Did Kevin Owens just turn babyface? Kofi Kingston flips the bird! And Nikki Cross hosts A Moment of Bliss! And what was the reason AJ Styles turned heel on Raw? Click the timestamps below to jump to any of those topics. I am Luke Owen, give us a subscribe, click the thumbs up button and a leave a comment down below to answer our question of the day:
What are you expecting from Eric Bischoff taking over as Executive Director of Smackdown? Personally I’m hoping he gets stuck in an office again with a bird, because that’s some good s-word. 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: SmackDamn, SmackTastic, Smack Bang in the Middle, SmackDowner, and A Smack in the Face. This is the 2nd of July, 2019 edition of Smackdown – the penultimate edition before the penultimate edition before Bischoff takes over.
The show opened with a recap of Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman from Raw, before opening proper with Kevin Owens hosting the KO Show with Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre. Shane again said he’s not afraid of The Undertaker – who just needs one more soul Vince, I can quit anytime I want I just want one more soul! – but Owens showed the footage of Shane and Drew running away when Taker came to the ring on Raw. Shane and Drew got mad and told him to stick to the approved messages, but Owens snapped and asked the questions he wanted to ask. This felt like the start of a babyface turn for Owens, which was furthered when Dolph Ziggler came to the ring – WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?! – and Owens told him that he’s lost all of his WWE Championship matches and he’s a bit rubbish. This really felt like a firey babyface moment for Owens, who’s heel run in 2019 has been less than stellar. Shane decided that KO and Ziggy Stardust should team together to take on Heavy Machinery in the show’s main event, with the winner getting added to the tag team championship match at Extreme Rules between The Planeteers and New Day.
Speaking of that tag team title match – me and Kayla on segways forever! – Daniel Bryan beat Big E in a singles match to build their PPV encounter. The action was really good, and Rowan got involved in the finish.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Truth backstage with another golden segue, who said that he wants to win back his 7/11 TV Title.
Nikki Cross was hand picked by Alexa Bliss to host a special edition of Moment of Bliss with Bayley, which was about as meh as you’d imagine. They jabbered back and forth for a bit, and it led to a match which Bayley won. This storyline still sucks.
Prince Ali fabulous he then cut a promo, said he would win the belt from Kofi. Well, not specifically from Kofi but I needed his name to fit the song. He did however say that he would change people’s minds about the perception of what a WWE Champion should be – someone with a name and face like his. This is fantastic promo work from Ali, and I really hope it’s going to lead to something good. With that said, I was hopeful for Buddy Murphy on Smackdown but it’s been twelve weeks and we’ve not heard from him. And no, that YouTube promo doesn’t count.
The good talking segments continued as Kofi Kingston and his Extreme Rules challenger Samoa Joe had a face-to-face – with Joe cutting a series of amazing promos on Kofi – saying he has used New Day to get to the top of the mountain and sell merchandise to idiots. It’s promo material we’ve heard before from Owens and Dolph, but it felt more genuine coming from Joe. Which only got better when Joe offered a handshake with the promise that if Kofi shook his hand, he wouldn’t hurt the people Kofi loves most in this world. Kingston instead gave him the finger and a Trouble in Paradise to stand tall. Great stuff from both guys.
Thankfully, Kayla was here to segue us into the next segment by saying, “Kofi Kingston’s championship match is certainly going to be competitive. SPEAKING OF CHAMPIONSHIPS.” Come on, Kayla. This led to Heavy Machinery saying they’d win later tonight.
Abby The Witch had a cameo behind Apollo Crews, who then lost to Andrade after interference from Zeilna Vega. Like a lot of Smackdown stars at the moment, Andrade feels rudderless. Speaking of rudderless! Ember Moon beat Mandy Rose in what I think is the blandest story in WWE at the moment, and then Shelton Benjamin had the oddest moment of the show – where he awkwardly smiled after being asked who is going to win the WWE Championship.
Bobby Lashley said he would put Braun Strowman in the morgue, and Alesiter Black cut a promo from the Phantom Zone saying the person who knocked on his door ran away. He then challenged them to show up at Extreme Rules.
