– Tonight’s WWE SmackDown on FOX opens up with the usual video package. We’re now live from the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as Michael Cole welcomes us. He’s joined at ringside by Pat McAfee. Cole says this is one of the biggest nights in the history of SmackDown. They hype the card and the main event, which will see Riddle vs. Sami Zayn. If Sami wins, Riddle is barred from SmackDown and if Riddle wins, he gets a title match next Friday from Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns.
Men’s Money In the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus
We go backstage and Drew McIntyre is about to make his way out for the first qualifying match for the Men’s Money In the Bank Ladder Match. Butch jumps out from behind the curtain but Drew catches him and shoves him away, into the waiting arms of Sheamus. Sheamus and Drew exchange a few words and Drew heads off to the ring. The music hits and here comes McIntyre with his sword, Angela, in the air. Pyro hits and Drew poses in the corner for more pyro and a pop from the crowd. Out next comes The Brawling Brutes – Sheamus with Butch. Cole says Ridge Holland suffered a knee injury last week and he is on the shelf.
They lock up and Sheamus takes it to the corner. He backs off but rocks Drew. Drew rights back and they trade big chops and strikes, yelling at the referee. Sheamus takes it to the opposite corner but McIntyre levels him with a clothesline. Drew with big chops now.
We see the Money In the Bank briefcases hanging high above the ring. Sheamus fights back with chops. Drew whips him and catches him in the middle of the ring with a big Michinoku Driver. Sheamus kicks out at 2. Sheamus cuts Drew’s offense off and sends him to the apron for more chops. Sheamus with 10 Beats of the Bodhrán on the apron now as fans count along. Drew turns it around on the apron and also delivers 10 Beats of the Bodhrán as fans pop.
Butch gets involved while Drew is on the apron. Sheamus takes advantage of the distraction and sends Drew into the ring post. Sheamus grabs Drew and drops him on the edge of the apron with White Noise. The referee counts as Butch comes back over and jabs around with Sheamus. We go to commercial.
Back from the break and Drew rocks Sheamus in the middle of the ring but Sheamus catches him with an Alabama Slam for a close 2 count. Sheamus grounds Drew with a submission now. Fans rally as Drew fights up and out, then drops Sheamus with clotheslines. Drew catches Sheamus with a big throw across the ring, and another belly-to-belly throw. Drew ducks a swing and drops Sheamus with a neckbreaker. Drew kips-up for a big pop. Drew runs into a boot in the corner, but comes right back and catches Sheamus with a Spinebuster. Sheamus kicks out at 2. They both trade headbutts in the middle of the ring.
Sheamus uses Drew’s Futureshock DDT on him in the middle of the ring as Butch watches from the apron. Drew kicks out. Fans rally for Drew again as Sheamus goes to the top. Drew crotches him and they trade punches. Drew climbs up with him and uses Sheamus’ super White Noise. Sheamus kicks out just in time and no one can believe it. Drew waits and then charges with a Claymore Kick but Sheamus meets him with a jumping knee to the mouth. Drew still kicks out at 2.
We get another look at the MITB briefcases hanging above. Sheamus calls for the Brogue Kick but Drew catches him in a powerbomb, then uses the Jackknife cover but Sheamus still kicks out. Drew rallies in the corner now. Butch runs in but Drew levels him with a Claymore. Sheamus clotheslines Drew over the top rope to the floor. Sheamus goes to the top and flies out of the ring to the floor with a flying clothesline in front of the announcers.
The referee counts as Sheamus grabs Drew but Drew counters and hits a belly-to-belly suplex on the floor. Sheamus back-drops Drew over the barrier into the timekeeper’s area. Sheamus grabs a steel chair, but so does Drew. They both swing at the same time and the referee calls the match as their chairs smack each other.
Double Count Out
– After the bell, the brawl continues at ringside as Sheamus and Drew go at it. They tumble over the announce table and we go back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we get a promo for John Cena’s 20th anniversary and his return to RAW on the June 27 episode from Laredo, TX.
