WWE SmackDown Live 06/06/17 is another show with a card pre-loaded in advance. Tonight we’ve been promised Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens (a broken thumb won’t keep him out of this match apparently), a rematch of Ziggler vs. Styles from last week, a six-woman tag match, New Day’s in ring debut, and possibly something from Luke Harper (they remembered?) and Aiden English. I’m sure Orton and/or Mahal will be lingering around somewhere too. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE SmackDown Live 06/06/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. We open with a dramatic video package hyping up the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. We’re then sent directly to the ring and Shane McMahon’s entrance. No SmackDown Live credits, no pyro, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. We’re apparently live from Rochester tonight, but I only know that because of the low-key feud that Luke Harper and Aiden English are having on social media. All five competitors in the women’s MITB ladder match are in the ring (w/ James Ellsworth).
Shane introduces the field, debuts the new briefcase (white with gold trim), they all make their case why they’re going to win, and Ellsworth accuses McMahon of “mansplaining” how MITB works. Eventually, Naomi is out and she says she wishes she could be part of the match. Dancing Lana’s music hits and she’s out and asks Shane to be added to the match. Shane says what Lana is doing is “not working” for him and Lana pleads her case again. Naomi laughs and cuts a promo on her while Becky and Charlotte “drink tea” (but it really looks like they’re smoking joints). Shane butts in and says that Lana needs to earn her title shot. Lana mumbles some stuff in Russian and leaves.
“Dancing Lana” has X-Pac heat from me and this character can leave my TV at any time. Shane says the six woman tag match booked for tonight can start right now and we head to break.
Back from break, the bell rings.
Match #1: Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, & Naomi vs. Natalya, Carmella, and Tamina (w/ James Ellsworth)
Hey, you know what this match needs? Lana coming back out and costing Naomi the match. Prior to the stupid finish, we get a relatively standard six woman tag match. Nothing out of the ordinary really happens until Lana comes out and sort of hangs Naomi up on the apron. This causes Tamina to hit Naomi with a super kick and get the win. Thankfully, MITB is soon so we can hopefully go back to multiple storylines instead of tags and multi-person matches every week.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – Would have gotten a “Thumbs In The Middle” except for the Lana interference which ruined this entire segment for me.
Post-match, Lana leaves with the Welcoming Committee – you know the group that have the gimmick of going after new talent when they debut. LOGIC!
Meanwhile, Shane McMahon is backstage… walking. He happens upon Mojo Rawley and the Andre trophy. Mojo mentions how he’s hardly been used on TV since winning the Battle Royal and reminds Shane he’s the only person to beat Mahal since he debuted on the blue brand. Mojo wants to be in the MITB match, so Shane says if Mojo can beat Mahal tonight he’s in. Every week WWE finds a new way to make me root hard for Jinder Mahal.
Later tonight? Nakamura / Owens.
Up next? Ziggler / Styles.
Back from break, AJ is out. Ziggler is out next.
Match #2: AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler
A much better match than these two had last week. Dolph looked a little more into this match for whatever reason and there seemed to be better chemistry between these two as a result. AJ goes over with the Styles Clash after transitioning out of a roll up in a cool looking spot. I’m still not a huge fan of Ziggler being in the MITB picture, but I get why he is.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – These two raised the bar here over last week’s week merely average match.
Next, it’s time for this week’s Fashion Files – which was once again the best thing on WWE TV this week. We’re still “noir” but the guests this week are the New Day, who in a transition, are shown entering the “Fashion Police Station” in color, only for it to change to black and white. The gist this week is that New Day are asking for help ahead of their match with the Usos. The segment is comedy gold, as you’d expect from these five guys. Just watch it.
Mojo Rawley enters next for his match with Mahal and we go to break.
Back from break, we learn that John Cena will return for the July 4th SmackDown Live. Watch out, Jinder!
Meanwhile, the Singh Brothers are out to introduce Mahal. Jinder’s new entrance features him with his face wrapped, his ramp graphics “burning” into the stage as he walks, and a big reveal of his Titantron video at a music cue. Jinder also has a rug waiting for him in the ring to pose on. They’re really going all out with him.
Match #3: Jinder Mahal (w/ the Singh Brothers) vs. Mojo Rawley (If Mojo Wins He Gets Added to the MITB Match)
Whew. Dodged a big bullet here. After an eye rake and Mojo missing with a charge into the corner, Mahal hits the Khallas and gets the win. I feared with Mojo appearing earlier in the show that we’d have Mahal taking the fall to get a seventh man added to the MITB mix. Thankfully that did not happen.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – We didn’t need another guy with next to no chance in winning getting added to the MITB match. Mahal going over decisively, without any real Singh Brothers interference, goes a long way towards making him look stronger heading into his defense against Orton.
Post-match, Mahal gets special lighting to cut a promo saying he’ll crush Randy’s hopes and dreams at MITB the same way he just crushed Mojo’s hopes and dreams.
Next, we see a “who is Shinsuke Nakamura” vignette.
Meanwhile, the New Day are backstage… and they’re… walking… and eating… and drinking!
Back from break, Renee interviews Orton and asks about the promo Mahal cut earlier. Randy claims that actions speak louder than words and at Money in the Bank, he’ll not even need to speak one word for Jinder to hear him.
Meanwhile, the Colons are already in the ring (w/ clean-shaven Primo!). New Day are out next and start feeding Booty-Os to fans on the aisle.
Match #4: The New Day vs. The Colons
It’s New Day’s first match back, so it’s a given they’re going over here. True to form, the Colons give them a decent challenge, but Woods and Big E are able to knock them off with a Midnight Hour.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Functional and I’m glad the Colons got some TV time.
Post-match, the Usos come out for some “Uso Penitentiary” promo time. They run down Kofi for wearing pigtails, Big E for his “bra size”, and Woods for his Iron Sheik styled wrestling boots. But, there will be no more jokes come MITB, when it won’t be paranoia creeping up from behind, it’ll be the Usos.
Meanwhile, KO is backstage getting ready.
Back from break, Dasha interviews Sami Zayn about the MITB match. Sami says he’s been watching tape on his competitors and he’ll be at ringside to further scout Nakamura tonight. Corbin enters and attacks Sami, hitting him with a ladder and sending him into some other conveniently placed ladders. This was all so Corbin could take Sami’s spot at commentary. Okay, then.
Meanwhile, Shane is on the phone and Naomi comes in upset. She demands a title defense at Money in the Bank versus Lana. Shane is reluctant, but Naomi insists – so Shane makes the match. Oh boy, here we go.
Next, Kevin Owens enters for the main event and we go to break.
Back from break, Corbin has joined commentary and Nakamura enters.
Match #5: Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
So, I saw people upset that Nakamura goes over clean in this match with the Kinshasa. Makes complete sense to me, if they’re doing what I think they’re doing. It seems to me like Nakamura and Owens are likely not going to win the MITB match and all of these pins Nakamura has been getting will lead to a Owens vs. Nakamura U.S. Title match at Summerslam. I mean, I could be wrong, but multiple clean wins with his finisher over the champ has to mean that Nakamura is next in line for the U.S. Title. Anyway, this match was average. It gets a bit of a pass since Owens was working with a broken thumb, but at the same time this felt like it was rushed and like what we get on Raw sometimes when the match starts in the over run.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Kudos to Owens for working hurt, but I wish the match didn’t feel as rushed as it did. Hopefully we get a proper feud between these guys after the PPV.
Post-match, Corbin leaves commentary, hits Nakamura with the End of Days, and leaves him laying. Nakamura sells the move quite well.
We go off the air with Corbin posing in the aisle.
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