The John Report: WWE SmackDown 06/07/24 Review

WWE Smackdown Review June 7

This week’s WWE SmackDown featured Cody Rhodes reacting to what AJ Styles did from one week earlier.

It was last week on WWE Smackdown when AJ Styles teased his retirement and it was just his way of fooling Cody Rhodes into trusting him because it led to Styles doing a cheap attack on the WWE Champion Rhodes.

From the KFC Yum Center in Louisville, Kentucky, this is Smackdown for episode #1294. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

A video package recapped the AJ Styles promo last week where he teased his retirement. Styles brought the WWE Champion Cody Rhodes out there, which led to Styles turning on Cody. It ended with Styles giving Cody a Styles Clash on the floor. Great video as always.

They showed the Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes looking angry backstage.

The commentary team was Corey Graves and Wade Barrett as usual.

The Bloodline Anointment Ceremony

It was Solo Sikoa leading The Bloodline out to the ring joined by Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa and a reluctant “Wise Man” Paul Heyman. They went into the ring with the Prime logo on the mat.

Paul Heyman set the record straight that until Roman Reigns comes back, Solo sits at the Head of the Table. The fans booed that. There were “We Want Roman” chants after that. Heyman said that Solo has upped the ante in the name of family honor.

Heyman mentioned that Tama Tonga is already a fully-fledged member of The Bloodline. Heyman said that from this moment forward, he will be known as “Tama Tonga” the Right Hand Man. Solo was reacting as if he gave the order for that.

As Heyman tried to continue, there were “We Want Roman” chants again. Heyman said that “The Infamous” Tonga Loa is now a full-fledged member of The Bloodline. Solo hugged Loa while the fans booed and Heyman put his hand over his head. Heyman said “goodnight” so Solo asked if he was forgetting something. The fans chanted “Solo Sucks” at Solo.

Sikoa asked Heyman if he should be thanking these two for saving him from Kevin Owens last week. That led to Heyman nervously thanking Tama and Loa. Heyman had to refer to Tama as the Right Hand Man. Tama said that they could have let Kevin Owens hurt Paul, but they saved Paul by orders of The Tribal Chief.

Heyman spoke about getting there earlier today doing what the Wise Man does. Heyman said that all he has been hearing is that Kevin Owens is looking for a piece of any member of The Bloodline.

Kevin Owens made his entrance taping up his fists. Owens went into the ring and got beat up since it was a 3-on-1 situation. The Street Profits went down to the ring to fight The Bloodline as well. Owens brought a chair into the ring. Owens hit Solo and Loa with the chair. Ford superkicked Tama, then Owens hit two chairs and Tama rolled out of the ring. The Bloodline regrouped on the floor.

Analysis: The crowd reactions to this segment were great. The fans want Roman Reigns to come back so the longer he stays away, the more the fans are going to want him. Calling Tama Tonga the “Right Hand Man” is another slap in the face to the previous Bloodline regime since that’s what Jey Uso was called for a few years. They are booking these segments in ways that get a lot of heat. It’s really working well. I also think Heyman is fantastic in these segments due to how emotional he looks because he doesn’t like what is happening. I like seeing The Street Profits supporting Owens there due to issues they have had with The Bloodline. It sets up an obvious six-man tag team match at some point soon.

Cody Rhodes was shown in a tank top near the parking lot with taped fists waiting on the arrival of Cody Rhodes.

Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill were shown walking backstage because they are in action up next.

This Sunday it’s NXT Battleground. There was a commercial for that. I’ll review it on Sunday night on TJRWrestling. It might not be live, but I’ll try to get it done that night.


Paul Heyman was shown walking alone backstage. Solo Sikoa approached Heyman telling Paul that he needs to make this six-man tag team match happen tonight. If Heyman doesn’t do it then the main event will Tama Tonga taking out Heyman in the locker room. Heyman left and said he’d go talk to GM Nick Aldis about it. Solo was happy about that.

Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill vs. Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell

They showed an earlier today meeting with Candice & Indi talking to GM Nick Aldis. That led to Aldis putting them in a tag team match. The tag teams Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn and Zoey Stark & Shayna Baszler arrived at ringside to watch the match. They are Raw wrestlers, but that’s the storyline right now.