– We go back to the ringside area as Sheamus and Drew McIntyre are still brawling around the ringside area. Officials are trying to restore order but they’re having no luck. Butch jumps on Drew’s back but he ends up tossed. Drew and Sheamus brawl through the crowd now as the fans go wild. Producers and referees finally hold them apart but Sheamus breaks through and charges Drew again. Sheamus unloads and then backs away up the stairs in the crowd, while Drew goes back over the barrier to the ringside area.
– The announcers send us to a video package on Cody Rhodes, showing social media reactions to his injury reveal and performance at Hell In a Cell. We also see how he came to RAW on Monday to confirm the injury and announce that he was officially done with Seth Rollins. We see how Rollins interrupted and said he still dislikes Rhodes, but Rhodes earned his respect for what he did at Hell In a Cell. We also see how Rollins praised Rhodes some more before they had a show of respect in the ring, only for Rollins to come back out and drops Rhodes with a sledgehammer shot to the back of the head. Cole and McAfee praise Cody with McAfee calling him a badass. They confirm Cody underwent surgery for the complete tear of his right pectoral muscle on Thursday. Cole says he will be out for 9 months.
– Kayla Braxton is backstage with Lacey Evans now, asking her about tonight’s Money In the Bank qualifier. Evans says the MITB contract changes lives and if she wins, she gets to challenge any time at any place, and that’s incredible. This is her opportunity. She says Xia Li sees her as a victim, but Evans sees Li as just someone else who is standing in her way and not giving her a chance. Evans says we can either wallow in self-pity or wake up, work and win, and as her music just started, we can see what Evans chose. Evans goes on and says she may not be better than Li, but Li damn sure isn’t better than Lacey Evans.
Women’s Money In the Bank Ladder Match Qualifier: Xia Li vs. Lacey Evans
We go back to the ring and out comes Lacey Evans to a pop with her new theme song. She hits the ring for the first Women’s MITB Ladder Match qualifier, then we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and out comes Xia Li for this MITB qualifying match. We get a pre-recorded promo from Li. She says Evans is not a winner, she’s a whiner, and Li will make her cry tears when she goes on to become Miss Money In the Bank.
Li poses ready to fight as the bell hits. Li goes behind and then applies a headlock. This is Evans’ first match since February 2021. Evans drops Li with a shoulder. They tangle and Li slams Evans face-first into the mat for a 2 count. Li with big kicks now, kicking Evans back into the turnbuckles. Li with a jumping knee to the face. Li goes on and tosses Evans across the ring for another pin attempt. Li grounds Evans with another submission now.
Evans fights free and nails a big flying uppercut into the corner. Evans with a handstand Bronco Buster into the corner. Evans goes on for another pin attempt. Li rocks Evans with a kick. Li charges again but Evans rocks her with the Woman’s Right out of nowhere for the pin to win.
Winner: Lacey Evans
– After the match, Evans stands tall as the music hits and the announcers confirm her for the Women’s Money In the Bank Ladder Match. Evans looks up at the MITB briefcases to end the segment.
– Adam Pearce is backstage in his office when Drew McIntyre walks in. Drew says Pearce saw what happened out there with Sheamus, and he wants in the Men’s MITB Ladder Match, so Pearce is going to put him in it. Pearce says Drew didn’t win, and there’s a lot to think over and process before he makes his decision. Drew tells Pearce to put him in the match, and he’s serious. Drew walks off.
– We go back to the ring and out comes SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey. We see how Natalya won last week’s Six-Pack Challenge to earn a future title shot from Rousey. We also see their post-match staredown. Rousey poses in the corner as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and the announcers show us a vignette to hype up The Viking Raiders, Erik and Ivar. The Vikings are some of the most rugged people on the planet, they bring The Raid to every city they go, and they pride themselves on honor, bravery and valor. The vignette says they are “coming soon” to the brand they’ve been on. They are apparently re-debuting? Sheamus and Butch come barreling into Adam Pearce’s office now. Sheamus says he should be in the Money In the Bank Ladder Match. Pearce says he told Drew McIntyre there’s a lot to process before making a decision. Sheamus demands results. We go back to the ring and Rousey waits. Cole confirms Natalya vs. Rousey for WWE Money In the Bank.
