Smackdown – July 9, 2019

Smackdown
Date: July 9, 2019
Location: SNHU Arena, Manchester, New Hampshire
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips

It’s the go home show for Extreme Rules and after last night’s long list of changes, you have to think that the card is mostly set for a change. Tonight is likely going to focus on Shane McMahon, with Roman Reigns possibly even gracing us with his presence for a change. We’re still waiting on the Eric Bischoff regime to start though, meaning this might not be the strongest show. Let’s get to it.

Earlier today, Dolph Ziggler arrived and complained about carrying Kevin Owens when Owens showed up in his car and honked at him. They yelled at each other and got in a fight but some well placed wrestlers ran in and broke it up. Shane came in and told Owens to get out of here. Better than fifteen minutes of talking, though it would be better if Ziggler was arrested by the cops in the background for impersonating an entertainer.

In the back, Shane said he was doing his job and will replace the originally scheduled Ziggler vs. Owens main event.

Owens runs into the arena and rants about how Shane needs to hear the truth. He’s tried to be a good company guy for a long time now but a few months ago, the whole McMahon Family was out here saying they were going to listen to the fans. But now Shane gets more TV time than anyone else and NO ONE HAS EVER WANTED THAT!

It makes him sick, to the point where he wants to smash his head on the table, which he climbs onto. Shane comes out and says cut Owens’ mic. Owens finds another mic and rants about Shane calling himself the Best in the World being an insult to everyone in the back. Shane has that mic cut as well so Owens grabs a commentary headset and keeps going. Security finally chases him off.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Finn Balor

Non-title. On the way to the ring, Nakamura says that he’s getting his career back on track. Balor says that Nakamura won’t be using him to do that. Nakamura knocks him into the corner and we take a rather early break. Back with Balor getting kneed in the ribs but managing to send Nakamura into the corner. A Nightmare on Helm Street gets two but Nakamura is right back with a sliding German suplex. Kinshasa is countered with a Sling Blade so Nakamura hits the running knee in the corner.

The middle rope knee to the head sends Balor outside and a posting makes it even worse. They both beat the count back in but Nakamura sends him back outside for Kinshasa, where Balor beats the count again. We’re not done yet as Nakamura throws him outside for a third time, this time for a whip into the steps. Balor beats it AGAIN, so this time it’s Kinshasa for the pin at 9:12.

Rating: D+. So they had a wide open chance to have Nakamura knock Balor silly on the floor for a countout but nah, let’s just have Nakamura pin him instead. I was even getting my hopes up as they could have set up some kind of gimmick rematch on Sunday, but instead we get this. I’m sure we’ll get the rematch on Sunday, though Balor will be lessened a bit because that’s what the Intercontinental Title does.

Shane, Drew McIntyre and Elias are ready for Sunday’s tag match when Ziggler comes in and wants to fight. Instead of Owens, he’ll face Roman Reigns in the main event.

Video on Kofi Kingston’s title win and reign. Then Samoa Joe choked him out to set up their match on Sunday.

Joe says Kofi can deny the truth all he wants but that changes nothing. Kofi is everything Joe said he was and now Joe is coming for everyone Kofi has used to get where he is today. On Sunday, Joe is taking the title. Joe’s delivery alone has made this 49x better than Ziggler.

It’s time for a contract signing for the Women’s Title match on Sunday. Nikki Cross represents herself and Alexa Bliss and here’s Bayley as well. After looking at a clip of Bayley attacking Nikki last night, Bayley wonders where Alexa is again. Nikki says last night was the real Bayley, which Bayley attributes to Bliss being in her head. Bayley promises to bring whatever she has to on Sunday to beat both of them. Then what happens when Bliss loses and blames Nikki? That sends Nikki over the edge and she promises to win the title so they can be co-champions. She wants Bayley to stick around for the next match too.

Nikki Cross vs. Carmella

Bayley is at ringside as Nikki takes Carmella down to start. A faceplant and some rams of the head into the mat have Carmella in trouble. Nikki gets two off a snap suplex and it’s off to something like a Rings of Saturn. It’s off to a regular chinlock for a bit until Carmella gets up and avoids a charge. The Bronco Buster keeps Nikki down but she’s right back up with the Purge to finish Carmella at 3:42.

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t great but the storyline was fine with Nikki being serious and showing what she can do when she’s serious. Now that doesn’t help the fact that Bayley beat her clean last week but I’ll take what I can get. They’ve got something interesting with everyone playing mind games with each other and it could make for an interesting twist.

We look back at the Kabuki Warriors defeating the IIconics in Tokyo to earn a future title shot.

The IIconics run into Paige and the Warriors, who wan their title shot tonight. That’s not happening because Billie is sick though with mad cow bird flu (Peyton: “It’s really rare.”). Paige calls them annoying clowns and slaps Billie, before reminding her that she’s sick. The title match is coming.

We look back at the end of last night’s show with Cedric Alexander dressing up like a janitor to shock Drew and Shane, only to lose in the end and be unmasked, rendering the whole thing rather pointless.

Roman Reigns promises to make Shane and Drew rest in peace.

