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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
JULY 15, 2022
ORLANDO, FLA. AT AMWAY CENTER
AIRED ON FOX
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin
-They opened with close-ups of cheering fans up close as Michael Cole introduced the show.
-Cole stood mid-ring and introduced Pat McAfee, saying he had recently signed a multi-year contract to remain in WWE as his partner on Fox. McAfee made his way to the ring, slapping hands on the way. McAfee apologized for his absence last week because it forced them to listen to Corey Graves for two hours plus Happy Corbin for 17 minutes. He threw to a video package of Corbin attacking him at Money in the Bank and then snippets of Corbin mocking him on commentary on Smackdown six days later.
Back live in the ring, McAfee said the best thing that Corbin has ever done in his entire WWE career is celebrate Shinsuke Nakamura “the way Shinsuke deserves to be celebrated.” He said his neck was bruised, but not fractured. He said he and Corbin were actually roommates together when they were rookies on the Indianapolis Colts. He said back then Corbin had hair, a bad body, only one bad tattoo, and was humble and hard-working. He said when he got to WWE, he became “an insufferable douche bag who would do anything for a dollar.” He said it isn’t TV14 yet, but that’s an accurate title for him. He said he will smack him around at Summerslam and humble him into being an honorable member of society again. Corbin interrupted him on the big screen.
Corbin said he is glad that he is back, but it’s a shame that he is too stupid to stay in his own lane. He told him to go back to commentary. He showed marks on his forearm and said he caught something from McAfee, speculating it was monkey pox. He said he’d keep his distance now, but he’d see him at Summerslam. McAfee said he faked monkey pox because he’s allergic to success and afraid to be in front of the WWE Universe. He then pivoted to introducing Liv Morgan, saying she changed the entire trajectory of her career and her family with her win in Las Vegas. Liv came out to her music, slapping hands and wiggling her chest.
(Keller’s Analysis: McAfee makes WWE fans feel good about being WWE fans. He’s likable, if not occasionally overbearing, and his enthusiasm for the WWE product feels genuine. Tapping into his history with Corbin and taking some personal digs at him worked to building up the match.)
-Cole hyped that the mystery referee for the Usos vs. Street Profits match would be revealed later. [c]
(1) LIV MORGAN vs. NATALYA
McAfee hyped the Morgan title defense at Summerslam against Ronda Rousey. Cole noted that McAfee was the no. 2 trend on Twitter, behind Ricky Martin. When Cole brought up Rousey complaining that Natalya softened her up for Morgan’s cash-in, McAfee said that’s a perk that comes with winning Money in the Bank. McAfee referenced some of the buzz on the internet regarding Natalya no-selling getting pinned by Morgan and having a harsh word for her afterward. Natalya eventually applied an anklelock, but Morgan escaped and sent Natalya into the corner turnbuckle. Morgan came back with her Oblivion finisher for the win.
WINNER: Morgan in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good, competitive match.)
-Kayla Braxton interviewed Morgan center-ring afterward. Braxton said it took her longer to beat Natalya then it took Rousey last week. Morgan said she gets what she’s insinuating and she is the underdog going into the match, but she vowed to leave as champion.
-Megan Morant stood backstage in the ring set. She introduced Theory. He asked her to call him the youngest Mr. Money in the Bank of all time and the youngest U.S. Champion in history. He mentioned having enemies like Bobby Lashley and now Dolph Ziggler. Paul Heyman walked up to them and asked Morant for a moment with Heyman. Heyman shook Theory’s hand and smiled. He kissed up to Theory and said he’s “all the better just standing next to you.” Heyman said he knows that deep down, his whole theory of cashing in the MITB contract at Summerslam “makes no business sense at all.” He said it doesn’t make him money and there are 15 percent who fail. He said he shouldn’t expose himself to those odds. He said they can work together instead and set up a scheduled title match on a major event. He touted the prestige and the spotlight and the money involved of planning ahead and being on the marquee. He told Theory he could handle everything for him. Theory listened and thanked him for the advice. He reasserted he is going to cash in against either Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar and become the youngest Undisputed Champion ever. He said he might hire Heyman after that. Heyman stared down Theory as Theory walked away.
-The Viking Raiders music played. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods came out dressed up as the Viking Raiders. McAfee played dumb at first until they were introduced as the New Day. Cole said they might be temping fate with this. [c]
-As New Day stood in the ring, calling themselves Ivan Ugly and Erik the Gross, a graphic on the screen said “The New Raid.” Xavier got too into it, and then Kofi cut him off and said he sounds like a pirate. Xavier tried again. The actual Raiders walked out and said they are vicious and they will leave them broken. Xavier offered to expand their vocabulary. The New Day led the crowd in a chant of “You Ugly!” The Raiders charged to the ring. Shanky and Jinder Mahal cut them off and attacked them from ringside. New Day joined in the fight including a dive, causing the Raiders to retreat. Cole called it a well-planned set-up by New Day. As New Day and Shanky danced to New Day music, Jinder looked out of his element and refused to join in.
-Braxton stood in the ring set backstage and interviewed Ludwig Kaiser and Gunter. She asked Gunter why he attacked Kaiser last week. Gunter said losing is unacceptable and has consequences. Braxton said there will be a rematch next week between Kaiser and Nakamura. Gunther made Kaiser unzip his jacket and then he chopped his chest again.
-Aliyah made her ring entrance. Cole said she was scheduled to get revenge on Lacey Evans next. [c]
-A recap aired of Lacey’s heel turn last week.
-Lacey came out and ripped on the fans. She said they should be grateful because she’s an American hero and a prime example of everything the “nasties” aren’t and will never be. Fans shouted, “What?!” She said the truth might be too hard for some of them to handle. “From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to anyone I’ve offended,” she said. She sensed the fans didn’t accept her apology, so she told them to “go to hell.” She dropped the mic as boos rang out. She then left the ring before the match started.
