Reviews

The John Report: WWE Smackdown 07/29/22 Review

wwe smackdown july 29

This week’s WWE Smackdown featured Drew McIntyre facing Sheamus in an “Old Fashion Donnybrook Match” with the winner getting a shot at the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion at Clash at the Castle on September 3.

It’s the last Smackdown before SummerSlam takes place tomorrow night (Saturday) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. We posted the official TJRWrestling SummerSlam preview earlier on Friday, so check that out in case you haven’t done so already. I’m ready for it, but we have to get through Smackdown first for some final build to SummerSlam along with the big Drew vs. Sheamus match.

From the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia this is Smackdown for episode #1197. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The show started with a shot of the crowd in Atlanta while the commentary team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcomed us to the show.

The ringside area was set up for the match between Drew McIntyre and Sheamus. They had Irish and Scottish flags around ringside as well as a bar setup. Drew made his entrance first, but Sheamus attacked him in the aisle.

Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus

The winner gets a shot at the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at Clash at the Castle. There are no disqualifications or countouts. You can only win by pinfall or submission.

They were brawling all the way down the aisle before it got into the ring. Sheamus was in control for a bit, but Drew hit a Michinoku Driver for two. Sheamus grabbed a shillelagh (an Irish weapon that’s a piece of wood), which is legal, but Drew knocked it out of his hand. Drew tried to use the shillelagh, Sheamus kicked him and Sheamus hit a clothesline out of the ring. Drew tossed Sheamus over the announce table. The fans chanted for tables, so Drew brought out a table from under the ring. Sheamus was back up to stop Drew and Sheamus whipped Drew into the steel steps. Sheamus got a smaller shillelagh that he used to attack Drew with Cole saying that’s the one that Drew cut in half. Sheamus even drove the shillelagh into the eye. Sheamus used the shillelagh to assist with the forearm smashes to the chest – he did a lot more than ten. They were on the floor near a table that was against the barricade. Drew countered Sheamus to hit a suplex on the floor. Drew sent Sheamus into the ring post and the steel steps. Drew whipped Sheamus into a barrel that was in the aisle. They went to a break there.

(Commercial)

Sheamus was in control using the shillelagh to choke a bit. Sheamus followed up with a powerslam. Sheamus brought a steel chair into the ring leading to a chair jab to the ribs along with a hard chair shot to the back. Sheamus with a lift, Drew got out of it and Drew sent Sheamus shoulder first into the ring post. There was a chair there, but it fell out of the ring. Drew with two clotheslines followed by three belly to belly suplexes across the ring and Drew hit a neckbreaker. Drew tossed six chairs into the ring, so when Drew got in the ring, Sheamus threw a chair at Drew’s head. Ouch. Drew avoided White Noise on the pile of chairs and Drew hit the Future Shock DDT onto the pile of chairs…for two. Good nearfall there. Ridge Holland showed up with a shillelagh across Drew’s back. Sheamus hit a running knee on Drew for a two count. Great nearfall after the cheap shot from Ridge. Holland brought Drew out of the ring, but Drew sent Holland into the ring post and Drew gave Holland a belly to belly suplex through a table at ringside.

(Commercial)

It was nearly 20 minutes into this match as Sheamus and Drew battled on the top turnbuckle. Sheamus knocked Drew down, but then Drew did his spot where he popped up with a suplex. A table was set up in the ring. Sheamus avoided a kick by Drew and Sheamus hit an Alabama Slam for two. There was a small bar setup with some beer on the table along with some pictures and Drew whipped Sheamus into the bar. Sheamus tried it, but Drew reversed him. That saw Butch come out of nowhere with a leap off the barrels onto Drew at ringside. Sheamus hit Drew with a bar stool to the back. Ouch. Sheamus picked up Drew on his shoulders leading to the White Noise slam off the middle rope for two. The crowd cheered Drew kicking out there. Butch brought out a long shillelagh from under the ring. Drew avoided the long shillelagh, he headbutted Sheamus and hit Butch with the shillelagh. Drew hit Sheamus with the shillelagh as well. Drew with a Claymore Kick on Butch, who I think got in the way of Sheamus. That lead to Sheamus hitting the Brogue Kick for one…two…and no! Drew got the shoulder up. I expected that. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Sheamus set up for a Brogue Kick, Drew caught him and gave Sheamus a Powerbomb through the table that was in the ring. Sheamus crawled to get the small shillelagh in his hands, Drew set up in the corner and hit the Claymore Kick on a kneeling Sheamus for the one…two…and three. Drew McIntyre won after 26 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

The win means that Drew gets to challenge the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion at Clash at the Castle on September 3rd in Wales.

