The John Report: WWE Smackdown 06/09/23 Review

wwe smackdown june 9

This week’s WWE Smackdown featured more Money in the Bank qualifying matches, Asuka gets a new title and more.

There was a lot of drama to end last week’s Smackdown with Solo Sikoa attacking his brother Jimmy Uso because Roman Reigns told him to. Meanwhile, Jey Uso didn’t attack his twin brother Jimmy even though Reigns wanted him to do it. Lots of drama for The Bloodline and it makes for very entertaining TV. I think the storyline is so awesome. Ratings are going up for Smackdown because of it too, so that’s great to see. Tonight’s show goes against game four of the NBA Finals and there’s no Reigns this week, so it will dip back down again if you’re into that rating stuff.

From the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, this is Smackdown for episode #1242. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The opening video package recapped last week’s ending featuring The Bloodline’s family drama.

Let’s Hear from Paul Heyman with Solo Sikoa…and Jey Uso

Paul Heyman was in the ring with Solo Sikoa for an in-ring promo. As Heyman tried to introduce himself, The Usos music hit for the interruption.

Jey Uso walked out to ringside by himself with no sign of Jimmy yet. It was a bit of a mixed reaction for Jimmy as he got into the ring with Solo and Paul. The fans chanted “Uso” before Jey could speak.

Jey Uso said he’s let a lot of things slide. Jey yelled at Solo saying that stabbing your big brother Jimmy in the back is something you don’t do. Jey threw the microphone and told Paul to say what he needs to say.

Heyman said it was all Jimmy’s fault, not anybody else. Heyman said it was Jimmy’s fault because he made up his own mind and not just for himself because Jimmy made up his mind for Jey too. Heyman asked for Solo to step back. Heyman told Jey when Jimmy kicked Reigns at Night of Champions, it was Jimmy doing what he wanted to do without talking to Jey about it. Heyman said that Jimmy resented the fact that Reigns wanted to groom Jey, the right hand man, to be the next Tribal Chief. Heyman said that was Jey’s fate and it was never going to be Jimmy and Jimmy has known it since day one, so he resented Jey ever since. Heyman said that the fans are booing because they don’t know the truth.

Heyman said that he has set up a match for Jey to bring gold back to The Bloodline. Heyman said it’s not tag team gold because unfortunately because of Jimmy, there are no more Usos. Heyman told Jey that he will bring back gold to The Bloodline when Jey defeats Austin Theory for the US Championship. Heyman said that this will put Jey on the right path to winning singles gold and one day, Reigns will groom him so that Jey will become Tribal Chief. Heyman said he needs the answer now. The fans were chanting “Uso” for Jey.

Jey said he’ll take up Heyman on that US Title challenge. Jey called him “OG” a few times in the promo. Heyman wanted a handshake. Jey looked at his brother Solo and into the crowd with the fans saying “no” to the handshake. Jey told Heyman he’ll get back to him on that and Jey left the ring.

Analysis: There were strong promos there from Paul Heyman and Jey Uso as usual. The fans are so invested in this storyline that they pay attention to every word. Heyman mentioning that Reigns wants to groom Jey as the “next Tribal Chief” is something we haven’t really heard before, so that’s a new twist to the story. Reigns and The Usos are the same age, but I guess the idea is that Reigns won’t be wrestling for as long as them on a full-time basis, so Jey could theoretically take over. Anyway, having Jey face Austin Theory later in the show is a fresh matchup and it’s not a match that has an obvious result either, which is a good thing.

It was Michael Cole and Wade Barrett on commentary as usual as they welcomed us to the show.

Santos Escobar entered for his Money in the Bank qualifying match with Rey Mysterio joining him in an LWO shirt.


Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Santos Escobar (w/Rey Mysterio) vs. Mustafa Ali

LA Knight, who already qualified for Money in the Bank, was on commentary. Knight got a strong reaction for his entrance. The Money in the Bank briefcases were above the ring.

