Smackdown Review 7.23


Roman Reigns rejects John Cena's Challenge; WWE throws a curveball

Friday Night Smackdown on FOX was a follow-up on the post Money in the Bank pay per view. John Cena made his second straight television appearance (first on Raw) to confront Roman Reigns. While many were made to believe that it is a lock for Cena and Reigns to clash for the Universal Championship at Summerslam, Roman Reigns declined the challenge stating, "I don't want to see you. I don't need to see you. I don't desire to see you. And guess what, we are not going to see you. We are not going to see you at the main event of Summerslam." After the Head of the Table finished rejecting Cena's offer, The Prince, Finn Balor, made his appearance. He stated, "I am not here to acknowledge you. But if you are not interested in John Cena's challenge, maybe you are interested in mine." Reigns laughed and had a sidebar with Paul Heyman. Then, Reigns accepted the challenge.

Cena and Balor can relate:

Balor's appearance after defeating Sami Zayn did catch the WWE Universe. However, Cena and Balor have a similar path leading to Roman Reigns. Here is how:

Cena's last match was a Firefly Fun House at WrestleMania 36. As Samual Kendall from stated, "The Fiend took Cena on a harrowing journey through his worst fears, giving the fans a glimpse at classic moments throughout his career." Cena was placed at different events and timelines that resulted in The Fiend defeating Cena by making him disappear. And yes, Cena did fade to Hollywood. In counting the days, 479 days later, Cena returned to confront Roman Reigns.


On September 24, 2017, Cena lost to Reigns, passing the torch for then, the Big Dog, The Guy. Now, Reigns turned the page and is now the Head of the Table. His ability to take things to his advantage and use his family for the push has made him very successful so far. However, Cena returns with a different attitude. As he claimed, Reigns is an a**hole and indeed, his role is that. But is it? Or is it because we are not used to seeing the change. Roman's refusal to entertain Cena may be a clear message for all superstars who decide to leave the business and come back, not to aim for the top. As Hector Vasquez (HHWSHow co-host) stated, the old-timers do not need to come back and hog the spotlight. Give those that are on the roster a chance.

Balor is the first ever Universal Champion in WWE history. And for so long, he has tried to get back to the top. Unlike Cena, Balor was taken out by The Fiend at Summerslam 2019. Later, he would go on and become NXT Champion. Balor would lose the title against Karrion Kross. He has now returned to Smackdown.

Could we see Balor vs. Reigns? Or are we going to see a triple threat match with Cena, Balor, and Reigns?

(Watch or hear the HHWShow Podcast this Tuesday on this debate).

Smackdown results:

Finn Balor defeated Sami Zayn

Big E addressed his Money in the Bank but was interrupted by Apollo Crews - With the main titles being in the spotlight, the Intercontinental Championship is leveling up. We can potentially see a possible six-man battle in the future for the title - Apollo Crews (C), Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, and Big E.

Angelo Dawkins defeated Chad Gable in Florida.

Bianca Belair (C) defeated Carmella in Florida and remains champion.

Roode and Zigler stole Baron Corbin's money - possible tag team match Roode/Ziggler vs. Corbin/Kevin Owens.

Edge and Seth Rollins brawled. Edge is seeking retribution because Rollins cost him a chance to win the Universal Championship.

Toni Storm debuted and defeated Zelina Vega

Jimmy Uso defeated Dominik Mysterio

More to follow on the HHWShow Podcast.