WWE SmackDown returns tonight (June 19) from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. They are building towards Extreme Rules which is July 19.
The common thought is that eventually, we’re going to get a Sasha Banks vs. Bayley feud for the SmackDown Women’s championship. Even as someone who has been skeptical that will ever happen, even I think that is the plan they have right now. (Whether that is to change is an entirely different story.)
But with Bayley and Sasha still holding the Women’s tag team gold, even though that could feasibly change on Monday with a loss to the IIconics, it feels like their feud may still be a ways away.
Because they may want to run this match in front of real fans. There was even a rumor that they may opt to delay it now that that can’t happen. Now we don’t know when that will be possible, but it certainly will not be SummerSlam of this year. And while they can’t, nor shouldn’t, delayed it forever, there is one program they need to run prior to getting to that apex feud.
That’s a feud between Bayley and Alexa Bliss.
I know that the idea of Alexa Bliss in a title match elicits an eye roll from many. But she hasn’t held a singles title for almost two years now. And this is a feud that should be explored with the roles reversed.
Years ago, when Bliss held the Raw Women’s championship, she had a feud with Bayley that had Bayley looking like a chump. She was pretty much squashed in a kendo stick match. But times were different then. Bliss was the big heel and Bayley was an almost naive babyface. The roles are completely reversed now. Bliss is a babyface, though with more attitude than Bayley at that time, and Bayley is the big villain who’s been holding the title for almost 250 days.
I’ll admit I’m a sucker for a re-running a feud when the alignments are shifted. It’s the same feud but with a completely different dynamic. That’s what this would be. Bayley can get her revenge by having become what she hated. Meanwhile, Alexa tries to do things the right way but that may not be the successful way.
This is a program that should happen and if Banks/Bayley is going to be delayed, it would make a good SummerSlam feud.
The title scene:
Bray Wyatt is back tonight which means Universal Champion Braun Strowman’s real challenger has returned. The stuff with Miz & Morrison was really just to kill some time before they lit this feud back up again.
Word has it that Jaxson Ryker heat seeking tweet has knocked the Forgotten Sons out of SmackDown tag team title picture consideration for now. Instead it looks like it’ll be Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro to challenge for the New Day’s straps instead. The match will probably be better. Because Cesaro is in it.
AJ Styles is your new Intercontinental champion. So who gets first dibs? Maybe we’ll find out during his championship celebration tonight, given he’s inviting Daniel Bryan and the rest of the roster to watch.
Other things to keep an eye on:
- Jeff Hardy was proven a loser again last Sunday after losing to Sheamus, despite all the terrible things Sheamus said and did to Jeff. So how do they try to salvage this?
- Will there be tension between Miz & Morrison after some greed cost them a win against Braun Strowman at Backlash? We should find out when they both host a Miz TV (though shouldn’t it be the Dirt Sheet if they’re both hosting?) tonight featuring Mandy Rose.
- Matt Riddle debut! (It’s pronounced de-butt.) [Editor’s note: This preview was written and scheduled before the allegations against Riddle came to light.]
- Is the Hacker gimmick completely dropped?
What will you be looking for when SmackDown returns tonight at 8 PM ET on Fox?