By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,138)
Live from Tampa, Florida at Yuengling Center
Aired June 11, 2021 on Fox
[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap of last week’s drama involving Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Rey Mysterio, and Dominik Mysterio…
Roman Reigns was seated in his dressing room with Paul Heyman standing behind him and Jey Uso sitting to his right. Reigns told Jey that he saved him and Jimmy last week. “Y’all owe me,” Reigns added. Reigns asked Uso the one thing that he doesn’t stand for. Jey said embarrassing the family. Reigns said he knows that Jey understands that. “But does your brother?” he asked…
Jimmy Uso was introduced by ring announcer Greg Hamilton and then the broadcast team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee checked in on commentary. Jimmy said last week was supposed to be a celebration, but he and Jey were robbed. Jimmy said he wasn’t trying to make excuses.
Jimmy said the referee blew the call and everyone could see that his shoulder was up. Jimmy accused Reigns of sticking his nose in his and Jey’s business. Jimmy said Reigns had to make it about him and he suspects that he got them disqualified on purpose. Reigns, Jey, and Heyman were shown watching the promo in Roman’s dressing room.
Jimmy asked what the attack on the Mysterios was all about. He said that Reigns is jealous of him. Jimmy said Reigns is jealous because he and his brother want to hold the gold just like Reigns. Inside the locker room, Reigns shot a look at Jey, who looked down.
In the ring, Jimmy said he’s his brother’s keeper, not Reigns. Jimmy said he was going to do something that he would not regret. Jimmy left the ring. Backstage, Reigns told Jey that Jimmy isn’t his twin and nobody is going to confuse him with Jimmy. Jey got up and left the room…
Kevin Owens and Big E made separate entrances for a tag team match… [C]
Powell’s POV: A compelling opening segment. Jimmy vowing to do something he won’t regret was a nice hook. Roman’s head games with Jey continue to be fantastic.
Backstage, Jey asked Jimmy what his promo was all about. Jimmy asked Jey if he thought they could have won the tag titles. He said Jimmy was upset too. Jimmy said he asked Jey to go with him and Jey folded. Jimmy said that Reigns was disgracing the family. Jey said Jimmy was down a full year. Jey said he’s stuck in the middle of it and he doesn’t know what to do. Jimmy said he would be “in our locker room” if Reigns wanted to see him…
Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez, and Sami Zayn made their entrances for the tag match…
1. Kevin Owens and Big E vs. Sami Zayn and Apollo Crews (w/Commander Azeez). Four minutes into the match, E went for a spear on Crews, who was on the apron. Crews stepped aside, causing E to tumble to the floor heading into a break. [C]
Big E was isolated before he eventually made a hot tag. Owens worked over Zayn and performed a cannonball in the corner. Owens followed up with a Swanton and covered Zayn for a near fall. Crews tagged in and was put down by Owens with a Popup Powerbomb for another near fall.
Zayn tagged in again. Owens went for a tag, but E was still down. Zayn performed a Blue Thunder Bomb and went for the pin, but E returned to break it up. E clotheslined Crews, causing both men to go to ringside. Owens dodged a Helluva Kick and then kicked and Stunned Zayn before pinning him.
Kevin Owens and Big E defeated Sami Zayn and Apollo Crews in 12:50.
After the match, Crews grabbed a microphone and asked why Owens and E were celebrating when they didn’t beat him. Crews said Zayn was the only reason they won the match. Crews challenged them to a match against him and Azeez for next week’s show.
Owens and Big E accepted. Zayn returned to the ring and accused Crews of setting him up. Zayn told Crews that he owed him an apology. Azeez dropped Zayn with the Nigerian Nail. Cole touted the match as Azeez’s in-ring debut…
Backstage, Rey Mysterio was shown venting to Adam Pearce… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good match and I like that they booked the tag match a week out. They have done a nice job of establishing Azeez and the Nigerian Nail, so his match could generate some fan interest.
The broadcast team touted WWE going back on the road… A sponsored recap focused on the issues between the Street Profits and Alpha Academy…
Backstage, Chad Gable told The Street Profits that he was sorry about what Otis did to them. He said Otis is overprotective and hard to control. He said he got their tag team match cancelled. The Profits weren’t happy about it and eventually goaded him into a singles match with Montez Ford. Gable said he wouldn’t have Otis at ringside with him as long as Angelo Dawkins wasn’t out there. Gable told the Profits that Otis is still angry…
Powell’s POV: I guess this explains why the only match advertised a week out was pulled from the show. Well, not entirely, but at least they addressed it rather than pretending like it was never announced.