Belair hit a delayed vertical suplex on LeRae followed by a handstand moonsault onto LeRae for two. Indi got some offense with a clothesline along with Indi slamming LeRae on Belair. That led to a break.


The match returned with Belair breaking free and Jade getting the hot tag. Jade knocked down LeRae with a backbreaker and a suplex for Indi. Jade hit a splash on Indi. Jade tossed LeRae onto Indi. Jade hit a superkick on Indi for two. LeRae with a jawbreaker on Belair, who tossed LeRae out of the ring. Belair and Jade did their double team DDT combo move followed by Jade hitting a German Suplex. Jade covered Indi for the pinfall win after seven minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill

Analysis: *1/2 An easy win for the champions Belair & Cargill. They always get booked strongly, so it was nothing different for them. We only saw about four minutes of action because of what happened after the match.

After the match, the tag teams of Baszler & Stark and Fyre & Dawn attacked the champions Jade & Belair. Each champion was tossed into an object at ringside. The challenger teams each held a Women’s Tag Team Title in the ring and then they got into a fight in the ring. Jade was back in with a pump kick while Belair hit a spinebuster on Stark. Jade hit Jaded on Fyre and Belair hit KOD on Dawn to end it. Jade and Belair stood tall to end it.

Analysis: This is obviously going to lead to a triple threat tag team match for the Women’s Tag Team Titles. The team of Fyre & Dawn are from Scotland, so it makes sense to put them on the Clash at the Castle PLE. I don’t see Belair & Cargill losing the Women’s Tag Team Titles to either team, but at least in a triple threat they could lose titles without being pinned.

Nick Aldis, the Smackdown GM, approached Cody Rhodes in the loading dock area. Nick said that he understands how he feels since Styles played Nick last week. Nick said that he didn’t want them to settle this in the loading deck. Cody said that Nick had to understand this was between Cody and AJ, so Nick backed away.

Johnny Gargano entered for singles action joined by Tommaso Ciampa.


They had Sarah Schreiber backstage to interview Apollo Crews, who returned to Smackdown last week in a loss against Andrade. Crews spoke about facing Angel Garza, but then Angel & Berto showed up to attack Apollo. They tossed Crews into some guard rails that were backstage. Referees and GM Aldis were there to help Crews.

LA Knight walked up to Nick Aldis backstage asking where he was. Knight was referring to Logan Paul. Aldis showed something on his phone and Knight mentioned Paul is playing Tetris somewhere. Carmelo Hayes interrupted the chat, which led to a match being made by the GM Aldis. Knight ended it with a “Yeah” of course.

Analysis: Easy way to set up a match. Melo and Knight had a backstage argument last week, so it continued here leading to this match.

Grayson Waller (w/Austin Theory) vs. Johnny Gargano (w/Tommaso Ciampa)

Waller and Theory are the WWE Tag Team Champions while #DIY’s Gargano & Ciampa want a title match. Ciampa beat Theory last week.

They exchanged some strikes early on until Gargano hit several chops to the chest. Waller gave Gargano a backbreaker. Gargano came back with a hurricanrana to send Waller to the apron. Waller did a necksnap against the top rope. Waller jumped back into the ring, but Gargano hit a back suplex to send Waller out of the ring. They both left the ring where Gargano hit a Sliced Bread neckbreaker on the floor. Gargano didn’t rotate enough, so he landed on his neck/head and it looked like a rough landing as the show went to break.


The match continued with Gargano hitting a step up enziguri. Waller sent Gargano to the apron, so Gargano hit a slingshot Spear for two. Waller nailed Gargano with a forearm to the face. Waller hit a belly-to-back suplex and a sitout spinebuster for two. Waller kicked Gargano in the ribs, but Gargano hit a kick to the chin. Waller hit a knee to the jaw. Waller picked up Gargano on his back, but then Gargano countered it into a Destroyer style move. Wow, that was amazing. Waller bailed to the floor, so Gargano hit a suicide dive on Theory because Waller pulled his partner in front of him. Waller sent Gargano into the ring post. Back in the ring, Waller jumped over Gargano with a Flipping Unprettier for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Grayson Waller

Analysis: *** A good match with some crafty counters by both guys throughout the match. That Destroyer counter by Gargano was absolutely incredible because it was from such a unique angle and not easy to do. The key spot was Gargano accidentally doing a suicide dive onto Theory because Waller pulled his partner in front, which the announcers mentioned right away. I thought Gargano would win, so at least the result was a bit of a surprise.