It’s time for a Tag Team Summit with New Day (whose music came on for half a second before Big E.’s intro), Rowan and Daniel Bryan and Heavy Machinery. New Day is out first and Big E. is excited about the idea of all three members of New Day being able to touch their championship tips together. Bryan and Rowan cut off the hip swivel though with Bryan saying no one takes the titles seriously because New Day doesn’t take them seriously.

Woods wants to hear from Rowan though, because Rowan is always taking orders from someone. It might be Bray, Harper or Bryan and they’re having trouble remembering who his daddy is. Bryan cuts that off and says New Day isn’t serious enough and they have always been a comedy act. It wouldn’t be as bad as if Heavy Machinery won, so here’s Heavy Machinery. Tucker talks about getting close to the titles at Stomping Grounds and now they’ve earned another title shot. Otis mocks New Day’s swiveling as the Chris Farley is strong with this one. Now it’s time for a triple threat.

Otis vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Xavier Woods

Bryan bails to the floor to start so Woods grabs a headlock. That’s reversed with a toss around the ring so here’s Bryan again for an attempt at a double suplex on Otis. He delayed vertical suplexes both of them at the same time (geez), leaving the other three to get in a brawl on the floor. Big E. and Tucker put Rowan over the announcers’ table and get thrown out.

Back from a break with Woods throwing Bryan into the barricade, only to have Bryan grab the LeBell Lock inside. Otis dives in for the save so Bryan kicks at him a bit. The big one is reversed into a suplex and there’s the Caterpillar, with Bryan rolling to the apron. That leaves Woods to take a World’s Strongest Slam for the pin at 8:48.

Rating: C-. The break in the middle was a little better and didn’t feel as forced so it wasn’t as bad as last night. Otis winning was the right call as it adds a little big more intrigue to Sunday’s match. I still don’t see Heavy Machinery winning the titles, but it’s a nice way to make things more interesting.

Video on Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler, which isn’t happening tonight.

We recap the opening segment.

Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville interrupt Ember Moon at catering because this is still going. Ember’s win last week brought the two of them closer together and it’s a tag match for next week, assuming Ember can find a partner. If she can’t, she’ll fight on her own.

Ali isn’t scared of the devil in any form because he’s seen so much evil on the streets of Chicago as a police officer. He’ll ask the devil if he can have this dance and evil only shows up if you won’t fight.

Extreme Rules rundown.

We get a split screen interview between Aleister Black and an empty chair. Black looks a bit confused and then laughs when he is told that the opponent will not be announcing his identity at this time. This is something that Black himself would do so it’s very smart. Black doesn’t care who it is anymore but someone walks up to the chair. Their hand touches the chair and they sit down to reveal…..Cesaro. Black says he’ll fight him on Sunday.

Shelton Benjamin is asked about tonight’s main event, says “well” and leaves.

We’re ready for an interview with Kofi Kingston but Paul Heyman walks by first. Kingston, who didn’t seem to see Heyman, comes in and says last week he kicked Samoa Joe in the head. He likes facing people like Samoa Joe because it makes his title reign more impressive. This Sunday, he’s keeping the title.

Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler

Hang on though because here are Shane, Drew and Elias to watch. Shane is on commentary as Ziggler kicks Reigns down to start and nails a quick Shot to the Heart. Roman fights back up and knocks Ziggler outside for the apron dropkick. A distraction lets McIntyre post Reigns though, which Shane just happened to miss. Back in and Ziggler gets two, followed by another Shot to the Heart for two. A neckbreaker is good for the same and we hit the chinlock.

Another neckbreaker is broken up, as is Ziggler’s running DDT. Reigns starts the comeback but has to Superman Punch Elias, allowing the Zig Zag to hit for two. The superkick is countered with a Superman Punch for two but Elias pulls Ziggler out before the spear. Reigns hits the no hands dive but goes too far and lands face first on the floor. Thankfully he pops up as Shane comes into the ring. Ziggler superkicks Reigns but here’s Owens for a Stunner to Shane. Reigns and Ziggler get back in so the spear can finish Ziggler at 8:48.

Rating: C-. The Owens interference breathed some much needed life into this one but it wasn’t doing well before then. Ziggler and Shane continue to feel like the annoying friends who tag along on everything you do whether you want them there or not. Shane is likely gearing up for a match against Owens at Summerslam and Ziggler….well he’ll be there too, likely saying the same things he always says.

Overall Rating: D+. Owens was by far the best part of this show but so much of tonight felt like watching everything drag across the finish line to Extreme Rules as we FINALLY end this horrible stretch of programming. The build for Summerslam can’t get here soon enough, just because we’ve been watching these same boring stories for weeks now. Owens hopefully will be a breath of fresh air, but I fully expect him to be looking up at the lights at Summerslam as Shane’s music plays. Until that changes, things aren’t going to get much better.

Results

Shinsuke Nakamura b. Finn Balor – Kinshasa

Nikki Cross b. Carmella – Purge

Otis b. Daniel Bryan and Xavier Woods – World’s Strongest Slam to Woods

Roman Reigns b. Dolph Ziggler – Spear

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