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WWE SmackDown preview (Aug. 13, 2021): Finn Bálor doesn’t deserve a title shot either

SmackDown airs tonight (Aug. 13) live from the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This is the fourth SmackDown episode during the five week build towards the upcoming SummerSlam 2021 event on August 21.

Finn Bálor doesn’t deserve a title shot either

John Cena is a fraud, because he preaches about working hard to earn the day, yet he immediately stole Finn Balor’s Universal title match at SummerSlam away from him. Cena has done nothing to earn a title match against Roman Reigns other than sign his name on someone else’s contract.

But it’s also worth pointing out that Bálor never deserved the title shot over Cena to begin with. He and Cena both used the same approach to try getting a match with Roman Reigns - they simply asked for it. Reigns declined John’s challenge but accepted Finn’s. Why did he do that? It’s because Roman thinks Finn would be the easier opponent to defeat at SummerSlam.

And you know what? The Tribal Chief’s assessment about Finn Bálor is correct. We saw proof of that last week when Finn tapped out to Roman’s guillotine choke.

There’s no shame in being put down by that move, particularly after a double team attack from Jimmy and Jey Uso. But most of Roman’s toughest challengers to date on pay-per-view have not tapped out from the hold - they were instead rendered unconscious. Yet there Finn was last week, tapping out before he passed out. That’s not a great look for a fresh new babyface challenger, and makes it seem less likely that the SummerSlam main event will be turned into a triple threat match.

One thing we know about John Cena is that, unlike Finn Bálor, he never taps out. Cena is a snake, no doubt, but it’s also pretty easy to see why he’s going to put up a much better fight against Roman Reigns at SummerSlam than Finn Bálor would. That’s why Roman wants nothing to do with John, and why John is so eager to confront Roman tonight.

The rest of the title scene

Sasha Banks promises that she’ll never let anybody steal the spotlight from her ever again. She has a rematch against Bianca Belair for the SmackDown women’s champion lined up at SummerSlam. Meanwhile, Zelina Vega is trying to force her way into the championship scene even though she has lost every single match she’s competed in since she returned to WWE. Maybe Zelina can swoop in and sign her name on Sasha’s contract during the contract signing tonight and take Sasha’s title match away.

Intercontinental champion Apollo Crews has his hands full with the one true king of WWE, Shinsuke Nakamura. Crews had to desperately escape from Nakamura with a lame disqualification finish last week. As a result, we are getting a rematch tonight, and it’s for the title.

The Usos and Mysterios are set for a clash over the SmackDown tag team titles at SummerSlam. Rey Mysterio has been trying to teach Dominik to not make so many mistakes in the ring. We’ll see if Dominik’s latest loss to Jey Uso frustrates the younger Mysterio to the point where he rejects his father’s advice and/or help.

The Women’s tag team titles won’t be defended as long as Natalya is on the shelf from ankle surgery. However, Tamina can still compete in singles matches. She lost against Tegan Nox last week after being distracted by a projectile that was shot at her from a tank. The projectile didn’t make contact with Tamina, so no disqualification was called. It’s pretty wild that it’s perfectly legal to shoot a gun at your opponent in the middle of a match as long as your shot misses. More ringside managers should employ this strategy, it would seem.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- WWE’s teaser video for SmackDown suggests that Edge and Seth Rollins are both willing to push things to the absolute limits to take each other out. Edge has pretty much said that he’s going to murder Rollins if he gets his hands on him. Will a stipulation or gimmick be added to their SummerSlam match?

- Now that the Street Profits are both healthy, it’s only a matter of time until they come looking for revenge on Alpha Academy.

- Will Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Toni Storm, Cesaro, and Liv Morgan remain ignored on SmackDown television in August?

- It’s Friday the 13th. I have a feeling that sad Baron Corbin’s bad luck will only get worse tonight.

What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?

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