WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction, Highlights from September 10
The Beast was unleashed Friday night on SmackDown as Brock Lesnar returned to Madison Square Garden in New York City to confront Universal champion Roman Reigns.
Lesnar's return headlined a show that also saw the latest chapter in the feud between Edge and Seth Rollins as they clashed in a SummerSlam rematch, a tag team title defense by The Usos and the contract signing between Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch ahead of their battle at Extreme Rules.
Who left The World's Most Famous Arena with momentum on their side, ready to roll into the September 26 pay-per-view event?
Find out now with this recap of the Fox broadcast.
- Edge vs. Seth Rollins
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Street Profits vs. The Usos
- Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair Championship Contract Signing
- Brock Lesnar's SmackDown return
Brock Lesnar Returns to MSG, Wreaks Havoc on The Bloodline
A stirring tribute to America on the eve of September 11 kicked off SmackDown, followed by the arrival of Paul Heyman, SmackDown tag team champions The Usos and Universal champion Roman Reigns.
Reigns said he runs New York City and thus, runs MSG. He demanded they acknowledge him, which New York surprisingly did with chants of "Roman!" before Brock Lesnar's music played and The Beast Incarnate made his first appearance since SummerSlam.
Lesnar came face-to-face with Reigns before cutting Paul Heyman off. "I've got a question for you: Why didn't you tell Roman I was going to be at SummerSlam?" An angered Reigns left, leaving Heyman alone with his longtime client. The advocate fired off his intro for Lesnar before The Beast backed him into the ropes. "Before Roman Reigns fires you, accept my challenge."
Heyman hesitated to grant Lesnar a title match, and the former world champion hoisted him on his shoulders for an F-5. Reigns rocked Lesnar with a Superman Punch, but Brock caught him in midflight. The Usos tried to make the save, but Lesnar flattened them. The most dominant competitor in WWE history stood tall to close out the opening segment.
This was the best segment on WWE television all year, if not longer.
The crowd in MSG was red-hot for Lesnar, Heyman was perfect as the slimy manager hedging his bets, and Reigns and The Usos sold the explosiveness of The Beast to perfection. Just a great bit of business that set the stage for the impending title match, furthered the Reigns-Heyman soap opera and teased potential involvement by Lesnar later in the show when The Usos defend their tag titles against The Street Profits.
A beautifully constructed segment that makes the viewer wonder why WWE isn't capable of presenting television like it with more regularity.
10-Man Tag Team Match
Sami Zayn introduced special guest Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young to a chorus of boos from New York Knicks fans inside MSG ahead of a 10-man tag team match. The former Intercontinental champion teamed with Apollo Crews, Otis, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode to battle Rey and Dominik Mysterio, Big E, Rick Boogs and King Nakamura.
An energetic tag match culminated with Young interfering on behalf of the heels, only to be ejected by the official. The distraction allowed the Mysterios to deliver stereo 619s and Big E to finish Zayn with the Big Ending.
After the match, Big E told Kayla Braxton the New York fans may see him out there again later tonight. Maybe Monday night on Raw. Whatever the case, "if you got what I need, you're gonna feel...my...power!"
Big E, Boogs, Nakamura and The Mysterios defeated Roode, Ziggler, Crews, Otis and Zayn
Matches like this, in front of a hot crowd, always work. Even if there was not nearly enough time for everyone to shine or every feud involved to be addressed, the crowd was into everything, and the addition of Young to the mix enhanced the reaction.
Big E getting the win and the spotlight was exactly what this needed and intensifies the idea that he may be ready to cash in his briefcase sooner than later. The teases have been fun to this point, and keeping Big E in front of cameras will be of the utmost importance to the success of his eventual cash-in.
Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair Sign on the Dotted Line
Bianca Belair made her way to the ring, ready to sign the contract for her Extreme Rules match against SmackDown women's champion Becky Lynch. She did just that before Lynch made her presence felt, marching to the ring in a coat that resembled the hide of Sesame Street's Elmo.
Lynch big-timed Belair and even asked what happens if she doesn't sign the contract. When the fans booed, The Man took exception, reminding the fans they chanted "we want Becky" while she was at home. She left her baby girl for them, she said, before reluctantly signing on the dotted line.
The Man ducked out of the ring and raised her title high in the air while Belair, unfazed, stared her down from the squared circle.