And in the main event, Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler took on Heavy Machinery. Which means it’s time to play our brand new game: HOW SILLY IS IT? A game where, because of this no wrestling in the ad break rule, we guess what silly way WWE will artificially restart a match that didn’t need to be restarted. So this week did they a) have a 2-out-3 falls match, b) have someone run in and turn it into a different tag match, or c) have people not involved in the match brawl around ringside? Now think about your answer carefully. We can now reveal the correct answer is: C! They had New Day and The Planteers brawl over commentary tables and that caused the match to be restarted. Thanks for playing everyone.
Once the match was restarted, Heavy Machinery won when Dolph Ziggler accidentally superkicked Owens. KO then gave Dolph the Stunner after the match in another babyface moment.
I can’t believe in 2019 I’m standing here saying, “boy, I can’t wait for Eric Bischoff to show up and do something with this show.” But Smackdown does need something right now, because it’s lost all the life that made it so good in the first half of this year. This week’s SmackDown Live is Smack Bang in the Middle.
And now over to Oli, with the news!
Great review, Luke – let me shake your hand. MIDDLE FINGER EMOJI! Psyche, Attitude Era!
What the hell you do that for?
That’s not an explanatio-
And the middle finger isn’t the only hand gesture we’ll be seeing in the latest New New Era version 18.7-b of WWE. If the latest reports are to be believed, we’ll also be getting a lot more ‘Too Sweets’.
Too Sweet, Luke. Psyche, it’s a middle finger again, you idiot. Attitude Era! (You’re being a dick) That’s what the Attitude Era’s about!
Former Bullet Club tag team Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson jumped from their successful run in New Japan in 2016 – joining AJ Styles as WWE’s version of their Japanese faction, The Club.
Ever since then, though, Galanderson have hardly been used on the main roster, and with their contracts expiring this Fall, it was heavily speculated they’d be leaving the promotion, possibly to join their other former Bullet Club pals The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega in All Elite Wrestling – especially because it was reported they’d turned down lucrative five year deals to re-sign with WWE. Apparently it wasn’t about the money, it was how they were being booked on TV.
Now, however, PWInsider is reporting Gallows and Anderson have “agreed to terms on new WWE deals” – which comes the same week they reformed the heel Club faction with AJ Styles in the main event segment of Raw. The site hasn’t “been able to confirm they have actually signed deals” – but their renewed push in recent weeks suggests they’ve committed long term to the company.
The future looks promising for Raw stars if this week’s episode was anything to go by where, while not yet fully in control, Paul Heyman has started the process of taking over the show’s backstage creative direction.
But Post Wrestling claims the AJ Styles heel turn and reuniting of The Club predates Heyman’s plans, and wasn’t part of his new creative direction. The storyline in fact started to build on TV several weeks ago upon AJ’s return from injury, so this appears to be one of the few long term pieces of booking in WWE – and possibly a way to keep Gallows and Anderson on board while fixing Raw’s severe lack of main event heels.
No, you don’t count, Baron Corbin’s midcard of evil.
But re-signing with WWE doesn’t always get you a main event push alongside one of the promotion’s top stars. Sometimes it can get you booked as a emasculated cuckold in front of the entire world.
This week’s Raw saw the sudden emergence of Mike & Maria Kanellis to challenge Seth and Becky Lynch to an intergender tag match. Sudden because the Kanellisi have only really ever been featured on 205 Live or Main Event, not on Raw with two of the promotion’s top stars. Perhaps it was because the couple had reportedly re-signed new five year deals worth half a million dollars a year, meaning WWE wanted to make the best use of their money.
But from the very start of their segment, something felt awry, with Maria calling her real-life husband her ‘bitch’ – Attitude Era – Mike tapping out to Becky’s Disarmher…Disarmhim… Disarmperson to lose, and Maria faking a pregnancy to stop Lynch attacking her, then saying she has no idea how she’s pregnant, as Mike isn’t man enough to do it.
In summary, sucks to be this guy.
Wrestling Observer Radio have since revealed Maria is indeed pregnant, to which PWInsider have added she only informed WWE she was expecting another child after signing the five year deal.
Fighting games just got real as the brawls have spilled over into real life! Find out all the latest video game controversy in today’s ScreenStalker News by clicking the video on the right! And watch my review of Raw and that crazy Mike and Maria segment by clicking the video below that. I’ve been Oli Davis, and that was wrestling.