WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: John Cena and Roman Reigns exchange words ahead of SummerSlam

With slightly more than a week until SummerSlam, WWE SmackDown on Friday night focused heavily on the build to the biggest matches on the upcoming pay-per-view event. That included nearly a quarter of the show spent on John Cena coming face to face with universal champion Roman Reigns as the two traded verbal barbs.

While Cena and Reigns opened the show, it was SmackDown women’s champion Bianca Belair and SummerSlam challenger Sasha Banks who took things to a physical level. Belair found herself on the receiving end of a brutal attack by the challenger in the show-closing championship match contract signing.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Champions and Challengers come face-to-face

John Cena opened the show with an in-ring promo, immediately taking a series of verbal shots at Roman Reigns. Cena admitted that Reigns will “beat the hell” out of him at SummerSlam before saying that he also knew that Reigns would lose all the same. Reigns came to the ring and told Cena not to waste any time, to which Cena said he was waiting until SummerSlam to embarrass the champion. The insults built between the two, with Reigns taking shots at Cena’s failed relationship with Nikki Bella and Cena making fun of Reigns’ teeth and for “running Dean Ambrose out of WWE.” All the while, Cena kept repeating that all he needed was a single pin to beat the “protected” champion.

The show ended with the SummerSlam contract signing between Sasha Banks and SmackDown women’s champion Bianca Belair. Before signing the contract, Banks called her “witnesses” to the ring, bringing out Carmella and Zelina Vega. After both Banks and Belair put pen to paper, the three women attacked the champion before Banks locked Belair in the Banks Statement on the top of the table as the show went off the air.

The Cena and Reigns segment lasted 25 minutes, taking up nearly a quarter of the show. The content wasn’t exactly worthy of filling so much of the show, but Cena’s final statement was well delivered and helped sell a story that involved no physical contact ahead of SummerSlam. Banks and Belair, on the other hand, have a very physical rivalry and contract signings rarely go off without some sort of physicality. Banks has gotten the best of Belair in these situations so far, which likely means Belair is due for the win at the pay-per-view. Grade: B

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • Intercontinental Championship — Shinsuke Nakamura def. Apollo Crews (c) via pinfall to win the title. Ric Boogs did his normal interference via guitar playing, resulting in his ejection from ringside. During the Boogs ejection, Commander Azeez tried to get in the ring to attack Nakamura, resulting in him getting ejected as well. After more back-and-forth action, Nakamura managed to hit a Kinshasa to score the pinfall and become a two-time intercontinental champion.
  • The Street Profits def. Alpha Academy via pinfall when Angelo Dawkins hit Chad Gable with a corkscrew neckbreaker.
  • Seth Rollins cut an in-ring promo before showing a career retrospective of himself and SummerSlam opponent Edge, pointing out that everything Edge has done, Rollins has done better.
  • The Mysterios def. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode via pinfall when Dominik Mysterio pinned Roode with a roll-up. The Usos appeared on the Tron in an effort to cause a distraction but the Mysterios managed to pick up the win anyway.
  • Kevin Owens def. Baron Corbin via pinfall with a sunset flip. Corbin was again begging for money, asking every fan in the arena to donate $1,000 when Owens came to the ring. Owens said he’d pay Corbin the $1,000 if Corbin could beat him in a match. Corbin stole Big E’s Money in the Bank contract in a backstage segment after the match.