SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
JUNE 11, 2019
SACRAMENTO, CA. AT THE GOLDEN 1 CENTER
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Smackdown Viewership Last Week: 2.016 Million, down .056 million from previous week.
Arena, Items Advertised by WWE, and Show Start Time
WWE Smackdown makes its first appearance tonight in the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA. The arena opened in September of 2016 and has hosted several WWE events, including No Mercy just a few weeks into its existence that year, and the Christmas Eve episode of Raw last year which had been recorded a week earlier.
We are past the Super Showdown and on our way to Stomping Grounds which takes place in just under two weeks. Here’s what’s advertised for tonight’s show, which the arena website is advertising will start at 4:45 p.m. local time. Doors are scheduled to open at 3:15 p.m.:
Matches & Segments:
- The New Day return to clash with Ziggler & Owens & Zayn
- Will Roman Reigns respond to Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre
- Will R-Truth hang on to the 24/7 Championship?
- Can Bayley bounce back from tag team defeat on Raw
Six-Man Tag: New Day (WWE Champion Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods & Big E) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
Big E has not seen in-ring action since the Smackdown after WrestleMania just over two months ago. He was injured in a six-man tag with his New Day partners against The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) & Drew McIntyre.
He’s missed quite a bit as Kofi Kingston’s WWE Championship has unfolded with title defenses over former champion Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, and most recently Dolph Ziggler. Kofi defends against Ziggler again in less than two weeks at Stomping Grounds in a steel cage. Owens was an honorary member of New Day for a couple of weeks, only to turn his back on Kofi leading to their match at Money in the Bank. Ziggler has attacked both Kofi and Xavier Woods in the run-up to his match against Kofi at Super Showdown.
Big E returned a few weeks ago only to be attacked in the back. We did not see the attack, but he claimed it was Owens. Owens vehemently denied being involved. Last night, Owens appeared on Raw via the Wildcard Rule and defeated Seth Rollins via DQ when Rollins got into it physically with Sami Zayn, who had been acting as a special outside referee. After the match, Rollins attacked Zayn with a chair.
Circling back to New Day, Owens and Zayn lost a tag match to Kofi and Woods last week on Smackdown. This week, New Day is back at full strength with Big E returning as they take on Ziggler & Owens & Zayn. Zayn is appearing on Smackdown via the wild card. Here’s Kofi a few days ago in a WWE.com exclusive with Byron Saxton in regard to Ziggler’s steel cage challenge:
Frank’s Analysis: This is pretty straight-forward and a way to keep the feud going between everyone involved. It’s even better that it’s announced ahead of time, as opposed to the tag match last week which was just sprung upon us. Pardon me, but it’s kind of a big deal to see Owens and Zayn team up again after both men missed significant time. I’d be interested to see if anything is brought up about the attack on Big E a few weeks ago. You wonder if Big E could be getting ready for a heel turn. Personally, I’d like to see Kofi stand alone as a champion and away from New Day. You also wonder if Zayn will sell the chair shots he took from Rollins at the end of Raw last night.
Roman Reigns to Respond to “Best in the World” Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre?
Last night on Raw, Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre celebrated Shane’s victory over Roman Reigns at Super Showdown. Shane talked about Reigns’ accomplishments including beating both Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker, headlining WrestleMania, and winning two Royal Rumbles (although Shane, he only won one and that was in 2015. He was in the final two in 2014 when Batista won, and the final three in 2018 when Shinsuke Nakamura won.) Details Shane.
McIntyre talked about their upcoming match at Stomping Grounds. He talked about how he will hurt, maim, and humiliate him (they know they were just in Saudi Arabia right? Just throwing that out there in regard to the maim comment.).
Roman did not respond via the wild card last night, but it’s possible and likely he does so tonight. In case you missed Raw last night, here’s an interview they showed with Byron Saxton and Roman following Super Showdown:
Frank’s Analysis: Vince McMahon never said the wild card rule was in place for PPVs. How are McInytre and Roman allowed to have a match at Stomping Grounds? #sarcasm While I’m 100 percent against Shane getting this much in-ring time much less wins, it’s working towards a bigger goal and that’s keeping Roman cheered. McIntyre came across really well last night and felt like a legitimate threat to Roman. Roman felt legitimately troubled by the loss in the interview. See how nice that works WWE when you make wins and losses matter? Let’s hope they don’t have another nine-minute head scratcher like they did at WrestleMania.
R-Truth and the 24/7 Championship
R-Truth continues to be the 24/7 Champion. Last night on Raw, he was trapped in an elevator along with Carmella, EC3, Drake Maverick (who’s got to be happy he tracked down Truth), Cedric Alexander, and Heath Slater. Luckily for Truth, there was no referee inside but there was a camera that was able to film the happenings for the arena and folks at home, as any elevator would). EC3 had a plastic cup and fork, teased eating Truth, and wondered why he came back to WWE (that’s me thinking it but I wonder). Drake talked about his upcoming nuptials, Slater re-emphasized he had kids, and Cedric wondered why he left 205Live (see my thoughts about EC3).
Later on, with about 30 minutes to go (maybe 45 … who cares), they were able to get the elevator open. A referee was on hand, a brawl broke out, but Truth and Carmella escaped. The 24/7 saga continues tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: They could have at least given us a seven-second dance break spending all that time in the elevator.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley After a Loss
Last night on Raw, Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley appeared via the wild card and teamed with Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch to take on Alexa Bliss and Lacey Evans in a previously unadvertised match. Just prior to the match, Lacey and Becky did a split-screen interview with Michael Cole talking about their upcoming match at Stomping Grounds for the Raw Women’s Championship. That interview was also previously unadvertised.
Alexa and Lacey came out victorious when Lacey hit her signature Woman’s Right on Bayley to score the pin. She had tagged herself in before Alexa failed to hit her Twisted Bliss on a prone Bayley.
Bayley is set to put the Smackdown Women’s Championship on the line against Alexa at Stomping Grounds. Alexa won a not-so-but-kind of-impromptu #1 contender’s match last week following her hosting Bayley on A Moment of Bliss via the wild card on Smackdown. We’ll see how she bounces back tonight after taking a pin from the #1 contender for the Raw women’s title last night. Here’s Lacey and Alexa in a WWE.com exclusive with Kayla Braxton following the match last night:
Frank’s Analysis: I know I’m blowing smoke in a wind tunnel when I talk about this, but isn’t pairing the two women’s champions vs. the two #1 contenders in a tag team match a big deal? Shouldn’t WWE advertise that ahead of time? I grew up in a time where if, for example, the Intercontinental and the WWF Champion teamed up it was made to feel like must-see. I don’t want to hear things have changed because that’s nonsense. They just don’t think about things such as these. At any rate, I don’t make much of Bayley taking a pin as WWE has a lot of their champions take pins in advance of title matches.
Not Advertised for Follow-Up:
- Andrade was to face Apollo Crews, but Andrade attacked Crews before the bell rang. Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor made the save in advance of their match at Super Showdown. Balor retained the IC title over Andrade as “The Demon.”
- Goldberg made his first and likely only appearance on Smackdown in advance of his match with The Undertaker at Super Showdown. We know what happened there.
- Lars Sullivan gave his first interview in advance of his first televised match against Lucha House Party at Super Showdown. He won that match via DQ and beat them last night in an elimination three-on-one handicap match. Hopefully that feud is over.
Follow me on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!