WWE SmackDown marketed the return of John Cena and a joint broadcast with the Rolling Loud live performance. WWE’s good-faith presence at Rolling Loud featured Bianca Belair defending her SmackDown Ladies’s Championship in opposition to Carmella and Angelo Dawkins going one-on-one with Chad Gable.
With the new-generation WWE Superstars performing in entrance of a WrestleMania-sized hip-hop viewers, they didn’t obtain WrestleMania-caliber reactions, however this was to be anticipated as WWE continues to make inroads in attracting youthful, hipper followers.
Final week’s broadcast of Friday Evening SmackDown was up from its record-low from the week prior with 2.310 million.
- July 16, 2021—2.310 million
- July 9, 2021—1.986 million
- July 2, 2021—1.861 million
- June 25, 2021—1.971 million
- June 18, 2021—2.045 million
WWE SmackDown—Key Competitors
WWE SmackDown Complete YouTube Viewership Final Friday: 10,170308 (Up from 4,603,294)
- Most-Seen: Edge and The Mysterios vs. Reigns and The Usos (2,797,223 views)
- Least-Seen: Otis Runs Over Cesaro (215,083 views)
- Median Viewership: 729,832
WWE SmackDown Outcomes—Friday, July 16, 2021
Opening Section with John Cena
It’s nonetheless very a lot the honeymoon interval, as a result of followers gave an enormous pop to John Cena however nonetheless principally cheered when he requested the what they thought of Roman Reigns.
The truth that Roman Reigns is above responding to John Cena in a gap section makes this feud seem to be an excellent greater deal.
Paul Heyman virtually upstaged John Cena in his response by mocking Cena’s theme music and entrance.
Finn Balor def. Sami Zayn
NXT Finn Balor on SmackDown is being booked simply as strongly as he was within the CWC.
Balor was highly regarded with this crowd, however I stay skeptical that WWE will preserve him this scorching shifting ahead. For now, on SmackDown, his ceiling is basically chum bait for John Cena.
Large E Seems Stay
Large E was humble in receiving the necessary “you deserve it” chants, which have turn out to be fairly cliche at this level.
I used to be sure this was going to show right into a six-man tag workforce match pitting Large E, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura in opposition to The Soiled Dawgz and Apollo Crews, however after the mud settled WWE threw it to Rolling Loud.
Angelo Dawkins def. Chad Gable
Wale did a very good job hyping this crowd up, however they may have wanted an orientation on what they had been about to see.
The setup in entrance of a sea of 200,000 followers regarded very spectacular, however for a match between Chad Gable and Angelo Dawkins at a hip-hop live performance, the group was quieter than Dave Meltzer when it’s time to speak about Black Historical past at Cash within the Financial institution.
WWE should crawl earlier than it walks in entrance of those audiences, so maybe promoting precise tickets to a devoted group of wrestling followers would have resulted in additional response.
Bianca Belair def. Carmella—WWE SmackDown Ladies’s Championship
I like that Pat McAfee outed Michael Cole for spelling out the A.S.A.P. in ASAP Rocky.
Bianca Belair and Carmella had match designed to showcase Bianca Belair, and hopefully by seeing these two they piqued the curiosity of even a small portion of this crowd, which was patiently ready for Rick Ross.
I hope WWE makes future appearances at hip-hop concert events and occasions, however includes rappers within the precise matches or runs an angle throughout a efficiency.
To sum up WWE at Rolling Loud, it was an superior spectacle in entrance of a crowd that paid to see hip-hop. It regarded like a WrestleMania however sounded just like the ThunderDome, nonetheless it is a vital first step in elevating consciousness in entrance of potential new followers.
Seth Rollins Confronts Edge
Seth Rollins bought essentially the most heel warmth on this present, nonetheless I used to be disillusioned that he has but to get extra critical and tone down his wacky fits in a feud with Edge.
Wacky swimsuit apart, Seth Rollins lastly looks like he’s getting again to being Seth Rollins once more, simply by standing subsequent to Edge.
Toni Storm def. Zelina Vega
I’ve no downside with Zelina Vega shedding all these matches regardless of returning a number of brief weeks in the past, as a result of she has elite expertise as a supervisor and hopefully that’s the place these losses ultimately lead.
Even when it was only a showcase for Toni Storm, watching a brand new matchup felt so refreshing on a present full of new begins.
Jimmy Uso def. Dominik Mysterio
There was a really messy transition that really led to an ungainly end of this match.
Jimmy so was dedicated to his function as a heel, even mocking Eddie Guerrero at one level to incite the Mysterios and this crowd.
Roman Reigns Rejects John Cena’s Problem, Accepts Finn Balor’s Problem
I assumed The Usos and Roman Reigns holding up their titles was going to be the ending to Cash within the Financial institution, however as an alternative Cash within the Financial institution had a superior ending with John Cena’s return. Fortunately, Reigns and The Usos posed with their belts throughout his long-awaited entrance.
Regardless of cheers for Roman Reigns references through the John Cena promo, this crowd couldn’t wait to chant “you suck!” They performed their roles completely.
Roman Reigns actually referred to as John Cena the “missionary place” of wrestling, and if it wasn’t already apparent that it is a totally different Roman Reigns from the man who was outclassed on the mic in 2017, it’s now.
The concept that WWE would tease John Cena and bait-and-switch with Finn Balor is loopy discuss, however to be truthful, Cleveland was means into it with chants of “Roman’s scared.”.