6/24 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Gunther vs. Ricochet for the Intercontinental Title, Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Shotzi vs. Tamina in Money in the Bank ladder match qualifiers, The Viking Raiders return

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,192)
Live from Austin, Texas at Moody Center
Aired June 24, 2022 on Fox

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap of Roman Reigns beating Riddle to retain the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in last week’s main event followed by the return of Brock Lesnar…

Michael Cole and Pat McAfee checked in on commentary and hyped Reigns vs. Lesnar in a Last Man Standing match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship as the SummerSlam main event. Samantha Irvin was the ring announcer…

Drew McIntyre made his entrance and welcomed viewers to the show. He said that no matter how many wins he gets, Reigns keeps ducking him. He said he would have to take matters into his own hands by winning Money in the Bank.

McIntyre acknowledged Brock Lesnar getting a title shot at SummerSlam. McIntyre said that’s okay and Lesnar does things his way, whereas he does things the hard way. McIntyre was interrupted by entrance music.

Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch made their entrance. Sheamus spoke as they walked to the ring and said SummerSlam would be the perfect time to cash in the MITB contract once Reigns and Lesnar are finished beating the hell out of each other. Sheamus and his crew entered the ring. Sheamus said McIntyre’s experience with MITB is having someone win it and cash in on him.

Paul Heyman interrupted with a “ladies and gentlemen” line from backstage. Heyman and birthday boy Adam Pearce walked onto the stage together. Heyman said Reigns would retain his championship at SummerSlam, but he said they have a problem.

Heyman said Reigns would be left vulnerable to a cash-in by someone such as McIntyre or Sheamus. He said it’s not a knock on Reigns. He said Lesnar would also be vulnerable, and then he quickly said he wasn’t saying Lesnar would win. Heyman said he was there to make sure that didn’t happen.

Pearce recalled his previous ruling that McIntyre and Sheamus would both be in the MITB ladder match despite competing to a double disqualification in a qualifying match. Pearce said that after some influence by Heyman, WWE management chose to overrule his decision. Pearce said McIntyre and Sheamus would not be part of the MITB ladder match.

Pearce said there was a path forward for both of them to qualify. He said they would need to put their issues aside and defeat the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy and Jey Uso later in the night. The Usos made their entrance and joined Heyman on the stage. Cole hyped an MITB qualifier for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Stephanie McMahon made her first good decision as the interim CEO! Okay, not really, but it was a ridiculous storyline decision that McIntyre and Sheamus both qualified for the MITB match despite fighting to a double DQ. I’m fine with this new approach and the segment was fine aside from McIntyre claiming that Reigns is ducking him when it’s already been announced that McIntyre has a title match at the Cardiff Stadium show over Labor Day weekend.

Cole announced that the Usos would not be defending the tag titles nor attempting to qualify for the MITB ladder match when they face McIntyre and Sheamus…

Shinsuke Nakamura was already in the ring. Backstage, Kayla Braxton interviewed Sami Zayn, who said it would be a great night for The Bloodline. Zayn said “we” will always do what’s right for Reigns. Zayn dedicated his match to Reigns. He said he would win the MITB match. Braxton asked if he would cash in on Reigns or Lesnar. Zayn said he was doing this to protect Reigns. Zayn’s music played and he made his entrance…

1. Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a Money in the Bank ladder match qualifier. Cole expressed skepticism regarding Zayn’s claim that he wouldn’t attempt to cash in the MITB contract if he wins it. Zayn performed an exploder suplex that sent Nakamura crashing into the ringside barricade. Zayn hoped to win via count-out, but Nakamura beat the referee’s count. A short time later, Zayn caught Nakamura seated on the top rope and dumped him to ringside. [C]

Zayn put Nakamura down with a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Zayn went up top and was cut off by Nakamura, who eventually crotched him. Nakamura went for a Kinshasa that Zayn avoided. Zayn rolled up Nakamura, but the referee Jason Ayers, who was mentioned by name by Cole and McAfee, caught him using the ropes for leverage.

