Best and Worst of SmackDown: Face and heel turn in 1 night, Champion’s title reign too boring to continue?
Welcome to this week’s edition of Best and Worst of SmackDown. It might be slightly unprecedented that we have more “worst” than “bests” this week, especially since the overall episode was fun to watch.
There were a lot of good moments and it went by well, but when you really break it down, there were a handful of flaws on this episode of SmackDown that were undeniable. Here are the best and worst aspects of the show this week:
#1. Best: Heel and face turn from Sasha Banks on SmackDown
Bianca Belair came out on SmackDown and was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. While we were expecting a Sasha Banks return, Carmella and Zelina Vega’s entrances proved to be a bit deflating.
Vega challenged Belair and the SmackDown Women’s Champion accepted. However, Carmella and Vega proceeded to beat her down, prompting Sasha Banks’ return to SmackDown after nearly four months away. She’s back to her old look again and it appeared that she had turned face.
When she helped Bianca Belair up, the face turn was confirmed. Later on, Sonya Deville said that the main event of SmackDown would be Belair and Banks taking on Zelina Vega and Carmella.
It was obvious that the babyfaces were going to win, with Banks tapping Carmella out. All was going well and Bianca Belair was celebrating, only to be met with a backstabber from Sasha Banks. The former SmackDown Women’s Champion launched an assault on Belair and the show ended with Banks lifting the Women’s title.
It was a face and heel turn in one night – something we rarely see in WWE. But Sasha Banks’ return was a much-needed boost to the women’s division on SmackDown, which is why it was a welcome one. It was undoubtedly one of the best parts of the show
#1. Worst: Apollo Crews’ Intercontinental title reign on SmackDown
While it started on a promising note on SmackDown, Apollo Crews’ Intercontinental title run has been stale and boring in the past month. Ever since the build to Money in the Bank 2021, the focus has been off Crews on the Blue brand.
It’s no fault of his, but it seems as though WWE is ready to give up on his title reign. Shinsuke/King Nakamura pinned Crews in a six-man tag team match, hinting that he’s next in line for the shot. At this point, WWE may just want to take the title off Apollo Crews.
Is his title reign now too boring to continue on SmackDown?
#2. Worst: Seth Rollins’ attack on Edge during the commercial break
Edge and Seth Rollins’ segment on SmackDown was nothing short of weird this week. The Rated-R Superstar came out and WWE cut to a commercial break. When it returned, they revealed that Rollins had already attacked Edge during the break, but no fan watching it on television was able to see it.
It was a bizarre move and having a live audience doesn’t justify skipping an important segment as such. It didn’t add anything to the episode of SmackDown and it was a weird way to build to a marquee match on the card.
#2. Best: Payback for The Mysterios on SmackDown
Rey Mysterio faced Jimmy Uso on SmackDown this week while Dominik Mysterio promised to keep an eye out for Jey Uso. It was a fast-paced, action-packed match-up that saw luchador legend Rey Mysterio pick up the victory thanks to a smart assist from his son.
It was done the same way that The Usos have been using to get their victories – with one brother sticking their leg in to force a pinfall. It felt like the Mysterios got even, but that won’t happen until they regain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, presumably at SummerSlam 2021.
#3. Worst: A comedic way of setting up the SummerSlam main event
The SummerSlam main event was always going to be Roman Reigns vs. John Cena, but WWE had a comical way to get to it on SmackDown. The contract signing was between Reigns and Finn Balor, with the former signing the contract.
The Tribal Chief even seemed to have a slight bit of respect for Finn Balor – at least more than he did for John Cena. While Balor was on the verge of signing, Baron Corbin came in and took him out without any explanation. Cena simply took advantage of the moment and used a ridiculous loophole by signing his name to the contract.
Paul Heyman argued to SmackDown officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville that it shouldn’t be valid since the contract was tailored with Finn Balor’s name in it. Pearce said he just needed the signature and now Cena vs. Reigns is official.
It’s a great match to headline SummerSlam but a ridiculously silly way to make it official.