Gunther was ready to defend his Intercontinental Championship in the main event of this week’s WWE SmackDown. Shinsuke Nakamura was looking to dethrone The Ring General and begin another reign as the IC Champion.
Liv Morgan and Shayna Baszler were ready for their contract signing segment. As expected, the interaction ended chaotically. A brawl between Kofi Kingston and The Viking Raiders took their rivalry to the next level.
Plus, the race to capture the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship intensified after Karrion Kross’ return to SmackDown last week. It was another entertaining episode of the show that kept fans glued to their screens.
Take a look at the five things WWE SmackDown got right on this week’s show.
#5. Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah pushed ahead in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament
Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah teamed up to take on Shotzi and Xia Li in the first match of WWE SmackDown. The two teams were looking to progress in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament.
Shotzi tried to pin Raquel early, but the powerhouse wasn’t ready to go down so quickly. She countered a DDT from Shotzi and swatted her away before Aliyah and Li tagged in.
Natalya and Sonya Deville tried to interfere, but Shotzi and Raquel worked together to take them out. Aliyah was isolated by the heels for some time but countered a vertical suplex from Li to tag Raquel in.
Big Mami Cool ran through her opponents and hit some big moves before going for the Texana Bomb. Xia interrupted the move before Aliyah took her out. Li took the Texana Bomb from Rodriguez and got pinned.
Aliyah and Raquel formed a good team on SmackDown and did well to pick up the win. They are one of the favorite teams to win the tournament alongside Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky.
#4. Scarlett interrupted Drew McIntyre on WWE SmackDown
Karrion Kross cut a backstage promo in which he spoke about how Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre were “the chosen ones” while he and Scarlett weren’t. He talked himself up and sent a few threats to the top men on the roster as WWE SmackDown continued.
McIntyre walked out to the middle and said Kross attacked him last week to warn Roman Reigns. However, The Scottish Warrior was ready to get his payback soon.
Scarlett came out to distract Drew and exchange a few words. The Usos attacked the latter from behind and laid him out with 1D. Jimmy and Jey tried to threaten Scarlett too, but she laughed it away as the segment came to an end.
SmackDown is doing an excellent job of making the top title feud even more entertaining. Kross could cost McIntyre his championship match at Clash at the Castle before becoming the next challenger himself.
It will be the perfect way to keep the rivalries fresh while giving Reigns a longer reign as the company's top champion.
Later in the night, McIntyre rushed The Bloodline’s locker room and laid out Jimmy and Jey Uso while Sami Zayn ran away. It led to a match between The Usos and the team of McIntyre and Madcap Moss, which was won by the latter duo.
#3. Hit Row returned to strengthen the company’s tag team division
A couple of local competitors waited in the ring for their opponents to show up on WWE SmackDown. Hit Row returned to the brand to the fans' surprise.
Top Dolla and Ashante "Thee" Adonis entered the ring for the match while B-Fab looked on. The two superstars ran through the local competitors and punished them. They hit a Heavy Hitter to pick up an easy win.
B-Fab entered the ring and took the mic to re-introduce the faction. The three superstars worked with Isaiah "Swerve" Scott on WWE NXT for some time before moving to the main roster and getting released. They are now ready to make a statement with their return to the brand.
It was great to see Hit Row back in action on SmackDown. The new creative team could allow them to prove themselves in the company. Top Dolla and B-Fab have the potential to make it big if given a chance.
SmackDown requires a few tag teams to add more depth to the roster. Hit Row has the potential to head straight to the top and challenge The Usos for the Undisputed Tag Team Championships.
#2. Liv Morgan shook off an attack from Shayna Baszler on WWE SmackDown
Ronda Rousey jumped the guardrail and entered the ring to address the SmackDown crowd. She said that her suspension and fine were heavy, but it was the price she had to pay for being the baddest.
She dumped money on a table in the ring before officials came out to make her leave. She came face-to-face with Shayna Baszler before leaving the arena.
Baszler entered the ring and warned Liv Morgan before the SmackDown Women’s Champion came out. The two opponents for Clash at the Castle were ready to sign a contract for their match.
Morgan took some shots at Baszler that did not sit well with The Queen of Spades. She signed the contract and attacked Morgan’s injured arm. The latter countered and sent her through the table with a rope-assisted bulldog as the segment ended.
WWE is still building Morgan as the underdog even though she has the title around her waist. It will be interesting to see how she performs against one of the most lethal women in the division.
#1. Gunther and Shinsuke Nakamura put on a solid match for the Intercontinental Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura challenged Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship in the main event of WWE SmackDown. The Ring General used his dominance to push Nakamura into a corner, but The Artist fought back with some big kicks.
Nakamura went for the arm bar, but Gunther fought out of it. He tried to hit a splash, but Shinsuke locked him in the triangle lock.
The Intercontinental Champion lifted Nakamura off his feet and hit a suplex to break it up. The latter refused to stay down and hit a big suplex off the ropes to take Gunther down. The Ring General fired back with a dropkick and countered the Kinshasa with a clothesline. He finished off his opponent with a powerbomb for the win.
The two men put on an excellent match on SmackDown this week. The action was fast-paced, and they delivered some big moves to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
WWE should look to fine-tune Gunther’s finisher to make it look more powerful. Otherwise, it seems like he is ready to aim to be at the top of the roster soon. Meanwhile, Shinsuke Nakamura should quickly get into another meaningful rivalry after the loss.