Analysis: ****1/4 This was an excellent match. There might not be a better match at SummerSlam. They got plenty of time since it went 26 minutes with lots of good nearfalls for both guys. There aren’t a lot of wrestlers that have kicked out of the Brogue Kick by Sheamus, so when Drew kicked out of it, the fans reacted to it in a big way. I like how they used Sheamus’ buddies Holland and Butch to try to help, but Drew was able to take them out individually leading to Drew’s eventual win. They worked hard, they took some bumps, they didn’t do any comedy spots with the weapons and that made it feel like a fight. Drew earned the win. I expected Drew to win of course, but that didn’t hurt the match for me. It was a lot of fun to watch and I applaud both guys for another “banger” of a match as some people like to say.

Drew was interviewed in-ring by Kayla Braxton, who said it was a huge win for him. Drew said that it didn’t have to be this way with Sheamus, but somebody has to take the titles from the part time champions. That led to Theory using the Money in the Bank briefcase to attack Drew. Theory hit Drew several times to knock Drew down. Theory trash talked Drew saying he’s going to be the one with the Undisputed WWE Universal Title. The fans booed Theory, who is from Atlanta, which is where Smackdown was this week.

Analysis: It was a reminder from Theory that he could cash in and he could be the new Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. Theory got his ass kicked on Raw by multiple people, so here he is standing tall.

The announcers were shown on camera while showing some highlights of Pat fighting Happy Corbin last week.

Happy Corbin showed up at ringside with a ticket in his hand. Corbin had a bag of popcorn and an old picture of McAfee that said “LOSER” on it. Corbin said Pat can’t fight him since Corbin is a fan. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

The announcers talked about the situation between Seth “Freakin” Rollins and Riddle, who is out of action due to injury. It’s a storyline, but Riddle is out for now.

The commentary team of Cole and McAfee did a rundown of the SummerSlam card while Corbin was trash talking Pat, who was frustrated by Corbin being there. They had Corbin continue the trash talk as the announcers kept talking about the SummerSlam matches.

Happy Corbin and Pat McAfee were arguing face to face while officials showed up to try to break it up. Corbin threw popcorn on McAfee. There were officials like Adam Pearce, Shawn Daivari and Jamie Noble there to keep them apart. Corbin broke free and kicked McAfee in the groin with the dreaded low blow. Cole screamed at Corbin about it. Pat was down selling the low blow kick.

Analysis: Cheap heat by Corbin with the low blow. I think the build between Pat and Corbin has been pretty good. I think Pat should win the match, but it could go either way.

(Commercial)

Theory was shown walking backstage where Kayla Braxton was standing by for an interview. Theory said that people are jealous of him, but it’s not going to stop him from cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase. Theory said that Brock Lesnar attacked him last week on Smackdown, he won’t stop him and Roman Reigns along with The Bloodline attacked him on Raw, but they won’t stop him. He also trash talked Drew McIntyre as well. Theory kept on walking backstage until he saw Paul Heyman, who walked with Theory.

Aliyah vs. Shotzi

It was announced as Aliyah vs. Lacey Evans before the show, but Lacey is “not medically cleared to compete” for some reason. Aliyah with a Thesz Press followed by some punches and an armbar, but Shotzi did a hair pull takedown. Shotzi with a senton splash to Aliyah’s back while against the ropes. Shotzi with a Boston Crab, Aliyah to the ropes and then Aliyah broke free with kicks. Aliyah with kicks to the body followed by a clothesline. Shotzi was on the floor, so Aliyah jumped off the apron onto Shotzi on the floor. Shotzi shoved Aliyah into the ring post. Shotzi lifted up one of Aliyah’s legs and drove her into the mat with a DDT called the Never Wake Up (thanks Cole) for the pinfall win after about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Shotzi

Analysis: *1/2 It’s a tough spot for the ladies since it’s a cold match with no storyline. Shotzi’s finisher looked good.

They showed last week’s Smackdown when Raquel Rodriguez beat Sonya Deville easily. During the break, Sonya said nobody would make her leave the ring and Ronda Rousey beat up Sonya.

Liv Morgan, the Smackdown Women’s Champion, was backstage with Ronda Rousey for a photo opportunity. Natalya showed up saying she’s the reason Liv won the title since Natalya hurt Rousey and then Sonya Deville stood beside Natalya. Rousey left.

Shotzi was about to do a promo, so Ronda Rousey walked out to the ring. Rousey took down Shotzi easily and Shotzi left the ring.