Backstage, Reigns asked Jey where Jimmy was located. Jey relayed the message that if Reigns wants to see Jimmy, he has to go to their locker room. Reigns laughed at the Usos having their own locker room and told Jey to tell Jimmy that he was coming…
Carmella made her entrance for a rematch with Liv Morgan… [C] A SummerSlam ad aired and then Morgan made her entrance while the broadcast team recapped last week’s match…
2. Carmella vs. Liv Morgan. Carmella ran Morgan into the ringside barricade early in the match and then stopped to chat with the broadcast team before returning to the ring. Carmella dominated the majority of the match, but Morgan hit her with her Oblivion finisher and scored the pin.
Liv Morgan beat Carmella in 3:00.
After the match, Carmella had Hamilton introduce her as “still the most beautiful woman in WWE”…
Powell’s POV: Morgan avenged her loss from last week, so I assume we’ll get the rubber match soon. Morgan needs character development even more than she needs wins right now.
Bayley was shown backstage with a production crew member handing her some question cards for her talkshow. Bayley threw them aside… [C]
Bayley hosted her “Ding Dong, Hello” talkshow in the ring. She showed off a collage of photos of herself in the ring, then introduced Seth Rollins as her guest while referring to him as “The Drip God.” Rollins made his entrance and then walked through the door that Bayley uses as part of her set.
[Hour Two] Bayley gave Rollins the big chair. Rollins said he’s a fan of Bayley and praised her for putting Bianca Belair in her place. Rollins said Belair is a great athlete, but she doesn’t have respect. Rollins said Bayley would mop the floor with Belair at Hell in a Cell.
Rollins asked to watch a clip of Bayley and Belair from last week, calling it a master class in mind games. It was the footage of Bayley laughing while she appeared on all of the ThunderDome screens. Bayley and Rollins laughed obnoxiously inside the ring. Footage aired of Rollins attacking Cesaro threw weeks ago. They both acted upset, then burst out laughing again.
The doorbell rang. Bayley thought Rollins got her a gift. Rollins said he would be the gentleman and get the door. Rollins opened the door and Cesaro stood there and then punched him in the face. Cesaro tore the multi-colored suit pants off Rollins and slammed the door on his head. Cesaro trashed the talkshow set. Bayley was upset and tried to put up the set and her photos.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her entrance. Belair stood on the stage with a mic in hand. Rather than deliver a promo, Belair laughed at Bayley, who wasn’t pleased…
Powell’s POV: A predictable, yet fun return for Cesaro. I wonder if they lost some viewers along the way because Bayley is too good at her job when it comes to that obnoxious laugh.
Cole set up footage of Roman Reigns attacking the Mysterios last week to end their Smackdown Tag Title match against the Usos…
Backstage, Rey Mysterio was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber, who asked about Dominik Mysterio. Mysterio said that he doesn’t care who it is or how big they might be, if you go after his son, he will go after you. Rey said he vowed to protect Dom and last week he failed him.
Rey said Dom’s injuries weren’t an accident, they were caused by a man who claims to be all about family, yet won’t think twice about destroying his own. Rey said that Reigns can do whatever he wants to his family, but now he’s messing with Rey’s. Mysterio said he would call out Reigns by the end of the night and would show him what a family is supposed to look like…
The Street Profits made their entrance. Montez Ford headed to the ring while Angelo Dawkins went backstage per the match stipulations…
An ad for Monday’s Raw hyped Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. Randy Orton and Riddle, and Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles… [C]
3. Montez Ford vs. Chad Gable. Gable’s entrance was not televised. Cole noted that Otis and Dawkins were backstage because Gable called for Ford to go it alone. Gable caught Ford in an ankle lock, but Ford bridged into a pin, causing Gable to release the hold while kicking out. Moments later, Ford performed a senton off the apron onto Gable at ringside. [C]
Ford and Gable performed a simultaneous cross body block spot. Backstage, Dawkins was shown cheering on Gable while watching on a backstage monitor. Otis attacked Dawkins and left him lying. In the ring, Ford came back and hit a top rope frogsplash. Ford went for the pin. Gable kicked out and then Otis attacked Ford for the DQ finish.
Montez Ford defeated Chad Gable by DQ in 10:05.
Otis tossed Ford to ringside and tossed him over the broadcast table. Back inside the ring, the beardless Otis performed a second rope splash on Ford while Gable laughed. Angelo Dawkins came out holding his shoulder to sell an attack by Otis, who quickly disposed of him. Otis performed a Vader Bomb on Ford. Dawkins returned to the ring and covered his partner. Several producers, including the newly rehired Shawn Daivari, came out to talk down Otis… [C]
Powell’s POV: A strong match with what appeared to be an unplanned finish. I assume that Otis was late to break up the pin and that’s why Gable kicked out of Ford’s finisher. Gable was watching closely while he was pinned to see if Otis would get there in time, and it seemed like he and Ford had to call an audible. I’m guessing Otis will get an earful, but 99.9 percent of fans won’t remember that Gable kicked out of Ford’s finisher two weeks from now.
