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WWE Smackdown Results: June 23, 2016

Results and analysis from the Smackdown show set to air on June 23 on USA Network.

Seth almost sucked canvas for the third time in a row

The show from Tuscon, Arizona, kicks off with Seth Rollins in the ring talking about his journey back to the ring and Dean Ambrose robbing him of the world title. Ambrose interrupts, but Chris Jericho isn’t far behind him. Since Jericho has a win over Ambrose recently, he says he wants a title shot. Rollins goes on the attack, and Jericho vs. Ambrose is announced as a non-title match.

Seriously, who still wants to see Jericho around for stuff like this? Roman Reigns’ recent suspension throws a wrench in things, but that doesn’t mean we need to see more Ambrose vs. Jericho action.

Sami Zayn/Apollo Crews def. Sheamus/Kevin Owens

Zayn gets the win with a Helluva Kick on Sheamus. Afterward, Owens attacks Sami backstage.

This is prototypical Team Heel vs. Team Face tag action on Smackdown. Nice that the good guys won, but hopefully the booking will be more intentional once Smackdown is live in a few weeks with its own roster.

Sasha Banks def. Dana Brooke (disqualification)

Women’s Champion Charlotte breaks into the match, creating the DQ finish. Sasha Banks’ new buddy Paige attacks Charlotte, and the Paige and Sasha get the upper hand in the end.

Thank goodness Sasha Banks is back in action. The fans have been clamoring for her to get back involved in the division, which is really floundering thanks to some questionable title storylines of late. That said, her alliance with Paige is just the latest in a string of temporary pairings within the women’s ranks, which wouldn’t even be necessary if the creative team didn’t insist on shoving Dana Brooke into things with Charlotte.

Alberto Del Rio def. Cesaro

ADR gets the win with his double-stomp finisher in the corner. The WWE can take heart from the fact that the injury Del Rio suffered at MITB isn’t so grave that it kept him off TV for too long. He gave RAW a miss. 

While most fans may be upset that Cesaro didn’t get the win here, the lower heels have to get a win sometimes. Simply put, guys like ADR need to be credible, or the faces are going to have a hard time building momentum in the future. 

Hopefully more good things are coming for Cesaro, particularly once the Intercontinental Title is back in action again. 

Next up is another vignette for Darren Young with Bob Backlund. It’s hard to see where anyone is enjoying this concept, and even harder to see where the gimmick has a successful future.

New Day is out next to blast the Vaudevillains and their bygone era.

New Day def. Vaudevillains

The tag team champions hand the upstart heels their second loss this week. Afterward, the Wyatts come out to attack both teams.

Finally, some goal-oriented booking for the Wyatt Family. They should’ve targeted these belts long ago, and it would be perfect to get Rowan and Strowman some prestige within the tag division to boost Bray in singles action. And the New Day losing the belts to the Wyatts at some point doesn’t really make them look weak at all due to size difference and a mean streak from the Wyatts.

AJ Styles def. Jimmy Uso

The Calf Crusher is Styles’ weapon of choice as he finishes off one of the painted Samoans.

This is an odd match and the second time that Styles has faced a tag guy in singles competition in recent weeks. Obviously, the Phenomenal One is going to win such matchups, but it’s interesting that guys like Jimmy Uso are getting singles shots for no apparent reason.

Titus O’Neil gets a backstage interview, in which he talks about his attack on Rusev on Monday and his plans to take the United States Championship. Really, a lot of fans would love to see Titus with a belt, particularly after the way he was suspended earlier this year. Rusev has really been shining in the ring and on the mic, so it’s hard to think he’ll lose his belt soon, but only time will tell.

Natalya is next for her own promo, saying she’s tired of waiting around for her time. Becky Lynch interrupts her with appeals to their lengthy friendship, but Natalya isn’t hearing it. As Natalya attempts to leave, Becky attacks her.

Adding women’s storylines is a good thing heading into the brand split, but this one seems sloppy. Natalya just randomly attacked Becky with no explanation, and this seems like a waste of a talent that the crowd could really get behind. If anyone needed a heel turn in this, it was Becky, who seems like she could get stale as a face if the creative team isn’t careful.

Seth Rollins def. Sami Zayn 

Seth gets the win with the Pedigree, but not before Sami gives him a run for his money. Dean Ambrose, who was doing commentary, almost hits Seth with the Dirty Deeds after the match, but the former Champion slithers out of it.

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