SmackDown airs tonight (Aug. 19) with a live show from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This is the third SmackDown episode during the five week build towards Clash at the Castle, coming up on Sept. 3.
Drew McIntyre needs to do better than this
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns will have a face-to-face confrontation with Drew McIntyre tonight as both men get ready for their title match at Clash at the Castle. Now that Roman is finally in the building, Drew needs to do something significant tonight to leave his mark on the champ.
Reigns is coming off a huge win over Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Given the way Brock is booked as the number one ass kicker in WWE, Roman’s next challenger was always going to have a tough time trying to find a way to match Brock’s threat level to the champion. Drew has correctly identified that Roman is only the champ because the Usos save his ass every time, and he’s done a good job of beating up Jimmy and Jey in recent weeks. But Brock Lesnar frequently kicked their asses too, so it doesn’t really mean much for Drew’s chances to win against Roman until the Usos are banned from showing up in the title match on Sept. 3.
Drew wants to convince you that he can beat Roman because he beat Brock Lesnar with his bare hands at WrestleMania 36. That may be true, but WrestleMania 36 was over two years ago. The Tribal Chief gimmick didn’t even exist at that point. What level of competition has Drew been dealing with more recently? Well, his singles PPV matches in 2022 consist entirely of fights against Madcap Moss and Happy Corbin. That’s a long drop down from Roman’s level.
Drew has also been losing some of the spotlight now that Karrion Kross returned to WWE and joined the main event scene, and Prize Fighter Kevin Owens also has his eyes on the WWE Universal title. Drew is no longer standing head and shoulders ahead of the pack. He’s instead become one of several wrestlers in a crowded field who want a shot at Roman, and Drew’s title match happens to be taking place first.
Add it all up, and Drew McIntyre needs to do something memorable that will demonstrate why he is the guy who can finally end Roman’s run as the champ. Beating up the Usos and cutting ring ropes with a sword won’t get the job done tonight.
The rest of the title scene
The WWE women’s tag team championship tournament continues tonight. Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons will make their main roster debut when they battle it out with Natalya and Sonya Deville in first round action. The winning team moves on to face Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah in the next round.
Intercontinental Champion Gunther raised the title a notch last week when he retained his belt in the main event against Shinsuke Nakamura. There isn’t much time to find Gunther a new opponent for Clash at the Castle, so maybe Nakamura will find a way to secure a rematch with a gimmick?
SmackDown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan is weak and vulnerable. Thankfully for her, Shayna Baszler no longer has a killer instinct. That’s what Ronda Rousey seems to believe, and it’s hard to blame Ronda for feeling that way considering Shayna is scared of stupid dolls. Morgan and Baszler will battle over the title at Clash at the Castle, with Rousey looming in the background.
The Usos are the WWE tag team champs and don’t have any competition right now, unless of course the returning Hit Row is going to make some big moves right out of the gate. If not, Sami Zayn is still there to keep the Usos busy with his desperate need for affirmation by the Tribal Chief.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- The New and Vicious Viking Raiders have a funeral planned for the New Day tonight. I’m thinking their plans might be thwarted by Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston.
- Happy Corbin blindsided Ricochet last week and made it clear that their feud is just getting started. Please keep this story clear of any dog food angles, that’s pretty much my only request when it comes to Corbin.
- Sheamus and his Brawling Brutes still have nothing going on for Clash at the Castle. What’s going on here?
- Maximum Male Models were interrupted and annoyed by Los Lotharios last week, so their first televised match as a group is likely on the horizon.
- Hey Triple H, are you cooking up any more surprise returns for tonight?
What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?