Nikki Bella Blasts WWE's Booking for Bianca Belair at SummerSlam

Entertainment

ComicBook.com 23 August, 2021 - 03:01pm 5 views

Did Roman Reigns win Summerslam?

In a match that lived up to the hype, Roman Reigns defeated John Cena in the main event of SummerSlam to retain his WWE title. DraftKings NationSummerSlam results 2021: Winners for John Cena vs. Roman Reigns, Rollins vs. Edge, Becky Lynch return, more

Did Becky Lynch return to WWE?

After 15 months away, Becky Lynch made her surprise return to WWE at SummerSlam on Saturday night. Lynch took Sasha Banks's place in the SmackDown women's championship match at SummerSlam and defeated Bianca Belair to win the title. si.comBecky Lynch Makes Surprise Post-Pregnancy Return at WWE SummerSlam

WWE's SummerSlam event this past weekend was full of highlights, but the event didn't make it all the way to the end without a bit of controversy. The moment that seemed to outright anger fans came midway through the show when, after Sasha Banks was pulled from her match with Bianca Belair at the last minute, Becky Lynch arrived and challenged "The EST" for her SmackDown Women's Championship. "The Man" then proceeded to beat the 2021 Royal Rumble winner and WrestleMania 37 main eventer in a manner of seconds with just two moves.

WWE Hall of Famer Nikki Bella spoke with Scott Fishman at WWE's red carpet event following the show and voiced her outrage over the decision. She said (h/t WrestlingNews.co), "I can tell you what wasn't my favorite moment. It was when [Bianca] lost. That definitely was not my favorite moment and I don't know if I actually had a favorite moment...I've always backed the women and I'm always for the women and you have someone like Bianca, who is such an incredible talent and you can't help but get frustrated when you see moments like that of a championship that meant so much and was lost within seconds. I have to admit for this SummerSlam, there truly wasn't anything that was my favorite."

Encourage everyone to watch the entire Nikki Bella and JJ Garcia interview as I’m seeing clips online that are out of context. She was disappointed in Bianca Belair losing the championship. That is all. https://t.co/bU4wKuAT6M

Belair was also present on the red carpet and gave her side of the situation while speaking with Denise Salcedo. She said (h/t Fightful), "Right now, I'm just trying to collect my thoughts and get my mind together. Everything happened quickly and so fast. I was ready to fight Sasha Banks, and Becky came out, which was an amazing moment and I'm happy to be part of that moment, but I lost my title and right now, I'm just emotional and trying to wrap my mind around it. I have to be honest, I feel defeated right now and okay with being vulnerable and being honest about that. I'm ready to get my title back."

"It was bittersweet. Becky Lynch, what she's accomplished inside and outside the ring, she's The Man and a legend in the making," she continued. It was bittersweet to know she was coming out and to hear that pop from the crowd and hear the vibration from the WWE Universe, it's nothing like you've ever felt before, so to be in the ring and feel all of that was amazing, but at the same time, I was the SmackDown Women's Champion and I knew she was coming for my title. It was bittersweet and I can't help but to be a little sad about the situation and ready to get back in there and get my rematch because I deserve a rematch."

Copyright 2021 ComicBook.com. All rights reserved.

Read full article at ComicBook.com

Nikki Bella Rips WWE Booking Becky Lynch to Squash Bianca Belair at SummerSlam

Bleacher Report 24 August, 2021 - 05:00am

WWE Hall of Famer Nikki Bella said Bianca Belair losing the SmackDown Women's Championship to a returning Becky Lynch in a squash match Saturday soured her view of the entire SummerSlam card.

Lynch returned to replace expected challenger Sasha Banks, who's away from WWE for an undisclosed reason, and defeated Belair in under a minute to become the new champion.

Bella explained at the SummerSlam afterparty (via Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News) the booking decision didn't sit well with her:

Belair won the women's Royal Rumble in January to receive a championship shot at WrestleMania 37 in April, and she earned her proverbial WrestleMania moment with a victory over Banks in the main event of the first night of WWE's biggest event of the year to become the SmackDown women's champion.

Having her lose the belt in such quick, nondescript fashion didn't generate positive reviews from the WWE Universe, but it could be setting the stage for something bigger.

Belair is now in perfect position to generate even more support from the fans, and PWInsider reported (Sai Mohan of Wrestling Inc.) the plan calls for Lynch to serve as SmackDown's "top heel" moving forward. So, at least from a creative standpoint, the squash result makes some sense within that future context.

