WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Roman Reigns rules over Drew McIntyre ahead of Clash at the Castle

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Momentum is completely in Roman Reigns' court ahead of Clash at the Castle. Total cohesion between The Bloodline and Sami Zayn equalled a tough night for Drew McIntyre on WWE SmackDown.

After months of networking, Zayn appeared to be fully integrated into The Bloodline. Tensions remained, but Reigns and The Usos have embraced Zayn as a helpful hand in their ongoing rivalry against McIntyre. Karrion Kross and Scarlett continued to operate in the black-and-white shadows of the main event scene.

Elsewhere on SmackDown, one duo advanced to the finals of the WWE women's tag team tournament, New Day got the leg up on the Viking Raiders, and intercontinental champion Gunther came face-to-face with Sheamus.

CBS Sports has all the recaps and highlights from the action at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Drew McIntyre crumbles against the joint forces of The Bloodline and Sami Zayn

McIntyre starred in a sentimental video package about the ups and downs of his life and career. It documented his quick rise through pro wrestling, being declared as Vince McMahon's "Chosen One" and subsequent fall from grace. McIntyre described himself as immature prior to his WWE release and detailed the motivation that led to his return and world title reign.

Kross and Scarlett appeared in the rafters of the arena. Kross – depicted in a black-and-white filter – poked at McIntyre's emotional story before suggesting he had the power to topple everything that McIntyre is working toward.

Zayn dropped by The Bloodline's locker room but was intercepted by The Usos. Jimmy congratulated Zayn on the reception he received last week in Montreal. Jey was hostile and criticized Zayn for his losing a Fatal Five-Way match. Reigns invited Zayn into the locker room. The world champion thanked Zayn for looking out for him last week and asked Zayn to keep McIntyre occupied and distracted ahead of Clash at the Castle.

The Usos approached Zayn shortly before his match. Jimmy kindly informed Zayn that this was a rare opportunity to curry favor with Reigns. Jey aggressively told Zayn not to blow it. Zayn challenged Jey's attitude and Jey snapped at Zayn for talking to Reigns about him.

McIntyre rag-dolled Zayn for the early portion of the match. Zayn turned the tide with a big sunset powerbomb off the corner ropes. McIntyre regained control until The Usos distracted McIntyre, allowing Zayn to land the Blue Thunder Bomb. The Usos threatened another interference, but McIntyre outmaneuvered them and clocked Zayn with a Brogue Kick for the three-count. The Bloodline assaulted McIntyre post-fight and pelted him with chair shots. The Usos set up Zayn for a ringside Helluva Kick, showing cohesion in their historically uneasy alliance. Reigns choked out McIntyre with his signature guillotine choke. SmackDown closed with Reigns talking into the camera while sitting on a chair placed over McIntyre's neck and head.

The interplay between The Bloodline and Zayn continues to be the highlight of SmackDown. Friday's show explored the full spectrum of the grouping. Reigns was fatherly yet stern, Jimmy was supportive and Jey was combative. SmackDown's conclusion was a significant plot development with the first real sign of cohesion and teamwork between The Bloodline and Zayn. Kross continued to play a secondary role in the McIntyre-Bloodline feud, adding another dimension to the main event picture. McIntyre vs. Zayn was nothing special, but it wasn't the focal point of the show. Grade: B

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • Ricochet def. Happy Corbin via pinfall after landing his patented Shooting Star Press.

  • Street Profits and Hit Row had a pleasant encounter backstage. 

  • Women's tag team title tournament ("Second Chance" Fatal Four-Way match) -- Sonya Deville and Natalya def. Dana Brooke and Tamina, Shotzi and Xia Li, and Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop via pinfall to advance to the semifinals. Deville rolled Nikki into the ring after Brooke superplexed her into all the other participants. 

  • Gunther and Sheamus exchanged words and squared off ahead of their intercontinental match. Sheamus told Gunther he saw much of himself in Gunther. The champion said he was nothing like Sheamus. Ludwig Kaiser brawled with Butch and Ridge Holland.

  • Women's tag team title tournament semifinals – Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah def. Sonya Deville and Natalya via pinfall after Rodriguez planted Deville with the Texana Bomb. 

  • Maximum Male Models' photoshoot is interrupted by Hit Row's tour bus. Angel Garza and Humberto Carillo suggested painting over the bus. Hit Row confronted MMM and it was revealed that the bus belonged to Street Profits.

  • New Day sent Viking Raiders into retreat with kendo sticks. Woods feigned requiring a wheelchair to get the upper hand on Erik and Ivar.

  • Roman Reigns will celebrate the two-year anniversary of his world title reign next week.

  • Karrion Kross will make his in-ring return next week.

  • Maximum Male Models will make their in-ring debut as a collective against Hit Row next week.

  • Ludwig Kaiser vs. Butch was announced for next week's SmackDown.

  • New Day vs. Viking Raiders in a "Viking Rules" match set for next week's SmackDown

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August 27, 2022, 12:00 AM