Are the Usos Done with Roman Reigns? Big E Is Back, More WWE SmackDown Fallout:
This week's SmackDown was all about setting up the big feuds that will fill the card for the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on June 20.
Big E returned to action for the first time in weeks to team up with Kevin Owens for a tag team match against Sami Zayn and Apollo Crews.
After Otis attacked Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins last week, Chad Gable ended up in a singles match with Ford on Friday's show.
We also saw Bayley host Seth Rollins on an episode of Ding Dong, Hello with special guest appearances from Bianca Belair and Cesaro, and Carmella battled Liv Morgan in a rematch from last week.
Let's take a look at the biggest moments from this week's show and where these storylines are going as we build toward Hell in a Cell.
Big E Is Back in the Hunt for the IC Title
Big E returned after having a few weeks off to team up with Owens in a tag team match against Crews and Zayn. Despite Commander Azeez taking him out the last time they saw each other, Zayn seemed willing to work with the intercontinental champion.
KO and Big E also have history as Owens once betrayed The New Day when he appeared to be their friend, but WWE doesn't always bring up stuff like that if it has nothing to do with the current storyline.
Owens wasted no time going for Zayn regardless of whether he was the legal man in the match. After a competitive exchange, Owens defeated Zayn with a Stunner.
It looked like Big E would end up in a feud with Aleister Black a few weeks ago, but WWE releasing Black canceled those plans. It appears as if his feud with Crews is back on. The IC champ claimed the loss was Zayn's fault and challenged KO and Big E to fight him and Azeez next week.
Zayn ranted until Azeez hit him with a Nigerian Nail to shut him up. Based on how all of this is playing out, there is a good chance we see a Fatal 4-Way match at Hell in a Cell with Crews defending the IC title against Owens, Big E and Zayn.
The Intercontinental Championship scene has revolved around these four men for a long time. After this PPV, WWE needs to freshen things up.
The Blue Brand Needs More Women
Morgan and Carmella had a rematch this week after The Most Beautiful Woman in all of WWE picked up a win in their first encounter last Friday.
Mella had a slight size and power advantage, and she made sure to use it at every opportunity, but Morgan was able to rally late in the game and got the W to even the score.
There will likely be a rubber match next week with the winner possibly earning a future title shot against Belair. If they get enough time, it will probably be the best of the three performances.
The blue brand's women's division is small at the moment. The only active wrestlers are Natalya, Tamina, Bayley, Belair, Mella and Morgan. Sasha Banks and Mia Yim are MIA, and Sonya Deville is an authority figure. With Nattie and Tamina busy holding the women's tag titles, that means only four women are actively pursuing success as a singles star.
The draft could even things up between SmackDown and Raw, but we also need some call-ups. A few women from NXT who could be on the main roster soon are Shotzi Blackheart, Ember Moon (again), Dakota Kai and Toni Storm. All of them would bring something different to the table.
Seth Rollins and Bayley Are a Match Made in Talk Show Heaven
Bayley was back this week with her talk show, Ding Dong, Hello. Her special guest was none other than The Drip God himself, Rollins.
As they proceeded to trash their rivals by replaying some recent segments, we saw their unique chemistry begin to develop into something WWE needs to revisit down the line.
Putting two huge egos like them together was heel comedy gold. You are either going to think they are hilarious or the most annoying pair ever.
Cesaro showed up and beat the literal pants off Rollins before Belair came out to laugh at Bayley and her destroyed talk show set.
This did little to advance either storyline, but it did give us a few minutes of entertainment. Sometimes that is all it takes to keep a feud going for a week.
Next week's show is the go-home episode before Hell in a Cell. Bayley and Belair have kept their distance, so they will probably end up in a physical confrontation next Friday. As for Cesaro and Rollins, next week needs to be when they finally agree to a match at the pay-per-view.
Otis Has Found His Aggression
Last week, Otis attacked Ford and Dawkins backstage after they insulted Gable by refusing his offer to coach them. Gable tried to apologize but ended up making matters worse, which led to a match between himself and Ford.
They both agreed to keep their partners out of this by making them remain backstage. Predictably, Ford and Gable made use of their physical skills to put on a great show in the ring.
After attacking Dawkins backstage, Otis caused a disqualification when he attacked Ford right as he was about to win. The Dozer proceeded to throw Ford into the announce table and the steel steps. Dawkins tried to come out to help his partner, but he was too injured to do anything substantial.
How we proceed from here depends on how long WWE wants this feud to last. If it's going to be over quick, they will end up in a tag match by next week. If they want to stretch it out a bit, Otis and Dawkins will probably face each other first.
DQ finishes are almost never the right way to go, but it made sense in this case. This is the most dominant Otis has looked in a long time. Let's hope this push doesn't fizzle out like his time as Mr. Money in the Bank did.
The team of Gable and Otis took a long time to find their niche, but they will be a force to be reckoned with in the tag team division now that they have.
Roman Reigns Has No Chill
This week's show opened with Jimmy delivering a promo in which he claimed Reigns purposely cost him and Jey the tag titles last week out of jealousy.
Naturally, The Tribal Chief found this insulting and demanded to see his wayward cousin. Jimmy had Jey tell Reigns that if he wanted to talk, he had to come to The Usos' locker room.
Reigns obliged but made Jimmy wait for almost the length of the show. Jimmy told Reigns he cared about him but also said he has always used and abused his cousins for his own personal gain. They both tried to put Jey in the middle until he couldn't take it anymore.
He told Jimmy and Reigns he was tired of both of them and stormed off. The Tribal Chief tried to speak to Jimmy about their responsibility to their family. He masterfully manipulated Jimmy into going after his brother.
Meanwhile, Rey went to the ring to call out Reigns for attacking him and Dominik last week. The universal champion made him wait a few minutes before coming out with Paul Heyman. The Master of the 619 challenged Reigns to a match at Hell in a Cell. Before Reigns could answer, Rey went after him with a kendo stick.
Dominik showed up to lend some support but ended up being powerbombed out of the ring in brutal fashion. The Big Dog didn't officially accept Rey's challenge, but he should by next week.
The way WWE has quickly built this up into a personal storyline is impressive. It already feels like one of the biggest feuds in the company after just two weeks. What remains to be seen is how The Usos factor into this. Neither of them showed up to help Reigns, so that will also need to be addressed next week.
If we know anything about The Tribal Chief, it's that he does not like being let down by his family. Jimmy and Jey could face some kind of retaliation, which will divide the family even more.
Overall, this was a good episode of SmackDown. The matches were all entertaining, several storylines were addressed and we got a better idea of what else will be added to the HIAC card.