Welcome to our WrestlingINC.com live “WWE SmackDown” viewing party. Tonight’s show is broadcasting live from the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
As of early Friday afternoon, three matches were being promoted for tonight’s show:
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Gunther vs. Ricochet (c)
- Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus
- Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Lacey Evans vs. Xia Li
Also, Max Dupri has promised to reveal the first client for his Maximum Male Models stable tonight.
Our live coverage will begin at 8 PM ET.
Please share coverage of today’s Viewing Party on social media and chime in with your thoughts in the comments section below.
We’re on the air! Michael Cole and Pat McAfee are on commentary. They announce that tonight’s main event is Sami Zayn vs. Riddle. If Zayn wins, Riddle is banned from “SmackDown”. If Riddle wins, he gets a title shot against Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns.
Drew McIntyre’s music plays and we cut to a camera backstage where McIntyre is making way through Gorilla. He bumps into Butch, but they break things off with little more than a staredown, and McIntyre proceeds with his entrance.
Sheamus makes his entrance. Butch is alongside him. No sign of Ridge Holland. Cole says Holland suffered a knee injury last week and he’s “on the mend”.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus (with Butch)
Lockup to start and McIntyre backs Sheamus into a corner, but Sheamus reverses and fires away with punches to the gut. McIntyre turns things around with his own punches. They move to another corner and trade some more shots before McIntyre charges out with a clothesline to knock down Sheamus.
McIntyre lines up Sheamus for a big chop in the center of the ring. Sheamus responds with a shoulder block that knocks down McIntyre but then runs into a Michinoku Driver by McIntyre for a 2-count.
McIntyre with another big chop, but Sheamus sends him out to the ring apron and pounds away with his forearm strikes over the top rope. McIntyre cuts off Sheamus after a few and returns fire with ten of his own. McIntyre pulls Sheamus out to the apron but Butch gets up on the apron to distract him and Sheamus pushes McIntyre into the ring post. Sheamus lifts up McIntyre and drops him with White Noise on the ring apron.
We go to a commercial break.
Back from the break, Sheamus is in control. But McIntyre quickly fights out of it. McIntyre runs into an Alabama Slam by Sheamus for a 2-count.
Sheamus grounds McIntyre and pulls at his mouth. McIntyre fights back to his feet but Sheamus cuts him off. McIntyre reverses a whip and hits a series of clotheslines and overhead throws. McIntyre hits a neck breaker and kips up. McIntyre charges into a back elbow but Sheamus runs into a spinebuster for a 2-count.
Sheamus and McIntyre trade headbutts. Sheamus then hits McIntyre’s Future Shock DDT for a 2-count.
Sheamus climbs to the top rope but McIntyre cuts him off. They trade strikes and McIntyre climbs up with him. He lifts Sheamus onto his shoulders and hits White Noise from the second turnbuckle for a 2-count.
McIntyre lines up and counts down for the Claymore but Sheamus hits a jumping knee strike for a 2-count.
Sheamus now lines up McIntyre but McIntyre catches him with a powerbomb for a 2-count.
McIntyre lines up Sheamus but Butch enters the ring and McIntyre hits him with a Claymore. Sheamus sends McIntyre out of the ring to the floor and climbs to the top rope. Sheamus hits a clothesline from the top rope to McIntyre on the floor. McIntyre hits an overhead suplex on the floor. Sheamus throws McIntyre into the timekeeper’s area. They both pick up chairs and start brawling at ringside. But the bell rings.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus ended in a double disqualification
McIntyre and Sheamus continue to brawl at ringside as we go to a commercial break.
Back from the break, we get a hype video for John Cena’s upcoming return to “Raw” on June 27.
Back in the arena, McIntyre and Sheamus are still brawling at ringside. Cole says their match was ruled a “double disqualification”. Butch tries to jump on McIntyre’s back and gets dropped. McIntyre sends Sheamus over the barricade and they brawl into the crowd. Officials move in to break them up.
Sheamus breaks free and the fight continues. Sheamus finally retreats up the stands as McIntyre stares him down from the ring apron.
Back to the announce table, Cole and McAfee set up highlights of Seth Rollins attacking Cody Rhodes on Monday’s “Raw”. McAfee wishes Rhodes good luck in his recovery. Cole informs us that Rhodes underwent surgery yesterday and will be out of action for “up to 9 months”.
Backstage, Kayla Braxton welcomes Lacey Evans. Braxton asks her about her chaotic childhood. Evans explains how Money in the Bank works. Evans says Xia Li looks at her like a victim. But Evans says that’s not how it is.
Lacey Evans makes her entrance, billed from Parris Island, South Carolina.
We head to a commercial break.
Back from the break, Evans is waiting in the ring.
