By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,193)
Live from Phoenix, Arizona at Footprint Center
Aired July 1, 2022 on Fox
The show began in the arena, where Michael Cole and Pat McAfee were ringside. Ladders were staged at ringside and all over the ring. Riddle, Sheamus, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, and Drew McIntyre stood atop ladders in the ring. Omos stood on the mat with MVP.
Seth Rollins welcomed the crowd to Smackdown, and said they were on ladders, so Money in the Bank is just around the corner. Rollins tried to speak for everyone, but was interrupted and told he doesn’t speak for Riddle and McIntyre. Rollins then went on and said they can all agree the best time to cash in is at Summerslam when Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar beat the hell out of each other in a Last Man Standing match. Riddle said they all get it, and said when he cashes in he will finally beat that Bloodline Dirtbag.
Sami called them all vultures, and he promised to protect Roman Reigns from all of them by winning the briefcase. MVP interrupted and called Zayn an idiot. He then put over Omos as the odds on favorite, and said he didn’t care about Lesnar or Reigns, because Omos would be the last man standing regardless.
Sheamus said he’d be happy to cash in on Roman Reigns, but Brock Lesnar was an entirely different ball of wax. Sheamus said speak for yourself, because I’ve beaten Brock Lesnar, and I did it in 5 minutes. The Miz then walked out and said he had cashed in on Drew McIntyre previously, and he’s the only two time Money in the Bank winner previously, so he deserves to be in the match. Ezekiel then walked out and stated his case, followed by Happy Corbin, and then Madcap Moss. Moss reminded Corbin of his failed cash in.
Moss said he was there to step up and take the final spot. This caused everyone to start bickering, and they were silenced by Adam Pearce. He said it sounded like everyone had some steam to blow off, and he had a solution…..there would be a Battle Royal that starts right now….[c]
My Take: I don’t know if this Battle Royal has anything at stake, but the crowd seemed to like the idea.
1. 10 Man Battle Royal: The participants were Drew McIntyre, Sami Zayn, Riddle, Seth Rollins, Omos, Baron Corbin, Ezekiel, The Miz, Sheamus, and Madcap Moss. Michael Cole said this match was for “Supremacy in WWE”, whatever that means. Lots of brawling to start. Zayn tried to eliminate Riddle right away, but had no luck. Cole tossed out that Kevin Owens is currently physically unable to compete. Omos eliminated Ezekiel at about 2 minutes into the match. He then eliminated Madcap Moss and The Miz about 30 seconds later.
Riddle tried to go after Omos, but was swatted aside. Drew McIntyre squared up with him, and Omos grabbed him by the neck, but McIntyre fought him off and landed some punches. Omos replied with a headbutt and dropped him. Sheamus then joined in, but got splashed in the corner. Rollins stood face to face with Omos, and decided to eliminate himself to avoid damage. Riddle then landed a cutter on the floor on Rollins.
Omos pulled Riddle back into the ring from the floor, but with some help from Sheamus and McIntyre, Riddle survived and they were able to dump Omos to the floor and eliminate him…[c]
Sheamus leveled Riddle with a clothesline. He attempted to throw him over the top, but Riddle held on. Sami landed a sneak attack on Corbin and Sheamus, while Riddle and Sheamus brawled. Riddle got some favorable crowd chants, and then Sheamus dropped him again with a lariat. Corbin grabbed Riddle out of the air and landed a chokeslam backbreaker. Sheamus then landed clubbing blows to the chest on Zayn while he was on the apron.
Riddle pulled Sheamus away from Zayn and landed a Bro 2 Sleep. They then resumed brawling. Zayn and Corbin kept McIntyre down in the corner. Riddle landed a draping DDT on Sheamus and fired up for an RKO. Sheamus shoved him to the apron, and then landed a Brogue Kick to eliminate him. Corbin then landed a chokeslam on Sheamus. He and Zayn then landed some punches on McIntyre.
After absorbing a few punches, McIntyre fired up and escaped. Zayn accidentally took down Corbin with a Heluva Kick. McIntyre fired up for a Claymore, but was intercepted by Sheamus and a Brogue Kick. He then tried to eliminate McIntyre, but missed a second Brogue Kick attempt. McIntyre threw both Sheamus and Zayn with suplexes. He then landed a future shock DDT on Sheamus.
Zayn tried to ambush McIntyre, but ate a Brogue Kick for his trouble and was then eliminate. Sheamus and McIntyre then got tied up near the ropes, and Corbin slipped back in the ring to eliminate them both and get the win.
Happy Corbin won the Battle Royal at 14:36
After the match, Corbin celebrated and pointed at Pat McAfee to laugh…[c]
My Take: A decent Battle Royal, with apparently nothing at stake. I guess Pearce could just reward Corbin with an appearance in the Money in the Bank match, but that wasn’t immediately apparent based on the outcome.
Backstage, Corbin gloated about eliminating everyone, and how nobody is willing to admit how great he is. Kayla asked him about Pat McAfee’s challenge for a match, and he refused to answer. Michael Cole then introduced a video package that recapped the feud between Ronda Rousey and Natalya. It spent a lot of time focusing on Ronda’s scorched earth insults of Natalya from last week.
Natalya was asked about Ronda’s comments from last week. She said all she’s got is talk, and she criticized her looks and charisma, but she’s seen Ronda’s movies and now she knows why Hollywood isn’t calling anymore. She said she would take Ronda down, apply the Sharpshooter, and be the first woman to make Ronda tap out. Natalya said she could hold the Smackdown Women’s Championship for the second time, and Ronda could go back to holding her 10 month old baby.
In the arena, footage was shown of the Viking Raiders return from last week while the New Day made their entrance. Viking Raiders vs. New Day is up next…[c]
My Take: I don’t think anybody is convinced Nattie can win, but at least she got to fire back a little in her promo.
Kofi said it was great to be in the great city of Phoenix in June. Woods said June was over, and Kofi said he was Julying. Kofi asked him to pay up, because the audience was smart and got the joke. Kofi said they were there to entertain the audience last week with Shanky, until the Viking Raiders ruined it. Woods asked the crowd to boo them louder.
They acknowledge that these were the new, vicious Viking Raiders, and Woods said it was time for them to get dangerous too. Kofi told them to get their Asgard’s out there, so they could send them back to Helheim. The Raiders then made their entrance, and were announced as the new vicious Viking Raiders.
They made their ring entrance,and Kofi offered Ivar a microphone. He slapped it out of his hand and the Raiders used their wooden shields to bludgeon New Day. They gave Kofi and Double Powerbomb, and then stacked Woods and Kofi on top of each other before leaving.
Backstage, Corbin, Miz, Moss, and Ezekiel made their case to Pearce to be in the Money in the Bank Match. Pearce said they’d have a fatal four way later tonight, and the winner was in. Back in the arena, Asuka, Liv Morgan, and Alexa Bliss made their entrance for the next match. They will face Lacey Evans, Shotzi, and Raquel Rodriguez next…[c]
My Take: The new Viking Raiders shtick is much better than watching them get beat in weekly glorified squash matches. Here’s hoping they get a few more tag teams on Smackdown and the division becomes a bit more lively. Pretty Deadly would be a nice addition. Given how little WWE (Vince) cares about Tag Teams, it’s hard to be too optimisitc.
Raquel Rodriguez was finishing up her entrance as the show returned. Shotzi and Lacey were already in the ring. Becky Lynch then made her entrance. She welcomed the crowd to the big time. She reminded the crowd that nothing important happened until she showed up. She then continued that she couldn’t let these snakes take her out of Money in the Bank, so she would lend her analysis expertise to the commentary table.
2. Lacey Evans, Raquel Rodriguez, and Shotzi vs. Liv Morgan, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss: The Smackdown team got an early advantage to Asuka, but she broke free from Raquel and made a tag to Alexa Bliss. Initially Bliss tried to run away, but Raquel caught her and delivered a clothesline. Rodriguez missed a dropkick, and Alexa tagged out to Liv Morgan.
Raquel caught Liv mid-air and stumbled back into the ropes, where Shotzi tagged herself in. Liv sent Shotzi into the turnbuckles and frustrated her, which caused her to bail to ringside and argue with Lacey Evans. Liv dove on both of them, but came up slightly short. Asuka used a hip attack to send Raquel to the floor, and then Alexa dove on her from the apron. The Raw team celebrated in the ring…[c]
Becky continued to call Michael Cole what sounded like “Me-Hole”. Raquel caught Alexa jumping off the ropes, and Shotzi tagged herself in again. Shotzi landed a slam and covered Alexa for a two count. Shotzi then used the ropes for a head scissors choke in the corner, and then suplexed Alexa into the corner.
Bliss attempted a Sunset Flip out of the corner, but Shotzi blocked it and turned it into a modified Boston Crab. Bliss escaped and made a tag to Asuka. She entered and landed a hip attack to drop Lacey off the apron. She then applied an Ankle Lock on Shotzi, and then pulled her in for a release German Suplex. Becky got flustered as Asuka got on offense. Asuka landed a head kick and tagged Liv Morgan into the match.
Liv landed a double knee facebuster on Shotzi. Raquel broke up the pin. Alexa sent Raquel out of the ring. Lacey entered and landed the Woman’s Right to Alexa. Asuka took down Lacey with a spinning backfist. Liv then landed Oblivion on Shotzi and got the win.
Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, and Asuka defeated Raquel Rodriguez, Lacey Evans, and Shotzi at 11:32
Becky Lynch ran into the ring during the post match celebration and gave Asuka a Manhandle slam. Backstage, Sonya Deville approached Adam Pearce and told him what he did last week was wrong, and that she had filed a formal complaint. He said he knew about that. Sonya then said what she was about to do was wrong too, and slapped him across the face. The Usos made their entrance in the ring. They will have an “Ask Them Anything” segment with the Street Profits up next…[c]
My Take: The Women’s Tag Match was a little disorganized, but the finishing sequence was decent. Becky was a bit too engaged on commentary, and I think that took away from the match in the ring a little bit. I’m curious to see where the Sonya situation is going.
