WWE SmackDown News Stories (June 17, 2022): Vince McMahon speaks, Brock Lesnar makes jaw-dropping return
It has been a turbulent week for WWE, with reports that Sasha Banks has been released from her contract. Randy Orton is potentially facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to injury, and Vince McMahon is currently under investigation following an alleged $3 million payment made to a former employee whom he is said to have had an affair with.
But as the old saying goes in the organization, the show must go on, and that’s exactly what the company did in Minneapolis, Minnesota with SmackDown. Leading into the show, it was already announced that Roman Reigns would return to the blue brand to defend the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship against Riddle.
#5 Vince McMahon opened the show
In light of the recent allegations raised against him, which forced him to temporarily step back as WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon kicked off SmackDown this week with a reminder to the fans.
The 76-year-old used the company’s slogan “Then. Now. Forever. Together.” and welcomed everybody to the show. Many had speculated that McMahon would discuss the current investigation live on air, but that did not materialize.
#4 Raquel Rodriguez qualifies for the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Liv Morgan, Alexa Bliss and Lacey Evans have already qualified for the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match. The match is set to take place on July 2 at the Money in the Bank premium live event.
On SmackDown this week, Raquel Rodriguez added her name to the match after defeating Shayna Baszler in a qualifying match. Next week, Shotzi and Aliyah will collide to determine another competitor in the lucrative bout.
#3 Drew McIntyre and Sheamus advance to the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
— WWE (@WWE) June 18, 2022
Last week’s Money in the Bank qualifying bout between Drew McIntyre and Sheamus ended without a clear winner. As such, WWE Official Adam Pearce decided this week that both men would advance to the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
The Scottish Warrior and The Irishman will join Seth “Freakin” Rollins in the high-stakes match-up in Las Vegas.
#2 Roman Reigns retained the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship
The reign of The Tribal Chief continues after Roman Reigns successfully defended his WWE Undisputed Universal Championship against Riddle.
The Original Bro gave it his best shot, keeping the fans on the edge of their seats. Unfortunately, a devastating Spear by The Head of the Table added Riddle to the list of Reigns’ victims.
#1 Brock Lesnar returned and a huge match is now set for SummerSlam
— WWE (@WWE) June 18, 2022
Immediately after Reigns retained the gold, Brock Lesnar made a shocking return to confront The Tribal Chief. The Beast Incarnate extended his hand for a handshake, but instead lifted the Head of the Table and delivered an F5.
It was confirmed that at SummerSlam in July, Roman Reigns will once again face Lesnar, but this time in a Last Man Standing Match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.