Another week, another episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown. They sure do come around fast, don’t they? In a break away from the usual WWE tradition, there are actually four (yes, four whole segments) segments announced for SmackDown tonight. Hallelujah! Instead of wasting time, let’s dive right in.
Max Dupri Announces the First “Maximum Male Model”
It has been a few weeks now since the former LA Knight (and former Eli Drake) joined the blue brand as the now-christened Max Dupri. Many complained about the name change but, honestly, it suits him and it works for his new character direction. Besides, isn’t “LA Knight” a bad guy in a Batman game or something? Anyway, Max Dupri is now a talent scout/agent/manager and if anyone can make this role work, it’s him. Tonight, Dupri announces the first “Maximum Male Model” – thus confirming he is no longer the bad guy from a Batman game but a character from an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Whoever his new client is, we are sure they are in capable hands.
Lacey Evans vs. Xia Li in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Where do we begin with this one? Xia Li has been kept off of TV for months now – even after an impressive re-debut as a comic book themed wrestler. She had an awesome entrance; successfully showed off her moves and could have quite easily gotten over with the character. Then, WWE (for reasons so far unknown) withdrew her from our screens and kept her away. It is also now quite possible that Xia is getting repacked once more – well, technically re-repackaged, since it is quite possibly a return to her NXT character of Tian Sha. Meanwhile, Lacey Evans was slowly being turned towards the babyface disposition with a number of weekly vignettes playing to her impressive military background. Then she went to Raw and randomly became a heel… and then even more randomly returned to SmackDown. So, now, we have this Money in the Bank qualifying match between two superstars the WWE doesn’t know what to do with. Expect Evans to win somehow.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
These two have been friends for decades and are easily capable of delivering a clinic of a big man slug fest. Drew McIntyre (or “Big D”, as he has been named by his friends in the New Day) is potentially the strong favorite, but we also can’t rule out Sheamus – he is a multi-time world champion and his group of sluggers is somewhat over. We pick Drew to win and enter the Money in the Bank ladder match.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Gunther vs. Ricochet
One weekly highlight on SmackDown in recent weeks has been the arrival of Gunther, formerly known as WALTER. We are big Gunther fans in these parts and we advocate tonight’s likely demolition of current Intercontinental Champion, Ricochet. Ricochet has been underutilized as the Intercontinental Champion and he undoubtedly deserved better during WrestleMania season. However, without a shadow of a doubt, this is Gunther’s time and he absolutely must win tonight to maintain momentum on his warpath to an eventual world title challenge. Gunther goes over. Tune into SmackDown on FOX.
Not Announced But Expected for SmackDown
– Riddle wants a piece of the “Tribal Chief”, Roman Reigns. Reigns will likely not be in the building, but you can expect Sami Zayn to stand up for his new “friends”.
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