By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,189)
Live from Columbus, Ohio at Schottenstein Center
Aired June 3, 2022 on Fox
The Smackdown intro aired, and then Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcomed the audience to Ohio State University. They plugged The Usos vs. Riddle & Nakamura for the Undisputed Tag Team Championships, and the six pack challenge for a Women’s Championship opportunity. The New Day made their way out to the ring for the first match of the night. Footage was shown of their victory over Fight Night with the help of Drew McIntyre.
Woods and Kofi both called out to Columbus and Ohio State for a cheap pop, and then Woods wanted to talk about victory. They mocked Sheamus, Ridge, and Butch for calling themselves the brawling brutes. Kofi said they had put them in the ringer the past few weeks, but they got back in the winning column thanks to the sword swinging, claymore kicking, man of the hour….Drew McIntyre.
Drew made his entrance with his ridiculous sword, He grabbed a microphone and complimented the crowd for being loud. Drew gave a shout out to Big E at home, and asked for a Big E chant to show him that he didn’t have to feel alone at home. Drew then called his shot and said he would challenge for the undisputed WWE Universal Championship in Cardiff at Clash at the Castle.
He then said they could call him Big D, and they made some borderline barely PG references to edging and “Big D”. Drew wore a short that said kneel to the steel, which Xavier said went hard and asked him to explain it. He said he thought it was self explanatory, you get on your knees and….Woods interrupted and said he had a gift for Drew.
Drew opened the box and it was a kilt that was multi-colored and had “Big D” on it. He held it up for the crowd, and they were interrupted by Drew, Ridge, and Butch. Sheamus made excuses for why they lost last week, and Butch ended the rant by running to the ring and throwing punches. He was cleared from the ring…[c]
My Take: I wonder if Vince McMahon is wheezing backstage trying to contain his laughter at all the PG dick jokes.
1. Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods vs. Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch: The match was joined in progress. Kofi and Xavier landed dropkicks on Butch and covered for a one count. They then landed back and forth kicks to Butch’s chest and back, and then Woods landed a senton for a two count.
Ridge tagged in and landed a shoulder tackle that upended Woods. Sheamus quickly tagged in, and Woods scrambled to make a tag to Kofi. He took down Sheamus and landed a boom drop for a two count. Butch pulled McIntyre off the apron, but Woods helped Kofi clear the heels from the ring. They splashed Ridge and Sheamus on the floor and celebrated on top of the announce table…[c]
Butch landed rapid fire punches on Kofi in the corner as the show returned. Ridge and Sheamus then performed powerslam and knee drop combination for a two count. Kofi exploded out of the corner with a meteora and made a crawl to Drew for the hot tag. McIntyre threw Ridge Holland with an overhead suplex, and then headed outside to take down Sheamus with a lariat. He then did the same for Holland in the ring. Drew set up for a Claymore kick, but Sheamus cut him off. Drew tossed Sheamus with a hip toss, and then suplexed Butch.
The action spilled outside, where Ridge took out Kofi with lariat, and Sheamus landed a Brogue Kick on Drew. Butch then hit the Bitter End on Woods in the ring for the win.
The “Brawling Brutes” defeated New Day and Drew McIntyre
After the match, McAfee and Cole threw to a video of last week’s show where Riddle and Nakamura formed their friendship, and some footage of their match on Raw. Backstage, Riddle and Nakamura were interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Riddle said Nakamura was no Randy, but he’s got sweet moves. Nakamura said Riddle was no Rick Boogs, but he’s quiet and peaceful. Kayla then showed a video of the Usos and Roman Reigns injuring Randy Orton. Riddle said tonight was about vengeance, and dedicated the match to Orton…[c]
My Take: Since Riddle just said tonight was about Vengeance, I’m guessing tonight’s match will end with another DQ, and we’ll see a Tag Title Match get added to the PPV.
Backstage, Adam Pearce was on the phone discussing the six pack challenge with an unknown party. Max Dupri walked in and corrected Pearce on the pronunciation of his name. Dupri said his clients will be ready to reach the biggest stages in the world. He claimed he had found his first client, who is ready to step off of Instagram and onto Smackdown. Pearce asked who it was, and Dupri said the question was invasive, and he would find out next week on Smackdown with everyone else. We then got a video package for Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins inside Hell in a Cell.
Los Lotharios made their ring entrance and did their kiss cam bit. Humberto will face Jinder Mahal next…[c]
My Take: They really spent a lot of airtime on the Cody and Seth video package. Must have been proud of that one.
