Jey Uso and Mysterios Return, Nox and Shotzi Debut and More SmackDown Fallout
Friday's SmackDown had a lot to accomplish in its two-hour runtime, but the blue brand managed to juggle everything successfully to address several storyline changes.
Jey Uso made his return to SmackDown after taking a few weeks off to re-evaluate his relationship with Jimmy Uso and Roman Reigns following some family drama.
Three new women joined the SmackDown roster from NXT, and two more men qualified for their Money in the Bank match with Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins and Baron Corbin vs. King Nakamura.
We also saw Edge and the returning Mysterios take out Reigns and The Usos to end the show on a high note. Let's look at the biggest moments from this week's show and how they will impact July 18's MITB pay-per-view.
Jey Uso and the Mysterios Are Back
SmackDown opened with Reigns coming to the ring to deliver a promo directed at Edge, but it quickly turned into a segment about The Bloodline.
Jimmy came out and said he got in Edge's face last week for Reigns, but The Tribal Chief said he never asked him to do that. A moment later, Jey made his return looking fired up.
He told Reigns he was back to be his right-hand man, but he also said he wanted to become seven-time tag team champions with Jimmy, and he wanted to do it for the family.
Reigns said he has always supported this idea despite appearing to be against it when they first reunited several weeks ago. The trio hugged it out and appear to be back on the same page.
This segment revealed that not only is Jey back, but we also found out that Jimmy may not receive any punishment for his recent DUI, which was a hot topic of speculation this week leading up to the show.
Regardless of what is going on with these storylines, hopefully Jimmy's safety and wellbeing has been the priority.
Reigns will battle Edge at Money in the Bank, but we may also have a tag title bout in store for the near future.
The night ended with Edge and the returning Rey and Dominik Mysterio attacking Reigns and The Usos. With Rey and Dom back in the mix and The Usos reunited, it looks like we know what our next SmackDown tag title feud will be.
SmackDown Gets Some New Blood
SmackDown's women's division has suffered some major losses this year. Not only did Lana and Ruby Riott get released, but Bayley's injury has taken away one of the division's top stars.
However, three new women have been called up from NXT to fill the void. This week saw the debuts of Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox along with a vignette for Toni Storm's impending arrival. It appears WWE has shortened their names to just Nox and Shotzi.
Considering Nox just returned at TakeOver to reignite her feud with Candice LeRae and Shotzi was still chasing the NXT women's tag titles with Ember Moon, it was pretty shocking to see them called up as a team. That will effectively end those storylines in NXT unless they pull double duty.
With two spots still open in the women's MITB match, any of these three women could end up in that match, too.
This injection of fresh talent came at the perfect time as WWE is preparing to get back on the road next week. SmackDown will be the first weekly show with fans since the start of the pandemic. NXT has had fans for quite some time in small numbers, and WrestleMania had a crowd, but next Friday will be the first night of a return to normalcy for WWE.
Shotzi and Nox scored a win over Natalya and Tamina in their debut match, so we can expect to see them going after the women's tag titles moving forward. If neither woman ends up in the MITB bout, this could be added to the PPV in place of the SmackDown Women's Championship match that was canceled.
Bayley's Injury Caused Major Changes to the PPV Card
Injuries are always tough, but Bayley's is extra disappointing for many reasons. For one, she has helped carry the company through the pandemic with great character work and matches. She was excited for the return of live crowds, but she won't get to compete in front of them.
This is also unfortunate because it means she won't get to face Belair for the SmackDown Women's Championship at Money in the Bank next weekend.
Deville announced that the match has been canceled and that Belair would instead defend the belt against Carmella next week. This took Mella out of the women's MITB bout.
Liv Morgan has been lobbying for a spot in the ladder match, and this week she got her wish. Deville added her to the lineup in place of Carmella, but this still leaves two spots open for the blue brand.
Next week's show will likely see those spots filled, but who gets them is the big question. The only active competitors on the SmackDown roster who could fill those spots are Natalya, Tamina, Mia Yim/Reckoning and the new arrivals of Nox and Shotzi.
The debuting Storm or a returning Sasha Banks are also candidates to fill those final two spots, but we will have to wait until next week to find out who is selected.
Men's MITB Match Gets Final Participants
Two more qualifying matches took place this week to determine the final members of the men's Money in the Bank match next weekend.
The first bout saw Nakamura pick up another victory over Corbin to secure his spot. The second match featured Rollins scoring a win over a bloody Cesaro to earn his.
They will join Kevin Owens and Big E from the blue brand and Ricochet, John Morrison, Drew McIntyre and Riddle from Raw in the titular ladder match.
The storyline between Nakamura and Corbin has been dragging on for several weeks and has seen the former king lose his crown and begin a downward spiral. This could be leading to a babyface turn for Corbin down the line, but there is more work to be done before the WWE Universe feels sympathy for him.
This week's SmackDown did a good job juggling several changes while continuing all of the major storylines leading to the PPV. Some of the feuds have been going for too long, but solid in-ring action made up for any repetitiveness.