6/24 WWE SMACKDOWN TV RESULTS: McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on Gunther vs. Ricochet IC title, McIntyre charts course for Undisputed WWE Universal title, Zayn vs. Nakamura MITB Qualifier

By Alex McDonald, PWTorch Contributor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
JUNE 24, 2022
AUSTIN, TX AT MOODY CENTER
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee

[HOUR ONE]

-The show opened with a video recap of last week’s main event between Riddle and Roman Reigns. The video ended with Brock Lesnar’s surprise appearance and subsequent series of F-5’s on the Bloodline.

-They showed a wide crowd shot as Michael Cole welcomed the audience to the show. They then cut to a graphic for Reigns against Lesnar at Summerslam in a Last Man Standing match. Pat McAfee and Cole hyped the match. Cole then said that before Summerslam will be Money in the Bank.

-Drew McIntyre’s music played and he made his entrance. Cole said McIntyre has been in five Money in the Bank Ladder matches. They then showed a graphic for the Men’s Money in the Bank match. Seth Rollins, Omos, Sheamus, and McIntyre were featured in the graphic with the other spots blank. Cole then threw to a video recap on the segment involving Adam Pearce, Sheamus, and McIntyre from last week. McAfee said that Pearce made the right decision by allowing both Sheamus and McIntyre into the match.

-McIntyre took the mic and welcomed the crowd to Smackdown. He said no matter how many wins he gets, Reigns keeps ducking him. McIntyre said he’s going to have to force his hand and win Money in the Bank. He said Lesnar showed up last week and already has a title match. McIntyre said that’s okay, but he has to do things the hard way. He said he hopes Lesnar and McIntyre destroy each other. He said when one of them gets to their feet after the match, Mr. Money in the Bank is going to “Claymore their ass”.

-Sheamus’ music hit and he made his entrance with Ridge Holland and Butch in tow. He mocked McIntyre’s last statement. Sheamus then said that after Last Man Standing would be the perfect time to cash in. He then said that McIntyre is only in the match because Pearce felt sorry for him. Sheamus said that McIntyre doesn’t belong. He said McIntyre’s only experience with the briefcase, was being cashed in on and losing the title. Sheamus then reminded everyone that he not only won Money in the Bank before, but cashed in and defeated Reigns.

-Paul Heyman interrupted and appeared on the stage with Pearce. He introduced himself and called himself the special counsel for Reigns. Heyman talked about Reigns’ title defense against Lesnar at Summerslam. Heyman said the match will not be won by Lesnar, the victor will be Reigns. Heyman then said that there is a problem. He said that after a Last Man Standing match, Reigns will be vulnerable to a cash in from someone like Sheamus or McIntyre. Heyman said that even Lesnar would be vulnerable. Heyman said either way, the champion will be vulnerable. Heyman said it has happened before, and tonight, he’s going to insure that it won’t happen again. The crowd booed, Heyman told them not to. McIntyre told Heyman to make his point. Heyman then said that Pearce has a special announcement to make. Pearce took the mic and said he may have been a bit hasty by putting both Sheamus and McIntyre into the Money in the Bank match. He said WWE Management overruled his decision, and now, neither of them will be in Money in the Bank. Pearce said that the two of them could qualify if they can team tonight and defeat the Usos.

-The Usos music played and they made their entrance. Cole said that McIntyre and Sheamus have to get along against the best tag team on the planet. Cole said the match will be the main event later tonight. They then showed a graphic for Shinsuke Nakamura against Sami Zayn in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match. Cole hyped it for after the break.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I thought for sure the announcement was going to prevent someone from cashing in after the Last Man Standing. They’re really hammering that point home. I hope it’s a red herring considering it’s super predictable. A stipulation like that would actually make perfect sense as something Heyman could pull off. This situation is fine, but honestly, just feels like a way to fill TV time as a Sheamus and McIntyre win seems very likely. It is better than both of them just being in because they didn’t lose, though.)

-A commercial aired for John Cena’s return next Monday night on Raw. [c]

-They showed a graphic for the Usos against McIntyre and Sheamus. McAfee hyped the match. Cole said that during the break, they found out that the Usos cannot qualify for Money in the Bank, and their titles are not on the line. He said the Usos are simply there to block McIntyre and Sheamus from entering Money in the Bank.

