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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 8.05.22

August 5, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE Smackdown Karrion Kross Image Credit: WWE
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 8.05.22  

Well everyone, it’s Friday and time for another episode of Smackdown. Tonight could be interesting, if RAW was any indicator there’s going to be a palpable shift in tone and general direction now that Vince McMahon is out and Triple H is the driving creative force. We’re also starting to rev up for our post SummerSlam activities. We know that Undisputed WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns will be taking on Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle and we should start heating that up now that Roman has put Brock Lesnar firmly in his rear view mirror. Ronda Rousey is serving a suspension for attacking a ref at SummerSlam, though that probably wont last too long. But we’ve got the Viking Raiders and New Day potentially still being an issue despite the Pillmanizing of Xavier Woods last week, Shinsuke Nakamura and Ludwig Kaiser square up again with Nakamura potentially earning a shot at Intercontinental champion Gunther, The Usos still don’t have their next tag team program set up yet, and we know we’ll be getting a Gauntlet match to figure out the next challenger for Liv Morgan. This will be something of a curiosity episode, we’re all still looking to see if/how the backstage changes manifest on air. Well with that out of the way, let’s get to the action.

Up first a quick video recap of SummerSlam. When we come to the live broadcast the Usos arrive at the arena along with Roman Reigns. No sign of Paul Heyman as of yet.

Commentary now tells us what we can expect tonight. Pat McAfee is back on commentary, and puts over being part of SummerSlam, noting the ball kick he gave to Corbin is the most memorable instance of him kicking balls in his life. We then get a telestrator sequence where McAfee walks us through the low blow from SummerSlam. A lot of use of “balls” here, if you needed another example of the change in creative direction. In the back Happy Corbin watches this on a monitor as the job squad laughs at him. Ricochet calls karma a beautiful thing, Corbin wants a match with him and Ricochet accepts. Now Ricochet heads to the ring, he and Corbin will be our first match.

Match #1: Ricochet vs. Happy Corbin

They tie up, and Corbin tosses Ricochet into a corner but Ricochet fires back with a kick then avoids an End of Days and land an enziguri. Corbin heads out of the ring, Ricochet then hits a dive onto him. Back in the ring now, Ricochet heads up top and misses a flying nothing only to then eat a clothesline from Corbin. They start trading strikes, then Corbin cuts off Ricochet with a back elbow. Ricochet takes a chest first run into the corner, then Corbin lands a right hand as Ricochet tried a springboard move. Pretty loud “McAfee” chant for a moment, Ricochet avoids a corner attack and lands a double stomp then a punt kick from the apron. Another kick from Ricochet then Corbin avoids a moonsault and launches Ricochet into the ring post as we head to break.

Corbin is working a rest hold as we come back. Ricochet tries to fight back, and runs into a very high back body drop for a 2 count. Corbin tells Ricochet he’s about to fly again, but Ricochet starts fighting back with strikes then a handspring back elbow connects. Ricochet with a springboard clothesline then a running Shooting Star Press for 2. Corbin blocks a Recoil attempt, then hits a neckbreaker for another 2 count. Ricochet counters a chokeslam with a Frankenesteiner for 2, then a Sunset Flip for 2 before he’s caught in a Deep Six that gets Corbin a near fall. Now Corbin climbs to the top rope with Ricochet, Ricochet fights him off and tries a Sunset Powerbomb but Corbin just hauls him back up and they’re fighting on the top rope again, Corbin is able to toss Ricochet onto the apron but then starts jawing with McAfee. The distraction allows Ricochet to recover and crotch Corbin on the top rope. Recoil from Ricochet then he heads up top to hit a gorgeous Shooting Star Press and get the win.


Rating: 3 stars

Corbin makes for a darn good base it turns out, these two worked very well together. I’m not entirely sure what we’re doing with Corbin at the moment, we’ve done the losing streak thing with him very recently so this feels a little redundant.

Post match McAfee and Ricochet play catch with a football, which McAfee then signs and punts into the crowd.

After this break we’ll get the gauntlet match for a shot at Liv Morgan.

Sami Zayn walks in the back, he finds the locker room for Roman and knocks on it as we cut to break.

