WWE SmackDown Flops and Hits: Big E and Finn Balor stun Roman Reigns and The Usos, Big mistake with Kevin Owens (17th September, 2021)

WWE SmackDown was uncomfortably average this week. The show started off brilliantly, but the Blue brand failed to maintain the rhythm throughout its duration. There were several little moments that ended up compromising with its overall flow. That said, there were plenty of positives as well.

Here, we look at the biggest flops and hits from this week’s WWE SmackDown. So, without further ado, let’s begin.


#5 Hit on WWE SmackDown: Big E and Finn Balor team up to steal the show

This week’s WWE SmackDown kicked off an excellent note that saw a top babyface and popular anti-hero team up and stand up to the biggest villain on the Blue brand.

It all started when Roman Reigns and The Usos walked out alongside Paul Heyman to celebrate their dominance. Shortly after Heyman talked about the beasts (Brock Lesnar) and demons (Finn Balor) lined up to face the Tribal Chief, Big E’s music hit the arena.

The newly crowned WWE Champion returned on SmackDown and stood across from Reigns, teasing their potential match at Survivor Series. Soon, Balor walked out and joined the champions inside the ring. Following that, a match was booked between The Usos and the team of Big E and Finn Balor to kick off the show.

It was an excellent match between four talented superstars who left no stone unturned in delivering an engaging in-ring encounter. All of them looked equally good in a fairly balanced meeting. Balor and Big E had the entire arena rallying behind them as they defeated the reigning WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions.

The match’s closing moments saw the New Day member and Balor hit their respective finishers simultaneously inside the ring. The Prince used Coup de Grace to keep Jey Uso out of the equation, while Big E used Big Ending on Jimmy Uso to seal their victory. There was also a small detail that many may have missed during the match.

Although Balor delivered his finisher at the same as Big E, he immediately rolled out of the ring to allow the WWE Champion to enjoy the spotlight while The Prince was seen cheering for him at ringside.

Both superstars eventually celebrated together as Big E invited him back inside the ring. The two deserved to pick up a good win to gain momentum, and they made the most of their opportunity. The crowd’s reaction was a testimony to their popularity on WWE SmackDown.

Later in the show, Paul Heyman met his arch-nemesis, Kayla Braxton, in a hilarious segment following which the WWE Champion also tried to tease the Tribal Chief’s spokesperson. Unfortunately, the backstage segment ended with The Usos laying down a vicious attack on Big E, manhandling him backstage.

Soon after that, WWE SmackDown confirmed that Roman Reigns, Jey and Jimmy Uso would head over to Monday Night RAW next week to face The New Day. It will be exciting to see what’s in store for this match on the Red brand.

#4 Flop on WWE SmackDown: Kevin Owens forced into another underwhelming segment

Kevin Owens is arguably the most charismatic superstar on WWE SmackDown. Unfortunately, his current booking isn’t doing justice to his talents. He is involved in a feud with Happy Corbin, and both superstars were scheduled to face each other in a singles match. The last time they met, Corbin’s cheap shot also allowed his guest Logan Paul to attack Owens inside the ring.

KO said that he defied his instinct to help Corbin when the latter was going through a financial crisis. He intended to teach the Mayor of Jackpot City a lesson, but the latter had other plans.

Right before their match on WWE SmackDown, Corbin attacked Owens, and subsequently, their match was canceled. While we expect them to face off sooner rather than later, there are certainly better ways in which the creative cream could have booked this segment.

Corbin could have disqualified himself from attacking his opponent ruthlessly while they were engaged in a bout instead of an illegal attack before their match. This would have added to Owens’s rage while simultaneously adding more to Corbin’s credibility.

Kevin Owens deserves to be involved in top feuds, and if he is going to be booked in this storyline on WWE SmackDown, he at least deserves a little more effort from the writers.

#3 Hit on WWE SmackDown: Kane puts Bianca Belair over in her hometown

The main event of WWE SmackDown this week saw Bianca Belair’s homecoming at Knoxville. The former women’s champion was greeted with a deafening pop as the home crowd took pride in Belair’s incredible journey so far. However, the best part of the segment also involved Hall of Famer and Knox County Mayor Kane.

He further honored her with a key to the county, and The EST of WWE celebrated with the fans by singing “Rocky Top.” She was soon interrupted by SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, who instantly met with “You don’t belong here” chants. The segment did well to draw heat towards Lynch while making Belair look like an absolute hero.

Bianca Belair provoked Becky Lynch when the two superstars shook hands, but it ended with the champion delivering the Manhandle Slam. This was probably the only questionable part of their meeting, as Belair deserved to go over in her hometown.

Hopefully, WWE SmackDown will use this angle to add intensity to their feud ahead of Extreme Rules. Will they finally engage in a proper altercation on the Blue brand’s go-home show before the upcoming pay-per-view?

#2 Flop on WWE SmackDown: Carmella’s weak booking on the show

The women’s division finally got a match on WWE SmackDown. The last time we saw a women’s bout was three weeks ago. This week, a good tag team encounter was booked, but it met with a disappointing end. Liv Morgan and Toni Storm teamed up to take on Zelina Vega and Carmella, and all four superstars did well initially in the match.

However, it abruptly ended when Carmella accused Morgan of breaking her nose by slamming her onto the turnbuckle. After that, she retreated away from the ring when the referee finished counting to 10. While Morgan and Storm technically picked up a victory, no one really came out as a winner. A better conclusion would have helped in elevating all four superstars on the Blue brand.

Following the match, Liv Morgan challenged Carmella to a match at Extreme Rules, which could be good for both superstars. But before that, she is scheduled to face Zelina Vega on WWE SmackDown next week.

We hope that the creative team will add more credibility to this rivalry and book Carmella strongly before facing Morgan. Although it’s not a title feud, the writers need to avoid being complacent with the developments in the women’s division and avoid risking female superstars’ interest.

#1 Hit/Flop on WWE SmackDown: Rick Boogs goes over, Apollo Crews back into the Intercontinental Championship picture

This segment is bound to have left WWE SmackDown viewers with mixed feelings. Rick Boogs faced Robert Roode in a singles match. He delivered an impressive performance that showed equal parts of his strength and technique inside the squared circle. Roode, to his credit, did exceptionally well in putting over Boogs throughout their bout.

He looked dominant in the match and did well in working alongside the crowd. He eventually hit the Boogs Cruise to seal his victory on WWE SmackDown. Soon after that, Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs headed to the announcement desk to celebrate with Pat McAfee, but Commander Azeez soon interrupted them, who kicked Boogs off the table.

 Apollo Crews then turned his attention towards Nakamura and attacked the Intercontinental Champion before demanding a title rematch at Extreme Rules. But the Japanese star has hardly faced anyone else, and it seems that Crews is once again back in the Intercontinental Championship picture.

It would have been better if WWE SmackDown used a better narrative to bring him back as Nakamura’s challenger, and probably after the King of the Ring had faced a few more superstars. We have had Crews on the IC Championship scene for a long time, and it will be a difficult, albeit doable, job to keep the fans excited about his title hunt once again.

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