WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: A Ravishing Opportunity at Glory at Money in the Bank for Another Familiar Face (June, 6th 2017)

Welcome All to this weeks Smackdown Report, and while RAW are just picking up after their last Pay Per View, Smackdown only have one more week from here to build all their feuds, and yes they have another women’s angle coming, courtesy of a certain appearance during this weeks opening women’s segment.

Smackdown opens with the arrival of the brands General Manager Shane McMahon, while soon to be Money in the Bank Ladder Match competitors Carmella, Tamina, Natalya, Becky Lynch and Charlotte are already in the ring. Also joining Carmella as expected is James Ellsworth. Once in the ring, Shane acknowledges the crowds own acknowledgement of him before introducing the women to the attendees themselves. Once Tamina, Natalya, Carmella, Becky and Charlotte have been introduced, Shane has a reveal set, in the form of the briefcase the said women will fight for in order to gain a future contendership opportunity. The Briefcase comes down from the ceiling, perching itself in front of Shane, and once the concealing cloth has been removed, the silver briefcase, with no feminine touches whatsoever, is revealed. Shane then goes on to question which woman will hold this briefcase for as long as they please within the year period, reminding each competitor on how the Money in the Bank Ladder Match is a dangerous affair. Regardless he has to hype that the briefcase itself carries within it a contendership opportunity, cashed in at any time.

James cuts in on Shane further explaining, believing no explaining is needed before putting Carmella over as the eventual winner, as she so proclaims herself. Charlotte doesn’t agree much, but has to thank Shane regardless for giving the other four the opportunity to “brush up against greatness”. Charlotte is assured she will take home with her the briefcase and add to her legacy, but Natalya is furious to hear the egotistical statement of Charlotte, asking her if shes done ripping off her father. She proclaims the win at Money in the Bank as her moment rather than Charlotte’s, beginning to spout out her family’s famed catchphrase before Becky cuts her off, stating that Nattie is also ripping off her uncle. Becky says all she will rip off is arms, and when thats done and sorted, shes assured she will be the first ever Miss Money in the Bank. Tamina has heard enough from the babyface, as she claims that while all she does is talk, she will shut her (and everyone else up) when she takes the Money in the Bank Briefcase. Before anything else can be said, out comes the woman each of these ladies are looking to face, the title holder, the Smackdown Women’s Champion Naomi.

Naomi greets everybody then states that while she loves holding the title, she wishes she could share the match with the rest. Naomi notes the match will be historic, and there will be a contender for her ready, but maybe that wont be at Money in the Bank but right away, as out comes a woman hyped over the weeks as the next solo act in the Smackdown Women’s Division, former manager to Rusev, Lana. Lana gets massive fan support once surrounding her fellow workers, but Shane doesn’t look to grant her the same opportunity as the others despite it being the land of opportunity, calling it the wrong time. Lana tries to butter up Shane following his statement, as anything that works for her, she will try make work for him. Lana acknowledges how Naomi has no part in the Ladder Match at Money in the Bank, but she can compete in it. The Other Women, minus Tamina, break into hysterics, and Lana doesn’t take kindly in particular to Naomi’s laughter. Naomi adds that in all seriousness, she cant see her hanging with the others in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, especially considering she hasn’t even had a televised singles match in WWE. Naomi questions (hilariously might i add) who Lana has even beaten in the WWE, and Lana makes a mighty statement in claiming she can beat the women’s champion. Charlotte and Becky make fun in sipping some imaginary tea on the side. Shane has to come between Naomi and Lana, telling Lana that with all due respect, a championship match has to be earned, and upon hearing that, a saddened Lana storms out of the ring. Meanwhile Becky, Charlotte and Naomi vs Natalya, Tamina and Carmella in a Backlash Rematch is scheduled to go down.

When we return from the commercial break, the match has begun and opening are generational rivals Natalya and Charlotte for their respective sides. A Lock up starts the two off before Natalya takes Charlotte down to the mat, working briefly on the right arm before Charlotte counters into a headscissor. Natalya slips free, grounding Charlotte in a side headlock, before Charlotte finds her way upward, then arm dragging Natalya down to the mat. Charlotte has Natalya caught in a side headlock, but she fights back with a headscissor counter, quickly outsmarted by Charlotte who breaks loose and hooks her in a side headlock again. Natalya reverses into her own, quickly pushed towards the ropes by Charlotte. Natalya takes down Charlotte with a shoulder block after running the ropes, taking brief time to taunt, enough for Charlotte to recover as to dodge her oncoming onslaught, and once they meet again in the center, Charlotte nails an array of chops to Nattie. Charlotte delivers a patented single knee drop to Natalya then taunts Carmella, soon hooking Natalya in a side headlock and bringing her to her corner, where Becky tags in.

Becky delivers a jumping axe handle to the arm of Natalya, then a leg lariat. Natalya soon retreats to her own side and tags in Carmella. Carmella charges over to Becky, only to end up on the receiving end of a drop toe hold, and Becky captures Carmella in a front facelock, only briefly as Carmella slips free and sweeps Becky before attempting to cover, only getting a one count on the Lasskicker. Carmella tries to rebound with a clothesline, missing Becky who hooks her waist for a potential waistlock. Despite Becky’s grip, Carmella maneuvers herself to the ropes trying to force Becky off before ending up in Becky’s sudden roll up. As Carmella had earlier, Becky gets a one count on Carmella. A Second one gets Becky a near fall. Becky then channels her inner Liv Morgan with consecutive rolls and one counts. When free, Carmella remains woozy and is taken down to the mat easily by Becky, who gets a near fall following the offense. Carmella attempts to elbow Becky in a corner after whipping her into there, but misses. Carmella blocks a potential springboard sidekick and manages to overthrow Becky, sending her all the way to the outside floor and into Natalya’s firing line as the Queen of Harts flattens Becky with a discus clothesline once she makes it with both feet to the floor.

When we return its the former tag team partners of Monday Night RAW days Becky and Natalya squaring off, and Natalya is using much strength to try force Becky away from her awaiting partners Naomi and Charlotte, driving her back first into the heel corner. Tamina gets tagged in, nailing some offense into the corner to Becky before snapmaring her out of it. Tamina wraps Becky in a side headlock as the crowd get heavily behind the irish superstar, and Becky soon uses the crowds urges to make her way to her feet and split off from Tamina, only briefly as she runs towards a big clothesline from the enforcer of the Welcoming Committee. This gets Tamina a near fall on Becky. Taminas work seems done here as she tags in Natalya, who completely dominates up until she takes her eyes off her. This allows for Becky to sneak Natalya into a roll up, enough to get her a near fall on the Queen of Harts, who clobbers her before she can reach out to either of her partners.

Natalya smacks Becky’s face against the canvas, also kicking her around the ring. Natalya slams Becky back to the mat, enough to get her a near fall. Natalya reverts to a side headlock, also mocking Charlotte and Naomi as their distance from Becky remains a little too far. Becky attempts her comeback with elbows into the midsection of Natalya, and after a boot gets blocked by the veteran, Becky fights back with an inziguiri. Carmella gets tagged in before Becky can even make it to anybody, and Carmella dashes to the opposite corner, sending down Charlotte though missing Naomi. Becky rolls Carmella up but frees herself from Carmella right before a two count to make a big leap to Naomi, tagging her in. Naomi fires in with a big clothesline to Carmella, including a spinning one to follow. Naomi delivers her fast knees to Carmella though a follow up roundhouse is dodged, and Naomi is sent to the ropes by Carmella. Naomi makes a comeback regardless, planting Carmella with a sit out jawbreaker. Tamina tags in only to take kicks from the former Team BAD partner, though Tamina soon blocks one and drives Naomi back first into a corner post. Tamina blocks Naomi’s knees as she tries to use them to block her oncoming attack, but takes a kick for it. Naomi heads out to the apron then flies completely over the top rope and lands a diving crossbody on Tamina. Just as Naomi tries to pin Tamina, in comes Carmella and she breaks the pin attempt at two. This prompts for the heels and faces to meet again in the ring, and just as Naomi deals with both Natalya and Tamina by herself, down comes Lana to be more than just observational. Naomi recognizes Lana as Charlotte and Natalya scrap in the ring and just as another kick from Naomi sends Tamina away, Lana sweeps Naomi on the apron. The assist by Lana helps Tamina capitalize, superkicking her former comrade in the face for the three count. Tamina, Natalya and Carmella win the match.

Later in the evening, Naomi returns and confronts Shane in the back over Lana’s sneaky ringside actions. She knows she has no match currently at Money in the Bank like the others, and is willing to get a match with Lana on the night, even if it means putting the championship on the line. Shane first questions Naomi on if shes sure over the decision, but eventually grants Naomi a match with Lana, happening at Money in the Bank, and it will be for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

(Carmella, Natalya, Tamina, Shane McMahon, James Ellsworth, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Naomi and Lana Segment)

(Tamina, Carmella and Natalya w/ James Ellsworth vs Becky Lynch, Naomi and Charlotte feat Lana)

(Naomi and Shane McMahon Backstage Segment)

(Tamina on Smackdown Fallout)

(Lana on Talking Smack)

Thoughts On:
Lana’s Return: When the vignettes first aired, i was gutted to know that the long tenured television partnership of Rusev and Lana was coming to an end. However, not only was it a relief to know this wasn’t as dragged out as long as Emmalina, but Lana’s return received a much kinder response than first thought, as if the fans hadn’t forgotten the reactions she had gotten while managing Rusev in his undefeated run and beyond. For Me, Lana’s return got rid of the rinse and repeat that was the women shutting each other down time after time in segments, and she really stole the attention here. Luckily it served purpose, as Lana’s appearance was for a later angle, and for her return to the ring. Not just that, but now every single member of the women’s division is being used.

Backlash Rematch: Again Lana was the highlight outside of the in ring action here by purposefully targeting Naomi and making her mark as Naomi’s future (shocking) challenger. The in ring action itself was good and Becky busting out the Liv Morgan continual rolls was something different, while rest-holds seemed to be used too much unfortunately, even at moments where Becky was trying to gather momentum only for any chance to simmer. For Me, im divided on the possible outcomes for Naomi and Lana’s match. Im not expecting it to be fantastic but Lana has been put in her position for a reason, to evolve as a fellow competitor. If Lana wins, lets hope the crowd are awake enough because she was heavily over here, and ill be happy for her because i wasn’t sure whether she was going to even be champion, even with the knowledge she was returning to the ring. But at the same time i will be sad for Naomi because after fighting against the corporates for years to try and prove she can be a worthy champion, having her possible runs cut for other reasons, to come this far, who knows if a loss at Money in the Bank will lead to her ever gaining the title back. Lana could win as a shock result because shes never ever defeated anybody, plus on TV she remains unpinned, but Naomi needs momentum and hasn’t defended her title for a long time, so her win is needed as much. Even a win could leave her in Jeopardy should Miss Money in the Bank go all Seth Rollins on her moments later. Lets see what unfolds and whether this is just a warmer for an extra hot angle, aka a cash in.

– Catherine

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