Escobar hit a running forearm. Ali hit a headscissors that sent Escobar out of the ring. They got into a slugfest on the floor. Ali was on the steel steps, Escobar hit a jumping kick to the head and they battled on the apron with Escobar kicking Ali in the ribs. Escobar delivered a hurricanrana off the steel steps to the floor. They went back in the ring for a two count. Ali left the ring again, so Escobar hit a suicide dive onto Ali on the floor. Escobar jumped off the top with a cross body onto Ali on the floor. They went to break there.


The match continued as they battled on the turnbuckle, Escobar knocked Ali off and Ali landed safely on the ground. Escobar jumped off the ropes, but Ali hit him with a dropkick. Back in the ring, Ali went for a 450 Splash and Escobar moved. Ali charged leading to Escobar sending him into the turnbuckle. Escobar hit a reverse rana for a two count. Escobar hit double knees in the corner. Ali countered a move leading to a pin attempt for two. Ali jumped off the middle rope leading to a Tornado DDT for two. Ali went up top, Escobar went after him there, Escobar was standing on the middle turnbuckle and Escobar hit a Phantom Driver off the middle turnbuckle for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Santos Escobar

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a fun match that was fast paced with some big moves by both guys. You don’t always see TV matches with moves off the apron as much as they did and that finisher off the middle turnbuckle. They put over the importance of winning with Ali and Escobar each trying big moves throughout the match. They worked well together.

The win means that Santos Escobar has qualified for the Money in the Bank ladder match along with LA Knight, Shinsuke Nakamura and Ricochet.

Post match, the LWO’s Zelina Vega, Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde celebrated with Santos and Rey.

Jey Uso was shown pacing backstage with Sami Zayn walking up to him. Zayn said that being with The Bloodline was some of the best times of his life and he knows it was some of Jey’s best times too. Zayn mentioned making them laugh, which led to Jey smiling. Zayn said it can’t happen now because of Roman Reigns and Sami made a point to say it’s not Roman, it’s when The Tribal Chief personality takes over. Sami said when The Tribal Chief takes over, bad things happen. Zayn said that he pushes too far. Zayn said he did everything he could to try to put the family first and he constantly had his loyalty tested. Zayn talked about how if Jey chooses to go with Reigns then Jimmy & Jey may be no more. Zayn said if Jey wants to be the next Tribal Chief then go for it and he said that if Jey wins the US Title then it shows they need Jey more than Jey needs The Bloodline. Zayn told Jey to listen to his heart and not what is being put into his ear. Jey looked back at Zayn, said nothing and Jey walked away.

Analysis: Good segment to have on this show since Sami’s closeness with Jey is long established by this point and having Sami be a voice of reason for Jey makes logical sense. It let’s the viewers know that Sami still cares about Jey as a friend, so now we have to see what happens as the story progresses. Sami and Jey are always great on screen together. There’s a lot of chemistry there obviously.


Let’s Hear from Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn

Kayla Braxton was in the ring to introduce the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions except Kayla said “Women’s Champions” at the start with Cole correcting her by saying Tag Team. Before Fyre & Dawn could say a word when they got into the ring, they were interrupted. It’s Shayna Baszler & Ronda Rousey as the Women’s Tag Team Titles.

Ronda & Shayna got into the ring with Shayna saying that those NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles are technically hers. Rousey said that they are running through this division, so they are going to run through all the teams in WWE. Rousey claimed they want the titles held by Fyre & Dawn. Dawn mentioned a unification match and Fyre said they accept.

Fyre and Dawn tried an attack, but they were overpowered. Dawn managed to come back with a kick for Baszler. Fyre sent Rousey out of the ring. Fyre suplexed Baszler and Dawn hit a running knee on Baszler to knock her out of the ring. Rousey & Baszler regrouped to end it.

