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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
JULY 15, 2022
ORLANDO, FL AT AMWAY CENTER
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-The show opened with a crowd shot. Michael Cole welcomed the audience to the show. They then showed Cole in the ring. He introduced the man who recently signed a multi-year contract extension to remain in the WWE, Pat McAfee. McAfee made his entrance and slapped hands with the fans on the way there. They then showed a graphic for Happy Corbin against McAfee at Summerslam. Cole hyped the match. McAfee entered the ring. He and Cole hugged, then Cole handed him the mic and exited the ring. McAfee said it is an honor to be in Orlando. The crowd chanted “Pat, Pat”. McAfee then said he wanted to apologize for his absence last week, which forced everyone to listen to Corey Graves and Corbin last week. McAfee then threw to a video recap of Corbin’s attack on him at Money in the Bank. The video then shifted to Corbin and Graves mocking McAfee’s dance during Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance last week on Smackdown.
-McAfee said Corbin’s celebration of Nakamura was the best thing he’s done in WWE. McAfee said that he was roomates with Corbin during their rookie year with the Indianapolis Colts. McAfee then said that Corbin entered the WWE and became a douchebag who would do anything for a dollar. He said it’s his job to smack Corbin in the mouth and humble him at Smackdown. McAfee said he’s been working out and watching film to prepare to smack the bad tattoos off of Corbin.
-Corbin appeared on the video screen. Corbin said that McAfee is too stupid to stay in his own lane. He said McAfee needs to go back to commentary where he belongs. Corbin said it was easy for him to take McAfee out at Money in the Bank. Corbin said he would come out and finish the job, but he contracted something from the announce desk, or the fans. Corbin showed his right arm, which was covered in a rash of some kind, along with red bumps. Corbin said he’ll see McAfee at Summerslam.
-McAfee said it’s not monkeypox, it’s because Corbin is allergic to being great. He said that Corbin faked money pox to avoid him, so they need to get the show on the road. McAfee then introduced the new Smackdown Women’s Champion, Liv Morgan.
-Morgan’s music played and she made her entrance. Cole said she shocked the world at Money in the Bank. Cole called Morgan the “miracle kid”.
-They showed a graphic for Jimmy Uso against Angelo Dawkins for later tonight. Cole hyped the match. They then showed a graphic for the special guest referee for the Undisputed Tag Team title match at Summerslam. Cole said the referee would be revealed tonight. They then showed a graphic for Natalya against Morgan for after the break. Cole hyped the match as Morgan posed in the ring. [c]
-Morgan was in the ring, they showed a graphic for Morgan against Ronda Rousey at Summerslam. McAfee hyped the match.
-Natalya’s music played and she made her entrance.
(1) LIV MORGAN vs. NATALYA
Natalya attacked Morgan right away, Morgan fought back. Natalya took her down with a headlock, but Morgan recovered with a headscissors, followed by a headlock takedown of her own. Natalya then countered with her own headscissors. Moran kipped up. Natalya slapped Morgan. Morgan came off the ropes and hit Natalya with a big dropkick. Morgan made the cover for a near fall, then rolled Natalya up for another near fall, followed by another roll up for yet another near fall. Morgan then hit a dropkick on a seated Natalya. Morgan went for a bulldog but Natalya shoved Morgan down. Natalya hit a kick to the back of Morgan, then went for a dropkick, but Morgan moved. The two traded covers for near falls. Natalya went for a Sharpshooter on the apron, but Morgan fought out. Morgan went for Oblivion, but Natalya held onto the top rope and Morgan hit the apron. Natalya then slingshotted Morgan into the ring post. Morgan fell to the floor at ringside. [c]
Natalya had Morgan in a modified bear hug as they came back from break. Morgan rolled through and covered Natalya for a near fall. Morgan went to the top rope and hit a missile dropkick. Both women were down in the ring. The ref started the ten count. The women made it to their feet at eight. Morgan hit an enzuguiri. Morgan then rolled Natalya up for another near fall. Natalya went for a discus clothesline, but Morgan ducked and drove her knee into the back of Natalya. Morgan took Natalya to the corner, then followed her in. Natalya countered and hit a German suplex for a near fall. Natalya picked Morgan up and took her to the corner, where she propped her on the top rope. Morgan fought back and slipped between Natalya’s legs and pulled Natalya down so she hit her head on the turnbuckle. Natalya recovered and hit a sitout powerbomb for a near fall. Natalya then locked on the ankle lock. Morgan rolled through and sent Natalya to the middle turnbuckle. Morgan then hit double knees followed by Oblivion for the win.
