SmackDown airs tonight (Aug. 5) with a live show from Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina. This is the first SmackDown episode during the five week build towards Clash at the Castle, coming up on Sept. 3.
Goodbye, Ronda Rousey!
One of WWE’s goals at SummerSlam was to keep the SmackDown women’s title on Liv Morgan while protecting Ronda Rousey in defeat. Their match at SummerSlam was a quick one-sided beatdown by Rousey that resulted in Morgan tapping out, but the referee blew the call and counted Ronda’s shoulders down to the mat first. Ronda rightfully snapped after the match, attacking Morgan and the shitty referee. As a result, Rousey has been suspended and will miss tonight’s episode of SmackDown.
That leaves the spotlight on Liv Morgan, who must address the finish of her match with Rousey. Everyone who watched SummerSlam knows that Liv shouldn’t be the champion right now. In an online-exclusive interview following her SummerSlam match, Morgan completely ignored the controversial finish and her tap out, while asserting how proud she is of doing exactly what she said she would do. Unless Morgan is going heel, it’s a strange approach to pretend like everything is fine and she was the better wrestler at SummerSlam.
As for Ronda, it sounds like she is booked for Clash at the Castle in September, so this suspension probably won’t last very long. Perhaps Adam Pearce will take a break from screwing over Sonya Deville to let us know when Ronda will return to WWE.
The rest of the title scene
Thanks to a huge assist from The Usos and Paul Heyman, WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns retained his gold against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Drew McIntyre will challenge reigns for the belt at Clash at the Castle. Part-timer Reigns is listed on WWE’s events page for tonight, so these two men might actually go face-to-face while hyping up their title fight.
Intercontinental Champion Gunther wants to restore the prestige of the belt and won’t tolerate failure. Something’s been brewing between him and Shinsuke Nakamura for a few weeks, so hopefully tonight we’ll find out if or when they are going to wrestle each other.
The Usos successfully defended the WWE tag team titles at SummerSlam and earlier this week on Raw. Their biggest current threat on the SmackDown roster appears to be The New and Vicious Viking Raiders. Is WWE going to book a heel vs heel title match, or are the Vikings more interested in continuing to injure the New Day instead of pursuing the belts?
Vacant is still the WWE women’s tag team champions. There’s a rumor that Sasha Banks and Naomi are on their way back to WWE. Could they be next in line to win back the belts that they never lost?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Sheamus couldn’t figure out how to topple Drew McIntyre last week, but the Brawling Brutes probably figure into WWE’s plans for Clash at the Castle.
- Lacey Evans was not cleared to compete last week, so Shotzi took her place and picked up a win over Aliyah. Will the underappreciated Evans return tonight to tell wrestling fans to go to hell?
- Maximum Male Models is at full force with both Max and Maxxine Dupri running the group. We learned at SummerSlam that mån.sôör and ma.çé can really titillate our juices by pouring a ton of water on each other.
- Ricochet vanished from WWE television in July. Let’s hope that changes in August.
- Happy Corbin lost against Pat McAfee at SummerSlam. Will Bum Ass let it go there, or is hellbent on revenge?
- Raquel Rodriguez has been a generic smiling babyface for a while now. Will that change now that Triple H is in charge of WWE creative?
- Speaking of Triple H, what big changes does he have in store for SmackDown tonight? Fans are excited for tonight’s show after a pretty good episode of Raw this week under Triple H’s direction.
What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?