After the match, Theory was on the floor looking angry while Waller celebrated in the ring.

Analysis: They are teasing the tag team split for the second week in a row. It appears as though Waller will remain the while Theory would likely be turned babyface. That’s if they go all the way with a turn. I think putting the titles on #DIY would be a good move and then you can split up Waller-Theory if that’s the plan.

Cody Rhodes was in the loading dock when GM Aldis approached Rhodes. Aldis told Rhodes he just talked to AJ Styles, who was about to arrive. Aldis said that nothing will get out of hand.


The six-man tag team match is the main event as Kevin Owens teams with The Street Profits against The Bloodline.

Cody Rhodes was backstage in the parking lot. That’s when AJ Styles arrived with The OC’s Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows. The OC guys hid behind security. That led to Cody walking out to ringside while the camera followed him from behind.

Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes and AJ Styles

Cody Rhodes went into the ring without his music playing. Cody was wearing a “Louisville Nightmare” tank top and track pants. Cody called out AJ Styles to the ring right now. Cody said that they don’t need security because they can do this right now.

AJ Styles arrived with Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson joining him as The OC was reunited again. GM Aldis went out to ringside while The OC was in the aisle.

Styles told Cody that what he wants is irrelevant to Styles. AJ laughed at Cody for wanting to fight Styles so badly. Styles told Cody to give him what he wants while the fans chanted “AJ Sucks” at Styles. AJ said he wants the WWE Championship at Clash at the Castle. Cody told AJ that if that’s what you want then you’ve got it.

Cody told Styles he’s not going to just beat him, he’s going to make Styles say: “I Quit.” Aldis asked both guys if they wanted it and Aldis did a thumbs up to confirm it.

Cody beat up some security guys at ringside. When Cody tried to go after Styles, there were more security guys who held Cody down. Styles stood tall in the apron joined by Gallows & Anderson. Styles hit a running forearm while Cody was being held by security, so it was a cheap shot. Cody was held back again as the show went to break.

Analysis: I liked that segment. There was a lot of intensity shown by both guys. What I also liked is that they didn’t wait too long to get to the point. Cody called Styles out, we got AJ right after and then Cody gave Styles what he wanted. I liked the twist presented by Cody saying it’s going to be an “I Quit” match because it tied into AJ nearly quitting/retiring last week. Also, Styles getting in a cheap shot forearm was a nice touch to end it. Well done.


There was a recap of the Cody Rhodes-AJ Styles situation before the break.

It’s official for WWE Clash at the Castle: Cody Rhodes defends the Undisputed WWE Title against AJ Styles in an “I Quit” Match.

The Women’s Tag Team Champions Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill emerged from Nick Aldis’ office where Byron Saxton was there for an interview. Bianca & Jade announced that the Women’s Tag Team Titles will be on the line at Clash at the Castle against Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark and Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn. The champions laughed off the idea that either team could beat them.

Analysis: There’s the confirmation of that match, which was expected based on what happened on Raw and earlier on Smackdown.

LA Knight vs. Carmelo Hayes

Knight hit a running clothesline and then he tossed Melo out of the ring. Knight slammed Melo into the hood of the commentary table (so Melo’s arms hit the table) and the fans can chant “YEAH” repeatedly. Melo charged and Knight gave Melo a back body drop on the commentary table. That led to a break. Yeah.


The match returned with Melo hitting a springboard clothesline. Melo went up top and Knight was back up to knock Melo down. Knight tossed Melo into the ring leading to Knight hitting a clothesline followed by Knight slamming Melo into the mat. Knight hit a running knee on Melo against the turnbuckle. Melo hit a superkick followed by a facebuster into the mat for two. Knight chopped Melo down followed by Knight missing an elbow drop because Melo moved. Melo got an inside cradle for two. They exchanged punches leading to Knight hitting a popup powerslam along with an elbow drop. Knight went for a BFT, Melo countered with a rollup while using the tights and Knight countered that by sitting on top of Melo for the pinfall win. It was at about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: LA Knight

Analysis: *** It was an even matchup the whole way with Melo getting some nearfalls while Knight got a few of them as well. The finish was a clever one for the veteran Knight who managed to counter Melo’s cheating pin attempt and Knight sat on top to win. I figured Knight would win to continue his positive momentum, but I would like Melo to win some matches sometimes.

