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WWE Smackdown! - September 30, 2022
Live from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Our hosts are Michael Cole and Corey Graves.
"Honorary Uce" Sami Zayn comes out to a nice pop from his fellow Canadians.
Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa vs. Ricochet and Madcap Moss
Sami grabs a headlock on Ricochet, but he flips into an arm drag counter. Ricochet hits a dropkick, but the partisan crowd doesn't approve. Moss tags in but takes a drop toe hold into the ropes, Bloodline takes control. Moss knocks Bloodline outside and throws Ricochet onto them! Back from commercials, Solo has Ricochet stuck in a vice grip. Samoan drop by Sikoa gets 2. Ricochet has an uphill battle garnering sympathy as a babyface in Canada, but does okay for himself, and hits a missile dropkick. Moss gets a hot tag and gets booed for running wild through Sami. Solo angrily fetches a chair, but gets knocked off the apron, and Zayn capitalizes with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a good nearfall. Moss rolls through Sami's high crossbody and hits a jackhammer, but Solo breaks the cover. Ricochet removes Solo but ends up flying into a chair shot. Solo throws Ricochet over the rails and tags himself in to catch Moss with a spin kick. Solo's Uranage finishes Moss at 12:35! It would be easy to dismiss this as basic and formulaic, but it got over, and that's what's really important, ***.
Winners: Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn
Sami tries to calm Solo down as he beats down Moss. They're still best buds, don't worry.
After commercials, Jey Uso greets Sikoa and Zayn at the Bloodline's door. I thought he wasn't allowed in Canada, maybe that's the other Uso. He lets Solo in, but still doesn't trust Sami. Zayn flaunts his Honorary Uce shirt and struts in anyway.
Moody, but overproduced, Karrion Kross video package. He explains he's targeting Drew because he knows he can't get a WWE title shot unless he sends someone like him to the hospital. Also, a bunch of platitudes about violence at Extreme Rules, the type of threats he can't possibly follow through with. I might sound critical, but I do prefer this approach than having Kross stand out there in the ring for 20 minutes and awkwardly try to say the same things in front of a sarcastic crowd.
Kayla Braxton is standing by with Mr. MITB Austin Theory and wants to know when he's cashing in. Theory has learned his lesson after a series of botched cash-in attempts, and gets carried away trash-talking Drew McIntyre and doesn't see the man himself behind him. Drew wants a match with Theory right now, why not, the MITB holder is always good for a random JTTS performance.
Drew McIntyre vs. Mr. MITB Austin Theory (with Alpha Academy)
Vince is gone, but the tradition of totally jobbing out the MITB holder continues anyway. Baby steps, I guess. I guess since Theory is a Raw guy and this is Smackdown means this loss "doesn't count" but I disagree. If Theory ends up winning this, I'll have to delete this entire paragraph, maybe I'll be honorable enough to leave it in and admit that I'm wrong (but I doubt it). Anyhoo, they lock up, and Drew wins a chopping contest. Vertical suplex by Drew wows the crowd. Theory rolls to safety and hangs Drew on the ropes. Theory's advantage is short-lived as Drew hits a DDT. Gable interferes to stop a Claymore and Otis drags Drew out to earn a DQ at 1:54. Okay, I was wrong about Theory jobbing, but this was still a nothing match that just served to set up some run-ins, ¼*.
Winner via DQ: Drew McIntyre
Theory and Alpha Academy beat up Drew until Raw's Johnny Gargano runs in to help. Gargano falls to greater numbers, but Raw's Kevin Owens is also here to help. I see that Triple H is just as committed to a healthy roster split as Vince was. I smell a six man tag, playa. Maybe they'll save it for Raw and avoid the compulsion to have it later tonight.
The Maximum Male Models admit they're total losers to Max Dupri, but will make it up to him by breaking Canada's record for "longest pose." Dupri doesn't care and leaves, but it doesn't matter because they lose their composure when Hit Row makes fun of them. This stuff is stupid, but it really doesn't matter much.
Shotzi Blackheart talks to the camera about how she'll do whatever she wants, which includes stomping Bayley.
Los Lotharios (Angel and Humberto) vs. Hit Row (Top Dolla and Ashante "thee" Adonis, with B-Fab)
Los Lotharios corner Ashante early and hit a tandem superkick. Angel throws his pants at Top Dolla, but Ashante makes him pay with a neckbreaker. Top Dolla gets a hot tag with 60 seconds gone. B-Fab misses a slap on Angel, but Top Dolla grabs both Lotharios for a stereo slam. Hit Row finish Humberto with the Heavy Hitter at 2:28. Appropriate squash match, Los Lotharios need a repackaging yesterday.
Winners: Hit Row
Kayla Braxton asks Ronda Rousey about how "extreme" Liv Morgan got last week. Ronda isn't impressed, she's still the most dangerous woman on the planet and will kick Liv's ass.
