Several big segments were announced by WWE beforehand for the post-Extreme Rules episode of SmackDown Live, and the end product was not a disappointment at all. WWE had a good outing this week with both RAW and SmackDown producing enjoyable episodes with the Wild Card Rule slowly fading away into obscurity( as it should!).

We look at results and takeaways from this week’s episode of SmackDown Live.

Event: WWE SmackDown Live
Date: July 16, 2019
Location: Location- DCU Center, Worcester, MA, US

Results & Highlights

  • Shane McMahon arranged a Town hall meeting for the WWE superstars to air their concerns openly. Before the show started, McMahon gave a night off to Kevin Owens and ask him to leave the venue. A few superstars tried to voice their concerns but were cut off either by McMahon or by other superstars who were trying to suck up to him. Post-meeting, KO sneaked behind McMahon in the ring, delivered a Stunner and disappeared in to the crowd.
  • Aleister Black defeated Cesaro with a Black Mass, in a rematch from Extreme Rules
  • Charlotte Flair defeated Liv Morgan with a Figure Eight in a Women’s Singles Match
  • Ember Moon and Bayley defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in a Women’s Tag Team Match. Post-match, Bayley offered a SmackDown title opportunity to Ember Moon.
  • Randy Orton, Samoa Joe and Elias defeated The New Day in a Six Man Tag Team Match after Orton delivered and an RKO to the WWE Champion.
  • The IIconics retained their Women’s Tag Team Championship against The Kabuki Warriors by forcing a count out. Asuka and Sane beatup the champions post-match.
  • Apollo Crews defeated Andrade with a quick rollup in a very short Men’s Singles Match.
  • SmackDown Main Event: Kevin Owens was called back earlier in the show for a match with Dolph Ziggler. Shane McMahon, along with the heels of the men’s roster, surrounded the ring during the match. Owens delivered a Stunner to both Ziggler and McMahon and ran out of the arena without finishing the match.

Takeaways from SmackDown Live

1. The Town Hall 

WWE announced a town hall segment hosted by Shane McMahon, where he invited the entire blue brand roster to voice their grievances. The entire segment was entertaining with Roman Reigns leading the charge followed by Liv Morgan, Apollo Crews and Buddy Murphy getting their moment in the sun.

WWE is amazingly good at poking fun at its own storylines. They acknowledged the shortcomings of Baron Corbin as RAW GM last year, and now are readily accepting the fact that fans are tired of Shane McMahon.

WWE must not just acknowledge, rather change the way things are, to ensure the product becomes flawless.

2. Shorter Matches, Better Stories. 

WWE faced flak yesterday for having a 25-minute Fatal Four Way between Carmella, Natalya, Alexa Bliss, and Naomi. Those shortcomings were immediately rectified as we were treated to several matches in the two-hour duration of SmackDown Live. All the matches were short and to the point, which is the way to go.

After Liv Morgan stood up to Charlotte during the Town hall Segment, both the competitors were given the chance to wrestle in singles action. Although Charlotte ended up with the win, it was clear that Liv Morgan has tremendous charisma and could be an excellent underdog babyface.

3. The TV Version of Clickbait. 

The falling ratings of RAW and SmackDown Live have led to WWE digging out new ideas for their shows. One of these ideas includes announcing major stuff for the show, only for it to be underwhelming in the end.

Roman Reigns’ mystery partner turned out to be Cedric Alexander last week, Brock Lesnar teased cashing in his briefcase on several RAW episodes, and today, Daniel Bryan promised a career-changing announcement, which eventually ended up being nothing (literally).

Daniel Bryan stood with a mic for a solid five minutes before leaving the arena without uttering a single word.

There were rumors of Bryan bringing back Luke Harper to combat the New Day trio, some were guessing a possible retirement, some felt he could be moving away from the Tag Team Division. However, all those were futile attempts as WWE simply baited the audience once again.

4. Long-Term Booking

Kofi Kingston may be the WWE Champion currently, a title he got to lay his hands on after eleven years on the main roster. However, his first feud for the coveted title came back in 2009 against ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton.

According to sources, Randy Orton did not want to feud against Kofi Kingston back then, and hence Kofi Kingston never received a shot at the title.

This week, Randy and Kofi finally crossed paths once again. Randy Orton pinned Kofi Kingston in a 6 Man Tag Match which included Samoa Joe, Elias and the New Day. This was Kofi’s first pinfall loss since March!

Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton locking horns at SummerSlam, ten years after their first confrontation will be epic and could make for an instant classic.

5. Kevin Owens: The Top Babyface

In a roster with Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Rey Mysterio, etc. Kevin Owens has somehow landed himself the top babyface spot. He is doing some of the best work of his career over here and is in a prime position to become a household name.

He is doing exactly what Stone Cold did two decades ago, and is succeeding at it. WWE must make sure they utilize the momentum currently with Owens and give him the right booking from now on.