Smackdown – July 22, 2022
By Thomas Hall on 22nd July 2022
Date: July 22, 2022
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Pat McAfee, Michael Cole
And then Vince McMahon retired from WWE and everything changed. This is one of those moments that you knew would happen in some way at some point but you can’t actually fathom it going down. On top of that, Brock Lesnar has reportedly walked out on the show and won’t be here, though maybe something can be salvaged. Let’s get to it.
Here is Stephanie McMahon to get things going. She announces Vince’s retirement and the fans immediately go into a THANK YOU VINCE chant. Stephanie asks the fans to not get ahead of them her and says thank you Vince for everything. This was Stephanie the person rather than Stephanie the character and that is completely acceptable given the once in a lifetime circumstances.
Here are the Street Profits to be all hyped up for their Tag Team Title shot at Summerslam. Cue Theory to remind us that he will be cashing in on Roman Reigns. That brings out the Usos, who don’t like Theory threatening Roman Reigns. The Usos says Montez Ford and his wife are leaving Summerslam with no titles and the fight is on. Madcap Moss runs in and the good guys clear the ring.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ludwig Kaiser
Kaiser knocks him into the corner to start as commentary wonders if Gunther’s aggressive mentorship is a good thing. Nakamura strikes back and gets Kaiser into the corner for Good Vibrations. The leg is lifted up though and Kaiser hits a suplex for two. That’s shrugged off though and Nakamura hits the running knee in the corner. The apron kick to the chest is blocked though and we take a break with Nakamura down on the floor.
Back with Nakamura fighting out of a chinlock and hitting the sliding German suplex for two. Nakamura stops to yell at Gunther though, allowing Kaiser to grab a small package for two. A kick to the head drops Kaiser again and Nakamura rolls him up, but the kickout sends him into a right hand from Gunther. Kaiser grabs a DDT for the pin at 9:30.
Rating: C. Kaiser is someone who has done well in the limited time that he gets to appear in the ring as he is fine for a person who gets to clear some of the way for Gunther’s opponents. The cheating keeps Nakamura strong on the way to the likely Summerslam title match so it’s a story you’ve seen before. Not a bad match here, and I’m sure we’ll get a rubber match in the future.
Post match Kaiser looks pleased but Gunther tells him to assume the position anyway. Gunther pats him on the back….and then chops him anyway. He’s a tricky monster.
We recap Liv Morgan cashing in the Money In The Bank briefcase on Ronda Rousey.
We get a face to face with Rousey and Morgan, with Rousey telling the interviewer to scram. Rousey is ready to win the title back and expects Morgan to shake her hand. Morgan talks about how she wants and needs the title more than Rousey. She’ll shake Rousey’s hand, after she beats her again. This was taking two bad talkers and having them talk to each other.
Happy Corbin jumps Pat McAfee, who gives chase to the back this time. The brawl is on backstage with Adam Pearce and company breaking it up.
Post break McAfee is back and gets tossed a microphone. McAfee talks about how in eight days, it is man vs. big bald baby and this right leg of his is putting the baby out for a nap. As usual: McAfee can talk as well as almost anyone in the company.
We look at the Viking Raiders being vicious and breathing all heavy.
Viking Raiders vs. Shanky/Jinder Mahal
New Day is on commentary. Ivar elbows Mahal in the corner to start but he comes back with a superkick. The beating takes Mahal outside again and it’s a countout win for “the new Vicious Viking Raiders (yes that is what they are officially called)” at 1:39. Mahal and Shanky can’t take a pin?
Sonya Deville mocks Adam Pearce for his job as the boss, which wouldn’t have happened if she was in charge. Pearce gives her a match with Raquel Rodriguez as punishment.
Here are the Brawling Brutes with a green covering over something. Sheamus recaps his recent issues with Drew McIntyre, but his main problem is with McIntyre’s sword. There is not going to be a match between them until that sword is gone. Cue McIntyre, with Sheamus having Ridge Holland and Butch wait outside in exchange for getting rid of the sword. McIntyre: “What happened to you Sheamus? When did you become such a b****?” He wants to know what happened to the Sheamus he fought in front of 100 people when they have a chance to be in a UK stadium show in front of 70,000 people.