Post break Sami is still knocking on the door and the Usos finally answer. Jimmy smiles at him, Jey seems annoyed. Sami asks after Paul Heyman, Jimmy says Heyman is recovering after the F5 through the table. Sami wants to congratulate Roman, Jey blocks his entry and Jimmy promises to text him later.

Next is a recap of the disputed finish to Ronda Rousey and Liv Morgan from SummerSlam, plus Ronda snapping and going heel. Liv will be addressing things with a promo later. As for now, apparently we’re getting Shinsuke Nakamura next. If Nakamura can beat Ludwig Kaiser here he’ll get a shot at Gunther’s IC title, after this break. OK, that was a very oddly laid out segment.

Post break here comes Kaiser alongside Gunther.

Match #2 – Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ludwig Kaiser w/ Gunther

They tie up and fight for position, then Kaiser uses a top wrist lock to ground Nakamura. Nakamura fights back with strikes but Kaiser cuts him off with elbows. Corner strikes from Kaiser and he starts stomping on Nakamura. Nakamura fights back by attacking the leg of Kaiser then he unloads with kicks and mocks Kaiser with a “Come on”. Kaiser then runs into a knee strike and Nakamura continues unloading with strikes and a knee drop. Nakamura drapes Kaiser over the top rope and knees him to the floor, back in the ring they run the ropes before Kaiser catches a running Nakamura with a flipping facebuster which sends us to break.

We come back with Nakamura starting his comeback with an ax kick. Sliding knee strike from Nakamura, then he sets up Kaiser for the sliding German suplex. Nakamura and Gunther get face to face for a moment, which allows Kaiser to recover and land a drop kick. Kaiser back to the floor, but eats a knee and they head back into the ring. Nakamura wants the Kinshasa, but he runs into an uppercut from Kaiser that gets a 2 count. They trade strikes, and Kaiser hits a modified exploder suplex for a near fall. Nakamura grabs the rolling armbar, Kaiser counters into a cover then eats a wheel kick. Kinshasa from Nakamura connects and he pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Shinsuke Nakamura won

Rating: 3 stars

This one creeps into 3 star territory, this wasn’t as clean as their prior meetings but was still solid work from a couple of guys who can go when given time.

Post match Gunther gets in the ring, Nakamura again does the “Come on” bit and stares down Gunther. I could easily get behind Nakamura and Gunther, they could make some magic.

We get a recap of the Viking Raiders beating the New Day last week, and taking out Xavier Woods by Pillmanizing his ankle. In the back Megan interviews Kofi Kingston. Kofi says Woods is holding up and in good spirits while recovering, but he’ll be back. It doesn’t matter how many times the Viking Raiders knock them down they’ll keep getting up. He’ll be making the Raiders pay for what they did.

After this break Liv Morgan will talk.

We come back from break with some more putting over of SummerSlam and everything that went down there. In the back Sami Zayn again knocks on Roman’s door. The Usos come out again, and Sami says there’s terrible reception in the building and he wanted to make sure they hadn’t texted him. Jimmy says they’re in a bind and need a favor, normally Paul Heyman handles the stuff with production for them and since he’s not here they want Sami to take care of that for them. Sami says it’s not his job, but since it’ll mean something to Roman he’ll do it. Jey looks like he just wants to take Sami’s head off already and be done with it.

Kayla is in the ring and brings out Liv Morgan. Liv is wearing a brace on her arm to sell the armbar from SummerSlam, and commentary brings up that Liv is the only person in WWE to beat Ronda Rousey twice. Kayla asks Liv about the finish to the SummerSlam match, Liv is feeling a lot of different emotions. The crowd boos this, Liv says that’s why she wanted to come out here, she wanted to address the elephant in the room. That sparks a “you tapped out” chant, and Liv appreciates them calling her out on her shit (shit is bleeped). Liv says she was able to withstand 3 of Ronda’s armbars, and yes she tapped but only after she thought the ref had made the 3 count. Well the crowd turns on that real fast, so to generate some sympathy for Liv here comes Sonya Deville. Sonya has a mic and says Liv can try her noble act, which is only for idiots, and everyone knows Liv shouldn’t be the champion right now. Frankly Liv with the belt disgusts her, but watching Ronda tear Liv apart after getting screwed over was nice. Mostly this is an example of how bad Adam Pearce is at his job. Sonya makes it into the ring and says she loves seeing Liv hurt. Tonight Sonya is going to win the gauntlet match, then beat Liv at Clash at the Castle and take away the title. Predictably this brings out Aliyah, to get the gauntlet match started.

Match #3 – Gauntlet Match

Sonya vs. Aliyah are the first pairing, the winner goes on to face the next entrant. Liv sits at ringside, not on commentary. Aliyah grabs a side headlock then shoulder blocks Sonya down before running into a back elbow. Knee from Sonya but Aliyah rolls her up for 1. Sonya counters a Thesz press into a spinebuster for a 2 count. Now Sonya grabs a chin lock to kill the crowd even more. Seriously, the crowd is more interested in interacting with Liv than anything in the ring. Aliyah hits the Thesz press then hits the ropes and lands a cross body for a 2 count. Sonya tosses Aliyah into the middle rope as the crowd starts a “Ronda Rousey” chant. Sonya hits the Deville’s Advocate to eliminate Aliya.

Up next is Raquel Rodriguez, who corners Sonya right away then lands shoulder blocks. Sonya hits a chop block, then a very awkward facebuster. These two are not on the same page right now. Chin lock from Sonya, and Raquel fights back with a side slam. Back elbow from Raquel then a Snake Eyes and a big boot. Twisting Vader Bomb from Raquel, then the Tejana Bomb to take out Sonya.

Shotzi is up next after this break.

We come back to Shotzi working an abdominal stretch. Raquel powers Shotzi up and slings her around into a fall away slam. Twisting Vader Bomb from Raquel, then another Tejana Bomb and Shotzi is gone.

Xia Li is up next. Li starts with kicks right away and drops Raquel with them eventually. Now Li goes after the leg of Raquel, she winds up grabbing a half Boston crab. Li transitions into slamming the knee of Raquel on the mat and starts mocking her. Slaps from Li, but that just fires up Raquel who stands, and staggers Li with a headbutt. Li runs into a fall away slam, another twisting Vader Bomb, then another Tejana Bomb and Raquel takes out Li.

Natalya comes out next. Natalya goes right after the knee of Raquel, tries the Shaprshooter but Raquel kicks her off then blocks an O’Connor Roll but Natalya hits a chop block. More leg work from Natalya. Modified Death Lock from Natalya, Raquel is able to punch her then rolls through and hits a suplex. More leg work from Natalya, she tries the Sharpshooter again and gets it locked in this time. Raquel crawls to the ropes and forces the break. Natalya goes right back to the leg then a 10 punch in the corner, but Raquel catches her with a Tejana Bomb out of the corner to pick up the pin.

Our last entrant is Shayna Baszler. Baszler comes out as we head to break.

Baszler is going after the leg of Raquel as we come back to action. Corner offense from Baszler, then she grabs a kimura and uses Raquel’s hand to wave at Liv. Raquel fights up and hits a fall away slam to get out of the kimura. Baszler avoids a corner splash and rolls up Raquel with a small package for a 2 count then lands a knee strike for another near fall. Raquel fights back with strikes, then she avoids a Kirifuda Clutch and hits a corner splash. Baszler counters a twisting Vader Bomb into a Kirifuda Clutch, Raquel fights to her feet but she’s fading as she walks to the corner, she tries the Piper and Bret Hart counter but Baszler counters into a pin of her own and picks up the 3 count.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Shayna Baszler won

Rating: 2.5 stars

That was wildly uneven, parts worked well parts were disjointed. Baszler winning means they’re gonna try and keep Liv a face for the time being.

In the back Sami approaches the locker room. The Usos are here again, Sami says he sorted their production issues out and wants to see Roman. Sami objects to being given the runaround and asks if he’s part of the group or not. Jey has had enough of this and yells at him, the Bloodline leveled up at SummerSlam. 2 titles for Roman, 4 belts for the Usos, if Sami doesn’t start pulling his weight they’ll make him take off that Bloodline shirt real fast. Jey stalks off, Jimmy sighs but looks at Sami so Sami knows Jey’s right, then walks off leaving a slightly nervous Sami as we head to break.

