SmackDown – June 16th

The last show before a PPV is never the most exciting, but it can still have a few twists and unexpected events. This SmackDown was no such show.

The show kicked off with Chris Jericho‘s Highlight Reel, with special guest Dean Ambrose. The segment started well between Ambrose and Jericho, rehashing the rivalry of odd. However, it improved with the interruption of Kevin Owens, then Alberto Del Rio, then Cesaro, and finally Sami Zayn. The crowd were popping like mad. A six-man brawl erupted causing a multitude of officials to come and break it up.

The first bout saw a fatal-4-way between Aiden English, Kofi Kingston, Big Cass and Luke Gallows – one man from each of the tag teams involved on Sunday. In true fashion, Big Cass dominated a large chunk of the match, until being taken out by a flying Kofi. Kingston went on to hit English with Trouble in Paradise to pick up the victory. This fast paced match was a good opening match, with excellent timing. New Day walk into their title defense with the upper hand, which surely doesn’t bode well for them.

Next up was Zach Ryder against Baron Corbin. Similarly to his match on RAW, Ryder succumbed to defeat inside of two minutes – End of Days saw to that. Apart from giving Corbin a little momentum, and giving Dolph Ziggler time on commentary, this match was a bit of a waste of time. Hopefully Ryder will get another push with the upcoming brand split.

The match between Rusev and Kalisto never got off the ground after the US Champion attacked the Lucha as soon as he set foot in the ring. Rusev was relentless, locking in the Accolade and refusing to let go until Sin Cara came down to the ring to save his partner. However, the Bulgarian Brute had other plans and locked in yet another Accolade – this time on the Faceless One. This was only halted by the entrance of Titus O’Neal, prompting Rusev to leave the ring. Titus wasn’t content with this and followed the champ, until Rusev eventually got away.

A strange match on paper, AJ Styles versus Xavier Woods, turned out to be the match of the night. The two put on an impressive match, one which have not seen before, and that certainly helped its case. Woods, to his credit, looked very good – he could definitely make it as a singles competitor. Its another reason why Styles is such a great asset to the WWE, he can have a great match with anyone! Styles managed to connect with a Phenomenal Forearm, rendering Woods motionless, before locking in the Calf Crusher forcing his opponent to tap. A very good match indeed.

Anyone who has witnessed a match between Natalya and Charlotte knows that it is never a clean affair. This match followed the tradition when, after a fair good encounter, Becky Lynch and Dana Brooke started brawling on the outside. This prompted the Women’s champion to cause a distraction and attack the knee of Natalya before locking in the Figure-8 Leglock – forcing the Queen of Harts to tap.

The main event of the night saw a six-man tag match between Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Dean Ambrose against Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio. This is the third or fourth time we have seen this match, and it really is getting old. The match followed the regular pattern, including false finishes, breakdowns and accidental friendly fire. The match was a good one, and was won by Ambrose and friends – pinning Owens after a Dirty Deeds. The stage is well set for Money in the Bank.

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