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WWE SmackDown preview (Sept. 16, 2022): Liv Morgan is in a world of trouble

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SmackDown airs tonight (Sept. 16) with a live show from Honda Center in Anaheim, California. This is the second SmackDown episode during the five week build towards Extreme Rules, which takes place on Oct. 8.

Liv Morgan is in a world of trouble

SmackDown Women’s Champion Liv Morgan has another rematch set with Ronda Rousey. They’ll battle it out for the gold at Extreme Rules.

Ronda has plenty of motivation to dismantle Liv and take her arm. Liv stole the title from Rousey at Money in the Bank in July. Later that month, Rousey forced Morgan to tap out in a rematch at SummerSlam, but the referee screwed up and declared Morgan the winner. Rousey snapped on Morgan and the ref, getting herself suspended in the process.

At the time it looked like a heel turn, but that suspension has actually helped Ronda gain momentum and popularity among live fans. The Baddest Woman on the Planet now comes out each week not giving a shit about the rules and just doing whatever the hell she feels like. That includes attacking Adam Pearce after he informed her that her suspension was lifted.

Ronda’s first match off suspension took place last week. She easily defeated Xia Li, Natalya, Sonya Deville, and Lacey Evans to become the number one contender for the women’s title at Extreme Rules.

Liv Morgan is clearly in way over her head against this version of Ronda Rousey. Ronda dominated Liv at SummerSlam before she had this huge chip on her shoulder. Now Ronda is even more driven to hurt and embarrass the current champ and take back what’s rightfully her title.

The bottom line is that Morgan is in a world of trouble and better come up with a plan to survive Rousey’s wrath. The key to the whole thing might just be Shayna Baszler, who Morgan recently defeated in a title match at Clash at the Castle. Rousey has had some tough talk for Shayna lately, trying to motivate her to regain that killer instinct. Perhaps it will backfire and Shayna will turn on Ronda instead. That could be Liv Morgan’s best way to escape this predicament as the champion.

Liv’s other way out involves WWE Official Adam Pearce, who at this point is probably willing to abuse his power to gain a measure of revenge on Ronda. Morgan and Rousey already had a regular singles match for the belt at SummerSlam, so it makes sense to add a gimmick to the fight this time around. If Adam Pearce is the person who chooses the gimmick, he’ll almost certainly try to stack the deck against Ronda, right?

Maybe we’ll find out tonight what he has in store for her.

The rest of the title scene

Dakota Kai and IYO SKY are the new Women’s tag team champions. It sounds like they’ll be on the show tonight, along with their ally Bayley. Are former champs Aliyah and Raquel Rodriguez getting a rematch for the belts in the near future?

Intercontinental Champion Gunther has gotten the better of Sheamus in solo action and group warfare. Is it time to up the ante in this one with a gimmick match for the belt at Extreme Rules, or does Sheamus no longer deserve a title shot?

Solo Sikoa won the North American championship earlier this week on NXT. Will that belt become a main roster title now that Sikoa has officially joined The Bloodline?

Logan Paul actually thinks he can beat WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns in a match. Logan is coming to SmackDown tonight, and Paul Heyman may very well return to TV to handle this situation on behalf of the Tribal Chief. WWE’s official write-up on Logan’s return doesn’t mention Reigns or Heyman, so maybe a different heel will confront the babyface YouTube star tonight. How about an Honorary Uce?

The Usos are the WWE tag team champs but have no televised title defenses since the Aug. 1 episode of Raw. There will be a Fatal 4-Way match tonight to determine their next challenger. The four teams vying for that spot are New Day, Street Profits, Los Lotharios, and Alpha Academy. Los Lotharios and Alpha Academy are clearly low card fodder who are pretenders against the champs, while the Usos spent a good portion of the summer beating the Street Profits. Then there’s the New Day, who recently lost a Viking Rules match against the Viking Raiders. Triple H, you have some work to do here to fix this underwhelming tag team division.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Karrion Kross escalated things with Drew McIntyre last week by choking him out with the Kross Jacket. I bet that’s a good enough reason for Drew to temporarily forget about The Bloodline and focus all of his attention on kicking this guy’s head off.

- Braun Strowman has returned to WWE and is right back in a top babyface position. It might be a while before he can get a piece of Roman Reigns, which means some other heels will have to Get These Hands over the next month. Does he plan on ruining the Fatal 4-Way tag team match again tonight?

- Happy Corbin got in JBL’s limo a couple weeks ago and we haven’t seen him since. JBL must have offered him some really good candy.

- Babyfaces Ricochet and Shinsuke Nakamura have recently beaten Corbin and are kind of wandering around in limbo searching for their next storyline.

- Hit Row remains very good at humiliating Maximum Male Models, and Max Dupri might be ready to make a change as a result.

- Lacey Evans returned to WWE television last week and was defeated in her first match back.

- Where the heck is future WrestleMania main event star Shanky?

- Corey Graves has replaced Pat McAfee on commentary, and we are all worse off for it. Well, I suppose I shouldn’t speak for anybody besides myself. I am worse off for it. You can let me know in the comments below if you are in the same boat as me.

What will you be looking for on SmackDown?

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