WWE SmackDown Live returns to us tonight (June 11) from the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. This is the fallout show from Super ShowDown, and we’re only two weeks until the Stomping Grounds pay-per-view (PPV).
While WWE Champion Kofi Kingston is still feuding with Dolph Ziggler after their bout in Saudi Arabia (a cage match is planned for Stomping Grounds), we should look to the horizon for his next real challenger.
Dolph has been doing a good job in the role of obsessive challenger who believes he deserves what Kofi earned. But he’s not going to be champion. Sure he could be champion, but if you’re in Vegas, don’t put any money on it.
Instead we should look to the rest of the SmackDown roster to see what legitimate challengers remain. We can look at Raw too because the brand split doesn’t really exist any more. And as we look at what’s out there, there’s one person who makes the most sense.
Yes, Shane McMahon actually makes the most sense as a WWE title challenger. It sounds crazy. For awhile, the man didn’t win singles matches. But that’s recently changed in a big way.
After his run as a tag team champion earlier this year, he’s gone 2-0 against Miz at both the biggest show in the year (WrestleMania, not Super ShowDown) and at Money in the Bank. Sure, they were the flukiest of wins, but the record book says W. Looking back, those may as well be pinfall victories in the middle of the ring. Then he went on and defeated Roman frickin’ Reigns just last Friday.
Beating the former Universal Champion is always a big deal. That was Roman’s first loss since returning from his battle with leukemia. Few people get to beat Roman Reigns. At this point, Shane is pretty much the top heel in the company and those men get title shots.
Is it ridiculous? Absolutely. Is it bad? It’s all subjective, but it’s not great. But it’s where we are.
It’s entirely possible that Roman just gets his win back over Shane at SummerSlam and that’s that. But Shane has put together quite the recent resume. A championship resume if you will. So it’s also possible that when Roman gets that win back, it’s in a title match.
Watch out, Kof.
The Championship Scene:
Bayley has a date with Alexa Bliss in two weeks at Stomping Grounds. It’s a chance to finally excise the demon of her horrible feud with Bliss two years ago. If they actually lean into that story, it’ll be easier to forgive the fact that the challenger for the SmackDown Women’s championship is a Raw talent.
Finn Bálor successfully retained his Intercontinental title against Andrade at Super ShowDown. Will they do what everyone else is and have a rematch at WWE Big Boot? And don’t forget Ali picked up a pinfall win over Andrade prior to this match so maybe he’s entering the title picture as well.
Daniel Bryan and Rowan are SmackDown tag team champions and they find Otis of Heavy Machinery weird. Who doesn’t find him weird? That’s the big man’s charm. They’ll likely have a match soon, but it won’t be better than any promo interaction because those are money.
The IIconics are Women’s tag team champions, and they lose all the time unless they’re facing local talent. Maybe one of these days the Kabuki Warriors or Fire and Desire will actually get a title match.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- Big E is back (again) and will be teaming with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods to take on Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Dolph Zigger.
- With Kevin Owens currently out of the title picture, is he going to move onto a new feud? Or is he going to get one more match at Extreme Rules before a new challenger (Shane) challenges Kofi at SummerSlam?
- It’s rare that Charlotte is active and isn’t on PPV. But there’s no one for her to fight. Bayley is going up against Alexa Bliss. The other woman with whom she has issues is Lacey Evans, and the Sassy Southern Belle is facing Charlotte's other enemy, Becky Lynch, at Stomping Grounds. They could make that a triple threat. Or the Queen could just show up at the PPV and attack Bayley post match.
- Brock still has the briefcase so it’s always possible he shows up to cash it in on Kofi Kingston. Not likely. But possible.
Will SmackDown make us want to shower them with praise tonight? Find out when they hit Sacramento this evening.