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WWE SmackDown Live preview (June 19, 2018): inSAne options

The blue brand came up empty in terms of briefcases at Money in the Bank, but they aren’t letting that faze them they as they roll into Toledo, Ohio on June 19.

The Headliners

She’s got her side piece back, for a little while anyway. And as long Women’s Champ Carmella has James Ellsworth with her - as we saw on Sunday night when his distraction helped her defeat Asuka to retain her title - there’s not much The Princess of Staten Island can’t do.

While The Empress of Tomorrow will certainly be looking for payback, there’s another story SmackDown should return to while The Chinless Wonder is still around. We were reminded in Allstate Arena that Becky Lynch has a lot of fan support, and her program with Ellsworth from last year was one of the more memorable, and probably popular, in the history of the brand’s women’s division. The Lasskicker faces Billie Kay of IIconics on this episode, but if she’s not moving toward a showdown with Mella and Jimmy Dream soon, that feels like a missed opportunity. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not Carmella gets a reaction, or if that’s the right kind of reaction. But I don’t think there’d be much argument against believing Lynch would get a huge pop for beating her in... oh, let’s say, Brooklyn.

But that’s not all! This probably isn’t related at all, but WWE announcing in the official preview for this episode that SAnitY will finally debut seems like interesting timing. Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain could help liven up a stagnant tag scene, sure. They could also struggle to break out in a division that already struggles for airtime, and doesn’t lack for guys with beards who like to wreck $#!+.

Getting the nod immediately after the female member of their tribe, Nikki Cross, had what felt like an NXT sendoff on Saturday night at TakeOver: Chicago 2 could mean she’ll be with them - or following along soon enough. And SAnitY debuting against The Usos means there is a woman who might want to run-in and kick some Scottish butt if Cross were to crossbody Jimmy during a match.

Then, the winner of a Naomi/Nikki feud is in line for a shot at Carmella, Becky, or whoever’s holding the white, blue and gold belt.

Just spitballing here, but there are a lot in intriguing and potentially fun possibilities given the toys SmackDown creative has to play with right now.

The Title Scene

With his long rivalry with Shinsuke Nakamura wrapped up after Sunday’s Last Man Standing win, AJ Styles needs a new challenger for the WWE Title at Extreme Rules. He’ll get one after we see who wins tonight’s Gauntlet match - Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan, Big E, Miz or Rusev.

The United States Championship was one of the few belts left off the card in Rosemont, Illinois. But there’s a lot of speculation floating around that Nakamura’s next role could be as the #1 contender for Jeff Hardy’s red, white and blue prize.

They made the card, and Luke Harper made a lot of creepy posts about Karl Anderson’s wife. Are Tag Team Titleholders Bludgeon Brothers in need of someone to feud with, or will The Good Brothers still be looking for a fight? The tag scene’s not getting a lot of love on either brand lately, but there’s a lot of talent on the blue brand if they want to revitalize it real quick. If we haven’t had enough brawling beard-os, there are those debuting former NXT Tag Champs we already mentioned...

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- In all the fantasy booking of the women’s scene, we still didn’t talk about the suddenly very popular Lana, or... what was her name again... oh, Charlotte Flair. In fact, with Raw moving to a Sasha/Bayley feud, it may be a sign WWE’s not moving to a Four Horsewomen program with Ronda Rousey any time soon. So if Bex doesn’t go after Carm, they could build off the feud between the tea timers they teased atop that ladder at Money in the Bank...

- Back to NXT call-ups, Andrade “Cien” Almas’ showdown with Sin Cara was called off last week. Is that back on? Or is he a potential rival for Hardy, too?

- Or maybe Big Cass, looking for something to do after another loss to DB? Or Shelton Benjamin? There aren’t a ton of babyfaces floating around, so with The New Day rotating high-profile singles spots, Kofi vs. Almas complete with Xavier Woods and Zelina Vega ringside sounds really great, actually...

It’s the Money in the Bank fallout show!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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