Roman Reigns retains WWE Universal title after SmackDown battle with Finn Balor

Roman Reigns is very much still WWE Universal Champion after a successful title defence over Finn Balor on SmackDown.

The Tribal Chief turned back the challenge of Balor, who has been a persistent thorn in his side over the last couple of months.

While Reigns had been busy dodging title challenges from Edge and John Cena – before going on to eventually beat both – Balor remained a constant pest and finally got another crack at the gold at the show held in Jacksonville.

Reigns did stay true to form, however. While his on-screen persona has been built-up to present him as being more than capable of defeating all comers, there’s rarely a battle that goes by without the champion resorting to underhand tactics.

That proved to be the case again here, as the other members of The Bloodline attacked Balor before the match to help soften him up for Reigns.

While Balor did battle back – rallying to hit two of his Coupe de Grace finishers – Reigns snatched victory with the help of a low blow that wasn’t spotted by the referee.

That enabled him to lock in the Guillotine Choke which forced the challenger to fade.

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It was a night of some intrigue for Reigns and co on SmackDown – thanks in part to the revelation that Brock Lesnar is due to show up for next Friday’s show.

WWE continues to tease that Paul Heyman is buttering his bread on both sides by keeping both Reigns and Lesnar sweet rather than nailing his colours to the mast, with The Bloodline fairly suspicious.

Elsewhere on the show, Sami Zayn defeated Domink Mysterio in a re-match, and Rick Boogs overcame Dolph Ziggler.

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Cesaro and The Street Profits earned respective disqualification wins over Seth Rollins and The Usos, while Happy Corbin – and Logan Paul – exchanged words with Kevin Owens.

Paul and Owens have history in WWE of course, but it was between Owens and Corbin that things got physical as the host of the KO Show was left laying.

Bianca Belair continued to hassle new SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch for a title re-match, but The Man once again turned down her request as the story between them continues to build steadily.

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