WWE SmackDown Winners, Grades, Reaction, and Highlights from July 23

The Summer of Cena continued Friday on SmackDown as the star of numerous of this summers hit movies went back to the business that made him a household name and challenged Universal champ Roman Reigns. John Cena took off through the drape, drawing a big reaction as he started the first episode of SmackDown on the road to SummerSlam. The franchise star instantly restated his difficulty to Roman Reigns for a Universal Championship match on PPV.

Cena stated SummerSlam is an opportunity for all to defend what the company believes in, as fans emerged into chants of his surname. The previous 16-time champ called out Reigns, consistently, to no obtain. Instead, Paul Heyman made his way onto the SmackDown stage and said Cena is not worthwhile of being listened to by The Head of the Table.

He said Cena will get his response later tonight, however on Reign’s time. The unique counsel for The Tribal Chief buffooned Cena’s music in an amusing bit to close out the sector. Cena was excellent here, the skilled entertainer.

He brought energy to the show right out of the gate, captivated the audience with every word he framed the feud and spoke with Reign’s precisely as intended.

Heyman addressing on behalf of Reign’s and setting up a centerpiece promotion segment for later in the program may not be everyone’s favored conclusion to a show however offered the star power included, it is precisely what a show this near to among WWE’s premier occasions is worthy of. Finn Balor battled Sami Zayn in the nights first match, the outcome of The Princes return to the main lineup a week ago via interrupting the conspiracy-minded loudmouth. After several moments of rubbish from the heel, Balor fired back, stomping away at him and flattening him at ringside with a dive heading into the break.

Throughout the timeout, Zayn developed control and coming out of it, grounded Balor with a side headlock and followed with a DDT. Balor resisted, countered out of an exploder suplex and provided a double stomp. The sling blade followed and the previous Universal champ put his challenger away with the Coup de Grace for the hard-fought success.

There was not much to the match, but there does not have to be. Balor and Zayn are old pros who almost might sleepwalk their way through an appropriate match. The industrial break certainly harmed the circulation however both guys upped the strength for an enjoyable final stretch.

Balor winning should have been a no-brainer given his recent return however considering the method management has treated other NXT champs recently, it was still something worth crossing your fingers and toes over.

The commentary team put Balor over strong, specifically Pat McAfee. Time will inform if The Princes return to the big stage of the WWE primary lineup will net him various, and much better, results than his first trip there. Backstage, a dejected Baron Corbin exposed to Kayla Braxton that he lost money on last week’s effort at collecting funds to help him return on his feet, thanks to an uneven service partner.

Mr. Money in the Bank Big E made his way to the ring, just 5 days after recovering a brief-case that will bring him an ensured chance at a world title of his choosing. Before he could really get into his in-ring promotion, global champion Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez interrupted. Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode followed, as did Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura.

Cesaro was the last out, revealing his desire for a shot at the gold, before a brawl featuring all of the competitors broke out. The babyfaces cleared the heels out of the ring, culminating with Cesaro swinging Crews, and stood tall to close out the random sector. Huge E and Crews had previous concerns so it makes sense that the IC champ would try to ruin his competitors huge minute.

If the objective was to bring everybody together to develop a brand new title photo, there were certainly much better and more fascinating ways to do it than a nondescript, random-ass brawl.

If there is a silver lining, the spotlight on Cesaro recommends he will be the next opposition to Crews title and, rather possibly, the guy to dismiss him. The rivalry between The Street Profits and Alpha Academy continued in singles action, live from the Rolling Loud music celebration in Miami, as Angelo Dawkins fought Chad Gable. The 2012 Olympian got rid of Dawkins early attack and targeted the left arm.

Dawkins endured submission efforts, resisted and eventually pinned Gable to regain momentum in the fight. This was not precisely the kind of match you would wish to put on phase to produce a reaction from a crowd of casual fans, however The Street Profits always bring energy to their performances and having long time wrestling fan Wale introduce them to the audience did not harmed. Dawkins won, but the greatest takeaway was simply how cool the visual was.

The phase was awesome, the sea of fans was sensational and WWE welcoming popular culture that is not in some way 6 years too late is always welcome. SmackDown women’s champion Bianca Belair wrapped up the protection from Rolling Loud, safeguarding her title versus “The Most Beautiful Woman in All of WWE”, Carmella. The EST dominated early but Mella pulled her down on the apron, her back and neck crashing off the hardest part of the ring.

Belair spent a number of minutes on the defensive however resisted, steamrolled the challenger with a huge shoulder deal with and ultimately put her away with the KOD.

Belair commemorated in front of a sea of fans to liquidate the sector. Like the previous match, the title match faced an uphill battle. The work was there, the match was perfectly acceptable and Belair winning was the right call.

The question now is where the EST goes from here. She has exhausted the fight with Carmella, but prospective match-ups versus NXT call-ups like Shotzi and Nox and the debuting Toni Storm wait for. A fantastic heel to combat her sensational babyface act would be the very best choice, but such a performer is not easily offered on the blue brand. That is, till Sasha Banks returns.

