The Bloodline kicked off WWE SmackDown this week as Roman Reigns returned and instantly felt like the big deal he is.
The current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion was flanked by The Usos and Paul Heyman as he demanded the crowd in Fort Worth, Texas acknowledge him, and seemed in a jovial mood before his fight with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.
However, he noticed his Wise Man looked troubled, and asked him to tell everyone what was worrying him.
Heyman was masterful as ever on the mic, a far cry from Roman’s relaxed outlook as he warned the Head of the Table that he’ll have to find new levels of depravity and violence to overcome the Beast Incarnate in a Last Man Standing match.
We also had an appearance from Mr. Money In The Bank Theory, who teased cashing in his briefcase for a title opportunity but later insisted he was scouting before doing so at SummerSlam.
This was stellar stuff across the board, with Reigns and Heyman at their best to get the fans excited for another match with Lesnar in a few weeks.
It’s not a well WWE had to go back to on July 30 especially as Brock hadn’t been seen since losing to Roman at WrestleMania 38 back in April.
That said, the Last Man Standing rules and the hype that this is the last time they’ll face should help create some magic, and it’s a big bout to book after the likes of Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton went down to injury.
Gunther bullies Ludwig Kaiser, Sheamus swerves Drew McIntyre, Liv Morgan celebrates and Lacey Evans turns on the fans
We’ll move on with the advertised main event here, as the Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus match WWE hyped up for the show didn’t happen as the Celtic Warrior swerved his rival and insisted he was ill.
Suggesting he might even have Covid, Sheamus – who was clearly just ducking his rival – sent Butch to the slaughter as his replacement, and McIntyre made quick work with the man formerly known as Pete Dunne.
The two could have actually had a great match, but Drew instead beat him in short order and used his sword Angela to cut the top rope and send pyro from the corners to end the night.
Back to the first match of the evening, we saw the new and vicious Viking Raiders earn a dominating win over Jinder Mahal and Shanky, with the latter dancing star leaving his partner high and dry.
The New Day came out after the bell to get some retribution against Erik and Ivar, but the bruisers once again left Kofi Kingston and King Xavier Woods lying after a beatdown.
Happy Corbin joined Michael Cole and Corey Graves – replacing Pat McAfee on commentary this week after he was attacked by Corbin after Money In The Bank went off the air – for Gunther’s open challenge.
However, the Intercontinental Champion suggested a title shot must be earned, and so it was actually his associate Ludwig Kaiser who would face an unknown opponent.
Shinsuke Nakamura answered the call and beat Kaiser with the Kinshasa in a fun albeit quick match setting up a huge IC Title match which would be a fantastic addition to the SummerSlam card, if that’s where it takes place.
After the bell, Gunther added another layer to his character as he floored his ally with devastating chops, painting himself as a bully who won’t accept failure and potentially opening the door to an eventual face turn for Kaiser.
Liv Morgan came out to celebrate her SmackDown Women’s Championship victory at Money In The Bank, before Natalya interrupted to rant about her win, and Ronda Rousey joined the fray.
The former champ – who will get her shot at SummerSlam – also challenged the Queen of Harts to a rematch and beat her in dominating fashion.
Max Dupri and his Maximum Male Models brought more joy to the WWE Universe with an utterly stupid but hilarious showcase for their 2022 Tennis Collection as Mace and Mansoor took to the runway.
Lacey Evans turned on Aliyah with the Women’s Right and turned on the fans, insisting they didn’t respect everything she’d been through to get to WWE, and the former Marine is much better suited to being a villain.
Finally, The Usos beat Los Lotharios in an exciting but again brief bout, looking strong as the expense of Humberto and Angel, while Kayla Braxton stirred things after the bell and revealed their SummerSlam rematch with the Street Profits will have a special guest referee.
WWE SmackDown airs Friday nights at 1am on BT Sport 1.
WWE SmackDown results and grades
- The Viking Raiders decimated Jinder Mahal and Shanky (C+)
- Shinsuke Nakamura pinned Ludwig Kaiser (B+ for overall sergment)
- Ronda Rouse defeated Natalya (C+)
- The Usos beat Los Lotharios (B)
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