-Shinsuke Nakamura was in the ring finishing his entrance.

-Sami Zayn was in the back with Kayla Braxton. Zayn said it’s going to be a great night for the Bloodline. He said the Usos are going to win and eliminate McIntyre and Sheamus from the match. Zayn said that “we” always do what’s best for Reigns. Zayn said he can say “we” because he’s an honorary member of the Bloodline, an honorary Uce. He said he’s going to beat Nakamura and then become Mr. Money in the Bank. Kayla asked if he’s going to cash in on Reigns or Lesnar. Zayn said that he’s not going to win to cash in, he’s going to win to protect Reigns. Zayn’s music played and he made his entrance.

(1) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. SAMI ZAYN – Money in the Bank Qualifying Match

Zayn charged Nakamura but Nakamura went for an armbar. Zayn fought out. Nakamura went for a kick, but Zayn caught his foot. Nakamura kicked Zayn with the other foot then sent him to the corner. Nakamura then hit his sliding German suplex. He then hit another kick on Zayn and covered him for a near fall. Zayn rolled to the outside. Nakamura followed Zayn out. Zayn suplexed Nakamura into the barricade at ringside and barely beat the count back into the ring. Zayn took down Nakamura and got a near fall. Zayn then choked Nakamura with his boot. Zayn sent Nakamura to the corner. The crowd chanted Nakamura on. Zayn charged Nakamura in the corner, but Nakamura countered. Zayn recovered quickly and dumped Nakamura over the top and to the floor. [c]

Zayn stomped at Nakamura in the middle of the ring. Zayn went to the middle rope, but Nakamura charged and grabbed Zayn’s foot. Zayn kicked Nakamura off and dove off the middle rope but Nakamura caught him with a kick and covered him for a near fall. Nakamura hit an axe kick and charged Zayn but Zayn caught him with a Michinoku Driver for a close near fall. Zayn climbed to the top rope, but Nakamura recovered and met him up there. Nakamura set up a superplex, but Zayn fought him off. Zayn went up again, but Nakamura got up and crotched Nakamura. Zayn fell to the mat. Nakamura charged but Zayn moved. Nakamura hit the corner and Zayn rolled him up. Zayn got a two count and put his feet on the ropes. The ref caught him and stopped the count. Zayn and the ref argued. Nakamura hit a knee to the back of Zayn’s neck and got a near fall. Nakamura hit another kick on Zayn. Nakamura set up a Kinshasa but Zayn rolled out of the ring. Nakamura followed Zayn and hit a Kinshasa on Zayn on the outside. Nakamura rolled Zayn into the ring and entered himself, but Zayn recovered and hit a Helluva Kick out of nowhere for the win.

WINNER: Sami Zayn in 10:00 to advance to the Money in the Bank Ladder Match

-They then showed the Money in the Bank graphic again. This time it featured Rollins, Omos, and now Zayn.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Not that it’s surprising, but that match was good. Zayn always delivers when given the time to do so and he and Nakamura have shown they have chemistry. This wasn’t as good as their IC title match a couple months ago, but this was still pretty good. I like the finish out of nowhere. That was good stuff. I’m also really glad they went with Zayn here. I was worried they would go with Nakamura. Zayn gives more versatility, and considering the current Bloodline storyline, could actually win.)

-The New Day’s music hit and they made their entrance. They showed a graphic for the New Day against Jinder Mahal and Shanky. [c]

