SmackDown airs tonight (June 10) with a live show from Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This is the first SmackDown episode during the four week build towards Money in the Bank, which takes place on July 2.
It was good while it lasted
Ricochet won the Intercontinental championship three months ago. Yet the champ will be a pretty big underdog when he puts the title on the line tonight against newcomer Gunther.
Ricochet has held the title longer than expected. His reign includes victories over Sami Zayn, Los Lotharios, Jinder Mahal, and Shanky. Gunther is receiving a stronger push than any of those men, which is why Ricochet’s reign as champ is in jeopardy tonight.
The best outcome Ricochet can hope for is to delay the inevitable by retaining his gold via disqualification, count out, or some kind of a screwy non-finish. If this match is instead decided by pin or submission, that means we’ll very likely have a new champ.
It was good while it lasted. But Ricochet’s booking history in WWE is hard to ignore, and it doesn’t bode well for his chances against Gunther tonight.
The rest of the title scene
Matt Riddle wants a piece of WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Will the Tribal Chief bother showing up tonight to let us know how he feels about this challenge? It’s not likely. This seems more like a situation that Sami Zayn will try to handle for the Bloodline.
Raw tag team the Street Profits defeated The Usos by count out in a
non-title championship contenders match on Monday night. Therefore it looks like Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins will be next in line for a shot at the WWE tag team champions. It’s a good thing Raw has some challengers ready to go for The Bloodline’s titles, because the SmackDown roster is sorely lacking in that department.
Natalya won a six-pack challenge last week and earned a future title match against SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey. They used to be close friends in kayfabe during Ronda’s first run in WWE a few years ago. Maybe tonight we’ll get an official date for the title fight.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Drew McIntyre takes on Sheamus tonight in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. I don’t like the Brawling Brute’s chances in this one; the Big D is just too much to handle.
- Lacey Evans finally returns to the ring tonight when she battles Xia Li in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. Lacey somehow went an entire week without being switched over to the Raw roster again, but I suppose that could change during the broadcast tonight.
- Max Dupri is bringing male models to SmackDown. The first client of Maximum Male Models will be revealed tonight. Could it be Mansoor? MACE? Ivar? Veer? An NXT wrestler? BUTCH? Brock Lesnar? Ezekiel’s older brother, Elias?
- Skyscrapin’ Shanky’s dance moves helped Jinder Mahal score a win last week over Humberto Carrillo. Will that convince Jinder to have a change of heart about Shanky’s newfound love of shaking his ass around?
- Smiling babyface Raquel Rodriguez is receiving a push in the women’s division. Which frowning heel will she beat up tonight?
- Madcap Moss defeated Happy Corbin at Hell in a Cell and attempted to injure him during the finish of the match. Will Happy be in any shape to show up tonight and whine about his loss?
- Speaking of injuries, Shinsuke Nakamura was taken out by the Usos last week. The word going around is this was strictly an angle in kayfabe, so Shinsuke should be back on TV soon.
What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?