Ahead of SmackDown on Friday night, the professional wrestling landscape changed dramatically asas accusations of hush money and non-disclosure agreements involving alleged affairs and sexual harassment were actively being investigated.
Following McMahon’s retirement, reports emerged that Brock Lesnar had stormed out of the arena ahead of his announced appearance and would not be involved in the show. WWE then removed Lesnar from all advertisements for the show.
Still, Lesnar ultimately showed up to end the program, continuing the build to his last man standing match with undisputed champion Roman Reigns at SummerSlam on July 30.
CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from TD Garden in Boston.
Brock Lesnar wrecks Austin Theory amid controversy
The Street Profits and Madcap Moss ran off The Usos and Theory. The Profits came out after Stephanie McMahon’s opening promo (see below) only to be interrupted by The Usos and Theory before a brawl broke out and Moss evened the odds. This led to a six-man tag match for the main event. Paul Heyman made it clear to The Usos that, despite Theory being their partner for the night, their job was to lay him out by the end of the show.
The Street Profits & Madcap Moss def. The Usos & Theory via disqualification when Theory used the Money in the Bank briefcase to attack Moss. In the middle of the match, The Usos began hitting Theory with superkicks after he attempted to walk out on the match. The Usos seemed prepared to do the same until they were attacked by the Profits. After Theory attacked Moss, Brock Lesnar’s music hit and he arrived, circling the ring as Theory stood in the center clutching his briefcase. Lesnar entered the ring before kicking Theory in the stomach, hitting an F-5 and then smashing Theory across the back several times with the briefcase. Lesnar then hit one final F-5, dropping Theory on the briefcase.
In what was one of the strangest days in the history of professional wrestling, Brock Lesnar still showed up to do what Brock Lesnar does best. The show felt odd from the jump, with Stephanie McMahon leading chants for her father and then two hours of mostly insignificant action. Then, Lesnar showed up despite reportedly leaving the arena in the wake of Vince McMahon’s retirement. It wasn’t anything special, but it was at least delivering on his advertised appearance ahead of SummerSlam, so that’s something. Grade: C
What else happened on WWE SmackDown?
- Stephanie McMahon opened the show briefly discussing her father’s retirement before leading the crowd in a chant of “Thank you, Vince.”
- Ludwig Kaiser def. Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall with a DDT. The finish was set up when Gunther hit Nakamura as the referee was distracted.
- Liv Morgan and Ronda Rousey had a brief exchange backstage during which both said they would win their SummerSlam match for Morgan’s SmackDown title and argued over who had more passion.
- Happy Corbin attacked Pat McAfee while McAfee was at the commentary table. McAfee chased Corbin backstage where the two briefly brawled before being broken up by WWE officials.
- The Viking Raiders def. Jinder Mahal & Shanky via count-out. With New Day at ringside, the Raiders were able to attack effectively outside and leave Mahal and Shanky out of the ring for the 10-count.
- Sheamus informed Drew McIntyre that they would face off next Friday in a donnybrook match, which will feature Irish weapons and no disqualifications or count-outs.
- Raquel Rodriguez def. Sonya Deville via pinfall after a one-armed powerbomb.
- Lacey Evans hit Aliyah with a cheap shot after a lengthy promo running down the WWE fans. After hitting a Women’s Right, Evans walked off, again avoiding a match with Aliyah.