A video aired on WWE returning to the road in July…
4. Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Rick Boogz) vs. King Corbin. Neither entrance was televised, but they worked in a sponsored recap of last week’s match. Boogs played his guitar at ringside while the match started. In the end, Nakamura rolled Corbin into a pin for the clean victory.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated King Corbin in 1:50.
Corbin hit Nakamura after the match. Corbin and Boogs looked at one another and then raced for the crown that was on the broadcast table. Corbin slammed Boogs’ head onto the table. When Corbin went to put the crown on, Nakamura snatched it away from him. Boogs threw Corbin over the broadcast table, then Nakamura and Boogs celebrated together…
Powell’s POV: More of the same. Corbin continues to fight for the crown, which represents the gimmick that has been holding him back for far too long.
Roman Reigns was texting. He stopped and told Jey Uso that he was ready. “Let’s go to your locker room,” Reigns said while smiling. Reigns, Uso, and WWE Universal Championship belt holder Paul Heyman started to leave the room together… [C]
Bianca Belair, Otis, and Chad Gable were advertised for Saturday’s Talking Smack…
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville were talking backstage when King Corbin burst into the room and ordered them to demand that Shinsuke Nakamura return his crown. They decided to book Corbin vs. Nakamura in a battle for the crown on next week’s show…
Jimmy Uso was pacing in his room when Reigns, Jey, and Heyman showed up. Reigns pointed to his title belt and asked Jimmy if he understood. Jimmy said he didn’t give a damn about the title, he cared about Reigns and Jey. Jimmy accused Reigns of using and abusing his brother for a full year.
Jimmy said he doesn’t want to take Roman’s place. He said Reigns would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but it wouldn’t be as Roman Reigns, it would be as a spoiled bitch. Reigns tried to appeal to his brother, who told both men that he’s tired of them and is out.
Jimmy told Reigns that he doesn’t care anymore and said they could throw down. Reigns acted shocked that Jimmy wanted to fight him and said they’re not little kids anymore. He said it’s about family business, their livelihood, and representing their family. Reigns asked who came out first. He said Jimmy is the older brother and he should know better.
Reigns got fired up about being the best and proving it every single week. “Why would you do that to him?” Reigns said once he was calm again. “Why would you treat your brother like that?” Reigns asked how he could just let him go. Reigns said Jey elevated himself and questioned why Jimmy would do that to his brother. Reigns told Jimmy to make it right with his brother. Jimmy walked off to find his brother. Reigns picked up his title belt and draped it over his shoulder…
Rey Mysterio stood inside the ring while the broadcast team hyped that he was going to call out Reigns… [C]
Powell’s POV: Apparently, Jimmy isn’t immune to Roman’s Jedi mind tricks after all.
Rey Mysterio told Reigns to come out. “You disrespected my family,” Mysterio said. “I”m waiting.” Reigns didn’t make his entrance at first, but then Rey called for him again and his entrance music played. Reigns headed to the ring with Heyman, who was holding the title belt.
Rey said he acknowledges Reigns. “I acknowledge you for the rat bastard that you are,” he added. “I also acknowledge you as the rat bastard that put his hands on my son. I acknowledge you as a man I’m willing to fight, even if I lose the fight. And I also acknowledge you as the man I want to fight inside Hell in a Cell.”
Reigns didn’t look impressed. Rey told him that he laid out his challenge and now it’s Roman’s turn to acknowledge. Heyman handed Reigns the mic. “I acknowledge you,” Reigns said. “I acknowledge you as a father…” Rey attacked Reigns with a kendo stick. Reigns put Rey down. Reigns picked up Rey for a powerbomb, but Rey hit him with the stick.
Reigns eventually tossed Rey to ringside. When Rey returned to the ring, Reigns dropped him with a Superman Punch. Reigns waited for Rey to get up and let out his war cry. Dominik showed up and attacked Reigns with a kendo stick. Reigns fought off Dom and then picked him up in powerbomb position.
Reigns walked across the ring and threw Dominik over the top rope to the floor (the camera didn’t show Dom land). Rey hit Reigns from behind with a kendo stick. Rey checked on Dom. Reigns kicked Rey’s head. Rey covered Dom and then producers ran out to check on Dom to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A briefly, yet entertaining show closing angle. There’s only so much excitement that I can muster up for Reigns predictably destroying Rey inside Hell in a Cell, but I hope that’s the plan and not any type of handicap match nonsense. Rey isn’t a threat to win the championship, but there’s a story to tell with him fighting for his son. They just have to do it quick since next week will be the go-home show.
Overall, another entertaining episode with the Reigns and Uso family drama carrying the show. While that story is certainly the main attraction, there are several other storylines that are holding my interest to some degree. Why is Smackdown so much better than the awful Raw show? I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review of Smackdown for Dot Net Members, who will also hear John Moore’s audio review of AEW Dynamite late tonight or on Saturday morning. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
Join me for my live review of NXT Takeover In Your House on Sunday night.