WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 19
Following up on a fascinating and controversial WWE Backlash 2020, the June 19 edition of Friday Night SmackDown promised a big return and major moments in response to the last week.
Bray Wyatt finally broke his silence on his loss to Braun Strowman. The Firefly Fun House host would address the WWE Universal Championship and potentially his future.
AJ Styles offered everyone an opportunity to celebrate his WWE Intercontinental Championship victory over Daniel Bryan. He wanted to gloat and potentially address The Planet's Champion directly.
Miz TV offered a chance for Mandy Rose to air her grievances against Sonya Deville. The two best friends have become bitter rivals, and their feud has not reached a natural ending. The Miz and John Morrison wanted to find the source of this issue.
One of NXT's most eccentric was set to make his blue brand debut as Matt Riddle appeared on SmackDown. The Original Bro is a unique talent that the WWE Universe would likely never forget.
This show was about setting the standard for the future. The champions would stand tall, and new challengers would rise.
Matt Riddle Ruins AJ Styles' Celebration; Styles vs. Riddle
Renee Young opened the show introducing the new WWE intercontinental champion AJ Styles. The Phenomenal One taunted the wrestlers that surrounded the ring, promising they would never get close to his title. He then asked Daniel Bryan to hand him his new championship.
The Planet's Champion congratulated Styles and put the title around his waist. Bryan challenged Styles to fight all-comers and defeat the best in the business. As The Phenomenal One attempted to talk his way out of matches, Matt Riddle arrived.
Styles refused to put the title on the line, but The Original Bro fought like the title was on the line. Riddle struck hard in what became an impromptu Lumberjack Match. At one point, Riddle and King Corbin got into an argument, and Styles took advantage.
Back and forth, these two fought. Riddle locked in the Bromission. Styles turned it into the Calf Crusher. Bryan coached Riddle after he got to the ropes, causing an argument between The Planet's Champion and The Phenomenal One at ringside. The distraction allowed The Original Bro to hit BroDerek for the win.
Riddle def. Styles by pinfall.
The presentation in this segment certainly sold Riddle as a big deal. While it is hard to say whether The Original Bro deserves that push, WWE did not hold back. It is good to fully commit if a story needs to be told.
After a near-40-minute classic the previous week, it felt odd to have Styles lose so quickly. A distraction and surprise certainly gave Riddle an edge, but he still has never been treated as worthy of fighting at The Phenomenal One's level.
It could be interesting to see if Bryan and Drew Gulak join forces with Riddle. That trio could be dangerous on SmackDown.
Jeff Hardy Refuses to Let Sheamus Ruin His Life
SmackDown aired a recap for Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus including The Charismatic Enigma's loss at WWE Backlash. Renee Young interviewed Hardy, who was disappointed that he could not put The Celtic Warrior away. He realized he needed to stop listening Sheamus.
Later in the night, Kayla Braxton interviewed Sheamus, who was glad to be a bully. He promised to toast Hardy's career next week.
This was a solid follow-up to Backlash. Hardy admitted that he listened to Sheamus, but he was done doing so. He tried to put the loss behind him, but there is obviously more story to tell with these two men.
Hardy vs. Sheamus has produced solid matches, but the story has gotten too over the top to take seriously. Hopefully, something is coming that will make for a worthy end to WWE exploiting The Charismatic Enigma's addictions.
Shorty G vs. Mojo Rawley
Ahead of his match, Shorty G explained that he was never intimidated by bigger opponents. He always had eyes in the back of his head, hitting Mojo Rawley with a right hand as he tried to sneak up on the smaller performer.
An angry Rawley dominated the action for a while, but Shorty refused to be bullied. He managed to catch his rival with a roll-up for a surprise three count.
Shorty def. Rawley by pinfall.
While the match was solid, the presentation of this contest was laughable. Once again, the entire focus of using Shorty is making fun of his height. It is why his name was changed, and he will never escape the singular story.
Rawley barely wins on television anymore, but Shorty had to roll him up to win. Afterward, Michael Cole attempted to sell the obvious result as an upset.
Sonya Deville Threatens to Maim Mandy Rose on Miz TV
The Miz and John Morrison blamed Otis for their loss to Braun Strowman at WWE Backlash as the Heavy Machinery star promised to cash in if they won.
Mandy Rose arrived, only for Miz and Morrison to taunt her. Sonya Deville was introduced as a second guest to question why Rose got so many opportunities. God's Greatest Creation and her former best friend traded shots unit Deville promised to ruin Rose's only asset, her beauty.
A brawl ensued, and Deville rolled away by slipping The A-Lister between them. Miz got slapped for his trouble.
While Miz and Morrison continued their cringe comedy routine, the focus was Rose and Deville. Both hit hard in this back-and-forth segment. The promise by Deville to maim Rose adds a new layer to a rivalry that was not going anywhere to this point.
It would be interesting if the heel actually succeeded. If Rose is forced to wear a mask or bandages for a while, it would help her stand out as more than an attractive woman for a while.
New Day's Kofi Kingston and Big E vs. Lucha House Party
Bayley and Sasha Banks joined commentary to watch the SmackDown tag team champions New Day in action. Kofi Kingston and Lince Dorado went back and forth early in an athletic showcase. It only got more chaotic as Big E and Gran Metalik got into the action.
Lucha House Party lost control of the match due to the power of E, but the challengers wanted to make a statement. A Metalik Driver into a frog splash on Kofi forced Big E to throw Metalik on Dorado to save the pinfall. New Day hit the Midnight Hour to win.
Afterward, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura laid out New Day. Cesaro then berated Michael Cole on commentary for ignoring him and The Artist.
New Day def. Lucha House Party by pinfall.
New Day vs. Lucha House Party is an underused match-up. These two teams put on a show together. The athleticism, especially as Dorado and Metalik worked off Kofi, was phenomenal. When WWE officials choose to start pushing Dorado and Metalik, the luchadors will shine.
For now, the focus is on Nakamura and Cesaro. While the two have had previous shots at New Day, perhaps they have a better shot now, focusing on their own attitude rather than Sami Zayn talking for them.
Sasha Banks vs. Nikki Cross
Backstage, Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Lacey Evans, Tamina and Dana Brooke talked about deserving the next shot at Bayley. No one could decide who would get the next shot until Bliss realized she had no idea where Nikki Cross was.
Cross attacked Sasha Banks and Bayley on commentary before The Goddess made the save. Bliss' best friend challenge The Role Model and The Legit Boss to a match, but Bayley accepted on behalf of Banks.
Banks tried to trick Cross repeatedly, but the wild Superstar was too motivated to pause for a moment. The Boss finally hit a backstabber to get back into the contest. Cross was undeterred, connecting on a devastating second-rope tilt-a-whirl DDT.
Banks caught Cross with the Bank Statement, but the wild Superstar escaped. However, Cross could not put away the match and took a meteora that set up a pinning combination for a three count.
Banks def. Cross by pinfall.
This was a spirited effort from Cross but also noticeably sloppy. A few spots did not land as impressively as commentary made it seem. It likely did not help that Banks is working so many shows nowadays. She and Bayley are dominating TV time on every brand at the moment.
If losing the tag titles continues to pull out this much fire from Cross, she might be on the precipice of a great run. Banks is likely to dethrone Bayley, but Cross could be the best option to challenge the SmackDown women's champion in the short term.
Bray Wyatt Finally Breaks His Silence on Braun Strowman
In the Firefly Fun House, Bray Wyatt tried to play off his time off. He explained all the reasons he had been gone only for Ramblin' Rabbit to reveal he had been crying in the corner after his loss to Braun Strowman.
The Monster Among Men interrupted to tell Wyatt that he was done playing games. In a shocking twist, The Eater of Worlds arrived, telling Strowman to follow the buzzards and find him.
The expected end to this segment was the arrival of The Fiend. Instead of bringing out his most dangerous form though, Wyatt decided to go back to his roots. It is fascinating that WWE is letting The Eater of Worlds return, establishing three separate personalities for Wyatt.
Strowman's face went blank when the old Wyatt returned. It showed a level of power that the former world champion has over Strowman even at this time. This story should get more interesting with time if it is done right.