As the annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view quickly approaches, WWE Smackdown will bid farewell to the Thunderdome era this week with its first show in front of a crowd, emanating from the Toyota Center in Houston just one week from Friday.
Its final show from the fan-less Yuengling Center in Tampa will build towards next Sunday’s PPV with a pair of MITB qualifying matches already announced, as well as continuing the build for the show’s two marquee title matches.
How to watch
Date: Friday, July 9
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Live stream: FOX.com/live or Fox Now App
The final two Smackdown spots for the Money in the Bank ladder match will be determined on Friday with Seth Rollins battling longtime nemesis Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura facing Baron Corbin in a pair of qualifying matches. Rollins, a former MITB winner himself, was miffed that Edge skipped the line over him for a WWE Universal Title shot, so we’ll see if he can edge his way into the showcase match. Meanwhile, another former MITB briefcase holder in Corbin has been portrayed as down on his luck since losing the “King” moniker to Nakamura. We’ll see if another loss will further advance this character transformation.
Speaking of Edge, the WWE Hall of Famer sent a message to WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns last Friday by completely obliterating his cousin Jimmy Uso. Given Jimmy’s real-life DUI arrest this week, it’s almost a no-brainer that he won’t be appearing on television this week (or the foreseeable future), leaving it to Reigns himself to carry the on-screen storyline.
Meanwhile, the upcoming Smackdown Women’s Championship match between Bianca Belair and Bayley at Money in the Bank got its stipulation last Friday when Belair challenged Bayley to an I-Quit match. The “Role Model” indicated that she would indeed quit Smackdown if she lost to Belair and given the impending roster shakeups bound to happen when live touring resumes, we may very well be seeing the last of Bayley on Friday nights for the foreseeable future.