McIntyre wants to fight right now and Sheamus is in….but just not tonight. Instead, they can do this next week in a good old fashioned Donnybrook, but the sword is barred from ringside. They can have weapons though, which brings Sheamus to what is under the covering: a bunch of shillelaghs! Adam Pearce comes out to make the match and McIntyre cuts Sheamus’ cane in half. That sword should be the one challenging Reigns as it is getting more of the focus.
Paul Heyman talks strategy with the Usos, saying they need to use Theory’s skills to help get rid of Moss and the Profits. THEN it is time to go off the air with Theory taken out. The Usos are in.
Raquel Rodriguez vs. Sonya Deville
Deville takes her into the corner to start and shoves her in the face, only to realize that a waistlock is a waste of time. With that broken up, Deville goes with a running knee for two before we hit the chinlock. Deville’s guillotine is powered off but Rodriguez misses a charge into the corner. A DDT gives Deville two as she seems to be favoring her arm. Rodriguez comes right back up with the Tejana Bomb for the pin at 3:35.
Rating: C. Rodriguez continues to be treated as someone who can be the next big star in the division and it isn’t like there is enough depth for her to overcome. I’m still not sure why having Deville in there getting beaten up is supposed to make her feel like a villain, but she lost a clean match here so it’s even more confusing. This feels like a story where they have forgotten the point and just keep moving forward without a goal.
Lacey Evans vs. Aliyah
Remember how over the last few weeks, Evans has insulted the crowd, put herself over because she’s a military veteran and then laid out Aliyah before the match can start? Same thing here.
Jeff Jarrett is very excited to be the guest referee because he’s going to call it right down the line. It’s the biggest tag match in Summerslam history (no) and it needs a special referee. Spelling ensues.
We meet Max Dupri’s sister Maxxine (better known as Sofia Cromwell from NXT) to say that what Maximum Male Models had scheduled this week will take place next week.
Theory/Usos vs. Street Profits/Madcap Moss
Dawkins dropkicks Jimmy down to start and we’re in an early armbar. The Profits take out the Usos and knock Theory off the top for a bonus, allowing Ford to grab the Money in the Bank briefcase for some drumming. We take a break and come back with Moss getting pounded down in the corner.
That’s broken up and Moss gets over for the tag to Ford so house can be cleaned. The villains are knocked outside again and we take another break. Back again with Ford getting out of trouble and bringing Moss back in to wreck the Usos. A kind of lifting powerbomb gets two on Jimmy but the Punchline is broken up.
Jimmy drops Moss with a superkick for two but Theory would rather walk out than get tagged in. Jey superkicks Theory and go after him but Dawkins goes after them for whatever reason. Ford hits the big flip dive, allowing Theory to take Moss back inside. The brainbuster onto the knee gives Theory two but Moss runs him over with a shoulder. Then Theory hits him with the briefcase for the DQ at 16:52.
Rating: C+. This was the long form main event tag match and it went well enough, save for the lame ending. That’s one of the biggest problems with the Money In The Bank briefcase being around: it lets the holder have an out, which WWE certainly loves to use. It would be nice to see them doing something else, but this is what you get around here and there isn’t much of a way around the idea.
Post match Theory unloads on Moss…..and here’s Brock Lesnar (McAfee: “I THOUGHT….” Cole: “I DID TOO!”). F5’s and briefcase shots leave Theory laying to end the show. At least they figured out whatever was going on with Lesnar.
Overall Rating: C+. Pretty good show here, though there was nothing here that felt completely out of place after the big McMahon news. Granted there is a very strong chance that it will not change until after Summerslam, if ever for that matter, but at least they is a hope. Overall, slightly better than average here, and I’ll take that after the drek that Raw has been as of late.
Ludwig Kaiser b. Shinsuke Nakamura – DDT
Viking Raiders b. Jinder Mahal/Shanky via countout
Raquel Rodriguez b. Sonya Deville – Tejana Bomb
Madcap Moss/Street Profits b. Usos/Theory via DQ when Theory used the briefcase
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