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Kevin Owens gets fired from WWE! Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton repeat a spot from 10 years ago! And Rowan powerbombs Chopper Pete Quinnell onto Roman Reigns! I hope he’s going to be alright to do the news after this review. And which NXT star debuted on 205 Live? Click the timestamps down below to jump to any of those stories, right now. I am Luke Owen, press the thumbs up and subscribe buttons, and leave a comment down below to answer our question of the day:
Are WWE ruining Kevin Owens? And make sure you vote in the poll above my head to let me know what you thought of the show. Where you can choose from: SmackNificent, SmackTastic, Smack Bang in the Middle, SmackTastic, and A Smack in the Face. This is the 10th of September 2019 edition of Smackdown Live.
Just like Raw the previous night, Smackdown was opened by a legend in the form of the returning Undertaker. He wanted to talk about souls and the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden, while the crowd sat there patiently waiting for The Fiend to come out. Instead it was Sami Zayn who interrupted Taker, and got Chokeslammed for his troubles. And, that was it. That was your big Undertaker appearance. No feuds were set up, no new stars were put over, nothing. Just every Taker appearance we’ve seen since he came back on the Raw After Mania.
Shane McMahon made his return to Smackdown, telling Chad Gable that Elias had broken his ankle and would no longer be in the semi-finals for King of the Ring, later telling him that he’ll take his place to become THE KING OF THE RIIIIIIIIIIIIIING, Shane McMahon.
The Miz beat Andrade with Shinsuke Nakamura on commentary, overcoming multiple bits of interference from Zelina Vega. Nakamura laid him out after the match, and was actually the best bit of this match, replying to all of Byron Saxton’s questions in Japanese with Corey Graves blindly agreeing with what he had to say. It just shows that Nakamura didn’t need Sami Zayn to get him over.
In an effort to build a modicum of interest in their title match this Sunday, Nikki Cross quickly pinned Mandy Rose after Alexa Bliss stopped Sonya Deville’s interference.
After hyping themselves up by drinking smoothies, Heavy Machinery beat up a couple of jobbers in very entertaining fashion. Both Otis and Tucker are so wonderfully charismatic, from Tucker brilliantly carrying himself around the ring, and Otis humping the ropes wanting to get a tag. I just hope this team doesn’t fall into just beating up jobbers each week and get into an actual storyline again.
Ember Moon approached Bayley backstage about her heel turn, with Bayley telling her that she’s not changed and she did what she did to make the Smackdown Women’s Division relevant. This was some good character work for Bayley, a character which I totally overlooked and didn’t pick up on last week. She then quickly beat Ember Moon while Charlotte Flair was on commentary. Sucks for Ember. Flair and Bayley had a face-to-face stand off, with Flair motioning that she’ll be a 10x champion this coming Sunday. I really hope not.
This week’s Smackdown didn’t feature any good in-ring action, but it’s two best moments came from angles to build Clash of Champions. And that kicked off with Erick Rowan and his new generic entrance music – rest easy plinky plonky Sheep Herder music – who came out to cut a promo on Roman Reigns and how he won’t be told what to do anymore. Roman came out and the two got into a huge brawl around ringside. Security tried to break things up, but Rowan powerbombed a fan into Roman – and laid him out with a camera jib at the top of the ramp. This was a great go-home angle, and made me really excited to see their No DQ Match this Sunday. At least with it being No DQ, they can use all the smoke and mirrors and not have to rely on Rowan doing head squeezes.
The second big angle on the show came from Kofi Kingston, who cut a promo on Randy Orton and reminded those younger minds in the crowd of what he did to Orton in this same building 10 years earlier. Orton appeared in the crowd to tell Kofi to stop bringing up the two things he’s accomplished in the last decade – evening saying a big BS swear. So you know this is super serious, now. They brawled for a bit, and Kofi repeated his Boom Drop spot from 10 years ago, putting Orton through a table.
This was all really good stuff, and a nice mirror to the angle that has been a big backdrop to this feud, but there was one thing really missing from it: the return of New Day. Xavier Woods and Big E haven’t been by Kofi’s side for a while now since they were taken out by Orton and The Revival, which is why Kofi has been beaten down a lot. So, wouldn’t it have been really nice to have seen Kofi again beaten down by the threesome, only for his New Day brothers to make the save. Not only would it have been a nice capper to this story, but New Day and Revival have a match this coming Sunday and it would have been nice to do some build for that too!
The show’s final big angle, and the one that was less good, was Shane McMahon taking on Chad Gable in the King of the Ring semi-final. Earlier in the night, Shane told Kevin Owens that he would be the special guest referee for the match, and he would take away the $100,000 fine if he did what Shane wanted him to do. Didn’t that fine get sorted a couple of weeks ago?