A short time later, Nakamura went for his finisher, but Zayn rolled to ringside. Nakamura followed and blasted him with a flying knee to the head. Nakamura threw Zayn back in the ring. When Nakamura followed, Zayn blasted him with a Helluva Kick in the corner and pinned him…

Sami Zayn defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in 9:55 to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match.

Powell’s POV: A good match and the usual opportunistic fun from Zayn. He wouldn’t be the sexy pick to win the MITB contract, but there’s definitely a lot of fun to be had with him and The Bloodline if they choose to go in that direction.

Cole and McAfee listed Seth Rollins, Omos, and Sami Zayn as the three entrants. A graphic showed four open slots. Cole reminded viewers that McIntyre and Sheamus could fill two spots if they beat the Usos later in the show…

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods made their entrance. Cole said they would face Jinder Mahal and Shanky in a rematch from last week… [C]

Mahal and Shanky made their entrance. Before the match would start, Kingston and Woods took the mic and said no one wants to see a rematch and they don’t engage in rematch after rematch after rematch.

Kingston and Woods played to the crowd and asked if they wanted to see Shanky dance. Mahal objected, but Woods played his trombone and Shanky did his dance until Mahal stopped him. Shanky shoved Mahal, who left the ring. Kingston had the New Day music play and then he and Woods danced with Shanky.

A Gjallarhorn sound played. The Viking Raiders entered the ring from the broadcast table side and attacked Kingston and Woods. Erik and Ivar had new black face paint. They performed a double powerslam on Kingston, and then Ivar power slammed Woods from the middle rope…

Powell’s POV: Finally, something fresh for the Viking Raiders. Sure, they are still cosplayers, but at least they are heel cosplayers. By the way, I guess we’re supposed to forget New Day’s series of matches with The Brawling Brutes (and all of the other teams) they had rematch after rematch with. If nothing else, I’m looking forward to the inevitable endless series of matches that New Day will now have with The Viking Raiders.

Backstage, Sonya Deville approached Adam Pearce and said people were saying he’s in over his head and out of touch with reality when it comes to the way he’s handled the women’s division. She complained about not having a match on Smackdown in weeks. She pointed to Raquel Rodriguez and Lacey Evans getting MITB qualifiers. She told him not to take it out on her because his in-ring career was a failure. Pearce told her she would be in a handicap match after the break…

Powell’s POV: Failure? That man is a former Steel Domain Wrestling Northern States Television Champion! Oh, and he won the NWA Championship five times.

Lacey Evans and Raquel Rodriguez were in the ring coming out of the break. Sonya Deville made her entrance and was accompanied by Xia Li and Shayna Baszler…

2. Sonya Deville (Xia Li, Shayna Baszler) vs. Lacey Evans and Raquel Rodriguez in a handicap match. Evans and Rodriguez did not have televised entrances. Rodriguez set up for her finisher at one point, but Baszler stood on the apron and distracted her. Evans made a blind tag a short time later and then hit the Woman’s Right on Deville and pinned her.

Lacey Evans and Raquel Rodriguez beat Sonya Deville in a handicap match in 3:05.

Li and Baszler ran in afterward, but Evans and Rodriguez cleared the heels from the ring…

Powell’s POV: Are they trying to establish a friendship between Evans and Rodriguez to eventually set up one of them turning on the other?

“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins were shown backstage. They came across Los Lotharios kissing a woman on her cheeks. They also found Drew Gulak working out on a pair of ladders. They ran into Madcap Moss. Dawkins told Moss a terrible joke that Moss and Ford no-sold…

Ronda Rousey’s entrance music played. Natalya ran out dressed like Rousey and pushing a baby stroller… [C]

[Hour Two] Natalya stood in the ring and said her name is Ronda Rousey and fans probably know her as the Baddest Woman on the Planet. She said that’s because she doesn’t shut up about it and just like her mommy she never taps. She said she had footage that showed her almost tapping out. Footage aired of Natalya putting the actual Rousey in a Sharpshooter.

Natalya knelt down and tapped out while still playing Rousey. She said the best thing to do is retire, push her stroller, and leave while she can. “As a competitor, I’m probably the saddest woman on the planet,” Natalya said.

Smackdown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey made her entrance and said she almost didn’t recognize Natalya “without your rack out.” Rousey said she and Natalya couldn’t be more different. She said she wouldn’t pass up having kids to not miss a day wrestling in ten years

Rousey said she also wouldn’t mutilate her body while chasing impossible beauty standards like Natalya does. Wow. Rousey said she wouldn’t just hand over her title because Natalya thinks she’s earned it. Rousey climbed onto the apron and said Natalya thinks she deserves the title.

Rousey entered the ring and told Natalya is so lacking in natural talent and absent of charisma that the closest she’ll get to being a main eventer in WWE is dressing up like her. “Nice jacket,” Rousey said. She ripped Natalya’s leather jacket off. Natalya picked up the stroller and hit Rousey with it. Natalya left the ring while Rousey stood tall…

Powell’s POV: Natalya needled Rousey, who really went for the jugular with her rebuttal. If the goal was to make this feel personal in a one-sided manner, then mission accomplished. I hope Natalya gets to hit back hard next week.

Backstage, Megan Morant interviewed Drew McIntyre and Sheamus. They bickered. McIntyre told Sheamus he could take the night off and he would face The Usos in a handicap match. Sheamus wasn’t having it and told McIntyre to bring his A game. Butch entered the picture and was held back by Ridge Holland…

Ludwig Kaiser introduced Gunther for the Intercontinental Title match… [C] Cole plugged Undertaker’s one-man show for Nashville during SummerSlam weekend… Ricochet made his entrance…

3. Gunther (w/Ludwig Kaiser) vs. Ricochet for the Intercontinental Championship. Ricochet started the match with a dropkick. Gunther came back and applied a half crab. Kaiser taunted Ricochet from the floor and then Gunther countered into another hold before Ricochet reached the ropes. Ricochet got some offense until Gunther cut him off with a dropkick. Gunther powerbombed and pinned Ricochet…

Gunther defeated Ricochet in 3:10 to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

Powell’s POV: A dominant win for the new IC Champion, just as it should have been.

Backstage, Paul Heyman was interviewed by Kayla Braxton, who said he could be doing Brock Lesnar a big favor by potentially removing Drew McIntyre and Sheamus from the MITB ladder match. Sami Zayn showed up and said Heyman didn’t have to answer her questions. He took issue with Braxton saying he would cash in on Reigns. Zayn said he would never cash in on Reigns. Heyman put his arm around Zayn. However, Heyman removed his arm after Zayn said he would cash in on Lesnar. Heyman stared at Zayn, who wasn’t sure what to do so he just walked away…

Tamina stood in the ring for her MITB qualifying match with Shotzi, which Cole said was coming up next… [C]

Powell’s POV: I think they idea was that Heyman took offense at Zayn implying that Lesnar could actually win the match. I could be reading it wrong, but I don’t think they’re going back to playing up the question of where Heyman’s allegiances lie.

Shotzi made her entrance. McAfee acknowledged that it was scheduled to be Shotzi vs. Aliyah, but he said Aliyah got hurt and was replaced by Tamina…

4. Shotzi vs. Tamina in a Money in the Bank ladder match qualifier. Tamina performed an early power slam for a two count. Shotzi came back until Tamina cut her off with a kick as she was leaping from the ropes. Tamina had the pin, but Shotzi put her foot under the ropes. Shotzi came back and hit her Never Wake Up DDT and scored the pin…

Shotzi defeated Tamina in 2:40 to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match.

