Smackdown – April 16, 2019

Date: April 16, 2019
Location: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton

It’s the second night of the Superstar Shakeup and that means it’s time to find out who is coming over to the blue brand, either from Raw, 205 Live or NXT. One of the more interesting things is how people who were on the show last night could pop up here, meaning things might not be as one sided as they seem. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of most of the moves to Raw from last night.

Here’s Kevin Owens to open things up with the Kevin Owens Show. He speaks French and says something about Wrestlemania, which has the fans rather pleased. Now to English, tonight is the second night of the Superstar Shakeup so let’s bring out his guests: the New Day. Kevin talks about how cool it was for Kofi to win the title and gives him a standing ovation with the crowd following suit.

Kofi thanks Kevin and then switches to the fans in French. Kevin sits back down and brings up Big E.’s meniscus tear, sending Xavier over the edge because Raw took like half of the UpUpDownDown roster. Xavier: “IF I DON’T SEE TYLER BREEZE ON SMACKDOWN TONIGHT I’M GOING TO LOSE IT!!!” Things calm down and Kevin brings up their tag match against Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev.

They’re used to being a trio and with Big E. down, Big O. should step in. Kofi: “Are you willing to wear a crop top?” Kevin: “We can talk about it!” Owens is willing to talk about cereal and pancakes, but he’s already ready to thrust his groin and swivel his hips. Kofi and Xavier are impressed and the fans agree, so Kevin puts on Kofi’s rather small shirt. Owens kneels and is given his own unicorn horn.

As the dancing ensues, Cesaro comes up to offer his services to Nakamura and Rusev.

Finn Balor vs. Ali

Balor is fresh on the show and the Intercontinental Title isn’t on the line. Ali wastes no time with a dropkick and a quickly broken headlock. An elbow to the chest has Ali in trouble and we hit the armbar. Back up and Ali sends him to the floor for a suicide dive and we take a quick break.

We come back with Balor chopping away in the corner and nailing the Sling Blade. Ali cuts him off with a superkick for two but the spinning DDT is countered. The Coup de Grace is broken up with a dropkick and a super hurricanrana gives Ali two more. The 450 misses though and Balor shotgun dropkicks him into the corner. Now the Coup de Grace can finish Ali at 10:16.

Rating: C. Watchable enough match with Balor getting a win to establish himself on Smackdown, which only makes last night’s loss to Andrade all the more meaningless. That puts the Intercontinental Champion at 1-1 this week, which in WWE’s mind is perfectly acceptable. Ali takes another loss, but at least he was competitive again.

New Day initiates Owens onto the team by having him break Big E’s pancake eating time.

Buzzard puppet vignette.

Owens beats Big E.’s record.

Carmella vs. Charlotte

Charlotte shoves her down to start and shouts about hating Canada. A kick to the ribs sends Charlotte outside and it’s time for some gyrating. Back in and Carmella hits a quick Bronco Buster but gets sent to the apron for a big boot. We take a break and come back with Carmella in more trouble, including a dragon screw legwhip across the middle rope. Charlotte follows her out and shrugs off a superkick, setting up the chop block back inside. The Figure Eight makes Carmella tap at 7:30.

Rating: D+. This was pretty much a squash for Charlotte and there’s nothing wrong with that to get her back on track. I’m not sure what she’s going to do at the moment though as Charlotte vs. Becky has been done time after time and other than Asuka, no one on Smackdown is on Charlotte’s level. Charlotte vs. Asuka is fine, but would it just be a #1 contenders feud?

Post match R-Truth checks on Carmella, but here’s Lars Sullivan to lay him out. The Lie Detector barely staggers Sullivan and it’s a Freak Accident to plant Truth. A running Liger Bomb makes it even worse. So Sullivan is on Smackdown this week. Got it.

Here’s Becky Lynch for a chat, though first we see a clip of the Wrestlemania main event. Becky talks about how she saw everyone coming to Raw last night but here she can face anyone on any brand….and here’s Ember Moon. Ember wants a shot at the best but here’s Bayley to interrupt. She and Sasha Banks lost the Women’s Tag Team Titles but she wants the Smackdown Women’s Title.

This brings out the IIconics to say their titles are iconic, but here’s Paige to interrupt. She’s here to represent a new team, which brings out Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville to interrupt. Paige cuts them off to say not so fast. That would actually be Asuka and Kairi Sane, who are sent to the ring for a big brawl with Becky just stepping back and letting them fight. I’d have bet on the Sky Pirates but Shirai hasn’t been in NXT very long yet.