Video was shown of Shanky’s disruption causing Jinder Mahal to lose last week, along with Shanky’s dance moves. Backstage, Shanky was dancing to no music. Jinder walked up and told him to take things seriously and not to dance. Shanky would not be so easily controlled, and danced behind Jinder on his way to the ring.
2. Jinder Mahal vs. Humberto: Jinder used his power early on and landed a back body drop. Shanky danced along at ringside in celebration. Jinder then stomped on Humberto and dropped a knee. Humberto fired back with a kick from the apron, but missed the follow up. Mahal fired back with a side kick of his own. They got tied up near the ropes, and a Shanky dance distraction led to a roll up pinfall.
Jinder Mahal defeated Humberto at 3:34
After the match, Shanky danced with Samantha at ringside. The crowd got fired up for Shanky. We then got a video package showing Shotzi being locked in the locker room last week by Aliyah. We then got ring entrances for the Women’s Six Pack Challenge. Rousey joined in on commentary. Raquel and Shoti made their entrances. Aliyah was shown locked in the women’s locker room. McAfee cracked that Shotzi had locked Aliyah in the locker room with a camera operator…[c]
My Take: Shanky dancing got a pop from the crowd. I bet that lasts a few weeks, then becomes tiresome. Since Jinder was surprised his tactics worked, I assume we are in the process of seeing Jinder Mahal complete his 360 degree turn back to being in 3MB.
Shayna Baszler completed her entrance as the show returned. She was followed by Xia Li and Natalya. Aliyah got in the ring just as the referee rang the bell.
3. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya vs. Aliyah vs. Shotzi vs. Xia Li: Aliyah attacked Shotzi and took her out to the outside. Shotzi sent Aliyah into the barricade and dove on Xia Li and she got back in the ring. Shayna applied a Kirifuda Clutch on Raquel, and they spilled to ringside. Natalya attempted a Sharpshooter in Xia Li, but was rejected. Li landed a kick on Natalya and went for a cover. Aliyah broke up the pinfall.
She landed a facebuster on Li, but she rolled to ringside before Aliyah could make a cover. Baszler and Aliyah briefly brawled, but Natalya landed a discus lariat on Aliyah to break it up. Raquel re-entered and took down Shotzi and Natalya. She then landed her Powerbomb Finisher on Shotzi. Shayna applied the Kirifuda Clutch on Raquel again, which allowed Natalya to steal the pin.
Natalya won the Six Pack Challenge at 5:54
After the match, Ronda confronted Natalya in the ring, but no words were spoken. No announcement was made on the date of her title shot. We then got a recap of the Madcap Moss and Happy Corbin storyline. Corbin told Moss he could beg for his job back, or it would be his funeral. Moss was then shown getting out of the back of an ambulance with black trunks and no suspenders, which is a much better look.
My Take: The women’s match was executed well, but there wasn’t much to it. I guess Raquel’s title chase will take her to the Money in the Bank match. It also looks like Madcap is VERY SERIOUS now, so hopefully they drop the Madcap name and return to Riddick Moss. He’s a talented guy and has upside outside of being comedic relief.
WWE aired a Lacey Evans promo, which was obnoxiously patriotic. Madcap Moss made his entrance, and did his best to fire up the crowd. Moss said he laid in the ring 3 weeks ago with a chair around his neck and a 90 pound trophy slammed on top of it. Corbin said he thought that would be the end of Madcap Moss, and he was right. The man who he thought he knew was gone, and the man who would take his crap week after week went with him. Moss said he buried him. He said maybe that trophy knocked something loose, because all he can think about is punching Corbin over and over again as he demands he tell him another joke.
Moss said he thinks the crowd there tonight would like to see that too, and he demanded the “human Fedora Rack” Corbin get out there before he goes in the back to find him. Corbin walked out and told him he wasn’t there to fight, he was there because he missed him. He missed the structure that he brought to his life, and if Moss wanted to beg for his job back, he’d consider it. Moss replied that he should come to the ring so he could punch his teeth down his throat.
Corbin replied that it was a bad idea, and he wouldn’t let him throw his career away over his emotions. Adam Pearce walked out and said he thought a match between them sounded like a great idea, and made the match official…[c]
My Take: Moss was alright there, but he still seems a little uncomfortable in his own skin when delivering promos. Hopefully he can settle down and come across a little less forced.
4. Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss: Corbin used the referee as a shield and landed a cheap shot. Corbin fired back with a lariat, and then another one that sent Corbin to the floor. He then sent Corbin into the barricades and then the ring post. Corbin went for a chair, but Moss kicked him and used the chair himself. He was disqualified.
Happy Corbin defeated Madcap Moss by DQ at 1:19
After the match, Moss landed more chair shots to the back. Moss then went to ringside and placed the steps in the ring. Moss choked Corbin with the chair and then wrapped it around his head. He picked up the ring steps, but WWE officials intervened before Moss could slam them down on the chair.
Backstage, The Usos were interviewed by Kayla Braxton. They said Madcap tried to send Corbin to the ICU, and Riddle and Nakamura would join them later. They dedicated their tag match later to the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns. Jimmy said after tonight, the Bloodline would still be dripping with all the gold. The tag team match is up next…[c]
My Take: I was kind of hoping Moss would kill Corbin there so he could come back as a completely different character too.
Corbin hobbled backstage, and asked Adam Pearce if Moss would be suspended. Instead, he made a No Holds Barred match between Corbin and Moss on Sunday. Gunther vs. Ricochet was then announced for Smackdown next week. Ricochet was shown in a pre-taped promo. He called his work between the ropes flawless. He said he was confident that Gunther would respect his abilities next week, and the Intercontinental Title would continue to sit pretty on the shoulders of the one and only.
Elsewhere, Ludwig told Ricochet that the mat was sacred, and no one was more worthy than Guther. He then told Ricochet his time was up. Gunther said next week, the Ring General would become the Intercontinental Champion. In the arena, Riddle and Nakamura made their entrances. The announce team then ran down the Hell in a Cell card. The Usos then made their entrance. Samantha Irvin made ring entrances for the main event…[c]
My Take: This show has a lot of padding tonight. WWE needs a couple more stars on this show in a bad way.
5. The Usos vs. Riddle and Shinsuke Nakamura for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: Nakamura got a hot start and landed some kicks on Jey Uso. Riddle tagged in and landed a Fisherman’s Suplex. Jimmy made a blind tag, and then Usos landed a double pancake on Riddle. Jimmy then landed a series of back suplexes for a two count. Riddle managed to break free and make a tag to Nakamura, who kicked Jimmy out of the ring, and then landed a knee strike to Jey for a two count.
Riddle tagged back in and landed a suplex on Jey. Jimmy sent Shinsuke to the floor, and he and Jey then landed a double superkick on Riddle. Jey covered Riddle, but Nakamura broke up the pin. Shinsuke kicked Jey to the floor, and followed him. He lined up for a knee on Jey, but he ran into the steps instead. Jey then stomped on the knee of Nakamura. The referee called for a trainer, and Nakamura was taken to the back. Riddle fired up and cleared the Usos from the ring, and Michael Cole asked if he would do it alone…[c]
As the show returned, The Usos took apart Riddle with a hard toss into the turnbuckle. Jey Uso then did Randy Orton’s Viper taunt, which incensed Riddle, and he took Jey out with a running knee. Jimmy tagged in, and Riddle hit him with an enziguri. Riddle then took out both Usos with knee strikes and running sentons. He attempted to pull Jimmy back into the ring with a DDT, but Jey pulled him to safety. Riddle then landed a floating Bro springboard to the outside.
Back in the ring, Riddle landed a draping DDT on Jimmy and then fired up for an RKO. Jey prevented the RKO, but got sent back to the floor. Jimmy traded near fall roll ups with Riddle. They then both ended up on the top rope, but Roman Reigns’ music hit. Riddle landed the super RKO a bit awkwardly, but Jey had gotten a blind tag. He landed an Uso Splash and got the win.
The Usos defeated Riddle and Shinsuke Nakamura at 13:41
After the match, Sami Zayn was shown to have played the music from the production truck. Sami then walked out and celebrated with The Usos. Riddle ran up the ramp and brawled with Sami and The Usos, but officials broke up the brawl.
My Take: That was a fun main event, but it didn’t make up for what was mostly a pretty dull episode of Smackdown. I’m guessing the Nakamura injury happened to allow for them to go back to that match at Money in the Bank. Perhaps we see Riddle and Sami Zayn on Smackdown have a short feud in the meantime. Roman Reigns is nowhere in sight despite being Undisputed Champion, which is a really awkward position to put Smackdown in as a very depleted show.