Smackdown – April 30, 2019

Date: April 30, 2019
Location: Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

Things are starting to come back together around here as we have the first challenger to Kofi Kingston’s Smackdown World Title. Last week Kevin Owens turned on Kingston in a not very surprising yet still well done moment. The match will likely be announced tonight, as will the Money in the Bank participants. Let’s get to it.

Michael Cole brings Kofi Kingston to the ring to start things off. We look at Kofi’s performance in the Elimination Chamber and the second gauntlet match. Kofi talks about how none of this happens without Big E. and Xavier Woods because they proved that the impossible is possible. Cole calls the win over Daniel Bryan maybe the greatest Wrestlemania moment ever (uh, hang on a second now) and we see a clip of the title win.

Kofi calls it the greatest moment of his life, next to the birth of his children and his wedding day. With that comes people gunning for him though, which leads us to a clip of Kevin Owens attacking him last week. Kofi agrees that he probably should have seen this coming but the New Day believes in letting people change if they want to. At the end of the day though, Kevin Owens is going to be Kevin Owens.

If Owens wanted a title shot, all he had to do is ask. Last week, Kevin said he was coming for the title so let him come, say at Money in the Bank. This brings out Owens, who says challenge accepted. Owens talks about how the moment from Wrestlemania is fleeting and everyone knows Kofi isn’t championship material. Cue Woods to jump Owens from behind but Owens superkicks him down, leaving Kofi to chase him off.

Post break, Kofi talks to Woods, saying that Woods has a family to think about and can’t get hurt like this. Kofi appreciates everything but he has this.

Becky Lynch vs. Bayley

Non-title, though Bayley is now in Money in the Bank. Feeling out process to start and an exchange of knockdowns takes us to a break. Back with Bayley blocking the jumping kick to the head and hitting a running knee to the head for two. That’s shrugged off though as Bayley runs into an elbow and walks into a missile dropkick to give Becky two of her own. A double clothesline knocks them both down again but it’s Bayley up with a belly to back suplex. The top rope elbow hits knees though and Becky Disarms-Her for the tap at 8:30.

Rating: C-. Why yes, it is dumb to put Bayley into a prominent role at Money in the Bank and then have her lose clean to the champion that she is looking to challenge later on here. This could have been any woman on the roster or just some jobber, but instead we get Bayley losing because WWE wants to talk about building momentum in matches between Money in the Bank participants but here it means nothing.

Post match Charlotte runs in to kick Becky in the face and send her into the post. Phillips: “At Money in the Bank, Becky Lynch must do the impossible.” What’s impossible about it? Winning twice in one night? AJ Styles did it last week. Choose your words better there people.

Aleister Black talks about people trying to conquer their fear against him, until the referee counts 1-2-3 in his favor. Looking into the abyss behind his eyes unveils a truth about themselves, which allows them to fade to Black.

Here are the Hardys, including the injured Jeff, to address the future of the Tag Team Titles. Jeff is asked what happened and says it’s easier to show us. We see a clip of Lars Sullivan attacking him, which is going to put him on the shelf for a long time. Therefore, the titles are officially vacated. Cue Lars Sullivan to take out both Hardys so here’s R-Truth to hit Lars in the back with a chair. That has no effect and Lars punches the chair out of Truth’s hands, setting up a Freak Accident and running powerbomb.

Side note: THANK YOU WWE for putting the heat for the injury on Sullivan instead of saying it was some mistake that was no one’s fault. For whatever reason they almost never want to put the injury on someone else and let them get something out of it when it’s handed to them on a silver platter. Thank you for finally taking the story that is presented to you with no effort.

Here are the four Smackdown men’s Money in the Bank participants. That would be Ali, Finn Balor, Andrade and Randy Orton. No in-ring segment, no matches made as a result and no wastes of time. They just put each one up on a graphic and it took about a minute.

Ok so there’s a tag match later tonight but at least they didn’t badly transition into it.

Kairi Sane/Asuka vs. ???/???

The IIconics are on commentary and Paige is here with Sane and Asuka. Sane dragon screw legwhips the taller jobber down and it’s time for some alternating kicks. The other jobber comes in and gets German suplexed, setting up the big kick to the head. Everything breaks down and it’s a Codebreaker into a running Blockbuster onto the tall one. A reverse DDT sets up the Insane elbow to give Sane the pin at 2:09.

Mandy Rose tells Sonya Deville that one of them can be in the Money in the Bank match. They both agree that the other should be in and hug.

