WWE SmackDown Flops and Hits: Roman Reigns retains championship, Brock Lesnar returns and destroys The Bloodline

WWE SmackDown’s recent show was full of surprises. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus were added to the men’s Money in the Bank Match, and a top babyface joined Lacey Evans in earning a spot in the women’s Money in the Bank match. The show featured two massive returns, one of which was Vince McMahon, who appeared on television for the first time since stepping back as the Chairman and CEO of WWE.

Fans had mixed reactions to his bizarre opening segment, but it drew eyes to the episode. The show ended with the return of a particular Beast who walked out to a deafening pop in Minnesota.

Here, we look at some of the biggest flops and hits from WWE SmackDown this week. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

#1 Hit on WWE SmackDown: Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns was brilliant tonight on SmackDown
Roman Reigns was brilliant tonight on SmackDown

The main event of WWE SmackDown saw Roman Reigns put his title on the line for the first time since WrestleMania. He faced Riddle in a highly competitive match and delivered one of his best in-ring performances in the current title reign. The Tribal Chief was pushed to his limits by his challenger, but he ultimately prevailed with the help of a well-timed Spear.

The bout’s closing moments saw Riddle attempt a Floating Bro off the top rope. However, Reigns countered with a Spear in midair, which eventually allowed him to seal his victory. The Tribal Chief is a dominant champion, and his latest match showed why he is at the pinnacle of sports entertainment. Unfortunately for Reigns, his celebrations were cut short by a returning megastar.

Brock Lesnar returns

Brock Lesnar’s music sent the live crowd into a frenzy, and “Holy S***” chants started echoing across the arena. The Beast Incarnate made his way to the ring and offered to shake hands with Reigns. He then changed plans and delivered a brutal F5 to send a solid message for the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. Lesnar also subjected The Usos to similar treatment before celebrating with fans while The Bloodline members squandered away from the ring in fear.

It was later confirmed that Lesnar would challenge Roman Reigns for the title at SummerSlam next month. The Beast Incarnate looks hungry for revenge. He is still rocking the “Cowboy” gimmick. Fans are excited to see the return of babyface Brock and things are only getting interesting on the blue brand in the coming weeks.

#2 Hit on WWE SmackDown: Riddle

Riddle has future world champion written all over him
Riddle has future world champion written all over him

Roman Reigns might have retained his title, but Riddle earned himself an irrefutable spot in the world championship picture. As per the stipulation, Riddle can no longer challenge for the Undisputed WWE Universal championship as long as the titles rest with Reigns. But his latest performance is bound to elevate him to one of the biggest babyfaces in the company and a future champion.

Riddle had said that he was fighting for Randy Orton. The RK-bro member honored his teammate by borrowing the legend’s maneuvers to deliver an epic in-ring narrative. He came close to pinning Roman Reigns on two occasions, and the crowd was in awe of the challenger. His efforts were greeted with “This is Awesome” chants from the crowd.

Riddle is a talented superstar who deserves several accolades in the future. But his latest performance is proof of his ability to stand across from the biggest and ‘baddest’ villains on the roster and still look equally dangerous. He may not get another title match against Reigns, but he has the ammo to go after the world championship sooner rather than later.

#3 Flop on WWE SmackDown: Shayna Baszler

Raquel Rodriguez picked up a surprisingly easy victory over Shayna Baszler
Raquel Rodriguez picked up a surprisingly easy victory over Shayna Baszler

This week on SmackDown, Raquel Rodriguez locked horns with Shayna Baszler in the women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Match. Rodriguez was expected to win the bout considering the momentum she gained since her title match against Ronda Rousey. However, the booking was unnecessarily cruel for Shayna Baszler, who looked uncharacteristically weak during the short match.

Baszler’s tag team partner Natalya will compete in a title match against Rousey at Money in the Bank. Even if she wasn’t going to win, WWE should have made her look equally strong, which would have ultimately helped in adding more credibility to Raquel’s in-ring prowess. Instead, Baszler looked far from her brutal self, and her credibility was hampered after the recent loss.

#4 Hit on WWE SmackDown: Madcap Moss

Madcap Moss got the last laugh on WWE SmackDown
Madcap Moss got the last laugh on WWE SmackDown

This week on WWE SmackDown, Madcap Moss locked horns with friend-turned-foe Happy Corbin. The two superstars engaged in a brutal contest that seemingly put an end to their storyline. Moss was determined to seek revenge for the humiliation he had to suffer while working alongside Corbin.

He put up an excellent performance on the show and got the last laugh as he wiped the smile off his opponent’s face.

Moss’ gimmick might have prevented WWE fans from seeing his in-ring talent, but the budding star has delivered multiple noteworthy performances this year. Tonight, he earned a big victory that would allow him to move past Corbin and explore new opportunities on the blue brand.

He could make for an exciting addition to the Intercontinental Championship picture in the coming weeks. Corbin, too, deserves the appreciation for doing his best to get Madcap Moss over with the crowd.

#5 Flop on WWE SmackDown: Jinder Mahal

Jinder Mahal has fallen victim to repetitive booking
Jinder Mahal has fallen victim to repetitive booking

New Day members Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston returned to action this week on SmackDown. They faced Jinder Mahal and Shanky in a tag team match. The latter had an impressive couple of minutes inside the ring when he completely took Kofi Kingston out of the equation. However, he was distracted by Xavier Woods’ music and started dancing instead of capitalizing on the moment.

While Shanky’s lack of concentration was a factor in his team’s loss, Jinder Mahal’s questionable performance deserved a bigger part of the blame. He is agitated with his tag team partner’s antics and has yet to decide whether to turn away from the task at hand.

The former WWE Champion came across as an extremely weak competitor inside the ring. Following the match, Mahal took his frustration out on Shanky, and we might see the two stars split ways in the coming months.

#6 Honorable mention: Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee is now on Happy Corbin's radar
Pat McAfee is now on Happy Corbin’s radar

It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that Pat McAfee is one of the most entertaining figures on WWE television. His wit and delivery have been unmatched, making him irreplaceable as a commentator. But he is equally good inside the ring. It appears he will soon be back in action, considering his spat with Happy Corbin after the latter’s loss against Madcap Moss.

Corbin called out Pat McAfee for consistently poking fun at him. The latter responded by getting the entire crowd behind him as they laughed Corbin out of the arena. Their exchange hinted at a potential feud down the line, and it would be interesting to see what’s in store for this storyline going forward.

Pat McAfee is hilarious, but he is bound to take his jokes to the next level when he gets to openly mock Corbin to his face.

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