The updated graphic showed Asuka, Lacey Evans, Raquel Rodriguez, Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, and Shotzi as MITB qualifiers. Cole said there is only one spot remaining…

Powell’s POV: They got it right by having Shotzi go over. Now let’s just hope that they save her from herself by not letting her do anything too crazy in the ladder match.

Backstage, Erik spoke about how they have been pushed aside and forgotten for too long. Ivar said no one will stand in their way…

Max Dupri was shown talking to someone who was blocked by a door. A graphic listed that Dupri would present his first Maximum Male Model… [C]

A spotlight was over the center of the ring and music played. They cut backstage where Max Dupri scolded Adam Pearce. He said last week it was the lighting, and this week their dressing room wasn’t up to the specified standards. Dupri said his models would not debut due to the circumstances and said they would be ready next week…

Powell’s POV: I wish the former LA Knight and Eli Drake was wrestling on the main roster, but I am getting a kick out of the Dupri gimmick thus far. I hope Pretty Deadly end up being two of his models. They are a good tag team and would be perfect for this.

McAfee stood on the broadcast table and set up a recap of Happy Corbin scolding him last week. McAfee played to the crowd while talking about how much he enjoys his job. McAfee challenged Happy Corbin to match at SummerSlam. McAfee said he would feel more alive than he’s ever felt in his life when he kicks Corbin’s teeth down his throat. McAfee had the crowd chant Bum Ass Corbin. “Don’t be a coward, you punk,” McAfee said.

Cole asked McAfee if he was sure he wanted to do this. McAfee said he had lightning in his hands and feet. He called Corbin an insufferable douchebag. Cole said we would find out what Corbin has to say in return next week…

Sheamus made his entrance along with Ridge Holland and Butch. Drew McIntyre made his entrance with his giant f’n sword… A video hyped John Cena’s return for his 20-year celebration on Monday’s Raw… [C]

Cole hyped all of the men’s and women’s MITB ladder match participants appearing on next week’s Smackdown in Phoenix… The Uso made their entrance for the main event…

5. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus (w/Ridge Holland, Butch) vs. Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso in a non-title match to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match. The Street Profits made their entrance before the opening bell and sat in on commentary. McIntyre and Sheamus ended up bickering and were pushing and shoving each other heading into a break. [C]

Holland and Butch had been ejected during the break. Sheamus was isolated. The Usos got caught up in jawing with the Profits. Jimmy ran into a knee from Sheamus and then both men tagged out. A short time later, Butch ran out with Holland trying to stop him. The referee got rid of them.

Meanwhile, Sami Zayn appeared and tried to help the Usos, but the Profits took him out. The Usos bickered with the Profits until McIntyre did a flip dive onto them. McIntyre counted down for his finisher, but Jimmy stuffed it with a superkick. McIntyre followed up with the Claymore Kick and scored the pin…

Drew McIntyre and Sheamus defeated Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso in a non-title match to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match in 11:20.

Sheamus jawed at McIntyre afterward. The updated MITB entrants list was shown. Cole hyped that all of the MITB qualifiers would appear on Smackdown next week just one night before MITB…

Powell’s POV: A good main event that saw McIntyre and Sheamus qualify for MITB the right way as opposed to getting in via their double disqualification match. Overall, this was a good episode. I have to keep it brief tonight because I’m doing back to back coverage with Smackdown followed by AEW Rampage. I will be back after Rampage with audio reviews of both shows for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Smackdown by grading the show below.

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. I think McIntire’s “he’s ducking me” comment was to set up tension and heat between him and Reigns for the Cardiff show. Weak but believeable

  2. I dig the SDW reference for Adam Pearce. I remember 20 or so years ago staying up as a kid until like 2 am to watch SDW on channel 45. Mitch Paradise will forever be one of my all time favorites

  3. That *might* have been the best promo we’ll ever get from Rousey. Natalya was hilariously over the top which I found sports-entertaining. Props for trying to build some heat when no one expects Natalya to win. And yes, that was some deep stuff about Natalya’s plastic surgery. Ouch

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