7 Ups & 9 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (Jun 11)

Big E is back on SmackDown, but last night STUNK of Raw.

The New Day Kofi Kingston WWE Champion

The Wild Card Rule has sparked chaos in WWE's televised universe recently, but the promotion's decision to combine their Raw and SmackDown writing teams into one amorphous, unimaginative blob after WrestleMania 35 might be even more galling, with the former 'Land of Opportunity' serving another portion of Raw Lite slop last night.

SmackDown is becoming increasingly unengaging and predictable. Matches and segments usually accomplish the goal of getting from A to B, but where's the fun in following a story when you can see every single beat coming? That's the thing about this show post-'Mania: most things make sense, but you know exactly what's going to happen next.

Promoted around Big E's much-hyped in-ring return following a Lazarus-like recovery from injury, the show saw the 33-year old team with New Day pals Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston to face Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and Dolph Ziggler. Shane McMahon dominated the opening 30 minutes, first clashing with The Miz while guesting on his talk show, before pitting his long-term rival in a three-man pseudo gauntlet match. Elsewhere, Alexa Bliss continued her manipulation of Nikki Cross, Sonya Deville met Carmella in the ring, and there was still no sign of the Kabuki Warriors, Ali, Shinsuke Nakamura, or any of SmackDown's other missing pieces.

Let's dive into it.


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