Friday night was the final time WWE SmackDown will be held from inside the ThunderDome, with WWE returning to touring with live fans beginning with next week’s SmackDown. Friday’s show focused on the story that has been the highlight of the ThunderDome era: the tale of Roman Reigns and The Usos.
Reigns spent the show waiting for the inevitable callout of Money in the Bank opponent Edge. When the callout did happen, the Usos were by his side, but that doesn’t mean the night ended on a positive note for the universal champion.
CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from the ThunderDome inside Yuengling Center in Tampa.
Edge humiliates Roman Reigns and the Usos
At the top of the show, Jimmy Uso was looking for Roman Reigns after Reings left Uso to a beating at the hands of Edge last week. Paul Heyman vowed that Uso would receive Reigns’ full attention. Reigns was out to the ring shortly after for a promo, explaining that Edge’s success in nearly beating him at WrestleMania was a result of being distracted by family drama involving the Usos. After Jimmy came to the ring, Jey Uso also made his return, saying all three men needed to get on the same page, leading Reigns to embrace both men.
Edge announced his intention to end the show by going to the ring and calling out Reigns, challenging his manhood if he needed help from the Usos dealing with that. When he executed that plan, Reigns and the Usos were shown watching on a monitor in the back before Reigns stood and told the Usos to stay while he handled things on his own. Reigns did begin his walk to the ring alone, but the Usos made the decision to walk out and join him for backup. Reigns entered the ring and began brawling with Edge. As the Usos went to enter the ring, Rey and Dominik Mysterio ran in to lay out the Usos with chairs. The Usos were able tos top Reigns from taking a spear, but were taken out by a Mysterio 619 before Edge hit Jey with a spear before ending the show by locking him in a crossface with the bottom post of a steel chair, vowing to take Reigns’ title in one week at Money in the Bank as Reigns was forced to look on from the top of the ramp, offering no help to his cousins.
It’s difficult to ignore the fact that Jimmy Uso was arrested for yet another DUI in the past week and WWE apparently chose the storyline over pushing him to get help he appears to need for this repeated issue. Setting that aside and just focusing on the content of the show, this has been a solid build to the match at Money in the Bank and continues the story of the uneven nature of the relationship between Reigns and his cousins. Edge has been presented in a strong way, as expected, and the upcoming match should be an exciting one. Grade: B+
What else happened on WWE SmackDown?
- Shinsuke Nakamura def. Baron Corbin via pinfall with a Kinshasa in a Money in the Bank qualifier.
- Shotzi Blackheart & Tegan Nox def. Tamina & Natalya via pinfall when Blackheart hit Natalya with a senton from the top rope. Blackheart and Nox made a surprise debut to beat the women’s tag champions in non-title action.
- Sonya Deville announced that Carmella will challenge Bianca Belair for the SmackDown women’s title next week. The decision was made after Bayley was injured. Rather than changing opponents for Money in the Bank, Deville said Belair will defend her title as SmackDown returns to live crowds two days before the pay-per-view. Liv Morgan was given Carmella’s spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match.
- Seth Rollins def. Cesaro via pinfall with a stomp in a Money in the Bank qualifier. Cesaro was busted open during the match, bleeding profusely from his forehead. Things tilted Rollins’ way at that point before Rollins hit the stomp to advance to Money in the Bank.