WINNER: Liv Morgan in 9:00
-Kayla Braxton entered the ring. She mentioned that Morgan didn’t beat Natalya as quickly as Rousey did last week. Morgan said she’s going into Summerslam the underdog, but she’s been the underdog her whole life. She said they can call her what they want, but after Summerslam, she will still be called Smackdown Women’s Champion.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I’m really glad they mentioned the fact that Morgan took so much longer to take out Natalya. I thought it was just a throw away line by Cole during the match, but they doubled down on it. I hate when WWE ignores things like that, so I give them credit for the times they lean into it and apply logic to a situation. Morgan’s moment on the mic afterward was blah, and predictable, but it wasn’t awful. The match was solid. It’s clear they’ve been working together at the house shows. I thought Natalya might win so that she could be injected into the Summerslam match, but I guess they really are going with the one on one. That’s a good thing. If Morgan wins, it will cement that WWE is truly behind her. If she doesn’t, well, that’s not good news.)
-Megan Morant was in the back, she welcomed Theory. He called himself the youngest Mr. Money in the Bank in history. He said he has a lot of enemies on Raw and Smackdown. He mentioned Bobby Lashley, Dolph Ziggler, and was about to name another when Paul Heyman appeared. Heyman asked Megan for a minute with Theory. Heyman said Theory knows that he was responsible for the biggest moment in Theory’s career. Heyman said that Theory’s “theory” about cashing in is flawed. Heyman said Theory should work with him on scheduling a cash-in against Roman Reigns. Heyman painted a picture of fame and Theory’s name on the marquee and promised big money. Heyman said he can handle everything for Theory. Theory thanked him, and said that Heyman seems to have good advice. Theory then said he’s going to cash in on Brock Lesnar or Reigns and become the youngest Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. He said afterwards, he may need his own special counsel and could hire Heyman. Theory walked off and smiled. Heyman looked upset.
-The Viking Raiders’ music played. The New Day appeared, dressed as the Viking Raiders. [c]
-They showed graphics for Jimmy Uso against Dawkins and the reveal of the guest ref for Summerslam. Cole and McAfee hyped both. They then threw to a video recap of the Viking Raiders’ attacks on the New Day over the past couple of weeks.
-The New Day Viking Raiders were in the ring. They claimed to be the Raiders, then said they were just kidding. The New Day then said they fell into tactics like face paint to scare their opponents, but it worked. They told some bad jokes about a video game and bad movies.
-The Viking Raiders’ music played and they made their entrance. Xavier Woods called them imposters. Erik said they are new and vicious. Ivar then said when they get to the ring, the only words left to describe the New Day will be mangled. Woods then asked if that’s the only words they know. Kofi Kingston and Woods then threw some different adjectives at them. New Day then lead a chant of “U-G-L-Y”. The Raiders were about to respond, but threw down the mic and started to walk toward the ring. Jinder Mahal and Shanky appeared and battled the Raiders. The Raiders retreated up the ramp. Shanky and the New Day danced in the ring.
-Kayla was in the back, she welcomed Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser. She threw to a video recap of Kaiser’s loss to Nakamura last week, followed by Gunther’s discipline of Kaiser. Kayla then asked why Gunther attacked Kaiser. Gunther said there is no room for failure, and they will never lose because losing is unacceptable. Gunther said losing has consequences. Kayla said there will be a rematch between Kaiser and Nakamura next week. Kaiser started to apologize in German. Gunther yelled at Kaiser in German. Gunther then chopped Kaiser, who crumpled, his face scrunched in pain.
(McDonald’s Analysis: That was interesting. Kaiser now cowering in fear of Gunther is a twist I didn’t see coming, even after what happened last week. Crazy how much that dynamic has changed over the past few weeks. Gunther made his point with very few words and this was a solid segment. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes. Is a face turn on the horizon for Kaiser? This is clearly an attempt at making him sympathetic. A few weeks ago, he seemed like the only guy that could control Gunther. Apparently, it was the other way around?)
-Aliyah’s music played and she made her entrance. They showed a graphic for Aliyah against Lacey Evans. Cole said Evans attacked Aliyah for no reason last week. He said Aliyah will try to get revenge after the break. [c]
-Aliyah was in the ring, Cole threw to a video package on Lacey Evans. The package highlighted Evans’ turn and speech last week on Smackdown. After the video, Evans’ music played and she made her entrance. She stopped halfway down the ramp, and said to cut her music. She then asked it to be played again. The response didn’t change. McAfee cheered her from the announce table.
-Evans took the mic in the ring. She said she may not be better than anyone in the arena, but they’re not better than her. She said she served the country and put her life on the line for everyone. The crowd chanted “you suck”. She said she overcame obstacles that would crush the average American. Evans said that everything we just saw was true, and she could add accolades to it because she’s an American hero. She said she’s everything the fans should be, and can’t be, and they hate it. Evans said she offended a few of them, and the truths are a little too hard to handle. Evans said she wants to apologize to those she offended. The crowd booed. Evans asked if they weren’t going to accept her apology. The crowd booed again. Evans told the fans to go to hell. Evans then left the ring and walked up the ramp. Aliyah stood in the ring.
(McDonald’s Analysis: You know, I’m not a huge fan of Evans, but the promos the last couple of weeks haven’t been bad. The one tonight was better than last week. She seems into it and is actually speaking with conviction. It may not be a home run, but she seems to believe in the character, which is a step in the right direction. On a separate note, I’m jealous of Aliyah. She gets paid to make her entrance, stand in the ring during commercial, pose after the commercial, then stand there and listen to a promo. Good gig. How has no one noticed that they made her look like an idiot tonight? Why wouldn’t she chase Evans up the ramp and throw her in the ring? Doesn’t she want revenge for getting sucker punched last week? Or she’s just cool with it? Or afraid of Evans? None of it makes any sense. I really wish they would mention it since there’s no way I’m the only one that thinks that way.)
-Cole threw to a video recap of the segment involving Sheamus and Drew McIntyre last week. The video then showed McIntyre’s victory over Butch, followed by McIntyre’s attempted murder of Sheamus.
-Back in the arena, McIntyre’s music played and he made his entrance. Cole said that Sheamus wanted Butch to weaken McIntyre for the match tonight. They then showed a graphic for McIntyre against Sheamus. Cole said the winner will face Reigns or Lesnar at Clash at the Castle in September. [c]
(McDonald’s Analysis: We can all agree that this match isn’t going to happen, right?)
-McIntyre posed with the sword as his pyro went off. Sheamus’ music played and he made his entrance. The ring announcer announced Ridge Holland as McIntyre’s opponent. Butch ran around the ring and grabbed the ring bell. Sheamus stopped Butch, then Butch rang the bell.
(2) DREW McINTYRE vs. RIDGE HOLLAND (w/ Sheamus & Butch)
McIntyre ran at Holland and took him down. McIntyre hit Holland with a belly to belly throw. He then used the Ten Beats on Holland, but before he could get to ten, Sheamus pulled Holland off the apron. McIntyre exited the ring and stared down Sheamus. Butch then distracted McIntyre and Holland attacked him from behind and sent him into the post. In the ring, Holland hit a powerslam and pinned McIntyre. McIntyre kicked out at one. Holland put McIntyre in a headlock. McIntyre fought out and took Holland down. McIntyre kipped up and set up a Claymore, but Sheamus distracted him. McIntyre his a Glasgow’s Kiss on Holland, then White Noise. McIntyre stared Sheamus down. He then hit a Claymore on Holland for the win.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre in 3:00
(McDonald’s Analysis: Saw that coming a mile away. I hope WWE realizes that having McIntyre squash these guys in back to back weeks will have diminishing returns moving forward. Who am I kidding, they don’t care.)
-McIntyre celebrated in the ring. Butch tried to run toward the ring but Sheamus held him back.
-Cole and McAfee hyped the main event between Dawkins and Jimmy Uso again. They also hyped the reveal of the special guest ref for Summerslam.
-Theory’s music played and he made his entrance. Cole said this match will be between two of the brightest young stars in WWE. McAfee called it a glimpse into the next ten years of this company. They showed the graphic for Theory against Madcap Moss. [c]
(McDonald’s Analysis: Wow, that is some high praise from Cole and McAfee. They were clearly coached to say that, but it’s interesting that they feel the same way about Moss in this setting. I hope it works out for them.)
-Theory took a selfie in the ring with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Cole threw to a video recap of Monday Night Raw. The video ended with Lesnar putting Otis threw the announce table. They then showed the graphic for Reigns and Lesnar at Summerslam. Cole and McAfee hyped the match.
-Madcap Moss was in the back with Megan Morant. Moss said that Theory has a big head and he wants to flatten it. Heyman appeared. He said he was responsible for the biggest break of Moss’ career. He said that what Theory has in mind, doesn’t make a lot of business sense. Heyman then said that Moss gave Corbin a beating so severe, he wasn’t seen for weeks. He said if the same were to happen to Theory, he could go to Reigns and ask for a match for Moss. Heyman told Moss to think of the prestige and the money and what it would do for his career. Heyman extended his hand for Moss. Moss said that it sounds like Heyman is really worried about Theory cashing in at Summerslam. Moss’ music played and Moss gestured that he had to go.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Heyman makes this show so much better with these small segments. Moss and Theory both benefit from sharing the screen with him, as well. Heyman’s attempts at manipulating both young stars with promises of fame and fortune are logical and seem like enticing situations. At the same time, Moss is right, it shows how worried and perhaps, desperate, Heyman is to protect Reigns. Good stuff.)
-Moss made his entrance in the arena. Moss stared down Theory as Theory posed with the briefcase. Cole hyped the match for after the break. [c]
-A commercial aired for the Maximum Male Models, narrated by Max Dupri. After the video, there was a graphic for the 2022 beachwear collection. They hyped a new addition, named Maxxine Dupri. McAfee said that Maxxine is Max’s sister. Cole said they’ve had 8,000 applicants to the website.
(McDonald’s Analysis: This was actually a good idea for this group. The commercial worked well and got over what they are. These might be a good idea moving forward. It keeps them front of mind without taking up too much time. I wonder who Maxxine is. I really hope it’s not a Santina Marella situation.)
(3) THEORY vs. MADCAP MOSS
Theory and Moss locked up, Theory backed off. The fans traded chants between the two. They locked up again and Moss backed Theory into the corner, but Theory reversed it. Moss got a waistlock on Theory and threw him down. He went for another but Theory fought him off. Theory put on a headlock and Moss shot him off the ropes. Theory took Moss down with a shoulder block. Moss recovered and took down Theory with a shoulder block of his own. Moss caught Theory on his shoulders, lifted him up, then pulled him into a fallaway slam. Theory recovered and used a snapmare followed by a headlock. Moss fought out, but Theory remained in control. Theory tried to take Moss to the turnbuckle, but Moss countered and slammed Theory’s head into the turnbuckle twice. Moss then clotheslined Theory over the top to the floor. Moss went for a slam on the floor, but Theory wriggled free. He shoved Moss forward. Moss charged Theory but Theory leapfrogged him and Moss hit the steps. Theory celebrated. [c]
Moss charged Theory, but Theory used a drop toe hold to send Moss into the bottom turnbuckle. Theory then hit a huge dropkick and applied a headlock. Cole called them the future of the WWE again. McAfee said both men have it all. Moss fought up, but Theory shut him down again. Theory punched away at Moss. He tried to come off the ropes, but Moss recovered and came off the opposite ropes with a big shoulder block. Both men traded punches in the middle of the ring. Theory sent Moss off the ropes and Moss hit a huge clothesline. Theory went to the corner and Moss hit a running shoulder to Theory’s gut. Theory fought back, but Moss delivered a spinebuster for a near fall. Moss tried to set up a powerbomb, but Theory held on. Theory stomped at the leg of Moss, then hit a suplex for a near fall. The crowd chanted “Theory sucks”. Moss sent Theory to the apron, but Theory wrung Moss’ neck on the apron. Moss recovered and took Theory down. Theory dropped to the apron, and Moss sent him flying to the floor. Theory went into the timekeeper’s area, and Moss followed him. Theory hit Moss with the briefcase and got disqualified.
WINNER: Moss by DQ in 12:00
(McDonald’s Analysis: That was actually a pretty solid WWE style match. Cole and McAfee really hyped these guys as the future. That may or may not be true, but this match wasn’t a reason to scoff at that notion. Both guys did a good job. It shows that they care about both guys with the finish they delivered as well. I hope WWE finds a couple more guys with potential to invest in. Given the age and injury history of some of their top guys, they’re going to need a new crop we can take seriously. Whether you agree with their choices, or you don’t, you have to respect the fact that they’re trying and they’re trying to highlight to fans who they need to look out for. It’s worth a shot.)
-Theory walked off with the briefcase. Moss was announced as the winner. Theory took the mic and said no one cares. He said he’s still Mr. Money in the Bank and is soon to be the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.
-Sami Zayn appeared with his arm in a sling. He said that Theory disrespected Reigns, and when you disrespect the Bloodline, there are consequences. Zayn said that he’s recommending that Theory apologize, right now. Theory asked what this was. He called Zayn the Bloodline suck up. He asked what Zayn was going to do with one arm.
-The Usos’ music played and they made their entrance to a loud pop. Theory retreated and circled the ring. Moss attacked Theory from behind and drove him into the post, then tossed him into the timekeeper’s area. The Usos entered the ring and taunted Theory. [c]
-They showed a graphic for Brock Lesnar on Smackdown next week. McAfee hyped his return. They then showed a graphic for Morgan and Rousey face to face. Cole hyped the segment.
-The Usos posed in the ring with the titles. Zayn joined Cole and McAfee on commentary.
-The Street Profits’ music played and they made their entrance.
(4) JIMMY USO (w/ Jey Uso) vs. ANGELO DAWKINS (w/ Montez Ford)
Jimmy and Dawkins locked up. Dawkins took him to the corner. Zayn hinted that he may be the ref at Summerslam. Dawkins took Jimmy down and had him in a waistlock. Jimmy elbowed Dawkins in the face then hit a Samoan Drop. Zayn cheered Jimmy on. Dawkins dropped to the apron, and hit Jimmy as Jimmy charged him. Jimmy then superkicked Dawkins off the apron to the floor. He tried to attack Dawkins, but Dawkins caught him with a punch. Jimmy rolled to the outside. Dawkins ran around the ring and charged Jimmy. Jimmy flew over the barricade into the timekeeper’s area. Dawkins celebrated. [c]
Jimmy pounded on Dawkins in the corner. Dawkins was down, Jimmy charged and hit him low. Dawkins responded with a big punch. Dawkins hit a pair of clotheslines, but Jimmy recovered. Jimmy sent Dawkins off the ropes, but Dawkins hit a corkscrew elbow. Dawkins got a near fall on Jimmy. Dawkins hit a spinning splash on Jimmy in the corner. Jey distracted the ref, and Dawkins knocked Jimmy into the ref. Dawkins rolled up Jimmy, but there was no ref to count. Jimmy hit a big superkick, but there was no ref to count. Jimmy tried to revive the ref. Meanwhile, Dawkins recovered and hit the Sky High on Jimmy. The groggy ref counted and Dawkins got the win. Zayn said Jimmy’s shoulder was up. Cole said he may be right.
WINNER: Angelo Dawkins in 9:00
-Dawkins and Montez Ford celebrated in the ring. They showed a replay of the finish, where Jimmy’s shoulder is clearly up. Cole said it’s nowhere near the mat. McAfee said that he’s seen NFL refs screw up, but this is too much. Zayn said he should be the ref. The Usos argued with the ref.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Match was fine. Means to an end. I’m fine with the finish as it ties the two together and gives them yet another reason to have the special ref. Zayn on commentary was awesome here. I assume that’s what he’ll do once his in-ring career is over. He would be great at it.)
-Adam Pearce appeared at the top of the ramp. He said he knows that the Profits are upset because of Money in the Bank and the Usos are upset about tonight. He said he’s found the perfect man for the job of special guest referee. A video aired for Double J, Jeff Jarrett. That’s J-E-Double F, J-A-Double R-E-Double T.
-The Usos and Profits brawled in the ring. McAfee and Cole put over Jarrett as the special ref. Zayn said it should be him. Officials entered the ring and tried to break up the brawl.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I know Jarrett will be disappointing for some, but those that listen to the PWTorch 90’s Pastcast every Saturday on the PWTorch Dailycast Feed, hosted by Patrick Moynahan and myself, knows that I’m a big Double J fan, so I’m cool with it. It wasn’t expected and isn’t tired like people we’ve seen a hundred times before in that role. Also, as much as I would have loved it to be Sami, at least they can say this one is unbiased. A twist like Solo Sikoa would have been a cool choice, but again, he would be biased and it may be a little soon to introduce him to the main roster and insert him into the Bloodline storylines. Beyond all that, this was a solid episode of Smackdown. Besides the New Day segment, there wasn’t anything glaringly bad on the show. There wasn’t anything fantastic, but that’s okay. With fifty-two weeks of TV not every show is going to be a home run. Shows like this are necessary and a good mover for storylines. We also got some solid in ring action on the show. The match between up and comers, Theory and Moss, was good and showed the promise both guys have. WWE leaned heavily on that fact and it will be interesting to track both guys over the next six months to a year. Otherwise, next week’s show will probably be more noteworthy with the return of Brock Lesnar as we inch closer to Summerslam.