Kevin Owens stuns Shane McMahon! Kevin Owens stuns Shane McMahon again! And the OmniShane grows to new uncontrollable levels! But was Eric Bischoff backstage for the first time since becoming the new Executive Director of Smackdown? Click the timestamps down below to jump to any of those topics. I am Luke Owen, help us reach our next goal of 750,000 subscribers by pressing the subscribe button, press the thumbs up, and leave a comment down below to answer our question of the day:
What do you think is next for Daniel Bryan? 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 16th of July 2019 edition of Smackdown Live, the supposed first episode of the Bischoff Era.
The show opened with a recap of Kevin Owens saying that WWE sucked at the moment because there was too much Shane, which was followed with a clip of Shane telling KO to take the night off. Shane was then in the ring for his Town Hall meeting with the Smackdown roster on the stage. You know, there is a bit of irony in WWE telling us that there is too much Shane on their shows, and the first 10 minutes of this episode has been nothing but Shane.
Shane O Mac opened the floor for anyone to step forward and say their peace on his rule as The OmniShane, but no one took the chance. Eventually Roman Reigns stepped forward and told him to kiss his ass. Shane instead selected Charlotte to put him over, which she did before being interrupted by Liv Morgan who said that Flair was keeping her from getting a shot on TV. Shane next asked Buddy Murphy to step forward, who also put over Shane and said he would slap his name out of Kevin Owens’ mouth if he ever said it again. I guess we can now say that Buddy Murphy has officially debuted on Smackdown. It took them 14 weeks to come up with that. Apollo Crews next said that everyone agrees with Owens – well, apart from Flair and Murphy it would seem – and this set up a match between Crews and Andrade, when Zelina Vega challenged him.
In a lovely bit of continuity, Kofi Kingston interrupted and said that he’s not a fan of Kevin Owens after what he did to them just a couple of months ago, but does agree that everyone on the stage could be WWE Champion if they were just given a chance. By this point, Shane had heard enough and cut off their mic and ended the Town Hall meeting. As everyone was leaving, Cesaro asked for another match with Aleister Black which Shane made – and then took the worst Stunner of his career from Kevin Owens who surprised attacked him in the ring. Mate, you’ve taken literally thousands of these in the 20 years you’ve been an on-screen character, how did you manage to get that wrong?! It was so bad in fact that WWE edited it in their YouTube version.
And if that wasn’t enough Shane, he then spoke to Dolph Ziggler backstage who wanted a match with Owens.
The match between Aleister Black and Cesaro went a lot shorter than their Extreme Rules encounter, and wasn’t as effective in getting both guys over like that match did. Black won with a Black Mass that was so hard, Cesaro’s mouthguard fell out.
The town hall also set up a match between Charlotte Flair and Liv Morgan, which Flair won when she tapped Morgan out. Liv looked really good in the match however, and Flair did a great job in getting over her surprise that Morgan got in so much offence. After the match Liv took Corey Graves’ headset and said she would be back when she’s real.
Ember Moon revealed her mystery partner was Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley to take on Fire & Desire, which the faces won quickly when Moon gave Rose the Eclipse. Kayla Braxton then interviewed Bayley in ring about who her next challenger should be, with Bayley announcing she’ll take on Ember Moon at Summerslam. That should be a terrific match, and will hopefully get Moon over as a true top star in the women’s division.
New Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura was interviewed backstage when Prince Ali, sneaky is he, came up behind him. Said to Nak, congrats champ, then walked away. Seemingly setting up a title program between the two – which I am totally in for.
New Day came out next, with Xavier Woods calling Kofi Kingston Simon Phoenix because he’s the Demolition Man. Mate, that was Stallone’s character. Big E expected Daniel Bryan’s announcement to be a rematch request for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships which he accepted, but Bryan and Rowan came out and then walked to the back without saying anything – which they did again two more times, each time with Bryan wiping away tears from his face. I’m so intrigued as to where this new wrinkle in the Bryan character is going to go. Has The New Daniel Bryan completely snapped?
Instead, Samoa Joe came out to ask for another shot at Kofi but was interrupted by Elias who also wanted a shot. Randy Orton came out next and said he wants to take the gold from Kofi’s waist. Elias suggested a six-man tag which New Day accepted, but Orton walked away from. Well, that was until Kofi said that the Viper had gone limp which convinced Orton to get involved.
And Orton proved he wasn’t limp when he pinned Kofi in the ensuing six-man tag with the RKO. Kofi has been in need of a top tier challenger to his WWE Championship since he won it at WrestleMania, and a big win over Randy Orton at Summerslam could really help cement his run as champ.
Carmella told a hiding R-Truth backstage that he should hide at Comic Con to avoid losing the title, and The IIconics finally defended their Women’s Tag Team Championships against Kabuki Warriors. Only, the match didn’t really get going as Billie Kay intentionally got herself counted out so they could retain their titles. While cheap, I did pop for the finish. Kay’s reaction when she realised she could keep her title by not getting back in the ring was really great. Kabuki Warriors then laid out both of them, and Kairi Sane gave the InSane Elbow to Peyton Royce.
