SmackDown airs tonight (June 4) live from the ThunderDome in the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida. This is the third SmackDown episode during the five week build towards the upcoming Hell in a Cell event on June 20.
Big E is left in limbo thanks to WWE budget cuts
Aleister Black returned to WWE during the show-closing angle on the May 21 episode of SmackDown. He knocked Big E out with Black Mass, giving Big E a new heel to feud with this summer. Plans changed, though, because Aleister was released by WWE two days ago. That leaves Big E without a dance partner right now. He might also have memory loss, if WWE writers force him to forget the angle with Aleister ever happened.
The bottom line is that Big E needs someone new to feud with thanks to WWE’s budget cuts. Could it be Sami Zayn, who was absent from last week’s episode?
If not Zayn, will Big E instead pursue one more pay-per-view match against Apollo Crews? WWE sure does love booking rematches.
Recent rumors indicate that Universal champion Roman Reigns is not scheduled to face Jimmy Uso at Hell in a Cell. If that’s true, is there enough time left to move Big E into that spot opposite the Head of the Table?
The fourth option is the dreaded Creative Has Nothing For You. There’s always room in the budget for that adversary.
The title scene
The Usos are challenging Rey and Dominik Mysterio for the SmackDown tag team titles tonight. Jimmy Uso is extremely excited to bring more gold to the family with his brother, but Roman Reigns is pressuring Jey to betray his own brother and show absolute loyalty to the Tribal Chief. What decision will Jey make? And will we find out who attacked Rey Mysterio last week?
Apollo Crews was about to be squashed in less than two minutes by Kevin Owens last week, but Commander Azeez caused a disqualification with a Nigerian nail attack on Owens. WWE Official Adam Pearce booked a rematch for tonight. The Intercontinental championship is on the line this time, and Azeez is barred from ringside. What new trick will Apollo have up his sleeve to retain the gold?
Bayley and Bianca Belair appear to be on a collision course towards a rematch for the SmackDown women’s championship. Belair defeated Carmella in something of a tune-up match last week. Bayley was too busy pointing out that Michael Cole is a stupid idiot to get too involved in Belair’s business. Will the role model try to escalate the situation tonight?
Now that Ruby Riott has been released by WWE, Natalya and Tamina are the only women’s tag team left on Friday nights. Can WWE find a makeshift team for them to face, or will the women’s tag team champions have the night off after clearing out the division?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Baron Corbin still can’t quite figure out how to retrieve his crown from King Nakamura and Rick Boogs. This might be a good time for Corbin to hire some new henchmen to do his dirty work.
- Seth Rollins gloated last week about his brutal attack on Cesaro, and blamed the fans for tricking Cesaro into rejecting his vision. Cesaro should return to television tonight, and has an obvious Hell in a Cell match to set up with Seth for June 20.
What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?