Finn Balor Is Now A Permanent SmackDown Roster Member, Bobby Lashley’s Rise

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eWrestlingNews 17 July, 2021 - 03:15pm 12 views

Who won the Fatal 4 Way on Smackdown?

WWE SmackDown Results: Seth Rollins Wins Fatal 4-Way Ahead of Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Finn Balor Returns. news18.comWWE SmackDown Results: Seth Rollins Wins Fatal 4-Way Ahead of Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Finn Balor R

Who won the Money in the Bank 2021?

(short for Almost a Super Hero), qualified by defeating the team of Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. On the June 25 episode of SmackDown, WWE official Sonya Deville named two-time Money in the Bank winner Carmella as the first of SmackDown's four participants. wikipedia.orgMoney in the Bank (2021)

That wasn’t on SmackDown - at least not the televised portion. To get the honor of being first through the flat screen, Smith worked a dark match for his re-debut. Read into that what you will.

WWE did release a post-show interview with the third generation wrestler touting his return to the company after nearly a decade away.

“You know, it’s great to be back in the WWE, especially in front of the WWE Universe live here in Houston, Texas. The atmosphere, the ambiance, the energy that you can feel from a live WWE audience - nothing can touch that. And that’s why Harry Smith is back in the WWE. The past 10 years I’ve been going around the globe making myself the best competitor that I can be, all over in Japan, all over in Europe. And that’s why I’m back in the WWE, to show exactly how much Harry Smith has grown over this past time.”

During his first WWE stint from 2006 - 2011, Smith teamed with Tyson Kidd & Natalya as The Hart Dynasty, with the men winning tag gold once. Smith remains close to his cousins (Harry and Nattie’s mothers are two of Stu & Helen Hart’s 12 children), and it’s believed their presence in the company is a factor in his decision to return.

As he alludes to in the promo, Smith’s time away from WWE has been spent working all over the globe. He captured three IWGP Tag Team championships, and two GHC Tag belts in Japan. He’s also a two NWA World Tag champ, and once won MLW’s World Tag Team championship.

We’ll see what plans WWE has for the 35 year old this time around.

Read full article at eWrestlingNews

WWE Stock Report: AJ Styles has lost a couple steps

Cageside Seats 18 July, 2021 - 05:01am

In this weekly series, we identify three Superstars (or groups of Superstars) who are on their way up, and three that are moving in the opposite direction. After a busy week that included the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match participants being finalized, as well as WWE finally returning to the road with live fans for SmackDown, a lot of fortunes were changed.

With that in mind, let’s see whose stock has increased the most this week:

The list of people who have pinned Bobby Lashley over the last year is extremely small. Even if it was a fluke roll up, Xavier Woods joined that list on this week’s (July 12) episode of Raw.

With their series of exciting matches to close out the ThunderDome era, Ricochet and Morrison have proven that they should be given more to do on Monday nights. Three hours of Raw is always too long, but it’s easier to get through when Ricochet and Morrison are allowed to work longer matches.

There was sure to be a big surprise return on the first episode of SmackDown back on the road, and Balor turned out to be that surprise. We can worry later about how soon his height or accent may cause Vince McMahon to take the shine off him again. SmackDown needs more babyfaces to go up against the likes of Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins after SummerSlam, and Balor fills that need extremely well.

Now let’s see whose stock has decreased the most this week:

Dana Brooke’s tag team partner (Mandy Rose) appears to have been traded to NXT, leaving Dana in limbo on Raw. Her current storyline against tag team champions Tamina & Natalya is suddenly in danger of being dropped. It’s strange how WWE thinks they can sustain a women’s tag team division with such a small number of teams across both main roster brands.

Carrillo’s story with Sheamus was wrapped up on Raw in a fashion that screamed out Humberto never belonged in the same ring as the Celtic Warrior. After being squashed with one immediate Brogue Kick, now Carrillo can go back to chasing Akira Tozawa’s jobber gold, which is what he was doing one week prior.

Styles is a former WWE champion and one of the greatest wrestlers of his generation, yet for some reason he’s being presented as the weak link in a tag team on Raw. Unlike the formation of RK-BRO, which is helping both Riddle and Randy Orton, Styles’ current foray into tag team wrestling is all about the push of Omos, and it’s now making AJ look like someone who has lost a couple steps as a singles wrestler.

There you have it, Cagesiders. Whose stock do you think has changed the most this week?

Reason Vince McMahon Decided To Call A Number Of NXT Stars Up Revealed

TheSportster 18 July, 2021 - 05:01am

The big one is that McMahon saw the recent advance ticket sales for the return to touring. When he noticed the excitement about live shows, he wanted fresh talent on the programs and in the buildings for fans to see, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Whether or not this means more NXT stars are coming is unclear, but in a matter of two weeks, WWE has called Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox, and Finn Balor to SmackDown, plus teased the debut of Toni Storm for next week. There have been additional reports that Aliyah is coming to RAW, in what looks to be a talent exchange for Mandy Rose who appeared in NXT this past Tuesday night.

