The build to Money in the Bank continues on tonight's SmackDown from the Moody Center in Austin, Texas.
Brock Lesnar returned last week to confront Roman Reigns after Reigns retained the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Riddle. Lesnar fought off The Bloodline and gave Reigns an F-5. Later, WWE announced Reigns vs. Lesnar in a Last Man Standing match for SummerSlam.
Shinsuke Nakamura takes on Sami Zayn in a men's Money in the Bank qualifying match tonight. Seth Rollins, Omos, Sheamus, and Drew McIntyre have already qualified for the ladder match.
McIntyre is set to appear tonight and "explain the path he will take to claim the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship."
In tonight's women's Money in the Bank qualifying match, Shotzi goes one-on-one with Tamina. Raquel Rodriguez, Lacey Evans, Alexa Bliss, and Liv Morgan have also qualified.
Aliyah had originally been announced as Shotzi's opponent but was replaced by Tamina.
Plus, Intercontinental Champion Gunther defends against Ricochet in a rematch. Gunther won the title from Ricochet two weeks ago.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
They recapped WWE Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Riddle and Brock Lesnar's return from last week.
Michael Cole and Pat McAfee discussed Reigns vs. Lesnar at SummerSlam.
Drew McIntyre Segment
This was a fine opening segment. Pearce took McIntrye and Sheamus out of the Money in the Bank ladder match. They can get their spots back if they defeat The Usos in a tag team match later.
Cole thinks whoever wins the Money in the Bank ladder match must cash in at SummerSlam against either Lesnar or Reigns.
They recapped McIntyre vs. Sheamus from two weeks ago, and Pearce putting them in the ladder match last week.
McIntyre noted that when he came to SmackDown, he decided to work his way up and earn a title shot. However, no matter how many wins he has, Reigns keeps ducking him.
McIntyre realizes he has to win MITB to earn a title shot. He pointed out that Lesnar showed up last week and got a title shot. This got a mixed reaction. McIntyre hopes they destroy each other because he will cash in after and win the Universal title.
The Brawling Brutes interrupted and made their way to the ring. Sheamus doesn't think McIntyre deserves to be in the match. He mentioned Miz cashing in and winning McIntyre's title. Sheamus added that when he cashed in, it was against Reigns, and he won the title. Sheamus indicated he'd cash in after the SummerSlam main event too.
Paul Heyman interrupted and walked out onto the stage. Adam Pearce slowly walked out behind him. Heyman promised that Reigns would beat Lesnar at SummerSlam. However, Heyman has a problem. Even though Reigns is the GOAT, he'll still be vulnerable for a cash-in after a Last Man Standing match. Heyman was quick to add that Lesnar would be vulnerable too.
The fans started booing, and McIntyre noted they wanted him to make his point. Heyman then said that Pearce had an announcement. Pearce said he acted hastily last week when adding them to the ladder match. He noted that McIntyre and Sheamus didn't win or lose their qualifying match.
Pearce said that after some influence, McIntrye and Sheamus are no longer in the MITB ladder match. However, they have a chance to qualify tonight if they can team up, put their differences aside and defeat the Undisputed Tag Team Champions, The Usos. The Usos came out and posed on the stage.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Sami Zayn behind the curtain. Zayn praised Reigns and The Usos. He even thinks it genius to get rid of McIntyre and Sheamus. Zayn promised to win tonight and win the briefcase. Braxton tried to imply that Zayn would cash in on Reigns. He denied it.
Money in the Bank Qualifying match: Sami Zayn defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (9:53)
Zayn and Nakamura had a good match.
Nakamura caught Zayn with an armbar at the bell. He followed up with the sliding German suplex in the ropes. Zayn lured Nakamura to the floor and took over. He gave Nakamura an exploder suplex against the barricade.
Zayn tried to win by countout, but Nakamura got back in the ring. Zayn yelled at the referee and felt he should have won. Nakamura took advantage and caught Zayn with a small package for a near fall. Zayn recovered and dumped Nakamura out of the ring.
Back from the break, Zayn was firmly in control. He jumped off the middle turnbuckle but Nakamura countered with a kick. Zayn fought back and hit the Michinoku Driver for a close two count.
Zayn tried to win his feet on the ropes, but the referee caught him. Zayn yelled at the referee again. Nakamura rocked Zayn with a knee off the middle rope for a near fall.
