Welcome one and all to Friday Night SmackDown! Your host tonight is the original Rajahmaniac, "Hollywood" Mike Hogan. Tonight's episode of SmackDown marks the final episode to air from the ThunderDome. Refresh this page frequently as we'll have live coverage with updates every five to seven minutes. So what's in store for tonight, you ask?
Our official preview has a pair of MitB qualifiers, as the one true King Shinsuke Nakamura takes on the king-who-would-be, Baron Corbin. We'll also see Rollins/Cesaro Part 9 as the two battle for a spot in the MitB match. Rumors swirl that we'll have another addition or two on the Women's side of the Money in the Bank match, and we're also expecting to have more build-up of the Universal Champion Roman Reigns/Edge feud. Also, after Bayley's announced energy and upcoming nine-month downtime, who will step up to face SmackDown Women's Champion Bianca Belair at Money in the Bank? Hopefully we find out tonight.
So with all that said, let's get things started! For those of you who want just the results and not the novella, click here!
WWE Friday Night SmackDown Live Results (7/09/2021): ThunderDome III, Yuengling Center, Tampa, FL
Previously on SmackDown...
We open immediately with a video package. In it, Edge's feud with Roman and Jimmy Uso is highlighted. Edge attempts to talk sense into Jimmy Uso, asking him what happened to "being nobody's bitch? What happened to your backbone?" We then see the fallout of that as Edge and Jimmy clashed in the ring. Jimmy got an early upper hand but he wasted precious moments, looking in vain for Roman Reigns, and Edge destroys Jimmy. We get multiple clips of the bar-assisted submission that Edge put Roman in once, and Jimmy in last week.
Backstage: Paul Heyman & Jimmy Uso
We cut to the back after the video as Jimmy Uso attempts to enter Roman's locker room, but Heyman pulls him over and informs him that Roman will talk to him--later.
Also Backstage: Paul Heyman & Universal Champion
We cut to the gorilla position and find our Tribal Chief in the back, ready to come out. Heyman arrives with Roman's title and together they prepare to head down to the ramp for one last, final, long entrance walk.
Welcome to SmackDown from the ThunderDome One Last Time!
We get the full-lengthy SmackDown entrance video package with AC/DC's music set to it. Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcome us one last time to the ThunderDome as Roman makes this long, long, long, long entrance one last time here. Maybe a live crowd will put a pep in his step? And yes, I am recording his entrance times still.
In the Ring: Universal Champion Roman Reigns & Paul Heyman
The champ begins his entrance at 8:04pm EST, arriving at the ring at 8:08pm EST and finally begins to speak at 8:11pm EST. Seven minutes of my life I can't have back. Roman speaks. "I know a lot of you at home didn't like the fact that I wasn't present last week. There's a lot about last week I didn't like, either. But there's one that stuck out, there's one thing I will not stand for. That's a liar like Edge, coming out here and saying that I fear him. Saying that he's in my head. And I'm an honest man, I am, so I will tell the truth." He admits that for, perhaps a few seconds, he--like other fighters such as Lesnar--all experience a second or two but that was it. He doesn't fear Edge. He points out the WrestleMania tee with the graphic of Bryan and Edge stacked under Roman. Roman tells Edge that Reigns has been busy with family. He then pivots and says this is a good time to handle some business. Out comes Jimmy Uso!
Jimmy expeditiously makes his way to the ring on the mic. He tries to explain to Roman that what he did last week--calling out and taking on Edge--was for "us." Roman takes exception at Jimmy stating he handles decisions for "us." Roman is upset but is interrupted by Jey Uso who returns and comes on out to the ring. Jey tells Roman that he's always Roman's right-hand man. He tells Jimmy that he's always got his brother's back, and excitedly states that they can become the seven-time tag team champions. Roman tells them that this is what he's been telling them all along. "Seven-time tag team champions. Universal Champion for however long I want to be. And the way we do it...is together. On the same page, all of us working together. Can't nobody touch us. Can't nobody touch us! If we do it my way." Roman hands the mic to Heyman and opens his arms for both Usos. They embrace their Tribal Chief as he looks on approvingly.
