SmackDown airs tonight (Sept. 24) live from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is the final SmackDown episode during the five week build towards Extreme Rules 2021 on September 26.
The Demon has no chance in hell against Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns will defend the Universal championship against Finn Balor’s demon form at Extreme Rules. The Demon is undefeated on WWE’s main roster. WWE won’t just throw that away so quickly after Balor’s return to SmackDown television two months ago, right?
Yes. Yes they will throw it away that quickly.
The bottom line is that Finn was screwed as soon as Brock Lesnar showed up to confront the Tribal Chief at SummerSlam. Finn was already cast aside in August for John Cena, and now he’s just the pretender who is killing time in the September main event until Brock Lesnar is ready to return next month to challenge Roman at the more important event in Saudi Arabia.
Some fans have convinced themselves The Demon’s undefeated record means he will win at Extreme Rules. Roman Reigns has run out of opponents on SmackDown, they say, so if not Finn, then who?
This is a very easy question to answer. WWE has already lined up Roman’s pay-per-view (PPV) opponents for September (Balor), October (Lesnar), and November (probably Big E). That means Roman only needs four more PPV matches from December through March to make it to WrestleMania 38 in April as the Universal champion.
With the WWE Draft coming up next week, there won’t be any issue filling out those four months with new challengers for Roman. Drew McIntyre can come over to SmackDown and take up two of those four months. The same thing can be said about Randy Orton. Perhaps AJ Styles will be a babyface by early next year and he can chip in. Seth Rollins wants the Universal title and hasn’t had a shot in a very long time. Shinsuke Nakamura is hot and can always challenge Roman on one of the B shows. Maybe Brock Lesnar or another part-timer go after Roman at Royal Rumble in January.
The Money in the Bank briefcase is no longer a factor. That means as long as Roman Reigns remains healthy, the path is clear for him to walk into WrestleMania 38 as the Universal champion. That’s just one reason why The Demon is screwed and will suffer his first main roster loss this weekend at Extreme Rules.
As far as tonight’s episode of SmackDown is concerned, WWE needs to lend credence to the illusion that Finn can win on Sunday. So Finn or The Demon will probably stand tall over Roman tonight in whatever segment WWE comes up with for them.
The rest of the title scene
Shinsuke Nakamura is set to defend the Intercontinental title tonight against former champion Apollo Crews. The last month hasn’t given much reason to think Crews will win the title back, so I expect this one will end with Nakamura, Rick Boogs, and Pat McAfee triumphantly rocking out at the commentary table. If Crews loses, will he find a way to shift blame onto Commander Azeez?
Bianca Belair’s homecoming last week was ruined by Becky Lynch. Lynch taunted Belair and a fight ensued, ending with The Man leaving The EST laying on the mat in pain. How will Bianca get momentum back on her side before their SmackDown women’s championship match at Extreme Rules?
The Street Profits and the Usos will fight over the SmackDown tag team titles at Extreme Rules. The Usos have been preoccupied with Finn Balor and New Day over the last week, so they better get their focus back on Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins if they hope to retain the belts on Sunday.
Shotzi & Nox defeated Natalya & Tamina in three different non-title tag team matches during the summer and have nothing to show for it. Now that Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley are the new Women’s tag team champions, Shotzi & Nox might need to start over and pick up three more non-title wins before they finally get that elusive championship match. If only they had a tank at their disposal that could be used to intimidate WWE’s authority figures into treating them fairly.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Liv Morgan needs a tune up before her match against Carmella at Extreme Rules, so she’ll take on Zelina Vega in singles action tonight. Vega has lost every match that she’s competed in since she returned to WWE in July, so this should be a walk in the park for Liv.
- Happy Corbin has a new talk show named Happy Talk and tonight is the world premiere! It might be tempting for Corbin to be distracted by all the Bentleys and Wagyu beef that surround his life these days, but he should make sure to keep one eye open for a Kevin Owens run-in. Owens owes Corbin a receipt after last week’s cheap sneak attack.
- Seth Rollins is a vile scumbag who wants one more match with Edge...so that he can murder the part-timer, I guess? Extreme Rules isn’t an important enough card for a match of that magnitude, so we’ll have to wait and see if it’s booked for next month’s Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia, or maybe Royal Rumble in January. In the meantime, Rollins will probably feast on a mid card babyface or two on SmackDown television. What’s Cesaro doing these days?
- Dominik Mysterio is a terrible singles wrestler who has lost three consecutive matches to Sami Zayn and now appears to be blaming his father for his shortcomings in the ring. Rey should probably channel the energy of MJF’s mom and let his kid know that he’s being an idiot.
- Naomi finally had enough of Sonya Deville’s nonsense last week. She got all up in Sonya’s face and was fined as a result of her inappropriate behavior. I’m pretty sure tensions will only escalate from here. Is this angle leading to Sonya’s long-awaited return match in WWE?
What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?