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WWE SmackDown results, recap, reactions (July 23, 2021): Nostalgia act

Roman Reigns.... that isn’t PG, sir!

Reigns was able to so eloquently put two and two together for me, and explain why this return of John Cena hasn’t felt as great as it would usually.

John Cena is now a nostalgia act. Using the same promo, outfit, ring entrance, and all. And what’s worse - now he’s also being used to pop ratings. His performance on Raw didn’t really hit with me.

The Tribal Chief’s performance on SmackDown, now THAT hits.

Cena started the show with the same old song and dance, doing the same rah rah speech to fire up the crowd, and to the crowd’s credit they were better than last Monday.

So when Reigns came out to end the show, I had no clue what to expect. My expectations were exceeded, and then some.

He said what I mentioned above, and ALSO compared Cena to doing missionary position every night. Yeah. It got a little warm at that moment.

He declined Cena’s challenge for a SummerSlam match and then an unexpected surprise - Finn Balor interrupted to make a challenge of his own. Reigns accepted it and the show went off the air.

So... what does this mean exactly? Now I highly doubt that they’re just going with Balor and Reigns at the pay-per-view, so maybe Balor gets his shot either next week or the week after?

Also for those of you who may have forgotten, WWE did do the Balor rematch for the Universal championship the last time Reigns was champion in 2018. They done did that already. So this here is a new opportunity, and one that I certainly did not expect any time soon.

I’m also eager to see how we eventually get that Cena match anyway. Like I said, it’s doubtful they’re changing gears on SummerSlam so we have some more Cena/Reigns promos to look forward to.

Let’s get to the rest of the show. For a full rundown of SmackDown, check out the live blog by Claire Elizabeth!

The match I’ve wanted for a long time.

Edge got himself another incredible pop from Cleveland.

He said that the reason why he isn’t the Universal Champion right now is because of Seth Rollins.

Actually Edge, I think it’s really because the whole company decided to neglect your match for 5 or 6 minutes after the ref bump.

Edge realized that this feud goes all the way back to 2014 and he didn’t get the job done then, so now Edge is in his way. Rollins has no clue what mental Pandora’s Box he has opened.

Rollins interrupted in probably one of his best suits laughing and calling Edge a grandpa.

He said he’s tired of people like John Cena and Edge cutting in line and taking away opportunities from him. Because Edge has been such a “scumbag” to him, he wants to be the one to crush Edge’s dreams.

He acknowledged not pulling the trigger on hurting Edge’s neck 7 years ago but he won’t hesitate this time.

So Edge went back on his promise of not attacking Rollins, like a true scumbag, and attacked him. Rollins was able to get out of the ring before getting speared.

I’m really excited for this feud. I always remembered their awesome encounter 7 years ago and it was the first thing I thought about when Edge returned at the 2020 Royal Rumble. There aren’t that many naturally born feuds WWE can call back to, so having them do this one is a win for me.

Seth was on top of his game here and I was fully invested in wanting him to get his body snapped in half. I’m excited for this match.


I was a little confused by this segment.

This started out as Big E’s winning speech after getting the Money in the Bank briefcase.

Then Apollo Crews came out and laughed at E for winning a contract because it wasn’t like winning an actual championship.

The Dirty Dawgs came out to keep themselves relevant.

Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura came out to be Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura.

Cesaro then came out and said he wanted the Intercontinental title.

The heels brawled with the faces and the faces got the upper hand. And then the segment was over.

Uh... alright then. Cool? I guess Cesaro is going to be next challenger for Apollo? Or is Nakamura? Or Ziggler and Roode? Or E? I was looking forward to E’s promo so I was disappointed with this.

The Rest

Bianca Belair defeated Carmella

Was there ever any doubt that Belair was going to lose at Rolling Loud? Not the crowd for A title change. Belair fought out of a Code of Silence and did the vertical suplex. She really is great. K.O.D. got her a relatively quick win. As much as Pat McAfee and Michael Cole tried to get us to believe that the Rolling Loud crowd cared about this, it was kind of easy to spot the lie. The crowds were not really reacting to anything, but I did hear a chant going during this match., Maybe someone can tell us in the comments what they said?

Finn Balor defeated Sami Zayn

Don’t remember if I mentioned last week how wonderful it is to see Balor on the main roster again. It truly is. I hope that the live crowds keep that energy up for him every week because I would absolutely love to see him win titles soon. (And maybe VERY soon?) He sold a really good DDT from Zayn and countered the Helluva Kick with a slingblade. Balor blocked an exploder suplex and a Coup de Grace for the win. Zayn sold like hell for him and the crowd loved it.

Toni Storm defeated Zelina Vega

Storm’s debut match was good. Vega hit her in the face with a knee, and Storm responded with a headbutt. Storm got a two count on a Northern Lights suplex and Vega kept on the attack. Her finisher Storm One got her the win. I really don’t know anything about her, but I enjoyed this performance.

Angelo Dawkins defeated Chad Gable

This match started off the WWE presentation at Rolling Loud. Certainly a unique look! Gable dangled from Dawkins previously injured arm and continued to work on it throughout the match. I noticed how little of a wrestling crowd this was as the referee would start a count and there would be silence. No ONE, TWO... from them. Quick match and good win for Dawkins to avenge the attack on Montez Ford.

Jimmy Uso defeated Dominik Mysterio

Jimmy looks quite menacing with the half dyed red hair. I’m digging the chemistry between these two families. Dominik started to do Eddie Guerrero’s Three Amigos and Jimmy countered with an enzuigiri. Jey cheated for his brother again so they could win. Boo.

Baron Corbin’s life sucks

Corbin’s identity was stolen from him and now he has to taken public transportation. Corbin saw Kevin Owens backstage and apologized for his bad habit of being a jerk. Owens knows exactly how that feels. Shotzi and Nox were fixing the tank and after Owens gave him money, Corbin got attacked with a missile! I liked Owens saving Corbin from the Dirty Dawgz and maybe we’ll see Baron’s first ever face turn in WWE from this? Like I said last week, I’m down. Let’s see what Corbin’s like as a face.

The Extra

McAfee Minute

So this is something that exists now and you just need to get your eyes and ears on it. Pat McAfee is a national treasure and should never leave this company.

Please do more of these, WWE.

Rolling Loud was a very interesting place to do wrestling, but it definitely didn’t feel as great as it could have been.

Grade: B

What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?

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