It will be a coincidence but exactly one year after the ThunderDome shutdown, WWE offers us today’s episode of SmackDown right from the arena that first hosted the titanic digital structure of the pandemic period, the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, home of the Orlando Magic.
This week’s SmackDown opens in an unusual way, with Michael Cole who welcomes his colleague to the ring Pat McAfee. The host says he wants to take a moment to apologize to the entire WWE Universe because his absence forced the audience to put up with Corey Graves and that flat ass Corbin for 17 minutes for two hours. Let’s review what happened to MITB when Corbin assaulted Pat, then last week when he and Graves imitated Pat during Nakamura’s entry into the scene. Pat says that was the highlight of Corbin’s WWE career. He says he has signed a new contract and that he will stay in WWE for many years. He remembers that when they were in Indianapolis playing football he and Baron were roommates and that Corbin was nothing special even then. The audience says something against Corbin and Pat responds “hey, we’re not TV14 yet”, genius.
Corbin he logs on to the big screen and says he’s ready to beat McAfee. He says he was super easy because he’s a fighter unlike Pat. He then he shows his arm, with some eerie red spots. He says they came to him after sitting on McAfee’s seat, he says he’s monkeypox. Pat says Corbin is simply allergic to being in front of the world’s most electrifying crowd and introduces champion Liv Morgan by effectively launching the next match.
Natalya vs. Liv Morgan (2.5 / 5)
The ideal would have been for Liv to have a slightly softer challenge at SummerSlam, like this one from Natalya. Since WWE always runs fast, we enjoy this first important test for the new champion here at SmackDown. The match is interesting, with Natalya fighting her usual clean match, making a good impression before surrendering to Liv. Natalya’s best moment is when she tries a Powerbomb sit-out on her opponent getting only a 2 count. Natalya then tries with submissions, manages to lock the champion in the ankle lock but then she is sent against the stake. Almost immediately, however, Oblivion arrives for her which leads to a fairly sudden victory for Liv Morgan.
V.incatrice: Liv Morgan
After the match Liv Morgan she is interviewed, she says they can call her underdog, they can call her whatever they want, but after SummerSlam it is certain that they will still have to call her champion.
BACKSTAGE: Backstage Megan Morant interviews Theory who specifies that he is the youngest US champion ever and the youngest MITB winner. She says she has enemies on both Raw and SmackDown for this. Paul Heyman arrives who says first that Megan is always better than Kayla (with whom he has an old rivalry), then tells Theory that the real money is not in him trying to cash out on Roman Reigns at Money in the Bank but a scheduled match , planned, in a big event. He thinks of the billboards, he thinks of all that money. Theory says he always has valuable advice but that he needs to cash in on becoming the youngest undisputed champion ever. Theory, however, says that when he is champion he may even hire him as a consultant.
We hear the cool sound that heralds the arrival of the Viking Raiders but in reality those jokers of the New Day disguised as Vikings. The thing is even more fun because the name “New Raid” appears on the screens. Trying to mimic the accent of the WWE Vikings, the New Day duo play the part of the Viking Raiders saying they’ve been sailing for months, giving up honor to conquer SmackDown. Prepared by playing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on PS5 and watching all Thor movies, including the latest. They also prepared new tactics such as face paint to scare opponents. The horn of the Viking Raiders rings again, this time it is really them. The two warriors say that when they are done with them the only adjectives that will be good to describe them will be broken and mangled. The New Day continues to provoke the two by proposing other adjectives so the Viking get even more angry and approach the ring. The New Day then sounds the horn and as in an ambush they arrive Shanky and Jinder Mahal that attack the two terrible Nordics forcing them to a strategic retreat. The New Day remains to celebrate in the ring with Shanky dancing and Xavier playing the horn with the typical New Day tune. Fun segment even if perhaps a little simple in resolution.
BACKSTAGE: Kayla is backstage with Gunther and Kaiser. Let’s review Kaiser’s shocking free-kick from last week, with the ring general inflicting several chops on poor Kaiser after the defeat he remedied with Nakamura. Gunther says he did it because there is no room for defeat. We never lose. Defeat is unacceptable. Defeat has consequences. There will be a rematch next week. Ludwig says he is sorry and then babbles on something in German that infuriates Gunther. The Austrian wrestler still strips the chest of the subject inflicting yet another painful chop.
Still a women’s match? Alyah enters, then it’s up to Lacey who repeats the game of restarting the music to get the right support from the audience. Before the match she takes the microphone again: “I will not be better than anyone in this arena but rest assured that you are no better than me. I have served my nation, I have put my life at risk for all of you, I have overcome obstacles that would have completely overthrown most Americans and yet I do not receive the appreciation I deserve. ” She says she is the example of everything they want to be but can’t. She apologizes for telling a hard-to-face truth and then she tells the fans they can go to hell. She throws the microphone on the ground and walks away without a fight. The first hour of SmackDown ends with a single match but with a decent overall quality of the (many) promos.
Drew McIntyre, then FIIIIGHT NIGHTTT BABY. The brawling brutes are in the ring. Butch takes the ring bell and the hammer. Sheamus takes it off him, like a child and says “NO!”. Butch takes it back and rings the bell, effectively kicking off the match.
Drew McIntyre vs. Ridge Holland (2.5 / 5)
Drew gets off to a great start by playing the “Irish drum” on Holland’s chest like Sheamus would. Just the Irishman saves his partner by pulling him out of the ring. The match is interesting, a bit Goldberg-like, with several quick power moves and a very limited duration. Holland goes with a powerslam, only getting a check from one. Then Glasgow Kiss and White Noise. McIntyre does his countdown then goes with the Claymore, closing the match with a quick pin.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
BACKSTAGE: After Theory enters the ring we go backstage where Megan Morant interviews Madcap Moss. Heyman is still plotting in the shadows, he says “always better than Kayla” attracting the whistles of the audience, then greets Madcapp. You know, that I know, that you know, what Theory has in mind and that this makes no sense. Heyman would like Madcap to do to Theory what he did to Corbin, making him so bad that he can’t appear for weeks. He wonders how grateful Roman Reigns would be if that happened. In fact, planning a titled match for him. Moss says it seems to him that Heyman is really worried about Theory making money at SummerSlam.
We are anticipated with a promo that the Maximum Male Model will return next week with the beachwear collection. Max’s sister Maxxine Dupri will also participate. WOW. Meanwhile Michael Cole informs us that over eight thousand applications have arrived on the WMM website.
Madcap Moss vs. Theory (2.5 / 5)
Finally a decent match. Theory and Moss clash in a match that gives at least some surprises during the fight with some quick exchanges that entertain the Amway Center audience. The two seem to me to have good chemistry, with Madcap with his power moves able to defuse Theory’s moves several times which seems to focus more on agility. A couple of times Theory gives himself the momentum by pushing himself on the ropes and first Moss knocks him down with a shoulder, then with a spine-buster, getting only a double count. Theory himself manages to overturn a power bomb attempt by Moss by crushing his foot and seeking the pin without results. Theory then tries his finisher on Moss but he escapes him and hits him with another shoulder takle. Moss then throws Theory away from the ring, who finds himself outside the ring and hangs up and takes the briefcase. Madcap Moss catches up with him but Theory hits him with the briefcase, being disqualified.
Winner: Madcap Moss for disqualification
The ring announcer communicates the result but Theory takes the microphone and says “And nobody cares because I’m always the Mister Money in the Bank”. From the stage comes Sami Zayn, who tells him that disrespecting the Bloodline will have consequences. As an unofficial member of the Bloodline, he advises him to apologize. Theory tells him “what are you going to do with one arm?” (Zayn has her arm tied around his neck). He then plays Usos music. Theory then moves away, towards the commentators’ table, but it is precisely where Madcap Moss was attacking him! The curtain closes like this because the Usos are ready for their match.
Angelo Dawkins (w / Montez Ford) vs. Jimmy Uso (w / Jey Uso) (3/5)
Sami Zayn is at the comment table and is a sight in the show. Meanwhile, the match begins with some moves on the ground then Jimmi’s Samoan Drop on Angelo who, however, comes to the ring and throws the opponent out of the square with a crossline. When Jimmy is still staggering out of the ring Angelo runs up to him and throws him over the barricades. We can’t see what happens next because it goes into advertising. When we return, the situation is reversed. Angelo Dawkins is lying on the square and Jimmy is celebrating preparing himself for a Rikishana memory culata. Dawkins finds and attacks Jimmy, there is a nice exchange with a splendid flying shoulder from Dawkins on the Samoan that only leads to a 2 count. As the match continues Jimmy accidentally crashes into the referee. While the latter is sincere of the damage done to the referee, the opponent’s back but without obtaining the count since the referee is still KO. The same Jimmy tries to do but no counting again. So Jimmy crushes the referee who finally comes to. However, Angelo Dawkins takes advantage of it again and backs him with Sky High. Back-to-back so to speak, as Jimmy’s shoulder is up. Sami Zayn points this out and Pat agrees too. It is clear that Jimmy’s shoulder was raised. It is clear that this is not a botch because the replay is also shown. A somewhat strange ending that closes a match that was still of acceptable quality.
Winner: Angelo Dawkins
It finally arrives Adam Pearce, says he understands disappointment, there’s nothing worse than losing to a controversial decision. So to prevent this from happening again at SummerSlam she has found the perfect man for this task. Obviously we are talking about Jeff Jarrett, who is at home in Tennessee and who has worked for a long time in WWE as head of live events.
Meanwhile in the ring there is a total brawl with several referees trying to separate the 4 men without success. A nice finish in caciara that thrills us for this match. Meanwhile, Sami Zayn wants Adam to reconsider but this is how the episode ends.