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WWE Smackdown! - September 2, 2022
Taped from Detroit, Michigan. Our hosts are Michael Cole and Pat McAfee.
Viking Rules Match:
Viking Raiders (Hanson and Rowe) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
Lots of props for this gimmick match, including a Viking war ship attached to the ring, wooden shields, and war flags scattered around. If this match isn't a part of the next WWE video game, I cry foul. Looks like tornado rules too, as they start with a brawl. New Day hit stereo somersault topes to outside. Kofi shows off with a frog splash from the barricade for a 2 count outside (hey, it's falls count anywhere too!). Back from commercials, the fight has moved into the stands, where Xavier hits a dive from a ledge. Vikings recover to back body drop Kofi over the barricade and then splash Xavier with a cannonball. Kofi lights Rowe up with a kendo stick, but Rowe answers with a uranage for 2. Kofi finds a unicorn-themed Thor hammer and clocks Rowe for a good nearfall. New Day get some tables, but can't use them. Rowe slams Hanson onto Kofi on the boat, but Xavier sneaks in for a DDT. Xavier runs into Hanson's seated senton, and then takes a flying power slam! Kofi breaks the pin with a double stomp. Back from more commercials, Woods rallies. New Day hit Rowe with a double Stroke through a chair, but Hanson breaks the double cover with a mean senton. Hanson hits a cool roundhouse kick but then misses a moonsault! Kofi hits a frog splash on Hanson, and then Woods hits a tightrope diving elbow, but Rowe saves the match! New Day hit stereo dives off of the boat for stereo nearfalls. The Raiders launch Kofi into the wooden dragon! Woods tries a powerbomb, but Hanson ambushes with a shield. Kofi flies into a shield shot! The Raiders POWERBOMB WOODS THROUGH A STACK OF TABLES FROM THE BOAT! That's enough to finish Woods at 22:16. This was completely delightful and satisfied the part of me that loves epic grudge matches as well as the part of me that enjoys campiness, ****½.
Winners: Viking Raiders
First of what I assume will be a series of video packages putting over Roman's two year reign as champion.
Video package of Roman Reigns and friends destroying Drew McIntyre last week.
Sami Zayn is all dressed up in a Bloodline tux, which he believes was made from "tribal thread." The Usos say otherwise, but are generally acting friendlier to Sami since he's proven himself to be useful. Now, they want his help with Kevin Owens.
Backstage interview with Shayna Baszler, who makes her case that she'll tear Liv Morgan apart limb by limb and become the new Smackdown Women's Champion. Liv Morgan interrupts and confidently promises to rip Shayna's arm off.
Another spooky Karrion Kross video promo. I think it might be my post-traumatic Vince brain that has me assuming he'll cost Drew McIntyre the championship at Clash at the Castle, because these vignettes could actually be setting him up as Drew's first challenger should Drew become champion. Clash at the Castle could be an interesting test for Triple H's creative visions.
Another Roman Reigns video package. Did you know he main evented 16 (pay-per-views) as champion?
Karrion Kross (with the cunning, seductive, siren of sin, Scarlett) vs. Drew Gulak
Kross needs to shave his head immediately, he looks far too much like "just a guy" with an otherwise amazingly moody entrance. Kross casually kicks Drew in the midsection. Drew's strikes have little effect, as Kross fires back with a big boot. BACKDROP DRIVAH by Kross murders poor Drew. Kross finishes with the rear naked choke at 1:18. I'm not sold that Kross is particularly good in the ring, but I still support this push after everything they've invested in him thus far.
Winner: Karrion Kross
Video recap of Ronda Rousey crashing Smackdown two weeks ago.
Part 3 of the Roman Reigns championship story. He just keeps winning and winning and winning.
Ronda Rousey comes to the ring to talk. Looks like she's allowed to be here this week, she enters to her music and graphics, and there's no sign of fake cops anywhere. She has a letter from WWE corporate about her suspension, which brings out Adam Pearce to play peacemaker. She has Pearce read her letter outloud, which reveals that Ronda's suspension has been lifted because her behavior wasn't criminal. Pearce defends his decision to suspend her, and if it was really up to him, he'd have fired her. Ronda tells him to kiss her @ss. Pearce tells her off and whines about how hard his job is. He goes too far and calls her a b!tch, so Ronda puts him into a cross armbreaker. I'm not sure what was going on with Ronda in the past few years to make the internet fans hate her so much, but I've been digging her segments since I started tuning in again this summer.
