6 Surprises for SmackDown: Popular star to turn heel for the first time, Unexpected return of 8-time Champion?
SmackDown will be headlined by a huge Universal Championship match this week. In a match that we haven’t seen in three years, Roman Reigns will defend the Universal Championship against Finn Balor on SmackDown.
That will be the central focus of this week’s episode, but there’s a lot more to look forward to as well. SmackDown has continued to have more momentum than RAW since SummerSlam, and this will be the second episode after the biggest party of the summer.
The focus is now on Extreme Rules and we will see storylines progress on SmackDown towards the next pay-per-view. Here are some of the big surprises that we could see on SmackDown this week:
#6. Dominik and Rey Mysterio’s on-screen alliance to end on SmackDown?
Rey and Dominik Mysterio didn’t have their moment at SummerSlam 2020 and recapture the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. It has been a rough few weeks for the Mysterios on SmackDown.
Dominik Mysterio’s inexperience has been showing recently on SmackDown, and it has cost him and his father Rey Mysterio multiple matches since. Last week on SmackDown, Rey Mysterio gave Dominik yet another pep talk backstage about what he needs to do.
Dominik Mysterio’s mystery opponent on SmackDown was Sami Zayn, who made his return. It came as no surprise that Sami Zayn was able to put away Dominik. What was interesting was that post-match, Rey Mysterio tried to talk to his son, only to get shoved away.
This is the first true sign of dissent that we’ve seen between Rey and Dominik Mysterio. It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out, and we anticipate that it will all unfold over the coming weeks, or even more.
However, there’s only so many times WWE can have match where Dominik Mysterio loses and gets annoyed at his father. There needs to be some progression, which is why it would be a surprise on SmackDown this week to potentially see Dominik Mysterio turn on his father or simply end his on-screen alliance with him.
It could be done one of two ways. A heel turn for the first time in Dominik Mysterio’s WWE career, or him simply choosing to branch off on his own journey. While it would be a bit premature to do so, it would undoubtedly take fans by surprise.
#5. Becky Lynch gets another unexpected challenger on SmackDown
Becky Lynch made her return to SmackDown after a long time away last week. Although her hiatus from WWE in 2020 saw her vacate the RAW Women’s Championship, Becky Lynch returned to SmackDown and won the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Two things seemed clear from last week: the rumors of Becky Lynch’s heel turn were true, and the crowd didn’t like the way Bianca Belair was treated at SummerSlam. Where it gets confusing is the fact that the crowd still cheered Becky Lynch, which was no surprise.
Bianca Belair wanted to claim a rematch for the SmackDown Women’s title last week, and she had to go through Zelina Vega, Carmella, and Liv Morgan in a Fatal-4-Way elimination match to earn the right to face Becky Lynch.
Although the match isn’t official, Becky Lynch vs Bianca Belair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship is expected to take place at Extreme Rules 2021. A big surprise would be if Sasha Banks makes an unexpected return to SmackDown.
Sasha Banks, a 6-time Women’s Champion and 2-time Women’s Tag Team Champion, was originally supposed to face Bianca Belair at SummerSlam. WWE had pulled her out of the event for unknown reasons and kept it under wraps until the match was supposed to take place.
There’s no doubt that Sasha Banks returning to SmackDown and making it a triple threat feud would be more exciting to watch.
#4. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogz enter SmackDown tag team title contention
We’ll be the first to admit that this is one of the least-likely scenarios to possibly happen on SmackDown this week. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogz have been on a roll ever since their pairing began on SmackDown.
So far, Shinsuke Nakamura has won the crown from Baron Corbin to become the “King of WWE”, and he then went on to win the Intercontinental title from Apollo Crews.
Shinsuke Nakamura is quietly having one of the best short runs of his WWE career. Last week on SmackDown, Nakamura and Boogz defeated former SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode.
Although it seems clear that The Street Profits will be the next in line to challenge The Usos, Nakamura and Boogz vying for more gold would be a great story on SmackDown.
#3. Baron Corbin’s luck turns…again
Baron Corbin is a rich man again. Last week on SmackDown, he came out in an expensive Bentley, wore an expensive suit and was back to his old ways of terrible spending.
But the difference now is that Baron Corbin has the money to spend. Last week on SmackDown, he called out Money in the Bank winner Big E, who beat him in the SummerSlam kickoff show. He offered $100,000 (going up from an initial $20,000 offer) for the Money in the Bank contract, but Big E told him it wasn’t for sale.
Baron Corbin’s spending is still irresponsible, leading to the possibility of a vicious cycle continuing. Even then, it would be a bit surprising yet hilarious if Baron Corbin suddenly went broke again.
#2. The Edge-Seth Rollins feud continues on SmackDown
Edge and Seth Rollins’ feud on SmackDown started well before Money in the Bank 2021. The two kept crossing paths on SmackDown, even while Edge’s focus was on Roman Reigns and the Universal Championship.
Ultimately, it was Seth Rollins who cost Edge his 12th World Championship victory at Money in the Bank, leading to a clash at SummerSlam. It was an incredible match between two veterans of two different generations.
It was The Rated-R Superstar Edge who came out on top. On the last episode of SmackDown, Edge vowed that he would redirect his focus to the Universal Championship.
Seth Rollins, on the other hand, cut a condescending promo on SmackDown, sarcastically stating that Edge had won his respect. Seth Rollins even went as far as to say that if he wants to become the Universal Champion again, he needs to be more like Edge.
Since Roman Reigns is still occupied with the Universal title, it would be a bit surprising to see Edge and Seth Rollins continue their feud on SmackDown. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities, however.
There could even be a scenario where both Edge and Seth Rollins simultaneously enter the Universal title match at Extreme Rules 2021.
#1. Roman Reigns vs Finn Balor has an unexpected outcome on SmackDown
Finn Balor has always seemed to struggle with getting a Universal title match, and the same thing happened on SmackDown. A few years ago, Finn Balor seemed unable to work his way back to a Universal title shot despite being the inaugural champion and technically never losing his title.
It felt like Roman Reigns was the first man to offer Finn Balor a legitimate shot at the title in 2018 after winning it from Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Roman Reigns won on that occasion.
On SmackDown leading up to SummerSlam, Roman Reigns declined John Cena’s challenge, but went on to accept Finn Balor’s. The 2-time NXT Champion was about to sign a contract for a SummerSlam Universal title match against Roman Reigns, but things went awry when Baron Corbin interfered and John Cena ended up signing the contract.
Finn Balor finally gets his Universal title shot this week on SmackDown. Roman Reigns is expected to defeat Balor clean, and it would be a big surprise if the Irishman wins at all, even if it isn’t by pinfall.
In all likelihood, we’ll have a finish that leads to a rematch at Extreme Rules 2021. However, Finn Balor winning would still be the biggest surprise on SmackDown.