5 things WWE SmackDown got right this week: Shinsuke Nakamura wins championship; Big E loses his MITB briefcase
Roman Reigns and John Cena were scheduled to come face-to-face on WWE SmackDown this week. The company wasted little time in bringing the two giants out on Friday night’s episode.
The rivalry between Seth Rollins and Edge was also expected to get more intense after The Ultimate Opportunist called his future opponent “Edge Lite.” Meanwhile, a contract signing segment was booked between Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair for WWE SummerSlam.
One of the biggest matches of the night saw King Nakamura challenge Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship. Additionally, a couple of tag team matches also took place on this week’s SmackDown.
Baron Corbin’s misfortunes continued this week, while Big E lost his Money in the Bank briefcase on the show. The creative team could build a great storyline around that angle.
Take a look at the five things WWE got right on SmackDown this week.
#5 John Cena and Roman Reigns traded some hot words to kick off WWE SmackDown
The Summer of Cena continued on WWE SmackDown as the number one contender for the Universal Championship made his way out to a huge pop. John Cena was ready to build hype around his WWE SummerSlam match against Roman Reigns. He immediately targeted the champion after entering the ring.
Cena labeled Reigns a failure and admitted that Reigns would beat the hell out of him at SummerSlam before saying that he also knew that Reigns would lose all the same.
Soon after, the Universal Champion made his way out to the middle with Paul Heyman by his side. The Tribal Chief mocked Cena’s character and even brought his past with Nikki Bella into the conversation.
Cena returned the favor by targeting Reigns’ run in WWE, suggesting he ruined Seth Rollins and ran Dean Ambrose off. The Champ kept reminding The Head of the Table that all he needed to do at SummerSlam was to pin the Universal Champion.
The segment ended with Cena reminding Reigns that he could put him down and leave with the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. SmackDown did exceptionally well at building up the match with a big promo early on.
Unfortunately, Finn Balor wasn’t part of the Universal Championship scene this week. However, Cena and Reigns were great on the mic and ensured that the match between them remains the most hyped match ahead of SummerSlam.
#4 Kevin Owens defeated Baron Corbin after a good contest on WWE SmackDown
Baron Corbin came out on SmackDown looking for a way to get some donations from the WWE Universe. Corbin asked for money from everyone in attendance and even showed that he had a credit card swiper set up on his phone.
Corbin’s night got worse once again as Kevin Owens made his way out to confront the former King of the Ring winner. Owens challenged Corbin to a match, claiming he would give him money if Corbin won.
The two SmackDown Superstars started the match with some standard moves before the action picked up. KO performed an epic senton, following which Corbin delivered a Deep Six to his opponent.
The former King of the Ring tried to roll up Owens with his feet on the ropes but still could not win. Soon after, The Prizefighter rolled up his opponent to win the match and then delivered a Stunner to Corbin to end the segment.
The match was fun and helped Corbin build his new gimmick on SmackDown. He’s fantastic in this role and will likely get a major push soon. Backstage, Corbin stole the Money in the Bank briefcase from Big E and ran out of the building with it.
The angle will help WWE keep Big E away from the Universal Championship match at SummerSlam.
#3 Seth Rollins cut another passionate promo on WWE SmackDown before his match against Edge
Edge was very vocal about his relationship and rivalry with Seth Rollins on WWE SmackDown last week. Rollins appeared via satellite to respond to The Rated-R Superstar but did not get in the ring with him.
This week, it was Rollins’ turn to come out on SmackDown and target Edge. He immediately announced that Edge was not in the arena this time around.
Rollins responded to Edge’s claim last week that he was nothing more than “Edge Lite.” He played a video package to prove that he was better than The Hall of Famer.
The Visionary Drip made it clear that he will not hesitate to put down Edge the way he did in 2014. He was ready to Stomp down The Ultimate Opportunist and put him back on the shelf for good before heading back into the Universal Championship scene.
Edge was fantastic on the mic last week and did well to build this rivalry. Rollins was even better and did all he could to hype one of the biggest non-title matches for WWE SummerSlam.
SmackDown is building towards SummerSlam very well and RAW will need to catch up soon. With so many top superstars working hard to make their rivalries memorable, it will be interesting to see who steals the show at The Biggest Party of the Summer.
#2 Shinsuke Nakamura won the Intercontinental Championship on WWE SmackDown
King Nakamura came out on WWE SmackDown for an Intercontinental Championship match against Apollo Crews. Nakamura was accompanied by Rick Boogs for the contest, while Crews had Commander Azeez by his side.
Boogs played his guitar early in the match to try and distract the Intercontinental Champion. Meanwhile, Azeez tried to enter the ring and help his leader out behind the referee’s back. Both men were ejected from ringside by the referee within minutes of the contest kicking off.
Nakamura and Crews got down to business and delivered some good moves to keep the action going. With no one at ringside, the contest remained clean for the most part. Crews dodged a few moves from Nakamura, including a Kinshasa attempt.
However, The King connected with a Kinshasa late in the contest to pin Crews and win his second Intercontinental Championship. The match gave Nakamura a chance to show off his skills before picking up the victory.
The King has been on a roll over the past few months and it’s good to see that the creative team is ready to give him a push again. He’s in the twilight of his career, and SmackDown should groom him for a world title reign sooner rather than later.
#1 Sasha Banks humiliated Bianca Belair to get the upper hand on WWE SmackDown
The contract signing segment for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship match at SummerSlam was saved for the show’s final moments. The positioning of the segment hinted towards a big brawl.
Sonya Deville presided over the contract signing ceremony between Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. Both women exchanged some hot words before Banks introduced Zelina Vega and Carmella as her witnesses.
Before The Boss could sign the contract, Belair tried to take Banks down with a big flip. The numbers game caught onto her as Vega and Carmella helped Banks beat the SmackDown Women’s Champion down.
The Boss repeatedly smashed Belair into the table before applying a Bank Statement with Belair’s own hair to end the show. SmackDown has done very well to build all the big matches for SummerSlam.
While the segment was predictable, it was interesting to see that Carmella and Vega are now with Sasha Banks. This could give The EST a chance to call for some backup from WWE NXT or align with Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart for some time.