Apollo Crews then quickly pinned Andrade from a roll up when Andrade was dominating, which doesn’t really get either man over.
And in the main event, Kevin Owens returned to the building to take on Dolph Ziggler in a match that was more angle than action. As Owens was making his comeback, a new super OmniShane team came down to the ring that included Elias, Drew McIntyre, B-Team, Cesaro, Nakamura, Joe, Andrade, AOP, Buddy Murphy and Shelton Benjamin. That is a hilarious level of too much OmniShane. They surrounded the ring as Owens gave Ziggler the Stunner – but Shane pulled Owens out the ring and KO stunned him once again for good measure. He then bailed to the back as the heels chased him off. Shane told Braxton that Owens will pay for his actions as the show ended.
For a show that was supposed to be the launch of a new era for Smackdown, it was more of the same. There’s still too much Shane, and having the entire heel locker room on his side is a step too far for me. Kevin Owens is still great, though, and really the show wasn’t terrible. In fact this week’s Smackdown Live is Smack Bang in the Middle.
But was Eric Bischoff actually backstage? Let’s find out from Pete with the news.
Great review Luke! We’re getting Oli back soon, which will be the biggest reunion in wrestling history! Until next Monday, that is, because there’s going to be a Raw Reunion!
There’s been an updated list of the legends that are going to be featured on next week’s show, and it’s actually kind of hilarious how many there are. Confirmed to be on the show are:
DX (Triple H and Shawn Michaels)
“Road Dogg” BG James
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Ted DiBiase Sr.
Can’t wait for the inevitable scene where something wacky happens with a whole bunch of them and then Ron Simmons says DAMN. It’s gonna be a classic.
While this Raw Reunion definitely seems like a Vince idea as a hail Mary to try and boost ratings, it’s actually being reported via Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer that this was an idea pitched by the USA network.
USA have seemingly been a bit more hands on with the WWE product as of late, reportedly pitching the idea of the 24/7 title, forcing WWE to introduce the wildcard rule after Roman Reigns was drafted to SmackDown in the Superstar Shake-Up, and now suggesting the Raw Reunion.
This is still, of course, a ploy to try and get the falling ratings up, but it’s such short-sighted booking because it’ll no doubt increase the ratings for that week, but it might impede the actual stories leading in to SummerSlam.
However those falling ratings may not be falling for too much longer, as the ratings from this week’s episode of Raw show a little increase.
As reported by ShowBuzzDaily, Raw this week averaged 2.453 million viewers, up by about 100,00 viewers from last week’s 2.351 million.
The second hour drew the best, with 2.503 million viewers, and once again there was a pretty good retention heading into the third hour, keeping it at 2.478 million viewers.
Bray Wyatt’s return to Raw no doubt helped with this, and that is also reflected by the YouTube numbers, as it was the most watched video on WWE’s channel from this week’s Raw. Yowie wowie.
While Raw and SmackDown are having a bit of a shake-up with the introduction of Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff as Executive Directors, it seems NXT is also getting a bit of a shake-up, but in a different way, as several NXT wrestlers have gotten brand spanking new names.
It’s been a current trend to change new NXT wrestlers’ names, and this crop of talent is no different. So say hello to:
Courtenay Moore, the former Malcolm Bivens
Dio Maddin, the former Brennan Williams
Dorian Mak, the former Dan Matha
Monique Jenkins, the former MJ Jenkins
Nick Ogarelli, the former Nick Comoroto
Robert Stone, the former Robert Strauss, who was the former Robbie E
Rachel Ellering, the former Rachel Evers, who was the former Rachel Ellering. Makes perfect sense.
These new names join the 8 hopefuls in NXT’s Breakout tournament, who got new names, plus a whole host of others in recent months. It’s like we’re back in late 2000s WWE again.
Speaking of being in the past again, this week’s episodes of Raw and SmackDown were slated to be Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff’s first week as Executive Directors of Raw and SmackDown respectively. Heyman was there for Raw, as he mentioned in a promo on the show, but the same may not be said about Bischoff.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is reporting that Eric Bischoff was not backstage at last night’s SmackDown, nor did he have any sort of influence in the creative process of the show. He recently moved his family and himself over to Connecticut to be closer to WWE headquarters, so it would seem the Executive Director role is definitely still going ahead, but when Bischoff will actually start is now anyone’s guess.
Perhaps he’ll do a SmackDown Reunion next week, featuring legends like Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash…oh no. Don’t do it Bischoff.
Taika Waititi has been confirmed for Thor 4! And did a major plotpoint in Spider-Man Far From Home get changed? Press the video to my right to be taken to the movie news on ScreenStalker to find out! Before you go though, press the thumbs up, subscribe and bell icon to enable notifications and leave us a comment letting us know what you thought of SmackDown. 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.