Rousey says Money In the Bank is in three weeks and she cannot wait. She wants to prove to Natalya that the armbar she learned from her mom and made famous is vastly superior to the Sharpshooter that Natalya pilfered from her uncle, WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart. The music interrupts and out comes Shotzi. She yells at Rousey to shut up. Shotzi says she might not have Natalya’s experience or a fancy submission, but she does have serious aggression and a killer instinct. Fans boo as Shotzi enters the ring. Shotzi says if Rousey is the fighting champion she says she is, she wouldn’t wait until Money In the Bank for a fight, and it seems the Baddest Woman on the Planet would have no problem fighting Shotzi right here, right now. Rousey asks the crowd if they think Shotzi should have the right to fight for a title shot-zi, and they cheer in response. Rousey and Shotzi face off in the middle of the ring as Rousey’s music starts back up. We go back to commercial.
Championship Contender’s Match: SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi
Back from the break and this non-title Championship Contender’s Match is underway as SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey takes Shotzi down first as fans pop. They tangle into the ropes and Shotzi fish-hooks Rousey’s mouth as the referee warns her.
Rousey fights free and kicks Shotzi away, then takes her down into a 2 count. Shotzi counters on the mat, takes Rousey down and kicks her in the back. Rousey with a powerslam for a 2 count. Rousey takes it to the corner but Shotzi counters and uses the ropes for a submission. Rousey counters and uses the ropes for an ankle lock now. Shotzi gets free and Rousey follows her around the ringside area. Shotzi kicks her away from the apron.
Shotzi with a big tornado DDT from the apron to the floor. The referee counts but Shotzi brings Rousey back in for a 2 count. Shotzi stomps and kicks Rousey around as fans rally for the champ. Shotzi mounts Rousey with hammer fists but she kicks out at 2. Rousey blocks a suplex as they tangle back & forth now. Shotzi drops Rousey with a big kick to the side of the head. Rousey still kicks out somehow. Shotzi grounds Rousey in a Chicken Wing submission now as the referee checks on her.
Fans rally for the champ. Rousey rolls through and goes for the ankle lock but Shotzi hits her injured arm and breaks free. Shotzi with a suplex for a 2 count. Shotzi with a suplex into the turnbuckles now. Shotzi stomps away to keep Rousey down as the referee warns her. Shotzi continues to dominate the champ but she charges into the corner and hits the turnbuckles as Rousey moves out of the way. Rousey nods to the camera but Shotzi blocks Piper’s Pit. Shotzi with kicks and knees, then a big discus punch.
Rousey catches a kick and Rousey stares her down now. Shotzi slaps her twice and Rousey just seethes. Rousey catches the next punch and drops Shotzi on her head for a big pop. Rousey with throws around the ring now, then strikes. Rousey rolls Shotzi onto her shoulder, and struggles a bit but manages to drop her into Piper’s Pit. Rousey then applies the armbar in the middle of the ring for the win.
Winner: Ronda Rousey
– After the match, Rousey stands tall and takes her title as the music hits. Natalya rushes in out of nowhere and drops Rousey from behind. Fans boo as Natalya applies the Sharpshooter and tightens it as Rousey screams out. Officials rush down to try and break the hold. Natalya finally lets go as the boos get louder. Natalya is all smiles. Natalya stares down at Rousey as we go to more replays. Natalya’s music starts up as she backs away from the ring, staring at Rousey as she tries to recover.
– Megan Morant is backstage with Riddle, asking about the stakes in tonight’s main event. Riddle says he thrives under pressure and what really motivates him is when he thinks of what The Bloodline did to his best friend Randy Orton. He says Orton risked his body and he will do whatever it takes to get payback. Riddle goes on about Sami Zayn and looks forward to winning the Undisputed WWE Universal Title from Roman Reigns.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Gunther vs. Ricochet
We go back out to the stage and Ludwig Kaiser is under the spotlight with a mic. He calls on the crow to show their gratitude and admire the expertise of the true champion, The Ring General. Out comes Gunther as new music starts up. Gunther and Kaiser march to the ring as Cole shows us a Tale of The Tape graphic for this match, which shows how Gunther has many advantages over the champion. Gunther waits in the ring as Kaiser looks on from the apron and we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and we see how Natalya attacked Ronda Rousey. We go backstage to Kayla Braxton, who is outside of the trainer’s room. We see Rousey inside the room being tended to by a trainer. Braxton says officials told her this is a series injury for Rousey. Braxton says Rousey has had a bad night and she may not be able to compete at Money In the Bank. We go back to the ring and Gunther waits as the music hits and out comes WWE Intercontinental Champion Ricochet to a pop. We get formal ring introductions from Samantha Irvin.
