Smackdown Live - 16th July 2019
We kick off Smackdown Live with a prerecorded segment from earlier in the day with Shane McMahon welcoming Kevin Owens to the arena, before promptly telling KO to have the night off, to the annoyance of Owens.
Cameras cut to the ring with the Smackdown Locker room on the ramp with Shane McMahon in the ring and they start this whole ‘Smackdown Town Hall’ segment which was announced earlier in the day. The first person to speak up to Shane was Roman Reigns who says that no one respects him to the New Days amusement. This whole segment felt like such a mess….but a fun mess, if that makes sense?
It was structered in a way that when a heel would go up to the microphone, a face would challenge them on the 2nd microphone and vice versa, but their promos (if you could even call it that?) were all over the place and, despite the clear structure of it, it didn’t feel scripted.
Not much was really accomplished, but Cesaro popped up and asks Shane for a match against Aleister Black after losing to him on Sunday at Extreme Rules. McMahon accepts and goes on to say how he doesn’t run Smackdown with a Iron Fist despite popular belief, but something that was popular was Kevin Owens popping up behind Shane, turning him around and going for the Stunner, unfortunately, Shane massively botched it and fell to his knees after the kick (Well, I assume he botched, KO could of absolutely booted him in the mid drift, I wouldn’t particularly blame him).
I can’t tell if I liked this opening segment or not, it was weird but also good to see the likes of Liv Morgan and Buddy Murphy get some mic time, still don’t know what it really accomplished though
Aleister Black vs Cesaro
Like I mentioned earlier, this is a rematch after Aleister Black had beaten Cesaro in a Good match at Extreme Rules.
This match was about 10 minutes which is fine for a TV show and once again, as expected, it was a good match between 2 fantastic wrestlers. Black was made to look strong in this match and he managed to do what he does best, pick Ceseros head off the mat with the foot and hit the Black Mass, knocking the Swiss Cyborgs gum shield out of his mouth (I said I wanted this to happen at Extreme Rules, so im pretty happy it happened here) to pick up the win once again.
No complaints whatsoever about this, I was skeptical that it could be hit with the dreaded 50/50 booking but i’m glad it didn’t. Black looks great and, despite it being another loss, Cesaro continues to get the TV time he deserves and hopefully he is allowed to climb the card (Along with Black) to the upper midcard/top of the card, because they both belong there in my opinion
Charlotte Flair vs Liv Morgan
This match was a follow on from the opening segment after both Charlotte Flair and Liv Morgan had a exchange of words.
A pretty short match, but definitely not a squash as Liv Morgan her fair share of offense on the Queen, but it wasn’t enough as Charlotte countered a Hurricanrana into a powerbomb, then locking in the figure 8 for the W. After the match, Liv ripped the headset off Corey Graves head and said ‘Charlotte was right, but when im back, im going to be real’. At least I think thats what she said, she said it in such a angry and passionate way, it took me by surprise a bit.
Fantastic to see these 2 on TV once again, especially Liv Morgan as i’m pretty sure she hasn’t been seen since the Womens Battle Royale at Wrestlemania. She didn’t look weak against the better wrestler and certainly impressed me with her somewhat gritty words afterwards. As for Charlotte, I said yesterday in the RAW review that the RAW Womens division just didn’t have any realistic beaters of Becky Lynch, but with Charlotte Flair back in the fold, thats one more top level wrestler ready to face Bayley, but not quite yet please, lets build her up for a couple of months after being away for a few weeks and give her another shot in a couple of months. With Ember Moon, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in their feud at the moment aswell, the Smackdown Womens Division looks oncourse to be pretty strong.
Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville vs Ember Moon & Bayley
Talking about the rest of the women, we get a tag team match to carry on this feud, but Ember Moon needed to pick a partner for this match, she picked quite well with her mystery partner being the Smackdown Womens Champion, Bayley.
A Strong showing from the face team, making quick work of Rose & Deville, Bayley hitting the Bayley-to-Belly onto Sonya and Ember putting away Mandy with the Eclipse.
Bayley was asked after the match who she will face at Summerslam, remember when I said that Charlotte shouldn’t be involved in a title match for a few months? Well that will be the case as, after some umming and arring, Bayley (with the help of the crowd) gave Ember that opportunity to which she obviously accepted.
3 segments in a row with 0 complaints whatsoever, The match saw heels get the beating that they deserve, while the aftermath saw a brand new challenger for the Womens Championship AND its someone that I can realistically see beating Bayley. The Smackdown Womens scene has looked really promising this show and its fantastic to see, like i said earlier, NO COMPLAINTS.
