SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
JULY 29, 2022
AIRED ON FOX
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin
-The “Then, Now, Forever, Together” brand stamp aired.
-Michael Cole and Pat McAfee introduced the show.
(1) DREW MCINTYRE vs. SHEAMUS – Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook to earn WWE Title match at Clash at the Castle
Sheamus attacked Drew in the entry aisle. They brawled to ringside where Sheamus rammed Drew into the ringpost. Sheamus threw Drew into the ring and the ref called for the bell (rewarding the heel for his illegal pre-match blindside attack). They had kegs at ringside and flags hanging on the ringside barricade. Drew made a quick comeback and landed a Michinoku Driver. They both recovered and circled each other mid-ring. Sheamus swung his shillelagh but Drew ducked and then back suplexed Sheamus. Sheamus dropped the shillelagh and Drew picked it up. Sheamus kicked him before he could use it. They both tumbled to the floor. Drew threw Sheamus over the announce table. Drew looked to the crowd. Fans chanted “We Want Tables!” Drew pulled a table out from under the ring, but Sheamus recovered and attacked him. He threw Drew into the ringside steps. Sheamus had a bar set up at ringside with “family photos” (just Photoshopped images of Sheamus made to look like he was his own ancestors). Sheamus jabbed Drew with a shillelagh. Drew reversed a suplex attempt at ringside, then threw Sheamus into barrels at ringside. They cut to a break. [c]
Drew rallied after the break and kipped up. Then he threw six chairs into the ring. Sheamus threw a chair at his head when he re-entered the ring. Drew got his hands up, but the chair seemed to ricochet into his skull. Sheamus set up a White Noise on the stack of chairs, but Drew turned it into a Future Shock DDT. Drew draped his arm over Sheamus for a convincing near fall. When Drew tried to lift Sheamus, Sheamus was de3ad weight. Ridge Holland entered and hit Drew with the shillelagh from behind. Sheamus stood and delivered a high knee to score a convincing near fall on Drew. Drew dropped to the floor and tossed Ridge around, including throwing him through a table propped up at ringside. They cut to another break at 14:00. [c]
They traded two counts after the break. Sheamus tried to throw Drew into the bar set up with “family photos,” but Drew reversed him head-first into it. Butch leaped off a stack of barrels onto Drew. Sheamus then broke a stool across Drew’s back. Back in the ring, Sheamus climbed the ropes with Drew on his shoulders. He leaped backwards off the second rope with a White Noise for a two count. Butch handed Sheamus a giant shillelagh, but Drew ducked and surprised Sheamus with a Glasgow Kiss. Sheamus fended off Butch with the shillelagh. He kicked Butch with a Claymore, but Sheamus landed a Brogue Kick for a convincing near fall. A “This is awesome!” chant broke out. Sheamus stood and pounded his chest as he waited for Drew to stand. When he charged, Drew caught him and powerbombed him through a table. Fans were pleased. Drew sat up and looked over at Sheamus, looking emotional about what was to come next. Sheamus crawled over and grabbed a shillelagh. Drew, though, caught him with a Claymore for the win.
WINNER: McIntyre in 25:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: These two always put on a hard-hitting show, and this was another really good match between them. The gimmicks around the ring were used well. The near falls were convincing.)
-Kayla Braxton interviewed Drew mid-ring afterward about facing the winner of Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar. Drew said it didn’t have to be this way, but he knew what he had to do and someone has to take the title off the part-time champions. Theory attacked Drew from behind with the Money in the Bank briefcase. “What’s this guy’s deal?” asked McAfee, pointing out he was getting booed in his hometown. He stood over Drew and said he’s going to become the Undisputed Champion. Theory paraded around the ring smiling.
-They went to Cole and McAfee at ringside who plugged Summerslam, including McAfee vs. Happy Corbin. They threw to clips of the angle last week with them. Back at ringside, Corbin made his way to the front row. He held up a sign that said “Loser” with an old photo of McAfee. He had a ticket and popcorn. He said McAfee can’t touch him. [c]
-Back from the break, Corbin was taunting McAfee from ringside and throwing popcorn at him. McAfee asked who sets the rules that he has to take that. Cole ran down the rest of the matches on the show. McAfee couldn’t concentrate because Corbin kept throwing popcorn at him. McAfee eventually stood and asked Corbin to come get him. Officials ran out to try to hold them back. Corbin stepped over the barricade and kicked McAfee from behind between his legs. “What is wrong with you?!” exclaimed Cole. He yelled at Corbin to get out of there.
(Keller’s Analysis: I get a kick out of those pinball machine noises when they switch to showing a new graphic for a match at Summerslam.) [c]
-Braxton approached Theory backstage. Theory said he’s sick of people treating him like a punching bag. He said he can’t help it that guys like Madcap Moss, Bobby Lashley, and Dolph Ziggler are jealous of him. He said nobody can stop him from becoming champion and going on to Cardiff and beating Drew. Paul Heyman walked up to Theory and told him he sees a bright future for him. He put his arm around him. They cut away.