If there was any question that Lynch was a heel, this segment provided a definitive answer.
Lynch, the once-defiant antihero was reduced to the whiny, pouting Superstar, fazed by the negativity she was greeted with by fans disenfranchised by the big-timer she has become. The fans in New York took exception to her ducking Belair and refused to accept the idea that she "saved" them by showing up and beating The EST at SummerSlam.
Lynch was great, speaking with conviction and expressing the proper amount of disbelief for someone who genuinely believed what she was saying. Fans should be excited at the prospect of a true heel turn, the likes of which were derailed the last time she tried because of their love for her.
This go-round, she appears hellbent on making them feel differently.
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
Perhaps for the final time in his legendary career, Edge entered Madison Square Garden for a SummerSlam rematch against Seth Rollins.
Rollins controlled the match heading into the commercial break, forcing the 2012 Hall of Famer to fight from underneath if he wished to make it 2-0 against The Architect. He did, mounting a comeback that saw him deliver a Pedigree in honor of Triple H for a two-count.
Following the break, Edge trapped Rollins in a crossface, the same move that earned him the win in Las Vegas. This time, Rollins made it to the ropes, necessitating a break. Rollins tried for the stomp, but Edge countered with a sit-out powerbomb for another two. A spear moments later netted the same result.
A cheap low blow by Rollins in the corner was followed by a superkick, then two more, before exclaiming "why won't you die?!" The stomp followed and Rollins earned the win.
Rollins defeated Edge
Rollins and Edge delivered a strong match that was a step below their SummerSlam outing but featured the necessary outcome if the goal is to complete the trilogy, perhaps as soon as Extreme Rules, though the stretcher job after the match suggests The Rated R Superstar may go away for a bit.
Edge broke out everything that worked for him in Las Vegas and took a page out of Rollins' book by using one of his longtime finishers against him. In the end, it was Rollins' resilience and a calculated low blow that earned him the win.
The repeated attacks to the head and neck in the closing moments of the match, which included several kicks to the face and the aforementioned stomp, showed a relentlessness and willingness to go to unimaginable depths by Rollins that should help propel his character forward.
This wasn't plucking someone's eye out in some over-the-top horror movie fashion. This was cold and heartless.
Rollins has been great since the move to SmackDown, and this continued his impressive run. As for Edge, he is as good as ever and probably a little better. It's amazing to see what he has been capable of since returning to the ring. His recent performances inch him up the list of the best wrestlers ever, and that's not hyperbole.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos vs. The Street Profits
The SmackDown Tag Team Championships were on the line in the night's main event as The Usos defended against The Street Profits. Each team had their opportunity to put an exclamation point on things, taking to the air to wipe out the competition heading into a commercial break.
Back from the final timeout of the evening, Ford delivered a jumping neckbreaker to Jimmy Uso for a close two-count, all while wearing one shoe. Chants of "one shoe" rained from the stands as the challengers rolled.
The champs halted the momentum, Jey slowing Angelo Dawkins with a superkick. Two more superkicks and a Uso splash from Jey delivered a dramatic near-fall that even had Roman Reigns biting at ringside. Jimmy missed another Uso splash and Ford delivered a frog splash.
Reigns broke up the pin, applying the guillotine to Ford as the referee called for the bell. Infuriated, Reigns grabbed a microphone and accepted Lesnar's challenge from earlier in the night, only for the arena to darken and "The Demon" Finn Balor to arrive.
The face-painted alter-ego of the top contender confronted Reigns as the show went off the air.
The Street Profits defeated The Usos via disqualification
The best episode of SmackDown in a long time concluded with a hot, energetic tag team main event and an explosive development to close out the broadcast.
The return of the Demon is an interesting move on the part of WWE Creative considering how protected that particular persona has been over the years. Under the facepaint, Balor has never lost. It is highly unlikely that Balor will dethrone Reigns, and if that is the case, this feels like the wrong move.
Reigns is already bulletproof. He has beaten every top star thrown his way since capturing the Universal Championship, including Daniel Bryan, Edge and John Cena. Beating The Demon would bolster his resume, but does he need it? In doing so, a star already brighter than every other merely wins a match.
For Balor, it diminishes the one, true special attraction both he and WWE has.
The company must tread lightly moving forward because the alternative is diminishing a special entity the likes of which it is quickly running out of.