Xia Li makes her entrance. The lightning special effects are back! They run an inset promo where Li says Evans is a whiner and she’ll make her cry.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Lacey Evans vs. Xia Li
This is Evans’ first match since February 2021.
Li grabs a waist lock and switches to a headlock. Evans hits a shoulder tackle to take down Li. Li hits some kicks and backs Evans into the corner. She hits a throw of some sort to get a 2-count.
Li locks on a cobra clutch and grounds Evans. Evans fights back to her feet and hits a running forearm strike and a running European uppercut. Li is down in the corner. Evans hits a delayed Bronco Buster for a 2-count.
Li hits a kick but then runs right into the Woman’s Right and that gets the pin.
Lacey Evans defeated Xia Li via pinfall
Backstage, Adam Pearce gets a visit from Drew McIntyre. He wants to be put into the Money in the Bank match. Pearce says he can’t just do that. McIntyre insists and then leaves Pearce to think it over.
Back in the arena, “SmackDown” Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey makes her entrance. Cole and McAfee show highlights from last Friday’s “Six Pack Challenge” match where Natalya won a future title shot against Rousey.
We go to a commercial break.
Back from the break, We get a hype video for the Viking Raiders, featuring Erik and Ivar throwing sharp objects at some outdoor gatherings. We’re told they’re “coming soon”.
Back to Pearce’s office, Butch and Sheamus come barging in. Sheamus just yells that he wants results and storms off.
Back to the arena, Rousey waits in the ring. Cole and McAfee announce that Rousey will defend against Natalya at the Money in the Bank event.
Rousey says she can’t wait to show Natalya that her arm bar is far superior to the cheap imitation of the Sharpshooter that Natalya pilfered from her Uncle Bret.
Shotzi interrupts with her entrance and tells Rousey to shut up. Shotzi says she may not be a great in-ring technician, but she has serious aggression and a killer instinct. Shotzi tries to talk herself into a match against Rousey right here, right now. Rousey asks Baton Rouge and says it’s on.
We go to a commercial break.
Back from the break, we get a reminder of tonight’s main event between Riddle and Sami Zayn.
Championship Contender’s Match: “SmackDown” Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi
Shotzi gets a few shots in on Rousey against the ropes but Rousey escapes and rolls up Shotzi for a 2-count.
Shotzi is quickly back to her feet and takes down Rousey with a snap mare but runs into a power slam for a 2-count.
Shotzi blocks a charge into the corner by Rousey and puts her in a triangle choke over the top rope. Rousey reverses it into an ankle lock over the top rope but has to break to the hold.
Shotzi tries to get back into the ring but Rousey grabs her ankle. Shotzi kicks her away and then hits a tornado DDT onto the arena floor. She gets Rousey back into the ring and gets a 2-count.
Shotzi stomps on Rousey. She mounts Rousey and fires down with punches. She covers for a 2-count.
Shotzi sets up for a suplex for Rousey blocks. Rousey grabs a waist lock. Shotzi grabs the ropes to escape and hits a high kick to the head of Rousey for a 2-count.
Shotzi starts slamming Rousey’s arm on the mat. Shotzi locks Rousey in a hammerlock-arm bar combo. Rousey rolls out of it and goes for the ankle lock but Shotzi kicks her arm to escape. Shotzi hits a vertical suplex for a 2-count.
Shotzi hits Rousey with a vertical suplex into the corner and stomps on Rousey. Shotzi misses a charge into the corner. Rousey hoists up Shotzi but Shotzi escapes and hits another kick and knee strike and a forearm. Rousey avoids another kick attempt and catches Shotzi’s foot. Shotzi slaps Rousey in the face and Rousey is having none of it. She slams Shotzi to the mat and follows up with some judo throws and strikes. Rousey powers up Shotzi for the Piper’s Pit. She locks on the arm bar and Shotzi taps out.
Ronda Rousey defeated Shotzi via submission
Natalya attacks Rousey right after the bell and locks on Sharpshooter. Referees are out to try to get Natalya to break the hold. She finally relinquishes the hold.
Backstage, Megan Morant interviews Riddle. Riddle says he thrives under pressure and he’s motivated by what The Bloodline did to Randy Orton.
Back to the arena, Ludwig Kaiser introduces Gunther. This is a new entrance theme for Gunther.
We go to a commercial break.
Back from the break, Cole and McAfee recap Natalya’s attack on Ronda Rousey.
Backstage, Kayla Braxton informs us this is a “serious injury” for Rousey. In the background, Rousey is lying on a trainer’s table refusing a bag of ice.
Back in the arena, Ricochet makes his entrance.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Gunther (with Ludwig Kaiser) vs. Ricochet (c)
Gunther overpowers Ricochet early. Ricochet tries some kicks and chops but doesn’t do much damage. Gunther shrugs off a head-scissor attempt and hits a big chop. Gunther lays Ricochet across the top rope and hits another chop. He climbs up and stretches Ricochet across the top rope. Ricochet spills outside the ring and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the break, Gunther hits a big boot. He goes for a powerbomb but Ricochet reverses into a sunset flip for a 2-count.
