What's sure to be an interesting episode of SmackDown takes place from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts tonight.
Tonight's show is taking place just hours after Vince McMahon announced that he's retiring as WWE's chairman and CEO. McMahon is also no longer WWE's head of creative. Stephanie McMahon will open the show after being named the co-CEO and Chairwoman of WWE.
Brock Lesnar was scheduled to appear on SmackDown tonight ahead of his Last Man Standing match against Roman Reigns at SummerSlam, but Lesnar walked out of the show after learning news of McMahon's retirement. We'll see if a new challenger emerges for Reigns' Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
SummerSlam is taking place on Saturday, July 30. The build to the pay-per-view will continue tonight with SmackDown Women's Champion Liv Morgan and Ronda Rousey going face-to-face.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ludwig Kaiser has also been announced for tonight's show. Plus, WWE is hyping that Max Dupri's sister Maxxine Dupri will debut as Maximum Male Models reveal their beachwear line.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Stephanie McMahon Thanks Vince McMahon Segment
This was a short segment. Stephanie McMahon discussed her father's retirement.
Stephanie McMahon was already in the ring to start SmackDown. She welcomed everyone and emotionally announced Vince McMahon's retirement earlier. The fans erupted in loud boos. She noted he thanked the fans and everyone in the back. The fans broke into a loud "Thank you, Vince" chant. She said the fans were getting ahead of her. She spoke for a few more minutes and then started a "Thank you, Vince" chant.
Michael Cole and Pat McAfee didn't mention Vince's retirement. Cole only mentioned it being a historical night.
Street Profits Segment
This was a fine segment, and the fans were into it. It was a typical opening segment where a bunch of people interrupted each other. It was a fitting way to start the post-Vince McMahon era.
The Street Profits' music hit to a big pop. They made their entrance through the crowd. Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford mentioned challenging for the Unified tag titles at SummerSlam. They promised to win the titles next Saturday.
Theory's music interrupted, and he walked out. Theory claimed nobody cares about the Street Profits. He promised to cash in his MITB briefcase and doesn't care if it's Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar.
The Usos made their way to the ring and were furious that Theory mentioned Reigns' name. The Street Profits laughed at Theory. Theory mocked Ford and said he and his wife would leave SummerSlam without their titles. Ford heard enough, and a brawl broke out.
Madcap Moss ran down to even the odds. The faces cleared the ring of the heels. Dawkins hit a huge dive onto the Usos and Theory to end the segment.
Later, they announced Madcap Moss & The Street Profits vs. Theory & The Usos in the main event.
They recapped Shinsuke Nakamura defeating Ludwig Kaiser and Gunther chopping Kaiser after the match.
Ludwig Kaiser (w/Gunther) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (9:27)
Kaiser and Nakamura had a good match. The story of the match revolved around Gunther yelling at Kaiser. Gunther chopped Kaiser after the match despite winning.
Kaiser had the early advantage as he beat down Nakamura. Nakamura fought back and hit a knee for a near fall. Kaiser recovered after Gunther yelled at him. Kaiser then hit a running knee for a two-count.
The fans broke into a faint "Nakamura" chant. Nakamura hit a running knee in the corner, sending Kaiser to the floor. Gunther yelled at Kaiser again to motivate him. Kaiser grabbed Nakamura's leg and dropped him on the apron. He then sent Nakamura into the ring steps.
Back from the break, Kaiser was firmly in control. Nakamura recovered and caught Kaiser with an enziguri. He followed up with a running knee and a sliding German suplex using the ropes. Kaiser rolled to ringside, and Gunther continued to yell at him.
Nakamura threw Kaiser back in the ring, but Gunther got in his face. Kaiser caught Nakamura with a small package for a near fall. Nakamura regained control and set up for Kinshasa. Gunther caused a distraction, and Kaiser rolled him up. The finish came when Kaiser sent Nakamura into the ropes. Gunther punched Nakamura and Kaiser hit a DDT for the win.