Backstage Interview: Kayla Braxton with Baron Corbin
Kayla Braxton is half the height of Corbin. Corbin's back to wearing his old Lone Wolf look, and is growing out a graying beard and has a thick growth of hair on his head. Kayla asks him about his match tonight with King Nakamura, especially after their feud as of late. Corbin is still emo, like last week, after losing his crown and everything. He gives a sad speech then heads out to the ring without any music at all, or tron/videos, or any pomp and circumstance.
Money in the Bank Qualifier Match: King Shinsuke Nakamura with Rick Boogz vs Baron Corbin
Prior to the break, Corbin made his way out with zero flair or fare, even if it's not fair. After the break we return and Big E makes his way out to observe this match from ringside. And to remind us why Baron Corbin is emo, we get a short video package showing his failed attempt to usurp the crown two weeks ago from the true king, Shinsuke Nakamura. We also see him admit candidly that he lost all his money in a bad investment, and last week Corbin's car was repossessed mid-match against Big E, causing a distraction and costing him the match. Big E has a mini-fridge and a sofa set up next to the announcer's table. Big E and Pat McAfee both take a spot on the touch as Pat tells Michael Cole to stay at the desk, haha. We get another short video, this one from earlier today. Nakamura and Boogz show up to the arena in Corbin's repossessed car, adding injury to insult as the former king despondently looks on from the ring. Finally, Rick Boogz comes out. "I came here to rock with a man who rolled here in a sweet, sweet chariot! King Nakamuraaaaaaaa!" Boogz strums a couple of chords then hops on lead guitar as our one true King Shinsuke Nakamura makes his way out to an excited digital crowd! As the duo make their way down to the ring, Baron Corbin attacks King Nakamura until Boogz interjects himself and we go to break.
Back from the break. Pat McAfee and Big E are seated on E's sofa and are soaking their feet in electric foot soaks. Haha! Pat's chillin' like a villain with Big E as Corbin has the first lead of the night. As the match started mid-break, we return to find the Baron with a slow pace, steadily softening the midsection of the King. Baron focuses on his Golden Gloves-winning past as he throws deliberate, powerful fists. After a few moments, the King fires up after a kick to the face. Nakamura battles Corbin into the corner. Nakamura places Corbin across the ropes int he corner and connects with a running knee. We're reminded that Corbin won a Money in the Bank in the past but failed to cash in. Corbin takes control back in the ring and hooks a single leg crab. Nakamura reaches the ropes. Corbin with a back suplex and pin attempt for a short two. Pat McAfee says Baron could be an unstoppable force then mentions his (vastly receding) hairline. Nakamura sends Corbin outside. Corbin attacks an unsuspecting Boogz without provocation. Nakamura exits the ring to assist his friend, only to be slammed across the announcer's table as we go to break.
Back from the break. Nakamura and Corbin struggle for a lead in the ring. Nakamura drops Baron to a knee with a big kick, but runs right into a Deep Six from the Baron. Corbin covers for two. Big E hypes the return next Friday to the live crowd. He and Cole thank the viewers and ThunderDome audience, and the city of Tampa. Corbin with a slam and another pin attempt. Pat McAfee continues to call Corbin "the man with the hairline" and make other cracks about Corbin's balding head. Corbin looks for a top rope move but Nakamura transitions into an arm bar, then into a Triangle. Baron Corbin hoists Nakamura up with one arm and drops him down with a single-arm Powerbomb. Nakamura stays latched on and goes right back to the Triangle! Corbin again attempts the one-armed Powerbomb but drops to a knee. The Baron drops to the mat as our King keeps pressure on the neck, switching to a sleeper. Corbin is almost out--but his foot is under the rope. The ref forces the break. Nakamura sets up in the corner, calling for the Kinshasa, and charges right into a big lariat from Corbin! Nakamura bounces back quickly and connects with another Kinshasa, putting away the Baron.
Your Winner and Advancing to the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, King Shinsuke Nakamura!
Backstage: the Usos
Jimmy and Jey embrace backstage, and they're happy to be back together. Jey points out that it took someone like Edge to bring the family back together. Jey insists that perhaps he and Jimmy should do something about Edge, for the family. They think it over.
Non-Title Women's Tag Team Match: WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Natalya & Tamina vs MYSTERY OPPONENTS
Our champs come out first and we go to break with the promise of a brand-new women's tag team debuting, next! After a break, the champs are in the ring and are upset that someone wants to come out as a new person and take them on. They are now, once again, heels. Shotzi Blackheart & Nox make their debut, as Shotzi is no longer with Ember Moon and Tegan Nox is now known as Nox. Shotzi and Nox ride down on the mini-tank. We start with Nox and Natalya. Shotzi impresses, as always, and Nox impresses in her SmackDown debut. Natalya and Tamina work together and hit various impressive double-team movies, including Nattie catapulting Shotzi's face into a running kick from Tamina. Shotzi cleans house when the ref briefly loses control, and Shotzi picks up the shocking win after hitting a top-rope back Senton--the Ball Pit, per Pat McAfee.
Your Winners, Shotzi Blackheart & Nox!
Backstage Interview: Edge
Edge is asked about Roman and the Usos seemingly coming together due to him. Edge states this won't be a pleasant family reunion then tells us that's not a prediction, it's a spoiler. Okay.
In the Ring Announcement: WWE Official Sonya Deville
We go to break as Sonya makes her way out. When we return, Deville gets on the mic. She laments having to make this announcement as it's not an announcement she ever wants to make, but Bayley was injured during training and will be out nine months. We get a prerecorded clip from WWE on YouTube with Bayley addressing the fans. Bayley knows what we're thinking--this sucks. The 380-day champion was supposed to, per Bayley, walk into Money in the Bank and come out with her champ. But, on second thought, Bayley thinks we (the viewers) don't care. She states that she was working out to be the best for us so this is all our fault. Back in the ring, Deville wishes Bayley a speedy recovery. Deville announces that after careful consideration, SmackDown Women's Champion Bianca Belair will. defend her title next Friday on SmackDown in front of the first live audience in 18+ months. She then asks us to please welcome two-time MitB winner Carmella, who makes her way out. Carmella does her usual "prettiest woman in the WWE" schtick and is honored Deville has appointed Carmella to face Belair. Liv Morgan makes her way out and is incensed at Deville once again appointing Carmella to a big match. Deville is upset with Morgan's tone, but agrees to appoint Carmella to face Belair next Friday and, instead, have Liv Morgan fill in for Carmella in the MitB match. Bianca Belair makes her way out as Liv Morgan leaves. Belair questions if Bayley's injury is legit. She tells Bayley, by way of the camera, that she respects her skills and she looks forward to finishing what they started when Bayley does return. She tells Carmella that she'll see her next week and leaves.
Backstage: Paul Heyman and Universal Champion Roman Reigns
Heyman kneels next to Reigns and tells Roman that they've got a problem. He's learned that Edge intends to call Roman out to the ring tonight. Reigns questions what else Edge said. Heyman apologizes, then tells Roman that Edge questioned his manhood. We go to break with an upset Chief.
Coming Soon: Toni Storm
We return from the break to a quick video hyping Toni Storm's upcoming debut, with the date as of yet TBD.
Money in the Bank Qualifier Match: Cesaro vs Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins is out first, followed by Cesaro. Kevin Owens has joined commentary for this match. This is for the eighth and final spot in the Men's Money in the Bank ladder match. The bell rings and Cesaro immediately wraps Rollins up from behind and executes a Wrestling Takedown. Quick pin attempt for nothing. Rollins attempts a pair of roll-ups but Cesaro kicks out at one. Rollins whips Cesaro into the ropes but Cesaro drops him with a shoulder block and attempts a pin for one. Cesaro with a headlock on Rollins and attempts another pin for one. They're working referee Charles Robinson tonight (shout-out to the nWo's favorite ref, Lil' Naitch!) Lateral Press by Cesaro for a close two. Rollins exits the ring and is livid. He pounds on the announcer's table and throws papers and equipment off of it as he has a hissy-fit and we go to break!
Back from the break. Rollins takes control and slows down the pace significantly. Rollins uses slow working holds to try to wear down the Swiss Cyborg. After a couple of minutes of this, Cesaro starts his comeback as he counters Rollins' attempt for a backslide. Rollins floats over and bounces off the ropes, looking for a Stomp. Cesaro dodges. Rollins follows up with a roll-up for a two. During this match, Owens talks briefly about Roman and the MitB match. In the ring, the ref warns Rollins as he attacks Cesaro in the corner. Rollins is upset and spends about a full minute arguing with the ref as Cesaro recovers. Cesaro then comes out of the corner hitting alternating left and right uppercuts as he battles Rollins to the middle of the ring. Cesaro with a running European Uppercut to the corner. Rollins looks to stop Cesaro's momentum but Cesaro reverses the attempt into an Olympic Slam. Cesaro heads up top. Rollins hops up, runs up the ropes and pulls Cesaro down into a Superplex! Rollins hangs on, looking to follow through with the Falcon Arrow but Cesaro counters with sheer strength and sends them both flying out of the ring. We go to break!
Back from the break. Cesaro is firmly in control when we return, and pops up Rollins into a forearm for a two-count. Cesaro pulls Rollins up but Rollins attempts to scramble away, fearing a Sharpshooter, reaching the corner. Cesaro grabs Rollins' feet and yanks him out of the corner so hard that Rollins' grip rips the turnbuckle pad off the top turnbuckle. Cesaro looks for Neutralizer but Rollins escapes. Cesaro looks for a springboard corkscrew uppercut but is intercepted by an elbow from Rollins right across the temple. Rollins uses the ropes in the corner to pull himself to his feet. He all but salivates as he looks for the Stomp. Cesaro catches Rollins, but Rollins wiggles free and slams Cesaro's face into the exposed turnbuckle. Rollins covers for two, then attempts another cover. Rollins with clubbing blow to the back of the neck. Cesaro's busted open. Forehead wounds look far worse, and bloodier, than they are so he should be fine. Rollins follows the injured Cesaro outside, whipping him into the barricade. Rollins slams Cesaro into the announce desk then heads inside. Lil' Naitch starts the ten count. Cesaro makes it in around eight. Rollins again connects with a discus elbow to the back of the neck, and Cesaro again is sent outside. Rollins pursues him again and DDT's Cesaro on the metal ramp! Rollins enters the ring. Cesaro crawls towards the ring as the ref counts. Cesaro barely gets an arm and shoulder in the ring at ten. Rollins is shocked. Cesaro with a European uppercut attempt but Rollins counters with a Stomp and finally puts away Cesaro!
Your Winner and Advancing to the Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins!
Backstage: the Usos
We cut to the back. The Usos stand outside Edge's locker room. Jimmy tells Jey that they can't just knock on the door, they need to wait for Edge to exit so they can "get" him. We go to break. When we return, the Usos enter Edge's room. He's nowhere to be seen but some of his clothing is in there. They comment that he's lucky he's not there.
Backstage Interview: Kayla Braxton and Seth Rollins
Seth is celebrating his big victory backstage when Braxton approaches him. Rollins points out that he's won the Money in the Bank match before, and who did he cash it in on? He deepens his voice, mocking Roman Reigns, then argues that he shouldn't even be in the MitB match but instead, should be facing Roman. Edge walks up behind him, telling Rollins that he heard some droning sound and ,sure enough, it was Rollins. He states Rollins hasn't changed since 2014. Edge tells Seth he's going to do what Rollins doesn't have the balls to do--call out Roman Reigns.
Backstage Promo: the Alpha Academy
After a Progressive Match Flo segment that showcased the recent actions of Otis, we cut to the back. Chad Gable hypes his partner Otis and tells us that if you step up to the Academy-- and Otis finishes the sentence, looking like a 2021 Festus, with a promise to destroy anyone who gets in their way. We go to the ring.
In the Ring: Edge
Edge makes his way out to the ring as we head to our final (hopefully) break. Edge is on the mic when we return. He mocks Jimmy and Roman's fear of him, and has production put up a side-by-side image of both men in a bar-assisted from Edge. Edge tells the camera that he's going to live inside Roman's head until this is done. Edge tells Roman via camera that he's calling him out, he's throwing down his punk card and "get your ass out here." In the back, Roman watches with Jimmy and Jey Uso and Paul Heyman. Roman rises and instructs the Usos to stay put as he'll handle this on his own. Roman and Paul Heyman make their way out again as Edge paces in the ring. Roman begins his walk at 9:48pm. He reaches the ringside at 9:52pm. The Usos music plays and out come the Usos. Roman stops them at the bottom of the ramp and looks at them, clearly not happy with their disobedience. Roman tells the Usos "What'd I say? He's calling me out one-on-one. ...I'm gonna handle this, you understand? I'm gonna handle this." Jey says, "Get him, Uce!" At 9:53pm, Roman removes his jacket and contemplates entering the ring. Finally he climbs up on the apron. Edge backs up and invites him into the ring, giving him plenty of space. Roman cautiously enters the ring and both men stand face to face at 9:54pm. Edge throws a right! Roman throws one too! Both men unleash with a series of rights! Roman and Edge battle into the corner. The Usos are up on the apron when suddenly the Mysterio music plays! Jey and Jimmy turn to guard the ramp entrance as Edge and Roman slug it out int he ring. Rey & Dominic Mysterio hit the ring and attack the Usos from behind with steel chairs! The Mysterios and Usos battle outside the ring as Edge and Roman continue to fight inside. The Usos gain the upper hand with a Superkick that lays out Rey. Edge sets Roman up for a Spear but Jey Uso grabs Edge's leg from outside the ring, blocking it. Rey hits the ring again! Edge with a Spear to Jimmy Uso as Roman Reigns escapes the ring and flees up the ramp! Inside the ring, Rey and Dominic continue to attack the Usos. Double 6-1-9! Edge retrieves a steel chair and breaks the metal support tress/bar off the bottom, just like last week. Roman shakes his head "no" as Edge enters the ring. Edge uses the bar on Jey Uso! Jey Uso screams in pain as all three tribe members have now experienced this submission at the hands of Edge. Roman is pissed but remains up the ramp as Edge tortures Reigns' cousin in the hold. Finally Edge releases it and, backed by the Mysterios, stands tall in the ring. Edge grins at the Universal Champion as he puts down first and last month's rent, folks, because Edge lives in Roman's head now. We get multiple replays of what we just witnessed. Edge holds the bar up and yells, "Roman! One week! One week, Roman!" Edge then grins sadistically as he puts Jey Uso back in the bar-assisted submission! The Mysterios hold Jimmy Uso down, so Edge releases Jey and puts the same hold on Jimmy! Roman walks from the top of the ramp as the Mysterios and Edge continue to dismantle his cousins, with Edge taking turns on both twins. Roman walks to the back as our program ends.
And that concludes it for tonight's episode as SmackDown says goodbye to the ThunderDome. I will see you Tuesday for NXT as we all know "Hollywood" Hogan doesn't show up every Monday night, brother. Have a great weekend, stay cool, stay frosty and stay safe out there, Rajahmaniacs.
Rajah News' Social Media Interaction* For late-breaking WWE & AEW news & rumors, follow the official Rajah News account on Twitter @Rajah_News
* Follow Rajah owner Rajah Kumar on Twitter @RajahNews
* Follow the official Rajah Instagram account at Instagram.com/RajahNews
* Follow the official Rajah Facebook page at Facebook.com/RajahWWF
* Oh look, another shameless plug for "Hollywood" Mike Hogan
* Join the official Rajah Forums by signing up at Forums.Rajah.com
* Chat with other fans about this article in the official Rajah Disqus feed below, or at Disqus.com/home/forums/rajahcom