Event: WWE SmackDown Live
Date: July 30, 2019
Location: Memphis, TN
Results & Highlights
In a video promo right before the start of the show, Shane McMahon announced that he will not be part of tonight’s SmackDown Live.
Kevin Owens cut a promo promising to defeat Shane McMahon at Summerslam. Drew McIntyre came out and informed Owens he has a match him and attacked him with a cheap shot.
Kevin Owens defeated Drew McIntyre after delivering a superkick and a stunner.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated Bayley and Ember Moon in a Women’s tag team match after Bliss delivered a Twisted Bliss to Cross. Post-match, Bayley delivered a Bayley to Belly to Moon.
Trish Stratus was the guest of Jerry Lawler’s King’s Court where he asked Trish if she would have one more match. Charlotte Flair interrupted and challenged Trish for a match at Summerslam. Trish accepted the challenge and we have a match at The Biggest Party of Summer.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Finn Balor after the lights went off and The Fiend caused a distraction with a tease. When the lights came back, Ziggler delivered a Sweet Chin Music to secure the win.
Ali defeated Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura in a non title match
Kofi Kingston (with Xavier Woods and Big E at ringside) defeated AJ Styles (with Gallows and Anderson at ringside) in a Champion vs Champion match. Kingston countered a Phenomenal Forearm with a Trouble in Paradise to secure the win.
Backstage: Roman Reigns was show walking towards Kayla Braxton to announce his Summerslam opponent. Suddenly the steel racks and large production crates came down crashing on him as if someone pushed them. Luckily Reigns got out of the way in time and nothing happened to him though he seems stunned. Reigns walked out to close the show.
Takeaways from SmackDown Live
1. The Wrestling Show
Once again, within a span of two hours, WWE managed to present several wrestling matches. Considering the fact that SmackDown and RAW are wrestling shows, the actual amount of wrestling on these shows has been underwhelming in recent times. However, with the new changes to the setup, more wrestling can be seen on the blue brand which is a great way to bring more eyes to the product.
Owens and Drew McIntyre had a random match which was fun nonetheless, it helps to keep both the superstars relevant outside their current feuds. Similarly, Dolph Ziggler fought Balor, AJ contested against Kofi and Nakamura took on Ali. A good night for wrestling overall.
2. The Generation Battle
Trish Stratus is the most popular female wrestler in WWE ever. She was one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era and the Ruthless Aggression Era and was pushed to the moon by WWE. Similarly, Charlotte Flair has received backing by WWE in recent years, with close to ten championship reigns on the main roster and a WrestleMania main-event to her name!
Both these women crossed paths last night on SmackDown Live and will be battling each other in singles action in Trish’s home country Canada at Summerslam.
WWE bringing back legends for such one-off matches is not a bad decision, as long as the current talent goes over.
3. Undermining the Champion: Latest Edition
We have addressed in the past how WWE uses a tired trope of using “Challenger defeats Champion for a Title Shot”, which is a horrible way to create new competition! Last night on RAW, WWE had a Gauntlet Match to decide the new challenger for AJ Styles’ US Championship. The very next night, they had Shinsuke Nakamura lose against Ali in a non-title match, presumably setting up Ali v Nakamura at Summerslam. In the main event, AJ Styles, the current US Champion lost against Kofi Kingston, which is not a major downfall considering the fact that he lost to the WWE Champion.
However, having your champions lose clean so frequently doesn’t paint a pretty picture and WWE must avoid those in the future.
4. What’s Next For Roman and Bryan?
Daniel Bryan has promised a major announcement regarding his career for almost a month now, but has failed to deliver on that promise. There are rumors of Bryan moving to 205 Live, but it remains to be seen if that happens.
Roman Reigns was attacked by an unknown superstar, and it could be interesting to see what happens next with the Big Dog. WWE had a great ending to SmackDown Live and built up intrigue for the next week of programming. Although the attacker could eventually turn out to be Samoa Joe, it would make for interesting TV nonetheless!