The report suggests Vince felt both the Raw and SmackDown rosters were lacking fresh faces and there weren't new names on the roster that would get fans excited. After making  a trip to the WWE Performance Center and seeing how some of the talent there was improving and ready for a bigger role, he made the call to pull people up and the plan is to push them hard, and almost immediately.

There's also talk that Karrion Kross and Bronson Reed could be on their way to the main roster in short order.

WWE Must Make the Most of Finn Balor's Return to the Main Roster

Bleacher Report 17 July, 2021 - 09:00am

WWE loaded up the July 16 edition of SmackDown, both for the return of fans and as the go-home show before Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view event. 

Yet there's a chance nothing will come close to the importance of Finn Balor's return. 

Balor's entrance is just made for a live crowd, of course. And that was a big emphasis on Friday night—getting as many major pops as possible. But the way the announcers talked about Balor, it seems he's set to be a player on the blue brand. 

Which is perfect, in a word. 

We're talking about a Superstar with best-in-the-world upside. He was the inaugural universal champion, has plenty of classic feuds under his belt and now has two unforgettable runs in NXT. It was starting to feel like only a matter of time before he made his way back up to the main roster, and it's safe to say WWE pulled the trigger at the most impactful time possible. 

Balor—though he didn't need the help because he's already adored—made his big return in the middle of a rant by Sami Zayn and kicked the tar out of the detested character, much to the approval of the fans. That's probably a good starter feud for Balor as he gets back into the swing of things on the main roster. 

But the real target is the main event. 

Welcome back to #SmackDown, @FinnBalor! ❌❌❌ https://t.co/j11y268ey7

After that, though, Reigns will need a long-term feud to keep him occupied. Because, as things stand now, there's zero reason to take the title off the top guy in the company who only feels like he is just getting started with this new heel role. 

Talk about a fun story, too. Balor and Reigns have plenty of history they can tap into for it, never mind the personality shifts for both since fans have last seen them together on the main roster at the same time. Maybe even sprinkle in a Money in the Bank briefcase for Balor to keep things interesting. 

A hidden wrinkle to Balor coming up to SmackDown to consider: He can take a loss to Reigns and be just fine. It might seem like a premature thing to bring up right now, but he's one of those Superstars who won't take a ton of damage with a big loss. There are plenty of other potential dream feuds for Balor to nab after a title challenge—highlighted by a matchup with Edge that WWE absolutely needs to do. 

All of this is to say SmackDown was the right choice. Balor going over to Raw wouldn't have made a ton of sense. The main-event scene over there already has a "midcard purgatory" flair, and a Balor-Bobby Lashley feud just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Speaking of purgatory, though, WWE has to handle this right—and fast. Fans have seen the company drop the ball plenty with NXT call-ups, to the point it feels more likely to see a promoted star go on to flop than actually turn into the next big thing. Balor can't arrive on SmackDown like this to be merely stuck in the tag division before cooling off and eventually seeming like a candidate to go right back to NXT. 

𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝑶𝒉, 𝒘𝒂𝒕𝒄𝒉 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌 @FinnBalor #SmackDown https://t.co/u2mFXYzrba

WWE, after all, just handed itself a main-event Superstar with program-headlining upside free of charge. It's an "embarrassment of riches" sort of move at a time when the company has serious problems building headlining stars of its own, hence the constant leaning on part-timers for big shows. 

If handled properly, Balor could carve out some unforgettable stories fans will enjoy, plus maybe earn WWE some much-needed praise and trust from audiences. Think, less "smiley guy who does flippy things" like the tail end of his last main-roster run and more of his heelish persona from NXT. 

At the risk of saying something WWE has totally done before in similar circumstances, it's really hard for the company to mess this up. Balor is a rare, world-class talent. He's eternally over with fans (look at that entrance again). Nobody really moves like him. Few his size have stood credibly in the ring and taken Brock Lesnar to the limit. Nobody has a finisher like him. And don't forget the supernatural side—The Demon character has all the potential in the world to keep things fresh and interesting. 

But, as always, it's on WWE to get it right. So here's hoping his promotion to SmackDown was with a long-term plan in mind, not just for a cheap pop from a live crowd before aimlessly throwing him in feuds. We can give WWE the benefit of the doubt with Balor on this front—his first main-roster feud saw him become the first-ever universal champion over names like Seth Rollins before vacating the title because of injury. 

If there's more of that type of booking on the way, SmackDown now has two larger-than-life presences to headline it for the long-term—and as far as Balor and Reigns are probably concerned, it's only big enough for one of them. 

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