Smackdown – June 19, 2018

Smackdown
Date: June 19, 2018
Location: Huntington Center, Toldeo, Ohio
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re past Money in the Bank and that means it’s time to get things going towards Extreme Rules. Smackdown isn’t wasting any time in that area as we have a five man gauntlet match tonight with the winner getting a shot at AJ Styles at the pay per view. Other than that it’s hard to say what we might be having this week so let’s get to it.

Paige welcomes us to the show and recaps Sunday. Tonight is the gauntlet match, which she explains as well.

Here’s Carmella to get things going in the arena. Carmella talks about having self esteem issues when she was growing up because she never felt good enough. Then she started writing her own story and she saw something in herself that no one ever saw. Everyone out there needs to look in the mirror and repeat these words: Mella is MONEY! Why would someone like her ever have self confidence? She’s been moon walking and trash talking since she was a baby so everyone needs to just give up. Carmella brags about all of her accomplishments, which she has done completely on her own.

Cue Asuka, or at least James Ellsworth in Asuka gear. Ellsworth says no one was ready for Asuka and offers some praise to Carmella, saying she’s better than several women, including Trish, Lita, Rousey, and Mother Teresa. Now it’s the real Asuka, without robe or mask, coming to the ring to take Ellsworth down. Carmella uses the distraction to deck Asuka and wrap things up. I’m so glad they brought Ellsworth back for this role when there are probably a dozen people on the roster with nothing to do.

Billie Kay vs. Becky Lynch

Before the match, Peyton does her Becky impression and says that she’s a loser. Becky punches her outside to start and Billie starts trying to hide, earning herself a forearm to the face. A good posting cuts Becky off though and we take a break. Back with Becky fighting out of a chinlock and getting kneed down anyway. Peyton adds in a knee to the head for two but Becky is right back up with the Bexploder. Billie misses a charge and gets knocked to the floor. A crossbody off the apron takes Royce down, leaving Billie to get caught in the Disarm-Her for the tap at 7:43.

Rating: D+. Becky winning is always a good thing and once the Asuka rematch is over, she would be a good choice to take the title from Charlotte. Of course that’s assuming they don’t just have Charlotte get it back and put us right back where we were after Wrestlemania. The Iconics will be fine as their talking is more than enough to keep them at their standard level and that’s not a bad place to be.

We look back at Shinsuke Nakamura hitting Jeff Hardy low last week.

With his back to the camera, Hardy talks about how Nakamura lost on Sunday and goes into a medical explanation of what Kinshasa did to him last week. Nakamura’s actions made him super focused and now his eyes are open, with Jeff turning to reveal some black and white face paint, including over his eyelids. He opens his eyes to reveal nearly colorless pupils, because Jeff is weird that way.

The announcers hype up the debut of Sanity.

We see Sanity’s shadows in the back with Eric Young saying the chaos has arrived.

Daniel Bryan is ready to face three of the best Smackdown has to offer and the Miz. He even asks Renee Young if he’s ready and gets her to say YES.

Sanity vs. Usos

Before the match, the Usos say they look like the Ultimate Warrior on Sesame Street and talk about how many things you need to be great around here. If Sanity wants to talk about chaos, welcome to the Uso Penitentiary. Sanity jumps the Usos before the match and the beatdown is on. No match.

Shinsuke Nakamura says it wasn’t fair that he lost because the referee didn’t count in Japanese. He’s not worried about Jeff Hardy.

Tag Team Titles: Anderson and Gallows vs. Bludgeon Brothers

The Bludgeon Brothers are defending. Joined in progress with Rowan hammering away and superplexing Gallows for two. A splash gets the same and we hit the fists into the sides of Gallows’ head. Gallows finally stops a charge in the corner with a boot and superkicks Harper for good measure. The spinebuster gives Anderson two on Harper but a Rowan distraction sets up the swinging Boss Man Slam for two more. Gallows gets sent into the barricade and the assisted sitout powerbomb ends Anderson at 6:00.

Rating: C. Well that happened. It was better than their match on Sunday due to how much of a faster pace they kept but it’s not like the ending here was in any doubt. Anderson and Gallows have nothing going on at the moment because WWE doesn’t know how to book more than a few teams at once. They certainly can do a bunch of multi-man matches though, which is where we’re immediately going.

Daniel Bryan comes out for the main event, has a weird staredown with the Bludgeon Brothers, and goes to the ring without further incident.

Gauntlet Match

Five people involved and the winner gets Styles at Extreme Rules. Daniel Bryan and Big E. get things going with Bryan going straight for the knee. The surfboard with a dragon sleeper has Big E. in early trouble but he snaps off a belly to belly and Bryan is in trouble in a hurry. There’s a splash on the apron and we take a break.

Back with Bryan missing the Swan Dive and getting caught in an over the shoulder backbreaker. Bryan fights up and hits his running clothesline, followed by the top rope hurricanrana. The running corner dropkick is blocked with a clothesline and an over the shoulder backbreaker into a regular backbreaker has Bryan in even more trouble. A Brock Lock goes on but Bryan reverses into a failed YES Lock attempt.

The triangle choke is countered but Bryan counters the powerbomb to smash Big E.’s knee into the mat. Bryan tries to speed things up a bit so Big E. sends him to the apron for the big spear through the ropes in a major crash. Back in and Big E. goes shoulder first into the post, setting up the running knee for the pin at 11:38. Samoa Joe is in third and we take a break.

Back again with Bryan getting chopped in the corner, followed by a snap powerslam for two. The powerbomb into the Boston crab into the STF into the Crossface keeps Bryan in trouble but a rope is grabbed. The dragon screw legwhip puts Joe down and Bryan wraps his knee around the post. Joe’s knee is fine enough for the backsplash and we take another break. We come back again with Bryan, whose chest is beet red, escaping the Koquina Clutch and sending Joe outside for the running knee from the apron.

The missile dropkick drops Joe again and it’s time for the YES Kicks. An enziguri sends Joe into the corner but he’s smart enough to bail to the floor before the running knee. Bryan tries the baseball slide but goes right into the Koquina Clutch. Joe keeps an eye on the count but Bryan slips out and dives back in for the countout win at 28:19. Hang on though as here are the Bludgeon Brothers for the assisted powerbomb. Cue Miz for a Skull Crushing Finale to get rid of Bryan at 29:19. Since we’re not following any rules here and that’s not a DQ for the Brothers attacking Bryan, it’s Miz vs. Rusev for the title shot.

Back from what should be the final break with Rusev kicking Miz in the head for two, sending Miz backing off. A fall away slam gets the same but Miz sends him outside for a dropkick through the ropes. We hit the chinlock for a long while until Rusev powers up. A kick to the head sets up another kick to the head for two on Miz but he’s right back up with some YES Kicks of his own. The short DDT gives Miz two more, only to have Rusev kick him down and grab the Accolade for the tap out at 44:20.

Rating: B. Well that’s certainly a surprising result and one that I rather like. I would have bet on Samoa Joe but it’s nice to see Rusev FINALLY getting a chance at something, even if he winds up losing in his title match. At the same time though, I have no idea where they’re going with Bryan vs. the Bludgeon Brothers as it’s not like anyone really fits as a partner at the moment. Maybe they’ve got a surprise in mind, but I hope that doesn’t somehow mean Miz and Bryan teaming up as wacky partners. Anyway, good ending and a long match that didn’t feel long.

Post match AJ comes out and stares Rusev down before dropping Aiden English to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. Good show overall here as it’s very nice to be away from anything resembling Money in the Bank. They’ve already got a big match set up for Extreme Rules and you can see where they’re going with some other stuff. This might not have been a great show but it sets them up for a few fresh things and that’s more than I can say for most of the last month plus.

Results

Becky Lynch b. Billie Kay – Disarm-Her

Bludgeon Brothers b. Anderson and Gallows – Assisted sitout powerbomb to Anderson

Rusev won a gauntlet match last eliminating the Miz

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