After a successful reunion last night on RAW, the superstars of SmackDown Live came together for another blue brand outing which felt fresh and engaging. SmackDown Live is slowly and steadily becoming brilliant, just the way it was in 2016 and earlier this year.
With only a few weeks remaining until SmackDown Live moves to FOX, a lot of things happened on the show this week.
We look at a quick recap and the major takeaways from SmackDown Live this week.
Event: WWE SmackDown Live
Date: July 23, 2019
Location: Miami, FL
Results & Highlights
- SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Big E and Xavier Woods joined the commentary team before the show. Shane McMahon walked in to the ring and “CM Punk” chants broke out. McMahon informed that Kevin Owens has challenged him for a match at Summerslam and that Owens would quit if he loses. “You can’t wrestle” chants broke out but McMahon accepted the challenge and said he wants the stipulation in writing. Owens interrupted him and vowed to beat the living hell out of Shane in Toronto, Canada. McMahon made a match between Owens and Roman Reigns for later in the night.
- Backstage, Shane made Drew McIntyre as the special guest referee, Elias as the special time keeper and himself as the special ring announcer for the Owens vs Reigns match.
- Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Apollo Crews via pinfall in a Men’s Single Match after delivering a Kinshasa. Post-match, Nakamura beatdown Crews at ringside asserting his heel persona.
- Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels joined The Miz as the guest on Miz TV. Dolph Ziggler interrupted and ranted about how embarrassing it is to see Michaels back on TV frequently. The segment ended with Ziggler superkicking Michaels.
- Ember Moon defeated Charlotte Flair in a Women’s Single Match after Bayley caused a distraction. Post-match, Moon pushed Bayley in to the ring and delivered an Eclipse to both the women.
- Randy Orton accepted a Summerslam title challenge issued by WWE Champion Kofi Kingston.
- Samoa Joe vs Kofi Kingston ended up in a disqualification when Orton interrupted the match and went for an RKO. But Kingston blocked it and Orton eventually gave an RKO to Joe. Kingston ended up delivering a Trouble in Paradise to Orton.
- Finn Balor challenged The Fiend for a match at Summerslam. Bray Wyatt and his puppets appeared on screen and said that The Fiend has accepted the challenge, in a freaky Firefly Fun House segment.
- SmackDown Live Main Event: Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens did not last long as the heels ganged up and started a brawl with the faces. The show ended with Reigns delivering a spear and Owens delivering two stunners to Shane McMahon.
Takeaways from SmackDown Live
1. SmackDown Still a Shane McMahon Show?
WWE Universe is begging for Shane McMahon to have less involvement in WWE programming. The run of terror from Shane McMahon in the last few months, where he was booked on RAW as well as SmackDown, was outrageous.
WWE is readily acknowledging the shortcomings of having the junior McMahon on television every week but is refusing to make the changes for some reason. SmackDown opened with yet another fifteen-minute promo by McMahon and his lackeys, which is just not the way to start off your show.
Shane McMahon is confirmed to contest against Kevin Owens at Summerslam, which essentially means Shane will be on our screens for the foreseeable future.
2. Poor Man’s Shawn Michaels
Dolph Ziggler is one of the most frustrating cases in WWE. He turned heel in 2017, attacked Jerry “The King” Lawler to assert his heel status, but that never amounted to much.
WWE is once again trying to make him relevant, as Ziggler attacked Shawn Michaels this week to make some headlines for himself. Miz and Ziggler seem to be on collision course at Summerslam, and WWE is trying to make Ziggler relevant after the string of losses he has had.
3. The Wyatt Mania
Bray Wyatt has easily been the star of WWE programming ever since he debuted his new persona. His Firefly Fun House segments were weirdly amazing, and his Fiend persona is creepy, dark and genuinely terrifying.
Wyatt accepted Finn Balor’s challenge for a match at Summerslam, and he did so in his normal avatar and not the Fiend persona. WWE is trying out a split-personality character similar to Kane and Mick Foley, and this could be one of the best things we ever see on WWE television.
4. How To Book A Champion 101
Last week was the official start of a Randy Orton-Kofi Kingston feud which is a rivalry over ten years in the making. Kofi and Randy had an excellent segment in which Kofi brought up Randy’s influence to keep Kofi out of the main event scene all those years ago.
Kofi’s reign has been amazing till now but has lacked some high-profile feuds. If he were to win against Randy Orton at the biggest party of the summer, Kofi Kingston’s run is sure to go in the history books as one of the finest in WWE. This is definitely a smart booking so far.
5. So Much For Women’s Revolution
The women’s division of WWE had a total of 2 minutes in the ring this week. Ember Moon defeated Charlotte in quick match, and that was sadly all the action the women got this week.
WWE is very inconsistent with the way they handle the women’s roster and their Women’s Revolution will eventually turn into a farce if things continue like this.
6. Kevin Owens
Yes, just Owens. It is fantastic to see how good Kevin Owens is being booked currently and Owens’ presence is making up for Shane’s appearances.
Kevin Owens, a babyface, is ruthless, doesn’t shy away from competition, and is ready to take on competition head-on. WWE is awful when it comes to booking faces, and they always give them the same booking. Cena, Rollins, and Reigns are three of the top faces in the last few years, and all are the underdogs who overcome all odds to win. Owens is a refreshing sight and hopefully, he is rewarded soon.