Anyway, Chad Gable immediately won the match with the Chaos Theory Suplex, but Shane made the match a 2-out-of-3 falls match. Ah, that takes me back. Gable then got several visual pins on Shane, but Owens counted them slowly and looked conflicted about doing so. Eventually, Gable locked in the Ankle Lock and Shane tapped out. So Chad goes through to the finals of King of the Ring – which is no longer taking place at Clash of Champions by the way – and he’s just a backdrop to Shane firing Owens. This is just another step in WWE systematically picking apart Owens, who just four weeks ago was the hottest act in the company. He’s just been made to look dumber and dumber since Summerslam, and it’s a darn shame. And clearly I’m not the only one, as the show went off the air with chants of AEW.
And it left a sour taste in my mouth for this week’s Smackdown. The angles to build Roman vs. Rowan and Kofi vs. Orton were good, but the in-ring action was massively lacking, the Owens storyline is really hurting his character, and we wasted 14 minutes of TV time on Undertaker chokeslamming Sami Zayn. This week’s Smackdown Live, is a SmackDowner.
Lovely review Luke!
Last night was most certainly a wrestling show. Chad Gable beat Shane McMahon, Kevin Owens was fired, The Undertaker was there. But for the live crowd there, the fun didn’t stop with SmackDown, as they got to witness a huge debut on 205 Live.
Former multiple time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, and resident Back to the Future nerd, KUSHIDA, made his debut for the purple brand at Madison Square Garden, appearing as Jack Gallagher’s mystery tag partner, where they picked up the win over Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick with a double submission.
While KUSHIDA could definitely elevate the talent level within 205 Live, this doesn’t seem like the smartest decision given that he is just getting settled in NXT, and there’s rumours aplenty that 205 Live won’t be around for too much longer anyway. This could just be a special MSG one-off though for the cruiserweights, so I guess KUSHIDA is their version of The Undertaker.
Speaking of The Undertaker, he was brought to SmackDown to boost ratings, and on Raw, Stone Cold Steve Austin was brought back to boost ratings too! And I guess to sign a contract or some other such nonsense, but we all know why he was really there. The question now though, is did it work?
No. No it didn’t.
This week’s Raw drew 2.13 million viewers, down 400,000 viewers from last week’s show, and according to Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer, this is the second lowest non-holiday viewership score in modern history.
Just imagine what it would have been without Stone Cold.
But now, you know what it’s time for, that time every Wednesday where I tell you that Vince McMahon has torn up SmackDown and rewrote the entire show hours before it goes live. However, this time, well it’s pretty much the same, but it’s got a slight twist on it.
It was announced before SmackDown, that Elias would be forced to pull out of King of the Ring due to injury, and on the show we saw that none other than Shane McMahon would be replacing him.
However, this decision had a ripple effect on the show, with Kevin Owens being recruited as a special guest referee for the match, and subsequently being fired after Shane lost.
According to PWInsider, the decision to use Shane on the show was a Vince McMahon idea, despite other ideas being pitched to him, including a battle royal to find Gable’s opponent. Classic Vince.
So yes, Vince McMahon and the writers did rewrite the show just hours before it went live, but this time it wasn’t because Vince hated everything and tore it up, it was just because of Elias’ injury. And that’s step one on the path to recovery.
But what’s next for Kevin Owens? Hey that’s probably the WrestleRamble title for today. After his firing on SmackDown, one would normally expect in the world of WWE, he’d either show up on Raw, or just continue showing up on SmackDown. However, this may not be the case for Owens, because there’s another brand he might be returning to.
After SmackDown finished, Kevin Owens took to Twitter to say this:
Now while some of you, like me, might think that’s referring to the 14th day of the 24th month of 2020, or the 24th day of the 14th month of 2020, connoisseurs of the alphabet may be quick to notice that this actually spells something. Using each number as its subsequent letter of the alphabet, this spells out N. X. T.
KEVIN OWENS TO NXT CONFIRMED! OH MAN. Kevin Owens vs Adam Cole. Kevin Owens vs Velveteen Dream. Kevin Owens vs Keith Lee. Kevin Owens vs Dominik Dijakovic. Kevin Owens vs…anyone really. NXT is really good.
But chances are, he’ll be on SmackDown next week asking for his job back.
Will the new Joker and Batman crossover? Press the video to the right to find out on ScreenStalker with Oli and Laurie! And should Stone Cold return fully to WWE? Press the video below that to find out more! A special thank you to our pledgehammers on Patreon, some of whom you can see scrolling below me right now! I’ve been Chopper Pete Quinnell, and that, was wrestling.