SmackDown airs tonight (July 9) live from the ThunderDome in the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida. This is the third SmackDown episode during the four week build towards the upcoming Money in the Bank 2021 event on July 18, and the final episode of SmackDown inside the ThunderDome.
WWE’s decision on Jimmy Uso looms large
Jimmy Uso was arrested for DUI earlier this week. It’s his third alcohol-related arrest since 2019.
Uso currently has an important role in SmackDown’s main event angle between Roman Reigns and Edge, but his poor decision-making in real life may result in WWE taking him off television and out of the storyline. We don’t know for sure how WWE will handle this situation. The company line is typically that their independent contractors are responsible for their own actions when not appearing for WWE.
This is a case where kayfabe doesn’t matter one bit. Jimmy Uso clearly has a problem with alcohol, and WWE needs to step in and do something about it.
The title scene
Roman Reigns is set to defend the Universal championship against Edge at Money in the Bank. Edge has been an unhinged madman since returning to WWE television two weeks ago, and appears to be as dangerous as he’s ever been. The Tribal Chief was nowhere to be found one week ago when Edge brutalized Jimmy Uso. How will Roman react to Edge’s recent attacks?
Bayley is getting one more chance to win the SmackDown Women’s championship from Bianca Belair. The fight for the title will take place at Money in the Bank, and it’s an “I Quit” match. Bayley is supremely confident that she will never say those two words. She’s even suggested that she may quit WWE altogether if Belair can force her to give up at the pay-per-view.
Intercontinental champion Apollo Crews has failed to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match and doesn’t appear to have much going on for that event. It would be nice if WWE can find someone for Crews to wrestle besides Big E, but so far that’s not something you should hold your breath waiting on.
Rey and Dominik Mysterio are the SmackDown tag team champions, but they haven’t been around in a couple weeks thanks to Roman Reigns beating the crap out of them circa Hell in a Cell. Otis has stepped up in the meantime by injuring Montez Ford and squashing Angelo Dawkins. Alpha Academy has made it clear that they want the tag titles.
Natalya and Tamina are still the only women’s tag team left on Friday nights. The women’s tag team champions could potentially show up tonight to be awarded a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match by Sonya Deville. There isn’t really anything else for them to do right now on Friday nights.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- There are two Money in the Bank qualifying matches scheduled for tonight: Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins, and Kingsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin. We’ve seen these matches many times before, but endless rematches are pretty much the name of the game in WWE.
- Liv Morgan has defeated both Carmella and Zelina Vega to prove that she belongs in the Money in the Bank ladder match, but Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce have yet to add her to the match. Maybe Liv should try losing this week if she wants to join Carmella and Vega in the ladder match, because winning is getting her nowhere fast.
- Will WWE do anything special to mark the final episode of SmackDown inside the ThunderDome before returning to the road next Friday night?
What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?