got a near fall. Crews went for a top rope frogsplash, but Owens avoided it. Owens superkicked Crews twice and then performed a Popup Powerbomb for a near fall.
Owens went up top, but Crews cut him off and gave him a Death Valley Driver onto the ring apron. Crews rolled Owens back inside the ring and pinned him.
Apollo Crews defeated Kevin Owens in 12:00 for the Intercontinental Championship.
After the match, Commander Azeez came out and celebrated with Crews on the stage. Sami Zayn ran past them, entered the ring, and gave Owens a Helluva Kick. Zayn barked that Owens is already hurt and that’s what he did to him. Zayn said he didn’t just kick Owens, karma kicked Owens. Zayn kicked Owens again and then left the ring. “I didn’t do anything, karma did it,” Zayn said…
Powell’s POV: Owens was protected by being attacked by Azeez prior to the match. The Zayn attack left me wondering if this was it for Crews vs. Owens. While a Triple Threat is always an option, they might be going back to Crews vs. Big E again now that Big E’s dance partner Aleister Black has been released from his deal.
Backstage, Angelo Dawkins said Otis better mind his own business. Montez Ford delivered a mellow version of the “we want the smoke” line to close… The Usos were shown pumping each other up in the backstage area… [C]
Cole announced The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy for next week’s Smackdown. He also hyped the Profits and Kevin Owens as the guests for Saturday’s Talking Smack…
5. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso for the Smackdown Tag Titles. The entrances for both teams were televised. Jey suplexed Dom, who rolled to ringside. Jey performed a suicide dive on Dom roughly 90 seconds into the match. [C]
A “WWE Is Coming Home” video aired and touted that new cities will be announced next Friday. In the ring, the Usos isolated Dom. Rey eventually checked in. Jey ran at him at ringside, but Rey avoided it and Jey ran into the ring post. Back inside the ring, Rey performed a 619 on Jimmy. Rey tagged in Dom, who went up top slowly. Roman Reigns appeared and hit Dom with a Superman Punch for the DQ finish.
Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio beat Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso by DQ in 8:20 to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.
Reigns barked about cleaning up the Usos’ mess. Reigns took out Rey and tossed him to ringside while Paul Heyman stood at ringside holding the WWE Championship. Roman followed to the floor and slammed Dom’s head into the ring steps, then ran Rey into barricade. Reigns picked up Dom and tossed him into the barricade.
Reigns picked up the ring steps and hit Dom with them, then hit Rey with them. Reigns tossed Rey over the barricade while the production team pumped in “you suck” chants. Reigns threw punches at Dom and then threw him inside the ring where he mounted him and threw more punches while the Usos watched.
Reigns put Dom in his guillotine submission. “That’s enough, Uce,” Jimmy said. Reigns tossed Dom aside and then turned his attention to Jimmy, who said, “Come on, not like this.” Jimmy left the ring and called for Jey to join him. Jey walked toward the ropes, but Roman cut him off and glared at him. Jey looked down. Reigns went back to punching Dom, then picked him up and powerbombed him to close the show…
Powell’s POV: Great stuff. I’m happy that they didn’t go with a title change. The story of Rey and Dom becoming the first father and son tag team champions felt rushed, and it would have been a shame if they are just transitional champions. And they still could be, but at least they survived the night, and they did it in a way where they and the Usos looked good, while Reigns drew even more heat. This storyline continues to carry the show.
Overall, it was another strong episode. Smackdown continues to be a consistently entertaining show. While Reigns obviously carries the show, it’s not entirely a one-man show, as there are some other compelling storylines and feuds taking place. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members, who will also hear my AEW Dynamite audio review either late tonight or on Saturday. Let me know what you thought of Smackdown by grading it below. Have a great weekend.
Join Jake Barnett for his live review of AEW Dynamite via the main page.