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WWE SmackDown preview (July 1, 2022): Everyone is here, except for Roman Reigns

WWE.com

SmackDown airs tonight (July 1) with a live show from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. This is the final SmackDown episode during the four week build towards Money in the Bank, which takes place tomorrow night (July 2).

Everyone is here, except for Roman Reigns

All of tomorrow night’s official Money in the Bank ladder match participants will appear on SmackDown tonight. As WWE describes it, “All who chase the case come face to face.”

On the men’s side, that includes Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Omos, Matt Riddle, Drew McIntyre, and Sami Zayn. The women’s division is represented by Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Shotzi, Becky Lynch, Liv Morgan, Raquel Rodriguez, and Lacey Evans.

So how exactly does this face-to-face bit work? Will the men have a separate face-to-face segment from the women? Will all men and women be in the ring at the same time? Will the final men’s entrant be determined before the face-to-face takes place? Is Adam Pearce mediating this whole thing? Is there an intermission halfway through so that Shanky can entertain the audience with his amazing dance moves?

It sounds like pure chaos might ensue with so many people sharing the ring at one time. One person you shouldn’t expect to see, however, is WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. He’s the main target all of the men have their eyes on, but Money in the Bank isn’t an important enough show to warrant the Tribal Chief’s presence, so he’s not here. Oh well!

Not everyone can stand tall at the end of the segment when these wrestlers go face to face on SmackDown tonight. Which wrestler(s) will have momentum on their side heading into tomorrow night’s pay-per-view?

The rest of the title scene

Gunther dominated Ricochet in their rematch for the Intercontinental title last week. He’ll need a new challenger now that it’s clear Ricochet is no match for him.

Natalya decided to mock SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey last week by impersonating her as the Saddest Mom on the Planet and bringing a stroller to the ring. Ronda retorted by making fun of Natalya mutilating her body to conform to the industry’s beauty standards. This led to a stroller attack, of course. It was probably a one-off angle, but you never know, maybe tonight’s show will set up a never-before-seen Stroller Match for the title at Money in the Bank.

WWE needs to give fans a reason to think the Street Profits have a chance to win the WWE tag team titles from the Usos at Money in the Bank. To that end, Angelo Dawkins picked up a singles win over Jimmy Uso last week, and Montez Ford picked up a win over Jey Uso this week. Both of those matches happened on Raw, though, so maybe they prefer not to wrestle each other on SmackDown.

WWE hasn’t booked any title matches yet, so Vacant’s run as the WWE women’s tag team champions hasn’t been remotely threatened.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Max Dupri has yet to debut his first client of Maximum Male Models because Adam Pearce isn’t providing proper accommodations backstage or appropriate lighting in the ring. What shitty excuse will Dupri use tonight for having zero male models in his agency?

- WWE has two pay-per-views in July, so they are trying to juggle the build to both shows at the same time. With that in mind, it sure looks like Pat McAfee and Bum Ass Corbin are headed to a match at SummerSlam. Corbin should have the mic in his hand tonight to give McAfee a piece of his mind.

- Kevin Owens and Ezekiel were supposed to wrestle on Raw this week to determine the final men’s entrant in the Money in the Bank ladder match, but KO is apparently injured, so the match never happened. If their match also doesn’t take place tonight, then who will get that final spot? Madcap Moss was standing around doing nothing backstage last week, and I’m sure he’d love to fill the void on Saturday.

- Drew McIntyre and Sheamus defeated the Usos in a tag team match last week. Maybe they should put their differences aside and make a run at the belts after Money in the Bank.

- The Viking Raiders returned to SmackDown as heels last week and took out the New Day and Skyscrapin’ Shanky. Which babyfaces will feel their wrath tonight?

- Sonya Deville insulted Adam Pearce last week, so he booked her in a handicap match against Lacey Evans & Raquel Rodriguez. Sonya might want to try a different strategy tonight, especially because her henchwomen (Shayna Baszler & Xia Li) are not very effective at providing her competent backup.

- Following allegations of misconduct, Vince McMahon has been making brief appearances in the ring on Raw and SmackDown television of late. And the fans are loudly cheering him and bowing down to the man, which is certainly a choice. Can someone backstage please intervene and stop Vince from stroking his ego like this?

What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?