Preview: WWE SmackDown (7/23/21) – John Cena Returns

Friday Night SmackDown returns for a split show edition! A majority of the show will be live from Cleveland, Ohio at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, whilst – presumably – smaller portions of the show will be broadcast from the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami, Florida. The first blue brand episode since last Sunday’s successful Money in the Bank pay per view, this one is absolutely certain to contain much of the fallout from the big event. We have a new Money in the Bank briefcase holder on SmackDown; new SmackDown Tag Team Champions and a certain, returning WWE legend (spoiler: John Cena returns). If that’s not enough for you, then you can’t be helped. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

John Cena to Confront Roman Reigns

John Cena returns to confront Roman Reigns
Photo: WWE

And that returning legend is named… John Cena! Indeed, following the conclusion of the Money in the Bank main event – which saw Roman Reigns retain the Universal Championship under questionable circumstances against Edge – Cena returned to remind Reigns that he is only in his position because Cena stepped aside to pursue Hollywood. The last time these two feuded in 2017, Roman was the failing babyface; the successor to Cena as “Face of the Company”. In 2021, Roman has hit his stride as the dominant, omnipotent Tribal Chief. With Cena returning to an absolutely raucous reception at Money in the Bank, it is clear the fans are finally behind him; making Cena a perfect adversary for Reigns to feud with throughout the Summer months. Tonight, Cena confronts Reigns and this will no doubt kick off that rivalry. There is plenty of history which can be re-visited between these two and expect that to happen tonight.

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Carmella vs Bianca Belair (c)

Bianca Belair vs Carmella
Photo: WWE

Carmella challenges Bianca Belair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship in a rematch from last week. With Bayley now being out of action for the rest of the year, Bianca Belair is missing a worthy rival. Whereas Carmella is a solid hand and a highly underrated heel, her booking in recent months leaves her short of being a credible enough opponent for Belair. However, tonight, we will see the SmackDown debut of now-former NXT star, Toni Storm. The young Kiwi (New Zealander) star is destined for great things in the WWE; possessing the complete package of looks, talent, in-ring ability and charisma. Should she be positioned as Bianca Belair’s next rival, this could be the feud to watch. Sasha Banks, also, is set to be returning soon and will no doubt be searching to avenge her loss at WrestleMania earlier in the year. Belair has a target on her back and tonight might just prove it.

Toni Storm to Debut

As mentioned, tonight is set to be the night which hosts Toni Storm’s SmackDown debut. Finally moving from NXT to the main roster, this young star is one to watch. Who will she debut against? Will her attention immediately turn to the SmackDown Women’s Championship? Which version of Storm are we getting; the wholesome, natural babyface or the surprisingly effective heel? Tune in to SmackDown to find out!

Not Announced But Expected For Friday Night SmackDown

– Who will be Apollo Crews‘ next challenger for the United States Championship? Is it time for the One True King, Shinsuke Nakamura (with Rick Boogs) to step forward?

Big E is now Mr. Money in the Bank! Can we expect him to begin working towards becoming a legitimate contender for Reigns? Or will he announced a move to Raw, to help out his New Day family in the war against Bobby Lashley? With Lashley now busy with Goldberg, don’t expect to find out tonight.

– Expect Liv Morgan and Zelina Vega to continue their feud on SmackDown.

More From LWOS Pro Wrestling

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.

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