It's the third last episode of SmackDown before SummerSlam 2022. Things are heating up on the Blue brand, with several matches already announced for the show. There's unlikely to be any build-up to Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar's main event, perhaps because there isn't much else that can be done with the feud.
However, there will be a lot going on, with some crucial matches that could have serious SummerSlam implications. So what are some of the big surprises that we can see on SmackDown?
#5. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus' feud to end abruptly?
Last week's main event was admittedly underwhelming. Drew McIntyre was originally advertised to face Sheamus in the main event of SmackDown to determine the #1 contender for the Undisputed Universal Championship at Clash at the Castle. However, the 4-time World Champion Sheamus pulled out at the last minute, stating that he may have COVID.
That joke certainly didn't sit well with the WWE Universe, who thought that it was in poor taste. Instead, McIntyre had to face Butch, who he defeated quickly. From the looks of things, there could be a number one contender's match at SummerSlam, and that would make sense as the stipulation is a high-stakes one.
However, in late 2020 and early 2021, their WWE Championship feud ended far too abruptly. It would be surprising to see if WWE made the same mistake again this time.
#4. Madcap Moss' match against Theory to result in a title shot?
Madcap Moss is looking to shut Theory up. Although the 24-year-old lost the US Title to Bobby Lashley at Money in the Bank, he entered the men's ladder match and became the youngest MITB winner in WWE history.
He has made his presence known on all fronts. He informed Bobby Lashley that he would have a rematch against him for the US title at SummerSlam. Following that, he reminded Roman Reigns on SmackDown that he possessed the briefcase that could end his nearly two-year reign with the Universal title.
He will face rising star Madcap Moss on SmackDown this week. Madcap Moss winning would be somewhat surprising, but what would be even more surprising is if Moss was added to the US Title match at SummerSlam. It would make little sense as he is in a different brand as Lashley and hasn't had any interaction with him before.
#3. MMM to recruit a new member and make an impact on SmackDown?
Maximum Male Models agent Max Dupri returned on SmackDown and brought out Ma.çé and Mån.sôör to show off their Wimbledon-inspired tennis clothing collection. Following the fashion show, Dupri made an announcement about the new website and shared their website link, where anybody can apply to become one of their models.
Since then, applications have been flowing in. However, many have questioned whether Dupri will end up recruiting another member or not. It would be surprising if he not only recruits a new star but also decides to make an impact by targeting specific individuals or groups.
#2. Will Gunther end his partnership with Ludwig Kaiser?
Multi-time Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura confronted current title holder Gunther on last week's episode of SmackDown. While the Champion wasn't keen on facing the Japanese star, he made Ludwig Kaiser step in the ring with the veteran to get the job done.
Nakamura, the more experienced star, overcame Kaiser and set himself up for a future Intercontinental title shot. However, Kaiser suffered the champion's wrath as Gunther gave him repeated chest slaps.
While that seemed to be more of a warning, it would be surprising if WWE decides to end their partnership abruptly.
#1. Natalya to shock everyone against SmackDown Women's Champion Liv Morgan?
Natalya confronted SmackDown Women's Champion Liv Morgan on last week's episode of SmackDown. The veteran faced Ronda Rousey in a rematch and loss again.
Post-match, Rousey made it clear that she was in line for a title shot against Morgan at SummerSlam, with the match being made official. It was later announced that this Friday Night, Morgan will face Natalya.
The veteran could make her way into the Women's title match at SummerSlam to make it a triple threat if she defeats Morgan tonight. It would be a controversial win if it happens, but one that would perfectly set up a three-way deal for the title.