Friday, 13 August 2021

WWE SmackDown Highlights 13 August 2021


WWE Smackdown Live 8/13/21 August 13th 2021

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WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Analysis from August 13

Sana Ejaz Khan


    Just eight days before its blockbuster SummerSlam pay-per-view in Las Vegas, WWE hit the Fox airwaves with an episode of SmackDown that saw John Cena return for a face-to-face showdown with Universal champion Roman Reigns.

    The showdown between franchise stars headlined a show that saw Sasha Banks and SmackDown women's champion Bianca Belair sign the contract for their match at The Biggest Party of the Summer and Apollo Crews defend his Intercontinental Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura. 

    Was the reigning titleholder able to turn back the challenge of WWE's resident king? What went down between Cena and Reigns, Belair and Banks?

    Find out with this recap of the August 13 episode.

Match Card

1 OF 8

    Announced for Friday's event are:


    • John Cena returns to SmackDown, comes face-to-face with Roman Reigns
    • Intercontinental Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Apollo Crews (c)
    • Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair sign the contract for their SummerSlam match


    Coverage begins at 8 p.m.

John Cena and Roman Reigns Go Face-to-Face Ahead of SummerSlam

2 OF 8

    Credit: WWE

    The Summer of Cena continued at the top of Friday’s show as Peacemaker himself hit the ring as the hype for his Universal Championship Match against Roman Reigns at SummerSlam went into hyperdrive. The beloved babyface and franchise player issued a grade of ‘D’ to Reigns, labeling him as a disappointment. He also admitted The Head of the Table will beat the hell out of him at SummerSlam...but he will still lose.

    Reigns interrupted and following a commercial break, finally joined Cena in the squared circle for their advertised face-off.

    Cena claimed Reigns has been pushed by WWE, through failure after failure. He said WWE asked him to come back and offer Reigns some humble pie. 

    Reigns said he thought there would be something fresh to Cena’s act. Reigns mockingly hyped Cena’s resume, bringing up the breakup with Nikki Bella. Cena returned fire, mentioning the protection Reigns has enjoyed from the WWE system and suggested he ruined Seth Rollins and ran Dean Ambrose off.

    Cena ended the segment by suggesting he might take the Universal Championship and leave, thus embarrassing The Tribal Chief in a way he never has been.






    This was nearly a half-hour and every single minute of it was compelling television, thanks to Cena’s unparalleled mic skills and a more confident Reigns than the last time they sparred verbally.

    For a SummerSlam match that had stars but lackluster booking behind it, this was everything it needed to be to put some heat behind it and make fans that much more excited to invest in.

    The idea that Cena may take off with the Universal title, heading back to Hollywood and leaving WWE without a champion, is an interesting idea that the company really should explore a bit in the last week before the pay-per-view.

    Reigns suggesting Cena could win the WWE title from Bobby Lashley, but not the Universal Championship from him, was a nice jab at Raw and a tip of the hat to the on-screen rivalry that exists between the two brands.

    Just straight fire from two greats.

Intercontinental Championship Match: King Nakamura vs. Apollo Crews

3 OF 8


    Intercontinental champion Apollo Crews, accompanied by Commander Azeez, defended against Shinsuke Nakamura, accompanied by Rick Boogs. Early interference from the seconds led to their banishment from ringside ahead of the commercial break.

    Back from the timeout, Crews sought a 450 splash but missed. He recovered and dodged a Kinshasa but moments later, the undisputed king delivered his trademark finisher and scored his second IC title reign.

    After the match, the new champ, Boogs and commentator Pat McAfee celebrated.



    Nakamura defeated Crews to win the title






    And so Crews’ title reign ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.

    The now-former champion once had momentum on his side as one of the breakout heels on the SmackDown roster but had seen his profile on the show diminish in recent months while Nakamura gained more screen time and renewed popularity thanks to the partnership with Boogs.

    It is disappointing to see Crews’ time come to an end in a relatively nondescript rivalry, especially considering the work he put into his persona. One can only hope he does not fade into obscurity because he has been one of the unsung workhorses of WWE dating back to his United States Championship run last year.

    As for Nakamura, the win at least gives him something significant to do after spending far too long wandering aimlessly prior to the Corbin feud.

The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy

4 OF 8

    Credit: WWE

    The rivalry between The Street Profits and Alpha Academy wrote its latest chapter as Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins battled Otis and Chad Gable in a match that could very well have determined next in line for the SmackDown tag titles.

    Otis showcased his power, and Gable highlighted his mat game but it was not enough to earn the victory. Ford flew through the air late, wiping Otis out on the floor. Back inside, Dawkins downed Gable and scored the pinfall victory for his team.



    The Street Profits defeated Alpha Academy






    For a match with two months of build, this was fairly brief and did nothing to really make either team look that much better than when they entered.

    The commentary team can hype the implications of a win to the tag team title aspirations, but when such little time is devoted to it, it becomes clear to the audience just how much of a priority the two teams are at this point.

    No, they don’t have SummerSlam matches and time is being devoted to the stories that will culminate at that show. So...why bother? Book an angle that continues the feud, then blow it off after the pay-per-view.

Seth Rollins Talks Edge and Their SummerSlam Match

5 OF 8

    Credit: WWE

    Seth Rollins made his way to the squared circle next, announcing to the fans in Tulsa that The Rated R Superstar was not there tonight. In his place, Rollins aired a video package that counteracted the Hall of Famer’s claims and exclaimed that The Architect is better than his SummerSlam opponent.

    Rollins said Edge put himself between him and the Universal Championship and now it is affecting his family.

    He vowed to make up for 2014, when he hesitated to end Edge next Saturday night at SummerSlam. 






    This Rollins-Edge promo has been fantastic, thanks in large part to the work of the heel.

    Rollins walks the fine line between comically over-the-top and deadly serious so well that you never really know exactly what to expect from him. Here, he was great, shaking off the smiles and laughs to address Edge directly, adding gravity to the feud with the comment about Edge’s interference in his pursuit of the Universal title costing his family.

    This was a money promo that informed the audience of the root of the feud, what is at stake and what it means to the competitors. Kudos to Rollins for carrying it. Hopefully, Edge returns next week to put an exclamation point on the build.

The Mysterios vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode

6 OF 8


    Former tag team champions did battle Friday as The Mysterios squared off with Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, just eight days before challenging The Usos for the titles at SummerSlam.

    Rey and son Dominik rolled late, thanks to the energetic comeback by the rookie competitor, until Jimmy and Jey Uso appeared on the video screen. They attempted to distract the young star, and succeeded, but an alert Rey led his team to victory.



    The Mysterios defeated Ziggler and Roode






    The match itself wasn’t much different than what we have seen out of these two teams before. What helped elevate the grade was the subtle teases at dissension between father and son, as well as the Usos’ attempted interference that served as hype for the PPV title match.

    Rey and Dominik are headed to a nasty breakup that will ultimately turn the young star heel and setup a heated grudge match and these little hints of father growing frustrated with his son’s stubbornness are a great way to plant the seeds.

Kevin Owens vs. Baron Corbin

7 OF 8


    Baron Corbin made his way to the ring to continue his campaign for financial donations. He asked for a minimum of $1,000 from everyone and even revealed he has a credit card swiper set up on his phone. Kevin Owens interrupted and challenged Corbin to a match, agreeing to give his rival the money but if he wins, Corbin can never beg anyone again.

    The competitive match continued through the commercial break, returning with both men fighting on the ropes. Owens shoved Corbin to the mat and delivered a senton for two. Corbin answered with Deep Six, but could not put his opponent away.

    Corbin tried for a rollup with feet on the ropes but could not secure the win. Moments later, Owens delivered a rollup and scored the win. After the bout, he added a stunner for good measure.

    After the commercial break, Corbin stole the Money in the Bank briefcase from Big E and ran out of the building with it.



    Owens defeated Corbin






    This was a strong, competitive match between two of the workhorses of WWE. 

    Corbin has long been an underrated in-ring performer but the character he has perfected to this point only helps elevate his performance. Owens is consistently great, regardless of the attention WWE Creative is paying him at any given time. They worked well together here, even if there is no intention for the feud to continue.

    Corbin stealing the Money in the Bank briefcase was a nice touch. While there is absolutely no argument or reason for Big E to lose his title opportunity at this point, a feud with Corbin would give him something to do considering the fact that he has been hanging around backstage with no real direction.

Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair Sign the Contract for SummerSlam

8 OF 8


    Sonya Deville presided over the contract signing between Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks ahead of their SummerSlam showdown for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. 

    After some tense back and forth, Banks introduced Carmella and Zelina Vega as her insurance policies of sorts. After both champion and No. 1 contender signed on the dotted line, Belair attempted to get the jump on the heels, only to find herself beaten down.

    Banks, looking to humiliate her foe, repeatedly smashed her into the table, then applied a Bank Statement assisted by Belair’s own ponytail to close the show.






    Banks, Carmella and Vega just casually setting aside their differences leaves a lot to be desired from a creative perspective, especially after the latter and The Boss sparred verbally a week ago, but this was another strong promo segment on a show full of them.

    The intensity, the delivery...all off it was on-point and really hammered home the idea that these two women do not like each other. After being humiliated and beaten down this week, it will be interesting to see if Belair will react emotionally and if she does, can Banks capitalize and use said emotions against her?


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