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WWE Smackdown Review 23/06/23

One-half of your irn-bru brusierweights Arran here with my review of Smackdown let's dive right in.

We are in a new reality this week as the Usos super kicked Roman Reigns last week to officially break away from the Bloodline. That has set up a huge tag match next week at Money In The Bank, which very well may headline the show. Other than that, we need to finish up the build for Money In The Bank and unify the Women’s Tag Team Titles this week.

We open with a recap of the Usos turning on the Bloodline last week to an insane reaction.

Here are the Usos to say the Bloo……the USOS are in your city! Jey is very emotional about what happened and says they always have each other’s back. That has Jimmy saying Jey made the absolute right choice. Jey says they still love Roman Reigns but he disrespected them. It’s always about respect and when they fell in line, the Bloodline was the most dominant faction in WWE. But when Reigns started showing how little he respected them, it was time for him to be alone on the Island of Relevancy.

They can always forgive their brother Solo Sikoa, but not so much with a snake-like Paul Heyman. He has spent years talking about how much he loves their family, but then how could he take orders from someone who would cause this many problems between them? Now it’s time for the Bloodline Civil War and the Usos are ready to show why they’re the best ever. Fired up promo here, and the fans were WAY into the team.

LA Knight vs. Rey Mysterio

Knight sends him hard into the corner to start and hits a slingshot shoulder for two. As we hear about Wade Barrett picking out Rey’s gear tonight (ok then), Rey hammers away and hits a quick 619. It’s too early for the frog splash so Rey baseball slides him to the floor instead. There’s the sliding splash and we take a break with Knight in trouble. Back with Knight face-planting Mysterio and hitting his jumping elbow for two. Rey’s tornado DDT cuts Knight off but Knight pulls him out of the air and hits Blunt Force Trauma for the pin at 8:30.

Rating: C. They kept this short but the only thing that matters is getting Knight another win. Knight feels like he is on the brink of a huge breakthrough moment and that might come at Money In The Bank. For now, though, it is nice to see him winning some matches, including what might be the biggest win of his WWE career so far.

Post-match Knight goes for the mask but Santos Escobar makes the save.

Ridge Holland runs into Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman in the back. That’s not nice for Sikoa, who Samoan Spikes him down, leaving Heyman to call Roman Reigns.

Post break, Sheamus tells Adam Pearce to give him Sikoa tonight.

Cue Sheamus in the arena to say he wants to fight Sikoa tonight.

Women’s Tag Team Titles/NXT Women’s Tag Team Titles: Ronda Rousey/Shayna Baszler vs. Isla Dawn/Alba Fyre

For the unified titles and Raquel Rodriguez is at ringside. Dawn superkicks Baszler down for a fast two to start so Rousey demands she come in instead. Rousey judo throws Dawn down but gets kicked in the face to break up the armbar. Fyre hits a running Meteora for two and kicks Rousey’s leg out. Baszler offers a distraction though and Rousey plants Fyre down with a poisonrana as we take a break.

Back with Fyre breaking out of an ankle lock but Baszler comes in to knee her in the face. Fyre kicks her away though and the hot tag brings in Dawn to clean house. The Kirifuda Clutch goes on but Dawn breaks it up with a Swanton. Fyre takes Rousey out at ringside but Rousey and Baszler grab the Clutch/armbar for the stereo taps at 9:49.

Rating: C+. This was a weird one as Dawn and Fyre dominated until they got pulled into the holds out of nowhere. What matters here though is getting rid of the NXT version of the titles, which never really needed to exist in the first place. Having the champs go to all three brands is the best option and now we should be in for something fascinating: Ronda Rousey in NXT.

Post-match Rodriguez goes to leave but gets called back in. Rodriguez is here to issue a challenge for a rematch, because Liv Morgan is back.

It’s time for the Grayson Waller Effect special guests Pretty Deadly. They love the show, which is SO much better than the KO Show. After insulting America, Pretty Deadly talks about how they’re looking forward to winning the titles in the greatest city in the world next week. They’re taking this pretty deadly seriously and promise to be running the tag team division for the next ten years. They talk about dominating the gauntlet match last week, even though they weren’t sure they could keep going. We hear about the teams they beat so here are the Street Profits to interrupt. They’re here on Smackdown too so let’s do this.

Street Profits vs. Pretty Deadly

Dawkins beats on Wilson to start as we hear about Pretty Deadly being voted some of the most beautiful people in England. Prince comes in and gets punched out of the air, allowing Ford to come in for some dropkicks. Hold on though as Ford takes off….whatever Prince wears and puts it on before the Profits hit stereo flip dives.

We take a break and come back with Ford fighting out of trouble, allowing Dawkins to come in with the Anointment for two as Prince has to make the save. Wilson is sent outside and Ford hits a Rock Bottom for two on Prince. Ford is knocked off the apron, leaving Prince to grab a rollup (with Wilson grabbing the foot) for the pin at 8:58.

Rating: C. Pretty Deadly are already becoming what made them work in NXT and NXT UK: the pesky team that you know shouldn’t be winning these matches but sneak up on you to steal one win after another. They’re so good with their goofiness and don’t try to be anything remotely serious. That makes for a very entertaining presentation, including as the Profits continue to crumble week after week.

Charlotte vs. Lacey Evans

Charlotte chops away to start but gets sent into the corner for her efforts. Evans orders the fans to salute her but Charlotte takes over, demands a salute of her own, and grabs a suplex. The Tranquilo pose sets up a big boot and the Figure Eight to make Evans tap at 2:30. So Charlotte was the good one here? Am I getting that right?

Post-match Asuka runs in to jump Charlotte and throws in a salute to Evans.

Bianca Belair comes in to see Adam Pearce, who asks if she’ll behave next week when she’s ringside for Charlotte vs. Asuka. Belair says she’ll defend herself if someone comes after her, which is why Pearce is barring her from ringside. Believe it or not, she isn’t pleased.

Solo Sikoa vs. Sheamus

Paul Heyman is here with Sikoa. They slug it out in the corner to start until Sheamus kicks him to the floor for a clothesline. Back in and Sheamus hits a top rope shot to the head for one but the forearms to the chest are broken up. Sikoa fights out of a fireman’s carry on the apron though and posts Sheamus, setting up a Samoan drop on the floor as we take a break.

Back with Sheamus clotheslining his way out of trouble, followed by the Irish Curse. Sheamus back is banged up but he’s fine enough to hit the forearms to Sikoa’s chest. The running knee to the face gives Sheamus two and White Noise is good for the same. The back gives out on the Celtic Cross attempt though and Sikoa kicks him in the back. They go to the floor for a release Rock Bottom onto the announcers’ table to leave Sheamus laying. Sikoa puts Sheamus against the barricade, meaning it’s the Umaga Attack to knock him silly. The referee calls it at 14:27 when Sheamus can’t continue.

Rating: B. Sheamus s firmly in the “you know what you’re going to get” and that was on display here. Sheamus is a big, powerful guy who is going to hit someone hard enough to give them a problem. At the same time, the ending made Sikoa look like a killer and the Usos might have bitten off more than they can chew. Good match here, as they had a hard-hitting fight.

Post match the Usos come out and superkick Sikoa a few times. The stereo Superfly Splashes connect as Heyman calls Roman Reigns to end the show.

Last week was the show that really mattered and this week’s show was more along the lines of “save it for London next week”. Reigns wasn’t here but his presence was felt, as Heyman was rapidly losing control and only Reigns can save things. We’ll have to see if he can do it, but the cracks are already there and things are falling apart. Other than that, the title change and Morgan return mattered the most, but now we’re just waiting for the pay-per-view next week, which is the next big step in everything. Completely watchable show, but there wasn’t much in the way of the big stuff.


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