After the match, Knight spoke into a headset saying if Logan Paul doesn’t want to come to Smackdown then Knight will bring Smackdown to him.

Analysis: I think they are probably going to wait until SummerSlam to have Knight take the US Title from Paul. They can book a controversial finish at Money in the Bank in July and then a title change in early August at SummerSlam.

Tiffany Stratton was shown walking up to Nia Jax backstage. Stratton told Jax that she had her back. Stratton said nobody could stop them if they were together since Jax is the Queen while Stratton is a Princess. Jax didn’t seem impressed. Stratton left. Michin walked up to Jax, who told Michin to pull an AJ Styles and retire. Michin threw a drink at Jax’s face. Jax slipped on the drink on the floor. Referees broke it up. Michin was yelling about how Jax should keep AJ’s name out of her mouth, which is like a Will Smith/Oscars reference.

A Progressive Match Flo replay was shown of Piper Niven attacking WWE Women’s Champion Bayley.

The WWE Women’s Champion Bayley entered for a promo.


Let’s Hear from Bayley and Piper Niven

Bayley mentioned at Clash at the Castle, she faces Piper Niven for the first time. That led to Piper Niven and Chelsea Green showing up for the interruption. Green called Bayley a loser just like the fans. Green called Bayley a loser repeatedly. Green said that Bayley will be a loser when Piper finishes Bayley and “we” become the WWE Women’s Champion.

Bayley responded to Green saying that Bayley already beat Green. Bayley told Green that Piper didn’t need Green. Bayley said she’s been watching Niven for a long time and she appreciates what Niven can do while mentioning that she saw Niven in the Mae Young Classic. Bayley knows for Niven at Clash at the Castle in her hometown, the match means everything. Bayley said in her career, she has lost in front of everybody she loved. Bayley told Niven she could have asked for a title match, but not she did cheap attacks. Bayley told Niven she’ll have some fun beating Niven.

Piper spoke up saying she’ll beat up Bayley in front of her home country. Piper said that Bayley knows nothing about Niven and her journey. Piper said that the Mae Young Classic that Bayley referenced was 2017 and Piper has done a lot since then. Niven spoke about winning championships and making a name for herself. Niven said that she was already a World Champion before she already stepped through this door. Niven threatened to beat up Bayley again. Niven told Bayley she can respect Niven, but it won’t stop Niven from taking the title off Bayley. Niven told Bayley she would be standing over her as the new WWE Women’s Champion. Niven’s music hit, so Bayley held the title above her head for a staredown.

Analysis: This was okay. I wouldn’t say great. There’s a simple story here since Niven did cheap attacks on Bayley to set up this match. I think they did it this way to give Niven a couple of minutes to try to sell people on her story and having Niven talking about her journey makes her a bit more interesting. No physicality to end it is a surprise, but I don’t mind it.

Logan Paul did a promo from a home with a message for LA Knight. Paul said he needed a challenge. Paul said that he’s competing in the Tetris championship tomorrow. Paul said that Knight has done nothing to earn a title shot. Paul told Knight to go back to the midcard where he belongs with everybody saying…Logan Paul…yeah.

Analysis: It’s a slow build to the Paul-Knight rivalry. As I said, that’s a good thing for them. There’s no reason to rush it.

Kevin Owens made his entrance for the tag team match main event. Owens shoved over the Prime bottle at ringside. Well played. The Street Profits entered for tag team action. B-Fab wished them good luck and stayed in the back. The Profits did their posing as the show went to a break.


Piper Niven and Chelsea Green were walking backstage. They went up to Smackdown GM Nick Aldis. Naomi was there as well. Naomi mentioned Green talking about her earlier and told Green to keep Naomi’s name out of her mouth. Naomi shouted at Green some more, so Aldis put Naomi in a match against Green next eek.

Next week on Smackdown:

* Michin vs. Nia Jax

* The Grayson Waller Effect talk show with #DIY

* Naomi vs. Chelsea Green

The Bloodline trio joined by Paul Heyman entered for the main event.

