WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Drew McIntyre finds ally in war against The Bloodline and Karrion Kross

Drew McIntyre WWE SmackDown pro wrestling news

Plot development was the name of the game on WWE SmackDown. Drew McIntyre found himself a much-needed ally in his war against The Bloodline while Sami Zayn proved his value to The Usos. All of this as the apocalyptic shadows of Karrion Kross and Scarlett loomed.

Undisputed WWE universal champion Roman Reigns will defend his title against McIntyre at Clash at the Castle. Their pay-per-view match may be one-on-one, but SmackDown featured many moving parts. Kross and Scarlett made their returns last week and planted the seeds for a malevolent takeover of the main event scene.

A busy two hours of SmackDown also featured a great intercontinental title match, Ronda Rousey's first appearance since SummerSlam, the return of a promising stable and advancement in the women's tag team title tournament. 

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.

McIntyre befriends former foe in battle with The Bloodline

Karrion Kross, accompanied by Scarlett, cut a promo about how they have planned and prepared since being cast away from WWE last year. They seek to punish "chosen ones" Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns. The camera panned to reveal McIntyre just around the corner, seemingly unaware that Kross and Scarlett were watching them.

McIntyre entered the ring and cut a fiery promo. He promised to put Kross in a graveyard before criticizing Reigns for his increased absences from SmackDown. The TV screen went black-and-white as Scarlett made a theatrical walk to the ring. Her confrontation with McIntyre was interrupted as The Usos assaulted McIntyre from behind. The Usos warned Scarlett that SmackDown is The Bloodline's territory.

Later in the evening, Zayn touched base with The Usos to acknowledge Jey's criticisms of him last week. McIntyre vengefully laid out The Usos backstage before they could dig into the conversation. Zayn quickly fled, leaving his associates in The Bloodline high and dry.

The Usos confronted "track star" Zayn for fleeing. Zayn swore that he was trying to track down security to deal with McIntyre. Jey and Jimmy told Zayn they were going to deal with McIntyre directly and entered the ring to challenge him.

Drew McIntyre and Madcap Moss def. The Usos via pinfall after McIntyre hit Jimmy with a Claymore Kick. The Usos entered the ring and challenged McIntyre to an impromptu tag-team match. McIntyre took on Jimmy and Jey by himself until the odds overwhelmed him. Enter Moss, who hit the ring like a bull and tossed around The Usos as McIntyre's partner. McIntyre counted down for the Claymore Kick, but a distraction by Zayn nearly secured The Usos a victory.

Post-match: Zayn pushed Jimmy out of the way of a second Claymore Kick. Zayn absorbed the kick himself, reaffirming his commitment to The Bloodline.

Another week, another fantastic episode of SmackDown under Triple H's creative leadership. There are two main things that stood out this week: plot development and camera techniques. Kross and Scarlett made their intentions clear, McIntyre found himself a much-needed ally, Zayn proved his value to The Bloodline and a territory war is brewing between Kross-Scarlett and Reigns' faction. There was a simple yet wonderful sequence of camera shots that fall in line with this vision. Kross cut a promo about McIntyre, the camera panned to McIntyre around the corner and then transitioned to McIntyre making his entrance. A classic example of continuity and a subtle touch of WWE's new vision. Grade: A

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah def. Xia Li and Shotzi via pinfall after Rodriguez planted Li with the Texana Bomb. Rodriguez and Aliyah advance to the semifinals of the women's tag team title tournament.
  • The Viking Raiders crushed Kofi Kingston with their shields and a big splash on the rampway. Kingston ambushed Erik and Ivar with a kendo stick and got the better of his foes for a brief period.
  • Hit Row def. Brandon Scott and Trevor Irving via pinfall after landing their Heavy Hitter double-team move. The stable consisting of B-Fab, Top Dolla and Ashante "Thee" Adonis made their returns to WWE following their release in late 2021. 
  • Ronda Rousey entered through the crowd and dumped a duffle bag full of cash in the ring. Rousey was suspended at SummerSlam for attacking a referee. Rousey hip-tossed a security guard on her way out.
  • Liv Morgan bulldogged Shayna Baszler through a table after their contract signing for a SmackDown women's title match at Clash at the Castle. Baszler repeatedly attacked Morgan's injured arm during the exchange.
  • Los Lathorios (Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo) pitched themselves to Maximum Male Models during a photoshoot with man.soor and ma.ce.
  • Happy Corbin attacked Ricochet backstage after losing to Ricochet last week.
  • A video package introduced NXT's Lyons and Stark to the WWE Universe.
  • Intercontinental championship -- Gunther (c ) def. Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall after planting him with a powerbomb. This was a competitive match that had the crowd chanting "this is awesome."
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