The bell rings and they lock up but Gunther launches Ricochet to the mat with ease. They go back and forth now until Gunther chops Ricochet out of the air with a huge shot that shocks McAfee and others. Kaiser approves from ringside.
Gunther takes Ricochet to the corner, turns him upside down and man-handles him with a boot. Ricochet falls to the apron and he’s hurting. Gunther grabs Ricochet and takes him to the floor as we go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Gunther levels Ricochet with a big boot in the middle of the ring. Gunther lifts Ricochet for a powerbomb but he slides out and rolls Gunther for a close 2 count. Ricochet with chops and kicks now. Ricochet brings Gunther to one knee with kicks, and keeps delivering them. Gunther stumbles around but catches Ricochet for a side-slam. Ricochet counters that and sends him into the turnbuckles with a scissors.
Ricochet rocks Gunther and springboards in from the apron but Gunther side-steps, then applies a Sleeper hold. Ricochet fades a bit but he breaks free. They tangle and Ricochet lands on his feet from a German suplex. Ricochet stuns Gunther with a running knee but Gunther turns him inside out with a stiff lariat in the middle of the ring. Gunther recovers from one knee while Ricochet is flat on his back. Fans rally but Gunther pounds on Ricochet with forearms, then applies another Sleeper in the middle of the ring.
Fans rally and Ricochet sends Gunther into the corner to stun him. Ricochet fights back from the apron, yanking Gunther’s arm over the top rope several times, then kicking him in the head. Ricochet kicks Kaiser in the head from the apron and he goes down on the floor. Ricochet comes back in with Gunther and hits a springboard move. Ricochet goes on and hits a standing Shooting Star Press for 2. Ricochet goes to the top as fans cheer him on. Ricochet goes for the 450 Splash but he has to roll through.
Ricochet with kicks and a dropkick out of the corner. Gunther comes right back with an even bigger dropkick of his own. Gunther with a powerbomb in the middle of the ring to win the strap.
Winner and New WWE Intercontinental Champion: Gunther
– After the match, Gunther stands tall as the music hits and he’s given the WWE Intercontinental Title. We go to replays. Kaiser joins Gunther in the ring now and they stand tall in the middle.
– We go backstage to Paul Heyman and Sami Zayn. Heyman says tonight is the greatest opportunity of Sami’s career. If Sami wins, then Heyman will be able to go to Roman Reigns and say Sami belongs in The Bloodline. But if Sami loses, then… Heyman and Sami just stare at each other as Sami walks off.
Riddle vs. Sami Zayn
We go back to the ring for tonight’s main event as Sami Zayn makes his way out. The announcers send us to video of John Cena meeting a Ukrainian teenager, who has Down syndrome, and his mother. You can click here for details and video on the special visit. Cole shows us a Pizza Hut sponsored video that shows the grocery store brawl between WWE Hall of Famers Booker T and Steve Austin on the December 13, 2001 SmackDown episode. We go back to the ring for tonight’s closer and Sami waits. We get a video showing recent happenings that led to this match. Out next comes Riddle to a pop as Samantha Irvin does the introductions and fans chant “Bro!” now. Riddle leaps into the ring and the pyro goes off as he kicks his flip-flops away. Riddle poses in the corner as fans cheer him on. If Zayn wins this match, Riddle will be banned from SmackDown, but if Riddle wins, he gets to challenge Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns next Friday. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and tonight’s Progressive-sponsored video shows recent happenings between Madcap Moss and Happy Baron Corbin. They will have a Last Laugh match next Friday. Cole says Max Dupri will also reveal his first client in the Maximum Male Models agency next week. Dupri was supposed to do this tonight but he had travel complications in Europe. We go back to the ring and Irvin introduces Paul Heyman, who is on commentary. The bell rings and Riddle goes at it with Sami. Riddle catches Sami in an early armbar in mid-air but Sami gets the rope to break it up.
Riddle has Sami sitting on the apron now. Riddle unloads with kicks to the chest, then brings it back in with a big gutwrench suplex. He then rolls through and goes from gutwrench into a big powerbomb. Sami kicks out at 2. More back and forth now but Sami retreats to the floor to boos. Riddle follows and Sami clotheslines him. Sami stomps away and talks some trash. Sami slams Riddle face-first into the announce table, then rolls him back in for a 2 count. Sami keeps Riddle down for another pin attempt.
Sami shows some frustration but works Riddle over on the mat, grounding him in a headlock as fans rally for Riddle. Riddle tosses Sami and nails an overhead kick. Riddle kips-up, rocks Sami in the corner, then nails a running right hand. Riddle with a suplex, then a running knee to the face. Sami still kicks out. They tangle and Sami rolls Riddle for 2. Sami runs into a back elbow in the corner. Riddle goes to the top but Sami rushes and shoves him off. Riddle flies out to the floor and hits the barrier on the way down. Sami is flat on his back as we go back to a break.
Back from the break and Sami has Riddle against the bottom rope, stomping away as the referee warns him. Sami leaps from the middle rope and takes Riddle back down. Sami stays on him with a Brainbuster for a close 2 count. Sami tosses Riddle to the floor and he follows, then sends him face-first into the ring post. Sami sends Riddle’s face into the post again as the referee counts. Riddle makes it back into the ring right before the 10 count. Sami mounts him right right hands. Sami drags Riddle to the corner, then climbs to the top as Heyman looks on.
Riddle jumps up to the top rope with Sami and tries for a super RKO. Sami knocks him to the mat. Sami flies but Riddle nails a knee on the way down. Riddle covers for a close 2 count, so close Cole thought he won. Heyman is worried. Sami dumps Riddle to the apron. Sami goes for the second rope draping DDT to mock Randy Orton as fans boo. Sami hits it but he wastes time playing to the crowd. A furious Heyman yells at Sami to make the pin. Sami drops down and hits the mat like Orton does.
Heyman is upset. Riddle nails the big knee strike to Sami. Riddle then unloads with big kicks in the corner. Sami stumbles to the floor but Riddle nails a punt kick from the apron. Riddle with a springboard Floating Bro from the pron to the floor. Heyman is disgusted, covering his eyes. Riddle brings it back in and hits the Orton powerslam to Sami. Fans go wild as Riddle stays on Sami and hits the draping DDT. Riddle plays to the crowd for a pop, then drops down to the mat and pounds it.
Sami blocks the RKO and drops Riddle with a Blue Thunderbomb. Riddle kicks out at 2 and Sami can’t believe it. Sami wastes some time as Heyman yells at him to stay on Riddle. Sami goes for a follow-up but Riddle goes for the Bro-Derek. Sami counters it and rolls Riddle for 2. Sami with an Exploder suplex into the turnbuckles. Sami waits in the opposite corner now, then goes for the Helluva Kick but Riddle rushes him and nails the RKO for the pin to win and become the new #1 contender.
Winner and New #1 Contender to Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns: Riddle
– After the match, Riddle stands tall as the music hits. Riddle stares out at Heyman and taunts him. Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos suddenly hit the ring and attack Riddle from behind. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso destroy Riddle and toss him from the ring as Heyman looks on. The Usos raise their fingers in the air as the music hits. Riddle runs back in with a kendo stick. He wails away on The Usos, knocking them down and then out of the ring. A fired up Riddle stays on them and beats them some more at ringside with the stick. Riddle points at himself, then points up in the air to taunt The Usos. Riddle’s music starts back up as Cole confirms Riddle vs. Reigns for next Friday. Fans chant “Bro!” as we go to replays. Riddle yells into the camera and says he’s coming for Roman, and he’s coming for the title. Riddle goes back to posing for the crowd, then hits the turnbuckle and does Orton’s signature pose. SmackDown goes off the air.