Edge made his method to the ring, back reside in Cleveland, all set to address the debate surrounding his loss to Roman Reigns. He advised the audience that he remained in The Brood and The Ministry of Darkness, insinuating the levels he is willing to go to get what he desires in reference to avenging Seth Rollins costing him the Universal Championship at Money in the Bank. Rollins made his method to the ring and complained the likes of Edge and John Cena jumping the line and taking opportunities.

Rollins confessed to being reluctant to put Edge down and out permanently seven years ago but suggested he would not blink at the chance to do it again.

Edge, admitting he is a phony when he stated he would not put his hands on The Architect, assaulted him. Rollins pulled away before The Rated R Superstar might deliver a spear. The work here from Rollins was excellent.

He is such a hateable little jerk. The obnoxious laugh and over-the-top clothing, combined with an extremely genuine ability to beat any guy he sets foot in the ring with, makes him one of the very best heels in the industry. He is precisely the man to position across from Edge to guarantee The Rated R Superstar stays a centerpiece gamer without consistently needing to be in the primary occasion.

It likewise raises Rollins, who has actually been associated with significant rivalries with Cesaro and Rey Mysterio however has been noticeable in his absence from the world title photo on both Raw and SmackDown. The probability that both men advantage, the matches are awesome and the WWE Universe delights in some hella fun tv on the roadway to, and coming out of, SummerSlam is high. Previous NXT UK women’s champ Toni Storm made her SmackDown debut this week, fighting Zelina Vega, herself fresh off an appearance in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match 5 days previously.

She impressed, completing off Vega in brief order with a disastrous headbutt and Storm Zero.

There was inadequate time for this to grade out any better. Storm hit her offense and looked strong as she tossed Vega around the ring with suplexes, so that is a positive. What is not, however, is Vegas use early in her go back to the business.

She has yet to win a match, has no clear story instructions and appears no better off than she was when she was employed the very first time. How WWE can not recognize the property it has in the charismatic performer is impressive, for all the incorrect factors. Ideally, it determines what to do with Vega earlier rather than later on since it definitely ought to not enable her to fade into obscurity because of its own imaginative shortcomings.

On the heels of a frustrating Money in the Bank in which he and daddy Rey Mysterio lost the SmackDown tag team titles to The Usos, Dominik Mysterio fought Jimmy in singles competitors, their particular tag partners at ringside. Dominik had his challenger reeling getting in the industrial break, cleaning him out with a dive to the floor. Uso, though, took control throughout the time out and kept it after.

He wore Mysterio down but the rookie rival combated his way back into the match.

Late, Jimmy scored a rollup with an assist from Jey for the win, tones of the surface from Sunday night. As the triumphant Uso and his twin bro made their method up the ramp, Roman Reigns music played and The Head of the Table made his way to the ring. A good, perky fumbling match that used the ending of the championship from Sunday, this was a completely appropriate conclusion to the in-ring portion of the night.

The Usos construct momentum, Mysterio ate a pinfall that does nothing to harm him or his papa and The Bloodline stood high heading into the break. It was an excellent visual heading into the centerpiece sector of the night and keeps alive the side fight to whichever challenger actions to Reigns and The Uso’s supremacy over the SmackDown brand next. Balor and Zayn are old pros who nearly could sleepwalk their way through an appropriate match.

Like the previous match, the title match faced an uphill battle. In one sector, Reigns knocked Cena and set up a huge match with Balor. If Balor beats Reigns in a non-title match, with assistance from Cena, an irate Head of the Table would likely accept Cenas obstacle out of anger.

Balor would logically have the next claim to a title match by way of his success over Reigns.

Reigns dealt with the difficulty from John Cena made on Raw and echoed previously in the show. He mocked Cena, stating Hollywood tricked him due to the fact that the guy that is back now is the very same man we have been looking for the last 15 years. He rejected Cena’s challenge, which brought out Finn Balor.

The Prince stood across from Reigns, not to acknowledge him however to release a difficulty of his own. “Romans frightened” chants spilled from the stands before The Tribal Chief accepted. The show ended on a cliffhanger, no date right away announced for the impending match.

This was a fantastic section, the similarity which we do not get enough from WWE. In one segment, Reigns denounced Cena and set up a big match with Balor. The result is increased intrigue as to where the Cena fight is heading and interest in a prospective centerpiece run for Balor.

WWE has actually possibly planted the seeds for its post-SummerSlam plans.

If Balor beats Reigns in a non-title match, with assistance from Cena, an irate Head of the Table would likely accept Cena’s challenge out of anger. They would battle for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. Balor would rationally have the next claim to a title match by way of his triumph over Reign’s.

A series between them, beginning at Septembers Extreme Rules, would bring the brand through the early part of the fall. It will have demonstrated the sort of broadened storytelling it has actually typically compromised in the name of nearsighted goals if that is the direction the company takes.

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