Analysis: That segment felt very rushed since Fyre & Dawn weren’t even given a chance to talk before Rousey & Baszler walked out there. I think unifying the Women’s Tag Team Titles is WWE’s way of taking away the NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles because there aren’t a lot of teams there. Maybe they will have the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions defend on all three brands sometimes, but probably not much on NXT. That’s fine I guess although I’d like to see the NXT women have a second singles title to compete for. They have a lot of women there, so get them another title. Anyway, Rousey & Baszler should win this title unification match.

There was a video package about the legendary WWE Champion and WWE Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik. It was a great video covering his career with Sgt. Slaughter calling Sheik one of the most hated wrestlers of all time. They put over the Camel Clutch along with Sheik winning the WWE World Title from Bob Backlund in 1983. Hulk Hogan was featured in the video as well. They showed a clip from his 2005 WWE Hall of Fame speech. John Cena talked about Sheik’s legacy as a great bad guy. They showed a clip of The Rock thanking The Iron Sheik for paving the way.

Analysis: Great video covering The Iron Sheik’s life and legacy. He really was one of the best heels ever. He also was a legendary character because everybody remembers a guy like that. It’s a reminder of how important it is to be a character when you’re a pro wrestler. Rest in peace, Iron Sheik. Thank you for the memories. We will keep making jabronis humble just like you did.

There will be a re-air of The Iron Sheik’s A&E Biography this Sunday. It was really good, so I recommend checking it out.

Bayley and IYO SKY entered for Bayley’s match up next.


wwe money in the bank bayley

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Bayley (w/IYO SKY) vs. Michin (w/AJ Styles)

Bayley sent Michin out of the ring and sent Michin into the commentary table. Michin came back with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Bayley tackled Bayley followed by some punches. Michin with a headscissors along with a DDT for two. Michin with some Kawada kicks to the mouth. Bayley was on the apron to stall, then she charged and Michin kicked her. Bayley grabbed Michin’s hair and sent Bayley into the middle turnbuckle. Bayley hit the Roseplant into the mat for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Bayley

Analysis: *3/4 It was decent for a short match. It was all about Michin getting offense for most of the match before Bayley did a hair pull leading to the Roseplant for the win. That result didn’t surprise me at all. A fitting finish for a heel like Bayley.

The win by Bayley means she has qualified for Money in the Bank with Zelina Vega, Becky Lynch, Zoey Stark and others to be determined.

After the match, Scarlett showed up at ringside and sprayed some red dust on AJ’s face. Karrion Kross showed up in the crowd and choked Styles. Michin showed up, so Kross grabbed Scarlett and they stood in the crowd while Styles was down selling.

Analysis: I guess Styles beating Kross recently wasn’t enough because the feud is continuing.

They recapped Raw Women’s Champion Asuka and Bianca Belair getting into a fight last week.

Bianca Belair was in the office of WWE Official Adam Pearce with Belair talking about wanting to get her hands on Asuka. Pearce asked her not to attack Asuka since Pearce has to present Asuka with a new title. Pearce said she’s entitled to a rematch, so he was hoping Belair won’t get involved. Belair said if she gets a rematch then she won’t get involved. Pearce thanked her.


AJ Styles was backstage with Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson & Michin as AJ was selling the evil mist in the eyes. Styles was complaining about Kross & Scarlett with Michin saying they will get revenge.

Asuka Receives New WWE Women’s Championship

Adam Pearce, the WWE Official, was in the ring with a new championship that was covered. Asuka made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Title.

Pearce said that on behalf of WWE, he is presenting her with the brand new WWE Women’s Championship. It’s like the Raw Women’s Championship except that it is gold-colored instead of Raw colored. Pearce put the title around Asuka’s waist.

Analysis: It is WWE’s way of getting rid of the Raw Women’s Championship and using a more basic name by just calling it the WWE Women’s Championship. That will likely mean Rhea Ripley will have her Smackdown Women’s Title replaced by a Women’s World Title.

Charlotte Flair made her return for the first time since WrestleMania 39, which was two months ago. Flair was in some black attire that was non-wrestling gear. The fans cheered for her while Asuka wasn’t happy about it.

