WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 18
In the final edition of SmackDown Live before WWE Stomping Grounds, the June 18 episode promised confrontation to set the stage for massive action to come.
Dolph Ziggler got his chance to fight Xavier Woods, who cost him his last WWE Championship opportunity at Super ShowDown. While few matches were confirmed for the night, this had the opportunity to be a show-stealer.
Alexa Bliss invited Bayley to "A Moment of Bliss" just days before their title clash. The SmackDown women's champion may be on top of the world, but The Goddess has played masterful mind games. She had one last chance to play The Hugger.
Following up on his attack on Shane McMahon, Roman Reigns returned to his brand, unaware of the threat that hung over his head. Boy Wonder was certain to look for retribution alongside Drew McIntyre.
Everyone was looking to make an impact, and Sunday's Stomping Grounds needed the hype. However, no one was holding their breath with bated anticipation for what WWE could deliver.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Xavier Woods
The New Day made fun of Ziggler until The Showoff came out to talk down Kofi Kingston's worthiness as champion.
The two rivals traded words on their steel cage match to set the tone for Ziggler's battle with Woods.
Kevin Owens attacked Kingston and Big E during the match that followed before everyone got tossed from ringside.
The Showoff knocked Woods off the apron with a superkick and then hit a Zig Zag. He trapped his opponent in the ropes and hit another superkick before the pinfall.
Ziggler def. Woods by pinfall
This was a good way to build Kingston vs. Ziggler. Woods gave the No. 1 contender a good fight, but ultimately he could not hang with the motivated heel. The Showoff was allowed to be sadistic in his attack on the New Day member.
The contest could have been more involved, but the focus was clear. Hopefully, Ziggler will bring something more to this second title opportunity than he did in Saudi Arabia. Otherwise, it will be a flat main event for SmackDown.
Alexa Bliss Cuts Deep with Insults of Bayley on 'A Moment of Bliss'
Bayley came out for "A Moment of Bliss" with The Goddess' coffee and mocked her No. 1 contender.
However, Bliss flipped the conversation, calling Bayley an entitled bully who will never be as good as she wants to be.
A brawl broke out. While The Hugger had the advantage at first, Nikki Cross pulled her away, which allowed Bliss to lay out Bayley from behind.
For a feud that has barely gone anywhere to this point, Bayley vs. Bliss looks like gold coming out of this segment. The Goddess has always been a good mic worker and led the conversation, but her rival was no slouch here.
Together, the two sold their heat and made it feel important that they were fighting again. Cross also plays an important role as the volatile element in this contest. She could be the decider in who walks out champion come Sunday.
Heavy Machinery vs. The B-Team
As a frustrated Daniel Bryan berated the team on commentary, Heavy Machinery took down The B-Team with resilience and power.
Otis hit the Caterpillar to set up the Compactor for the win.
Afterward, Seth Rollins attacked Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas with a steel chair because they showed interest in being Baron Corbin's special guest referee.
Otis and Tucker def. Dallas and Axel by pinfall
This segment made sense, but it did not have much of an impact. The B-Team was mostly just in this match to get beat up. Dallas and Axel's offense felt like it was barely effective despite their being the only other team on the brand with credible success.
However, Bryan on commentary is always a hit.
The Miz and R-Truth vs. Elias and Drew McIntyre (Elimination Tag)
McIntyre promised to make Reigns pay Sunday. The Miz interrupted to mock Shane-O-Mac over what happened on Raw. He then declared he would take responsibility for what "The Best in the World" had become and finally defeat him.
McMahon announced Miz would fight Elias and McIntyre with a tag team partner of his choosing who needed to appear within the next 10 seconds. R-Truth came out from underneath the ring, and The A-Lister reformed The Awesome Truth for one night.
McMahon made sure Miz could not tag Truth out of this match until Elias hit a running high knee for the first elimination.
Truth had to run as wrestlers tried to take his 24/7 title. The Scottish Psychopath knocked out Miz with a Glasgow Kiss and Claymore for the second elimination.
After the bell, Shane-O-Mac tossed The A-Lister into a Claymore and then dragged him in position to take a third.
McIntyre and Elias def. Miz and Truth by pinfall
This was a strong performance from Miz on the mic and in the ring. He fought valiantly and made both heels look dangerous. Moreover, he continued to keep the focus on his own conflict with McMahon rather than letting Reigns' rivalry overshadow him.
It was odd not to have The Big Dog appear at all without explanation, but it was for Miz's benefit. He would have likely not even been on the show if Reigns had appeared. Hopefully, the plan is still for The A-Lister to ultimately take down McMahon.
Kofi Kingston and Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (2-out-of-3 Falls)
Zayn and Owens complained to McMahon about both world champions' volatile behavior, and he granted them a chance to make it right in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match.
Kingston caught Zayn right at the bell with Trouble in Paradise to score an immediate pinfall. A more competitive second fall ended with Rollins hitting the Stomp on The Prizefighter to secure the win for the champions.
Paul Heyman watched both champions intently from backstage.
Kingston and Rollins def. KO and Zayn by pinfall with two straight falls
WWE continues to make a mockery of Zayn and Owens as a team. The duo cannot pick up a single win. Just looking at their success rate, you would assume both were considered enhancement talent. The first fall proved that much.
While it's good to see Kingston and Rollins fired up, this match was unnecessary and did little for Stomping Grounds. The two champions need legitimate threats to rattle them sooner rather than later.