Kayla Braxton, the Usos, and Street Profits stood at lecterns. Kayla said they have agreed to ask questions from the WWE Universe. The first question went to The Usos, and they were asked if they were fearful of losing the titles and how Roman would react if they lose. They replied that they aren’t afraid, and that they run all the shows. Montez said they know damn well Roman runs the show. Dawkins said they run to the grocery story.
Kayla asked the Profits if they lost their killer instinct after losing at WrestleMania, and asked if they are having problems getting along. Dawkins asked if they got that information from the dirt sheets, because Montez was his brother. Ford then said he respected the Usos and their lineage, but they have a killer instinct when they get in the ring with the Usos. He said at Money in the Bank their legacy ends, and the Street Profits begins.
The Usos said they actually like the Profits, but everybody says they are just like them, and they have the potential to beat them, but they aren’t them. They then said that they are the Usos and they want the smoke. Dawkins said he liked that, and the Profits said they would take their tag titles because they are the twos and we are the ones.
Backstage, Max Dupri said he was excited for the world to see what he had in store for them. Pearce told him his showcase was up next. Dupri creepily groaned yes and smiled…[c]
My Take: I think we could have just had a straight up shit talking segment rather than wrapping it around all the canned “WWE Universe” questions from Kayla. The segment was better once they ditched the pretense. It was effective at adding something to the match, in any case.
A match recap was shown of Ricochet being dominated by Gunther over the past few weeks.
Back in the ring, Max Dupri introduced Maximum Male Models as an agency based on a love for fashion. It will employ the most virile and athletic men of fashion. He introduced the former Mace, but now he’s found fashion, and is known as ma.ce`. Max gave commentary about his body while he posed for photographs. He then introduced the former Mansoor, who is now known as man.soor` with some umlauts thrown in there. He did the same photo catwalk bit while Dupri called him charismatic and a heartthrob.
Durpi said male models all over the world will be clamoring to join his agency, but don’t bother unless you possess the qualities of Mansoor and Mace. He said they were happy to titillate the juices of your guilty pleasures.
Ronda Rousey was backstage, and criticized Ronda for her extremely poor math skills, and said her child was 9 months old and not 10. She said despite her poor math skills, she could still count on being tapped out at Money in the Bank tomorrow night. In the arena, The Miz made his entrance, followed by Madcap Moss…[c]
My Take: The crowd booed the hell out of the male models, which I assume was the point, so mission accomplished there. Max Dupri is excellent at getting under people’s skin with his scumbag talent agent act, so I think this could work out if they don’t try to do too much too soon with it.
Maximum Male Model’s Tennis Collection is advertised for next week. Happy Corbin made his entrance for the main event. Ezekiel was already in the ring.
3. Ezekiel vs. Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss vs. The Miz to qualify for Money in the Bank: Miz tried to roll up Moss immediately, but Zeke broke it up. Corbin escaped to the floor. Moss sent Miz to the outside. He then landed a knee on Ezekiel, who rolled to the outside. Corbin then ambushed Moss from behind. Miz and Corbin then began doubling up on Moss. It didn’t last though, as Corbin suckered in Miz for a lariat. Corbin then attempted a Bossman Clothesline, but Zeke met him on the floor and clotheslined him over the barricade.
Now on the outside, Zeke and Moss shoved Miz into the announce table, and then back into the ring. Corbin came charging back and slammed Miz on the apron. He then gave Zeke a chokeslam on the announce table…[c]
Moss landed a shoulder block on Miz, and he then pancaked both Corbin and Miz. He covered Miz, but Corbin broke up the fall. Miz and Corbin fought over a sunset flip in the corner, but Moss came up and catapulted Miz into Corbin’s groin. Moss gave Miz a Last Laugh, but Zeke broke up the fall. Miz then got to his feet and landed kicks to both Zeke and Moss.
Miz then landed his neckbreaker combo on Moss and covered, but Corbin broke up the pin. He then pulled Miz in with a deep six and covered for a near fall. Zeke and Corbin traded punches, and Corbin was cleared from the ring. Miz landed a Skull Crushing Finale on Zeke, but Corbin pulled Miz from the ring. Corbin then looked at McAfee and landed End of Days on Zeke. Moss appeared and threw Corbin into the ring post, and covered Zeke for the win.
Madcap Moss qualified for Money in the Bank at 10:33
McAfee taunted Corbin and told him he won an Old Fashioned Battle Royal worth nothing, and called him a bum and laughed.
My Take: A decent main event, but Moss isn’t an exciting addition to the Money in the Bank Match. He’s a talented wrestler, but he’s not in a place where anyone thinks he’s going to be involved in the finish. Overall, this was a good go-home show in the sense that it spent the majority of its time pushing the PPV tomorrow night. Was it must-see television? I wouldn’t go that far. This was average as far as recent Smackdown’s go.