5 Things WWE subtly told us on SmackDown: Possibly bad news for ‘Demon’ Finn Balor fans, Top star set for a big move to RAW?

Welcome to this week’s edition of things WWE subtly told us on SmackDown. It was the eve of 9/11, and WWE paid tribute as beautifully as they normally do – 20 years on.

It was yet another great episode of SmackDown, airing from the iconic Madison Square Garden venue. When a show is so big, there needs to be big matches and segments. That’s exactly what the company delivered on SmackDown this week from start to finish. Here’s what WWE subtly told us in the build to Extreme Rules 2021.

#5 Roman Reigns gets two big challenges on SmackDown

SmackDown started with Roman Reigns getting acknowledged by the WWE Universe. It was quite the moment and quite the reaction until Brock Lesnar made his return to the blue brand after nearly two years.

The reaction understandably blew the roof off the building, and the crowd seemed to love babyface Brock Lesnar. It was tense because fans knew beforehand that this would be a somewhat Paul Heyman-centric confrontation.

Brock Lesnar asked Heyman in front of Roman Reigns (and The Usos) as to why he didn’t tell the Universal Champion about his SummerSlam return, inferring that the Special Counsel knew beforehand.

Brock Lesnar gave Paul Heyman five seconds to acknowledge his challenge to Roman Reigns and even lifted him for an F5. Roman Reigns made the save by hitting a Superman punch on Brock Lesnar, while The Usos gave The Beast Incarnate superkicks as well.

It was obvious what The Usos’ purpose in the opening SmackDown segment was – to be beaten down by Lesnar. That’s exactly what happened, but not too much as they had a SmackDown Tag Team title defense in the main event.

Paul Heyman vs. Kayla Braxton is low-key the most hilarious feud on SmackDown right now. Braxton’s determination to get the big scoop has annoyed Heyman on numerous instances, and the same happened this week as well.

Backstage, Paul Heyman was told off by Roman Reigns, who sounded bitterly disappointed in him. The face of SmackDown kept repeating “I saved you” to Paul Heyman – which isn’t fully wrong.

After the main event of SmackDown, Roman Reigns seemingly accepted Brock Lesnar’s challenge. But first, it’s Finn Balor at Extreme Rules. After the tease on SmackDown last week, it was confirmed that The Demon is, in fact, back.

Pat McAfee said that Roman Reigns wouldn’t be facing Finn Balor at Extreme Rules – but The Demon instead. We have mixed emotions about this.

While it’s nice to see Balor’s alter-ego, we’re not sure how much Finn Balor wanted to bring it back.

To add to that, Demon Balor isn’t defeating Roman Reigns. Since Roman Reigns vs. Demon Balor on SmackDown is likely to headline Extreme Rules over Bobby Lashley vs. Randy Orton, it might even be a clean finish.

Does The Demon need to lose this early into Finn Balor’s second main roster run? It’s certainly bad news for Balor fans, and WWE might be affecting the character negatively by already having the Brock Lesnar-Roman Reigns match lined up for the future.

#4 Big E teases a big move to RAW from SmackDown

Big E picked up the win for his team in the 10-man tag team match on SmackDown this week. He teamed up with The Mysterios, King Nakamura, and Rick Boogs to beat Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Apollo Crews, and Otis.

After assistance from The Mysterios, Big E ended the match by pinning Sami Zayn in dominant fashion. Post-match on SmackDown, he was interviewed by Kayla Braxton, who asked him what’s next.

He simply pointed to his Money in the Bank briefcase and said that he would be going to RAW next week – potentially teasing a cash-in on the Almighty WWE Champion Bobby Lashley.

Although he mentioned Roman Reigns as well, and even had a moment with Paul Heyman backstage, Big E’s future seems clear – it isn’t necessarily going to be on SmackDown. If or when Big E becomes a World Champion, it might just be on RAW.

That means that either the WWE Draft will take him to RAW from SmackDown, or he will change brands by cashing in. He is one of the few superstars on the WWE roster who can go between RAW and SmackDown whenever he wants.

This seemed to be the biggest tease of Big E jumping to RAW.

#3 Will the Edge-Seth Rollins trilogy see the latter turn face on SmackDown?

Edge and Seth Rollins had yet another incredible match, this time on SmackDown. It was only the second time they had a match, and it delivered in a big way. While the first bout was undoubtedly superior from an in-ring perspective, Edge and Seth Rollins’ excellent use of facial expressions made for a fantastic story.

When fans wonder why part-time legends are viewed as having such an aura, this is the reason why. Simply look at Edge’s facial expressions during his match on SmackDown, and it’s easy to understand that he is truly on a level of his own.

There are certain subtleties and nuances about wrestling that almost all of the current WWE roster doesn’t have, or are simply taught not to.

Either way, it was a brutal finish to the bout on SmackDown. After a low blow, Seth Rollins landed kick after kick to Edge’s face. The Rated-R Superstar kept getting back on his knees, as though he knew what his fate was. One last stomp sealed it, and a stretcher was brought to ringside to take Edge away.

Backstage, Edge was seen getting stretchered into an ambulance, while his longtime friend Rey Mysterio looked on in disbelief.

Mysterio wasn’t the only one in disbelief, however. Seth Rollins was seen as well, emotionless. Although he looked like he regretted what he did, it likely wasn’t leading to a face turn.

What is likely, however, is a stipulation match between the two men at Extreme Rules 2021 following the finish on SmackDown.

#2. Becky Lynch was a bigger heel on SmackDown than Roman Reigns

New York City and Madison Square Garden acknowledged Roman Reigns as SmackDown began. The crowd seemed to love him and he was legitimately getting the acknowledgment he deserves.

However, Becky Lynch, one of the most popular women in WWE history, wasn’t so big with the fans at MSG. It was a bit surprising, but it’s great validation for the SmackDown Women’s Champion.

The advertised segment was a contract signing for the Extreme Rules pay-per-view match between the two women. Bianca Belair was quick to sign, and she even received “EST” chants from the crowd.

Becky Lynch, on the other hand, expressed some reservations over the match at Extreme Rules, wanting to defend the SmackDown Women’s Title only on her terms. However, she eventually relented after getting flustered by the crowd and Bianca Belair.

She signed the contract and the SmackDown Women’s Title match is now official for Extreme Rules 2021. While it would be good to see Bianca Belair get her due by regaining the SamckDown Women’s Championship, it seems validating enough that she has been hot with every crowd that has attended.

Unfortunately for Bianca Belair, it just isn’t her time right now.

#1 The Street Profits to get another SmackDown Tag Team title shot

It’s 2021 and The Street Profits have headlined a show at Madison Square Garden after the latest episode of SmackDown. When Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkkins made their WWE main roster debut, it’s unlikely that anyone would have seen them headline the show in the iconic arena.

And they delivered in a big way. After winning their Championship Contender match against The Usos, they secured a SmackDown Tag Team Title bout at MSG. Both teams proved to have incredible chemistry and it seemed like The Street Profits were going to capture the gold.

However, Roman Reigns, who was at ringside, wanted The Usos to retain to keep the power of The Bloodline alive. He interfered and choked Montez Ford out with a strong guillotine, causing a disqualification.

While that was an unsatisfactory finish, it was made that way for a reason. Roman Reigns had a lot of heat on him and SmackDown ended with Demon Balor coming out to confront him with a huge pop.

The Street Profits and The Usos, meanwhile, are likely to go at it again for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles again at Extreme Rules – hopefully with a fun stipulation.

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