Date: June 10, 2022
Location: Raising Cane’s River Center Arena, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
It’s officially Money In The Bank season and that means we need to have some qualifying matches. Maybe they can even play the theme song fourteen times. Other than that, we might get to hear about something related to Roman Reigns wrestling again sometime in the future. But probably not. Let’s get to it.
Commentary hypes up tonight’s historic show. The lesson here: WWE commentators doesn’t know what historic means.
Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre
In the back, McIntyre throws Butch around and says he’ll see Sheamus out there. They hit each other hard to start with McIntyre getting the better of it off some chops. A Michinoku Driver gives Drew two but Sheamus sends him to the apron for the forearms to the chest. That’s reversed so Drew can hit his own, only to have Butch offer a distraction. Something like White Noise on the apron drops McIntyre and we take a break.
Back with Sheamus hitting an Alabama Slam for two but McIntyre fights up and hits the neckbreaker. There’s the nip up so a spinebuster can give McIntyre two more but Sheamus elbows his way out of a fireman’s carry. Sheamus hits his own Futureshock for two so he goes up, only to get pulled down with a super White Noise for two more.
The Claymore is loaded up but Sheamus knees him down for two of his own. The Brogue Kick is countered into a powerbomb for two but Butch comes in for a distraction. A Brogue Kick cuts him off so Sheamus hits a clothesline to put McIntyre on the floor. They fight in the timekeeper’s area and hit each other with chairs (at the same time) for a double DQ at 12:27.
Rating: B-. I wasn’t wild on the ending and I’ve seen these two fight more times than I can count, but at least they know each other well enough to have a good match almost every time. There is something to be said about two guys this big hitting each other this hard and it worked as usual. I’m sure they’ll have something to keep things going after that ending, but it worked as a nice TV match.
Post break the brawl is still going after the break, with Butch getting involved but not being able to do much. The fight heads out into the crowd, where they’re finally separated.
We recap Seth Rollins seemingly showing respect to Cody Rhodes and then attacking him (again).
Lacey Evans is ready to face Xia Li. She might not be better than Li, but Li certainly isn’t better that her.
Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: Lacey Evans vs. Xia Li
Li throws her around to start and grabs a quick cobra clutch. That’s broken up and Evans elbows her in the face, setting up a slingshot Bronco Buster in the corner. Back up and the Woman’s Right finishes for Evans at 2:30. That wasn’t exactly a smooth match and then it just ends with the right hand out of nowhere.
Drew McIntyre comes in to see Adam Pearce and seems to threaten violence over not being in the Money In The Bank Ladder match.
Video on the Viking Raiders.
Sheamus and Butch also seem to threaten Adam Pearce.
Here is Ronda Rousey to say that she is ready to prove that her armbar is better than Uncle Bret’s Sharpshooter. Cue Shotzi to say she has a bad attitude and the challenge is on for right now. Sure why not.
Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi
Champions Contenders match and Rousey takes her down without much effort. A belly to belly drops Shotzi for two but she tries a figure four necklock over the ropes. That’s reversed into an ankle lock in the ropes and they fall to the floor, with Shotzi hitting a tornado DDT.
Back in and Shotzi pounds away, setting up a kick to the head for two. An armbar has Rousey in more trouble but she fights out, only to fail at another ankle lock attempt. Shotzi suplexes her for two and then does it again into the corner. Some more strikes seem to wake Rousey up, with the slap to the face being a bad idea. A suplex into the armbar makes Shotzi tap at 7:20.
Rating: C. Some of Shotzi’s strikes looked great, with that kick to the head being one of the hardest looking shots I’ve seen from anyone in awhile. That being said, this was little more than a way for Rousey to get a win on TV and keep her sharp before the Natalya match. It wasn’t a match that you needed to see, but it did what it needed to do.
Post match Natalya jumps Rousey and puts her in the Sharpshooter.
Riddle is ready for Sami Zayn tonight, because if he wins, he gets to face Roman Reigns next week. The juice is worth the squeeze you see.
Intercontinental Title: Gunther vs. Ricochet
Gunther, with Ludvig Kaiser, is challenging and powers Ricochet around to start. The big chop knocks Ricochet silly and Gunther steps on him in the corner as we take a break. Back with Ricochet countering a powerbomb into the Code Red for two but a springboard is countered into a sleeper.
Ricochet escapes and hits a running knee but Gunther BLASTS him with a clothesline for two. Another sleeper over the ropes is broken up but Ricochet stops go to after Kaiser. Not that it matters as a standing shooting star press gets two on Gunther. The 630 misses though and it’s a dropkick into the corner. The powerbomb gives Gunther the title at 8:31.
Rating: C+. This was straight out of the Rob Van Dam playbook: build up a high flier, let him hold the title for a bit, and then drop it to someone on their way up. Ricochet getting the title in the first place showed that WWE might have some faith in him, but Gunther winning is absolutely the way to go as he has all kinds of potential. Gunther winning clean makes it even better.
Paul Heyman tells Sami Zayn to go win the main event and he might be in the Bloodline.
John Cena went to the Netherlands to meet a fan with Down’s Syndrome whose family had to flee the Ukraine because of the invasion. Well that’s about the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time.
Classic Smackdown Moment: Steve Austin and Booker T. in the (Green Frog) grocery store.
Video on Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss, who meet next week in a Last Laugh match.
Max Dupri’s newest client will be revealed next week instead of this week. At least they mentioned it.
Riddle vs. Sami Zayn
If Riddle wins, he gets Roman Reigns next week but if Zayn wins, Riddle is off of Smackdown. Paul Heyman is on commentary and note that the bell rings EIGHTEEN MINUTES after Sami’s entrance. Riddle goes for a triangle choke to start and Sami bails straight to the ropes. That’s fine with Riddle, who sits him on the apron for some rapid fire kicks to the chest.
Back in and Zayn gets in a few shots of his own to take over, setting up a chinlock. Riddle fights to this feet and goes up top, only to be shoved off and into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Riddle being knocked outside again but managing to beat the count. Riddle catches him up top but the super RKO is blocked. Riddle catches him with a jumping knee for two but Sami kicks him down.
Sami spends too much time mocking Randy Orton though and the jumping knee takes him down. Riddle kicks him to the floor for the springboard Floating Bro, followed by the hanging DDT back inside. The Blue Thunder Bomb gets two back inside and the Bro Derek is countered into a cradle for two more. Sami takes too long loading up the Helluva Kick though and it’s the RKO for the pin at 13:08.
Rating: B-. I don’t think it’s much of a surprise that Riddle won here given the stipulations, but at least they played up the idea of an upset being possible. Zayn is still someone who can take almost any loss and be fine, which will be the case here for sure. Riddle vs. Reigns has been set up and while I would prefer it at Money In The Bank, having ANY match from Reigns is better than taking the whole summer off.
Post match the Usos jump Riddle but he’s right back up with a kendo stick to clean house to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. Maybe it’s due to things not going so well for so long, but this was a good Smackdown after a good Raw and two good weekend shows. WWE might be on a bit of a roll and that was the case here. They focused on bigger things this week, with the Sheamus vs. McIntyre match, then the Rousey stuff (not so great but she’s a name), followed by the title change and main event. I didn’t get bored once during this show and while I don’t believe it lasts, I will absolutely take a week of good stuff for once.
Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre went to a double DQ when they both used chairs
Lacey Evans b. Xia Li – Woman’s Right
Ronda Rousey b. Shotzi – Armbar
Gunther b. Ricochet – Powerbomb
Riddle b. Sami Zayn – RKO
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