The Undisputed WWE Universal Championship challenger for Clash at the Castle will be determined on tonight's episode of SmackDown.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus will take place on SmackDown tonight, with the winner advancing to challenge for the Undisputed WWE Universal title at Clash at the Castle this September. The event is WWE's first major United Kingdom pay-per-view in more than 30 years.
Roman Reigns is the current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. He'll return to SmackDown tonight ahead of his Last Man Standing match against Brock Lesnar for the title at SummerSlam later this month.
Liv Morgan is the new SmackDown Women's Champion after winning the women's Money in the Bank ladder match last Saturday and then cashing in on Ronda Rousey later in the night. Morgan is set to appear on tonight's show.
Plus, Maximum Male Models will unveil their 2022 Tennis Collection.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Show Report --
They recapped Money in the Bank, specifically Theory's late entrance and subsequent briefcase victory, before running down the show.
Roman Reigns promo
He came out flanked by Paul Heyman and the Usos for a five-minute entrance. Before saying a word, Theory showed up on the stage with his briefcase and they immediately cut to commercial.
Finally, fourteen minutes into the show, Reigns told the crowd to "acknowledge him." He talked about his athlete lifestyle and how he's happy to be here on Smackdown -- but Heyman looks worried. Reigns tried to reassure him before telling Heyman to put his hand out.
Heyman, with a shaky hand, took the mic. He said "I love you, my tribal chief." Unfortunately, there's a problem: Brock Lesnar. Reigns is the most dominant champion of the past 35 years, but Brock doesn't respect that. This will be one last match against Reigns, and when Brock is cornered, he's dangerous. He took out Goldberg and the Undertaker. Heyman is scared because now, we're going to have to see a violent Roman Reigns. Putting Brock down for a ten count is a whole different story, so Reigns will have to put up the greatest performance of his career.
The segment was about to end, but Theory's music played and he emerged once again. All he did was run around the ring once before posing with the Money in the Bank briefcase.
They recapped the New Day & Viking Raiders feud.
The Viking Raiders (Ivar & Erik) defeated Jinder Mahal & Shanky
Shanky wanted to have fun, but Jinder tagged himself in and tried to get the big man to take things seriously. He was immediately double-teamed by the Viking Raiders. Jinder broke free with a thrust kick, but Shanky was dancing at ringside, preventing him from getting a tag. The Viking Raiders hit a double powerbomb for the squash win.
– After the match, the Viking Raiders continued to beat down Jinder. The New Day interrupted them and admitted that they kicked their butts last week. However, their butts are still here. "Thick AF." They produced "officially sanctioned 'ass beating' tickets." So right here, it's time to give them a beating.
The New Day rushed the Viking Raiders but were immediately crushed without effort. They hit their finish on Kofi.
After Money in the Bank last week, Happy Corbin attacked Pat McAfee at the announcer's desk and hit the End of Days on the floor. They will face off at SummerSlam.
Corbin joined commentary, saying he'd outshine McAfee on commentary -- Pat's not here.
After commercial, Gunther and Ludwig were in the ring. Ludwig talked about how nobody in attendance is worthy of watching Gunther compete. However, he's has to defend in an open challenge tonight. Gunther spoke and was met with horrible "What!" chants about how not being prepared is stupid.
Shinsuke Nakamura was the surprise challenger. Corbin acted like a complete fool on commentary, trying to outshine McAfee's usual shenanigans.
Nakamura said it was fine that Gunther needs his challenger to earn the opportunity, so he challenged Ludwig to a match.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Ludwig Kaiser (w/ Gunther)
Nakamura ran wild right away, but a quick distraction from Gunther allowed Ludwig to take control before the break. Upon return, Nakamura started a comeback with kicks. Ludwig cut him off and hit a butterfly suplex, but Nakamura avoided a soccer kick and hit an enziguiri. The Kinshasa followed for the win.
– After the match, Gunther was frustrated with Ludwig, berating him. He gave him a couple brutal chops as the fans chanted "U-S-A!."
A video package recapped Ronda Rousey retaining the Smackdown Women's Championship and Liv Morgan's subsequent Money in the Bank cash-in.
Liv Morgan promo
After commercial, Michael Cole and Liv were in the ring. He congratulated her, but then pointed out that Ronda had suffered a knee injury in the prior match, and she wants a rematch at SummerSlam. Liv said "Bring it!" She said this was a culmination of a lifetime of hard work, and she's willing to work even harder to stay.