-Mahal and Shanky made their entrance. The New Day took the mic. Xavier Woods said they beat them clean as soap last week. Kofi Kingston asked who wants to see this match again. The crowd chanted “who, who”. Woods then said the New Day doesn’t compete in rematch, after rematch. Kingston said they want to see something though. Woods said the skyscraping Shanky. Kingston asked the crowd if they want to see a dancing Shanky. The crowd cheered yes. Kingston told Woods to give the fans what they want. Woods played the trombone and Shanky danced. Mahal grew frustrated and yelled at Shanky. Shanky then pushed Mahal and backed him into the corner. Mahal dropped out of the ring. Kingston asked for the music. Shanky and the New Day danced in the ring. A loud horn sound blared throughout the arena. They all stopped dancing. The horn blared again. Graphics of the Viking Raiders appeared on the screen. Pyro fired at the entrance. The New Day and Shanky readied themselves. The Viking Raiders entered the ring behind them and attacked the New Day and Shanky. Cole proclaimed that the Viking Raiders are back. The Raiders hit a pair of double team moved on the New Day. Cole said that these are the Raiders we are accustomed to.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I wish the Viking Raiders were a brand new act so that I could actually be excited about this. This is a definite improvement over where we were before, but, I don’t trust WWE to maintain it for any period of time. I love the emphasis on the Tag Division and adding another team to it, but do we really need another heel team? Smackdown is the heel show and all they keep doing is adding even more heels. I’ll give this a shot, but don’t be surprised when the Viking Raiders are a joke again in six weeks.)

-Adam Pearce was in the back. Sonya Deville appeared. Deville said she had second hand embarrassment from what Pearce had to do earlier with McIntyre and Sheamus. She asked what Pearce’s excuse was for how he was treating the Women’s Division. Deville said she’s been back on Smackdown for weeks and hasn’t had a match yet. She said Raquel Rodriguez just showed up and got a Money in the Bank qualifying match. She then said that Lacey Evans went away for a year and got a Money in the Bank qualifying match also. She said Pearce shouldn’t take it out on her since his in ring career was a joke. Pearce said that Deville will compete tonight, against Rodriguez and Evans in a handicap match. [c]

-Back from break, Evans and Rodriguez were in the ring. Deville’s music played and she made her entrance. Deville paused at the top of the stage. Xia Li and Shayna Baszler emerged from behind the curtain.

(2) LACEY EVANS & RAQUEL RODRIGUEZ vs. SONYA DEVILLE (w/ Shayna Baszler & Lacey Evans)

Evans took Deville down and covered her for a one count. Cole said he didn’t know Deville was back on the Smackdown roster. Evans and Deville rolled through each other, then Evans hit a flying elbow that took Deville down. Baszler distracted Rodriguez at ringside. Deville took control in the ring and hit a big knee to the face of Evans. Deville covered Evans but Rodriguez broke up the pin. Evans and Deville collided and took each other down in the ring. Evans crawled toward Rodriguez and tagged her in. Rodriguez hit Deville with knees to the gut then a big shoulder block. Rodriguez sent Deville off the ropes and caught her and delivered a powerslam. Rodriguez then set up her powerbomb, but Baszler distracted Rodriguez, who dropped Deville. Deville recovered and took control for a moment, but Evans tagged in. Rodriguez sent Deville towards Evans, who hit the Woman’s Right and covered Deville for the win.

WINNER: Lacey Evans & Raquel Rodriguez in 3:00

-Li and Baszler hit the ring and attacked Rodriguez and Evans, but they fought them off and stood tall in the ring.

-The Street Profits were in the back. They said that Money in the Bank is next week. They then bumped into Drew Gulak, then Madcap Moss. Angelo Dawkins asked Moss if he could tell a joke. Moss said that’s fine. Dawkins told a bad joke then laughed hysterically. Montez Ford and Moss looked at Dawkins incredulously.

-Ronda Rousey’s music played and Natalya appeared in the arena dressed as Rousey, pushing a stroller. Cole hyped her segment for after the break. [c]

[HOUR TWO]

-Natalya stood in the ring with the mic. McAfee said his sources tell him it’s definitely Natalya, not Rousey. Natalya said her name is Rousey and you probably know her as the baddest woman on the planet. She said there’s two reasons. One is because she never shuts up about it and two, she’s never tapped out. She said she almost tapped out two weeks ago. Natalya threw to a video recap of her attack on Rousey two weeks ago. Natalya then said that she almost made Rousey submit and the Sharpshooter is more deadly then the armbar. Natalya then got down and mimicked tapping out as Rousey. She said she should hand the Smackdown Women’s championship to Natalya, retire, grab the diaper bag, push her stroller, and leave while she can. Natalya then called Rousey the saddest woman on the planet.

-Rousey’s music then hit and the real Rousey made her entrance. Rousey said Natalya can dress up like her, but they couldn’t be any more different. Rousey said that she’s not going to put off having kids for ten years to wrestle without time off. She also said she’s not going to modify her body to meet the beauty standards. Rousey then said that Natalya is so lacking in talent and charisma, that the closest Natalya will get to being a main eventer is dressing up like her. Natalya then snapped and went after Rousey. The two wrestled around for a second and Natalya dropped out of the ring. Rousey held up the title and Natalya’s jacket. Natalya stared at her from the ramp.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I hate to say this, but jeez, Ronda. Does she know she’s a face? I know Natalya impersonated her, but at least all the stuff Natalya said was in storyline and wasn’t really a direct attack on Rousey as a person. Rousey turned that on it’s ear. Rousey completely decimated Natalya with her insults and came off as a heel and a really mean bully. That would be great if the roles were reversed, but here, I don’t know.)

-Megan Morant welcomed Sheamus and McIntyre in the back. The two traded insults. McIntyre said that he’ll fight the Usos two on one to take care of it for both of them. Sheamus said it’s his time and McIntyre needs to bring his “A” game and not screw it up for him.

-Ludwig Kaiser appeared on the stage. He introduced Gunther. Gunther’s music then played and he made his entrance. They showed a graphic for Gunther against Ricochet for the IC title. Cole hyped the match for after the break. [c]

-Gunther stood in the ring and stared at the ramp. Ricochet’s music hit and he made his entrance.

(3) GUNTHER (c) (w/ Ludwig Kaiser) vs. RICOCHET – Intercontinental Championship Match

Ricochet hit a dropkick on Ricochet, then darted around Gunther. Gunther had enough and slammed Ricochet. Gunther sent Ricochet off the ropes and hit him with a big boot. Gunther then stomped at Ricochet. Kaiser shouted directions from ringside. Gunther picked Ricochet up and Ricochet tried to fight back. Gunther forced Ricochet to the ground and locked on a half Boston crab. Gunther transitioned into a crossface. Ricochet got the the rope and Gunther slowly got off Ricochet and backed off. Gunther came back in with a forearm. Ricochet recovered and came off the top rope, but Gunther caught him. Gunther tossed Ricochet but Ricochet landed on his feet. Ricochet landed a pair of knees, but Gunther stopped him in his tracks with a huge clothesline. Gunther then hit a series of chops followed by a German suplex. Gunther then hit a running dropkick. Gunther then powerbombed Ricochet and pinned him for the win.

WINNER: Gunther in 4:00 to retain the Intercontinental Championship

(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, that’s the end of Ricochet. He had a solid showing against Gunther a couple of weeks ago, but this was a squash. He didn’t look competitive at all and never really had a chance. Where does Gunther go from here? If they had more depth they wouldn’t have to do this with Ricochet, but alas, here we are. Does everyone remember when we heard that Ricochet was the number two babyface on Smackdown and he was due for a push? That seems like a really long time ago now. The funny part is, Smackdown still doesn’t have a credible number two babyface.)

-Kayla was in the back, she welcomed Heyman. Kayla said that Heyman may have done Lesnar a favor by making Sheamus and McIntyre earn their spot in Money in the Bank. Zayn appeared and told Heyman he didn’t need to answer her questions. Zayn said that Kayla tried to twist his words earlier and insinuate that he would cash in on Reigns. Zayn then said that he would never cash in on Reigns, he would cash in on Lesnar. Zayn realized he said something stupid, and Heyman got in his face.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Zayn is the man. That was excellent. The look on his face after he realized what he said was the highlight of the night so far. I don’t know what this show would be without him at this point.)

-Tamina was in the ring. They showed a graphic for Tamina against Shotzi in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match. Cole hyped the match for after the break. [c]

-Shotzi’s music played and she made her entrance.

(4) TAMINA vs. SHOTZI – Money in the Bank Qualifying Match

Shotzi went behind Tamina and climbed on her back and tried to apply a sleeper. Tamina no sold it and tossed Shotzi off. Tamina sent Shotzi to the corner and splashed her, then sent her off the ropes and caught her with a powerslam. Tamina took Shotzi to the corner and sat her on the top rope. Shotzi fought Tamina off, then caught her in a headscissors using the ropes. Shotzi charged Tamina and hit her with a spinning fist followed by a step up kick. Shotzi kicked Tamina again, then climbed to the top. Shotzi came off the top but Tamina caught Shotzi with a kick. Tamina covered Shotzi, but Shotzi got her foot on the ropes to break the count. Tamina argued with the ref, but Shotzi came up behind her and tossed her into the post. Shotzi then hit the DDT and pinned Tamina for the win.

WINNER: Shotzi in 3:00 to advance to the Money in the Bank Ladder match

(McDonald’s Analysis: Anyone else catch that they totally ignored the fact that Shotzi already lost a qualifying match? Anyway, good to see Tamina still has a job. I honestly forgot about her. Shotzi is an interesting addition to the match. Hopefully, she can come up with a spot or two to showcase herself and stand out among the crowd. That’s the best some of these women can hope for, and I hope she’s able to do that.)

-They showed an updated Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match graphic.

-Cole threw to a video recap of the Viking Raiders’ attack on the New Day earlier. The Viking Raiders were in the back. They said they had been pushed around for too long. They said they’re going to destroy anyone who stands in there way.

-They showed a graphic for Max Dupri. Cole and McAfee said he’s going to debut his new modeling agency client after the break. [c]

-Dupri’s music played in the arena. They then showed Dupri in the back with Pearce. He asked Pearce if he was actually a WWE Official. Dupri said that Pearce has prevented his clients from debuting two weeks in a row. He said it was the lighting last week, and this week, the dressing room conditions weren’t up to par. Dupri said that they’re models, not monsters. Pearce said next week. Dupri smiled.

-In the arena, McAfee stood on the announce table. He said that last week, Happy Corbin told him he didn’t know how to do his job. They cut a video recap of Corbin’s loss to Moss last week. The video then shifted to the interaction between Corbin and McAfee. The video ended and McAfee resumed. McAfee said that he loves his life and would never wish he was dead. McAfee said when he entered Thunderdome for the first time, and when he gets to announce every week, he feels alive. McAfee then challenged Corbin to a match for Summerslam. McAfee said when he kicks Corbin’s teeth down his throat, he will feel more alive than he ever has. McAfee then led the crowd in a “bum ass Corbin” chant. McAfee then told Corbin not to be a punk. He sat back down. Cole said we’ll hear Corbin’s response next week.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, we all saw that coming. It’s cool though. McAfee is entertaining and Corbin is a safe and reliable worker who won’t hurt McAfee and will help turn in a quality match that’s worth watching and not a complete disaster. On top of all that, there’s actually a reason for this match as McAfee has been cracking on Corbin for over a year. There’s more story to this than a lot of matches that end up on WWE PLE’s these days. Summerslam is going to have attractions, and this is as good as anything else at this point, especially with all of the injuries.)

-Sheamus’ music played and he made his entrance with Holland and Butch in tow. McIntyre’s music then played and he made his entrance behind the Brawling Brutes. Holland held Butch back from attacking McIntyre. Cole asked how they’re going to coexist. The graphic was shown again for Sheamus and McIntyre against the Usos. Cole said that Sheamus and McIntyre must win to qualify for Money in the Bank. [c]

-The Usos’ music played and they made their entrance. Cole said that the Usos have been Tag Team champions for 340 days. Cole reiterated that the Usos are merely a roadblock for Sheamus and McIntyre.

-The Street Profits music played and they made their entrance. They danced around the ring and joined commentary.

