5 things WWE SmackDown got right this week: Massive six-man tag team match confirmed; Charlotte Flair attacks Drew Gulak (29 April 2022)
Sami Zayn escaped from Drew McIntyre’s clutches twice on two consecutive episodes of WWE SmackDown. This week, The Conspiracy Theorist found himself in a difficult spot as he took on McIntyre in a Steel Cage Match.
Ricochet was scheduled to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Shanky on this week’s SmackDown. Plus, RK-Bro and The Usos appeared in a contract signing segment for their title unification match at WrestleMania Backlash.
Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair competed in a Beat the Clock ‘I Quit’ challenge on this week’s SmackDown. Raquel Rodriguez also made an impactful debut on the show.
There were a few surprises in store for the fans on the episode. Check out the five things WWE SmackDown got right this week.
#5. Sami Zayn finally tasted the Claymore in a Steel Cage Match
Drew McIntyre and Sami Zayn met in a Steel Cage match on WWE SmackDown. The Conspiracy Theorist hesitated to enter the cage, but McIntyre dragged him into the ring and slammed the door shut.
The Scottish Warrior punished him and threw him around the cage. The heel tried to escape the cage before McIntyre prevented him from doing so. Sami Zayn got the upper hand by hitting a sunset flip powerbomb from the ropes before catching his breath.
He hit a Helluva Kick before trying to escape once more. The former WWE Champion caught him once again and hit a superplex to knock the wind out of him. He finished off Zayn with a Claymore Kick for the win.
It was an entertaining contest that likely brought an end to a short rivalry between Zayn and McIntyre. It appears that WWE were using The Conspiracy Theorist as a stepping stone to spark a rivalry between Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns.
The Scottish Warrior left the cage with momentum on his side and was the clear top contender for the Unified WWE Universal Championship.
#4. Ricochet defeated Shanky to retain his Intercontinental Championship
Jinder Mahal accompanied Shanky to the ring for his Intercontinental Championship match against Ricochet. Shanky started well and beat down the champion before locking in a submission move.
The Modern Day Maharaja shouted instructions at Shanky, who kept Ricochet down for some time and held the advantage. The One and Only bounced back and used his agility to hit a springboard crossbody for a near fall.
Mahal tried to get involved in the contest, but things didn’t go well for the former WWE Champion in the ring. The distraction allowed Ricochet to reverse a move into a pinfall for the win on WWE SmackDown.
Shanky was furious at Mahal after the match and walked out on him to close the segment. It was a decent match that showed Shanky’s skills in the ring. However, he was outmatched by Ricochet who is a far superior performer in the squared circle.
The partnership between Jinder Mahal and Shanky did not help either superstar get ahead on SmackDown. It will be interesting to see whether both men remain prominent after the breakup.
#3. Fight Night and New Day put on a couple of good matches
Ridge Holland and Xavier Woods took to the ring for their match after WWE continued their search for Butch. Woods hit a couple of big moves to put Holland on the backfoot early.
Holland used his strength to power back into the contest, but Woods kept getting the better of him. He broke free from a submission hold and endured a spinebuster from Holland. However, Woods got the Backwoods and rolled up Holland for a win on WWE SmackDown.
After the match, Sheamus challenged Kofi Kingston to a contest. Kofi started well and sent Sheamus outside the ring with some big moves. The Celtic Warrior hit three Irish Curse backbreakers to the former WWE Champion.
Kofi fell prey to a knee strike and Brogue Kick as Sheamus picked up the win. The Irishman attacked Woods outside the ring after the match. He pulled out a table before Holland powerbombed Woods through it to make a statement on SmackDown.
Both matches were entertaining and stretched the rivalry between Fight Night and New Day.
#2. Ronda Rousey made Shotzi tap out; Charlotte Flair failed to beat the clock
Shotzi returned to the WWE SmackDown ring as Ronda Rousey’s opponent for the first Beat The Clock ‘I Quit’ challenge of the night. Shotzi tried to waste some time, but Ronda caught her and dragged her into the ring.
She hit a big suplex and prepared to lock her in a submission hold. Instead of going for the armbar, Rousey locked in an Ankle Lock to make Shotzi tap out at one minute and 41 seconds.
Charlotte Flair entered the ring to congratulate The Baddest Woman on the Planet before telling her that it would be her last win for a while. She then took on Aliyah in the Beat The Clock challenge.
The clock counted down as The Queen hit some big moves and looked to finish Aliyah early. The latter hit a crossbody from the top rope and wasted some time. Flair locked in the Figure Eight Leglock with less than ten seconds remaining on the clock. She failed to make Aliyah quit as time ran out.
The SmackDown Women’s Champion vented her frustration by once again attacking Drew Gulak, who was the timekeeper for the matches, before hitting him with the ring bell to end the segment. WWE did well to award Ronda the win this time around, as it helped her gain some momentum ahead of the big match.
WWE has invested a lot in this rivalry, but it hasn’t felt as big as many would have liked. The ‘I Quit’ match at WrestleMania Backlash could possibly help elevate the entire rivalry.
#1. Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre came to blows on WWE SmackDown
The Usos and RK-Bro came out on WWE SmackDown for the Winners Take All match contract signing. The two teams took some verbal shots at each other before Randy Orton stepped up the game.
Jimmy and Jey Uso attacked the RAW Tag Team Champions before a brawl broke out. After Orton and Riddle took control, Roman Reigns’ music hit, and The Tribal Chief made his entrance. RK-Bro was distracted, and The Usos recovered to continue beating down Orton and Riddle.
Reigns tore up the contract and shoved the pieces into Riddle’s mouth. Drew McIntyre ran out to even the odds and sent The Usos running before hitting a belly-to-belly suplex to the Unified WWE Universal Champion. The heels retreated as McIntyre and RK-Bro stood tall.
Paul Heyman stormed into Adam Pearce’s office backstage and told him to add Roman and McIntyre to the tag team match at WrestleMania Backlash.
Pearce hesitated before Heyman threatened to have him fired if he did not change the match. It was a big segment that immediately changed the landscape of the championship picture on both RAW and SmackDown.
The Scottish Warrior got the biggest push out of the segment as he is now ready to enter the top title scene opposite Reigns. It seems like the most logical booking after The Tribal Chief has run out of top opponents on SmackDown.
However, it remains to be seen why WWE dropped the idea of the tag team title unification match and what they have in store for the tag team champions of both brands in the future.