When Charlotte got into the ring, Pearce said he knows what Charlotte is trying to do. Pearce told Charlotte she kind of has to get in line. Charlotte said that she doesn’t wait in line and said that she made the line.

Charlotte told Asuka that nobody respects Asuka more than her. Charlotte said she wants that championship, so she’s challenging Asuka for the title. Asuka ranted in Japanese, Charlotte said “really” and Asuka said she accepts. Charlotte said when she wins the title then Pearce can put that title around Charlotte’s waist. Asuka tried to spit the mist on Charlotte, but Charlotte ducked and Charlotte hit Asuka with a boot to the face as Asuka retreated. Cole summarized the story saying that Pearce already promised Bianca Belair a title shot as well, so there’s an issue now.

Analysis: Welcome back to Charlotte Flair, who is getting a title shot already after taking a break for two months. I know Charlotte is a face, but it makes her look heelish by demanding a title match just like that. I thought we might see Bianca Belair come out there to plead her case for a title shot, but she stayed in the back like she said she would do earlier. Anyway, Asuka and Flair always have great matches together, so we’ll see it again soon.

charlotte flair asuka wwe smackdown

There was a recap of Jey Uso talking to Paul Heyman earlier.

Jey Uso was shown getting ready for his match with Paul Heyman walking up to him. Heyman said that it made for good television. Heyman talked about how he wanted Jey’s suit measurements so he can go with Roman, Paul and Solo to England for Money in the Bank on Roman’s private jet that will be Jey’s private jet some day. Heyman told Jey said that next week on Smackdown they’ll have a triple celebration because Roman Reigns will be there and Jey Uso will have the US Title. Heyman said that there will be a public acknowledgement with Roman Reigns grooming Jey as the next Tribal Chief. Heyman wanted a handshake. Jey said that he’s not sure why Heyman is so happy because if Jey is in The Bloodline then that means that Heyman is out of The Bloodline. Heyman wasn’t happy about that.

Analysis: The story continues with another segment to try to get people to keep watching.

Butch entered for his Money in the Bank qualifying match. Sheamus & Ridge Holland wished him good luck and they went to the back.

A commercial aired for Money in the Bank on Saturday, July 1st.


Adam Pearce was shown talking to somebody on the phone about the Asuka-Charlotte Flair match. Pearce suggested it on Smackdown in three weeks on the night before Money in the Bank. Bianca Belair walked in, Pearce ended his phone call and Pearce said he’ll figure it out. Belair told him he better figure it out.

They showed NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams sitting in the crowd for this match. Baron Corbin attacked Hayes last week and beat Trick earlier this week, so that’s why they are there.

Baron Corbin did a pre-match promo about winning Money in the Bank again. Corbin threatened Melo and Trick at ringside saying they should sit down to watch him punch his ticket for Money in the Bank.

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Baron Corbin vs. Butch

Butch hit two running kicks and a Tornado DDT for two. Butch went for a moonsault, but Corbin moved out of the way and Corbin hit a backbreaker. Butch hit a jumping kick to the head. Butch snapped Corbin’s fingers, but Corbin managed to come back with a clothesline. Corbin was yelling at Hayes a lot. Back in the ring, Butch hooked Corbin’s left arm and Butch twisted up Corbin’s limbs for a pinfall. It went about three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Butch

Analysis: *1/2 A short match with Butch snapping the fingers on the right hand and then Butch got a takedown on the left arm leading to the pinfall win. Corbin was too busy looking at Hayes & Williams, which cost Corbin the match. I’m happy for Butch because he’s from England so putting him in the MITB match in England will mean the crowd will be behind Butch in that match.

That means that Butch, who is from England, has qualified for Money in the Bank. Butch joins LA Knight, Shinsuke Nakamura, Ricochet and Santos Escobar in the match.

Post match, Corbin punched Williams at ringside, so Melo punched Corbin in return. Melo and Trick tried to go after Corbin more, but they were separated by WWE Officials.

A video aired about Bobby Lashley being on Smackdown. They have had him for the past month since the WWE Draft, but he hasn’t been used.

Shotzi made her entrance for singles action.


Butch was backstage with the Brawling Brutes. Butch said he was coming home and taking that briefcase. Bruce said that every night is Fight Night for the Brawling Brutes. Baron Corbin showed up complaining about it, so Cameron Grimes went up to Corbin and punched Corbin to knock him down.

Analysis: A reminder that Baron Corbin has a lot of enemies these days, including Grimes.

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: IYO SKY (w/Bayley) vs. Shotzi

Sky hit a dropkick to start. Shotzi hit a suplex. Sky came back with a takedown leading to a double foot stomp on Shotzi’s arm. Sky wrenched on Shotzi’s arm against the top rope. Sky missed a top rope attack when Shotzi moved out of the way. Shotzi hit a suplex followed by a cannonball against the turnbuckle. Shotzi hit a suicide dive onto Bayley on the floor. Shotzi up top, Bayley with a momentary distraction and Shotzi still pushed Sky off the ropes. Shotzi went up top and Bayley shoved Shotzi off the turnbuckle while Sky distracted the referee. Sky hit the Over the Moonsault off the top for the pinfall win after about two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: IYO SKY

Analysis: *1/2 A cheap win that was fitting for a heel like Sky. Bayley won with a hair pull setting up the finish in her match and then Sky won this match because of Bayley’s interference. They can push the story in Money in the Bank of Bayley & Sky working together, but I don’t think it will go smoothly, which could lead to that pairing being broken up with Sky becoming a face. Just a hunch. Anyway, Shotzi did fine in this match although it was obvious she wasn’t going to win.

The win by IYO SKY means she has qualified for Money in the Bank with Zelina Vega, Becky Lynch, Zoey Stark, Bayley and it looks like one other woman to be determined.

Austin Theory, the US Champion, was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Theory complained about he was the last one to find out the US Title match was happening tonight. Theory will send Jey back to The Bloodline without a title while taking a shot at beating John Cena at WrestleMania. Theory said if Paul Heyman wants a new client then he should check out Austin Theory live.


Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were shown talking on the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles. They were interrupted in the locker room by Pretty Deadly. There were more tag teams that showed up in the room including The Brawling Brutes, The OC (Gallows & Anderson), then the LWO was there and The Street Profits. Adam Pearce walked into the screen wondering what was going on. Owens was screaming about how they all wanted Tag Team Title matches. Pearce suggested that next week they do a Gauntlet Match and the winner of that Gauntlet Match will challenge Owens/Zayn for the WWE Tag Team Titles.

Analysis: That was a lot of people in the room at the same time. At least it was organized well and set up a match for next week.

A video aired about Grayson Waller showing some NXT highlights along with comments from Waller talking about himself.

Next week on Smackdown:

* The Grayson Waller Effect with Charlotte Flair as the Special Guest.

* Tag Team Gauntlet Match as mentioned above.

Jey Uso made his entrance for the main event.


It’s official in three weeks on June 30th Smackdown: Asuka defends the WWE Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair.

In two weeks on June 23rd Smackdown: Rhea Ripley & Shayna Baszler vs. Isla Dawn & Alba Fyre in a Women’s Tag Team Title Unification Match.

Next week on Smackdown:

* AJ Styles & Michin vs. Karrion Kross & Scarlett.

* Tag Team Gauntlet Match.

* Roman Reigns returns.

Austin Theory made his entrance as the US Champion. Barrett made the point that Roman Reigns got Jey this title match, so Jey should go with the Tribal Chief as a proven commodity. They stood in the ring for Mike Rome doing the championship introductions.

United States Championship: Austin Theory vs. Jimmy Uso

Theory with a shoulder tackle. Jey came back with a forearm. Jey clotheslined Theory over the top to the floor as the fans chanted “Uso” for Jey. That led to Jey throwing Theory over the barricade with Jey celebrating on the table. That led to cheers and a break.


Theory with a chinlock, then Jey broke free, they exchanged punches and Jey hit a lifting neckbreaker for two. Jey charged leading to Theory delivering a drop toe hold into the middle turnbuckle. Theory with roll through dropkick for a two count. Theory with forearms to the back followed by a spinning slam off the shoulders for two. Jey avoided a move, then Jey delivered an uppercut and a spinning kick to the head. Theory with a forearm smash and Jey hit a superkick that sent Theory into the referee Brian Tran, who bumped to the floor. Jey jumped off the top with an Uso Splash and a cover, but there was no referee to count. Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) showed up to attack Jey since they are allies of Theory now. Jimmy Uso ran out to the ring and Jimmy hit superkicks on both Pretty Deadly guys. Solo Sikoa showed up to attack Jimmy with a forearm knockdown. Solo was going for a Samoan Spike, Jey stopped it and Jimmy went for a superkick, but Solo moved and Jimmy superkicked Jey by mistake! Jimmy sent Solo out of the ring and Jimmy jumped onto Solo on the floor. Theory went back in to cover Jey while the referee was back up to count the pin to give Theory the win. It went about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Austin Theory

Analysis: **3/4 I liked the drama and the big fight feel with this match. It was obviously heavy on the storyline with Jimmy accidentally superkicking Jey leading to Theory capitalizing to win. In terms of advancing the story, it worked really well. The fans were into the match, they wanted Jey to win and they were strongly behind him. Meanwhile, Theory escapes with his title yet again.

They showed a replay of all the key spots in the match and the dramatic conclusion.

Jimmy Uso picked up his brother Jey by the arm while their other brother Solo Sikoa was in the aisle with Paul Heyman. When Jey got back to his feet, Jey shoved Jimmy back. Jey left the ring by himself. As Jey walked by Solo and Heyman, Paul said he was sorry. Jey walked out on his own. Heyman spoke into his phone telling it to call Roman Reigns. Cole pushed the story that Jey Uso still has yet to make a decision.

Analysis: It seems like Jey Uso was leaning towards being loyal to his brother Jimmy, so having Jimmy accidentally superkick Jey like that pushes the possibility that maybe Jey will be against Jimmy after all. I like how there was no official decision from Jey.

The announcers recapped what is coming next week on Smackdown, which includes the return of Roman Reigns.

Jimmy Uso was shown in the ring looking frustrated while Heyman was talking on the phone as Solo walked with Heyman. They showed Jimmy in the ring again. That was the end of the show.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Jey Uso
  2. Santos Escobar
  3. Paul Heyman


The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 8

2023 Average: 7.25


Final Thoughts

I thought it was a good episode of Smackdown this week. Last week was better. If you’re into long matches then there wasn’t much of that, but they had to get four MITB qualifiers on the show along with the US Title main event and other talking segments. I thought the best match was Santos Escobar beating Mustafa Ali. The other three MITB qualifiers had results that I like because I’m happy for Butch being part of MITB in England while Bayley and IYO SKY were obvious winners too.

The Bloodline story dominated the show even without Roman Reigns there. Jey Uso was the center of attention with Paul Heyman doing a terrific job of furthering the story as well. Jimmy Uso accidentally cost Jey the US Title against Austin Theory, so that will lead to more questions going into next week when Roman Reigns is back. It remains the best storyline in wrestling easily.

It would be nice if they booked Charlotte Flair returns better. She leaves for two months, then is immediately handed a shot at the title in three weeks. Taking the Raw Women’s Title from Asuka and giving her the new WWE Women’s Title (same look as Raw Women’s Title except with a gold background) only for Charlotte to take all the attention away. It seems heelish to me, but Charlotte is in the face role again.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is Money in the Bank on Saturday, July 1st in London, England. Here’s what we know so far:

* Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: LA Knight vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Ricochet vs. Butch vs. Santos Escobar vs. at least one more wrestler.

* Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Bayley vs. Zelina Vega vs. Becky Lynch vs. Zoey Stark vs. IYO SKY vs. at least one more wrestler.


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


Twitter @johnreport