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WWE SmackDown Live preview (June 13, 2017): Start climbing

Less than a week away from their next pay-per-view (PPV), the Blue Brand hits the Big Easy - New Orleans!

The Headliners

That PPV is Money in the Bank, which this year means not one, but two briefcases containing contracts guaranteeing the person who claims them from their place above the ring a title shot at a time and date of their choosing. Six men will battle to try and grab the case which earns them a shot at the WWE title currently held by Jinder Mahal. They and the champ are featured in pre-announced segments for tonight’s show.

As is often the case heading into a multi-wrestler match in WWE, the guys in Sunday’s ladder match will face off in tag team action. For the heels, United States champion Kevin Owens with reluctantly join forces with Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler. He’ll try to not once again be pinned by Shinsuke Nakamura, who’ll be working with Sami Zayn and AJ Styles. Somebody will grab some momentum here, and later, Cain A. Knight will tell you if it worked.

Of course, Mahal may not even be carrying SmackDown’s top men’s prize by the time the briefcase’s been won. To keep the belt he won at Backlash, he’ll have to fight off the man he took it from - St. Louis’ own Randy Orton. The Viper is using his contractual rematch in his hometown on Father’s Day, and will go face-to-face with the Maharajah (and his boys the Singhs) tonight.

The Title Scene

Women’s titleholder Naomi has something to do before she worries about whoever wins the first ever MitB briefcase for her division. The recently returned Lana tried to get in the ladder match, but when she was laughed off, attacked the champ. Naomi then demanded commissioner Shane McMahon give her a match against Lana, and Mr. “Land of Opportunity” agreed. Look for WWE to convince us the former manager/valet has a realistic shot this weekend... probably by having her interfere in the match’s official preview is promising between the champ and Tamina for this episode.

The New Day may have the longest tag title reign in modern WWE history, a passionate fan base, a win over the Colons and the Fashion Police working a case for them, but Tag team champions The Usos are not impressed. Jimmy & Jey proved they can do jokes just as well as the Princes of Positivity, but have they convinced Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston & Big E to fear them? We’ll get a chance to find out when New Day team with Breezango against the champs and Primo & Epico tonight.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Whether it’s Naomi or Lana with the belt, one of Carmella, Natalya, Tamina, Charlotte Flair or Becky Lynch will make history by being the first to win a women’s MitB ladder match. But first, they’ll all make history just by being the first women in a MitB ladder match.

- Tonight, Charlotte and Natty will renew their rivalry in one-on-one action before heading into Sunday’s match.

- Is there room on the card in St. Louis for folks like Mojo Rawley, Tye Dillinger or Rusev?

It’s the Money in the Bank ‘go home’ show!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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