SmackDown airs tonight (July 29) with a live show from State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the final SmackDown episode during the four week build towards SummerSlam, coming up on Saturday night (July 30).
Triple H might have something huge planned for Seth Rollins
Something very strange is going on with WWE’s booking of Seth Rollins and
Matt Riddle. These two rivals were supposed to have a one-on-one match at SummerSlam, but WWE officially pulled the plug on that match a couple days ago. In kayfabe, Seth’s attack on Riddle earlier this week on Raw has rendered the Original Bro unable to compete. Outside of kayfabe, it sounds like Riddle is doing just fine and the change was made due to a creative adjustment. Their match will apparently be postponed until September’s Clash at the Castle. In the meantime, the rumor mill suggests Rollins is still working a match at SummerSlam.
Given that Triple H just took over the reigns of WWE creative, he loves Seth Rollins, and he wants to make a big splash at SummerSlam, the stage could be set for Seth to change the game tomorrow night in Nashville. Might he somehow be added to the WWE Universal championship match between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns? If not, what else could be in the works that would warrant removing Rollins vs. Riddle from the card? Does WWE have another surprise wrestler lined up to challenge Seth again, just like Cody Rhodes did at WrestleMania 38?
The most disappointing outcome here is the one where Rollins doesn’t wrestle at SummerSlam, there’s no angle planned for him this weekend, and his match with Riddle is simply moved to the next premium live pay-per-view event. I can’t imagine WWE removed their match from the SummerSlam card due to time constraints, so I doubt this is how it will go down. Out of all of the matches advertised for the biggest party of the summer, Rollins vs. Riddle was probably the safest bet to deliver a great match. WWE needs to find a suitable replacement for that kind of match and something that’s a bigger deal than, say, Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler.
Tonight is the go-home episode of SmackDown and WWE’s only chance to shoot an angle for Seth on television ahead of the PPV. He’s not on the SmackDown roster and isn’t even guaranteed to be in the house tonight. However, I’d be surprised if he didn’t make an appearance so WWE can give us a better idea of where this new angle is headed.
The title scene
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns will defend the gold against Brock Lesnar in a Last Man Standing match at SummerSlam. The match appeared to be in jeopardy last week when Brock Lesnar reportedly walked out of SmackDown hours before the show; it sounded like Goldberg might receive an emergency phone call from WWE. However, things worked out and Brock showed up at the end of the night to destroy Theory. Brock is listed in the event’s advertising for tonight but Roman Reigns is not. That means Brock will likely be interacting with Paul Heyman and Theory once again for the final angle before SummerSlam. Could there be an F5 in Heyman’s future?
SmackDown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan is the big underdog when she defends her title against former champ Ronda Rousey at SummerSlam. Last week’s face-to-face segment was just a quick backstage bit, so hopefully WWE will actually put them in the ring tonight for whatever go-home segment is planned.
Intercontinental Champion Gunther loves chopping the hell out of Ludwig Kaiser’s chest. He does it when Kaiser loses, and he also sometimes does it when Kaiser wins. Given Ludwig’s cheap victory over Shinsuke Nakamura last week, it’s not clear if Nakamura is getting a title shot against Gunther just yet.
The Usos and the Street Profits will have a rematch for the WWE tag team titles at SummerSlam, with Jeff Jarrett serving as the special referee. It feels like these four guys have fought each other in just about every combination imaginable at this point, and it’s about time to wrap this feud up. Will there be any more teases of dissension among the Profits?
Vacant is still the WWE women’s tag team champions. Does Triple H plan to address this situation now that he is head of WWE creative?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Drew McIntyre and Sheamus will fight in a good old-fashioned Irish Donnybrook tonight in order to determine the number one contender to the WWE Universal championship at Clash at the Castle. McIntyre’s flame-generating sword is banned from this one, but it sounds like just about anything else goes, with an emphasis on a variety of weapons being used. Given the lack of disqualifications in this fight, will Drew have to take out the entire Brawling Brutes faction all by himself in order to win?
- After several weeks of Erik & Ivar kicking New Day’s ass and New Day responding with verbal mockery, the two teams will finally have a match tonight. I guess we’ll see just how New and Vicious these Viking Raiders really are.
- Lacey Evans is scheduled for a match with Aliyah tonight. Lacey will probably refuse to wrestle again due to the fans treating her with disrespect. Will Aliyah do something about it this time other than standing there and getting punched in the face?
- It sounds like Max Dupri is already gone from Maximum Male Models and his sister Maxxine is the new leader. Regardless of how that situation shakes out, mån.sôör and ma.çé will titillate the juices of your guilty pleasures by showing off their beachwear collection tonight.
- Happy Corbin ambushed Pat McAfee last week, so Pat tracked him down for a brawl and they had to be pulled apart. Pat then did what he does best, which is cut a promo tearing Happy down. Corbin will need to come up with a better plan tonight if he wants to go into SummerSlam with an unfair advantage over McAfee.
- Raquel Rodriguez isn’t a factor on the SummerSlam card, but she did beat Sonya Deville last week.
- Ricochet also isn’t a factor at SummerSlam, but unlike Raquel, he’s seemingly vanished from SmackDown television. It looks like he’s been teaming up with Drew Gulak to battle Los Lotharios in dark matches over the last couple weeks. Ouch.
What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?