WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES 6/18: Early trip to hell, Rey thrives, Belair’s bullies, more

BY NICK BARBATI, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Rey Mysterio (art credit Grant Gould © PWTorch)

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Hits

Early Trip to Hell

The reasoning for the rushed battle between Roman Reigns and Rey Mysterio might be suspect, but the match itself was a captivating and satisfying one that felt like a special Smackdown main event. Mysterio was the absolute perfect opponent for Reigns at this point in his run, and the trifecta of the throw against cage, the reverse guillotine, and the taunting “Happy Father’s Day” was a spectacular show-closing finale.

…and a Late Trip Too

The announcement of the battle of Bianca Belair and Bayley being moved to an actual cell match was unexpected, but oddly fitting. Their feud has run a long course at this point, and the wrath Bayley showed tonight fit the tone and tenor of a Hell in a Cell battle. Bianca isn’t doing nearly as well (more on that later), but this is a real opportunity for the champion to show more toughness than she has previously.

Rey

Mysterio’s show opening promo was possibly the best of his career in WWE and really set the importance of the main event to a much higher plateau. Rey has managed to survive some of the worst booking possible to still sit comfortably at the top of the main event heap when needed. Tonight’s promo showed why he maintains that resilience.

King-Shasha

Sure, everything involved in the clash for the crown was corny, but it was fun to see Nakamura get a definitive win and to celebrate with his crown at the end. Hopefully this is the start of a new day for Nakamura, and Corbin as well for that matter, that is a less cartoonish take on the king gimmick.

Fight Forever, and Ever, and Ever

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens have seemingly been in battle for a lifetime, but the magnetic chemistry they showed tonight proves exactly why they are lifetime rivals. Zayn was at his absolutely best gloating at Owens’ loss and Owens himself was excellent demanding his match. As usual another hit for two men who continue to outperform all around them.

Misses

Belair’s Bullies

Where the heck did the tale of Bianca’s bullies come from? It’s a little hard to drum up sympathy for someone who tells anyone that will listen that they are the best at everything they do. This felt like a heavy handed way of reinstating sympathy on a character who has been trending unsympathetic for too long, and it just doesn’t ring true.

Azeez’s Attire

I hate that Azeez wrestled in his military jacket. It was clunky, corny, and entire unnecessary. He also looked like he was going to get his arm stuck in between the cords on the jacket, so this is my plea to drop that look right away please.

Cesaro’s Push and Miss

Cesaro’s lack of spark to his promos extended this week with a weak push of Seth Rollins to close his segment. There is so much to debate about what exactly has gone wrong with Cesaro, but it’s performances like this that make it pretty clear that much of the failure falls directly at his own feet.


CATCH-UP: 6/18 WWE SMACKDOWN TV RESULTS: Keller’s report on Reigns vs. Rey in a Hell in a Cell match, Big E & Owens vs. Crews & Azeez, Otis vs. Dawkins, Shinsuke vs. Corbin for the Crown

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