Best and Worst of SmackDown: 2 Returning stars to get pushed, Major title feud already flopping?

Paul Heyman and Sami Zayn (left); Natalya mocking Ronda Rousey (right)
Paul Heyman and Sami Zayn (left); Natalya mocking Ronda Rousey (right)
Rohit Nath

It was an interesting episode of SmackDown this week. As the penultimate episode before Money in the Bank 2022, things got heated up as WWE continued to build up towards the premium live event.

More spots were filled in the MITB ladder matches, and there was a big return as well. So what was the fallout of SmackDown, and what were the ups and downs? Let's get right into it:

#3. Best: The Viking Raiders' return and character change on SmackDown

The Viking Raiders returned on SmackDown to end The New Day's little dance with Shanky. Thank goodness for that because up until then, the segment felt awkward to watch.

The duo's return was advertised for a while, so it wasn't much of a shock. However, a welcome surprise is a fact that they have returned as heels and will be moving forward in that role.

The two returning stars, Erik and Ivar, might get a big push with their new characters.

#2. Worst: The Ronda Rousey-Natalya feud

"I almost didn't recognize you without your rack out"๐Ÿ’€@RondaRousey committing murder on Live TV!#WWE #SmackDown

The Ronda Rousey-Natalya feud is reaching a low point. It's unfortunate to say, but Rousey's 2022 run has been entirely stale. Her peak moment this year was becoming the SmackDown Women's Champion at WrestleMania Backlash, but that's it.

It's all been downhill since then, including this current feud against Natalya, which uses a lot of personal elements to make the rivalry hot. Unfortunately, it just isn't working.

#2. Best: Gunther retaining the Intercontinental Championship

#ANDSTILL the Intercontinental Champion, The Ring General, @Gunther_AUT! #SmackDown

Gunther is truly reaping the rewards for his hard work after officials reportedly asked him to lose weight. He seems a legitimate, dominant force and has retained the Intercontinental title against Ricochet this week.

Gunther's push has been great so far. We hope that it continues so he can establish himself as a dominant force within WWE. He should ideally be protected for a long time to come.

#1. Worst: Lack of Roman Reigns' presence on SmackDown

We're aware that Roman Reigns' next match will only be a little over a month from now, but it still takes away from SmackDown. His new part-time schedule couldn't have come at a worse time as WWE unified the two world championships.

The lack of Roman Reigns' presence is affecting the blue brand significantly. Without him, it will not be a great build-up to the main event of SummerSlam this year.

#1. Best: Drew McIntyre and Sheamus' temporary alliance

There can be only one. #MITB

If we could, we would love to have Drew McIntyre and Sheamus on-screen together every week. The two men have good chemistry with each other, whether in the ring or out of it.

This week, they were taken out of their spots in the MITB ladder match and had to earn it back by teaming up to beat The Usos. It was a great story with a great main event that saw the duo overcome the tag team champions to get their spot at Money in the Bank back.

This was the high point of the show, without a doubt.

We just asked The Shockmaster about Vince McMahon's retirement here

Edited by Angana Roy


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