By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,147)
Live from Phoenix, Arizona at Footprint Center
Aired August 20, 2021 on Fox
Michael Cole and Pat McAfee opened the show at commentary. Edge’s music hit, and he made his way to the ring to a strong reaction. We got a video package that recapped Seth Rollins promo from last week.
After the video, Edge sat in the ring with a microphone. He surveyed the crowd and addressed Seth Rollins. He said he heard what he said last week, and it sat with him. Edge recalled being mashed against the briefcase with Rollins threatening to stomp away his ability to care for his family in 2014, and he threatened to do the same thing again last week. He then said he was aware of the danger from his triple fusion surgery, and he understands that those are the mind games you play when you face Edge.
Edge then said that he takes his cues from the eyes, and said that he think Rollins is being sincere in what he said. He has pushed Edge into a dark place, and it’s a place in his heart where the blood runs black. Edge said he does see clearly on his day, he doesn’t just have to beat Rollins, he has to break you…..and humble you. Edge had a scowl on his face and said he had to burn Rollins down.
Backstage, Rey and Dominick Mysterio were chatting. Dom said he knew Rey would beat Jey tonight, and they would beat them again tomorrow. Rey told him to take it one match at a time, and that he wanted those titles back just as much as he did. Dom smirked and said that he won…they won last week. Rey told him to stay focused and watch his back tonight, because they couldn’t afford another distraction.
Rey and Dominick made their entrance, and we saw a video recap of Rey and Dominick winning the Tag Titles at Backlash. Elsewhere, Jey and Jimmy Uso were getting hyped up backstage. Jey Uso vs. Rey is next…[c]
My Take: A very good promo from Edge, but I felt like we just heard something similar when he was going into a dark place to defeat Roman Reigns. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very good performance, but I couldn’t help but notice it hit a lot of the same beats.
Jey Uso made his entrance, accompanied by Jimmy. The Summerslam Tag Team Championship match was advertised for tomorrow.
1. Rey Mysterio vs. Jey Uso: Rey charged at Jimmy, who gave him a shoulder block and sent him to the floor. Mysterio recovered and jumped into a hurracarrana. Jey Uso got to his feet and leveled Jey with a hard right hand. Jey picked up Rey into an electric chair position, but Rey landed a series of punches and escaped. He then dove on both Jimmy and Jey on the floor with a moonsault…[c]
Jey regained control during the break and applied a rear chin lock. Rey fought to his feet and landed an enziguri. He then hit the ropes, but Jey picked him up and landed a Samoan Drop. He then placed Rey on the turnbuckle, and landed some punches. Rey nearly fell to the floor, but Jey pulled him back up into position for an avalanche Samoan Drop. Rey managed to spin free and land a top rope hurracarrana. Rey covered for a two count. Jey picked up Rey for a back suplex, but switched mid-air into a neckbreaker. Rey rolled to the apron and landed a hard right hand. He then landed a seated senton from the top. Jey tried to land a suplex, but Rey spun him into a Tornado DDT for a near fall.
Rey tripped up Jey and went for a 619, but Jey blocked it. Rey went for a Sunset Flip, and Dominick gave him an assist, but got busted and ejected from ringside. Jimmy Uso shoved Dominick down on the outside, and Jey shoved Rey into the ring steps on the outside. Jey followed up with a big splash for the win.
Jey Uso defeated Rey Mysterio at 11:30
After the match, we got some footage from last week of Baron Corbin running off with the Money in the Bank Briefcase last week. Baron Corbin made his entrance clutching the briefcase. He will face Kevin Owens next…[c]
My Take: A good match from Jey and Rey. It seems like we may see Rey and Dom split up soon, as Dominick continues to be overconfident and reckless. I can’t say I’m disappointed, as Dominick hasn’t done much for me since his debut.
Cole plugged Roman and John Cena face to face later tonight. Kevin Owens then made his ring entrance.
2. Kevin Owens vs. Baron Corbin: Owens landed strikes, and then tossed Corbin to his back. He followed up with a running senton. Corbin landed a punch and a Big Bossman Lariat. He then landed some punches in the corner. Owens shook it off and landed a superkick and sent Corbin to the floor. He then landed a somersault senton off the apron to the floor. Owens tossed Corbin into the ring and climbed to the top, but had to bail when Corbin rolled away.
Corbin hung up Owens on the ropes. Owens responded by going for a Stunner, but Corbin rolled from the ring. Big E ran down and laid out Corbin as he tried to escape with the briefcase. Corbin shoved Big E with the briefcase into the ring post and then bolted out of the arena with the case.
The match ended in an apparent No Contest at 2:33
After the match, Bianca Belair was interviewed backstage. Kayla tossed to footage of the contract signing last week. After the video recap, Bianca said she wanted Sasha to watch what she does to her friends Zelina and Carmella later tonight. She said she would snap Zelina like a twig, and turn Carmella into the ugliest chick in the world. Kayla asked if it was smart to compete twice on the night before Summerslam, and she said she didn’t care. Bianca said she was not rational, and we would all see the meanest, nastest, and baddest chick in WWE later tonight.
In the arena, Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox made their entrance…[c]
My Take: Big E is going to be chasing down Corbin for months, isn’t he? Bianca having two matches tonight is a good way to add some additional doubt as to whether she’ll be in condition to retain tomorrow.
Natalya and Tamina made their entrance for the next match. This is a non-title match. Footage was shown when Tegan Nox stole a win from Tamina a few weeks ago.
3. Shotzi and Nox vs. Natalya and Tamina: Tamina and Shotzi started the match. Tamina dominated the early going, and made a quick tag to Natalya. The announce team spoke about how Nattie had steel rods in her ankle. She choked Shotzi on the second rope and then applied a rear chinlock. Nox was knocked off the apron. After some back and forth action, Shotzi surprised Nattie with a roll up out of a Sharpshooter attempt and got the win.
Shotzi and Nox defeated Tamina and Natalya at 2:54
We got a recap of Edge’s promo from earlier. Seth Rollins was shown backstage for a segment next…[c]
My Take: A nice reversal out of a Sharpshooter to end the match. I assume we see this match for the title on an upcoming Smackdown.
Seth Rollins made his entrance, and said Edge covered all his bases and gave every excuse possible for why he’s going to lose to him tomorrow. He mocked some of earlier comments, and told him that he can’t get on his level without channeling the darkest part of himself. He said the darkest parts of Edge are dead, and he will never find it again.
The Brood’s music played. Edge was shown on screen and said be aware, take care because the freaks come out at night. He told Seth he’d never see it coming. Seth was suddenly covered in simulated blood. It was a brood bath from the Attitude Era. Rollins scrambled to his feet, his previously white suit now covered in blood.
A video package was shown of Otis taking out Montez Ford a few months ago. The Street Profits then made his entrance. Otis vs. Ford is next…[c]
My Take: A decent promo from Rollins. I think the Brood Music and Blood…er Brood Bath was a throwback I didn’t expect. I also didn’t know that’s what Edge was referring to when he spoke about the darkness in his heart. I just thought the brood was a goofy Vampire gimmick.
A video recap of Rollins covered in faux blood was shown. The announce team then ran through the Summerslam Card. Otis then made his entrance.
4. Otis vs. Montez Ford: They circled early, and Ford slapped Otis across the face. Otis landed a huge back elbow that sent Ford reeling. Otis then balanced Ford on the top rope and slapped him down to the floor. Ford landed a punch, but Otis quickly shut him down. Ford reversed out of a suplex, and landed a series of strikes. Otis didn’t go down. Gable and Dawkins fought on the outside, and Gable got shoved into the ring. Ford landed a dive off the top onto Otis, but he powered out of the pinfall. Otis landed a body block, and then a Vader Bomb for the win.
Otis defeated Montez Ford at 2:54
After the match, we got a recap of Shinsuke Nakamura’s Intercontinental Championship Win. Rick Boogs was shown on screen, and then played in Shinsuke Nakamura with his guitar. Boogs wore a singlet, and will team with Nakamura against Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez.
My Take: Otis landed a back elbow that Chris Jericho should study for further application of the Judas Effect. He also continues to be a million percent better than his goofy comedy character.
Crews and Azeez made their entrance during the break.
5. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs vs. Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez: Boogs and Crews began the match. He flashed some amateur wrestling skill, and tossed Crews back and forth before landing a suplex. Crews broke free and landed a kick. Boogs replied with a T-Bone Suplex. Nakamura and Azeez tagged into the match. Azeez legit jumped over the ropes and flew around the ring. Nakamura landed a single leg dropkick, and covered for a one count. He signaled for Kinsasha, but Azeez caught him and planted him with a side slam.
Boogs and Crews both tagged back in, and Nakamura landed a kick that sent Azeez off the apron. Boogs planted Crews with a pump handle lift power slam and got the clean win.
Nakamura and Boogs defeated Crews and Azeez at 3:01
After the match, Boogs celebrated with McAfee on the announce table. We then got some footage of Bianca Belair’s beat down last week. Bianca then made her ring entrance. She has back to back matches with Carmella and Zelina Vega next…[c]
My Take: Boogs is a powerhouse, no doubt about it. The crowd seemed into his shtick. We’ll have to see how long it lasts.
Zelina Vega made her entrance, followed by Carmella. They argued over who would go first, and neither wanted it. Carmella pretended to get in the ring, and then tossed Zelina in.
6. Zelina Vega vs. Bianca Belair: Zelina tried to run away, but Bianca attacked immediately. After some interference from Carmella, Vega landed a Code Red and got 2.9 count. Vega jumped off the ropes for a Hurracarrana, but Bianca caught her and landed a powerbomb. She then tossed her into the top turnbuckle. She then landed the KOD for the 3 count.
Bianca Belair defeated Zelina Vega at 1:59
Carmella entered immediately and landed a superkick…[c]
My Take: Bianca cut that near fall pretty close. I think the referee might have given her until 3.1.
7. Bianca Belair vs. Carmella: The ref checked on Bianca and called for the bell. Carmella charged Belair and landed strikes in the corner. Bianca went for a body slam, but Carmella avoided it and landed a neckbreaker. She covered and got a two count, and then applied a rear chin lock. Bianca pulled Carmella around off her back and landed a vertical suplex, showing off her incredible strength.
Bianca landed a hard right hand, and then a moonsault for a near fall. Carmella used the ropes to choke Bianca, and then pulled her into the apron and landed some punches. In the ring, Bianca landed a spinebuster and the KOD and got the win.
Bianca Belair defeated Carmella at 4:03
After the match, Belair celebrated. The John Cena and Roman Reigns face to face is up next…[c]
My Take: A better match than the first. Belair continues to get great reactions and shows off insane athleticism. She is burning through potential opponents pretty quickly, though…
Roman Reigns made his entrance, along with Paul Heyman. John Cena then followed. Both men got a strong reaction. Cena had a microphone in hand.
Roman spoke first and got booed immediately. He said a lot of people say a lot of things to him, stupid things, like John did last week. He came out and said a lot of dumb stuff, but he did it with energy and his John Cena thing, and they love it. He asked the crowd to pop, and they reacted. He said John Cena claims to be able to beat him 1-2-3, and then asked Heyman the last time he lost. Heyman replied that no one has beaten THIS Roman Reigns.
Cena said he couldn’t let this go one forever. He said people are making their choice, but he knows that the impossible is possible. Cena said everybody thinks he’s going to lose because he’s going to film a movie, but his job is to take the tile from Roman so he can stay here and be embarrassed. Cena said it was a match made for him. He didn’t notice the contract written in fat blue sharpie or the Summer of Cena branding? That was all there so he could come in and demote Roman’s ass.
Cena said all he needs to demote Roman Reigns, and win his record breaking 17th Championship is 1-2-3. He said thanks to Roman Reigns, he’ll get to disappear with the Championship until WrestleMania, and all it takes is 1-2-3. Romans said he doesn’t get it. Playing dress up is weird but he gets it. He said he smashes people so bad that when he’s done WWE doesn’t have any use for them anymore. Roman asked if he thinks he’s better than him? He asked if he thinks he couldn’t go make movies and commercials if he wanted to? Roman said they would raise the stakes, and if he doesn’t leave tomorrow as WWE Champion, then he would leave WWE. He and Cena shook on it. Roman pulled Cena in for a slam, but he escaped and rolled up Roman for a few seconds to prove his point.
Cena celebrated up the ramp to close the show. Roman looked on angrily.
My Take: I think Cena tried to explain that the first few weeks of his storyline with Reigns were stupid on purpose so he could lull him into a false sense of security? What manner of 4th wall breaking horseshit was that? Overall, the segment was effective because the crowd ate it up, but the weird reality bending element of it was an odd choice. The capstone of Reigns putting his career on the line made it a little more bizarre. I think they wanted to convince everyone that Cena had a legitimate chance, but in the end made the finish even more clear.