Zayn rolled out of the ring. Nakamura went after him and hit the Kinshasa on the floor. He rolled Zayn back in the ring because he didn't want to win by countout. Zayn took advantage and hit the Helluva kick as Nakamura entered for the win. Zayn qualifies for the ladder match.
New Day vs. Jinder Mahal & Shanky
The match didn't happen and turned into two angles instead. First, Shanky turned on Mahal to dance with New Day. Then, The Viking Raiders returned to attack New Day. The fans were into the angles.
New Day noted they beat Mahal & Shanky last week. They don't do rematches; apparently, Kingston and Woods were mad at Mahal for not letting Shanky dance last week. Kingston asked the fans if they wanted a dancing Shanky. The fans erupted in cheers and broke into a loud "Yes" chant.
Woods played the trombone, and Shanky danced. They played New Day's music, and Shanky and New Day danced to a loud reaction. Mahal was furious and ordered Shanky to stop. Shanky got in his face and pushed him to a positive response. Mahal walked off.
Suddenly, The Viking Raiders' music started playing. The Raiders ran out through the crowd and knocked Shanky out of the ring. The Viking Raiders then gave New Day a vicious beat down.
In the back, Sonya Deville entered Adam Pearce's office. She mocked Pearce for being in over his head. She also made fun of his wrestling career. She was upset that she wasn't in the Money in the Bank ladder match. She mocked Lacey Evans and Raquel Rodriguez. Pearce told her that she has a match with Rodriguez and Evans next.
Deville brought out Shayna Baszler and Xia Li to be in her corner.
Raquel Rodriguez & Lacey Evans defeated Sonya Deville (w/Shayna Baszler & Xia Li) (3:06)
This was a fine match. It was odd the heel had to fight two faces. They tried to put Li and Baszler out there to give the heel the advantage.
Baszler distracted Rodriguez and Deville gave Evans a chop block. Deville was briefly in control, but Evans fought back. Rodriguez got the hot tag and ran wild on Deville. Deville tried fighting back, but Rodriguez slammed her down.
Rodriguez hit the snake eyes and went for the chokeslam bomb but Baszler caused another distraction. Evans made the blind tag and hit the Women's Right for the win.
After the match, the heels jumped Rodriguez and Evans. Deville jumped on Rodriguez's back, but she still managed to slam Li. The faces cleared the ring.
In the back, The Street Profits walked around and ran into Los Lotharios, Drew Gulak, and Madcap Moss. Angelo Dawkins told a joke, but Montez Ford and Moss weren't impressed.
Natalya and Ronda Rousey Segment
This was a fine segment. Rousey got a big reaction for a couple of lines about Natalya.
Ronda Rousey's music started playing, and the fans popped. Natalya walked out dressed like Rousey, pushing a stroller.
Back from the break, Natalya introduced herself as Rousey. McAfee pointed out that's a lie. She claimed she made Rousey tap out. They recapped Natalya attacking Rousey and putting her in the Sharpshooter. Natalya, as Rousey claims she wants to give up the title and leave with her stroller. She called herself the saddest woman on the planet.
Suddenly, Rousey's music played again, but the real Ronda Rousey walked out this time. She didn't recognize Natalya because her rack wasn't out.
Rousey added that she's not trying to attain unrealistic beauty standards like Natalya. That got a big reaction. Rousey said that the only way Natalya could be the main attraction was by dressing up as her.
Rousey tried to pull off Natalya's jacket, and they brawled. Natalya tried to hit Rousey with the stroller and took off.
In the back, Megan Morant interviewed Drew McIntrye and Sheamus about their match later. McIntyre and Sheamus argued until Ridge Holland and Butch pulled Sheamus back.
They announced Undertaker's One Deadman Show the night before SummerSlam.
Intercontinental Champion Gunther (w/Ludwig Kaiser) defeated Ricochet (3:07)
Gunther and Ricochet had a good match while it lasted. It was disappointing that they didn't get more time.
Ricochet caught Gunther with a dropkick at the bell. Gunther fought back with a slam. He rocked Ricochet with a knee to the face. Ricochet tried to fight back and shot for a takedown. Gunther blocked it and locked on a half-crab. He switched to the STF, but Ricochet made it to the ropes.