(2) ALIYAH vs. SHOTZI
Shotzi was already in the ring. As Aliyah came out, Cole said Lacey Evans wasn’t medically cleared to wrestle, so Aliyah will renew her rivalry with Shotzi. Cole said there’s a rumor that Shotzi talked Adam Pearce into letting her have this match against Aliyah, whom she’s been accused of being jealous of and obsessed with. Shotzi got the better of Aliyah at ringside a few minutes in. Back in the ring she landed a Never Wake Up for the win.
WINNER: Shotzi in 3:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Shotzi didn’t get a ring entrance on TV, but she got a win. Is this a sign of Paul Levesque being more of a fan of hers than Vince McMahon was, perhaps?)
-They showed Racquel Rodriguez beating Sonya Deville. Then they showed Deville’s rant after the match that didn’t air last week, ending when Ronda Rousey ran out and attacked her after Sonya said nobody can get her to leave the ring.
-They cut backstage to Liv Morgan and Ronda Rousey posing for a Summerslam photo shoot when Natalya walked in and predicted Rousey will beat Liv in record time. Natalya told Rousey that she’s the reason Liv beat her. Sonya walked in and said Rousey attacked her after Racquel already beat her. Liv called her a sore loser. They cut to the ring where Shotzi was gloating. Rousey’s music played and she marched out. Shotzi waited for her, then went at her. Rousey judo threw her and then said, “Bye, Shotzi.” She said a lot of people are complaining they should be in the title picture. She stumbled slightly over her words. Someone heckled her and she said, “You shut up. Your mom failed you.” McAfee laughed. She called Liv out to the ring and threw the mic down. [c]
-Postcard shots aired of Nashville, Tenn. as part of hyping Summerslam. It was a very cool drone video weaving its way through Nashville landmarks, playing into the pinball machine theme, resembling a ball rolling through the ramps in a pinball game.
(3) LIV MORGAN & RONDA ROUSEY vs. NATALYA & SONYA DEVILLE
Rousey’s music was still playing and she was pacing in the ring. Liv’s music played. Her title belt almost slipped out of her hands as she made her way to the ring. Cole said Liv is actually going to team with Rousey tonight. Cole said Pearce made the match during the break. Natalya and Sonya made their way out to Natalya’s music. Cole talked more about Liv’s argument that her focus is solely on wrestling whereas Rousey returns home to a husband and baby, which gives her an advantage. Sonya rolled to the floor to avoid a Rousey anklelock. Liv tagged herself in. Rousey made a face. McAfee noted Liv didn’t have the tag rope in her hand. Sonya yanked Liv off the ring apron and threw back into the ring. She took over against Liv. (What’s the tag rope for if that tag counts?) Natalya tagged in and applied a sleeper. She then tossed Liv to the floor and snap suplexed her. They cut to a break. [c]
Liv reached for a tag, but came up short. She turned and hit a Code Breaker on Natalya, though, and scored a two count. She opted for the cover instead of tagging in Rousey. She looked over at Rousey. Cole said she was indicating she can do it tonight on her own. Natalya took over again and tagged in Sonya. Cole said he admires Liv’s bravado, but she probably should have tagged in Rousey. Rousey angrily paced at ringside. Morgan hit a step-up enzuigiri. Cole asked if he’ll be able to tag in Rousey this time. Liv crawled over and paused, stood, and decided again not to tag in Rousey.
Liv charged at Sonya, but Sonya moved. Natalya went after her, but Liv scored a two count with a victory roll. Natalya landed a discus clothesline. Cole said Liv should make the damn tag and preserve herself for tomorrow night at Summerslam. McAfee said she’s the only member of her team getting her ass kicked. Liv crawled over and Rousey tagged herself in this time. She beat up Sonya and delivered a Piper’s Pit. Natalya hit Rousey from behind. Liv went after Natalya and hit Oblivion. Rousey then put Sonya in an anklelock for the tapout win. Rousey walked over and raised Liv’s arm, but had some words for her afterward.
WINNERS: Rousey & Morgan in 11:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: They told a definite story there, but I’m not sure how fans are supposed to feel about it. Cole’s commentary stressed that Liv showed good heart, but bad judgment. Was the beating she took meant to be the reason she loses at Summerslam? If so, she looked just fine after the match in her staredown with Rousey. I’m still not sold on Liv’s instincts in terms of her body language, facial expressions, and selling in a way that matches the story she’s trying to tell in the ring. Rousey was prickly in that pre-match interview, but what else is new? McAfee laughing at her dig at the fan indicates that wasn’t meant to be a hint at a heel turn coming up.)
-The Street Profits made their ring entrance as Cole hyped Jeff Jarrett would be the special referee for their match. [c]
-The Usos made their ring entrance. Jeff Jarrett then walked out, mic in hand. He said he wanted to get “the four of us” together. (There are five of them.) He said he wanted to show them how serious he is about his role as special guest referee. Jey asked if it’s a DQ if he punches Montez Ford in the nose so hard he bleeds again like he did on Monday. Jimmy asked Jeff if he can hit him with the belts. Angelo Dawkins asked if it’s a DQ if he hits Jimmy so hard he comes back with facepaint on. The Profits yelled some more at them and then said they want the smoke.
Jarrett stepped between them and said the four of them certainly have creative imaginations. He said he’s not there to contrain them. He said he’s there to let them run wild because his only job is to count shoulders down. He said that’s tomorrow night. He said as far as tonight goes, it’s obvious they have some outstanding issues. He said if one of them feels froggy, how about one of them jumps another. McAfee said he’s stirring the pot. They began brawling. Jarrett got caught up in the action and ended up eating a Jey superkick. Cole said that’s not good for the Usos and they should say they’re sorry. They checked on him. Jey said, “My bad.” Jarrett shoved them. Dawkins knocked them out of the ring. Montez landed a running leap, as he’s apparently contractually obligated to do on every WWE show he appears on. Jarrett looked down at them from the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: This was fine at raising the temperature a bit and getting people who were already eager to see this match hyped up about it. Jarrett seemed a little out of sync a couple times. I don’t know that he showed anyone how serious he is about his job, as he said he was going to do. He just explained his job is to let them fight and count to three and then encouraged them to fight tonight.)
-A sponsored video package aired on the Viking Raiders.
-The New Day made their ring entrance. [c/ss]
-Maxxine Dupri stood with her Maximum Male Models, Mace and Mansoor. She threw to a video of the 2022 Summerslam Swimwear collection. She described the clothing. Max Dupri entered the picture. McAfee yelled, “What?!” McAfee said he’s still scouting talent. “Out of the cage, Max Dupri!”
(Keller’s Analysis: Good to see Max still with the group after he was written out due to issues Vince McMahon had with him. He worked with Paul Levesque in NXT, so apparently Dupri is getting another chance as he’s a good fit for this group. McAfee’s reaction was playing into the belief that he was written out of the group.)
(4) THE NEW VICIOUS VIKING RAIDERS vs. THE NEW DAY
McAfee said running water has never touched the Raiders. The Raiders took control early and they cut to a break. [c]
Xavier and Erik got hot-tagged in after the break. Xavier took control, then tagged Kofi back in. Kofi splashed Erik with a leap off the top rope, but Ivar broke it up. Kofi rolled up Erik for a near fall. Erik fired back with a quick knee to the face, then tagged Ivar back in. Ivar and Erik double-slammed Kofi and scored the clean three count.
WINNERS: The Viking Raiders in 7:00.
-The Raiders grabbed their shields at ringside and used them as weapons against Kofi and Xavier. They put Xavier’s ankle in a chair and smashed it with their shields. Xavier sold it big-time, screaming in pain. Refs and a medic checked on him. He yanked off his boot and clutched his anklelock
(Keller’s Analysis: I don’t know if the Raiders have a chance to mean anything, and sacrificing New Day might not be worth it, but having them beat the New Day clean is the only way to give them a chance to be seen as an actual top tier team.)
-Cole hyped that Heyman would be out next for a final address before Summerslam. [c]
-Cole hyped the Reigns vs. Lesnar main event.
-Heyman paced mid-ring. He began to introduce himself, but the fans finished his sentence and said “Paul Heyman.” He looked annoyed. He said he serves as special counsel to their Tribal Chief. He said for 35 years, no one has gotten to 700 days as heavyweight champion. He said Brock Lesnar wants to be the spoiler. He said, “Over my damn dead body.” He said Reigns is going to put Lesnar down for ten seconds and then stand over a victimized Brock and hold both titles in the air and be the last man standing. “And we will all be done with Brock Lesnar once and for all,” he said. Lesnar’s music played. The life left Heyman’s body.
Lesnar walked out, smiling wide. McAfee said Heyman looked rattled. Cole said he was frozen in fear. Lesnar walked to ringside. Heyman smiled and offered Lesnar the mic. Lesnar didn’t accept it. Heyman stepped back in fear. Theory attacked Lesnar from behind with the briefcase, but Lesnar brushed it off and suplexed Theory around the ring. “Suplex City, bitch!” exclaimed McAfee. Drew then delivered a Claymore to Theory in the aisle. Cole called it payback for earlier tonight. Drew looked up at Lesnar as his music played. Lesnar looked down at him.