Natalya vs. Ronda Rousey
This match exists to remind us of how dangerous Ronda is ahead of Extreme Rules. She takes it to Natalya early on. Natalya answers with a powerbomb out of the buckles, and her Canadian fans approve. Ronda hits a clothesline and reverses a Sharpshooter, but Natalya answers with her own clothesline for 2. Ronda locks in a grapevine ankle lock and wins at 3:27. That'll teach Natalya to be Canadian.
Winner: Ronda Rousey
Smackdown Women's Champion Liv Morgan comes out with a baseball bat to stare Rousey down. Ronda attacks the knee, ducks a swing, and hits a slam onto the floor. They both lunge for the bat, and Ronda hits the barricade hard. She blocks the bat and throws Liv over the rails, as security arrives. Ronda considers attacking security and doesn't see Liv come back to life for a tackle and pull apart brawl.
Drew McIntyre, Johnny Gargano, and Kevin Owens hang out backstage. They have to team up like I feared. Kevin leaves them and finds the Maximum Male Models still stuck in their pose. He also finds old frenemy, Sami Zayn, and tells him he needs a new shirt.
Back from commercials, the MMM are still posing, and now Shinsuke Nakamura is mocking them.
Imperium come to the ring for some mic time. They have the Brawlin' Brutes in a Donnybrook Match at Extreme Rules, but that likely won't be as violent as Gunther's Intercontinental title defense against Sheamus next week. Ludvig Kaiser is offended by the existence of the Brawlin' Brutes because they don't exhibit qualities of a champion like Gunther does. Gunther says he'll enjoy breaking Sheamus' spirit. Sheamus interrupts on his own and is willing to fight Imperium on his own. He uses a shillelagh to make his way to Gunther for a brawl. Imperium stop Sheamus from hitting a Brogue Kick, and Gunther lights him up with stiff attacks. Gunther hits a powerbomb and stands tall. It's amazing how much the secondary titles have been elevated over the past 8 week, I wonder what changed backstage (sarcasm). Sheamus asks Gunther if that's all he's got and takes another Imperium beatdown.
Bayley talks to the camera backstage. She expresses her annoyance at Shotzi running her mouth.
Michael Cole regrets to inform us that Antonio Inoki has passed away at age 79. That sucks.
Bayley vs. Shotzi Blackheart
Bayley is facing Bianca Belair at Extreme Rules in a ladder match for the Raw Women's title, so she needs to beat someone first. Shotzi rides out in a tank, allow me to pretend that I'm not impressed. Shotzi annoys Bayley with an enziguri and double knees to the arm. Bayley answers with a jumping armdrag, but Shotzi sends her to the ropes with a drop toe hold. Bayley gets hung up again and Shotzi splashes her back. Shotzi hits a DDT in the ropes to send us to commercials. They return with Shotzi clinging to an advantage and hitting a buckle suplex. Bayley throws Shotzi off the ropes and hits the Rose Plant to win out of nowhere at 6:40. One of those annoying matches where the face dominates until the heel wins with a sudden finisher, *.
Bayley wraps Shotzi in a ladder, but Raw Women's Champion Bianca Belair runs in for the rescue. Just end the brand split, already. Bayley manages to ambush Bianca, but gets reversed and needs a quick escape.
Meanwhile, the MMM are still stuck in their pose. Max Dupri attacks them right before they break the record, and I understand completely.
Austin Theory and Alpha Academy (Otis and Chad Gable) vs. Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, and Johnny Gargano
They get half-credit for saving this six-man for the main event and not just starting it during a commercial about an hour ago. Gargano gets worked over by the heels while Cole surreally touts his Dragon Gate USA success. What will the casual fans think? Gargano tosses Gable, Drew dispatches Otis, and Drew hits a plancha to send us to commercials. Gargano is getting worked over in enemy territory. Gargano tries a slingshot shoulder block but Gable counters with a German suplex. Gargano might have gotten a tag, but Theory throws Drew into the barricade. Gargano counters Gable's ankle lock and makes the hot tag to Owens. The crowd goes nuts as Owens cleans house and hits a Swanton Bomb for 2. Gable hits KO with a German! Drew gets a hot tag and takes a turn cleaning house. Theory escapes a Claymore and Otis runs over Drew. Gargano dives onto Otis, but Owens helps with a superkick party. Owens and Gargano clear the announce table, but Gable saves his partner. Gargano DDTs Otis while Owens hits Gable with a stunner on the table! Meanwhile, Drew hits Theory with a Claymore and wins at 9:49! See, Theory jobbed to a Claymore, I was right all along. Crowd pleasing main event, ***.
Winners: Drew McIntyre, Johnny Gargano, and Kevin Owens
Final Thoughts. I...like...Smackdown. Don't tell anyone.
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