5 Surprises for SmackDown: 6-Time Champion not returning for SummerSlam, Big face turn to be canceled?
It’s the final edition of SmackDown this July and what a month it has been. Half of it was spent in the build to Money in the Bank 2021 – arguably the best WWE pay-per-view this year.
It has been SmackDown pulling all the big moves in the build to SummerSlam 2021. It comes as no surprise since the Blue brand has been presented much bigger and better than RAW has.
This week, SmackDown continues the build to SummerSlam 2021 and things could get exciting. What are some of the biggest surprises that could happen on the show?
#5. Bianca Belair’s SmackDown title reign goes nowhere?
Bianca Belair seemingly ended her feud with Carmella on the Blue brand last week. It felt less like SmackDown and more of a random special for the “Rolling Loud” concert attendees, who unsurprisingly weren’t interested in the wrestling that was happening inside the ring.
Belair had a brief feud with Carmella for the SmackDown Women’s title but she was never going to dethrone The EST of WWE. It’s done now and on to the next SmackDown Women’s Championship challenger. The expected challenger, of course, is none other than Sasha Banks – the woman she beat to capture the title at WrestleMania 37.
But what if Banks simply doesn’t show up? It leaves Bianca Belair at a bit of a dead-end after her title feud with Bayley was abruptly canceled. The latter won’t return to SmackDown in an in-ring capacity until at least 2022.
Sasha Banks seems to be the most viable and realistic option for Bianca Belair at SummerSlam. It would be interesting to see what happens to the SmackDown Women’s title picture but if WWE wants to make it interesting again, The Boss needs to return as soon as possible.
#4. Baron Corbin’s face turn storyline takes another twist on SmackDown?
Baron Corbin’s downward slide on SmackDown has been equally sad and entertaining at the same time. It’s a funny storyline because of Corbin’s execution and it’s sad because of everything that has been happening.
Last week, things got from bad to worse for him on the Blue brand. He revealed that Corbinfund caused him to lose money and he was scammed off various personal details. Corbin went to an unlikely name in Kevin Owens as a last-minute and desperate resort to ask him for some financial help.
Meanwhile, newcomers Shotzi and Nox were operating their machine, trying to get the nerf gun part of it to work. Right after Kevin Owens reluctantly gave Baron Corbin money and left, the shot worked and the nerf went directly to the wrong part of Corbin’s body.
Hilariously enough, former SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode stole his money – continuing his bad luck. What would be interesting would be if WWE swerved fans and Corbin remains a heel. The story is clearly heading towards a face turn, but WWE could surprise us on SmackDown by canceling those plans.
#3. Seth Rollins “ends” Edge’s career on SmackDown?
WWE made no secret of hiding the Edge-Seth Rollins feud on SmackDown even before Money in the Bank 2021. They had tense confrontations, all based on what happened in late 2014.
Just as a throwback, The Rated-R Superstar hosted Rollins on RAW in the aftermath of The Authority getting disbanded in November 2014. In the storyline, only John Cena had the power to reinstate The Authority. Seth Rollins took matters into his own hands and threatened to “kill” Edge by curb-stomping him while his neck was still damaged and broken – more than three years after his retirement.
John Cena reinstated The Authority but Edge never forgot that moment. It’s the basis of their current feud on SmackDown, apart from just the fact that Rollins cost the Hall of Famer the Universal Championship.
It would be a bit surprising if WWE pulled off a similar segment with Seth Rollins actually curb stomping Edge’s neck-in. It would be played out as a devastating injury, but the latter would still have to return to SmackDown and eventually face Rollins at SummerSlam 2021.
#2. Toni Storm faces a big upset on SmackDown
It’s been a long road to SmackDown for former NXT UK Women’s Champion Toni Storm. The 25-year old has long been dubbed as the future of the WWE Women’s division and it seems long overdue for her to be on a brand like SmackDown.
The Blue brand, in particular, needs Toni Storm. The women’s division seems to have been gutted and after Bayley’s injury, it was in the worst shape that we had seen in years. The overall problem is the lack of credible Women’s title challengers on the brand and Storm is here to change that.
Last week on her SmackDown/main roster debut, Storm faced and defeated Zelina Vega. It hasn’t been a good run for Vega in WWE so far as she has lost to Liv Morgan, Toni Storm, and failed to win the Women’s Money in the Bank briefcase.
A big surprise on this week’s SmackDown would be to see Toni Storm lose to Zelina Vega or any other opponent, starting a feud in the process.
#1. No Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor match on SmackDown
John Cena returned to SmackDown last week to officially challenge Roman Reigns at SummerSlam. Meanwhile, Finn Balor had his first match on the Blue brand in two years as he defeated Sami Zayn with relative ease.
The show ended last week with Roman Reigns coming out to answer Cena’s challenge and his response was a surprising “no”. Instead, it was his old opponent Balor who came out and challenged Reigns at the end of SmackDown.
Finding Finn Balor a more enticing opponent, Roman Reigns was quick to accept the challenge. It will be three years since the two last met in the ring. They first faced off on the first RAW of the Brand Split era in 2016. On that occasion, Balor won clean. They faced off a few times after that, with Reigns getting the better of Finn Balor.
But the dynamic now on SmackDown is different. Every time they faced off before, there was mutual respect. The chances of there being any now are next to none. What would be surprising, however, is if WWE decides not to go ahead with the match on SmackDown this week for whatever reason.