Smackdown – June 25, 2019

Date: June 25, 2019
Location: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips

Since the schedule is so packed together these days, this is the fallout for Stomping Grounds, the followup show from last night and one of the setup shows for Extreme Rules all at once. Kofi Kingston retained the WWE Title over Dolph Ziggler on Sunday but now has to deal with Samoa Joe. Other than that, we could be in for some more matches being set up for the next pay per view. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Undertaker saving Roman Reigns from Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre last night. The tag match is already set for Extreme Rules.

Shane says Reigns finally gave into fear last night and asked the Dead Man for help against his greatest foes. Therefore, Reigns is a dead man himself at Extreme Rules. Shane is ticked off tonight so don’t get on his bad side. This was the most obviously scripted speech as I’ve seen from WWE in at least a week.

Kingston vs. Samoa Joe is confirmed for Extreme Rules.

Here’s New Day for a chat. Kingston talks about the path he has had to travel to get here and everything he has had to do. This includes an actual leap of faith against Dolph Ziggler on Sunday, but the next night it was Samoa Joe attacking him. Kofi talks about the Koquina Clutch being a devastating hold because Samoa Joe is like a shark. At Extreme Rules, Joe thinks he’s found his prey but that isn’t happening.

Cue Dolph Ziggler to say that he isn’t doing the work while someone else gets the credit. Kofi: “How many times do I have to beat you?” Ziggler talks about how this is his life and career as Big E. stops to have a snack. Dolph should be champion because Kofi took the coward’s way out of the cage on Sunday. They’re facing each other again tonight and if Ziggler wins, he’s added to the title match at Extreme Rules. Tonight, it’s 2/3 falls.

Daniel Bryan and Rowan are walking to the ring. Bray Wyatt’s pig can be seen in the background.

Elias is guarding Shane’s office and tells Miz to not go in. Miz doesn’t listen so Elias stops him and plays some guitar. Miz tells him to stop or it’s going to be sent upside the dark side of his moon. He wants to finish things with Shane because the entire WWE Universe is sick of it. True, but not in the way that he means. Miz leaves and Shane comes out to compliment the music. Tonight, it’s Miz vs. Shane….if Miz can beat Elias, 2/3 falls. How forced can they make this concept?

New Day vs. Daniel Bryan/Rowan

Non-title. Bryan shoulders Woods down to start and Rowan does the same, albeit much harder. Stomping in the corner sets up a top rope knee to the back of the neck and it’s a running crossbody to run Woods over. We take a break but since we can see the match in the split screen, it doesn’t count as wrestling during the break.

Back with Woods making the tag to Big E. so suplexes can abound. The Warrior splash hits knees though and the LeBell Lock goes on. Woods breaks it up before too much damage can be done and then dropkicks Rowan into the barricade for a bonus. The Rock Bottom out of the corner sets up the Midnight Hour for the pin on Bryan at 9:28.

Rating: C. You can probably book the triple threat title match for Extreme Rules and that could be a heck of a match if done right. Therefore, I don’t expect them to do it right because this division is one of the least important in all of WWE. Yet somehow Bryan is stuck in it, which is quite the shame. I get why he seems to be, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Post match Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn run in for the beatdown but Heavy Machinery makes the save.

New Day/Heavy Machinery vs. Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn/Daniel Bryan/Rowan

Just like last night, they have so many people who can’t get on TV and how many people are working twice? Tucker gets triple teamed to start and Rowan hits a good superplex for two with New Day making the save. Everything breaks down and Bryan hits the running knee on Big E. The Iron Claw plants Woods but Tucker finally runs Bryan over and makes the tag to Otis. A spinning slam to Sami sets up a running splash in the corner. The Caterpillar connects as Owens walks out, leaving Sami to take the Compactor for the pin at 4:39.

Rating: D+. Well that happened. I have no idea why we needed to see the bonus part of this match. Yeah there’s the international tour, but this is the best they can do? Instead of putting some fresh talent on the show to just get them a chance? A pair of 2/3 falls match and another match that takes place after the first just because?

We recap Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross having issues. If Nikki can beat Bayley tonight, Bliss gets a rematch at Extreme Rules. Bliss wants Nikki to do whatever it takes to win.

Video on Ali, who wants to be the light for those lost in the night. In other words, an inspiration to those on the streets. If nothing else, these vignettes are unique, which is always the case for Ali’s stuff.

Elias vs. The Miz

2/3 falls with Shane in Elias’ corner. After Elias sings a quick jab against the Portland Trail Blazers, we’re ready to go. Miz clotheslines him to the floor but Shane offers a distraction, allowing Elias to knee Miz out of the air. Drift Away is good for the first fall at 57 seconds. Back from a break with the second fall beginning and Elias unloading in the corner. The chinlock goes on until Miz fights up and makes the comeback, including a DDT for two. Elias’ rollup gets two more but Miz has to go after Shane.

An electric chair doesn’t work for Elias and the Skull Crushing Finale connects, only to have Shane come in for the DQ at 10:25. Before the third fall starts, Shane and Elias destroy Miz even further, even throwing him over the announcers’ table. A whip into the barricade keeps Miz down and they throw him back inside for a spear from Shane. The bell rings and the top rope elbow gives Elias the pin at 11:23.