Rousey was in the ring for a promo. A fan told Rousey to shut up, so Ronda told them to shut up and said that their mom failed them. That was funny. McAfee laughed about it. Ronda called for Liv Morgan to come out the ring. It was the end of the first hour.

Analysis: That was a bit chaotic of a segment, but I don’t mind it because it gets a bunch of different people on there and it moved quickly.

(Commercial)

They showed a video of Nashville getting ready for SummerSlam on Saturday. It was a drone camera showing some Nashville nightlife and ended with a shot of Nissan Stadium, which is the home of SummerSlam.

Still to come: The Special Counsel’s (Paul Heyman) Special Address.

Liv Morgan made her entrance as the Smackdown Women’s Champion while Ronda Rousey waited in the ring. Natalya and Sonya Deville made their entrances sine it was a tag team match.

Ronda Rousey & Liv Morgan vs. Natalya & Sonya Deville

Natalya with an armbar takedown on Rousey, who fought out of it and applied her own armbar leading into a takedown for a two count. Morgan tagged in with headscissors on Natalya. Deville tagged in with a forearm along with some kicks to the ribs. Morgan came back with a dropkick, a running back splash and a knee. Rousey tagged herself in, which Morgan didn’t like and Rousey kicked Deville down. Morgan tagged herself in, Rousey argued with Liv and Deville tripped up Morgan on the floor. Deville sent Morgan into the barricade. Deville with a knee to the ribs as Natalya tagged in. Natalya with a snap suplex, then Natalya tossed Morgan out of the ring and Natalya suplexed Liv while on the floor. They went to break there.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Deville hitting a running knee on Morgan for two. The fans were chanting that they want Ronda as Natalya applied a chinlock on Morgan. Natalya stomped on Morgan’s a bit to keep her down, then Morgan avoided a clothesline and Morgan hit double knees to the face for two. Natalya sent Morgan into the heel corner again, so Deville slowed it down with a chinlock on Morgan. Deville with a kick to the head, Morgan no sold it and Morgan hit a step up enziguri kick. Morgan didn’t tag out when she could have leading to a pin attempt on Natalya for two. Natalya came back with a discus clothesline. Morgan with a drop toe hold that sent Natalya into the turnbuckle. Rousey tagged herself in against Deville with a kick, a step up knee and a Piper’s Pit slam. Natalya hit Rousey from behind, so Morgan took care of Natalya with the Oblivion. Rousey applied the Ankle Lock submission on Deville, so Deville tapped to give Rousey’s team the win. It went about ten minutes.

Winners by submission: Ronda Rousey & Liv Morgan

Analysis: *** A pretty good tag team match with Rousey dominating when she tagged in. Morgan refused to tag out a few times because she wanted to prove she was good enough to win, but then Rousey tagged herself in and put away Deville easily from there. Natalya and Deville did a nice job as the heels that were aggressive on offense. It made sense for Rousey and Morgan to win since they are SummerSlam opponents, so it gives them positive momentum.

The Street Profits were up next for a segment after the break.

(Commercial)

The Usos made their entrance as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions looking confident as always.

Jeff Jarrett entered wearing a referee shirt. Jarrett said he’s got some words for both teams.

Jeff Jarrett Referee Instructions for SummerSlam

Jeff wanted all four guys to understand how serious he takes his job as the special guest referee. This led to all four guys asking Double J if it’s a disqualification if they do certain moves to eachother. Ford was fired up saying they were going to be the Undisputed Tag Team Champions.

Jarrett said that they had some creative imagination. Jarrett said he’s not there to contain them. Jarrett said he was there to let them run wild. Jeff said his job is to count 1, 2, 3 tomorrow night. Jeff said that as far as tonight goes, it’s apparent that they have issues and he suggests that one of them jumps right here. That led to a brawl.

The Street Profits and The Usos got into a brawl in the ring. Jarrett was trying to get out of the way to avoid being hit. Jey went for a superkick on Ford, but Ford moved and Jey superkicked Jarrett, who sold it in a big way. The Usos checked on Jarrett with Jey saying it was his fault. Jeff shoved both Usos away. Dawkins knocked The Usos out of the ring. That led to Ford hitting a somersault dive over the top onto both Usos on the floor. That ended the segment.

Analysis: It was well booked with The Street Profits getting the advantage. It also teased the idea that The Usos might have a disadvantage going into SummerSlam since Jey superkicked Jarrett by accident. I thought it was effective in terms of being an angle that teased the possibility of some issues at SummerSlam.

A Progressive Match Flo replay was shown featuring the Viking Raiders attacking The Usos repeatedly over the last two months.

The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods made their entrance.

