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Smackdown Rundown: John Cena Destroys Roman Reigns

Reverse Hipster What Mattered

7. Mysterios Gain Momentum

Rey and Dominik won their match against the Dirty Dawg despite the Uso's trying to distract them. Rey was upset at Dominik for possibly being distracted, so it seems like they are planting the seeds for a Dominik heel turn. During the distraction, the Uso's announced that they will have a tag team title match with Rey and Dominik at Summerslam. I hope it's on the main show.

6.Seth Rollins

I think Seth Rollins did a good job carrying this feud this week. He continues to make this feud personal, and I think it's time to add a stipulation to the match. In order to deliver on the excellent promos of Edge and Seth, they need a stipulation. However, Seth kept the program hot this week.

5.Take Back Season

Last week I complained WWE had done a lackluster job with Montez Ford and had forgotten his story with Alpha Academy. They corrected that this week. Ford and Dawkins beat Alpha Academy this week. However, they pinned Chad and not Otis, and when Otis was in, he dominated them. This feud isn't over, and I look forward to seeing what happens next week.

4. King Nakamura Becomes IC Champion

Both managers were almost immediately thrown out, and that was great. Part of what ruined Apollo's reign is that Aziz interfered in every match. Apollo never had a great match because there was always a dirty finish. Apollo had one of his best matches when he lost it to Nakamura. Hopefully, this will be a new era for the IC championship.

3. The SWO

Sasha and Bianca had an excellent contract signing. First, they did well arguing with each other and building the excitement for a physical confrontation. Then they held back, and Sasha introduced the fact that she is now working with Carmella and Zelina. I love these three as a faction. Bianca fought all three, but the numbers overwhelmed her, and Sasha dominated Bianca, easily choking her with her own braid. I love the development of Sasha's new faction. It introduces a new tag team for the division and adds a new dimension to the title match at Summerslam.

2. Corbin

I criticized Raw for how they handled Corbin's character. However, Smackdown did it very well. I like that Kevin Owen tried to help Corbin earnestly before turning and rationally explained why Corbins is an asshole. Lastly and most importantly, Kevin gave the match with Corbin stakes. Owen's said if he loses, he will give Corbin one thousand dollars, but he can't beg anymore if Corbin loses. This match is the first Corbin match I have felt invested in because it had stakes. Also, I'm glad Kevin won and can no longer beg. After the match, Corbin stole the MITB starting an interesting story with Big E.

  1. The Doctor of Promonomics

John Cena had the best promo segment of the year. Roman was excellent. He insulted John Cena and used his relationship with Nikki Bella. He said, "years of missionary might have been good enough for you, but it wasn't good enough for Nikki," Bella. Roman also insulted how John Cena runs down his opponents instead of building them up before beating them. Then he builds Cena up before saying that he will smash him. This was clever, and for anyone else on the roster, it would have been enough.

However, John Cena proceeded to savagely rip Roman Reigns apart. For his first lap, he pointed out how protected Roman is and has been for years. Then he made fun of the fact that fans still rejected Roman despite main eventing Wrestlemania multiple times. Then Cena got personal and said Roman almost ruined Seth and ran Dean Ambrose out of WWE. Meanwhile, he effortlessly incorporated fan participation by having people chant 1 2 3 along with Cena. Because as Cena pointed out, he doesn't need to prove himself. He is in the CM Punk position. He just needs to win. He said if Cena wins, Roman becomes a trivia question. Who did John beat to become a 17-time champion? Cena actually might have been taking a jab at the idea that one wrestler could dominate and be on top, and with one win, all that they have done before is destroyed. Still, John Cena is clearly excited to be the guy that just needs to win finally; it doesn't matter how the win happens, just one two three.

This is what promo segments in WWE should be. We should wonder how much was scripted. The insults should feel real and draw us in. This feud is night and day from the utterly dull money grab nostalgia feud happening between Golberg and Bobby on Raw.

Rob’s What mattered

4. Kevin Owens vs. Baron Corbin

When it rains, it pours for down-on-his-luck Baron Corbin. Kevin Owens beat Corbin, revoking his offer to give Corbin $1000. Corbin also agreed to stop asking for money because of the loss. After the match, Corbin stole Big E’s briefcase backstage, so there continues to be intrigue around Corbin’s character. If nothing else, he is delivering consistent, entertaining feuds because of it.

3. Seth Rollins Narrates a Career Retrospective

Seth Rollins is working this mega-heel gimmick, and Edge is the perfect foil. I already knew that they had similar careers, but Rollins did a great job laying it out with an over-the-top career retrospective made to show that Rollins is better than Edge at every turn. What it achieved was reinforcing this is a dream match between two very similar superstars.

2. King Nakamura Wins the Intercontinental Championship

Nakamura is resurging his WWE career. The feud with Baron Corbin was lame by the end, but I think it was worth handing over the king's gimmick and tying Rick Boogs to his already dynamic entrance. Now, Nakamura has won the Intercontinental Championship, allowing him to use his in-ring skills to launch other talents in the mid-card and have a chance to earn a match of the night at any point in time.

1. John Cena and Roman Reigns Trade Words

Maybe the two best doing it right now swapped promos. This opened the show, took up two segments, and earned that designation. I popped at home when John Cena went at Roman Reigns for running Dean Ambrose out of WWE and getting new teeth before his return in 2020. Reigns held his own, dissing Cena for his relationship with Nikki Bella and using the same sophomoric humor as a crutch for his promos. These two are showing you that there is a place for WWE-style main events. Give me the two biggest stars of the last decade fighting over the biggest championship at Summerslam.

Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter

Nothing, it was a very good Smackdown where everything was done well.

Rob’s What Didn’t Matter

1. Apollo Crews’ Intercontinental Championship Reign

This year, Apollo Crews had a change in character that was fresh, entertaining, and commanded more attention in-ring. His championship reign was a chance for him to redefine his career, but with too much interference from Commander Azeez and not enough focus on how good Crews is on his own, it was kind of a bust. In retrospect, the most entertaining part of his reign was opponents like Big E, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn. Hopefully, this is a chance for Crews to reset and not be forgotten again.

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