Here’s Roman Reigns for a chat. He talks about how you only get one shot at a first impression so he knocked out Mr. McMahon on his first night here. It could have been anyone though because he wanted to show that he is still the Big Dog. This brings out Shane McMahon, because he needs to be in TWO big stories at once. Roman may be the Big Dog, but the McMahon Family owns the land. Roman: “No. Your daddy owns the land.”

The last time Vince was in the ring, he was on his back and Reigns was on his feet. Shane says last week it was Reigns laying on his back after Elias knocked him out. Reigns invites him to come try to make that happen again but Shane needs to go to the University of Michigan and work with a real team to get in shape for his match at Money in the Bank. There are a bunch of people who want to face Reigns though and here are two of them. This brings out the B Team for a handicap match, which Reigns dubs “how original”. We’ll even throw in a guest referee in the form of Elias.

Roman Reigns vs. B Team

Elias is on the floor. Reigns powers out of Dallas’ headlock but gets punched into the corner by Axel. Reigns fights out of the corner without much effort though and gets two off the Samoan drop. A quick Elias distraction lets Axel get in a clothesline though and we take a quick break.

Back with Reigns fighting out of a chinlock and hitting a clothesline on Dallas. Everything breaks down and a Samoan drop/DDT combination plants the B Team. The Superman Punch hits Axel for two with Elias pulling the regular referee out at two. Elias takes over as referee and the PerfectPlex gives Axel two of his own. The guitar is brought in but it’s a Superman Punch to Elias and a spear finishes Axel at 10:47.

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t exactly the most surprising result and that’s not the best way in the world to go when Elias isn’t going to be bought as a serious threat to Reigns at Money in the Bank anyway. Reigns overcoming the odds is fine, but if the odds don’t make him an underdog in the first place, what is he overcoming?

We get last night’s Firefly Fun House, which was even more disturbing than the first one.

Andrade/Randy Orton vs. Finn Balor/Ali

On their way to the ring, Andrade and Zelina Vega promise to make everyone respect Andrade at Money in the Bank. It’s a brawl to start with the villains being sent outside as we take a break less than thirty seconds in. Back with Ali hitting a dropkick on Orton and a double tag bringing in Balor and Andrade.

A kick to the head knocks Andrade off the top and out to the floor, setting up dives from Balor and Ali for a good visual. Back in and Ali pulls Balor off the top, setting up the running knees in the corner for two. The hammerlock DDT is countered and Ali tags himself in. The Sling Blade sets up Ali’s 450 for the pin on Andrade at 7:06.

Rating: C-. This had some entertaining moments but did they need to have Andrade lose the fall here? You have one of the biggest stars of the era who can lose every match for the rest of his career and still be a legend, but for some reason they have Andrade lose here instead. I’m sure it doesn’t matter though, or at least what WWE tells us.

Post match Orton hits an RKO on Balor but Ali makes the save.

The final two women in the Money in the Bank match are Ember Moon and Carmella. Ember is happy to have her chance but Carmella comes in to say it’s her briefcase.

The graphic confirms that Mandy gets the nod instead of Sonya.

It’s time for the Kevin Owens Show, but there is now no set with just a pair of chairs. Owens points out the lack of a set but it’s ok because he is the show. At Money in the Bank, he will take away the burden of being WWE Champion from Kofi Kingston because it belongs to him. That brings us to his guest, but there is no Xavier Woods.

Owens expected this to be the case, so he brings out a Xavier action figure. It was part of a pack though so there is also a Big E. figure, complete with a cast around his leg. Owens puts them in the chair and then kicks it over. He knows what is in their mind and heart….but here’s Kofi for the brawl. Kingston throws him over the announcers’ table but gets raked in the eyes, allowing Owens to bail to end the show. Good final segment with Kofi bringing out the fire again.

Overall Rating: C-. I know the rating isn’t that far from that of last night’s show but my goodness this show is so much easier to watch. The lack of an extra hour really is the big difference as it didn’t feel like anything was stretching out to fill in the time. The wrestling wasn’t great but the Kofi vs. Owens story is better than it was before, meaning I want to see the title match more than I did before. Throw in the MITB participants being announced in about five minutes combined with a single seven minute match instead of two sitdown segments and a pair of matches and it’s easy to see why this was so much easier.


Becky Lynch b. Bayley – Disarm-Her

Asuka/Kairi Sane b. ???/??? – Insane elbow

Roman Reigns b. B Team – Spear to Axel

Ali/Finn Balor b. Randy Orton/Andrade – 450 to Andrade

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