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WWE SmackDown preview (June 3, 2022): Hell in a Cell wasn’t supposed to be a brand exclusive PPV

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SmackDown airs tonight (June 3) with a live show from Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. This is the final SmackDown episode during the four week build towards Hell in a Cell, which takes place this Sunday night.

Hell in a Cell wasn’t supposed to be a brand exclusive event

Hell in a Cell 2022 is coming up this weekend. There are six official matches booked for the card right now, but none of them involve the SmackDown roster. Can this really be called a pay-per-view (PPV) go home show if the show is contributing zero matches to the PPV?

At this point it looks like there are three potential matches featuring SmackDown wrestlers that could still be a very late addition to Sunday night’s event.

First up is The Usos defending the undisputed WWE tag team titles against Matt Riddle and Shinsuke Nakamura. The latest rumors indicate this match will be saved for next month’s Money in the Bank card, but plans often change.

Next is Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss. Madcap has been off television ever since Happy injured him using the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy. Moss is returning tonight, possibly with a different presentation and/or gimmick. A grudge match between these two seems like a viable match for Hell in a Cell.

Finally there’s Intercontinental Champion Ricochet vs. Gunther. WWE has started to tease this one over the last couple weeks. The match is going to happen, it’s just a matter of whether it’s booked in time for Hell in a Cell.

There’s a chance that Hell in a Cell remains a brand exclusive PPV and none of these matches are added to the lineup. If that’s the case, WWE will be sending the wrong message to their fans, essentially admitting they aren’t even willing to put in the bare minimum effort to use TV to book a compelling PPV card. That’s the perception a lot of fans have at this point, given the lack of Roman Reigns and the entire SmackDown roster at Hell in a Cell. When fans perceive that the company doesn’t care to make an effort, it makes it harder for fans to care about the product and wrestlers.

Let’s see what WWE does about it tonight.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey doesn’t have anybody to work with at a main event level on the women’s roster. The word going around is that Lacey Evans has once again been moved over to the SmackDown brand. Given the utter lack of depth in the women’s division following WWE’s suspension of Sasha Banks and Naomi, it’s possible Vince McMahon might proceed with a Rousey vs. Evans feud ASAP (at least until he moves Lacey back over to Raw next week).

- WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns isn’t around much these days because he has better things to do than work Hell in a Cell. That’s cool for Roman, but it’s a drag on WWE’s television product when both of the top men’s titles are regularly missing.

- Can you believe Sami Zayn actually thinks the Bloodline gives a shit about him, Uce? The Usos played right into his delusions by making him an honorary member of the faction. That means he can be the guy who is first in line to take the beatings for them, just as they are the guys who are normally first in line to take the beatings for Roman Reigns.

- Drew McIntyre showed up as a mystery partner last week to help the New Day prevail over the Brawling Brutes in six man tag team action. The feud between New Day and Brawling Brutes has been going on for months and it really feels like it’s time to move on.

- Raquel Rodriguez is the rising star in the women’s undercard. Shotzi, Shayna Baszler, and Natalya don’t seem too happy with her recent success, particularly when it comes at their expense.

- Speaking of Shotzi, Aliyah gave her a dose of her own medicine when she locked her in the locker room last week. These two wrestlers might have to settle this one in the ring sooner rather than later.

- Max Dupri is bringing male models to SmackDown, of course. The rumor mill indicates that Mansoor and MACE might not actually be hot enough to qualify for his modeling agency. If not them, then which gorgeous studs could be showing up aligned with Dupri?

- Skyscrapin Shanky just wants to have a good time, but Jinder Mahal is a jerk who doesn’t like fun. I don’t think their partnership is going to last much longer.

- SmackDown had to call in some reinforcements from Raw last week due to the sorry state of the blue brand’s roster. Will anyone from Monday nights (besides Riddle) join the party tonight?

What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?