Friday night's edition of SmackDown marked just the second time that fans were in attendance since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. WWE chairman Vince McMahon opened the show by coming out and acknowledging the crowd before the show got started.
In the go-home edition of SmackDown before Money in the Bank, Edge and Dominik and Rey Mysterio faced off against universal champion Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, and Jimmy Uso. The six-man tag-team match was the final tune-up for Edge and Reigns before they do battle for the universal title. In addition, the Usos attempted to gain some momentum for their SmackDown tag team title match against the Mysterios on Sunday.
CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from the Toyota Center in Houston.
Reigns and the Usos win, but Edge gets last laugh
Roman Reigns asserted his dominance throughout the six-man tag team match. Late in the contest, Rey Mysterio attempted a 619 on Jey Uso when Reigns caught him in midair and took him out. Moments later, Rey Mysterio was sent flying into the middle rope and Jey Uso was able to roll up Mysterio by his tights for the victory.
Following the match, the Uso attacked the Mysterios before Edge made the save with chair shots to both Jimmy and Jey. However, Reigns came out of nowhere and connected on a superman punch to Edge. With Edge on the ground, Reigns grabbed the bottom bar of the steel chair. With Reigns' attention diverted, Edge connected with a spear and locked in another crossface with the bar on Reigns. After Reigns tapped, Edge grabbed the universal championship belt and hoisted it in the air.
In a backstage interview after the match, Edge said that he's going to have to go to places that he hasn't gone before in order to defeat Reigns on Sunday. During the interview, Seth Rollins came over and laughed at Edge and said that he wants to see the Rated-R Superstar defeat Reigns on Sunday then will cash in on Edge after he wins the Money in the Bank briefcase.
It was phenomenal to see some of SmackDown's biggest stars involved in one match to kick off the show. Since Edge has gotten the upper hand on Reigns and the Usos the last two weeks, it wasn't a surprise to see Reigns and the Usos come away with the victory. It was strong booking to have the bottom bar of the steel chair continue to be used. Sunday's universal championship match could be an instant classic. Grade: B+
What else happened on WWE SmackDown?
- Sami Zayn cut a promo in which he stated that there was a conspiracy that kept him out of the men's Money In The Bank match. While Zayn attempted to hijack the show, Finn Balor made his return to SmackDown. Zayn tried to attack Balor, but Balor saw it coming and took down the former intercontinental champion. Balor hit a Coup de Grace off the top rope on Zayn.
- Shotzi and Nox def. Natalya and Tamina via pinfall when Nox rolled up Natalya. Natalya went for the sharpshooter, but was distracted by women's Money in the Bank match participants Liv Morgan and Zelina Vega fighting on the outside.
- Bianca Belair def. Carmella via pinfall via the K.O.D to retain the SmackDown women's championship. Carmella had Belair on the mat and used Belair's hair braid against her. Once Belair got free, she whipped Carmella with her braid and nailed the K.O.D.
- Cesaro def. Otis via disqualification after Chad Gable interfered in the match. Cesaro was able to lock in the swing and swung Gable around several times before Otis intervened after the DQ. Otis then took out Cesaro with a splash off the top rope.
- Seth Rollins def. Big E, Kevin Owens, and Seth Rollins via pinfall when Rollins connected with a stomp on Big E, who was laid out on a ladder. Shortly before Rollins pinned Big E, Owens nailed an elbow from the top of the ladder on Nakamura through the announce table. With Nakamura and Owens incapacitated, Rollins hit the stomp then made his way to the top of the ladder and grabbed the Money in the Bank briefcase that was suspended above the ring and posed with it as SmackDown ended.