Welcome to this week’s edition of things WWE subtly told us on SmackDown before Hell in a Cell 2022. It hardly felt like a go-home show because overall, Hell in a Cell is essentially a RAW exclusive premium live special.
There is only one match from SmackDown on the show, but we will get to that in a bit. It was a mixed episode with good and bad and a great ending. So what went down on the blue brand this week? What was subtly hinted at about the road ahead? Read more to find out:
#5. The fate of Roman Reigns’ title run and two major spoilers
Roman Reigns hasn’t appeared much in the build-up to Hell in a Cell. Objectively speaking, he deserves a break, and it makes little sense for WWE to utilize him when he doesn’t have a title defense at Hell in a Cell. However, July to September will be busy for him.
July will feature Money in the Bank, August is SummerSlam, and September is the highly-anticipated Clash at the Castle event. This week on SmackDown, Drew McIntyre challenged Roman Reigns to a Universal title match at Clash in the Castle – three months away.
This leads us to the first major spoiler – that Roman Reigns isn’t losing the championship this summer regardless of who he faces. The second is his upcoming opponent – which looks like it will be former RAW Tag Team Champion Riddle.
Riddle’s feud with Reigns was teased in the final moments of the night, and we will get back to that later.
#4. Ricochet’s Intercontinental Title reign to come to a screeching halt on SmackDown next week?
Ricochet hasn’t had the strongest reign as the Intercontinental Champion, but he will have a defining title defense next week against record-breaking superstar Gunther.
The two superstars cut a promo, with Gunther finally uttering a few words. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, but from the way things have been handled, the top heel Gunther is likely to win his first championship next week.
#3. A filler feud for SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey?
We were admittedly surprised when the six-pack challenge on SmackDown ended with Natalya of all superstars becoming the number one contender. The Shotzi-Aliyah feud had some continuity as the former locked the latter in the locker room before the match, getting a measure of revenge from last week.
Aliyah got out just in time to join the match. Raquel Rodriguez winning would have been dull, so they needed to go with someone else. Shayna Baszler would have been the best option considering their history, but Ronda Rousey and Natalya have done battle before around the end of 2018.
The way it was presented hinted at the fact that this will merely be a filler feud for “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey.
#2. The rise of Madcap Moss
Madcap Moss returned in an ambulance. One of our writers pointed out how unrealistic this was, as ambulances aren’t used to dropping anyone back. Either way, it made for a dramatic entrance as Madcap Moss returned with a new look and hinted at a big character change.
While he may have lost to Happy Corbin on DQ, it was all done to set up the No Holds Barred match at Hell in a Cell, where Moss is likely to ditch the Madcap name and character altogether in favor of an edgier persona. It will be interesting to see how he progresses, as he has already exceeded the expectations set for him.
#1. Riddle’s next hurdle
The main event of SmackDown saw Riddle and Shinsuke Nakamura face The Usos for the Undisputed Tag Team titles. It was an interesting bout that saw Nakamura get taken out, leaving Riddle without a tag team partner yet again.
This was crucial in the storytelling of SmackDown’s main event. Riddle may have hit the Super RKO, but Roman Reigns’ music hit, distracting him and allowing The Usos to win.
It was all a ploy by Sami Zayn to get into the good books of the Bloodline. Riddle vs Zayn will be the first match, and Riddle is also being teased as Reigns’ next Universal title opponent.
Former WWE star Steve Maclin learns who his Wrestling Showcase opponent is live on the air here.