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WWE SmackDown preview (June 23, 2023): You can kiss the NXT women’s tag team titles goodbye

SmackDown airs tonight (June 23) with a live show from the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana. This is the fourth episode of SmackDown during the five week build towards Money in the Bank, which takes place on July 1.

You can kiss the NXT women’s tag team titles goodbye

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler will battle NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn tonight in a title unification match.

Rousey and Baszler won their belts less than one month ago; it would be very surprising if WWE books them to lose a match like this against the team coming up from the minor leagues, so to speak.

Ronda has wanted to shift away from singles matches to become the face of women’s tag team wrestling in WWE for a while now, and there’s no better way to do it than collecting all the gold. With that in mind, I think Fyre and Dawn are getting wiped out here very early on in their run on the main roster. However, Shayna Baszler is always prone to losing via roll up, so I guess that scenario can’t be entirely ruled out.

Unlike the situation with the unified WWE Universal championship or WWE tag team titles, I don’t anticipate the winning team will be carrying around two sets of championship gold going forward. It doesn’t really make sense to simultaneously carry around a set of main roster belts and NXT belts, so this title unification could be a vehicle for doing away with the NXT women’s tag team belts altogether after Rousey and Baszler win.

The rest of the title scene

After years of gaslighting his cousin, WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns finally ate a superkick from Jey Uso last week. There is now a civil war within The Bloodline, as it will be The Usos vs. Reigns and Solo Sikoa at Money in the Bank. The part-time Tribal Chief is not advertised for the show tonight, which puts Solo at a disadvantage if a fight breaks out. Can the wise man Paul Heyman come up with a scheme tonight to keep Jimmy and Jey busy fighting other wrestlers on the SmackDown roster, allowing Sikoa to strike when the time is right?

WWE Women’s Champion Asuka puts her gold on the line against Charlotte Flair next week. Former champion Bianca Belair isn’t happy about the way Adam Pearce allowed Flair to cut the line in front of her for a championship match. Belair and Flair argued about it last week, so the next step is to get violent about it. When is Bianca going to snap and take out her frustrations on The Queen?

WWE Tag Team Champions Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will defend the belts next week against Pretty Deadly. Deadly is on a roll since being called up to the main roster from NXT. Are they really getting strapped with championship gold this quickly?

United States Champion Austin Theory needs a new challenger ASAP, especially if he plans to compete at Money in the Bank.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Bayley has stepped on IYO SKY’s toes one too many times. As a result, SKY put Bayley in a position where she must defend her spot in the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match against Shotzi. This could speed up the end of Damage CTRL if Bayley loses her spot to Shotzi.

- Santos Escobar gained momentum among the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match competitors when he defeated LA Knight last week. But let’s be real, that momentum is pretty much worthless, especially now that Logan Paul is officially in the match. What are BUTCH, Knight, and Escobar willing to do tonight to give themselves a real advantage going into the London pay-per-view?

- Thanks to the Brawling Brutes loss in a gauntlet match, Sheamus is now on the outside looking in when it comes to the Money in the Bank event. Will WWE find something meaningful for Sheamus to do for the upcoming UK trip?

- Karrion Kross and Scarlett picked up a win over AJ Styles and Michin last week. Is some kind of gimmick match between Styles and Kross planned next?

- Cameron Grimes and Baron Corbin have been trading backstage attacks of late, so it looks like their issue won’t be settled before there is a rematch.

- Where is Bob Lashley?

What will you be looking for on SmackDown?

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