(Keller’s Analysis: Lacey is pretty good at heel promos, although her pacing can be counter-productively slow.)
-Cole and McAfee reacted to Lacey, saying they didn’t understand her walking out on another match. They threw to a sponsored video package on Sheamus and Drew McIntyre.
-McIntyre made his ring entrance as Cole plugged his high-stakes match next against Sheamus. [c]
(2) DREW MCINTYRE vs. RIDGE HOLLAND (w/Sheamus, Butch)
It was supposed to be Drew vs. Sheamus, but Holland stayed in the ring as Sheamus and Butch dropped to ringside. Apparently a scheduled match just changes into something else if one wrestler leaves the ring and someone else stays in the ring. McAfee pointed out the stupidity of it by saying he doesn’t get what happened, but he’s happy to see this match-up anyway.
Sheamus yanked Ridge to the floor to save him from Drew chops. Cole yelled at Sheamus that sooner or later he’ll have to face Drew. Butch leaped at Drew at ringside, but Drew ducked. Holland then threw a distracted Drew head-first into the ringpost and then back into the ring. “There’s so many accents with the four of these gentlemen here,” McAfee said. Drew hit White Noise on Holland and taunted Sheamus about it. Cole said he might have done it better than Sheamus does it. Drew then hit the Claymore for the win.
WINNER: McIntyre in 3:30.
(Keller’s Analysis: They didn’t hype Sheamus vs. Drew for days or even at the top of the show, so this switch didn’t feel like a bait and switch. Clearly, Drew will face Sheamus eventually, but this paints Sheamus as hesitant and insecure how it’ll go.)
-Theory made his entrance. [c]
-A video package aired on what happened with Theory and Brock Lesnar on Raw earlier in the week.
-Morant interviewed Madcap Moss, who vowed to smash Theory flatter than a pancake. Heyman walked in and told Morant, “Still better than Kayla.” He asked her to leave. She did. She took the mic with her, yet we could still Heyman and Moss just as well as when she was holding the mic for them. Heyman pitched Madcap take Theory out of commission and then he could have a scheduled title match against Reigns. Madcap listened, blew off Heyman’s handshake offer, and said he sure sounds scared of Theory cashing in. [c]
-A video package aired on Max Dupri’s Maximum Male Models. Cole hyped that next week there’d be a Maximum Male Models segment featuring the 2022 Beachwear Collection and the debut of Maxine Dupri, Max’s sister. Cole said they’ve had over 8,000 applications at MaximumMaleModels.com.
(3) THEORY vs. MADCAP MOSS
(Keller’s Analysis: Theory might have set the record for the longest time between a ring entrance and the bell ringing to start a match.)
Cole marveled at Moss’s feats of strenth. Theory took control a few minutes in and they cut to a break as he celebrated at ringside. [c]
Moss made a comeback after the break. Theory stopped him by bashing him with the briefcase, so the ref DQ’d him.
WINNER: Moss in 12:00 via DQ.
-As Moss was introduced as the DQ winner, Theory shouted no one cares. Sami Zayn came out with his arm in a sling. He said Theory has been disrespecting The Bloodline and there will be consequences. He strongly recommended he apologize. Theory asked if he’s the Bloodline suck-up. He asked what he’d do with one arm. The Usos music then played. Theory retreated in frustration that Sami had credible back-up. The Usos walked out as Sami bobbed his head in a cocky manner. Moss then surprised Theory at ringside and rammed him head-first into the ringpost and then tossed him into the time keeper’s area.
(Keller’s Analysis: I bounce back and forth between whether Theory or the Bloodline are coming across as the babyface. Earlier, Theory seemed to be the face against Heyman, but then Theory’s reaction to Sami bringing the Usos out made Theory out to be the heel. I suppose it’s just a temporary pick ’em and they’re both going to be heels after this is done. It’s good to have Sami back, though!) [c]
-Cole hyped that next week, there’d be a face-to-face segment with Morgan and Rousey, plus an appearance by Brock Lesnar.
(4) JIMMY USO (w/Jey Uso) vs. ANGELO DAWKINS (w/Montez Ford)
Sami joined Cole and McAfee on commentary and continued to complain about Theory. As the Profits entered the ring, they showed two women at ringside cheering. When one of them noticed she was on the big screen, she quickly looked away and covered her head in panic, so apparently she didn’t want someone to know where she was. Cole told Sami he promised to win MITB and he’d protect Reigns as a result, but he didn’t do it. Sami said he’d go soft on the word “promise.” (I just realized Sami is basically Saul Goodman.) Dawkins checked Jimmy into the time keeper’s area at ringside a couple minutes in. As Ford and Dawkins celebrated, they cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Jimmy was in control. Dawkins made a comeback. When Jey jumped onto the ring apron, Dawkins turned to him. Jimmy attacked Dawkins, but then knocked the ref down. Dawkins rolled up Jimmy and the fans counted to three. Ford pounded the mat to try to wake the ref. Jimmy hit a superkick and scored a visual three count. Jimmy then tried to wake up the ref. Dawkins then gave Jimmy a sitout powerbomb. The ref came to and counted to three, but Jimmy’s shoulder was up. Sami pointed it out right away. Cole concurred.
WINNER: Dawkins in 7:00.
-Adam Pearce came out and said the refereeing in that match again showed they needed a special referee at Summerslam. He revealed it was Jeff Jarrett. McAfee said not one person guessed Jarrett. A brawl broke out between the Profits and Usos as several referees tried to restore order.
(Keller’s Analysis: Making Jarrett the ref feels very random, but he’s a big enough name it’ll generate some buzz that he’s got a role at Summerslam.)