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Top three things we loved and hated about WWE Smackdown (June 21, 2024)

Published at :June 22, 2024 at 1:33 PM
Modified at :June 22, 2024 at 1:33 PM
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(Courtesy : WWE)

Blesson Daniel

The blue brand concluded more MITB ladder match qualifiers

Most of us felt “SmackDown” was fun, a breezy two hours full of heartwarming reunions, the huge debut of a new Bloodline member, Money in the Bank qualifications won by the guys who should have won them, and CM Punk getting beaten bloody and sent away in an ambulance. It was a lot of fun.

We’re covering most of the program, but unfortunately, we don’t have any sentiments about the current Logan Paul/LA Knight dispute. Fortunately, we have strong views about almost everything else, so without further ado, here are three things we loved and hated with the 6/21/24 edition of “WWE SmackDown.”

Loved: WWE using fresh faces for the money in the Bank ladder match

Suppose Friday’s Money in the Bank qualifying contests had taken place two months earlier. In that case, it appears like Bianca Belair, Randy Orton, and Kevin Owens would have punched their tickets to Toronto. Instead, WWE chose to take a chance by providing opportunities to Chelsea Green, Carmelo Hayes, and Andrade, and while it’s too early to say for sure, this strategy appears to be paying off big.

WWE should shift its focus to developing new stars. Overall, their product is steady, new partnerships with television companies are being negotiated, and more people are discovering WWE on a regular basis. Now is the time to take risks and experiment with pushing stars beyond their usual 4-5 top performances, and WWE has, happily, made the effort to grow beyond their comfort zone now that their bases are covered as a company.

Hated: Wyatt Sicks not making their SmackDown appearance

I’m not the type of person who will pick apart Wyatt Sicks’ plot based on logic, since I want to appreciate the angle regardless of whether it makes a lot of sense. That being said, I was a little surprised that the Wyatts had no presence on “SmackDown” — especially considering Nick Aldis’ hint before the program about bringing in more security to prevent an incident like Monday night.

If the Wyatt Sicks had maintained a significant presence on “SmackDown” despite the “security measures,” the plot would have been portrayed as a company-wide danger. If Aldis’ declaration had never happened, and “SmackDown” had completely disregarded the “Raw” onslaught, it would have been amusing. I’m not sure what to make of a world where Aldis provides protection and it never pays off. So, are we supposed to believe that the security measures worked?

Loved: Drew McIntyre’s brutal beat down for CM Punk

Drew McIntyre is a man who understands how to construct and persist with a fascinating character narrative, whether it’s recreating himself on the indies after being released from WWE some years ago or doing a fantastic and surprise heel turn.

McIntyre didn’t have to say anything Friday night to make everyone aware of his hatred and anger toward CM Punk, who lost him his World Heavyweight Championship fight at Clash At The Castle in his native nation of Scotland and had earlier called his name to mock him. It’s no minor achievement, and it’s not something every wrestler can do, but it demonstrates his skill.

By just standing over Punk when a garage door opened and dragging him to the ringside area, he demonstrated a new intensity and depth to his persona while also demonstrating to Chicago what he could do to their local hero.

Hated: Punk confusing us with The Bloodline while he is engaged with Drew McIntyre

His first section in front of the Allstate Arena audience in his hometown of Chicago perplexed me. First and foremost, during the press conference following Clash at the Castle, Punk said that, despite being a “Raw” star, he would be appearing in front of his local audience on “SmackDown” to discuss his recovery from his triceps tear.

Despite my dislike for the guy, that made complete logic to me. He’s a big attraction, and the Chicago audience adores him; why wouldn’t he go on this show to discuss his injuries ahead of Money in the Bank and Summerslam, especially if he was cleared? However, he made no mention of his injury. Not a word. Which seemed really bizarre to me.

However, Punk welcomed back his former advocate/manager/whatever he was called when he was with Punk, Paul Heyman, with open arms. Overall, I didn’t mind this, but I was incredibly confused, especially since Heyman left the segment alongside Solo Sikoa and the Bloodline.

Loved: CM Punk and Paul Heyman hugging it out

There’s a lot to say about CM Punk and Paul Heyman, both positive and negative. In the mid-2000s, Punk was a “Paul Heyman guy.” They were one of wrestling’s most fearsome duos. Then Punk left WWE in 2014, and Heyman has since teamed up with Brock Lesnar or Roman Reigns.

With “SmackDown” in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, the “Second City Saint” greeted his followers in his first appearance since costing Drew McIntyre the WWE Championship at Clash at the Castle; his local fans didn’t seem to care about his antics from six days earlier.

As Punk addressed the fans, “The Wise Man” entered the ring. The two exchanged a loving embrace, which Heyman conceded was necessary. Heyman appeared a little cagey, and he was there to warn Punk that The Bloodline was coming from him. He pleaded with his old friend to go before anything bad happened to him.

Hated: What is A-Town Down Under doing?

Grayson Waller showed off his WWE Tag Team Championship to Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa of #DIY on Friday night. The segment itself was nothing to write home about, but when the garage door pounded in the background and an enraged Drew McIntyre entered, it was apparent what WWE thought of its current tag team division.

A-Town Down Under’s solitary title defense occurred more than a month ago, on the May 3 edition of “WWE SmackDown,” and it was not even on pay-per-view. That alone makes a compelling argument for the state of the “SmackDown” tag team division and the champions that lead it.

The championships are seldom defended—and when they are, it’s generally against C-tier SuperStars who would’ve just sat back in catering otherwise—and when they do appear on television, they are invariably an accessory to whatever more respected fight is going on.

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