9/10/21 Smackdown Rundown: Madison Square Garden
Updated: Sep 24, 2021
Reverse Hipster What Mattered
6. Overall Quality
Smackdown was really good. Raw was better than it has been lately, and still, it's not even in the same league as Smackdown this week. Watching Smackdown felt nostalgic; they finally delivered the quality WWE used to deliver regularly.
5. Y'all Wanna Go Big?
Smackdown had a ten-man tag match between Sami, The dirty Dawgs Otis and Apollo vs. The mysterious, Boogz & Nakamura, and Big E. Sami Zayn brought out, as he says it, someone who knows how to win in New York Trae Young, which was absolutely hilarious. Excellent heel move by Sami because Young knocked the New Yor Knicks out of the playoffs. Also, this was a fabulous guest for WWE, who even used some heel tactics beating up a wrestler while the refs back was turned. The match was a fast-paced, entertaining spotfest where Big E stood tall for his team and gained more momentum as Mr. Money in the Bank.
4. A New Diva Arrives
Becky finally stopped half-stepping and went all the way this week. While WWE has wasted Becky's potential as a face in her return, they are at least starting to make the most of her heel run. Becky came out in an over-the-top fur coat and glasses and just acted like an arrogant diva who thought she was bigger than the fans and the WWE. She finally garnered heat. Bianca, on the other hand, is still on point. She seems like she is in Becky's head and has completely won over the fans. The contract between Becky and Bianca was finally signed, and the segment was a success. It's time to see what Bianca is willing to do to get her title back and reclaim her throne and what Becky is willing to do to keep it and protect her ego.
3. The Beast and Demon
Brock's return was fantastic; he got a huge pop and stirred up some drama between Roman and Heyman. According to Brock, Paul knew that Brock would be at Summerslam; this caused Roman to walk out on Heyman. However, when Brock picked up Heyman for an F5 after Paul refused to accept a challenge from Brock for the tribal chief, Roman saved him. He took Brock down with a superman punch. However, Roman exited, and the Uso's tried to finish what he started with superkicks, but Brock took them to suplex city. Lots of people in WWE do good german suplexes, but Lesnar's just hits different the raw strength and excellent form are just unmatched.
At the end of the night, the demon returned to confront Roman. The production value on his entrance was insane. I love that Finn got the main event spot. I wish that Finn would have actually attacked Roman on camera; nonetheless, it was still a definite moment. Roman and Balor at extreme rules should be amazing maybe we could even get a triple threat.
2. Edge vs. Seth
Edge and Seth have been completely amazing together, and there is no sign of that changing this week. Edge and Seth had a PPV level battle where they used each other's moves, and Seth even hit Edge with two Glam Slams. However, both men refused to give up, so Seth escalated the conflict. He intentionally bumped into the ref, and so he could low blow Edge. Seth then super kicked Edge till he was zombified, and then he curb-stomped him. Edge was rushed to the hospital, and Seth played it perfectly afterward; he was mumbling and rambling in his promo like he had just come out of a fugue state. Then he said he doesn't feel anything like maybe Seth has gone to that dark place Edge was talking about that it's hard to come back from.
1. Street Profits vs. Uso's
The tag team title match was the main event, and it deserved to be. It was an excellent match back and forth. The two teams went just topping each other until the Usos hit their finisher, and it seemed like it was a wrap for the Street Profits. However, the Streets Profits took the Uso's best shot and kept coming. They hit the Uso's with their finisher, and it seemed like surely their would-be new tag team champions, but then Roman ran in and choked out Montez, causing a Dq. Despite the ending, the match showed that the PPV version is primed to be even more insane.
Rob’s What Mattered
7. Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch Put Pen to Paper
I don’t think anyone wanted to see Becky Lynch be the heel in her return. However, with a few weeks to get used to it, I love her work. She absolutely worked the crowd, getting in the history of “We Want Becky” chants and calling out the crowd for switching to Bianca Belair’s side. More importantly, Lynch is giving Belair a high bar to aim for, and Belair is crushing it in her promo work when she has to rise to Lynch’s level.
6. The Usos vs. the Street Profits
I don’t think this should have main evented due to the faulty finish, but I think this delivered on the promise of these two insane in-ring teams. Knowing that this was cut short, it also served as a promo for their inevitable rematch on a PPV. For now, this is the right finish, but WWE should be building toward a thunderous babyface win for the Street Profits.
5. 5-on-5 Tag Match
in other weeks, this would be in my top two of the what mattered section. Sami Zayn brought out Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks to chastise the New York crowd, and it was one of the best uses of home crowd heat we’ve ever seen. Young even interfered to stop a 619 that all of New York wanted to see. Everyone played their part in this match. The crowd got sent home happy after a double 619 and Big Ending for the faces to win.
4. The Demon Finn Balor
Roman Reigns promised an upcoming Universal Title defense at the end of the night, and he was interrupted by the Demon Finn Balor. I think this made everything make sense for the Universal Title picture. WWE can continue to build the tension between Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Big E, and Paul Heyman. This is an amazing spot for Finn Balor returning to the main roster. We haven’t seen the demon in so long, and Balor proved already he could have an A+ match with Reigns. Inevitably, this is a detour for Reigns, but no matter how this goes, I think Balor comes out looking like a winner just from the rub he can get hanging in the ring with Reigns.
3. The Sociopath Seth Rollin
It’s not every week you see a formerly retired hall of famer put on a thirty-minute classic with one of the best in-ring wrestlers today. Edge and Seth Rollins continued to show why this was my most anticipated feud for the returning Edge. Everything Edge is doing is masterful: the storytelling, the callbacks in-ring, the pace he works it, and the way the crowd is in his hand. I loved the story of this feud, and I think Rollins rose to Edge’s level. His post-match promo intrigued me the most. It seems like Rollins has no remorse for his actions to the point he didn’t feel anything while injuring Edge. In addition to a classic match, we got a major story/character progression, and the action in-ring was driven by the story so far and well, see where it goes from here.
2. Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and Big E
Every week, Roman Reigns is expected to be the best part of WWE SmackDown. Whether you think Reigns’ talent warrants it or not, I have to admit that WWE protecting his win-loss record has been a massive part of the storytelling that benefits Reigns. Everything he does matters. Brock Lesnar returning is a gigantic pop for SmackDown and the most significant challenge Reigns will face to date. The storytelling with Reigns, Lesnar, and Paul Heyman is excellent. Who will Heyman side with, and how will it impact the match? I’m along for the ride that they will take me on story-wise. Adding to it, Big E is looming backstage with the Money in the Bank briefcase. He has manically laughed at Heyman the last couple of times they have crossed paths backstage, he cut a great post-match promo this week, and Big E could be as big of a part of the main event story as Reigns and Lesnar.
1. Madison Square Garden
Coming into this show, my thought was, “Why does New York randomly get a great weekly show every year?” By the end of this, I wasn’t complaining, and I thought the crowd at Madison Square Garden earned the show they got. The white-hot crowd was so loud it reminded me of why crowds have been desperately missed in WWE. After Raw missed so hard this week, SmackDown reminded me that there is an A show in WWE that is worth every minute watching.
Rob’s What Didn’t Matter
This was the best SmackDown in a long time. Every segment mattered and contributed something different to the show. The white-hot New York crowd added to the action. This was precisely the show WWE needed to deliver after a stinker of a Raw and AEW hunting down their reputation as the best wrestling promotion.
The Women's Division
Sadly as much as I'd like to celebrate WWE, we can't ignore that WWE cut the women out of Smackdown. They cut Naomi's segment out of Smackdown, which would have probably been very short anyway. Sad when you can't do a storyline about being pushed to the side because the company is pushing you to the side in real life. Also, Zelina Vega, who lost her father in the 9/11 attack, was left off the show, which feels particularly egregious on a show with 9/11 packages all over it. Apparently, there was supposed to be a tag match between Liv & Toni Storm and Zelina & Carmella. Once again, Liv, who could be a bubbling star, is just not used along with Toni Storm, who has been losing the fight for screen time since her debut. Has WWE learned nothing from Ruby Soho? WWE needs to get with times people want Women's wrestling, and they care about these stars.
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