After the match, Kaiser expected praise, but Gunther gave him another hard chop instead.
In the back, SmackDown Women's Champion Liv Morgan and Ronda Rousey were getting ready for their face-to-face segment.
Ronda Rousey and Liv Morgan Face-to-Face Segment
This was a fine segment. They kept it short and did it backstage instead of in front of the fans.
Back from the break, they recapped Liv Morgan cashing in her briefcase and beating Rousy to win the SmackDown title.
In the back, Kayla Braxton introduced Morgan and Rousey. Rousey sent Braxton away and got in Morgan's face. Rousey praised Morgan and promised to win the title. The fans booed.
Rousey expects Morgan to shake her hand after she loses. Morgan promised to retain her title and beat Rousey again. The fan cheered.
Pat McAfee-Happy Corbin Brawl
McAfee was awesome in the segment and cut a passionate promo.
At ringside, Pat McAfee and Michael Cole discussed Morgan vs. Rousey at SummerSlam. Suddenly, Happy Corbin ran out and attacked McAfee. Cole screamed for help. Corbin beat down McAfee and ran to the back.
McAfee got to his feet and chased after Corbin. The fans popped big for McAfee. McAfee and Corbin continued to brawl in the back until officials broke it up.
Back from the break, Cole discussed Corbin's attack as they recapped the angle.
McAfee walked back to the ring to a loud "McAfee" chant. He grabbed the mic and mocked Corbin. McAfee noted Corbin couldn't make any more excuses. He started a "Bum Ass Corbin" chant. McAfee was furious and promised to beat Corbin at SummerSlam. He then returned to commentary for the rest of the night.
They recapped the Viking Raiders and New Day feud.
The New Vicious Viking Raiders defeated Jinder Mahal & Shanky via countout (1:31)
This was terrible. They went just over a minute with a weak countout finish.
New Day joined Cole and McAfee on commentary. Woods and Kingston praised the Raiders and mentioned them being former ROH tag team champions. Woods was wearing a unicorn mask.
Mahal was briefly in control with a kick to the head. Ivar fought back and sent Mahal to the floor. They brawled around ringside until Ivar tossed Mahal into New Day and jumped back in the ring. The referee then counted Mahal out for the finish.
Sonya Deville approached Adam Pearce in his office. Deville mocked Pearce for everything going wrong, including Lacey Evans walking out of her match last week. Pearce then announced Deville vs. Raquel Rodriguez for later.
The Brawling Brutes made their way to the ring.
Brawling Brutes and Drew McIntyre Segment
This was a fine segment. They set up McIntyre vs. Sheamus for next week in a good old-fashioned Irish Donnybrook fight for a title shot at Clash at the Castle.
Sheamus noted he planned on beating Drew Mcintyre tonight and earn a title shot at Clash at the Castle. However, Sheamus demanded McIntyre not bring the sword to the ring. Sheamus showed footage of McIntyre cutting the top rope with his sword two weeks ago.
McIntyre's music hit, and he made his way to the ring. Sheamus sent Butch and Ridge Holland out of the ring. McIntyre wondered what happened to Sheamus' passion. He noted one of them should be challenging for the Universal title at Clash of the Castle. McIntyre added that the current champion is holding the titles hostage. He said the other option isn't any better. McIntyre demanded a match with Sheamus right now.
Sheamus teased accepting the match but not tonight. Instead, he challenged McIntyre to a good old-fashioned Irish Donnybrook fight. He added that McIntyre couldn't bring the sword. Sheamus then revealed a table of Shillelaghs.
Adam Pearce came out and made the match official for next week. McIntyre then cut Sheamus' shillelagh in half, and the pyro went off.
In the back, Paul Heyman approached The Usos. The Usos were angry that they have to tag with Theory tonight. He told them to use Theory to their advantage to win the six-man tag team main event. After the match, he wants them to leave Theory face down.
