WWE SmackDown did not need Roman Reigns last week to surpass Raw in the fundamentals of quality storytelling and gradual continuity. On this week’s show, there are two scheduled matches: Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins and “Kingsuke” Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin in MITB Qualifying Matches. Also, in terms of the Women’s MITB Ladder Match, Sonya Deville has been announcing the MITB participants each week because the SmackDown Women’s Division is too depleted to book qualifying matches. Will these announcements lead to the return of Sasha Banks?
Indeed, WWE is almost one week away from WWE Money in the Bank 2021. There are four SmackDown-affiliated matches scheduled for this PPV event: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Edge for the Universal Title, Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Title in an “I Quit” Match, Men’s MITB Ladder Match, and Women’s MITB Ladder Match. Four contestants already qualified for each ladder match on Raw’s end, so the same is expected for SmackDown’s side of things. Hopefully, an IC Title match is added to the card as well since it has not been on PPV since WrestleMania 37.
With that being addressed, it’s now time to preview and predict what will actually occur on this week’s episode of WWE SmackDown.
WWE SmackDown is scheduled to take place on July 9, 2021, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT live on FOX. Here are some predictions for this week’s show.
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins [MITB Qualifying Match]
On this week’s WWE SmackDown, Cesaro is scheduled to battle Seth Rollins in a MITB Qualifying Match. Cesaro is 2-1 against Seth Rollins, so it would make sense for Rollins to even the score here and potentially win MITB. That way, he can cash in on the Universal Title Match as revenge for Edge stealing his title opportunity. However, since Rollins is a former MITB winner and can easily interfere in the Universal Title Match to set up his rumored match with Edge at SummerSlam, it would make more sense for Cesaro to win. He would be directionless if he didn’t.
Cesaro needs MITB more, and it would be a means to getting a title rematch with Roman Reigns from his prior opportunity at WrestleMania Backlash. Although it is unlikely that Cesaro will win MITB, there is a silver lining to his journey to the main event scene. He will fall back to the midcard after MITB, but he will win his first IC Championship from Apollo Crews at SummerSlam as a consolation prize. The IC Championship is exactly what he needs to showcase his prowess in the ring and improvements on the mic as a future main eventer, just like his rival, Rollins, did in 2018.
“Kingsuke” Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin [MITB Qualifying Match]
On this week’s WWE SmackDown, “Kingsuke” Nakamura is scheduled to battle Baron Corbin in a MITB Qualifying Match. Big E and “Kingsuke” Nakamura defeated Apollo Crews and Baron Corbin last week, so it would be characteristic of WWE to implement 50/50 booking with a Corbin victory here. It can be argued that Corbin should continue losing to sell his newfound depressive state, but there’s a new WWE trademark called Happy Corbin that could symbolize a repackaging of Corbin into a crazed tweener who is happy despite his past misfortunes.
In order to become happy, Corbin must win something that means more to him than the King’s Crown: MITB. Corbin won MITB back in 2017 and failed his cash-in. Ever since that day, his hopes of getting back into the main event scene have been shattered. If Corbin can qualify against Nakamura and win MITB, he will be happy again. As for Nakamura, he does not need to be in MITB since he is already the king. Instead, he can target Apollo Crews for the IC Title at MITB since the seeds for that future title match were already planted in their aforementioned tag match last week.
Prediction: Happy Corbin
Who Will Sonya Deville Announce Next For The Women’s MITB Match?
For the past two weeks on WWE SmackDown, Liv Morgan has defeated everyone Sonya Deville has announced to be qualified for the Women’s MITB Ladder Match. She has bested both Carmella and Zelina Vega, but Deville has still overlooked Morgan as a qualified participant. On this week’s show, there are two spots left in the Women’s MITB Ladder Match and it is expected that all of the participants will be established before the go-home show. Those spots should go to Liv Morgan and Sasha Banks, but there will be a twist this week.
The rumors of Banks returning before MITB will come true on this episode once Deville announces her as a participant in the MITB Ladder Match. However, Morgan will have to defeat Banks to officially earn her spot in the Women’s MITB Ladder Match just like she did to Carmella and Vega. Since Banks won’t likely lose her first match back, Morgan will fail to defeat Banks and thereby lose her spot in the MITB Ladder Match. Afterward, Deville will surprisingly announce herself to be in the Women’s MITB Ladder Match to spite Morgan and set up a feud for SummerSlam.
Prediction: Sasha Banks
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