(5) DREW McINTYRE & SHEAMUS (w/ Butch & Ridge Holland) vs. THE USOS (Jey & Jimmy) – If Sheamus and McIntyre win, they qualify for Money in the Bank

Jimmy attacked McIntyre in the ring. McIntyre recovered and tagged in Sheamus. They double teamed Jimmy, then Sheamus took over. Jimmy recovered and sent Sheamus to the corner. Jey tagged in and took control. Sheamus recovered and tossed Jey to the apron. Sheamus then hit the Ten Beats on Jey as the crowd cheered along. Sheamus then hit a rolling senton. Holland and Butch cheered on Sheamus from ringside. Sheamus counted down and charged Jey, but Jey rolled out of the ring. McIntyre climbed off the apron and attacked Butch at ringside. He tossed Butch over the barricade. Sheamus and McIntyre then brawled at ringside. The Usos dove through the ropes with a pair of suicide dives that took out Sheamus and McIntyre. [c]

Jey and Sheamus battled in the ring. Sheamus shot Jey off the ropes, but Jimmy tagged in. Sheamus got an Irish Curse backbreaker on Jey but Jimmy hit him with a superkick and took advantage. Jimmy stomped on Sheamus in the corner. Jey posed on the apron. Sheamus fought out of the corner but Jimmy caught him with a big kick. Sheamus dropped to the corner. The crowd chanted for the Usos as Jimmy charged and hit Sheamus in the corner. Jimmy set up a second but Sheamus recovered with a big knee. Both men were down in the ring. McIntyre and Jey tagged in. McIntyre took Jey down then hit him with a pair of belly to belly throws. Jey recovered and tossed McIntyre into the post shoulder first. Jimmy tagged in and superkicked McIntyre. The Usos then hit a double superkick on McInytre. Jimmy came off the top with a big splash and covered McIntyre, but Sheamus broke up the pin. Sheamus was taken out and McIntyre recovered. He measured Jey but Jimmy pulled him out of the ring. Butch and Ridge Holland ran down the ramp, but Holland carried Butch back to the back. Zayn appeared and attempted to attack McIntyre, but the Street Profits intervened and took him out. As the Street Profits and Usos argued at ringside, McIntyre came off the top and took out all four men. Sheamus hit Jey with a Brogue Kick on the outside of the ring. Jimmy and McIntyre squared off in the ring. McIntyre counted down, but Jimmy hit a big superkick. Jimmy came off the ropes but McIntyre caught Jimmy with a Claymore. McIntyre pinned Jimmy for the win.

WINNER: Drew McIntyre & Sheamus in 12:00 to advance to the Money in the Bank Ladder match

-They showed a graphic for the updated Money in the Bank field. We’re right back where we were at the top of the show, just with Zayn added now. Cole hyped that all the Money in the Bank participants will be in attendance for Smackdown next week.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, as I said before, it was predictable. This match was really good though. It was nice to see Sheamus work as a face for the first time in a long time. I’ve been asking for a program with him and Reigns for a while now and this made me want that even more. WWE has a formula and they have television time to fill and this angle was a perfect example of that. It was a solid story that got us through the show. The only problem is, it got us from point A, back to point A, with a slight detour in between. It would have made more sense if they made this match last week.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: I hate to say this, but really nothing to see here from a major consequential happenings standpoint. The major story of the show got us right back where we started, so no change there. Otherwise, Zayn qualifying for Money in the Bank is interesting, but I don’t think it will amount to much in the end. If WWE is smart, they’ll use this to create some intrigue in the match itself. If WWE doesn’t have a clear plan for the briefcase with Cody Rhodes out, I actually wouldn’t mind if Zayn won. If nothing else, it would be a fun wrinkle. Maybe Heyman would attempt to convince Zayn to give up the briefcase, while Zayn wants to keep it “just in case”. That could be really good stuff. On the Women’s side, Shotzi entered the field and adds to what is a strange group of women at this point. It’s better than last year, but I really don’t see a clear winner. That’s a good thing in a lot of ways, so I’ll take what I can get. The only other thing worth discussing on this show is the death of Ricochet’s short lived “push”. I’m just kidding, it’s clearly the return of the new serious Viking Raiders. I don’t have high hopes for this, but I’ll reserve judgment. After they destroy New Day in a three month feud with twenty matches between the two teams, are they going to challenge the heel Brawling Brutes? Or are they going to go after the heel Tag Team champion Usos? Oh, I know, they could wrestle the heel Maximum Male Models, if they ever debut. This show really needs more segments with Heyman, Zayn, and Reigns. And fast.

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