Smackdown – July 23, 2019

Smackdown
Date: July 23, 2019
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, David Otunga

Depending on what you thought of last night’s Raw Reunion, this show either has a lot to live up to or a very easy path to being the best show of the week. We’re less than three weeks away from Summerslam and that means we could be in for an eventful night as the card gets filled in. If nothing else, we should be hearing about Kofi Kingston’s opponent, which shouldn’t be hard to figure out. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens over the last few weeks.

New Day is on commentary instead of the advertised Shawn Michaels, who will be on MizTV instead.

Here’s Shane to open things up. He talks about getting to see some old friends last night but he was glad to not see Kevin Owens. Speaking of Owens, he has challenged Shane to a match at Summerslam. Shane accepts, and shows us a clip of Owens quitting on Raw last year in a story that went nowhere. That’s what Shane wants: if Owens loses at Summerslam, he’s gone from WWE.

Cue Owens (Xavier Woods: “I don’t like him but I want to see him beat Shane up!”), to say Shane was smart to find that footage. That was the low point of Owens’ career and he’s a different man today. Owens knew Shane would accept because Shane loves the spotlight. The match is on but Owens isn’t quitting because he’ll beat Shane for good. Owens wants to fight right now but Shane cuts him off and says not until Summerslam. Tonight, Owens can fight Roman Reigns instead.

Post break, Elias and Drew McIntyre are very happy with Shane’s decision but Shane thinks it needs to be more special. That’s why Drew will be the guest referee and Elias will be guest timekeeper. Elias: “I always wear my watch. I got this.” Shane can be guest ring announcer too.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Apollo Crews

Non-title. Crews shoulders him down to start as New Day interrogates Tom about whether or not Crews will get a title shot for winning here. We get a crazy long delayed vertical suplex, with Crews walking around for a bit before finally dropping Nakamura after thirty seconds. Nakamura gets set outside and taken down by a big flip dive as we take a break.

Back with Crews getting kicked in the head and taking the sliding German suplex. Kinshasa is blocked with a kick to the head and an Olympic Slam gives Crews two (I bought that because that’s what would happen to the new champ). Crews gets caught on top though and it’s the running knee to the ribs. Kinshasa is blocked with a pop up face plant but the standing shooting star misses. Now Kinshasa can connect for the pin at 8:13.

Rating: C. This seems to be Crews’ sweet spot: the athletic performances where he impresses but never wins the big one. That’s not a terrible place to be as Crews can do a lot of very impressive things in the ring. At the same time though, what does it say that Nakamura surviving against a jobber to the stars nine days after he wins the Intercontinental Title is a relief?

Post match Nakamura hits another Kinshasa to leave Crews laying as New Day wants someone to come help him.

Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville get a match against the IIconics next week and if they win they might get a title shot.

Ali talks about how he has to change the story around here. He was on track to being a star but then he got injured. Now he needs to restart his story and become WWE Champion. No one is writing his story and it ends with him achieving his goals.

It’s time for MizTV. After a quick plug for Miz and Mrs., here’s a package on Raw Reunion. Back in the arena, Miz introduces his guest tonight: Shawn Michaels. New Day nearly has a fit singing Shawn’s music, with Big E. playing the belt like a guitar. Miz talks about Shawn being on Raw Reunion last night, with Shawn saying he’s been on both sides. He understands what it’s like to be a young guy who wants those ol…..legends to get out but like Steve Austin said, they’re all family.

Shawn talks about inducting Seth Rollins into DX/the Kliq (Miz: “Thanks for the invite.”) and moves on to the Summerslam match with Brock Lesnar, only to have Dolph Ziggler interrupt. Miz wants to punch him in the face again but Ziggler has something to get off his chest. A lot of people used to idolize Shawn but he keeps coming back time after time to wave to the crowd. Ziggler: “It was as embarrassing as Goldberg in a wrestling ring.”

Last November, Shawn broke Ziggler’s heart when he came back to wrestle last November because he embarrassed himself. Shawn won’t disagree with him but what’s more embarrassing is working your whole career but being known as a second rate Shawn Michaels wannabe. Ziggler calls Shawn a Shawn wannabe so Miz tells Ziggler to do something about it. Ziggler goes to leave but Shawn grabs his arm and has to duck a punch. It hits Miz by mistake and since this is an angle, Miz goes down from one right hand. Ziggler superkicks Shawn and leaves.

You really could feel the energy go away when Ziggler’s music hit. Shawn is absolutely right about Ziggler doing the same stuff for years and just being known as a Shawn wannabe, but Shawn was famous for one show stealing performance after another. Ziggler is known as being the guy who just stays around and sucks the life out of any angle he’s in. Feel free to leave anytime.

