This week’s SmackDown was a celebration of Roman Reigns as WWE Universal Champion for 1000 days. The show began with a video tribute and his journey was referenced throughout the show. There were two Money in the Bank qualifying matches, a couple of tag team matches, and plenty of drama to close out the show as The Head of the Tribal refused to accept the lesson Jimmy Uso was trying to teach him.
These are the winners and losers of SmackDown, June 2, 2023:
Winner: Opening Reigns Documentary Video
Nobody knows how to get emotion out of a video package like WWE. They kicked off the show with a narrated story of how The Head of the Table became the most dominant champion in years, showing all the champions that came before him and his days as champion, but also highlighting how Reigns has defeated some of the best. . In the business. Fans were walked through the impressive journey that was his 1,000 days as champion. This was extremely impressive. If you had no idea how big 1000 days is to have the highest title in the company, this video package made it abundantly clear.
Winner: Pretty Deadly and Theory Defeat The Brawling Brutes
A six-man tag team match that took place in the first 30 minutes of the show featuring six WWE Superstars did not disappoint. Pretty Deadly has impressed in back-to-back appearances and it’s clear that WWE is right up there with the duo. For the second week in a row, they did a quickie on The Brawling Brutes, this week having Prince hide under the apron so the legal man (Wilson) could sneak up from behind and cut Ridge Holland’s knee. That led to the heels picking up the win.
This was a great match. There were times when the official lost control with everyone in the ring, but the six men did a good job of not staying too long or forgetting that a count of five existed.
Win/Loser: OC Picks Up Win Over Hit Row
Another tag match, the second one wasn’t as good as the first. On AJ Styles’ birthday, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows scored a decisive victory over Hit Row. It was more about bringing The OC to TV and watching Styles get a moral victory after losing to Seth Rollins at Night of Champions. Lots of fun ensued, with the group talking about Styles’ impending birthday celebration.
This was a loss for Hit Row, which is little more than an act of improvement at this point. So too, Michael Cole’s attempt at rapping was embarrassing at best. A decent segment, this was nothing people will remember in a few hours.
Winner: Grayson Waller Effect
The second episode of Waller’s talk show on SmackDown was a bit chaotic, but it worked. He first took Asuka out and tried to have a personal interview. No one, including Waller, knew what the Raw Women’s Champion was saying. She pretended to, but when Iyo Sky came out and they both refused to speak English, the crowd was left guessing at the exchange. Fortunately, we didn’t need to know the details to know they weren’t on the same page. Bayley, Shotzi, Lacey Evans and Zelina Vega came out to claim as title contenders. Asuka ran away from the ring, only to be attacked by Bianca Belair. Officials had to separate the two women. It was a physical exchange that sold the fact that these two don’t like each other.
Zelina Vega and Evans had a Money in the Bank qualifying match after the commercial break. Evans was in control of the match, applying a chin lock near the end of the match. Vega’s only real offense was a Destroyer for the win.
Winner: LA Knight qualifies for Money in the Bank
The megastar scored a huge victory on Friday, beating Montez Ford to qualify for Money in the Bank. The fans were thrilled to see him finally pick up a win in a match that mattered. He climbed the ladder when all was said and done and the crowd ate him up. As for the match, it was solid with both men selling each other and Knight cheating to get the pin as he dangled from the ropes.
If WWE goes ahead and gets Knight to win the briefcase, they could effectively erase all the bad mood they’ve created by ignoring Knight’s undeniable popularity, all while giving the people what they want. It is not often that the company has the opportunity to correct several months of errors in a single game. Knight as the Money in the Bank holder would absolutely be the right call. Getting him to trade him to win a title could make him the megastar he claims to be.
Winner: Jimmy Excommunicated from the Lineage
The final segment of the night was a masterpiece. Not only was Roman Reigns presented with a new title, but the tug of war between him and Jimmy Usos was pure theater. Jimmy wasn’t going to let Roman get away with constantly disrespecting the rest of the family and tried to bring his siblings to his side. When Solo walked past Jimmy, the crowd went wild. And just when it looked like Roman was going to forgive with a hug, he refused to play peacemaker and Solo gave Jimmy the skewer. Sikoa would never join Jimmy and would always remain loyal to The Head of the Table.
The show ended with the departure of Roman, Solo and Paul Heyman. Heyman asked, “What about Jey?” and Reigns replied: “he will do what he always does, line up.” The crowd was hooked by every second of this (as I can imagine those watching from home were).
The stage is now set for Jimmy vs. Roman, with Jey somewhere in the middle, but apparently siding with Jimmy. It will last? Is Roman right? Will Roman carry all three titles now or will he switch to the new one?