Ricochet avoided Gunther and went for a springboard. Gunther caught him in mid-air and hit a German suplex. Ricochet landed on his feet, but Gunther took over with a clothesline. The finish came when Gunther hit the shotgun dropkick and the powerbomb for the win.
In the back, Kayla Braxton interviewed Paul Heyman about The Usos vs. Drew McIntyre & Sheamus. She wondered if he was doing Brock Lesnar a favor. Sami Zayn interrupted and claimed Braxton had twisted his words earlier. He promised he wouldn't cash in on Reigns if he wins the MITB ladder match. He added that he'd cash in on Lesnar, but Heyman didn't like that comment.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Shotzi defeated Tamina (2:36)
Shotzi and Tamina had an okay match. The crowd was pretty dead for it.
McAfee noted that Aliyah was supposed to be in the match but suffered an injury.
Shotzi jumped on Tamina's back. Tamina threw her down and took over. She placed Shotzi on the turnbuckle. Shotzi fought back with kicks and locked on a submission.
Shotzi leaped off the middle turnbuckle. Tamina rocked her with a superkick for a near fall, but Shotzi got her foot on the bottom rope. Shotzi recovered and hit her finisher for the win. Shotzi qualifies for the women's Money in the Bank ladder match.
They recapped The Viking Raiders attacking New Day earlier. They spoke backstage.
They showed Max Dupri talking to his clients behind a door. They teased that he'd introduce his new clients next.
Back from the break, Dupri was in Adam Pearce's office. He was furious that Pearce didn't meet his standards for the dressing room. He refused to reveal his clients until his demands were met. Pearce agreed.
Pat McAfee Challenges Happy Corbin
Pat McAfee was standing on the commentary desk. He mocked Happy Corbin. They recapped the Corbin-McAfee angle from last week. McAfee talked about the first time he walked into the Thunderdome. He mentioned the millions and millions of his fans. He gave a shout-out to The Rock. McAfee then challenged Corbin to a match at SummerSlam. The fans popped for McAfee's challenge.
Non-title Match: Drew McIntyre & Sheamus (w/Ridge Holland & Butch) defeated Undisputed Tag Team Champions The Usos (11:10)
McIntyre & Sheamus and The Usos had a good hard-hitting match.
The stipulation for the match was If McIntrye & Sheamus won, they qualify for the Money in the Bank Ladder match. The Usos titles weren't on the line, and they wouldn't qualify for the ladder match if they won.
The Street Profits joined Cole and McAfee on commentary.
McIntrye and Sheamus had the early advantage. The Usos briefly took over, but Sheamus gave Jey the ten beats of bodhran. Sheamus set up for the Brogue kick but mocked McIntyre. Jey avoided Sheamus and rolled out of the ring.
McIntyre jumped off the apron and beat up Butch. Sheamus jumped out and brawled with Mcintrye. The Usos then hit a double dive wiping out McIntyre and Sheamus.
Back from the break, Jey was firmly in control with a chin lock. Cole wondered if McIntrye and Sheamus could co-exist. Sheamus broke free but The Usos took over. Jey argued with The Street Profits.
Jimmy hit the Rikishi splash on Sheamus. Jey turned his back and argued with the Street Profits again. Jimmy went for the splash a second time, but Sheamus hit a knee to the face.
McIntyre got the hot tag and ran wild. He missed a tackle and went shoulder-first into the ring post. The Usos caught McIntyre with superkicks. Jimmy hit the splash for a near fall, but Sheamus made the save.
McIntyre hit the neck breaker and set up for the claymore. The Usos rolled out of the ring. McIntyre chased after them, but Jimmy hit a superkick.
Butch and Holland ran back to the ring as they were sent to the back during the break. Suddenly, Sami Zayn showed up at ringside. He tried to hit the helluva kick on McIntyre. Dawkins jumped up and took out Zayn with a tackle. The Usos and Street Profits argued at ringside. McIntyre then hit a huge dive onto all four.
Sheamus rocked Jey with the Brogue Kick at ringside. The finish came when McIntyre went for the Claymore, but Jimmy hit a superkick instead. McIntyre recovered and hit the Claymore kick for the win. McIntyre and Sheamus qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match.
McIntyre and Sheamus celebrated to end a good SmackDown.
Next Week: All participants in the women's and men's Money in the Bank ladder matches will be on SmackDown the night before Money in the Bank.