Hit Row Returns On August 12, 2022
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Hit Row returned on WWE SmackDown less than 24 hours after rumors began surfacing that they were on their way back to the company. With Isiah Swerve Scott enjoying a tag title run in AEW as Swerve Strickland, the new Hit Row consists of Top Dolla, Ashante Thee Adonis and B-Fab. Hit Row was victorious in a dominant re-debut against local competitors.

Hit Row last appeared on the November 12, 2022 broadcast of SmackDown before being released that same month. B-Fab was let go on November 4, 2021 while Top Dolla, Ashante Adonis and Isiah Swerve Scott were released 15 days later. The return of Hit Row continues a theme in the Triple H era of popular stars being brought back by the McMahon-Helmsley regime, especially those who thrived during NXT’s Black and Gold era.

WWE SmackDown advertised Gunther vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship as well as a contract signing between SmackDown women’s champion Liv Morgan and new No. 1 Contender Shayna Baszler. SmackDown also continued the first round of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament as Raquel Gonzalez and Aliyah faced Xia Li and Shotzi.

SmackDown viewership remained strong with 2.093 million viewers on a broadcast featuring the surprise return of Karrion Kross.

WWE SmackDown Ratings

  • August 5, 2022 | 2.093 million
  • July 29, 2022 | 2.193 million
  • July 22, 2022 | 2.256 million
  • July 15, 2022 | 2.129 million
  • July 8, 2022 | 2.077 million
  • WWE SmackDown Venue: PNC Arena (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • WWE SmackDown Tickets Distributed: 8,947
  • Available Tickets: 341

WWE SmackDown Results | Friday, August 12, 2022

Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah def. Xia Li and Shotzi

This was basically a showcase match for Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah, who seemed so happy to be paired with a pushed talent like Rodriguez. I could see Rodriguez and Aliyah being darkhorses to win this tournament if it wasn’t for Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky.

Aliyah repeatedly kissed Rodriguez on the head after the team’s victory. Did I mention how happy she is to finally be on the winning side of the equation?

The Usos Lay out Drew McIntyre

Karrion Kross cut a solid backstage promo about being cast out like a broken toy. With Drew McIntyre calling out Kross, there’s an outside chance that Karrion Kross is the reason McIntyre loses to Roman Reigns at Clash at the Castle.

Scarlett was described as Karrion Kross’ “Oracle, his Angel of Doom…his Melisandre.” WWE is clearly working out branded terms to see which one sticks.

The Usos, not Karrion Kross, laid out Drew McIntyre off the distraction from Scarlett, who could barely be heard telling the Usos that Kross is coming for Reigns.

McIntyre got his get back by mauling the Usos backstage. Sami Zayn, who promptly fled, was helpless.

Poor Kofi Kingston was laid out by the Viking Raiders, who vow to host a “Viking Funeral” for Kinston next week.

Hit Row def. Local Competitors

Pat McAfee used a telestrator to illustrate how both local competitors were likely to defecate themselves.

The cherry on top of this return is Top Dolla, Ashante Thee Adonis and B-Fab made their return.

Hit Row tagged in and out of this match using the Hit Row “three fingers” sign.

Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler Contract Signing

Ronda Rousey crashed the contract signing and had another one of her patented security-destroying meltdowns. Rousey then paid her fine in straight cash, homie. This brought out Shayna Baszler, who scolded Rousey before making her way to the ring. Rousey told Baszler that she “used to be a killer,” and that’s probably going to be the thread to finally bring these two together as allies on TV.

Liv Morgan received a good reaction for calling Baszler a “bootleg Ronda Rousey,” but fans also chanted “you tapped out.” The damage continues to be done from WWE getting too cute with the finish for SummerSlam.

Drew McIntyre and Madcap Moss def. The Usos

I never realized it until they stood in the ring together, but Drew McIntyre and babyface Madcap Moss have the same hair, beard, trunks, knee pads and boots.

Sami Zayn atoned from running away from the fracas when he returned to distract Drew McIntyre. Zayn later ran away once again.

After getting laid out in back-to-back weeks, Drew McIntyre rallied back on this episode with a backstage attack and a victory over the Usos.

Gunther vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Pat McAfee refused to get up on the desk during Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance, claiming to be “focused.” That, or perhaps Pat McAfee dancing during Shinsuke’s entrance has been placed in the “Ezekiel” category.

McAfee and Michael Cole took turns naming off the legends and WWE Hall of Famers who have held the Intercontinental Championship as WWE continues to build up its secondary titles.

Michael Cole made a point to mention John Cena as an opponent Gunther wants to wrestle in the future. Prior to name-dropping Cena, Cole noted “this is important.”

Fans came unglued for a late rally by Nakamura before Gunther ultimately won with a power bomb. For the second time this week, WWE gave a secondary title match a lot of time, thereby elevating the “working man’s” title.

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