Ricochet kicks at the legs of Gunther and drops him to one knee. Ricochet hits some more kicks and head-scissors Gunther into the corner. He hits a shoulder into the corner but springboards right into a sleeper hold by Gunther. Gunther tries a German suplex but Ricochet flips out of it. But Ricochet runs right into a lariat for a 2-count.
Gunther pounds away with forearms and locks in the sleeper hold again. Ricochet drives Gunther into the top turnbuckle to break it but Gunther grabs the sleeper again over the top rope. Ricochet kicks away Kaiser and hits a springboard moonsault and a standing shooting star press for a 2-count.
Ricochet goes to the top rope. Gunther avoids the 450 Splash but Ricochet lands on his feet. Ricochet hits a dropkick but Gunther answers with his own. Gunther plants Ricochet with a powerbomb and gets the pin.
Gunther defeated Ricochet via pinfall to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Backstage, Sami Zayn meets with Paul Heyman. Heyman says this is the greatest opportunity of Zayn’s career and that if he wins, he can go to Roman Reigns and try to get him a spot in The Bloodline. But if he loses…
Back in the arena, Sami Zayn makes his entrance.
Back to the announce table, Cole and McAfee introduce a video of John Cena traveling to The Netherlands to meet a young fan and his mother who were forced to flee their home in Ukraine.
We go to a commercial break.
Back from the break, we get a sponsored “classic ‘SmackDown’ moment”. It’s “Stone Cold” Steve Austin beating up Booker T in a supermarket in 2001.
Back in the arena, Sami Zayn waits in the ring. Cole and McAfee discuss the upcoming main event. They toss to highlights from last Friday’s Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship match between The Usos and Shinsuke Nakamura & Riddle.
Back in the arena, Riddle makes his entrance.
We go to a commercial break.
Back from the break, we get a highlight video showing Madcap Moss’ win over Happy Corbin at Hell in a Cell.
Next Friday, Moss and Corbin will meet in a “Last Laugh Match”. We’re told Max Dupri could not present his first client this week due to travel issues and that will now be promoted for next Friday.
Back in the arena, Paul Heyman has joined commentary.
Riddle vs. Sami Zayn
Riddle gets some kicks in on Zayn early and locks on a head and arm triangle. Zayn gets to the ropes to break the hold. They spill outside the ring and Riddle drives Zayn into the ring apron and kicks away at him.
Zayn rolls into the ring. Riddle follows and hits a series of gutwrench suplexes. That gets a 2-count.
Riddle chops Zayn. Zayn reverses a whip and retreats outside the ring where he gets a sneaky shot in on Riddle and rolls him back into the ring for a 2-count.
Zayn puts Riddle in a chin lock. Riddle throws him off and hits his overhead kick. Riddle follows with a running forearm, a t-bone suplex, and a running knee strike for a 2-count.
Riddle climbs to the top rope but Zayn pushes him off and Riddle crashes into the barricade as we go to a commercial break.
Back from the break, Zayn is in control and stomping on Riddle against the ropes. Zayn climbs to the second rope and comes awkwardly but ends up hitting a brainbuster for a 2-count.
Zayn throws Riddle out of the ring to the floor and runs him into the ring post. Zayn rolls back into the ring as he’s chasing a count-out win. The referee’s count gets to 9 but Riddle manages to beat it.
Zayn mounts Riddle and lands some punches. Zayn climbs to the top rope. Riddle runs up to meet him and its looking for the Super RKO but Zayn punches him off. Zayn dives from the top but eats a big knee strike from Riddle for a very close near fall.
Zayn flips Riddle out to the ring apron. Zayn hits Orton’s draping DDT and calls for the RKO and Heyman screams on commentary for Zayn to cover Riddle. Riddle hits the Final Flash knee strike to cut off Zayn and fires up with a ton of kicks in the corner.
Zayn slips outside the ring to the floor but Riddle hits the Floating Bro to the floor. Back in the ring, Riddle hits a powerslam on Zayn. He follows with the draping DDT. Now, Riddle is setting up for the RKO. Zayn reverses it into a Blue Thunder Bomb for a 2-count. Heyman is losing it on commentary.
Riddle hoists up Zayn for the Bro Derek but Zayn reverses into a rollup for a 2-count. Zayn hits the exploder suplex into the corner. He lines up for the Helluva Kick but runs right into an RKO and Riddle gets the pin.
Riddle defeated Sami Zayn via pinfall
Riddle will challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on next Friday’s “SmackDown”.
The Usos attack Riddle after the match. The Usos pose but Riddle returns with a kendo stick and batters The Usos into retreat.
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