By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,149)
Live from Jacksonville, Florida at VyStar Veterans Arena
Aired September 3, 2021 on Fox
[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap video that retraced the steps to Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor for the WWE Universal Championship… The broadcast team was Michael Cole and Corey Graves. Cole said his usual color commentator Pat McAfee is feeling much better (after testing positive for COVID-19)…
Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso made their entrance. Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman were shown watching the show in a backstage room. They wondered why the Street Profits would get involved in their family business. They accused the Profits of disrespecting the Head of the Table and the Bloodline.
The Street Profits made their entrance. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins delivered a promo on the stage. They taunted the the Uso’s by asking if they had permission slips to be in the ring. Yes, they still want the smoke…
1. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in a Championship Contenders Match. The Uso’s headed to ringside early. Ford dove onto them, but the Uso’s caught him and slammed him into the barricade. [C]
Dawkins performed a spinebuster on Jimmy. Ford followed up with a top rope splash on Jimmy and had him pinned, but Jey broke it up. Jimmy ran Ford through the ropes and into the ring post. The referee disqualified the Uso’s because Jimmy wasn’t the legal man.
“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins beat Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso by DQ in roughly 8:00 in a Championship Contenders Match.
After the match, the Uso’s attacked Dawkins at ringside and ran him into the ring steps. Ford performed a dive over the top rope onto the Uso’s. The Profits stood on the broadcast table and played to the crowd. Backstage, Reigns told Heyman to bring him his cousins…
Powell’s POV: The referee calling for the DQ felt a little weak, but the idea of going with a DQ finish after showing the Profits are strong threats to the Uso’s was fine.
Heyman left the dressing room and Kayla Braxton popped out of nowhere and startled him. Heyman started to tell Braxton to enjoy the night when his phone rang and Brock Lesnar’s entrance theme played. Heyman hung up once and then took the call the second time. He said he didn’t have a lot of privacy, then said he would deliver the message. Braxton told Heyman that he was right, she was enjoying the moment.
Heyman started to walk away and bumped into a man in a janitor’s outfit. Heyman told the man that if he wanted to take out the trash, he could start with Braxton. The janitor revealed himself to be Big E, who laughed at Heyman and taunted him with the Money in the Bank briefcase…
Powell’s POV: Watching Heyman’s character squirm is making for fun television.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch made her entrance. A sponsored video package recapped Bianca Belair winning last week’s four-way to earn a title shot… The NXT video aired and included animated shots inside a venue with an NXT ring in it… [C]
An ad for Raw hyped Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Title, and a tag team turmoil match with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, Mace and T-Bar, Mustafa Ali and Mansoor, Jinder Mahal and Veer, Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik, AJ Styles and Omos, and The Viking Raiders meeting for a shot at the Raw Tag Titles…
Lynch was cheered loudly coming out of the break. Lynch said she didn’t get to talk about Bianca Belair last week because she was interrupted by nearly half of the locker room. There were some boos when she mentioned Belair. Lynch put her over for being a great athlete and said she looked forward to facing her at SummerSlam, but somehow she’s being made out to be the bad guy.
Lynch said Belair wasn’t ready and that’s on her. Lynch said just because she hasn’t played the game for a while doesn’t mean she forgot how to win. Lynch took exception to Belair referring to herself as the EST. She said it only took one flick of her fist to end Belair’s reign.
Bianca Belair made her usual entrance with a big smile on her face. Belair said spoke about what the belt meant to her and how she etched her name in the history books. She said she was embarrassed that she lost the title in 26 seconds. Belair said she wouldn’t build herself up by bringing another woman down.
Belair said Lynch says her name like she knows her, but she does not know her. Belair spoke about being the EST of WWE and said that when she takes the title back, she will be known as the greatest. Belair said Lynch wouldn’t give her a rematch, so she earned it like everything else she does.
Belair challenged Lynch to do the same thing that Roman Reigns was going by defending her title tonight. Lynch let the crowd get worked up about it and then said: “Well, I don’t give a damn what Roman Reigns does. No.” Lynch slammed the mic down and left the ring…
Powell’s POV: A good verbal exchange. The fans who booed Belair’s name didn’t seem to be booing her once she came out. I still think it’s a big mistake to turn Lynch heel, but that doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy the ride and what should be a terrific feud between her and Belair.
Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler were shown walking backstage. They came across Toni Storm. Ziggler told Roode he would catch up with him later. Ziggler offered her a front row seat for his match, but she said she was rooting for Rick Boogs…
Rick Boogs played his guitar as part of King Nakamura’s entrance… [C]
2. Rick Boogs (w/King Nakamura) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Robert Roode). Ziggler and Roode came out to Ziggler’s shitty singles match entrance theme (that’s why Toni Storm rejected him). Ziggler performed a nice DDT for a two count. Boogs stuffed a superkick and then performed a pump-handle slam and scored the pin…
Rick Boogs defeated Dolph Ziggler in 1:30.
Becky Lynch was shown walking backstage when she was approached by Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville. Lynch said The Man would defend her title against Belair when she’s ready. Pearce announced that Lynch vs. Belair for the Smackdown Women’s Championship would take place at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view. Deville said they would hold the contract signing on next week’s Smackdown at MSG…
Cesaro made his entrance an then a video package aired for Connor’s Cure… [C] Cole hyped the WWE Universal Championship match for later in the show…
Seth Rollins was interviewed by Braxton, who asked him why he requested the match against Cesaro. Rollins said it was an opportunity for a new beginning. He said Edge has become an inspiration for him and he’s probably watched all of Edge’s matches. He said he would used what he learned against Cesaro. Rollins made his entrance…
3. Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro. Cesaro sent Rollins to ringside and then gave him a running uppercut by the timekeepers area. Back in the ring, Rollins came back with a dropkick. Cesaro returned the favor with a dropkick of his own and then went for the Swing, but Rollins reached the ropes to avoid it. Rollins put Cesaro down with an Impaler DDT for a two count. [C]
Rollins used an Edgematic. He set up for the Stomp, but Cesaro countered with a powerbomb.
[Hour Two] Cesaro picked up a near fall and then played to the crowd before going for the Swing. Rollins countered into a pin for a two count. Cesaro finally performed The Swing. Cesaro applied a Sharpshooter. Rollins reached the ropes to break it. Cesaro dumped Rollins to ringside and followed. Cesaro charged for another running uppercut, but Rollins held a chair in front of him and was disqualified.
Cesaro beat Seth Rollins by DQ at 9:40.
After the match, Rollins hit Cesaro with the chair and then ran him into the ring post. Cole said Rollins went off the deep end because he was embarrassed an humiliated after taking The Swing. Rollins brought a chair into the ring and broke a piece off and then applied a crossface with it in Edge style. Rollins performed a Stomp. Rollins brought another chair inside the ring and placed it under Cesaro’s head.
Edge’s music played and he raced to the ring with a chair. Rollins fled to ringside and laughed while Edge seethed. Rollins dared Edge to come get him…
Powell’s POV: As expected, the loss to Edge has made the Rollins character even more unhinged. But the smile he gave Edge once he came out made it seem like Edge returning is exactly what he wanted.
Backstage, Roman Reigns told Jimmy and Jey to stick to the script and run the game plan. The Uso’s left the room and then Heyman told Reigns that they had a problem. Reigns said he had no problems, he was going to smash Finn Balor.
Heyman said the problem was with Brock Lesnar. Reigns said Heyman had the problem. Reigns said he would smash Lesnar too when the time is right. Heyman said Lesnar informed him that he would be at MSG next week when he called his phone for the first time in a year.
Reigns laughed at the thought of Lesnar watching the show at home. Heyman said Fox must be big in Saskatchewan. Reigns wondered how Heyman knew that Lesnar was in Saskatchewan. Heyman said he didn’t and added that he could be in Minnesota. Reigns asked Heyman how he knew that Lesnar wasn’t in the building…
Happy Corbin was shown arriving in a nice car. He gave the keys to interviewer Megan Morant and told her not to get any scratches on his new baby…
Kevin Owens made his entrance for The KO Show with Corbin as his guest… [C]
Edge was shown walking backstage when he was approached by Braxton. Edge said he hoped everything was over with Rollins. Edge conceded that he would have done the same thing had he lost at SummerSlam. Edge said he knows the game that Rollins is playing, but he has to stop. Edge looked into the camera and challenged Rollins to a rematch next week on Smackdown at MSG. Edge said he beat Rollins once and if he does again, Rollins won’t be the same. “I told you, this doesn’t end will,” Edge said…
Owens sat in the ring and said people knew it was the KO Show because he was wearing a tie. Corbin said he was happy to be on the show. Corbin thanked Owens and said he wouldn’t have all of the expensive items that he does today if it wasn’t for him.
Corbin assumed Owens wanted his $100 back. He said he left his wallet in the car, but he knows someone who has it. introduced Logan Paul as his special guest. Paul said he was happy to see the WWE Universe and thanked Corbin for having him on his show. Owens recalled Paul insulting Corbin after Big E beat him at SummerSlam. Corbin said they talked and have a lot in common.
Paul boasted that his brother beat Tyron Woodley. Owens insulted Paul, who tried to give him his $100. Owens said he didn’t need Paul’s money, he just needed him to get out of his ring. Owens and Paul traded shoves. Owens charged Paul, but Corbin cut him off by hitting him with the mic. Corbin chokeslammed Owens. “You are not that guy,” Paul told Owens…
The broadcast team hyped Dominik Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn for after a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good angle. Logan Paul was slotted properly as a heel, and I like him being paired with Corbin. It will be interesting to see if Paul has agreed to wrestle or if he’s going to keep making non-wrestling appearances. They’d make a lot more money if Owens faced Paul in a boxing match, but I don’t know if Owens or WWE has any interest.
Carmella was posing for something when Liv Morgan was shown in the background. “Seriously,” Morgan said while rolling her eyes at Carmella…
4. Dominik Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn. Rey Mysterio walked onto the stage with Dom and then headed to the back. Zayn avoided an early 619 attempt and then started to head toward the back. Rey walked out, causing Zayn to return to ringside. Dom flipped over the referee and onto Zayn at ringside. Dom rolled Zayn back inside the ring and then motioned for Rey to stay where he was while saying he had things under control. Dom returned to the ring and was immediately “hit” with a Helluva Kick and pinned.
Sami Zayn beat Dominik Mysterio in 2:00.
After the match, Rey entered the ring to talk to his frustrated son…
Powell’s POV: Dom pulled his head big time on the Helluva Kick and it looked really bad. Nevertheless, I remain intrigued by Dom’s frustration and whether it will lead to him turning on his father.
Backstage, Sonya Deville was talking on the phone about Brock Lesnar returning when she was interrupted. Naomi recalled Deville saying last week that she would set her up with a match. Deville said it must have slipped her mind and asked her to try again next week… Cole hyped the main event… [C]
The broadcast team hyped Brock Lesnar’s return, Edge vs. Seth Rollins, and the Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair contract signing for next week’s Super Smackdown at MSG…
Powell’s POV: It’s billed as a Super Smackdown show, but they aren’t making any fuss over the possibility of Raw wrestlers showing up.
Backstage, Braxton spoke with Balor, who said people have asked him for five years what would have happened had he not been injured the night that he won the WWE Universal Championship. “Well, tonight, I answer the question,” Balor said before heading through the curtain to make his entrance.
Once Balor was inside the ring, the Uso’s attacked him and ran him into the ring steps and the barricade. They took the top piece of the ring steps off and slammed them into Balor three times, then tossed him inside the ring. Jimmy Uso went up top, but the Street Profits ran out and chased the Uso’s through the crowd and out of the arena bowl. The referee checked on Balor.
Roman Reigns made his entrance with Paul Heyman for the main event… [C] Coming out of the break, Reigns and Heyman were in the ring and Balor was still being treated. Balor shrugged off help and indicated that he still wanted to go through the with the match…
5. Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Finn Balor for the WWE Universal Championship. Ring announcer Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Reigns dominated the wounded Balor to start and some fans counted along while he threw a series of clotheslines in the corner.
Balor came back by dropkicking the knee of Reigns. Balor performed a sling blade clothesline. Balor charged Reigns, who hit him with an uppercut punch. Reigns performed a uranage slam and covered Balor for a two count. [C] A video package aired to promote next week’s Smackdown at MSG.
Balor ducked a Superman Punch coming out of the break. Cole said it was all Reigns during the break. Balor ducked a clothesline, but he ate an uppercut, but then hit an overhead kick on his way down to the mat.
A short time later, Reigns tossed Balor to ringside and tried to follow, but Balor pulled the ring skirting out and trapped Reigns inside of it. Balor fired shots at Reigns, who eventually escaped. Balor performed a flip dive from the ring onto Reigns on the floor and then rolled him back inside.
Balor went up top and went for his Coup De Grace finisher, but Reigns avoided it and came back with a Superman Punch for a good near fall. Balor recovered and came back with a couple of near falls. Balor performed a running dropkick in the corner and then went up top and hit the Coup De Grace for a great near fall.
The replay showed that when Reigns lifted his shoulder, he low-blowed Balor. Cole said Reigns has a history of doing that (he does?). Reigns threw punches at the head of Balor and then applied the guillotine submission. Balor fought, but he eventually faded and the referee called for the bell.
Roman Reigns defeated Finn Balor in 11:40 to retain the WWE Universal Championship.
Powell’s POV: An entertaining main event. Yes, we’ve seen the Reigns benefit from interference by one or both of the Uso’s before, but it was a logical move in this case because it gave Balor an out for losing. The low blow spot gave Balor a double out with the obvious goal of keeping him a credible challenger.
WWE did a nice job of making next week’s MSG show feel like a big event. Let’s see if Raw tries to do the same on Monday for their show the following week that will go against the Monday Night Football season premiere. Overall, this was another good episode of Smackdown. I will be back after AEW Rampage with my same night audio review of Smackdown, which will include some brief comments regarding Rampage at the end (a spoiler warning will be given for those who haven’t seen Rampage by then). Let me know what you thought of Smackdown by grading it below.
Join John Moore for his live review of AEW Rampage on the main page, and stop back on Sunday night for my live review of AEW All Out.