The WWE, under new creative management after Vince McMahon’s retirement, put on one of the best Premium Live Events in recent memory in Nashville at SummerSlam 2022. The whirlwind show featured excellent match after excellent match, and one of the only ones that fell short was Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
On the first Friday Night SmackDown since SummerSlam, the WWE universe let Liv Morgan hear about it, and the champ didn’t seem happy.
WWE fans jeered Liv Morgan on ‘SmackDown’
From the first minute Bianca Belair squared off with “Big Time” Becky Lynch to the final moment Roman Reigns buried Brock Lesnar under a pile of debris from an epic Last Man Standing match, SummerSlam 2022 was (mostly) all killer and no filler.
Possibly the lone exception to this statement was when Liv Morgan took on former champ Ronda Rousey for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
The match was set up weeks earlier when Morgan cashed in her Money in the Bank briefcase (during the Money in the Bank event) and took the SmackDown Women’s Championship from Rousey.
Since that match, hailed as a miracle victory for an underdog fan-favorite, the WWE universe has given Morgan her flowers.
At SummerSlam, though, a lackluster match and a controversial finish seem to have turned the crowd against the New Jersey native.
Morgan tapped out while in a patented Rousey arm-bar, but the ref didn’t see it while counting to three on a Morgan pin. Rousey snapped after the contentious finish and attacked Morgan and the referee. For her actions, the WWE announced it suspended the former MMA star.
Rousey’s heel turn and Morgan’s title defense seemed to have the opposite of the intended effect. Fans usually blasé about Rousey as a babyface cheered as she attacked the official. And Friday, the WWE fans in Greenville, South Carolina, turned on Liv Morgan.
When Morgan came out to deliver a promo ahead of a Gauntlet Match to determine the new No. 1 contender with Rousey suspended, fans began to jeer the show’s title-holder. Morgan seemed distracted by the crowd’s taunts and looked even more annoyed as fans loudly chanted, “You tapped out!”
The wrestler responded by saying, “It’s OK. It’s OK. I appreciate ya’ll calling me out on my s***.” After that last word, Morgan said several other words that the Fox network bleeped out.
WWE interviewer Kayla Braxton also looked uncomfortable as the crowd continued to boo the babyface star. Luckily for all involved, Sonya Deville came out shortly after to interrupt the awkward promo.
New head of creative Triple H has gotten lots of props for the new direction the WWE seems to be heading in after Vince McMahon’s exit. It now appears his biggest early challenge, though, might be untangling a messy situation in the SmackDown Women’s division.