Ember Moon/Bayley/Asuka/Kairi Sane vs. IIconics/Sonya Deville/Mandy Rose

Joined in progress with Ember cleaning house before handing it off to Bayley for the elbow drops. The middle rope elbow to the face gets two on Sonya and it’s Asuka coming in for a kick to Sonya’s face. Mandy comes in and gets a hip attack before it’s off to Kairi for the first time on the main roster. Kairi and Asuka hit some rapid fire kicks to the face, setting up a suicide dive from Bayley onto Mandy and Sonya. Ember dives off the top onto all four villains and we take a break.

Back with Bayley being driven into the corner for a boot choke from Royce. Bayley shoves her over the top but Ember gets knocked off the apron before the tag. Of course the tag goes through to Asuka a few seconds later, meaning it’s time for a hip attack. Mandy knees Asuka in the head and we hit the parade of secondary finishers. Peyton slaps Kairi but walks into a reverse DDT from Asuka. The Insane Elbow finishes Peyton at 8:15.

Rating: C. Perfectly watchable showcase for all of the new women on the show, with Sane wisely getting the pin. It’s not as wise to have ANOTHER CHAMPION LOSE but this should set up Asuka/Sane as the new #1 contenders. Or it’s going to be ignored as tends to be the case with so many champions losing.

We recap stars moving to the show. Sullivan is official.

We look back at Sullivan attacking various people over the last few weeks.

Buddy Murphy is coming to Smackdown. Well done.

Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods/Kevin Owens vs. Rusev/Shinsuke Nakamura/Cesaro

Woods takes over on Rusev to start and it’s off to Kofi for a quick two. Nakamura comes in for Good Vibrations but gets pulled into the corner for the Unicorn Stampede with Owens getting in on the fun. The Cannonball gets two on Nakamura but he’s right back with a kick to Woods’ face. That’s enough for the tag off to Cesaro and Woods is brought outside for a drop onto the barricade.

We take a break and come back with Woods still in trouble, including a sliding German suplex for two. Even Lana gets in a slap and Nakamura kicks Woods in the head to keep him on top. Woods knocks him down though and it’s a missile dropkick to set up the hot tag to Kofi.

The Boom Drop hits Cesaro, who catches a high crossbody. That’s fine with Kofi, who gets two off the SOS but gets caught in the Swing. The Sharpshooter goes on with Kevin making the save off a superkick. Nakamura kicks him down but gets tornado DDT’d for his efforts. Kofi slides over for the tag to Owens, who launches Kofi over the top for a crash. That leaves Rusev to take Trouble in Paradise into the Stunner for the pin at 15:22.

Rating: C+. Nice tag match here with Owens thankfully not turning on New Day so soon. There’s no reason to have him end the angle so fast, though you can almost guarantee him getting a title shot at some point. This is as good as anything else they can do, at least until there’s a new big bad on Smackdown.

Here’s Vince McMahon to introduce the biggest acquisition in Smackdown history. He rarely endorses someone but this guy has so much charisma that he’s going to be the biggest star on Smackdown. That would be….Elias (Graves: “I QUIT!”), who likes Smackdown but doesn’t like Montreal. He starts up the guitar and here’s Roman Reigns for the real big move to take Elias out. Vince yells so it’s a Superman Punch for him as well. Reigns declares Smackdown his yard now and hits a spear on Elias to end the show. That’s a good move as Reigns could use a change of scenery. It’s also going to help Seth Rollins a lot.

Overall Rating: C+. I’m not sure what to think of this one as it certainly didn’t have the same impact as last night’s show. The problem here is that outside of Reigns, this didn’t feel like any major names came over. We did get a lot of people moving and that’s a good thing, but I’m not sure how many of them are going to have that big of an impact at the moment. Kingston should have some challengers soon (you know Reigns is getting the title before the year is out) and I like some of the moves. While Raw had a quick impact, this is more of a wait and see version and that’s ok. Nice show, but not a blow away Shakeup.


Finn Balor b. Ali – Coup de Grace

Charlotte b. Carmella – Figure Eight

Ember Moon/Bayley/Asuka/Kairi Sane b. IIconics/Sonya Deville/Mandy Rose – Insane Elbow to Royce

Xavier Woods/Kofi Kingston/Kevin Owens b. Cesaro/Shinsuke Nakamura/Rusev – Stunner to Rusev

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