Kevin Owens, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins vs. The Bloodline – Solo Sikoa, Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa (w/Paul Heyman)

Dawkins was on fire with a slam along with a spinning kick on Tama. Ford hit a shoulder tackle. Ford worked over Tama with shoulder tackles. Tama came back with shoulder tackles along with punches. Loa tagged in with a body slam while Tama hit a somersault splash onto Ford. Tama tried a charging move, but Ford knocked him down with a clothesline. Ford sent Tama out of the ring while Solo tagged himself in. Solo beat up Ford on the floor leading to Solo sending Ford into the ring post. They went to break there.


The match returned with Solo hitting a Samoan Drop on Ford. Solo hit the running hip attack on Ford against the turnbuckle. Tama hit a body slam followed by a sliding clothesline two times in a row. When Tama tried a clothesline again, Ford avoided it and Tama went to the floor. Ford hit Tama with an enziguri kick. Owens got the tag against Solo. Owens stomped on Solo repeatedly followed by Owens hitting a cannonball splash on Solo. Owens went up top and hit a Swanton Bomb on Solo for two. Owens went for a Stunner, Solo hit a superkick and Solo hit a clothesline. Owens avoided the Samoan Spike and Owens hit a Stunner for two because the Tonga boys pulled Owens out of the ring. Dawkins hit a running Pounce on Loa. There was a bunch of fighting on the floor and Ford hit a somersault dive onto a bunch of the guys on the floor. Solo hit Ford with a Steel Chair to the back so that led to the referee calling for the bell. It went around ten minutes.

Winners by disqualification: Kevin Owens, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins

Analysis: **1/2 A thruway finish with the DQ is fitting for The Bloodline since they don’t care about wins. They care about sending a message, which they did after the match.

After the match, The Bloodline beat up Dawkins and Solo gave Dawkins the Samoan Spike. The Tonga boys held Ford, so Solo gave Ford a Spear. The Bloodline beat up Owens on the floor. Solo got an assist from the Tonga boys leading to a Triple Powerbomb by Solo and The Bloodline. Owens was down on the commentary table while The Bloodline posed over KO, who took a rough bump through the table.

The Bloodline stood tall at ringside while Heyman had his hands in his face as if he was not happy about it. The Bloodline raised their fingers up in the air as the show ended there.

Analysis: That was an ass kicking with The Bloodline systematically taking apart all three guys back to back to back. Solo doing the Spear is a Reigns move while the Triple Powerbomb was The Shield’s move that they did to put people through the table at ringside. It’s something we saw many times. It also teases a confrontation in the future when Roman Reigns comes back. I liked it as a way to make this new version of The Bloodline look like a dominant group at least for now.


Three Stars of the Show

1. Cody Rhodes

2. AJ Styles

3. The Bloodline


The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

2024 Average: 7.31


Final Thoughts on WWE Smackdown

A good show overall that progressed a lot of different storylines. They are using a lot of the roster well with small stories for some along with the big angles. There were a lot of backstage scenes and GM Nick Aldis was involved throughout the show. I thought the Cody Rhodes-AJ Styles promo was exactly what it needed to be as a quick talking segment to set up their match at the Clash at the Castle PLE next week. Making the Cody-AJ Clash match an “I Quit” match also differentiates from their last match.

As for the matches, they were solid, but Smackdown usually doesn’t have great matches like we get more often on Raw. Nothing was over ten minutes on this show, but there were three solid matches and then the DQ in the main event. Raw has an extra hour so there is a better opportunity to have great matches there.

The ending felt similar to how Raw ended. On Raw, it was Damian Priest and The Judgment Day putting Drew McIntyre through the commentary table while here it was Solo Sikoa and The Bloodline putting Kevin Owens through the commentary table. I get that it was done to put over The Bloodline as a dominant heel stable. It just felt a bit repetitive after seeing Raw end the same way. At least we have Paul Heyman delivering great facial expressions as usual.

The next WWE PLE is Clash at the Castle in Glasgow, Scotland on June 15th. Here’s the lineup so far.

* World Heavyweight Championship: Damian Priest (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

* I Quit Match for the Undisputed WWE Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs. AJ Styles

* WWE Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Piper Niven

* Intercontinental Championship: Sami Zayn (c) vs. Chad Gable

* WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill (c) vs. Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark vs. Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn

You can watch WWE Clash at the Castle, streaming live Saturday, June 15, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.


Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport