By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,192)
Live from Austin, Texas at Moody Center
Aired June 24, 2022 on Fox
[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap of Roman Reigns beating Riddle to retain the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in last week’s main event followed by the return of Brock Lesnar…
Michael Cole and Pat McAfee checked in on commentary and hyped Reigns vs. Lesnar in a Last Man Standing match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship as the SummerSlam main event. Samantha Irvin was the ring announcer…
Drew McIntyre made his entrance and welcomed viewers to the show. He said that no matter how many wins he gets, Reigns keeps ducking him. He said he would have to take matters into his own hands by winning Money in the Bank.
McIntyre acknowledged Brock Lesnar getting a title shot at SummerSlam. McIntyre said that’s okay and Lesnar does things his way, whereas he does things the hard way. McIntyre was interrupted by entrance music.
Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch made their entrance. Sheamus spoke as they walked to the ring and said SummerSlam would be the perfect time to cash in the MITB contract once Reigns and Lesnar are finished beating the hell out of each other. Sheamus and his crew entered the ring. Sheamus said McIntyre’s experience with MITB is having someone win it and cash in on him.
Paul Heyman interrupted with a “ladies and gentlemen” line from backstage. Heyman and birthday boy Adam Pearce walked onto the stage together. Heyman said Reigns would retain his championship at SummerSlam, but he said they have a problem.
Heyman said Reigns would be left vulnerable to a cash-in by someone such as McIntyre or Sheamus. He said it’s not a knock on Reigns. He said Lesnar would also be vulnerable, and then he quickly said he wasn’t saying Lesnar would win. Heyman said he was there to make sure that didn’t happen.
Pearce recalled his previous ruling that McIntyre and Sheamus would both be in the MITB ladder match despite competing to a double disqualification in a qualifying match. Pearce said that after some influence by Heyman, WWE management chose to overrule his decision. Pearce said McIntyre and Sheamus would not be part of the MITB ladder match.
Pearce said there was a path forward for both of them to qualify. He said they would need to put their issues aside and defeat the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy and Jey Uso later in the night. The Usos made their entrance and joined Heyman on the stage. Cole hyped an MITB qualifier for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Stephanie McMahon made her first good decision as the interim CEO! Okay, not really, but it was a ridiculous storyline decision that McIntyre and Sheamus both qualified for the MITB match despite fighting to a double DQ. I’m fine with this new approach and the segment was fine aside from McIntyre claiming that Reigns is ducking him when it’s already been announced that McIntyre has a title match at the Cardiff Stadium show over Labor Day weekend.
Cole announced that the Usos would not be defending the tag titles nor attempting to qualify for the MITB ladder…