The John Report: WWE SmackDown 06/28/24 Review

WWE Smackdown June 28 Review

This week’s WWE SmackDown featured three more Money in the Bank qualifying matches, The Bloodline having a ceremony, and more.

Last week’s Smackdown was the best episode of the year that I rated a 9 out of 10, which tells you that I loved it. The debut of Jacob Fatu in the main event was really well done and everything else was pretty good too. Money in the Bank is in eight days. It’s a Smackdown from MSG in NYC so it feels like a big one.

Next Friday I am driving five hours to Cleveland for a family wedding on Saturday so I will miss Smackdown. I’m also going to miss Money in the Bank on Saturday. If I didn’t have the wedding to go to I’d be at MITB in Toronto, but I can’t make it due to the wedding. I’ll do the Money in the Bank review when I get back home on Sunday.

From Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, this is Smackdown for episode #1297. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The show started with some video showing the wrestlers set to compete in big matches on this week’s show.

There was a video package showing highlights of last week’s show involving The Bloodline’s attack that included the debut of Jacob Fatu.

Paul Heyman was shown in the parking lot as Solo Sikoa arrived with Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa. Heyman asked where Jacob Fatu was and Solo didn’t answer while tapping Heyman. The fans chanted “We Want Roman” as Solo and The Bloodline walked into the arena.

A second car was shown arriving in the parking lot. It was Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton and Kevin Owens. Those three babyfaces got into a fight with The Bloodline guys. Cody and Solo were fighting at ringside along with Orton and Tama. Owens and Loa were fighting by the tech area. Owens hit Loa with some objects to put Loa onto a table. Orton slammed Tama onto the barricade. Owens climbed up into the stands a bit and hit a Swanton Bomb to put Loa through a table. Orton and Cody knocked Solo out of the ring to clear the ring.

Smackdown GM Nick Aldis walked out to ringside with security to try to stop the chaos. The two groups were separated. The show went to break there.

Analysis: An exciting start to the show because it picked up where last week ended with the Bloodline guys fighting with Cody, Randy and Kevin. It ended in a way that’s going to make viewers want to see what’s coming up later in the show, so that’s a good thing. The fans were really into it. Owens putting Loa through a table was an easy way to pop the crowd.


Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton & Kevin Owens

The trio of Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton & Kevin Owens remained in the ring. GM Aldis was on the ring apron trying to talk to them while security was surrounding the ring. A tiny security guy went into the ring, so Orton dropped him with an RKO. The other security guys went into the ring and they were beaten up by Cody, Randy & Kevin. Owens hit a guy with a Stunner while Orton hit him with an RKO. Cody hit Cross Rhodes on another guy. GM Aldis walked to the back angry.

Owens told The Bloodline if they thought they would wait until Money in the Bank then they are dumber than they look. Orton said that The Bloodline put him on the shelf for 18 months and he’s been dealing with them for two years, so they are taking them out at Money in the Bank.

Cody said that The Bloodline thinks that they are victims. Cody went over the credentials of Owens calling him a WrestleMania main event and Orton as a first ballot Hall of Famer, 14-time World Champion, etc., and of course that popped the crowd. Cody said that he sees a sold out MSG. Cody said that he should be defending his WWE Championship against a worthy, credible opponent. While he said that, you could see Orton staring at him so that’s a tease for sure. Instead, Cody’s fighting a war with The Bloodline that he thought he finished at WrestleMania.

Smackdown GM Aldis walked out with police officers. Cody said to Solo Sikoa that he doesn’t see a boss, a Tribal Chief or the Head of the Table because he sees a seat filler. Cody’s music played to end it. The trio of Cody, Randy and Kevin left the ring finally while the cops made sure there was no more fighting.

Analysis: I liked the insult by Cody Rhodes at the end of the promo saying that Solo Sikoa wasn’t the Head of the Table, he’s merely a seat filler. Good intensity shown by Cody, Randy & Kevin. They work well together as a team. It also gives credibility to GM Aldis to realize he needed cops to get rid of these guys. They book Nick well as a GM and he is a good performer.

The commentary team was Corey Graves and Wade Barrett as usual. Graves said that there were 19,701 fans in the building. It’s an inflated number, but the real number is around 17,000 and change so that’s pretty impressive.

A women’s triple threat match was up next.


There were highlights of the fighting in the opening segment.

Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton & Kevin Owens were shown exiting the building. The police officers escorted them into a vehicle and they were driven off. Nick Aldis was there to make sure they left.

They showed actor Lin-Manuel Miranda at ringside wearing an LWO shirt.

There are two women’s Money in the Bank qualifying matches on Smackdown this week. This is the first one with Tiffany Stratton out first. The entrance area was smaller than normal so they could fit more fans into the building. Stratton got a good reaction. Candice LeRae didn’t get much of a reaction. There was a big pop for Jade Cargill, which is not a surprise. This is the first time in MSG for several wrestlers on this show, so that’s cool for the talent experiencing MSG for the first time.

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Tiffany Stratton vs. Jade Cargill vs. Candice LeRae

Stratton and LeRae worked together to knock down Cargill followed by the two heels suplexing Cargill. Jade powered out of another suplex attempt followed by Jade hitting a double clothesline. Jade gave LeRae a backbreaker and Jade superkicked Stratton out of the ring. Jade gave LeRae a press slam over the top onto LeRae & Stratton at ringside. Nia Jax walked down to ringside to watch the match (she is an ally of Stratton), so Bianca Belair went out there to confront Jax. That led to a break.


The match continued with LeRae hitting Stratton a clothesline. LeRae hit Stratton with a DDT for two because Jade broke it up. Jade hit LeRae with a superkick. Strattonsent LeRae into the turnbuckle. Stratton hit the handspring back elbow on Jade, but LeRae avoided the same move. Jade hit a spinebuster on LeRae. Stratton dropkicked Jade for two because LeRae broke up the pin attempt. All three women were down. Jade hit a corner splash on LeRae. Stratton avoided a charging Jade, who bumped to the floor. Jax laughed about what happened to Jade, so Belair got in Jade’s face on the floor. The referee left the ring tried to stop Belair-Jax from arguing. Indi Hartwell showed up at ringside to shove Jade into the ring post. Belair chased Hartwell to the back. That led to Candice getting a rollup on Stratton for two. LeRae went for a moonsault, but Stratton got her knees up to block. Stratton hit the Prettiest Moonsault Ever for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tiffany Stratton

Analysis: *** A pretty good match for the time given. I didn’t like the spot with the referee leaving in the ring just because Jax and Belair were arguing on the floor. The referee shouldn’t care about people arguing on the floor. They weren’t fighting, so why is the referee there to break it up? I didn’t like that spot. Other than that, it was booked well because Jade was taken out by Indi on the floor and that led to Candice getting a two, but obviously Stratton was going to win when it was down to the two of them.

After the match, Stratton celebrated the win with her buddy Nia Jax, who raised Stratton’s hand.

Bayley, the NXT Women’s Champion, walked up to Naomi backstage. Naomi said she’s going to win tonight, then win Money in the Bank and might have to cash on Bayley. Blair Davenport walked in saying that Naomi isn’t winning tonight. Blair warned Bayley that her days are numbered. Naomi said she’s going to handle this tonight.


They showed Smackdown GM Nick Aldis in his office talking to Michin, who wanted a match with Nia Jax. Aldis said he would think about it. The Street Profits and B-Fab walked into the office to ask about facing The Bloodline. Aldis said they can’t have it tonight because he promised a ceremony for The Bloodline tonight. Pretty Deadly walked in saying they were back while claiming they wanted a musical. Montez Ford pitched a match against Pretty Deadly. Aldis liked that.

Analysis: It was an easy way to set up a match. I missed Pretty Deadly, so it’s good to see them back on the show.

A video aired to set up the Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match between Logan Paul, LA Knight and Santos Escobar. Paul shoved Knight into the ring post last week.

Santos Escobar of Legado Del Fantasma was up first. LA Knight got a huge ovation from the MSG crowd. They showed Jalen Brunson of the NBA’s New York Knicks at ringside. Brunson got a huge pop since he’s the best player on the Knicks. That triple threat match was next.


They showed a video about Indianapolis hosting Royal Rumble 2025 along with a future two-night WrestleMania and a future two-night SummerSlam.

Solo Sikoa was shown talking to Paul Heyman backstage. Heyman said that Cody Rhodes, Kevin Owens and Randy Orton were escorted out of the building by the NYPD. Heyman asked what are they doing tonight and where is Jacob Fatu? Solo said he heard him and he took his advice. Solo claimed that Jacob wasn’t here because Heyman was right that Jacob was too dangerous. Solo said he listened to Heyman because he’s the Wise Man and Solo said he’ll make it official tonight.

It was noted this Smackdown episode was the 32nd TV sellout and 47th event sellout of 2024 for WWE.

Logan Paul made his entrance as the United States Champion wearing some USA-colored tights. Logan said that MSG is where heroes are made and legends are born while noting he gets to perform in this historic arena. Logan said he had somebody with him who knows how to actually win at Madison Square Garden. Logan had Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton, who is a big WWE fan. The fans booed. Tyrese had a “Tyrese 3:17” shirt. Tyrese had a bit of a staredown with Jalen Brunson at ringside.

Analysis: The Pacers beat the Knicks in the NBA Playoffs this year, so Tyrese was booed heavily. As I noted above, Tyrese is a lifelong WWE fan, so I’m sure he’s happy to be there.

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: LA Knight vs. Logan Paul vs. Santos Escobar

Knight was on fire with strikes on both opponents, but that didn’t last because Paul & Escobar worked together to beat up Knight a bit. That didn’t last long because Escobar & Knight argued. Escobar gave Knight a hurricanrana while Paul hit Escobar with a forearm. Paul gave Knight a gutwrench suplex for two. Knight got a bit of offense on Paul, but Paul came back with a Powerbomb that sent Knight over his head. Paul jumped onto Knight on the floor. Escobar hit a suicide dive on Paul on the floor. They went to break there.


The match continued with Knight ramming Paul’s head into the commentary table a bunch of times until Escobar stopped that. Knight battled with Escobar in the ring leading to Escobar hitting a hurricanrana of the turnbuckle for two because Paul broke up the pin. Paul slammed Escobar and put him on top of Knight, which led to Paul getting a couple of nearfalls. Knight got some momentum going with a powerslam on Escobar along with an elbow drop. Knight stomped on Paul and hit a running knee, but Escobar was there with a running knee on Knight. Escobar hit a Phantom Driver on Knight for two because Paul broke up the pin. I think the fans were chanting “f**k the Pacers” at Haliburton. Escobar worked over Paul with chops. Escobar battled Paul on the top rope, but Knight jumped up with a superplex. Paul went up top and hit a Swanton Bomb on Knight for a two count. Great nearfall there. Tyrese got brass knuckles from Paul’s buddy at ringside. Tyrese put the brass knuckles on his hand and Jalen Brunson jumped the barricade to confront Tyrese. Multiple referees were there to stop Brunson. Escobar hit double knees on Paul, who didn’t get the brass knuckles. Escobar charged at Knight, who moved and Knight hit BFT on Escobar. Paul rolled up Knight while using the tights, but Knight reversed it and Knight rolled up Paul while holding the tights for the pinfall win. It went 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: LA Knight

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match that got a lot of time. The brass knuckle usage attempt failed miserably in a match that doesn’t have disqualifications. I figured it was going to be Knight or Paul who won here, but I didn’t know which guy it would be. Escobar had an outside shot too. I assume they go with Knight against Paul at SummerSlam, so maybe Paul will cost Knight at MITB to set them up for it. Anyway, I liked this match quite a bit with Knight cheating to win because Paul tried to cheat before that.

That win by Knight means the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match looks like this right now: Jey Uso vs. Carmelo Hayes vs. Andrade vs. Chad Gable vs. LA Knight vs. TBA

After the match, Tyrese Haliburton joined Logan Paul in the ring. Tyrese had the brass knuckles on his right hand. Jalen Brunson went into the ring where he joined Knight. That led to Paul and Haliburton leaving the ring. Knight posed with Brunson to cheers.

Analysis: The NBA guys were there to tease a fight, but you know they aren’t going to take some bumps considering their teams are paying them about $40+ million per year. It’s just not smart for non-wrestlers to take bumps.

Apollo Crews and Baron Corbin were shown talking backstage. Crews laughed about Santos Escobar not qualifying for Money in the Bank. Carmelo Hayes walked in to say he’s going to sell “Melo in the Bank” shirts when he wins Money in the Bank. Crews said he’s way over his head. Melo bragged about pinning Randy Orton. Melo said people should pay attention to Melo as the winning. Corbin said that he’s a betting man and Melo has no shot.

Tribute To WWE Hall Of Famer Sika

A graphic was shown about the death of Sika, who died at the age of 79 years old. That led to a video package about the legendary “Wild Samoan” Sika, who is also the father of the great Roman Reigns. The video mentioned Sika’s son Joe Anoi’a aka Roman Reigns. There were comments from big names like Paul Heyman, The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan in the video. Rikishi spoke about his late uncle as well.

Analysis: That was a great video about Sika. I’m sure he’s proud of his family’s legacy. Sika had an incredible impact on the pro wrestling business not just as a wrestler himself, but everything his family has accomplished. Rest in peace, Sika.


Andrade was featured in a video talking about Money in the Bank. Andrade said he’s there to take over and he’s taking everything.

The Women’s MITB Qualifying Match was next. Indi Hartwell was already in the ring, Blair Davenport got no reaction for her entrance since she’s new on Smackdown and Naomi got a good reaction. Former NFL player Ryan Clark of ESPN was at ringside.

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Blair Davenport vs. Indi Hartwell vs. Naomi

Naomi connected with a dropkick early on. Blair and Indi worked together early, but then Blair turned on Indi quickly. Indi gave Naomi a Powerbomb for a two count. Blair stomped on Naomi’s back. Blair stomped on Indi’s back as well. That led to a break.


Naomi hit a neckbreaker on Indi, who gave Blair a DDT at the same time. Naomi went up top and hit a cross body block on both opponents. Naomi hit a jumping kick on Indi. Naomi ran the ropes leading to a split-legged leg drop on both opponents for two. Indi got some offense going with spinebusters on both women for a two count. Naomi sent Indi into Blair. Naomi hit a moonsault on Indi and then Blair kicked Naomi to stop a pin. Blair hit a Falcon Arrow on Naomi for two because Indi broke up the pin attempt. The three women exchanged forearms, Blair superkicked Naomi and Indi hit a big kick. Naomi used her knees to spike Indi into the mat. Naomi hit a rebound kick on Blair. Naomi went for a moonsault off the top, but Blair moved and Naomi hit the mat. Indi pulled Blair out of the ring and Indi sent Blair into the steel steps. Indi sent Naomi into the barricade. Jade Cargill went to ringside and hit Indi with a forearm. Jade threw Indi into the ring post. No DQ’s in a triple threat. Back in the ring, Naomi kicked Indi and hit a Full Nelson slam into a pinfall for the win after about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Naomi

Analysis: **3/4 The match was solid with Jade Cargill getting revenge against Indi Hartwell and that revenge helped Naomi get the decisive win. I thought Naomi would win although there were a few moments where I believed that Blair could pick up the victory. They worked well together.

The win by Naomi means the Women’s Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match looks like this: IYO SKY vs. Chelsea Green vs. Lyra Valkyria vs. Tiffany Stratton vs. Naomi vs. TBD.

The Bloodline’s acknowledgment ceremony was up next.


Next week on Smackdown in Toronto:

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

* The Street Profits vs. Pretty Deadly

* WWE Tag Team Championships: A-Town Down Under – Austin Theory & Grayson Waller vs. #DIY – Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano

Analysis: A night of tag team action.

The #DIY guys Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano were interviewed by Byron Saxton. Ciampa mentioned they had a lot of good history in Toronto since they won the NXT Tag Team Titles there. Austin Theory walked up to them. Gargano told Theory that Waller was just using him. Waller attacked Gargano and Ciampa from behind. Theory grabbed Waller and they left.

Analysis: I think #DIY might win the WWE Tag Team Titles next week, but I’d save it for SummerSlam in Cleveland since Gargano is from Cleveland. It would be a cool moment.

The Bloodline Acknowledgement Ceremony

Solo Sikoa led The Bloodline into the ring joined by Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa and the “Wise Man” Paul Heyman as well. They went into the ring for the promo.

As Paul Hetman was doing the introduction, Solo held out his hand and wanted Heyman to hand him the microphone. The fans chanted “We Want Roman” while Heyman looked sad because that’s what Heyman used to do with Roman.

Solo introduced us to the newest member of The Bloodline, his enforcer, the “Samoan Werewolf” Jacob Fatu. The lights went out in the building and there was a badass song with drums playing while Jacob made his entrance looking like a badass. That meant that Solo was lying when he said Jacob was not in the building. As Jacob made it to the apron, they went to break there.


The Bloodline Acknowledgement Ceremony…Continued

Solo told MSG to acknowledge him. Heyman walked up to Solo with a stunned look on his face. The others in the group held their hands up. Solo told “right hand man” Tama Tonga to acknowledge him. Tama said he acknowledged Solo. Tonga Loa also told Solo he acknowledged him. Solo called for the enforcer Jacob Fatu to acknowledge you. Jacob said that he loves him and he acknowledges him.

Solo told Heyman that this was his one chance to live. Solo wanted Heyman to acknowledge him. Heyman had tears in his eyes and he had a bit of a beard. Solo presented Solo with a red lei and wanted Heyman to acknowledge Solo as the Tribal Chief. That led to Heyman crying while the fans booed. Heyman even kissed the red lei. Heyman said he loved Solo “and I acknowledge that you are not my Tribal Chief!” The fans cheered loudly! Heyman was crying as Solo hit Heyman with a Samoan Spike to the throat. Heyman was grabbing his throat to sell it. Jacob went up top and jumped off the top with a headbutt to Heyman’s left shoulder.

The Bloodline cleared off the commentary table. Tama and Loa picked up Heyman for Jacob, who gave Heyman a Powerbomb through the commentary table. The fans booed that. The fans chanted “holy shit” for that. Jacob Fatu put the red lei around Solo’s neck. The fans were booing. Solo and The Bloodline stood tall at ringside with “the ones” in the air. There were fans chanting “f**k you Solo” while Heyman was getting checked on at ringside. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: Poor Wise Man. It was a way to get a lot of heat on The Bloodline by taking out a non-wrestler like Paul Heyman, who has been a heel for most of his career, but he’s still a beloved figure in pro wrestling because of WWE Hall of Fame career. I thought that maybe this would be the show where Jimmy Uso came back to try to fight back against his brother Solo. It didn’t happen yet. That is probably going to happen soon. The Samoan Spike is a safe move while Jacob barely touched Heyman with the top rope headbutt. The table bump probably hurt a bit for Heyman, but they could have padded it underneath a bit to soften the landing. I assume Heyman will be off TV for the next month or so. My prediction is Roman Reigns returns at SummerSlam on August 3rd, so I think we’ll see Heyman back at that moment leading Reigns back into WWE to take on this version of The Bloodline. Whenever Roman reunites with The Usos it’s going to be an incredible moment. Anyway, this was executed very well with The Bloodline doing the cheap attack and getting a lot of heat for their actions.

Also, I want to add that Paul Heyman saying telling Solo that “you are not my Tribal Chief” was a great moment. Listen to that pop by the crowd. They loved it because of how big this storyline has been and the acknowledgment thing is such a big deal in the storyline. It’s so well done.

After the show, the cameras kept rolling and Paul Heyman was taken away in an ambulance.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Paul Heyman
  2. The Bloodline
  3. LA Knight, Tiffany Stratton and Naomi


The Scoreboard

7.5 out of 10

Last week: 9

2024 Average: 7.38


Final Thoughts on WWE Smackdown

I thought it was a very good show for the most part. It wasn’t as outstanding as last week, but there was a lot to like. The ending angle with Paul Heyman refusing to acknowledge Solo Sikoa as The Tribal Chief was fantastic. Heyman is such a great actor with incredible facial expressions. The pop Heyman got when he refused to acknowledge Solo was awesome to hear. I’m sure it meant a lot to Paul to take an ass-kicking and to do it in MSG of all places since he’s a New Yorker. They took care of him as best they could, but it’s still a table bump. See ya around SummerSlam, Paul, and don’t forget to bring back the real Tribal Chief with you. The fans certainly want to see him.

There were only three matches, which might sound low, but I don’t think the lack of matches hurt the show. Good job with the segment involving NBA Players Jared Brunson and Tyrese Haliburton well. Brunson and Haliburton didn’t take a bump or anything like that, It still worked effectively while popping the crowd because they are happy to see Brunson thriving on the Knicks. I think the winners of the three MITB matches were all good choices. I liked how Knight and Stratton won while Naomi’s win was booked well too.

I think Smackdown is rolling right now. I look forward to seeing how things go at MITB next week and the build to SummerSlam will be interesting as well.

The next WWE PLE is Money in the Bank on July 6th Here’s the lineup so far.

* World Heavyweight Championship: Damian Priest (c) vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

* Men’s Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match: Jey Uso vs. Carmelo Hayes vs. Andrade vs. Chad Gable vs. LA Knight vs. TBD.

* Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton & Kevin Owens vs. The Bloodline – Solo Sikoa, Jacob Fatu, Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa (They did not specify what three members will be in the match)

* Intercontinental Championship: Sami Zayn (c) vs. Bron Breakker

* Women’s Money in the Bank Contract Ladder Match: IYO SKY vs. Chelsea Green vs. Lyra Valkyria vs. Tiffany Stratton vs. Naomi vs. TBD.


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

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport