Smackdown – July 30, 2019

Smackdown
Date: July 30, 2019
Location: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re in still getting ready for Summerslam and in this case we need to hurry up and get some more stuff set with less than two weeks to go before the show. This time around we have Trish Stratus on Jerry Lawler’s King’s Court and….I’m not sure what for the main event as WWE has announced three different main events for the show today alone. Let’s get to it.

We open with Shane McMahon on the screen, talking about how Kevin Owens has been getting to him. His life coach has told him to get his emotions in check though because Shane has exactly what he wants at Summerslam. After Shane beats him, Owens is going to have to admit that Shane is the better man and quit in front of 20,000 people.

Here’s Kevin Owens for a chat. It’s a sad night because SHANE MCMAHON IS NOT HERE but we can get through it together. Owens is near tears but says that without Shane, maybe the show can be about the talent instead of McMahon’s stupid face. Just make sure that the stupid face is at Summerslam because Owens is going to beat Shane as badly as he deserves.

Then Shane will know that he does not belong in the ring. Shane isn’t going to quit, but he’ll know that this isn’t his ring or his show, because this is the Kevin Owens Show. This brings out Drew McIntyre to say Owens talks too much and he’ll shut Kevin up tonight. The fight is on with Owens going into the post and over the announcers’ table. Actually let’s just do it now.

Kevin Owens vs. Drew McIntyre

Owens goes straight at him to start and walks into a belly to belly suplex for his efforts. The armbar goes on for a bit and Drew clotheslines him right back down. Another belly to belly gets two but Owens sends him into the post. The Cannonball connects and Owens goes up, headbutts McIntyre back down, and hits the frog splash for two.

Back from a break with Owens hitting the Swanton (they seem to be gradually shifting away from coming back to a chinlock) for no cover. The Stunner is blocked and McIntyre gets two off a swinging sitout Rock Bottom. The Claymore is blocked with a superkick and Owens hits the Pop Up Powerbomb for two. McIntyre is right back up with a super White Noise for two and they head outside. The Stunner on the announcers’ table rocks McIntyre and the regular version back inside finishes him off at 13:31.

Rating: B-. They were hitting the big moves here and Owens getting a big win is a cool thing to see, but I continue to sigh at McIntyre being the glorified lackey. They’ve spent so many months treating him as a goon and now Owens is likely to have more trouble getting rid of Shane than Drew, which sums up a lot of the problems around this company.

Dolph Ziggler doesn’t care about what fans thought of him after superkicking Shawn Michaels last week. Then Mick Foley got beaten up by the Fiend and Goldberg had a horrible match. Now Shawn is upset and Miz is going to defend Shawn’s honor at Summerslam. Miz isn’t even the best wrestler in his house and Ziggler is more scared of Maryse. Tonight, Ziggler will deal with Finn Balor.

Bayley and Ember Moon are ready for tonight.

Aleister Black is sitting in his room again and says he feels different. His redemption lies in the blood of his soul. He received some of his salvation when Cesaro picked a fight with him and Black salutes him. But how does he move on from here and write the next chapters of his book? Once again he sits here, now a bit less patiently, for someone to pick a fight with him.

Ember Moon/Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross

Moon kicks Bliss in the face to start and it’s already off to Bayley, who drops Bliss face first onto the turnbuckle. That sends Bliss outside for Bayley’s dropkick under the buckle and Moon dives onto Cross. Back with Cross tying Bayley up in the ring skirt so Bliss can hit a baseball slide. Bayley fights back, sends Cross to the floor, jumps over Bliss, and brings Moon back in to pick up the pace. Bliss saves Cross from the Eclipse though and sends Moon shoulder first into the post. A right hand drops Bayley and Twisted Bliss finishes Moon at 6:29.

Rating: D+. Dang it please tell me this isn’t being turned into a triple threat with Bliss getting another title shot. We’ve covered that so many times and Bayley needs to get far away from Bliss. We had what should be a fresh title match and I really hope WWE doesn’t mess it up for the sake of an unnecessary triple threat.

Post match Bayley gives Moon the Bayley to Belly to make up for last week.

Sami Zayn is here to check out the competition but only sees people complaining. One person in particular seems to be Aleister Black. If Black wants a fight, Sami will give him one at Summerslam, where Black will melt under the bright lights.

Daniel Bryan has a chance to make his career changing announcement but again says nothing.

It’s time for the King’s Court with Jerry Lawler bringing out Trish Stratus as his guest. Lawler talks about Raw Reunion and everyone wanting to have one last match. He asks if Trish ever has that feeling and we get a ONE MORE MATCH chant. Trish says she can never get rid of that itch but she’s a mom now and has to do those kinds of things. Cue Charlotte to say you can’t have King’s Court without a queen, but she has a big question: how is she not on Summerslam yet?

Charlotte congratulates Trish on being a mom and, after having Lawler hold the ropes open for her, calls it an excuse. Charlotte makes the challenge for Summerslam but Trish doesn’t say anything. That’s fine, as Charlotte knows Trish can’t hang with the queen anyway. Charlotte tells her to get out of the ring so Trish calls her a b**** (it’s a WWE women’s feud so you knew that was coming).

Trish talks about how there would be no throne for Charlotte without the trailblazers like Trish, Lita, Ivory, Beth Phoenix and others. To be the woman you have to beat the woman so the match is on. Good, as Charlotte is too big for the title again anyway and would just take away Bayley’s momentum otherwise.

