WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Roman Reigns rejects John Cenas challenge before accepting Finn Balors – CBSSports.com

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After John Cena confronted Roman Reigns to end the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, it seemed a Cena vs. Reigns clash at SummerSlam was inevitable. Reigns threw a wrench into the works on Friday night’s edition of SmackDown, rejecting the challenge of the WWE icon before a new challenger emerged.

Finn Balor made his way to the ring after Reigns’ refusal to wrestle Cena at SummerSlam. Balor had wrestled his first match since returning to SmackDown earlier in the night and he quickly laid out his own challenge to the universal champion. After consulting with Paul Heyman, Reigns accepted the challenge, leaving some uncertainty as to who would be across the ring at the biggest event of the summer.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland and the Rolling Loud festival in Miami.

Roman Reigns rejects John Cena’s challenge

The second straight episode of WWE television kicked off with John Cena making his way to the ring. Cena ran down Roman Reigns again, saying he had to come back to take down the champion and that the match at SummerSlam was a call for fans to determine which team they’re on. Cena called for Reigns to come to the ring but instead drew out Paul Heyman. Heyman gave Cena his word that he would receive an answer to his challenge when, and only when, Reigns chose to come to the ring and do so.

After Jimmy Uso beat Dominik Mysterio in the final match of the show (see below), Reigns made his way to the ring to address Cena’s challenge. After ranting about Cena, Reigns denied the offer for a match, saying “We won’t see you in the SummerSlam main event.” This brought Finn Balor to the ring, with Balor saying that, if Reigns isn’t interested in Cena’s challenge, maybe Reigns would be interested in his. Reigns ended the show with a simple, “Challenge accepted.”

It wasn’t entirely clear if Balor’s challenge was for SummerSlam or just for some point before. It would be odd to have hyped up Cena vs. Reigns just to have it disappear with a simple “no thanks” from the champion but Balor getting a crack at SummerSlam would also be intriguing. It could also be a distraction for Reigns since Cena isn’t wrestling before SummerSlam and he can’t keep showing up to cut the same promo every week. Regardless, a twist is always fun and this certainly was a twist. Grade: B+

What else happened on WWE Raw?

  • Finn Balor def. Sami Zayn via pinfall after hitting a Coup De Grace. The match was Balor’s first back on the main roster after he attacked Zayn in his return.
  • Big E cut an in-ring promo to address his Money in the Bank win only to be interrupted by Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler. This brought out Ric Boogs, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro for a brawl that ended with Cesaro giving a swing to Crews.
  • Angelo Dawkins def. Chad Gable via pinfall after a pop-up spinebuster. This was the first match shown from the Rolling Loud festival.
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship — Bianca Belair (c) def. Carmella via pinfall after a Kiss of Death. Another Rolling Loud match, providing some great visuals before a post-match fireworks display for the champion.
  • Baron Corbin apologized to Kevin Owens for his past behavior, leading Owens to give Corbin some money as Corbin’s bad run of luck continued. Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox accidentally fired the rocket from their tank into Corbin’s groin, knocking him to the floor before Roode and Ziggler stole the money.
  • Edge and Seth Rollins brawled after Edge addressed Rollins’ interference in the universal title match at Money in the Bank. Edge ended the brawl with an Edgecution and was looking for a spear before Rollins rolled out of the ring to escape.
  • Toni Storm def. Zelina Vega via pinfall after hitting a Storm One. The match was Storm’s debut as a part of SmackDown.
  • Jimmy Uso def. Dominik Mysterio via pinfall with a roll-up. Jimmy got the assist on the pin from Jey Uso on the outside, with Jey pushing on Jimmy’s back to secure the pin.

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