Edge Dispatches Jimmy Uso, Zelina Vega Is Back and More WWE SmackDown Fallout

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2021

Edge Dispatches Jimmy Uso, Zelina Vega Is Back and More WWE SmackDown Fallout

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    Credit: WWE.com

    With Money in the Bank set for July 18, WWE has ramped up most of its storylines.

    The blue brand added another competitor to the men's MITB match Friday, when Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn in a Last Man Standing match to earn his spot.

    The women's ladder match also added another competitor when Zelina Vega made her return to SmackDown and was immediately added to the match by Sonya Deville. This upset Liv Morgan, who has been trying to prove she deserves a spot for weeks.

    Bianca Belair confronted Bayley and turned their upcoming title bout into an I Quit match, Baron Corbin teamed up with Apollo Crews to battle Shinsuke Nakamura and Big E and Edge took out Jimmy Uso to send a message to Roman Reigns.

    Let's take a look at the biggest moments from Friday's show.

Edge Is Laser-Focused on Winning the Title Once Again

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    Shortly after he returned on the previous week's show, Edge was announced as the next challenger for Reigns' Universal Championship at Money in the Bank.

    This will be their first singles match together but not their first encounter. The Tribal Chief defeated Edge and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 37, so he already has a win over The Rated-R Superstar.

    During his promo at the top of Friday's SmackDown, Edge spoke about how he never stops until he accomplishes what he wants and promised to leave MITB with the title around his waist. If he can defeat Reigns, Edge will become a 12-time world champion.

    Surprisingly, he ended the segment without being interrupted by Reigns, Paul Heyman or either of The Usos, but they would have been listening to every word that came out of his mouth.

    Jimmy Uso was looking to impress his Tribal Chief on Friday by taking out Edge before he has a chance to fight at the pay-per-view. The show's final segment saw Jimmy call out the universal title No. 1 contender, but The Ultimate Opportunist is no fool. He came prepared for a fight and decimated Reigns' right-hand man.

    This is going to create an interesting dynamic. Reigns will be mad that Jimmy failed to take out Edge, and Jimmy will feel like Reigns abandoned him by not being at the show to fight his own battles. This could be what finally puts an end to the cousins' alliance.

Did Anyone Ask for More of This? Really?

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    In late June, Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Baron Corbin to win his King of the Ring crown and the title of king. On Friday, he teamed up with Big E to take on their respective rivals, Corbin and Crews.

    The previous week, Corbin revealed he not only lost his crown but also lost hundreds of thousands of dollars through bad investments. He didn't look angry. He just looked sad.

    It was odd seeing a man who is usually the first one to brag about his accomplishments looking so depressed. Crews could tell his heart was not in this one, as he stood almost expressionless on the apron. Once he was tagged into the match, something clicked and his aggression returned.

    As it looked like Corbin was preparing to win, Rick Boogs announced that his car was being towed from the arena while footage played of it being loaded on to a flatbed. The distraction gave Big E the opening he needed to score the win.

    At this point, it's safe to say most people have lost track of how many times we have seen Corbin face Nakamura and Big E square off with Crews. These feuds have dragged on for months, and it looks like management intends to keep them going regardless of how stale they have become.

    This is indicative of a larger problem on the blue brand. The roster is thinner than it has been in years, so each championship division is working with just a handful of competitors. It has led to a lot of repetition in recent months.

    Even if WWE is dragging its feet until it is back on the road and in front of live crowds, continuing to put the same people in the ring over and over will turn fans off from the product. It's not an unfixable problem, but WWE needs to shake things up soon before it gets to that point.

Can Bianca Belair Make Bayley Quit?

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    Bayley and Belair met for a face-to-face confrontation Friday to hype their match at Money in the Bank.

    The Role Model spoke about how she was living rent-free in The EST's head, and the champ acknowledged that she was right. Belair said she needed to do something to make sure she could move past Bayley once and for all, so she turned their upcoming fight into an I Quit match.

    This surprised Bayley and seemed to make her even more sure of herself, but Belair may have proved to be the one with the mental advantage in the end. As The EST laughed at her, Bayley's expression appeared to change to one of concern.

    It got to the point that Bayley claimed if she lost to Belair at the PPV, she might just retire from wrestling. The thought of this obviously pleased the SmackDown women's champion.

    Without throwing a single punch, these two managed to push their feud to the next level and make it more personal. This is no longer just about titles. This is about Belair proving she deserves to be the champ and moving on from this feud.

    When they collide July 18, it needs to be their final encounter for a while. The women's division on SmackDown is limited, but there are other potential challengers who can step in so that WWE doesn't drive yet another storyline into the ground with months of rematches.

A Surprising Return

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    Zelina Vega was shockingly released from her WWE contract on November 13. Her resistance to WWE's policy regarding third-party platforms was reportedly a factor, but something must have changed since she made her return on Friday's SmackDown.

    This was just as surprising as her initial release, especially since WWE recently parted ways with her husband, Aleister Black. Many fans expected to see them end up somewhere together like All Elite Wrestling or Impact Wrestling, but those hopes have been dashed.

    With the way WWE has been firing and rehiring people this year, it's hard to know who is safe anymore. It's great to see Vega back, but having her lose her return match was a baffling decision.

    WWE wanted to get Morgan into the ladder match too, but that could have been accomplished on the previous week's show without needing to sacrifice any momentum Vega built up in her return promo.

    The good news is it looks like Vega will be a full-time competitor instead of a manager. She is a versatile performer who can add a lot to the division and give us some fresh matchups with just about everyone on the roster.

    Vega's return was a pleasant surprise. WWE just needs to make sure it doesn't squander her talents again.

The Epitome of the 'Fight Forever' Chant

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    In recent months, we have complained a lot about WWE's penchant for booking rematches every week, but there are two guys who are exceptions to the rule.

    No matter how many times Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn beat each other up, it never gets old. They have battled each other in just about every type of match, yet somehow it never feels like overkill.

    Sure, some fans probably want to see them move on from each other, but it's hard to worry that they keep feuding when they put on matches like the one we saw Friday on SmackDown.

    KO and The Great Liberator put on a Last Man Standing bout that would have stood out on any PPV card. They appear incapable of putting on a bad performance together.

    Owens secured the victory and, with it, his spot in the men's MITB match. This leaves just two open spots. With MITB set to be the first PPV in front of a full crowd since the onset of the pandemic, WWE has set up a show with the potential to be one of the best of the year.