SmackDown commentator and would-be King Of NXT Pat McAfee paid homage to a WWE Hall Of Famer in their home state of Minnesota on SmackDown.
McAfee was at the commentary desk discussing the rest of the night’s action after Sasha Banks had made her surprise return to the blue brand. Banks joined the woman she shared the ring with the last time WWE fans saw her in the main event of WrestleMania 37, Bianca Belair. On that night 2021 women’s Royal Rumble winner Belair defeated Banks to claim her first WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship.
While Michael Cole ran down what was to come on the show, eagle-eyed viewers spotted McAfee pulling off a perfect pencil flip in tribute to the late Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig.
After the show, Pat McAfee took to social media to confirm that he was indeed showing respect to the WWE Hall Of Famer:
Got to pay tribute to an absolute legend in Minnesota tonight…
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) July 31, 2021
Mr. Perfect was known for his mannerisms that exuded confidence and perfection. The vignettes that introduced Perfect to the WWE audience that showed him throwing and catching his own touchdown pass among other athletic feats are still the benchmark today.
It turned out to be a less than perfect night for SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair on SmackDown. Belair and the returning Banks teamed up to face the team of Zelina Vega and Carmella in the night’s main event. Banks won the match for her team when she forced Carmella to submit to her Banks Statement hold but the real story was yet to come.
After the match, the two women celebrated in the ring before Sasha Banks blindsided Belair with a backstabber. Banks then laid a vicious beating on Belair before locking in the Banks Statement on the champion forcing her to tap out.