WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Analysis from September 3
The Bloodline sought to continue its dominance Friday night on Fox as WWE presented an episode with both Roman Reigns and The Usos in action in high-profile bouts.
The Head of the Table defended his Universal Championship against Finn Balor, while The Usos attempted to prevent The Street Profits from earning a shot at their tag titles.
How did the first family of SmackDown fare?
Find out now with this recap of the Sept. 3 episode.
- Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor
- Tag Team Championship Contenders Match: The Street Profits vs. The Usos
- Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
The Street Profits vs. The Usos
SmackDown tag team champions The Usos kicked off the show, cutting a brief promo about their match against The Street Profits and claiming they are “the ones.” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins interrupted, claiming the champs are the ones...who are going to get their asses kicked.
Ford found himself on the defensive throughout the commercial break until a step-up enzuigiri sparked a comeback for the prospective top contenders. A tag to Dawkins didn’t do much for the babyfaces as he quickly met the foot of Jey.
A tag to Ford brought with it a picture-perfect frog splash but Jimmy broke up the pin. The heels repeatedly sent Ford into the ring post to draw a disqualification, then sent Dawkins into the ring steps. A recovered Ford launched himself over the ropes and onto the opposition to end the segment.
Backstage, Roman Reigns sent Paul Heyman to fetch his cousins. As the advocate left the locker room, he encountered Kayla Braxton for an impromptu promo, interrupted by his Brock Lesnar theme song ring tone. From there, he encountered a laughing Big E, who not-so-subtly reminded him that he possesses the Money in the Bank briefcase.
The Street Profit defeated The Usos via disqualification
This was probably the worst Usos-Profits match we will ever see on WWE TV.
Whether it was the commercial break interrupting timing or a rough night, this just wasn’t the strong tag match we expect from the two teams. The ugly, nonsensical finish did not help matters.
Their rivalry should help spark the tag team division that has been bogged down in repetitive contests between the Usos and the Mysterios, but this was an inauspicious start to things.
The stuff with Heyman and Braxton, down to the Lesnar ringtone and Big E hysterically laughing at the mouthpiece for WWE’s biggest star, was gold. Heyman and Braxton’s weekly interactions are becoming a highlight of the show as their on-screen chemistry is undeniable.
Bianca Belair Interrupts Becky Lynch
SmackDown women’s champion Becky Lynch made her way to the ring to address the events surrounding her return to WWE, including her appearance on last week’s show and the lack of “you deserve it” chants that accompanied her. After cutting a fairly disingenuous promo, Bianca Belair made her way to the ring.
Belair introduced her EST catchphrase and explained what it means for Lynch before challenging her to a match for the title, a match she earned by way of her victory on last week’s show. Lynch denied her, leaving to far more boos than she entered the arena to.
Belair looked like an absolute star here, standing up to Lynch and letting her know exactly what she’s about. She was strong, confident and smart, forcing Lynch to expose herself as a coward. Best of all, the fans bought into it.
The same fans that had popped for Lynch’s entry into the arena recognized the heel tendencies and blatant cowardice and booed her exit. If the creative team can construct segments like this, which prop Belair up and clearly indicate that Lynch is a heel, the turn may actually work.
Rick Boogs vs. Dolph Ziggler; Becky's Unwelcome News
A week after scoring an upset victory over the former world champion in tag team action, Rick Boogs battled Dolph Ziggler in singles competition.
Brief mat wrestling showcasing their amateur backgrounds gave way to an even briefer body of the match as Boogs quickly finished off The Show Off with a pumphandle slam dubbed “The Boogs Cruise” by Corey Graves on commentary.
Backstage, Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce informed Lynch that she will defend her women’s title against Belair at Extreme Rules and they will sign the contract next week in Madison Square Garden.
Boogs defeated Ziggler
There was absolutely no reason for this match to exist.
Boogs doesn’t look any better for winning such a meaningless sprint and Ziggler has been devalued to the point that beating him does no opponent any good, regardless of his stacked resume. Boos is hella fun and the crowd loves both him and Nakamura but this amounted to nothing.
The announced contract signing between Lynch and Belair doesn’t necessarily spark excitement, if only because we have seen our fair share of that particular trope in recent weeks.
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins and Edge Makes the Save
Seth Rollins claimed to have learned from his loss to Edge at SummerSlam and wasted little time proving that accurate, delivering the Edgecution to Cesaro entering the commercial. Moments later, he added an Edge-o-matic for two. An attempted stomp was met with a powerbomb from The Swiss Cyborg, though, as Cesaro mounted a comeback.
The King of Swing set up for his fan-favorite move but Rollins countered. A second attempt was more successful as Cesaro swung his opponent around the ring and applied the Sharpshooter. Rollins fought to the ropes to break the hold.
Cesaro took off around the ring for a running uppercut but Rollins blasted him with a steel chair for the disqualification.
Rollins, furious, frustrated and desperate, unloaded on his opponent. He broke off a piece of chair, like Edge, and applied a crossface with it. “Where you at, Edge?!” he demanded to know before delivering a stomp to put an exclamation point on his assault.
Or so we thought. He attempted a con-chair-to but Edge hit the ring, making the save to a thunderous ovation. The Rated R Superstar chased Rollins off before checking on his fellow babyface.
Cesaro defeated Rollins via disqualification
Rollins’ loss to Edge at SummerSlam has sent him on a downward spiral, leading to him adopting his rival’s moves and mannerisms, going as far as to show the sort of depravity that once defined The Rated R Superstar.
That was on display here as he threatened Cesaro’s wellbeing with a con-chair-to, stopping only after Edge made his presence felt. Where the Hall of Famer was earlier, when Rollins was brutalizing Cesaro, is a question best left unexplored for the sake of logic.
What should be explored is another match between Edge and Rollins because their first was the best match on the SummerSlam card. A more intense, potentially violent rematch should be even more fun.
Before then, Edge's backstage promo in which he challenged Rollins to a rematch on next week's show from Madison Square Garden sets up a big PPV-worthy main event for what is quickly developing into a massive television presentation.
Happy Corbin and Logan Paul Guest Star on the Kevin Owens Show
Kevin Owens welcomed Happy Corbin to The Kevin Owens Show.
Corbin touted his riches and introduced his new friend, Logan Paul, whom the crowd greeted with a chorus of boos. Owens said he would never subject the fans to Paul on his show.
Paul offered Owens $100, which KO refused. Paul shoved the former Universal champion and a brawl nearly erupted until Corbin cheapshotted Owens with a microphone, then dropped him with a chokeslam. The uber villains left together while Owens struggled to recover.
This was the best use of Logan Paul to date, to the point that pairing him and Corbin together in the future may not be a terrible idea. They had chemistry as the most unlikable guys on the show and both play off of Owens well.
If there is nothing better for the Superstars involved to do, there are far worse options than putting them on-screen with a mainstream star like Paul.
Like him or not, he is an over heel hated by more fans than anyone else on the card. WWE could use as many of those as possible right now.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn
A week after losing clean to Sami Zayn, Dominik Mysterio looked to further his singles career against the former Intercontinental champion in a rematch.
Mysterio frustrated Zayn enough to send the veteran competitor fleeing to the ramp for sanctuary. Rey Mysterio appeared, preventing the heel from escaping. The distraction that caused, and Dominik’s own stubborn desire to prove himself, led to a Helluva Kick by Zayn for the win.
Backstage, Sonya Deville talked to someone on the phone about next week’s loaded episode of SmackDown until Naomi interrupted, wondering about her match for this week. Deville brushed it off and told her to wait until next week.
Zayn defeated Mysterio
Like the Boogs-Ziggler match earlier in the night, this was really unnecessary. It was too quick to mean anything and did nothing to further the story.
We know dissension exists between father and son. We established that many weeks ago. This was just adding to something we already knew.
For whatever reason, WWE Creative has had absolutely no problem booking the same matches and molasses-like development with the Mysterios, making it hard to get excited for or invested in anything they are doing to the uncertainty of when we may actually see the conclusion of the story.
Universal Championship Match: Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns
The Usos attacked Finn Balor prior to his Universal Championship match with Roman Reigns, putting him at a disadvantage before the bell ever rang. Following introductions by ring announce Greg Hamilton, Reigns attacked his challenger early and often. He manhandled Balor and proceed to dominate the action throughout the commercial break.
Balor rallied, delivering a flurry of forearms and a Pele kick to stun Reigns. A double stomp drove the air out of the champion and allowed Balor to mount a comeback. He flew over the top rope, wiping Reigns out on the floor. Back inside, he tried for the Coup de Grace but Reigns rolled out of the way and leveled him with a Superman Punch for two.
Balor continued to roll, driving Reigns into the corner with a shotgun dropkick and followed with the Coup de Grace, this time executing it for a near-fall. During the kickout, Reigns delivered a low blow and pounded away at his challenger. He applied the guillotine and defeated Balor by referee stoppage.
Reigns defeated Balor to retain his title
This was a strong main event that put Reigns over to continue his year-plus-long reign as champion but also managed to protect Balor. First, the Uso beatdown, then the low blow hampered his ability to capture the title, creating the impression that he probably would have won had it not been for those two occurrences.
Balor looked like Reigns’ equal and the fans absolutely bought into him winning down the stretch. They were red-hot, proving the effect Balor has on audiences during his energetic comebacks and how effective Reigns is as the heel fans root against.
Balor can very easily turn this performance into a PPV main event against Reigns. That’s how effective the booking and performances within were.
The teases for Brock Lesnar in the closing moments of the show, as well as Reigns facial expressions when he realized the danger he is in and the threat he faces a week from now, were an excellent preview for next week’s monumental broadcast.