Charlotte vs. Ember Moon

Charlotte knocks her down but here’s Bayley for the distraction into the rollup to give Moon the pin at 47 seconds.

Post match Moon throws Bayley in to Charlotte, who kicks her in the back of the head. Moon Eclipses both of them. Please, not a triple threat.

Michael Cole replaces New Day on commentary.

Here’s Kofi Kingston to announce his Summerslam opponent. Before he gets jumped from behind though, he wants Randy Orton out here right now. Orton comes out and Kofi talks about their history from 2009. That would have been in Madison Square Garden when they were in the ring together and the fans were chanting Kofi’s name.

We see a clip of the huge Boom Drop through the production area which should have made Kingston the next big star. That’s not what happened though and Kofi accuses Orton of holding him back. It didn’t work though and now Kofi is WWE Champion. Orton admits that he help Kofi back because he wasn’t ready then. He’s still not ready now though and that title is a fluke.

Orton has been on top for eighteen years and he never had to work hard a single day. He’s gotten where he is by being Randy Orton and hasn’t had to throw pancakes or fake a Jamaican accent. Orton takes credit for Kofi getting a title shot at Wrestlemania because he injured Ali before the Elimination Chamber so Kofi could take his place. Kofi wants to prove himself at Summerslam and Orton agrees to the title match at Summerslam. The RKO will be waiting for Kofi. This was a heck of a segment and them bringing up the history was a very nice surprise.

Samoa Joe vs. Kofi Kingston

Non-title and Orton is at ringside. They fight over arm control to start with Joe grabbing the ropes to give us a standoff. Kofi goes right back to the arm and has to fight out of the corner with some chops. A dropkick puts Joe on the floor and that means the big dive over the top. Back in and Joe hits a hot shot, followed by the Rock Bottom out of the corner for two. We take a break and come back with Kofi fighting out of a neck crank and hitting the Boom Drop. Trouble in Paradise is loaded up but Orton comes in for the DQ at 7:37.

Rating: C. This was more of a storyline segment than a match and there’s nothing wrong with that (and Joe actually didn’t get pinned). Kofi vs. Orton is suddenly a lot better than it was looking and Kofi hanging with Joe and not beating him is a good way to help set things up. Kingston is looking a lot stronger these days and the match with Orton could look be quite a good one.

Post match Orton can’t hit the RKO on Kingston so he hits it on Joe instead, leaving Kofi to hit Trouble in Paradise on Orton.

Here’s Finn Balor for a chat. We look at Bray Wyatt returning to attack him last week on Raw with Balor saying that he can’t explain the Fiend. He isn’t scared of Wyatt though….and it’s the return of the Firefly Fun House. Wyatt says he and his friends are fans of Finn but the Fiend doesn’t like him, no matter how many times they tell him how super duper he is. The Fiend has accepted Balor’s challenge for Summerslam. Things get more serious though with Bray saying the Fiend isn’t so nice because the Fiend is power. Let him in. The Fiend appears on the screen and growls the same thing.

We recap last night’s wild ride of 24/7 Title changes.

Charlotte wants to know why she was left out of the title match or off of Summerslam in general. She’s going to wrestle at Summerslam and she’ll have a better opponent than Ember Moon.

Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens

Shane is guest ring announcer, Elias is guest timekeeper and Drew McIntyre is guest referee. Shane does his own rather insulting versions of Big Match Intros but Owens grabs the mic to say he’ll drop Shane tonight no matter what. Reigns takes it away and says he’ll take care of Owens tonight. McIntyre breaks up some early lockups in the corner so Reigns punches him in the face and sends him to the floor. The match is thrown out at we’ll say 1:00.

Post match the fight is on with Shane and company getting the better of things. Owens breaks up a spear from Shane though and it’s superkicks a go go. A spear drops McIntyre and a Stunner drops Elias. Shane tries to escape but gets caught with a Superman Punch and a Stunner. Another Stunner drops Shane again and Owens promises to hurt him even worse at Summerslam to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. Fans who didn’t like last night’s show probably enjoyed this one a lot more. They announced three matches for Summerslam as the rapid fire build continues. What matters here is they started getting the card ready after last night’s big detour. Summerslam is looking good, though they have a lot more buildup to take care of first. This felt a little more serious than previous weeks, though it certainly didn’t feel like an all new show or really anything close to one. It was good though and these shows are blowing away anything that WWE was doing in the last few months.

Results

Shinsuke Nakamura b. Apollo Crews – Kinshasa

Ember Moon b. Charlotte – Rollup

Kofi Kingston b. Samoa Joe via DQ when Randy Orton interfered

Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns went to a no contest when Elias and Shane McMahon interfered

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s History Of In Your House (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2019/05/31/new-paperback-kbs-history-of-in-your-house/


And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:


http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6