Rating: D. Thank goodness for that. I was almost starting to forget how awesome Shane was for a few minutes there. Miz’s stock has fallen through the floor since this Shane feud started (back in November) and I have no idea why he needs to be the personal punching bag. Then again if you try to use logic on this stuff at the moment, your head is going to hurt quite a bit so we’ll move on.

Post match Shane hits Coast to Coast because WWE doesn’t know what special moves are anymore.

Finn Balor is proud of his win over Andrade when Shinsuke Nakamura comes up to stare at the Intercontinental Title. Balor smiles.

Miz is still getting out of the ring and….now he’s out of the ring.

Nikki Cross vs. Bayley

Non-title. If Nikki wins, Alexa Bliss gets a rematch against Bayley at Extreme Rules. Nikki goes right after her to start but gets sent into the corner for her efforts. A high crossbody gives Nikki two but Bayley ties her in the Tree of Woe for the springboard elbow. Back from a break with Bayley in trouble, including a missed dive to make it even worse. Nikki gets two off a neckbreaker but Bayley gets the same off a small package. An Oklahoma roll is countered into a cradle to give Nikki the pin at 6:58.

Rating: D. Not only was the match sloppy, but the champ loses again to set up another match with Bliss. Nikki and Bliss’ story is interesting and could go somewhere, but it’s another match we just saw at Stomping Grounds. Why not put Nikki in there for something fresh? Ok to be fair given how bad this match was that’s not a good idea, but it sounds more interesting on paper.

Carmella is looking for R-Truth but runs into Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. That goes nowhere so the two of them leave and Truth crawls out from behind some hockey boards. Drake Maverick comes up but he doesn’t have a referee. He apologizes for stealing the title but Truth has ruined his life. The wedding was supposed to be the best day of his life and he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his mother in law’s money but Truth came and stole the title.

Truth hugs him, calls him Hornswoggle, and tells him to find a referee. Truth: “Psyche! I love this title more than you love your wife!” Truth says arrivederci and leaves, with the mob chasing after him and running Maverick over. Maverick puts his head in his hands and looks near tears.

Sonya Deville vs. Ember Moon

Fallout from Deville and Rose tormenting Moon over the last few weeks. Deville takes her down to start but Ember is right back with the quick kicks. Mandy offers a distraction though and Sonya rams Ember into the post for the pin at 1:20.

Aleister Black is frustrated that no one will fight him. This is WWE with the highest form of competition in the world and he can’t believe no one is man enough to pick a fight. The lights go out and someone knocks at the door. Black looks stunned but smiles without opening the door.

Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler

Non-title, 2/3 falls and if Ziggler wins he is added to the title match at Extreme Rules. Ziggler starts fast with the dropkick and grabs a chinlock with a bodyscissors. Kofi gets up and hits his own dropkick, followed by a pinfall reversal sequence for some near falls each. A sunset flip gives Kofi the first fall at 3:37 so Ziggler throws him outside. Kofi gets sent into the barricade and a Zig Zag on the floor takes us to a break.

Back with the second fall beginning and Kofi eating a superkick to tie it up at 8:19, which is the first time Kingston has been pinned since winning the title. Ziggler sends him hard into the corner and it’s back to the chinlock. That’s broken up and Ziggler goes charging chest first into the buckle. Kofi can’t follow up though and it’s the Shot to the Heart for two. Kofi’s high crossbody is rolled through for two and a DDT gives Ziggler the same.

Back up and Kofi gets in a shot but Ziggler rolls away from the Boom Drop. Instead it’s the top rope forearm to the head for two and the Fameasser is countered into a sitout powerbomb. Trouble in Paradise misses though and Kofi gets set into the post, setting up the Zig Zag for two more. The superkick misses though and now Trouble in Paradise can finish Ziggler at 17:16.

Rating: C+. Ok, so Ziggler is done now right? That’s four times that Kofi has beaten him, though the first two weren’t enough to get rid of Ziggler in the first place. There was no reason for this match to happen (and even less of a reason for it to be 2/3 falls) but at least Kofi won and the title match that was already set up gets to happen.

Overall Rating: D. I can appreciate the idea of the show being really, really wrestling oriented but the way they’re going about it is a mess. The multiple 2/3 falls matches, the tag match turning into a bigger tag match and restarting last night’s main event have turned the last two shows into some of the most convoluted things I can remember in a long time.

Now, we know why this is taking place. That’s all well and good, but how strange does this show seem to someone who doesn’t know that stuff? All of a sudden this show REALLY likes gimmick matches and is moving everything around like its star got pregnant and we can’t see her stomach. It’s an idea that can work, but get the execution down a lot better.

As for the show itself….no. We spent most of the night either setting up rematches for Extreme Rules or confirming a match that has already been set. The wrestling felt rushed a lot of the time, though some of that was for the sake of getting a match done before the dreaded commercial break. Maybe it’s the roster being split up by the international tour but egads the feel like they’re holding this show together with paper clips and crossed fingers. It’s not as bad as some of the recent Raws but this felt like they were spiraling out of control and hanging on by fingertips.


New Day b. Daniel Bryan/Rowan – Midnight Hour to Bryan

New Day/Heavy Machinery b. Daniel Bryan/Rowan/Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn – Compactor to Zayn

Elias b. The Miz – Top rope elbow

Nikki Cross b. Bayley – Cradle

Sonya Deville b. Ember Moon – Ram into the post

Kofi Kingston b. Dolph Ziggler – Trouble in Paradise

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