Cole said that Liv wears her heart on her sleeve and has suffered setbacks, but now that she's here, he wants to know how it feels to be Smackdown Women's Champion. Liv said it meant everything to her. At points, she wasn't sure she'd make it, but "here I am!" As John Cena would say, "never give up."
Natalya's music played and she walked out. She said there was no way Liv could've beaten Ronda if she were fresh; she only won because Natalya injured her.
Ronda's music played and she walked out. She said challenging for the title is a lot easier than defending it. (How?) She asked the crowd if they wanted to see her beat up Natalya, but Natalya beat her to the punch, then Liv sent Natalya out of the ring.
Ronda Rousey defeated Natalya
After a break, Ronda immediately sent Natalya out of the ring. She pursued Natalya and dismantled her left knee. Back in the ring, Ronda slammed Natalya and applied an ankle lock for the submission.
Drew McIntyre was backstage. The interviewer asked about his chances to beat Sheamus tonight. McIntyre said Clash at the Castle would be a huge match, and whoever wins at SummerSlam, whether it's Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, or Theory, he's coming for them. For now, his attention is on Sheamus. The last thing Sheamus will hear before he kicks his head off is "3, 2, 1."
Maximum Male Models unveil their 2022 tennis collection
I don't know what this was.
Max Dupri was in the ring, and he presented his "2022 tennis collection." The first model was ma.çé (pronounced "mah-say"), dressed in full tennis wear. Dupri talked him up. Next was mån.sôör (pronounced "mahn-swah"), and he did the same. Dupri then asked people to submit their photos for a chance to join the team. His slogan is "Titillate the juices of your guilty pleasures."
Theory was backstage, asked about what message he was trying to send to Roman Reigns earlier tonight. He said it didn't matter who the champion was, but everyone's looking for someone to knock Reigns off his pedestal. He'll beat Bobby Lashley at SummerSlam, and Reigns and Lesnar better be ready after their match.
He walked off, but then Madcap showed up, saying he'd love to try to shove that briefcase in Theory's mouth.
Aliyah and Lacey Evans came out for a match teaming with each other. During the entrances, Lacey was dissatisfied with her initial response, so she went back and tried it again. The second try was better, but still not good enough. Same with the third try.
Lacey got a microphone and said she was disgusted with the response she received. She poured her heart and soul out for nothing. (She also got "What!" chants.) Lacey said she thought the fans saw her in the ring and resented her. She was drowned out by "You suck!" chants. Until she gets the respect she deserves, every one of the fans can go to hell.
Aliyah tried to stop Lacey from walking out, but Lacey leveled her with a Woman's Right.
There was no match.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships Contender's Match: The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeated Los Lotharios (Angel & Humberto)
We joined the match in progress, with Los Lotharios in control. They sent the Usos to the floor but feinted on dives. The Usos regained control and hit superkicks alongside a pop-up Samoan Drop for two, then more superkicks and the 1D gave them the win.
– After the match, Kayla entered the ring and suggested that the Usos "got away with" the victory at Money in the Bank. A replay showed that Montez Ford's shoulder was up.
Kayla said they looked like they were cheating. (I don't know how that was cheating.) Jimmy said that's not their fault, it's the official's fault. Kayla said there would be a rematch at SummerSlam, potentially with a special guest referee, but the Usos said it didn't matter.
WWE Smackdown (7/15) lineup:
- Liv Morgan vs. Natalya
- Theory vs. Madcap
Before the match, Sheamus started to cut a promo, but he was interrupted by a coughing fit. He said that he can't compete until he gets tested, but don't worry, because Butch is ready to wrestle. Blatant false advertising!
Drew McIntyre defeated Butch (w/ Sheamus & Ridge Holland)
This was originally supposed to be McIntyre vs. Sheamus for a chance to challenge for the Undisputed World Championship at Clash at the Castle.
McIntyre immediately leveled Butch and hit the Glasgow Kiss. A distraction from Ridge allowed Butch to hit a gamenguiri, but McIntyre quickly hit a neckbreaker and kipped up to hit the Claymore Kick for the win.
– Immediately after the match, Ridge attacked, but McIntyre dispatched him with a Future Shock DDT. Sheamus hopped on the apron, and McIntyre confronted him with his sword. McIntyre swung the sword, Sheamus avoided it, and the top rope broke and flames shot out of the turnbuckle posts for some reason, like it was demon Kane.