Match #4 – Tag Team Match: Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Tommy Gibson and Jim Ulkey

This is going to hurt. Gibson takes a boot, Erik slams Ivar onto his prone body. Ivar unloads with elbows in the corner then tags Erik back in. Erik kills Jim with an avalanche then a body slam. Ivar tags in, and murders Gibson with a second rope Worlds Strongest Slam. That’s not enough I guess, Erik tags in and they double powerbomb Jim onto Gibson and stack both of them for the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: The Viking Raiders won

Rating: Turban. . . SQUASH

Delicious squash.

Post match the Raiders stand in the ring, but here’s Kofi Kingston with a kendo stick. Kofi is able to attack both Raiders and drive them out of the ring. Erik warns Kofi that he’s a dead man as we head to break.

Match #5: Erik w/ Ivar vs. Kofi Kingston

We come back to the start of this match. Kofi runs wild at first but he’s caught and tossed then Erik floors him with a knee strike. Erik with a running elbow then he lands crossface blows and works a neck crank. Jawbreaker from Kofi then he lands a kick out of the corner and climbs up top to hit a cross body for a 2 count. Erik avoids an SOS and drills Kofi with a low body uranage. Erik with a full nelson into a knee to the back of the head which gets a 2 count. Michael Cole actually said back of the head, Vince is truly gone. Kofi avoids a charge and sends Erik to the floor then dives onto him. Ivar comes after Kofi with a kendo stick but Kofi avoids him but Erik attacks him. Back in the ring Erik goes for the full nelson knee strike again but Kofi counters into a school boy to pick up the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Kofi Kingston won

Rating: 2 stars

This wasn’t bad but it felt like a place holder.

We get that long awaited announcement about the women’s tag team titles, they’ll start a tournament on RAW this week. So, do Sasha and Naomi show up on RAW, or do they show up after the tournament concludes and call themselves the real champions?

Here comes the Bloodline. We’re reminded that Roman’s Universal title reign is now over 700 days. After this break Roman will get some promo time.

Jimmy hands Roman a mic as we come back to the broadcast. Roman gets Greenville, South Carolina to acknowledge him. There’s a pretty loud “Tribal Chief” chant. Roman says they defend these titles, win the big one, and brag about what they did on Smackdown. But there are a few things that need to be addressed tonight. First let’s talk about Brock Lesnar, Roman hates him just like we all do but he respects that man, but he still hates Brock Lesnar. He hates Brock for trying to kill the wise man, they don’t have the special counsel here and aren’t sure when he’ll be back. Roman wants to send prayers to the wise man, but here comes Drew McIntyre to interrupt. Drew has a mic and talks on his way to ring, calling Roman the “Tribal queef”. The people have heard enough, all Drew wants is to get his hands on Roman and he can’t wait. He gets the crowd to approve of him attacking the Bloodline, but this is interrupted by the music of Karrion Kross along with Scarlett. We go black and white as Kross jumps Drew from behind. Kross bangs Drew’s head into the ring steps then lays him out on the floor with The Quickening. Scarlett places the hourglass on the ring and starts it running as Kross stares down Roman. Kross warns Roman that the clock is ticking down as the episode ends.

The final score: review Average
The 411
That was a slightly uneven episode, the good was pretty good but there were some issues along the way. The opening bit with McAfee crowing about kicking Happy Corbin in the balls went on too long, and was frankly too much on the juvenile side of humor. But we had a decent through line with Sami Zayn being clowned, got a set up for next week for Gunther and Shinsuke Nakamura which could be a banger of a match, and got a very interesting wrinkle thrown into the main event scene with the return of Karrion Kross but now with Scarlett in tow. That last bit will have varying success, but I enjoy Kross a bit more than the average fan. The women's gauntlet match was wildly uneven, Raquel and Sonya had a ton of miscues, Shotzi is still Shotzi, and the crowd was dead for most of it. I'm not sure what they're going for with Liv Morgan at the moment, but having Shayna Baszler be her next opponent indicates they still want her cheered for the immediate future. The stuff with Kofi and Erik wasn't bad but definitely wasn't good and felt like bad filler. Nakamura and Ludwig Kaiser had a solid match, not perfect but it got better as it went on, and Corbin vs. Ricochet was one of the more entertaining matches Corbin has ever had on TV. Enough stumbles to keep this out of Good, but it was darn close.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree