Reviews

The John Report: WWE Smackdown 06/03/22 Review

wwe smackdown june 3

This week’s WWE Smackdown featured The Usos defending the Undisputed Tag Team Titles vs. Riddle & Shinsuke Nakamura, a Women’s Six-Pack Challenge for a title shot and more.

It’s the last edition of Smackdown before Sunday’s Hell in a Cell Premium Live Event.

From the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio, this is Smackdown for episode #1189. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The Smackdown introduction video aired. The commentary team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee hyped up the Tag Team Title match and the Women’s Six-Pack Challenge matches coming up later in the show. Pat congratulated Cole on 25 years in WWE while noting that Cole has only missed two shows in 25 years. Cole thanked Pat and talked about what happened last week.

Analysis: Congrats to Cole on 25 years in WWE. It’s a long run for sure. I know he’s not as beloved as some announcers in wrestling history, but I think Cole does a good job for the most part.

They showed highlights from last week’s Smackdown when Drew McIntyre teamed with The New Day to beat The Brawling Brutes in a six-man tag.

Let’s Hear from New Day and Drew McIntyre

Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston were in the ring for a promo with the fans cheering them. They talked about their issues with the Brawling Brutes, but they were back to being winners because they found a tag team partner, Drew McIntyre. That led to Drew’s entrance with Angela the sword and the “Kneel to the Steel” shirt. Good pop for Drew as usual.

Drew said it’s a loud crowd there tonight. Drew offered up a special shoutout to somebody watching at home and the New Day guys asked “who” repeatedly. Drew said that somebody is Big E, he said he’s been injured before and he thinks the loudest Big E chant right now will show that nobody has forgotten about him. The fans chanted “Big E” for the former WWE Champion who we all miss. Drew laughed saying he’ll keep sending him pictures to keep him going. Drew talked about how he’s been busy going to the UK to promote WWE shows, but now he’s back. Drew said he’s going to call his shot right now, he’s going to win the WWE Undisputed Championship at Clash at the Castle, which is Labor Day weekend in September. The fans cheered. Drew called himself “Big D” and the guys stopped him from going too far with the sexual innuendo jokes.

Kofi and Xavier got Drew a gift with Drew noting it’s his birthday on Monday. The fans chanted “Happy Birthday” for Drew. They were shorts that said “Big D” on them or maybe it’s a kilt.

Sheamus, Ridge Holland and Butch showed up with Sheamus saying they had no time to prepare for them last week because they didn’t know Drew McIntyre was going to be on their team. Butch couldn’t take the talking anymore, so he ran to the ring, which was a bad move and he got tossed out of the ring. It’s a holla holla holla tag team match coming up after the break.

Analysis: The best part of that was Drew McIntyre calling his shot for the WWE Undisputed Championship at Clash at the Castle. That’s in three months, but I think Drew should absolutely be the guy to put an end to the title reign of Roman Reigns. I hope that happens. The rest of it was pretty basic stuff to have some trash talk and set up the tag team match for this week’s show.

Big E also tweeted to say thanks to the fans. We miss you, buddy.

(Commercial)

Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. The Brawling Brutes – Sheamus, Ridge Holland & Butch

The New Day duo of Kingston and Woods made a bunch of quick tags leading to a dropkick and splash for a tag team. Kingston with a kick to the chest of Butch leading to Woods hitting a running senton on Buch for a two count. Butch got a boot up, Holland tagged in and hit a running shoulder tackle to the leg of Woods. Sheamus got in some kicks to the body of Woods and wild man Butch tagged in to stomp on Xavier’s hand. Sheamus back in, Woods broke free and Kofi tagged in with a double axhandle on Sheamus. There was a block by Sheamus, but then Kofi came back with a cross body block for two. Kofi hit the Boom Drop leg drop on Sheamus. Drew punched Butch to prevent a cheap attack. Kofi with a knee strike that knocked Sheamus out of the ring. Kofi knocked Holland off the apron. Kofi and Woods each hit dives onto Sheamus and Holland on the floor leading to a break. The heels are usually the ones to be in control going into the break, so there’s something different with the faces hitting a big move leading into the break.

(Commercial)

The heels were in control (as usual after a break) with Sheamus working over Kofi with a chinlock. Holland was the legal man for his team as he hit a running powerslam and Sheamus jumped off the top with a knee drop on Kofi for a two count. Sheamus punched his long time rival McIntyre in the face. Kofi came back with a stomp to the chest of Sheamus to break free. Drew tagged in against Holland with punches, a belly-to-belly suplex and a hard clothesline on Sheamus on the floor. Drew slapped hands with Pat on the floor, Pat goes “why did I do that?” to sell the physicality of that. Drew with a clothesline on Holland and a belly-to-belly suplex on Sheamus. Butch tagged in, Drew with a belly to belly to belly suplex to him and Woods tagged in with a backbreaker across the shoulders for a two count. Kofi kicked Holland out of the ring. Holland tried a slam on Kofi, but they both fell to the floor. Sheamus kicked Drew on the floor and then Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Drew on the floor. Woods got a rollup on Butch for two. They said Sheamus sent Kofi into the barricade although we didn’t see it. Sheamus distracted Woods from ringside, so then Butch capitalized with the Bitter End on Woods for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Brawling Brutes – Sheamus, Ridge Holland & Butch

Analysis: ***1/4 A very good tag team match here with a lot of action towards the finish. The heels got their win back after losing last week. It makes sense for Drew not to lose since WWE is always going to want to protect Drew and they should do that. It was great to see Butch picking up the win for his team because he’s still new on Smackdown and needs to get wins like that to help his credibility.

They showed highlights from Raw when Riddle & Shinsuke Nakamura beat The Usos by disqualification to earn a title match on Smackdown.

Riddle and Shinsuke Nakamura were interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Riddle said Nakamura wasn’t like Randy and Nakamura said that Riddle wasn’t like Boogs, but they were getting along. They showed two weeks ago when The Bloodline beat Riddle & Orton thanks to Roman Reigns to unify the Tag Team Titles. Riddle said for as much as The Bloodline has caused Randy, he’ll hurt them twice as bad. Riddle said it’s not just about taking The Usos titles, it’s about vengeance and this one is for Randy…bro.

Analysis: Good promo by Riddle being serious at the end…bro.

(Commercial)

They showed WWE Official Adam Pearce talking on the phone in his office. Max Dupri walked into the office. Dupri said that he was scouting Smackdown to find the next superstar. Dupri spoke about how he has found a diamond in the rough that will walk from Instagram into the bright lights of WWE. Pearce asked who that might be, so Dupri told him he’ll find out next week on Smackdown. Dupri said that the first client of Maximum Male Models will be unveiled next week. Pat McAfee was excited about it.

Analysis: I’m curious to see who it will be and how they will be presented. Dupri is a great talker that can also wrestle, but I guess they just want to use him as a manager. A rumored name for this spot is a returning Cesaro, but it’s not confirmed that he will return to WWE.

A video package aired about the rivalry between Cody Rhodes and Seth “Freakin” Rollins leading to their Hell in a Cell match on Sunday at the Premium Live Event known as Hell in a Cell. It’s likely going to be the main event of that show. Their brawling segment from this past Monday’s Raw was excellent. I look forward to the match. We’ll have an in-depth Hell in a Cell preview on TJRWrestling on Saturday.

The cousin tag team of Los Lotharios (Humberto & Angel) made their entrance. There was a Kiss Cam on their way to the ring and they found a blonde woman at ringside. They each kissed her on the cheek. Humberto was in action against Jinder Mahal after the break.

(Commercial)

There was a Progressive Match Flo replay showing last week when Shanky did some dancing and Jinder didn’t like it. Jinder ended up losing a tag team match against Los Lotharios because of it.

Shanky was shown dancing near the entrance area, Jinder Mahal yelled at him and they made their entrance. While Jinder was walking, Shanky was dancing in the background. Shanky was in more of a different tank top this week.

Humberto (w/Angel) vs. Jinder Mahal (Shanky)

Humberto hit a running dropkick in the corner. Mahal came back with a back body drop with Humberto getting a lot of height. Humberto with a necksnap across the top rope, then a jumping kick and Mahal avoided a springboard kick. Mahal hit an impressive superkick. Shanky was dancing at ringside, Mahal didn’t like it and was distracted. Humberto got a rollup, but the referee was looking at Shanky on the apron. Mahal did his own ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Humberto for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jinder Mahal

Analysis: *1/2 Jinder got the win back after losing last week in the tag team match. It was a comedy finish due to Shanky’s dancing gimmick.

Post match, Shanky did some more dancing and Mahal was happy about the win. Mahal didn’t yell at Shanky this time so maybe Mahal is going to embrace the dancing. Shanky did some dancing by ring announcer Samantha Irvin, then Samantha got into it and danced with Shanky a bit. The fans liked it.

Analysis: The dancing Shanky gimmick might actually get over. It’s not that different from when they did it with Great Khali when he turned face many years ago. I’m not saying it’s great. I’m just saying it’s similar to that.

They showed highlights of last week’s Smackdown when Natalya & Shayna Baszler interrupted a Ronda Rousey-Raquel Rodriguez match last week. This came after Shotzi complained about Raquel getting another match against Rousey.

Ronda Rousey made her entrance as the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Ronda sat down at ringside to watch the match.

The entrances took place for the six-pack challenge. Raquel Rodriguez entered first, then Shotzi was next and Aliyah was knocked in the locker room while Shotzi laughed about it because Aliyah did that to Shotzi last week. McAfee mentioned that Aliyah and a camera operator were locked in the locker room. I don’t know if you’re supposed to mention the camera operator, Pat. That’s funny that he did, though. Anyway, the match is after a break.

(Commercial)

The entrances continued for the match. Aliyah managed to get out of the locker room and went after Shotzi right away.

Six-Pack Challenge: Raquel Rodriguez vs. Shotzi vs. Xia Li vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya vs. Aliyah

The first fall wins this match with no countouts and no disqualifications. Aliyah knocked Shotzi out of the ring and hit a dive off the apron on Shotzi on the floor. Raquel was in full control early on by knocking everybody down and tossing Shotzi onto Li. Raquel lifted Natalya, so Shayna took out Raquel with a sleeper hold that sent them tumbling to the floor. Li with a punch on Natalya followed by a suplex and a spinning kick to the back of the neck. Aliyah was back in with a bulldog on Li for two. Baszler was back with a gutwrench suplex on Aliyah, who landed on her head. Ouch. Shotzi with a DDT on Baszler, Li with a spin kick on Baszler and Natalya with a discus clothesline on Li. Raquel was back in the ring, she blocked a punch from Natalya and then Natalya sent Raquel into the turnbuckle. Raquel with a boot to the face on Natalya. Shotzi sent Raquel into the turnbuckle and then Raquel suplexed Shotzi on Natalya. Raquel hit the spinning corkscrew elbow off the middle rope. Raquel with the Tiana Bomb on Shotzi, Baszler jumped on Raquel with a Kirifuda Clutch and Natalya covered Shotzi for the pinfall win. It went about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Natalya

Analysis: ** It was okay for the time given. More time would be nice in a match like that with six women involved, but I think they booked it well in terms of having a lot of action and pin attempts. Rodriguez dominated a lot of it until Natalya found a way to capitalize on the situation while Baszler jumped on Raquel’s back. Rousey is not going to lose the title any time soon anyway, but it’s a way to set up a future title match.

The win by Natalya meant that she’s going to get to challenge Rousey for the Smackdown Women’s Title. Rousey got in the ring for a staredown with Natalya. They did not specify when the match will take place.

Analysis: Rousey and Natalya are friends that have trained together, so I think they’ll have a good match with Rousey keeping her title. I remember one great match they had on Raw around Christmas in 2018, it got a lot of time and was one of Rousey’s best matches. Hopefully they get a lot of time this time too.

There was a recap of the Madcap Moss/Happy Corbin story showing that Moss is coming back after Corbin injured him a few weeks earlier.

They showed an ambulance backing up in a parking lot and there was Madcap Moss wearing black tights instead of the suspenders outfit he had in the past.

(Commercial)

A video aired about Lacey Evans. They showed images of her going through things in her life and then doing a promo when she was on Raw. They said the “inspirational” Lacey Evans returns to Smackdown next week.

Analysis: She was on Smackdown, then on Raw and now she’s on Smackdown again.

Let’s Hear from Madcap Moss

Madcap Moss made his entrance with some generic theme song. Moss now wears trunks, black knee pads and black wrestling boots. It was a good idea to get rid of the suspenders.

Moss said that three weeks ago he laid in this ring with a steel chair around his neck and a 90-pound trophy slammed down on him. Moss mentioned Happy Corbin, which led to boos, and Moss said that it was the end of Madcap Moss. Moss said that the man that thought he knew is gone, the employee Madcap Moss isn’t just gone…“I buried him.” Moss said maybe the trophy knocked something loose in his head because every night since then he’s had a dream of hitting Corbin in the head. Moss said one day he woke up saying he knows the fans would love to see that happen. Moss called for Corbin to come out there right now.

Happy Corbin appeared by the entrance saying he knows Madcap wasn’t there to fight because he knows Madcap missed him. Corbin said that Moss was there to beg for his job back. Moss said that the only thing that he wants from him is for Corbin to come down to the ring so Moss can knock his teeth down his throat. Corbin said he could teach Moss a lesson in humility, but not tonight. Corbin didn’t want him to throw away his entire career because he’s initial and said it’s a bad idea.

Adam Pearce interrupted saying that he thinks a match between them is a great idea. Pearce asked the crowd if they agreed, they cheered and Pearce said that the match is official.

Analysis: The promo from Moss was okay. It’s still taking a bit of time for him to get the fans behind him, but his delivery is good and the dialogue was fine. As I mentioned earlier, Moss losing the suspenders will be better for him long term. That will help his career.

(Commercial)

A commercial aired for a new episode of Broken Skull Sessions with Steve Austin and guest Jeff Jarrett. It’s on Peacock/WWE Network now. Austin’s interviews are always great, so I will check it out.

Madcap Moss vs. Happy Corbin

Corbin was reluctant to have a match. The bell rang, so Corbin slid out of the ring and the fans booed him. When Corbin got back in the ring, he got a kick to the knee, but Moss came back with a clothesline and a clothesline over the top to the floor. Moss whipped Corbin into the barricade two times. Moss sent Corbin into the ring post. Corbin grabbed a chair from ringside, Moss hit him and knocked the chair free. Moss grabbed the chair and hit Corbin in the ribs for the DQ finish after two minutes.

Winner by disqualification: Happy Corbin

Analysis: *1/4 It was an angle more than a match since it was about showing that Moss wanted revenge for what Corbin did to him in the past. Having Moss lose by DQ in a situation like that is fine with me.

After the match, Moss hit Corbin with two chair shots to the back. Moss hit Corbin with another chair shot to the back and a chair shot to the ribs. Moss put a chair around the throat, then he wanted to use the steel steps onto the chair, but WWE Officials were there to break it up. The officials were guys like Adam Pearce, Petey Williams, Ariya Daivari and referees. Corbin was announced as the winner and celebrated.

Analysis: It worked in terms of getting the fans behind Moss because they know he was attacked by Corbin in the past, so it made sense for Moss to want to get revenge on him.

The Usos, the WWE Unified Tag Team Champions, were interviewed by Kayla Braxton. The Usos said that they were going to send Riddle & Nakamura to the ICU. Jimmy mocked how Riddle speaks. Jey said that this one goes out to the Tribal Chief, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. The Usos reminded us that they’re “the ones” to end it.

Analysis: No Roman Reigns on Smackdown this week. I don’t know when the next title defense will be. Maybe at Money in the Bank in early July. If not there then probably at SummerSlam in late July. The Usos are as good as they have ever been as an overall package.

(Commercial)

Happy Corbin was shown trying to leave and WWE Official Adam Pearce walked up to him. Pearce told Corbin that he has to face Madcap Moss in a No Holds Barred Match at Hell in a Cell on Sunday. Corbin wasn’t happy about it.

Analysis: I think Moss should win the match. It’s weird how this is the only Smackdown match at Hell in a Cell, but that’s what is happening with the show.

Next week: Ricochet defends the Intercontinental Title against Gunther. They showed a promo from Ricochet saying he was confident and that this title will continue to sit pretty on his shoulder. A promo was shown of Gunther standing by with Ludwig Kaiser, who said that the IC Title represents honor and integrity while adding that no man is more worthy than Gunther. Ludwig said that Ricochet’s time is up. Gunther said that he’ll become the new Intercontinental Champion.

Analysis: I think Gunther is going to win. They need to feature the IC Title more anyway.

Shinsuke Nakamura and Riddle made their entrance. The announcers went over the matches at Hell in a Cell.

* Hell in a Cell Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

* Handicap Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Omos & MVP

* United States Championship: Theory (c) vs. Mustafa Ali

* 6-Person Mixed Tag Team Match: AJ Styles, Finn Balor & Liv Morgan vs. Judgment Day – Edge, Damian Priest & Rhea Ripley

The Usos made their entrance as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions as they carried the Raw & Smackdown Tag Team Titles with them. They finished off the rest of the Hell in a Cell card.

* No Holds Barred Match: Madcap Moss vs. Happy Corbin

* Kevin Owens vs. Ezekiel

* Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch

The championship introductions took place with Samantha Irvin doing a great job as usual. The match would begin after a break.

(Commercial)

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Riddle

Nakamura worked over Jey with kicks, Riddle tagged in and hit a Fisherman’s Suplex for two. Jimmy tagged in leading to The Usos hitting a double spinebuster. Cole noted The Usos were champions for 319 days as Jimmy hit a belly-to-back suplex on Riddle. When Riddle broke free, he kicked Jimmy with a hard kick to the head. Nakamura tagged in with a spinning kick on Jey, a scissors kick to the back of Jimmy and more kicks on Jey in the corner. Nakamura with a running knee to the ribs. Nakamura set up Jey on the ropes with a German Suplex. Riddle tagged in, he went up top, Jimmy got involved and tripped Riddle to knock Riddle off the top. The Usos hit a double superkick, but Nakamura made the save with a kick to Jimmy. Nakamura sent Jey into the steel steps. Nakamura charged, Jey moved and Nakamura’s left knee went crashing into the steel steps. Jimmy held Nakamura on the floor and Jey with a hard kick to the back of Nakamura’s left knee. The referee did the “X” signal and called for a trainer. The medical personnel looked like indy wrestlers while they helped Nakamura to the back along with referees. It was obviously a planned injury angle. Riddle checked on Nakamura and then he kept on fighting. Riddle knocked Jey down on the floor and Riddle hit a clothesline that sent Jimmy over the top to the floor. Riddle stood tall in the ring as they went to a break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Riddle fighting on his own as Jimmy hit a spinning kick to the head for two. The Usos did a hard whip that sent Riddle into the turnbuckle. Jey mocked Randy Orton hitting the mat repeatedly, which drew boos and Riddle hit a jumping knee to Jey. Jimmy tagged in, Riddle with a kick. Riddle with a knee on Jey. Riddle with corner splashes on both guys, then overhead suplexes on both guys Riddle hit the broton splash on both guys. Jey saved Jimmy from a DDT, so Riddle did a kick to the chest while he was on the apron. Riddle with a floating bro corkscrew attack on both Usos on the floor. Riddle with a powerslam on Jimmy like Orton does it. Riddle gave Jimmy a draping DDT off the ropes. Jimmy blocked an RKO by sending Riddle towards Jey on the apron. Riddle got a rollup and Jimmy hit a popup Samoan Drop for a two count. Jimmy went to the ropes, Riddle met him there and hit a Super RKO off the top rope. While they were on the top rope, the music of Roman Reigns hit and the graphic appeared on the screen. While Riddle was on the mat after the RKO, Jey jumped off the top with an Uso Splash for the pinfall win after 14 minutes. They showed the control room where Sami Zayn was and the idea was that he got the control room to play Roman’s song at that moment to distract Riddle.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos

Analysis: ***1/2 It was the usual great match between these guys. They have wrestled so many times recently so they have a lot of chemistry. Having Zayn (the honorary member of The Bloodline) play a factor in the main event was not something I expected, but I’m certainly fine with it because Zayn’s one of my favorite guys in WWE. Riddle’s performance as the babyface that took a beating and came back strong was really believable and it’s good to see for him. The ending was cheap in the sense that there was a distraction, but it will probably mean the end of Riddle getting tag team title shots at these guys. The Usos were great as heels in the match taking out Nakamura and then finding a way to win in the end.

Zayn went out to the arena to celebrate with The Usos, who were a bit reluctant about it. When Riddle saw Zayn, he went after him with punches. Officials broke it up. Riddle was shouting at them and that was the end of the show.

Analysis: That could set up a Riddle match with Sami Zayn soon. Long term, they can definitely go with Riddle as a title challenger against Roman Reigns at one of the shows coming up in July. I know it’s been a rumor at least.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Riddle
  2. The Usos
  3. Sheamus, Ridge Holland & Butch

 

The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 5.5

 

Final Thoughts

A solid wrestling show for the most part, but Smackdown is just an average show a lot of the time. Since there’s not much of a Smackdown presence at Hell in a Cell, the only thing they really could promote was Moss vs. Corbin. Moss ditched the suspenders look and he looks better now.

I liked The Usos story with Riddle after Nakamura was taken out with the storyline injury. Riddle was terrific as a babyface that wouldn’t quit while The Usos are always awesome.

I enjoyed the opening six-man tag team match even though it was a rematch from last week and 50/50 booking. I’m just happy that Butch got a big win in that match. The women’s match was fine as well, but kept short. Some of the other stuff was just average.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is Hell in a Cell this Sunday, June 5th. Here’s what we know so far.

wwe hell in a cell 2022 bianca belair asuka becky lynch

* Hell in a Cell Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

* Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch

* Handicap Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Omos & MVP

* 6-Person Mixed Tag Team Match: AJ Styles, Finn Balor & Liv Morgan vs. Judgment Day – Edge, Damian Priest & Rhea Ripley

* No Holds Barred Match: Madcap Moss vs. Happy Corbin

* Kevin Owens vs. Ezekiel

* United States Championship: Theory (c) vs. Mustafa Ali

You can watch WWE Hell in a Cell, streaming live Sunday, June 5, at 8 ET/5 PT on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.

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Thanks for reading. Please check out my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order. Go Toronto Blue Jays. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport