Smackdown – June 5, 2020

Smackdown
Date: June 5, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

It’s a title night as we have the Women’s Tag Team Titles on the line with Bayley and Sasha Banks getting their shot at the titles. Other than that we’re still on the way to Backlash with the amazing main event of Miz and John Morrison getting slaughtered by Braun Strowman. Let’s get to it.

Quick preview of the show.

We open with a recap of the Jeff Hardy situation from last week, including Hardy getting out of police custody to cost Sheamus a shot at the Intercontinental Title.

Here’s Hardy for a chat. He thanks WWE and FOX for giving us this time to explain things. Elias was injured (announced as a torn pectoral muscle and broken ribs) and Hardy hopes he is back soon. Hardy says he got here last week and as he was getting things out of his car, someone jumped him from behind and he woke up smelling like alcohol with police yelling at him. It made him start thinking about that dark place again because he knew he couldn’t ask for forgiveness too many more times.

Hardy talks about being interrogated at the police station and eyewitnesses said the driver of the car had red hair and a red beard. Cue Sheamus to say he’s sick of Jeff and his enabling fans. Jeff isn’t a man because he’s just a junkie. Jeff’s wife and daughters must be used to these slip ups right? That’s enough for Jeff who charges up the ramp, and right into a Brogue Kick. Sheamus throws Jeff into the Plexiglas and leaves him laying.

Otis and Mandy Rose find King Corbin’s crown and walk off with it. Corbin comes up and isn’t happy.

We look back at last week’s Mandy/Otis dream sequence.

Otis vs. King Corbin

Corbin charges in and gets clotheslined to the floor, followed by a charge in and a clothesline to the floor. The second time around goes a bit better with Corbin sending Otis back first into the apron. Back in and Corbin hits a spinebuster for two, setting up the quick chinlock. Otis powers up to his feet and drives Corbin into the corner for the break, so Corbin kicks him in the stomach. This has the expected effect and the comeback is on. Corbin rolls outside before the Caterpillar though and it’s a chair shot to Otis for the DQ at 4:02.

Rating: D. We’re going to be seeing this again later aren’t we? And it’s going to be crown vs. briefcase isn’t it? Otis as Mr. Money in the Bank might not be the best sounding thing in the world but I’ll take that over Corbin in the same spot any day. Nothing match of course, but it feels like something designed to move the briefcase over and that’s worse.

Miz and Morrison are in a van with some equipment as Braun Strowman arrives. Oh this is going to hurt isn’t it? Back from a break, Miz and Morrison (with Hey Hey Ho Ho written on their sunglasses) mock the fans for saying they’re going to be destroyed at Backlash. Now some people may call what you’re about to see childish, but once we get to Backlash, Strowman’s life will be a living h***. We cut to a camera feed of Strowman pouring water into a thermos, which explodes. Strowman growls a lot.

Shorty G. is cut off by Mojo Rawley, who says he is cutting the interview short. Rawley: “See, it’s funny because you’re short!” Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura show up and beat on Gable but the New Day make the save.

Lacey Evans vs. Sonya Deville

Sonya jumps her from behind during the intros and knocks Lacey into the steps. Back from a break with the opening bell and Sonya charging into a quick armdrag. Sonya shoves her down again as we recap the fact that this is a feud about hair color. A forearm sets up Lacey’s slingshot elbow for two but she charges into a boot in the corner. The beating is on and Sonya rubs her forearm over Lacey’s face. Lacey is back with a slingshot rollup but Sonya lands on the referee, who seems to have hurt his leg.

Back with a new referee and Sonya working on a chinlock. She sends Lacey into the steps but Lacey manages a running clothesline back inside. The comeback is on and Lacey hits the slingshot Bronco Buster in the corner. The perfect double springboard moonsault gets two but Sonya is back with a choke across the rope. Sonya hits a running knee for two but here’s Mandy Rose on screen to say Sonya is a failure. That’s enough of a distraction for Lacey to hit the Woman’s Right for the pin at 12:24.

Rating: C-. Well at least it wasn’t a rollup. I like both of them but my goodness it was hard to sit through another distraction finish. Throw in the fact that they’re fighting over hair color and this isn’t exactly inspiring stuff. I’ll take Mandy vs. Sonya over this, but it’s not exactly a huge improvement.

Matt Riddle video.

Strowman talks about Miz and Morrison messing with his protein shake earlier so at Backlash, they’ll get these….and then slime falls from the ceiling onto Kayla Braxton. She’s not happy as we cut to Miz and Morrison arguing about the difference between left and right. So these two got into the building early, rigged up a bucket of slime, and somehow knew EXACTLY where this interview was going to take place?

Here are AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan for their face to face showdown before the Intercontinental Title match. AJ says he knows what Bryan is going to say about AJ taking the bye to the finals. Bryan says that AJ is a coward but they just think differently. AJ took the bye because it was a smart move. What Bryan calls noble is really stupid, but Bryan isn’t letting that get under his skin.

Bryan talks about how they have different visions of being champion. AJ sees it as defending the title once in awhile against the best every because it puts him in a special category. On the other hand, Bryan sees himself facing someone different every single week because the title represents competition. He wants fans to watch every week and hope that their favorite wrestler gets a chance that week. AJ says Bryan wants to give handouts. Speaking of which, how did Drew Gulak get to be Bryan’s coach? Therefore, Gulak can come out here right now and take a beating of his own.

AJ Styles vs. Drew Gulak

Gulak knocks him to the floor and we take a break before the bell. AJ hammers away to start but misses a dropkick and gets pulled into an armbar. The rope is grabbed in a hurry and AJ knocks him down again, this time for a chinlock. Gulak fights up and knocks AJ into the corner as the comeback is on. A suplex puts AJ down and a Michinoku Driver gives Gulak two. Back up and AJ hits the moonsault into the reverse DDT but the Styles Clash is countered into a rollup for the pin on AJ at 5:19.

Rating: C+. This was fun while it lasted but they didn’t get to do much. I’m curious about where this goes as there wasn’t much of a reason to have AJ take a clean loss here. It’s a nice feeling to have back so maybe the title match is suddenly a three way. I’m not sure if that’s needed but it’s certainly different.

Miz and Morrison break Braun Strowman’s windshield with a golf club and baseball bat. These people don’t know what pranks are do they?

New Day/Shorty G. vs. Mojo Rawley/Shinsuke Nakamura/Cesaro

Gable’s rolling kick is countered by Cesaro but Gable rolls him up for two anyway. A flying headscissors takes Cesaro down again and it’s off to Nakamura to kick at Big E. That doesn’t go very far as it’s back to Gable to take Nakamura down for back to back New Day splashes. Kofi hits the big running flip dive to the floor but comes up holding his knee. Rawley runs him over with a clothesline and we take a break.

Back with the villains working over Kofi, including a headbutt from Rawley. Kofi fights back with a standing double stomp though and brings Gable back in to clean house. A moonsault gets two on Rawley and the ankle lock goes on, including the grapevine. Nakamura slides in with a knee for the break and it’s Kofi diving onto Nakamura on the floor. Rawley’s Hyperdrive gets two on Gable but he misses the running right hand in the corner. Kofi gets the tag and the Midnight Hour finishes Rawley at 10:40.

Rating: B-. This was a fast paced formula tag match but the people involved could make it that much better. What give me a little hope here is Gable getting to look strong again. If they ever change his name back, there might be a future there. I have little reason to believe they will, but at least there may be a chance.

Strowman finds Miz and Morrison’s van, shouts a lot, and turns it over.

Backlash rundown, including Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus confirmed.

Women’s Tag Team Titles: Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross vs. Sasha Banks/Bayley

Bayley and Banks are challenging and it’s Cross running Bayley over to start. Bliss slaps Bayley and Cross comes back in for a running shot in the corner. Bliss is driven into the corner and Banks gets in her own slap. That just annoys Bliss again and she gets over to Cross to clean house. Bayley gets crushed on the floor but a Banks distraction lets Bayley hit a running knee. The Meteora from the apron takes Cross down and we take a break.

Back with Cross still in trouble and Banks hitting the running knees in the corner for two. Bayley beats on Cross in the corner but Cross kicks her way out and makes the hot tag to Bliss. Insult to Injury hits Bayley but Twisted Bliss is broken up. The super Bayley to Belly connects…and Bayley tags instead of covering, allowing Banks to hit a running knee for two on Bliss.

A quick Code Red gives Bliss two as Cross hits a tornado DDT on Bayley on the floor. It’s back to Cross for a high crossbody but Banks pulls her into the Bank Statement. Bayley breaks up her own partner’s hold because Banks isn’t legal and the DQ was coming, sending commentary into an argument over whether or not that makes sense. Banks tags herself in and Bank Statements Cross, only to be reversed into a rollup. That rollup is countered into another rollup to give Banks the pin and the titles at 12:32.

Rating: C-. The ending was kind of messy but I can go with the title change. The titles don’t exactly mean much at the moment but some title changes might spice things up a bit. If nothing else it can get some interest on the titles because you can only get so far on the champions posing with the titles. Maybe they can use this to further Bayley vs. Banks, as it’s only been built for the better part of a year now.

Bayley isn’t sure how to carry this much gold to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This show got better as it went on but even some of the better matches didn’t save the “pranks”, which are an annoying trope of WWE. Couple that with the fact that it’s leading to what should be a handicap squash and it’s not exactly getting my interest. They were trying some different stuff here but some of the reasons for these people fighting are a bit of a stretch. It wasn’t the worst show, but there was a lot more eye rolling than smiling.

Results

Otis b. King Corbin via DQ when Corbin used a chair

Lacey Evans b. Sonya Deville – Woman’s Right

Drew Gulak b. AJ Styles – Rollup

New Day/Shorty G. b. Cesaro/Shinsuke Nakamura/Mojo Rawley – Midnight Hour to Rawley

Sasha Banks/Bayley b. Nikki Cross/Alexa Bliss – Crucifix to Cross

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