SmackDown airs tonight (June 11) live from the ThunderDome in the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida. This is the fourth SmackDown episode during the five week build towards the upcoming Hell in a Cell event on June 20.
SmackDown still needs a Hell in a Cell match
Earlier this week, Raw booked a championship match between Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley inside the Hell in a Cell on June 20. That means it’s SmackDown’s turn to follow suit.
At least one SmackDown match should take place inside the dangerous cage. Up to this point, it’s been largely assumed that Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins will be the match that gets that spot. The only issue with that assumption, of course, is that Cesaro has been off television for a couple weeks and doesn’t even have an official match with Rollins booked for the event. It’s reasonable to expect all of that will change tonight if Cesaro makes his return and get his hands on Rollins, but there’s at least some room for uncertainty there.
What if Cesaro vs. Rollins doesn’t end up in the cell? Which remaining SmackDown feud could plausibly take place inside Hell in a Cell? Bianca Belair vs. Bayley for the SmackDown women’s championship isn’t a bad choice. They’ve already fought each other once on PPV, so the rematch should up the stakes or add a gimmick. Bayley’s annoying laughter might not fit the serious nature of a Hell in a Cell match all that well, but this is the best option on the table if the assumption about Cesaro and Rollins ends up being wrong.
The title scene
The Mysterios have been busy defending the SmackDown tag titles of late, but it seems like that will be on the back burner now that Roman Reigns has viciously attacked Dominik Mysterio. The Universal champion happens to need an opponent for Hell in a Cell, and tonight’s episode should set up Rey Mysterio as his official challenger for the PPV. Roman might be accustomed to manipulating his own cousin, but he is going to find out firsthand what happens when you cross the line with someone else’s family member.
Commander Azeez once again played a vital role in helping Apollo Crews successfully retain the Intercontinental championship against Kevin Owens last week. With Sami Zayn attacking Owens in the aftermath, it would appear that Crews vs. Owens is done for now. That might leave the door open for Big E to escape from limbo and take one more shot at his top rival.
Natalya and Tamina are still the only women’s tag team left on Friday nights. The women’s tag team champions didn’t appear on Raw this week, and it’s not clear that creative will come up with anything for them on SmackDown either.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- I don’t know how many more weeks King Nakamura will be fighting with Baron Corbin over a crown, but there’s no reason for Corbin to give up his pursuit of his possession until a match stipulation officially awards it to Shinsuke and Rick Boogs.
- Carmella is now being introduced to the ring as “The most beautiful woman in all of WWE.” Will this new twist result in a sustained push up the card?
- Tensions have escalated between the Street Profits and Alpha Academy. This is as good a night as any for them to settle those issues in the ring.
What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?