Sami Zayn receive a bouquet of black flowers that smell like sh!t. The "tick tock" note implies they're from Karrion Kross.
Hit Row (Ashante Adonis and Top Dolla, with B-Fab) vs. Maximum Male Models (ma.ce and mon.soor, with Max Dupri and Maxine)
Fortunately, Hit Row are here to wrestle and not perform "music." This feud totally sucks, but at least it's providing depth to the tag team division. Ma.ce takes down Adonis and hits a dropkick. The MMM are force to take a quick timeout, while Los Lotharios saunter in for a distraction. It helps ma.ce hit an elbow drop and take control for his team. It doesn't last, as Top Dolla gets a quick tag and destroys mon.soor with brawling attacks. Hit Row hit mon.soor with a dropkick/backdrop combo and win at 3:09. That's about right, *.
Winners: Hit Row
Los Lotharios try an ambush on Hit Row and fail miserably.
Backstage interview with Happy Corbin, who doesn't seem too happy after losing to Ricochet. He claims his life is great and is opening an open challenge.
Part 4 of the Adventures of Roman Reigns. This time we focus on the variety of gimmick matches Roman participated in.
Happy Corbin vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
I think Corbin was hoping for a scrub, but he aggressively corners Nakamura to start. Nakamura fires back and hits an ax kick. Corbin tries a suplex, but Nakamura kicks him in the face. Nakamura runs into Deep Six for a 2 count. Crowd chants "Corbin sucks." Nakamura hits Kinshasa out of nowhere and wins at 2:23. I've lost track, is this the 2nd or 3rd time Corbin has been saddled with a losing streak gimmick on the main roster, *?
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Video recap of Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah winning the Women's Tag Team Championship on Raw and apparently sending the internet into a rage.
Butch (with Sheamus and Ridge Holland) vs. Ludvig Kaiser (with IC Champion Gunther)
Why does Holland get to keep his name and Pete Dunne have to be "Butch?" And Vince has been gone for 6 weeks, so why hasn't Triple H fixed it? Anyways, we are treated to a Connor's Cure video package before anything else happens. Also, Happy Corbin meets JBL backstage and is invited into his limousine. This all happens while Butch spends about 10 minutes in the ring doing nothing in front of the live crowd. The bell finally rings, and Butch aggressively goes after Kaiser with Bruiserweight offense. Kaiser knocks him down and stands on his hair to pose. Butch answers with a shoulder block and then contorts Kaiser's fingers. Kaiser fires back with a suplex, but then flies into an elbow shot. Kaiser hits a flying European uppercut off of the apron to send us to commercials. Back from break, Butch mounts a comeback. Kaiser cuts him off and hits a suplex for 2. Butch comes back and hits a kick to the head. Kaiser counters with a suplex for 2. Butch contorts the fingers again and hits the Bitter End to win at 9:04. Really good, physical match. More performances like this will get Butch over big time, ***.
Sheamus and Gunther tease a brawl, but Kaiser talks Gunther out of it.
Part 5 of Roman's hype videos, this time comparing his title reign to those of guys like Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan.
Sami Zayn and the Usos have completed their chores. Sami oversteps by considering himself to be an official part of Bloodline, and the Usos remind him that this is all about Roman.
WWE Smackdown/Raw Tag Team Champions The Usos and Sami Zayn come to the ring to welcome WWE/Universal Champion Roman Reigns to the ring for the celebration of Roman's two year title reign. Roman gets out of his ride backstage, only to get ambushed by Drew McIntyre's claymore. Drew then marches to the ring and drops Zayn with a Glasgow Kiss. Drew fights off the Usos and trashes the set. Drew hits a somersault senton onto Bloodline and then tosses Sami back into the ring for a chair-assisted Claymore. Drew suplexes Jimmy through the announce table and spears Jey through the barricade! This was an A+ go-home segment, I don't know what else they could have done to make Drew look strong before Clash at the Castle.
Final Thoughts: This is the second straight week in which I can say I genuinely enjoyed Smackown without any caveats. I know, I'm scared too.
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