26th Jul2021

Friday Night Smackdown – July 23rd 2021: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

Welcome to this week’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and…what the… Cookie Monster: Word up! Me: What the f–k?! CM: Where my b—-es at? Me: What the f–k?! CM: Me a bad muthafugga! Me: What the f–k?! CM: Me wanna slam dat ass yo! Me: Wh..why are you saying this s–t?! CM: What does foreskin mean? Me: It’s a funny hat. Why are you talking like this? CM: Gotta bring up my street cred homie! Me: No! You don’t! CM: I’m from the streets man! Gggggggggggg-unit!!!!!! Me: Stop! Stop it! I can’t listen to this bull-s–t anymore! CM: Me hardcore! Y’all don’t wan none of dis! Me: Y’all! What y’all? It’s just me! One damn person! CM: Ain’t nuthin’ but a thang! Me: That’s it! You’re getting vegetables! CM: Okay. Cookie Monster be good. Me: Okay. CM: Okay…my n—-. Me: That’s just fi…now wait a minute! CM: Skeet skeet skeet skeet skeet!!!! Me: SmackDown starts… CM: Gator’s b—-es better be using jimmies!

Match #1: Finn Balor b. Sami Zayn

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After Finn Bálor interrupted Sami Zayn in a shocking return last week, The Prince overcame the self-proclaimed “Master Strategist” in his first match back on SmackDown in two years. A very physical battle saw Bálor catch fire toward the end, capping off his attack with the Coup de Grace for the victory over Zayn.

The Verdict: 6 out of 10 – Consider this a large sample of what these guys can do together. There’s something to be said for Finn’s last run in NXT. His moves are so much more precise having had worked the great matches from the past several months. Sami prospered from having this perfected version of Finn to wrestle. Swift strikes were thrown from bell to bell and it made this match into a battle of attrition. For something that was simply meant as a reintroduction for Finn, it did more than that and in limited time.

Match #2: Angelo Dawkins b. Chad Gable

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

With his Street Profits partner Montez Ford back in his corner, Angelo Dawkins finally got some retribution on Alpha Academy coach Chad Gable when he emerged victorious in a match that took place at Rolling Loud Music Festival in Miami, earning the three-count after a vicious Spinebuster.

The Verdict: 4 out of 10 – Gable was excellent here, but the match was little more than a few minutes. Gable really is Kurt Angle in a new body. Twenty years ago, he would have been in big matches, but there’s no incentive for Vince to book Gable that way now. Vince has his family-friendly audience and Gable doesn’t represent that sort of thing…at least as a heel. In any case, at least…oh wait…Gable lost.

Match #3: Bianca Belair b. Carmella – SmackDown Women’s Title Match

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

For the second week in a row, the self-proclaimed Most Beautiful Woman in all of WWE fell to SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair with the K.O.D. in another match with the title on the line. But this time, it happened in front of a massive crowd at Rolling Loud Music Festival!

The Verdict: 6 out of 10 – This was a pared down version of what they did last time and it worked very nicely. I’d call this a greatest hits version of what they can do with each other. Bianca looked capable every step of the way and Carmella took her loss like a proper contender. I bought into this as a prize fight. This didn’t have the stereotypical Diva vibe that WWE women’s matches often have. It was athletic, however uninsipired it also was. I’d like more time for the next bout, but I understand that having this at Running Loud may have offered some booking challenges when it comes to time.

Match #4: Toni Storm b. Zelina Vega

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After weeks of videos heralding her emergence on SmackDown, Global Superstar Toni Storm made her in-ring debut against one of the blue brand’s toughest competitors, Zelina Vega. Although Vega was surely more motivated than ever after her failing to capture the Money in the Bank contract, Storm still reigned supreme with a new-and-improved finishing maneuver, Storm One.

The Verdict: 3 out of 10 – This two some odd minute match didn’t do much, but it gave Toni a concise debut that affirms her place in the roster right now and that is as a top star.

Match #5: (Main Event) Jimmy Uso b. Dominik Mysterio

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

In the wake of The Usos’ victory over Rey & Dominik Mysterio on the WWE Money in the Bank Kickoff to once again become SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Jimmy Uso scored a singles victory over Dominik with a swift Superkick after a hard-fought battle that saw Rey Mysterio and Jey Uso in their respective corners.

The Verdict: 3 out of 10 – Length and quality kept this from a better review. It’s just a matter of Dominik not being close to ready for TV yet. Not only that, but the lack of time just prevented Dominik from doing anything of great value…Walmart. I couldn’t resist. What I could resist is seeing Dominik back on TV until he is ready.

Final Verdict: 4/10

On a night where SmackDown took place in two different venues, you had a show that survived on presentation as opposed to what was being presented. Finn Balor challenging Roman Reigns to a title fight is a great way to go, as John Cena’s promo seemingly confirms that Roman and he will fight at Summerslam regardless. Edge and Seth Rollins had a a great promo that set up a great feud for Summerslam. Those things were fabulous. It’s the matches that lacked. Since this is a wrestling show, when the matches fail to deliver, I’d call that a bad show. You’ve got a tremendous crowd reaction for just about everything and you’re wasting it on the bare minimum? Other promotions would kill for this chance and Vince is blowing it. Well, what else is new? I’ll see you next time.

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