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WWE Smackdown Review 06/07/23

It’s the night before Fastlane and that means we’re in for the final push towards the show. There is a lot going on here, with John Cena and LA Knight officially teaming up to fight the Bloodline, but Judgment Day is lurking around as well. Other than that, we might be seeing something new added to the card as there are only five matches set. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of LA Knight saving John Cena from the Bloodline last week and agreeing to team with him at Fastlane.

Opening sequence.

Here is LA Knight to get things going but the Bloodline cuts him off almost immediately. Paul Heyman gets annoyed at the WHAT chant before saying that Knight will be the next megastar in this business. Him being that impressive is an achievement but now Knight has Heyman’s attention.

The Bloodline is going to have to do something about it, but Knight asks if Heyman is done running his mouth yet. Knight pulls out his receipt and indeed he didn’t buy any of Heyman’s BS. Jimmy Uso is ready to fight but John Cena runs in for the save. The Bloodline leaves, with Knight accusing them of not having Roman Reigns’ permission. Knight is thinking about tonight though and wants to face Jimmy.

The Judgment Day, with JD McDonagh, arrives.

Match 1 Charlotte/Asuka vs. Damage CTRL

Dakota Kai is here with Damage CTRL. Charlotte and Sky start things off with Sky flipping out of a suplex. Asuka comes in to chop away as we hear about the stacked lineup for this week’s NXT. Bayley saves Sky from a running dropkick in the corner. Asuka missile dropkicks both of them down and we take an early break.

Back with Bayley suplexing Asuka and Sky coming in to grab a bodyscissors. Asuka fights up but gets kicked into the corner for her efforts. A shot to the face finally gets Asuka out of trouble though and it’s back to Charlotte with a high crossbody.

Charlotte’s front flip clothesline gets two and everyone goes to the corner and it’s a Tower Of Doom to leave them down. Charlotte boots Bayley in the face but gets kneed down by Sky. Another big boot accidentally hits Asuka but Charlotte kicks Bayley into Sky and hits Natural Selection for the pin at 13:20.

Offical Result Charlotte & Asuka Win

Rating: C. This wasn’t the smoothest match in the world, with Natural Selection being more of a shove to Bayley’s back than a flipping cutter. Other than that, it was a great way to make Charlotte look dominant again as she took out her partner, plus both opponents before getting the pin. Not an awful match and it set things up for tomorrow, but more Charlotte is not exactly an interesting way to go.

The Bloodline goes into their locker room but runs into the Judgment Day, who say they’re right where they should be. Post break Solo Sikoa and Damian Priest are having a staredown, but Rhea Ripley says everyone out so she and Paul Heyman can have a chat. Ripley and Heyman assure them that they’re fine and everyone else leaves. Ripley: “Let’s talk.”

Match 2 Bobby Lashley vs. Rey Mysterio

Non-title and the Street Profits and the LWO are here too. Lashley powers him into the corner to start but Rey manages to kick him down. A Lionsault gives Rey two with a rather strong kickout and we take a break.

Back with Rey caught in a bearhug and then being tied up in the Tree of Woe. Rey manages to slip out and starts going after Lashley’s knee, followed by a spinning DDT for two.

The 619 is cut off and Lashley goes after the LWO at ringside. Rey’s dive is pulled out of the air but Rey manages to post Lashley for a breather. Back in and the 619 hits the ribs and there’s the regular version to the face. Montez Ford offers a distraction though and the fight is on outside.

Rey intervenes but walks into the spear for the pin at 12:44.

Offical Result Bobby Lashley Wins

Rating: C+. Good stuff, though the LWO might have actually been destroyed right in front of our eyes. Much like the first match, this was designed to build towards tomorrow’s match, though I could have gone without the champion getting pinned. It helps that it was to a former WWE Champion, but there’s something wrong about a reigning champion losing like that.

The LWO is mostly destroyed on the floor.

Rhea Ripley has apparently proposed an alliance with the Bloodline and Paul Heyman likes the idea. He hasn’t been himself lately, but this is really good. If Ripley will excuse him for a moment, he’ll make a phone call and get this authorized.

Ripley asks what he means by authorized, with Heyman saying the Tribal Chief needs to authorize it. Heyman says it’s authorized for the Judgment Day, but not for the Bloodline. Ripley: “Paul, acknowledge me.”

Heyman says she’s in the wrong locker room to say that, but Ripley says he’ll acknowledge her just like Jey Uso did. Ripley says we’ll see which team is stronger, and authorizes him to make his phone call. She leaves, and a slightly shaken Heyman calls Reigns. If you didn’t realize Ripley was a top level star, this is about all the proof that you need.

Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre tease us with magic.

Match 3 Dragon Lee vs. Austin Theory

Before the match, Theory brags about how big of a star he really is. Lee snaps off a hurricanrana to start but here is Grayson Waller for a distraction. Lee’s German suplex sends Theory outside but Waller’s distraction cuts off a dive. Theory scores with a rolling dropkick and we take a break.

Back with Lee hitting a superkick and rolling into a powerbomb for two on Theory. Waller offers another distraction though and Lee gets crotched, setting up a powerbomb into a faceplant (cool) to give Theory two.

Lee cuts him off on top for the double stomp but Theory rolls out to the floor. Of course that means the big running flip dive to take out both villains but Waller cheap shots Theory. Cue Cameron Grimes to take Waller out, allowing Lee to roll Theory up for the pin at 9:17.

Offical Result Dragon Lee Wins

Rating: B-. Lee is one of those guys who is so smooth in the ring and it makes sense for him to move up tot he main roster. With not much room for growth in NXT, putting him up here where he can be the new high flier is a good idea. He’s looked good in his two matches so far and he very easily could turn into a much bigger deal rather quickly.

Rhea Ripley and Jimmy Uso have a talk that we can’t hear.

Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro are out of tomorrow’s six man tag, but Rey Mysterio has an idea.

Video on Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins. Damian Priest is shown watching with his Money In The Bank briefcase.

Match 4 LA Knight vs. Jimmy Uso

Paul Heyman is here with Uso, who runs Knight over to start. Knight gives him an elbow to the face but it’s too early for BFT.

Instead Uso enziguris him to the floor and we take a break. Back with Knight hitting a sunset flip into a Backstabber (cool) and stomping away. The LA Elbow connects but Solo Sikoa runs in for the DQ at 7:42.

Offical Result LA Knight Wins

Rating: C. This didn’t have time to go anywhere with the break cutting off about half of the match. What I did like here was they didn’t hand either of them a loss before their big match. I get that you don’t want to do that in all three matches, but it was nice to see before what is likely going to be the pay per view main event.

Post match John Cena runs in for the save but here is Judgment Day to uneven the odds. Cue Jey Uso and Cody Rhodes and the fight is on, with Sikoa superkicking Cena. Knight clotheslines Sikoa to the floor and hits BFT on JD McDonagh. A bunch of other big moves lay out JD and the good guys glare at the villains to end the show

Overall Thoughts

This show was about getting things ready for Fastlane and they have done that well enough. In addition to all of the matches, we also have the mystery of who Rey Mysterio is going to get to join the team in the six man tag.

On top of that, there is the Bloodline/Judgment Day alliance which could go a very long way in the future. Fastlane should be good and while this wasn’t a blow away show, it accomplished its goal and that is no easy task

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