Meanwhile, Bella's situation is a bit uncertain because she'd teased a SummerSlam appearance in recent weeks but didn't appear during the show.

The two-time Divas champion suggested there may be more to the story in a Saturday post on Instagram.

"When you're not allowed to go to SummerSlam in Vegas...lol," she wrote alongside pictures at the Park MGM hotel in Las Vegas.

Bella didn't disclose why she wasn't allowed to attend the show in that post or a subsequent one Sunday as she headed home.

"It's been a fun few days with the WWE and WWE Universe in Las Vegas!" she wrote on Instagram.

Bella retired from in-ring competition in July 2019, but she hinted toward a potential return in March.

Where she'd fit within crowded women's divisions on both Raw and SmackDown is a tough question to answer, though.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!

Report: Becky Lynch is now a heel

Cageside Seats 24 August, 2021 - 05:00am

PWInsider has confirmed with multiple WWE sources that Becky Lynch is now a heel. She’ll be the big bad of SmackDown’s women’s division, initially in a feud with Bianca Belair. That program started on Saturday night (Aug. 21) in Las Vegas when Lynch squashed Belair in seconds to take her title.

Opting to swim against the tide of fans who’ve been waiting to cheer The Man since she announced her pregnancy in May of last years is a curious decision. But if that’s what they want to do, casting her opposite The EST is a good way to do. Bianca’s real life story, natural charisma, and on-screen story have positioned her as one of the company’s best babyfaces. Neither the crowd in Vegas or fans watching at home were happy to see the way she was treated at SummerSlam. Ill will from that could finally get Becky the heat WWE wanted when she first turned on Charlotte Flair three years ago.

In light of this report, you can see the seeds of the heel turn in Saturday night’s booking. Lynch did bait Belair by offering her hand before cheap shotting her with a forearm. Even Becky’s brief backstage interview can now be seen as arrogantly dismissive.

At last night’s house show in Denver, fans were still in Belair’s corner when she cut a face promo about losing her title.

Bianca Belair addressing the outcome of #summerslam at #wwedenver pic.twitter.com/rbnYI4wcaP

We’ll see how this plays out on Friday’s SmackDown. There’s definitely a chance audiences see The Man as someone cool they want to cheer even if she’s doing villainous things. And the chances of that go up if Belair looks like she’s making excuses (she said in an interview with Denise Salcedo at the SummerSlam after-party she was prepared for Sasha Banks, not Lynch) instead of calling out Lynch for dirty tricks.

It will also be interesting to see how this impacts the entire SmackDown women’s division. Does this mean Banks will be out for a while, or eventually move to Raw in the Draft rumored for early October? Bigger pushes for people like Liv Morgan, Toni Storm, Tegan Nox & Shotzi Blackheart when Becky needs babyface opponents?

Right now, all we have is questions. Let us know what you think about WWE pushing The Man as a heel.

WWE Rumors on John Cena's Future, Becky Lynch's Heel Turn and Sasha Banks' Absence

Bleacher Report 24 August, 2021 - 05:00am

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

Cena's quest to win a 17th world championship, which would break a tie with Ric Flair for the most in WWE history, will have to wait.

After his loss to Roman Reigns in the main event of SummerSlam on Saturday night, Cena will return to his acting commitments in Hollywood. WWE officials are under the impression he "will not be available for them for the foreseeable future," according to PWInsider (via Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc.).

The report noted Cena is still expected to work the Sept. 10 SmackDown event at Madison Square Garden, but that'll be a one-off appearance, potentially in a dark match, and not part of an active storyline.

He later confirmed his departure, but hinted toward another return in the future:

Words cannot describe how appreciative I am that the <a href="https://twitter.com/WWEUniverse?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWEUniverse</a> allowed me the opportunity to return and perform. Thank you staff, superstars, and most of all FANS for giving me an unforgettable summer at “home” with my “family”. The journey takes me away now but I’ll C U soon.

Cena made a surprise comeback to the company at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view in July to set the stage for his SummerSlam feud with Reigns. He provided a significant short-term boost by appearing on Raw, SmackDown and at live events.

Cena forced Reigns to elevate his performances over the past five weeks, especially during their verbal exchanges, and The Head of the Table should benefit from that as his championship run rolls on. Brock Lesnar returned in the final moments of SummerSlam to set the stage for his next marquee feud.

Lynch made her long-awaited return at SummerSlam by replacing Sasha Banks in a SmackDown Women's Championship match against Bianca Belair, which she won in under a minute.

The squash nature of the match caught a lot of people off guard because Belair had firmly established herself as one of WWE's top talents since her WrestleMania triumph, but now the reason for the quick match may be coming into focus.

PWInsider reported (via Sai Mohan of Wrestling Inc.) Lynch will operate as the "top heel" on SmackDown following her return.

So, while her comeback was always going to generate a positive reaction from the fans, taking care of Belair in the blink of an eye will provide the foundation for a quick heel turn as she makes her return to weekly television. She's done a terrific job in heel roles in the past, so it's a smart creative move.

The feud between Lynch and Belair should be one of WWE's top attractions in the months ahead, and the women's division as a whole has incredible depth, which creates no shortage of storyline options heading toward the end of the year and into next year's key Royal Rumble and WrestleMania events.

Lynch was away from the company after giving birth to her daughter, Roux, in December with husband and fellow WWE Superstar Seth Rollins.

Lynch's addition to the SummerSlam card came at the expense of Banks, who's been absent from WWE's travel party since the weekend of Aug. 14 for reasons that have not been made public.

Banks was tentatively scheduled to return for Friday's go-home episode of SmackDown but wasn't available, which forced the creative team to rewrite portions of the show, per PWInsider (via Middleton).

Although the reason for her continued absence is unknown, it's "not an injury issue," according to the PWInsider report.

WWE officials are "hopeful that Banks will be back soon," but so far there's been no confirmed date for her next appearance after being removed from the SummerSlam title match with Belair.

In early 2019, Banks took four months off following WrestleMania to focus on her mental health.

"I've been doing this for seven years straight—no breaks," she said upon her return in September 2019. "So you know, people need to step back and re-evaluate their lives, take care of their souls and their minds."

Banks is one of WWE's most well-rounded performers, so her absence is definitely a hit to the SmackDown roster despite the division's aforementioned depth. She should swiftly return to the main event picture once back in action.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!

Becky Lynch reportedly requested to turn heel 

Sportskeeda 24 August, 2021 - 12:54am

Becky Lynch requested WWE to turn her heel, according to the latest reports.

After a 15-month hiatus, The Man finally made her long-awaited return to WWE at SummerSlam, where she scored a shocking victory against Bianca Belair to capture the SmackDown Women's Championship in under 30 seconds.

According to earlier reports, it was said that the Irish Superstar would be positioned as a heel going forward, and she will officially be a part of the SmackDown brand.

WWE initially had plans for Lynch to return in October, but Sasha Banks' absence changed the plans.

The Boss was supposed to challenge Bianca Belair for the SmackDown Women's Title on Saturday night, but she was removed from the bout due to not being cleared to compete.

In an update from Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline, Becky Lynch's heel turn was something that she herself requested, which the company apparently granted.

This is only the second time that she will portray a villain on the main roster. When she started off The Man gimmick, Lynch worked as a heel. However, she was so over with the fans that WWE was left with no choice but to make her face again.

It will be interesting to see how the WWE Universe will react to The Man being a heel again. Some of those present on this week's RAW reportedly booed Lynch's SummerSlam return vignette when it was played on screen.

I’m back. pic.twitter.com/dlKraRFC2p

Becky Lynch, winning the SmackDown Women's Championship in a matter of a few seconds, wasn't fully accepted by fans and critics. As a heel, though, she could use that to her advantage to generate heat.

According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider, the decision to have her squash the EST of WWE to capture the title was made by Vince McMahon.

Becky Lynch will most likely begin a new feud with Belair for the title. The two superstars haven't feuded with each other on the main roster before, so this will be a fresh rivalry that will help elevate the SmackDown Women's division.

A former WWE Champion wants The Great Khali back! Don't believe us? Click here to see for yourself.

Rumor Roundup: Heel Becky Lynch, Adam Cole’s future, CM Punk ice cream bars, more!

Sportskeeda 24 August, 2021 - 12:00am

Important reminder: Rumors are just that — rumors. None of this has been confirmed as fact, it’s just circulating around the pro wrestling rumor mill. We track rumor accuracy in a weekly feature called Rumor Look Back you can find here. Remember, take it all with a grain of salt.

Brock Lesnar's next WWE appearance announced

Sportskeeda 23 August, 2021 - 11:04pm

WWE is advertising Brock Lesnar to appear on the upcoming episode of Friday Night SmackDown.

The Beast Incarnate made his grand return to the company last Saturday at SummerSlam 2021. Lesnar decided to crash Roman Reigns' post-match victory celebration after The Tribal Chief beat John Cena to retain the Universal Championship. Lesnar received a massive pop from the fans in attendance at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The Beast Incarnate went on to have a face-off with Roman Reigns, following which the Universal Champion sensibly retreated.

The look of disbelief on Paul Heyman's face upon seeing his former client was incredible and fans can't wait to see Reigns and Lesnar clash once again.

Following his grand SummerSlam return, Brock Lesnar is now being advertised to appear on this week's Friday Night SmackDown. Also advertised for the show is the new SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch, who also returned at SummerSlam and squashed Bianca Belair in a shocking manner. You can watch the video of WWE's advertisement in the tweet below.

Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns have faced each other on multiple occasions previously, including two WrestleMania main events. However, Reigns now has a completely different character and for the first time, it seems like Lesnar will be playing the role of the face.

With The Beast Incarnate being announced for SmackDown, many are wondering if he will challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at the upcoming Extreme Rules pay-per-view next month. However, Lesnar only wrestles on major shows and Extreme Rules doesn't necessarily fall in that category.

HE'S HERE. @BrockLesnar IS BACK! #SummerSlam pic.twitter.com/QgvrKbky7e

There's so much to be told in the feud between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar at the moment. The angle of Paul Heyman being caught between these two men will be interesting to watch.

WWE could take their time to build on this feud and probably have the two clash at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia, announced to take place in October.

A former WWE Champion wants The Great Khali back! Don't believe us? Click here to see for yourself.

Nikki Bella was not a fan of SummerSlam

Cageside Seats 23 August, 2021 - 12:15pm

Particularly what happened to Bianca Belair.

That’s what Nikki Bella did in this clip that got a lot of traction on social media after SummerSlam.

Asked if she had a favorite moment from the Saturday night (Aug. 21) PPV in Las Vegas, Bella said:

“I can tell you what wasn’t my favorite moment, and it was when she [points to Bianca Belair off camera] lost. That definitely was not my favorite moment. And I don’t know if I actually had a favorite moment, cause I’m always back to the women, and I’m always for the women, and you have someone like Bianca who’s such an incredible talent, and you can’t help but get frustrated when you see moments like that of like a championship that meant so much, and was lost within seconds. So I have to admit, for this SummerSlam, there truly wasn’t anything that was my favorite.”

Nikki wasn’t alone in her criticism of how Becky Lynch ended Belair’s SmackDown Women’s title reign. Those are being met with the usual “let’s see how it plays out” responses, and there’s some merit to that - especially in light of today’s reports about WWE’s plans for The Man.

Shout out to Bella for using her voice though. Love her or hate her, she’s a huge figure in the history of women’s wrestling, both by bringing attention to the WWE roster on Total Divas, and by upping her in-ring game to serve as a bridge between the company’s past salacious presentation of women and the current era.

Who knows if criticism from Nikki carries more weight backstage than fan complaints. Can’t say she didn’t try.

Backstage details behind Sasha Banks missing WWE SummerSlam - Reports

Sportskeeda 22 August, 2021 - 10:52pm

Sasha Banks was slated to face Bianca Belair at WWE SummerSlam for the SmackDown Women's Championship, but she was removed from the match heading into the show. The Boss was reportedly not cleared to compete at the event.

According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider, Sasha Banks never made it to Las Vegas for Summerslam weekend, though she had been advertised for the show. She also missed out on several live events due to "unforeseen circumstances." Her absence is not injury-related, but it's still not clear what the actual reason might be.

WWE didn't inform fans of Sasha Banks' unavailability until after Belair made her entrance for their scheduled match. Carmella was then announced as The Boss' replacement, which was specifically done to swerve the audience before Becky Lynch's return.

The SmackDown Women's Championship match was one of the biggest bouts heading into the Biggest Party of the Summer, as it featured WrestleMania 37 main-eventers Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE knew eight days in advance that The Boss wasn't going to compete at SummerSlam, but she was still advertised for it. Becky Lynch was later revealed to be her replacement.

Back where she belongs.#SummerSlam @BeckyLynchWWE pic.twitter.com/Bl0GLC5zRf

With the return of The Man, the SmackDown women's division can only flourish. Fans are practically guaranteed to see a feud between The EST of WWE and Becky Lynch over the championship. Once Banks returns to WWE, she could also rejoin the title scene.

Were you disappointed that Banks was absent from SummerSlam? Sound off in the comments below.

A former WWE Champion wants The Great Khali back! Don't believe us? Click here to see for yourself.

Entertainment Stories