Raquel Rodriguez defeated Sonya Deville (3:39)
Rodriguez and Deville had an okay match. Rodriguez dominated the short contest.
Rodriguez dominated Deville and toyed with her. Deville took over with back elbows. She slowed the pace down, but Rodriguez broke free. Rodriguez hit a fall-away slam and a corkscrew elbow for a two-count.
Deville attempted a DDT. Rodriguez held on and tossed Deville across the ring. Rodriguez missed a tackle in the corner, and Deville hit a DDT for a near fall. Deville hit a series of kicks until Rodriguez hit the powerbomb for the win.
They showed an Usos vs. Street Profits video package.
They recapped Lacey Evans' promo insulting the fans last week.
Lacey Evans vs. Aliyah
The match didn't end up happening again.
Evans slowly walked to the ring. She grabbed the mic and mocked the fans. She's not surprised that Tom Brady left the city. The fans erupted in boos. Evans added that nobody in Boston accomplished anything. She noted there wasn't a person in the building that could walk a mile in her shoes.
Aliyah tried to get in Evans's face, but Evans demanded the fan's respect. Suddenly, Evans rocked Aliyah with the women's right to end the segment.
In the back, Kayla Braxton interviewed Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett said he's honored to be the special referee at SummerSlam and hinted that Usos and the Street Profits tried to bribe him. Jarrett added nobody could sway him and called Usos vs. Street Profits the greatest tag team match in history.
The Usos made their way to the ring for the main event.
In the back, Sofia Cromwell debuted as Maxxine Dupri with the Maximum Male Models. She mentioned her brother Max Dupri, but he wasn't there. Maximum Male Models debut the beachwear next week.
Madcap Moss & The Street Profits defeated Theory & The Usos via DQ (16:48)
This was a good six-man tag team match until the weak DQ finish. The big news was Brock Lesnar showing up and attacking Theory to end SmackDown.
The Usos and Theory argued before the match. The Usos were still upset that they had to tag with Theory.
The Street Profits had the early advantage. They sent The Usos to the floor with dropkicks. Moss then knocked Theory off the apron as they went to a commercial.
Back from the break, Theory took over and backed Moss into the corner. He slowed the pace down and isolated Moss on the heels side of the ring. Dawkins got the hot tag and briefly ran wild.
Jey caught Dawkins with a superkick, who stumbled out of the ring. Ford tagged in and caught Jey with a flying cross body for a near fall. The heels recovered and beat down Ford. Jimmy grabbed Ford and tossed him over the barricade.
Back from the break, the heels were firmly in control. Jey knocked Dawkins off the apron with a superkick. Moss tagged in and ran wild. He caught Theory with a fallway slam and a tackle on Jey in the corner.
Jimmy rocked Moss with a superkick for a close near fall. He tried to tag Theory, but he backed off. Theory then jumped off the apron and started to leave. Jey cut Theory off and beat him down.
The Street Profits and The Usos fought at ringside. Dawkins hit a huge dive, wiping out Ford and the Usos. Theory didn't leave after all and got back in the match.
In the ring, Theory scored a near fall on Moss. He set up for the A-town down, but Moss slipped out. Moss caught Theory with a tackle. He went for a second tackle, but Theory hit him with the briefcase for the disqualification. They actually had to do that spot twice because Theory couldn't get the briefcase in time on the first attempt.
After the match, Brock Lesnar's music hit to a huge pop. McAfee made a very subtle reference to the rumors of Lesnar leaving the arena.
Lesnar got in the ring and gave Theory the F-5. Lesnar then attacked Theory with the briefcase and gave him a second F-5 on the briefcase. Lesnar posed in the ring to end SmackDown.
Next Week: On the eve of SummerSlam, Drew McIntyre takes on Sheamus in a Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Street Fight. Lacey Evans goes one-on-one with Aliyah. Plus, The New Day takes on The New Vicious Viking Raiders.