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SmackDown recap & reactions (July 7, 2023): Bloodline Civil War continues

“He got beat.”

That’s what The Usos started off telling us all on Friday Night SmackDown at Madison Square Garden this week and boy oh boy was it just what we needed to hear to remind us of the fact that Roman Reigns did indeed get pinned by Jey Uso at Money in the Bank in London.




Hell yeah.

Naturally, they couldn’t even enjoy that victory for a few minutes before Paul Heyman, flanked by Solo Sikoa, interrupted. And then, confusion.

Heyman called himself the lead defense for Reigns in this trial of the Tribal Chief and no one can tell him to shut up … which is when Sikoa took his mic and tossed it out of the ring. Reigns’ music hit the speakers, and he hit the scene, and they went to a commercial break.

Just to come back to Heyman in the ring next to Reigns with a microphone back in his hand.


“You got pinned” chants rang throughout the arena.

It’s worth noting that Reigns said Jimmy “sure as hell isn’t The Tribal Chief” before saying Jey also isn’t but adding “yet.”

It would appear that thread is continuing.

Meanwhile, New York showered Reigns with a “you fucked up” chant after they showed a video package called “Exhibit A” that more or less ran down all the ways he’s been a selfish, manipulative, tyrant of a leader.

Of course, he claimed that’s not who he is but who he was forced to be. He didn’t do it because he wanted to, he did it because he had to. He did it for the family. He did it for The Bloodline. He turned it around on Jey, claiming he was using his low moments to embarrass him in front of his own daughter, who was backstage, and acted as though it was everyone else who was wrong.

A masterclass in manipulation.

Then, because that’s what the types do, he threatened to take it all away. “I don’t need all this. I’m done. I’m done with all of it. I don’t want it anymore. You want it, it’s yours. I’m done.”

And then he took off the lei and he put it around Jey’s neck, looking tortured while doing so. He cried. Heyman cried.

Then he even took the title off and threw it down.

And bent to one knee.

And then both.


Jey reached out to him.

And Reigns hit him with a low blow.

Jimmy attacked.

Solo ripped him off and threw him to the other side of the ring.

At three corners laid Roman, Jey, and Jimmy. Solo stood in the center, over the lei that was now on the mat. He stared at it. The crowd swelled in anticipation.

Jimmy rushed, but was Spiked.

Then Solo picked the lei up himself and examined it. Fans asked for him to put it on. Reigns approached, his hand outstretched.

More seeds planted, more questions raised on Solo’s loyalty and just how deep it runs. But when The Usos attacked again, Solo again fought by Roman’s side. For now, it’s clear this was just another ploy from a manipulator who would do anything to be the number one guy. If it wasn’t clear, commentary said it and then Reigns himself screamed it in Jey’s face.

You will never be him.

You will never be Roman Reigns.

Some trial.

It ended with The Usos needing to be helped out of the place, with Jimmy even doing a stretcher job and leaving in an ambulance while Jey rushed to be with him.

But that wasn’t all.

No, Jey left with Jimmy but he came back later looking for Reigns and it became clear what was about to happen.

Jey got the better of Sikoa, then got the better of Reigns, then when Solo came back with a chair he took that from him and laid into him with his own damn chair. Jey was like a man possessed.

Like the man who pinned Roman Reigns.

The WWE Universal championship was left in the ring, so Jey picked it up and got on the mic to say what we’ve all been waiting for — he’s challenging Reigns for his championship.

They didn’t make clear that it was for a match at SummerSlam, and Reigns didn’t even accept, as they left it open ended here, but we know where this is headed.

Time to get our hearts broken all over again.

I’m so ready.

All the rest
  • Sheamus and Austin Theory had one hell of a match for the United States championship, one of the better matches I can remember Theory having in his time on the main roster. Of course, it broke down into an absolute clustermuck with Pretty Deadly getting involved and ensuring Theory scored a rollup victory after Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Kit Wilson. This was a hell of a lot of fun.
  • The powers that be see something in Grayson Waller and if that wasn’t obvious the returning Edge outright said as much during his time on “The Grayson Waller Effect.” They basically acknowledged that they used Edge’s return to ensure Waller could rub elbows with him. The story was Waller wanting Edge to announce his retirement on his show, but instead Edge got a match booked between the two.
  • AJ Styles and Karrion Kross got to have another match and it felt entirely too rushed and like they just wanted to get to Michin helping take out Scarlett when she tried to assist Kross in another victory. This time, because he had the equalizer, Styles scored the win. Just like he said he would. They just didn’t have enough time to make this feel meaningful.
  • WWE was obviously pressed for time after the opening Bloodline segment, because they were sprinting through other important segments. Like, for example, setting the table for the WWE women’s championship match at SummerSlam. Asuka got a microphone and hardly said a couple words before Bianca Belair was sprinting in to fight followed by Charlotte Flair sprinting in to fight. They all but said a triple threat will be booked for Detroit early next month. Then, IYO SKY tried to cash in the Money in the Bank contract and failed because it was too chaotic and Belair pulled Bayley out as she was trying to give the briefcase up. This seemed almost bizarre, considering I’m not sure what it did to have SKY fail a cash-in like this.

The show was hurt by The Bloodline eating up so much time and having to rush through segments but the big stuff is still so good.

Grade: B

Your turn.

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