The OC is ready to show Kofi Kingston that this is the house that AJ Styles built.

It’s time for the Firefly Fun House. Ramblin Rabbit is excited for Summerslam because he’s a Finn Balor fan. Balor flies through the air and is extraordinary, but the Fiend is scary. Finn doesn’t understand what he’s getting into but here’s a laughing Bray Wyatt to chase Ramblin off. Bray gets serious and says let him in.

We look back at Brock Lesnar attacking Seth Rollins last night.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Finn Balor

Joined in progress with Ziggler charging into a boot to the face and a Nightmare on Helm Street giving Balor two. Ziggler is right back with the Fameasser but spends too much time tuning up the band. Balor knocks him outside….and there go the lights. The Fiend appears, but then disappears, allowing Ziggler to hit the superkick for the pin at 2:59 shown.

Ali vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Non-title. Ali dropkicks him to the floor to start and nails a high crossbody for two back inside. Nakamura avoids a charge but Ali is right back with the rolling X Factor. It’s too early for the 054 though and Nakamura nails the reverse exploder. Kinshasa is blocked with a superkick for two but the 450 misses. Nakamura knees him in the face and tries Kinshasa again, though this time Ali rolls him up for the pin at 2:18. You knew this was coming as soon as Nakamura was shown walking to the ring before the match.

Randy Orton talks about Kofi Kingston saying this had all started in 2009 so let’s talk about 2009. By then, Orton had won World Titles and main evented Wrestlemania so all he had to do was be Randy Orton. Kofi didn’t have that luxury so he developed the personality of being the fun guy who danced a lot. That wasn’t cool with Orton so he RKO’ed him and called him stupid, which we see in clips. If you tick Orton off, you go back to the bottom of the ladder.

We jump ahead to 2019 and Ali is the new Kofi Kingston. Orton injured Ali to take him out of the Elimination Chamber and Kofi got the spot instead. There is no Kofi Mania without Orton so Kofi wants to prove himself. That’s stupid, stupid, stupid and the title reign is ending with an RKO. As has been the case with everything in this feud, this was well done and made me want to see the match.

New Day is in the back and ready to go with the main event. This could be a main event anywhere in the country and Kofi is going to show AJ Styles why this isn’t the house that AJ Styles built.

AJ Styles vs. Kofi Kingston

Non-title with New Day and the OC at ringside. AJ grabs a headlock to start but Kofi flips him over, allowing Styles to hit a dropkick to put him down. Back up and Kofi hits the jumping elbow to the jaw but misses Trouble in Paradise. AJ gets clotheslined to the floor and Kofi loads up a dive, only to get blocked by the OC. Kofi dives anyway but AJ hits a knee to the face off the apron (that looked nasty).

We take a break and come back with AJ hammering on Kofi and putting him on top. Kofi knocks him back down and hits a tornado DDT, followed by the dropkick and clothesline. There’s the Boom Drop and standing double stomp for two, followed by the SOS for the same. AJ is right back with an enziguri but gets kicked in the ribs. The top rope splash to the back gets two on AJ with the OC pulling Kofi out at two. The brawl breaks out on the floor and Kofi dives onto everyone. Back in and AJ’s fireman’s carry backbreaker connects but the Phenomenal Forearm lands on Trouble in Paradise to give Kofi the pin at 12:53.

Rating: B-. I actually glared at my TV when Styles was pinned. You have a champion vs. champion match with multiple instances of the seconds brawling on the floor and you end it with a clean pin? How in the world is that their best idea? Kofi pinning AJ is fine, but the US Title has been bouncing around enough lately and you don’t need to have the champ losing to anyone, even under these circumstances.

We IMMEDIATELY cut to the back with Roman Reigns walking up to announce his Summerslam challenge…..and then someone drives what looks like a forklift to knock a piece of set and a bunch of anvil cases onto Reigns. The camera goes haywire and everyone screams for help, but Reigns is ok and on his feet. The medics want to check on Reigns but he tells them to back off. We don’t see who was behind it (the fans chanting JOE is a likely clue) as Reigns walks off to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. I’m not sure what to think of this show. The wrestling worked well enough and I liked the show, but some of the booking decisions gave me a headache. It’s cool to give Roman a mystery opponent, but we’re less than two weeks away from the show and Reigns is already in a feud with someone. They also had to add three matches to the show in one night, plus Ali vs. Nakamura likely being set up here as well.

This crushed time scale is killing things and while there are things on the show I want to see, it is going to be bogged down by everything going on. Maybe with two more weeks the show could be well built, but what we’re getting is so rushed that I need to look up the card to remember what is going on. Tonight’s show was entertaining and set stuff up, but I’m not enjoying a lot of it due to how fast everything is going. There was so much crammed into this show that the good was being dragged back down, which is rarely a good thing. Unfortunately, it’s happening rather frequently around here and that needs to change.

Oh and no mention of the Sonya Deville/Mandy Rose vs. IIconics match (though it was canceled in a segment on YouTube).

Results

Kevin Owens b. Drew McIntyre – Stunner

Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross b. Ember Moon/Bayley – Twisted Bliss to Moon

Dolph Ziggler b. Finn Balor – Superkick

Ali b. Shinsuke Nakamura – Rollup

Kofi Kingston b. AJ Styles – Trouble In Paradise

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