The night before the Clash of the Castle premium live event, the reigning, defending, undisputed World Heavy Weight champion, Roman Reigns, celebrated his long two-year run as champion on SmackDown.
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Let’s look at what went down in this week’s episode of Smackdown Live. What did The Tribal Chief have to say about his monumental feat, and would McIntyre find a way to make his presence felt following a beatdown at the hands of The Bloodline a week ago?
Smackdown Match Card
- Roman Reigns’ Two-Year Celebration
- Ronda Rousey’s “final judgment”
- Karrion Kross’ in-ring return
- Viking Rules Match: The New Day vs. The Viking Raiders
- Butch vs. Ludwig Kaiser
Viking Rules Match: The New Day vs. The Viking Raiders
The New Day and the Viking Raiders have been involved in a fight for weeks. Every single time both teams met, the Vikings dominated the New Day. It all came down to one last fight in a Viking Rules match where there would be no rules and it was a no holds barred match.
The match was incredibly physical and contained some great points that allowed New Day to express their creativity and allowed Erik and Ivar to be the dominant and tough big men that they are.
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Taking up almost a quarter of the two-hour show, it was a fitting starting point for the feud and should serve to further the Viking Raiders. Ragnarök finishes against Woods with two tables stacked and the Viking Raiders win the match.
Karrion Kross vs. Drew Gulak
Karrion Kross made a surprise return to WWE a few weeks ago and has been warning his opponents of his comeback. After his return, Kross finally made his in-ring debut against Drew Gulak.
The match was a quick-swashbuckling one. Kross overpowered Drew Gulak and finished the mat magician with the Kross Jacket.
Kross looked dominant in the ring and is a clear contender for the Universal Championship soon.
Result: Kross defeated Drew Gulak.
Ronda Rousey’s Final Judgement
Ronda Rousey stepped into the ring, determined to have her suspension lifted. WWE official Adam Pearce interrupted and was given a letter to read aloud to the WWE Universe by The Baddest Woman on the Planet.
It contained the official decision that Rousey’s suspension had been lifted. Unhappy with the decision, Pearce stated that he would have fired the former SmackDown Women’s champion if he had his way.
He went on a rant about his job’s stress, among other things, and insulted Rousey to put an exclamation point on it. The UFC Hall of Famer retaliated with an armbar that had Scrap Iron writhing in agony.
In an attempt to turn things around, Happy Corbin issued an open challenge, which former Intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura accepted.
The Artist dominated the action throughout the match, and when fans chanted “Corbin sucks,” he left himself open to a Nakamura comeback, and the Kinshasa finished him off.
This was merely the continuation of Corbin’s downward spiral, which, hopefully, will result in the return of Bum Ass Corbin, his most famous incarnation.
Read More: Edge Might Retire at Next Year’s Summer Slam
Butch vs. Ludwig Kaiser
Sheamus group member Butch squared off against The Ring General’s right-hand man, Ludwig Kaiser.
He repeatedly targeted Kaiser’s left arm, but the former NXT Tag Team champion fought through it and scored several near-falls as a result.
The action culminated when Butch used joint manipulation to escape Kaiser’s clutches and deliver the Bitter End for the pinfall victory.
This was a highly competitive match with significant physicality and great psychology from Butch, who repeatedly found ways to manipulate Kaiser’s joints, resulting in a hard-fought victory.
Drew McIntyre Spoils Roman Reigns’ two-year Celebration on SmackDown
The Usos and Sami Zayn entered the ring to honor Undisputed WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns and his two-year reign as the industry’s top dog.
They were graced with the presence of Drew McIntyre instead of The Head of the Table, who leveled the champion with a Claymore backstage and walked to the ring to avenge the Beatdown that left him laying a week ago.
The No. 1 contender demolished his opponents by kicking a chair in the face of Zayn, driving Jimmy through the announce table, and spearing Jey through the timekeeper’s position. To close SmackDown live, the Scottish Warrior stood tall ahead of what is arguably the biggest match of his career.