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WWE SmackDown recap & reactions (Aug. 5, 2022): You tapped out

This week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown featured Liv Morgan getting the chance to talk for the first time since the events of SummerSlam, where she tapped out to Ronda Rousey but won anyway because the referee missed it. Fans in the arena gave her a muted response, and then chanted “you tapped out” at her.

“It’s okay, I appreciate y’all calling me out on my shit like that,” she appeared to respond, though they censored her on FOX. The fans booed her anyway. Then she used the excuse that she only tapped after she believed the referee had counted to three. It was a silly excuse, one so bad that I actually considered it may have been purposeful.

Could they actually have intended a double turn with that finish at SummerSlam, with both of them somehow going heel? Would that even be a double turn?

You’d have to believe that’s not actually the case but I do appreciate that they aren’t piping in crowd noise to support whatever position they prefer and instead allowing the crowd to respond naturally. That response was split. She was cheered, and she was booed. Loudly.

Sonya Deville hit the scene while she was still excusing her cheap win, and delivered a heel promo that actually made a great deal of sense and the fans didn’t seem to know how to react to it.

This was all very fascinating.

It led into a Gauntlet match to determine Morgan’s next challenger at Clash at the Castle. That match featured Raquel Rodriguez cast as the babyface trying her best to run the gauntlet but ultimately falling short to the heel entering the match to oppose her while she’s dead tired. That heel was Shayna Baszler.

This sets up a lot of interesting possibilities for Ronda Rousey’s return, at the very least, but there’s not much reason to be excited about Baszler vs. Morgan, at least not at the moment. To be fair, they need time to build a feud, but that’s why finding contenders with matches like this is, in this writer’s humble opinion, a bit silly and counterproductive.

Again, though, the potential for what could come later is definitely there.

Well, well, well, look who else Triple H decided to bring back now that he’s running the main roster.

It’s none other than the man he refused to beat in NXT, the man booked stronger than anyone, the man with a super cool entrance married to the woman playing his manager on screen, who greatly added to his entire character, none other than Karrion Kross.

When he was first given a run on the main roster, Vince McMahon instantly jobbed him out, put a dumb helmet on him, and took Scarlett Bordeaux away. He basically stripped him of everything that made him remotely interesting in NXT and it wasn’t long after he was outright released by the company.

Things have changed now, and Triple H seems eager to right some wrongs. First, Dakota Kai. Now, Karrion Kross.

For further proof of that, he’s already in the main event picture, having made his surprise return in the main event to interrupt Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns.

This was a legitimate surprise, rumors and reports be damned, and there’s reason to be intrigued about what the future holds here.

All the rest
  • This show really started with 10 minutes of recaps from SummerSlam. I get it, remind everyone of what happened nearly a full week before, but the stuff with Pat McAfee using a telestrator to continue dumping on Happy Corbin didn’t land all that well. It was used to set up a match pitting Corbin against Ricochet, who was making fun of him over it. It was a surprisingly fun match, one Ricochet won because Corbin couldn’t stop getting distracted by McAfee’s mere presence ringside. After, Pat Mac played catch with him and then autographed a football before punting it into the crowd. They really seemed to be trying to put over how much fun they were all having here.
  • They did yet another Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ludwig Kaiser match, the two having split a pair of matches over the past couple weeks. For the rubber match, they stipulated Nakamura would earn a title shot next week with a victory. He won, of course, and will go to war with GUNTHER in seven days. They did a staredown for that but avoided the typical GUNTHER abuse of Kaiser, which is actually a good thing considering you can only do it so much before you have to do a deeper exploration of the characters.
  • The Vicious Vikings beat down some local athletes. I remain in favor of getting wrestlers over by simply having them squash people. After, Kofi Kingston, by himself this week, hit the scene to attack them both with a kendo stick.
  • Sami Zayn is trying to remain in the good graces of The Bloodline but The Usos have demanded he start pulling his weight or be made to remove the shirt representing them. By “pulling his weight,” Jey seemed to be referencing the fact that Reigns, Jey, and Jimmy have six titles among them while Sami has zero. That needs to change. It’s an interesting wrinkle for whatever this is going to turn into, and I’m still intrigued and want to see where they take it.

This show was interesting for everything it set up moving forward but as a standalone show, it was fairly average.

Grade: C+

Your turn.

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