WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 11
Kofi Kingston will defend his WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler at Stomping Grounds come June 23, but he and partner Xavier Woods welcomed back Big E Tuesday night for a massive six-man tag team match pitting The New Day against The Showoff, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.
That match headlined a show that also saw Roman Reigns' response to Shane McMahon, the latest chapter in the 24/7 Championship chaos and Bayley's attempt to rebound after an episode of Raw that saw her pinned by No. 1 contender to the SmackDown Women's Championship, Alexa Bliss.
Find out everything that went down, how it affects the brand going forward and more with this recap of the June 11 broadcast of WWE SmackDown Live.
'Miz TV' with Drew McIntyre
A reluctant Miz introduced Drew McIntyre, Elias and the self-proclaimed "Best in the World" Shane McMahon for a special edition of "Miz TV."
McMahon instructed Elias to play a song, traded barbs with Miz and laughed off Roman Reigns' threat to avenge his loss to Shane-O-Mac at Super ShowDown.
McIntyre took the microphone and claimed he would use his greatest weapon, the Claymore Kick, to defeat The Big Dog at Stomping Grounds.
McMahon insulted Miz, instigating a confrontation between The Hollywood A-Lister and The Scottish Psychopath.
McMahon concluded the segment by announcing a gauntlet match in which Miz would battle Elias and then McIntyre; if he could survive those, he would face the prodigal son.
Well, at least it made sense given the history between Miz and McMahon.
This was more overexposure of McMahon at the expense of the Superstars he is sharing the ring with. They come off as lackeys and less-than, and the result is a roster in which no one is ever allowed to get over unless they are in the McMahon family.
Poor Miz has been neutered since the babyface turn sputtered to a disappointing conclusion right around WrestleMania 35, and this was no different.
Miz Runs the Gauntlet
Miz fought from underneath and rifled off some offense that looked to have him en route to a victory over WWE's resident musician, Elias.
The guitar-toting heel blasted him with a knee to the face and tried for Drift Away, but Miz countered and delivered Skull-Crushing Finale for the win. Miz defeated Elias.
After a break, Miz took the fight to Drew McIntyre, knocking him to ringside, where Shane McMahon checked on him. Back inside the squared circle, the Scot capitalized on a McMahon distraction and delivered the Glasgow Kiss headbutt to the face.
The Claymore Kick followed, and McIntyre scored the win. McIntyre defeated Miz.
McMahon attacked at the start of the fall, forcing Miz to muster all of his babyface energy if he was to fight back into the match. He made a go of it, but Shane-O-Mac blocked the Skull-Crushing Finale and applied the triangle choke for the win. McMahon defeated Miz.
In a perfect world, this would get the heel entity over to the extent that fans want to see Roman Reigns beat the unholy hell out of McIntyre and then McMahon, but this WWE is not a perfect world.
McMahon desperately needs to go away. McIntyre needs his edge back. Elias needs to rediscover the edge that made him a legitimate contender rather than the sidekick he has devolved into.
We were 30 minutes into the show, and it had all been devoted to McMahon. Therein lies the biggest problem with WWE's creative direction over the last two months.
Heavy Machinery vs. A.J. Kirsch and Dave Dutra
SmackDown tag team champions Daniel Bryan and Rowan hit the ring for a promo, with the former revealing the WWE Universe was in for a treat: It was about to witness the planet's champions in action...against the Yolo County tag team champions.
The two enhancement talents, former Tough Enough competitor A.J. Kirsch and Dave Dutra, had cardboard titles draped over their shoulders.
Before the match could begin, Heavy Machinery interrupted. Otis and Tucker again claimed Bryan and Rowan were ducking them. A back-and-forth gave way to Heavy Machinery stepping into the match instead of the champions.
The team bowled over the competition, Otis delivered the popular caterpillar elbow drop and the massive babyfaces scored the win in impressive fashion.
Heavy Machinery defeated Kirsch and Dutra
It is nice to see SmackDown's creative team utilizing NXT exports like Heavy Machinery more than it did earlier in the year. Programming the duo with someone like Bryan, an industry giant with an ability to get others over, is a smart move.
At some point, we have to see Heavy Machinery tested, though, because right now its matches have been limited to squashes and a handful of competitive bouts on Raw that most would be hard pressed to remember.
Carmella vs. Sonya Deville
Carmella's issues with Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose continued this week as she battled Deville in a singles bout.
At one point, the former SmackDown women's champion rolled, even applying the Code of Silence. Rose appeared, though, putting her partner's foot on the bottom rope and necessitating the break.
Frustrated by The Golden Goddess' continued interference in the bout, Carmella delivered a suicide dive that wiped both out on the floor.
Carmella negated Rose's interference with a superkick on the floor, but Deville caught her with a leaping knee to the face as she re-entered the squared circle and scored the pinfall.
Deville defeated Carmella
Deville and Rose as the package deal that no individual can overcome works, if only because there are so few women's tag teams as tight as them.
The timing, the opportunities Rose took to interfere, and the finish helped make this an enjoyable match to watch, even as creative appears to be suggesting a Deville/Rose vs. Ember Moon feud is on the horizon.
Big E Returns...and Is Interrupted
Big E returned this week and wasted little time getting to the jokes, suggesting that if returns were title reigns, he would be Charlotte Flair.
The topic of conversation turned to Kofi Kingston's match with Dolph Ziggler at Stomping Grounds, where he will defend against Dolph Ziggler in a steel cage match.
The Showoff interrupted, ranted and blamed his loss on Woods' interference. He said Kingston cannot beat him without his pals, and he will prove it June 23.
Sami Zayn then got in on the action and cut the same promo about hypocrites and righting wrongs.
The segment ultimately ended with Big E promising to give Ziggler, Zayn and Kevin Owens a preview of Stomping Grounds Tuesday night.
This gets an above-average grade if only because of the Charlotte Flair jab at the onset.
With that said, the last thing SmackDown needs is another long promo. This went on too long and did nothing to make me want to see Kingston vs. Ziggler, or the main event of this show, any more or less than I did before.
That is the definition of a wasted segment.
Speaking of wasted, WWE Creative has completely wasted Zayn. The guy has delivered some inspired mic work, but it has done nothing for him beyond what he has been doing for weeks now. A major disappointment.
Bayley vs. Nikki Cross (with Alexa Bliss)
One night after Alexa Bliss scored a pinfall victory over Bayley in a tag team match, the SmackDown women's champion looked to rebound as she battled The Goddess' newfound ally, Nikki Cross.
Cross unleashed on Bayley, pummeling the champion and showing the ferocious side of herself that has been intermittent since she forged an alliance with Bliss. Heading into the break, the Scot dominated while Bliss watched approvingly from ringside.
In classic babyface fashion, Bayley fought from underneath. Her tenacious onslaught kept Cross reeling, and eventually she finished off her game opponent with a top-rope elbow, staring at Bliss during the entirety of the pinfall.
Bayley defeated Cross
If you watch closely, Bayley is starting to show some of the elements of her character that made her one of the most beloved in NXT history.
She is a sympathetic babyface who can throw fists when it is time to start that comeback and can actually win matches decisively. She is not flukey. She is showing off a brain that was missing for the first year or so of her main roster run, and she looks like a legitimate champion.
Hopefully, the writing team resists the urge to switch the title at the upcoming pay-per-view because Bayley could use a little momentum on her side for once.
Aleister Black Promo
Aleister Black added to his weeks of cryptic promos with one a hell of a lot less subtle than the others.
At one point in his musings, he turned and asked a backstage staffer to open the door to the room he was in. Turning from quiet to rage-fueled quickly, he screamed, begging anyone in the back to walk through the door and accept his invitation for a fight.
The Black stuff has been so different and intriguing that you almost know WWE Creative will find a way to screw it up.
A competitor who thrives on competition, who needs it like he needs air but is deprived of it, will become less tolerant and lash out. We are seeing that a little more with every passing week. Almost to the point that it makes you wonder if he will turn heel, opting to attack whomever he encounters first.
The storyline possibilities are endless, and the performance of the Superstar has been stellar. Those two elements combine to make a wrestling fan's dream scenario.
The New Day vs. Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Big E got off to a hot start in the main event, stomping away at Sami Zayn in the corner while The Underdog from the Underground's partners, Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens, were forced to watch The New Day's joyous celebration from afar.
The tides turned rather quickly, though, as the heels downed and isolated Xavier Woods, keeping him from making the hot tag to WWE champion Kofi Kingston or E.
The resilient Woods fended off the onslaught of his opponents, though, and dropped Owens with a big DDT that created separation and set him up for the much-anticipated hot tag.
Big E exploded into the match and the action broke down. Ziggler halted his run, dropping him with a superkick. Back inside, Kingston and Zayn were now the legal men, but The Showoff accidentally blasted his teammate with a superkick and ate Trouble in Paradise.
The champion finished off Zayn with a second Trouble in Paradise for the win as New Day ended the show triumphantly.
New Day defeated Ziggler, Owens and Zayn
There was so much talent involved here and so much heat from the crowd that it was nearly impossible for it to be a bad match.
With that said, a match of this quality makes you sit back and wonder what WWE Creative is doing with guys like Zayn and Owens. They have been featured prominently on television and in major rivalries, but they are almost never allowed to take that last step permanently into the main event scene.
Here, they were two guys teamed with Ziggler for no reason other than the fact it would make for an awesome match. Zayn ate the pin, and now we are left to wonder what's next for him and Owens since there are no clear rivalries or programs on the horizon.