By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,146)
Live from Tulsa, Oklahoma at BOK Center
Aired August 13, 2021 on Fox
[Hour One] Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show and was joined on commentary by Pat McAfee. John Cena made his entrance. He looked into the camera and said it was a very important night. Ring announcer Greg Hamilton introduced Cena, who made his way to the ring.
After a sponsored video recapped Cena’s recent events with Roman Reigns, Cena delivered an in-ring promo. Cena said school will be starting, so it’s time to give Reigns his report card. He said Reigns is a D, a D-Bag, and a Disappointment.
Cena said he’s going to give Reigns an F at SummerSlam. Cena said he wanted to hear what Tulsa had to say about it. The crowd responded with loud cheers and a “Cena” chant. He asked the crowd if they thought Reigns would beat the hell out of him at SummerSlam. There were more boos than cheers.
Cena said the answer is actually that Reigns will beat the hell out of him at SummerSlam. “But I also know that Roman Reigns will lose at SummerSlam and there’s not a damn thing that he can do about it,” Cena said.
Roman Reigns made his entrance along with Paul Heyman. Meanwhile, the broadcast team plugged the previously advertised Smackdown segments during Roman’s long entrance. Reigns wasn’t even halfway to the ring when they cut to break. [C]
Reigns and Heyman entered the ring coming out of the break. Cena introduced Reigns as having “fireworks, Paul Heyman, and all.” The fans booed. Heyman presented Reigns with the mic and then held up the WWE Universal Championship.
Reigns told Cena not to waste his time. Cena said he wouldn’t waste his time, but he would wait until SummerSlam to embarrass him on the biggest stage of them all. Reigns asked if that’s all Cena had. Cena said that’s all he needs. He said he sees a guy who thinks it’s his show and everyone has to play by his rules and that it’s his company.
“Everybody knows that it belongs to them,” Cena said regarding the crowd. Cena said he knows that it makes Reigns throw up in his mouth a little to hear that. Cena said he’s back because he’s the only one who can shut him up. Cena said he was asked to come back to give Reigns a piece of humble pie and he would get it when he beats his ass at SummerSlam.
Cena played up the Team Reigns or Team Cena fan choice. Cena had far more fans cheering for him. Reigns smirked. He said he thought we’d get something original and fresh, but instead Cena makes D jokes and penis jokes. He asked Cena to give him something that would cut him.
Cena repeated that Reigns would beat his ass at SummerSlam. “I don’t need to prove myself to you, Roman, that’s what’s so historic about what’s going on,” Cena said. “I just need to pin you.” Cena noted that if he wins the title, that would make him a 17-time champion and the most decorated champion of all-time.
Cena said he was there to help Reigns, who responded with a smile. Reigns told Heyman that Cena was there to help the Tribal Chief. Reigns said he’s not like Cena and wouldn’t bury his opponent and go out there and beat him. Reigns said he respects Cena.
Reigns said Cena is arguably the greatest of all-time and is under respected. Reigns said he’ll just be proud to say he beat Cena. He noted that Cena juggles Hollywood and WWE. He said they didn’t even have enough time to promote all of his movies. Reigns said Cena is good enough to face the Tribal Chief and even good enough to win the WWE Championship, but he’s not good enough to win the Universal Championship.
Reigns said twenty-plus years of missionary might have been good enough for Cena, but it wasn’t good enough for Nikki Bella. “I’m going to smash you,” Reigns said. “I’m going to retain this title. I’m going to pack you onto a private jet and send you back to Hollywood.” Reigns told the fans to enjoy it because it might be the last time they’d see Cena. Reigns told him to take it home.
Cena responded by saying no problem. Cena said Reigns has been protected and took a jab at “the giant bars of soap you got for teeth.” Cena said Reigns almost ruined Seth Rollins and ran Dean Ambrose out of WWE. Cena said Reigns had the protection of the system and it’s still not working.
Cena said Heyman knows better than everyone how much punishment he can take. Cena said he built Suplex City. He said he just has to hang in there and all he needs is 1-2-3 and then Reigns would become the answer to the trivia question of who did Cena beat to become a 17-time champion.
Cena said he would take the title, jump the barricade, and leave the stadium as fast as he can. Cena said he might even blow Reigns a kiss goodbye. Reigns smiled. Cena said it’s inevitable at SummerSlam. “The Champ is gone, 1-2-3,” Cena closed…
Powell’s POV: A very enjoyable verbal exchange. This wasn’t as hard-hitting as the Cena and Rock exchanges that felt truly personal, but they both had some good zingers that the crowd responded to. They have created a big fight feel for their match. I like that they are playing up the possibility that Cena could break Ric Flair’s count for most title reigns with a victory and that both characters are showing extreme confidence heading into the match.
King Nakamura and Rick Boogs were shown backstage while Cole hyped the Intercontinental Championship match… [C]
1. Apollo Crews (w/Commander Azeez) vs. King Nakamura (w/Rick Boogs) for the Intercontinental Championship. Crews and Azeez were in the ring coming out of the break and a portion of Nakamura’s entrance was shown. Azeez interfered early on. Crews went to the ropes and was distracted by Boogs playing his guitar on the apron. The referee ejected Crews. Azeez tried to sneak inside the ring. The referee caught Azeez and ejected him as well. [C]
Crews superplexed Nakamura and covered him for a near fall. Crews followed up with a sit-out powerbomb for another near fall. Crews showed frustration and then went for a frogsplash, but Nakamura put his knees up. Crews came right back and went for a pin with his feet on the ropes, but the referee caught him and stopped his count. Nakamura came back and hit Crews with a Kinshasa and pinned him clean to win the championship. Cole noted that it was the second time that Nakamura captured the championship.
King Nakamura defeated Apollo Crews in 10:10 to win the Intercontinental Championship.
After the match, Rick Boogs ran out to celebrate and played along with Nakamura’s entrance music while McAfee danced next to him on the broadcast table. Meanwhile, Nakamura stood on the middle rope and pyro shot off for the title change. Nakamura joined Boogs and McAfee in the celebration at ringside…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match that actually made the official look competent. We don’t see enough of that in pro wrestling these days. Nakamura’s act is really over with live crowds right now and the title change was well received. Good for Nakamura, who isn’t far removed from being undercard fodder. Boogs and their entrance has breathed new lift into Nakamura’s act.
Highlights aired of the history between The Street Profits and Alpha Academy…
Backstage, Kayla Braxton spoke with “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins and asked them if they are concerned about facing Alpha Academy. They are not concerned, they are back, and they still want the smoke. The Profits made their entrance for a match against Alpha Academy… [C]
2. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable and Otis. Gable pulled out a “Ready, Willing, and Gable” towel and held it in front of Dawkins’ face before Otis splashed him in the corner. Gable tagged in and bickered with the referee. Dawkins shoulder blocked Otis off the apron. Ford overshot a dive over the top rope and nearly sailed over Otis. Dawkins performed a neckbreaker on Gable and pinned him…
The Street Profits beat Alpha Academy in roughly 4:00.
Seth Rollins was shown inside a production truck barking orders to the crew members… [C]
Powell’s POV: I was surprised to see the Profits get their revenge on Alpha Academy so quickly. With Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio scheduled to challenge Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso for the Smackdown Tag Titles at SummerSlam, there doesn’t seem to be a need to rush the Profits into tag title contention.
Cole hyped the Smackdown Women’s Championship contract signing for later in the show…
Seth Rollins made his entrance.
[Hour Two] Rollins told the Tulsa fans that they have been on fire. Rollins said his sources told him that Edge would not be there. The fans booed loudly. Rollins said he was just as disappointed as they were because he would like to punch him for spreading lies and misinformation about him last week.
A “We Want Edge” chant broke out. Rollins said he wanted him too. Rollins said the fans had the next best thing according to Edge, who referred to him as Edge Lite. Rollins said Edge can’t stand that his career has been a little better than Edge’s career. Rollins said he had video proof in the form of a career retrospective on him and Edge.
The video package aired. It showed footage of Edge arriving with The Brood. Meanwhile, the narrator said Edge arrived in the most dominant trio in WWE history The Shield. The narrator said Edge may have been first to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase, but it paled compared to Rollins cashing in at WrestleMania 31. It also noted that Edge won two Royal Rumbles, but came up short this year, unlike when Rollins won the title at WrestleMania. The narrator said Edge will always be beneath Rollins.
In the ring, Rollins said the video footage doesn’t lie. The fans called for Edge. Rollins said he had a revelation. He said Edge and the fans should be thanking him. Rollins said that if he had Stomped Edge back in 2014, they wouldn’t even be having this conversation and their dream match wouldn’t be happening. Rollins said Edge’s comeback and his acting career would be gone, and his wife and kids would be pushing Edge in a wheelchair.
Another Edge chant broke out. Rollins said it’s not 2014 any more. He said times change and he’s changed. Rollins said he would not hesitate and would not hold back. “I will Stomp your head into this mat, and if that puts you out for good then so be it,” Rollins said while looking into the camera…
Backstage, Rey Mysterio spoke to Dominik Mysterio about getting his win back after losing last week. Dominik said they have their opponents’ number after beating them for the tag titles. Rey told him he has to remain humble and hungry. Rey said that Dom can’t be overconfident after his loss last week… The Mysterios made their entrance for a match against Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode… [C]
Powell’s POV: The Rollins promo and video package was well done. The poor live crowd clearly expected Edge to run out. They were even watching the stage once Rollins wrapped up his promo. Meanwhile, Dom played up being overconfident more than he has in the past. Are we getting the father vs. son feud? If so, perhaps the Street Profits ran through Alpha Academy earlier because they’ll be feuding with the Usos coming out of SummerSlam.
3. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. The Roode and Ziggler entrance was not televised. There was an early double team by the heels. Cole said the illegal man had five seconds to leave the ring. McAfee said it was more like fifteen seconds in this case.
Ziggler hit Dom with a Fameasser for a two count. Dom came back and had Ziggler in position for a 619, but Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso appeared on the big screen and taunted him. Roode tagged in and charged Dom, but Rey pushed his son out of the way. Dom ended up rolling Roode into a pin.
Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio beat Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler in 3:20.
Afterward, the Usos continued to taunt Rey and Dom briefly and said they would see them at SummerSlam…
Powell’s POV: A quick win for Rey and Dom heading into their tag title match at SummerSlam. There wasn’t much to it.
Footage aired of the Reigns and Cena segment from earlier in the show…
Baron Corbin made his entrance and a graphic listed that it would be his last plea… [C] Cardi B’s “Up” was listed as a SummerSlam theme song…
Corbin stood in the ring looking terrible. He said he’s been down on his luck and said he would have to file bankruptcy. Corbin said that a flaw of society is that when someone likes him falls, they want to keep him down. He said this was the last time that he was going to ask for help.
Corbin said he’s used to a certain way of life, so he would need every fan to contribute a minimum of $1,000. Corbin pulled out a credit card scanner that was attached to his phone. Awesome.
Kevin Owens made his entrance. “Bringing his debit card, I assume,” McAfee said. Funny. Corbin assumed that Owens was there to contribute, but he said he wasn’t sure if his device accepted Canadian credit cards. Owens said he was there to tell Corbin that what he was doing needed to stop.
Owens recalled Corbin ruining Finn Balor’s contract signing and asking Drew McIntyre for $100,000. Corbin said he would not leave until Owens gave him $1,000. Owens said he would because the fans wanted him to leave, but he had to beat him in a match to get it. Owens said that if he beat Corbin, the begging had to stop. Corbin agreed and started to blame Owens for his predicament, but led to Owens kicking and Stunning him.
Sasha Banks was shown walking backstage. They cut back to ringside and hyped Owens vs. Corbin as coming up after a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: The Corbin saga has some big logic gaps and yet it continues to be entertaining.
4. Kevin Owens vs. Baron Corbin. Cole said he heard that the phone Corbin had was actually on his mother’s plan. Corbin backdropped Owens on the apron a few minutes into the match. [C] Owens performed a Swanton for a near fall. Corbin rallied with a Deep Six for a near fall of his own. In the end, Owens used a sunset flip and scored the pin.
Kevin Owens beat Baron Corbin in 9:50.
Afterward, Owens kicked Corbin and gave him another Stunner…
Powell’s POV: I was surprised to see Owens win if only because hit Corbin with his finisher before the match. It should be fun to see how Corbin gets around begging for himself.
Backstage, Big E held up a board with hangman game style slots that Bianca Belair filled her name in… An ad for Monday’s Raw focused on Bobby Lashley and Goldberg meeting face to face again… [C]
Baron Corbin was walking backstage when Kayla Braxton showed up and asked him what now. Corbin looked ahead and got excited by what he saw. Corbin ran over and stole the Money in the Bank briefcase from Big E and then left the building. The broadcast team wondered if he could actually cash it in…
Powell’s POV: That’s hilarious, but I sure hope this is resolved next week. As much as I get a kick out of Corbin’s schtick, I would hate to see him cash in the contract to avoid having a finish in the Reigns vs. Cena match. Now if he cashed in before or after the Lashley vs. Goldberg match? Nah, I’d be disappointed that they didn’t follow through with Big E.
Sonya Deville hosted the contract signing in the ring. Sasha Banks made her entrance first, followed by Bianca Belair. Both women sat down at the contract signing table. Belair told Banks that he just needed to ask if she wanted a rematch.
Banks teased signing it, but then said she would need some witnesses. Carmella and Zelina Vega made their entrances. Banks called Belair a rookie and said she bet that she didn’t see that coming. Belair ended up roughing up all three women. The numbers game eventually caught up with her and Banks worked her over after sending Carmella and Vega to ringside. Banks put Belair in the Bank Statement on the contract signing table.
Powell’s POV: A decent show closing segment to put some heat on Banks heading into the title match. Overall, this was an entertaining episode with the big opening segment, the Intercontinental Title change, and some good SummerSlam hype throughout the show. My same night audio review of WWE Smackdown will be available later tonight. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.