(Commercial)

They showed Maxxine Dupri talking about Maximum Male models with Mace and Mansoor. It was a pre-tape segment rather than something done in front of the crowd. Max Dupri was also there saying they were still seeking clients. That was it.

Analysis: It was a lot shorter than when they do it in the arena in front of the crowd. This was fine as a one-minute segment. Max was removed from this spot last week, but now he is back so I guess somebody disagreed with Vince McMahon taking him out and they put Max back in.

The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)

Woods started with Erik, who ran over Woods with a running forearm. Kofi tagged in with a cross body block off the top onto Erik. Kofi went for a headscissors on Erik, but they stumbled to mat. Erik knocked down Kofi and then Ivar got the tag as Kofi became the face in peril. Ivar tagged in while on the apron, then he pulled Kofi over the top to the floor. Ivar hit a running cross body block against the barricade and that led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with VR still in control of Kofi as the face in peril. Kofi hit the SOS on Ivar to break free. Woods tagged in against Erik with a forearm smash followed by a Russian legsweep. Ivar into the ring illegally, Woods dropkicked him out, Woods with a drop toe hold to Erik into the ropes and Woods hit a splash onto the back while kicking Ivar down. Woods with a Tornado DDT for two. Ivar decked Woods with a punch, but Woods came back with a kick to the gut. Kofi tagged in with a splash to the back of Eric. Ivar with a heel kick, Kofi kicked him out of the ring and Kofi got a rollup on Erick for two. Erik with a double knee to the face. Ivar with a move where he used his legs to hit the chest of Kofi. That led to a double team Powerbomb for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Viking Raiders

Analysis: **3/4 A clean and decisive win for the heel Raiders as they isolated the faces a lot in the match before getting the victory on a double team Powerbomb move. It’s a way to push The Viking Raiders as a heel duo with a bright future.

Post match, Woods ran at Erik, who hit Woods with a shield to the face. The Viking Raiders put Xavier’s left leg in between a steel chair and the Raiders used their shields to hit the chair. Woods was screaming in pain while holding his left foot/Achilles with Cole noting that Woods tore his Achilles in the past. Woods was getting checked on in the ring.

Analysis: Woods did an excellent job of selling that attack. I guess it means Woods will be on a break for a bit following that attack.

Paul Heyman was up next.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Paul Heyman

Heyman did his usual promo style talking about who he is along with Roman Reigns beating Brock Lesnar in the Last Man Standing match at Summerslam. Heyman talked about how in 35 years, nobody has gotten to 700 days as a World Champion, but Reigns is going to do it. Heyman said that Reigns will put Brock Lesnar down for a ten count. Heyman said that Reigns will be the Last Man Standing.

Brock Lesnar made his entrance to a big pop while wearing his cowboy hat and some flannel attire. Lesnar slowly walked around the ring before going into the ring and getting close with Heyman. Theory attacked Lesnar with the Money in the Bank briefcase a few times, but Lesnar fought back. Lesnar gave Theory a few German suplexes.

When Theory left the ring, he turned around and was greeted with a Claymore kick after what Theory did to Drew earlier. Drew stood tall over Theory. The fans were cheering as Drew and Lesnar exchanged looks. The show ended there with Cole shouting about SummerSlam to wrap it up.

Analysis: It was a way to end it on a happy note. Drew got payback on Theory while Lesnar beat up Theory again. It worked because the fans liked it.

Here’s a pretty funny picture of NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo looking like he’s in awe of Brock Lesnar.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Drew McIntyre
  2. Sheamus
  3. Ronda Rousey/Liv Morgan

 

The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 5.75

 

Final Thoughts

It was an enjoyable show overall with Drew/Sheamus having the match of the night. They got nearly 30 minutes and had a “banger” of a match as the kids say.

Other than that, it was a fun show with the babyfaces having a good night for the most part.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is SummerSlam from Nashville on Saturday, July 30th. Here’s what we know so far.

* Last Man Standing Match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Brock Lesnar

* Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Becky Lynch

* Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) (with Jeff Jarrett as the special referee)

* Smackdown Women’s Championship: Liv Morgan (c) vs. Ronda Rousey

* United States Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Theory

* Logan Paul vs. The Miz

* Pat McAfee vs. Happy Corbin

* No Disqualification Tag Team Match: The Mysterios – Rey & Dominik vs. The Judgment Day (Finn Balor & Damian Priest)

You can watch WWE SummerSlam, streaming live Saturday, July 30, at 8 ET/5 PT on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.

===

Thanks for reading. Please check out my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order. Go Toronto Blue Jays. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport