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WWE SmackDown Live preview (June 12, 2018): Embarrassment of riches

The blue brand heads to The King’s court, as the last show before June’s pay-per-view (PPV) comes our way from Memphis.

The Headliners

There’s nothing wrong with the main roster’s slow rollout of Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega. The obligatory entry feud with another Latin Superstar is a little lazy, but there’s nothing wrong with it. The current Sin Cara is a heck of a worker.

But their rivalry, which has led to a showdown this evening where Sin Cara will seek “retribution” against Cien for big-timing him backstage and sneak attacking the masked Superstar shortly after this match was announced, should be history by the time we get on the other side of Money in the Bank. There’s a fine line between building someone gradually and sending a message they’re a midcarder.

The guy returning from a few weeks off television for SmackDown’s latest “dream match” is a heck of a candidate for Almas next feud. United States Champion Jeff Hardy had a little Twitter beef with the man who will challenge AJ Styles for the WWE Title in a Last Man Standing match this Sunday in Chicago. Odds are this one ends with a low blow from Cocknock-Amura, with a possible save from The Phenomenal One. So it could be used to establish a Shinsuke/Hardy program should Styles retain on June 17. Or...

An series between the former CMLL standout and a future Hall of Famer in Hardy would continue to the “dream match” theme SmackDown is working these days. It would also be an excellent way to communicate to audiences that Cien and Vega are a big freaking deal. Winning the red, white and blue strap moves him up the card and frees Jeff up to go after the main belt.

Of course, it’s not like there’s a wrong way to fantasy book a roster like SmackDown’s right now... unless of course you burn a bunch of Daniel Bryan matches on Big Cass. But when you build to their next PPV showdown with a bout between DB and Shelton Benjamin like the one’s official preview tells us we’re getting tonight? We can forgive that, too.

The Title Scene

After Women’s Champ Carmella stood tall to end their show opening segment last week, #1 contender Asuka is likely looking for payback - against Mella and the former Absolution duo of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville for their assisting in the mugging. Meanwhile, focus on their match this Sunday has shifted to whether or not a former ally of The Princess of Staten Island can conceivably make it to The Windy City in time for the show...

Karl Anderson got a singles win over Harper last week, but the big question about The Good Brothers challenge of Tag Team Titleholders Bludgeon Brothers’ this Sunday is when they’ll announce it’s happening on the Kickoff show.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Last Tuesday saw Team Blue’s entrants in the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match trade wins as Naomi won a mixed tag match over Lana and Becky Lynch actually got Charlotte Flair to tap out. General Manager Paige is bringing them all together for a summit this week. Will it awkwardly go down atop some ladders in the ring?

- How will the four guys entering the other briefcase battle get ready? They haven’t announced a Fatal 4Way yet, so we’re thinking awkward-promos-on-ladders for Rusev, Samoa Joe, Miz and New Day, too.

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

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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