The New Day come down to the ring dripping in all the gold, after Big E and Xavier Woods won the Tag Team Championships on Sunday, while Kofi Kingston retained his WWE Championship.
Daniel Bryan has been teasing a announcement for a couple of days and, despite not being offered the challenge, Big E says that he accepts Daniel Bryans challenge for a rematch for the Tag Team Championships, this brings out Daniel Bryan to tell us what his actually announcement would be.
Bryan and Rowan tease walking off, but Daniel grabbed a microphone but couldn’t get his words out, looking physically and mentally damaged that he wasn’t able to get the Tag Team Divison to where he wanted it. After walking back and forth to the back and the ramp, He just drops his microphone and finally just walks off to the back.
Out came a man who would have no trouble getting his words out, as Samoa Joe comes out to say that 2 thirds of the New Day are happy to give out Championship shots, so why doesn’t Kofi give him another shot at the WWE title. Elias and Randy Orton come out to stake their claim on why they deserve a WWE Championship (Well, Randy said hes just going to take it, thats not how its going to work pal, you’ve been here long enough)
It smelled like a 6 man tag match was coming and ofcourse, it was turned into just that. Randy Orton didn’t want anything to do with it though and goes to walk off, only for Kingston to claim that, depsite being called the Viper, it seems like hes gone a little limp. Orton changes his mind and clearly wants to show Kofi how stiff he can work (I am so sorry)
New Day vs Randy Orton, Elias & Samoa Joe
There wasn’t much to say for this match, but the ending was something.
Samoa Joe locked in a Coquina Clutch on the outside to Xavier Woods, with Elias taking out Big E with a…Big Knee…to stop E getting to his New Day Brothe, Elias then jumped into the ring, only for Kofi Kingston to hit him with a trouble in paradise.
Well, you could say out of no where, Randy Orton hits a RKO onto Kofi and PINS THE WWE CHAMPION. So this surely means that its Kingston vs Orton at Summerslam and, I mean, the story is already there from all those years back and I personally don’t mind seeing this if it happens. I said after Extreme Rules that Kofi would 100% be losing the title at Summerslam, but I am not quite sure whether Randy will be the man to take the Championship off of him, time will tell
Only qualm I have with all this is your Top Champion being pinned on free TV, it should never happen.
The only 24/7 segment of the night saw R-Truth hiding in something which I couldn’t quite work out, Carmella got him out and that was it. No other Wrestlers in sight, no chasing.
WWE Womens Tag Team Championship Match - Iconics (c) vs Kabuki Warriors
Right, I am sure the ending will get some hate online, but I thought it was perfect in this situation.
Billy Kay got taken out on the outside, so Peyton Royce decided to go check on her, They realised that the Referee was on the count of 8 and, like fully fledged heels, took the count out loss to retain their Championships. After the match, Kabuki Warriors completely destroyed the Iconics.
NOW, It would’ve made absolute no sense to have either of these teams win clean here, absolutely none, as the storyline has been none existent. This finish makes the Iconics look like the despicable heels that they are while also getting the fans behind Asuka and Kairi Sane afterwards. This will lead to another match where hopefully the Kabuki Warriors come out as the Champions.
Andrade vs Apollo Crews
Another match that was made due to the opening segment and this was a low point of the show.
A short match which saw Apollo Crews pick up a roll up victory on Andrade. Yes, Apollo Crews is decent in the ring, but come on. This was pulled off much better last night when it was Drew McIntyre and Cedric Alexander.
Kevin Owens vs Dolph Ziggler
A rematch from Extreme Rules after Kevin Owens beat Dolph Ziggler in 17 SECONDS, safe to say that this match lasted a bit longer than that.
Shane McMahon came out with what seemed like all the heels which have appeared on the show tonight (Plus AOP, welcome back boys?) and that proved the difference as KO hit a stunner onto Dolph, only for Shane to drag him out of the ring during the pin. Owens hit a 2nd stunner of the night onto McMahon before pegging it away from all the heels and throwing the match out. Shane McMahon proclaiming that KO will pay for all this.
Unsure on this, Why didn’t the people that were in favour of KO in the previous weeks not come out and help Owens? strange stuff, especially as it made Kevin run away from a beating, do you think the inventor of the stunner would run, even if theres 10 men around him? Some little tweaks here and there needed for this in my opinon.
Smackdown Live Rating - *** 1/2
A very decent episode of Smackdown tonight, with the spotlight being heavily shone onto the Womens division and they delivered with story lines and matches tonight in my opinion. Some tweaks still needed in some of the other storylines but Smackdown certainly looks more stable than RAW if we compare the 2 brands.